“Oh, my little sweetheart! How are you?”
“Wow! You bought me a gift! There is something in your hands! No, please don’t hide it. Mom, daddy bought me a gift!”, little Stella exclaimed all the way as she ran downstairs to greet her dad.
” Stella, baby it is for your birthday.”
“MY BIRTHDAY! Dad, ten days are left for my birthday. How am I going to wait for that long?”
“Waiting for little things in life makes them more enjoyable.”, Stella’s mom quoted as she picked her up.
” ..and, you will like it more if you opened the gift on your birthday,” said Stella’s Dad as he exited out of the lobby towards his study to keep the briefcase and the gift there.
A disappointed Stella retreated to her room. Her stubborn and curious ten-year-old brain refused to comprehend that she might have to wait to experience the joy imprisoned behind the shiny and colorful gift paper.
She decided that at night, she will sneak inside her father’s study, take a look at what’s inside the gift box and then re-wrap the paper.
Stella waited patiently till midnight. Staying up was not an issue as the curiosity snatched all the little sleep that Stella had.
After what seemed like forever, she mustered up the courage to quietly get out of her room, check if her parents are finally asleep, get downstairs and run to her father’s study.
She flicked on the light switch. the light-filled the room, revealing the beautiful pink shiny gift-wrapped box to her eyes.
She tip-toed to the box, since the study was directly under her parents’ bedroom, even the smallest sounds would have reached there. She reached the table and straight away went for the box. The table was a little higher for her height, so she jumped. She got the box after two attempts but she accidentally knocked off her father’s pen-holder off the table.
The loud thud definitely woke her parents up. They came running downstairs. As they reached the study, they slowed down as they feared a robber to be in there.
They slowly tried to peak in and…… “HAHAHAHAHA!”. Upon finding Stella with the gift standing near the table, they burst out laughing.
“I would lie if I said that it was not expected.” teased her mother.
Stella turned pink from embarrassment but considering how funny the situation had gotten, she also started laughing. Her father took a break from laughing and picked Stella up. “Come let’s open the gift.” The mischief in his voice brought a joking grin on the mother’s face too.
Stella’s face changed emotions from embarrassment to laughter, to shock and then to joy and excitement within seconds.
Stella’s father sat her down on the couch and gave her the gift saying, “Happy birthday dear!”
Stella quickly unwrapped the box finding a very beautiful dollhouse inside. She exclaimed in joy, “WOW!”
” You like it?”
“Yes, it’s so pretty….”
Her dad and mom looked at each other and smiled.
“Now come Stella, you will be late for school!”
“Okay, Mom. Good night Dad, love you.” , Stella waved a kiss to her dad and left the room with her mom.
The phone rang……..TRRRRNN……TRRRRRNNN……
“Stella!Stella!”, someone shouted from behind. The abrupt voice pulled Stella out of her memories. She turned around to find John running towards her.
John, her fiancé, she met her five years ago in college. He is the vice-president of a company. A tall, handsome and charming man with a smile that felt like home. no wonder Stella’s restless heart found peace with him.
“Stella, are you okay? You were not picking up my calls. I was worried.” Stella checked her phone, it had seven missed calls!
“I am okay…I just got caught up in some thoughts. Anyways, what about the paperwork? How long is it going to? We need to sell this place as soon as possible.”
Stella, the girl who was once madly in love with her parents’ house, was now standing here and talking about selling it. She, for sure, felt hollow. Her brain was caught in the whirlwind of numbers but her heart was silently praying for everything to stop.
John replied, breaking the stream of her thoughts once again, “Actually, it should have been done by now but our lawyer has to suddenly travel for some business, so…….”
“Ya, we will come back the next week.” , John reassured.
“Can I stay here till the next meeting.” Her heart started pounding in her chest as she asked that. It was hard to tell what the feeling was, but it was there and strong.
“Are you sure you will manage alone? I mean, this place has been abandoned for a while.”
” Yes, I am sure I will figure it out.”
” Okay, then.”
They gave each other a good-bye kiss. As John’s car drove out of the driveway, Stella could feel the demons of fear and guilt rise out of her confusing numbness. After the last bit of John’s car faded away, she turned around towards the house. She stood there, still for a while, exploring her surroundings with her teared-up eyes.
Dreams and ambitions, they have a mystic power. They can turn everything around, just in a moment.
She pushed her tears back. “So, my sweet home, I will be troubling you, for the last time.” She sighed heavily and started towards the door, trying to cover her tears by her smile.
Why does Stella want to sell her house? Where is her family? What is waiting for Stella beyond that door? Find out in the upcoming chapters of “When I walked through”. Follow the blog to receive an e-mail every time we release a new chapter.