She was in her balcony, counting the stars in the velvety sky. It was mesmerising. She sighed, feeling like an inconsequential dot in the world. In fact, she was smaller than that. Was there such a thing? She didn’t know for sure, may be she would find out on being promoted to the 4th grade. Her teacher would finally allow her to use a pen instead of a pencil and she would be old enough to enjoy a dessert at least once a week, without having to negotiate a deal with her parents. She chuckled thinking about all the treats she wanted to indulge in. It was tough to be a kid, especially one with so many dental problems. These adults just took their freedom for granted. But she was excited to become an adult soon.
This is what a staring contest with the stars always did to her. Her thoughts continued to play in her head, jumping from one random topic to the other when a soufflé of clouds surreptitiously started gliding in. There was nothing happy about that scene. Suddenly, her beloved stars had been veiled with a threat. A dash of lightning hit the dark skies, running a chill down her spine. And then the clouds shrieked. She shivered with the roar of the thunder, and for the first time in the evening—looked at the wall clock. It was 8pm. Her parents should have arrived by now. Fierce rain started pelting into the balcony. She called them both relentlessly, waiting for one of them to answer her calls. But their phones were switched off. There was no reaching them. So she went out to the balcony, unafraid of the weather. And decided to wait…even if it took all night. She didn’t move. She had to wait for them to arrive. The hour hand started crawling ahead. She felt it smirk at her, as she waited in the balcony—cold, shivering, but holding herself together. But it didn’t wait for her. It didn’t console her, even though it saw a set of glistening eyes steal a glimpse of it every other second. And her tiny feet were tired and wrinkled from the constant rain. But she held the railing tight and looked up at the sky again. “Thor! Are you listening to me? Please send my parents back tonight. I will do anything to have them back. Save them, please! I beg you!” She wailed loudly, thinking that Thor wouldn’t have understood a thing of what she had said. Nobody understands or pays heed to a crying dot in the world. But she had to try everything. Whatever she could do.
And then… she saw a dark hooded figure at the end of the road, walking towards her bungalow. It looked like a really fat and slow person. It couldn’t be her parents. She recoiled, wondering if Thor had misunderstood her gibberish plea for a challenge and sent more trouble instead. Her eyes widened and she held the railing closer, leaning in to get a closer look. And then she saw it clearly. Her parents were huddled under a large hooded raincoat, walking towards the house. It was them. It was two people, not one. She smiled. Slowly the smile turned into a weird guffaw. She had never been so relieved in life. She ran down to the main door to greet them. But instead of being her normal, indifferent self, she sprung on them like a lion’s cub. “WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?”
Her parents gave each other a comical look, wondering why she was behaving this way. But then her mom said, “Umm, have you forgotten the deal? We had negotiated on one dessert every weekend when you enter the 4th grade.” She suddenly assumed a strict tone, “But you can’t have more than that or I will have to complain to the dentist.” She offered her a delicious set of baklavas, seasoned with pistachios. Her mother took a bite of one, as she looked at the box… tempted to gorge on them. But she stood still—not moving a muscle. Eyes fixated on them.
Little did they know that she had struck a deal with Thor. She had given up her favourite desserts in exchange for her parent’s safety. This gorgeous baklava… was one of them.