Tara felt very light that day. As if her entire burden of stress, guilt and attachment were handed over. It felt like she was out of a storm and presently in a sunny spell after years of smog and confusion stretched out all around her.
Ever since her parents died she had seen some very dark times. All her inherited wealth and business was taken over by her wretched uncle in the name of caretaking.
She was made to stay in the servant quarter and do all housework. The family could not trust the secrets to spread far and wide, therefore, Tara was taken as a maid. A servant to a family of two extremely spoiled boys and their parents.
Within a few years, Tara had realised nothing will change. She will always be savagely abused in different ways, by everyone for their selfish interests.
Her only hope to turn sixteen and get her mansion and property back, kept her going until one day she overheard her uncle and aunt in a moment of surprise.
‘We need to think something soon about Tara’. She heard.
‘ I have thought about it a lot, the only option that comes to my mind is to kill her just like her mum and dad.’ Her aunt whispered.
‘Don’t get carried away, we could be caught this time’. Her uncle disagreed.
‘Leave that to me, I will take care of it, I am almost an expert at that, never underestimate me’. She said.
The confession came as thunder and lightening leaving Tara in a state of immense grief. All this time in the name of duty and service of her only so-called family, she had been feeding murderers of her parents, her childhood and all her happiness.
‘I will not let them get away this time,’ she thought. In moments of agony, anger and pain after the realisation of truth, she lost her mind as well as balance and slipped all the way down from the stairs. She was unconscious immediately.
Before she opened her eyes, she heard someone saying, ‘with such a severe head injury there is always a possibility of memory loss.’
After a moment she tried to open her eyes. Starting with a blur vision she was slowly able to focus better and see clearly.
She was surrounded by all the family, with an emotion of anger and annoyance they all looked at her. Her body felt immediate pain. She knew she could not explain, nor work for them the same way. The choice of getting rid of their selfish ways on her coming sixteenth birthday was also bleak.
She looked all around and with the blank face muttered, ‘Who are you?’
‘What! You don’t know us? You crazy girl, what did you do, can you not take care of yourself? How can we trust you to be on your own next year? Her uncle shouted.
‘Where am I?’ Tara asked again.
‘Seriously? You don’t remember anything? Her perverted cousin inquired sarcastically’.
‘I have never seen you before’, Tara said.
‘Even better, looks like the girl has lost her memory, how nice! Made my work easy. Someone with no memory can be easily played around. We could prove her not mentally stable therefor not eligible for such a big business empire’. Her aunt remarked almost amazed.
They all seem to suddenly enjoy the situation and left her alone, to make her think about her next move.
She pretended brilliantly, before those physicians and people whom her aunt and uncle brought home to confirm. They were more than happy with the diagnosis and showed no interest in recovery as expected.
She looked outside the window. It was a foggy day.
The day brought back her memories. She still remembered the day when she went on a trip with her class.
It was a historical place that was built hundreds of years back. The ruined castle was a reminiscent of love, heartache, betray and murder. It looked a haunted place anyway.
While excitingly roaming around it with her friend she saw an old man in torn clothes. His attire, his hair and movements were clear indications he had a mental disorder. He was blabbing a few words and talking to himself while pointing to the sky.
She tried to go past him in a great hurry when the man called out, ‘listen! Don’t rush, watch out, there is fog, mist and filthy air.’
‘Yeah right! Tara murmured with a chuckle when the old man cried out again,
‘Confidence does not help there, you will be left with nothing, haha nothing and you will be no one’. He laughed bitterly.
This time Tara looked back. She looked all around to confirm there was no one except her and the old man was, in fact, speaking to her. ‘Are you speaking to me?’ She asked just to confirm his sanity’.
‘Who else? You are the only fool here. Trying to fight the wrong battle’. He mocked.
‘What do I do then?’ Tara asked only to amuse herself. ‘Gather all the stones they throw at you’. He said.
Tara could not stop smiling at the innocence, ignorance and absent-mindedness of the old man. A man who sat on the floor in tattered clothes, in a state of complete oblivion and still finding a reason to address someone.
She remembered the famous lines of the three witches,
‘Fair is foul and foul is fair,
Hover through the fog and filthy air’.
This time the memory did not bring a dismissing smile on her face, she exactly knew what she was going to do next.
On her sixteenth birthday when she was very proudly presented before the court to confess her loss of memory and partial insanity from the accident, she smiled.
She stood before the court confidently, agreed to take the oath and told her story. She then presented the court with all recorded proofs of the confession of murder and crime done proudly by her caretakers. Who without much care talked openly about everything in front of her.
While she acted superbly like an undercover officer. She fought alone, bravely and patiently for the honour of her parents, for the vengeance, for her true identity and also for justice.
‘Sometimes our judgements are blurred by the evil of others. We live in a fake, make-belief world in the name of service and duty. We believe all people are as honest, sincere and kind hearted like we are yet there is foul wrapped in deceit of fair in every corner’. She thought.
This realisation made her better planned, less emotional and attached to the outside world.
She developed an ability to see things the way they really were.
After the seasonal smog dispersed from her life she wondered if that old insane man was what he seemed?
If all insane people were mentally out of sync or if some could see in future despite the thick curtains of time.