A prayer

Little Aru sat down on her bed and started to pray, like she did every night before going to bed. She thanked the lord for her life, the food, the cloth on her back and for the yummy lunch she had today. Then she requested the lord for only one thing. She prayed with all her heart that her wish may be granted and went to sleep. When next morning she woke up she was scolded by her mother for getting up late. Her mother was a good person. She loved Aru a lot. But she was stern too. She would get irked if the chores weren't tended to.

When she reached school she was scolded and caned for being late. Aru did not squeal, she did not shout in pain. She only wished this was a way by which God was testing her to see if she was worthy enough for her prayers to be granted. She went to her class and sat there feeling lost as always. She had no friends.

When she got back home from school her mother asked her to clean her room as it was very untidy.

Aru did as told and went to her room and as she begun cleaning she suddenly felt thirsty and went to the kitchen to quench her thirst. When she got back she was surprised to find that her room was cleaned! But she couldn't find who did it? Could it be her mother? No, that was unlikely to happen. Her mother would never finish Aru's chores unless Aru was sick or something. Her mother thought this way Aru could be more responsible. She tried to find the helper but couldn't. She was enthralled and confused by this fact. The enigma of it dazzled her.

This went on for awhile. Each afternoon when she returned back from school she saw that her room was tidy. She tried a lot to find out who did it. Did her Mama do it? No. Her dada was never home in the afternoons and she didn't have any siblings... so who did it?

One day finally out of the blue she caught a medium sized chocolate colour furred animal folding her clothes and piling the books neatly. She was astonished but pleasantly surprised. She went closer and saw from behind that it had long doggy ears. She squealed with joy at this found and the animal jumped and looked at her with anxious eyes. Aru noted it had bunny teeth and big plain black eyes which stared back at her. It wore a giant red bow tie and nothing else.

She smiled politely to the animal and was greeted with the same.

"Hello" Aru said extending her hand with a sweet smile pasted on her face.

"Hi" the little animal greeted in a funny voice. Its voice was almost between a laugh and serious tone.

"What's your name?"

"What's your name?" It imitated. Aru frowned but answered

"My name is Arunima. But you can call me Aru" she explained feeling excited to found a new friend. Only friend.

"Oh...my name it Tito...and you can call me Tito"

Aru giggled. "Why are you here Tito?"

After enquiring much about the animal she came to know that Tito had come to her town looking for odd jobs and found the cleaning of her room appropriate enough for him. She was fascinated about him. She asked him various questions to satiate her curiosity.

She came home every afternoon and laughed and confided her thoughts in Tito and in return Tito confided his thoughts into her. He told her about his village, danlocohc (Aru tried but she couldn't even pronounce the word), where he had learnt to do all kinds of odd things. When Arunima asked him if he could spit fire or fly like in 'Noddy', Tito shook his head frantically and Aru sighed with disappointment.

One day when Aru got home and was talking and laughing with Tito her mother popped in and asked frowning as to whom Aru was talking to. She pointed where Tito sat and said that she was talking to him. Her mother frowned harder and then scolded her for lying and as a punishment she was not to have any supper until she confessed the truth. Dismayed and feeling betrayed she asked him why her mother couldn't see Tito and he answered nonchalantly that it was because he was invisible to everyone but Aru because Aru was special. Aru was upset that she would miss her supper but glad that she was special, special enough to see Tito at least.

But as days passed by Aru's mother got more furious at the prospect of Aru lying to her. She made an appointment with , a psychiatrist, after a friend suggested it, and took Aru to him.

It turned out little Aru had made an 'unusual friend', the doctor explained. She was a schizoid, i.e., she suffered from schizophrenia. She had developed this creature in her mind, out of solitude. From the information told to by Aru he figured that Aru would come home every day, finish her chores but she wouldn't remember any of it as her subconscious made it appear as if Tito did the work. She had told the doctor that Tito came from danlocohc, which when reversed was actually found out to be "CHOCOLAND".

It was then decided. She was to be brought to therapy three times a week. This went on for a year and a half. When Aru showed no improvement it was decided that she would be moved to a mental asylum for treatment. When Aru was told about this she didn't care. It didn't faze her that she was seriously mentally ill. She knew . She trusted him. He was another person who loved to listen about Tito. It didn't daunt her that she may have to spend sometime in the mental asylum. Away from her mother, away from her school.

Because only one thing was going through Aru's mind. She was happy. She was ecstatic. Why?

Because at last, her prayers were answered, she had a friend.