How she was “saved”

 

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Image courtesy: pixabay.com

The religious fanatics were on the prowl in a recently independent India… At night one of them silently crept into a Hindu village that had failed to convert to Christianity after multiple missionaries were dispatched to ‘educate’ the savages.

“Something HAS to be done. These people need to be saved. I’m spreading the word of the church”, said the man reassuringly to himself, oblivious of the repercussions his actions would have on his soul.

From hut to hut he stealthily propagated, dagger between his teeth, a rosary hanging around his waist.

“In the name of Christ as he was once sacrificed on the cross, I will save them from their earthly sins if they have not yet embraced the word of our Lord.” He chanted as he stifled sleeping women and sliced throats.

Almost all the huts in the little village were purified that night. The manic missionary had but one last little house left.

He made his way in through the kitchen. The embers from the coal stove were dying and cast long shadows on the low ceiling and mud walls.

In the next room slept the woman with the infant. He could hear her breathing deep and long.

As he had done in the last twenty houses he slid his fingers over the hilt of the dagger and tightened his grip, ready to strike.

Just as he raised the evil instrument over his head and moved across the room, the shadow of a cross flickered onto the wall.

“A sign! A sign! The Lord has blessed this house. They have been saved.” He sighed as he stared at the flickering cross.

And then the horror of the act he was about to perform hit him. He was about to take the life of a fellow purified child of God. He would have committed murder most foul and heaven’s doors would have been closed to him forever! They probably already were.

The agony of that realisation was worse than a thousand crucifixions. To be denied entry into the kingdom of heaven after all his noble acts seemed the greatest loss of all. He was about to take a life. And many had been taken already. He had one more to take….

He raised the dagger once more and plunged it deep into his own breast crying as it pierced his heart.

The embers flickered on…casting the cross shaped shadow of a humble gas lighter that innocently hung between two nails on the wall, not knowing that it had saved two lives that night.

 

The complaint.

Right. So sometimes I just want to tell the world to “stop fucking with me…just…stop!”

I’ve had it with the wars, terror, famine, poverty, pollution, nuclear threats, dictatorship, civil strikes, unaccountability.

I’ve also had it with nagging neighbors, the salesmen who call at odd hours, the self proclaimed do-gooders, the friends without any benefits, the therapy and the pills, the gossip, the tattle-taling, the hostility and animosity, the running around, the picking-yourself-up…

Dear soul…. The time really is NOW for a CPR, but I doubt you’ll pull through…

 

Help her? Or help himself?

Image courtesy Pixabay.com. Source Link.
Image courtesy Pixabay.com. Source Link.

While they waited for their cab, he looked at her as she struggled with her designer laptop bag, her Tupperware lunch bag, and her huge pink tote with a rainbow motif. Her whole world was probably in that pink bag, he wondered. And, she – being a petite creature of fairytale folklore – could have fit in the bag herself!

“Time to be macho”, a sly smile grew on his rascally face.
“A small thing like you can’t lift ALL that. I’ll help you.” And he reached to pick up the laptop bag.
It looked great in his hands. Tan leather with brass embellishments.
Exquisite! Such a bag ought to really belong to a guy like him; suave and smooth with the ladies and living on ice and bling and parties, working just to make more money to spend.
And before he could revel in his reverie, the bag was yanked out from his hands.
“Do you really wanna help me with my stuff?” she asked, much to his arrogant surprise.
“Here! You can carry this then.”
And she pushed her pink rainbow bag into his arms, swung her laptop on her shoulder and scurried off towards the cab.

Ouch Couch.

As I stood seething in the corner, arms folded and face red, I saw her go into the bedroom….
We’d been married two years now and the fights were getting harder to patch up.
Tonight was particularly bitter… We hadn’t fought like this since one of our early dating days. But back then, things were different. I’d cool off with my friends and she’d cool off with hers… And we’d go back to being oh-so-inseparable the next day.
The thought brought a flicker of a smile to my face. Gosh, I loved her. I still loved her.
The fight was all MY fault. I knew that. The manly thing to do was to apologize. But…. the testosterone was high and my ego was higher.
Anyway, I would make it up to her in bed. She always lets me.
And then I saw something that made my heart sink.
She was walking towards the couch with a pillow and a throw rug.
It had finally happened. We were gonna be one of those couch-couples where the wife typically tells the husband ‘It’s the couch for you tonight!’. We’d seen it in cartoons and movies but we’d NEVER not spent the night together after a fight.
I suppose this meant that the love was gone…. It was really gone!
Resigned to my fate, I stepped up to the couch… I knew I deserved it… I was SUCH a colossal jerk to her tonight.
I was just about to sink into the little couch when she pushed me out of the way.
“The couch isn’t big enough for you. This is where I sleep tonight.” With that, she dropped into the worn in upholstery and turned away from me.
And at that moment, my heart broke ever so silently.

Image courtesy Pixabay.com. Source Link.
Image courtesy Pixabay.com. Source Link.

The Gold Digger…

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com. Source Link
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com. Source Link

He brought the wide-eyed but sure-footed girl back to his penthouse in the city. He could tell that she loved the fine life and she was awed by the wealth he had amassed…. And as the two of them “snuggled down” under blankets, in front of the gargantuan fire place, he looked deep into her eyes and asked …
“Temme me, darlin’…. are you marrying me because of all this money? Be honest now…. ”
He could feel her heart beating fast. She took her time to answer… he supposed she was trying to sound sincere as she said how much she didn’t care about the money…
But he wasn’t prepared when she said “Of COURSE I’m marrying you because of the money.”
A moment of awkward silence as he pulled on his shirt and prepared to stand up…
“But what’s wrong about that?” she quipped.
Oh how dare she! First she TELLS him she’s a gold digger and then she ASKS him what’s wrong about it.
He glared at her, unforgiving!
And she started back, unflinching…
“Yeah, you heard me. I think what you have done for yourself is amazing. You are the poster child for rags to riches and you did that all by yourself. Your business is a booming success and you expect me NOT to be attracted by that kind of drive? So yes, of course I am marrying you BECAUSE of the money… But I’m NOT marrying the money.”
A slow understanding smile spread across his tan face…
She was one complicated lady, this one! And she was a keeper.

Beauty is the Beast

As she sat and wept silent tears for a man who perhaps never gave a shit, her friend stood by, awkwardly and in awe. Not knowing how to console this inconsolable crying person, he consented to giving it a try… a sincere try.

“Please…stop crying it’s not worth it… You are so talented, amazing, beautif -“

The word got stuck in his throat at the steely piercing look he received from her just then!

” ‘Beautiful!’  Pah!” She spat.

She’d heard that enough. Enough men had wasted her because of her “beauty”. They saw nothing else.

Nothing behind a mask of pretty eye-lashes and pouty lips.

Nothing besides the small button nose and chiseled chin.

Nothing apart from a wraith like frame and willowy hair cascading down gentle, rounded shoulders.

Nothing beyond high cheekbones and soft caramel skin.

Nothing.

But she had had enough of that “beauty”. No, she was not going to let another person call her “beautiful”.

And she told him so, in a fiery torrent.

“Don’t call me beautiful! That’s all anyone ever sees in me! A face and nothing more! Not my heart, not my soul, not my energies. I hate it. HATE it. Why must everyone ALWAYS notice “beauty”?” she screamed out.

A long pause as she regained composure…

And then he said in his slow, warm voice…

“What made you think I was talking about your face?”

And as though, after a long bout of rain, the ray of sunshine feebly shone, a weak yet heartfelt smile lit up her tear stained face.

Reincarnation?? Really??!

“This is a dream, right?” I said, unsure….

“Nope… You’re really here…” the voice said.

“Here is…..heaven then? I’m dead?” my disembodied voice squeaked out…

Silence.

“Hulloh! God?” I was getting desperate now.

“Well, son… you got part of that right…..” the voice said, slowly.

Silence again…. This time from me.

“You ARE dead.” It offered helpfully. But it didn’t make much difference to me!

“But that can change.” It added quickly, sensing my unease.

My greatest confusion lay in understanding where I was and what I was doing in this darkness…. All I was aware of was a presence…

“You have a choice, son.” The voice said, more resolved this time.

“Oh yeah? What? What’s the choice? I’ll take it! I’ll take anything but this!” the desperation was still a part of me, though I could feel the presence of something that was trying to calm me.

“You can choose to start over again. Or you could choose to move into an unknown…. ” the voice said.

“Start over? As in….. get back to the crash where I died, and die again?” the sarcasm in my voice was thick.

“No. Start over from scratch. Be born again.” It said, calmly…ignoring my scoffing tone.

By now, I had had just about enough. Someone was definitely fucking with me.

“I’m not.” It answered my question before it even left my lips!

Mind-reader!

“Not really…. Son… you are a minute part of a gargantuan being…. A molecule …. One that’s returned after a brief stint with other parts of itself.”

“Please…. I don’t understand… Please.” I was begging now… Crying…. Some clarity was all I asked for.

And then, just like a movie screen in superfast motion, every second of every minute of every hour of every day of my life started playing out….. Like someone had recorded it all and was showing me EVERYTHING…. Every nitty-gritty detail…. The glory, the embarrassment, the first kisses, the last goodbyes, the pride of winning, the shame of quitting, the gregarious laughs, the silent tears…. Everything… And it ended at the car crash.

“This…. Your life….. was another episode in a grand scheme of living and dying…. Your two hundred and twenty seventh episode.”

The sheer incredulity was overwhelming and overpowering! I had lived and supposedly died two hundred times? Seriously?

“You don’t remember. It’s still new to you. You are still attached to the memories of your latest life… after all, you’ve only been dead for a few seconds…. But yes. This was the end of your two hundred and twenty seventh life of meeting a million molecules such as yourself….The same beings you’ve met in all your lives before.” It concluded.

“What do you mean by that? Have I really met the same people in all my lives?” The slow realization that this was indeed reality, was sinking in to me…. Clearing my mind of the fog of a recent death… a recent life.

“Yes…. You met the same people…..saw the same people….. every time….. With some, you spent years….with others, you spent seconds…. But they were all part of you in every life….. Your best man at your wedding? Well in your hundred and tenth life, he sold you a handful of peanuts…. And in your seventy second life, he set fire to your barn… Your wife in this life, was a stranger you helped save from drowning in a previous life…. The stranger you flipped off on the road today was a daughter to you in a previous life…. The thousands of people you saw at the concert you attended today in your last hours alive, were all associated with you in your many previous lives….. And so on and so forth…. And this information, my son, has been given to you for the two hundred and twenty seventh time….. ” the voice ended abruptly, but not wearily.

The realization that all that was said was true was getting stronger now…. I remembered being here in this darkness…… Being told these same words…. Being made to understand ‘the choice’…. And I knew what I was going to pick….

“Are you sure? Are you sure you want to go back to the beginning and start your two hundred and twenty eight?” it asked in finality.

With a smile I felt on a face I didn’t have, I knew that the voice had heard my decision. Had felt it…

A million miles away somewhere, a baby was just about to be born.