He’s waiting for the letter eagerly. Everybody in our house is waiting but all for different reasons. My father is waiting to see whether his frail son has made it to the army. My mother is waiting to finally analyse how many days she has with me in the same house. My sister is waiting for a room all for herself. And I am waiting to see what road I will tread. The road not taken or the one taken by my ancestors. Every man in our bloodline is born to fight. Fight for success and honour. Our last name should be a toast to glory.

It all sounds very prestigious and gleaming lustre but the road not taken has been calling out loudly lately. Its cacophonies are a different mystery and that mystery is a muse. I know not all mysteries have happy endings but all are worth some beginnings.

When the letter finally arrives, he is overcome with joy. He is exuberant. Mirth spreads into every crevice of our home. I am happy he is happy. I am happy for him. But am I happy for myself? I know that letter is to be a white flag weaving peace between my father and me. But it is sure to wage war through every aspect of me.

When the letter finally comes to my hand, it strangely doesn’t feel the death of me. I open and read it while everybody watches me intently.

“This letter says my poetry collection is to be published,” I speak with confusion.

“Yes,” Dad answers.

“But it was rejected. It was the only chance you gave me. That’s why I took the entrance exam for the army.” Nothing is making sense.

“I have decided to self-publish it.”

“But you have always wanted me to go to the ar……” The big lump in my throat stops me from talking any further. I can’t cry in front of him. He hates it. “You have always wanted me to be strong. The strongest.”

“I want you to be the happiest.”

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Hello Aanchal and welcome to Voice.club. What a wonderful first story, a real joy to read. It is incredibly difficult when you plan your life to make other people happy, I’ve been there myself. It’s a gift when the person you are trying to please shows their love for you by supporting your dreams. Very nicely done.

1 year ago

I really enjoyed this story, Aanchal, and the ending was totally unexpected. Welcome to Voice Club!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Aanchal, this is such a lovely story! How beautiful that your protagonist’s Dad decided to put his son’s needs and happiness first. I enjoyed this story very much.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Great story about how a young man’s dreams can clash with his family’s expectations, Aanchal. And what a great turn-around when the father unexpectedly is on the young man’s side, supporting him and wanting him to be happy. Good writing and good use of the prompt.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 year ago

Great twist to your story, Aanchal. Poetry over soldiering and happiness over honour.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Welcome to voice club, Aanchal. It is such a moving and touching first story. And what a nice twist in the end that almost made me cry. Well done.

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