Friday Fiction: That’s Her Story

If I tell someone that my best friend is a Grim Reaper, they don’t believe me. It is kind of a funny story the way our friendship started. Grim Reapers are surely not known for their social skills. The good thing is that I am a Fairy. So, where he is stiff and sourly, I am a happy-go-lucky kind of person. Our dispositions complement each other. We met a few months ago and I have fallen a little in love with him, to be honest. Not that he would ever look at me that way. He is such a mysterious person; I am drawn to him for this very reason. Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes, how this story began. Be patient with me as we go, I have a habit of getting distracted at the most inopportune times.

“Sameen, we need your help,” Rebecca’s melodious voice chimed from the outside of my window.

“You can come in, you know,” I shouted my reply hoping that she heard me. My voice isn’t as strong or as beautiful as hers.

“I know but I don’t feel like it. It is such a beautiful day, so sunny, so bright. You must come out and enjoy this unusually warm weather. Who knows how long it will last?” She sang her reply.

“Okay, I will be down in a moment.”

She is such an annoying person, always so chirpy and I am envious of that voice! The thing is that we’re all happy people, Fairies are never grumpy. Sadness and negativity have no place in our realm. It is after all the realm of the Fae; the Fairy Woods as some might call it. Lately, I have been having negative feelings and I have no idea how to deal with them. One thing is for sure, if other fairies find out my little problem, they might just make me leave Fairy Woods and that is something I don’t want to happen. So, I’ve learned to hide my mood and pretend to be as happy as any other Fairy.

“There you are,” Rebecca said giving me a hug. She made me feel like the most important person in her life which is what she does to everyone actually.

“Yep, here I am,” I tried to be as cheerful as I could, “so, what is it that you need help with?”

“Oh, well, you know the old Fairy, Alda, that lives in One?” She asked as if there is a chance that I wouldn’t know her.

Fairy Woods is a small realm compared to other realms of this universe. There aren’t many Fairies left in the world and we all know each other even if we have never talked to each other or socialize in the same circles. These woods have always been our home and we never leave them willingly.

“Of course, I know her. What about it?”

“Well, she is in a mess and wants to talk to you only. She says no other would do.”

“What kind of a mess and why me?”

“Let’s go and find out. I only heard that from someone, who heard it from someone else. I thought we can both find out together.”

That is so like her, always volunteering before even knowing the whole story.

“Lead the way,” I said as I followed her.

Things are always fun in the Fae world. Someone is always causing trouble and someone else is getting into trouble. That in itself is nothing new, but what bothered me about this situation was the fact that she asked to see me. I am no one special. I don’t even like to socialize as much as my fellow Fairies. Then, why me? This is the question that kept revolving around my head as we walked towards One Fairy Woods. Home of the oldest Fairy in this realm.

I stop in my tracks as I see what was happening there. A Grim Reaper was standing outside Alda’s door and she was refusing to go with him. Wow, so it was her time to leave this realm. Well, that never ends well. Contrary to what most people think, Fairies aren’t immortal, unlike Grim Reapers who are. But we do tend to live a very long life. As far as I know, Alda is about two thousand years old. I wondered why the said Fae was causing trouble when she had already lived a long and happy life. She should just leave with the Reaper and be done with this realm. I hear Underworld isn’t all bad.

“That is just great, another one has arrived. Does no one ever mind their own business in this realm?” Poor Grim Reaper, I wondered if it is his first encounter with the Fae. I saw many of them were standing there watching as things unfolded in front of us.

“Finally, you’re here, my dear.” The door to One flew open and Alda came running out.

“Good to see you too,” I said unsure of myself. Honestly, I was a little taken aback by her enthusiasm at seeing me.

“You have to set him straight Sameen. This Grim Reaper has made a silly mistake. It isn’t my time to go, it is yours.”

“Look, old Fairy, I don’t make mistakes,” the Grim Reaper said, clearly annoyed at the insinuation.

“Okay, then tell us what does your tag says?” She asked him.

“It says, right here,” he showed it to us, “1 Fairy Woods.”

“Oh,” I felt as if the land is taken from under my feet. “it is indeed 1 but not One.”

“Excuse me, what’s the difference?”

Well, it has shocked us all, not just him. Apparently, I am the Fairy who must leave with the Grim Reaper and not Alda.

“That is how our existence and thus our homes are marked, some in figures and some in numbers. I suppose no one explained this to you before they gave you this assignment.”

“I am new to this whole Grim Reaper thing,” he admitted. “But how did you know?” He asked Alda.

“I knew it’s not my time to leave this realm. I am One and Sameen is 1, so, I assumed that you have made a mistake,” she said. “Also, I have observed the changes in you, my dear,” that was aimed at me, “when it is our time to leave, we start feeling things we have never felt before. I noticed how withdrawn you had become and I just knew that the Reaper is here for you.”

“Oh, but she is so young,” Rebecca said with tears in her eyes. Everyone else agreed with her.

“Well, let’s be on our way then,” the Reaper looked at me expectantly, “no point in delaying the inevitable and I really don’t want to use my powers against you.”

I couldn’t blame him for his abruptness. He must be feeling irritated with us. It is a fact; everyone knows that Grim Reapers don’t much like Fairies. Probably, because we live long lives and also because we have powers of our own and if we try, we can definitely cause some real trouble for them. We don’t though because we are rule-abiding people. I know, I was younger than most and it was very unexpected but as he said, no point in delaying the inevitable.

“Okay,” I said, “let’s go then.” That’s when I took his hand and we both teleported to the Underworld. I was about to find out what happened to the Fairies who leave their realm. If this was the end I wanted it to be on a happy note.

That’s how I first met Sahir. He is the Grim Reaper I just told you about. I am no longer allowed to go back to my realm. That’s the absolute rule. You leave your mortal body behind when you leave your realm and you can never ever go back there. Mostly, I stay here, in the Underworld but I am allowed to teleport to three other realms, including the realm of humans. I have to say it is the most interesting place. Anyhow, that’s the story for another day.

I am happy once again. In fact, I am happier than ever before. In the Fairy Woods, things had the tendency of getting repetitive. Fairies aren’t known for their originality for a reason. We tend to follow the same patterns over and over again. Here, though I can be as adventurous as I wish to be because there are no rules. Okay, that’s not true. Every place has its rules. The thing is, I am no longer in my mortal body. I am not going to die so I can do whatever I want without fear of getting hurt. It is my first time living somewhere other than Fairy Woods and I am quite excited about it, to tell you the truth.

This is the deal I have made with the boss lady. When mortal souls enter the Underworld, they are here for a brief time only. Then, they move on to who-knows-where. I, however, decided to stay in exchange for working with the Grim Reapers. It’s no hardship really. Grim Reapers aren’t all bad and work is sometimes fun. I like it here and I have come to cherish my friendship with Sahir. The only downside is that now I will never be allowed to move on. Basically, I am stuck here forever and if I ever change my mind I will simply fade away into nothingness as if I never existed in the first place. Anyhow, don’t be sad, I have made my bed and I will gladly lie in it, as long as Sahir is by my side. As far as beginnings go, I think this is a very good one.

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.


P.S. “That’s Her Story” received an honorable mention in the Ever After Contests (April 2019) at Wattpad.

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Monday Musings: A Non-Post Post

Today was a little difficult for me and that’s why I couldn’t post earlier. Normally, this post is my favorite and I wait all week to muse. I just love sharing my thoughts and experiences with the world. This blog has given me a platform to tell the stories I’ve always wanted to tell. Today, I’m sharing something completely random. I hope no one minds it.

Actually, this is a non-post post because it isn’t about anything. Yet, it is about something. I do have a tendency of making things complicated. Don’t I? I’m told that it is good for a writer even though it gives me many sleepless nights. My friends used to say that I’m the kind of person who is always worried about nothing. I’m a worrier but I can’t help it. Not always though sometimes I go to the other extreme and becomes the most careless person in the world. Mostly, I’m just figuring out who I truly am and where’s my place in this whole wide world.

Anyhow, let’s keep this simple. I just wanted to let my followers know that I haven’t forgotten about Monday Musings’ post. I’m fasting these days and that has the tendency of draining me, which I don’t mind much. It just means that I can’t do things I normally do. Then, Ramdan is not a normal month for us so, that’s actually the whole point. I hope everything is okay in your little corners of the world. If not, I hope it gets that way soon.


P.S. How was your Monday?

Fiction Characters I Can Relate To

I saw a few other bloggers do this type of post and thought it’s such a cool idea. More often than not, when we’re reading a good book we find characters very relatable. This, I feel, makes our reading experience unique and all the more fun. The authors who have the ability to write relatable characters are my favorite authors. So, here’s a short list of characters I see myself in;

  1. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: For the longest time I saw myself exactly like Elizabeth. She is a strong, independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. She can be judgmental at times and too set in her own ways to see the truth about people around her. She can be stubborn but once she does realize her mistakes she owns them. She is witty, decisive and most importantly she loves to read. I’m much the same, with all the flaws and good traits of her character. I fell in love with Jane Austen’s work because of this character. I saw too much of myself in her.
  2. Pip from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Immature and an idealist, that’s who Pip was and that’s how I’ve been most of my life. It’s only recently that I’ve grown out of my idealistic phase. Much like Pip, I also don’t like to face the truth and that’s why I escape into my books. I, however, can’t relate to a scared child that Pip was but that’s just difference in our circumstances. My expectations of people often reflect my own hopes rather than reality, in that I’m very much like the younger self of Pip. He grows up though and so did I.
  3. Luna Lovegood and sometimes Hermione from Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Loona because she is weird and eccentric, there is no other word for her. She is my favorite character from Harry Potter and the reason is that I found her very relatable. She seems to be lost in her own little corner of the world. Although she sees all and understands all she doesn’t feel the need to take an active part in everything that’s going around her. However, when her friends need her, she is there for them. I think I’m also that way. I live outside of the box and don’t much care if people understand me or not. Hermione because she is a little Miss Know-it-all. I’m not like that anymore but at her age, I was exactly like that. Lol. Seriously, I also had no friends because everyone found me tiresome. But in my late teens, I realized this character flaw of mine (much thanks to J.K. Rowling) and decided that it’s better to come down to the level of people around me rather than expect them to keep up with me. These days I don’t talk much and often feign ignorance even when I do know things. What can I say, I’m an avid reader. *shrugs*
  4. Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: Because she is unconventional and tends to follow her heart. She is curious about a lot of things and wants to know all there is to know. I feel the same way, the only difference is that I tend to find my adventures between the pages of the books rather than down the rabbit holes.
  5. Charlie Kelmeckis from Perks of Being a Wallflower: Because of my social anxiety issues I can relate to this character very well. I’m also a wallflower in that regard. I don’t do well in social gatherings and tend to keep to myself. Probably why I love to read so much. Books have so many purposes that they can’t all be mentioned in one post. Don’t you think?

DH_Luna_Lovegood_in_yellow_dress_01-horzP.S. What are your most relatable characters and why? Don’t forget to share what you think of this post. I love to hear from my followers/readers.

What More Could You Ask For?

“I’m not a forgiving person. I’m a tit-for-tat an-eye-for-an-eye kind of person and always have been. If you annoy me, I’ll annoy you. If you make me angry, I’ll make you angry. If you try my patience then I’ll try yours. That’s how I work and that’s who I am. I’m not a nice person. I don’t care about your mental health issues and your insecurities. They’re yours to deal with and have nothing to do with me. I don’t give people second chances. I absolutely hate liars and cheaters. On second thought, I hate people period. I only tolerate the ones I call family or friends. Did I say you’re my friend? I suppose I did. Okay, I’ll tolerate you for now. Don’t expect any special favors though because that’ll never happen. If you want my respect, you’ll have to earn it. If you want my love? Well, that’s not going to happen as I don’t do love. That just isn’t my thing. Don’t ever think about love while you are here. There will be no love stories and no romance to speak of. My memory is weak so I do forget things easily, make sure you keep reminding me about all the important things otherwise you are useless for me and I’ll have to let you go. I admire people with a strong sense of morality and ethical values. I despise the ones who think just because they can they should break rules. Rules are meant to be kept and not broken. They are there for a reason and even though you are too stupid to understand that reason doesn’t mean that you get to break them. So, don’t even think about it. Also, I don’t consider ignorance as an excuse and it is your responsibility to learn about the rules and regulations of this place. Above all, remember who is the boss and what’s your place here. Don’t cross any lines and we’ll be all good. Any questions?”

His monologue finally ended not that I was paying attention. That man had serious issues, after his first sentence, I stopped listening. So, did I have a question? Probably a dozen but was I going to ask him? Not a chance. I’d find my own answers. I was good at that, after all, that’s why I was there; to find answers. Oh, I also had to deal with Mr. I-have-a-stick-up-my-ass but I wasn’t really concerned about that part. I was the best of the best, that’s why he chose me. I could do this job with my eyes closed. The real challenge would be to keep my true intentions for being there a secret. I cringed inwardly, my boss wasn’t going to make it easy on me I could see that much. Whatever, no one said life was easy. I would have to suck it up at least until I accomplished what I came here to do.

“Are you listening?” He said curtly.

“No, no questions,” I replied instantly.

“Please, avoid this fading out, be in your own head kind of thing from now on. If I ask something I expect an immediate answer. Understood?”

“Yes, Sir,” I said a little sarcastically and then hoped he wouldn’t pick up on that. Not a good move but the man was already getting on my nerves. The way he talked, his arrogance was astounding.

“Good, now that we are clear you may leave and get acquainted with your work.”

“Right away,” I wasn’t sure why my new boss thought I needed to know so much about him but I left the room hastily before he remembered something else that he had to say about himself. I didn’t think I’d be able to control my tongue if another absurd remark came from him. What a prick, I prayed that I didn’t have to deal with him every single day or I’d go crazy. Well, life had a way of throwing hardships at us. I’d consider this one of those and try not to fail at coping with it, with him. Only time would tell whether I’d succeed or not. Right now, I had a job to do and a secret mission to complete.

#

“So, how was your first day?” Mrs. Fary asked with a mischievous smile.

“Don’t worry, Ma’am,” I said respectfully, “the job would be done.”

“Oh, forget that,” she said smiling, “I want to know more about your new boss, Zavier.”

“What about him?” I was genuinely confused.

“Oh, don’t play coy,” she said, “I’ve heard he is hot.”

“He is?” Well, that was news to me. I suppose if he kept his mouth shut, he wasn’t too bad.

“Come on, it’ll stay between us women.” Apparently, the old lady liked to gossip.

“He wasn’t anything special. Just your usually asshole of a boss.”

“Oh, you’re no fun.” The way she said ‘oh’ in every sentence was annoying but I kept my opinion to myself. Mrs. Fary was paying my salary, the one that mattered. I worked for her and I must get used to keeping my mouth shut. Both my current bosses were difficult people to deal with. Not that I would ever admit that out loud.

#

“You’re late.” I looked up at Mr. Zavier as I left the elevator. Then, I looked at my watch and said, “yes, I’m three minutes late. I apologize for that.”

“Don’t be late, not even a second,” he said knowing full well that I hadn’t meant that apology. “We’re leaving so just follow me,” he said curtly.

“Where are we going?” I asked as I followed him back to the elevator.

“I’m taking you shopping,” he declared as if that wasn’t anything unusual.

“Excuse me?”

“You need proper clothes and I don’t want to be difficult. I’ve no idea if you wear,” he looked at my attire pointedly before continuing, “what you wear by choice or maybe you just don’t know better things are available out there. Anyhow, I’ll buy you some proper clothes. You can thank me later.”

Did he just say what I thought he said? I didn’t even know how to react to that, my brain was still processing this when we entered the most expensive shop in the mall. Did I mention that my boss owned this Mall and every shop in it? In any case, half an hour later I left the shop with a dozen dresses and matching shoes.

Not that I would ever thank him for that highhanded attitude. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t my actual job. It was temporary and I could wear these fancy clothes for a few days, weeks at tops, that I’d be here. Mind you, that thought was the only reason that I didn’t kill him right then and there.

#

“Zavier, how good to see you.” It was my mother and some other lady, one of her friends no doubt.

“Mama,” I said as I hugged her, “what are you doing here.”

“Oh, your mother and I were just window shopping,” the woman said before my mother could reply.

“This is Mrs. Fary.” My mother introduced the woman and said, “she’s an old friend.”

“I’ve heard so much about you,” Mrs. Fary said, “from your mother of course.” She was looking at my new employee who was standing behind me. “Who is that?” She asked.

“No one you need to be concerned with,” I said. Nosy women were creatures I couldn’t stand.

“How rude, Zavier,” my mother said, chastising me, “anyhow, you must be busy. We’ll be on our way then.” They said goodbyes and left. I started towards the top floor assuming that Miss Matilda would follow me and she did.

#

“He is the most insufferable human being I’ve ever come across.” Obviously, she was talking about me. That put a smile on my face. I’m not like most people I actually enjoy it when others talk shit about me. It keeps things interesting.

“Miss Matilda, may I have a word,” I said rounding the corner and startling her into dropping her phone. Served her right.

“Yes,” she said as she picked up her phone and said a quick bye to whomever she was talking to, “who do you need?”

“In my office, please,” I said and didn’t wait for her response. I was the boss and she’d follow me without question. “Take a seat,” I said as I took mine behind the desk.

“Thank you,” she said timidly. I knew she was anything but.

“How long have you worked for me?”

“A week.”

“And how long have you worked for Mrs. Fary?”

“Excuse me?” She feigned ignorance. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Do you remember what I told you about myself when we first met?”

“Not really,” she admitted.

“I hate liars and cheaters more than anything else in the world. So, I’ll ask you once again,” I said harshly, “how long have you worked for Mrs. Fary?”

“A year,” she said in a small voice.

“Good, finally some honesty.” It wasn’t good and we both knew that. “Why are you here?”

“To spy on your company.”

“And have you?”

“Have I what?”

“Spied and reported back?”

“No, not yet.”

“Will you?”

“I’m caught,” she stated the fact.

“Let me be blunt,” I said, “I’ve observed you during this week and you’re the best at your job. I don’t want to lose you. Are you willing to stop your spying thing?”

“That’s a tough question. I’m paid very well.” I didn’t think I’d want to work for someone like him.

“I’d double your pay.”

Now, that was tempting. “Okay, deal. No more spying. I’ll resign from my current job and will work for you full-time.”

“Don’t betray my trust,” he said in a warning, “it won’t end well for you.”

“As long as you’re willing to pay me what you’ve just promised, you don’t need to worry about a thing.”

#

“And that was how our friendship started,” Tara said, the memories had put a smile on her face.

“But grandma, that doesn’t say anything good about you or grandfather,” Lily complained.

“That’s the truth. He was the most arrogant and difficult to deal with a man I had ever met. I was the most sought after spy. So good at my job that every top firm was after me. But I chose him and he paid me well.”

“But that doesn’t tell us how you fell in love,” Sarah complained too. Their grandparents’ story was nothing they had anticipated. Two little, impressionable girls couldn’t figure out what their grandmother wasn’t saying.

“Who said anything about love?” Tara smiled at them. “Weren’t you listening? Your grandfather didn’t do love. Ours was a relationship based on mutual respect and friendship.”

“But that’s not enough.”

“Maybe not for everyone but for us, it was more than enough,” Tara said with a far-off look in her eyes. It was indeed more than enough for them. Two imperfect people living and working together in perfect harmony. What more could you ask for?

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.


P.S. I don’t know what I wanted to write when I started this story. I’m not certain why I ended it the way I did. I only hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy reading!

Monday Musings: If You Can Count

If you can count then count your smiles

If you can sing then sing only the happy songs

If you can see then see only the good

If you can feel then feel the beauty around

 

If you can count then count only your blessings

If you can love then love with all your heart

If you can be anything then be a helper

If you can chose then chose to be kind

 

If you can count then count the things you do right

If you can tell then tell only the truth

If you can think then do think positively

And if you can feel, feel just the love

 

If you can count then count only your good deeds

And then you will know when you are lacking

Because good is all that matters in life

So, if you can be anything then be good

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.


Have you ever noticed how we often talk about things that are wrong more than the things that are right in the world? It is so strange and no matter how much I think about it I simply can’t figure it out. Social media is best example of what I’m trying to say. You open your Facebook or Twitter feed or any other social media site and all you see is people posting about their problems, social problems, international issues, hate, loss, and all the other things negative. Honestly, it is very rare for me to come across someone who talks about the things they love, their passions, what makes them happy. I find it sad; it is tragic that we can’t talk about the positives in our lives and focus all our energies on the negatives.

I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this. I’m only questioning how much of it is right. When I’m talking about books, I talk about the ones I love more than the ones I disliked. What if we do that for all the other things in our lives? What if instead of telling each other about people we hate, we tell them about all those people we love? What is it about the bad that makes us talk about it so much?

It’s not like by talking about it we’re solving anything. Are we? Where I do admit that sometimes you need an outlet for your frustrations and pent-up feelings, I also believe that there might be more constructive ways of dealing with them other than ranting about it to everyone and anyone we could find. I developed this habit once but as soon as I realized it I tried to get rid of it. Everyday, I consciously make a decision of talking about positive things in my life and also in the world. Because, I don’t care if anyone agrees or not, positive will always outweigh the negative and that’s the truth of it. Our inability to focus on good things in life doesn’t mean that there aren’t enough good things around us.

Today, I had breakfast with my mother and it made me happy. I enjoy her company, I enjoy talking to her, I love her a lot and I think she is the most amazing human in this world. My day is going very well, I’m writing and later I’ll read something I love. Life is good and today I’ll not talk about anything that doesn’t put a smile on my face. What about you?

About Books: Happy Mother’s Day!

Believe it or not, this post is going to be about books but how can we forget Mother’s Day? So, I just wanted to wish each and every one of you a very happy Mother’s Day.

Are you one of those lucky people like me whose mothers read. I’m often asked where did I get my love for books from and I always answer, from my parents of course. My mother loves to read fiction and my father simply loves books. I’m a little like both and love both books and fiction. The point is that on days like this it is no hardship for me to select a gift for my mother. I bought her a book I’m quite sure she’d love.

My mother loves romance. She is the most romantic soul I’ve ever known. She loves all the things romantic. She loves the rain, the stars, the flowers, and all the things that are poetic. She often recites poetry to me which I don’t appreciate enough because I’m the least romantic person you’d ever meet. Anyhow, this what you should look for if you want to buy some sweet romance novels. Everyone is bound to like these.

  1. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Grave
  2. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
  3. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  4. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
  5. Honesty by Seth King
  6. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
  7. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
  8. See Me by Nicholas Sparks
  9. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  10. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Note that I’ve not actually read any of these books but they’re by authors that are known to me. These books are recent releases and they’re all on my TBR list.


P.S. Let me know which books would you add to this list and how did you spend your mother’s day weekend.

Fiction: More To It Than Meets The Eye

Sometimes a hundred years isn’t enough time to get to know someone. Sometimes a second is more than enough. It was a rough patch in my life when I met her for the first time. We met in a hospital of all places. I was visiting my psychiatrist and she was there with her brother who had been in an accident. It wasn’t your ideal social gathering and normally I wouldn’t even be talking to anyone let alone sharing my deepest darkest secrets with a complete stranger. There was something about her though that compelled me to open up.

That day, I told her things even my doctor didn’t know. He often told me that my biggest problem is that I don’t talk about myself, oh boy, only if he could see me talking to her. I couldn’t stop myself; she was a good listener. She didn’t say much about herself, nodded just a little, gave me a few smiles and said all the right things. That’s another interesting thing about her, everything that comes out of her mouth feels right. It’s like she knows exactly what to say and when to say it. I’m not sure if there is any science to it but she had it perfected. So, was it any wonder that I fell in love with her right then and there?

We met again in the same hospital. She was sad because her brother was no longer with her. That day she talked while I listened and we decided to stay in touch. It was the beginning of our friendship that went on for years. I never told her that I loved her and she never let me believe that it was anything more than friendship for her. It was okay though; we were happy with our situation. We met often and we used to talk for hours on the phone. My depression was long forgotten. I had fully recovered and my life was on the mend. She had picked up the pieces of hers and was now moving on.

It’s one of those good things that come from the worst situations in your life. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Soon, we drifted apart. It happened slowly, unknowingly to us. I can’t be sure what started it. Perhaps, there were parts of her life I wasn’t privy to. She knew all about me though. I used to talk about myself a lot. In hindsight that might have been one of the problems. I loved talking to her so much that I rarely let her talk. I just assumed that she wasn’t much of a talker never ever imagining that there could be more to it.

You know how they say that what you don’t know will never hurt you? Well, guess what? They lie, what you don’t know is exactly the thing that’s going to hurt you. I was so self-absorbed that I never thought about her or what she might be going through. Years later I found out that she had committed suicide and I felt like an idiot. The time that was happiest for me was anything but for her. The friendship that I cherish to this very day hadn’t meant much to her because she never confided in me. Was I even a good friend to her? Are my memories of that time so twisted that I had made those moments mean more, in my mind, than they actually did?

In retrospect, I can see where things went so wrong. I was experiencing something good after the lowest point in my life and I let that cloud my judgment. This one regret in my life will stay with me forever. What if I had asked her something as simple as, ‘are you happy?’ What if instead of keeping my feelings to myself I’ve told her, ‘I love you.’ What if I wasn’t so self-centered? What if… would she still be alive then? Would we be together then? These questions and many more plague my every waking moment.

People are often more than what they seem and things are often far more complicated than we assume them to be. These days I tend to pay more attention to people around me. I want to know if anyone is going through a hard time. Perhaps, I’ll never be able to do anything for them but at least, I’ll be there and I’ll definitely try to catch them as they fall.

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

Monday Musings Or Travel Diaries: A Terrible Beauty

I’ve always thought that nothing is more intoxicating than picking up one of your favorite books to read. It wasn’t until that fateful moment when I was standing at Nanga Parbat View Point and had my first glimpse of this elusive, far-off, and terrible beauty that I realized how wrong I’ve been.

They say that I’m good with words but in this instance right words elude me. Not because I don’t know what to say rather because what I wish to say cannot be adequately put into words. There are no words for what I felt at that moment. All I could do was to breathe in its magnificence and hope that the image will stay with me forever. It’s not something I’d want to forget anytime soon. In fact, no one would.

Nanga Parbat is an imposing figure and the deadliest mountain in the world. It is cold and unforgiving, yet you’d wish to reach out and touch it somehow. This notoriously difficult to climb mountain has rightly earned its name of ‘Killer Mountain.’ Also known as the ‘God of Mountains,’ looking at it even from far away will give you the goosebumps. As if it is telling you to stay away, to be wary of what you might discover if you dared to move any closer.

This is the kind of stuff fairytales are made of. The exotic beauty of the Himalayan range is not something unheard of, in fact, it is often talked about. If you’re lucky enough to visit any of these places, safely tucked away among some of the highest mountains in the world, then you know exactly what I allude to. An unparalleled, untouched by time, and eternal beauty and there is no way you can ever have enough of it.

My only regret, if any, is that it was too cloudy to get a better view. Still, it’s worth the long drive and the dangerous, bumpy mountain roads.

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Location: Nanga Parbat forms the western anchor of the Himalayan Range and is the westernmost eight-thousander. It lies just south of the Indus River in the Diamer District of Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan. Not far to the north is the western end of the Karakoram range. (Source: Wikipedia)

Books That Disappointed Me A Lot

Sometimes it so happens that the books we have been waiting to read and fall in love with, end up disappointing us. I am quite sure that every reader has faced this situation at least once. Usually, my expectations are not very high when I start a new book. I want it to be amazing but I also understand that it might end up being boring. However, there have been instances where the hype about the said books was so much that I expected them to be epic. But as we know what Charles Dickens said about Great Expectations.

So, this is a short list of books that I was hoping to be amazing but instead, they were very disappointing. I have tried to explain why these books disappointed me. I should mention here that these opinions are mine and mine alone. You may love some of these books and I am happy for you if that’s the case. Nothing in life is better than enjoying what you read.

Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

This series started very well. I loved the characters and I was getting into the story. Then, it went downhill. At the time I had no idea what went wrong and I was so disappointed. It was something I was loving, so what happened? Later I found out that the last few books were written by a ghostwriter. That explained so much, a sudden change in how the story was going, writing style, and a number of other things. I am sure some people hadn’t minded and still managed to love the series. I was not one of those people though. I really hated the last few books of the series and regretted ever starting it in the first place. That changed my whole point of view about these books.

P.S. I used a picture from the drama serial by the same name and it is loosely based on this series. It was a good show and not at all like books. The story also turned out to be very different and much better.

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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Where I did not dislike this book and I do think it is a great piece of literature, still, I also didn’t love it. At least, not as much as I thought I would. let’s just say that after reading Great Expectations and Hard Times, I was expecting it to be more than what it actually was. Many people say that it is Charles Dicken’s best work. Everyone I ever talked to about said it is exceptional. Perhaps, in some ways it is. Unfortunately, for me, it was a so-so read. I just couldn’t get into this story the way I had for his other works. In my opinion, it is a little over-rated classic. Maybe if I wasn’t expecting as much as I was from this book I might have liked it more. Too many expectations do have a tendency of leading to disappointments. I do like to quote it though. Charles Dickens had a way with words that I find very unique and worth repeating.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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Another disappointment and yes this time it was also a dislike. I really hated this story of woe and misery. The characters were awful and there was nothing enjoyable at all. Although, I must admit that it is a very quotable book. And maybe in some ways relatable. But I never liked it much. It is not that I don’t like Gothic Romance. I did love Jane Eyre very much but this story just didn’t sit well with me for some reason. The main source of my dislike was the main characters, who are two of the most pathetic fictional characters I have ever encountered. I’ll admit that I read this book when I was too young (in my teens) and it is possible that’s the reason why couldn’t appreciate it. I never picked it up again so I will never really know. It was only when I was in my early twenties that I became a fan of the romance genre, all thanks to Jane Austen actually.

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

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This is another book that I picked up hoping that I’ll love it. Previously, I had enjoyed all of Kristan Higgins books. But what happened next was completely unexpected and very annoying because I didn’t like this book at all. Okay, maybe just a little. This book is the reason why I almost gave up on Higgins. But I think she has redeemed herself with her latest releases, which are good. So, there is that.

Even though I gave it a three stars rating but It wasn’t that. I’d say that it was 2/2.5 stars for me. I just didn’t like to rate a book below three stars, that always make me feel bad. But seriously, this book was way to emotional, sad, and depressing for my taste. I did read the whole think though so there is that.


So, this is a very short list of some books/series that I picked up hoping to fall in love with them but instead, I found myself being very disappointed. These days I tend to not gets my hopes high about books before I start reading. I just pick up whatever seems good and then let the time decide how good it is. Naturally, I am rarely disappointed which lead me to believe that it is all about our expectations.

Fiction Friday: The World Above

“When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.”
Madeleine L’Engle

I have never been to the surface. This underwater sanctuary is all I had ever known. I am among the few Encantados (Enchanted-Ones) who were born and raised here. When the great empires had collapsed the world was at the brink of annihilation. Then, our people created this underwater city Encante. Few of us had survived the war of the three worlds.

According to our history books, it was humans’ fault. They had destroyed the worlds. Their unparalleled arrogance and stupidity were the reasons why we were driven to our underwater sanctuary. We read stories about them and their cut-throat world beyond these watery depths. From early on we learn to stay away from land and to avoid humans at all costs. Humans are the most dangerous species to have ever walked on this planet. They destroy everything they encounter.

I have always been curious about the surface but we aren’t allowed to venture above. Only a select few of us get the chance to walk on Earth. They collect information and anything else they think would help in our advancement. When they return, we once again cut ourselves off from the world above water. The last group that went above never returned. That was about fifty years ago and now, there is the talk of sending another team. No one knows what happened to the last group. So, this time they are looking for people like me, people curious enough to take the risk of never coming back.

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I woke up on a beach and the surroundings mesmerized me. I didn’t know why they called us the Enchanted-Ones when the real enchantment happened to be above water. Standing at the beach, looking around had made me realize how lacking our underwater city was.

“Excuse me?” Someone tapped me on the shoulder.

“Yes?” I asked turning around and falling into the depths of the bluest eyes I had ever seen.

“This isn’t a nude beach. There are families here so please cover yourself.” The person said and I realized that I was completely naked. Since we don’t need clothes underwater the awkwardness of the situation hadn’t registered to me.

“My apologies,” I smiled, “I don’t even know where I am or how I got here. Do you think you can help?” I asked hoping that she would. Something must have gone wrong with the transporter because I wasn’t supposed to encounter humans and we were to receive instructions for our expedition after reaching land. Yet, here I was, in my human form, with no clue on how I got there or where the rest of the team might be.

“Sure, this way,” she said pointing toward a building. She lends me some clothes. It was kind of her after all, she didn’t know me. She didn’t look or sound like the monsters that humans are. She was actually very pretty. I was having trouble keeping my eyes off her. This world didn’t look that cut-throat to me.

“So, where are you from?”

“Encante,” I said without realizing that I was telling her about our hidden sanctuary.

“And where is that?” She looked confused and I gave a sigh of relief.

“That, huh,” I stammered, “where are we right now?”

“You mean this beach? It’s Whitehaven,” she replied looking at me as if I had lost my mind.

“Oh, right,” I pretended to recall it but the truth was I had no idea where that was. It seemed that while we hid underwater, the human world had changed a lot. Nothing was as I knew it to be. I didn’t even know what my mission was here. So, I decided to stay close to this angel in front of me and decide my next move later.

That was seven months ago. I am now married to the said angel, Ipanema. I no longer plan to go back to my underwater home. I have come to realize that we don’t need it anymore. Humans have all but forgotten about us. They are no longer looking for us or hunting us down. Honestly, even if I wanted to go back, I didn’t know how. That information was not given to us when we left. I neither saw any of my teammates nor received any instructions about the mission. It is my guess that the last team faced the same dilemma. The world has changed so much and the human population had grown tremendously. Encantados are lost to mythology and that’s for the best.

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.


P.S. To be honest, I don’t often read Myths. I was just browsing books at Wattpad when I came across this quick read about different underwater mythical creatures and let’s just say it was all the inspiration I needed to write this flash fiction piece. I hope you enjoyed it, do let me know in the comments section. Love & Happy Reading to all!