'How may I help you ma'am?' Asked Mala, looking up from her computer screen, a faint smile crossed her lips.
Shikha sat down across the table from her, leaned forward a little and said, 'I have a question.'
'Sure ma'am…go ahead', said Mala keeping the smile intact, although she felt a little annoyed.
'Why did you abandon me?'
The question startled Maya, she scrunched her eyebrows together.
'It took me 20 years to find you…did you ever tried -'
Maya cut in – 'ma'am, other customers are waiting in line. If you have any concern regarding your account or you want to -'
'Is it because I was born out of wedlock?' Shikha scoffed.
Maya let out a deep sigh – 'if you're here just to hear it from my mouth then yes, I didn't even see your face after you were born. I never asked my family what they did with you. I still have nothing to give you. So please…', Maya motioned her towards the exit.
'I didn't expect you to accept me after all these years, I just came to see if you have any regrets, but…', she got up, sniffled hard, her eyes were filled with hatred and embarrassment.
As Maya watched her leave, she gripped the chair tightly to stop her hands from trembling, her throat dried up as the memories flashed before her eyes, I have regrets…I regret being a mother who can't even look at her child's face, all I could see in your eyes was the beast who killed every bit of my soul twenty years back…better you hate me than be called a rape victim's illegitimate child.'
Written by Chirasree Bose.