Pursuit of Happiness

3 min


“ I miss Mommy, Nikhil”, complained Niharika, to her twin brother.

“ I know, I know, especially now that our birthday is around the corner”, Nikhil added, sadly.

“ Why did God to take Mommy away? Didn’t he know we loved her so dearly? “cried Niharika.

“ When all the kids at school make cards for Mother’s Day, it feels horrible. But dad always makes us draw cards and leave it at mom’s gravesite,” added Nikhil.

Nikhil scaled down his bunk bed and consoled his sister. “ It’s been three years, but we can never forget Mom as she is here, in our hearts.”

In his bedroom, Mayank turned over in his bed. Sleep evaded him. Three years ago he had lost the love of his life in a tragic road accident. A speeding truck, knocked down his wife Malti, instantly killing her. The driver was found to be inebriated and he was arrested. He was presently rotting in jail. But no amount of punishment towards the perpetrator of the incident, would ever return his Malti to him. He had been devastated , and had gone into mourning, till he realised that his 7 year old twins needed him. They were pining away. Mayank’s parents were no more and Malti had been an orphan. Mayank’s only sibling was married and settled abroad. With no extra hands at home to help him with their upbringing , he was forced to look for nannies while he was away at work. It was a terrible time, but as they say, time heals all. Slowly but surely they began rebuilding their lives. Occasionally , one of their neighbour helped them out.

It was a Monday, Niharika had cried herself to sleep and refused to get out of bed. Nikhil was also making a fuss and refused to dress up. He gawked at the dosa laid out by Mayank. “ Hurry up, Nik, I am going to be late for my meeting”, exclaimed Mayank, irritatedly. Nikhil refused to budge. “ The maid is late again “ said Mayank, exasperated. He raised his voice, now frightening the non- compliant children into action. “ There is just so much I can take , kids. I have to rush to work, to give you guys a worthy life. If you keep disobeying I would be forced to take an off from work. So start moving, please.” The children grudgingly obeyed and dressed up for school.

That afternoon , the children returned home from school. During lunch, Niharika mentioned,, “Nikhil, don’t you feel dad has been returning late from work everyday? “.”He could be planning a surprise birthday party for us,” Nikhil added excitedly. “ No ! “ said Niharika, the mature one amongst them. “ I feel he has a girlfriend”, she added. Nikhil’s eyebrows shot up into his head. “ What makes you say that Nihi?” .” Well first of all dad seems ..happier somewhat. He is always humming some silly song while cooking. He arrives late from work. And remember last Saturday he requested the maid to stay till 11pm! I DONT want a stepmom, Nik. She will ill treat us, just as in the stories .”

Nikhil bit his fingernail almost till it came off.” Come to think of it, you are right, Nihi”, quipped Nikhil. He continued, “ Don’t worry Nihi, we will stage a revolt . We shall not accept anyone who may pretend to be our Mommy. We will make her life miserable. Anyone who comes between us three, is in big trouble.” The twins joined their little fingers in a pinky promise. ‘ Let the revolt begin ‘ was their war cry.

Mayank found the twins behaviour changing daily. They were clingy and wanted him around all the time. “ Where are you going Dad?” “ Who was that on the phone?” were the constant questions bombarded at him. “ If this is pre teen rebellion, Lord help me when the actual teenage years begin, “ he muttered to himself. How do single mothers do it, he wondered out loud.

It was 10th their birthday and their father decided to take them out. They had a fantastic time as he took them to Esselworld . They enjoyed the Go Karting, The House of Horrors and especially the Zipper Dipper and the Cyclone. The Cyclone is a ride which has Octopus like arms and it flings the passenger in all directions . The day ended with Niharika bringing up her meal. The Cyclone had taken the wind, and food out of her. On the drive back, Mayank said, “ Nihi and Nik, I would like you to meet someone who is quite special, once we reach home. I hope you will love her .” At this statement the twins’ ears perked up. “ Who is it dad? It is a lady friend right? We want to tell you that we do not want a lady friend for you or a stepmom for us! We are quite all right just the way we are! “, exclaimed Niharika angrily. Mayank remained silent.

Mayank put the key in the door. The twins were ready for battle. They would fight with whomever it was on the other side of the door. A heathen or a witch, thought they. But what was this. In the corner of the living room was a basket with an adorable pug puppy. The nametag said ‘ Tinkerbelle’. The children were awestruck.

“ Kids , I took music lessons to overcome my sadness, and I went last weekend to make arrangements to adopt Tinkerbelle. I have also been busy with a new project at work. I feel you kids are now old enough and can handle the responsibilities of a pet. We must try to be happy! Your mom will look down and smile at us. Our neighbour snuck Tinkerbelle in while we were away. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLINGS”.


We appreciate you rating the story out of 10 along with your comment in the comments. The above story is an entry into the writing event(Feb. 02nd – 20th) hosted by ArtoonsInn: #PullTheRug #UniK-3

Event rules and guidelines: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/pull-the-rug-unik-3-writing-event/

Check out Natasha’s space here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/author/natashasequeira/

Photo by Annie Spratt

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