All was quite for the moment. Pia was at school, dad was working in the garden and mum was in kitchen. I was standing in, what used to be, my room. I unpacked slowly, thinking about what I had decided.
I walked down the stairs to the kitchen. My dad was sitting in the living room reading the newspaper. I stood near the kitchen door, waiting for my mum to notice me. She didn’t
“Hmm? I’m trying this new recipe today, I think Pia will like it.” She had other things on her mind.
“Ma, I want to talk to you about something.”
“Yes? What is it?” She still had her back to me. I could feel my dad watching us.
I gulped, this was it, I had to tell her now.
“I want to take Pia with me.” The words came out in a rush.
My mother froze. For a long time, she didn’t move. Then slowly she turned and walked back to me. “You don’t have to Khushi. Your dad and I are perfectly capable of taking care of Pia. Ok?” She smiled. She thought this discussion was over, but it wasn’t.
“I’m not doubting that. I’m just saying, it’ll be better if Pia stays with me.” I hated to do this to her, but it was for the best.
“Oh really? Better for who? Pia is not your sister! Your sister is dead!” Her words had a sharp sting to them. There was a long silence that followed.
“So is your daughter ma..” I said softly.. “ Pia is not your daughter.”
My mother’s leaned against the wall, suddenly tired. As though our discussion had drained all energy out of her. “You can’t take her Khushi, I need Pia.. ”
“Can’t you see ma? She needs me.” In my head I heard “And I need her..”
“Khushi.. no.. ” My mum was pleading with me now. “I have already lost one daughter, I don’t want to let go of Pia. ”
I stayed quiet. Who was I to deny a grandmother her granddaughter?
“Poonam,” My dad, who had watched the scene silently, walked up to my mum and put his arm around her to support her.
“Don’t say it..”
My dad continued, “It has to be done. Its time for Pia to leave us. You’ve seen her for the past six months. She spoke to you today because Khushi is here! We have to think what is best for Pia.”
My mothers shoulder slumped in defeat. I felt no joy, only a sense of responsibility. A million doubts flooded my mind.
I wondered whether I had done the right thing.