At break of another blessed day, No matter how you might feel, Bird song and bright light, I pray, You shall awake, your heart shall heal. My heart beats in gratitude fervently, For my soul is reminded it has you: You offer succour and love patiently, Remind me of many blessings anew. Even in abysmal depths of despair And indescribable moments of fear, Your voice knows how me to repair, How to soothe me, call me “dear”. Dawn brings the lightness of being, For soon, I know, I shall you be seeing.
When you are the sun, I am the moon. The space is our stage, Our audience is the Earth. Where you are the heroine, And I am the hero. You are the source that illuminates me, Without you, I am nothing more than a normal rock. I may be closer to our audience, But without you, they cannot exist. As we dance around the earth, It gets emotional and cries like a child, creating the oceans. The oceans also have their highs and lows because of us. Sometimes the Earth gets jealous of us, And comes between us, Which makes me angry and makes me turn red. Our audience will see my different phases As I revolve around them and While they revolve around you.
It was the first of October. Some would say its just a new paper to flip through a calendar. Was it? My lips curved before I could stop myself. For the first time, I didn't regret waking up to see another day. *** 5 years ago I picked up a smooth, flat pebble from the edge of the greenish lake and studied its weight in my hand before launching it into the water. The surface broke beneath its impact, sending ripples out in all directions. As I watched, the ripples grew weaker and eventually disappeared. Suddenly, I wanted that pebble back. But I knew even if I got it back, I would still toss my favorite pebble into the lake again, just to see how far it could go compared to the others. As I sighed, I couldn't help but think about how small and insignificant one thing could seem in comparison to everything else in life. "Why are you always so reckless?" my mama would say. I silently laughed over the irony; Mama never used to be independent, but made it look like I was the one who made her lose everything. Did I? I looked down at the distorted blurry reflection of me on the surface of the frozen water. Ah, I wonder what it would feel like to be frozen in time like this lake... I closed my eyes, momentarily reveling in the winter air, yearning for a well-deserved nap. And then, the silence shattered. A distant sobbing reached my ears, cutting through the tranquillity like a blade. Panicked, my eyes snapped open. The source eluded my vision, but the cries continued with —aching bones and…and need for help…. There was blood on my hands. Everywhere. Was it mine? A bird called. Bird sounds? I looked down, there was no blood on my hands. Was I hallucinating again? I am going crazy. The sound of tears falling onto the lake water made me realise this was reality again. The girl was crying at the lake? I hadn't even bothered to check the banks. Then there she was. Her eyes were filled with tears and red and puffy, but oh god. Perhaps she was both the moon, the sun and the stars. Because it seems my eyes were lying to me. A few watery hiccups broke my trance, or disturbing astonishment at her beauty. Should I really approach her..? Will I seem like a prat for ruining her crying session? Will she get angry and throw a rock at me for being nosy? I went behind her quietly and lightly tapped her shoulder. “Hey,” I paused awkwardly. Suddenly I got alarmed as she became still, like a statue that has been caught moving. This is why I should not be in the place of comforting a person, no matter how bad I feel for her. The uncertainty faded as determination settled in. If I risked a rock to the face, so be it. "uh…" I gestured toward her tears, avoiding direct eye contact. "Are you crying?" Never mind. I should get thrown in the lake instead of a rock thrown at my face. She didn't say anything but wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, so I gave her a few minutes. Eventually, she cleared her throat and mumbled, “No, I am sorry. You must have been resting here and I...." She hiccuped. "..definitely ruined your time.” I looked at her in disbelief. She was worried about me being annoyed rather than being mad at me for being nosy? "I'm really sorry," her voice broke on the last word. "Why are you sorry?" The words escaped my lips abruptly. She blinked once, bemused. "For ruining your time." Shaking my head, I dismissed her apology. "You didn't, so stop saying sorry." She was so nice, that I was considering every one of my moments on earth, that it was even justified. "That's good then." A vague response, but given the circumstances, it sufficed. "Did something happen, though? Rant to me if you want. Actually you know, you should. You will find a boy like me once in a hundred years just like a comet, who will want to listen to someone's rant beside a lake like this. " I offered a half-smile and a thumbs-up. It had been 60 seconds, and she just stared at me. At this point, I can hear crows cawing in the background and the sound of water dripping awkwardly. I…didn't say anything wrong did I? “uhm, I meant that I am just really busy that's all…” To my astonishment, she burst out laughing. The sight of her laughing made me laugh too. “You're really…” She gasped between her violent laughs, “funny. Yeah, really funny. Please be my friend, a random boy who comes once in a hundred years.” It was the first of October when I met her.
I sit on the soft grass, the Oak tree behind me providing shelter from the raging sun. My fingers trace the bark behind me, my toes burying into the dirt. I can't help but wonder, Oak trees live for hundreds of years. This one has probably seen just as many humans sit under its boughs. This is when I wrote my first letter. Dear Ms.Forgotton, It's the 1840's. You've got curls pinned to the back of your head that keep getting caught in the bark. Chesnut hair, tired eyes, and a threadbare dress. You look like something out of a Christmas Carol. But more than that, you look human. I want to know what your favourite perfumes are. I want to see the hairstyles you dream of wearing, but were too lazy to pin up. Did your hands get sore from setting hair rollers, like mine do? Even though we're years apart, how different can we be? I'd give anything to speak to you, girl to girl. In another life, maybe we could have been friends. I feel a certain twang in my chest as I watch tears come to your eyes. They're fiery, defiant. The look of someone who has something to prove, but nobody gives you the chance, right? For what it's worth, I'm sorry. It's hard to be a woman, no matter what time you're in. I hope you were happy in the end though. I burn it that night. I don't know why, but I feel like it might find it's way back to her. In some way. The next letter I write on a secluded beach. Dear Sir Forgotton, It's the middle of the night, 1775. I'm watching you pace the sands, running your hands through your haggard hair. Little do you know, I'd be here one day, sitting against the very rocks that you now plop onto. You're stressed right now about your store and taxes. There is a book in your satchel, Thomas Paine. I bet you'd be surprised to know it's in a museum now. Our historians obsessed over your signature on the inside cover. I think you and I would have gotten along well. I own a small business too, just like yours. And let me tell you Sir, it doesn't get any easier in the future. You seem like a friendly man. I want to offer you some tea and chocolate, sit on the sand and lament about life with you. We may be decades apart, but how different can we be? We're both human, after all. After writing to him, I burnt his letter too. I couldn't stop thinking about whether he'd went home and heated coffee, or milk. Whether he'd stayed awake all night, or slept fitfully. I wondered what he did for his birthday, since mine was later that week. Then, I wrote my most recent letter. Dear Mrs.Forgotton, I'm your great-great-granddaughter. I don't know much about who you are. Only that you came from India. And you never went home. I think of you as I pull on my deep blue sari. It's my favourite one. As I wait for my mother to finish getting ready for your other great-great-grandaughter's wedding, I pick up a book to read. Then I remember you couldn't do that. I remember you couldn't read or write. That you spoke a different language entirely. My name is still Indian, Grandma. But our family only speaks English now. I wonder what you'd make of it. The world was wicked to you. I can't dream up your happy ending. I don't know where you died, or what your name was. I don't even know where you're buried. I wonder if you had pin straight hair like my father. Or wavy locks like my sister. Did you pin it up in braids like me? Was your favourite fruit mango? What songs did you hum under your breath while you worked? Did you like stories? It's strange to think that the same moon you looked up at, I did too. I don't think we're that different, though the centuries divide us so. I can't explain what it is to be human. That's something I'll leave to the scientists. But in my opinion, to be human is to want to be remembered. From the beginning of time, humans have dug their fingernails into everything since stone scribbles. Dresses in museums were tried on by girls who wanted to look pretty in it. Books were read and marked to say ‘This was mine. When you read it, remember the hands that held it before you.' We have walls with scratches, engraved jewelry boxes, embroidered jackets. All from humans who made their mark on something. Even if it was small, it was something. We idolise these things, put them in glass cases. Because we know that we want that, too. The sand and the grass may not remember us, but we remember eachother. Immortalization in the form of history. And even those, like my grandmother, who didn't leave anything tangible, gave us something anyway.
Life is a canvas waiting for a unique brushstroke, a journey filled with twists, turns, and moments that define your resilience. Life is interesting. The person who was jumping in front of you and playing with you yesterday may not be around tomorrow. I didn't think about such things before, because I didn't want to, but life forces us to realize these concepts. On the ceaseless snowy day of December 18. 2023 our bustling preparation for my mother's birthday added an extra layer of anticipation to the atmosphere. We were all happy and having fun celebrating my mother's birthday with my family. Only my brother had not yet come and we were all eagerly waiting for my brother. Suddenly, the distressing news we received on that fateful day plunged us into a collective state of shock, transforming what was meant to be a joyous celebration into an unexpected period of mourning. I got a call from my brother's phone saying that my brother was brought to the hospital in a serious condition and there was a strong possibility of death. For me, that day was a massive blow and no comfort could ease it. Once a week before, this incident happened, my brother and I had a big fight. And even without knowing it, I looked at him and said:" It would be better if you were not in our lives, you were created only to harm us. I wish you would die sooner." Each utterance I directed towards him in a tone of reproach reverberated so loudly within the confines of my mind that I found myself grappling with the challenge of justifying and consoling my troubled conscience. Around 2 a.m. in the morning, my brother was taken to a major surgery. My parents and I begged God at night not to take my brother's life and return him to us. At that time, my mother's struggles weighed heavily on my heart. . All my mother's prayers to God were very touching, even my heart was broken. At that time, I truly came to believe in the profound difficulty of being a mother. Around 5a.m my brother left this world. Darkness enveloped my vision, leaving me uncertain about what steps to take or what the future holds. My mother's cry resounded so painfully throughout the hospital that no one didn't cry. My parents, even I couldn't say a word that day. I couldn't wish such intense pain, such profound loss, even upon my enemy. In the following days, I realized that simple tasks became arduous, and the weight of loss pressed heavily on my shoulders. Amid these dark times, I sought solace in memories of happy times spent with my brother. One day, I stumbled upon a box filled with mementos from our happiest days. Photographs are frozen in time, capturing smiles, silliness, and the essence of our unbreakable bond. Each picture told a story, a testament to the love and joy we shared. In solitude, I began to discover myself through these memories. I found strength in the love we had for each other and gradually the pain started to subside. While the ache of loss never completely faded, I learned to navigate the world without my brother physically by my side. I carried his spirit with me, finding comfort in the knowledge that the happy times we shared would forever be a part of me. After this incident, I made a conscious effort to treat everyone in my life with equal kindness, learning from my mistake with my brother. Recognizing the fragility of life, I began to invest more time in my family and express my love and appreciation more frequently. Discussing this matter and recalling the circumstances from that time is a challenging task for me. However, such is life. It presents us with numerous highs and lows and we should brace ourselves for each. In sharing this story, my sincere intention is for you to value your dear ones and express your love to them regularly, because, in the end, they might not be with you tomorrow.
First of all i want to explain my language of love and my view on it.\n\nLove? What is love? How we fall in love? And why we desire our feelings to be mutual. Struggling, shattering and suffering? So why we choose these ways while we can just live and breath. Isn't it enough for us?\n\nPeople choose love but i choose war! Why? Because it's more interesting it's more appealing. We choose war instead of living a peaceful life or just be loved by someone who is in love with us. Why most of the girls love \u201cbad guys\u201d? Isn't it dangerous? Why we choose it and choose a war inside us? You know what, girls always want someone who is stronger, caring, and introverted one who has only one or two friends. We want boys to be obsessed. We want to manipulate, we want obsession, we want psychic love. Is it so difficult? This is war, war between eyes between hearts. Jealousy is the most sweetest feeling and the most fatal feeling at the same time. It was the main cause for the most of the couples. In relationship boys must be a dominant, and they must experience a posessive jealous. It makes girls happier and help and them to understand that they are important and an only one for them.\n\nThis is ok, but how can we deal with the words of Pushkin \253\u043c\u044b \u043b\u044e\u0431\u0438\u043c \u0442\u0435\u0445 \u043a\u0442\u043e \u043d\u0430\u0441 \u043d\u0435 \u043b\u044e\u0431\u0438\u0442 \u043c\u044b \u0433\u0443\u0431\u0438\u043c \u0442\u0435\u0445 \u043a\u0442\u043e \u0432 \u043d\u0430\u0441 \u0432\u043b\u044e\u0431\u043b\u0435\u043d\273 which means \u201c we love people who don't love us, we destroy people who are in love with us\u201d . Is this a rule of love? Why always it is the same? Why we can just fall in love who is already in love with us? Why we want an admit of someone who can' t see our beauty our secrets and our demons?
“Thanks. I'll definitely include a tip,” the passenger promised as he stepped out of the car and set off for the shopping mall. Khalid merely smiled, knowing that more than half of his clients usually forgot to keep their promise as soon as they had stepped out of his hired car. He didn't hold it against any of them; he knew what a fast-paced world we lived in. His phone pinged. It was another Uber passenger, this one a mere three minutes away from his current location. He quickly accepted the booking; at this time of the year, competition was brutal. Fortunately, he hadn't been doing too badly this month, but he was still behind with his rent. “Listen, raghead,” his landlord had told him that morning, using the derogatory label he often flung at Khalid, a refugee from Sudan. “If tonight you don't pay the full rent you owe me, expect to find your crap on the street tomorrow morning. I give you till ten tonight, you hear?” Khalid had remained silent, knowing that it would be useless to appeal to the man's sympathy, as he had none for “filthy job-stealing foreigners”. Khalid had resolved to get as many fares as he could today to make the payment. The client was a waif-like lady waiting outside Woolworths; she had a number of shopping bags surrounding her. Khalid hurriedly exited the car to load the bags into the back. “Thank you,” the woman beamed, clearly relieved for the help. “Every year I tell myself I won't leave things to the last minute,” she continued as she got into the passenger seat, “but inevitably, I end up doing exactly that.” “It's normal, isn't it?” Khalid said, instantly liking the woman's friendly nature. Laughing merrily, the woman said, “I doubt it's normal, but I suppose it's usual at this time of the year.” “True,” Khalid agreed. “It never ceases to surprise me how frantic people become at a time when they should have peace in their hearts.” “Absolutely true! We are so caught up in consumerism that we lose total sight of the real significance of this season. You don't celebrate this event, do you?” “No, I'm a Muslim, but we love and respect Jesus. He's a prophet in my religion, too.” “That's wonderful to know that you also love Him.” The woman kept up a light conversation with Khalid until they reached her destination. Before leaving, she added a tip on the phone app. “Thank you very much, ma'am,” Khalid said in genuine gratitude. The woman waved away his thanks. Khalid helped carry her bags to the front door, bid her a good night and got back into his car. He had hardly gone a few meters from her home when he noticed the small brown envelope on the passenger seat. “Oh, no. She's dropped something,” Khalid said before turning his car around to go back to the woman's house. She opened the door after his first knock, as if she had been expecting somebody. When she saw Khalid, she exclaimed, “You've found it then?” Khalid extended the envelope to her. “Yes, I knew it must be yours. I didn't open it,” he hastened to add. “But it's not mine,” the woman said, confusing Khalid. “It's yours.” “No, ma'am. It's definitely not mine,” Khalid stammered. “It is, young man. It's an annual tradition of mine, to gift somebody worthy on this holy night with such a gift. And I have a feeling there's none worthier right now than you. Please, keep it.” Khalid was flummoxed. “But why me? I'm nobody special.” “Oh, but you are. We are all special in our own way, and tonight I'm blessing you with this gift. I'm not taking it back; if you don't want to accept it, pass it on to somebody else.” “But I'm not a Christian, ma'am.” “So what? What kind of Christian would I be if I extended charity only to those of my own faith?” “God bless you,” Khalid managed to say over the lump in his throat. “God has blessed me, and that's exactly why I share this blessing each year at this time with some deserving stranger. Good night,” she said and closed the door of her brightly lit home from which peaceful sounds of a hymn flowed. Khalid walked back to the car like one dazed, expecting the other shoe to drop at any moment. He couldn't fathom why he had been chosen for such an unexpected gift, but then he said, “Dear God, thank You for Your favors.” He still had no sure idea what the envelope contained, but he could feel it might be money. Khalid arrived at his flat at nine thirty. He nearly returned to the woman's house once he finally opened the envelope and saw how much cash it contained. It was enough to cover two months' rent. With tear-filled eyes, Khalid looked at the star-studded night sky, wonder bubbling up in his chest like the sweetest spring from which he had ever drunk. “You are a miracle in and of Yourself, and only You can orchestrate the best, most miraculous plans for Your worshippers.” With a far less burdened heart and soul, he went to see the landlord. Bliss spread across his joyous heart in continuous waves of wondrous rapture.
“I'm looking for the thing that will fill the hole in my soul. I have everything— riches you will never comprehend. Men and women love me, the people want to be me, and I have endless companions. I can afford to adorn them with rare jewels and house them in my massive castle. I have a whole wing filled with wine older than my grandfather. I have a closet larger than town square. I have everything I want. “You have nothing compared to me. Your horse has one leg in the grave and my steed makes it look dead already. Your own home is crumbling and one day, it will crush you. The fireplace is more ash than flame and your carpet has withered. Your clothes are tattered, tarnished with the filth of a poor man's life. You survive, but I live. You will never understand my wondrous life. You clean up shattered pieces and try to save your life's wreckage but you will never be as close to this feeling as I am. But, how could you? You've been dealt a hand full of holes. You've lost. I truly pity you and these creaky floorboards and the crying ceiling and that moth banging on the windowsill.” The man goes to the window. Loving hands scoop the small creature and carry it to the door. He releases it and it flies to the sky. “It won't survive.” “Probably not.” “It wouldn't have lived much longer in here either.” “…“ “Why did you release it?” “Because that's where it wanted to finish life. In the sky, where it is free.” “I want to die embraced with warmth. The moth is a stupid creature, choosing cold over comfort.” “Why do you so strongly hate that which you cannot understand?” “I, well—,” “Do you want to feel complete? Think. Do you really have everything you want?” “What more could there be to gain?!” The man counts on his fingers. “Money, pleasure, friends, jewels— I have it all!” “Do you have love?” “Of course! I love tea.” The kettle is removed from the fireplace by the other man. He pours the boiling water into two cups, swirling crushed tea leaves. “I love my mother and father. I love my kingdom.” “Do you love yourself?” he asks while handing him a glass. “Of course…” The wealthy man pauses. “Well… What constitutes self-love?” “Self-love is not just treating yourself to your desires. It is to be confident, to seek validation from only yourself, to be virtuous, to know what you truly want.” “How will I know?” “First, realize the moth knows its wants better than you.” “Are you comparing your king to a moth?” “Second, realize you are just an animal serving its animalistic desires.” “Hey—“ “You need people to love you in order to love yourself. You lack the esteem to consider yourself lovable. You bring down others so you can rise up. You surround yourself in material value and gorge because you have no sense of reason. Your friends are slimy and they will leave you the second you cannot provide.” The man pauses his speech. He takes in the other man, glass in hand, eyes bent wide, brows furrowed. “You have to want to be good. Do good, spread good, follow your morals, be ethical. If you look deeper and inspect the waves of your mind, you will find completion.” The man drinks his last sip of tea. “I must leave.” He sets the cup down and the discarded tea leaves settle. “What will you do next?” He leans in to look and see the way the leaves have fallen. The man crosses floorboards worn from pacing feet. He takes a final look at shards lovingly collected and a carpet that has nourished. He grabs a copper handle that has worn away to gold, then opens the door. “I'll learn how to love.” He closes the door. In the stable, his horse has its head turned and resting on the back of the other. He gently wakes them. They exchange goodbyes and the man adds his fur coat to the blankets piling the aged horse, covering frost-tipped ears. They make it back to the main road. By now, the crowd has dispersed, and only the sound of wind and thumping gallops follow. The snow glistens from the rising sun, painting the man and his horse in orange and red. Something glows from the light on the horse's mane. He gingerly picks it up, delicate like glass. Its wings look shattered and broken, twitching as he cups it in his palm. “The moth died for what it wanted.” He leaves its body to rest in a bright place under the sun.
Beautiful tapestries woven with gold shimmer in the sunlight. Jewels sparkle with a million intricacies and purple flows along banners, finest of silk. Like rolling fields of golden hay, hills of treasure tumble to the floor. “A fine collection, your majesty.” “That diamond is lovely, your majesty!” “What will you do with it all, your majesty?” Asks the choir of envy. “It will complete me, of course,” the wealthy man replies. Countless women, as beautiful as Venus. They slide over each other, reaching out for the wealthy man. Countless men, as beautiful as Mars. They are adorned with diamonds and put on display. They are here for him, to serve him, “—To complete me, of course,” the wealthy man replies. A banquet table glitters with steaming pots of emerald kettles. Fancy leather chairs comfort his companions. They wear shoes he bought them, jewelry he purchased, even the clothes off their backs are from his wealth. “You all complete me too, of course.” The wealthy man smiles, but like a gap in his teeth, or childless mother, something is missing. Later that night the wealthy man lies alone in bed. “What am I missing?” he asks. “I have everything I want, everything I need— what else could possibly complete me?” He gets out of bed and stands next to the window. The glass is cold and he can see his breath from fog. He wipes the obscure away to overlook his kingdom. Hundreds of people, wandering his streets. Thousands more, tucked inside. They all have far, far less than him. Compared to his riches and wealth, their existence is nothing. They will never as close to completion as he is. Still, he grabs his red and white fur coat and stumbles into his boots. He rushes for the doorknob and glides down the stairs. Maids and butlers give him quizzical looks, but they don't understand. Tonight is the night he answers this question. His royal steed is woken by the weight of a saddle. He rides down snowy trails as knights shout his name and say he's gone mad. The horse trots into town. Turned up dirt is splattered over slush. Townspeople, his people, stare in awe as his coat flutters in the crisp wind. They eye his crown, the piece barely hanging onto his tousled hair. No guards, no armour, no sense of reason, and utterly defenceless. Filled with greed, the crowd inches closer. From the crowd, a man in rags pushes himself forwards. “Would you like to come inside for tea?” The poor man asks. “Will it complete me?” the wealthy man replies. “It will fill you for a moment.” “I've had enough of momentary bliss.” “Your horse is freezing.” “…” “I have a stable. Please, follow me.” The crowd lets them through and the wealthy man follows slow footsteps. He is lead into a dirtier part of the kingdom, where the buildings are squished and held together with chipped bricks and knotted wood. The “stable” is a tiny shack that is hardly big enough for the old, weathered horse already inside. The wealthy man dismounts and together the men shimmy the steed inside. The horses draw close together, sharing a tender embrace. The poor man tosses another blanket over them and the shivering slowly stops. “Let's get you some tea.” Inside he is greeted by a leaky ceiling. Dirt paints a carpet that has been eaten away by moths, leaving it hole-ridden and bleak. Shards of glass from a broken plate have been picked up and stacked on a rag, stained red from soft fingers. “Take a seat, I'll put the kettle on.” The wealthy man sits on a wooden chair and it creaks under his weight. It feels like a threat and another reason he's not supposed to be here. “What is this feeling you've been searching for?” The run-down house warms up as more wood is tossed into the fireplace. A dim orange glow lets him see the features of the poor man. He's smiling. Why is he smiling?
And there they were in Barcelona, looking at the world-famous cathedral. The photographer told them not to look at the camera, but there was no need. The majestic building was mesmerising and it was impossible to look away. But the guests forgot about the architecture and were staring at them. And what about them? They were having a wedding. Just like in his fantasy, just like in her romantic dreams. They said, "I do" and exchanged rings. He stood behind her and the wind blew her hair into his face. She could feel his warm breath and they both felt good. It was the culmination - there were no two parts, just one whole. Incredible emotions from a rich wedding and a woman he could only dream of recently - for his ego and the sentimental part that was ecstatic for the guests and the woman he loved. There were family, friends and prominent industry professionals. It was a victory for him. He couldn't contain his emotions - his cold soul was melted by the great success. His voice trembled as he spoke and a tear of joy dropped from his eye. "I am incredibly grateful to everyone here today for supporting both of us before we met," he hugged his lover tightly, “and after. You are an incredible people. This success is yours too! To all those who told me it was impossible, but continued to support me – you were with me in your hearts, even when my head was against it. I would like to say a special thank you! My love, I'm still in awe of how things have turned out, so I thank the universe for every second of it. We have come a long way but we are here today. All of us together. This is a new phase of life, but it's definitely better than the last one! Salut mi familia!” And now what? I don't know - he went to talk to his best friend. Suddenly A realised that he had been chasing something all his life. It didn't matter if it was material or not, but it was a chase of passion. But why think about lost opportunities when everything turned out in a way he could not even imagine? - Do you remember...? –B asked softly as if addressing the wind, not A. - Yes..., – A breathed out a little sadly. - What's next? - I hope this is the beginning. - New York? – B looked seriously at his interlocutor. - New York... The wind blew strongly, bringing with it the scent of September. They were lost in their memories – looked thoughtfully into the distance and became nostalgic. There was a lot to remember. Those distant, carefree days, 15 years ago, when they were just making a name for themselves, trying to prove themselves in school tournaments and leaving it late – exhausted but happy after such events. And when go outside, nature heals. On a warm sunny day and the crisp September air was filled with the scent of their friend's perfume. The trees, dressed in colourful garments, seemed to absorb the sun's energy, creating a sense of harmonious unity in nature. Birds were singing, some flying south. They quietly contemplated this beauty and gradually merged with nature. September was more anticipated than the New Year: the start of the school year, the end of the holidays and the shorter days encouraged us to get more involved in our work. Maybe this is the year we will be successful or victorious? With their dreams supported by their daily work, the days fly by for them. So the beauty around them goes unnoticed. If only this moment could last a long, long time... Then there was the university. Thanks to the Internet the best relationships have been established and consolidated. Not without face-to-face meetings, of course. During the periods when the pandemic was waning, it was possible to attend classes in person. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm for the educational process disappeared quite quickly, but the fact of going to university was quite pleasant. Most of all, they looked forward to the September evenings. A walk after classes on a clear day – people are coming home from work, young people are having fun and making noise, the first lights are shining on the busy highway, where premium cars are speeding along, ignoring the speed limit. They looked up at the clear sky, only the sun is setting behind the horizon, its last rays filling the buildings with orange light. Once a missile hit the schoolyard, burning the perennial maples, destroying the patterns and damaging the building. It was rebuilt many years later. And they are still there. Just like now, in September, it happened again. But it's not the same. These trees need several decades to restore the overall atmosphere of natural grandeur. - Don't think about it too much, – said V, who was the first to recover from the wave of memories. - I have done everything for today anyway! - Come on, let's go, they're waiting for us. And so began his dream life. After the official part of the wedding, the newlyweds and their best friends went to the Costa Brava. The picturesque road along the Mediterranean coast and the Porsche – it was an unforgettable moment.
My grandma has always been the glue that has stitched our family together. She is that tall tree whose roots are so sturdy they cannot be cut down. She is the reason we want to visit home during the holiday season. She is a reminder that though we no longer have our parents, God had purposefully placed her in our lives for such a time as this. It could be her contagious laughter that changes any atmosphere or her mischievous gaze that lets you know she has been around the world for some time. Her hugs let you know that she is in love with you, and her cooking, though not the best conveys a sense of home. My relationship with Grandma was rocky for a long time. We could not see eye to eye on certain things. I blame it on our similar traits of hot temper and stubbornness. After my grandfather passed away when I graduated high school and turned nineteen, things took an even darker turn. He had left a business with no will, and per tradition, the oldest of the siblings inherited the responsibility. My mother, at the time, could not care less, so the weight fell on my shoulders. The business was in so much debt, which made it difficult to revive for an inexperienced high school graduate. After several attempts to save the business, it continued to drown in debt. I had borrowed some money from several people with a promise of reasonable interest, but I could not pay it back. Needless to say, we had to close the business. The people I owed money to were banging down our throats, leaving my grandmother in shame and embarrassment. A few months after the business had closed, my grandmother and I had a talk in which she requested that I leave home and stay with my mother for a while. I took this demand to heart as a form of abandonment and rejection. I obliged her wish, but I could not erase the brokenness and disappointment in her gaze. Our relationship was bad, but it had taken a crack for the worst. It was difficult to forgive myself. Years had passed, and I had not set foot at home, even for the holidays. I found a job and proceeded to pay off my outstanding debt. I did not dare to return home and face her. The wound of not being able to forgive had caused a deep rift between my family and me. I lived in isolation, away from them, as a way of self-punishment. I would later lose my mom to AIDS, but even that would not repair our relationship. It had been years since my mom's passing, and my siblings and I kept in touch. I would ask about her well-being but end there. One random day, I received a call from Go-go (translation: grandma). She proceeded with the greetings, and I replied with a sceptical tone, "I'm okay." I can't describe to you how surprised I was by our next conversation. “Sneh, why have you not home?” I thought to myself, has old age taken her memory hostage? “Are you still angry with me?” Nope, she still remembers. “Don't you know how much we have missed you at home?” The shock had silenced my tongue. She continued to express her concern for me and her desire to see me before she dies. Bear in mind, this was just the old people's way of quilting you, not a declaration of a terminal illness. While she talked, a stream of tears came pouring down my cheeks. I felt a lump that had suffocated me for years releasing. It was the first time I let go of the guilt I carried for so many years. I realized that I had imprisoned myself in this self-imposed cell, and only I had access to this key. You know that infamous saying that being unforgiving is like someone taking poison and hoping someone should die. I had been poisoning my soul with bitterness and hatred. My grandma opened the door to healing. I decided that the next step would be to return home. Little did I know, that a lockdown would be implemented. Because of the pandemic, I realized that the anger I carried would amount to nothing. All of a sudden, the senile remark about her dying could become true. During the months of lockdown,I fell into a deep state of depression. By grace, the lockdown restrictions had been eased, and I returned to work. After many months, my finances settled, and in August 2022, I went back home. When I arrived, there she was, my old lady, seated outside her muddy kitchen hut. Her body was frail and wrinkled but still beautiful. Her left eye was near blindness. “Who are you?” I blamed her eyes that had given up on her sight. “Again, she asked, "Who are you?" I replied, "Go-go, it is me, Sneh." She could not contain her joy and hastily cupped me in her arms, joking about my weight gain as if we were old, lost friends. It was foolish of me to think that love, coupled with wisdom, could not forgive a multitude of mistakes. After a couple of days at home and we became friends. She would, like all seniors, question my marital status and my capacity to conceive great-grandchildren. I still wonder if I deserve her, but I believe God had placed her in my life intentionally for such a time as this.
I admired the young man as he knocked on my door through the kitchen curtains. It's not every day that a pretty boy knocks on your door at night, let alone a famous detective. The man at the door was no other than Edward Halls. The world's youngest prodigy, who grew to be the greatest detective of all time by the age of 21 on an international scale, also, my high school sweetheart. "Lilith? Sorry to bother you. Is anyone home?" a lovely voice spoke called out from the other side of the door, snapping me out of my thoughts. Thank god he snapped me out, otherwise, these bacon and omelets were gonna burn. "I'm coming!" I yelled out to the unexpected guest as I made my way to the door, wiping my hands on my apron by habit. "What do You want from me, Edward?" "I wished to see you, you don't want me here?" By the tone of his voice, he seemed troubled. "Maybe I don't want you here.." I turned around, hand crossed behind me, leaning against the door. "I know you're lying, Lilith. Please, let me in." He spoke softly, patiently standing outside of my cottage. "I'm...afraid of letting you in again." A moment of silence passed before I heard him slide against the door. "I'll just stay here, till you feel less afraid." His words struck a cord within me, It made me miss his warmth, and all the sweet nothings that left his lips as he comforted me after the murder of my father. "I'll always be there for you, till you're ready to face your heart again, till you're ready to love again. I'll always be there waiting for you to let me in." His words were sickly sweet and so was his voice, I could listen to him speak all day and I'd never get tired, I wanted to see his face and feel his warmth, I wanted to let him in so bad. I stood in front of the door, my hands slowly reaching for the doorknob before stopping mid-air. "I'm afraid of love, but I...I will let you in." I twisted the doorknob just to see Edward on both feet in front of me. The captivating moonlight shone on his face, he changed compared to when I saw him years ago back when he was 17. He had an expensive suit and tight on, he held a beautiful bouquet of white tulip flowers, along with a couple of red roses here and there. His black hair was slightly curly, his body was bigger, taller, and stronger. I was genuinely taken aback so much that I had to take a step back and admire him. "So, will you let me in really?" He asked me, a soft smile painting his face. A smile so warm it got to my heart. "Please, make yourself comfortable." I stood to the side of the door, extending my hand to invite him in. When he stepped in, he turned to me and gave me the flowers. I took them in my hands, admiring how beautiful they are. They say white tulips present peace and serenity, meanwhile, red roses represent love and romance. He sat on the couch, and I sat on the opposite side of him. My house was small, so the distance between us wasn't that big. A comfortable silence settled in, as I looked outside of the window peacefully. However, Edward turned his attention to me, admiring me for a while before breaking the silence. "Did you read the letters I sent to you weekly?" He asked me,sparking a conversation between us. "I didn't. Why would I?" I avoided looking into his eyes since I knew he could see right through me. I was an open book to him, and he liked to read. "Still bad at lying, aren't we?" He chuckled for a moment before he leaned in closer to me. "Why are you so afraid of Love, Lilith?" Edward tilted his head, he was leaning closer to me from the opposite side of the couch, with his legs open and his arms resting on them. "Are you afraid to open up after what your dad did?" He asked me catching me completely off-guard. "You know I would never walk out on you, love." He stood up and a few steps closer to me. "I will always be there for you, I can make your pain better," Edward spoke in a hushed tone, getting down on his knees with his hands on my lap. "I know you love me, I only need to hear you say it." When my gaze met his own, I finally noticed his tear-stained face. What have I done? I was dragging this man along all these years but I never admitted to loving him as much as he loved me. "I..." My voice died down. I was afraid of getting attached, but it was too late. I was always afraid of waking up and not finding his letter under my door every Monday. I longed for him and wanted him near me. But I was afraid of love, I was afraid of him leaving me and walking out on me, but here he was, crying into my lap begging for me to love him and let him into my heart. I couldn't help but cry as well. "You?.." He looked up to me and smiled getting closer to my face, his teeth shining the same way his tears did. "I love you, Edward!" Tears streamed down my face as I finally pulled him closer into a hug. "I've always loved you, Edward.." I cried into his chest as he held me passionately, crying into my shoulder. "I love you too, Lilith."
The fatigue hit Bessie on a bright day, one made for happiness, not for fraught thoughts of suicide. The reticent seventeen-year-old felt abject misery, knew the emotion was unreasonable, yet she was incapable of resisting the depression. “Why was I ever born? Was it so that I could suffer day after day, with no hope of some kind of reprieve in sight?” she typed on her Facebook post. She stared at the screen for some seconds, contemplating whether posting her comment would be wise, or ill-advised. “The trolls out there in cyberspace are far worse than those of myth,” she cautioned herself, finger hovering shakily over the ‘Post' button. Abruptly, as if ripping off an unwanted Band-Aid, she stabbed down on the keyboard. Seconds later, the post appeared on her timeline. It didn't take long for her Facebook friends to respond. Bessie was overwhelmed by the incoming comments that followed each other in rapid succession. The first one read: You were born to be loved, not to suffer. Reprieve might be out of sight, but believe me, it IS there! It was from her Science study buddy, Ghiyona. The next comment caused a catch in Bessie's throat: If you were never born, I would not have known such kindness. You were made to be loved, Bessie. This one was from her gay friend, Willie. Bessie started to cry softly, the pain in her heart feeling like a knife being shoved mercilessly deep into her soul. “I love you, Willie,” Bessie responded to his comment; she felt at a loss as to how to reply to Ghiyona's, so she simply attached a heart emoji to the girl's comment. More comments followed, each one listing reasons why Bessie should hold on to hope, fight against submitting to life's harshness, believe fervently in herself. As Bessie was about to log off Facebook, one more comment slid in under the post. It caused the distraught adolescent to pause. Your life was given to you as a gift. True, it is your right to accept or reject the gift, but why would anyone refuse to embrace what is more precious than treasure, more profound than the knowledge of the ancients? Why would you, Bessie, forget how inimitable you are, that there is literally no other quite like you? The comment continued for a few more lines, but Bessie's vision blurred because of the tears streaming down her face. She was confused, for the comment was from the one person Bessie was convinced hated her the most. The very person who had brought this despondent mood upon her, who had been relentlessly criticising her each day for the past two weeks. Bessie blew her nose and read the last part of the comment: You are stronger than you know, but that core of steel will carry you across all obstacles. Have faith, Bessie. Some hitherto hidden door of insight swung open widely in Bessie's mind. Her worst critic, her Maths lecturer, was also her greatest supporter…