White Lily

Reads: 224  | Likes: 10  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 9

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

A story about love and forgiveness.

White Lily

My Dad was a lonely man. Perhaps, the most lonely man in the world. His best friend was not his mates, his wife or his kids but his brandy. When the brandy was out, he had whiskey. He drank to death, nearly, each time he did that. He would come home with a face like a bulldog, a mind like a zombie but a set of muscles like Rambo. And he punched. 

The house was his boxing ring. Everything in sight was his enemy. 

For mental health reason, we kids were forbidden to watch the show and would take refuge in uncle's until next day when my Dad somehow got his face, head and muscles together. When we got home, my Mom would say, 'Everything is alright now.' But I never failed to spot the new injuries on her body, despite how she tired to hide them from us. 

'Why don't you divorce him, Mom?' I demanded.

'There are many things you wouldn't understand.' My Mom turned her face away and refused to tell me what exactly she thought I wouldn't understand. 'I am a woman too. Mom.' A protest in vain. 

The drama continued for days, for weeks and then for years. Sometimes I really wished he could drink to his death and no more Rambo. Secretly, I made it my only prayer when I was told to thank God at the dinner table. 

And I thanked God! For my Dad stopped coming home when I was six. My Mom told me he had run away with another woman and then was taken by the demon. I knew she lied, because her eyes betrayed her like a kid was caught on the spot for pinching his sibling.

Three months after Dad was gone, I found, in an early morning, that a white lily suddenly grew in our garden. No one knew where it was from or how it got there. But it had a sweet pungent smell, every one liked it. 

Beside my Mom. That time she furiously, hysterically, uprooted it as soon as she came back home from work late in the morning. 'Allergy.' It was all she said when I asked her why. 

One year later, our garden mysteriously grew another white lily. But it still met with the same luck. Uprooted and tramped. However the same soap opera continued for another three years. Every year in the same month, a white lily would appear upon the soils of our garden. Later, my Mom was getting more neurotic. We moved. 

Life moved on in a less dramatic way, but I never forgot the sight and the smell of the white lily. One night after school, I went to the old house against my Mom's will and knowingness. I wondered if I could see another mysterious white lily again. 

Yes. I did. So did my Mom. She stood right in front of the white lily, quivering like a freezing chick. Under the dim lamppost, I saw this time she was not trying to uproot it but was wiping her tears silently. I went home and said nothing. Secrets of this sort had built up at home like kitchen waste by then. The year I finished my primary school, three white lilies had grown in the garden of the old house till it was sold. 

Later I learned from my relatives why my parents argued. My Dad hated my Mom's unusual working hour job and her heavy makeup. My Mom hated his lack of willingness to work and his indulging in drinking and gambling. He blamed her for embarrassing him in public with her job. She demanded him to earn and bring home fifty millions first before he threw her another word or fist otherwise she would sue him for woman abuse. I knew my Dad was guilty of both. But I did not know he left home due to shame or fear. No one knew where he went either. 

Two years after my Dad left, I woke up one mid night, from the window I saw a shadowy figure appeared at the front of house gate. The guy was holding something in his hands, lingered around for a while and then left. I saw there were muddy footprints left on where he had stepped. Next morning, another beautiful white lily stood upon the garden soils. Since then I knew my Dad did not go far away, and I knew who had planted those white lilies. 

I did not tell my Mom what I saw in case she went hysterical again. But I guessed she had figured that out already. After we moved, she changed her job. She had a more regular schedule and dressed more like a lady than a butterfly. She spent time with me at nights for my homework but not out in the caress of other men. But most times she locked herself in her room. 

There was one time I heard a string of crying sound coming out of her room. I went in and saw she was crying like a child, a lot louder than when I lost my first pet - a guinea pig whom I called Mickie. 

That day I learned that the white lily was the flower my Dad sent her at their wedding. And the days those flowers appeared upon our garden were their anniversaries. 

Before my Mom went to bed she told me, 'Go and get your father back. Tell him not to worry about that fifty millions. I've stopped thinking of suing him long time ago. He can plant lily. I...won't pull it any more...' 

I did not fall asleep that night. I heard my Mom crying into sleep and kept saying my Dad's name and mumbled, 'I won't pull it...I won't pull it...I promised you...I have stopped going there...Pleas come home...' 

Dad came home eventually on his own accord. He didn't bring fifty million dollars home, but brought back a bank account and its statement. He told Mom that inside the account was the money he had saved little by little from his honest works. And he gave it to my Mom who was trembling so hard from crying. 

At that moment I witnessed: No matter how many storms between family members, there is always one love they can not uproot. 

I also learned: As long as love still exists, there is no mistake can not be forgiven. 

That day my Mom said to us, 'We all alright.' For the fist time, I knew she did not lie. 

Submitted: June 08, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Derina Peng. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



A very moving and beautifully told story, Derina,
Thank you for sharing it with us.

Mon, June 8th, 2020 11:24am


Thank you very much for reading it HJ! And you're welcome!

Mon, June 8th, 2020 12:33pm


I second (ie agree with) HJ's comment. Beautifully done, Derina. And perhaps drawing just a little bit from your own experiences?

Mon, June 8th, 2020 2:46pm


Thank you very much Adam! And your guess was right. Semi-fictional.

Mon, June 8th, 2020 12:32pm

Mike S.

A fine life-lesson tale, Derina!

Mon, June 8th, 2020 5:05pm


Thank you very much for reading it, Mike!

Mon, June 8th, 2020 12:29pm


An emotional and well-told account of a situation all too common, Derina.

Mon, June 8th, 2020 7:34pm


I know this kind of drama was very common in life. My Dad was an alcoholic and he was a Rambo. The prayer and the threaten sue were real. His hand didn't only landed on Mom tho' but also that poor girl...

Mon, June 8th, 2020 12:45pm

Serge Wlodarski

Nice story.

Tue, June 9th, 2020 10:09am


Thank you very much!

Tue, June 9th, 2020 6:17am

Sharief Hendricks

Beautiful Derina...

Getting better and better !!!
I loved it ...

Wed, June 17th, 2020 10:28am


I am getting embarrassed...when knowing my works are getting read...Thank you again though! : )

Wed, June 17th, 2020 4:17am

Sharief Hendricks

No need to feel embarrassed, embrace it and enjoy it...

when I started here I told myself I will be happy even if only 10 people read my work, now im so blessed, it makes me confident to keep going

you please do the same and each time you will get better and better , just like me and so many others....

Keep it up !

Wed, June 17th, 2020 11:26am


Thank you very much. I guess sometimes when I wrote I didn't expect people would read, more like just a way to express what was in me. After I wrote them, I moved on. Sometimes I wrote about personal stuff, and I guess it was where the embarrassment came from. Yes, just keep going. It is nice to see you here.

Wed, June 17th, 2020 6:41am

Hugo de Santa Catarina

this heartbreaking and inspiring. it takes a strong and beautiful soul to create something so beautiful from an experience so awful

Wed, June 24th, 2020 6:11am


Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, I try to turn something nice from the ashes, like phenix.

Tue, June 23rd, 2020 11:56pm

Niranjan das

Nice to come up with your experience. Amazing

Sat, July 4th, 2020 5:34pm


Thank you very much for reading it!

Sat, July 4th, 2020 2:31pm

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