'IN THE HEARTS OF HEART'
-by Navjot Arora
The story is about a woman, based in California, a single mom whose life revolves around her small kid; she has a son named 'tuna', an adorable mom wants to give the best to her seven year old. She leads a simple life, works at publishing house, has a well settled life, perfect job, a decent house and a nice car to pick up and drop tuna from school. Tuna loves his mom too, but hates kissing her, in his mind he is a grown up man and it's not kool to kiss mom. Tuna is often worried about his name, even after going through some sleepless nights, he has not found an answer to the question that's haunting him day and night, "what would I tell those pretty girls on my date, if they asked me my name?..............TUNA, they would be confused whether to date me or to taste me". Tuna has three aims in life, to gift her mum a new house, sex in the beach and to change his name. He often asks his mom, 'Mommy why did you name me Tuna?' and she tells him about her favourite novel where a lady named Lucy gives birth to a beautiful child and names him tuna; one of the friends in the office recommended her to read it when she was going through depression after her husband 'Matthew' left her, she loves the novel and as she turns the pages, it becomes more thrilling and captivating, and she has a great sympathy for Lucy, she finds the character of Lucy quite close to her life, as they both share a common name and also the story of Lucy is kind of similar to hers, Lucy's husband also leaves her in a mysterious way, things were great between them and then one night he receives a phone call and he tells Lucy that he needs to leave right now for Alaska but would be back soon with lots of gifts for their baby. He leaves his eight months pregnant wife with all new hopes of a brighter future but never turns back. Years pass by; a small baby is a seven year old grown up child now, his name is 'tuna' who is often keen to know about his dad. Lucy hates that man who failed to keep his promises, who always wanted to run away from his responsibilities and who left her alone when she needed him the most. It took her time to forget her past and begin her new life with a baby full of energy, hopes and aspirations. She sees tuna growing up every day, she taught her how to walk, how to eat food and how to say "mommy"……….she still remembers when tuna said "mo..O…mmy" for the first time. She often thinks about the most beautiful moments of her life that she spent with Tuna and slowly and steadily, she has accepted the present and those bitter memories of past seem to be lost somewhere in this hectic schedule of life. Their life is perfect now but there is something that mom has never shared with her son and with anyone else, she has some weird dreams every night, she sees herself running with the sword, there are some books and newspapers lying around the table, exactly like her office, she sees a man in white shirt, his bleeding eye and blood pouring on floor, she hears tuna shouting and then there is a moment of silence, then she sees her dead body lying on the floor and blue ink all over. She has never understood what this is all about, but she is happy to know that it's just a dream, she has sorted herself thinking that dreams revolve around what we see, do or imagine in our daily lives, the place that she sees in her dream is somewhat like a publishing house where she works, a man in white may be, it's 'Mr.Craig Stephens' friend of Matthew, her current boss and fiancé, the sword that she sees is somewhat like the one at the publishing house which is there by the walls and the blue ink and blood it's somewhere related to the novel that she is reading 'in the hearts of heart'. She is a huge fan of this novel and is reading it over last seven years; she is now on its seventh and final edition, chapter twenty three. She finds the story quite exciting, she is amazed the way characters are designed, there is so much of drama and mystery, every page unfolds a new mystery, she has often read about the blue blood canal, it's a canal where blue blood floats when any of the characters die, she finds it quite interesting to see and know different characters, they all have a blue blood and when they are stabbed the blue blood pours out like a fountain that floats in the canal nearby, she wonders, can this ever be possible, is there such a place as blue canal, she feels too attached with all these characters and why not ,she has known them over the years now. She spends her weekends reading that book, she is also sad to know that it is the last edition.
Lucy was getting late for office, it was an urgent meeting with Mr Douglas today, she was all set and well-rehearsed, she wanted that contract anyhow, it was quite a big contract for small publishing house, Mr Douglas had offered the company to publish their new magazines for upcoming year and it was very important for Lucy to crack the deal, she knew that once the deal is done, she can ask for a week's holiday and visit her mum in Barns dale, she got herself in shower, woke up tuna, got him dressed and in next twenty minutes, she was at her car, waiting for tuna to come, she was running out of time and to top it up it was raining and fog got clustered all over the glass, she wiped the glass with a tissue and now it was crystal clear, she could see a woman in her late thirties, wrinkles on her forehead, bright brown eyes, curly black hairs, thin lips and a fair white face. "Tuna come up, be quick, we are getting late"……….. "Yes mum………COMMMMMIIIIIIINGGGGGG".
Lucy: Did you practise nouns and prepositions
Tuna: Ummmm…………..lil bit
Lucy: "Tuna is a boy"………….in this sentence what is noun?
Lucy: "Tuna" is noun.
Lucy: Ok now get down; we will practise nouns today in the eve.
Tuna: Bye mommy.
Lucy rushed to her office and she was there just on time.
"So Mr.Douglas if you sign this contract with us, we can ensure you handsome revenue, we will give you thirty five per cent of our sales revenue that we earn through this magazine and also we can promise to publish your upcoming magazine in other parts of the world as well".
"My forthcoming magazine is about fashion industry and its influence on southern part of the continent"
"That's great we can publish it in other parts of the continent as well. I think Paris will be ideal to launch your magazine. It's the hub of fashion industries and this magazine will be a further boon to their ever evolving glamour tips".
"Sounds good to me".
"Great. Meet my boss Mr.Craig Stephens. Before we enter into any contract, Mr Stephens will tell you about our company policies, and its terms and conditions. Make yourself comfortable. See you in a while."
Lucy never thought it was going to be so simple to crack the deal. She was happy and was just waiting for Craig to step out of his cabin and congratulate her on the new success.
Teacher: Did everyone revise nouns?
Students: Yes ma'am.
Teacher: Alright! Now tuna will tell the whole class what is noun? Common Tuna, tell us what is noun?
Tuna: Ummmmmmm………..Tuna is noun.
Tuna: Mommy said Tuna is noun.
Teacher: Arrrrrrgggghhhhh!!! Stand up and face the wall.
Tuna (in his mind): Mommy is such a liar.
Craig: Congratulations baby!! Well done. Deal is ours, we got the contract.
Lucy: That's great. Ummm, I just wanted to say……..
Craig: Yes you can go for holidays at the end of the month. Happy?
Lucy: Of course I am.
Craig: Dinner tonight?
Lucy: Sure. At our new home?
Craig: See you at eight.
She started her car, picked up Tuna, drove the way to home with a big smile on her face. Tuna kept claiming about her mother's lies throughout the way and all that Lucy could do was laugh and cry, she giggled at the incident and cried at her boy's stupidity. She made sure she practices noun with him that day.
Sunshine disappeared and Lucy was getting ready to meet her fiancé at dinner tonight. She was waiting for Craig to come and pick her up. There she heard a sound of car, someone was blowing horn outside her door and she ran down stairs and saw Craig standing there with waiting eyes and bunch of flowers.
Craig: You look beautiful as ever.
Lucy: Tell me something new.
Today it was their seventh anniversary. This was the first time when they met each other seven years ago and it was still so fresh in Lucy's mind. She remembered everything. It was in the evening, Lucy was crying and moaning with pain, this was the time she needed Matthew the most, she was about to give birth to a baby and there was no one around her. She was rolling on the floor and before she could reach telephone, she heard a door bell, and she cried: "COME IN". This was Craig. It was the first time she saw him and before she could ask him anything, she fainted and the next when she opened her eyes, she was in hospital and beside her was a cute little new born baby boy with small sparkling eyes and big tears in his eyes. She picked her up and felt that there was nothing else she wanted from life. She looked at him carefully and was trying to figure out resemblances of a baby to her mother, his nose, his eyes, his face, everything was like his mother. She felt like she saw her own shadow in that little baby. Then she saw a man in black suit entering the corridor, it was the same man whom she saw entering her house last time, she was thankful to Craig for saving her life. After a few days, she was released from hospital and she was totally enjoying her motherhood. Craig told Lucy that he was a friend of Matthew and Matthew had borrowed twenty grands from him, and he promised he would pay back, so that day he came to see Matthew and get his money back as his company was going through crucial time. Craig wanted his money and he asked Lucy to sell some of the personal assets of Matthew like his house or car, etc. to recover the loss but Lucy denied doing it as she wanted some security for herself and her baby Lucy promised him that in a month's time, she would join Craig's office, so that she can pay off all the money that her husband borrowed and moreover she was looking for a job to feed herself and her son, thus, joining Craig's company was a solution for both. A part of a payment would have gone to Craig to compensate the loss and a part of payment would help her to feed herself and Tuna. The journey began and in three years' time, Craig recovered all what Matthew owed him, Lucy felt a sigh of relief as well. Lucy thought now she can move to some other job and do something else but Craig started realizing that he had feelings for Lucy and he didn't want Lucy to go anywhere, before Lucy could go ahead with her plans, he offered her a promotion from a normal publishing agent to the General Manager of the company. She was surprised at this decision and there was no way she could have even thought about any other company. Somewhere down the line, she realized that Craig had a soft corner for her but he was always scared to approach her. She was still waiting for Craig to make the first move, years passed by but Craig would just look at her from far distance and admire her beauty. Craig was always scared to tell her about his secret love for her because he knew that Lucy had a responsibility to look after and moreover whenever he tried to talk to Lucy, Lucy would always disapprove of getting into any relationship as she had been through the worst experience of her life. Craig always thought that if he would try to impose his love on Lucy, she might leave the company and then he would lose her forever. On the other hand Lucy's opinions started changing, she started convincing herself that one bad relationship or one broken marriage can't stop her to fall in love again and get all that happiness that she always deserved. Five years were over and she decided that today she would propose Craig; It was a dream come true for Craig, he was in the seventh sky and they were tied in a beautiful relationship, they got engaged and Craig wanted to get married as soon as he buys his new house, they were working hard towards it, finally, in their seventh anniversary today they bought a new house, everything was perfect, they had a plan for everything, guest list was made, halls were booked, cards were printed and in two weeks' time, they were getting married. Life couldn't have been more perfect.
Lucy was back at home with all the dreams of beautiful marriage. It was bed time, she was relaxed, tomorrow it was weekend and she had to finish that last chapter of the novel.
Sun was shining on her head and she opened her eyes in a relaxed mood, made some pasta and started turning the pages, she was so attached with characters that she always felt as if she has seen or known those characters over the years now, she also felt that she has seen that blue blood canal, she couldn't remember exactly where but she was sure that she has seen it somewhere on her way. With every page of that story she turned, it was turning the pages of her life, she could sense that everything what she read about Lucy in that story was so closely associated to her own life. She was in the last chapter of the story-'CHAPTER 24 STARTS' - "Lucy got ready to go to church and Tuna shouted: 'Mommy I am hungry, come back soon'. Lucy: 'Sure darling, I will make your favourite chocopie and banana split'. She wanted to thank the God for all that happiness and joy. As she reached there, she saw Craig's car parked there, she was even more delighted. She went inside and saw Craig bent down in front of Lord Jesus, he was confessing something. Lucy stood there quietly to hear Craig.
Craig (in church): I am so thankful that I am going to begin a new life with my beloved. God please forgive me for all my sins. Lucy still thinks that Matthew betrayed her, she would never know about that evening when my car struck a man walking down in the dark. He fell down and he was face was red in blood. I checked his nerves, then his heartbeat but he was dead. I didn't know who he was, I took out his wallet and saw a picture of a beautiful lady with an amazing smile, I saw a card in that wallet which said "Matthew Robinson" and the address on that card led me to the most beautiful lady of this world who was crying and moaning with pain. I thought to myself that I must tell her everything but I didn't want to lose her, that's when I lied her by saying that Matthew took a loan and if she wants to repay the loan she needs to join my company or sell the assets. I always knew she would join the company and this way I would be able to support her in the difficult time and would be able to see her every day. O GOD! Please forgive me for all my sins.
Lucy was shocked to bits, she couldn't believe her eyes and ears, and all her life she felt that Matthew betrayed her and Craig loved her but she never knew the truth behind it. Craig was the murderer of Matthew and the thought of getting married to a murderer disgusted her. Craig was the reason for Matthew's death and he kept lying to her for all those seven years. She saw Craig getting down the stairs and starting his car. She followed him, car stopped at the publishing house and she saw Craig going towards the office, she followed him. Craig turned back at his office and saw Lucy all red in rage with the shocked white face and tears rolling down her eyes. He went close to her.
Lucy: Stop there. Don't dare come near me. You lied to me
Craig: What are you saying Lucy?
Lucy: Stop pretending. I heard everything in the church. You killed my husband.
Craig: It was just an accident.
Lucy: Just shut up!! I will never forgive you for that. All my life I thought that Matthew was a coward who wanted to run away from his responsibilities and I never realized that he loved me so much, he was coming back to me and you broke our happy family. I will not spare you for that.
Craig (moving forward): Listen to me Lucy. You need to calm down.
Lucy (picking up the sword by the wall): Bloody you stop there or I shall kill you.
Craig (moving forward): Just wait, listen to me.
Lucy attacked Craig and sword went straight into his left eye. Craig tried to get hold of a sword. He tried to snatch it from Lucy and he pulled sword towards him, Lucy pulled it hard towards herself and it went straight to her heart and the blood pours out".
Chapter 24 ends.
Lucy's heart beat was loud. She could clearly hear the lub-dub of her heartbeat. She thought she could go know and cook some food for Tuna. 'My boy is hungry'- she thought to herself. She could hear the echo of Tuna's sound saying: "Mommy I am hungry, come back soon". As she tries to get up, she recollects, she is in publishing house, lying down on a floor, and the blue blood pouring out of her heart all around her. Her world comes to end when she realises that she is just a character in a story and she hasn't got any physical attributes, her son Tuna, her husband Matthew, their beautiful house, Craig, they all are imaginative characters, and creativity of some one's mind; their emotions, hearts, minds everything is regulated by author's mind, they don't have their own individual identity, they can just be created and destroyed at the will and wish of the author. They are just in imaginations of people or maybe at the back of their minds or just in their Hearts of heart.