Secrets Best Kept
It was Maggie’s birthday and she has been a road runner all day, flashing her new car keys with style, a birthday gift from her single mother, Saayra. Maggie waited for this day for ages; the day she would get her hands on the wheels of her own ride. Her mother had promised earlier in the year that she would surprise her baby on the birthday she turns 19. Maggie lived in a wonderland; she had stuff since childhood kids couldn't dream of. Her mother raised her with too much love and pamper. She wouldn’t wish for things rather simply demand them and they would be there in her room the following day.
Saayra worked as the Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at People Opinions Media Publications, a big daddy company in journalism. She had all the resources and finances to lure anyone to keep the smile on her only daughter’s face. She has been a doting mother and was often criticized for the same reason, but the nature she possessed was induced in her genes since birth, she herself was a fairy for her dad who was a strict Army General had mellowed for her... She had ruled hearts in her days when she never took no for any reason. So she just continued the family trait and went miles to cover girl's the wish drops.
Although Maggie loved her mother Saayra, couldn’t stand her mother’s everlasting ally, Rehan. He had been around even for no reason. He was a dark shady guy touching forties, just like her mom.
He always ambled casually, dangling a leather bag on the left shoulder and a deep cut glistened on his forehead. He was definitely a lip smacking guy who carried a mix of a little attitude and little character. Maggie couldn’t stand the un-heady mix and would not even share a coffee on the table while he was around. Her mother’s fondness and bend towards Rehan often created thoughts in her mind about the relationship they shared.
She wasn’t an orthodox school kid, so would have interfered or disapproved of a status her mother would like to give to that relationship. Yet she unwilling to share her mom with Rehan. Everyone knew the bond shared by Saayra and Rehan but no one ever inquired or challenged them. They sustained it for long and whatever doubts or presumptions people made were all gone during their years of being together. Rehan was a full blown supporter of Saayra and had been a pillar of support throughout her life. People doubted his intentions including Maggie but could never found a blind spot to attack Rehan.
It was evening and they were all prepped to leave for the celebration dinner. Maggie heard some murmuring while crossing the study to find her mother and Rehan discussing something. She peeped in through the side curtain and saw Saayra leaning with teary eyes on Rehan’s shoulder while he tried to sooth her, running his hand on her head and downwards. Maggie had never seen her mother so weak. She knew that her mother hid her pain and troubles from her but she had never seen her broken down like this.
She often thought if she was a fruit of Saayra’s and Rehan’s party play days. These feelings often killed her extrovert nature and turned her into an impulsive and irritating maniac. Though she lived the best of life with all the pleasures and pleasantries, the thought of her identity and creation made them artificial supports. She tried to be sly but would often forego any discussion regarding her conception by looking into her doting Mother’s eyes, full of love and care.
She couldn’t take it anymore, it was hard to crush the feeling in her heart, she felt it was her right to know the truth. It wasn't fair that her entire existence was a mystery. She banged into the library and spoke her heart out to the shocked faces of Saayra and Rehan. Saayra had never expected such words and tone from Maggie and she herself couldn’t believe she possessed them. Her angry words were to know her father and revelation of the relationship that Saayra and Rehan maintained.
Maggie demanded to know all -- the dark secrets and stories she was kept aloof from, the reason she was fatherless child and name she carried. Her mother broke down and fell on the wooden seat as Rehan tried to give her support. Rehan looked into Maggie’s eyes, turned to get hold of his bag and grabbed what looked like a newspaper and handed over to Maggie. She turned to the first page of a twenty-year-old newspaper cutting with a side corner headline --
‘Girl gang raped in an SUV, friend beaten to bloodshed’.
Author: Muflis Musafir