Happiness comes with side-effects

by shalinijena

Once upon a time there was a girl. She lived in the outskirts of a big city. The lanes were clean, flanked by grass and green. In her world, she was all alone. She never complained, but sometimes cried. She liked being honest, but sometimes lied. She cared little, but loved more. So she was loved and cared both. Working on her farm, she took care of her leafy trees, hugged their brown trunks when she felt lonely, talked to the little birds who sang her a lullaby as she went to sleep, every night like a beloved’s dream.

In the fun and frolic, she did not see what was looming on her tree of life. In the stance of a beautiful dance, she did not see the little buds sprouting, one by one, taking shape every day. One morning, as she woke up under its shady roof, something different caught her eye. She went closer. A different smell, she told herself. Did something happen to my tree of life, she wondered. Sad and worried, she knew not where to go. Lost and angry, she climbed up the branches, the warm and full arms of it that once made her feel like home now felt so hard and rough. Those arms that loved her once spared her no pain now. Crying and desperate, she finally manages to climb her tree of life. What is the smell, she repeats in her head, determined to know the truth. As she comes closer, beautiful flowers in pink and blue amaze her senses. She gasps. And was dismayed even more…

Now her tree of life will love her never, she sobs and climbs down. She will love her flowers more than me, she thought. She ran away, as far as she could go. Every night she came across a different sight. Trees, big ones, small ones, shady ones and pretty ones… She ran to them and cuddled into sleep. The birds came again. But they sang a different lullaby, every time. But because she liked it, she slept to the tune. Full and frolic as she felt again, she learnt reviving from her blues. As days went by, the excitement of a different tree, of a different lullaby, made her anxious. It became a habit, a habit she might never leave. One day she decided to stop. She looked up at the pretty branches of the tree above. They had flowers. She wondered if it will warm her that night; sing her a lullaby after the light. May be it wouldn’t care to, she thought. But she lingered, she waited.

That darkness was the best night she ever had. Happy and glad, she stayed. To move no further and live here forever, she told herself. She called it the tree of light. It loved her even if she was not its own. It hugged and warmed her when she needed the most; it listened to her all night, of all the happy and sad days with her tree of life. One day, on a winter night, she lay under her tree of light’s shade, shivering and trembling. She thought the flowers would fall again to give cover in her plight. But that night her tree of light would not shed them. The weather so bitter could kill them at sight, it thought. The tree tried its best to give shade by extending its branches but it would not give away its flowers.

That night she missed her tree of life. She cried in her sleep and all the birds came to sing her a lullaby. But nothing helped and in her pain, she said she wanted to leave the nice tree and go searching again. Search for what, her tree of light asked. Change, she whispered to herself. The flowers made bed for her the next night and consoled that everything was going to be alright. But she lingered not this time. She left and never came back. Neither to the tree of light, nor to her tree of life…

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