Mihan looked towards the fast disappearing speck. Her heart felt heavier every
minute. Her younger brother was on his motorcycle and riding at a very high
speed away from the house without looking back once. It was the usual scene. A
quarrel had broken out a moment ago. Both father and son never saw eye to eye.
Mihan wondered how long he would be gone this time. There was a strange look in
his eyes that she could not explain for sure.
Mihan wondered how Josa would
take care of himself. She was sure he took little money with him. They had no
relatives staying nearby and the next town was very far away. She also wondered
why Josa and their father had to quarrel so often over trivial matters.
Mihan looked at the calendar. It had been three months since Josa left. She
finally confirmed the look she had seen in his eyes before he left. She knew he
was determined to leave and support himself. He had tolerated his father's
constant scolding for far too long.
Many years passed and Mihan's parents became too feeble to run the stall so
they decided to close it down. The burden of providing for the family fell on
Mihan's shoulders. Mihan spent a long time seeking a job and she finally found
one as a maidservant in a rich man's house.
Mihan did all her chores properly. She did not laze around. Whenever she met
any of her employers, she greeted them. The other servants in the house liked
her very much because she cared for them and helped them when she was free. They
sympathised with her as she was the poorest of them all and was constantly in
need of money to make ends meet.
One fateful day, the mistress of the house found her most expensive necklace
missing. She called for all her servants and questioned them. None of them
admitted to have stolen it. She was furious and adamant that one of them was the
culprit. She singled out Mihan and insisted that she was the one who stole it
and sold it off for money. Taking the word of the rich woman, the police put
Mihan behind bars.
Mihan was sitting all alone wondering how fate could be so cruel to her. She
looked at the other prison cells and saw other prison mates. She looked at every
one of them but her eyes finally rested on one particular person. Mihan felt a
lump in her throat. That person had a birthmark on his right cheek. His hair
showed some grey strands. Suddenly, he got up and walked with the same limp that
she recognised so well. He was a grown man. At that moment, the man looked in
Mihan's direction. There was a startled look on his face.
"Mihan! Sis!" the man cried out.
Tears started to well up in Mihan's eyes. Josa was alive and well! Maybe it
was a blessing in disguise that she was put in prison.