The days are bright and clear. Sunshine bathes the world with infinite blessings, grounds blush as flowery buds sprout to display vibrant colours of dashing beauty, spread across to reflect the water beads glimmer. Feathery friends live in enduring lives over evolving matter. Interwoven between all such matters are invitations from species of the inexhaustible creepy crawlers, which dress up among territories and secure grounds to provide an endless nourishment towards sustenance.
Among perfection and chaos, humans walk across the pavement laid along the other side of the fence. In numbers of not less than ten from what I observe, we spread our branches and bloom our fruits everywhere. Few children stare through the fence, wondering over the sight of speckles around. They point out to my siblings and me with their little innocent fingers and call out to us with their thoughts.
“Come to me.”, says one small fellow in the arms of its mother.
“No, me”, screams out another who stands no more than three feet, standing beside his mother. His hands lay stretched out close to the fence, wishing to get his grasp.
There is such desire for both of them to have us in their hands. We can feel the elder boy getting jealous over his little brother. Oh, how painful it feels, to see such evil thoughts coming out of a small child.
A few minutes later, a girl starts to jump along the fence line, clapping her hands, praising us all, “You’re all very beautiful and gorgeous.” She gives out a flying kiss in our direction and spreads her hand in a wide circle.
It is such a wonderful sight. The feelings come like blessing from an angel. I cannot but think of wishing flowers on the branches of our trees. We would have showered over her as a good-luck charm right away.
After some time, a boy of not more than ten carefully approaches the fence, places his fingers into the gaps in between and looks down to the ground below where our tree trunks meet. His thoughts break my heart and bring sadness within. All of us sensed his loneliness. We heard his words he thought as a poem:
Oh, how beautiful you all are,
Strange, and still loving another,
Setting lone inhospitable worlds,
Into dashing pockets of natural wonders.
Undying upon myself is grief and sorrow,
Words I cannot seem to come upon,
Lonely it is within my soul,
My words broken by sinful mole.
Not much is there anymore,
But the sight is desiring your company,
A wish fulfilled to cleanse out,
Awful days I shall someday doubt.
Fascinated beyond a doubt, our hearts cry out. We ask the winds to arrive and sway our branches in sync with the blows of nature.
Steady as the tree line goes, it is one such tree where you should find me hanging over a branch. If there’s any doubt figuring out what I am, you are either much more innocent than what I thought, or it is my descriptive words which indicate what I am. Oh, I even wonder though, whether you can imagine my writing, for I do not have any hands and fingers to pick a quill to jot these letters of incredible doubt. Nonetheless, it is true, for I have written to you since before my birth, as my mother and her sisters sprouted to life over the seeds sown here.
These are the blessings of people, whom I wonder whether they still exist or not. Nevertheless, most of my caretakers have lived long before I came into this beautiful world.
“They have brought us up with care and love, my dear children.”, my mother always told us, her voice trailing into echoes of harmony. “Give them back your love, since we wouldn’t be here without them.”
I did not understand those words back when I was young, when I was hungry to store more food beneath my shiny red skin. Now, after I have become a full-grown mature adult, my hunger fulfilled and my feelings satisfied, I have come to know about my purpose. It is when I realised what my mother had said before.
Days go by as my siblings and cousins grow stronger, their bellies fill up with juicy flesh beneath their bright red skins.
I start afresh, with better-than-usual thoughts running through my mind, and the love of my mother and my siblings coursing through my envisioned veins.
A few days back, our owners plucked out some of my siblings. I felt sad, for they would dry down into the depth of unknown darkness. Rumours were everywhere. Some said of dropping onto the ground below, where the insects would crawl over and bite us, eating us alive with too much torture to feel and experience. Anxious ones told stories of humans who would come to collect us, segregate us, and then store us in cold temperatures, leaving us to freeze until death closed in. There were those who believed we were to be used for making magic, extracting fluids out of us, mixing it with other stuff and selling them off to customers. Nevertheless, most others would speak out their hearts and lift up the spirits of those who went into depression, lost their body fluids, and started to dry and die out over the branches. Disease and sadness crept in slowly, grabbing and sucking out our beauty, charm, happiness, and soul. Some fell and died, others plucked out by our owners, while those immature waited, thinking about what would happen then.
I had not realised until our owners plucked me out of the branches. Somehow, I wished to remain hung up on the branch longer, but I suppose they knew better. Along with a few other siblings, they carried us towards the house. On their way, an unfortunate event occurred, where I saw one of us fell out of the basket. A chill passed through me as I envisioned the to-be mutilated body transform into death and decay.
Put inside the storage box, they place me in the refrigerator, frozen for a few days. When I gain my vision back, I see myself placed along with not just my siblings and others of my kind, but different boxes contain other fruits and vegetables side-by-side. People walk daily picking through their selection. I lay in a corner, awaiting for my turn with patience. Not more than two days pass by, someone purchases me with another half-dozen of us, along with pears, mangoes, plums, guavas, and melons.
Packed within a plastic bag, it hurts my bare skin, as my new owner brings me over to his home. He lives with his parents along with his wife and two children. As he unpacks the stuff and places us over the table to wash, clean and place them elsewhere, I see his wife pick up one of us, wash it off under tap water, and places it separately. I start to wonder what would happen to it after all the stories and rumours I had heard everywhere.
The woman comes back after a while to wash a few of the other fruits and sets them all together. I wonder how humans placed us with others. Nonetheless, it was not the end, as I watch in horror, the brutal murder of all the fruits, which took place in front of my eyes. Cut into pieces and mixed, to become a fruit salad. She pours the contents into serving bowls. It frightens me. I go into shock, until a small girl, picks up one of the bowls, and starts to munch on it.
“It’s delicious, Mom.”, she says.
“Sure it is, Sweetheart.”, the woman replies back with a sweet smile, and requests her to sit on the chair at the table in front of us.
My heart melts in disbelief. Am I destined to grow up to end up like this, I think. However, there was no one to answer. Not now. Not when everyone saw the killing. When I see the other fruits and vegetables, I can feel their tears, although they are imaginary.
I remember what our mothers had told us while we were in our infancy stage, “Give them what they wish, and you shall have a place for your soul. If they decide to sow it again, you shall be a mother as well. We may not have the choice, but they do. To ripen the fruits for a benefit, they shall grant your wish with or without knowledge.”
It is for a day or two, I am placed in the cold temperatures of the fridge. I think and feel the chill pass peace through me. It is that moment on that I feel rich and happy, back during young times.
My passing decided, and destiny fulfilled, death relieves me from my suffering, which I believe would have had groped and tortured me, had I not given myself toward human satisfaction. Enlightenment breaches into my soul and I can feel the bliss blend in. What happened next was a mere dream, as vague as a cloud of mist flowing along the hilly terrains, the setting sun basking its final warmth over the darkening lands and skies.