They lived on the third floor of a modest but well built house. Isis rang the bell and waited.
Her mother opened the door. It looked as if she was crying. There was a slight reddish swelling on her face which was proof that Isis's father had hit her. Her mother welcomed her with her usual heavenly smile. She helped her out of her bag.
"How was the day, sweetie?" she asked.
"Good...Maa", Isis stammered somehow. She could not bear to look at her. "What happened to...your face?"
"I ...fell", was her mother's quiet reply.
Both knew that the answer was not a very believable one. Neither spoke. Isis went to her room to freshen up. Her mother went to the kitchen to make her a snack. Isis was on the way to her room when she met her father. He was of late middle age, a well built man and had a mustache. He greeted her with a warm smile.
"How was your exam huney?" he asked.
"It was okay..fine Dad", Isis answered timidly. She was scared of him. But more than that, she was angry with him. One of these days, she would take a knife and plunge it into his heart, she felt.
Her father gave her a warm hug and then went to the kitchen where her mother was working. "Make me some tea, hun. I love it when you make it with your own hands." He laughed. Her mother obeyed. Isis could hear all of this from her room. She was angry with her mother too. Why the hell did she have to tolerate all of this? Why couldn't she leave the man? Sure there were a lot of ways in which he could be taught a good lesson. The law was on their side. More than once she had tried to convince her mother about getting help. There were many NGOs who would be able to help them. But her mother never agreed.
Her family had always taught her to be a good obedient bride. They would never support her decisions. Isis was too young and her elder sister, Elia was still struggling in her career. Her mother lacked the courage to leave her father. After all, they had spent twenty five years of their married life in this way. Change after so much time was something her mother was not comfortable with. Here at least she knew what she was up against. It was the change she feared. What if the change was even more unbearable? She had tolerated everything due to her daughters till now. She was not ready to give all of that so easily, not at least now.
Isis understood all of this. Years of observing people had made her extremely sensitive to what they were thinking. Her sister was out at work. She came late at night. Isis loved her sister very much. As much she hated her father, she made up for it by loving her mother and sister. These two were the most important people in her life. She did not need anyone else while they were by her side. It was already 7:00 pm. She waited for her sister so that she could tell her about what had happened to Maa.
The clock kept ticking..