Freedom9 mins 198 9 mins 198
"And I set sailing in my life, for the first time in 11 years I felt the freedom, the thoughts that seemed to have made cobwebs in my mind were now unwinding strand by strand, the great ocean seemed to be my future, happiness knew no bound. . . . . "
"Emma, Emma. . . "the girl slowly lifted her eyes from the book, little disgusted as if someone woke her from her dreams and peeked through the corner of her thick glasses to the direction the words were coming from. . . .
Mrs. Scott motioned at her quietly. The library was silent as a cemetery. The lights has been shut off. Just the ones in the long corridor that exactly looked like a mini runway were lit.
Emma looked at her watch and swiftly rose and walked towards Mrs Scott with quick paces. "Sorry sorry sorry, Mrs Scott, I was so engrossed in the book that I did not understand that it was past 6 pm. May I just borrow this book please, if you can help me with the entry, please. . . "
"Emma. . the time is over now, no one's over the counter. . . "
Emma slowly dragged her bag in disappointment and turned back to place the book on the self she took it from. She had never argued or convinced anyone for anything. She had always been gentle and submissive she would take every thing that would come along thinking this is only what she deserved. The eldest of all the cousins, Emma had never tried to crib for a candy even. . now she cannot do this for the book and Mrs Scott was very punctual in case she "scolds"her somehow, she would have to put her head down in remorse and big drops of tears would pour out of her eyes. . . . . she was sensitive and emotional and quite un natural for a 16 years, at her age girls enjoy life, live the life, go to party, dancing, singing and what not, she would complete her high school and her new life would start in few months but she never had been in aa party, enjoyed with friends or do anything that a girl of her age would do. Her little world was school, her aunt's house and this library.
She lost her parents in an accident and was given to the custody of her distant aunt and uncle who had 2 daughters and a son and Emma was eldest of all. She lost her parents at a very young age of five, a time when children needs attention, care, love she had been endowed with daily chores of keeping the rooms clean, bringing woods for the fire, doing the dishes, slowly and gradually cooking and several other activities. Except for the time she was allotted for her school, her aunt kept her busy with all the menial jobs. Emma was not free to make her choice she was a prisoner to life, fate and situation.
"Emma. . . . . . "Mrs. Scott called out. "Come along. . . "she motioned Emma. "I will get it issued for you. "Mrs. Scott was the librarian and was strict but somehow she had this emotional attachment with Emma, she had been watching her since childhood since she had been coming to this library. . . . may be sympathy was what she had for Emma.
When Emma left the library it was almost 6:30 pm and she knew dinner was not prepared and her aunt would be waiting to burst her anger upon her.
Upon reaching home, as she had thought would happen. . . . "Where have you been Princess? "she taunted, "We were waiting at your service and we thought the limo did not pick you up yet! "The aunt's children giggled at their mother's taunt. Emma stood quietly at the door way. " I am sorry" were the only words that came up. She always prevented argument so never did she uttered any words against any one.
She swiftly ran to her room, changed in to her old and re-stitched clothes and went to the kitchen without a word.
Her aunt had been shouting at her, but she did not pay any heed, this was a daily activity and now she is quite habituated with this. This was her life, she was no Princess.
At night after dinner, which were the leftovers for her, she entered her room pale and fragile. This was actually a store room with no great furniture, a bed, a table with almost a broken leg and a sofa, the covers were rags.
She had a suitcase to keep her old torn and used dresses, what else is needed, her wants and needs had been limited. She was lonely, she was un wanted in this house and sympathized by others outside. She hardly went shopping for new clothes and shoes, the cousins would throw their old & torn clothes away and Emma would collect them, stitch them, wash them and wear them.
Her only friend were her journal where she kept an account of everything daily and her books, which she brought every Friday from the library, she would return them back on Monday.
Today she had issued a book which she had never read before. The writer seemed to be anonymous but the story was of Emma's.
She took the book out of the bag carefully and started reading it from where she stopped.
". . . . I had never thought I would be relishing this freedom, all these years I had excepted everything that came to me, I have never dreamt of anything like this, God always had this beautiful life for me. . . . the world was waiting for me. I could now do everything I wanted to. I was loved again, cared for. . I was my daddy's princess once again. . . . no shackles tied, no more shouts and taunts, no more sympathy. . . it seemed I was back to my childhood days once again, I got back my freedom. . . . . . . "
Emma was assuming herself to be in the dreamland, slowly and gradually her eyes were heavy. . . . . .
"EMMA, EMMA. . . . . . you little fiend. . . . you are still sleeping, our breakfast aren't done. "the voice of her aunt shouting awoke her. But she could not get up. . her head was heavy, it ached badly and she had temperature. With big footsteps her aunt entered the room, "Are you going to get up princess or should I have to bring in your breakfast here? "taunted her aunt
"I am not well aunt, seems like I have temperature . . . . . "Emma could not speak, her throat was burning, it had sore.
Her aunt frowned, then thought something and said, "Okay then take rest and you are not going to come out of your room, this could be a viral fever and I dont want my children to catch that stupid disease. . . did you understand? And ofcourse you get nothing to eat today as I am not going to sent anyone here at your service. "Emma's aunt slammed the door behind and left.
"No food. . . . "this was no new for Emma.
She looked in to her bag and searched, she had kept an apple and few cookies from her lunch yesterday. "This would do for the day. . . . "she thought, "Also I would have plenty of time to finish reading the book. "She tried to bring all her mind into reading but what was it? She felt something was happening to her. . . . The book seemed to relate exactly everything that was happening.
The chores, the library, the book, the dinner, the dream, the fever everything was exactly that happened to her last night. Seems like someone was watching her and writing word by word in the book.
Her head ached, her breath was heavy as she turned on to the last page. . . . . . .
The page was blank, the writer had left it. . . . .
Was that left to be filled by Emma. . . . . why were the same things happening? What exactly the writer wanted to write, she was confused, a mixture of sadness, confusion fear. . . . . and slowly her eyelid began to droop. . . . .
When she opened her eyes the world around her seemed to be changed. She could see the great ocean in front of her. The same she had posturized while reading the book. She had been sitting at the shore, how long it had been she did not knew. No one was around her, she felt an itch in her heart, was she really free? Where was she now? She felt pleased with the cool breeze that was blowing, it touched her face, she had no fever now, she was feeling light away from the scowl of her aunt, uncle and their children, the sound of the waves dashing the shore and washing her feet made her feel calm, she stood up and started to walk slowly towards the ocean, for the first time her hands, legs did not pain as if the water had washed away all her pains and relieved her. The water touched her feet and it was cool and tempting. She found the place peaceful.
She was experiencing freedom, she shouted at the top of her voice and it echoed, she liked it, she smiled, giggled and laughed in some 1000 years, she felt she was back in her childhood days and her mom would just call her and play with her.
"Emma, my sweet heart. . . "Emma heard the voice . . . she had not heard in 11 years. She looked behind, her mom stretched her hand to embrace her. . . her father was making the sand castle. Emma had these childhood memories of her parents. . . . she wanted to run towards her mom and dad to hug them. But something stopped her. . . . Her mom looked at her smiling and stretching her hands, why was she seeing her parents? They were dead 11 years back. . . was she dreaming or was she in a trance? Several questions popped up in her mind. But whatever it was she was relishing it. She broke the shackles of her thoughts and ran towards her parents and hug them. She had not felt her mom and dad for so long, their warmth, their love, their care. . . . It was peaceful, she felt loved again. . . . .
When Emma's aunt knocked at the door there was no answer from inside, it had been an entire Sunday and Emma did not come out of her room, her uncle had to break through from the back door in to the store room. Emma was sleeping peacefully. . . . . but was cold. . . no life. . . no breath. . . but there was an everlasting smile on her face. . . . . . . .