'The stranger in my family'

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Write about someone welcoming a stranger into their home.... view prompt

7 comments

Fiction


I hated to share my room with Aira, but I had no choice. She was my mother's best friend's daughter. A quiet and timid girl who didn't speak much. I never liked these silent types, who I felt were sly and full of pretenses.


I was surprised at the animosity I felt towards the girl.It may have been because I had to share my room and bed with her. I was not sure.


A few months ago, it was nearly after midnight when a crying and frightened Aira had called my Mom asking her to come immediately to their home, her mother had collapsed with chest pain and fainted.


My parents  rushed to her house, but it was too late, Aira's mother had died due to a major heart attack.


After the funeral, my parents brought Aira to our home, as she had nowhere else to go, Her father had left them long time ago and no one knew of his whereabouts.


Aira's aunt lived abroad and was ready to take her in, but all that would take a while.


I studied in the ninth grade and Aira in the seventh grade of the same school.


My parents showed extra love and sympathy for Aira,which made me angry as being their only child, I was the cynosure of their eyes.

The fact that, Aira was taking my place in the family was difficult to digest.


Not only did I have to share my room with Aira but also my parents,which was unacceptable to me.


Aira was reserved in nature , and mostly kept to herself, my mother felt sorry for her, and showered her with love and affection, so that she feels at home.

When l complained  about it to my dad he said,

"Nila you got to understand the poor child has lost her mother, and she's all alone in this world, please show her some courtesy and sympathy"


I thought it was unfair that my father was also bending towards her

I started ignoring Aira altogether, even in school I would never acknowledge her, treating her as a stranger.


My parents grew fond of her as days passed, and were protective towards her, always taking her side against me..

I felt as though I was the stranger in the house rather than Aira.


One day my parents informed me that they were planning to adopt Aira, and that news really freaked me out. I gave them an ultimatum that if they adopted her I would run away from home.


My parents didn't take me seriously, They thought I was behaving childish, and knew it was an empty threat, apart from their house, I didn't have any other place to go, which was true.


I started staying far away from home as much as possible, hanging around with friends, practicing basketball or would just sit by the river crying in frustration. I did not like to go home where my parents would be hovering over Aira, or singing her praises.


I realized that the equation of my relationship between my parents and me had changed drastically. It was as though Aira was their real daughter, and I, the daughter of their friend..


Once a brilliant student, now my grades started falling, and I fared poorly in many subjects,on the other hand Aira who was an average student started scoring well, and my parents were proud of her.


My parent's behavior was hurting me, and I wanted to go far away from them. I decided that once I finish my schooling I would look out for a job and a place to stay


On few occasions, Aira tried to speak to me, but I warned her to stay away from me, from that day she didn't cross my path ,she moved her belongings from my room and preferred to sleep in the living room couch.


Though my parents didn't say anything I knew they were unhappy with the whole situation. I couldn't care less, and was thrilled, that now I had my room to myself.


One day Aira asked my parents, if she could stay with them forever, and not go to her aunt's place.


They agreed instantly, and offered to adopt her, Aira said she didn't want to be adopted but would still be their daughter.

I guessed she knew I was unhappy with the prospect of her being adopted by my parents, and respected my wishes.


After a year, I found a job and left home never to return. I felt betrayed by my parents for choosing Aira over me and made up my mind to sever all connections with them. I was being unfair to them, but I was very much hurt to think reasonably.


Some months later I moved on to another city.I pursued my studies, took up a job and settled in life .


My mother would call me sometimes, but most of the time she would be gushing over Aira. I had enough of it, and changed my telephone number so that I don't receive her calls anymore.


I went on crossing one milestone after another in my career as a banker, and became successful in no time, but there was no one I could share my success with. I missed my parents often, and wanted to call them, but I held a grudge against them which was difficult to forget.


A few years later, I was going to attend a conference and was waiting at the airport for my flight. The airport was packed with just a few vacant seats, one was right beside me 


A lady came and occupied that seat.My attention was caught by a bracelet she was wearing. My mother had a similar bracelet with her name engraved on it.


When the lady moved her hand I saw that name 'Eve 'written on it and my heart missed  a beat, it was my mother's name and bracelet .


I noticed the lady looked familiar with her honey brown eyes and blond hair. I was shocked to realize that it was' Aira'

She had grown up to be a beautiful young woman. This was the last place in the world I thought I would meet her, what a coincidence!

She saw me staring at her bracelet and she said,

"It's my mother's bracelet." I remembered that soft melodious voice.

Obviously, she had not recognized me

"It's very pretty"," I said.

"Oh thanks, but it looked prettier on my mother"

"Does your mother live with you?" I asked, curious to know how my parents were doing.

"My mother passed away last year, I live with my father, who is old and I look after him."


Her flight was announced and she rushed on to catch her flight.


My head was spinning as waves of guilt, shame and sadness swept over me.


A stranger who had come to my parent's house many years ago, was more than a daughter to them, than I their real daughter who had turned into a total stranger.


I sat there with tears in my eyes, all the anger and resentment that I had towards my parents flowed out of me in the form of tears.


"God bless you Aira".I said, and went on to catch my flight.




June 02, 2021 18:05

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

7 comments

Kelly Dennison
20:13 Jun 03, 2021

How sad that she held on to her anger and resentment for so long! Nicely done :)

Reply

Asha Pillay
21:40 Jun 03, 2021

Sometimes you realise your mistake, when it's already too late Thanks for reading my story.

Reply

Kelly Dennison
21:55 Jun 03, 2021

Too true....

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Ola Hotchpotch
18:54 Aug 28, 2021

Sad story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Nadig Rangaswamy
12:36 Jun 05, 2021

At the teenage when the love of parents to be shared with a stranger for a singal child becomes very hard to digest, Nila also had the same issue which turned be grudge on her own parents ultimately she succeeded to leave her parents and behaved as a stranger. This aspect was not understood by Nila's parents, On the contrary the stranger Aira became the real daughter of Nila's parents as she was rised by them from her childhood. Aira had gratitude towards the parents of Nila. The story has been very well narrated. I wish best of luck to...

Reply

Asha Pillay
14:40 Jun 05, 2021

Thank you for your kind words

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Vadali Srinivas
11:24 Jun 05, 2021

very nice story but true we become too egoistic and realise our mistakes very late....

Reply

Show 0 replies