The red suitcase.

He was now sleeping peacefully. I always admired his soft features at rest. In a mere white nappy and soft white linen shirt, he was looking like an angel. And yes I could imagine the white wings.

Today, unlike most other days I decided to take a nap myself but as always I could never sleep before him. So I pulled up the quilt and snuggled next to him.

I was looking at some pretty white lilies in a lush green garden when a sharp sound pierced into my ears. I jerked myself up to reality. It was the doorbell. I have always wanted to change this loud doorbell. I rushed mindlessly to the door. The bell is so loud he could miss it once but I was so sure if the visitor rings it again he will be up and active, and my idea of an afternoon nap will be history.

That was Nisha my next-door neighbor. She was standing there with a red suitcase and seemed quite guilty for waking me up by ringing the doorbell at three in the afternoon. I managed a smile with a Hi! How can I help you look.

Nisha stays as a paying guest next door and shares the apartment with two other girls. I never asked her age but she looked in her late thirties. She asked me if I could keep her suitcase, as she has to rush to the office. She was coming from Bangalore, her hometown after a week and urgently wanted to attend the office. Apparently, she didn’t have the house keys and the phone numbers of the other two girls. In my half-awake state I decided to help her and kept the suitcase. She said she will pick it in the evening and she almost rushed out of the house. I rushed back to the bedroom hoping to continue with my sleep.

He was sleeping peacefully still. I was glad that he didn’t wake up by that stupid doorbell. I adjusted myself next to him with the thought of the new object in the house. I was a little uncomfortable in keeping that suitcase. Now in the comfort of my bed, I wondered why. The discomfort I had in keeping the suitcase bothered me.

My first discomforting thought was how she could not have the keys. She could have forgotten the keys back at home in Bangalore but she had the phone in her hand she could have called the flat mates. But she said she didn’t have the numbers of other two girls. Now that’s strange.

She is a lawyer in a reputed firm. She is always dressed in a very corporate manner. She is very polite and always smiling. She is very fond of Vivaan. But now if I look at that in detail, there is something very peculiar about the way she looks at Vivaan. I always get the feeling that may be she has a child she is not in touch with and she kind of sees him or her in Vivaan. Also everything I know about her is through her. I never went out to check her credentials. Why did I trust her so much to keep an unidentified object in my house?

I shun the thought and looked at him once more hoping the peace he has on his face will get transferred to me. It didn’t.

Nisha. She could be a terrorist. That suitcase could be a bomb.

I got up to take a closer look at the suitcase. It should have the airlines tag and some information about the flight. And if what she said was true, that she is coming from Bangalore the suitcase must have gone through security check at the airport and therefore it could not be a bomb.
It had a tag that confirmed the flight details and time. I felt relieved.
This time I was fully awake so instead of having hopes of an afternoon nap I went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. I usually read newspaper when Vivaan sleeps in the afternoon, but today I had food for thought. The suitcase still occupied the most of my mind.

Nisha. She could be a smuggler. A bell may ring soon and I will be arrested, because that suitcase is in my possession. That was unnerving again. Now I wanted to check the contents of the suitcase to feel all right. That seemed impossible. The airlines authority had properly sealed it besides it had a lock. I again blamed myself for keeping the suitcase of a stranger. How much did I know her to keep an unknown object in my house without knowing the contents? That day seemed too long. I kept looking at the clock and wondered what time would she come.

I so wanted to get rid of that red block.

Vivaan is always fresh and smiling when he gets up. He has the power to make me forget everything. I quickly took him in my arms and kissed him endlessly. The weather that day was very nice. I opened all the doors and windows of the house for that brings in some fresh air. I made him sit in his high chair and got some mashed bananas for him. After he finished his food, I again closed all the doors and windows and wondered why I opened them in first place for just fifteen minutes. I secretly hoped it made some difference. We went down for a stroll. The garden was blooming with lovely flowers.

Kish came home on time as usual. He met us downstairs and we came up. He saw the red suitcase lying there and asked me what is that. I told him that belongs to Nisha and she said she would pick it up in the evening. I tactfully hid my anxiety regarding the same, didn’t want to transfer the worry on to him you see. I then served him some juice and snacks before he got busy watching television. Vivaan was now playing in his play gym when a sharp sound shook the whole house. It was the famous doorbell. It could be a policeman I thought. I waited for Kish to open the door while I pretended I was busy making dinner. Now Kish is home he can handle everything I hoped. My intent was only to help. I should not be worried.

Kish called for me to open the door. I removed my apron and headed towards the main door. While I was on my way the doorbell rang again. I slowed a little before opening the door enacting how would I react if they question me. I opened the door and sighed.

That was Nisha.


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