“Mom, I want another candy,” little Rachelle flashed a baby smile and looked up at Mom expectantly. Rita frowned at her twin sister's demands. She was a cripple, a diabetic and a dumb and deaf girl in our family. Her doctors were as baffled as all of us. How a child who wasn’t handicapped in anyway could develop all these strange conditions at age 7 was a mystery to them.
Most often, she would remain seated in one particular position and keenly stare at everybody at home, most especially when we played Candyland. We used to think she was interested and once motioned her to join us but she shook her head.
“Two’s enough, Rachelle,” mom said. I was reading a mystery novel while my mom was knitting a cap. Soon, my father and elder brother James came back from a visit to town and brought in a new Candyland; the old one disappeared and we suspected Rita as the one person who knew its whereabouts. Maybe she hid it somewhere or threw it into the lagoon, which wasn’t all that far from where we lived.
“I want candy, I want Candyland, I want candy, I want Candyland,” little Rachelle shrieked and sang with childish excitement. She was always singing silly songs around the house.
“No more candy, yes Candyland, no more candy, yes Candyland,” my mom countered in a singsong tone, smiling at little Rachelle.
“What about me, Dad? Where’s mine?” We all glanced up suddenly. It wasn’t Rachelle’s voice we heard asking those questions?!
“Rita?” That was my mom, with a mystified and doubtful look on her motherly face. “Did you say something now?” My father was glancing at a window, thinking the person who spoke must be there. It couldn’t have been Sue? She died two years ago, aged 7, but none of us believed in ghosts.
“Rita?” My mom called out again.
“Mom,” she smiled. “Dad, where’s my Candyland? I also want one!”
We were all very shocked and stiffened as if trapped within time. Our eyes were almost popping out.
“Rachelle!” My mom screamed and rushed to her. We all moved toward her and wondered what just happened to her. She could speak again.
“I can’t believe this,” my father's sonorous voice boomed out. He was fingering his beard. I was also very much surprised and shocked. My little sister could speak again. Maybe her other handicaps would also disappear in their own time—but was she able to speak again because she wanted to play Candyland?