There were three clues that raised Mrs Harris’ suspicions
that night. Firstly, the whole town was snowed-in for two days. That would have
been almost “normal” had it not been the middle of April. Then, when the snowplow
finally passed through, it was accompanied by the police, firemen and an
ambulance. They all had their sirens off.
In fact, the entire town was plunged into silence that
The third thing that was out-of-place was a black garbage
bag, tightly sealed and thrown out of the opposite window right on to the packed
Her name was Jasmin. She was named after her mother’s
favourite flower, one symbolising love, beauty and good luck. She had blue eyes
and long black silky hair.
When she was young she was thrilled to discover that one of
her favourite princesses bore the same name. She believed she was destined for
greatness and always strived to achieve it.
But this had the disadvantage that, on this account, nothing
(and often no one) was good enough.
So when she met her prince, she stifled him because the
reality did not fit the perspective she had imagined. It was the problem of
having too many expectations. They caused too great a heartache and too much
disappointment when they were not met.
Unlike her gentle and kind character, she began to get angry
too often. In her head, it wasn’t this difficult to be with someone, to
communicate, to get along. She was enraged that things were not turning out the
way she hoped.
And then his behaviour made it all worse. He began to pull
away, talking to her less and not spending time together. She despised that he
was lying to her. Even for the simplest of things under the pretext of “not
wanting to upset her”. It made everything worse. Because she knew what the
truth was and how he was lying about it. It made her feel as if he didn’t think
she could handle the truth or that he did not trust her. She had always
wondered, if people are doing things that they have to lie about, then why do
them in the first place?
She was a person of discipline and order, and uncertainty
did not fare well with her. So she began to walk away too, giving up trying to
reconcile their romance. But in her heart she still hoped he would see clearly
and claim her back. He always knew how to do that at first: it only took a
flower, a kiss, a kind gesture, and she would melt in his arms. Princes have
that ability: to charm you.
Her name was Saphire because of the colour of her eyes. She
was independent, wanted attention but not too much and only on her terms and
her mood-swings were unpredictable. If you ignored her, she would find a way to
make her presence felt. It usually involved something you held dear.
Last night, she was upset you came in and didn’t devote to
her the attention you deprived her of all day. She held that anger until this
morning, when you woke up and couldn’t find her.
Until you did. Sitting on your scooter. Waiting. You were supposed
The wind howled waking her up almost constantly. It was hard
to sleep soundly when you were constantly worried that your entire house would
be blown down. For a person already overcome by anxiety and stress, this was
almost too much to bear.
The morning began with rain in addition to the gale. It was
ice cold outside.
She had promised to meet him at their usual café. She was
comforted by the fact that it was almost certain the fireplace would be on
He was already waiting for her when she arrived. But,
following the gentleman’s rulebook, he hadn’t ordered yet.
He smiled widely upon laying eyes on her. His whole face
brightened immediately, bringing out the sun in an otherwise freezing day. She was
still reserved. It wasn’t easy to let things go so abruptly. To forget. Overthinkers
have this disadvantage. They remember everything. Especially the bad things.
He reached out to grab her hand but she pulled back using
the cold as an excuse.
He was seeking another chance. A fresh start. A new
In her head, a million things were gushing through. Thoughts
of retaliation, of payback, of making him experience the same, of handing him
too the same absolute demands and the ultimatum he so carelessly gave her back
then. She could feel the anger steaming up inside her. Her head suddenly felt
all too hot and it wasn’t because of the fireplace.
She took a deep breath, trying to quieten down the yelling
inside of her.
It wouldn’t lead anywhere. She tried to console herself. If she
acted in the same way, if she wronged him as he had once done to her, there was
no point in even trying to be there together.
Ghandi had said “an eye for an eye
makes the whole world blind”. He was right. There is a reason why one
person must always maintain a superior level. Because if you too retaliate in the
same way, you are no better in the end. Perhaps you’re even worse, because you
knew of an alternative way and did not take it.
When Grandpa got up with the rising sun, he did not expect
that the front door wouldn’t open. Neither the back. He knew it was going to be
a difficult day. But for some, it would be exactly the opposite.
He tip-toed into Jenny’s room and gently shook her to waken
her from dreamland. She half-opened her eyes and stretched every inch of her small
“Good morning, Grandpa,”
“There’s a surprise
outside your window,” he smiled.
She jumped out of bed and looked outside.
Everything was white. An impeccable white blanket had
covered everything as far as she could see. It was snowing all night and it
continued to do so now. They were snowed in.
Grandpa was concerned because they were somewhat isolated in
the village and their resources were scarce. He was planning to go into town today,
had the weather permitted it. But few things in life usually go according to
Jenny was excited; she was jumping up and down and rushing
to put on warm clothes in order to run outside. It was freezing, but enthusiasm
always keeps you warm.
“Come on Grandpa, let’s
go build a snowman!” she called as she tried to open the door.
The old man used a shovel, back-aching and almost sweating
in the sub-zero temperatures, striving to open the door.
When he succeeded the little girl ran outside and dived into
There wasn’t much he could do anyway. He just had to wait
for assistance. So they might as well have some fun in the meantime.
Snow beautifies everything. It is nature’s magic that fills
your soul with wonder.
If you’re born
on December 25, you find that you are filled with complaints during this
time of year. Mainly because you feel wronged in so many ways and because you
fear that you’ll be forgotten in the festivities.
There is a strange feeling in that everyone is counting down
to your birthday. But not everyone is as excited as you for it. And the worst
is that you spend the entire year waiting for this one day, when everything is
crammed into one.
As a child – but also as an adult – you feel wronged in that
you only get one present. It’s not that you are ungrateful for it. It’s just
that it is completely unfair that everyone else gets to receive a Christmas
present, a birthday present and even a Nameday present. Yet, all you get is one
that encompasses them all.
You also feel neglected when everyone wishes you “Merry
Christmas” but only a few remember it’s your birthday too. It is somehow lost
in all the fanfare. And to you it is simply not fair.
With a Christmas Birthday, you feel everything more
intensely and experience it all to the fullest possible. But at times, you’re
also bound to feel left out. Because you lack a day for yourself. And your
unavoidable protests about that may make you seem ungrateful. But if you think
about it, you may understand that it is not so.
The only thing you can do is cherish the fact that you were
born during the season that fills people with love and joy. The time when there
are lights everywhere, carolling and rejoicing. It is special that you came
into the world exactly at this time. The people who matter will remember that regardless
and they will try to make this day as unforgettable as possible.
There is something we all at some point find ourselves doing: seeking the answers we search not in ourselves but in someone else. Because it is much easier to ask others what to do and how to do it rather than try to figure it out ourselves. It is faster and simpler to have others solve the problem instead of finding the way to do it ourselves.
That is why when we find “inspirational” people there is always someone who asks the question of “what should I do” or “how should I do [something] to become like you”? The best answer a truly influential person can give is “go out and act and stop asking me about it”.
No-one can really provide you all the answers you look for. There is no pre-defined right-or-wrong solution to everything that goes on in your head. Plus the responses you may get may very often not fit with your perspective. Or put simply, they may not be what you want to hear.
The best thing is to stop delaying and procrastinating so much. We blame our fallible human nature, our indecisiveness, even our OCD, but deep down there is something else: the fact that we may not want it as much as we believe. Because if we truly wanted something we would do anything we could to achieve it. We wouldn’t over-analyse. We wouldn’t go around asking. We would find ways to act.