Some family secrets are terrible when set loose, but mine was worse than anything I could have imagined.
One fine Sunday morning, I was talking with my friends about family secrets.
"What's your family secret, Anand?" my friend Anirudh asked. He was a tall and strong man with silky white hair. I began to run away from him as he started to chase me.
"I'm not going to say," I said, taunting him. I wanted to get away from him and hide somewhere.
"It would be a food recipe," Anirudh said, laughing.
"I'm not telling my family secret," I said and ran off at my best.
It all started when my friend Charlie started asking about everyone's family secrets. He was acting strange that day. But, with his huge frame and flabby body, catching me was impossible.
My father had said to me that my grandfather had a secret which was being passed by the surfacing generations.
"I have been told not to reveal our family secret to anyone," I said, trying to escape from him.
After I said that, I was hunted down by three of my friends.
But I was not ready to fall prey to anyone.
"You can't escape, Anand," my friend Tony said.
He was a bulky man with large muscle mass. His brilliant brown eyes shot at me. He became my friend when he saved me from seniors from my university.
"Tony, you will never get hold of me," I said.
I quickly ran into my house and locked myself inside my room.
I heard my friends murmuring for some time and didn't hear them again.
I thought that I was safe.
But, safety is never reliable. When I took a step outside my house, my friends caught hold of me.
"What's your family secret, Anand?" Charlie asked.
"Go and ask my grandfather. He is in my house," I sarcastically said.
They believed me and went into my house.
My grandfather was not even alive. My grandmother told me that my grandfather died because of a heart attack. My friends didn't know that. I couldn't control my laughter. He died before I was born and I have seen him only in the family photo. Since then, my grandmother has been alone.
I wiped my tears and used the moment as a chance to escape.
They came back in a rage. But I had already escaped from there. I approached Tony's house to stay hidden from them for some time.
His house was huge. The elegant walls were decorated with beautiful paintings. I saw a fancy scroll hanging from one of the paintings. I quickly looked on to it. Something was written in it that I couldn't understand.
I loved the adventures and scrolls took me into a dream world.
It would show a replay of the past.
The scroll world was beautiful. The trees were carved into the heads of Tony's family members, just like a family tree as the scroll was their family's possession.
I started walking into that tree, when I saw Tony's house. But it was a lot smaller.
I stepped inside his past house. (We will not be seen in the scroll world, because only our souls come inside this exciting world)
I saw a small girl playing with a ball. Then a young man called her.
"Bella, I have to say one important thing to you," the man said.
Bella was Tony's mother!
Then that young man would be Tony's grandfather.
"What is the matter?" Bella asked.
"We have a family secret. I want to reveal it to you or it would be too late," Tony's grandfather said in a low voice.
But I was standing near him, throwing my hands on his shoulder.
"Okay, daddy," said Bella. She was very cute with brown eyes and curly brown hair.
Then I heard someone shouting my name at a distance.
Oh no! My friends had entered into the same scroll!
I had to escape from there. I wanted to hear Tony's family secret, but in vain. I was also interested in knowing secrets.
I got out of the scroll world and started walking slowly. I had been very tired after being chased by my friends since morning.
"Hey, Anand. Wait," Tony shouted from a distance.
I found an old man approaching me. He looked very hungry with ragged clothes and free-flowing hair.
"May I help you, Sir?" I asked him.
"Yes. But I have already lost everything in life because of a woman who was fond of money," he stuttered. I gave him some money and waited for my friends to catch hold of me.
"I have talked to this man before," Charlie said, pointing at the old man. I listened closely.
"Where did you see him, Charlie?" Tony asked.
"Yes. I got it. This man told me to find out all our family secrets because one of us had a dark one." Charlie said.
"Then it must be Anand," Tony said.
Then, they ran towards me and said, "We want to know your family secret, Anand."
"But, I don't know my family secret," I said, scratching my head.
"What?" Charlie exclaimed, angrily.
"You made us run behind you, even without knowing your family secret," Tony shouted at me.
"Yes," I said, keeping my head down.
"Then, let's go and find out for ourselves, guys," Anirudh said.
For the first time, I had agreed with their decision.
We joined our hands together and shouted, "Let's find out Anand's family secret."
We were in for an adventure and an important mission.
We went inside my house and I found the scroll inside a rice bowl. I had seen my grandmother hide the scroll inside it.
We went inside the empty scroll. My family secret was not even written.
What a secret!
We went inside the scroll world and I saw my family tree there. We went past it.
But there was no building.
My house was not there! My friends stared at me.
Then a man with an architectural hat measured the empty land.
My house was going to be built only then!
Then a young man started talking to the architect.
"Architect, I have a plan for the building," he said.
"Go on, Mr. Ayush," the architect said. The young man was my grandfather. He was very handsome with silky black hair and a good physique. He spoke fluently.
We didn't understand the terms the duo were talking about. So, we waited till they finished their talk.
Then we started following my grandfather.
My grandfather slowly walked towards a pregnant woman and said," Our child has a house now, Ayesha."
Ayesha is my grandmother. She was pretty with curly black hair and blue eyes.
"Mind your job, man," she said, shoving him away.
My grandfather laughed and walked her into an old clay house with cobwebs everywhere.
My grandfather was very poor at that time.
But our family had improved from a bare subsistence level to a rich standard of living.
"Anand, where are you?" my mother called. We immediately came out of the scroll and my friends waved to me a goodbye.
"I am here, mom," I said. After supper, I wished to go to that scroll world again to find out what had happened.
After everyone had dozed off, I quietly went into the scroll. I called my friends too.
We went inside the same clay house and found my young grandparents sleeping.
"We can forward time in this world," Charlie suggested.
"You could have suggested it when they were talking about architecture," Tony shouted. He was very short tempered.
"I have a watch," I said and changed the time in my watch.
When I stopped changing the time, it was dark.
But, some people entered the small clay house. They wore black masks and had knives in their hands. Five of them had come.
In the scroll world, we can't change anything. We can only see what's going to happen.
"What are they doing in this old house covered with cobwebs?" Tony asked me.
"Let's wait and watch," Charlie said, watching intensely.
My family secret would come out now.
"Your grandfather is gonna have an intense fight now," Charlie said. I also thought the same.
One of the black masked guys made a utensil to fall down, which woke up my grandfather.
"Who are you guys? What do you want from me?" my grandfather asked, panicking.
"Give all your money and jewels to me," the masked guys called out their demand, while keeping the knife on my grandmother's throat.
My grandfather had no choice.
"Wait. I will give you whatever I have," my grandfather said and handed over all his money to the thieves.
But, the thieves stabbed him with a knife.
"Why did you do this?" my grandfather groaned in pain.
The thieves ran away with the cash and jewels.
My grandmother woke up to find my grandfather dying.
"I love you, Ayesha," he coughed and fell down dead.
My grandmother was heartbroken. I was shocked. My hands started to tremble as I stood still.
My grandfather had been killed!
My friends tried to console me as tears flowed down my cheeks.
I wanted to remand those rogues who murdered my grandfather and destroy their entire race.
Then what is the difference between me and them.
We went out of the scroll world and my friends waved me a goodbye.
Next morning, I found my grandmother knitting my mother's dress in her room.
I quickly embraced her and whispered," I know our family secret."
"What are you saying, my dear grandson?" she asked in a tender voice.
"My grandfather was killed by a bunch of thieves. You didn't reveal this even to my dad," I whispered.
"That's not true, Anand," my grandmother said, and started to cry.
"I have seen the past through the scroll and I am sure I will remand those rogues and throw them in prison," I said angrily.
"Okay, my child," she said, smiling weakly.
I would definitely remand them even if they are old grandfathers.
Then the same old man whom I had met a while before was waiting in front of my house.
I approach him to ask what he wanted.
"Is this your house, my dear child?" he stutters.
"Yes. Please come in," I say.
"No, this is a sinful house. I would never step my leg into this house," he says, impatiently, trying to run away from there.
"Why, grandfather?" I ask him, holding his hands.
My grandmother walks down the steps to see what was happening.
"Why are you talking to this old man? Come in at once, Anand," she says, panicking.
"This woman, this woman," he says, scratching his head.
"What's the matter, grandfather? Have you seen my grandmother before?" I ask.
"She is the one who planned to kill your grandfather for his insurance and became a rich woman," he cries.
“He’s mad,” my grandmother says.
“I think so,” I say and go inside my house.
I sit on my sofa to take a look on social media on my phone.
I hear a loud sound from my grandmother’s room. As I peep in, a strong discussion happens between a man and my grandmother.
He has a scar on his hands. A red, bright scar!
“I have seen this scar,” I think.
I wait outside the room as the man comes out with money in his hands and pushes me aside.
"Killing a man for her has been very beneficial," he says.
I get it.
He was one of the thieves who had killed my grandfather!
But what is he doing in my house with my grandmother?
Now, I confirm. As I connect all the events that had happened before, it appeared as though my grandmother planned the murder of my grandfather for money.
I stand stupefied.
I should have never known this secret.
With tears flowing down my cheeks, I walk into my grandmother's room and shout, ”Why did you do it?”