A short story inspired by a true-life event
“Anika, Anika! Can you look at it just for a moment, dear?”
It has been raining cats and dogs since yesterday. Now here’s another weekday to attend. Anika’s boss is a tough guy. He will not listen to any excuses. She is already late for the office.
Mom always calls at the worst times, damn!
“Why are you shouting, mom? I’m leaving for the office.”
Mrs. Shahana rushed from the bedroom. With her 40 years old telephone directory.
“Sweetheart, just save this number to my mobile; it got deleted accidentally.”
“Why can’t you even save a number, mom? I have shown it countless times! Is it that important now?’’ — Anika couldn’t lower her voice anymore.
Mrs. Shahana suddenly felt her hopes had dimmed from inside. She couldn’t explain the urgency.
Anika felt guilty for yelling. Mrs. Shahana was looking like a fused bulb.
“Mark it on the phonebook. I will save it later.”-she tried softening her voice.
Mrs. Shahana nodded her head quietly.
“There’s no more time to make her understand; it’s too late. I can talk to her later.” Anika headed for the office.
“You are only 35 minutes late, Anika. I appreciate your efforts.’’
“Sir, pardon me. There were traffics and…”
“You don’t have to explain, Miss Anika. Just to inform you, that is your third warning letter of this month. You know you can’t get another one, right?”
“Yes, sir” — she just managed to say this.
An emotional roller coaster was running through all over her head.
“What will happen if I lose the job? It’s entirely mom’s fault. If she can’t help me, at least she can refrain herself from making things tough.”
Anika returned home late. All the way, she was rehearsing for the perfect way to vent out.
She saw her mom’s phonebook lying over the bed.
“Whom was she talking about? Whose number is so important?’’-she murmured.
She opened the phonebook. Mrs. Shahana had already bookmarked a page.
For a moment, everything seemed blurred. She felt thousands of flashbacks in the blink of an eye.
And finally, some tears escaped.
Four years have passed, it hasn’t changed.
An invalid number is still saved at the top of their mobile phonebook.