Till we meet again: Chapter 3 Interesting Discovery

“This is my stop” The man said and shook the ladies’ hands, picked up his hat and made his way out. Michal now smiled afterward. Ruby was happy for her but she did wonder about her attitude previously before they embarked on the train. Now Michal treasured her journal but allowed Ruby every now and then to look at it, not because they were close, but rather that for some reason she trusted her. When they returned to their seat Ruby told Michal about some friends of hers. Their stop was next. She began, “Michal, I haven’t told you about Frida and Lee have I?” Confused but answering with no response she allowed Ruby to continue, “Don’t look at me at like that!” She cried, “You’re the one who was having a romantic time with that gentlemen. I wanted to tell you that they’re my neighbours, but we grew to be great friends. I arranged for us to stay with them before registration in Kelton.” With a smile that expressed gratitude, Michal wrote down more in her journal. Ruby was getting agitated at Michal’s silent treatment, however, she calmed herself with the single thought of a possible relationship between her and the man had they been allowed more time together!

The train arrived at Kelton and as they stepped out they took a few minutes to take in the beauty of the city that stood before them.

It really was a lovely place to behold. Taking in the cool and soft air. They were met at that exact moment by Frida. She had French braids and came in a black business casual outfit because she was attending a meeting later that day. “Wow Ruby, you’re looking fab-u-lous. Love the outfit.” Michal had just put the luggage down after they were greeted. Despite enjoying the trip-though that is in part because of the conversation in the train-exhaustion was slowly getting the best of them. Frida was very friendly though she has a tendency to be too forward at times and as a result forget about respecting people’s privacy. Michal finally spoke her mind after the brief introduction, “Seems like you two really missed each other? Which reminds me, you spoke of Lee if I’m not mistaken…” “Oh yes, pardon me” Frida interrupted politely, “He went away on a business trip but will be back later today.”

When they arrived at Frida’s house, she introduced them to her grandmother, the woman they called “Grandma Lorraine”. She was a very modest, often reserved but hospitable woman. She also had a high standards and strongly believed in upholding positive qualities such as honour, loyalty and integrity. They all sat down with tea and pastries and enjoyed their time together. Grandma Lorraine asked, “What have your discoveries been like?” She was well informed by Ruby about Michal’s passion for songwriting and more so for understanding real love. Michal sat up straight, brushed some of the crumbs of her skirt, cleared her throat and commenced, “I have seen all sorts of things throughout the course of my life in terms of desires people have for particular people and/or things. I thought about…” the door swung open just before she was able to continue…

 

“Wonder who’s here” Lee said as he stepped in, surprised that he wasn’t tired. Frida ran and clanged to him as if she was going to lose him. She was so thrilled to see him, “Hi honey. Everything go well? How come you’re ho e so early? well anyway at least you’re back that’s all that matters. Would you…” Lee put his arms gently on her shoulders and smiled saying, “I’ll tell you all about it soon. I’m just glad to be here and to see you.” Grandma Lorraine was glad to see her son and they all sat down to catch up after exchanging introductions. Grandma Lorraine smoothly managed to return the attention back to Michal. “Please continue” she said. With respect proceeded with her speech, “This became a huge interest for me. I, honestly, do not know what exactly it was that inspired me but I somehow wanted to learn more about real love, I guess because there is something in me that is empty if I can put it that way. It’s not really soul-searching per-se, but a “prized possession” that I know beyond shadow of doubt will satisfy me. I don’t know when, how or where. I just know.”

Grandma Lorraine pulled pieces of paper similar to that of ancient scrolls

She read a section that she remembered very well because it meant a lot to her:
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 

Michal was taken aback. When she thought what the man said, it all made sense. She asked to copy those words down in her journal. She wrote the first few words a song that came to her at that moment. All she managed to write down was:

Love expresses itself best in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Till we meet again: Chapter 2 (Dialogue)

Ruby expressed her joy and enthusiasm about departing similar to that of a child excited about a birthday party. The summer sun was fair and the breeze was gentle. Michal thought about Chester and realized that everything would be left to him now that she wasn’t going to be around anymore. She cherished every experience with him-both good and bad-and smiled knowing that she could easily share just as many experiences with him, if not more, when she got back. Lightening up the mood Ruby said, “Hey, we’ll make it through this. As long as we have each other…” Michal’s seemingly sad sigh interrupted Ruby’s attempt to begin one of her motivational speeches. Knowing that more often than not, Michal jotted her thoughts, feelings and moods down, she briefly glanced at her journal. There seemed to be a fierce tone with the words she used. It was as if she was assigned a high-class mission that she devoted everything to seeing through to completion.

“Let’s go” Ruby grabbed Michal by the hand and dragged her to her car. The train station was a thirty-minute drive where there would prepare themselves for a two-hour trip to Kelton. On their way to the station Ruby, though at first initially decided not to pry, couldn’t help but wonder why Michal appeared to look sad. With a deep breath held and gently released, she asked, “Is there something wrong?” In response all Michal could do was shake her head, for again, she pondered about her first encounter with the person who would help her come up with the words to her song through ideas and lessons learned both, theoretically and practically, from various life experiences. Having been encouraged somehow by the little that she allowed Ruby to share with her, she now spoke, “Yes, I know. I apologize for my peculiar behaviour just now. Thank you for your patience. I’m just very curios about all that lies ahead. To most people this is nothing more than a simple journey to improve their skills for all sorts of things they may want to venture into. Not for me. It goes way beyond that”.

Ruby shook her head feeling sorry for Michal. She was like a lost child trying to find her way home. It really does not make sense to let your mind wander about an experience you have yet to have. Having an idea about it is one thing, but then thinking about your feelings and reactions in the process is a bit imaginative. For Michal, it seemed she needed a little more than inspiration from Michal. At last they arrived. They saw the conductor all setup and ready to leave! Two seconds were taken to make sure everything was with them. A man ran to intercept them and show hospitality towards them. Their handbags almost flew off their shoulders. Michal nearly lost balance but quickly managed to recover. All out of breath the man shouted five meters away from them, “Excuse me! Ladies with scarfs!” It was the easiest description since they both wore scarfs just for the look. They first ignored him for fear of missing the train. He decided to follow them and since they were boarding the same train-though not necessarily heading to the same destination-it was convenient for him.

They sat down relieved and relaxed. Michal looked for her journal but it was not found anywhere around her. She started getting worried about where it was. She searched frantically for it as if she misplaced a golden watch! People were staring at her thinking all sorts of things about her. Walking at a slightly faster than brisk pace, she bumped to the man from before and fell because she ran backwards. With a smile on his face, he helped her up and showed her the journal, “Looking for this?” She regained her posture and held her chest with her right hand and with a deep sigh answered, “Thank you. Where was it?”

“Outside. I tried to catch up to you on your way here…”
She interrupted with her eyes expanded and eyebrows raised, “If had boarded a train different from yours. Oh my goodness, thank you so much. you don’t know how much this means to me.” He offered her a seat and asked why she arrived so late. With an embarrassed look on her face explained everything about her disposition and  how often times that can get in the way. Going completely off topic he asked, “Ever been in love?” Surprised by the sudden change she was defensive, “Why do you ask?”
“Just curious.  You talked about being focused and goal-oriented. I had the impression that a special someone might have triggered that. Something that was always with you but just needed a little push.”
She was flattered but remained defensive, “Well there have been people responsible for shaping me into the person I am today.” Just then Ruby came in and Michal told him a bit about the relationship she had with her and a lot they had done together. Rubbing his chin, the man complemented her efforts in all that she endured up to this point. In spite of that Michal wanted to find out where his thoughts were headed with his previous statement, “Your question implied that I’ve been in a relationship but I’m not in one anymore. Why did you think that?”
“My question was a general one. I had no intention of trying to uncover a dark past or anything. On the contrary I think the best of everyone. I was both curious and just wanted to start an interesting conversation with a very common subject.”
“Then for your information, I have never been in love before but I have seen aspects of love in various relationships people have with all sorts of  things. I’m just trying to find out from all of that what real love is.”
“Why? If you do that, you’ll be going round in circles and searching forever. Love is something that really can’t be studied and experimented. No one can be in multiple relationships and discover a part of true love from each. In fact that’s impractical and not mature. Neither can anyone analyze it from observing everyone else because everyone experiences it differently. The way I see it, real love comes from a real desire for someone. That desire is genuine. It only thinks the best of the person, cares for them in everything. It’s a desire to know them for who they are and that often starts by accepting them just as they are. The process of knowing takes time and it is the right amount of time invested in them that, step by step, brings you a bit closer to understanding real love.”

Till We Meet Again: Chapter 1 (Background)

What is love? Can one see it as a  seed planted and watch it grow until it appears complete in immaculate beauty? Can it even be felt at all? These were the things that worried Michal, Sylvia Greenwood. A very talented musician in her final year at the music academy. Her passion for songwriting (though she was skilled with the harp as well) led her to believe that, in and through song, there was something to hope for in a chaotic world where so little of love is experienced.

Kelton city was very big. It had oddly shaped buildings but were beautiful to observe, even just for a drive. The size of the city was equivalent to half of New York but was nothing like it. Instead the appearance was very prestige because the mayor had
good international relations.

Due to the social laws that had been enforced-one of them stating that everyone must have a balanced level of living; meaning that there were not to be any gaps in the classes of citizens-everyone was more or less the same with the exception of slightly rich people.

Michal, however, was very fortunate to have found herself living in Kelton. She came from another town, six-hour train trip from Kelton. It was a very average town, though it looked like a deserted wasteland from the outside as you approached it. No doubt it was not a pretty sight. The peculiar thing about each place was that the inside looked very inviting. It seems that most of the taxes went to improving the quality and service of each business as opposed to enhancing the appearance. In spite of that there really wasn’t much to do in the town. There was an indoor sports club with six different sports running at the same time except for monthly competitions. It was, in fact, the center of attention because it was the one place where everyone was able to hang out and hold various parties including birthdays, anniversaries of all kinds and occasion-based parties such as, “goodbye” and “welcome home”. Social events made up for the limited entertainment. All that there was other than the sports club was a cafe, two restaurants, two supermarkets and a golf range which had a theme park next to it.

Michal lived in this town for 20 years and she couldn’t remember what her pre-school life was like but she had vivid memories of the rest of her school life, the bulk of which was her best friend, Ruby. She was competitive and grew up subconsciously improving her badminton skills because it was mostly her hobby. She is brilliant pianist and composer who often comes home with first place certificates from the competitions in school. Despite her combative edge she was tender at heart but not perky. She is easily impressed and very friendly too. Get on her bad side and there will be a lot to deal with before things can be normal. This is in part because of her occasional outbursts as a result of her short-temper. Other than that Michal had several memorable experiences with her.

Michal, on the other hand, was very ambitious and that trait, in a sense, came from her courage to always speak her mind. Her parents taught her to be bold and stand up for herself. They did this so that they would not worry about her when she left for college one day. She was the eldest of three in her family and was very close to Chester, her younger brother. The youngest, Cindy was still in pre-school and still learning as much as she can from Michal, who had become her role model.

Ruby also looked up to Michal who managed to save her countless times from getting into trouble in school. “Now we have to move past all that”, she said with a serious look. Michal took a moment to reflect on their experiences together. They were more like sisters than friends. The numerous times they persuaded each of their parents on the same day to give them money for “ice-cream”, which was always their excuse, even though they had other agendas. It’s what they often did as kids.

Growing up they learned, to a certain extent, how to fend for themselves. As far as taking care of the house was concerned, they knew how to finish every chore, use the telephone wisely (they had a schedule which marked the times they could use the phone and how long they could use it), and be aware of the rooms that needed heating as opposed to those that were not in need of it so much during winter.

“True”, Michal replied, “We did have some wild adventures. We can look forward to some more!” Ruby nodded in agreement. They resolved to find and understand their purpose in life as they moved on to improving their mental and physical skills with their music.

They parted ways and on her way home, Michal saw a figure standing by a tree in the park. She started getting frightened and walked a bit faster. She heard footsteps from the corner of the cafe but saw nothing. She started jogging just to be on the safe side. After every five steps she looked over her shoulder. The place was quiet as usual and there was a soft breeze that lifted her hair gently as it was blowing against her on this beautiful moonlit night.

Her pace was increasing as her breathing patterns were changing. Her brother went out for a walk and was only a few blocks from home. He saw Michal running as if being chased by a ghost as he saw her turn her head from time to time. She took a shortcut into the woods and nearly fell upon entering. As her emotions were closing in to the moment of trembling, she marked the position of each tree she passed by pointing forward with both hands. Chester hid behind one of the trees after working out the spot she would pass him. He shook his head as he thought to himself, “Why does she never see that there is nothing to worry about. She better not be seeing things.”

She was a minute away from him. He prepared himself as she approached, and at the right time, he jumped in front of her without making a sound and stood with his legs just over shoulder width apart, knees bent and arms out. He tried to look as scary as possible, but for Michal, that was more than enough. With a very high shriek, she dashed back the same direction she came and made an exit out of the woods.

Chester began chasing her after debating with himself whether
or not it was necessary. It took a few minutes for him to catch up as he was slowed down by the trees. Before he was able to see her enter the house upon exiting the woods it was too late for him to catch her.

Later that night Michal pondered for a long time about her future. She knew what she wanted to do but the thought of leaving both her life here and understanding that she would not be able to spend time with her friends-not just Ruby-was something she was not ready for. Her whole life here in this town is all she knew and loved. Life or anything outside if it was literally a new adventure. She was close to her family but she had to make her choice. She started getting frustrated because of a seemingly easy, yet unbelievably difficult decision. There was only one thing for her to do. After an hour of working everything out and putting all her plans and ideas together, she felt ecstatic about her achievement. At last she could now sleep in complete relief of understanding exactly-at least at this point-where life was going.

The next morning the first thing she did was go over her plans one more time. With a smile that indicated peace and focus for everything that lay ahead, she made her way to the door after giving her family her salutations, held her head up high, wore a confident look and opened the door to take her first step out of the life she always knew-into what she was certain was going to shape her future to a promising destiny as she perceived, and eventually, believed it to be.

“Hi Michal”, Ruby’s surprised tone sounded strange to Michal. “Well I’m looking forward to the trip.” Michal still thought very deeply about what lay ahead of her. She knew what she wanted to do, except the only thing getting in her way was, how. Ruby’s enthusiasm slowly faded as she began to notice the look on Michal’s face. At that point Michal turned slowly towards her and with a serious tone said, “Listen, I’m going to write a song that will touch the lives of many. I really want to understand what it is that connects people on different levels and how they are tied to different things that the planet has to offer, such as nature and pets. Words impact people in so many ways and they always create a picture that reflects either who they are or what they see in someone else. I want to create a picture that communicates effectively the very thing that people’s lives are centered around: love. For if a picture paints a thousands words then let my words paint that important picture.”

Ruby was frozen in awe. She could tell that Michal was on to something. She always knew about her ambition and goal-oriented mindset, but she had never seen her this serious. The atmosphere almost seemed tense. Michal made her way to a nearby bench and pulled out her journal. Having noticed something interesting she wrote:

The beauty of a world that is fashioned by the words that are born from an idea-that compliments the process of creation itself-is very admirable. There are not many who have the patience to adore the completion of a work that was put together by someone, who resolved within themselves, to do whatever it took to execute the passion for that task with the words they spoke. In the end there is only one thing that holds true in the heart of humanity, and that is: If a picture paints a thousand words, then a thousand words paints a picture. If the world is not in a state that is suitable for all humanity to reside in, what kind of picture are our very words creating?