40 comments

Submitted on 07/24/2020

Categories: General


I forgive you.


But do I mean it? I do not know. Many people say that word without knowing what they mean.


What do I actually mean when I say I forgive you?



I have no idea.That's why I hesitate before the door. I have the entrance ticket but I'm not sure if I could enter. My soul is still bind in the surface of the world I used to live in. Past pulls me back to the things I don't want to remember. Bitter sores prick my heart.





I firmly decide that I completely forgave you. Why would I trigger over the things already past by? I shake my head and push the gate. The clean, shiny gold gleams in the Light.


But again I remember the unanswered question, and I remember how I want a revenge. I sit back to my place, confused and worried.


I am stuck in the same question.


Do I really mean it?


I do not know. Strange, isn't it? Because I thought once when everything is done and I am here, I would be like an innocent angel and I would laugh over the things I suffered. But it is not so simple as I thought.


I bury my face in my hands. This isn't going very right.

Why can't I forgive you? I can't I say it is all right and I still love you? Is this what is meant to happen? Is it quite normal that I am still imprisoned by the happenings of the past?



I open one of the pages of my Life Book. The page, like any others, is full of unanswered and undefined and incomplete questions, but it is better something than nothing. I begin to read. The memories break their rattling barricades and begin to rush upon me.




************************************************************


I remember the thrill that swept over me when you entered into the restaurant which I was working in. You sat beside the window and took a glance at the menu. I walked straight to you. My knees trembled as you turned your head slowly to face me.


"Any orders, Sir?" My voice vibrated in the air even though there was no reason to be nervous.


"One tuna sandwich, please," you answered casually.


"In a minute, Sir," I answered.


You smiled. I remember the flashing white teeth and the black jacket that went so well with your broad shoulders. I remember the black holes in your two green eyes that pulled me to you so strongly.


'Relax, for heaven's sake, he's just your guest.' I whispered to myself as I walked back to my place. My heart buoyed up by the new love that began in my life.


You came everyday 2 o' clock. How I waited that time. I waited for your dazzling smile to flash upon me. Every time you came I fell deeper in love with you. Often I lay in my bed wide awake musing on the way you looked at me.


I also remember how difficultly said yes when you asked me to date with you. The streets glowed and the roads shined when you were beside me. We were so happy inside the noisy bar and in the quiet cafe. You were sweet, and our love was sweet, and everything was so perfect.


My mother and father did not approve our relationship. They did not like that you didn't have a job and that you drank too much. I knew that you ordered at least two bottles of drink for yourself every time we met, but what did I care? I married you right away, and I only expected the beautiful days that would lie before us.



But the reality was much crueler than I thought. I realized that I had to earn all the money, and 1,500 dollars per month was not enough to pay all the rent and the food AND the drinks. Everyday I could see you drinking before the TV, without any desire to find a job. That wasn't all. You kept buying leather shoes and jackets which we could not afford. When I found 1,000-dollar-jacket in your closet, I called you to have a word. When I told you about looking for job and saving money, you yelled at me and told me to shut up. I still remember how your eyes lighted up like green flames. Anger and shock bursting out from my lungs, I yelled at you too and we broke up into a big fight. I bruises in my arms and blisters on my feet.


Then it got worse. I sank to my knees and sobbed when I realized that I was pregnant. Having a child was a blessed thing, but having another member in our family would mean more money to earn.


The child needed much money and care, and we were in debts. You kept drinking more and more drinks, and you became an alcoholic. You began to curse and beat me in front of the child. I begged you and pleaded you to become the same gentle man I used to know but you wouldn't listen. Dark nights which I cried and cried until I fell asleep. Your hatred and your cruelness cut deeper into my heart than the bruises and sores you gave me.




Then the change began. My neighbor invited me to the City Church at Christmas. I was glad that I had some place to run away to. Then that day I met Him. I learned that there is a Man that would never change His attitude toward me and would love me tenderly. I learned that there is the One who would always hear my weepings and would cry with me. I learned that there was Someone who would think I'm worthy enough to die for. I began to live again by that new hope. I decided that I must make amends with you and set things right.


I wish I can say everything went right after that. But it went worse. You hated me lurking around the chapel and praying aloud every night before I went to sleep. A monster began to grow inside you and tore my life apart and swallowed it. You yelled and screamed and preyed upon me like crazy lion. Your sharp fingernails dug into my heart and took life out of it. Every evening I had to tremble with my back lying on the corner of the wall. Your flashing smiles and your gentle voices haunted me every time I rubbed my sores.


'Oh, God,'


That was what I whispered when I found an unknown name on your ringing phone. The woman's name was Cassandra. I remembered the scent of the perfume on your jacket. I didn't use perfumes. You didn't use perfumes either. I remembered that you left the house one day with a rose on your hand, telling me that you're going to the graduation ceremony of your friend's daughter.

But none of your friends are married.



I stared at the door, rubbing my new bruises that I got the day before. I found out where your sweet smiles and kisses went to. It went to a woman called Cassandra, and to me it was only ruins and pains and ballooning debts.


You didn't come back that night.

You didn't come back after that night.


The only men that came to our house was angry creditors demanding money.


I prayed to God that I would not forgive you. I prayed that I would never ever forgive you even when I was a Christian and I ought to forgive you.


************************************************************


But do I forgive you now?



My eyes dig into the ground as He walks out of the golden gate. He is concerned about me because I'm not coming in and I'm just seating before the gate. He asks me what's the matter.


I know He knows the matter but He would prefer to hear from me. I show him the ink-stained pages of my Life Book and tell Him that I'm not sure if I can come in.


I tell Him about you. I tell Him how I hated you and how I was unwilling to forgive you. I tell Him I am doubtful if I can ever forgive you.


A hand lies gently on my curled shoulders. It is fatherly and it is warm and it is once nailed on a piece of wood. He weeps with me even when tears are not allowed here. He understandingly strokes my wet cheeks and tells me that He forgives me.


He forgives me.


He goes back to the gate and tells me that He'll be waiting for me.


I open the page again, and gaze at the unanswered questions written in vague writings.


I wipe out my tears to use it as an ink. Over all of the confusing words I write:


I forgive you.


Not because it's all past by. Not because it's easy to forgive you and my heart is bursting out of mercy and love. It is because I was forgiven, and I once loved you dearly, and because I remember there was a time when everything was perfect and beautiful with you. It is also because I want you to know Him as well, and I wish you would not hesitate before the door like me.


Thereby, I can tell you that I truly mean it:


I forgive you.







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40 comments

Pranati Chavali
09:48 Aug 11, 2020

It's a really beautiful story. I simply loved the way the start and end were expressed. There was nice usage of powerful verbs and adjectives, and I love that. There were minor grammatical errors spread over the story. On the whole, it is a story which is capable of melting one's heart.

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Jn Park
13:55 Aug 11, 2020

Thank you very much! :)

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Pranati Chavali
14:35 Aug 11, 2020

You're very welcome 😊💜

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Amany .
13:16 Aug 08, 2020

What a sad story! Nonetheless, it was well written. Just one thing-"I bruises in my arms and blisters on my feet." this sentence doesn't make sense. You would need to add the word "have" after the I. There are also some tense mistakes throughout the story, but nothing a quick read-through won't fix. I don't really see how the title connects to the story. If I were you, I would name it "I forgive you" or something along those lines, as I don't see what "Anastasia" has to do with anything. If it's the main character's name, you don't mentio...

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Jn Park
00:32 Aug 09, 2020

Thank you so much for your kind feedback! Yes, thst is the character's name and I forgot to hint that in the story. I'll keep that in mind when I edit this.

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Amany .
00:37 Aug 09, 2020

No problem!

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Pepper Mint
08:39 Jul 29, 2020

Nice story! I really liked the reason of forgiveness wasn’t because she went to heaven, but because Jesus forgave her.

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Jn Park
08:43 Jul 29, 2020

Thank you Halim! Nice to see you (or read you?) here again! :)

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Charles Stucker
12:11 Aug 03, 2020

Ack. I'm at my weakest commenting on religious tales. The structure can be different because you market it to a specific audience. The center part is scenes in a story, so I'll concentrate on that. Write the flashbacks as a set of scenes. You have plenty of space, so you can mange three or four full length scenes without worrying about length. Scene one - in the deli where she is waiting on him and he asks her out. Let it be magical and her swooning as they head in from the first date for a night together. Scene two- after the wedding...

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Jn Park
12:32 Aug 03, 2020

I also did think that the flashbacks ought to have more impact to improve the story but I did not know how to fix them. I'll look them up again when I edit the story. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! It did help a lot. :)

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Jane Andrews
14:48 Aug 12, 2020

PS I assumed your story and character were named Anastasia because it means ‘resurrection’?

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Jn Park
07:42 Aug 13, 2020

Wow, I'm glad that someone pointed that out! Yes, that's why I named the character Anastasia. :)

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Jane Andrews
14:42 Aug 12, 2020

I think the strength in this lies in the framing - you tell a compelling story about a young woman who is treated very badly by the man she loves, but by making it a flashback as she waits at Heaven’s gates, wondering if she’s really forgiven the person who did that to her, you give your story a unique twist. Yes, you do have some grammatical errors/awkward sentence structures in places, but considering English isn’t your first language, you’ve done amazingly well. (I couldn’t write that well in French and I have a French degree!) When you w...

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Jn Park
07:38 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you very much! Yes, English isn't my first language and I am having a lot of troubles on grammar. As you said, I hope that I can improve through practicing, and I wish I don't have to deal with the sentences 'with difficulty.' This community has really motivated me a lot! Thank you very much for your kind comment. It means to me a lot.

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Duvay Knox
12:55 Aug 11, 2020

Poignant, good read.

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Jn Park
13:54 Aug 11, 2020

Thank you! :)

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Sue Marsh
20:11 Aug 09, 2020

Jn that is truly a very sad story and very well written. The story line is well thought out. Thank you for read Summer Love Quarantine Style.

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:25 Aug 08, 2020

Wow! This was amazing! Loved the narrative voice here- painfully realistic! Great job Janey!

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Jn Park
07:27 Aug 08, 2020

Thank you very much! I tend to struggle a lot on writing realistic stories (for I love unreal and fantastic themes), so I'm very glad you found it realistic. :)

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:31 Aug 08, 2020

I thought this was very well-written( I like realistic stories). :)

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Becky Holland
05:07 Aug 08, 2020

I liked it. As a newspaper editor, as I have stated in other comments on other stories by others, I see things a little differently in reviewing - like places where phrases could be shortened or deleted or rewritten for clarity. Toward the middle of your story, I felt like there was a hole somewhere, and I am not sure that was a negative thing yet. It kind of just lost it is GUMPTION around then. But overall, I liked the concept and your style. Thank you for sharing. I would love if you would give me some feedback sometime. I look forward t...

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Jn Park
05:55 Aug 08, 2020

Thank you for your kind feedback! Yes, I use to have lots of "holes" in my story, so I'll carefully check the middle of my story to see what's the problem and how I can fix it. I'd be fascinated to read your stories and admire it. :)

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Barbara Burgess
10:31 Aug 07, 2020

I enjoyed your story. I loved the ending and the reason she forgave him. A very interesting story. Writing short stories helps to become a better writer - so keep at it.

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Iona Cottle
17:03 Aug 05, 2020

An interesting dilemma, and well played out. It might be worth keeping an eye on your sentence starters; there were a few places with a lot of nouns/pronouns (he, she, I) at the start of the sentences, and mixing it up can make the writing flow easier and smoother.

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Sue Marsh
15:04 Aug 01, 2020

interesting story of forgiveness

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Jn Park
15:16 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you! ;)

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17:08 Jul 31, 2020

I love that opening, it really brought me in

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Deborah Angevin
14:12 Jul 31, 2020

The opening gives off happy, heartwarming vibe... but then it all changed from the middle part. That took me by surprise :o Would you mind checking my recent story, "A Very, Very Dark Green"? Thank you :)

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Jn Park
06:57 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you! Will do!

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Jn Park
09:07 Jul 31, 2020

Thank you for everyone who read my story!

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Aqsa Malik
10:53 Jul 26, 2020

Hey there! :D Straight away, I loved how mysterious the story was in the beginning, and how you don't give context until the middle. I also enjoyed how you begun and ended with the same scene, it was very cool! Your metaphors are really really good, and I like the comparisons you make when you're describing certain things like his eyes or his anger. My favourite part of this story was the ending; I honestly did not expect it to take place in the afterlife! I love the religion aspect to it, you brought it out really well, and I thou...

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Jn Park
12:12 Jul 26, 2020

Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment! And as for mistake, I'll check it out. I should read the whole story over again because I have made some mistakes here and there. I'm not a native speaker, (or writer) so grammar is quite difficult thing to me. Agian, thank you very much for taking time to read my story. It means a lot :)

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Aqsa Malik
12:47 Jul 26, 2020

Ah, yeah! I assumed maybe English wasn't your first language but I didn't wanna overstep any boundaries by suggesting that. That clears so much more up! In that case, your grammar is quite good :D

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05:41 Jul 26, 2020

This is such a beautiful story of forgiveness, and the fact that love and forgiveness are truly possible because of Jesus Christ. I loved it.

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Jn Park
08:14 Jul 26, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.:)

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Peace Nakiyemba
08:55 Jul 24, 2020

This is a lovely story. I like how you give the back story and lead us to why she asks the question. I like that you also show that she wrestles with forgiveness - I think that mirrors reality perfectly. I also like that she tells the story by addressing a specific person, gives more weight to her pain. You missed out prepositions in a few places but if you go through it, I'm sure you'll find them. Especially for the paragraph that starts 'You came everyday...'. I would suggest changing the line '...I fell more badly to you' to '...I fe...

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Jn Park
08:16 Jul 26, 2020

Sorry for responding so late. Thank you for pointing it out! I'll correct it right away. Thank you for taking time to read my story. :)

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John k Adams
17:47 Aug 11, 2020

I like the direction of the story - I'm all for forgiveness. But being all in memory made it a bit too diffuse and abstract for me. I prefer to be in the vivid scene and seeing it happen. Keep it up!

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Jn Park
07:44 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you very much! I will try to improve it. I'm glad that you liked the story!

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