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Short Story

This is Where I Belong


This is where I belong, call it what you will a boring field full of dirt, mud and waist or just a field no more than that my heart belongs here and nowhere else does it find rest so relaxing. Such beauty my eye beholds! The grass beneath my feet, so light and springy, it hardly seems to bend or break underneath. Its green is so jade, and the dew dangles from its tip. Making the blade look like glass in the sun. Above me is the sky, blue as the depts. Of the ocean.It was nice to be back. The sounds of the machines, vehicles honking, and people shouting was replaced by the soothing music of the breeze, the chirping of the birds and a frequent ‘moo’ from the cows.

“William! Please help me with these chairs”, mama called from inside.

I left my guitar and steaming coffee on the porch and went inside to lend her a hand. Only mama and I lived in this house now. It’s been over a year since papa’s death and from that moment I was in charge of the house, the fields and the farm. Never did I complain about these responsibilities that I dared. This is what kept me going.

I walked out of the house to the garden. I looked along the dusty road that stretched beyond the horizon. Not a soul to be seen. I sat by the road with a sigh.

“She’ll never come would she…?” I asked Timmy.

She wagged her tail almost as if agreeing. Maybe out of sub consciousness, a tear rolled down my cheek. I have never been this desperate my entire life. I still see her. By the lake, under the cherry tree, next to the flower beds I see her. Love was supposed to make one blind but I on the other hand see even more than I should.

My last visit to London was indeed a hectic one. It’s been three days since I returned. A letter from my brother made me rush to the city, leaving mother alone at home. Steven had met with an accident while working in the shoe factory and was immobilized for about three weeks.

“William, you are the only family he has. Go now and stay with your brother.” Mama said.

The ride from Hawkshire, Lake District to London was also a very scenic one. Yet the atmosphere of the city was indeed hard to adapt and the thick air made things harder to absorb. I had spent almost a week treating my brother in every possible way when one evening I had to leave for some shopping. Getting out that small packed room felt like coming out of a matchbox. It is hard to believe that people had to live in such small places. The river of people flowing through every street, the vehicles that polluted the air and the deafening noises made the city a most uncomfortable place to survive in. after shopping I was waiting for a cab.

As I was standing, waiting, a leaflet blowed right on to my face.

“Polluted cities!” I grumbled taking the paper and trampling it with my legs.

I was weary and tired. For some reason, be it coincidence or be it fate I do not know, I took that leaflet in my hand and kept starring. My mind was working fast, unable to process the piece of information that I held. My heart was beating so hard that it muffled the sounds of the city. I sat down.

Ever since the day we parted never had I ever thought of seen her. Even before I read the title, “Catch the glorious Isabelle and at dance…” I recognize those eyes that dimpled smile which used to light up my day. Those sharp features that I remembered since the very first day.

The concert was to take place in the central theater on the day after. I was clearly exited at this new discovery of my long lost love. If Columbus felt anything at the discovery of a new land, my joy was far greater. I ran to my brother and told him everything.

“Ha…ha.., you rascal falling for beauty from small days.” He chuckled.

It was a sleepless night. There were so many things going through my head. Would she even recognize me? The thought itself sent a shiver along my spine. I thought of all the things I wanted to tell her. The things I never got to say around the first time.

It is known that not everything happens as planned, in my case nothing happened as planned. It is only when I reached the theatre that I was told that tickets for the concert were sold out. My motive was clear and I was not ready to give up. Ten minutes later I found myself amongst the audience, not alone but accompanied by bags of popcorn and attired in a popcorn seller’s costume.

“Ladies and gentleman!! Welcome on stage the glorious, the beautiful Lady Isabelle Jones.”

Open mouthed I stared. I half smiled, my eyes were filled with tears. I was full of joy. I moved to the very front of the audience where the noble and rich had reserved seats. As a little popcorn boy all I could do was to admire her beauty.

Her pencil-thin eyebrows eased down gently to her black, beetle’s leg eyelashes. A sculptor could not have fashioned her sharp features any better. When she broke into a smile, her glistening, snow-white teeth lit up the hall. It could jolt you like an electric current when that megawatt smile gave you her full attention. Filed to perfection, her Venus-red fingernails ran through her golden hair. Spools of it plunged around her photogenic face and hid a swan’s neck, elegant and smooth. I loved her sky blue eyes that glowed like a pair of twinkling stars. Her crescent shaped eyebrows inclined slightly as she saw me staring at her. I yelped at being caught.

Time flew as swiftly as her dance movements. I came back to my senses only when she disappeared behind the thick black curtains. NO! I can’t lose her. Not again! I jumped onto the stage and rushed through the curtains. I glimpsed her leave the stage through a small door escorted by a tall man and two other women. I ran past the door but was grabbed by a hefty man in a black uniform.

“Belle!!” I screamed.

She stopped. She turned around. She stared at me for a long time from the other end of the corridor. She walked towards me, her expressions were not strong as before but a touch of softness and fragility was seen.

“Willy? Is this- is this really you?” she asked, her voice shaking.

She came close to me. I held her fair hand and gently kissed it. Her rose hands still had the same warmth. I had so many things to tell but not a word came out. We kept staring into each other’s’ eyes.

“I missed you so much.” I suddenly blurted.

“Not a day have I spent without thinking of you and Hawkshire” she said.

We were both happy and excited. We let our eyes do the talking and they said a lot. A rough ‘Let’s Go!’ by the tall man disturbed us. I knew she did not want to, but sadly and surprisingly she left, even without a goodbye. Suddenly I remembered that day about five years ago. Belle and I were headed home after collecting cherries and as I dropped her at her home she stared at the down at the ground and avoiding my eyes she told the sad news. She was to move to London with her family, never to return. So many letters I wrote to her only to be disappointed with an empty mailbox eachtime.

As she turned around the corner and disappeared I saw her drop a small not. “ tomorrow. 5.00p.m. Rodger’s coffee shop.” I read.

We met the next day and talked for hours and hours. At first it felt like talking to a perfect stranger nut in no time we were those same childish lovers who parted five years ago. We both hah so many stories to tell, yet her story was astonishing and very different to mine.

Belle’s parents both had a tragic death while working in their workplace, which forced her to live in an orphanage. A producer ( the tall man ) who had filmed a movie in their hostel had identified her skills in dance and promoted it. Through the course of our conversation it was made clear that she was not happy with what she was going through, because in this place full of people she was alone and amongst all her fans she had no family. Her smile that brought joy to so many failed to bring joy to her life. It was only an act.

“My passion for dance is simply being commercialized” she sighed.

“I am a woman driven solely by happiness and passion not money or fame.”

“You can dance all you like inside our barn”, I said laughing.

“Always there to cheer me up…how I missed my handsome lad.” She said.

The tall man was suddenly behind her. He looked at her in a grim way. Her face was pale all of a sudden. She looked down, avoided my eyes…I knew what was to come and I did not like it.

“I’m sorry but I have to leave….i ‘have’ to go for practices now, uhhh….he does not want you there by the way.” (she didn’t even like him, yet why does have to do everything he tells her to?) She sighed.

I kept silent.

“I have to leave for another concert the following week. I am sorry” with that she got up and left.

“Goodbye”, I said to myself.

The next day I headed back home after standing infront of her door for hours, leaving the red rose on her doorstep.

I opened my eyes for Timmy was barking right at my ear.

“Nothing has changed….everything is so beautiful!!” I jumped with surprise as a familiar voice whispered at my ear. I turned around and all of a sudden she was in my arms.

I was too shocked to speak. For a minute I thought I was dreaming, but her touch brought me back to earth. She smiled cheerfully as I held her closer and gently kissed her. Her calamine-pink lips tasted like rose petals. Then she whispered to me in a dulcet voice as sweet as any songbird, “even if the whole world is watching I would still dance with you, because right here in your arms is where I belong!”

SACHINTHA PILAPITIYA


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