The Photo Album, Published in Us Magazine, The News International

 http://e.thenews.com.pk/newsmag/mag/arc_detail_article.asp?id=1908
 
 
 
The Day
Leaning back on his cozy couch, with a steaming tea-mug on his glass side-table, he was lost somewhere in his old days. He was holding a photo-album and his concentration was commendable. On one picture, glaring it and touching it with his finger-s’ tips, he smiled and then, his face stiffened at some crucial memory. Two drops fell from his old eyes and wetted his wrinkled cheeks. He closed his eyes to let those seas flow-out. The tea at the table was no more steaming now. Beyond the window, opposite to him, the weather was cold. It was raining, and green leaves of trees and grass were bathed in rain-water now, moisture with it. The scent of slushy soil and damp wood was refreshing the atmosphere…
 
The Noon
Mr.Adams was still in his couch with his closed eyes. Though, the eyes were dried up now but anyone could see that swelling caused by that deep seclusion. The sky was a bit clear now, and the beaming sun was anxiously restraining itself from the flakes of white clouds. It created a multi-coloured arc and beautified the sky, but he didn’t even noticed it. All colors were faded away from his life. Outside his room, Stella, the housemaid, was busy in arranging dishes on dining-table. She was very happy that she had cooked her master’s favourite chicken-croquettes with lemon-sauce and cream-filled muffins. When she was all done, she went to call Mr. Adams for lunch but was perplexed at the gloomy atmosphere of Mr.Adams’ room. “What’s it, Mr. Adams?” Silence… She was standing at the room’s door in her white apron and paper-cap and now understanding the situation, her smile was gone. “Again sir?” she said in her soft voice. “Please don’t…” “Stella, you remember, how beautiful Jane’s hair were?” “Yeah… those gold-colored curls, how can I forget.” The memory saddened her too. “Her shimmering eyes and her lively voice, See.” He pointed at the picture of a girl about sixteen with curly golden hair, smiling with dimples in her round cheeks. “Yea…” she took the album in her hands and sighed. Retrieving, the served lunch on table, she closed the album quickly (while Mr.Adams hated her for doing this), “lunch is ready, I’ve cooked delicious muffins and….” “Jane was fond of muffins.” “And you too.” “It is hard for me to gulp them down without my daughter.” “But life must go on, sir.” “And life is perfectly going on with Jane’s memories,” he said curtly. “But the lunch is necessary and you have to take medicine after it.” “I don’t have appetite, leave me…” she interrupted. “But Betty wouldn’t take lunch without your presence, you know,” she proved that she was his maid for years. “Oh, that little sweet girl,” he smiled at that.
The door-bell rang and Stella hurried to the entrance door to receive Betty. Mr. Adams also rose up from his previous trance to attend a nice lunch with his daughter, Betty.
Mr.Adams had adopted Betty after seven years of Jane’s death. She was then probably nine and now she was of fifteen with her rosy-cheeks and wavy dark hair, but the more prominent in her features were her blue eyes. They were as bright as gem. Jane’s death caused a fiasco in the house. Everyone was sad at it but Mr. Adams was not coming out from this shock even after many years. Jane was a sensible girl of 17, when she died in a road-accident and was the only daughter of Mr.Adams.
 
The Mid-night
The night was more cold than the day. Stella was in her night-chamber. She was thinking about Mr.Adams non-serious behaviour towards life. Finally, she blamed Jane’s picture album for all the tears and sighs of Mr. Adams. So, she decided to remove the album from his room. “It might calm him down,” she thought and smiled.
 
After Some Days
It was a sunny day, when Mr. Adams was out for a walk to nearby town. Stella cunningly removed the album off from Mr.Adams’s personal wardrobe and hide it in her chamber. She was happy that she has done something for his master’s sake. The evenings, Mr. Adams used to spent in library and when he returned, Stella was busy in preparing dinner and Betty was busy in her study. They dinned together.
 
The Night
It was one of the wintry nights and Mr. Adams was again in his room alone. He lowered the sash from the window and opened it to gasp some fresh air. The cold make him shiver for a while but he didn’t tried to shut the window as the wind satisfies him. Meanwhile, he heard a knocking at the room’s door. He turned back to have a look. Stella was there with a mug of coffee for him. She placed the salver on the glass surface of the table and exited. Mr. Adams was about to reach his couch but at recalling something he reached to his wardrobe and tried to hold the album from its place like a lover tried to hold the hand of his beloved but, it was not there. It annoyed him and then he felt something beating in his head. The smiling face of Jane reflected in his eyes and then it vanished like it was just a hallucination. He forced himself to creep to the couch and rested his aching head against the back of the couch. Sweat popped out from his wide forehead and he lurched to and fro anxiously. The cold wind-bursts was hitting his ribs. He closed his eyes as two drops fell from them. The coffee was no more steaming now…
 
The Next Morning
The next day was cold unexpectedly than the day before. Stella litghted up the fire-place to warm the house. She looked at the clock again and frowned. It was 12 o’clock and Mr. Adams was not out and it was unusual. “The cold day has made him sleepy” she thought and started preparing lunch. Finally, at 1 p.m, she went to wake him up and found him dead at his couch. She lost her senses at the spot. The people gathered, the police came and the funeral was over solemnly.
 
Five Years Later
Five summers and winters passed. Betty is about to marry. She is happy with her life and remembers Mr. Adams as a good memory. Whenever, the winter came and the dry leaves fell, her eyes get misty. While Stella, moan and cry till now. She would shout hysterically in winter nights. The people in neighbourhood call her mad as she lose her senses whenever she came across to an album of a beautiful girl with golden locks of hair and dimpled round cheeks. She don’t even allow anyone to throw that album not even to open it. The people around say her “insane” as she shouts, “I killed Mr. Adams”

 
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7 thoughts on “The Photo Album, Published in Us Magazine, The News International

  1. Amazing script. and yes, “wife” is missing. who was she and where did she go…but yeah, some thing touching and different. heard and watched the read love for partner but nice concept of love for daughter.

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