The wind had started roaring last night and still blowing all the leaves away. Trees turned almost naked. The bloody rainy wind. Many stray dogs were finding shelter last night and were grateful that I gave them. I set up my yard and spread the food down there.
The whole night I heard raindrops knocking against window glasses and curtains were flapping loud. And when i woke up , I couldn’t figure out how the water came inside and from where. Everthing was soaked.
And out there , Dogs were sleeping in curled up position around remaining grains of rice, not only Dogs but a Boy too. Who was he ? maybe a thief.
I went to him and shook him. After my long interrogation and his straightforward answers made me calm. More than the boy i was worried about my flapping umbrella. The wind was sashaying and raindrops hitting onto my shirt. Sleepers were loaded with water and turned spongy. The boy gave reliable answers and I was sure he wasn’t a thief. Maybe he came for the shelter. But when I asked about his father.
“I have two fathers” He replied. The water was still dripping down from his ragged coat.
“Two ?” I was shocked.
“One gave birth to me and the other one who married my mother” The water was making him blink repeatedly.
“Your father never married to your mother ? how old was she when you were born ?” I glared at his bony shoulders and duck like neck.
“No ! .. he just rapped my mother when she was 15.”
The instant shame in his eyes made me gulp.
“Come over here.” I closed my umbrella and took the boy in the doorway and closed the door, not wanting anymore water inside. I made him sit in the chair. He was shivering there too. “Can’t i share a cup of tea with him, its a cold day and he is mere a boy, not a dog.” and i went to kitchen.
When I returned with the tea , i found him looking at the pictures hanging over him. One was of my dead wife and another one was my parents above . I smiled and handed him a hot cup and sit beside him.
“Then who was another one ? Who married your mother and when ?” I lightly put my hand over his shoulder. He exhaled.
“When I was 4,” The boy said. “He was a thief. He used to love my mother ..he came along to the city, he begged with us firstly , and then he begged for us too.” He explained.
“How come a thief turned into beggar ?”
“My mother asked him so, he truly loved her.. but” Boy shifted his eyes to the wet carpet.
“He got sick and very sick , his head was burning that night , i remember , and… then he died, We didn’t have money to take him to any hospital” The boy sighed, he was looking at his muddy shoes on the doorway, shoes of some bigger man.
“Are those his shoes ?”
“No ! I stole them yesterday,” The boy said
“from your neighbourhood”
“Yes I, I am tired of begging. No one gives us nothing more than bygone coins, many cases of abusing us and waves us away, many kicked us out and many behave like we are some kind of mosquitoes singing in their ears and they could smash us down.”
“So you came here for shelter or stealing ?” I leaned back.
The boy made a strong eye contact.
I gave a moment to thought.
“So your father turned into bigger and you want his abandoned profession ?”
“No we beg in the daytime and I steal in nights”
“Where do you and your mother beg now ..at temple or traffic signal ?”
The boy looked at me for a moment “I don’t beg with my mother .. she .. she’s gone”
“Is she dead too ?” my eyes widened.
“No ! she left me, she said I’ve always been an unwanted son and always wanted to get rid of me”
“And where did she go ?”
“She went with another man .. she said she loved him”
“you said WE , then who ? May I ask ?”
“My little sister, she begs with me. People give her more money than they give it to me. Maybe because she is younger or she begs with a cute smile.”
“Where is she now ?”
“In the shelter, another side of the railway line .. I left her there yesterday , don’t think she is any safe there. I should go”
The boy stood up.
“I am sorry. I will never come here for stealing neither for the shelter” He begged ” Sorry ! I am really SORRY”
“WAIT,” I said, standing up. I had never seen such an honest boy. When I was a child I used to steal too. Stole many coins from my mamma’s purse. Stealing coins wasn’t bad at all. If you really need them. The boy needed something more than coins. I stepped toward when he turned back and looking into my eyes, unsure of what would he think when I offer him myself as his THIRD FATHER.
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