Secrete – seven letters amalgamate to protect, to keep some sorts of things hidden from the knowledge of the rest of the world. Interesting stuff. Strange and mysterious too.
It was almost the end of winter. On Thursday afternoon relaxing in an armchair in my bedroom I was reading the Bible. After a long time. Suddenly something caught my eyes in the backyard. It was my son digging the ground. First I thought he was playing but he wasn’t. I was sure that something was troubling him as he was digging the ground in a very awkward manner. Very awkward. Though he was sitting with his back facing me I could see his eyes were reckless too. His bright dark eyes were roaming around here and there and everywhere. No, they weren’t looking for someone; they were staying informed if anyone was keeping an eye on him. He also once looked back at my window but I saved myself from his glance. Then I saw him hiding something. A kind of box. A wooden box. “Aha! It’s his Pandora’s box.” Then I didn’t bother much because it’s the most conspicuous and natural for the twelve years old children; they yearn to have possessions and are always desperate to protect them. I too had and, may have.
But being a father it is difficult to get rid of the tension for your offspring easily. That night while having dinner, thus, I attempted to get closer to him, to talk to him. But he didn’t. His only answers were ‘yes’ and ‘hmm’. But before going to bed he asked me: “When will momma come back?”
No doubt left within me—he was missing his momma. As I was.
“Very soon my boy, very soon,” I managed to reply.
Next day I skipped my office and took him to the amusement park, thought it would make him feel better. Though he was able to overcome that recklessness he was not well yet.
I consoled him saying, “It has only been three days mom has gone. You know her job, don’t you?”
“I know. But she has never been that late to make a call!!!”
I didn’t reply. I didn’t have anything to reply.
We returned home. When I was about to sit,
“Where is the knife poppa?” he suddenly asked. I was awestricken.
“Where is the knife poppa? I’m hungry, wanna eat the apple.”
I regained my senses. “Isn’t it there?”
“Then how could I know? Okay, I’ll get another one. Leave it now. Have something else.”
It was Saturday. I went to office leaving him at his aunt’s place. Only one profound thought was brooding over my mind that what was bothering him and how I’m going to tackle him.
“I’m going to need a psychiatrist very soon,” I thought.
We came back home. He directly went to bed and I got some drink for me and fell on the cosy sofa. “Enough. It’s killing me now. I need to do something for heaven’s sake.” I made my mind.
It was already quarter past to one at night. With the half bottle full of red wine and torch I went to the yard and tried to recognize the spot where he was digging. “Got you.” I found the mark–seven circles were made with the stones there. I started digging it up. Meanwhile, I heard a sound behind me. I paused and just turned my face slightly. I was just able to see the silhouette and two shiny eyes. It was my son. For few minutes we only exchanged glances. Then he came to me and filled the place again and went back to his bedroom.
Next Monday morning, I got more irritated. For the last few days, his silence was irritating me and that day so did his stupid deeds. Deliberate transgressions rather. After a long time when I was feeling relieved that boy raged me again. Typical mama’s boy, you know! His holidays were over and new session just began. I was happy that he hadn’t questioned anything about his mother and after that night I attempted to patch up the things. But he messed it up all when I went to my bedroom to call him for the breakfast. I caught him red-handed destroying my favourite blue Demine shirt with scissors.
“What’re you doing you son of bi**h!”, I shouted and hit him hard. His cheeks and eyes got red. Tears over spilled his eyes. No, it wasn’t a sign of guilt but anger, a fire of anger which all the water upon the earth couldn’t even extinguish. “No one can bear the pain if anyone destroys the thing you love most. Isn’t so poppa? Not even you,” he screamed with dire grief and ran away.
On the breakfast table, I tried to defend myself. “I didn’t ever want to destroy your possessions, my dear.”
I couldn’t resist and finally asked: “what is there in that box?”
“Secrets! You have secrets?”, I chuckled.
“Just like yours are in the well.”
“Yeah, that old, unused one behind our house. I’ve seen you keeping your secrets there”, he answered without raising his head.
“When did you?”
“But you were in the excursion. Remember?”
“I returned home on Tuesday but when I saw you near the well, dragging……. I just ran away.”
He looked at the clock. “It’s time for school. I have to rush. When I’ll come back I’ll answer you but you’ll have to answer me much more.”
When he was about to move he turned, gave me a tough look and said, “By the way, I’ve found that knife. See there.”
He pointed to the kitchen table and chuckled and left.
I could only sense that something just engulfed me, made me numb. What? I didn’t know. What I remembered was that I went to that spot where he had kept his secrets. I dug it up. My hands were trembling badly. At last, I found that box. It was heavy.
But… but when I opened it, I found nothing. It was dark, hollow.