The Carpenter

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic


The rain did not stop that day. I sat beside the window in the afternoon as I was not allowed to go out. Mum thought it was too much for a child to handle.Sitting beside the window, I gazed through the swarm of people accompanying the dead body to the cremation ground. My brother was in the crowd looking pale and confused. He is younger to me but was allowed to go out as his best friend was going away forever. Mum picked me up and said, “do not watch these things, they are not good for a girl”.  I have heard this line since memory could hold. A boy is strong both physically and emotionally. I did see my brother cry that night. He said, “Dad is not allowing me to go there and play anymore”. The Carpenter’s workshop was his playground. He played with me only after the workshop was closed. 

My brother said he cried because he was not allowed to go there. I think he miscomprehended his feelings but what else do you expect from a 7-year-old. 

The Carpenter had committed suicide last night. He hung himself in his workshop. That night the workshop was open past its timings. I was so furious sitting on my bed, waiting for my brother to come home so that we can play. I asked God to take the Carpenter away. He actually did grant my wish. I was happy as a child that my brother and I can now play all the time now. But he seemed disturbed, dad said he was the one to find out that his friend was sleeping with a rope around his neck, hanging from the ceiling. He was told that his friend went to a different place because he was sick. I knew the Carpenter died, I was old enough to register a death but wasn’t old enough to register the abyss of feelings attached to it. 

The bed in which we slept was made by him. After a week my brother would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming because of nightmares. My grandmother thought “ it might be the bed ”. So, she ordered my father to get rid of the bed. My dad took a deep breath and exclaimed: “ it is really the bed that needs to be replaced “. That man held some deep thoughts in that sentence! 

I was assigned a different task; mum told me to keep my brother busy and his mind away from the Carpenter. My mission was being carried out smoothly by me and my grandmother. While my father and my mother were busy searching for a new bed. 

My grandmother used to tell us stories every night before bed. And every now and then, my brother would start talking about his deceased friend. “ He promised me that one day, he would teach me how to wear a dhoti. Do you know grandma, he says he wants to make all the furniture of my wedding. He has two sisters in his village; one is tall like him and the other one is short like his mother “.

He could go on for hours. He did share a lot with my brother. I wonder if it was because my brother used to stay the whole day with him or he simply was alone. 

Why would a 34-year-old man share so much with a 7-year-old kid? I know the answer now and the feeling haunts me every day. 

I never used to go and play in the workshop with my brother. He loved how the carpenter used to make beautiful things from a piece of wood. Looks like I did appreciated art less than my brother! 

 


Submitted: April 16, 2020

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