The first time Avery asked about her mother, she was five. She didn't remember much. Just bits and pieces. But she did recall her and her dad were outside, sitting on their favorite bench – An old, worn-out piece of furniture they liked to lounge on to pass time. All starry-eyed, she asked her dad and got the standard, out-of-the-textbook answer. “She's in a better place hon,” he said, carrying her into his lap. She remembered looking into his eyes. “A better place?” She was confused. “What could be better than being with us?” He laughed and looked into the distance. “You're just going to ask her if you ever meet her.” Six years later, Avery finally understood what being in a better place meant. And to be honest, it didn't bother her as much as she expected. It had always been her dad who had been there for her. Plus, she had never met her mom before and didn't mind cutting her out of the picture. Personally, it was okay with just her and papa anyways. So, it could be imagined the shock fourteen-year-old Avery got, walking in on a phone call her dad was having. “You can't just –!” He was pacing up and down, a habit of his when he was nervous. “Thirteen years Kate! You didn't even call!” Avery moved her feet and began to climb the stairs. She knew when somebody needed their privacy. “But she's our daughter. Your child.” Avery stopped in her tracks. “Couldn't –” He paused. “Couldn't you come to see her at least once?” Silence. Then a muffled voice. And a sigh. Avery couldn't recall what happened exactly. All she remembered was the crushing feeling she had when she realized that her mum was actually alive and probably didn't want her. The shock went just as fast as it came. She made no indication that she knew, and her dad didn't deem it fit to tell her. So, life went on, until it didn't. At least for her dad. Avery was proud to say she didn't cry. Not when she found her dad on the floor. Not when he was rushed to the hospital by the neighbors. Not when she came to visit him and saw him all pale and haggard. Not when she heard the news. Not even after the funeral. She told herself over and over again that she would not cry, and she didn't. People she had never met. People she knew. Everyone told her it was going to be okay, that they understood. But Avery knew that they didn't. After the funeral, Avery had to stay with her dad's sister, Aunt Veronica. In order for that to work out, she had to move. New house, new school, new friends. It was all very strange for her. Everything seemed to be happening too fast for her to catch up. Nobody thought to ask her how she felt about it all, until she met Mrs. Ada. Mrs. Ada, the temporary stand-in for Mr. Jacobs, the English teacher, was petite, brunette-haired lady who was said to be too nice for her own good. After class one day, Mrs. Ada called her back. “Avery?” Mrs. Ada called. “Could I see you for a moment?” Avery took a seat, wondering what this was about. Sure, she wasn't a star student. But she definitely wasn't failing. And even if she was, Avery didn't think Mrs. Ada had it in her to chew her out. Mrs. Ada pushed her glasses up her nose, a comforting smile on her face. “I've noticed you've got a lot on your mind lately, and I was wondering if you wanted to talk about it.” She paused, scanning Avery's face. “I know being a new student and all that can be a little too much –“ She continued, “ – but I just wanted to say that I'm here if you ever got anything troubling you, okay?” Avery muttered something along the lines of a thanks and began to stand up. “Hold on.” Mrs. Ada interrupted. She bent to bring out something from her bag. It was a black notebook with some words on the front. “I heard about your dad.” She placed the black book in her hands. The front cover read: 'There's no greater agony than keeping an untold story inside of you' – Maya Angelou. Mrs. Ada winked at her, “It's my favorite quote. For times you don't feel like talking, it might surprise you how well writing helps.” Avery rushed out of the classroom, a stuffy feeling in her chest. When she got home, she brought out the book and stared. After a minute of silence, she opened to the first page and began to write. About her dad, the mom she never met, how she felt, her new school. About everything. And for the first time, Avery let the tears fall.
On a rainy day, the drivers hooked their horns while waiting for the traffic to flow again. Nearly 45 minutes to 60 mins of cars backed up from the highways, and the drivers began to be impatient with each other until the patrol police officers controlled the traffic, allowing people that get to their destination. Over by the pizzeria, Nicholas' Seeker, I begin my work shift by checking to see if screens need to sort out, restacking the boxes, grabbing sauces from the coolers, and refilling the parmesan and powder sugar shakers. As hours pass through the evening, orders flood the screens within minutes; Simon, the general manager, told us to kick into high gear. When I saw the food items flowing out from the oven, I suffered from a panic freeze and silently imagined daydreaming. Rosa and Lisa saw me freeze in my imagination and woke me up with a musical shake on my body. Immediately I woke up and witnessed food items dropping on the ground like a gumball machine. While they work on new and remake orders, Lisa, Rosa, and I speed us boxing orders as road runners dodge the coyote's traps. After four to five hours of rush orders, the screens started to clear, and everyone took a short break while eating, snacking, or drinking. While some days can run smoothly, there are days where it's out of control and let course take its wheel. That's why I kept pushing and let my mind run free. Next time we have rush orders, I'll bring my lucky pants and hat.
A peaceful and rapid rain poured over the State of Texas. People hook their horns to the nearest front cars while waiting for the green light to turn on. The ground begins to create puddles that spread wildly like a portal. Over by the pizzeria place, Nicholas' Seeker, Kyla clocked in to prepare for her shift. She placed her purse inside the office while grabbing her drinks from the oven. Kyla checks to see if anything needs to complete before starting her day. She became one of the recognized employees the customers enjoyed seeing daily. Everyone loves the smile on her face, which helps them keep faith that their day runs smoothly. One of the managers, Rosa, waits for her to take over the oven and layer a chicken box and bread box. "Hola!" Kyla shouted. "Hey, mama. I'll be back. I need a smoke break," Rosa said before walking away. "Gotta it. Leave it to me," Kyla said. The general manager Simon returned from the restroom and washed his hands before jumping onto the makeline and telling the workers to load the three ovens. The orders flood the screen, triggering the workers to kick into high gear and make these orders quickly. "Kyla, we're loading all three ovens. Let us know if you need help," Bella said. As the food items pile close together, she breaks a sweat and immediately needs assistance at the oven. Brie and Lisa ran to Kyla's aid to help her. "Brie, read the tickets, and I'll help Kyla," Lisa said. Brie nods and begins reading the tickets. Even with three workers, the oven pushes the food out like a vending machine dropping candy or snacks. Kyla's speed could be better, which makes her feel low self-esteem and silent from speaking. "Come on, Kyla. Let's push forward and worry less about everything else," Brie said. "How nice of you, Brie? I want to go fast like Sonic or Road Runner, yet I can't kick into high gear. I'm like a sloth, who sleep all day and night, and come to work feeling like a zombie," Kyla said while laughing softly. "Oh, yea? I didn't sleep last night because my neighbor committing a mistake in front of my house was okay. I came in two hours late from my shift time after finding out what they did," Lisa said as she laughed. Kyla and Brie couldn't contain their inner laughter and release it. As the last food items were boxed and sent to the customers, Rosa returned from her break and saw them sweating off their bodies. "Rosa? I thought you left," Brie said shockingly. "You said you promised to come back and left me to dust with these orders," Kyla said. "Well, excuse me, miss! I came in early this morning and carried these heavy boxes myself without help. Afterward, my back hurt, and I dislocated my ankle went I slipped onto the floor," Rosa said. The ladies looked awkward and walked away for a short break before another round of rush orders. Kyla sighed as she barely survived the short period of food items coming out quickly; however, with the help of her coworkers and managers, she managed to do little work while they picked up the slick.
A few months after Mabel's 16th birthday, her parents died in a tragic accident and now a blind Mabel was a ward of Aunty Kay. In her absence, Mabel would fall prey to her cousins' incessant bullying and tricks. One day, they had put peanut butter in Mabel's favourite sneakers. A fuming Mabel rushed into Troy's room and delivered a stinging slap with the one sneaker in hand to his face. I told you she was a blind psychopath Troy shouted. Sensing Mabel's distress, the guy introduced himself as Leo but an embarrassed Mabel scurried away. For the next few months, whenever Troy had his friends over, Leo and Mabel would secretly meet in the kitchen. He was 18, fascinated with cars and her first crush. Reality rudely intruded on their secret meeting spot by Troy whose shouts brought his sisters rushing in. An angry Adele, who was liked Leo viciously slapped Mabel d as she let loose angry words and barbs at Mabel's ploys. Mabel, immensely hurt rushed to the safety of her small room. After what seemed like hours, the door creaked open and Leo called out. Mabel flung her pillow at him and told him to go. Leo persisted and pressed a soft kiss to her lips telling her that she was a breath of fresh air in this hell-hole. He continued to caress her neck and shoulders. Kisses turned heated, caresses became more frantic and clothes discarded as Mabel's heart and innocence were offered up and consumed in the lusty atmosphere. In the dawn, after kissing a clinging Mabel, Leo left. Mabel blurted out her love when her cousins barged into her room unannounced. Troy and Adele laughed as they boasted of the bet Leo was a part of or else he would never look at a blind nerd. In the coming weeks, Leo was MIA! One Saturday after dinner, Mabel overheard Aunty Kay on the phone talking about the Johns moving to another state. This hurt Mabel to the quick who vouched to never fall for such a ploy! In the 5 years since that fateful day, Mabel blossomed into an intelligent, caring and capable young woman. Despite her disability, she successfully pursued her passion of cooking with the upcoming release of her first cookbook. That heart wrenching summer with Leo was pivotal for Mabel. Lost in her happy thoughts, she nearly missed her beeping phone signalling that her publicist and best friend, Maria had arrived to give her a lift to the venue but then encountered a slowly deflating tire. Luckily, the service guy Zack, was nearby to pick up the call. With both ladies safely ensconced in the truck, and their vehicle in tow, they made their way to the garage. Mabel smiled as she overheard Maria flirting with Zack. Before long, they arrived at the garage. The door creaked open signalling someone's entrance. After a shuffling of papers, a masculine voice called out Maria's name. Mabel froze in disbelief as her friend went about her business. She could never forget that husky baritone. It was LEO! As Maria concluded her paperwork and payments she hollered to Mabel which grabbed Leo's eagle gaze. The air was tight with tension as Leo stumbled over Mabel's name. As Mabel hurriedly nudged her friend to go ahead, a strong, calloused hand grabbed Mabel's wrist. Mabel was having not of that and delivered a stinging slap to an unshaven but hewn jaw. She was overwhelmed by repressed hurt. Maria tried to calm the situation down with the ladies hurriedly escaping after a few attempts. Zack met a stunned Leo standing in the same position, weary lines on his face. After some consideration, he held up a business card with a naughty smirk. Mabel refused to talk on her way back to the hotel but lying in bed that night, her memories came to the forefront. After a sleepless night she called Maria to confirm her schedule. A barrage of questions of Mabel's well-being were fired by Maria, which Mabel answered quietly. Seven o' clock sharp, the doorbell rang with a sombre trip to the restaurant. When the meals arrived, a frizzle of awareness ran up Mabel's spine. A voice which haunted her dreams announced Leo's presence. Crossing her hands across her chest, Mabel sat back without a word. As soon as Leo broached the topic of the first time they had made love, Mabel lost it and flung her plate of spaghetti at him. He made light of the attack and pleaded that he was threatened by Adele the morning after their sweet night. She had maliciously filmed them entwined asleep and would share a copy with the entire school. He had stayed away to protect Mabel's reputation. Troy had lied to the Coach which got him kicked off the team. His dad had gotten a job transfer out of state which was a clean break. Leo continuously professed his love whilst raining kisses along Mabel's face, hands and wrists. She softly returned her love enveloped in those strong arms that were imprinted in her memory forever and a day.
I'm a female manipulator Something I've come to terms with It's easier than you think Call a boy pretty once He's yours forever I feel justified in my behavior Man after man lying to me when I didn't know better I lash out and retaliate after pain I take it out on others But I'm not hurting the ones that hurt me After years of constant disappointment I'm wounded I feel justified in my behavior Because my type is not-great people Almost a vigilante Except I forget I'm perpetuating a cycle People hurt people because they were hurt themselves By someone else in this pattern of abuse I feel justified in my behavior I'm open about this fact Right away I warn that I'm a bad person Run, if you don't want to be led on because of my confusion I don't feel justified in my behavior Some of them are innocent Great people But they give me the attention I so desperately crave So I hold the carrot and push them away with the stick I don't feel justified in my behavior Because I don't feel anymore Any remaining shred of vulnerability, trust, and whatever the hell else Has been stripped away from me I wish I could fall in love Instead of constantly doubting if I even like this person Allowing for vulnerability, even to myself It is even worse to not know how you feel Than to feel it I would sacrifice myself to constant disappointment For even half a chance of some kind of emotional stability I'm consciously aware of what I need to change Except I can't It feels better to inflict some of my misery on others I don't want to process it Relive and put myself through more trauma A knife in a wound can't be pulled out Otherwise you're gone Be patient, wait for a doctor I've been stabbed Some of the wounds so old they've begun to heal around the blade I haven't arrived at the hospital yet Only loaded onto the EMS gurney I'm a female manipulator And I'm sorry for those I've hurt
I have seen in my own experience that the Covid-19 has had a strong impact not only on people's lives, but also on the economy and education. It was the year I started working at the school after just graduating from university. Since I did not have experience of working with school students, I mainly took classes from primary school and less senior classes to teach. It was just my first year of working at the school. I was having my fair share of challenges working with pupils of varying learning abilities. In order to help them, I had to work with pupils who have difficulty in learning for free. When it was the last weeks of the third quarter, which is the longest study quarter in the schools of Uzbekistan, a week-early vacation for all kinds of schooling was announced that people infected with Covid-19 were also detected in the territory of Uzbekistan. The vacation lasted for several weeks, and the prohibition of going out became stronger as the days passed. In such days, I began to think about such questions like "what will happen to school education?" "How to continue studying?" As the most of my school children were small, there was a high possibility that they would forget their knowledge if they were not engaged for a while. When it became clear that the situation would not improve for a long time, it was decided that school education would be continued online, and teachers of each subject prepared and broadcast video lessons on television. In addition, we prepared topic explanations and gave tasks as video lessons and shared them with the students, and checked the tasks they completed all through the Telegram network. The course of the lessons in this form was a convenient environment for students to copy from each other, at the same time to get grades without studying and effort. This could be seen from the fact that many students (of course, not all) did the tasks and exercises in the same way. It was especially noticeable among primary school pupils. However, warning parents about preventing plagiarism could not help much. This was how the last quarter and the 2019-2020 academic year ended, and the students went on summer holiday. On September 19, which was the beginning of the new academic year 2020-2021, students started going to school following the sanitary rules. In the process of learning new themes with students, the fact that pupils could not master the lessons well during online classes had a strong impact on their ability to understand new topics. Because in the textbooks, the themes are always arranged step by step to study, depending on each other. As older students, who had had less difficulty, developed independent learning skills, it caused elementary school children could not understand the new lessons that during quarantine they had not been able to learn the topics in live examples during face-to-face lessons with the teacher. Their lack of understanding led to the fact that they had missed a lot of knowledge without mastering it, and as a result, the students' knowledge decreased. Not having live lessons with schoolchildren, especially elementary students, brought many difficulties and problems to teachers too. Despite the fact that the quarantine is now completely over, teachers are experiencing the difficulties of filling the "void" in the minds of many students. Because the greatest failures of the future will come because of the poor quality of education today. For this reason, the responsibility of successful future forces teachers to eliminate the problems caused by Covid-19.
If you're lying, You are incredulous You allow penny truths to spit off your tongue Into my slot machine heart The rush of a gamble on love, The rush of winning or losing Why aren't you perfect? You showed me you were perfect. What did I do to change things? The wrath of my embarrassment is closing in I thought I'd want you to own my flesh and bone Soul, body, and mind I don't know if I believe you I do know I love you Without you I am not me
“We've been over this, Leah," Cole told me for probably the hundredth time. "I'm not about to do that to you.” “But you wouldn't be doing it to me," I argued, determined to convince him of the merits of a long-distance relationship. "You'd be doing it for me." “Go ahead and rationalize, but I can tell you now it's not going to change my mind.” Cole sighed and kissed me on the forehead when he saw I was pouting. “Come on, Lee. We've talked about this. You're gonna go off to college soon, where I'm sure you'll meet a lot of great guys. I don't want you to miss out on anything just because you feel obligated to stay with me.” “It's not like that, though. I want to stay with you. I love you, Cole.” “I love you too, Lee. But trying to maintain a relationship when we're thousands of miles apart… it just isn't feasible.” “Are you afraid I'm going to cheat on you or something? Because I swear I would never-” “Who said anything about cheating,” he asked, confused. “No one, I just… I know that's a common fear people have when it comes to long-distance relationships.” “Not me,” he asserted. “That's the least of my worries.” “You mean you trust me that much,” I asked, touched. “Well, yeah. Of course. But I also just know you don't….” Cole stopped talking suddenly as something occurred to him. “You know I don't what,” I pressed, feeling my heart start to race. “I just… I meant that you… that I know you don't….” Cole looked like he was trying hard to come up with something to say. Though Cole hadn't answered me, the flush in his cheeks and his refusal to meet my gaze told me all I needed to know. “How long have you known,” I asked him quietly. He took a second before responding. “I… have had my suspicions for a while now, but I didn't feel comfortable making that kind of assumption,” he admitted, somewhat sheepishly. I fell silent as I considered how this new information might affect our relationship. It was a long moment before I mustered up the courage to finally ask him my next question. “So… knowing what you do now… that doesn't… change the way you feel about me?” I resisted the urge to cover my ears, afraid of what his answer might be. “I mean, I know there are certain… expectations that come with being in a relationship, and there are, you know… needs that have to be met, and I'm just not sure that I can-” “Don't be ridiculous, Leah.” To my utter confusion, Cole laughed. “This isn't funny,” I told him, irritated. “I'm being serious.” “I know you are. I am too.” “Then why-” “I don't know what it's going to take to get you to believe me, so I guess I'll just keep saying it until you do. I love you, Leah Rose. I love everything about you, and I do mean everything. And I would never, ever pressure you into doing something that you didn't want to do.” The expression on his face was so intense it was almost a little scary. “I need to know you understand that, Leah. Please tell me you do.” “I… I don't….” Much to my dismay, I burst into tears and started sobbing into my hands. “Sweetheart, what's wrong,” Cole demanded, clearly concerned. He wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace. “Nothing,” I wailed, sobbing into his chest. “So then why are you crying?” It took me a second to compose myself enough to answer him. “Because I'm just so happy right now,” I sniffled, swiping at my eyes. Cole released me then, and I looked up to see that he was smiling and shaking his head at me. “Come here, you.” Before I could react, he pulled me closer, holding me tight against his chest. Cole gently tilted my chin up to kiss me lightly on the forehead.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Sarah. She had always dreamed of becoming a successful businesswoman, but she knew it would take more than just hard work and determination to make her dream a reality. She would have to move mountains to get what she wanted. Sarah grew up in a small town where opportunities were few and far between. Her family didn't have the means to support her education or her career aspirations, so she had to figure out a way to make it on her own. She worked tirelessly at her part-time job, saving every penny she could, and studying business in her spare time. Despite her hard work and dedication, Sarah faced many obstacles on her journey. She was constantly told that she couldn't do it, that she wasn't smart enough or talented enough to make it in the business world. But Sarah refused to let anyone's negativity bring her down. The first mountain Sarah had to move was getting a college education. Her family couldn't afford to send her to college, and she didn't have the grades or test scores to qualify for scholarships. But Sarah was determined. She took out student loans, worked multiple jobs, and even took classes at night to make it happen. It was a grueling and difficult process, but Sarah finally graduated with a degree in business. Next, Sarah had to find a job in her field. She applied to countless companies, but was met with rejection after rejection. She was told that she was overqualified, underqualified, or just not the right fit. But Sarah didn't give up. She took on any job she could find, from waiting tables to working in retail, all the while networking and building connections in the business world. Finally, Sarah landed an entry-level position at a small marketing firm. She worked tirelessly, going above and beyond her job duties, and quickly moved up the ranks. But even with her success, Sarah still felt like she wasn't reaching her full potential. She knew she had bigger ideas and bigger plans, but she didn't know how to make them happen. That's when Sarah decided to start her own business. It was a daunting task, and many of her friends and family told her she was crazy for even considering it. But Sarah was determined. She spent every spare moment researching and planning, and finally, she had a solid business plan in place. The next mountain Sarah had to move was finding funding for her business. She applied for loans, but was denied again and again. Banks and investors didn't believe in her idea or her ability to run a successful business. But Sarah didn't let that stop her. She reached out to her network, and eventually, she found a group of investors who believed in her vision. With funding secured, Sarah was finally able to launch her business. It wasn't easy, and there were many times when she wanted to give up. But Sarah's determination and hard work paid off. Her business was a success, and it quickly grew into a thriving company. Years went by and Sarah's company had become one of the most successful in the industry. She had finally accomplished her dream and had moved all the mountains that stood in her way. But Sarah didn't rest on her laurels. She knew that there were always more mountains to move, and she was ready for whatever challenges came her way. Sarah's story is an inspiration to many, proving that with hard work, determination and a never give up attitude, anyone can move mountains and achieve their dreams.
The nightingale watched him like a hawk. The flautist took out his flute, and looking up at the nightingale, he said, “I shall play a tune to match the moonshine for you. You can sing along if you want.” The soothing sounds of the flute reached the far corners of the land. The nightingale became a shadow for it couldn't match the melodious composition of the song on the flute, a love song that awoke the night from its slumber. Please watch the short video of The Nightingale & The Flautist, taken from The Goddess of the Himavan, best-selling ancient & classical literature on Amazon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arpFUl7fJRU&t=57s Thank you for watching. Please subscribe, like, and share the video. Happy New Year, 2023 everyone.
Do you like multi-genre, friendship-themed, emotional, and passionate stories? Are you captured by lyrical, poetic, and cinematic writing? Is love for animals and all colors something you deeply care about, too? Then look no further! YA and mature readers, this is the place for you! SUBSCRIBE TO MY MAILING LIST This is from my new landing page. Check it out and, if you are not on my mailing list, please subscribe now! By subscribing to my newsletter and mailing list, you will receive free (e)books, updates, book release details, book reviews and other promotional material and related valuable information like interviews with other authors and artists, invitations to free webinars and much more. I never send spam and will never pass on your details. Don't forget, you can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you and welcome! BJ Original article: https://www.bernardjan.com/post/my-new-landing-page
Victory and defeat hold different meanings for different people and being happy with this victory or defeat is also strange. From Latehar, we left for Ranchi (both in Jharkhand, India), on a light vehicle and from there we had to leave for Siwan (Bihar, also in India) on a night bus. Everything was well planned and we were supposed to reach our destination by the next morning. We started our journey on a very positive note. After covering almost 100 km, I felt uneasy because the bus was making loud creaky sounds and the ride became more bumpy than usual. About a few minutes later, around midnight… We were out of the city and in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Then all of a sudden… Our bus collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction. The driver slammed on the breaks and sharply turned the wheel to the other direction. The bus tumbled off and started rolling down the road. The entire episode happened in the blink of an eye. We met with an unexpected accident. Everyone on the bus was screaming and shouting. There was a great rush near the door. It was a surreal and haunting experience and we were lucky enough that none of us got hurt. I kept getting flashbacks in slow motion of the time when the bus driver slammed on the breaks until it laid tilted and damaged on the road. All the people lost their tempers. We immediately got off the bus. We waited patiently outside while the others got off. Then I saw my father entering the bus again. We thought that he was going inside to bring out the luggage. But then we saw that he along with the bus conductor was busy rescuing the bus driver who was stuck in his seat. I saw several people injured with blood stains due to the glass pieces from the windows but the driver was the worst affected. He was unable to stand. Perhaps he had multiple fractures. My father along with the conductor managed to send the driver to the hospital by another vehicle. Everyone was surrounding the bus watching anxiously as the entire scene unfolded. The bus looked like something out of a horror movie as it was laid on its one side, totally destroyed and disfigured and the dark night sky intensified the entire happening. And since the bus was badly damaged, it could not proceed further. Then just like everyone else, my father went to the conductor to take back our bus fare since we had a long journey pending and we had not even covered half of the route. But till then the conductor had ran away and left the spot. However, there were a few passengers who had already grabbed their money from the conductor. I am still not sure if the driver made it out alive since he was badly injured. But I have a feeling that he did make it because he was immediately sent to a nearby hospital. I still wonder the causes of that accident. Maybe the driver fell asleep at the wheel? Maybe he just lost control of the steering wheel? Maybe he got distracted from the road? Or maybe he was simply drunk? I am still clueless. I often think that if the bus driver did not slam on the breaks at the last second, or if we were heading a bit faster, then I am sure everyone on the bus would have died and nobody from the outside world would have known about it. We fled the scene because we got picked up by another bus that was heading to Patna luckily. In that bus we had one more passenger from the previous bus who was along with his mother. He was boasting about how he took advantage of the situation and snatched away the money from the conductor. He thought it to be a great achievement. That boy was very happy. Because he was in no loss from that journey, in fact he was in profit because he actually took a greater amount of money than his original fare. So it was obvious for him to be in joy. On the other hand, our entire money was lost since the conductor ran away with it. But my father was still happy. On being asked the reason, he replied that the driver too would be having a family and the happiness they would feel, when they come to know that he has nearly survived a fatal accident, is a lot more valuable than this boy's happiness. These words of my father made me think a lot. Have you ever noticed that some people appear to be happy, while others seem to exist under a black cloud always? This is because happiness is not something that happens to us, or something we are born with. Happiness is a choice we all can make. This can be applied to all the circumstances in life where we can filter out happiness from it. At the end, everyone was happy- My father being happy for saving a life and the boy being happy for making a great amount of money. The driver's family too would have been definitely happy to see him alive. Now that is the ‘Real Happiness'.
The recent massacre happened at a Catholic cathedral, killing 40 people. And more Catholic priests were kidnapped within a month. A deep sigh from me amplified my relief. But I knew even that was temporary. I was part of an almost-extinct group of people. I wore my chiffon cape on my plain black T-shirt. The cape, recently in fashion, hid my bulging tummy. I smiled at what I saw in the mirror. Walking out of my room, I find Mother and Lavender also dressed up for church. Going to church was dangerous, but even if I were to die there, I'd do it like some rich Lagos Aunty. But reality came after a thirty minutes drive. We met a long queue of cars at the church gate. A strained look decorated our powdered faces, speaking volumes of the fear banging hard against our chests. We watched cars get checked by the stern security guys before entry into our two-acre mega church. Looking away, I caught sight of one of the hefty soldiers from the military sauntering near our car, his long gun hoisted on his shoulder. His dark face reminded me of one of the scary stories that made up their reputation. And just then, an unusual sight caught my attention. It was a beardless fresh guy with oily skin in a black suit. He had his afro hair up like those who played musical instruments in church. His chocolate complexion screamed “Miri's style!” My eyes followed the eye-candy who walked smartly in his neatly pressed trousers. “My Sunday is made,” I murmured, smiling while the queue got to our turn. Lavender got out of the car to open the car's boot, so the security guys could check if we had a human head or some toy guns. Eye candy, aka EC, or rather Eecey walked ahead of us. And that was when my eyes caught the strange-looking briefcase he held unto just as he passed by the gate. An alarm rang in my head, “The briefcase!” it screamed. Guys here carried bags to church, not suitcases. I turned to my mother, who was waiting for the security to finish checking our car and let us in. I opened my mouth to say something, but Eecey felt my intense gaze and looked back at me. Instantly, my mouth curved into that melting smile I had been itching to flash someone. Our gazes locked for some seconds, with me smiling like some idiot. He looked away before continuing his brisk walk with the little briefcase. The car was finally allowed into the church. It was hardly parked till I got out of the car. My eyes roamed the premises. Eecey had vanished. It felt like the lives of almost two thousand people were in my hands. “Miranda! Miranda!” Shouts of my name whizzed past my ears. Before I could turn around, a pair of hands grabbed me from behind and turned me around. In all of these, my eyes were tightly shut. I was scared, muscled hands firmly wrapped themselves around me. “Calm down.” A delicious voice whispered in my ear. Time stilled, and I floated in the deliciousness of the raspy voice. The zesty smell of an unfamiliar cologne wafted in my nose, intensifying the magical moment. “Miiiranda,” The raspy voice purred into my ears, and my eyes flew open out of embarrassment. He had been calling for a while. I sighted my mother and Lavender among the agitated crowd gathered around. One of the soldiers stood with his gun poised, ready to shoot. My mother, who already had tears running down her face, had to drag Lavender down. I realized then the many guns directed at me and the hostage-taker. “It's me, Mira. I'm leaving. Tell them that,” He said firmly and nudged me with his knee, his gun at my head. I realized then that it was Eecey. “No!” I said, not actually surprised. The crowd surrounding us got energized at once. “Hit his jaw!” Someone screamed. But Eecey nudged me again. I knew I had to act fast. The soldiers looked readier to shoot than ever. “He's leaving!” I shouted and heard Eecey gasp in relief. The expression moved me, and strange confidence surged through me. “He's not going to kill me. I assure you!” I shouted again, leaving Lavender's mouth hanging open. “Miranda!” I heard someone call. It was Lavender. She had been rapping at the wooden table with her knuckles. And there I sat my laptop in front of me. I've had a character roam my head for days, yet I have been unable to put a word down for a couple of hours. Sunday service at church was uneventful anyways. “It's about another Eye candy right?” Lavender asked, styling her hair into twists. “Yeah, and you just dammed my inspiration,” I said crossly. “He was just about to have a mushy conversation with the female protagonist, telling her that she had saved everybody.” “And how did she save them?” Lavender asked in a sing-song, and I knew she was about to start teasing me. It was the third time I would create a character out of a good-looking guy I was attracted to. If I choose, I could make him a villain, or a hero in one of my stories. And that is one of the perks of being a writer. After all, it was just attraction.
They were the worst days of my life due to the virus in the shape of a crown. Initially, days were not the darkest for me and my family at all owing to the presence of my unique and kind father who was a doctor at hospital and caught coronavirus. Despite all the danger that he encountered like high temperature and harsh cough, he was alive. This was the only thing that encouraged us to live and be hopeful for bright days. One day was so terrible that I felt as the most despondent human in the world because of the absence of my brilliant dad. On that day all bulbs in our city were switched off. A day before that day one doctor who was responsible for my father brought him to our home and mentioned not to approach so as to prevent the infection to be caught by us. On a spur of time, I listened to the conversation between my mom and doctor when he was emphasizing that the disease which is virus was terminal. As soon as I realized it, I was unable to speak, I stood straight as a sculpture. At that moment, I really wanted to die as I could not imagine my life without my father if the event mentioned by doctor came into reality. Fortunately, it did not take place. However, after a day I felt as if I witnessed the life without a shoulder to rely on for a while. At the time when lamps were off, dad stopped breathing for approximately a minute. At that minute I could not manage myself and forgot my identity; there was no difference between me and a dead person. A minute later, when my sisters, brother and I hugged our father and, to our immense happiness, he took up breathing in again and it made cry out of joy. My father told us with a muffled sound that he would never leave us alone and promised to be rally around. After a week, he recovered from that illness as well as started his job regardless of our disagreement and possibility of catching the virus for the second time. He said that he had held the responsibility for ill people due to his job. After that everything was going well in our family. On the other hand, a wide variety of things were forbidden such as going to school, college or university and so on. Furthermore, places that where plenty of people used to go, were closed, for example, markets. There was a dull life at home as I was really into studying. When I explained my mother that I wanted to go somewhere, for instance, to my grandparents' home and stay there in order to spend my time intriguing, she reminded me the condition in which a host of people were dying in hospitals without seeing their family for the last time. In my opinion, it was the worst thing. I changed my mind immediately since I realized feeling bored is not more important than being together with family and agreed to stay at home reluctantly. Another terrible factor of COVID_19 was that education level of children was decreasing as the days passed. In my humble opinion, one of the reasons was that schools were closed due to the pandemic. In fact, students in our country were giving up distance learning day by day. As a result, when pupils returned to schools they had missed lots of things in terms of school programme and were not able to catch up. If my assumption is correct, they lost almost a year of studying, which meant they did not know particular information that must have been taught in specific classes. However, teachers tried to teach students in the period of Coronavirus and some of students, fortunately, did well. In a nutshell, there is an old saying that everything happens for the best and COVID_19 had a huge impact on our lives: we learnt countless things such as appreciating what we have, being ready (to get used to any circumstances) and we learnt from the start to be grateful for the things we have in life.
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