“When the going gets tough, the “, Dadda looked at me and smiled.
Through my tears I completed the quote, “the tough get going”. I continued crying.
Mom cuddled me in her arms, “It’s ok, Michelle. You are a strong girl. These comments should not matter to you”
I angrily replied, “Stop it, you two. I am tired of your quotes and examples of strength and courage. I am tired of being strong.”
I looked at my dad and said, “Dadda, what do you always say, not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path. You know what, I am waiting since I was four, now I am nineteen and the storm has still not cleared my path. For that matter, I don’t even know if I have a path.”
I was angry and crying at the same time, “I can’t take it anymore. I have prayed so much. I prayed for a miracle. I asked for forgiveness, thinking that I am being punished for this” I shouted.
Mom took me near and said, “You are a grown-up girl, you know God doesn’t punish. It is not your fault. Everything will be ok”
I smirked, nodded, and said sarcastically, “Oh Yeah. It will be ok. Please, Please tell me when will it be ok? Mom, don’t keep on giving me hopes, tell me the reality, I have accepted and you also accept. I will always be like this.”
Mom had tears in her eyes.
I felt bad that I was shouting at my parents. They are the best parents in this world. Yet sometimes the frustration gets to you.
I continued now slightly composed, “In school, children used to avoid sitting next to me. They used to not share their tiffin boxes or anything with me. I used to cry in the night and pray that the next day there will be a miracle and I will look normal. My skin would be like yours. These white patches would go, but it never happened. Instead, it increased and now I have forgotten the color of my hair. See can you see, just a few strands of black hair.”
Dadda took my hand in his, “Yes we have accepted and you should not be ashamed of yourself.”
I looked at him and said, “Look at my face and hands, it’s now totally white. My eyelashes, my hair, my eyebrows, all white. I look hideous”
Mom winced, “Don’t say that, you are beautiful. You have a pure heart and that matters.”
I looked at her and let out a sigh, “Mom, to see my pure heart, people have to first see this face.”
I had tears in my eyes, “My friends are nice, but that’s not enough. Today I heard some guys talking about girls. They were giving them points, according to their looks and other attributes. I was just behind them. Then one boy took my name and others started laughing. They said, eeks that White Ghost, are you crazy? Who will go near her?”
Mom put her head down.
I cried, “For once, I want to look nice. I will be turning 20 next month and I haven’t even been kissed. I have some physical needs. I want to be loved, want a boyfriend who will admire me. I want to feel his lips, his body next to mine. I want to get married, have a baby”
Dadda took me near, I hugged him and cried, “Dadda, you both love me a lot. But I also need a companion who will be proud of me, who will show me off to his friends and not be ashamed of me. I know this won’t happen. I will never get love in my life.”
Mom replied, “One day, someone will love you more than us.”
“Ya, I am sure he will be blind, only then he can love me”, I replied
Dadda said,”Mich, Nobody can validate your capabilities. As for the boys who were giving numbers to girls, I would never allow you to date, such hollow people.”
Mom held my hand and said, “Looks are not the basis of any relationship. If that was the case, there would be no divorces or cheating. Nobody and nothing is perfect. Some people have a picture-perfect marriage, which is for the world to see. Some have problems which we are not aware of. That’s how we live, making our Imperfect life Perfect. Someone will look at you beyond your looks and that will be an unconditional love”.
Dadda brushed his hand through my hair and said, “Stop pursuing love. Embrace your talents and strengths, it doesn’t matter then when others think less of you. You have so much love to give. Make your weakness, your strength.”
****After six years****
Today is the most important day in my life. The birth of my first baby. Many people gathered for the inauguration of my first Special school.
A dance and music show was going on. I saw my parents in the crowd, a look of pride on their faces.
Suddenly, a hand clasped mine. I turned around to see, my student, Amit had a rose in his hand.
He said in his broken English and heavy voice, “Can I call you, Angel? You are so beautiful”
I smiled and hugged him.
A group of my students came running, some limping, some walking. They had a card in their hands and were shouting, “Happy Birthday Angel”.
My heart was filled with so much love for them.
A journey from The White Ghost to Angel, a journey in Pursuit of Love brought me Happiness.
Today my Dadda’s words sounded so true, “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path”.
* Picture Credit – Sommi from Unspash.com