Anna by Fia Essen – Review

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The first word to say about Anna by Fia Essen is…. WOWWWW!!! I really had a fun filled time reading this book. Its really a great story if you are game to Chick Lit. and light hearted comedy romance.

The first page onwards the story starts unfolding making the reading enjoyable all along. Anna is a thirty year old, dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job. She is like any other woman, trying to climb the ladder to reach the dream position. But things take a complete 180 degree turn and her life goes changes.

Alex is another adorable character, the hero of the story. He is quite complex and indecisive. And he adds more confusion to our poor Anna. Alex has his own set of issues and problems which he needs to face. Jane is the sweeeeeetest character of the book. She is such a jovial and happy person. She adds all the care, spice and fun in Anna’s life. Loved her!

After a major part of the story, comes a character, and I fell in love with that character. The situations involving this character had me in splits. I was laughing at those times. The most adorable and innocent character of the story add more fun along in the book.

Well, if you like simple, fun-filled love story, belonging to the Chick Lit genre then you should enjoy this like I did. Ask me to rate it on a 5 star scale, it would be 6 from me! 💜💜💜
I am really falling in love with this author. After Ariel, Anna was a real exciting ride! Keep rocking dear!

Enjoy reading all!

S.F.R.

Gentle Touch…. (3)

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Chapter 3

I didn’t meet Susan for a week now. I knew she was going to be saddened by it. I called her up three days after that night. She deserved that, I couldn’t abandon her totally. I had to think and decide something.

Those days. Every three days, I called her up. She would ask me how I was, how my work was going at the bank where I worked as a teller. She tried hard to not ask me, as though she was afraid of what my answer would be. This indecisiveness was as much painful for her as much it was for me.

Those days were dreadful. I was alive but as though someone had beaten the life out of me. I knew that deep in my heart I had developed love for her. Her uniqueness, her smile, her care was boundless. Was she what I needed in life? I was going mad. I knew I had strong feelings for her. But why this indecision then! I had no answer to that question.

It was week two now. While I was returning home from the bank, I received a call. It was an unknown number. I received the call. It was from nurse Amy, Susan’s colleague at the hospital. There was a fire that had broken out on the pediatric floor and…… I heard nothing. There were a hundred thoughts in my mind. A hundred what-ifs. A hundred prayers to God. A hundred times my heart told me now, I love her. I will love her. Just let her live, and I will love her immeasurably.

I ran towards the nearest taxi and made the driver rush to the hospital. There was smoke coming from the building. I rushed in. There was all chaos. I was taking long strides. Where are you Susan? Please for God’s sake, don’t leave me now! I whispered my prayers.

The fire was put off and children were shifted in a makeshift section of the other wing on that floor. There she was! Her white uniform turned grey with the smoke and ashes. Her face had soot. Her hands were covered with bandage but she was still comforting the child on the bed.

I ran towards her. Uncaring about the place and people, I pulled her into my arms. She was shocked. “Simon! I am fine Simon!” She said. I hugged her tighter with tears falling from my eyes. I knew she was strong. This time I was trembling. And I told what my heart had told me a few minutes back.

“I love you, Susan. I really do!” I said holding her tighter to my chest. I would be hers. I would give her all the love she needed and wanted. I would have her love me. I would be hers. I loved her. Nothing else mattered. She was in shock. She pulled herself slowly away. She held my hand and moved me to a corner.
“Don’t be mad Simon. You don’t have to be so worried and decide something like this! Think rationally.” she blurted.
“It’s decided. I was away as I needed to decide. I wanted to assure myself that I loved you and only then I wanted to come back to you! I didn’t avoid you Susan. I wanted to know myself, my feelings and my love.” I spoke my heart out.

She was speechless. I smiled at her and kissed her. Her soft and tender lips were under mine. I knew I had a lot to do. But I was ready to do anything for her. For my Susan.
After six months we got married. No one had any say as Susan and I had decided that we wouldn’t need to tell everyone everything. So we became one. She was an amazing wife and lover. Except for the missing breasts, she was the epitome of love and care. Susan, my life.

When two years to our marriage passed, and she wasn’t able to conceive, she went in for some dreadful tests. And then hell broke lose in my world. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I tried my best to make ends meet. She kept her job going. We went for chemotherapy, for all sorts of medicines and therapies. Nothing was working for her. It was five years back. She was now in the last stage. I was trying my best to hold on to her, to keep her with me. I needed her.

I was here again today. My wife lay silent, asleep. As I got ready to leave, she had opened her eyes. This happened lesser because she was under high dose pain killers and morphine injections to ease her pain. She held my finger. She pulled me closer. She spoke after a long time. “Thanks for eeevvveerrryyythhinnnggg, Siiimmmooonn” she spoke with dragging the words. Speaking four words was making it hard to breathe. Her thin cold fingers were touching my face now. I held her other hand, it was just a bony structure. She caressed my cheek, “Goodbye love” she said and then her hand fell limp.
My wife was gone. Her suffering ended. I gave her all the love that I could but I couldn’t save her. My heart wept for my love. And Susan left me alone. Her gentle touch today was her last one!

💠💠💠💠💠💠 THE END 💠💠💠💠💠💠

Thanks for reading!

S.F.R.

Gentle Touch… (2)

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She stopped a taxi and gave her address. I was really scared now. It took twenty minutes to reach. She was silent the whole time. Twenty minutes of silence. Twenty minutes of uncertainty.

Her apartment was in an old building. We entered the apartment. It was small but neat and tidy. There was one long sofa and a small divan at the other side. She asked me to sit on the sofa. She slowly locked the door.

She quietly went into the kitchen and brought two cans of Diet Coke. I clicked one open and had a few sips. She sat on the sofa at an arms length from me. Her hands were shivering and her skin had gone all pale and white. She held the can tightly as though thinking and deciding something.

I reached out to her. Her hands were colder than they were outside. “Susan, you needn’t tell me anything if that worries you so much. Just let it go for now. Don’t worry!” I comforted her.

She didn’t look at me. Her voice shook as she spoke, “Simon. I wanted to tell you this sooner. I can’t let you think of me in some way unless you know me completely. And today I want you to know me. Completely” She stressed on the last word while a tear fell on the back of my hand which was on hers.

She stood up. She was wearing a black zipped top. A scarf around her neck which covered her shoulders completely. It stopped just above her black skirt. She kept the coke can on the table and stepped away. The room was well lit, but she switched on another light.

She went a few steps away. She removed the scarf. I saw her slender neck. Only then did I realize that she was always wearing a scarf. She had never been without it even in the hospital. Something was strange.

She threw it down. Before I realized, she unzipped her shirt fully and let it fall on the floor. When I raised my head, I was speechless. Standing before me, with her chest uncovered was Susan, looking as pale and bright as the moonlight. Her face in total pain being there. Her body shivering. I saw the slender neck throbbing with cries, it held back. And on her chest were two long scars. Surgical scars. They were replacing her breasts. Her missing breasts.

Seeing my utter shock, Susan turned away. Her back towards me as though she wanted to undo everything and hide away.

It was as though someone had pressed a pause button for long. I could hear her silent sobs. Slowly I stood and stepped closer to her, I took her scarf and wrapped it around her. Her skin was cold and shuddered when I touched her.

I turned her around. Her eyes were flooded with tears. I freed her hair from the band gently and let her hair fall over her shoulder. Her brown soft curls made her look so innocent and vulnerable. I raised the end of the scarf towards her shoulder. She looked at me with those blue eyes. And then she fell into my arms. She let the ocean of tears flow.

She cried for a long time. I let her do so. I felt she needed to get it all out of her. And then she told about herself.
She was born in a poor family. She was ten when she lost her parents. They were killed in an accident. She knew of no other relatives and so she was put into a foster home.
She learned to read and write. The foster house had recognized her abilities and helped her in that. She was soon allowed to leave the foster house and she needed to look for work.

One of the women told her that one of her aunts needed a girl to take care of her daughter diagnosed with cancer, a home nurse. And then began her stint as a nurse. After the girl succumbed to cancer, that woman helped Susan. Seeing the girl die had made Susan realize the unfairness of life. She decided to use her efforts to give some relief to people effected by it.

When she was about 24, Susan had felt a lump in her breast. She had kept herself engrossed in her work. No affairs with doctors or anyone for that matter. If she wasn’t a nurse she would have become a nun. She wasn’t a bad person, she hadn’t wronged anyone, so nothing bad could happen to her, she felt. She prayed and prayed that it would be nothing. But the Lord wasn’t happy with her prayers. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. And the doctors advised her mastectomy.

In this world of looks and fashion, of synthetic boob-jobs and lust, she had to decide to remove her breasts. And with that left her wish to love someone. Her dream for a family. Her desire for children and her hope to be loved. She decided to live as God wanted her to. Without her assets, her breasts.

We were sitting on the floor, she clung onto me. Her cold body trembling. It was heart rending to see her like that. The strong woman who had such a tender heart and loved all around. Her life had been so cruel to her. She was so innocent, so vulnerable. So alone. She had poured it all out and was silently breathing.

Finally, she looked at me and said, “Simon, I never told anyone this. I have no one to tell all this. I have lived all my life alone. It was after you came in. I could never remove your clown face from my memory. And then when you came with that fractured arm, I wished you would like me. And slowly when you started coming there often, I felt I would have a friend in you. Then you asked me out. I was only looking at keeping it platonic. However tonight when you kissed me, I had to let you know this. I can’t bear a heartbreak Simon. This is too soon, this thing between us. So, I wanted you to know me fully before you think anything.”

I kept looking at her. I knew each word of hers was true. She didn’t let me go ahead with anything unless I knew her completely. She was so hurt, so alone and so distraught. She had no one. I wanted to kiss her again but something was bothering me. Some thoughts. What was I to do? I did feel pity for her, but can I go ahead with this relationship on the base of pity. A kiss now would have a different meaning for her. Was that his answer?

As though she had read my thoughts, Susan said,”Simon, we remain friends as long as you want. Don’t wallow in pity for me. I feel blessed to have you in my life, even if as a friend, my only friend!”
It relieved me somewhat. It did make me feel guilty too. A few hours back, I had kissed her and wanted to love her. Was that not love then?

I stayed for an hour. After she felt better, I left her alone. She seemed so much at peace. She was no more pale or cold, as though the storm had passed. The storm was now in my mind and heart.

I needed to think over. I did not meet her for the next few days. I knew it would pain her, but I had answers to get from myself. I had felt she was the woman for me. I knew I could have been wrong but her heart was so pure. She was such a divine being. So special. But a woman who was incomplete in terms of today’s definition of beauty, a woman who was scarred for life. Was she someone I could love?  Did I have what it takes to stand up to her? Was I brave enough to accept her with such a huge flaw?

P.S.: This is going to take up another day I guess. Thanks for reading and regret the inconvenience. I am really bad at keeping things short!! 💁

Keep reading!

Love

S.F.R.

Gentle Touch…

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The visiting hours were over. I walked out of the room. Seeing her writhe in pain was the last thing I had wanted to see. And doing that helplessly had been my ritual for the last five years. She was the epitome of life, love and beauty. My darling wife Susan.

I met Susan on one of my visits to the kids section in the hospital. I was there as a clown for a patient’s birthday party. I had been forced to go there as a replacement by my friend. He was part of a non-governmental organization’s team. This NGO was trying to spread joys to the children suffering from fatal diseases.

I still remember how I had gotten late and dashed into Susan at the pediatric section. She smiled at me, I understood later, it was because of how foolish I looked. But, I was supposed to be a clown, I had to look foolish and act too. Anyways, she smiled at me and my heart seemed as though it forgot to beat.

Susan, I later learned was there everyday. She had to be. She was the most loved nurse of the pediatric department. Children adored her. I was a witness to that when I visited the hospital as a patient, a short week later. As soon as my orthopedic doctor checked my bones of my fractured arm, I got an excuse to go further. I felt it was a boon in disguise for me.

I stepped onto the elevator and reached the fourth floor. The door opened after a ring. I stepped out of it. I walked along seeing the children of all shapes and sizes and colors around. The most disturbing sights were to come next. To see the tiny arms and hands straddled with needles hurt me. The little eyes sparkling with hope. Their little faces with frowns due to the medicines and injections. I kept walking around. I stopped at a corner and looked around. It was the Cancer patients ward.

The steady rise of deaths due to cancer was not a new thing, but it shocked me to see children affected by it too. And all here were in the second or third stage. I looked around, most of them had not a single hair on their head. Some of them had hair, like some messy patch left on their head. It was heart-rending. Stark reality about that disgusting disease looked back at me. Why these kids? I wondered. What have they done? Have they even lived properly to be subjected to such painful times and death at such a tender age?

And then, she entered. She was in that white boring nurse uniform. Yet, never had I seen a woman look so beautiful in that attire. Those soft blue eyes had so much care and concern in them. She was tall and wore no heels, she was wearing white flats. And her brown-blonde hair tied into a tight bun. Her thin pink lips made her look so beautiful that I didn’t realize it when she came up to me.

“Sir, what are you doing here? I think you’ve lost your way. The orthopedic department is on the first floor.” She kept saying and I just stared at her. When finally she snapped a finger in front of my eyes, the spell broke.

“Oh! I am sorry.” I replied apologetically.

She took a hard and close look at me. Then she smiled. Dear God! What a creation of Yours! My heart again skipped a beat.

“Hey! You are the person who was here last week as the clown. Am I right?” She asked. I was amazed and happy that she had remembered me. And then began my trips to the hospital. My visits and walks around the children were something I waited for every week. Once in a week, I would go there and play the clown or read stories to those innocent souls. What peace it brought! And the onus was Susan was always there.

Finally one Saturday I took her out for dinner. And then as they say all is history. But wait, not in that sense. Our dinners were really dinners. We’d watch a movie or go for a walk. Then we would bid each other farewell. There was some reason that Susan never initiated anything. Plans, movies or dinners. She would happily comply but not ask first. She was close yet very far from me.

It was one night, when after the movie and dinner, I held her hand and sat on a bench nearby a small park. It was a full moon shining overhead. I told her about my day, she heard. I complained about my job, she giggled. It was like the sound of bells. Soft chimes. And I couldn’t stop myself. I raised my hand and touched her chin. Raising her face up, in the moonlight I saw those blue eyes. How magical they were!

And then I kissed her. Soft and tender kiss. She was surprised but didn’t try to move away. After I moved away, she opened those blue eyes and looked at me. This time there were tears in them. I was scared. Did I do something wrong. I looked at her questioningly.

She held my hand. Her hands had become so cold. I was worried she was sick. She held it tightly and said, “I know Simon. I have felt it. You want to take our relationship ahead, but before that I need to tell you something. I cannot cheat you or deceive you.”

I was filled with fright. What was it? Was she already married? Was she engaged? Was she in love with someone else? Questions flooded my mind……..

(To be continued…….)
Note: Well, the story stops here. Surely will try to move it ahead tomorrow.  Hope you all like it.

Ciao
From Simon, Susan and

S.F.R.

Dear Mother, With Love – A short story

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I lay in the cloth wrapped around me. The scent of medicines and the murmurs of the nurses reached my ears. They kept looking at me as I breathed my last. It wasn’t so hard but my fighting spirit wouldn’t let it happen sooner than it did.

I wanted to pass a message to my mother. My beautiful and lovely mother. I had heard God say that after Him, the creation who deserved to be respected and loved are parents. Specially, mother!

I wanted to let my mother know a few things. If only I could tell her. My message would comfort her.

Dear mother,
I love you mother. I know it was a difficult thing for you to bear. I was so restless and made you too while I was in your body. I hurt you and took up all your energies. But that was the most beautiful time I spent with you.

I know mother, you will always remember me and love me. So will I.

You needn’t worry mother. I know how hard it was for you to take that decision. The decision to not give birth to me. I understand you mother. Rather I am happy about it. You might wonder why! Let me tell you the reason.

Since the time I was created, I asked God to show me the world He created for us. He wouldn’t agree. Then, soon I was told that I was to enter the world. I begged and pleaded and finally it was accepted. The human world was shown to me.

I was scared, mother. Too scared. And I was not willing to come. Your decision made my will come true.

Thanks mother. You might wonder what scared me! Well, I was scared by the people. I am a girl mother. I was scared that by my birth, you and father might have issues. I didn’t want to be the reason of your sorrow mother.
I wanted father to be happy to have me not worry about my education and marriage and dowry. I didn’t want to be a burden on him!

I was fearful mother. How many times and how many people would you protect me from mother? You would not be with me always, but that would add to your worries. Anxious from the time I leave home to the time I return. So many dangers around.

What if I was kidnapped? What if the neighbor uncle or his son raped me? What if I was stolen from your warm arms and sold in the world of frozen emotions. What if my soul was tarnished with the coarse hands of men in the trade? What if I became the next Nirbhaya? What if I am killed like the children of military school? What if I am shot like Malala? What if I am burnt alive?

You did right mother. You didn’t let me or you suffer. Its painful now for you I know. You blame father and grandma for being persistent for a boy. But its a relief to me too mother. You needn’t shed tears. I understand mother.
Instead of giving birth and then we both whimper in pain, this separation is easier to bear. I shall wait for you mother. I will wait for you in heaven.
And don’t worry. I will tell God that you didn’t do anything wrong. You did what your baby wanted. You removed me from your womb before I got too attached to you. But the last three months mother, were the best of my existence. I loved your voice, your sweet whispers to me, your caresses and your wishes.

Be happy always mother. And also tell father I love him too. He is the only man I loved in the little expanse of my life in your  world.
Thanks mother.
Love you.
Your unseen daughter

And then I lay still. My tiny body lay still. My soul, my spirit was with a beautiful angel. God had sent it down to bring me back to His kingdom. I flew away as quietly as I had flown in!

P.S.: This story is in context with the kind of belief and attitude in some countries regarding the birth of a girl child. Female foeticide is a crime yet it is being done! #SaveGirlChild

S.F.R.

Self-Help Made Easy : Fia Essen

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Hello all…
So today I am here to tell you about a book which reached my hands, and what luck it is for me! I am not usually into reading “Self help” books, but this was an exception. I picked it up for a quick read and was amazed.

Well, to begin with, Fia Essen is an amazing writer from Athens ( have been in love with that place since I saw an Indian actor romance with his heroine there 💞). She has two books to her credit, and the third is still under progress! I did get to read one book of hers, ” Ariel ” and I loved it. Will post its review sometime later! Already started the second one “Anna” and truly enjoying it!

Coming to the book under spotlight, SHMS is a good rule book. Its got simple understandable theories and examples. I guess that’s what worked for me. Self help books, I find hard to follow as most of the time I am not able to grasp what the message is!

Simple booklet style work of Fia really boosted me. It has things which really have either happened to you or are happening as of now. The rules and tips she has shared from her own life are really motivating.

I am sharing a few thoughts of hers that struck me. We keep wasting out our energies about what happened yesterday. She says ” What you did or didn’t do yesterday is of no consequence today…. All you have is now and it’s gift. ”

Another snippet : The only real path to success is to think big, start small and keep going.”
Amazing words by the writer can be found in the rest of the book.

I am surely going to keep these things and all the rest of her words very close to my eyes, heart and mind. Seriously, these are the ones which need to be energized every now and then.

So, if you looking for a self help book which makes you think of what to leave and what to move ahead in life with, which you wish picks you up from the low-feel, then this is the one for you!
Hope you like it as much as I did. Let me know too.
Lots of love and positivity to all.
Enjoy reading!

S.F.R.

Review – Silent Revenge

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Okay, so, yesterday I finished reading this book. It was an experiment, new author (for me), new book and reading what people call “old romance”. And lo, I was in for great surprise. I loved reading it. A wonderful story with a string of strong characters.

The hero and heroine are really lovable. Specially loved the strength and convictions of the heroine. I mean how can one really hide a physical flaw so well and for so long. She is a talented lady, she is a lady of “someplace” ( you know how hard those names are of those Dukes and Lords and Ladies and Duchesses, so kindly forgive me for that!!) with a small, well not really small, but a physical problem and none around her could find it out! Then there is a wicked step-brother plotting to prove that she is a dangerously demented person. All things put together seem a bit unrealistic but that’s what novels are all about! 💜

The hero, he is the Earl of Northcote (don’t ask how I remember this!!) So, he is convicted of a crime and returns to the town. What an entry! As it happens quite early, it doesn’t make sense but as the story progresses you realize what a bold persona he has! All troubles seem to be in love with him and the answer to his solution is our dear heroine.

Their first meeting, the offers they give one another and their confrontations and romance fill up the story beautifully. The tidbits of their fights and the sudden impulsive actions they take, make it a story wonderfully written. So, if you are a romance buff and enjoy the Duke-Lord era novels, do read and enjoy it!
And don’t forget to let me know how you felt about the review and the book!

S.F.R.

S.F.R.