Annie's Life.

by Zoha Javed.

   She wasn't sure of her own step. She had left her family. She walked on the wet land. She looked around the beach. There were many people around who did what interested them. At that place no one knew who she was. And it was a relief. At least she could be her own self now. She examined her foot prints on the damp sand while she crouched down. Her hairs blew around her. She tried to keep them off her face but the wind had control over them. This foot print soon would be washed away by the waves, she thought. Like same after a time her family would forget her. She looked up at the clear sky. She shielded her face with her hand so that her eyes could open. She watched the birds flying in the sky freely. Now she could, like those birds, live freely in the world. She was in the place where no one would recognize her. No one would interrupt her way of life. She could live in her own way. Follow her desires. She planned not to make any friends to be free of any restrictions. For her and according to her life, every person adds restrictions in life in what so ever way. But now she was free. She stood up, went to her possessions lying a few distance away. She wore her shoes, got her bag and put on her sunglasses. She quietly marched to her car. She reversed the car out of the parking lot. As she drove her car swiftly on the wide road, she thought out plans for her ongoing life. She recently got a job in a newspaper. She lived in a small apartment on rent. She received enough salary for her livelihood. Soon she would get an apartment of her own. Her name was Annie Reynolds.

The reason she left her family was that she had many restrictions in life. What she wanted was what no one else wanted. But then what she wanted was for her life. But her family had the major control on her life. She had parents who would dream/expect big from her. She had a sister who was as her parents desired and who would not like her sister to lessen her significance. She had a brother who was half mental because his father beat and scolded him for not taking out his orders. And those "orders" were in no way just. The father himself was intellectual and accommodated high IQ level. Because of infinite use of his brain, maybe, he had subjected himself to abnormality and out of the criteria of fundamental sensibility. He had a wife nearly same as his and who was proud of her husband, who would boast about the status of her and her husband. Both the parents expected the same intellectualism from their children. The first one however was satisfying (the sister). The second one was not (the brother). At early age his father expected him to learn a book of quotes in few hours and many other things of the like which the child was unable to do. And for that he would get scolded or sometimes whipped. The child had no option in front of his parents. He had no supporters. But the third one grew up watching her mean and proud sister and her pitiful brother, was the stronger. When she grew up, she did what she wanted. She escaped her fathers whipping and mom's taunts. Sometimes she would start crying in the street, gathering people for a strong hold against her father. But her strength lasted not forever. They moved to another area. She hated all the restrictions put on her. Gradually she realized that everyone in her life added a kind of restriction. She had often planned to run away. But she had no money of her own. Neither she was mature enough to live at her own. The idea somehow seemed absurd. She miserably believed that her life could not be hers completely but that she would continue living in the petty conditions and control of her parents. As she grew up, she started writing at various places without her parents knowing about it and saved an amount of money enough for her to run away. And she did run away to live her own life but was not sure of herself and step. That in this hell like world, would she manage to live at her own. She should. As in that way she would be free of restrictions. His father had always wanted her to be a doctor but she had no interest in the medical field of any kind. Literature only suited her. She was forced to accept what his parents wanted otherwise she had to suffer like not going out. From the library of college, she would issue books and improve her grammar and vocabulary so that she would become enable to write. She was terrified when she was known that her mother was her step mother in real. That she believed was the major cause of the brutalism which conquered the house.

After two years: She had an apartment of her own, a nice car and a good job but she lived alone. She had no friends though many tried to be friends with her but she never let anyone. She lived on but there was some emptiness in her life. She lived in her desired way. But her pursuit of being free and from the effect of her parent's behavior, she never understood herself, the life and its necessities. She hadn't perfected out her life. She would sometimes stand alone thinking into nothingness. She had no real mirth and joy to feel. She had no one to whom she could talk freely. In her life she might have gotten a chance to understand that even getting your life according to your way could not satisfy you. One cannot be perfect and cannot have a perfect life. There was a kind of depression in her life, some uneasiness that trapped her in strange unnamable feelings. She would free her mind through writing, pouring her feelings into poetry and by walking in lonely places to explore her life, mind, self

She realized gradually that she needed a person to live with. With whom she could feel easy and light hearted. The one she could love. But she feared the surrounding people who have their own way of thinking. She needed someone who could be only hers and who would be like her or mould his/her life according the way she wanted but then it was what her parents wanted to do and did. Of course, she would not add restrictions to the life of anyone nor would she be cruel like her parents. She thought of adopting an orphan. But thought over it for very long time and wasnt sure for the implementation.

  She went to a psychiatrist. After which her life relaxed a bit. The glow of her writing exalted and the gloomy touch disappeared from her poetry and writing. The simple thing she increased in her life was that she started observing nature thoroughly. Its influence was charming on her feelings and writing. She began to realize many things. The idea of adopting an orphan was forgotten. She enriched her soul with writing about nature. Soon she had written a book based on natural observation and had her book in list of best-selling. She could not believe her this potential. She went to many live programs telling about her and the book. Soon she realized that whatsoever she was not a dumb person but had in herself a unique cryptic talent like everybody has. And her talent was of writing. From the world-wide encouragement she set on writing another book which had too much of her own life fed in it. It took whole two years for her to finish writing the book and getting it published. Once again her struggle and supporters took her well written book into best-selling list. Once again she explained her aspiration about her book.

She laid on the damp rich green grass under the star-capped sky. She looked into the sky, tried to count the numerous twinkling stars but gave up soon. The more she counted, the more they increased in amount. She was successful at last in her life. She was alone but satisfied. She had everything. She had read those novels in which a family lives happily together. She wondered how beautiful would have been the life if she had a nice caring family, if she would have her brother normal, his parents loving and her sister cordial. She wondered if her family remembered her. But she didnt care about them but her brother.

She was thirty five. She was popular for her three books; Being Friends with Nature (the first one), The Restricted Life and Independence (the second one) and A fairy life (the third one; a fiction). She was called for an interview in the city where her family lived. At first she did not want to go but then she was herself now. She was free. And even if she would meet her family, she would not be theirs but herself. She would meet them not as a family member but altogether a stranger. She would pretend like she does not know them.

Coming out of the building where she gave her interview, she met them, her parents. For a while they stood gazing each other. But then Annie shook her face and strode past them. Her father called her but she didnt stop and quickly went to get a cab. Her parents followed her. He continued calling her but she pretended not to listen. Then she heard a cry. She halted and turned back to find her step-mother fell on the pavement. She ran to her and helped her up. Mrs. Reynolds assured her that she was fine and embraced her tightly. Annie could hear her step mother wailing and crying. She drew away from her and looked at the face of her step-mother. Mrs. Reynolds bent down holding to Annies legs while Mr. Reynolds put an arm around his daughter. They both begged for forgiveness and asked her to come back and live with them. Annie looked at the sorrowful faces of her parents with a knot in her throat. She cleared her throat and in a breathy voice forgave them. But she did not agree to go back and live with them. She said that she has her own house to live in and as she was settled somewhere else, it was incapable for her to come back. She asked of her sister and brother. Grief encountered her mind and spread an ache all through her as she came to know that hes brother had suicide and that her sister had run away with her boyfriend and no one knows where she was. She had no care for her sister as she had been like her parents. She only cared about her brother. Before departing she said to her parents, I forgive you for what you did with me. But Ill not forgive you for what you did to my brother. And Im happy that he has left this world otherwise you and I both know what must be happening to him in his life right now. You can live rest of your retarded life with each other alone. Dont expect me to see you again nor try to contact me. I believe and confess that I have not any family. You must have learnt too much from your life. Good bye.

She became famous for another of her book, The Never Ending Remorse.

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