Fiction Drama

Sheena glanced at the clock for the sixth time in fifteen minutes.

'Where was Anil?', she wondered. She knew, if she didn't leave the house soon she would be late for her late-night news telecast.

It was already 9.30 pm and he had promised to be home by 9 pm. He had to attend an official meeting which would be over by 8 pm and it would take him roughly an hour to reach home from the highway.

She tried to put the baby to sleep but it seemed, he too wasn't in the mood to listen to her.

She tried Anil's cell number but it was switched off, maybe he was still in the meeting. She could wait for another fifteen minutes maximum.

The Television studio was 30 minutes away from her house, and she was slotted to read the news for the late-night news hour which would start at 11 pm. and would continue till midnight.

She usually had a co-host with her, but today she would be alone reading the news, as her co-host was unwell and they couldn't find a last-minute replacement.

It was the ground rule, the newsreaders had to be at the studio an hour before the telecast, to get their makeup done and go over the news.

It was going to be 9.45 pm and she was still stuck in the house. She couldn't wait any longer. She carried her baby, her bag and leaving a note for her husband

she left the house.

She had called for a cab and went down the elevator. The Studio had a pickup and drop service, but that cab had arrived at8 pm and she had sent it away as Anil had not yet returned from work.

Her parents lived a few distances away from the studio, she would drop her son at their house on the way to the studio.

She was getting annoyed at her husband Anil, he should have at least called her to say he would be late then she wouldn't have been in a rush.

Sheena knew she was fortunate to get this job which paid her very well, and she could be with her baby during the day and Anil would take care of him at night, and they won't feel guilty of leaving him alone as their baby would always have one parent with him constantly.

It was nearly five years now that she was anchoring the late-night news hour for a reputed news channel, and many people recognised her where ever she went.

Reading the news was like a piece of cake for her, she was happy with her job and knew many people wanted to be in her shoes, as it was an envious position to be in.

Sometimes she would get bored repeating the same things for days, especially during elections or some calamity, but she wouldn't be anywhere else. It was a glamorous and richly paid job.

She reached her parent's house within ten minutes, her father was waiting at the gate.

"Hasn't Anil reached home yet?" He asked taking the baby from her.

"No, I think he's still in the meeting"

"Ok no worries, we are always happy to have the baby, you carry on" saying this he went inside the house with the baby bouncing happily in his arms.

Sheena reached the studio by 10 .15 her producer looked relieved to see her. She hurried to the makeup room at the same time going over the news sheets while her makeup was being done.

She was on the floor by 10.45 pm. she checked her phone to see if there was any message from Anil, but there was nothing from him. She sent him a message telling him that she had left the baby at her parent's.

The cameraman asked her to take her position behind the teleprompter as it was few minutes to eleven. She had gone through the news earlier and there was news of a school building that had collapsed and many children were trapped beneath the debris.

She was used to reading such terrible news and knew to keep a straight face not showing any emotions, she was a pro at it.

Her mind was on her baby hoping he had fallen asleep and was not troubling her old parents.

The countdown began few seconds before eleven, and she was on air at the dot of 11. Sheena started reading the news.

" Hello! Good evening I'm Sheena, Welcome to the late-night news hour'. Our main headlines tonight"...She went on reading the news mechanically, often glancing at the watch attached to the teleprompter. She had another 15 minutes to go.

Suddenly the teleprompter was stopped and a sheet of paper was handed to her to read from it.

"We have breaking news. A terrible accident has occurred on the national highway, a passenger bus collided with a grey Mitsubishi sports car that was speeding along the highway. The car was smashed, and many casualties were reported. The police are investigating the matter.

Our reporter and camera person are out there shooting live, and we will take you directly to the accident site.

The next visuals on the television were of the accident site.

The reporter was standing near the car which was mangled from the right side and the cameraman was panning his camera on the car shooting live, few people were seen sitting at the side of the road with injuries, and crying in pain, the policemen were everywhere trying to control the traffic.

Sheena asked the reporter about the accident.

He said, "The driver of the car was speeding along the highway and was caught unawares by a passenger bus coming from the opposite direction, he rammed directly into it and was thrown out of the car. he died on the spot. He was alone in the car. The driver and the passengers of the bus escaped with minor injuries. Some motorists informed the police and they reached here in no time."

"Has the driver been identified?" asked Sheena

"Yes, his name is Anil Mishra, a thirty-year-old male, a resident of upper Delhi.

Her heart missed a beat and her hands and feet went numb with fear, but being a pro she managed to keep a straight face and a steady voice, and continued reading .

She concluded the news with a slight tremor in her voice.

"Thank you, that's all we have for tonight Goodnight.."

July 06, 2021 17:34

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Nadig Rangaswamy
00:12 Jul 13, 2021

Nice story with a very sad ending to the News Reader Sheena herself. Though Sheena was shocked to notice that her husband Anil is the person who died in the accident, being a news reader she took courage to complete the news however as a human being she had tremors in her voice due to the indigestible shock of loosing husband and reading the same as a news to the channel watchers.


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Dr Sambandam Sky
04:59 Jul 07, 2021

Is it a real fact..I could guess the lines..Sad to.know the fact..


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Vadali Srinivas
03:50 Jul 07, 2021

Nice story but a very sad ending.


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