Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two Weeks Notice

You go home and check your Emails. You read the second mail and freeze.



After a hard day's work, Zoey opened her lappy to unwind before she could finally try to get some much needed sleep that was eluding her since that fateful day. She thought of login into Facebook to kill time, but the thought of those million questions from a million friends (?) strangers precisely, put her off. What actually happened? Are you okay? Are you alright? How are you coping? These questionnaires from people who cared a damn was the last thing she wanted on a day as tiring as this one. Thinking of which she sighed. Haven't all days been tiring since that fateful day? Everything had changed. Everything! 


She tried not to think about it. And opened her mailbox. Hoping some crappy funny forward would make her laugh or at least smile. The first mail was as she expected - a reminder - that the school fees was due. She read it and then marked it as 'unread' quickly before proceeding to the next mail. The second mail. She read the subject line and then fearing the worst she clicked on it and read the rest of the mail. She froze. In the middle of May, the hot summer of Bombay - she froze. That is what fear does to you. And panic. And worry. And anxiety.


It was a mail from the bank that Kevin and she had loaned from almost two years ago. The loan term was up long back, and they hadn't paid up yet. How could she have forgotten? Ah! After all that happened to her over the last couple of weeks, she had every right to forget. And to be forgiven, right? Only if the bank would be as kind. As understanding. As forgetful. As forgiving. If only. Only if. Well, this wasn't the time for self pity. It was the time to act. And quick. Or the bank would throw her out of her house. Her home. Her sanctuary. Her nest. Her dwelling place. Her heaven on earth. They'd kick her out, if need be. No pleading would help. No crying. No nothing. Only crisp currency notes. Nothing else. Nothing less. Nothing more. She lived in a cruel and an unkind world, remember?  Forgive us our debts and sins as we forgive our debtors happens only in the Lord's prayer. Not in reality. Not in Zoey's world. A world that forgives and forgets NO debts and NO debtors. The bank had given her two weeks notice. Two weeks? That's it? Sure faith can move mountains and all. But this was different. A home was involved. A loan. A bank. And huge currency notes.


She didn't know what to do. What could she do? Could she ask her parents? NO! That was a bad idea. She had troubled them enough already. They didn't need to hear this! It was her problem, right? Not theirs! Only if. If only! If only Kevin was still here with her, he would find a solution. He would find a way. He would calm her down. If nothing, he would make her laugh - yes, he had an uncanny way of cracking her up even in the most tense situations. He was her anchor. He was the only Mary Jane she ever needed! He was her everything. She had the same effect on him too. If only. Only if. But everything had changed. Everything!


She needed some sleep. That was what she did whenever she was too worried. Sleep was her drug. It took her mind off the worry. It bought her time. But sleep's been eluding her since that fateful day. She threw a glance at Kathy and Ruth. They were sleeping blissfully like angels serene and calm, blissfully oblivious to the emotions that were draining their poor single mom. Single mom? No - she wasn't single. She said to herself. Kevin is here. Kev is dead, Zoe! No - he isn't! He is just sleeping! Oh yeah? Who was in the casket then? Voices. She was now hearing voices. Then she saw the images. Images of Kevin being carried to the ICU on a stretcher. The doctors calming her down and asking her not to worry. Not to worry? That's my husband in there, alright? Images of the doctors pronouncing him - . She stopped! First the voices and now the images. Was she going mad? Was she mad already? Who knows? She didn't want to go any further. She didn't know what to do. She didn't want to accept the reality. She didn't want to move on. She didn't want to live. No, not like this. Everything was happening too quickly for her. Nothing made sense. Nothing! She was fed up of her life. Of herself. Of the kids. Of Kevin. She was fed up of everything!


She wanted to die!


She looked at her kids. Their kids. The serene faces calmed her for a moment. She saw Kevin in the innocent faces. Thousands of thoughts were running through her head. Just then an idea hit her. She scampered to the kitchen to find something strong and sharp. Yes, a knife. A sharp knife. A sharp knife would do the trick! And quick! That was what she was looking for, precisely. And bingo! She found one in the kitchen sink. She washed it clean, carefully. She looked at her own reflection on the sharp, sparkling knife. She wished for her Kev. She wished that he was there. She wished that he wouldn't have left her alone back here. She knew what she had to do now. The job was very easy. Nothing too tough for a lady. Had Kevin been here, she may never would have had thought of doing this. He would have given her a more practical idea. He would have found another way out of this. Like he always did. Not something as stupid and dumb and silly as this! She knew she was doing something stupid, but she didn't know what else to do. This seemed like her only way out. She had to give this a shot. She had to try it. She had to do it. And she had to do it NOW! No other way. She knew she was being very foolish. But she had no other option! There was an eerie silence. A silence that scared her. The thoughts and the voices kept haunting her. Ignoring them, she ran back to the room where the kids were sleeping. Ah! They were still sleeping! She rushed to the cupboard and opened the door without making a sound. She didn't want to wake them up. Kathy could get cranky. And that was the LAST thing she wanted tonight!


She emptied the cupboard almost immediately. And then she found what she was looking for. The tin money box. It was a gift from Kevin's mom on their wedding. She advised them to start saving from the beginning of their marriage. And then, she handed them this tin money box to inspire them. She laughed. You are so dumb. You think this stupid tin will have enough money to pay back the loan? You're nuts Zoe! Voices. She heard voices again. She ignored. She quickly took out the knife and pierced the box. All the loose change and some currency notes fell down. She was really nuts to think that some loose cash would settle the loan! She wanted to scream and cry. But she couldn't. She had to show the world that she was strong. She had to live it up for Kathy and Ruth. But she had given up. Almost.




She gave a cold look at the sharp knife she still had in her shaky hand. And then. And then something extraordinary happened. A miracle. Yes, you can call it a miracle. A mutual fund certificate and a note stapled to it dropped from the box. How could she not have seen it? She had emptied the tin box, hadn't she? She wiped her tears and sat down to read the note. She froze again, her body. But her soul was warming up. It was a short note from Kevin. He told her about a mutual fund that he had invested in long back. Mutual funds? Why didn't you ever tell me about it Kev? Why? Kevin knew that Zoey would hound him for not telling her! So he explained to her in the note - Zoe, I didn't tell you about the mutual fund earlier because I was actually saving up for our second honeymoon on our tenth anniversary next year. I knew you always wanted to go to Rome. I was saving up for that. I wanted to surprise you sweetheart! But hey! If ever you come across this note and I am not around and if you need money desperately, please feel free to redeem this certificate. I have made you a nominee and all the instructions as to how to redeem it are at the back of the certificate. And cheer up! If not the honeymoon, I am sure this hard earned money can be used for something better. Maybe you can redeem it to pay off the loan. Or maybe for Kathy's and Ruth's education. Something! Anyway, I am sure that my pretty wife is pretty smart and would use this money wisely. And remember - Faith, Love and Hope, like I always told you! Love you loads Zoe. Your's, Kev. 


Yes - Faith, Love and Hope. Faith, Love and Hope will get you through anything and everything. Calm down! Cheer up! It isn't THAT bad, trust me! If nothing else, trust God! He's got it all figured out. Even though we haven't! Yet! Her Kev always said that. Today she had proof! Proof that faith, love and hope are still alive. Proof that faith, love and hope is all you need. Proof that miracles do happen. It happened to her.


She cried and cried. Loudly. She didn't care if the kids or the neighbors woke up. She cried. Nothing could stop her. Kev, why you love me so much? Why? She didn't have any words. Just incoherent sobs. Kathy and Ruth woke up. They saw their mom crying. They didn't ask why. They knew what daddy meant to mommy. They just hugged her and the three of them cried thinking about their daddy, their best friend, their Kev. It went on for a while and then when they fell asleep, they didn't realize.


The morning sun's glaring rays filling up the room woke up Zoey. It was like a signal - to start her life anew. She woke up the kids fed them breakfast and told them, 'Mama needs to go to the bank. Ruth, take care of Kathy. I will be back in an hour.' Saying so she put on her favorite summer dress and rushed to the bank. All ready to face the life alone. No, not alone. She had Ruth, Kathy and Kev - yes, Kevin was there. Somewhere! He hadn't gone! No, not yet! She knew him in her heart. And felt him in her soul. With the wind in her hair and the world at her feet and the bounce in her steps, she went to the bank. To reclaim their house. Their home. Their sanctuary. Their nest. Their dwelling place. Their heaven on earth. That was rightfully theirs! She threw a glance upwards and thanked her God and she thanked her Kevin. She was happy. She was alive. She was living. 


Faith, Love and Hope - do quite some work, good work, don't they? 


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative 
for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

This post is also a dedication to faith, love and hope. These three we can never 
live without! But the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:13)


  1. Very moving. I tad weak in the middle but the ending makes it worthwhile.

    1. Thanks Vivek! :)

      Well all that drama in the middle was to add up to the excitement of 'what next?' Guess it didn't work then! :)

      And oh yeah - faith hope and love makes everything worthwhile! :)

  2. Aww, thats a very cute story. kev must have been a forethinker who really really thinks through.. and to know they cant have their 10th year together - sad :(

    Do visit my blog! Would love to see you by! *cheers*

    1. Thanks Kappu! :) Yes, maybe Kev was a fore thinker. Or maybe he just loved her too much. Even after his death. :)


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