Click here to read chapter-8
Stella was standing in front of the door of her house. She clutched her bag in her arms. Her heart was scared, scared of the storm ahead! She looked at the doorknob, the sole hindrance between her and her parents, the last wall between her and her dreams; or the last thread holding her family together.
She took a deep breath and twisted the knob. The door opened into the living room. Its decor inspired by the early nineties. The brown color of the walls pushed the room even farther away in time. Her father was sitting in the armchair, reading the newspaper and holding his coffee in his left hand. While her Mom, she was in the kitchen. There was a faint aroma of freshly baked bread in the house.
The commotion in the doorway attracted her father’s attention. He was now looking towards her from behind his newspaper, his lips graced with a wide and sunny smile. The smile dawned over his wrinkles, making them look like the engravings of some old and celebrated monument.
That precious smile made Stella feel weak in the knees. Somewhere deep in her heart, she knew that today was the farewell of the serenity in this paradise.
The conquest of chasing dreams was despised in her family since the day Stella lost her elder brother to his blazing ambitions.
She knew that her parents would never be convinced about letting her travel the same path.
Her father gave her a welcoming smile.
“Hi dear! How was your day?”
“My day was great dad! What about yours?”
“Well, my day was nothing less than exhausting!” he giggled and motioned her to sit on the nearby sofa.
She forced a smile on her face and sat there.
“So are you planning any trip after your graduation? Come on! You have hardly ever gone on a trip with your friends. Learn to have some fun, Stella!”
“Actually, that is a great idea!”, exclaimed her mom as she entered the living room with some freshly baked loaves of bread. She placed the bread on the table and continued, “You should plan a nice relaxing trip with your friends. You have been studying for the whole year, you need a vacation! Just look at you, you look exhausted!”
She hugged Stella from behind as she said this. Stella placed her hand gently on her mom’s arm and pressed it in reassurance with a plastered smile on her face.
She wanted to smile genuinely, but a fog of doubt and fear surrounded her happiness. It had been an entire week since she received her call letter from New York. Her application was accepted in an elite course in journalism.
She coiled back her fingers giving in to the questions in her brain, closed her eyes and then loudly announced in a single breath.
“I want to go to New York to pursue journalism! I know that you might not welcome my choice…but…. I truly want to chase my dreams and ambitions! I know, whatever my brother had to go through was very unfortunate. It was unfortunate that he decided to end his life because he could not be successful in his endeavors…but …all that does not mean that even I will meet the same fate! Please, just give me one chance!”
For a moment, there was complete silence. No one spoke further. Stella mustered up her courage and opened her eyes in hopes of witnessing the light of agreement in her parents’ eyes, but rather she saw sternness.
Her parents looked at each other and then looked back at her. In a monotonous tone, her father said, “NO!” Then he got up from his chair and gave Stella a final look of disapproval before he exited the room!
Stella turned to face her mother. “Mom?” She gave her a sad nod and went back to the kitchen.
Stella saw her worst fears see the light of the day at that moment. She clutched her bag even tighter, rushed to her room and closed the door. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she leaned her forehead against the door and cried for the rest of the night.
“Stella!”John gently stroked her hair, abruptly pulling her out of her thoughts.
Stella was still hugging John. That hug reminded her of the first day, when they met. The wounds of her heart were still red then; she was broken, lonely, distressed; she dreaded her fate. The fort of her life was standing on a single fragile and decaying pillar, and just when the onlookers predicted its demise, John came there like a savior! Not only did he hold the roof when it was about to fall, but he also mended the cracks that time left on the withering pillar.
Reminiscence of the memories of their togetherness lit up Stella’s face. She lifted up her head from his shoulder and looked into his eyes, smiling from behind her tears. John smiled back.
“Excuse me, Sir!”
John and Stella looked towards the door to find their lawyer standing there. They immediately broke apart from the hug, their faces still flushed with pink.
Their lawyer, a man in his late forties, gave away a mocking grin to applaud the scene. He coughed and regained his composure.
“Hello, Ms. Stella! How are you?”
“I am fine…How are you?”
“I am fine too…. and I promise that you are going to feel even better when I break the good news to you!”
He said as he beamed with pride!
“What good news?”
“I have completed all the paperwork required for the deal. You just have to sign on the dotted line and you will be done with that property!”
Those words stung Stella in her heart like a thousand needles.
“So soon….You said that you needed more time! John?”
“It has been three days Stella!”
Because of all the events that took place in the last three days, Stella completed lost the track of time.
“Three days?” she looked at her phone. It had indeed been three days.
“Stella, I think you should go back, freshen up and relax a bit. I am here, I will take care of Alex and all the paperwork! You can come back later to complete the rest of the formalities!”
“Yeah! I think you are right!”
She excused herself out of the room. The way back home was crowded with thoughts. It was Stella, who wished to sell the house, she wanted to move on in life, wanted to leave all the agony behind…. but her stay in the town, her father’s letter, meeting Alex…all of that changed her…. now she wanted her family back!
She reached home and stood in front of the door for a while. It was the last time that she would be entering her house. This thought shook her soul.
After a while, she pushed the door open and entered the living room. It felt like her childhood was coming back to life once again. A bittersweet smile dawned on her face.
She went around the room, picking up every single article, trying to relive every single memory….just then….the doorbell rang!
It confused her. No one was expected to visit her. She rushed to the window to identify the visitor.
Will Stella be able to face her parents? Which way will her story turn now? Find out in the upcoming chapters of “When I walked through”. Follow the blog to receive an e-mail every time we release a new chapter.