Category Archives: Short Story

Vision thru’ a broken window

The earth’s about five thousand million years old.
Who can afford to live in the past?
Harold Pinter 

She has never felt like this before, what is this feeling that she can’t explain? Could this be love, she asks in her mind. And then she remembers and smiles.
This is how her life has been since they met, around him she always felt no need to pretend or to put up facades to protect who she is. With him she was happy being herself. Whenever she hears his voice her heart skips a beat, whenever they are together she yearns to be free like the wind. But in all her happiness she holds back never giving in fully. She is tied down by a haunting memory of decades ago, the memory of an incident that drove her to build walls round her heart. Walls that were meant to keep her from getting hurt. Since the day that memory came into existence she has trusted no man and with good reason too.

Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Rossetti 

So now even in her joy and happiness, she is expecting to wake up and find out it’s just a dream. But she hangs on as if on tenterhooks wanting to believe and hoping it’s not a dream.
She can’t remember the last time she had a clear thought since meeting him, her mind is all muddled up and she wonders if she has not lost it. But then if only this feeling can continue she can give her mind for it. In the little moment of “sanity” she gets, she wonders what this feeling is that could break down barriers that are decades strong and still standing. As she begins to get lost in the feeling, the memory comes back more vivid than ever almost in high definition reminding her of what she has suffered and the pain she went through.
She knows the memory was forged in pain and her heart only seeks to protect her; but she must make a decision, either to jump or to stay.
Afraid of tomorrow unknown, guided only by a past experienced she looks at the world through a broken window. So the image she sees is always fractured, fractured by an experience forever etched in her memory. After what seems like an eternity of deliberation, she decides on a course of action.
She decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown, into this vortex of feelings she doesn’t understand she decides to give herself. She decides that her past will no longer define her; she has to live to shame the memory that haunts her and has kept her in chains for decades. She decides to love him as much as he loved her and to open her heart fully to his embrace. And since she took that decision, she has never had course to worry and has never looked back.

Dedicated to all sexually abused women who are finding it hard to give their hearts fully to another.

©Fr

Looking thru’ broken glass

 

(From the archives)

The earth’s about five thousand million years old.
Who can afford to live in the past?
Harold Pinter 
She has never felt like this before, what is this feeling that she can’t explain? Could this be love, she asks in her mind. And then she remembers and smiles.
This is how her life has been since they met, around him she always felt no need to pretend or to put up facades to protect who she is. With him she was happy being herself. Whenever she hears his voice her heart skips a beat, whenever they are together she yearns to be free like the wind. But in all her happiness she holds back never giving in fully. She is tied down by a haunting memory of decades ago, the memory of an incident that drove her to build walls round her heart. Walls that were meant to keep her from getting hurt. Since the day that memory came into existence she has trusted no man and with good reason too.
Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Rossetti 
So now even in her joy and happiness, she is expecting to wake up and find out it’s just a dream. But she hangs on as if on tenterhooks wanting to believe and hoping it’s not a dream.
She can’t remember the last time she had a clear thought since meeting him, her mind is all muddled up and she wonders if she has not lost it. But then if only this feeling can continue she can give her mind for it. In the little moment of “sanity” she gets, she wonders what this feeling is that could break down barriers that are decades strong and still standing. As she begins to get lost in the feeling, the memory comes back more vivid than ever almost in high definition reminding her of what she has suffered and the pain she went through.
She knows the memory was forged in pain and her heart only seeks to protect her; but she must make a decision, either to jump or to stay.
Afraid of tomorrow unknown, guided only by a past experienced she looks at the world through a broken window. So the image she sees is always fractured, fractured by an experience forever etched in her memory. After what seems like an eternity of deliberation, she decides on a course of action.
She decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown, into this vortex of feelings she doesn’t understand she decides to give herself. She decides that her past will no longer define her; she has to live to shame the memory that haunts her and has kept her in chains for decades. She decides to love him as much as he loved her and to open her heart fully to his embrace. And since she took that decision, she has never had course to worry and has never looked back.
Dedicated to all sexually abused women who are finding it hard to give their hearts fully to another.

To Glow…

He said “thank you for being there for me more than I thought possible, for standing strong when I was obviously weak, for the encouragement when I lacked any. Thank you for being my gift from God.”
Her face just lit up like an electric bulb, she glowed outwardly and inwardly. Just because she felt the appreciation in the place where it tickles the heart.
Appreciate , it costs you nothing but gains you everything.

A Girl’s dream

She was bent over her books but studying she was not. Instead she was lost in thought, thinking about her life and the circumstances that now confront her. She was happy she had this opportunity but she knew she had to work harder than all the others. For her this was the last chance of making something of her life and she couldn’t afford to mess up the chance.

She was from a part of the country where education for women was almost a taboo. Women were thought better educated if they were uneducated. In her place women had fixed roles of wives and mothers and nothing else they were to be seen and not heard. So her mother’s decision to send her to school put her in bad light with the community elders.

To compound issues, she was an only child and her father had passed on a year before. Even when he was alive he was at loggerheads with his family on his choice to send his daughter to school. With all this at the back of her mind, she knew for a fact that if she fails this exam she will be doomed. As her mother told her , her uncle’s were already parading potential husbands for her. According to them she was gradually growing beyond marriageable age.

She was tired and sleepy but she chose to numb her senses to both. She had to do her absolute best to pass. As tired as she was, she got up and went to the bathroom to wash her face. Hoping that in that process she will be refreshed to continue her studies. Whatever it takes she thought, she must pass this scholarship exam so she will have a future not tied to somebody’s ability to offer to pay her school fees.

She was determined to prove all men wrong and show them that a woman is beyond a wife and a mother. That a woman too can aspire and indeed be better than men in her chosen field of endeavor.

Terrible Beauty

The sight before him was truly amazing. In all his years of travelling the world and visiting the ends of the earth; he has never been met by such a sight. He was transfixed to the spot held spellbound by what he beheld on his path. He thanked the gods, if they existed ,for the chance to come in contact with such an awesome and remarkable beauty.(the beauty was debatable)

The scene before him exuded strength and yet was surrounded by weakness and sorrow. In this one scene he saw the effects of war, the good the bad and the ugly. He saw the ravages of war on the populace but also saw the beauty of adaptation and survival as people thrived in this environment. Here survival was a reflex conditioned by influences beyond control.

He so wished he could capture the imagery as it was. He had a digital camera but instinctively he knew it will not do justice to the scene. And so he sat down and willed the image to be imprinted in his mind. So that everytime he saw the image, his mind will come alive with the nuances of the characters in the scenery.

Years later he will commission a painting to try and capture the essence of what he saw that day.

On this day the twentieth anniversary of that fateful sighting, the author once again narrated what he saw and what he felt twenty years ago.

On that day two decades ago, he saw strength coexisting with weakness, sorrow living with joy. He saw the strong being supported by the weak and the rich being fed by the poor. He saw children made parents and parents made childless. The paradox of that day was all encompassing as it was engaging. Even today he still could not forget the look in the eyes he saw. The eyes that held him spellbound and kept bringing him back to that little known place at the end of the world.

As the author ended his reminiscing, there was no dry eye in the room and everybody hugged themselves tighter because it seemed like a cold draft just blew across the room.

Dedicated to war survivors especially child soldiers scattered across Africa and the world. May your ordeals teach us to care.

Dead on arrival

He held her hand as they strolled on the beach.  She has always enjoyed these moments, just the two of them in quietness, enjoying nature and each other’s company.  It was early dawn and the beach was empty. The only sounds were from the waves beating the shore, the sand screaming under their bare feet and the sea gulls calling their loved ones. It seemed like they have been there forever and have become almost sedated by nature’s rhythm.

When she was with him she always felt safe, she always forgot about the frustrations and challenges in her life. She was always happy and never wants to let go. He was her life line the substance of her dreams. “Why couldn’t I choose this life” she thought, “he has asked me to marry him, why have I not given him an answer”. This was all she has always wanted, a man to love her unconditionally and cherish her immeasurably, a father for her children who also doubles as a protector for them all.

She touched his arm to get his attention and was just about to tell him she would be honored to be his wife; when she heard her name floating in the winds, faint but unmistakable. She paused waiting to hear it again; he looked at her with questioning eyes waiting for her to talk. She was about to continue when it was as if someone shouted her name right inside her ears.

In an instant the imagery had dissolved and she saw herself lying on a tattered mattress with an angry woman hovering over her. She sighed, “It was all a dream” she thought; now this is her reality.  She has two beautiful children to feed, she had no job, and they were squatting with a bad tempered woman in a ramshackle shed. Her life had collapsed after her drunkard husband threw her and the kids out of the house that was 6 weeks ago. Now she is mother and father, protector and provider.

As the length of time she had been awake turned from seconds to minutes, she came to a sobering conclusion, “this was not a place of dreams but of  survival, in this place dreams are dead on arrival and only the willful survive”.