After lunch, Sneha went to see Ankur. He was watching television and Sneha knew he wouldn't get up and greet her. She just went and sat beside him, ruffled his hair and said, "Hi Ankur!" Ankur didn't reply and kept watching the cartoon show.
Ten minutes later he turned to look at Sneha and hugged her in his own way. He was smiling and grabbed Sneha's hand and led her outside to the garden. There he sat on the swing and pointed to Sneha to push it from behind. Sneha obliged and when the swing went high in the air, Ankur laughed. This was his favourite activity to do with Sneha and since Sneha had left (which he could never understand why); he hadn't played on the swing at all. He was unsure if anyone else would help him do it.
Raj watched them from his bedroom window and it weighed heavily on him, he knew how much brother and sister loved each other. There was a connection there that most couldn't understand. With Sneha, Ankur would be on his best behaviour; he would listen to all her orders and carry them out with no questions.
Small chores like putting his plate in the kitchen or passing the newspaper to Raj were always overlooked unless the request came from Sneha. Whenever Sneha bought something for herself, she always bought something for Ankur too; it only strengthened the bond with her brother. She never accepted anything less for him and went out of her way to fight with papa to buy something for Ankur if he bought anything for her.
The day was full of excitement. Sneha spent most of her time with Ankur so she could avoid papa's questions. She didn't want to think about Rohan but when she did, tears rolled out. Ankur would look at her and glance away not quite knowing what to think. He wouldn't question it, but sat with her and patiently waited until she would turn her focus back on him.
The evening was a bit more normal and passed interspersed with intermittent sobs and playful moments. Ankur enjoyed the time so much he didn't want his regular Special Ed teacher, Sukriti, to teach him. He wouldn't let Sneha go anywhere. Sheela had to bring glasses of milk for both of them to the room where they were sitting and patiently waiting.
Sneha thought of asking Sukriti to take the day off but refrained from doing it. She knew Ankur quickly learned bad habits and would start expecting the same every day and asking Sukriti to go would be happily welcomed by Ankur! After a while, Sneha left him but she really had to coax him into it before she could leave.
It was already 7 p.m. when Sneha went down to the living room. Her father sat watching the evening news on the big television that adorned the front wall of the room. Around the cabinet was contained a large selection of his choicest movies and music CDs.