Today I have a guest post! A short story from my friend Olena. She’s very interested in writing; and I suggested that she’d start her own blog, but she is still a little hesitant. I hope you’ll show support and let us know what you think. Thank you.
Choices We Make
The auditorium burst with applause. A young man around 30 just finished performing and seemed to still experience emotions that filled him during the singing. Gradually inspiration of music melted away from his charming face with slightly eastern features; now he looked a little confused, honored and incredibly happy at the same time. He continued thanking and bowing to spectators. It was his triumph, his victory. Could he even dream about La Scala stage 15 years ago? Of course, he dreamed but later, maybe after his 20th birthday. Fifteen years ago he simply enjoyed singing … and simply followed his mom`s dream. In fact, there is some unusual, almost mystic connection between them. He always feels it, even now. The audience still was giving a standing ovation, when he picked up one of the beautiful bouquets that his admirers brought to the scene and went down to the auditorium. He came up to old lady on the first row, embraced and handed flowers to her. Both were tearful and each of them knew- it was her triumph, her truth.
The woman took the flowers without any word. There were no words that could convey feelings she was experiencing. All of those significant moments and emotions she went through, and which led her here, emerged in her mind.
Anna was around 18 years old. She was a pretty, cheerful girl with big green eyes and golden hair and this noticeable fact made her catch the fancy of many young men around. She loved to dance. Her movement and self-expression in a dance amazed people. Everybody suggested to her to take dancing seriously and go with it, but she was from a middle-class family that did not have any relation to art or music. Her parents had some trade business, and her brother was a lawyer. So, the only way her parents could see for her was going for business degree, or at least something in science. She took that way and studied math in a university. Of course, studying matrices and integration, probability and calculus, Anna didn’t have too much time for dancing, dreaming and other girly distractions.
However, somehow Anna found herself dreaming of a handsome man with outstanding vocals, who would perform on the best opera stages. “Dream is just a wish! But how would I want something I have no clear idea about and have no reason for that. So, it’s just a girl`s silly obsessive fantasy.” Anna tried to understand the nature of this strange dream, but her brain, that already adapted to logical sequences and conclusions, couldn’t find any clear answer.
Almost 20 years have passed since her days at the university. Anna was happily married, had a kid, and made a successful career. She had a great outlook for the future. In her 39 years, this fit, elegant blonde looked rather as a movie star, than as financial director of a large oil corporation. Her life was planned out and everything worked precisely by the schedule. There was no place for silly accidents or unnecessary sentiments in her life. Only sometimes her strange dream about “the handsome opera singer” troubled her. But, as everything that didn’t give way to logic, it didn’t stay in her head for too long. Yet, the thought kept coming back more and more often ; moreover, the last time it came and rolled her over with warm feelings and brought her into a sweet inexplicable trance when she had a very important phone call . She hardly finished talking. “Oh my God, what is going on with me? Did I become sentimental? Or, might this be some age problem?” She found her doctor’s phone number and called.
“You are pregnant! Congratulations!” The nurse’s words sounded like a bolt from the blue. For the first time in past 10 years Anna was taken aback. Right now she looked like a little offended girl. She didn’t share the happiness of the nurse; in addition, her brain already was processing this information in another direction.
“When can I make an abortion? Or there are some other ways to interrupt the pregnancy? I cannot have this kid!”
“Why?” The nurse was puzzled. “You’re healthy. You’re married and you can raise this child. Why can’t you? Many people are dreaming about this happiness but, unfortunately, cannot give birth.”
“I can’t! This is not a part of my plan!” Anna knew that she said absurdity, but she just didn’t know what to answer.
The nurse gave Anna an odd look and said “You still have 2-3 weeks to decide. Think about it, talk to your husband. I hope you make the right decision!”
The next week went by in some sort of fog, she couldn’t think about anything, but only about this pregnancy and this baby boy, who broke into her life so tactlessly. For some reason, Anna felt that the child would be a boy. She called the doctor twice, made appointments for abortion, and cancelled both times. Anna, who always made the most complex and difficult decisions by herself, was helpless in this situation. Her husband stepped aside right away and said “You decide.”
Everything resolved unpredictably and strangely. Anna accidently met her old girlfriend in a store, whom she hasn’t seen for years. Sometimes they called each other, shared unimportant news, but couldn’t meet because of Anna’s tight schedule.
“Anna!” An unexpected shout brought Anna out of the state of deep contemplation, when for the whole five minutes she was meaninglessly fiddling a package of cereal. “I was looking at you and couldn’t understand whether that was you! You don’t seem like yourself. What has got your attention at this box?” The little chubby red-haired woman was smiling.
“Julie! It’s nothing but cereal. I am so glad to see you!” Anna put the box back; she still had five of those at home. The women hugged each other and Anna asked ” Do you have time? Maybe, we could grab some coffee – there is a coffee shop close by, they brew it well.” Of course, Julie had time and they went for coffee. Anna was really very happy to meet her. They talked and drank cappuccino with biscuits. Anna couldn’t remember when the last time she felt so cozy and so quiet. There was no rush, no logic, yet no problem here. Anna even could tell about the dilemma she faced quietly.
“Don’t even think about it! Give birth to a child! You can’t imagine how lucky you are. You will regret it for the rest of your life if you don’t give birth. Well, to hell with this career. Actually, I was always wondering why you got into math, and then finances. It’s not your path!” Julie almost screamed.
“What are you talking about? I like it and, as you can see, I achieved a lot.” Anna gave her friend a questioning look. Julie voiced some strange thoughts sometimes. Anna never took them seriously, even though Anna was always amazed at Julie`s childlike impulsiveness combined with experienced wisdom. Anna perceived all esoteric and occult sciences as an entertainment, for those who have nothing to do. Julie, on the other hand, was always interested in it, and even more than that, after she got a masters in math, she became a professional astrologist. Although Anna understood that Astrology required particular logic, she could not understand how people can believe at all this weird stuff.
“I know your horoscope, and believe me, you took the wrong path. Listen, Anna, give birth! This baby is given to you with some purpose. Watch him grow and you will understand this purpose. Surely, you will! The Moon gifted you with ability to feel the flow of energy, that the Universe sends to you, almost on a physical level!” Julia took Anna’s hand, lowering her voice almost to a whisper. “The Universe constantly gives us hints of what should happen in advance. You just have to open you heart and decipher it. ”
For some reason suddenly Anna wanted to believe her.
Eight months later, Anna was lying on a bed and looking through the hospital window. Still yesterday everything was veiled by white haze, which ruthlessly hid the world around; shivering in the subtle chill the white trees were beautiful, but seemed lifeless under the melancholic sky. This morning the snowfall stopped, and soft, clean snow glittered under the suddenly appeared sun. Anna almost smelled the clean and crispy outside air. The snow sparkled under the sun, and reflected sunshine started blinding her. Anna turned her head to a small crib. A tiny baby boy quietly slept sometimes making funny grunting. Suddenly Anna realized that there were no thoughts in her head since she gave the birth to this child two hours ago. She simply lay there, observing, listening, smelling, feeling and enjoying every moment. Again she felt like something grew in her chest and was released as she straightened her shoulders. This strange sensation has been escorting her throughout all her pregnancy. In some way Anna liked it; however, she credited this to her current situation and some hormonal change.
But now her perception was different. She felt like the space in her chest was getting bigger and bigger. She started breathing deeper, feeling like she got exposed to the world and let the world into her soul. Not the world she knew, but some other, much larger, brighter, but mysterious world and that`s why so alluring. She started crying, not loud, but for real, as never before; because these were not tears of pain, not tears of resentment or loss, but tears of purification. She shed a flood of tears, and every teardrop was as carving tool in the hands of skilled craftsmen cutting off all what was unnecessary and illusory. Her logical brain was silent, her liberated soul spoke. What was so important to her for last twenty years? Career, money, brand name clothes, success, somebody`s jealousy or envy… She never had enough time for family, no time for friends, no time for real life, for her real self …
Anna stood up, leaned over the crib and gently kissed her son. “I promise I will change my life… I never let you to be so silly, as I was.”
Nikolas handed flowers to Anna, kissed her hand, and returned to the stage. The audience still applauded, people asked for the last song. Nikolas said something to the conductor, and music started.
“Mama, thank you for who I am
Thank you for all the things I’m not…”
Anna smiled. Despite how outlandish it sounds, but she could say these words back to her son. She has kept her promise given to her newborn son and changed her life. A long time ago, her friend Julie was right- this kid was given to her with a purpose. He prevented her from wasting her whole life for illusory happiness. There’s nothing sadder than an understanding that was taken the wrong way, and no satisfaction at the end of the path, because own mission was not completed. Anna realized that the brightest logical sequences and conclusions, generated by the human brain, are nothing compared to Universal Logic. And this Logic could be understood only by an opened heart and soul, but not by the brain. Anna`s whole life was evidence of this fact.
After her son was born, she resigned from job and dedicated herself to family. She reminisced that she always admired dancing and went to dancing school for amateurs. Later on, she opened her own school. Owing to Julie, Anna started valuing Astrology not just as a fascinating hobby, but a deep knowledge about Universe and its laws; and really go with it.
Nikolas was continuing to sing. The auditorium was filled with beautiful music, but it seemed that people didn’t really hear it; they were living the emotions with the singer. The theatre was filled with spirits.
“And I know you believed
And I know you had dreams…”
Now Anna knew exactly a nature of strange dream that she has had. At once, as Nikolas showed talent in music and singing, she knew what would make the sense of his whole life, and perhaps hers.
Maybe as every teenager, Nikolas had a lot of diverse aspirations and ideas. For a fifteen year old boy, the career of IT-manager seemed more believable. Although he loved to sing, he preferred to spend time on the computer rather than taking vocal class and so on. Anna persuaded him. “Are you sure that you are able to do something better than signing? Of course, you can be IT- manager, lawyer, whatever you want to be now, but it would be a waste of time. Go with your true talent and passion, don’t be afraid. You are gifted with the great talent, and this is not for nothing, you must open your aptitude and bring it to people. Don’t lose your real self!” She was thinking for a minute and then added. “You know, son, maybe this will seem strange to you right now, but you will understand it later. I got a good lesson in life. Once, in my youth, I, like you, was standing in front of the choice – to follow my talent and passion or to choose a more down-to-earth career, which my parents wanted for me. I chose the second option and spent half of my life on it. Then, you were born and I realized that I made the wrong choice, that my path was dance. Just recently I got the thought about what if my wrong choice was sent to me by Faith purposely. I experienced wrong direction and learned the right way. Now I have to keep you away from making the same mistake, because your talent is much more valuable than mine. My dear, our whole lives are amazing sequence of eventualities subjected to Universal Logic.”
The last words of song that Nikolas sang for his mother took off the stage.
“And I know you believed in all of my dreams
And I owe it all to you, Mama.”