Life is deceptive. People are deceptive.


The house had caught fire. The people in it were burning. Their hearts were burning.  The smoke created circles in the sky. The blue sky turned grey. Only Liza and her elder brother Mathew could be rescued. They had not suffered major physical burns but their hearts have burnt out with their parent’s bodies.

When Liza came out she could not see anything except greyness in front of her eyes. Her cheeks were wet with tears. The trauma of the fire had not out and yet another trauma enhanced it. Her parents and one of her older siblings had died.

Liza and Mathew took refuge in their neighbour Mrs. Stephen’s house. Mrs. Stephen was an old widow. The children grew up with at her house. With time her love soothed the pain of the children. Liza missed her mother a lot and the bakery too. Her mother had beautifully designed the bakery; she made awesome cakes and cookies too. The bakery too got burnt in the fire; the bakery that her mother’s hard work made alive.

It was Liza’s dream to make the bakery alive again. She studied hard so that by working she could collect some money to renovate and restart the bakery. Whereas, her brother Mathew wanted to be an actor. He had no interest in the bakery. After finishing college Mathew did not pursue job even though they needed money badly. Though he gave auditions for acting he got selected in none. Soon he started the habit of drinking like his father. Just like her brother Mathew her father was an alchoholic too. Liza remembers him beating her mother and snatching from her the money earned from the bakery. She thought to herself it would have given her mother great pain to see Mathew walking towards the same ruins. By that time Liza had completed her graduation too. She started searching for a job. Mrs. Stephen died within a month. She had been ill for long. As Liza did not connect with her brother much because of their different thinking, she felt all alone.

Mrs. Stephen left all the money she had to Liza. Liza was not surprised. Even though she had never shared her desire to restart the bakery with Mrs. Stephen, she knew her well. Mrs. Stephen was the closest thing Liza had to a mother. When Mathew came to know about the money, he wanted half the share to join an acting workshop.

Liza was well aware of her brother’s nature. She knew he would waste the money.

Liza denied giving him half the money she had received. To this, Mathew stormed out of the house but by next day he was back as he neither had money nor shelter.

Within six months, Liza renovated the bakery and customers started pouring in. Liza had coloured the walls beige just like it was in her childhood, and the door and the wall to which the door was attached was made of glass that her mother had wished but could never gather enough money to do so.  When her mother used to bake Liza used to sit watching her but she did not remember the recipes clearly. She read a few books on bakery and made her own creations. She made cakes, muffins, brownies, pastries and breads.

The business was going well. Liza earned quite some money and thought of renovating the house. One afternoon, while she was baking she saw with the corner of her eye someone peeping inside. She turned her face in that direction and saw a young fellow. He looked towards her too but did not some in. She passed a smile and he returned it. Liza went back to her work. From then on, he came daily in the afternoon and stood at the same place for an hour or so and then left. Every day they exchanged smiles. He never came in, she never spoke to him but her heart started melting and flowing towards him.

After a few days, the government office diagonally opposite to her office was attacked by the terrorists. That afternoon he did not stand in front of her bakery. Her heart pumped loudly with fear. He felt like she was losing someone dear. Day and night she prayed for his safety. The sound of firing nearly deafened her. Three days after the attack the government office caught fire. The smoke emerging from it created uproar in the sky. The memories of the past drifted back. She panicked. Right at that time, the people started rushing out through the front door.

Liza thought the terrorists have let the people go. She got overwhelmed. Suddenly she spotted the familiar space she was looking for.

He was wounded. She brought him in, first aided him and gave him food. She switched on the television set. The news reader said that that the terrorists did not let the people go just like that it was a means of their escape and on the screen flashed the faces of the terrorists and the mad she had given shelter to was one of them. She quickly got up from her seat went towards the phone. She picked up the receiver and was going to dial 911 when he appeared in front of her. None of them said a single word. He took out his gun and shot her right between her eye brows and there she was gone.