In a world far away from realities, there lived a little girl who dreamed too much. She lived in a fantasy world and believed she was a Genie with magical powers. She could generate money out of thin air and magically appear at any place. Yet she didn’t want to travel the world. She only wanted a home. Every night she used to look at stars and wonder about people whom she could help with her money, because in her heart she knew money could never help her. Nothing would bring her parents back or the love she longed for. She lost them to an accident when she was four years old. Now all that left was memories which were beginning to fade too.
She wanted to help people who believed in love. She believed their lives were already good and money would only add to their happiness. She wanted to be a part of their lives to know what love felt like, how do you feel when someone loves you back. When you have a home you aren’t terrified of going back to. She missed simple joys of life like a kiss on forehead, Daddy’s strong arms to hold, a Mom’s gentle and loving touch, and to feel cherished.
She remembers one night very clearly. There was no electricity at her place and her Uncle and Aunt were fighting again. There was no love between them and it broke her heart. She was standing outside in her balcony listening to the sounds of insects, looking at stars and tall dark green trees around her. She remembered a conversation which had happened at school that day. One of her classmates, a boy whom she had never noticed before told her she looks beautiful when she keeps her hair open and not in a ponytail. She was fighting with one of the girls in her class and she had pulled open her hair. She was angry and was sitting at the last bench. Then this boy paid her a compliment, her first ever and it changed everything. It brought her so much joy. For the first time in her life she felt like she mattered too. She went back a happy girl and couldn’t stop thinking about it. That night she asked universe for a soul mate as she cried. She just couldn’t wait to grow up and find him to live her own happily ever after. Then she will stop being a Genie. Then money won’t matter.
Till then she would live in this dream world of hers. She would keep telling her friends stories about her amazing life. She told her friends she had her own room filled up with her favorite things, her books and things she loved the most. She never brought any of her friends to her place though because she was scared of her relatives, and wanted to run away. But go where?
How a girl could who was hardly nine years old know about love but one could see the hope in her eyes. Her heart was full of love and kindness. She refused to see the ugliness around and only the beauty of Nature. At a very young age, she had learnt that everyone deserved kindness and respect, even fallen flowers. She used to go out in heavy rains to rescue small insects and fishes while people would laugh at her. But it didn’t stop her.
Life had other plans for her though. Good things didn’t happen to her. God made her pretty and that became a curse too. She loved dancing and one day her Uncle’s friends came home. They asked her to dance and she danced her heart out. She forgot where she was. Everyone clapped, and her Uncle whispered in her ear to go to her room immediately, and not come out again. She was terrified and ran to her room. She sat shaking there, unable to breathe. She was scared when her Uncle’s friends will leave he will come looking for her. She prayed to God and promised she would stop dancing. That night her Uncle got too drunk but she couldn’t sleep all night. She waited for the morning to come so she could run away to school. It was an irony of her life. She never wanted to rush back to home like other kids.
She believed in God, never stopped praying but she didn’t asked for impossible things. She knew God too had his own set of limitations when it came to her. She looked for happiness in simple things and she asked Him to only grant her one wish, her Soul mate. She wanted a fairy tale but she didn’t realize stories had villains too. Life is full of predators that prey on little girls coming from broken homes. They knew how to read the signs of little lost girls whom no one loved.
For most of her adult life she repressed the memory of that day and believed it was only a bad dream, and nothing really happened to her. But memories, they never really go and leave you alone. They keep waiting, a small little trigger and they come back when you are vulnerable, and then you remember every detail like a clear blue sunny day even though you don’t want to. The day it happened, she was playing in the garden and getting her hands dirty. She loved the feel and smell of wet soil. There was this teenage boy who used to stay above her floor and whom she used to avoid. That evening he asked her to come to his place as his sister wanted to see her. She was naive; she believed him and went to his home. He closed the door as soon as she was inside. She was scared and she tried to run away. But he was stronger than her and he touched her in ways her mind couldn’t understand. She kept fighting for she was used to getting slapped around by bigger men. At first opportunity she got, she ran for the door. As soon as she was out, he pushed her down the stairs. Her mind was numb with pain. He threatened her not to tell this to her anyone. They both knew she wasn’t going to because no one would trust her anyway. In spite of the pain, she came back to her garden and began to cry. There was no one to tell her it wasn’t her fault, hold her, and tell her she is safe now. She grew up that day.
This moment was going to decide the rest of her life. Will she ever trust, find happiness and experience Love? Most importantly, will she ever believe she deserves all these things? Maybe she wasn’t good enough. Will life be a fairy tale for her or a never-ending nightmare? Her name was Maya, an illusion.