This is my first try at writing. The "A Tree Of Hatred" was liked by people around me and so I thought it to be better that I publish it. The story revolves around a boy and his adopted sister, whom he doesn't love.

 

A Tree of Hatred

-Aayus Mohapatra

Initially I was introvert. Meeting and having conversations with people wasn’t really something I preferred. Right from childhood, my parents always complained of me being demure. When I was merely 13 years old, my parents decided to have another child. Instead of having one naturally, they chose to adopt one. They told me that they were doing this to erase the forlornness from my life.

The idea of adopting a kid as old as me just to make my life “loneliness free” didn’t approach me at all. I always wished for a sibling, but not this way.

I had decided that I was going to lead the same kind of life even after the addition of a sibling, just for me. I always liked spending time with my mother and talking to her about random topics for hours. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen after she had to take care of two thirteen-year-olds instead of one. This thought haunted me and this was the initial seed of hatred sowed in my heart for my soon coming sister. Dad had already told me that he was going to bring a daughter, a sister for me.

Dad called out for me. “Aman, hurry up kiddo! We’re running late for the orphanage, we still got some paper work left.” He owned a cabriolet but always preferred to keep the roof closed, I always wondered why.

My parents knew that I was against the girl, yet they told me that to move on in life, one always needs to meet new people and cease people behind and a sibling was always a great source of support during one’s struggle. I always listened to their “lectures” with my eyes half-closed just like every other teen did. Although knowing that I would not accept things so easily, they never opinionated me.

Dad screamed. “This is the last time I’m calling you, better make your tiny feet travel down or else I’m young enough to drag you right here, rat.” This was the first time ever dad screamed on me and moreover addressed me as a rat. I was horrified and annoyed at the same time. I ignored. But as soon as I heard dad slam the car door hard enough to scare mom sitting inside, I hurried and rushed down by the stairs just to reach before dad actually dragged me down. I slipped from the last but third step and fell from a minor height and got some mere bruises. I had the pain but at the same time I was happy that I wasn't going to the orphanage. Dad put an ointment on my bruises and lit his cigarette. As usual, I asked him, "Why do you have to smoke?" He'd say the same thing over and over "I've been smoking since I was nineteen. If smoking couldn't harm me in all these years, what will it do to me now?"

I hated this attitude of dad and that he always condemned the idea to quit smoking.

"I know its aching but you are happy, and I know that" asked dad in his baritone. I hated this too; he always managed to know what's going on in my mind.

Dad left for the orphanage, and I continued to write a fable. I was interested in writing. I'd already received half a dozen prizes for two fables, an essay and three childish tragedies. I also had written an elegy for my late grandfather. I was good at writing and I had confessed to my parents that I would like to be a writer as a grown up. But back then I was just 13, when aims and ambitions fluctuate in the minds of kids. My parents weren't serious about what I'd confessed to them. Maybe they thought that I would first pursue a well waged job and keep writing as a hobby.

I did not know much about that girl. I heard some from mom few days ago. All I knew that she was as old as me, was very fair, beautiful and talented. But I preferred not believing until I met her. Two hours passed by and the fable didn’t proceed. I spent the time wondering the consequences that would happen to me after Sana’s arrival. Her name was Sana, as far as I knew.

Dad blew the horn from the driveway. I wasn’t excited at all. He called me down, and this time I dared not to delay. I walked downstairs and felt like I was coming down from a hundred-story building. Mom was talking something with Sana; she had her back towards me and had very long hair. I shrugged.

Mom introduced. “Hey! Aman, say hello to your sister…”

“She’s not my sister, she’s adopted” I intervened.

“How dare you? Zip your mouth Aman; this is not a way of greeting someone.”

“I don’t care whoever she is. I’m not accepting her anyway. Never”

“Oh, you have to. She’s family too, she’s my daughter.”

“I don’t want your love to be divided; you haven’t given birth to her but me.”

Dad, who was listening to our conversation patiently, broke his anger. “One more word, just one more and I’ll place a slap on your tiny little cheek.” He roared.

I was shocked, looked at Sana with grimace and went to my room, weeping.

The next day after lunch, we went to have some ice-cream. The nearest shop was closed and so we travelled down to a shop, three miles away. That day, I got to know that Sana liked chocolate flavour just like I did. I denied the chocolate flavoured ice-cream that day. I had my own ego. I watched her while she licked the scoops smoothly, my mouth watered like a waterfall.

Just as we were done with the ice-creams, we headed out. Our car was parked on the other side of the road. Papa instructed us to stand in front of the parlour. As he walked towards the car, Sana commenced to follow him. Mom was absent minded and Dad, as usual, never looked behind. As soon as Mom got her eyes off the sari store beside she saw Sana amidst the crowd-struck road. Mom got into a state of shock. As she was about to run towards the road, I grabbed her by her wrist and asked her not to do so.

“Mom, it’s needless, she’ll do it herself” I exclaimed.

She gave me a push, not hard enough to make me fall down. Without a word spoken, she ran towards Sana. But before she could reach her, she was hit by a car, fell, and bleeding. It was the first time I saw something like that. I was shocked to my core. Dad ran towards mom, saw her bleeding. Without any further delay, Mom was taken into the car and pulled into a hospital. I was weeping all the way, Sana too. I was angry, very much. The only thought that ran in my mind was that all that had happened because of Sana. It was just her, because of whom Mom ran into the road, only to get injured. Had she stood with her, none of that would ever have happened. This time it rained hard in my heart, hard enough to germinate that seed of hatred against Sana into a plant.

Mom had got a lot of internal bleeding. The grim-faced doctor, with a disappointing voice, asked that Mom had very less time; we could have our last worlds with her as she counted her last breaths. I wasn’t strong enough to face my mother dying. That was something I wasn’t prepared for, not at least for the coming fifty years. I was shattered, broken and groaning. Sana was sitting beside me, weeping. Dad went in and called us both. As Sana stood up, I gave her an abased look. Teary-eyed I spoke. “You are not going in there, she’s my mother, and you’ve killed her.”

“Please don’t say that, Bhai.”

“Do not call me that.” I screamed, pushed her and ran into the room.

Sana was left weeping outside. I was lucky enough that Dad wasn’t there; else he would have murdered me for doing that to Sana.

Mom looked at me. All the anger that I showed outside to Sana, was gone to the bin once I saw mom.

She grabbed my hand, she was dying. She spoke her last words. She spoke something that wasn’t known to me then.

“You will never recognize the value of a thing until you lose it. Love Her”

She spoke and closed her black eyes, she never opened them again. I sat there moaning, accompanied by Dad and Sana, who had just entered.

Along with Mom's death, the plant grew into a tree of hatred.

I was now alone, although having two other persons in the house and half a dozen servants. I was alone. I knew she won't come back to wipe tears because she, herself had closed her eyes which never would again shed any tears. I heard her last words everywhere. It was hard for me to love Sana. I thought I'd never be able to do that.

The only option left with me was writing. I had given a month-long break to writing. But I realized that writing kept me engaged. It was a way to find my lost mother, seek her in my tales.

Time flew, things changed. Not everything. My attitude towards Sana remained the same. The tree of hatred still persisted in my heart, growing tall as the sun moved up and down.

I was of 18 by then and hadn't scored extraordinarily in the boards unlike Sana, who drew praises and appreciations.

"Congrats Bhai, 83% isn't bad at all" asked Sana with a friendly and consoling tone. I wondered how she managed to behave so well with me. I never even told her a 'good morning' or a 'good night'. Her nature amused me. I was confused though I replied to her arrogantly. "Why are you here? You've got 97%, go shake hands and taste sweets. Don't make me guilty.”

She moved away without a word. So was she, never expressed her emotions.

I had never changed my aim since I was thirteen. I still wanted to be a writer. I told it to Dad. But I had to take engineering in a local college.

"Sana, are you sure you want to pursue filmmaking. I mean there are a lot more options" asked Dad.

"That's my passion, it's impossible to give up filmmaking. It's in my heart, Dad. I promise you Dad, I will become successful" told Sana.

"Well, I can't keep a fish out of water. Go on" exclaimed Dad.

I stood there paying no attention yet I had my ears on them.

Sana came to me. "Bhai, someday, if god wishes, and I become a filmmaker, I will be at your door for a script."

“I want to be an author, not a script writer” I replied rudely.

“It’s not that you will need me, I will need your wonderful stories to make my films successful.”

“I will not write for films, now you may leave. I’m not interested in your plans.”

5 Years later…

I consummated my graduation. That was very long. I had already penned down my first novel by that time. I wasn’t sure if I was going to publish it and therefore, had not visited any publishers. I was pretty sure that the book was going to work.  I had become an engineer. I had a job in my hand. It was paying me around thirty thousand rupees a month, yet I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted people to know me as a writer first and then as an engineer. I had typed down the book and had it in my computer. I e-mailed it to some local publishers. Rejection was the only thing I received. I got rejected by the first couple of publishers, the local ones. I didn’t lose my confidence. I decided to meet renowned publishers personally.

On the other hand, Sana had already worked as an assistant director in a couple of movies. She had already started alluring eyes. She was directing a short documentary on a local politician.

Her movie got released and she became wanted by producers. She was given the offer of a low-budget drama movie. She boggled but later made a really good film. The movie worked outstandingly compared to its budget. She rose to fame instantly. I never watched her movie, nor was I interested to.

In the next couple of months, I got rejected by another handful of publishers. I had just started to feel that my novel wasn’t what people liked to read.

One day, Sana was on a vacation to home.

She wanted to pull out a conversation. “I’ve been offered another film, this time with a greater star cast.”

“And I’ve been denied by a dozen publishers, I guess people will not like to read my novel.”

“Can I have it? I want to read it.”

“No. Be busy in your business, I don’t want your sympathy. Get lost”

She did that again. She walked away without a word.

I walked out of the room and saw her coughing out blood. I was shocked yet didn’t care. A couple of days later I found her weeping with Dad. After Mom’s death, that was the first time I saw him cry. I went to him and asked.

“Dad, I guess this girl made you cry. What’s the reason?”

“This time she did.”

I was confused.

“Did she get denied by the producers?”

“No, she’s getting denied…”

“Yeah, they denied me” interrupted Sana. I was confused but I left as I didn’t care.

1 year later…

The count was now thirty. I was rejected by thirty publishers; some even told that they would rather puke on my book instead of publishing it. When I was suffering through a dark phase, Sana was riding on a carpet of success. She had delivered a blockbuster and was high on success. She was one of the most wanted directors by then.

I was fed up, gave up writing. I walked to my backyard and burnt the only copy of my book. I was frustrated. As I entered back to my room I caught Sana reading my novel in my laptop. I yelled at her. She was shaken. She cried. She said, “Do watch my next film, my last film.”

I got confused. I asked Dad and he told me something shocking. “That day, I meant she was getting denied by her body, she has cancer and barely will live a year more.”

I was shocked yet not sad.

Another year passed…

Finally, her last directorial was about to release. I wasn’t interested yet forced by Dad to watch it.

“It’s her last film; please go watch it, let her die peacefully, will you?” asked Dad. I agreed.

With the movie, an extremely unexpected truth awaited me, something that I was not ready for. Soon after the movie started, I was shocked and an array of emotions went through my mind. I knew the plot, I knew it because I wrote it. And as the credits rolled, it showed “Based on a novel by Aman Sharma.”

I was astounded and in tears. I ran down to her house. I realized that she had dared to make a film out of a rejected novel. She knew that it was going to be her last movie yet she took the chance, just for me. I realized, that day when I yelled at her for peeping into my laptop and reading my story, she had already taken that in her pen-drive.

I reached her home.

I remembered what she had told me long ago:

May be someday I'll be at your door for a script.

Now I was at her door, but I was too late and so was she. She had left her body. I just shrieked and I cried a river out there. Whole life I kept on ignoring and hating her. Now that I killed the tree of hatred, god had killed her. I found a note. It read:

Do watch my last movie, Bhai.

These few words broke me down. I had lost my chance of redemption. I turned out to love her, but it was late, too late. Now, I could just snivel for her death. A great loss had been caused. I failed to recognize her. I failed to recognize her love.

"You will never recognize the value of a thing until you lose it. Love Her

Mom's last words circled inside my head. My brain had denied understanding those words years ago. Now, my heart was bawling. An arrow of those words cut my heart. It bled. I couldn't bear the loss.

Dead was the tree of hatred, and so was she.

3 years later

I succeeded, finally. I established myself as a writer after novels were accepted, some at first chance. Sana's film commenced my career. I found Sana through my stories. I had yet to walk a long road of life, but not alone.

Invisible, she walked beside me.  

Invisible, she still believed in me.

Invisible, she still loved me.


Submitted: July 26, 2014

© Copyright 2023 Aayus. All rights reserved.

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