A Short Story
My heart was heavy, so many problems, how was I ever going to cope? I had never felt so alone and so burdened. With lead feet, I mounted the stairs. Even my bedroom, with its brightly patterned wallpaper did nothing to lift my mood. I felt isolated, how could some one with so many friends feel so desolate? I peeled back the bed covers, swung my legs into bed and switched out the light. Now the room matched my mood- dark, black, cold. Sleep was a long time coming, but finally I felt my eyelids grow heavy and close.
Through closed eyes I could sense the bright, white light. It was blinding. Tentatively I tried to open my eyes. It was dazzling, never had I seen such a light which seemed to be emanating out from a centre. Gradually my eyes became accustomed to the whiteness; a sun had never shone so bright. Then I saw him……. Right in the centre of the light, a man, smiling, with his arms outstretched, clothed in a brilliant white robe, sandals on his feet. He beckoned to me, and I felt compelled to go to him. I don’t normally approach strange men, but there was something about him, something non threatening, and I knew that if I did not go to him, I would regret it forever.
As I drew closer, he whispered “I’ve been waiting for you,” and the tears in his eyes glistened. I had never seen him before……. And yet, I felt that I knew him, and that he certainly knew me. He took me by the hand, “Come, I have so many things that I want to show you.” And so we walked, me and this man who knew me, hand in hand along the sea shore. The waves were lapping gently at our feet, the water was an azure blue and the sand was golden. “Look”, he said and pointed out to sea. Dolphins were chasing each other in and out of the water, and the water droplets were making rainbows as the sun hit them at various angles. It was a beautiful sight. But there was more, we waded out, up to our knees. “Look,” he said again, this time pointing into the sea. And I looked down to see we were standing amongst corals of the most amazing colours, the richness of which I had never seen before. And there were fish swimming all around my legs, tickling as they went by.
“Who are you?” I asked, staring into the kindest eyes, in the gentlest face that I had ever seen.
“Don’t you know me?” he replied. “I am always with you, watching over you. Don’t you recognise me?” And his soft brown eyes filled once more with tears.
I stared into his sun kissed face, his ebony beard framing a gentle smile. His long hair, waving around his ears, coming to rest on his shoulders which were broad and strong. He did look familiar, but where had I seen him?
“Come, there’s more,” he said. And still hand in hand we waded back to the sea shore. Sand trickled between our toes as we walked up the beach, and the sun beat down on our heads. We left the beach up a winding path leading into a wooded area. The trees were covered in a pink blossom which smelt so sweet, and the grass beneath them was lush and green. The sound of birdsong was all around, and flashes of colour could be seen as birds darted backwards and forwards around our heads. A stream could be heard gurgling nearby. And as we walked on, a loud roar of water hitting rocks became audible, and then visible as we left the clearing of trees. What a magnificent waterfall awaited us, a powerful torrent of water just gushing off the hill above, and bouncing off the rocks below. It took my breath away, “It’s so beautiful. It’s heavenly,” was all I could utter, and after a moment, “Where are we?”
“This,” he replied, “Is the water of life. And if you know me, you shall drink of it.”
He was silent. I looked into his face again. Those soft, gentle brown eyes; the mouth framed by his ebony beard; and his hair falling in his shoulders. I stared. And then I gasped, I did know him! I had seen him before, but it was a long time ago, and I had strayed from him. There was no need for words, he opened his strong arms, and I fell into them, and I felt safe. “Welcome home,” he said,”Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. When you are lost, I will search for you until I find you.”
And then I knew, we had to walk back. I didn’t want to, but I knew we couldn’t stay here, not now, not yet. And so we walked back, past the waterfall, through the wooded area where the trees blossomed so sweetly. Only here did we linger, as he plucked some blossom off the tree and handed it to me, but not a word did he say. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him, how much I had always loved him, how much I……..
The sun streamed in through my bedroom window. Another day. But today was different. Today I felt lighter. Today I didn’t feel so alone. Then I remembered, was it a dream? My fist was clenched. Slowly, I uncurled my fingers. What was I hoping to find? Yes, I had it! In my hand lay the beautiful pink blossom. And in my heart I heard “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”