‘Ok children dinner is set ‘ Amberine calls out , once she has cleared the cake and replaced the space with eloquent silver dishes. ‘Roasted chicken, bacon, potatoes..crispy ones, chicken soup and strawberry pie!!’Rose screams with delight after smelling the aroma in the air, stressing at the pie in the end. ‘All correct my dear. You love the pie, don’t you? Well today is special day for our special family pie‘ Amberine chuckles.
The family then, join their hands together to say their prayers. ‘Clitter clatter’ the sound of forks on plates occupies the stillness of the room for next few minutes. Then, ‘Ah..’ a cry of agony from Raven’s father makes it stop. With his face flushed, he immediately reaches out for napkin and dabs it over his shirt, where he had accidently spilled over his soup. ‘Are you alright honey?’ Amberine asks aloud, when she sees him leave in haste to the kitchen. ‘Yes , back in a moment love’ Raymond replies.
‘It’s ok. Have your soup Rose. You know it’s our family recipe too. There are more than 10 herbs in it‘ Amberine assures her daughter, who now sat still, with a corncerned look, trying to figure out the commotion in the room. Once assured, Rose lightens up and remarks ‘I love the soup!’ with excitement gleaming in her eyes, holding the spoon up on the air. Hearing her, Raven forrows his eyebrows with disgust on his face. ‘How can you even drink this thing Rose?’ He pinches his nose.
‘Because it smells good brother‘ she replies, slurping another spoon again. ‘Take yours too, before it gets cold Raven‘ Amberine cuts the conversation sternly. ‘It’s our tradition to drink it. Beside it’s good for your health .I am waiting for your father, once he comes we will drink too.’she adds. Raven frowns looking at the soup,gulping his throat. Then he stares at Rose unbelivingly, when she asks for another serving, having readily gulped the whole soup while still hot.
‘Fine‘ he mutters unpleased after a while. ‘I will go check on father first’.
Sebastian who had been a passive companion all the while,listening to their conversations, stands up too. A strange feeling kicks him in, urging him to follow Raven, like something ominous was about to happen . An eeirie feeling..
‘What is that?‘Raven asks spotting his father holding a small brown bottle, that looked like a medication container once in the kitchen. ‘What??’ Raven’s father, turns around looking horrified to his son. ‘i mean that’ Raven asks again, pointing at the bottle innociently. ‘Are you taking medication for something?’
Raymond stands frozen and looks at his son vacantly, as though he is in trance for a while. Then slowely kneeling infront of him, his expression now changed to that of grief stricken old man, he answers ‘It’s poison son. And i was thinking what it is doing in our kitchen’ rolling the bottle on his fingers.
‘Raymond, Raven’ a shrill cry of Amberine from the dining room alerts their senses before Raven could reply anything. ‘It’s Rose..she is not breathing’ she wails frantically,, shaking her daughter vigorously in her hands, upon seeing them. ‘What happened?‘ Raven hears a sound, his father made asking his mother, but everything then blurrs . He couldn’t tell what she replied or what they were talking about now.. He couldn’t hear a thing, neither could he see what they were doing to Rose. All he knew was his sister was not moving, not breathing and his tears were blurring his vision, his heart was pounding like they would give in any moment now and his legs were shaking..’What did i tell you? Get the ambulance!!’ his father’s firm grasp on his shoulder jolts him off his thoughts, off the darkness that was shallowing him. ‘Yes‘ he replies sullen, before mechanically running for a dialer, like this was a race he must win.
Sebastian stands astonished. Even he had not seen it coming..although his hunches were giving him directions all the while. Nothing was unexpected. He knew the story to some extent, he just hadn’t witnessed it first hand. There was a diffrence on hearing and experiencing it.. A sharp twang in his heart made him feel so. He wasn’t sorry for Raven, he wanted to cry for him..He was feeling every bit of pain, his little heart was feeling now. It was hurt, it was hurting him and nothing in the world was going to make it go away. No today he was not sorry, feeling sorry was never going to heal him.
Sebastian stares at Rose who laid still, tightly gripped on her mother’s arm. Her lips were tinged bluish, aside that, she looked very much alive, like she was sleeping warm, fooling everyone around her. But, it was fact that she was dead. The realization hits the painful string in him again. He couldn’t hear her heart beat anymore, not even at the arms length distance he was sitting at. This was the last of Rose and how he wished they had met at other circumstances.