- Sayak Ghosh
Philip looked down at his glass of milk with an uninteresting taste. ‘Drink it up son’, Robert said glancing through the newspaper. ‘You know dad, milk doesn’t taste good’. Getting up from his chair Robert kept a handkerchief on his lap. ‘I know that’. Philip looked questionably at his dad. ‘Now son, everything that is good for you needn’t have to taste that good…like broccoli. Now drink it up. We’re already late for your school and my work.’
It’s been a year that Janice has left them. Cancer got the better of her. Young Philip saw his mother smile at him for the last time before her grip loosened. Since then, Robert has been trying his best to give the better to his son. As Philip walked out of the car and turned around to bid his father goodbye. Robert remembered how Janice did the same. Later that night, at the dinner table Robert asked Philip ‘Aren’t your summer vacations going to start from next week?’ ‘Yep’, Philip replied sitting up straight. Young Phil knew summer vacation meant long drive along the country side, fishing together and having picnic with his dad. ‘Dad, which highway is this?’ Phil asked. Robert replied with three consecutive taps on the steering wheel. Young Phil enjoyed the scenic beauty as they progressed towards the country side. Stopping the car at what seemed to be a traffic jam Robert asked Phil to sit tight. It was six meters from his car when Robert noticed that everyone present there started coming out of their cars looking at Robert as if he owed to all of them a big sum. Robert came to his senses when one of them pushed him to the ground. He stood up with disbelief trying to figure out everything that was happening around him, when suddenly he was punched hard on his jaws. Fearing for the safety of his son, he pushed his way through to his car only to see it having surrounded by people whom he had never seen before.
‘Dad, I’m scared!’ exclaimed Phil who was then hiding his father at a farm nearby. Robert fought his way through those people only to grab Phil and run as fast as he could. ‘It’s okay son, we’ll get through this together.’ Hours have passed by. It was already dark and both of them were starving. All of a sudden someone came in with a lamp. Robert at first was going to hit him but later being assured that he was not one of them, he sighed. Robert after narrating his entire incident to that man was only surprised to hear that nobody comes here during this time of the month and for those whom he had seen, they are not living beings. Robert shut his eyes hard as one of them raised a hammer to put his lights out. ‘Dad, dad’ Robert woke up from his dream only to find himself in the midst of a traffic jam.