The Hope of a Hopeless
The hope of a hopeless
Muffled in a brown leather coat, he shambled and ensconce in his old chair. His deep wrinkles seemed to carve a map of his experiences on his facial. His shivering hands couldn’t even hold the quill pen. It was cold outside. His wrinkled face scrunched as he rubbed it with his hand. He asked his wife to burn the fire. This man had stories to tell. His name was Christopher Rapham. At the age of 32, he quit his job to pursue his dream of a popular writer. It has been 30 years since he is writing, but none of his novels could take him to the height of fame and success. He lived along with his wife Kanissa and a daughter named ‘Julia’. Julia was the patient of dyspnea. His only source of living was the loan from the banks and few shops in a market near his home.
Kanissa burnt the fire for him. He warmed his shivering hands against the crackling fire. He started writing as daily. He has been working on a novel from the last eight months, and according to him, this would be one of the best novels in the history of English literature. It would really take him to the summit of fame and remove all of his miseries. The title of the novel was “The hope of a hopeless”. While he was busy writing; a man knocked the door, his 28 years old daughter went to open the door. She took a bit long talking with the person outside. Looking from the window, the old man became suspicious,
“What is there?” the old man grabbed.
“Dad! The newspaper seller wants the fee” she replied.
“Tell him to receive it after my novel gets published,” the old man said.
Although he had not completed his novel, from the last eight months the old man was misleading his loaners by saying that he will pay all the loans, once his novel gets published. In his routine, he had nothing else than writing. A moment later, his wife Kanissa came with the help of a cane, standing behind his back she said, “There is no food and no money left”. The old man did not reply and kept himself busy, writing. She asked again in a louder voice. The old man replied, “Sell your jewelry, there is no way left for us. Just wait for few days, once my novel gets completed, everything will get right”. She asserted, “I have sold everything, only jewelry left. Julian is sick, looks like I need to go out and beg” The old man kept writing. She sneered and inquired, “What would be the significance of this fame when you have no long days left?” He turned towards her and answered, “I may not be alive for many more days, but this novel will keep my name alive for the upcoming centuries”. The old man was thinking that his novel would demolish his miseries and fulfill his dream.
That night, while he was busy writing, a faint voice came from the corner. “May I burn the lantern in my room? I feel scared” His daughter was standing arthritically at a distance from him and asked in a faint voice with innocence on her face. The old man replied angrily “liter oil worth 20 cents”. She turned back with disappointment and lay on the bed, tried to cry but her throat was dry of crying a lot.
A moment later, her father came to her room and asked her “Why are you crying, Juli?” He stared at her. she tried to hide her tears but she really could not control her feelings. … “Look baby; let me explain it to you. I am over than three scores. I can’t work, and our only source of expense is the loan. Once my novel gets published, you will have everything you want. We got to stay patient these few days”
She replied abruptly, “but dad I …. I see roaming white shrouds all the night around …I am scared.”
“Well! …” a curtain of depression fall on the face of the old man. He turned his face, sliding his hand on his head and replied hysterically, “Everything will be alright”. Looking at the botched clothes of his daughter, tears fall from the eyes of the old man. He was not questioning his miseries, but he was thinking of his young beautiful daughter who at the age of 28 was approached by no one for marriage because she was poor
A week later, the old man had finally completed his novel. The old man was delighted because he had finally completed his novel, now he wanted to show it to the publishers in the town. In his thoughts, he was thinking that each publisher would truly appreciate his work. He took his novel and faced all the publishers of the town. Most of the publishers rejected his novel at the spot, as according to them, “You are writing these useless things from the last thirty years”. Somehow one publisher accepted his novel and told him to come after a week so that they could review it and decide, whether his novel would be accepted or not.
He was curious about the decision of his novel. A week passed like a year for him. When the day arrived, he wore his botched leather coat with the hope that things will change for him. His wife and daughter were desperately waiting for him to come and tell them the good news. He left for the town in a happy mood, spent his all day in the town and returned home in the evening when he came back, he was totally disappointed. His shoulders were slumped and his eyes cast down in a mournful gaze. His mouth was set in a semi-pout. He sat in his chair, His daughter and wife were waiting for him to speak,
“The word does not understand my words”. The old man said hysterically. Then he looked towards the sky and queried the God with disappointment. “Looks like you are against me”. His eyes shifted to the side again and became glazed with a glassy layer of tears. As he blinked, they dripped from his eyelids and slid down his cheeks. He looked back towards his wife and said, “I do not think I will fail. I worked my whole life for serving literature. My words will not go meaningless….my words will not go meaningless” he kept repeating this praise and a few days later, he kicked the bucket.
The old man was buried in the same house. His daughter Julia married with an old man and took her mother with her. They abandoned their old home and left for the city. The time passed and 150 years later, the government decided to demolish that house for the construction of a factory. A working employ found an old discarded pack of pages in an abandoned room. He handed over it to the boss. Reviving the pages, the boss forwarded that to the famous author of that era. After reviewing the novel, the author was completely astonished. The novel was so impressive that the government decided to keep two lessons from the novel in the literature textbook of high school. Later, every year millions of students read the lessons of that old man. He was not alive, but his soul would have definitely felt contended because his dream finally came true as he had said to his wife,
“I may not be alive for many more days, but this novel will keep my name alive for the upcoming centuries”
© 2017 Sahib Khan Kakar