Read the previous part of the story here.The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of Divyakshi, Priyanka Roy, Priyanka Victor, Arpita, Datta, Neeraj, Nupur, Sulekha, Maria and Roshan.
“Let’s order pizza to welcome Jennifer in our home,” announced Tara when she emerged from the bedroom.
“Oh! Is that the latest excuse to skip making dinner?” Shekhar teased.
As Tara grinned sheepishly, Jennifer cut in, “My treat!”
“Nonsense,” said Shekhar. “You’re outnumbered.”
After much argument over toppings, they finally ordered the pizzas. A laughter filled dinner followed. Shekhar let out a contented burp. His wife looked at him with disgust.
“What?” he retorted. “Jennifer, these are the less savoury parts of being a member of our household.”
Jennifer laughed as Tara threw a cushion at her husband.
“I’m bushed,” Tara yawned.
“I’ll put Roohi to bed,” said Jennifer quickly.
“Would you? That would be great! I’ll put myself to bed,” Tara said gratefully.
“Nooo! I don’t want to go to sleep!” wailed Roohi.
“I’ll show you how to make shadow puppets, Roohi,” said Jennifer, cutting Roohi off mid-wail.
Roohi watched open mouthed as Jennifer deftly used her hands to make a rabbit, deer, and many more animals.
“Come on now Roohi, the zoo will return tomorrow,” Jennifer urged Roohi, patting the bed invitingly. Roohi hopped into her bed obediently.
As Jennifer turned to switch the light off, Roohi caught sight of a dragonfly on her arm. She blinked. It couldn’t be. That was the tattoo she had seen on her kidnapper! A green, evil looking insect, with paper thin wings, that she fancied was about to poison her. It had seemed set to sting, ready to jump off that arm. Her eyes grew wide. She searched her memory desperately, wanting to be sure.
Yes, she would never forget that day. The pain as the would-be kidnapper had snatched her hand. She heard the children shrieking with fear and running about helter skelter, the bad man fighting with Ramesh in the school bus.
Roohi’s heart was beating so fast that she was afraid Jenny would hear it too. She shuddered. She hadn’t even known that she had registered the tattoo, until now. She opened her mouth to scream and then thought better of it. She shut her eyes tight instead.
“I must lie still and pretend to be asleep or she will hurt me, let her think I am sleeping and make her go away, please God,” she thought frantically.
Jennifer turned back to find a ‘sleeping’ Roohi. She looked down at the angelic face, smiled wistfully and noticed that Roohi had kicked the blanket off in her sleep. She picked it up and covered Roohi with it, making sure to tuck her in nice and proper. "This little girl has restless feet," Jennifer muttered to herself while walking towards the door.
“Well, that was a breeze,” she thought as she quietly latched the door behind her.
Roohi didn’t think so. The little girl had nightmares all night, but her subconscious kept her from screaming.
Jennifer slept peacefully, unaware of Roohi’s sleepless night.
Read the next part here.
Read the next part here.