After that terrible night, Shella was sure that she would be fired. The following morning did not bring her any order of dismissal from her work, instead she only got a cold response from her employer.
A couple of days later, the fear of losing her job also subsided as the silence dissolved and the usual orders and rude demeanor commenced. It was then that poor Shella took a sigh of relief. She continued with the load of work, well-aware that as a servant she did not deserve any respect. She was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so she had to deal with whichever way life treated her, bravely and boldly.
Nilofer sat on the sofa, sifting through some old files at home when her phone rang. She attended it with a practiced sweet voice, but instantly her face faltered at the news she heard. Her daughter’s principal had called her and informed that they needed to meet, as Amelia had misbehaved violently towards one of her classmates.
It took great effort to keep her calm and compose her confusion when Nilofer was informed that her daughter had shoved one of her friends in a violent manner. It was an act that demanded immediate attention, as it was something new in the developing personality of the young child.
“It could indicate aggression or is it due to the lack of a fatherly figure in her life.” The principal’s words echoed in Nilofer’s mind as she drove back home. By her side, Amelia wondered if she would be scolded or punished. But Nilofer was engulfed in an envelop of silence, worry etched all over features.
Deep down, Nilofer knew that all the plausible explanations that the principal had put on the table did not hold much credit. She knew that she was the one to be blamed. Young children tend to learn from their parents, and their environment and Nilofer felt that, as a mother, she had made a mistake; a mistake that needed immediate correction.
That night when she violently handled Shella, Amelia had watched from the hallway. She learned the behavior from her mother, and she was embedding it as part of her personality. Nilofer was an extremely guilty mother in that moment, having set the wrong example for her daughter.
Back home, Shella attended the door and saw a smiling Nilofer standing. Surprised, she smiled back. As her usual, Amelia bounced to her room, throwing her socks and shoes hither and thither. But a firm voice called her, “Amelia, is this where these go?” Shella interrupted, “Oh, madam, I have to take this.”
Nilofer instructed her against it politely and helped her daughter put her footwear in the shoe rack, followed by carrying her bag into her room on her own shoulders. From that day onwards, Nilofer made it a norm to treat Shella like an equal. She had once thought that no one was watching, but someone was and learning from it as well.