‘Still on the computer, go prepare lunch or else it will be late again’.
I looked up at my niece in irritation.
Why are you looking like that? Then when Chikappa(Father’s younger brother) comes and shouts at you because lunch is not ready, don’t complain to me’, she said.
I got up with a sigh. With such a niece, you can never miss not having a mother-in-law.
By 1 p.m the house was sparkling clean and the food was ready on the table.
‘See how happy Chikappa will be when he comes home and sees this’, Akhila said.
I was irritated. I mean, yes sometimes I do get delayed but I don’t really like it if someone bosses around me. especially kids who don’t behave their age.
Akhila was my brother-in-law’s daughter. She is studying in 2nd standard. they stay quite nearby. Someday’s back my co-sister had some complications in her second pregnancy and thought it better if she went to her parents place and stayed in their care. But Akhila had yet to finish her exam. We volunteered to look after her till she finished her exam.
The husband came and yes he was happy to see a clean home and a ready lunch. Akhila gave me a ‘I told you so smile’. And I got irritated further.
I returned to my work. I work online and had some pending assignments.
I heard some noise. I rushed out to see that Akhila had cleared the table.
‘I would have done it Akhila, why you had to do’, I said.
‘The maid will be coming now, so she will not have to wait’, she said.
‘Don’t try to teach me how to do things Akhila’, I screamed.
She looked at me in amazement. ‘But I was just trying to help you’, she said.
I wanted to say some more, but her innocent expression stopped me and I went to my room and slammed the door.
The maid came and she did her job in the supervision of the kid. I didn’t bother to go out.
I do not know when I fell asleep. I had a slight headache since morning but by mid noon it was raging. I just wanted to lie down for some time but then ….
‘Chikamma, why are you still sleeping’, I heard her come in’, and then I felt her hand on my forehead.
And then she said’ oh my you are burning… you have a fever’, and then silence.
After some time I heard her come back.
‘Chikamma have some bread’, she said.
I mumbled a no.
‘Chikamma have some bread and then take a crocin. Amma says you should not take medicine on an empty stomach’, and she nagged on till I got up.
Tears flowed from my eyes when she fed me. Yes she was irritating but she was an angel too.