15 Minutes.

The weather was beautiful that evening, and we all sat in that small room in our not so huge flat, but a flat big enough to accommodate the 4 of us. Me, my lovely wife, my beautiful, teenaged daughter and my adorable, caring mother.

My daughter had prepared tea for the first time that evening, and my wife and I had baked chocochip cookies. We spent some time singing our favourite songs and talking about nice things but then I received a call from office and had to leave immediately.

I changed into my office attire and walked out of the house, called for a cab, and smiling at the beautiful evening I had just had, left for the dreadful meeting that had spoilt the time I had promised to my family.

I must have been around 15 minutes away from my house when I heard screams and people shouting and there was a ruckus around me. People ran from one place to another and no one knew what’s happening. I could only think of the three ladies sitting at home and before I could think of something else, I jumped out of the cab and ran back to the place I then called home, but a place whose vague memories now bring nightmares.

It was only a gap of fifteen minutes, and it was enough to cause so much devastation. My house was in ruins, my family dead. A gap of fifteen minutes that destroyed everything, a gap of fifteen minutes that took away my entire life.

I haven’t slept properly for the last one year, wishing I hadn’t left for that meeting, wishing I could stop it all, wishing I could save my family….

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