The white-faced emerged from the docks of the ever-flowing ocean, anchoring as their boots; wet from the splashing sea beyond the enormous skyline, attracting powered sand on their heels as they made their way towards us. Smiling faces, beautiful, attractive blue hues lighting their restful eyes.
Their hushed breathing made my parents edge closer to inspect them further. I remained immobile, clutching my old doll against my chest, backing away until I bumped into my grandpa. His dark brows were furrowed in skepticism, his hands joined behind his back, his dull black eyes met my lively one as he held me near his torso until my parents had information about the new comers
Days drifted, I began to lose fear in the white-faced. They didn’t say very much, keeping to themselves and immediate family members. Using business as a way to communicate with my people, yet only the educated had ideas on what they spoke. Their language varied from ours, but as months passed I began to recognize a few words.
I hadn’t gone to school, in our country girls cannot be educated. I thought it was unfair, but I continued to beg my grandpa to teach me everything he knew.
“You will be a good woman one day, Maya,” He said with his doe-like eyes.
I promised him, saying I’d help my country the best of my ability, because to me that was priority.
I had been very innocent, too naive to connect the dots sooner. The white-faced hadn’t come to India to ‘just trade’ but planned to conquer my country.
It started with meddling in our political affairs, sneaking in money to my people who agreed out of greed to get their work done quicker.
I couldn’t tolerate it, seeing my world being destroyed. Them taking charge, recklessly killing the innocent and appreciating the culprits.
It was like they had stabbed behind our backs while we blind folded thoughts of them as allies, as neighbors, as friends and family even when our bloods were different.
My country welcomed them with open arms, while they had beheaded and punished many in return.
Every day I would take a stroll towards the nearby temple. Seeing widowed women wail, children sitting in gloom, unable to venture outside and play in fright they will be caught. Men in distress over what will happen next.
I’d had enough.
I will avenge every tear shed, every blood poured and every life squeezed out.
I’d promised my grandfather, and I will honor his words. He died for this country, for his people, for his family, for me.
And I won’t let his sacrifice go in vain.
* * * * *
“My people...” With hands trembled, sweat sliding down my neck from the sun shining from the cloudless sky I stood dumbstruck on the podium amongst millions of people staring with mouths open. I began to lose courage.
What if they laugh?
What if I can’t talk?
I will do this.
For a second I rethought my action, were they going to listen to a young woman? An uneducated woman?
No, I was their only hope. Their only voice in this mission and I cannot back down.
My grandfather's words echoing in my mind, I felt a slight breeze and a sudden change in the humid climate. It was as if this was the spotlight, my chance to redeem myself.
I spoke, never stopping for questions or mockery, never noticing my crowds reaction as my voice carried over the wind. My grandfather’s voice was like honey in my ears, always filling in when I stumbled to get the point across.
“Don’t let your fears contain you, raise your voice to the challenge.”
Men mumbled amongst them while women nodded slightly, shielding their eyes from the raging sun.
“Our country needs us, our future generations need us, and we… we have to save them,” My breath wheezing a little, my legs aching from standing.
“Please…” I whispered, my eyes downcast as I started to step down the podium.
“She’s right,” I whipped my head around, seeing a young girl ball her fists in the air, “Who’s with me?”
A smile creeped up my tear streaked face as my audience clapped, some patting my back for my courage while others shaking my hand in acknowledgement.
My plan was in action, I’d revived our spirits back.
The moon glistened against the serene bay, it’s reflection rippling as I threw a stone playfully. With my hands joined in a prayer pose I flickered my eyes back to the inky sky, the stars illuminating with flashing glows. I could picture my parents looking down at me, my grandpa smiling at me from a better place.
They have given their life to protecting our heritage, now it’s my turn.
And I was willing to take the outcome, however so it may turn out.
* * *
A year later,
The white-faced smirked, a pistol in hand, as he cornered me. I gasped, wincing with the pain jabbing my right knee. Blood gushing out, my clothes stained with crimson, my hands weak from an unmatched fight, I struggled to get up as he pushed me down again in an attempt to convince me to give up.
“I… I will never let you… win,” I rasped out, as my bone crunched underneath his massive, strong foot.
“You sure?” His voice sounding foreigh, I’d began to understand them more and more as their dominance intensified.
“My… country is…” I took a stinging breath, “More important.”
“So you’ll die then?” He mocked, his gun aiming at me.
I nodded, awaiting to leave for a place I’d be free.
From my country and people who depended on me to show them a path.
I was ready to sacrifice for them.
For the place that held me.
For the place I grew up.
For my mother land.
The last thing I saw before closing my eyes permanently was my grandfather, smiling as ever. His arms outstretched, as he enveloped me into a hug.
I looked back at my homeland, seeing people cheer and exchange smiles for their freedom from the British rule. My heart pounded with joy that I’d been part of all this.
After all, my first word I learned in this foreign language was…
Hi everyone! This is my shortest story yet and also I decided a different approach. Do let me know if u like it! And suggestions are always welcome:)
So this story has a interior message which is...
Be proud of who you are.
Never, ever give that up.
We are all people, no matter color, religion or gender.
We need to work together, come as one.
Anyway thank you all so much(especially my friends/followers) for reading and supporting my stories!!!
This story is dedicated to....
Maya Emerson for always supporting me and being such a sunshine!!!!!