The first chocolate

The first chocolate

As soon as Shikha left, Roshan grabbed his notebook from the table, ripped out a page and started writing.
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Shikha walked slowly into the room with a white balloon in her hand. “This is for you. Hope you get better soon,” she said and left.

She was the fourth person to visit him in the hospital, that too, on her mother’s insistence, who was a teacher at their school. The other three—Anil, Roy, Umesh—weren’t really his friends. They were his classmates who hung out with him and bullied other kids.

A week ago, Roshan met with a terrible accident. Doctors saved him but couldn’t move his legs. Roshan could make out how serious it was by the look on his father’s face. Every time, he spoke to the doctors, tears rolled out of his eyes.

Roshan was scared. As soon as Shikha left, Roshan grabbed his notebook from the table, ripped out a page and started scribbling.

Dear God, I know I haven’t been good. But if you let me walk again, I promise I’ll never bully anyone ever again.

He tied the note to the balloon and asked his dad, sitting next to him, to let it fly out the window.

The next day, as Roshan was eating his breakfast, a young girl walked into his room with her mother by her side. The scar on her face was visible but it couldn’t hide her warm smile. “I found your note tied to a balloon. Don’t worry, you’ll be okay,” she said and gave him a box of chocolates.

Roshan, feeling ashamed, avoid making any eye contact. He wanted to say something to her but words failed him. She was Tia, the same girl, he and his friends, picked on at school. He and his ‘friends’ used to make fun of her scar, but today, it was different. He was the one with the emotional scar and he could feel her pain.

With his eyes, brimming with tears, he opened the box and gave her the first chocolate.

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