MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “short story”

Choose your outlook

We’ve been through so much already,” the little girl said, tugging on her father’s coat. “If someone offers us help, I say we take it”.

He looked at her. It was true, leaving your homeland with only whatever you could carry was a torment in itself, and a heavy burden for any nine-year old to bear. The series of misfortunes that ensued was something refugees were prepared for. Particularly those violently expelled from their own country. 

They had just met someone who promised to get them to safety. But after a couple of failed attempts to believe people who vowed the same, the father was now distrustful.

Not everyone is good”, he told her.

Her mother soon arrived, her eyes drooping from exhaustion. She took the little girl’s hand and gently placed her arm around her husband.

There is still so much good out there”, she hummed. “But life is how you want to see it”. “If you want to find the good, you’ll find it. And if you’re constantly looking for the bad, it’ll catch up with you”.

They all breathed a little slower now. The realisation of this truth sinking in.

We need to acknowledge that practical optimism is a much better framework on life than default pessimism”.

Let’s choose to believe that everything will work out”.

Luck and what we make of it

https://www.ikea.cn/cn/en/images/products/dracaena-plant-lucky-bamboo-spiral__0908921_pe594507_s5.jpg?f=xs

It was a seemingly ordinary day. Whatever ‘ordinary’ may be defined as. Because, although he had everything perfectly planned to the minute the night before, the next morning everything capsized. It took him seven snoozed alarms to finally crawl out of bed. There was no milk in the fridge for his breakfast, and when he reached the bus stop, he had to wait half an hour in the scorching heat, as there was an error in the schedule.

When he eventually reached his appointment location about an hour later, the person he was supposed to meet was herself running late due to an unprecedented occurrence (health-related). He could only wait. For another half hour. In the developing heatwave.

The day only slightly improved after the meeting (set to last for 15 minutes but turned into a 2-hour visit) ended and he rushed to see his girl. Lunch together appeared to alleviate things.

They even bought a lucky bamboo together, in the hope that their fortune would change hereafter.

There was a spare penny after the payment, which he decided to pass on.

During the evening, he rushed to the supermarket before heading home for some urgent work. The cash in his wallet was one penny short of the bill he had to pay.

The penny from the bamboo.

His eye twitched as he counted the coins.

Luck, they say, is something you make. But is it so? Is it the choices we make or the circumstances that occur? And how much do we impact everything around us in the end?

He sulked home, hoping the lucky bamboo would do a better job as of tomorrow.

The next ship

©GE

Sunset was her favourite hour. It was as though the world suddenly relaxed following a stress-filled day and the sky breathed a sigh of relief. It was evident in the atmosphere. You could feel the air more tranquil, more serene.

It was his favourite time for walking. Free from the heat of the morning, and with still enough light to enjoy the path.

Their course was by the sea. Water was integral. She had told him that since they first began searching for a common roof.

But now, the city chaos had become too overwhelming.

“Let’s just leave”, she said in a breathless exasperation.

He stopped in his step; turned round and gazed right into her eyes.

Let’s”, he said in all severity.

The next ship sails at dawn.

Mutual desire

© Lisa Fox

The moral from the story of Rapunzel is that if there is a will from both sides, a way will always be found”.

She smiled in that sweet mischievous way of hers.

He looked in her eyes, trying not to crack a grin.

But there is more to that, no?

Just cling on to this part, though”, she insisted.

It’s clearly a concept of finding a solution out of a mutual desire for ensuring each other’s company”.

Her eloquence was one of the things that he admired about her, and which drew him further into falling in love with her.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The way we feel about it all

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/sites/thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/files/feelings.jpg

We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

A flower for words

©Dale Rogerson

He left it there, tall, sturdy and fresh, in a vase decorated with a simple bow that made it stand out even more.

It was a simple gesture that would be greatly appreciated. He was sure of it, because he knew her too well.

He could even envision the smile lighting up her face when her eyes would catch sight of it.

He had to leave early that morning, despite the fact that she enjoyed being lazy in bed a while longer when there was no pressing obligation that forced either of them to jump out.

This was a compromise.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Art of Living

©MCD

“If you can handle the mood swings, the unexpected rage, the moaning, the breakdowns, the crying for no reason, the hypothetical and sometimes psychotic scenarios, all those small things that tick her off… well, then you can pretty much handle anything”.

Tom was a psychotherapist. A happily married man for almost half a century now. And his favourite uncle. His advise always worked. And he knew what to do to retain calm in any relationship, to help reconciliation and bring back the good humour of any couple.

“Take her for a walk. Long ones usually help”, he smiled.

“It’s the fresh air. And the gesture that you care enough to comprehend that there is not much you can do. Heck at this state, not even she herself knows what she wants. And perhaps that is what agitates her the most”.

“Walk by the lake. The one with the windmill. She’ll stop and ponder at it. Breathing in and out as it turns, it will help her relax”.

“If you’re feeling lucky, you can even throw something clever, like ‘life is like the windmill; it goes round and round’. Or my personal favourite: ‘All the art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go or holding on during the winds of change’.”

Coffee stop

©Ted Strutz

It was a four-hour drive to Minnesota. A very long period of time to not speak to each other.

Can we stop for coffee?” she said softly after about an hour and a half passed.

He nodded; “Of course, at the next stop”.

It wasn’t the drink itself that was a necessity for them both. It was the act of reconciling over it.

Coffee, no matter how much a requisite for some to start the day, is a means to enjoying each other’s company. It is the pretext of getting together and sharing views.

Of enjoying life with one another.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Get out of your head

The reason we trouble ourselves is because we prioritise one thought over another. And that former one is usually a source of negativity and hypothetical scenarios that may never even play out. We need to get out of our heads and live in the moment. To appreciate what we truly have now, we need to stop dwelling on the ‘ifs’”.

She looked at him silent.

He was right. But she was too stubborn to admit it.

He gazed into her eyes transmitting a calmness that radiated from the depths of his soul. Even his breathing held a tranquil rhythm. She could feel the serenity soothing her. How could she remain angry at him? And for no apparent reason.

There are so many problems in the world. Serious ones. We don’t need to create more with our minds”, he said opening up his arms to embrace her in a forget-it-all-and-let-it-go hug.

Still she said nothing.

But she smiled, and her eyes lit up.

She loved him for this. For being able to comprehend her mood swings and loving her regardless.

Work and play

© David Stewart

I have to work”, he said springing out of bed with a look of utter distress. The anguish of being behind schedule for all his deliveries fed his insomnia for days.

The weekend retreat did not help at all. The days were OK as long as they were walking outside in the fresh air. But his mind was constantly pounded by the professional obligations he had yet to fulfil.

I know, but first you need to fuel yourself with some energy,” she replied to him tentatively placing a tray filled with a rich breakfast.

He couldn’t refuse the care received.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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