His eyes kept straying to the big wall clock. He had just about learnt to tell that a clock had two hands. When they came together, his Pallavi didi came to spend the day with him. And, she only left when Mommy came home from work.   

He heard his Daddy talking on the phone. He sounded angry.

‘Hey buddy,’ Daddy said as he crouched in front of him, where he sat colouring the giant paint book his Mommy had brought. A fat yellow crayon was held securely between his pudgy fingers. Didi liked yellow flowers.

‘I have to leave for a very important meeting,’ said Daddy, ‘Pallavi didi will be here soon.’ At her name, he smiled. ‘You know she will come at twelve, right?’ 

He looked at the clock. 

‘It’s just ten minutes. Don’t open the door for anyone. She has a key. Ok? Hey buddy, did you understand what I just said?’ 

‘Don’t open door,’ he said. He wondered why Daddy didn’t understand that he was not a little boy. He was six now. 

‘That’s my boy,’ remarked Daddy smiling and kissed him on top of his head. ‘Just keep colouring and don’t open the door.’

Daddy opened the door and looked over his shoulder.  

‘Hmm… maybe it’s better if I switch on the TV,’ Daddy murmured, as he walked back in and picked him up, ‘and you can watch your favourite cartoon.’

‘Nooo…,’ he wailed and kicked. He had to colour the flower for Didi. 

‘Come on! Buddy,’ his Daddy shouted, ‘I’m already late. Didi will be here any minute. Promise me you won’t open the door.’ Daddy put him down near the drawing book again. 

Sniffling, he resumed colouring. 

Daddy hesitated at the door, unsure, but a shrug later, he closed the door quietly and left. 

He glanced at the clock, again. The hands were so close. Then, the clock struck twelve. He glanced at the door, a smile spreading over his cherubic face in anticipation.

It didn’t open. 

He stared at it intently, willing for Didi to come. Then he gazed at the clock once again. The hands were no longer together. They were now the shape of the apple pie slices he liked from the nearby bakery. The time had come and gone but Didi hadn’t come. 

His brow furrowed. Where was Didi?

He got up. Daddy had said not to open the door. So, he turned and went to the balcony to look at the path that led up to the porch of the building. From the ninth floor, it was a clear view to the road and he could see Didi, when she came. 


His mouth hung open as he saw his Didi, pushing that pesky Sonia’s tricycle. They were talking and laughing. He called out to her and waved his hand through the bars. Didi looked up, smiled and waved at him and moved on.

He was utterly heart broken. 

Some people will do anything for money, won’t they?


Photo By: Unsplash

This is an entry for the event #twelve #Five00-10 at ArtoonsInn Writers Room.

Find the event guidelines here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/five00-10/

Event sponsored by The Archaic House

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