Out of Naivety

Out of Naivety

I came back home earlier than usual. It had been a mentally draining  and physically exhausting day. Unlike other days, I had no energy to engage Reagan in our routine father/son rituals. Tossing my jacket on the dining chair I literally fell on the couch and promptly went to sleep.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Daddy is sleeping in the chair today.

I  love my daddy.

He always makes me feel good and happy. He tickles my ears,nose. He comes when I am in the bathroom,scrubs me and feels the water with his hands,asks me to bathe like the cat.  He makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

He sprayed ma in the neck and in the stomach in the morning .

Ma laughed and laughed and laughed.

He is snoring now. And what is that sound!?…..  I will get the spray and make daddy laugh like ma.

I saw it in the kitchen.

Psst!… Psst!….but he’s not laughing. He is turning. He is rubbing the nose. Turning, rubbing, turning….. He is coughing, not laughing. He is sneezing now, not laughing. Is he crying? Laughing? He is shouting!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Ma Reagan rushed in to find her husband sprawled on the floor. The unusually bizarre  shouting was enough to attract the most insensitive of neighbours.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Initially Mrs Kudi took everything in her stride: children are children. The flip side in parenting. But with the deterioration of Reagan’s father her usually confident mien has bit by bit  changed to cool and forced optimism.

It has been seven months and Mr Kudi is yet to utter a word. With every visit to the psychiatric ward Reagan is always bewildered by his father’s blank stare. Doesn’t understand why father no longer wants to laugh with him, with ma. He is even more confused at his mother’s reluctance to play with him like always.

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