She did not know where she was going but still she kept walking in the unknown city where a thousand strangers were roaming around her. She was not afraid of those strangers, she was afraid of the people she already know. Though Shilz was a small hill station, still she knew that no one from her family would ever come to this corner of the country to search for her.
She was fed up of her life where the bickering of her elder brothers and father left her no other option than running away from home. She somehow knew that had her mother been alive today she would have been living a peaceful life. But even the thought of her mother would bring tears to her eyes because she herself was the reason her mother died. If she would have listened to her mother and would not have been near that lake she would never have slipped and her mother would never have rescued her only to drown herself. Her father always blamed her for killing his wife and her elder brothers were never supportive after their mother’s death. Though girls of her age used to boast about their brothers but she always kept quiet and never said anything about her two brothers who not only teased her in front of their father but also humiliated her in front of the school.
For the past fifteen years she was tolerating all this but now she could take it no longer. She knew running away from reality was no solution but she didn’t know what else she could do. She had heard about Shilz once from her mother when she was six years old and her mother had told her that she would like to build a house in the city which looked beautiful in winters and picturesque during spring. Now, she could see for herself what her mother meant by picturesque.
Suddenly she saw a blind girl who was playing guitar beside a bookstore and people were tossing coins in the tattered box kept next to her. She went near her and once the blind girl paused between playing she quickly asked her how she became blind. The blind girl replied smilingly, “I had an accident a few years back and my parents struggled for money but eventually one by one they both died of starvation as they kept stacking money for me and never let me know that they had stopped eating food for months. And now I’m blind and without any family. I envy people around me who walk with their kids or fathers or siblings. But I want to tell everyone that no matter how bad your family seems to you, they never would think anything bad about you. I’m sure you would be glad to have a family. Who all do you have in your family?”
But she got no answers because the girl quietly stood up and walked away promising herself never to speak to strangers, just as her mother had said.