Whispering Meadows

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Chapter 1

I wished if I had wings to fly over the green meadows. I drank in the fresh air as I ran farther. Turning behind I saw my sisters not joining with me. My laughter echoed in the meadow. I halted and turned back again calling my sisters to join me.

Chariot, tall and smart stood there with her black dress, tranquil as a statue. Her stillness reflected her disappointment. Jane was close to the eldest sister, her hands in air signing me to run back. She looked slim and delicate as she had always been. The gentle wind brushed along as it was trying to be smooth and friendly with the beautiful curtain of soft curls hidden under her black hat. Eventually my right hand reached upwards and found neither silk nor softness. It was as it had been throughout the journey as it feared to mess the pleat my mother had troubled herself to pleat giving a lengthy lecture. Although not a single strand of hair veiled my face, I pushed them upwards imagining they were disturbing me.

Taking a deep breath drinking the fresh air I tried to relax myself. I wished if I could walk further, exploring the beauty of this strange nature. To feel silvery dew, step on slippery rocks and roam around gathering autumn leaves. But the sight of the pleasant environment vanished as soon as I met the stern gaze through the wide window facing the meadow. Although the stare had no voice I could hear what it wanted to say. ‘Behave yourself young lady!’

Reluctantly I walked back to the handsomely built barn house. The bright smile of Jane shone as another sun. She’s the most loved in the family. Chariot turned, her arms folded and head tilted up. Awkwardly I picked my hat, the one I threw few minutes ago expressing my happiness seeing the beauty of this nature. I dusted it and wore it as if it was my rescuer to hide my disappointment as well as the rich black, unattractive hair.

“I told you,” My younger sister Jane told presenting a wide smile, all teeth out. My lips thinned as my feet caught up with hers. Chariot had not minded to express her feelings; perhaps she thought her words would be too good to explain my stupidity. She had always thought that she was too good to be called as my sister. I stared at her back, her straight back, head lifted up and steady foot steps expressed her arrogance. I never envied Chariot yet I hated her for the way she pretends to be. More, lady like. I doubted whether she thought several times between the paces. Perhaps she thought a lot before she kept a foot forward as same as my father did.

Jane the other hand, was friendly although she was the prettiest in the family. Even today those strangers had a nice good laugh comparing me to her. Jane had been shy but the eyes which had adored her the most had been shining with pride, my mother. “This one doesn’t look like Winsters, does she?” one woman, a lady had pointed at me, to be accurate it was as if she was accusing me for being born differently. Another lady pulled by my shoulders to have a better look and to second her friend.

‘Yeah, the ugly duckling’ I so wanted to tell but my mother had read my thoughts. Even before I had made my decision to give life to my voice she cleared her throat laughing unnecessarily. ‘Beth darling, haven’t you had time to walk on meadows?” ah! I knew she would distract me. Although not a few seconds ago she had denied my idea of taking a quick walk on meadows. She had wanted me out right then, as soon as possible. It was a blessing disguised, I had been prompt to snatch the opportunity.

But now once again I had to walk in and hear what I already know about. Even I had questioned many a times from mother why I had been different from the others. ‘God punishes those who be naughty’ my mother had answered. But was I naughty at birth for I had brought down this difference from my birth, haven’t I? Have I been stubborn as Chariot to demand the best? I enjoy myself but can anyone define it as being naughty? Does God have favorites too, same like my parents?

“Here you are, the angels of Winsters” My thoughts were interrupted by a deep male voice. My gaze met a very handsome man in his middle age. The color of his was more of mine; dark, darker as perfectly brewed coffee. I did not take my gaze away, perhaps he was related, related to my mother. I stared at him admiringly. Was this the brother my mother had always been telling about, her handsome Jake? He winked at me as he caught my gaze. I looked away. I was shy. They are strangers. Although I knew they were related it was the very first time I had met all these people.

“What is your good name beauty?” I heard him. By hearing I knew it was addressed to my youngest sister but why hasn’t Jane spoken out. Was she shy? Typical Jane, the doll in the family. I thought as I turned and saw him watching me. I rolled my eyes when I realized the question was directed at me.

“ber…ber…” His polite manner in addressing me had given birth to a lump in my throat. I saw the ladies present there giggle and hiss. He was kind. He waited until I told my name. “Weren’t you the debater, won several medals?” He asked. Who told him? I looked at my mother who beamed with pride. I narrowed my eyes. Was she proud of me?

“Elizabeth is her name, we call her Beth” Chariot said. Was she annoyed for she hadn’t been highlighted at the moment? I gulped once thanking her anyway. Nobody until now had called me a beauty, let alone my debating skills. His wide hands patted my cheek, if my dark skin could change colors it would have turned into violet.

****

Do you feel Beth? Does she sound like a child? Of course, she is. But her little mind is troubled and is full of doubts. Who is going to answer her when she she doesn’t feel anyone’s support? Yes, children do think big, if only the adults can understand them.

Two chapters from the novels will be released each week inshaAllah. I value your views. Please don’t hesitate to express your opinions, positive and negative both perspectives help me grow as a writer. Have a blessed day!

🙂

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