Girl in the Heart Cocoon

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If she climbed this tree and get to the highest branch, will she see the future on the horizon?


She’s a little hungry, will she have the energy to go up? But it’s tempting because it’s so hot this day. The leaves naturally act as fans as they sway in the breeze. Up there it is quiet. The many times she had climbed it, she had taken naps, with her head sandwiched in-between Y-shaped branches. The rustling of leaves act as natural noise filter keeping out all other noises. The tender leaves of this tree when heated up to an extent emit a fragrance so pleasing to the senses but since the nuts are edible, it does make one hungry!

She decided to climb…

Her short limbs barely encircle the young tree trunk. She flattened the length of her body on to the bark of the tree. Although late in the day, it’s almost mid-day, she can feel the cool freshness of said bark on her. She smiled. Holding on securely with her small arms and fingers around the trunk she crawled vertically up inch by inch.

This very spot is her refuge from the world. From all her concerns. What possible concerns can a girl barely six years old have? Wasn’t it that she was hungry?

The ocean is bright blue today. It shimmers in this sun. Though it is many miles away, thanks to its vastness one ‘sees’, no, more like ‘senses’, the vapors escaping from it as the waves roll endlessly. Said vapors create a mirage of opaqueness that staring at it one get’s mesmerized and fall into invisible incantation powers which make the eyelids heavy!

Good thing. When you’re hungry and you can sleep- that is a welcome escape…


She leans her head back on the chair and closes her eyes. The book she reads talk about *getting- lit. means understanding- the essence of life..

-do away with the source of concerns [agitations, restlessness in the mind]

-feel nether love nor hate

-peace follows..

Is this life? Is this living?

She had never believed in other people’s say in her life. Either from a book of wisdom [pfft!] or a someone classified as ‘expert’. She listened to give respect but that is it. There is no reason to be hostile. Let them think what they say is important or profound enough to change you. If it pleases them- so please, go on. After all they must have spent countless years of study and practice to be classified as experts well enough to be paid to say some words to somebody in a span of twenty minutes.. the same way that a lawyer and court judge decide on what’s good for you, completely ignoring your predicaments, feelings, concerns and personal biases- in short; completely ignoring what *you as a person deem important to you. Self-righteous egotistical bores…

To hell with people like these! What do they know? But- nothing can be gained by being antagonistic. Let them think they’ve won you over. [There is great satisfaction in thinking this!] Hah!

Owning one’s own self..

NO COFFEE! She shouted silently in her mind as her heart gave a quick fist-thump inside of her chest. Two or three beats very quickly delivered with no warning expels air out of her. The occurrence making her gasp for air though but instantly only. At times she feels light-headed. Some other time her vision blurs a little. The suddenness of that initial drumbeat that steals her breath away always catches her by surprise..

The good Doc, an old Italian whose accent never receded into fluent American English despite 30+ years of Cardiology practice in the US at times point his finger at her and says, “no coffee. No sodas. No cigarettes. No stress.”

So- maybe this book is right? Do away with the source of stress, feeling neither love nor hate and all should be peaceful. Equilibrium. Right.

But is that life?

A wry smile crosses her lips. She remembered something else. Among other things this good Doc told her was, “absolutely no swimming! Either in the pool or at sea. Absolutely not!”


If you live in a house with a pool, too bad. If you happen to live on a beach 25 meters away from the waves- second “too bad!” And this second ‘too bad’ is a big one!

If you’re a fish— really… just…. ahhh!!!

Hmm. Does she need to listen to this advice?

Does she ever listen to anyone’s advice? Should she do what anyone wants her to do against her wishes?

For a time fighting for survival just to claim an open space for her life- will she now concede because it is for her own good? Which one of these are for her own good?

To stop living so she could continue to breathe?

The little girl up that tree protests!!

She feels a little surge of heat inside of her. Her head starts to swim. Her brows crease ever slightly as she pursed her lips. “Is this life?”

The more she turned this over in her head the more she felt that heat surge.

And now she feels *that beat coming on…. she inhales deep, expanding her chest, and lets out slowly. In that closed eyes she tries to see blackness only, see nothingness, let out thoughts. Let them ride the air out of her with her exhale, and settle down..

“Have no love, have no hate.”

“The same heart that loves, is the same heart that hates.” Yes. The only question which remain is, can love and hate co-exist in the same heart of a human being?

Or is it a privy to one or the other? Which mean that heart loves only in it’s entire existence, OR, hates only..


The stern “absolutely not!” admonition from the good Doc brought her some thoughts..

On Fridays the class dismisses early. This was the home room session so nothing important is actually discussed. Plus- she believed that their advisor was a little lazy overall. He was this type of person- arrogantly self-centered who thought highly of self because his momma was on the admin board. Fine. This is how this society worked. Mores like this cannot be changed despite centuries passing. It was and is just what it is.

Being the class president for the third time, her classmates milled around her in idle chatter before voluntarily dispersing for home. Being the third year’s term as class president carried with it some kind of status but familiarity with everybody was so that the atmosphere was naturally easy and cordially amiable. It was a kind of silent respect and due courtesy acknowledged in silence by everyone. She knew this in her heart. She acknowledged it with gratefulness although a little baffled by it.

This Friday though was a little different. She had heard that a party was to go on on Saturday at a certain beach. Although not saying for everyone to disperse she was a little impatient. This place was out of town at some distance. The travel alone would take two hours if she left now and still had to stop by home anyway.

A little mischievousness from deep inside crept out to her lips and made it curl, her eyes shone- so he’s going to be there! This was going to be a party-crashing and the little jumping jack in her heart stirred up a kind of excitement. She could have laughed thunderously at the thought of “party-crashing”, seeing all these people once again as she had snubbed some of them before, but stifled it. What would everyone think? 😆

She busied her mind with making up excuses as to why she’s there; should anyone even think about asking! She had family relations in this town whom she sees yearly only. A visit for overnight stay although unexpected would be alright. Then she can just casually stroll on to the beach from her aunt’s house. It was set!

If she wanted to do something, had anybody been able to stop her? If she wanted to go somewhere- even on the flimsiest of reasons or excuses she would make them so her actions are ‘justified’! It was more for her pang of guilt deep in her conscience. Maybe.

Her parents didn’t have much input into her life after her return three years ago from the city. Just as well. If the family needed anything, as simple as food for the day, she procured it however she can. At such young age this family had tacitly acknowledged their sometime dependence on her capabilities. That she was still in school and paid her own way, not the parents, was probably one of the reasons she was allowed leeway into that independence. No one else in the brood was allowed. Or was it that no one dared claim it? There was long history as to how this ‘status’ came about. Some of it painful. This status even her father acknowledged. Specially him!!!

In school she was the only one allowed not to wear the school uniform. This was so for two of the three years now. It was a feather in her cap! The school disciplinarian and her had always had a struggle at the entrance gate of the school when she came in late. He took his belt off his waist, wrap it around his palms and swung at her with the belt buckle end. How many times had this happened? Still he couldn’t make her wear a uniform. Well, not for two years at least. She’d laugh like a banshee when he chased her from the gate to almost her school room.

Although he would indeed hit her with the belt buckles and it might hurt physically IF she let it land, but she knew it wasn’t out of hate or anger- he was playing with her. So was she. The chase was an expression of that. Her attitude toward him was respect, filial piety included, and admiration of his character. Not only was he her instructor in general, he was her special tutor on a special project the school embarked on in competition with the other schools, and won. He guided, she presented, the Biology project. Said project impressed even the two foreign judges therefore earned recognition for the school. He knew this. Not that the private school was not already prestigious. You couldn’t enroll in it if you didn’t pass the entrance exam. It doesn’t matter how rich your family was- you the student need to have the brain.

She entered this school and had gone on for three years now on a scholarship she also won in competition with other top students. She then represented the school to the Foundation which sponsored said scholarship. This position must be maintained with honors level achievements. You do not posses the exclusivity of the placement. If you faltered in the requirements you would be replaced. This was her third year holding on to it. Just like the Presidency of her class.

This man was always there keeping an eye. Able to understand her predicament, he recognized her brain, deigned his lofty perch of a position in the school board to acknowledge her. This mutual understanding between instructor-pupil had been planted as soon as she entered this school. The reverence she held in her heart for this man was so much more than what could be said about her father.

This man was the first ever to acknowledge her in this way.. whatever one may call ‘this’..

The poor ROTC guards at the gate couldn’t help but look on during these chases! After a few of these scenes the guards understood without command to just allow her in through the side gate if the main gate had already closed. Normal students wouldn’t have been allowed in anymore at this time. If they happened to be around still when she arrived- then they can be allowed in with her.

Being not allowed in campus anymore therefore wasting a day of school, be marked “absent” on all class sessions for the day- it was really a pity. When your parents knew they’s accuse you of gallivanting the day off! It meant that one had been tardy beyond the time allowed by the rules. Rules are there in the name of maintaining discipline with students. Otherwise society will not have need for laws to maintain order now, would it?

..But it wasn’t her fault. It was her father’s..

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