Planting seeds of greatness, one by one, Some for nourishment, others for fun, The journey of growth has now begun. Watch and mirror the pro, she knows the way, Grasping the secrets of greatness each day. With a heart sincere and desire strong, Vow in the plow where dreams belong. In trusting and allowing, find peace profound, Navigate the path where hope is found. Expect greatness, nurture seeds with care, But know, before the breakthrough, adversity will be there. What choice will you make, what will you do? When challenges arise and skies aren't blue. Yet, because you've stood firm, your harvest draws near, Don't halt, press onward, your moment is here. Keep going, keep striving, don't dare to despair, For in perseverance, triumph is near. Press forward, prevail, your efforts are clear, In the soil of persistence, your greatness appears. © 2024, Stephene Klein Originally Pandemic Inspired © 2020, Stephene Klein
Once upon a time in a small town nestled between rolling hills, lived Emily, a spirited young woman with an unyielding determination to turn adversity into triumph. As economic hardship cast its gloom over the community, Emily found herself at the epicenter of a story that would redefine resilience. Amidst job losses and financial strains, Emily refused to succumb to despair. Instead, she transformed her quaint backyard into a flourishing garden, a symbol of hope in a seemingly desolate landscape. Each blossom became a testament to her unwavering spirit. One day, as the community grappled with the effects of the economic downturn, Emily's garden caught the eye of a local journalist. Intrigued by the vibrant bursts of color in the midst of hardship, the journalist decided to feature Emily's story in the town's newspaper. The article spread like wildfire, capturing the hearts of readers far beyond the town's borders. Strangers sent letters of encouragement, seeds, and gardening tools. The once-solitary garden became a communal project, bringing the town together in a beautiful display of unity. Emily's tale didn't stop there. Inspired by the outpouring of support, she organized a community initiative to create "Resilience Kits" for families facing financial struggles. The kits included seeds, gardening tools, and inspirational notes, encouraging recipients to plant their own seeds of hope. As the garden flourished and the "Resilience Kits" project gained momentum, the town witnessed a remarkable transformation. People began to find solace and strength in cultivating their gardens, both metaphorically and literally. The community, once burdened by economic woes, blossomed into a symbol of resilience. Emily's story became a beacon of light, not just for her town but for communities worldwide. The local newspaper's feature turned into an international sensation, inspiring countless individuals to find strength in the face of adversity. In the end, Emily's garden wasn't just a collection of flowers; it was a testament to the indomitable human spirit. The once-struggling town emerged stronger, united by a shared commitment to turn challenges into opportunities. Emily's journey proved that even in the darkest of times, the seeds of resilience could bloom into a garden of hope, radiating light far beyond the confines of a small town. This is the story of Emily and the town that refused to be defined by its hardships, a story of resilience that continues to inspire and uplift.
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.
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“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.
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'.
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hi im shanara, I'm just your average highschool girl. I never really had very many friends and I would be picked on quite a lot. My life was just any average one of that of a teenage girl. I eventually came across social media and used that as my way of escaping reality. I made online friends and talked to them and didn't really socialize with others I met face to face. One day i had started talking to this guy his name was trey, he was only a few month older the me about 5-6 months older we started chatting everyday and we eventually started getting along really well, he would be the person i go to, to talk to about my day and when id have a bad day he would always make me laugh, him and i eventually became best friends and got to know each other really well. One day i had had a rough day at school and just wanted to get back home and tell trey about it i had just lost someone who i was friends with and rumors were getting spread about me through the school and people would stare at me and laugh, i was never really quit sure what the rumors are and until this day i still have no idea. I had got home from school and plopped down onto my bed and i opened my laptop and googled in the browser “instagram” i had logged into my account and messaged him and told him about my day, he had replied with “i have had a hard day at school as well my girlfriend cheated on me” i felt really bad for him even though i didn't know very much his relationship. Eventually i had headed to bed because i was tired and i had school the next day, later on the next day the day was almost over and i put my stuff in my backpack and got my books and left to head home, as soon as i got home once again i whipped my laptop out just like i had everyday before and one of my friends had put on their story “send c” if u care about me i replied with “C” and got sent a chain where i had to put the same thing on my story and send a photo i had only sent a photo of a character from a game as no one knew what i looked like in real life, after i had put it on my story trey had replied with “C” to my story and i sent himt the same chain thing i was sent and he put it on his story and sent a photo of him to me.. After he had sent the photo i had freaked out because he was a boy i knew at school and hed hang out with my friend group but eventually stopped hanging out with us quit some time ago as i freaked out i typed “OMG YOU GO TO THE EXACT SAME SCHOOL AS ME!” he became shocked at this point in time and said “who are you, what do u mean” i told him “i'm shanra” as he never knew my real name or what i looked like because id go After he had sent the photo i had freaked out because he was a boy i knew at school and hed hang out with my friend group but eventually stopped hanging out with us quit some time ago as i freaked out i typed “OMG YOU GO TO THE EXACT SAME SCHOOL AS ME!” he became shocked at this point in time and said “who are you, what do u mean” i told him “i'm shanra” as he never knew my real name or what i looked like because id go by a game character with the name Shad treys reply to this was “send me a photo of you” and i was still in shock at this time, eventually i sent him a photo and told him who i hung out with. The next while at school I tried to avoid him and not bump into him, But we all know how that had turned out. I bumped into him after taking my friend to the bus stop. After all this he'd call out my name whenever he would see me and I would still continuously try to avoid him but that didn't go as planned. Eventually after me and trey finding out who each other were we decided to start hanging out and his Ex did not like this at all, she didn't like me at all if i'm being honest because she eventually started bullying me shortly after but i decided to just ignore her which would make her furious. Eventually the school yeah came to an end and me and trey were inseparable wed hug a lot and we both knew we felt the exact same way about each other, on the last day off school was the last day we got to see each other, or so i thought one night i was at a friends house and i was just texting trey and he knew i was upset and this was late at night, He had stopped replying to me for awhile and i was sitting in the dark of the night at the park, Suddenly i heard my name called out and i knew the voice all too well, It was trey he had rode his bike from willaston all the way to evanston just to make me feel better, This made me really happy. Eventually after all of this the day after christmas (boxing day) he had asked me out and i had said yes and we started dating each other and ever since the we have been together for almost 2 year hes now turned sixteen and ill be turning sixteen in a few months and the relationship has been amazing since that day all though we argue sometimes but we always work it out with a talk and a hug.
My dear universe, Thank you so much for giving us a part of you to live in, for letting us enjoy the fruits of your core. We as humans can't even imagine how grateful we should be towards you. And no doubt that YOU make life happening for us to live. Thank you for keeping an account and always balancing out the goods and the bads, the highs and the lows for every individual. You made everything align the way that I learnt something from you each and every day, I became grateful for being blessed with a beautiful life and I came across so many sides of me I had never seen. And most importantly, thank you for teaching me that nothing is permanent, neither the good days nor the bad ones. It's an unstoppable cycle. Thank you for letting me know that to commit mistakes is okay but learning from them is all we are here for! Thank you for making me realise that no one's perfect and the goal is not to be perfect, but to get better and learn each day. This is the reason I adore you so much. Thank you for lending me a part of you and thank you for teaching me life lessons no class can ever teach. Alhamdulillah for everything! ❤ Farheen
Everybody is different. Some of us hear more than the others. This world is an awfully noisy place. Even the silence is deafening. As if such a thing existed for Ella. But if it did, she knows it would be striking. The world is large, but the people in it will find a way to make it smaller if you don't fit in. If you don't find a box to go in, they will find one for you. They will stuff you inside and chain it shut. Ella's world has gotten a lot smaller than it once was, but that hasn't stopped the din. It has only made it worse. These cold, desolate halls echo with screams and the locked doors bounce all of it back at her in waves. They can't escape, so they take up residency inside her mind. Scraping away her sanity. Is it possible that a place meant to house mental illness is actually producing it? She fears in her case, it is. She is not crazy, not the way they say she is. But every day she spends in this place, the more danger there is of losing herself. The constant screaming, the lunatic laughter, and the whispers.... They are driving her mad. Like a dripping tap you can't shut off, no matter how much you try. No matter how tightly she presses her hands against her ears, she hears them. If only the screams would block them out. The hissing chants come through her vents unobstructed. She has to put her desk chair on the bed and stop writing immediately. If she does not stop it right now, the nurse comes around for room checks, and she ends up with an extra dose of whatever poison they are forcing down her throat to keep her docile. Or the nurse takes down to the doctor's office where Ella would spend an hour being told that she has a condition that causes paracusia, and if she continues to act like this, she would die soon. A lecture is better than death. Yes a set of lies is still better than death. The doctor knows she is perfectly sane. He knows there is nothing wrong with her. She just can't handle a lot of noise. Her hearing is better than most people's, a lot better. It means she hears what others can't. But the good doctor won't admit that, just the way he won't admit she is not crazy. She has not even had a hearing test. That would be indulging her fantasies, and it doesn't fit into any of his notions. If she is a normal person with exceptional hearing that suffers from misophonia, it might destroy his perfectly divided and fabricated world. The door swings open quickly. It's the nurse who was expecting to find Ella up on the chair. The latter can see the disappointment in the former's eyes. That one lives for drama, whether it's gossip among the staff or in the lives of her patients. She loves it all. It makes her ten-hour shift nearly bearable and gives her something to whisper about at the nurses corner. “Journaling?” The nurse asks in a fake voice. As if anyone would believe she was that sugary sweet. “The doctor will be glad.” Ella smiles at her like a zombified dope and nod in agreement. If they only knew. If they could only read her words. Her thoughts were so powerful and strong, enough to shatter all the silence around. They would know she was onto them and their vicious plans. Onto their fake medicine and their lies. Onto the evil that happens in the dark. The stuff they don't want anyone to know. But she knows. She hears everything.
This is something everybody wants to know, Where is your life going to go? Will you visit the mountains or the sea? Or will life sting you like a bee? This is a question with no reply, All along the way it turns into a why...
From the era of cinders and flame I have found a life again Upon the bottom and to the top None can ever make me drop Holding firm and standing free I have found that which is me A climber.. Yes I'll show it You'll see.
Television was the only source of the sound echoing all over the house. The channels were being kept changing between classical Indian music, sports and news by Rumi's father Ramesh. And on the other side, Rumi was sitting beside the window sipping the chai and enjoying her new storybook. 'The breakfast is ready!' exclaimed Brinda with ecstasy. Then, Rumi and her father went to the basin to perform the perfect five steps of washing their hands properly to protect themselves and the others from the prominent virus all over the world taking lives - the covid 19. After that, their faces were equally bored by eating the same recipe of poha for three days regularly. The storage of food had decreased due to the scarcity in the corona time. Minutes proceeded with only the sound of ticking clocks and then they heard footsteps coming from the stairs. 'Good morning !' Ananda said. Ananda had come to travel all over Kolkata but he was stuck because of the lockdown all over the world. Suddenly seeing her uncle, Rumi's innocent face turned dull. Her fingers were shaking, and the spoon in her hand clunked loudly onto the floor. She took it hastily and left the room to the kitchen by running. Rumi was staring at the fan circling above her head making whirring sounds. She was listening to music and wanted to delete all the noises in all the world and her screams in her head. The sweet girl was spending her abundant time thinking about death. Her eyes were watering and seemingly nobody knew the reason. She was clasping her thighs and pushed her nails into it, there became prominent red marks when she heard a knock on her door and as a reflex, she covered herself up, covered the strikes with her ladybugs printed pants, wiped out her tears, paused the playlist and went to open the door. Brinda came with a plate of freshly cut mangoes from their garden and gave it to the hands of Rumi. Mom: 'Is there anything you want to tell me?' Rumi was awestruck for a moment. Although she tried to tell everything but converted the discussion to her studies. 'I am fine ma. I am a bit late in my studies but I will cope up. Mom: ' Yeah, I noticed that too. This is the first online test where you got a b grade in maths, you have always got a grade in all your subjects' Me: 'Ma, I said Nah! I will improve ' Mom: ' Ok, I told this to your uncle and he said he will help you with mathematics from today .' Rumi was petrified, panic-stricken. The hair stood on end, her heart was in her mouth. She was standing there without motions and shaking like a leaf. She broke into a cold sweat, and she could not open her mouth to speak a word also. In the crisis going on the whole world because of the pandemic, all people were facing different troubles in their lives. There were fewer oxygen tanks for patients suffering from the disease and for Rumi - there was less oxygen in her lungs as well, in her house, in her home. She could not breathe. In the evening, she sat stiffly by her uncle to learn maths. The scary sight was being nearer to Rumi in disguise of Ananda's hand. He was pointing one hand to algebra and with the other hand, he was brushing little Rumi's shoulder with his thumb. His hands were going up, stroking the little neck of Rumi. He snatched one strand of her hair and was twirling it. His evil fingers were being circled onto the girl's face. Then the hands were reaching for down. Ananda was scratching Rumi's soft neck with his claws, and then the hand was crawling inside her turtleneck top, towards her bra strap. Rumi's legs ceased, her voice fell silent, she could not make a sound also. All was numb from her head to the nails of her legs, the fingers were cold, and she was sitting with a closed door behind. Wearing the turtleneck top on this hot summer day and full leggings also not protected her, she thought to herself. She felt that her uncle was not stuck in her house in the lockdown, she was - she was stuck in the lockdown in her own home. She tumbled, fell and fled to the bathroom and shouted hard. Rumi was moaning, screaming and sobbing. She was slapping herself and was trying to rip down her full clothes. Brinda and Ramesh came down horrifically and was banging the door. Rumi finally found the courage, she came out unhurriedly, pointed her tiny fingers to her uncle Ananda and let out all the pain ' He harassed me, he tried to rape me, he had touched my thighs before and now he is trying to touch all parts of the mine. ' After some prominent calmness, the storm came. Rumi's father's rage was coming out, his eyes became red with trickling water. Ramesh took Rumi in his arms and caressed her hair. Brinda's eyes were flowing with water, she squeezed Rumi and took her into her core. Ramesh just uttered some words which were so straight and severe to not her uncle but her rapist; ' You will get the place you deserve. A police station or better death. Now take all and leave at this instant only. '