One Stormy Day

All was well, until one fateful day. My life was perfect until she came along with her bright light and thundering calls. And she brought along with her, a storm that ruined my life forever.

We didn’t have much, my sister Leela and I. We lived alone in a hut we called our own. We would wake up every morning to the spray of the sea and the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks.

We had a small stall on the beach where business was good enough for both of us. We sold fried onions and peppers to beachgoers who loved to sink their teeth into something hot and oily after a dip in the sea. We had no worries, no one to look after. It was just us and our expenses. And sometimes, when we felt adventurous, we plucked coconuts from our backyard and sold them for some extra money.

Our life was perfect. We’d go to the bazaar on Sundays, buy some flowers, sometimes a sari — we’d share what we own — and walk home nibbling popcorn. We’d then spend the rest of the afternoon stringing the flowers, and wearing them in our hair.

Our life was perfect. Until she came along. Out of nowhere, one Sunday, lightening lashed at the rocks. And thunder followed. We had planned to go to the bazaar that day. We had thought of getting a cake to celebrate Leela’s birthday the following day. But the rain dampened our plans. We had to run about our home putting vessels under holes that let the rain in. We sat on our doorstep looking on at the sky. The storm had come from nowhere. No one in the village had said anything about it. Mrs. Loudmouth next door — she had a radio — would have told us if the weatherman had predicted anything ominous. But nothing, the rain stormed on us all day.

All of a sudden, we saw a puppy running toward the water. Leela saw it first. She called after the animal, but we couldn’t even hear ourselves over the storm. Without thinking, Leela left my side and ran after the dog. I called out to her to stop, and pulled at her skirt, but she slipped away from my fingers.

That was the last I saw of her. The storm was too fierce for me to follow. My life was perfect until that moment. And from nowhere, the storm ravaged our home, took my life away, and left me weeping on the floor.

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