THE GRATEFUL NOTEBOOK
Most of the time, no one ever notices what’s important to them until they’ve lost it. I know, I’m only nineteen years old, what would I know about loss. Except in the nineteen years I’ve lived, the pain and suffering I’ve endured wasn’t a lie. I can still remember the sadness and sorrow gradually eating away my heart and my soul. When I was young, I was told that the feeling of truly losing something, something important, could only be felt when I was an adult, matured. However, my memories tell me a different story.
I was thirteen that day. Even though it all happened in just mere minutes, they became the most unforgetful minutes of my life. I could feel the palm of my hands fill up with sweat on the door handle of the car. My heart was pounding against my chest as my parents continued to argue in the front seats. Before I realised, their voices started to become an aura of sound and all I could hear was my heart thumping and thumping. At that moment, it felt as if my mind blanked out and my body began to move on its own. I saw my hand slowly push down the handle, but then it stopped. I thought about what I was going to do, all the innocent people that I was going to affect, my family, friends, and suddenly, my mum turned around and looked at me in the eye. “Hey! W…” those were her last words.
It was an accident. None of it was supposed to happen, but in that split second I panicked. My hand slipped and the door opened. With my hands soaked in sweat, I couldn’t grab onto the handle, I came tumbling out of the car and onto the road. Here I thought my life had finally come to an end, but seconds passed and not a single car ran over me. I tried to look up into the distance but all I saw was my parents’ car blocking the road, smashed. They took all the damage, I took nothing.
With my parents gone, I was sent to an orphanage. My uncle and aunt told me they had my best interest at heart, yet they took all my parents’ inheritance and left me at the orphanage. I was alone. Everyday at the orphanage was nothing more than a nightmare. I would sit for days just staring at my bedroom wall. At night, my body would freeze when I contemplated suicide. It felt as if my parents’ shadow was lingering over me, watching my every step. Everything had been taken away from me. Sometimes I’d imagine smug expressions on the other orphans’ faces even though it was just their smiles. I didn’t know what to do; after all I was still only a child.
I remember sitting on my bedroom steps, depressed and lonely. My head was tucked in between my legs, my knees were squeezed together and my arms were wrapped around my legs. I stayed like that for hours that day until I met that little boy. He wasn’t like all the other orphans who ran away when I insulted them, he stayed… he stayed. Since then he would try and give me this book. It was old, pale brown and looked like something that came from a second-hand bookstore. Although it didn’t seem like anything special, he would follow me, eat with me, sleep with me and even go to the bathroom with me until I happily accepted his gift. I think it wasn’t until I ran out of insulting remarks I ‘gladly’ accepted it. I accepted it.
Now six years into the future, I feel like, the luckiest girl in the world. Each morning I’d wake up anticipating what’s going to happen, where I would today take me. Everyday became an exciting never-ending adventure, there’s always something new to explore, to discover. I don’t have an ounce of regret left within my body. There are no more worries, no more pain, no more stress, only memories.
When reflecting through my heart-warming moments, I felt the cloud in my heart disappear. It seemed as if the people in my memories gradually engulfed my pain and helped me out of my misery. Without the events that have occurred, either the ones kept in my memory or in my life, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. Change was inevitable. It was thanks to humanity, the events, good and/or bad, I was able to work in the orphanage I grew up in, help out kids who lost their families, and be there for them when they had no one.
“Hello, are you okay? How old are you?” I asked the little girl sulking at my old bedroom steps trying to wipe the tears off her face.
“I’m t-hir-teen” she politely answered as the tears made her words stumble.
“Are you going to tell me what happened?” I asked whilst taking a tissue out of my bag and placing it on her face, helping her wipe her tears off her face.
This time she didn’t reply. Using my other hand, I took out a book from my bag and held it in front of her.
“Here, use this, when I was your age I thought my life was over until I used this, it’ll make you feel better, trust me” I said handing the book to her.
“W-w-hat is i-t?” she asked with the tears constantly flowing out of her eyes,
“Open it” I replied.
With her two delicate and fragile hands, she opened the book. She flipped to the back, the middle but there was nothing but ruled empty lines. However after flipping to the front page she saw a short paragraph and read it to herself.
‘Everyday write five things which you are grateful for. In time, these grateful thoughts will help dispel the many negative thoughts which prevent us from living fulfilling lives. Enjoy your gratefulness’
- Title: The Grateful Notebook
- Artist: VivaceFay
"Have you ever contemplated suicide before?"
I wrote this short story for my recent school exam, i wrote this for a proper stimulus (theme) which was along the lines of children and change (can't remember question/stimulus properly). I got my marks back but i just want to see what you all think of it. Hope you understand my idea of the story. =)
NOTE: ENGLISH AUSTRALIAN SPELLING&GRAMMER (NOT AMERICAN)
- Date: 05/22/2010
- Tags: grateful notebook change emotional happyending
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