Fifty three

And came on in the nights, waking up to Julie’s barks at literally nothing on the yard. I’d stay still in the bed. It’s just rabbits, my mother would say and put us back to sleep.
“I see someone pass by the window with a torch, imagine him climb up the roof to enter the attic and jump down to the dining room and walk towards where we slept, with a knife in hand”
I’d clutch my eyes hard to fall asleep. And open them as the windows would be washed with the light of dawn.
Mornings looked promising. Lingamppa Ajja would arrive to walk through his farms that overlooked from the door of our house. He’d walk into the kitchen to grab a dosa or two. We’d spend more than an hour by the cowshed with toothbrush in hand before going to the unattached bathroom to rinse my face. Have a lazy breakfast and go to school. Lunch with Swathi and Samiksha from the box packed by mom as we sat in row, checked in white and blue uniform and in the evenings, play hopscotch or badminton without net. Or decorate the Tulsi with white flowers from the deserted area outside the compound. Stench white flowers that smelled of medicine.
Until we’d hear our mother call our names from the house of yellow walls.

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