Brave Heart

 

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(Photo Credit: Flickr)

”Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

***

John Parker wanted to tell the kind man who’d saved him from death, but the words caught in his throat. He mumbled inaudibly then coughed loudly. He desperately wanted to unburden and bare his soul to Anselm but realised his new friend would probably call him a monster.

Time dragged on, and Parker waited. The silence in the room was as thick as a winter fog. How could he utter such words to a total stranger? How could he tell Anselm that his girlfriend of 12 years had been diced to pieces and kept inside his deep freezer. Why? Anselm may ask. ‘Oh,’ he may simply shrug his skinny shoulders and just give an excuse, maybe, because he caught her cheating and their seven-year old daughter, Amber, wasn’t his after all. How could he tell Anselm that he, Parker, was a psycho, a sociopath, a sadist whose pain went deeper than imagined? How in heaven’s name could he tell his new pal that he’d been in prison; a prison of the mind where walls whispered obscenities and the only respite he got would be to slash himself open. How could he say such words?

‘I don’t think I should be in this room,’ Parker finally said and a sad sigh escaped his trembling lips. ‘I should go now.’

He stood up but Anselm stopped him with a wave of his large hands.

‘Sit down,’ the older man said firmly. Parker obeyed, his eyes staring straight ahead.

‘You’ve done bad things. I see it in your eyes. Even there’s pain in death, killing yourself doesn’t make it all go away. Get yourself treated, ask forgiveness and turn yourself in. There’s still redemption son.’

John Parker stared at Anselm. His English was flawless, he’d dropped the German accent.

‘Who are you?’ Parker asked slowly.

‘I’m your conscience,’ was the apt reply and the room began to spin.

John woke up with a start, his heart beating wildly. He sat up and checked the bedside clock. It was 3 a.m. in the morning. He’d been dreaming, it was a huge relief but the incident in the dream wasn’t far from reality, his eyes sought his wife of 12 years who was sleeping soundly. He’d been hiding the voices in his head well, it was difficult explaining to his GP that he’d been battling severe depression for three years. After the loss of his job and his wife became the breadwinner, he’d slowly sunk deeper into the quagmire of depression.

There’s only one brave thing left to do, he tapped his wife gently on the shoulder, it’s better safe than sorry, he thought.

***

NP: Guys, I’m sorry I couldn’t post this story yesterday, I tried but life just got in the way. I totally had a different plot to this story but then, it occurred to me that men hide their frailty. They go through life as brave hearts, pillars, unmovable and then they crumple! If you’re a man reading this, please, don’t bottle things up if you’re not well. Life is in phases. Talk to your spouse, close friend or even your doctor. Depression affects a lot of people in our society today and some needless deaths could easily have been avoided if things hadn’t gotten out of hand.

The first part of this story is here if you want to catch up: http://seyisandradavid.org/2015/08/11/dreaming-when-awake/

I hope you’ll all have a wonderful weekend!

Much love, always!! :)

Dreaming When Awake!

 

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” T.E. Lawrence

***

John Parker threw the cheque into the river Thames, his eyes darting everywhere like a man on opium. He dug his right hand inside the pocket of his chinos trouser and brought out a rumpled paper, he stared at it for what seemed like ages, then tentatively, inched forward, staring down at the dirty muddy water. He held the railings of the Tower bridge and contemplated his actions. Tourists trooped by, some gave him quizzical looks while others swept him away with the views.

He swallowed hard and heaved himself up but strong pairs of hands held him back. John Parker was stunned, he struggled but the hands stayed firm, locked, clasping his shoulders in a bear grip.

‘Let me go!’ Parker screamed like a trapped animal. Quickly, a crowd had gathered. Some lifted their phones to film the unfolding drama while the hands which held Parker spoke rapidly to someone in German, ‘Annette , könnten Sie bitte die Polizei rufen ? Nein, rufen Sie 999 ,’ (Annette, could you please call the police? No, call 999)  Parker realised his plans had gone awry and he hung his head in shame. The strong hands gently led him out of the crowds.

Twenty minutes later, John Parker sat in a hotel with the hands which actually belonged to a huge bear-like fellow with a weather-beaten face, scattered brown hair and very kind eyes.

‘My English no good, but me understand well,’ The man said quietly.

Parker nodded, wiping sweats off his face with the back of his hand.

‘Thanks for saving my life, it was a stupid thing to do,’ John Parker said, trying to avoid the eyes of his rescuer.

‘Okay, okay, my name Anselm.’

‘I’m John Parker.’ They shook hands and Parker began his story…

****

Hello friends,  I hope everyone is okay. I’ve not written short stories on my site for a while, and I thought, why not? So this is a story that’s filled with life’s truths. I would post the penultimate part on Friday. Mull on the quote before the story and please, don’t stop dreaming positively!

Much love, always! :)

 

 

 

 

The Hope Journey

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(Photo credit: wingmac)

Ann-Marie glared at the result in her hand, and her heart skipped a bit. That wasn’t what she was expecting. How could I beat cancer and then find out that I have coronary heart disease? she thought in despair as her eyes clouded with tears, she ground her teeth, determined to beat the new monster in her body.

‘I’m so sorry,’ the doctor said and watched her ambled out of his office…

*****

Sharon rushed through traffic, her face beaming with pleasure. At long last, after years of trying, the doctor had finally confirmed her suspicion; she was three weeks pregnant. Countless IVFs couldn’t do the trick, she got pregnant when she least expected…

*****

Roman walked through the park, lost in thought. He was still trying to cope with the death of Jake, his best friend. Jake had jumped from the sixth floor of his hotel. It was sad that he was with him a day before the tragedy; yet Roman saw nothing amiss. If only I could rewind time, he thought aloud as his eyes brimmed with tears. Then he remembered the lost look in the eyes of Jake’s mother, and his feet seemed to have a life of their own as they pushed him forward. He could still save another life…

*****

Nathan could hardly believe his ears. He is finally free, there was no more cancer. As he took out his phone, his eyes involuntarily seek out a nurse, pushing a girl in a wheel chair down the hospital hall; she was roughly the same age as his 10-year-old daughter and by the looks of things, she’s having chemo…

NP: although some of these stories are just figments of my imagination; there are elements of reality there. I’ve had friends who had gone through cancer, life – changing situations but one thing stood out: they never gave up hope, and most of them emerged victorious in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. In the words of Emily Dickinson, the American poet, I quote:

‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.’

So, never give up hope… :)

Have a pleasant week my friends!

Much love, always!

:)

 

Avanlanche: The Fall…

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            (Photo credit: Krappweis)

The air was crisp and clean, the sky blue and clear. Amanda inhaled deeply, imagining the stress leaving her body. She watched her husband from the corner of her eyes: the sharp, well-shaped jaws, the bushy eyebrows, and the serious expression almost drew a chuckle but she clamped down on it.

It was their last day in Switzerland and against all odds, she had truly enjoyed herself. Now she had to confront her husband and tell him the real reason she wanted a divorce. They walked towards their cabin in silence as Amanda cleared her throat noisily. Pete gave her a quick sideways glance and opened the door.

Amanda strolled towards the sofa and sank into it, while Pete removed his gloves and boots.

‘I slept with Alex!’

Pete stood still like a statue, even the sweat on his brows froze in disbelief. He ground his teeth and approached his wife menacingly. Alex had been his friend from childhood. They were practically brothers, what a fool I’d been! He thought in anger but something held him in check, he didn’t believe it.

‘When?’ He mouthed the words and knelt in front of his wife, his eyes were incredibly dry and he looked very calm.

‘Three months ago…’ she closed her eyes briefly, ‘the night we had a fight on the phone.’

‘Where?’

‘I called him and he came over to the house.’ Amanda involuntarily put her hand to her mouth as if she’d said too much.

‘We made up when I got back Amanda!’ Pete said slowly, strangely, his anger had dissipated.

‘I know…’ and she began to cry, ‘for what’s worth, I had no recollection of it as such. I was wasted, very drunk.’

Pete made up his mind there and then to fight for his marriage but Amanda was not finished.

‘Three weeks later I found out I was pregnant.’

That was when Pete lost it. He picked Amanda up effortlessly and almost hurled her against the wall, she wailed on his shirt, expecting the worse, then like a China plate, he put her down gently. He hurriedly put his gloves on, wore his shoes and rushed out of the cabin.

Two hours later, there was a knock on the door, Amanda hurriedly opened it, worried sick. Standing calmly at the door were two Swiss officers, their expressions looked grim. Amanda crumpled to the floor in a faint…

………………….

NP: It wasn’t all bad news though! :) Pete was trapped in an avalanche but luckily, he’d survived. Amanda gave birth to twin sons… Well, when she did the DNA paternity test, Pete was the father of her sons. Their marriage survived. Pete quit his job in the City, and now had his own company. They went through months of counselling and the last time I spoke to Pete, he sounded optimistic, but he confessed that it was hard. However, he loves his wife, he’d forgiven her and was determined to give their marriage a chance to heal.

Relationships are not easy, Amanda and Pete had made up their mind to fight for their marriage and I wish them the best. To all my friends all over the world, I won’t wish you love because today is Valentine, I’m wishing you love all year round. May your hearts find peace and joy!

Much love, always!

:)

Avalanche

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(Photo Credit: Flickr)

Pete stared at the papers in his hands and his blood froze.

Amanda, his wife of five years wanted a divorce, what a way to start the year! He sat down wearily on the bed as his mind raced to the red-head beauty who bumped into him at Mile End underground station in London – she had apologised profusely and they got talking. Within weeks, their romance blossomed. As an Investment Banker, Pete had little time to woo her but Amanda more or less took control of his life.

Within two years, they were married, and his parents were delighted. A year after marriage, Amanda was desperate for a child, he wasn’t that bothered. After all, he’s always holed up at his office in the City, slaving away to make as much money as he could. They hardly spend time together and deep down, he knew it could be the reason she wanted out. They love each other, why would Amanda think divorcing him would make her life better? The noise of his phone disrupted his reminiscing  and he grunted before picking it up from the bedside table.

‘Yeah,’ Pete drawled and listened, then clicked it shut. Switzerland. He’d totally forgotten about the holiday he’d pre booked weeks earlier. Like a slow motion, hope began a painful ascent in his mind. Maybe, just maybe, time away from their usual life in London would spice things up a bit, and talk of divorce would disappear.

Half an hour later, Amanda strolled into the room, avoiding any eye contacts.

‘Shouldn’t we at least talk about this?’ Pete asked quietly, waving the papers in his hands. He couldn’t stop staring at his wife, whose hourglass figure never ceased to amaze him.

‘We’ll talk when we get to Switzerland,’ she replied. Pete laughed and said lightly, ‘Women and holidays!’

But there was something different about her. He stood up and pulled her into his arms, he was half expecting her to resist but she didn’t.

‘Is this what you want honey?’ he mumbled into her hair, rocking her as he would a day old baby.

Amanda swallowed hard, then closed her eyes. How could she back track now after realising the root of their problems? Divorce was the only way out, or so she thought…

………

NP: I was supposed to have posted this on Thursday but I was extremely busy, I would have to make this a two or three-part series. Amanda and Pete are a couple whose story touched me deeply. It’s also a true story, but as usual, I would change their names to protect their identity and add elements of fiction to it as well. I would post the next part sometimes next week, at least before Valentine’s day. Martin Luther said something that touched me: ‘There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.’

Call me a traditionalist, but my parents have been married for almost fifty years, they had their good, bad, and excellent times but they stuck together. Now I think they’re best of friends.

I hope you would have a peaceful, restful and enjoyable week. I intend to!

Much love, always! :)

The Beast

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(Photo Credit: Flickr)

Laura had trouble sleeping, she watched enviously as her husband slept soundly like a baby. She closed her eyes and willed her body to relax, fifteen minutes later, it worked, and she drifted off into a fitful sleep. Claps of thunder woke her up hours later, reluctantly, she opened her eyes and listened as flashes of light competed in a show of power. However, amidst the thunderous symphony, she also detected a faint but familiar sound, she listened and froze with fright when she realised it was the voice of Anna, her fourteen year old daughter.

She turned to touch her husband, but he wasn’t there. Panicking, she leapt out of bed and slowly crept down the stairs. Someone was in her home, a stranger. Her heart in her mouth, she moved stealthily, afraid to alert the intruder. By now, Anna was howling, Laura threw caution to the wind and breezed into the kitchen, grabbed a large knife and dashed into her daughter’s room.

Ashley, her husband of eighteen mouths was lying on top of her daughter, naked waist down. Anna stopped crying when she saw her mother and Laura felt alien, as she seemed to move out of her body… Swiftly, she raised the knife above her head.

………..

Two years later, Anna walked briskly down a hallway, her heart beating with love. It was Valentines Day, and, the love of her life is in prison. Many people called her mother a beast, but she knew that it was her Step-father who was the real beast. He had repeatedly raped her, threatening to kill her mother  if she uttered a single word to a living soul.  As far as Anna was concerned, the death of Ashley was a welcome relief. Her mother would be out in a couple of years, and with her mother by her side, life couldn’t be better. They would live happily ever after!

………….

NP: I am a realistic writer, if you’ve read any of my books, you should know by now that I’m not afraid to tackle difficult subjects, and this was a very difficult topic for me to write. Many women are trapped in abusive relationships, where their partners are raping or had raped their daughters – it’s an ugly scenario. But it could be stopped: there are warning signs really, when your partner is unduly interested in your daughter, that leery, lustful look is often too glaring to hide, (mind you, not all Step-fathers are Ashley!)  Left for me, I wish all marriages ended with ‘the happily ever after theme,’ but that would be living in a fairy tale world. Even though I don’t support what Laura did, the beast in some people cannot be tamed, they can only be stopped!

………….

Where there are beasts, there are also saints. Like Hugh Mackay would say: ‘ Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational.’

I hope you’ll all have a pleasant week. I’ll be back on Thursday with a very interesting topic in my ‘happily ever after theme!’

Much love, always!

:) :)

Ever After?

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(Photo credit: Flickr)
‘Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.’
Aristotle.
 ******

Alero kneaded the dough and used her free hand to mop her sweaty brows. Her husband was away on business but she noticed the surreptitious glances threw her way by the neighbours and it saddened her. Abel is the love of her life but of recent, she had trouble believing the ‘happily ever after’ theory.

A shrill sound interrupted her sad thoughts and she walked briskly to the living room, picking up the landline phone and whispered hoarsely, her voice constricted with tears.

‘Hello.’

‘Hey darling,’ Abel, her husband of five years, said slowly on the other line, ‘are you okay? You sound awful.’

She gritted her teeth then replied carefully, trying in vain to control the turbulent emotions coursing through her, ‘when are you coming home?’

‘I’m outside the door!’

Alero dropped the phone and flew to the door, she flung it open and saw Abel kneeling down on one knee, a huge grin on his brown face.

‘Forgive me darling, I promise to love you forever!’

She didn’t know what to say.

Abel stood up slowly and clasped her in a tight, warm embrace. Alero was limp in his arms, she felt nothing. Few seconds passed then she asked,

‘What exactly do you want me to forgive you for?’

‘The ‘ever after’ marriage is not a bed of roses. I have flaws my love, as you do, but we can work through it all.’

Alero now understood, and she held her husband tightly, wondering if ‘happily ever after’ is not a myth after all.

*******

In the spirit of ‘Valentine,’ I would be exploring a lot of relationships and how we could turn more towards the ‘happily ever after’ theme. Forgiveness and tolerance is the key for the success of any human relationship. Love conquers all…

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Much love, always!

:)