At the entrance, the stairs decorated with white roses are guarded by angels in white. Peaceful and quite beautiful. People come there expecting the final judgement from the Lord. Poorer on earth, kind in heart, many people are waiting in line for His arrival.
Far away, at the very end of the cosmos, He comes here in the company of His messengers. He walks past the dead man and sits on his throne. A messenger comes to him: “Lord, heavenly! This week we are bringing to you twenty thousand people in the name of death who have come to worship you.” The messenger places the book in front of the lord in the aisle. The Lord looks at the cards of those who died this year. There were many older and younger children. Many died from diseases, serious diseases and old age. He read the details of each person’s life, who appeared in front of him.
After examining his deeds on earth, the Lord makes his final appeal. They were all taken to heaven and hell according to their deeds on earth. This little girl was on the list. Sweet little baby, short brown hair, black eyes full of innocence and truth. The Lord found tears flowing from her eyes and asked her. “My child, who worries you too much, you look sad and these tears hide your smile and beauty.” She replied, “I’ve been lonely all my life and no one has cared for me. I feel that nobody likes me because I’m not healthy. God didn’t love me either.” The poor girl spoke with difficulty and tears ran down her cheeks to her mouth. The Lord said, “No, my child, I love you. That’s why you are here. Since I knew about you, I always wanted to be with you and make you happy. If you would love to be with me, my love, smile and don’t cry anymore. “ She smiled happily and the messengers, by his orders, took her to see the gardens.
The little girl was very happy and excited to see the beauty of the garden. Jasmine flowers, daisies, lilies, sunflowers and all kinds of roses bloomed everywhere. Beautiful white swans and pink lilies grew near the pond. The little girl was scared of entering the water. She was afraid she would drown. Realizing that her face expressed fear, one of the messengers hugged her in his arms to keep her from getting scared. Another messenger went to the pond and grabbed a handful of lilies for her. A broad smile of happiness and satisfaction appeared on the little child’s face. After examining her beauty, the girl was taken to her room. The sign in the room said “CHILDREN’S LANGUAGE”.
Many other children were there. Many of them were stillborn on Earth. There were also many village girls. They were brutally killed by their family because of their sex. In many societies where the villagers are illiterate, the girl was considered a burden, as a result of which she was miscarried or killed. There were also many children who died of starvation and malnutrition. After birth, they could not get adequate food, and many villages were ruled by a brutal landowner who provided them with only a modest amount of money. There was not even enough money to fill the baby’s tummy. Because the mother was not given adequate nutrition, many children died of poverty at an early age. Everyone was really curious to see their new friend in kindergarten. The children received food and toys to play with.
How happy they seemed. They greeted their new friend at home: “Hi. Welcome to kindergarten. What’s your name?” All the preschool children wanted to know about her. And the girl introduced herself. “I am Kaira.” One of the girls in kindergarten shook Kaira’s hand and said, “I’m Alora.” They both sat down to play. They were really happy in their own world. They became good friends since then. Earlier Kaira had no one when she was alive. Today after death, she had someone to open up to. A week has passed since Kaira, Alora and the other girls came to the heavenly nurseries. In the seventh heaven, when Kaira no longer needed to cry and the other children never had an empty stomach, the Lord visited them. He gathered all the celestials to tell the story of the Earth.
Everyone was really curious. Especially for those who love fairy tales. But God reminded them: “This is not a fairy tale with fairies, butterflies and a princess. But this is a story about a girl among us who needed real love. She could get it for a while. A few countless moments in my life after which I feel sorry that time told me to snatch her away.” The Lord began to tell his story. Everyone listens to him widely. “Far from Heaven in Hillhead, the Holmwood family lived in Glasgow, including Mr. Henry Holmwood, his wife Cornelia Holmwood, and Cornelia’s mother, Margaret Holmwood. They were known throughout the city for their activities and names. They were wealthy enough to buy villas and cottages in all offices, but unfortunately, I did not bless them with a child as they said. They always complained about me. They were not religious on their part and were healthy enough to have a healthy child. In business meetings, Mr. Holmwood has always had the habit of drinking as they say.
Stress and pressure always were quite friendly with Mrs. Holmwood. She was well known for her Designer Boutique “CORNELIA CANVAS.” She used to design wedding and ball gowns. She had the finest collection of materials and designs. If anyone just rushes into her shop they could find closets filled with blue, white, pink, red, yellow and any other colour the customer wishes to wear. She even designs those gowns worn by Cinderella and Belle from the fairy tales. Therefore children always used to come to her even if they had a simple theme based birthday party at home. But the family never had some real communication with each other. Mr Holmwood was busy with his meetings and business tour and Cornelia with her boutique. Her mother often complained “Sweethearts, I am lonely at home. I want a companion here. You both are busy in your own business and we come together like this just for a Christmas or for similar occasions. That’s not ok with me. When are you going to start a family? Wish I could get someone to spend my time with.” The couples had never told their mom about their grievances of not having a child of their own. Cornelia had never wished in her life that she will not become a mother. She always waited for the day when she could design the finest dress for her child. She wished if it was a girl child, she would design all her clothes. Its been almost six years since their marriage. In between her busy life schedule, Cornelia used to approach all the gynaecologists but there wasn’t any minimal progress. Last week she had an appointment with Dr. Dawson, a school friend of hers, currently working as a psychologist in a nearby clinic for mental health care. Even she recommended having a night of proper sleep and rest to aid her stress levels. Even her husband sometimes gets angry while she approached him to get some relief.
She gradually started to grow weak and her business grew dull for almost a year. She never kept an assistant to support and manage her business. She always had just a couple of designers who could assist her to transform her designs into final apparel. All the accounts regarding the sale and data regarding the transaction were dealt with by her. During school days she topped for mathematics, but as she was excellent in drawing, she chose textile designing as her major in university.
At last, when Easter arrived, she had the results of her final tests with the gynaecologist. The tests were satisfying and she was pregnant at the age of 38.
Unfortunately, it was not the right age to become a mother. It was too late. But the day she became pregnant, she took her mother to the nearby church and spent half of the day with her there. It could be a day when mom and daughter spoke a lot after a long gap. She attended a session of confession with Fr. Benedict. All was going back to normal at home while her husband was out for meetings he used to call them and enquire about the baby in the womb, test results with the doctor and he was also involved in a long session of talks with Margaret too.
After 9 months Cornelia went through that pain that every woman has faced or maybe will face someday in their life. After lots of push, pulls and cries from the labour she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy little baby girl. Margaret became Granny. More than Cornelia it was Margaret who was happy. Her contented face was glowing like the morning sun. Holding the little baby in the hand, Margaret said, “My little princess is here. Kaira you are my princess.” There wasn’t a second thought for the baby’s name everyone accepted Kaira the princess of the Holmwood family.
She grew up as Kaira Holmwood at school. As she grew up she had lots of material love that she gained from her parents than parental love. All those parental love was by Granny Margaret who wanted her all these years to ward off her boredom. Everyone says daughters are Dad’s little princess, here Kaira was always granny’s little princess. After Kaira was born business flourished for Holmwoods. New branches in different parts of Scotland started to open as their new ventures. Partnership, collaboration, share markets for Mr Holmwood, and new orders for celebrity photoshoots and magazines, everything started taking unfolding for the best.
As a part of business reasons, Mr and Mrs. Holmwood started living in another house of their own in Edinburgh. Kaira was looked after by Granny all alone. She was old, too tired and bedridden. Margaret found that she wouldn’t be able to look after her anymore. Kaira was just 10. She often had appointments with a doctor because she often had severe cough and cold. Soon one morning Granny passed away. That was totally depressing to Kaira. Kaira couldn’t be looked after by her parents. She asked them about that once, “Honey, all our hard work today is just for you dear. We are working hard so that after us you don’t have difficulty creating your own future. We are earning so that Kaira Holmswood is never poor and she gets a secured future.” Poor Kaira. She was too innocent to know that her parents didn’t care for her as her granny did. She lived in a school hostel. She couldn’t get a lot of friends there. She was an introvert.
Later one day she lost her balance and fell in the classroom and the teachers rushed her to the hospital. Her parents were called. They arrived in a span of time. They found Kaira in the Intensive Care Unit. They met with the doctor. The doctor took them to her cabin. She interrogated “Has your daughter quite often been to the doctor for headaches?” Mr Holmwood stood dumb as he never put his head in his daughter’s matter. He has just visited her while he comes for Christmas or for Easter. Cornelia said, “Sorry doctor, my daughter was looked after by my mother because we are usually out of town for business reasons. Is everything all right?” The doctor replied, “I am sorry to say that we had to do certain tests of your daughter and we referred her to the Oncologist and we found that she is suffering from a serious disorder of Ependymoma. It is a primary central nervous system tumour. It could have been cured if it was recognized at the beginning. We had collected her details from her school diary and came to know that you both were blessed after long years of marriage and Kaira is your only daughter. I am sorry to say that Kaira hasn’t got much time left with her. If you could spend at least this moment with her it would be good. Kaira doesn’t know about her problem, but she knows that she is suffering from something sad and bitter.
Hearing such sad news from the doctor, Mrs Holmwood ran towards her daughter. On the way she recalls those days she was happy to become a mother, she thanked god one day for the blessing, and the presents she gave to her princess. Nearing the door her heart was beating really hard that she couldn’t control it by herself. She opened the door and found her daughter lying in the bed. Her face seemed tired and sleepy. She sat beside Kaira and cried. A few moments later, Mr Holmwood arrives and sits on the other side of the bed. He lifts her by her head and takes her into his arms. Tears roll down onto her face. With tears, he says, “I am sorry. Really sorry dear for not being with you.” Both Mr and Mrs Holmwood felt guilty for not spending time with their daughter. They held her hands with her’s and she breaths her last in the hospital bed.”
As Lord completes the story, tears roll down in the eyes of many including Kaira. She then realized the reason for her death was the disease she suffered from. Lord also gives a surprise for Kaira pointing out to someone sitting in the corner listening to the story. It was her Grandma Margaret. They embraced.
An aspiring poet, compiler and Co-author for several anthologies, Anagha Naresh is a literature student with a master’s in English literature. She enjoys reading fantasies and writing poems. She uses her account on Instagram to share her thoughts with people.