A mixture of relief and self-loathe flooded Sudheer. His dad was coming for him, and he was getting a word or two with his dad after a very very long time. But it was happening in a police station. Would she also come along with his dad-he couldn’t be too sure. He just couldn’t think of two words that he could put together when he saw his dad.
After his mom’s death, the tall, awkward boy teenage boy was left a vacuum in his life that nobody took a move to bridge. There was anyways not much relationship with his dad to begin with. Slowly, what remained of it also began to fade. The big house for two was echoing with silence except when the TV was running in his dad’s room.
It took Sudheer just a glance at a girl in his college to start following her. He followed her every day from the stop where got down from the bus right to her house. She was fair, innocent-looking, and had very long and beautiful hair. She ignored him anyway – a rather too tall, awkward boy who couldn’t put two words together wasn’t her thing.
But last Friday was different. Sudheer got down at the same stop and was following her on the same route, but this time the girl turned back a few times and looked at him. He wasn’t sure if he should feel encouraged or if she was scared of him. He decided he would venture farther, and go to her house unlike turning away from her street every time. His fingers trembling, he very slowly opened the gate and went inside. A dimly lit bedroom was facing his right with the window open. In all probability, it might be the girl’s room and she might come there to change her dress.
‘This is not you, Sudheer’, a voice echoed in his head. Everything felt so wrong. He shouldn’t be here. He turned back and started running. He could hear some voices in the background – the girl had reported on him to her father. It didn’t take long for her father to book a complaint with Sudheer ending up in a police station. He knew his dad was summoned immediately, with a brief of his son’s great achievements. Would his rusty-voiced dad yell at him for failing him? Or would he give him one of his very distant looks?
Uncontrolled tears of shame and sadness were blocking his vision. After sometime, he heard his dad’s voice in the background talking to the girl’s father and the police. Sudheer wished to be dead that minute. He couldn’t hear nor wanted to hear what they were talking about. The pain in his chest was too immense. After what seemed like an eternity, he heard warnings from the police guy and assurances from his dad. He was now left to go. As if that meant anything to him.
Sudheer so wanted to get back his dad’s love and constantly had happy thoughts of him and his dad laughing and having a good time. He was ready to pledge anything just to make his dad love him. Now, it appeared like the final straw had gone and left a deep void that nothing ever can fill. He was a disgrace in his dad’s opinion.
They walked out slowly without talking. After some time, he felt his dad’s arm over him, hugging him. Sudheer saw tears rolling down his dad’s cheeks.
‘I trust you, my son. And have failed you. Please forgive me.’
Sudheer could no longer hold himself. The father and son were hugging and crying – something they needed very badly.