Every child craves for summer holidays. You don't have to wake up early, go to school and listen attentively to a teacher. No detentions and no disappointments for short recess times. No home work and only play is our motto. I would learn more than that during that fateful summer.
It was well past noon. I was eagerly waiting for the ice cream man and a little annoyed that he was late. But no sooner did I hear him come I was sprinting towards him. I paid him quarter of a rupee and bought my favorite one. As the ice cream man was leaving on his bicycle, I noticed
a quarter drop from his pocket. It was a big decision to make. Tell the ice cream man about the quarter or keep the quarter for another ice cream the next day. The later got better of me. The ice cream man would never hear my voice I thought. I looked around but there was no one to see me. I quickly pocketed the quarter.
I was looking at the mirror. For the first time throughout the day there was a question. What had I done? The ice cream man would surely have heard my voice. No he would not have. Yes he would have. Yes he would have. You were not honest. Honesty is the best policy is what all had said and yet I chose to proceed on the opposite path. And now something was pricking me. Ice cream man must be searching for his lost quarter and I am responsible for all his troubles. I was worried. During the course of the dinner I was very quiet.
At such times somehow you know that your grand parents are much more experienced in handling such matters. You can put your trust in them. Fear works strange things. I decided to confide in my grand mother about the matter. For a moment after my confession every thing was quiet. I did not know how she would react. Would she tell every one about it? Would she punish me? What would I have to do? Too many questions. But she always had unexpected
I was waiting for the ice cream man to come. What if he never arrived? Did he know I had stolen the quarter he had dropped? Would he call the police? Would I have to go to a jail? There were too many doubts in my mind when I heard him come. What ice cream would you like today? He asked smiling at me. I kept quiet. He asked again this time looking concerned. I handed him the quarter, apologized to him and immediately ran away into the house. I did not wait to hear what he was saying. I was embarrassed.
After a while I came out into the living room. The ice cream man was still sitting there. He must have told my family as to what had happened. But unlike other times all seemed well. Every one in the room was smiling. The ice cream man offered another ice cream which I accepted after getting a mute consent from all in the room. Then he left. Nobody spoke to me about that incident. They knew I had learnt my lesson.
I still have the mirror in my house.