Forgiving myself

Hey! This is a short story which I wrote a while back, do give it a read:)

“YES YOU CAN!”

One of the most refreshing and felicitous phrase we hear growing up. I know many people don’t get that opportunity (because of unhealthy family environment), but fortunately I did.
To me they were annoying and irritating. I was a ‘cool’ kid, and phrases like these were too cliche for me to even acknowledge.
My father was a great believer of “motivation”. He believed, if a person is intrinsically motivated enough, then with the help of occasional extrinsic motivation, one can succeed.
But what importance do such deep wods keep in the life of a 12 year old?
I don’t know about the rest, but to me it meant nothing.
As the years went by, I was becoming more superficial. More fake. Seeking more attention than ever before. Bullying, ragging, making innuendos, and busy trying to be the “coolest” badass in my school.
My parents never really bothered to correct me. They loved me too much. So much, that it spoiled me. I’d been in the group of mollycoddles all my life, so I thought, that and my parents ignorance justified my behavior.
Then one of the worst nights of my life happened.
I was 17, a typical teenager (with a little extra attitude) and was waiting for my boyfriend to show up on my window. That’s when I heard a scream. A scream which was shrill enough to make me jump. I instinctively backed from the window and sat on the edge of my bed clutching the hemline of my dress.
It was all quiet for a while. I thought that maybe I was hallucinating. I mean how on earth can I hear someone scream at 10pm?
But just as I stood up to approach the window, I heard a scream again, and this time it was followed by a deep groan. It was a male voice, a familiar one.
This time, instead of sitting on the edge of the bed, I climbed on top of my bed and covered myself with a blanket keeping my face uncovered so that I can be alert in case of danger.
I then heard a sound of engine roaring followed by a blue mini van speeding towards the woods. It seemed to be originating from my house, though. I was really confused and scared to even think about this.
So I did the one thing I do best, I avoided it all. I tried to forget that something like this happened and tried to sleep. I couldn’t sleep, though, I kept thinking over and over,
“What if something happened to Sam (my boyfriend)?”
I finally decided that I’ll text him
“Hey, you up?”
He immediately replied
“Yeah, why?”
“Nothing just wondering why didn’t you come today-_-“
“Sorry babe, but I promise I’ll make it upto you;)”
I inwardly smiled, thinking of what he’ll do to make it up to me.
I decided to ignore him as a punishment for him not coming today and soon my eyes started getting heavy.
I woke up next morning before my alarm rang. At first I was mad, I hated being disturbed while sleeping, especially when I’m not supposed to be up. After cussing out loud, I stretched a little and did some normal morning exercises, then while I was in the middle of doing cobra pose, I heard the siren of ambulance.
The place where I lived had about 4 bungalows, and was surrounded by a beautiful lake on one side, and woods on the other. It was the elite as well as the quietest and most secluded part of the city. Agami was itself a rich city, but the place where I lived was known to be excessively costly. It was jokingly often said that, Normal people would have to steal in several lifetimes besides having multiple businesses to even afford to pay the rent in this place.
My family owned 2 of the four bungalows, and the rest two were vacant because the owners of the third bungalow were apparently on a round the world voyage.
The owners of the fourth house was my ex best friend, Sally’s place. But her family left when we were both just 10 years old. I think her leaving the place was one of reasons of my disruptive and incorrigible behaviour, which I called “cool”.
I was really confused about the ambulance siren, I mean, it was obviously not here without a reason.
Being a brat, I instinctively opened my mouth to call my servant, but then for some reason, I felt the need to go downstairs myself.
I got out of my bed and started towards to stairs. As soon I reached the base of stairs, my breath hitched, little did I know that the sight I’d be seeing would give me nightmares for months.
There were about 15 men, wearing masks, 4 of them had surrounded the two EMTs and held them at gunpoint.
5 men held my mother and we’re repeatedly touching her.
5 others were huddled around the middle of the floor. Around them I saw a lot of red paint, which I later got to know was blood. One man was sitting on my beanbag and sizing me up. I looked away soon, which was huge mistake, because I saw the bodies of all the 20 dead servants sprawled all around me.
I was horrified at the sight. I felt numb for a moment. But when I recovered, I looked over to mom, she was frantically waving and shouting for me to run. I could see her, I could hear her too, but I don’t know why, I wasn’t able to move an inch, or even speak.
Soon the guy sitting on my beanbag approached me and removed his mask. I gasped. It was Diago, the guy I relentlessly bullied throughout middle school and in the most part of highschool. He was holding a knife and I could see the outline of a gun in his pocket too.
He pointed the knife at my throat and laughed. A hearty laugh. He looked over to where the men harassing my mother, were standing and then where the other men were huddled around blood.
“Come here y’all, let her see it” I could hear his sadistic laugh but I kept my eyes focused ahead of me, trying to ignore him.
I saw all the men, approaching me and removing their masks in the process.
I felt fuzzy and nauseous at the same time. Each person who was here beloned to the “socially outcast group”. A group people overlooked or ignored and I intensely bullied.
I blinked rapidly and swallowed hard, trying to digest this new information. There was still one man who didn’t remove his mask.
“You wanna know who that young man is?” Asked Diago.
I had a bad feeling about this, but I nodded anyway.
The guy standing alone, removed his mask in slow fashion, making a big deal of it. The colour drained from my face upon seeing him. I could feel my pulse quicken and heart beat at an abnormally high rate.
It was my boyfriend. The person I supposedly loved. He was standing alone, right in front of me, Staring at me with hate and anger.
He looked down, which made me glance down to where he was looking.
Upon following his gaze I saw the body of a man sprawled on the floor, with blood covering it, especially near the stomach area. Diago was looking intently at me,
“Do it” he demanded.
My boyfriend lifted the body of that man and turned it so that I could see his face.
It was bloodied, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize him. My father. He was unmoving. Covered with blood and looking pale. I could hear my mother wailing. But it didn’t matter. I couldn’t move. I wanted to teach those assholes a lesson, but I felt empty. Numb. Sam let go of his body and it fell with a thud.
I can’t really remember what happened after that because I blacked out.
I woke up weeks later in a room covered with Harry Potter posters and purple walls. I looked around to get an idea of the place but I couldn’t recognize it.
My mom came in and upon seeing me awake, she ran over and hugged me tight, as if she’d lose me if she let go of me.
For the first time since I was 7 years old, I welcomed her hug and I reciprocated.
She was thrilled I could tell. Did She never expected me to hug her? I was disheartened, but then I soon remembered why she reacted this way. It was because of me being mean and rude to her and dad all the time.
Dad. As soon I thought of him, I started crying. Mom patted my back, but she was silently shaking too.
Apparently, my dad was buried and I missed his funeral because I was unconscious. I was unconscious for 2 weeks and 5 days to be exact. The place where I woke up was my ex best friend, Sally’s room in Saleca, a small town, several thousand miles away from my original house in Agami. My mom told me that she sold that house, because it had too many bad memories for us to live there.
We stayed in Sally’s penthouse for 5 days, and once I felt normal again, we decided to buy a flat from all the money we got from sellimg our house in Agami.
We took a flat near an apartment close to Sally’s house since I wanted to be close to her (we became best friends agian) and secondly her family members were the only people we knew in this town.
In the initial months after shifting, my mom and I became best buddies. Telling each other anything and everything. My teachers at school loved me, and even wrote me 3 letters of recommendation for college. I didn’t have many friends here, but to be honest, I didn’t need any. I was grateful to have Sally and my mom. I worked my ass off in my senior year to get into a good University, and I did get into one.
I wouldn’t say I’m proud of my past. Hell, I mourn my dad’s death every single day, but now I’m no more that superficial girl with superfluous beliefs. I didn’t look down upon people. I saw everyone equally. In fact, I became the kind of girl you ignore on streets, but I didn’t mind it one bit. You can call it karma if you want to, but I guess I’ll call it a chance to make up for all the bad things I did. A chance to start afresh. It wasn’t easy to start my life from a different perspective all together, but surprisingly, dad’s sayings and philosophical phrases (which were apparently stored in my subconscious) helped me live. I would often imagine his face and that winning smile he gave me before participating in any competition and after winning them too. It gave me a reason to survive, helping me overcome my fears and nightmares. It helped me realise that I need to forgive myself in order to move on.
I wouldn’t say I’ve completely made peace with my past, but I can be certain that I’m trying my level best, and in the long run, that’s what matters.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. quirkyabhi says:

    It was well worth reading ! 🙌 I am still curious as how did they escaped that night ? Or Did they simply let her and mother go.. ? 👀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arushi says:

      That’s the point, that girl didn’t remember anything and her mom didn’t tell her because she was already traumatized

      Liked by 1 person

      1. quirkyabhi says:

        Damnn that didn’t silenced my curiousity ! Guess I’ll just have to make a theory of my own ! 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Arushi says:

        Yas yas that’s exactly what I expect you to do;)))

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Arushi says:

      Thank you so much

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cheriewhite says:

    Wow! This is a powerful story. And it resonates with me due to the fact that I too was bullied back in school and at the time, wished that all my bullies would just drop dead. Thankfully, I don’t feel that way anymore as I am much older and wiser.

    Thank you for posting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arushi says:

      I’m so glad that it could resonate with this story! It makes me incredibly happy to know that I could be of any help

      Liked by 1 person

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