She went on running, deep into the darkness, the sharp stones pierced into her foot, yet with every step, she just ran faster.
“Where are you going, my child?” Asked an old dwarf. His white beard reached his knees, skin so thin, that could almost fall off, yet with a smile he stopped her from running aimlessly.
“Who are you?” asked Amy, startled.
“Well, well, I am just another wanderer, my child. Forgive my intrusiveness, but my child, why are you in such a hurry?”
“I need to get out of this mayhem. I need to find the light and save myself from doom”
“Well, in that case, come with me to my small abode, there is plenty of light there. I can also see to your foot, it’s bleeding, my child”
The dwarf seemed genuinely concerned about her, yet the insecurity in her got the better of her and she replied, irritated now, “You don’t understand. I can’t stop. I don’t know you. I need to go.”
“I am nobody to stop you, but in life if you don’t take the time out to nurse yourself and rest your soul, you’ll never find the light you so desperately want.”
This does make sense, she thought to herself. She didn’t even know where to run to. Maybe rest was all she needed to clear her mind.
“Ok sir, thank you for helping me out.”
She followed him quietly and about 5 minutes later, she could see a small pretty hut. There were flowers in the garden surrounding it and the fence had littles gnomes that enlightened the perimeter.
It was nothing like she had ever seen.
“Come in, my child, don’t worry so much.”
The moment she stepped in, she saw a beautifully decorated living room just like she dreamt of having.
It was as if she was dreaming once again.
The dwarf came back with mint tea for her.
“These are freshly grown in my backyard. Have it, you’ll feel relaxed.”
“Thank you, sir” she called out, meekly.
He went to get some dressing for her bruised sole.
I wish I could stay here a little while longer, it’s so nice and cosy she thought. But she knew there was a task in store for her, she couldn’t stop, her future depended on it.
The dwarf came back and started nursing her feet. She felt like she was at home, with her mother talking care of her. But she knew that that would never be possible. With her parents’ accident and her incomplete studies, she had taken up a part time job at her own college to pay her fees. She had been sweating it out day and night to make both ends meet. She knew there was no other way to survive, she had to keep running or else she would be left helpless.
“Thank you once again, sir. You have been so kind. Please, is there anything I can do to return the favour?”
“Actually there is, but I don’t think you’ll do it.”
“If it is within my bounds, you have my word, I would be honoured to help you.”
“Well then, please stay here for the night. There is a room upstairs, you may sleep there. I can even fetch you some milk and biscuits if you are hungry, but please stay. You can continue your journey tomorrow.”
She was shocked. As much as she wanted to repay the old man, she knew that if she stayed, she would never find her way out of these dense dark woods in time and fail at life.
She had to be a little selfish in order to survive, but she had been raised otherwise.
Her mother once told her “Always follow your heart. Your mind can be selfish, but your heart will always tell you to do the right thing.”
And in that moment, she knew better than to follow her mind. She had to repay the kind man who had selflessly helped her.
“Okay sir, it’s very nice of you to offer me shelter under your roof.”
And he showed her to her room, where she said a small prayer and peacefully dozed off.
The next day, when she opened her eyes, she could not believe what she saw!
The hut was gone, and so was the dwarf. The sun was shining above her, birds chirping and the leaves of the trees swaying in the sweet morning breeze. It was truly magical. She was right where she wanted to be – light surrounded every part of her.
This is when she realised that in life, she should stop hurting herself by running after chores. That trusting people and pampering herself is also needed to survive. And she can find light even in the darkest of times, if she listens to her heart
Penned by Amrin Kharawala