Death In Paradise..!!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
..Its what I wrote for a competitoin... Not good, but none the less an effort by ME...!!

Do Not b shy to give your honest comments...!!

Submitted: July 16, 2011

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Submitted: July 16, 2011

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"I smelled the same lavender fragrance in her hair. Stroking my fingers in them, I experienced the same softness. She was sleeping so soundly, so peacefully; almost unaware of the calamity befallen upon us. Almost as if she had left everything behind, and I was the only one being haunted by the nightmares of what happened three nights ago. Three nights ago... I was taking a walk in the streets with my husband and my eight years old daughter. I was happy, I was content. I loved my husband, I loved my child, and I loved my life. Everything was perfect. But in one drastic moment your whole life can fall apart, in one incomprehensible moment, everything you love can be taken away from you. And there is no use questioning it, because this is life. No one said it would be easy, no one said it would be the same forever. No one said the people you love would stay in your life forever.

When I was growing up, my mother taught me the lesson of letting go of things, finding means to move on in life. It is not necessary to forget the things, but you must be capable of pulling yourself back up if something let you down, and learn to not let it affect you forever. She did tell me that it will never be easy; she did try to make me strong.

And I did become strong. And I was strong, until one night, that night three nights ago when I was taking a walk with my family. That night changed my life, that night changed me.

I was no longer strong anymore. I forgot to let go. For how could I let go? I loved him too much...

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That morning was the same as every other of my life. I got up early, made breakfast, dressed up my daughter for school. I kissed my husband goodbye and he was as always late for work, and dropping off my daughter at her school, I made my way to my own office.

I was a columnist in the local newspaper. It paid well enough for me to be able to support my husband, and save money for our daughter’s college’s tuition. I had completed beforehand six columns and my boss was extremely happy with me. Happy enough that he gave me a raise that day, and I was thrilled.

I called my husband from the office, telling him the good news, and he was ecstatic for me, always supportive. He told me we should take a vacation for a week at least. I smiled at the thought, but it wasn’t possible with my daughter’s need of regular attendance at school. So we let the idea go and talked about his day at work.

As I went to pick up my daughter from school that afternoon, I dropped for a while at the shopping mall. I needed to buy something for the house and maybe something nice for my husband as well. My daughter was well content with just an ice-cream cone. I smiled, thinking when she would grow up, she would always take care of the budget, and never ask more than what we would give her as her allowance. She was that kind of a kid.

My husband returned at supper. He was always smiling, always enthusiastic about one thing or the other, always optimistic. I presented him the shirt I had bought for him from the mall, and he was touched, for it was not often that I showed such gestures of love and affection. This was what my husband was a lot better at than me.

We enjoyed the supper together. It was a perfect evening with my family. I was happy to be so blessed, for everything was so perfect in my life.

I had the kind of life that high school girls dreamed about; a handsome and loving husband, beautiful child, a job that paid well and a nice home that had an actual address, that wasn’t rented and that my husband actually owned. My social life was smooth; I was kind to the poor and inviting to the neighbors. I gave charity whenever I could, and I went to church nearly every Sunday with my family. I was a good person. I never meant anyone any harm.

I lived in a very secure part of the town where crime was extremely rare, where children could play in the streets without their parents worrying about them. If I had a teen-age child, I could let my child stay out as long as till midnight; that was the set limit. It was a place where everyone knew almost everyone, and you only needed to go to the hospital for a broken arm.

I took a walk with my family everyday when the sun would be setting. There were hardly any cars on the streets and the atmosphere was always peaceful. And at the top of the hill, I could watch the sun go down while holding my husband’s hand, and together we would look up to the skies and thank God for the blessings in our life.

That evening, we put on our coats for our regular walk. We made it to the top of the hill, and we watched the sun go down, believing in the miracles of the world, believing that everything in this world held a potential for beauty and goodness, believing that this world was still a better place.

We were walking back home when we passed an elderly couple on the street. My husband stopped to greet them. We had only exchanged pleasantries when a teenage boy came running past and grabbed at the old lady’s purse. The poor lady was too fragile to hold on to the purse, and the boy sprinted away quickly with it. And before I could stop him, my husband was running after the boy. I screamed his name but he didn’t stop. Fear gripped me and I clutched my daughter to myself. The elderly couple stood there, transfixed and helpless.

I called 911 and frantically explained the situation. It took years for them to confirm the address I was at, and it seemed like forever to me while giving them the address. And I hadn’t even disconnected the call when I heard it.

Smooth and loud, and so clear; three distinct shots being fired.

It needed no explanation. I did not need anyone else to tell me what had happened. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what that sound was.

And I hardly remember anything else after that, except that I was running to the place where my husband had ran after the boy. I could hear the cries of my daughter as she was finding it difficult to understand what was happening. She was crying for me to not leave her alone. She was crying for me to come back.

But I ran…

I ran only to discover my husband’s limp body on the ground in the pool of blood. I could only stand and stare at the lifeless eyes. There was nothing I could do; nothing to bring him back, nothing to change time.

Three nights passed in a whirl. Relatives came and went. They sympathized with me, told me how sorry they were, and that I should be strong for my daughter. But the tears in my eyes had dried up the very night I lost him. There was just the feeling of emptiness, of life having lost its meaning. My soul was dead.

Three nights later, I lay beside my sleeping daughter, stroking her hair, cherishing her, and all the while, I contemplated about life and its meaning. Where had I gone wrong? Where was I unjust, and to whom?

What did I do to deserve this?

I asked myself many questions about life, about the injustices, and cruelty, about things that happen that sometimes have no meaning at all but still they happen. And I thought about the things that happen for a purpose.

But people say that everything happens for a reason. So what was the reason for my husband being taken away from me like that, or a father being taken away from his daughter in split seconds?

I found no answer to this. I could not understand what better fate God might have in store for me, that he took my husband away from me to give me something better. What could be better?

I still have to live many years to find that out. I still have many more years to bear alone to get the answer to the question; why?"

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* * * * * * * *

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Four Years Later…

I finally got the courage to publish the article (this article) about the story of my life; about how I lost my husband. I got a pat on the back at the end of the day from my boss for being so brave. I received letters from around town, from people wanting to know more. Most of them want to know if I have finally in the course of four years learned why? Many have written their own tragedies; every one has a story to tell.

My daughter is twelve years old now. She is going to a different school, and nobody asks her where her father is. Older kids have read the story of a brave man getting killed on the streets, while saving an old lady’s purse. Younger kids have no business in these matters. They never ask, and my daughter never tells.

It was absurd for me to think that my daughter had left behind the memory of her father dying in front of her own eyes. She still had nightmares as I did. I hear her scream almost every night in her dreams; she cries like she cried that night.

As for me, I never met anyone new in life. I never saw the ‘better’ of it that you are supposed to receive after such a calamity. I never learned why?

And I never let go…

 

The End!

 

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