Tears Of Freedom - Short Story

Helena, how long would you continue to suffer like this from the past?” Her friend asked. Helena said no words. Her tears continued to flow out of her soul uncontrollably as they do every morning.

As she laid her head over her friend's shoulder, Helena could feel her mind drifting away into the past where her body was given to prostitution to all these men she now sees in her dream almost every night. They say that nightmares are the cries of our innocent self asking for freedom.

“Aisha!” Helena finally called out to her friend. “Yes my dear” Aisha replied with the usual hopeful voice that comes from her deepest longing to one day see her friend free and happy.

“I have killed one of the men that usually come to force themselves on me in that cursed house.” Helena quietly confessed to Aisha with more tears flowing uncontrollably.

“My soul is dark Aisha. And I feel as though knowing God and how loving he is to mankind has made everything worse. Sometimes, I feel like I could never be forgiven by God. I know it’s not true. But this is the way it feels.”

Aisha stayed quiet as the usual obedient friend she has always been. She has cried so many tears for her friend Helena over the course of the years. She has no tears left to cry.

“I came into this world with a horrible karma due to my past sins, and I kept creating more darkness even in this lifetime.” Helena continued.

“My hope for freedom is dying daily Aisha. My soul can not even find refuge in the love you so dearly provide for me.

My heart has become cold and hard against myself. Somewhere deep within me is the voice of darkness always tormenting my mind. So you think God has forgiven me?”

Aisha remained silent with a gentle smile on her face which Helena could easily decipher as a comforting answer.

“May be you need to leave Calcutta. She reminds you too much of all your pains. They say cities and countries have their own souls. I don’t know if I believe that. Maybe it’s true. Maybe another country, another city is calling on your soul.”

Helena: Maybe the soul of Puttaparthi is calling me. I have been dreaming myself in another city. I could not tell but my soul can’t help it but feel like it’s somewhere in puttaparthi.

Aisha: Have you ever been to Puttaparthi?

Helena: No. I heard about it from the group of the Christian nuns who serve the poor here in Calcutta. It was their leader known as Teresa who spoke about it. I served foods to the poor with those nuns before. There was this peace and this contentment about them that I always wondered if I could ever feel.

Aisha: I have a family in Puttaparthi--my mother. If your soul feels called by Puttaparthi, then you must go. If it keeps coming, then it could be a good omen, a sign from the forces of the universe.

It took some days for Aisha to arrange Helena’s trip to Puttaparthi. She arrived in Puttaparthi a few weeks after her last emotional conversation with Aisha. That’s where I met her inside the body of this old man called Bai. Bai means pure.

It was in my clothing store that we first met. The transportation station was loud and dusty as usual. Taxi cab drivers yelling at each other and the merchants at the market place calling out to their clients and making trade. The night before we met, my soul knew someone was arriving in Puttaparthi to meet.

It’s said that souls meet before their bodies do. But most humans don’t pay attention to the whispers of time. I needed to travel a few days ago, for a month, to a prayer camp not too far from this market place. But my soul held me here.

Helena appeared in my dream many times. And many times I was told that I would be a medicine to her wounds. But in the dream I could never see her face. But souls recognize each other not by how they look, but how the feel inside their heart when their eyes meet.

“How much is this Sari?” She gently asked. My back was turned against the doorway and I did not see her coming in. But her voice. Something about her voice caused my dream with the faceless woman to vividly appear in my mind. When I turned and saw her, I knew my assignment has come.

I gave her the price of the Sari and she continued to say, “I am visiting a friend’s mother here and would like to give her this Sari as a gift. Do you think this is a good idea?”

“It’s a beautiful Sari.” I replied. When our eyes finally met. She froze. With a curious expression on her face she said, “you remind me of someone. I cannot tell who. But…anyway.”

She bought the Sari and left. I did not ask her where in the city she was heading or if she will be returning to the store. There was no need to. Mektub! It was already established in the sacred scroll of the universe that I was a medicine to her wounded soul.

I am now eighty years old and all my life I have been a medicine to souls. Not all of them heal but every soul touched by the light of God can never remain the same.

Eleven days later, at eleven in the morning, she returned to the store to buy more Saris. I was preparing for my afternoon prayer routines when she arrived wearing the Sari she first purchased.

“I see that you did not give it as a gift after all. What made you change your mind to want to keep it for yourself?” I asked her.

Helena: I felt as if it should be mine. So I came back to buy more for my friend’s mother and her sister. They have been so kind to me. Your Saris are unique and expensive. That’s why I like them. You make people feel valued when you give them a unique and expensive gift. Won’t you agree?

Bai: Yes, you are right. But people are more unique and more expensive than anything you could give them.

Helena: How so?

Bai: Because there cannot be two of you and you can never be for purchase.

After hearing those words I noticed her mood has changed. I did not know then that she was sold as a prostitute. I did not know she has never felt unique and valuable because she was once displayed for purchase. (Be notified when a next chapter is posted: FREE SUBSCRIPTION)