I was visiting my home town for the first time after ten years. I felt a mixture of guilt and excitement. I was going to see my grandmother again but I had left her on her own for so long. It was the house and the city, I felt misplaced living there. I needed something more like there was something else out there waiting for me.
But ten years later and I was back in Suru still searching for answers. The nightmares had gotten worse. I recognized that to find the answers I sought, I needed to start from the roots. Though I was adopted, my father barely told me anything else about myself or my mother.
"Your father had a burning desire to become the greatest writer of all times. So he went on a journey of finding his true self with your mother in the Boyaga mountains. He came back a new man but there was something very off about him that I couldn't place". My grandmother took a sip from her coffee as she spoke very carefully. She was now very old and slowly fading away. All her hair had turned grey, her entire skin wrinkled but she still had her big smile and a big heart.
"Two weeks after his trip from the Boyaga, he came home with you and without your mother. It was strange but he said that she decided to stay back in Boyaga and start a new life. He told me that he had adopted you and wanted you to become a part of our lives forever. You were the best decision he ever made". I smiled cheerfully at her as I gestured her to go on. I needed to know everything about my origin. I had nightmares about myself standing on mountains with papers being suspended in the air as a child. As I grew older, the nightmares grew wild and scary. I would choke on papers and eventually fall off a cliff. Sometimes I'd dream of withering away as my body parts fall off as papers.
"Your father, He made quite a name for himself, however, he was slowly becoming only a silhouette of the child I birthed. I didn't know how to help him. He became filled with rage, helplessness, and misery. Some nights he had a fever and other days he had hallucinations. The night he died, he made me promise never to step or let anyone into his study for as long as I live". She pointed towards his study.
I had flashes of memories of the days my father would yell at me for trying to go in there. He'd later console me by saying, 'honey, you are a thousand words and many more. You are the most important thing in my life and I owe it all to you -the cost of my success and with my pen, I will write your history'. I knew at that moment, that whatever it was, it had something to do with me. " I have to rest now Cher, your room is still intact" I helped my granny up as she struggled to stand with her walking stick.
I couldn't sleep that night. My grandma's face, Boyaga, and the study kept lingering in my thoughts. I picked up my phone and searched for 'Boyaga mountain' on the internet. I found nothing interesting until I saw an article about the mysteries of the mountain. It said that people looking for good luck in life often make sacrifices to the mountain. They eventually get what they want but it often comes at a price. That sounded so creepy. I put my phone down and went to get a glass of water from the kitchen.
Nothing had changed. My granny had preserved the state of the house and this made me even more uncomfortable. The dense smell of burning incense still lingered in the air. The green old suede couch by the window, the antique ceramics on the divider, and that ugly red shag rug that I hated so much. I was taking in all of the scenes when I noticed the study again.
I told myself that it was time to walk in there. With my heart pounding through my chest, I turned the doorknob and went in. The air inside was stiff and warm. The room looked too tidy to have been locked up for ten years. There were more books on the shelves than I could count. On the table laid a book with a very beautiful pen inside of it. The pen was golden with a black feather attached to its tip. I wondered how a feathered pen would write.
However, the most intriguing part was the pages of the book. Half of the first pages were faded ink but I could still read the faint lines. It held complete details of my childhood. The other half was still freshly written. When I came to the center of the book, where the faded and fresh lines meet, I quivered and became spellbound. Every detail from when I entered the study, to picking up the book was on the faded lines of that page.
The words on the page faded away with every move I made. I was looking at my life like an animated memoir. My father had written me to life and I had already lived half of it in the faded pages. I was merely words in paper brought to life. I didn't have the nerves to look at what the remaining half held for me. All I was certain about was that in my hands was the mysterious pen of boyaga and with it, I would write myself to greatness. I am a thousand words and many more.
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