Lashes from the dreaded cane now slashed his wrists, carving new lines across his palm of blood red, the same wrists that had carried blood red roses moments ago for the woman wielding the cane. His precious sister. An embodiment of patience, the mountain of her calm had crumbled due to his misadventures and the rocks were now raging and tumbling uncontrollably.
The spell of silence she had held was now broken and words were pelting like a flurried volley of raindrops. “What do I have to do to make my little brother care ? Sacrifice my education; work to pay for his; strive to feed, clothe and educate him ? Hold on! I’ve done those exact things for a decade now. My rewards : Detention, notices from teachers and now you’ve managed to get yourself suspended! ”
The sting of her pain coursed through his body and sealed his lips shut. The flood of her burden was now creating havoc as he had inadvertently broken the dam.
“It is your indifference that hurts the most. I wish you cared about me. I’ve been unable to take my eyes off wedding arrangements and that was time enough for you to give trouble the first invitation. Bribing me with roses won’t spare you. What was it this time? Cheating in tests, prolonged absence, talking back to the teacher? Answer me.”
She threw the cane away and shook him, as though hoping to jolt the truth out of him. He pointed in silence to the roses on the table, that were discarded when he had handed her the suspension letter. “I wanted to g-give back, I mean, give you a gift for getting married, so I plucked them from the school gardens and I-well, I got caught,” he stammered aimlessly.
The tears on her face now continued to roll, but they were tears of relief, of happy realisation. Her efforts were not futile balls thrown at baskets without hoops.
Her brother cared.