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  1. Bright room Short story by Alyaa Majeed Jan19th, 2018 San Jose, CA Recorded Getting emotional, too attached to things, or sometimes making rather unwise judgements , for some is inevitable. My life was stable in a routine kind of a path, or at least I thought it was, until something came up to ignite my candle. It's been years, mostly things are smooth, not very exciting, yet normal, and predictable to me. I have lived my comfortably lit room with neon and table lamps. There was never a strong desire to check on that candle. Every now and then when I watch an old movie, or I feel a tiny unoccupied space in my mind, or when I see something similar to "It", I remember that I have a candle sitting somewhere in the back of my closet. Occasionally I felt tempted to check on it or it got my attention, but gradually that feeling faded away..I often wondered wither or not it should be sitting in my room hid and wrapped the way It was.... When I was a kid, my parents had neon and fluorescent to light up our home. I never knew or saw other type of lights in any of my relatives' or friends' homes. At age twelve, my dad decided to take us to visit an old friend of his. His family was a little different from my family, when it came to their customs, habits, or simply their way of living. A few things about them raised my curiosity, especially that candle. It looked somehow uncommon, it was always lit up whenever we visited. I was never able to see it dim or off, which I think made me more interested to know about its functionality. With every visit, my heart started pumping, and those butterflies began touring faster whenever I gazed on it. It was our last visit to my father's friend's as they were moving out of the city, and as they noticed how fond I grew of that candle, they decided to give it to me as a souvenir. The candle was well wrapped as they handed it to me. I felt it must be an antique and fragile, so I placed it in one of the boxes and kept it in my closet. In vain I tried to light it up a few times to see how it works, so I decided to put it off and retain the imagery of it on, alive in my mind. Many years passed, as I graduated high school, met my sweetheart, got married, became a college graduate, had my kids, and moved a few times... Last year, and after thirty years or more of no contact with the past. The daughter of my father’s old friend called! She had left me a message stating that she had gotten my phone number from a relative and she was just calling to say Hi. I don't know why, all of sudden, her call brought those memories from the past... It took me back to the first time I met the family. I remembered how interested I was in them and particularly in that exceptional candle. A rather strange feeling pushed me to explore it now. My closet was full of stuff. It was not easy to find the box that I had kept it in, a long time ago. I decided to look through a few things randomly. After an hour or so, I gave up, temporarily.. A few days later, the person called again. This time, I was able to talk to her. Part of me was relieved that it was no more than an old friend who wanted to say hi. Nevertheless, the other part of my brain started nagging me about the candle. The urge was too strong to ignore. I had to go look for it and try seriously to light it up.... Was I looking for light, warmth, crave for reminiscence, or merely curiosity. I decided to spare a few hours and dig in that closet till I find it! And voila: it was there. I was so excited to take it out of the box and ignite it to see what was so special ,to me, about it. I kept trying and trying, and every time I brought the lighter closer to it, it melted a little more than before letting the wax mess up its shape and causing it to deform. It was rather frustrating to watch. I had rather left it untouched, I thought. I'll give it one more try, I decided. Well, the third time was NOT a charm! This time, instead of lightening the candle, the lighter burned my fingers. I became very upset as I was hurt badly. As I was trying to treat my burn, my son came to the room.He was concerned that I have been quiet for a while, so he came to check on me. He looked at my sorrowful face. He looked at the misshaped candle, held it up and showed me what was visible to him, yet not to me. The candle had no wick!! This whole time I've been keeping this thing, thinking that it's got some kind of unusual value that I was supposed to hide. All those years, I kept it wrapped so nobody would destroy it. My son kissed my fingers. He hugged me. It was the most amazing feeling I could have ever dreamed of, at that moment or any other moment. He wiped my tears with his lovely smile. He held my hands and walked me over to the window.. lifted the blinds and let the sun rays fall on my face. I felt the warmth and I saw the light. After all, I guess that phone call had some kind of significance. It came rather late, but as they say better late than never. That closet of mine needed to be cleared for a while now. With that candle, I cleaned a lot of stuff. I got rid of a lot of things that were hanging there, taking space in my place. Things that were intruding on my precious everlasting Real treasure....
  2. Angel By Alyaa Majeed Dec 24th, 2017 The word almost, when it comes in a positive outcome, strikes us all. We often say: we almost got hit by that truck, I almost fell off the stairs, my baby almost rolled off the bed, he almost spill the hot tea on me, and the list goes on from small everyday things to huge life time incidents or moments. Sometimes , it could be people whom I would like to call the almost ones, or life saviors. And that happens when they intervene to stop that big truck from hitting, the baby from rolling off or you from hurting. When I count my almost moments, they seem to be significantly low, yet intense and dramatic. And they appear to be saved almost the same way every time, or rather by the same figure. As a child, a young adult, or even a grown person, I always went by the rules; did the expected, hardly taken an adventure that I would applaud myself for. Thought, lets say, yet never acted outside the box. A few years ago, I unwillingly decided to defy my character. The fatal decision was doomed from the beginning, however I did not let my instinct lead me or stand in my way. Or maybe the opposite. Those instincts were what led me to take that dangerous leap without consulting my brain first. I have seen characters on movies taking crazy moves. Some might consider brave, or appealing, but not me; the norm is what I liked to go with... until that day! Riding a roller coaster was never really my thing, or I should say was not till the almost incident. Venturing around at a theme park, was where I decided to test my limits. Strolling my little one while my other two walking next to me, we saw the entrance wide open. Without hesitation, I suggested to ride. The three of them were thrilled. The type of mother they have, this seemed a one of a kind opportunity! The line was awfully short that did not give me time to reconsider. Strangely, the line guard was too distracted by the heat and lights, that he did not bother checking my younger one's height. We all got escorted, one at a time, secured with the belt, and wished for a fun time. A second later, my one time trans passing kid realized that he had lost his stuffed animal somewhere else. He started wailing and pushing so hard that he managed to get himself off the belt, right when the cart was about to move. The pressure was too high on the belt from all of us buckled that I could not budge it to include my free one in. My other two started yelling and crying in a panic mood. I was still trying to hold tight onto my little one with one hand while trying to wave to the guy with the other. While still desperately trying to get somebody's attention to get the guy not to press the button to start what would have been the worst journey of my life, he appeared. My almost guy has arrived. All my life, it feels, he has been standing between me and what could hurt me. Sometimes it's only an inch away from what could be a disaster. It's like having an angle over my shoulder that was sent to save me. On that very day, he saw me. He felt my pain, he heard my voice, and he saved me from me. The button, which would have sentenced me, had stopped. He put an end to my sufferings. He saved my life. The angle in the shape of human did it again. We all feel grateful to have those moments or those angles once in a while. Life is full of good moments that we take for granted and let pass by unappreciated. Life itself is an adventure; and we take it everyday unconditionally. A split of a second, determined my very only life to be and stay the same. Probably everyone has an almost experience to think of or hung on to. As for me, I will always remember my " Almost" .
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