I knock her door. After two bells she appears from the small adjacent wall.
“Pin….keeee” she screams taking her tongue out, hands flapping on ears. “Where were you?” she inquires jumping in excitement.
“I was home. I waited for you, Saima,” I reply cheerfully.
“Come in, let me show you my new dolls,” she says.
I enter the door, holding her hands. We cross the doorway to their veranda. It is a special place for me. I feel both excited and scared seeing passing from there. “Ghosts, spirits, fairies all haunt my mind seeing the huge well in the centre of their veranda.
Though spooky, I always peep inside with a throbbing heart.
“Are there ghosts?”
“Yes, there are, mama says,” Saima tells.
“Hoooooo,” my pupil dilate, words dry up in my throat.
“There is a monster inside, my mama saw it one night.”
“Let’s run,” my heart beats faster.
We rush inside her room escaping the monster. It is to the right side of the veranda. The room is guarded by a row of indoor plants variety. Lucky bamboo, Chinese Evergreen and Cactus are some of these guarding plants.
“Yahoo…we reached,” we scream triumphantly closing the door. It is a small, well-kept and clean area. I like the pink curtains with Barbie dolls printed on them. There is a barbie cupboard also. Her bed sheet matches with the curtains and there is a beautiful mirror hanging on the front wall. I like the doll stickers on it.
“Awwww…this is so cute”
I like the shimmering sticker of a doll. It wears a silvery gown, has a tiara and a grayish-silvery pair of heels.
“Did you like this?”
“Yes….this is awesome,” I answer without blinking my eyes.
“Let me show you more stickers,” she opens her drawer. It is a treasure of doll stickers.
“OH wow…show me your dolls?” I ask rubbing my hands together.
“They are here,” she takes a big box out from the bed.
“Oh my my…” my mouth opens like a monkey.
We scatter everything from the box. “Let’s decorate them everywhere in the house,” she says. “EVERYWHERE?” I open my mouth again. “Yes, everywhere,” she shrugs, before adding, “We can make doll home here and her office, upstairs. Her lawn outside the room and park, in the veranda.”
“But won’t your grandma be angry?”
“Would they let you play everywhere?”
“Are you sure?… my aunt does not let me.”
“No, my aunt is nice to me. She plays with me instead.”
The revelation is new for me. So, I have no answer. There is only an expression of surprise on my face. Suddenly, the door opens. Her father enters our room. He is a tall, slim guy, just like my father. The only difference is he is a glasses-less father.
I stand on the chair to take a doll. His voice makes me shudder fearfully. My face turns white and heartbeat stops. The doll drops from my hands. and instead of greeting him back, I step down from the chair quickly. Hands shivering, eyes unable to make an eye contact.
I still try to answer him, “hi…” though my voice is hard to be heard.
“How are you beta (daughter)? I can filter kindness and gentility from his voice. It is enough to restore me back. I am not afraid anymore.
“I am fine, uncle.” I reply with a smile.
“Do you need help taking the dolls from the cupboard?”
“No…thank you.” I answer picking the doll from the floor.
He smiles asking Saima, “did you offer her cake and pasta with your friend?”
“No papa, we are decorating our dolls. We shall eat at our doll’s wedding,” she replies putting Barbie jewels in our doll’s house.
“But you should have shared it with your little friend,” he says kindly. There is smile on his face and he seems calm unlike my father.
“Yes, papa. we will eat in a while. Please take this box upstairs in aunt’s room. I need to decorate my Barbie’s saloon there.”
“Oh sure. Let’s do it together,” he says to a shocking surprise. (continued)