November 26, 2005

Tears rolled from her eyes…

Tears rolled from her eyes as she watched the couple walk away with her baby girl. Her joy. Her life. She felt numb. Yet, she dragged her feet, willing herself to walk back home.

“Home?”, Brenda thought.

A million thoughts rushed through her confused mind. The orangey brown leaves were blowing in the strong gusts of wind, brushing her cheeks, and getting tangled in her hair. But the overwhelming feeling that washed over her had nothing to do with the leaves.

“What home? There’s nothing and no one waiting there to greet me.” she sniffled.

Standing in front of it, staring, she only saw it as a white, gorgeous, 2-storey house. She didn’t see it as a home. Not anymore. It won’t be filled with the girly giggles she’s gotten so used to. No patter of little feet. No adorable smiles to start her day with. None of that. How she would dearly miss all those little things that she had grown to treasure the most.

She recalls the day Sarah had come into her life. She had called all her friends that morning, sharing with them the amazing news that a beautiful girl would arrive at her home later that day. She was ecstatic as she had been trying to adopt a child for years. Her marriage had fallen apart as a result of her not being able to conceive. They had longed for a child and the devastation had driven them away from each other. Both of them felt as though they had let the other down.

But the grief of losing her husband was replaced by her love towards Sarah. She had learnt that Sarah’s biological mother had to give her up for adoption as she saw no way of supporting Sarah. She was determined to be the best mother she knew how and she was going to care for Sarah as if Sarah was her own.

She remembers Sarah’s first steps and her first tooth. Sarah’s first word was ‘Mi’, her version of ‘mommy’. She remembers Sarah’s first day of kindergarten. Sarah wouldn’t let her out of sight even for a second.

Suddenly, the happy memories brought her back to where she was; slumped under the tree which towered over her lawn. Sarah’s birth mother, Colleen had come back for her a month ago. Colleen had just got married to a wealthy man and she could finally afford to care for Sarah.

Colleen was prepared to go to court if that was what it took to have her child back. Brenda wouldn’t have any of that. She spent a long time deciding on what to do. She loves Sarah with her whole heart and she never expected Sarah to leave her so soon. Sarah had just turned 8. She thought the soonest it’ll happen was when Sarah leaves for college.

After hours of long walks thinking of the best solution, Brenda reached an agreement with the couple. They could take Sarah home with them so long as they allow her to visit once in a while. Saying that broke her heart. She really didn’t want Sarah to leave. Sarah was her baby too. She did it anyway with the intention of giving Sarah what is best for her. She didn’t want her to grow up confused as to who her mother is. She didn’t want her to go through the pain and unpleasantness of people fighting over her.

With a heavy heart, she picked herself up and walked slowly towards her house. She would be seeing Sarah again.. real soon.

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  1. it was gorgeous! amazing!
    I love the part you described her state in a lost, when the girl went away with the couple, and the part of her memory. The title of your blog is very attractive.
    I think your lexis is beautiful!
    If there is more development of story, more suspense and conflict, twist and turn, it could be published in a journal, isn't it?
    But I myself do development and plot poorly…
    Best wishes with your other work, keep going!

    26 Nov 2005, 23:46

  2. Not familiar with the system…

    26 Nov 2005, 23:47

  3. A sad story, well written and well structured. I like your choice of words.

    26 Nov 2005, 23:50

  4. Firstly, i agree with my classmates giving comments above—what has impressed me most is your choice of words.
    Secondly, the story is very well-knitted and i can see that you have developed the story in a very careful way.
    The only thing i want to suggest is that the story could contain more twists or unexpected turns.

    27 Nov 2005, 02:05

  5. It is beautiful!!! I like your writing: sentence styles, words choice and composition of the sentences. It is really a sad story and I sympathized with her feelings: she in fact doesn't want to leave her Sarah but when she thinks about what is better for Sara's future ….
    I agree with our classmates suggestions of adding twists or unforeseen events. The story floats calm and gloomy. It is nice but I feel it would probably be better if we can experience some surprise, impact or shock in the story.

    27 Nov 2005, 09:52

  6. Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments =)
    yes, i myself am aware of how direct my story is when i said in the class that i told more than i showed in it. I intended to 'show' more but i found that i wasted so much time thinking of how to do that. I was trying to be creative but I felt i needed more time time as well as space (ie. word limit). I have a tendency to write long sentences on just one issue.
    In the end, i just wrote what i felt, and in the way i've always written. I was afraid it would be boring to readers though.
    The stories read by Hasan were all very impressive to me. It was a challenge for me to try and at least match the 16 and 17-year-olds' stories. Like all of you have noticed, what my story lacks are twists and conflicts.
    So now that I'll be able to write the 2nd story in my own time, i will try to create twists in it.
    Pls continue leaving feedback. Thanks~

    27 Nov 2005, 10:40

  7. well I really feel moved when I finish the story,well description about the poor mother's depressed mood ,very realistic!
    besides ,this story reminds me that I am so happy that I have a nice family ,kind mum and respectful dad .I want to phone tham now.
    My blog's name is Ziling's blog,welcome to mine.
    Thank you !

    27 Nov 2005, 19:40

  8. Aww :) if that's so, it feels good. Through my writing, I've managed to make at least one person grateful with what she has even if it's just for a moment.. and that simply made my day..
    I don't have to be the best writer in the world yet it would still be satisfying for me to be able to do that.

    28 Nov 2005, 15:39

  9. Thanks :)

    28 Nov 2005, 15:40

  10. Dina, I must appreciate your effort: For a person writing a short story after ages, as you described, I would say it is a commendable effort indeed.

    The structure of your story is good: You started with Action – an instance where some change was taking place. That always alerts the reader and they want to find out why the change is occurring. Then, you make good use of the flashback, or backstory, technique, which helps the reader establish 'the why of what is happening'. You bring back the readers to the 'present' of the story from the flashback by writing: "Suddenly, the happy memories brought her back to where she was …" That technique is all right as well, but then I wondered if the happy memories would bring her back to her current agony; perhaps something else should have phased from the good to the bad within her recollection, and then that would have brought her back to her 'current' state of unhappiness.

    You also make good use of words and phrases such as "... ecstatic …" and "No patter of little feet." and "No adorable smiles to start her day with." but then there are instances where the diction needs to be reconsidered as in "The orangey brown leaves …"; and "... she sniffled."

    You comment that you are not good at sentence control; I think you have been more successful at it than you would like to think. You have shown quite a commendable command over sentence length.

    Reference your description of her state of mind in the phrase " … Standing in front of it, staring, she only saw it as a white, gorgeous, 2-storey house.", I would rather that the adjective 'gorgeous" may be omitted; because, it shows that her mind is still 'green' in that she is able to admire architecture despite her mental agony.

    There are tense shifts on several occasions such as: "She recalls the day Sarah …", "She remembers Sarah’s first steps …", among others. Tense in a short story should be consistent; unless it were being crafted with transitions between the past and present.

    I think "They" and "them" are empty pronomials: "They had longed for a child and the devastation had driven them away from each other. Both of them felt a …"

    Your introduction of Brenda's name right away was brilliant; it is exactly as it should be done, but then during the course of the story I had almost forgotten her name; do repeat it once or twice more in such a short story length rather than just toward the end.

    In the end, I would agree with Junko's comment about the shock-factor: You see, the story starts with Tears rolled from her eyes … which makes the reader curious indeed; but as Junko says "It is nice but I feel it would probably be better if we can experience some surprise, impact or shock in the story." … may I add: "... toward the end."

    Hope you have been reading, and re-reading, the notes and short stories on my blog.

    27 Dec 2005, 06:14

  11. thanks for your encouraging comments Hasan. i have to admit that to my surprise and dismay, i did get the tenses all jumbled up. i had to edit it a couple of times after a friend proof-read it. if not, i wouldn't have noticed that the tenses i'd used weren't accurate

    06 Jan 2006, 19:08

  12. and the part where you said "but then I wondered if the happy memories would bring her back to her current agony". i see what u mean. now that u've pointed it out, it doesn't make much sense for her to snap out of her happy thoughts just like that. perhaps something like, "the sound of her neighbours quarelling.." might have reminded her of her own unhappy situation. thanks

    06 Jan 2006, 19:12

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