The wound is the place where the light enters you – Short Story
Fatima Akbar Shah
Lesser the time elapsed between the creation and the time the onlooker sees it, the more are the manifestations of creator evident in it. As the creation faces the surges of the worldly air, they rub upon it the dust of mundane impurity that ultimately it has to brush itself off several layers to match, and if need be to merge into the creator.
Finn entered into the room with a file gripped in his hand. Today his tread bore the confidence and bliss of laurels. It was not just the discovery on his part for the good of the mankind; it was the gratification of his conscience, the quenching of his fire, to evaporate whose heat he had vigiled, sweated and starved.
“Ma’am my article is ready. I have ended up with most coveted finding”
The supervisor Miss. Suzanne had turned rather a hobnob friend to him. She was a professor in medicine, in the years of social maturity, unmarried and most condescended and optimistic person one can expect a superior to be.
When Finn had first presented the proposal to her, with an air of apprehension she had responded, “Child, you are taking up a magnanimous task. Your current knowledge does not suffice for it”
“But ma’am, if time and energies are put wholeheartedly…….”
“I don’t thwart your enthusiasm, go ahead. But be careful enough. Lest it should cost your precious time”
She signed the paper and slid it towards Finn. Delighted, every angle of his face bloomed like an open field teemed with mushrooms after a torrential blow of monsoons.
And today the victor was before Suzanne with his red flag. He had experimented upon fifty individuals and all had shown a miraculous reversal of their morbid signs.
“Well done my warrior! You have trampled all my fears. The entire mankind since its inception would hail your glory”
“All is your beneficence, Ma’am” Finn replied with affected meekness. Though inwardly the bouts of friskiness were drumming his heart and the surges of glee of conquest had elicited tears in his eyes.
“Life expectancy in juvenile leukemia was merely a year but your research would stretch it to a decade, I foresee”, Suzanne pursed her lips as she tossed her head sideways in admiration.
* * * * * * * * * * *
“My research is based upon leukemia and its…………………………………………………the beneficiaries of my findings are the medical personals, masses in general and the young people in particular whose right to live is snatched by this havoc when they are at the juncture of imparting essence of their youthfulness to the world…………………………………………………..”
“What? So irrelevant to this scientific symposium”, there was an exasperated whisper by a courtly dressed man in the audience.
“…………..i would attribute my success to my supervisor, my parents, friends and someone who has always inspired me to aspire for the pinnacle” and Finn left the rostrum.
“Congratulations! A student like you is always a teacher’s dream”, Suzanne patted his back as both of them held their tea cups at the refreshment counter.
“Who is that inspiration by the way?” Suzanne whispered with an impish smile.
Finn instead of blowing an air of possession and joy captured a defeated expression over his face, with dull eyes and trembling lips he spoke as if to himself, “my love, Marcella”.
“How lovely, how blessed”, she tethered him to herself and with a wrap of an arm through his back approaching his shoulder shook him. Finn jolted. He had loosened his joints to bathe under the cloud of grief and dismay.
* * * * * * * * *
The cell phone rang.
“Hi. Good Sunday Finn. Can you pay me a visit now? There are a few invitations for the upcoming conferences”.
“Ma’am I don’t feel at ease today”
“I am missing Marcella”
There was a silence at Suzanne’s end.
“I‘ll see you tomorrow morning, bye”. Finn flung the phone over the cushion.
* * * * * * * * *
“I called you in my office to convey the appreciations of my professor, Mr. Smith. You made me proud”.
“My pleasure ma’am”, Finn nodded.
“And he asked me another thing: who is that legend who ‘inspired him to aspire for the pinnacle”?
Perturbed, Finn inclined forward and rested all eight fingers on the rim of the table, anxiousness combing his existence.
“What did you tell”?
“Simple that it is his beloved”
“And the name”?
“It was at the tip of my tongue when our conversation was interrupted by a ring”
“Ooh……” Finn uttered a sigh.
“What you mean”? Suzanne’s neck propped and eyebrows converged.
“Ma’am please keep her name concealed. Social virginity is precious for a girl”, said Finn.
* * * * * * * *
It was dusk. The university cafeteria was growing calm. Exhausted students and scholars sipped coffee with half shut eyes. Finn and Suzanne sat on one corner table,
“Ma’am is the prototype of the handouts final?”
“Almost”, Suzanne replied in an occupied tone.
“I‘ll bring my presentation to you tomorrow”.
Suzanne interrupted with a smile, “Since long I‘ve been greatly intrigued to meet Marcella” and hid her eyes in her coffee cup as she sipped.
“She died of leukemia. I was fifteen then”, his voice quavered.
“What?” Suzanne’s eyes propped. She put the cup aside.
Finn’s neck was flooded with trickles emerging from his eyes. There were couples of glistening streaks over his cheeks. The eyes were flooded with another gush of fresh tears. He wanted to speak but his lips were trembling, supporting the eyes in their expression of grief. Suzanne was frozen into wide open mouth. While Finn wiped his face with the back of his hand, the elderly lady fondled his hair.
Love was seeded deep in Finn’s soul. It grew into a tree which had boughs of courtesy and beneficence. It was sowed in the beholder when he was young, when he was fresh from his creator; God which is all love and bounty!