Arilu’s Baby

Arilu was the only girl in her family. All of her brothers were attractive and confident, but Arilu was ugly and shy. She was a friend of my mother’s. Mum got married young, and for whatever reason the society they lived in had an unwritten rule that married girls do not mingle with single girls. So, Arilu was by herself now. She sometimes came to visit my mother, but never entered the house. She always talked with mum at the door.

One day, Arilu came to visit mum and she brought a parcel which was all wrapped up. She was in a hurry. I saw her crying. She said something to mum and left.

There was a big police search in the woods surrounding the village where we lived. They searched the lake and the shore too. They were looking for Arilu. Many people thought she died or that she was kidnapped, and eventually her disappearance grew into a legend. Some said they saw her walk into the hills in the company of a very good looking young man. Others said that she was seen in a boat near the shore on a stormy day.

Some days after the search was called off, mum announced that she had given birth to a baby boy. Because mum was married nobody was surprised. Now my siblings and I are all grown up and I understand things that were mysteries for me when I was a child. Mum and dad provided us with food and affection and we all grew into normal kinds of people.

I was visiting my parents’ house one day and someone arrived at the front gate. There was a late model car with a chauffeur and a nicely dressed, beautiful lady. Mum went out to meet the guest. She allowed the beautiful lady to come in. It was Arilu. She wanted to know about my brother whom she left in the care of my mother so many years ago. Mum and dad, had already told us the story of Arilu and my brother knew that his natural mother had to leave him with my mum.

Arilu had changed a lot. She is beautiful and not shy. She is married to an important person. She only wanted to know that her son was okay. My brother always called my mother ‘mum,’ but he decided to have a friendly relationship with his natural mother. Arilu visits my mum frequently. They were friends once, and they remain friends as if nothing ever happened.

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