“Dad, Dad!!! why don’t we plant a tree in our garden? It would be a nice addition and fruitful too.” Chimed Arnav and Ashima
“Sure we would think about it, right Ashi?” I asked my wife
“Yeah, that’s a nice idea after all we have got such a big garden in this new house.” replied Ashi my wife
“So which tree should we plant, then?” I asked
“Mango! Mango!” Kids exclaimed
“Of course Mango, they were constantly talking about mango trees since they returned from their school trip to a mango farm.” I thought
“That’s a nice suggestion, I would bring one plant from nursery.” I said
Soon I brought the little mango plant from the nursery and we put that in a corner to be planted after a few days.
“Dad we are planting the tree now, come home early.” Informed my kids over the phone they were ecstatic
But I got stuck in a meeting at office after lunch, when I finally reached home at 9 my house was empty. I couldn’t find anyone.
I ran to the garden in the back of the house and the newly planted tree was swaying with the wind but my family was nowhere to be found.
I checked every room, every nook, called every friend and relative, but no one had any ideas where they might have gone. I even called police but they said that they can only lodge a missing persons report if they are missing for more than 48 hours.
The clock chimed to let me know that it was 2 AM but I had no sense of time. I didn’t even feel the hunger now which I felt when I was coming for home. I had no idea where my family went but they had left a tree behind to remember them by.
When the police finally came they checked the house too and found out that many jewelry items and some cash was gone too and in its place there was a letter from my wife.
The police explained that as per the letter my wife ran away from home along with my kids with her lover. She didn’t say where they went or who this lover was. The constables were whispering to each other and snickering. Police ensured me that they would look for my family but advised that since she went by her own wish, it would be a little hard.
Police kept on searching for them and 10 years passed.
No news came and I was alone in my house with my mango tree. It was a big tree now and it bore fruits too. I loved the tree as my own kids after all they planted it and left it behind for me.
I used to sit in garden talking to the tree for hours on end. My life now revolved around the mango tree. Watering it, making sure that area around its roots was clean etc. People said that I was crazy but they couldn’t have understood my pain. I attended my office but worked like a robot. I wanted to come back home to my tree. My Mango Tree.
It was a Sunday afternoon in January and I was sitting in garden clearing the grounds near the tree. Suddenly my eye caught something glistening in the sunlight.
I was a ring entangled in the root. My wife’s ring. what was it doing under the tree? I had to find out. I dug and dug and dug near the tree and what I found nearly killed me. I immediately called the police and completed the other formalities and then they dug out what was buried under the mango tree.
My Wife and my kids. Along with the Jewelry and the cash. My wife did not run with her lover, she was killed and buried under the tree along with my kids. Oh my poor kids, my poor wife. There was no end to my pain. Police were trying to ask me something but all I could do was cry in pain.
I kept on crying while the police took away dead bodies of my family. I kept on crying till late in the night and then I remembered, the memory which I had suppressed.
10 years ago.
I had come home early to surprise the kids and wife after I got their call. When I came home the kids were busy digging the hole in the back. But I didn’t see my wife so I went up our bedroom. She was writing something.
“What are you writing?” I asked
And she jumped as if she was stealing something
“Not.. Nothing. Nothing, what are you doing early? kids said you told them that you were busy and would come late.” She said very nervously
“I wanted to surprise them, but what were you writing?” I said
She tried to protest but I had the note in my hand
“What the hell is this?” I roared
Kids came running but were transfixed to the door when they saw that I was angry. I was so angry on her, she was having an affair. I was so angry and I snapped. I didn’t even know what I did but the next moment I remembered I was sitting in office. I had no idea how the last few hours had passed or what I did. My mind had suppressed my memory of the terrible event.
“I Killed them.” I mumbled to no one
Yes I had killed them all the buried them under the tree. I killed them because they were abandoning me.
“I killed them, I killed them, I killed them.” I kept on saying while crying.
Next morning when the police came they didn’t get a response on the door. When they finally got in and found me. I was long gone from this world.
“Mentally disturbed man commits suicide.” reported the news paper
But I was finally with my loved ones.
We were all gone but we had left behind the mango tree.