I could do nothing but hear as the words poured out
form from Pia..
It struck me that I hadn’t spoken to her about Di’s accident. I doubt if my parents had either. We were not a family that discussed things. I guess, we believed that if we didn’t think about the problem, it would cease to exist.
Pia remembered everything. Down to the last chilling detail.
I tried not to imagine what she was describing but I couldn’t stop myself. Vivid pictures entered my head as Pia described how she had crawled out of the mangled car and groped around in Di’s blood to get to the phone.
I stood up, walked over and put a protective arm around Pia.
“I think this is quite enough.” I told Shantanu. No child should have to re-live such memories.
Shantanu frowned ever so lightly to show his displeasure. He had asked me to cooperate with him, but he hadn’t told me that I would have to watch Pia recollect something we were trying hard to forget. I glared back at him..
“Khushi.. Maybe you should wait outside.” His eyes were pleading with me.
I looked down at Pia, hoping to get some support from her. Pia didn’t look at me. She had that look on her face, as though she was in a faraway place. I pecked her on her forehead and stepped outside.
To be honest, I needed to get out of the room and I had taken the first escape route offered to me.
Pia was made of stronger stuff than me. She hadn’t cried, her voice hadn’t faltered. I wanted to believe she would be okay without me.
Shantanu and Pia were in his office for over two hours. I paced up and down wondering whether I had done a smart thing leaving her all alone to face her nightmares.
I was contemplating going back in when the door opened and a subdued Pia walked out. She didn’t look at me. She came and sat next to me.
“You okay kiddo?” I ruffled her hair affectionately.
Without warning, Pia buried her face into me and started to cry. The deep sobs shook her entire body. I tried to comfort her, but nothing I said seemed to make any difference. I looked up helplessly at Shantanu who was standing at his door and watching both of us.
He came over and placed a hand on Pia’s head and stroked it gently. Pia looked up, surprised at the gesture. She contemplated for a moment and then rewarded him with her smile. Whatever had happened in the two hours, I could tell that Pia and Shantanu now shared a relationship which surpassed the relationship between a psychiatrist and his little patient.