Saturday, October 26, 2013

Short Story 4: The Healing Heart

Short Story 4: The Healing Heart
My heart was beating faster and faster. I was very nervous as the time for me to move from my seat drew nearer and nearer. I told to myself that it would only last for a few minutes so I did not really have to make a fuss of it. I did not really have to worry about it. “I can make it, I’m sure I can make it,” I told to myself times and again.
Not far from my seat, I could see my dear parents, my father and my mother. The two familiar faces penetrated my nervousness and somehow managed to neutralize it. My father always carried the stern look wherever he went. There was no exception for this moment. I saw my mother whispering to him. His indifferent look did not reveal any of his feelings. Yet I was very confident on how his state of mind now. I knew it deep in my heart that he really cared for me this time around. How I wished for my younger sister to be around to witness and share this moment of glory.
Soon, my name would be announced. My eyes met with my mother’s eyes. I could see the tears sparkling in her eyes. The tears signified the joys within her. “Go up to the stage, my dear. Go up there confidently. I’m really proud of you!” Somehow I could sense these words through my mother’s eyes. My father was just right beside her, looking at me too. I was now pretty sure that both of them were really proud of me. There were no more reserved feelings from the two of them. I was more ready to present myself to the crowd now.
As I stood up from my seat, at the right back corner of the hall, I saw my teacher sitting there with her broad smile. Mrs Moorthy was clapping her hands to cheer me up to the stage. I knew that without her encouragement, I would not be here to receive the honour. Without her persistence, there was no existence of me sitting in the grand hall waiting to be called up to the stage. Without her determination, I would long be drowned in the crowd. I smiled to her and deep in my heart I whispered my genuine utterances, “Thank you so much my dear teacher, without your interference there is no real me in this world. Thank you very much, teacher for being such a Good Samaritan for me.” Suddenly, the past incidents were seeping slowly into my mind.
I did it purposely but it was only for fun. The dreadful disaster was not what I could predict. It happened so sudden and then changed everything. “Kak Lin, please stop it. This is totally wrong. Please don’t do it again and again. We might get caught,” my younger sister, Ita kept on advising me through her soft voice. I ignored her unduly worries and I continued slipping the glittering items into her bag. I had more than enough money to buy all those things yet I desired for the excitement. The feelings were indescribable. The thrills were beyond words. Picking up things from the various stores had become more like a routine for me. It had become a habit and it had become a part of me. My sister was more like a helper to me, involuntarily.
That day as usual we walked into a store near to my house. The moment I stepped into the store, my eyes were glued to a pair of earrings which glittered so much that I could not keep my eyes off them. The more I saw them the more I desired for them. They were rather expensive but undoubtedly I could afford to buy them. My sister was just right beside me and I knew that it was the moment to strike. Without wasting anymore time, I stretched out my hand to touch the earrings .They were indeed beautiful and I must own them this moment. I put them into my sister’s bag and both of us walked towards the main entrance of the store. I smiled to my sister to signal the victory that we had achieved. She somehow looked anxious and worried.
“Hey, girls! Stop! Stop!” I heard someone screamed from the back. I turned around and saw a tall middle-aged man. He was asking us to stop! I knew that we could wait no more. My sister and I ran as fast as we could in order not to get caught. If we were caught we would have no face to see my parents. All the while I was an obedient girl who had excellent academic results in my parents’ eyes. In addition, I was a big good elder sister to Ita. Me and Ita always stick together. My parents had no idea of what I had done all the while. “If they know that I am the one who have taught Ita to do such a thing, I am sure they will not forgive me. Oh my God!” I murmured to myself. The regretful feelings just came too late this time around.
I ran as fast as I could. My sister was right behind me. Suddenly, I felt that someone pushed me to the side and there was a loud bang after that. I fell to the ground by side of the road. What had happened? I saw stains of fresh blood on the road. A car stopped in the middle of the road with the emergency lights on. The crowd swelled and became bigger. “Ita, where are you? Why are you not behind me?” I searched for her yet there was no sight of her at all. Suddenly I sensed a bad omen. “No, this could not be. The person could not be my sister!” I prayed that the bad thing would not happen to her.
I pushed through the swelling crowd and finally I managed to get to the front. I really could not believe my eyes. I kept on blinking my eyes so that the view in front of me would change but it did not change at all. It was still the same. I was hoping that it was all but a nightmare yet it became clearer and clearer to me that it was not. The thing which I dreaded so much had happened anyway.
The person who was lying breathlessly on the road was my dear sister! Ita was not moving at all and her eyes were closed. There were blood stains here and there. Her clothes were soaked in blood. “Oh my God, this cannot be true! Please! Please! Tell me that this is not real!” I rushed to my sister’s side and hugged her as she lay motionless in my lap. I screamed and yelled loudly for her name again and again yet she did not reply me at all. I cried bitterly for her departure. She had left. She had left me and my parents forever.
Three months had passed yet the incident remained vividly in my mind. It was a cruel reality which could not be erased. My whole world had changed. I was not the once cheerful girl anymore. My academic result dropped tremendously. I had no mood to indulge in my interest anymore as my helper was not around by my side. I started to realize that it was wrong for me to do that and the worse thing was that I had implicated my innocent sister. She did not know anything yet she had to face the retribution on behalf of me. It was not fair at all! I started living in my own world with my own indulgence.
Every morning, how I wished that I would not wake up from my sleep. How I wished that I could sleep all day long. The sweet dreams vanished the moment I saw the dim ray of sunlight breached into my tiny room. I tried so hard to immerse into illusion yet I was still plunged into the cruelty of the reality. I hated to face it. The more I wanted to run away from it the more I suffered. My vision was blurred. My body ached so much; however, it still could not be compared to the endless pain which surrounded my heart. The pain kept on piercing into my heart like thousands of needles leaving my heart with thousand holes which bleed profusely.
Although my parents had begun to forgive me as time passed by, yet deep in my heart I knew that they still suffered endlessly over the lost of their precious youngest daughter. It was indeed tough for them to accept the fact that I was actually the murderer! I was the culprit! I could not bring myself to face the reality. At the same time I could not forgive myself on what I had done towards my sister. It was all because of me. It was all because of me that she had to leave all of us. Nothing I could do to atone for my sins! My actions were unpardonable!
The pressure and stress slowly became a burden to me which I had to carry on my shoulders. It became heavier and heavier and I could hardly cope with it. Yet I let myself drowned in the bottomless pit. I deserved all the punishments for the wrongdoings that I had committed. I let myself giving up on my life. Sometimes, I felt that I could not carry on living in guilty. I could not forgive myself for what I had done. I was more like a living corpse walking in the world without my soul attached to it. How I wished I could end my life and all the troubles would vanish into the thin airs! The inner voice within me kept on persuading me to give up all and leave the miserable world.
If it was not for her existence, I would have left the world long time ago. She was Mrs Moorthy, my beloved teacher. Mrs Moorthy was my English teacher since two years ago. She was a sweet, compassionate lady who cared more for her students than herself. One day, she approached me with a calm tranquil voice when I was idling my time away in the school library. “Lin, what had happened? I have been observing you for some time. You’re no longer yourself anymore. I don’t see the Lin that I used to since three months ago. There is an extreme change in you. Would you mind sharing your woes with me? Maybe I can be of some help to you,” Mrs Moorthy uttered the words sincerely. I remained silent for a long time but Mrs Moorthy would not give up. She kept on approaching me in a soft tender voice.
Finally, I could not stop the tears from rolling down on my pale cheeks. I cried and continued crying generously. My eyes were swollen yet my warm tears kept on flowing non stop. I cried for at least one hour before I uttered my first faint word. “I… I…” “Come on, Lin Now, let me ask you. Do you know why we are given only one mouth but two ears? We are asked to listen more. If you don’t mind, would you like to share your problem with me? I’m very much willing to listen. Just listen.”
I knew very well that I could not communicate with my parents anymore as the incident had left a big scar within the family. The talks were always ended with arguments and everyone was in a more despair state after that. It did not work at all. Meanwhile, all my friends had begun to avoid me as days passed by. I always shunned them whenever they tried to help me and in the end they finally gave up on me. They labeled me as a hopeless case. I was beyond cure. There was no potion or remedy for me at all.
Now, Mrs Moorthy was the only one who was willing to listen to me. Also, Mrs Moorthy was the only person whom I was willing to pour out my woes to for the moment. When I looked into her eyes I saw the sincerity within her. I started to believe that she was the one whom I should share my problem with.
I started to tell everything to her. How I long for someone who was willing to listen to me. Just listen to me and did nothing. Mrs Moorthy was certainly the one. I told her my predicament from the beginning until the incident that had changed my life totally. I told her that I was plagued by the guilty feeling and I was unable to lead my life as a normal person anymore. I would want so much to end the misery. I would want so much to end the meaningless life. I would want so much to escape from the life which was full of nothing but guilt.
Mrs Moorthy looked calm when I had finished relating my mess to her. She looked deep into my pathetic eyes. She did not say even a single word but hugged me tightly in her arms. That day I cried with all my heart. She was just listening to me. Indeed, she was just listening to me and nothing more. And I thanked her so much her kindness towards me.
The day after, I received a call from Mrs Moorthy and the calls poured in for months although I kept on rejecting her. She asked me to go for social work in an orphanage in the town. It had been a long time since the last time I went out. I was reluctant at first but after some time her determination had moved me. I went with her to the orphanage. There I was given a chance to mix around with small children. The small children in the orphanage were indeed very pitiful. Some of them were abandoned by their parents since their birth. Some lost their parents in accidents. Some did not even know their own identity. I felt luckier as I still had my parents with me until this very moment.
“Lin, do you know the reason why I bring you here?” asked Mrs Moorthy compassionately. I had no idea at all and I just kept quiet. “Although your sister; Ita is no more in this world, please do not stop caring for the others. Don’t keep the love for your sister to yourself. There are others out there who need the care from other people. There are others out there who want the concern from the others. Maybe your sister’s departure was meant to divide the love from you to the others in this beautiful world so that they also know what love is. I’m sure your sister will be most willing to share it.”
The moment Mrs Moorthy finished her words, I was suddenly awakened. I was indeed a lucky person to have Ita as my younger sister. She was truly a selfless person. She gave up her precious life in order to save her elder sister. She gave up her life in order to share the love for her with the others. I regretted spending the past many months doing nothing but only causing trouble for the others. I even thought of ending my life. It was undeniably very foolish of me! I cried heartily and hugged Mrs Moorthy tightly. I thank her for preventing me from committing any further mistakes in my life.
In the blink of an eye, two years passed since the very first time I followed Mrs Moorthy to the orphanage. Doing social work had become a part of me. Shoplifting was no longer my interest. I had more than one “sister” now, in fact I had many and they were getting more and more. However, my dearest sister would always be Ita who remained alive forever in my heart. My life became more meaningful. My relationship with my parents improved tremendously. Mrs Moorthy told me that all parents in this world loved their children and there was no exclusion to my parents and she was exceptionally right! Although the incident could not be wiped out totally, my parents had begun to accept me more keenly compared to two years back.
“Let us welcome the best student of the year 2007, Noraslin bt. Kamal from 5 Ambar to come up to the stage to receive the award,” the master of ceremony pronounced my name loudly. I walked proudly up the stage to receive the honour bestowed to me. Deep in my heart, I thanked Mrs Moorthy for walking into my life. “Thank you teacher, for grabbing my hands the moment I fall down. Thank you teacher, for listening to me the moment I need someone to lend me her ears. Thank you, teacher, for guiding me to stand up again on my feet. Thank you teacher, for everything you’ve done for me.”

                                                                                                                                            (2851 words)

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