Last Leaf

Everyday seemed like a new hope, a new dream, a new adventure but it wasn’t! I never lived a life of happiness. Everybody was living but I kept dreaming. Dreaming about a single desire. It almost had only branches.
I had a mind-made time table which helped me in getting up early. After cleaning the house my mother used to abuse m, being called ‘ugly’ and a ‘burden’. I lived a life of total hell. My whole world felt like a leaf less tree. School was the only place of finding happiness but Alas! I was called by names, names like coward, ugly and a lot more. My own friends bullied me and made me clean their shoes!
I cried every single night, it wasn’t what I deserve. I asked many questions to my reflection but it never said a word. My aim was all I was left with. An incomplete leaf-less impossible aim!
“Journalist” My Mom used to slap me even when I tried to spell it out. she used to shout on me saying “for a girl like you, cleaning houses is the best job.”
but secretly I used to write about stuff, discuss with my mind, speak with my reflection and pretend like it’s my role model ‘Barkha Dutt’ there. I even used to held comb in my hand and start screening it.
Sunday used to be the best day of my life. My mom used to leave the house for 2 hours and it was enough time for me to write some letters to Barkha Dutt.
Day’s passed by, one day when I was sleeping I heard some voices. I was shocked! It seemed closer. So, I woke up heavily trying to open my eyes, I looked around my room and saw my mom and my brother. She was holding a belt in her hand. I stepped back, knowing what will happen the next moment and it happened. I cried and cried “what was my fault? What did I do?” but she didn’t reply. While I was on my knees holding my tears back I saw my brother holding his laptop. I was shocked! I could have lived my life like this but I never prayed for any of that.
I was now looking toward floor when my mom stopped beating me. She took my journal and threw it in a fire pot saying “you don’t even deserve a page” I begged her not to but who will listen to me?
I was thrown out of the school the other day. While walking toward my house I looked up towards the trees, they were all happy smiling and cherishing every moment of their life. The only one which took my sight was a full-brown tree with some tinder branches and no leaf. It was alone, life less, shaking. I couldn’t stand holding it back but I had no option, I was getting late and I had work to do.
I kept walking and walking when finally I stopped in the middle of the road. One side was the taken road .The road which would take me towards my mom. And the other side, which could take me anywhere. It was an opportunity for me to choose! I kept thinking and thinking “one way or another” “one way or another” at last I choose the “another” side. Thinking that I may face fear, anything could have happened but “nothing could be worse than what I had gone through”
I kept walking everything was new to me. Strange people! Strange place! Day passed in minutes.
I fell asleep on the road. Next day when I woke up I didn’t know what to do. I prayed for god to help me! After an hour of thinking I finally thought of finding my role-model.
So every single day I used to walk 8 miles. I did labour and I faced many problems but as I said “nothing could be worse than what I had gone through”
At last my wishes were fulfilled when I finally was standing before Barkha Dutt’s house.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, was this for real? I was curious to talk with her but the gate keeper was not allowing me. I cried. I begged him, I told him to tell her that it’s me “the girl who used to write letters for you on Sundays” but instead he kicked me out saying “you are a beggar! What could you possibly write to her, crazy girl”
It was not over! not for me. After all I never give up. She was the last leaf of my life. I needed her! Without her my soul would have died that day.
I kept waiting for her outside the gate. After sometime I heard voices of someone running. Oh! It was calling my name! Oh my god! I can’t believe it! It was her .she was hugging me and she took my hand and let me inside her house. I washed up and I heard myself saying nothing, I was shell-shocked to see her beside me. Was this for real? I kept staring at her. At last she laughed and said
“where have you been? I was waiting for your write-ups”
I told her everything about my life and how I met my last left. She took my hand, she was looking at me and she kept smiling. She told me “You are a very brave girl, I am proud of you! You don’t know what you are. You are a brave girl among the bravest.” “I’m not giving you a job! I’m offering you one”
It was the happiest day of my life. Finally I was given a tag of “Journalist” moreover everyone started respecting me And from that day I never cried or felt alone but Every day I used to walk on that road which showed me this way, and one day my eyes caught sight of that leaf-less tree. It was no longer turned out to be a beautiful tree full of red apples.

-Sammah Masoodi

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