In the month of June, Sunday, when it was 9 degrees in the North Pole, Arjun was capturing the Auroras in his DSLR cameras. The auroras were so beautiful, that Arjun could not get off his eyes from the sky.
Diya, Arjun’s wife, called him to have a meal. Instantly, Arjun packed all his stuff in his large greenish bag. He put in his camera, camera stand, a water bottle and a pair of gloves. Though his house was not too far from his site, he had to bring all the items safely in a bag.
After sinking his feet 20 times, he reached home. His house was as hot as fire. His 16-year-old daughter; Shivika, was sitting on the couch near the window. She had a blue big eyes like her father and she was a pretty girl with wavy hair like her mother. She was drawing a portrait. She had a huge collection of her paintings, when they all go to India, Arjun would submit all his photos to his office and Shivika would sell all her paintings. “What are you drawing this time, Shivika?” asked Arjun. Shivika answered that she was drawing the scenery of an island. She lied. Instead, she was drawing a portrait of her younger sister who died in an accident six years ago. The drawing showed her guilt for not saving her sister that day.
“Come Shivika and Arjun”said,Diya. She was pretending not to be desolate in front of Shivika and Arjun. Because, today was the day when Rima,Shivika’s sister, died. Everyone was acting like they are not missing Rima.
Diya made Shivika’s favourite Polarbröd. The great fragrance of Polarbröd spread all over the house. They quietly had their lunch. Then, everyone went on to their own work.
It was the end of October. Everyone in Shivika’s school was preparing for the Halloween day. Guest was called to her school. The whole school participated in the fair which was held every year on Halloween day. Students of primary school were given different costumes to wear. Middle school students were given the responsibility of decorating the school. And the high school students were given the baking and cooking part.
Shivika was also participating and enjoying. She was also good at baking. She was making chocolate truffles with her friend Elena. Soon, truffles were ready. Shivika and Elena were taking their chocolate truffle to show their teachers. Unfortunately, they got bumped with Akio, a Japanese adult. He was around 20 years. He was a tall boy with small eyes. He was not even dressed well.
The chocolate truffles were now eaten by the floor! “who are you? What are you doin’ here in our school?” said Elena furiously.
“I – I am Akio, I do.. part-time job…in – in your school.”
“that’s okay, but see what have you done.”
“I – I will clean this, don’t worry”
“worry begins now. what are we going to do now!” said Shivika. Both shivika and Elena bowed their head down. They were disappointed and had lost all their hopes.
“I will help you, you know I am an expert in making truffles.”
Shivika and Elena looked into each other’s faces, suggesting they should trust him. So, they took his help. He was an expert in making truffles indeed!
When the truffles were ready, Shivika thanked Akio. She invited Akio to the fair as well. However, Akio was not interested. After that, Elena reminded shivika to show their truffles to their teachers. So, they waved off Akio and went on their way to show their teachers.
In the staff room, the teacher yelled at them, ”Why both are so late? I told you to come here by 11. It’s 11:45 am.” Elea said,” Sir our truffles were ready but we got hit by a boy named Ak…”Shivika interrupted,” Our truffles were almost ready, but there was some problem in the oven.” Elena quickly looked at Shivika with dislike.
The teacher said,” it’s okay. Now quickly go and submit your truffles to the decorating staff.” And so the girls went outside to submit their truffles.
On their way, Elena asked, ”why did you lie?”
“Do you want the boy, who helped us, to get in trouble?”Responded Shivika.
“I was just telling the truth..”
“but then, you and I would have got into a problem too.”
Elena was speechless. Then she began, “I am telling you these truffles are not good, he must have added somethin’. You see, how weird that boy was, his clothes, his face…his eyes!….”
Shivika didn’t want to waste energy on Elena, so she was just smiling quietly.
Finally, it was Halloween day. It was evening when everyone from the city gathered in Cold Forest Park. shivika’s parents also had come to see Shivika’s performance. It had a large ground. There was a stage. On the stage, there was a mic, trophies, and certificates. On the ground, there were chairs. On the right side of the chairs, were the buffets made by different schools.
The candidates were asked to stand behind respective their food tables. Just then, Shivika saw Akio standing far away from everyone. She thought to invite him to their team as he also helped them make the truffles. She went to him. “Oh hi.” Said shivika. Akio said, “Hello.”
“Remember me?”Said shivika.
“oh yeah, I helped you..”
“Exactly..Um…Would you like to come in our my team, because you helped us?”
Um…I think I shouldn’t.”
“You should come.”shivika said. She brought him to her food table.
The competition had started. The guest and the judges tasted every school’s food in order.
After 15 minutes, the result was to be declared. The guest came towards the mic and said,” Hello students, Everyone is a winner for me. I have tasted every school’s food. Every child and every school has done its best. Now, let us see which school and which child deserves the trophy. I wish you all the very best for your future.”
At the first position, it was The Apple School. Manmin Institute of Education secured the second position. They were given the trophies and with respective prize money.
At the first position, it was North Pole School, where Shivika studied. Everyone clapped, and exclaimed with joy “Hurray!!”
Students who participated were awarded prize money and trophies. These students were also given the chance to thank on the mic.
Shivika said when her chance came, “a boy was also involved in making of the truffles. I would like to invite him on stage.” But nobody came.
After half an hour, the event was closed.
Just on a usual day, Shivika was roaming the streets. A coin was coming rolling on the ground, Shivika grabbed it. A boy came running towards her from a building. The boy said,” Give it to me.”
Shivika gave him the coin, and suddenly she recognised him. She held his hand, and said,” wait! Are you that boy who helped me in the school?”
“Um..yes. My name is Akio. Do you remember me?” he said.
“Yes, I do. What are you doing here?”
“This is my father’s hotel.”
The building was named “Aurora Hotel and restaurant” The building was old, but from the inside it was organised. Akio welcomed her to the hotel. The tiles seemed like mirrors. There was a reception. There was an old type of lift. Stairs were on the right-hand side. The restaurant hall was on the left side. The hotel was almost empty, though it was in the mid of the town.
Akio took out two stools from behind the reception table. They both settled on the red stools.” Would you like to have something?” asked Akio. “No, thanks.” Replied Shivika. For some time, they did not speak a word.
“So, this is my father’s hotel, as you can see.” Said Akio.
“Oh, nice!.. But, why didn’t you come onto the stage on the competition day, when I called you?”
“Um…Actually, I was..”
“ねえ、私の愛する少年。元気かい？”(Hey, my dear boy. How you doing?), a voice came from the main door. A healthy man was standing, with small brown eyes. He was wearing a brown coat, with a muffler. He was half bald. He had a big suitcase in his left hand.
Akio quickly stood up from his seat. He walked toward his uncle and said,” 私はいいおじさんです。”(I am good uncle.)Then, he ordered his co-workers to take his uncle’s suitcase to a room in the hotel. Akio was busy with his uncle. He had forgotten Shivika. So, shivika got up from her seat, and decided to go out. When she reached near the main door of the hotel, on the left wall, she noticed, pictures of Akio’s childhood and his family. She moved towards them. She saw a woman in those photo, she was Akio’s mother. Shivika felt that she has seen that women before. But she could not remember. And she left the hotel.
On Sunday morning, Shivika again came to the same place to meet he new friend, Akio. Akio was working at the back of his building. A small house was also there. Akio was feeding his doe. Shivika smiled and said, ”Good morning Akio.”Akio looked at shivika and said,”Good morning!…come here, and see my doe.”
“Your doe is so cute and adorable.” said shivika.
“yes, It is. This my lucky charm just like my mother. I see my mother in it. It takes care of me.”He went emotional by saying this.
Shivika noticed his tears. “What happened to your mother?” she asked with sorrow.
“She passed away six years ago. It was an accident. I saw her dying but couldn’t do anything.” He said with regret.
“I can understand. My six year old sister also passed away six years ago. Well, I guess that was also an accident.” There was silence for a moment.
“are both these accidents connected?”
“no!” said Shivika quickly.
Akio nodded. “why is there a bell on this doe?” asked Shivika.
“This is to identify my doe. Well, its name is Mimizo. Isn’t it good?”
“yeah, it’s good.”
The thread on the neck of Mimizo had a bell and a plate with its name.”do you want to feed Mimizo?”asked Akio.
“yeah, sure.” Shivika picked up some grasses, and fed them to the doe.
Akio asked Shivika to have walk with him to the outskirts of town. Shivika agreed.
They both had toured the town, so Akio decided to now go to a new place. They went near the roads in between the mountains. Akio brought shivika to a strange place.they were standing at the edge of the land. In front of them, they could see mountains, and beneath them, there was a deep dig. Shivika exclaimed,”Wow! This is such a nice place. Isn’t it?”
“yes. It is.” Akio reverted. “Do you know my mother was standing at the same place, She was saving a girl, unfortunately, they both died from here. “He continued.
Shivika was confused. She asked, “How do you know about all this?”
“I was standing there.”Akio pointed at some distance from where they were standing, “I was afraid of heights, but now I don’t.”
A sudden thought stroked in Shivika’s mind. She remembered that when her sister and herself were playing, they were playing somewhere here only. Akio’s mother and her sister both died six years ago. When shivika and her parents were called, to the deep land, she saw a woman and her sister. The woman was the same lady whom she saw in the photo frames in Akio’s mother. To the conclusion to this, Akio’s mother and Shivika’s sister helped each other, unfortunately, they both fell down.
Shivika explained her theory to Akio. Well, this was sad. Akio agreed with Shivika. They both talked and shared their memories with each other.
They both returned to their town. It was around 5:30 pm. A storm had occurred in the town. Everyone in the town were returning towards their homes. At last, Shivika also reached at her home.
She saw her father cutting a deer to eat. Shivika noticed a name tag was there on the deer. It was written “Mimizo”. She was astounded. She shouted at her father to stop. But the Mimizo was already dead. “Oh no! What have you done. Dad…you killed my friend’s doe.” Yelled Shivika. She was speechless.
“Shivika..” There was a worried voice from behind. Shivika turned behind to see. It was Akio. He was worried and sweaty. Shivika didn’t want Akio to see the dead doe. But Akio came to the backyard, there was blood everywhere, his Mimizo was lying on the ground. It was a terrible situation for Akio.
“You betrayed me. You are a traitor. You killed my doe!!”shouted Akio. Shivika said, “Calm, down please.”
“I’ve lost my mother for the second time because of you.”cried Akio. Akio ran as fast as bullet to hisa hotel. Shivika followed him. The storm was still scary.
When Akio reached his hotel, he smashed and locked the back door of the hotel, and went to his room. He packed his bag. Shivika was standing outside the hotel.
Kkkrhhh…It was the sound of the door opening. Akio with his bag came outside. Shivika apolised a lot, but Akio kept ignoring her.
Soon, Akio disappeared into the storm and fog. Shivika, returned to her home. She did not want to talk to her parents about anything. She went upstairs, in her room. She took a sketch book, a brush some colours. She tried to remember the face of Akio’s mother. She drew Akio, his mother and his doe standing beside him. She drew and painted it overnight. She didn’t sleep for a second. She has never drawn anything so fast and in such a worry.
The next morning, when she was on the way to school, she first went to the hotel. On the gate, of the hotel, there was a board, mentioned “Currently Closed.” She went to the neighbouring shops. From there, she got Akio’s information. She also got akio’s japan address. She beamed. She bought an envelope, and borrowed a pen and a paper from a shop. She wrote a letter to Akio.
9/12, Star apartment,
Date:-2 November 2018
22 Blue Ice house,
Hello Akio. I know how you are feeling. I am sorry for what I did. I didn’t do that intentionally. I hope, you have settled in Japan. And You have got a job. I would like to meet you again.
So, I’ve also sent you a painting you’d love.
She posted the letter.
After 3 weeks,
Akio received an envelope. It was a letter from Shivika. Akio forgive her. He read the letter, took out the painting. he saw the painting, he hung the painting on the wall. He had tears in his eyes. “Thank you shivika.”He said.
BY- CHARVI PATEL