Click here to read chapter-8

Stella was standing in front of the door of her house. She clutched her bag in her arms. Her heart was scared, scared of the storm ahead! She looked at the door knob, the sole hindrance between her and her parents, the last wall between her and her dreams; or the last thread holding her family together.

She took a deep breath and twisted the knob. The door opened into the living room. Its decor inspired by the early nineties. The brown color of the walls pushed the room even farther away in time. Her father was sitting in the armchair, reading newspaper and holding his coffee in his left hand. While her Mom, she was in the kitchen. There was a faint aroma of freshly baked bread in the house.

The commotion in the doorway attracted her father’s attention. He was now looking towards her from behind his newspaper, his lips graced with a wide and sunny smile. The smile dawned over his wrinkles, making them look like the engravings of some old and celebrated monument.

That precious smile made Stella feel weak in the knees. Somewhere deep in her heart she knew that today was the farewell of the serenity in this paradise.

The conquest of chasing dreams was despised in her family since the day Stella lost her elder brother to his blazing ambitions.

She knew that her parents would never be convinced on letting her travel the same path.

Her father gave her a welcoming smile.

“Hi dear! How was your day?”

“My day was great dad! What about yours?”

“Well, my day was nothing less than exhausting!” he giggled and motioned her to sit on the near-by sofa.

She forced a smile on her face and sat there.

“So are you planning any trip after your graduation? Come on! You have hardly ever gone on a trip with your friends. Learn to have some fun Stella!”

“Actually, that is a great idea!”, exclaimed her mom as she entered the living room with some freshly baked loaves of bread. She placed the bread on the table and continued, “You should plan a nice relaxing trip with your friends. You have been studying the whole year, you need a vacation! Just look at you, you look exhausted!”

She hugged Stella from behind as she said this. Stella placed her hand gently on her mom’s arm and pressed it in reassurance with a plastered smile on her face.

She wanted to smile genuinely, but a fog of doubt and fear surrounded her happiness. It had been an entire week since she received her call letter from New York. Her application was accepted in an elite course in journalism.

She coiled back her fingers giving in to the questions in her brain, closed her eyes and then loudly announced in a single breath.

“I want to go to New York to pursue journalism! I know that you might not welcome my choice…but….I truly want to chase my dreams and ambitions! I know, whatever my brother had to go through was very unfortunate. It was unfortunate that he decided to end his life because he could not be successful in his endeavors…but …all that does not mean that even I will meet the same fate! Please, just give me one chance!”

For a moment, there was complete silence. No one spoke further. Stella mustered up her courage and opened her eyes in hopes of witnessing the light of agreement in her parents’ eyes, but rather she saw sternness.

Her parents looked at each other and then looked back at her. In a monotonous tone, her father said, “NO!” Then he got up from his chair and gave Stella a final look of disapproval before he exited the room!

Stella turned to face her mother. “Mom?” She gave her a sad nod and went back to the kitchen.

Stella saw her worst fears see the light of the day in that moment. She clutched her bag even tighter, rushed to her room and closed the door. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she leaned her forehead against the door and cried for the rest of the night.

“Stella!”John gently stroked her hair, abruptly pulling her out of her thoughts.

Stella was still hugging John. That hug reminded her of the first day, when they met. The wounds of her heart were still red then; she was broken, lonely, distressed; she dreaded her fate. The fort of her life was standing on a single fragile and decaying pillar, and just when the onlookers predicted its demise, John came there like a savior! Not only did he hold the roof when it was about to fall, but he also mended the cracks that time left on the withering pillar.

Reminiscence of the memories of their togetherness lit up Stella’s face. She lifted up her head from his shoulder and looked into his eyes, smiling from behind her tears. John smiled back.

“Excuse me, Sir!”

John and Stella looked towards the door to find their lawyer standing there. They immediately broke apart from the hug, their faces still flushed with pink.

Their lawyer, a man in his late forties, gave away a mocking grin to applaud the scene. He coughed and regained his composure.

“Hello, Ms. Stella! How are you?”

“I am fine…How are you?”

“I am fine too…. and I promise that you are going to feel even better when I break the good news to you!”

He said as he beamed with pride!

“What good news?”

“I have completed all the paperwork required for the deal. You just have to sign on the dotted line and you will be done with that property!”

Those words stung Stella in her heart like a thousand needles.

“So soon….You said that you needed more time! John?”

“It has been three days Stella!”

Because of all the events that took place in the last three days, Stella completed lost the track of time.

“Three days?” she looked at her phone. It had indeed been three days.

“Stella, I think you should go back, freshen up and relax a bit. I am here, I will take care of Alex and all the paperwork! You can come back later to complete rest of the formalities!”

“Yeah! I think you are right!”

She excused herself out of the room. The way back home was crowded with thoughts. It was Stella, who wished to sell the house, she wanted to move on in life, wanted to leave all the agony behind…. but her stay in the town, her father’s letter, meeting Alex…all of that changed her…. now she wanted her family back!

She reached home and stood in front of the door for a while. It was the last time that she would be entering her house. This thought shook her soul.

After a while, she pushed the door open and entered the living room. It felt like her childhood was coming back to life once again. A bittersweet smile dawned on her face.

She went around the room, picking up every single article, trying to relive every single memory….just then….the door bell rang!

It confused her. No one was expected to visit her. She rushed to the window to identify the visitor.

“Mom! Dad!”

Will Stella be able to face her parents? Which way will her story turn now?Find out in the upcoming chapters of “When I walked through”. Follow the blog to receive an e-mail every time we release a new chapter.

 

 

 

Click here to read chapter-7

Stella stood there, in the middle of her room, holding a picture, a pleasant picture of her parents and her…….picture of a time when there was peace , no fight over dreams, no fight over rights, no tears, no sorrow!

There were too many noises in her brain, too much to be able to listen to any one of them. It seemed as though she was standing in the middle of a desert……her mouth was dry; her brow was frowned, sweat trickled down her neck. She felt as if all the blood in her body has rushed to her brain, it seemed as though her body foresaw the war and its qualms before Stella could have even thought about it!

There was a tension in the air, taut enough to be able to break every axe that came to cut it! For the first time in her life, Stella heard silence cry and wail…..it pierced through her ears. She tried to swallow the saliva in her mouth, it was thick, very thick…. she almost choked on it.

The picture that she held in her hands was the first attack of the war, straight on her heart, salt for her wounds! Her heart beat went very high; she was scared for her life. Her pulse was rising, higher….and higher…..higher enough for her to hear it, it ringed in her ears. Her heart was begging for help, warning her for the storm, telling her not to step outside!

She was boiling, as though she had the worst fever ever known and then…..she felt cold, as cold as ice, frighteningly cold. For a second she wondered if she was still alive. Scared, she immediately kept the picture back.

It was hard for her to face her parents, even in a picture! Those smiles added fuel to the fire of her guilt!

She shook her hands, rubbed them against each other and then rubbed them on her face and her eyes. Closing eyes was not scary for her now, the world outside was as dark as the world within!

She picked up the picture for the last time, hugged it and then kept it back without looking at it. Those smiles could have tied her down but she strived to be free! She picked her bag and started towards the window but stopped dead at her spot….turned back and then looked at every single thing in her room. It was not just a glance, she wanted to record every single detail, capture it with her eyes. Her room was special, it had seen a lot…..it had seen her cry, laugh, break down, then pick up her own pieces to fix herself and then move forward. Here, she was looking at it for the last time; she knew that she will never be back! She looked at everything, closed her eyes to picture it in her mind, gave a deep sigh, and then opened her eyes again to bid it a smiley goodbye. Her eyes were already teary; the smile appeared like a rainbow formed on a very gloomy sky!

She then rushed back to her window and escaped, without ever looking back!

“Emergency! Emergency!”

The noise immediately caught Stella’s attention. She was lost so deep in her memories that it took her a few minutes to realize that she was in a hospital for the treatment of her friend and that seven years have already passed since the night she eloped! Her eyes fell upon the letter in her hands….just a piece of paper but felt as heavy as a huge metal boulder. She swallowed her saliva; it was just as thick as that night, tainted with her guilt, enough to choke her!

With a very scared heart, she started to read,

“Dear Stella,

It has been a while, I know! I know that I should have tried to reach you sooner! I know that I should have never allowed our relationship to stoop to this level in the first place! I know that you deserved the right to explore the world with your own perspective …. but …..alas! I don’t know why I tried to stop you then!

When I was young, my mom always used to teach me about the importance of nurturing relationships with love.  She used to tell me that a relationship is like a piece of glass, you heat it with the warmth of your love, give it some time and then mould it into a vial. This vial contains your guilt, sorrow, happiness, failures, achievements, flaws and beauty. The more love that you provide it; the larger it grows, holding more and more parts of your life. But, if you lose your patience, become greedy and try to stretch it forcefully without giving it the love and time that it deserves, it breaks, spilling all that it once held, and you….you end up losing a huge part of yourself. Since the night you left, her words have been a hymn for me!

But, I am not writing this letter to dwell on the past, I am writing it to inform you about something very important, something that I am guilty of…..”

The paper was torn after that. She was trying very hard to hold back her tears, her lips were twitching. She felt helpless, ran her fingers against the torn end of the paper, hoping to read whatever was left unsaid, turned the paper and found something more….

“I am sorry, Stella! I know that I should have told this to you earlier, but…I just could not find the courage in myself!

I know that I have disappointed you, sorry again. Maybe I do not deserve an apology but please try to grant me one if you can.

Miss you!

Your loving father,

David.”

Stella could not hold her tears back! A stream trickled down her cheeks. She missed her father too! She wanted to meet him, hug him, tell him that she has already forgiven him and say sorry for giving him so much pain. She wanted to say so much, hear even more, wanted to be that loving daughter again. I wish she knew where he was!

A hand came on Stella’s shoulder. She turned back to find John. He felt like an oasis in the middle of a desert, like a drop of water on barren land. She immediately hugged him and cried…..cried…and cried on, like a baby!

What was Stella’s father trying to tell her? How are the events going on in the house related to him?Find out in the upcoming chapters of “When I walked through”. Follow the blog to receive an e-mail every time we release a new chapter.

 

 

When I walked through….

Fear of failure….

The leaves of the tree above me fluttered as they sang the song penned by the wind. The wind was in a rush, it was sprinting across the clear blue sky, as if, it had to deliver the letters written by the lovers. On its way, it greeted the bright and magnificent Sun, which was shining with all its might, blessing the landscape with the amber.

On the tree above, a sweet pair of cuckoos gossiped endlessly, adding a music to the serenity of the view.

I was sitting under the tree facing the beautiful blue lake, with a pen and a diary in my hand, praying and longing for a few drops of creativity from the vast sea that surrounded me.

Sitting there for a few minutes, excited like a child who is about to get candy, I was almost experiencing the bliss of meditation. The feel of the tiny grass under my feet, the relief as it was snatching the exhaustion and the negativity away from me, the mild fragrance of the moist soil calming my nerves, the living definition of tranquility!

To interrupt my rendezvous with the greens, a beautiful and playful butterfly came and sat on my diary. She travelled from word to word, trying to read the agony behind them.

Her wings, the masterpiece! They were abode to an array of colours, some of them, unknown to the humankind!

She sat there for a while, gracing my view with her presence. Then, she decided to end her short stay, flew away, continuing her journey to find a palace that suited her royalty, and I……..I dived back into the deep forest of my entangled thoughts!