FEATURES

SPECIAL - SHORT STORY


 

Melody

 

By Prof. Mahmoud Lotfi


 

It was 21st, March, 1984. The weather in Nairobi was very nice and pleasant.

All passengers from different countries that were residing in the 5-star magnificent Nairobi Treetop Hotel were waiting to get tours to see the
interesting places in this wild Black Country.

First morning at the restaurant

-          Oh, hello Melody. It is so nice to see you again.

-          Hi, it is a great pleasure for me too, to see you.

-          Let me take my breakfast and joint you. Do you need anything? I bring to you.

-          No, thank you, I have enough.

Melody went to “Buffet“, picked-up a tray and then: some bread, butter, scrambled egg, honey, plus a cup of coffee, and came back. She sat joyfully, in front of Mandolin.

Mandolin: Amazing, Melody earth is not so large. I could not believe I may see you again. When you, kindly, sent me the e-mail that you are going to take a Tour to Kenya, I told my husband, John, we should take part this Tour. It is a good opportunity for us to visit the country which I love it, with so many interesting wild places, and also to see Melody dear, again. He said I love too, but I am really busy.

-     Thank you, Mandolin. To find good friends is not easy these days, but when you found them you must keep and respect them.

-     True, it seems to me that I have known you for years. I was not sure you could make it you are too busy at the Hospital, aren’t you?

-     Yes, but we have some relief staffs, they assist us when we have a plan, or need leave absence.

-     Unfortunately, we do not have this kind of opportunities. We have to announce and apply several months in advance, to get it.

-     By the way how many children do you have, Mandolin?

-     No children, we are expecting after this trip, but only one. I believe in one God and only one child, and you Melody?

-     I have a son, his name is Bernard. We have an appropriate relation together.

-     Is your husband English?

-     No he is Iranian, but English citizen.

-     Is he a businessman?

-     Yes, Mandolin he is a successful man in his job.

-     Happy to hear that. I am going to take more coffee, do you want some, Melody?

-     No thank you I am full. Nice talk to you. I have to call my husband and get ready for visiting Treetop.  See you in the Bus.

-     OK, See you.

Mandolin took the cup and sat in front of the window, where the Monkeys were plying and passing joyfully around.

She was relaxed but John was the one who drawing her thought toward himself, on an off. Oh I missed you, believe me John, she said.

Lillian was approaching to Mandolin: Oh, hello Mandolin dear, what are you doing here alone? See the monkeys are so funny and joyful?

-     Hello Lillian, yes these interesting animals, which may be our initial parent, have been attracting me. When I saw them I started to think about creation and life:  Are we working to live, or living to work. But I did not find a proper answer, may be because I love to work which make me happy and enjoy life, especially beside my husband, John. Believe me I am the one who can -not live without any valuable job, or hobby, even if I am in the Heaven. I believe that, I have to spend my time for the benefit of the nature and society, that need my help, experience and services, no different if are humanTanimals or plants. Believe me, I am so happy, thanks God, that I am follower of good Thoughts, good words and good deeds.

-     Are you Zoroastarian?

-     I am Christian Catholic. I know this reached to us from Zoroastre(  Iranian Messenger). It’s very valuable and beneficial. If we follow it I am sure we would have a better world and life.  

-     You are right, sometimes my thoughts flew to the field of creation, and start questioning:  Why I am a woman, not a man, why we live, we eat, we drink, we help, we hurt, we torture, and even we kill our enemies or innocent people?

-     Is it true that we have to, is it really a must?

-     But, I am sure I will never kill anybody, even my enemy. Why should I have an enemy?

She thought about her childhood, teen and later, but she could not find any things wrong.

-     OK, what about your country or home, if you are invaded, would you kill the invaders?

-     Yes, this is a must but still duty. It is so bad that I can’t believe it, but it is believable and may do it otherwise would be killed, it is a self defend.

-     Oh Gosh, we choose this trip for our vacation, be relaxed, but again we are in a wrong way, sorry.

Lillian: You are right, sorry, nice talk to you.  See you in the bus, with Benjamin. Take care.

-      OK, Lillian, you too, see you.   But, who is Benjamin!? She asked herself.

She finished her coffee and sat on a rocking chair, closed her eyes and flew over the wonderful forests and National parks of Nairobi.

-      All passengers who have already reserved for Tree-top tour should be ready in front door, please, guide tour announced.

In few minutes all had their seats in the bus. The bus started to pass the roads toward Tree-top. Mandolin was seating beside Melody. 

It is wonderful Melody, Mandolin said. By the way, did you have any bad feeling when guide was explaining how Kenya could get its independence from British Empire, in 1963, result of 16 year courage,  anti-British Empire speech, demonstration and meetings. Many protestors had been in jail for many years or even executed. Jumbo Kenyatta being imprison in hot box for years, with some other kinds of tortures, like being hanged, up-side-down for about 8 hours to be capitulated the great Kenyatta.

-          No, why should I? This is true. Great Britain, always, believes that is the owner of the lands that could catch them by force. It is not faire. People of Kenya are the owner of their land, like us that we are the owner of England. I even condemn my government for putting its claws to North Ireland, and had having so many year conflict and brutality, there.  We should place ourselves in their miserable situations they have been face with for so many years and then judge. Nobody is safe in this kind of situation.       

-          Sorry, Melody, I have to confess to you that I was, really wrong, you are a nice, logic and friendly woman. I am really proud of you.

-          Thanks Mandolin. I also think about the Negro slaves, killing the elephants for their valuable ivories, coffee, and a lot of other things that were stolen by civilized, religious, and educated Europeans or Americans from their country, in order that: these people are not civilized, not Christian and not educated. Jumbo Kenyatta the great really saved his people by sacrificing his life. He was so logic and eminent that did not hate the English and he has been having very good relation with them as far as he was alive.

-          True Melody, you know the main road between Nairobi and Darussalam in Tanzania has been built by British contractors in  Kenyata period. I have seen the road the other time on the way to Mombasa port: It is really one of the safest roads in the area.

-          Yes Mandolin, because he wanted to build and develop his country, undoubtedly this Is the best thought, policy and deed.

-          Ok, now we are approaching to the very nice area, with superstar Hotel, surprising, which is built 100 years ago by British governors of Kenya. We are going to have lunch and then change the bus, in order to be safe in the forest, which is territory of wild animals, the guide announced.

-          Oh Mandolin, I couldn’t believe to see such a nice white building surrounded by green trees, flowers and grass, in Black dry Africa. It is so clean, nice view.  The waitresses are all African, but nice looking, polite and good educated!

-          You are right: they are educated by British teachers. You will see the way they serve. All with white dresses, a white towel over their forearm, with black nice looking skin, standing ready to be ordered by customers.

-           Look, they started to serve 5 courses meal in English manner. Unbelievable in Africa we could be served so good with delicious foods and vegetables. Amazing, said Melody to Mandolin.

-          Yes, I enjoyed it very much.  I believe that in some country because of corrupted governors after getting their independence or changing the constitutional law, starting to ruin their culture and even the buildings:  may be an old Church, because they deny Christianity, or symbolic statuses like Buda’s monument which was built by some smart artists centuries ago, in Afghanistan, or a Cabaret because of religions or believes,….!? But “Jumbo Kenyatta” was a wise man correct and logic. You can see everything especially public places have been remained untouched, or even be repaired better than before.

After magnificent lunch all passengers were transferred to a “Ford” mini bus, which was made for this purpose.  One Gunman had the duty of safety of the passengers in this part of the trip. Who seats usually in front chair.

They passed the road, which was passing up like a snake through very beautiful and exciting forests.

After spending two hours, in this beautiful road we will reach to Hotel. One the honor of this Hotel is that; while “Queen Elizabeth and Philip” were in their Honeymoon here in Tree-top, her father King George died and she became, in the time being  “ The Queen of the most powerful and larger Empire” of the world, the guide explained.

We will be at the Hotel in a few minutes. This is a small hotel with some small double bed rooms all made with wood even the columns which are the trees. They provide the Hotel be stood about 5 meters high above the ground. You may ask way they used trees as a column?

First of all to bring constructive materials is almost impossible via these roads. Second, we have to cut a lot of trees, which would change the ecosystem, but now as you can see it has a natural looking even for animals. Third, which is more important; the animals will escape and migrate from this area, as soon as, we start building and working with iron and other noisy materials, said the guide.

OK, please get off the bus and climb the steps silently and carefully.  Choose your room. You should keep your room window closed all the time, because of naughty monkeys; otherwise may your belongings be stolen, by them.

Melody and Mandolin took room No 12, and joint the others at a very large terrace, where they can see the beauty of the forest, talk together and enjoy playing with monkeys.

After sunset all should be at the big hall, which is all the times rather dark, no light. But you will see outside very clearly, which is shiny by projectors, in order to enjoy seeing the wild animals such as ; buffalo, tiger, deer, hyena, wild cat, fox…..that are attracted by salty soil around the water reservoir.

Melody, Mandolin, Lillian and Katrina took their “sandwich” and stand by the window.

Katrina: It is really amazing wild enemies are beside together in peace. Look, only hyena is far away and hiding beyond the trees!?

You know, Hyena spreads a smell while is passing, to announce that this area is my territory.

The barman approached to Melody and said, please speak quietly, otherwise the animals will escape.  

Melody: We hate hyena, really it is an ugly animal, but in my opinion it is a very beneficial one for the nature, environment and for us. Isn’t it?

Katrina: yes Melody, it’s true, like “shark”. Vulture, hyena, crocodile and shark, are hateful animals but eat all garbage and polluted materials such as dead bodies, and make clean and disinfected nature for us.

Katrina: That’s right. Think about Mohammad shah Ghajar and Sheikh F. Noori in Iran, Stalin in Russia, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Pinochet in Chile, Saddam in Iraq, Ben Laden in Pakistan and around the world, Gaddafi  in Libya, now compare them with Hyena and …….    

Melody: About human being is also, unfortunately, true. As you mentioned these are not the first one and the last one. You know, we may hate someone, , who is very beneficial for the society and life, but we are imposed to hate and dislike him or her. But there are some popular people that if we know them fundamentally, are very hateful especially when the curtain raised- up. You can see they are corrupted in politics, religions, businesses, and morally.

Mandolin: Yes unfortunately this is true. By the way I don’t know why they add salt around the pool.

-     Lillian: The animals love to take salt, which is delicious, and then become thirsty go, unbelievable peacefully, to the pool to drink water. Katrina, please look at that beautiful “tiger”.

-     Katrina: yes, it has really a very beautiful skin. But it is very awful and dangerous. We like to wear tiger skin coat, and become a tiger, isn’t it?

-     Melody: May be you, not me, I am always a lovely bird. (Laugh everyone)

They couldn’t believe that time showed 3 Am, Melody and Mandolin went to bed after an enjoyable day.


 

Next day

They went to the big hall to have breakfast from “buffet”. They had a very delicious meal.

The guide asks them to be ready to return.

-     Melody: I don’t like to quit this wonderful place.

-     Gary: You are right I have also the same feeling. But, unfortunately we have nothing to do here during the day. We have to stay at Hotel all the time, to be safe, imprison, it is sad, isn’t it?

Gary looked at Melody and said: I feel there is a kind of sadness in your eyes.

Melody: I don’t know, may be? But, I believe I am a very happy woman, nobody has told me that I am sad or depressed, so far. Although any mankind may experience some sort of depression in his/her life, especially in teen period. By the way, what are you Gary?

Lillian burst into laughter, and said: Gary is psychologist. He is looking for customer or patient don’t worry Melody.( Laugh all, except Gary)

-     Gary: No Lillian I am serious.

-     Mandolin: OK, as I know her, more than you, I believe that she is joyful and healthy. But I am happy to meet you Gary. I may come to you with my husband. We have a little problem.

-     Lillian: for little problem, you shouldn’t seek advice of psychologists. They may make it deeper and worst! (Lillian showed serious but all laugh loudly)

Gary smiled and said: OK.  Lillian you may test it.

-     Lillian: As you know I do not have any problem with you.  All looked at Lillian and Gary,  and asked is it true? Gary replied yes, this is our first trip after engagement, she is my dear fiancée.

-     Melody: So you are in honeymoon, congratulation.

-     Mandolin: Why didn’t you tell me Lillian?

-     Lillian: I wanted to be a surprise.

-     Melody: or a secret (all laughed)

-     Mandolin: Are you still in travel agency, Lillian?

-     Lillian; yes we had a round trip free ticket, to travel here. Ok, we have to pack, now.

All were ready at 10 AM to take the Minibus to go back to the restaurant and change the bus to return to Nairobi, which made a dream for them.

-     Mandolin:  I am so happy, that we are going to have a fantastic launch again. Are they going to serve the same Menu?

The guide said of course not. You are going to have different kinds of delicious foods and fruits.Our company tries to make you happy and satisfied as much as it should.

-     Melody: This is the reason that you are more popular and attractive, isn’t it?

-     Guide: Yes it works in all kind of businesses.

After launch, the bus started to pass the roads to take them to Nairobi. They were joyful because of this nice and exciting tour.

-     Mandolin: why Gary said your eye showed a kind of depression. Could be related to your back- ground that you mentioned once, but never explained to me.

-          Yes, he is right. Now we have time, if you like I will?

-          Sure. If doesn’t make you upset I would like to hear it, must be interesting.

-          Dear Mandolin, Interesting, but awful. I had a very sad and questionable childhood. When I stepped to 6th year of my life I realized that I am Melody Lorraine Richardson, but my father is Mr. Dickens, may mother Mrs.  Dickens and my sister also Dickens. This problem was more suffering me when my sister started her elementary school at my school. She was called Miss. Hilary Dickens.

Any time I asked my mother about this mystery, she changed the subject. I try to be away from this pre-occupation, especially because Mr. Dickens was very nice and careful to me. He sent me to music institute and dance that were my favorite.

One day, he called me and said: Melody would you like play tennis. I replied I love it dad. That day was the first time that I called him Dad I realized:  he was very happy to hear this word from my side. He took me to a club with his daughter, my step sister. I started learning to play tennis and my teacher after a few days told Mr. Dickens: Melody’s progress is out of standing. I am sure if she continues and exercises regularly would be a champion in near future. But I did not have enough time to exercise and the expenses were too high for Mr. Dickens who was a simple employee. I was sure that he was to help me even more than my rich mother, Mrs.  Dickens, thus I had to play only once a week, but I was enjoying it much.

These hobbies were making me happy and relax, and I do not think about my family name or who can be my father, or what happen that my mother separated from Mr. Richardson and married Mr. Dickens, any more.

But sometimes I was thinking: what has been the problem that my mother separated,  got divorce and married another man. If she wanted to get divorce why became pregnant and a Melody came out as a miserable child that she even doesn’t know who she is? Who is her father, and struggling all the time with herself but no answer! Although sometimes I say to myself: look Melody you are not the first one and the last one living in this kind of situation and destiny. But suddenly this thought invades my mind that usually after divorce child has the right, by law, to see her /his father and mother, why shouldn’t I? I was suffering, on and off, nobody could help me, my mother was un-different about this big problem that I had. One day I decided to make a revolution in my life style. I started to get away from destructive and useless thoughts. I started to spend more time for my lessons, and use the library instead of all hobbies that I have had, Very soon I became number one in my class. Mr. Dickens made me very happy with presenting me a computer, but my mother only said: I am happy for your progress, congratulation, Melody. I am sure my mother was richer than Mr. Dickens, I did not know how?

I started to learn Computer; I could find all my desires and demands in this small box. It became my best friend.

I could find all my questions by entering the windows, except one puzzle that who I am, Melody L. Richardson? In Dickens family (With smile).

Mandolin: You are really admirable, as a teenager you could find your way by yourself. Melody you should write your history life, which is a good experience for teenagers and the parents.

-    Melody: One day I try to write it but I realized that; at least at that moment I could not do it. This is an art certainly is not easy.

-    Mandolin: why didn’t you take a writing course?

-    Melody: OK, if I didn’t make you tired I would continue you would get the answer.

-    Mandolin: not at all I am interested to hear it.

-    Melody: Later on something happened that changed the rest of my life.I was growing. When I was fifteenth our classmates decided to hold a party by our expenses. I accepted. I wear my best dress and went to Supermarket, happily, to buy what I needed, I was looking for an especial brand chocolate; a gentleman stood beside me and said: Good evening Miss Melody Lorraine Richardson. I looked at him and said: I am sorry Sir, I don’t recognize you. I was a little bet fearful. He said: I am Edward Jeffry Richardson, your father my love. I said: If you are my father, where have been for so many years, and come to me today?

-     If you are my dad, you never thought about my life, my destiny and my difficulties?

-     He said but…

But I faint unconscious. When I opened my eyes, I was on a sofa and he was looking at my face tearfully, and kissing me.

My face was wet with his tears, tears of Love. I sat and I started to scream and told him: Where have been for so many years, my dear father. You know so much I missed you?  I needed you a lot without knowing you. I have been feeling so miserable Dad, even I didn’t have a picture of you!  

My father said: I really love you. I have never left you. I missed you too. I would like you to know, without making any harm for your mother or saying a world to her. Melody, your mother had a plan to be separated for many months, but I didn’t know and I couldn’t believe it! She hired a lawyer with my money, by force of the lawyer, and non true documents, judge put a note that my little daughter should not be visited by her father Mr. Richardson, till she becomes eighteen. So, I couldn’t see you or approach to you!  If I tried to see you I would be arrested!

I never understood why? The only thing which is clear is illogic law in England, which has not been acceptable for me sociologically or morally so far! Melody my dear daughter, you must know that I love you. I open a deposit account for you in Midland Bank. There IS a deposit of” 50 000 Pound” till now, you are allowed to use or withdraw it after the age of 18.- I said: I am very happy today Dad. For me is a new birthday Dad, especially that I believe you are a good looking and handsome gentleman, and very friendly. I have to say that: I am satisfied with Mr. Dickens, he has never been bad to me so far really he has done his best; but I always believed that he is Mr. Dickens and I am Richardson, so I have been, anxiously, looking for my father. Believe me, I was lost.

-I am glad that you are fair; I have been trying to see you every day even when you were taken to kinder garden. As soon as you started your elementary school almost every day I was following you, I have been enjoying your growth. But I have not had any opportunity to present myself, till today, unless I realized you had a severe problem then I would break the law and help my love.

OK, my dear daughter, I would like you to have an Ice cream with your father.

Not today dear Dad as I said; it‘s getting late I am invited to a teen party, they are all my classmates, Dad.

-          OK, as you wish, but you take seat, you are tired I am going to the cashier.

I said "no Dad, thank you". But he paid and brought me: “a mild wonderful French made perfume “. And said OK; Melody for me today has been the best day of my life. Let’s go, I’ll give you ride. I said: I love it Dad, but may be dangerous for you, I am still fifteen. He kissed me, I saw his tear, and started to cry like a child. Some people were standing to see the power and beauty of love. I said: good bye dear Dad, take care. I love you, thanks for every things, see you soon, I’ll miss you more from today, but I couldn’t control myself suddenly I burst. I sat down, my father came opened his arms, and pool me toward his heart. I relaxed and I had the best feeling I have ever experienced it. I left him.  

He was standing with eye tears like stars in the dark sky. He said; I am very happy today Melody, I could have you and talk to you for a while, after so many years. But I am sure, finally, it was a sad moment for him because I was going far and far, like a rider in desert, till disappeared.    I had the same feeling. I wanted to scream to ask why, why?

Oh, Mandolin dear are you crying?

Mandolin: Yes, it is not a tear, usual tear, it is a spring comes out from my inside, from a wonderful sense of humanity, kindness and from a wide sea of love from my lord, creator of love, which is rather rare today. You and your father have painted the best picture of true love.

Melody: I am sorry for those people who have everything but still they feel miserable and are far from satisfaction, happiness and love.

I took part the party, I met my classmates. It was my very first time that I could be with my friends out of school. I felt that I am going to be an adult girl.

I shacked hand and kissed some close friends.  Santiana, who was 18th, welcomed me and offered a glass of light beer, which I felt really needed, but perhaps after seeing my father who was really a gentleman I decided to be more logic, and civilized. I said thanks Santiana, very kind of you, I am OK.

We had a very joyful night: nice talk, jock, and dance. When I was dancing, grace to Mr. Dickens all stay around and encouraging me. Nobody had the feeling of passing time. But it was getting late, although I did not care at all, I thought about family. It was 10 PM that I and Christopher, my neighbor, said good bye and came out. I came again to my day, seeing my father and his nice and lovely reflections, which at this moment made me depressed. Christopher asked me: what happened to you, Melody? It was very nice party. Don’t ruin it. I replied: I don’t know, but I am Ok, don’t be worried about me.

I arrived home at ten thirty. As soon as I started to take my dresses off, my mother entered my room anxiously, and asked me: do you know Melody what time is it?

-      I said: Yes Mrs. Dickens. it Is ten thirty PM. She looked at me nervously and shouted what happened to you? You are changed, what had you drink? I replied: only fruit juice Mrs. Dickens, and then I sat on my bed very relax and silently.  She went out without saying a word. I went to bed but my father image and memories were with me, I realized: I really love him. I was thinking about my mother that: how could she separated and break my lovely father with so many opportunities and gentleness? I slept, but the whole night he was in my dream. Very nice dream: going to restaurant, Kew garden with lovely flowers, talking about my future and took me to shops and bought a very nice night cloth for me. When I woke –up still I had the feeling that he is with me. I went down to have my breakfast.  My mother was preparing  breakfast, I said good morning but my mother just whispered good morning, and do not look at me, at  all. The family came gradually down; I stood-up for Mr. Dickens. He said seat down please and add: Did you enjoy the party, Melody dear?  I said: yes it was my first experience. It was amazing and unforgettable. Mr. Dickens.

I didn’t want to stay more. I finished my breakfast, and run to school. For a few days, my mother house became a kind of prison for me, till I saw my father again. I discussed my problems. He told me: your behaviors should not be changed, you are my daughter, Richardson, be polite, be friendly, and forgiver. After his kind words: started to grow in my mind I should be forgiver and gentle. When I went back home, this time for the first time I did use my father’s advises. I presented a lovely red rose to my mother and told her I love you, mother. She was surprised and looked at me for a few minutes and then smiled, embraced me and said: I am sorry my Melody, I am really sorry.

I have been much happy since that day, grace to my father.   I could see my father on an off. I believe, he had been getting younger since we met for the first time. One day, I told him I would like to be a nurse or social worker. What is your advice?

He said it’s a good Idea, but I prefer you to be a nurse, and consequently; try to be a director or lecturer in this field.

Nursing, undoubtedly is a difficult job, but is one of the best professions in society, and because you are very friendly, kind and helpful to people you will succeed. Carlos Castanda in his famous book:” the lessons of Don Joan” says: The way you chose is one of the million ways that exist. You should continue your way, except if you recognize that you are wrong. I would say; if you love a job, that would be the best for you, you would enjoy and satisfy.

I smiled and said: Dad I would like to be “gangster”! He laughed and said: I didn’t know that you have sense of humor, too! That’s not a job it is a crime, Melody. Crime and dictatorship is not a job. i am really sorry for them. God creates nature and human being, dedicated the whole nature to us. God creates us to be beneficial and constructive for everything in nature, not destructive.

Believe me, when my father was speaking I was flying on the sky and admire him.

When I finished high school I applied for Royal Nursing Institute, next day I was invited for interview. My mother took me to the Institute, but she realized my father was waiting for me too.  She said:

-      I will be back to you in a few minutes. My father approached to me, amazingly, I understood why my mom left me ,I said hello and he kissed me said: I am coming with you to the Institute. I asked him are you sure it’s not making any problem, Dad?

He replied: I hope not, Melody. We entered the institute and the clerk introduced me to the director. After interview, surprisingly, I was accepted. Clerk said congratulation you should pay 120 Pound and bring the receipt to me, please. My father gave her the receipt and I was registered. I asked: when did you pay, Dad? He said: Before you arrived, I found it out how much you must pay for registration? -I asked him how you knew that: I may be accepted.

-      Yes, I was sure that my Melody will be accepted. He replied.

 -      I jumped and kissed him, my tears were dropping over his arms. I said you are a wonderful father I really love you.

-       You made me and I have had a very nice and successful day, so far. I am very proud and grateful to you, my dear Dad. Now let me go to buy my dresses and tools I need them from tomorrow.

He said: No need dear Melody; I have been doing it cordially, this is true love. Let me buy them for you.  We went to the shop and he bought the bests for me.             

I went home my mother was very happy and reflected to me her happiness. I was to stay and help you if needed, but I thought your father Mr. Richardson, may be interested to assist you. I couldn’t believe my mother that never talked about my father, today she had left me I could be with him. Is it right that she has been changed or not, it can be a trap? Still I was 17th  I thought.

One Year Later

I was very happy to live in “dorm”, with good friends and classmates. We had entertainment programs like: music, dense and sport competition. I took a course of symphony music and started to study about:” Mozart”.   

I’ve been enjoying my job, and I was one of the best in learning and practicing the subjects. The only thing that I dislike it was:  To refresh the water of flower vases, which usually smell very bad.

When I started wards, and help patients especially later to give them medicine and injection to be treated and sedated I was really flying. I forget all about my mother’s behaviors and difficulties.

I used to go home some weekends to see my mother, my step sister and Mr. Dickens. But my father sometimes comes to me and in my free time, taking me to a restaurant or Cinema. I had very good times with him. He never talked about or complained of my mother. He is a great man, and all my friends, Nurses and Institute stuffs like him. I am really proud of him.

-      Mandolin: He is really great. You know, Melody, you chose a positive and constructive way. It is not possible unless you think, judge and decide correctly. When you were describing your history life, I was comparing: your father with “ Leo Buscaglia”’s father. Buscaglia were Italian immigrant reside in California. The Americans those are Immigrants and also invaders called them Immigrants “Dago”.  In school and society because he was an Italian immigrant, was hurt and suffering from calling him Dago or vep, his father telling him that: don’t be uncomfortable Leo, people usually named you and may say some things like this; don’t be up-set, my son, you follow your way. I am sure if you try to be a pioneer, this people would admire and bow you.   Later this “Leo Flis Buscaglia, became one of the most popular and famous philosopher, writer and teacher in USA. One of his famous “Novels” is: Love. You know: when there is no intention, there is no love.

-      Melody: this is true, and it works. My father says: You should never stop of thinking, thinking in positive subjects and in positive ways, otherwise you would lose and waste your time which you can never take it back.

-      Mandolin: Yes. We have been said: Time is gold, but think: This is not true, is more than gold. When you lose gold you may provide or get it in future, but if you waste or lose your time you would never get it, again.

-      Melody: Yes, I believe on you.  OK, when I was studying for my final course, I met a young Iranian fellow at the Hospital, he invited me for dinner. He said: He is studying Business. I accepted and at weekend we went to Cinema together which was:”Guess who is coming to dinner”, By play of Catherin Hepburn, Spenser Tresy and Sydney Poitier, was wonderful. Next week I introduced him to my father and we went to a restaurant for dinner. My father talked about several subjects I am sure, it was really a kind of testing. When we came out my father told him I am very glad to meet you, Melody is my life, I hope you enjoy your future life together. Tomorrow you may come to my office at ten O’clock. He said: it’s my pleasure Sir.  I was very happy that my father has been supporting me and accepted him.

Two months later

Two months later I talked to my mother and told her about Sam, but she did not show any appreciation or enthusiasm about my boy friend, who perhaps was going to be my husband in future. So afterword I preferred not discusses any more the matter with my Mom.

We were meeting each other almost every weekend and we had very good time together and we were invited sometimes by my father. We were enjoying too much. One day I asked my father why you don’t get married. You need it Dad. He said: OK, till now I was thinking about you, but I have a plan after your marriage, don’t worry, Melody. By the way, this is your saving account. You can use it. But be careful especially if someone knows may come to you and ask for a loan which never come back to you and you would bay an enemy for yourself when you ask for returning  the money.

After I graduated, Sam talked to his parent and they came to England. We got married. We had a very delighted wedding party. My Mom, because of my father did not come to the party but she sent nice flowers and a set of gold” neck less, ear ring and …” for me which was presented to me by Mr. Dickens. I was very happy that we had Mr. Dickens and my sister with us. Mr. Dickens and his daughter presented me this gold watch. They were very happy especially with my Dad. I heard what Mr. Dickens was telling my father:  Melody’s mother loves to come but she wanted you to be more comfortable with Melody, I am sure this is the only reason.

My father said I am very grateful to her, I may leave now she can come, this is her right and Melody is her daughter. Mr. Dickens called my mother but she cried and said tell him I really apologies.

This was the first time that my selfish Mom uses the word of apology. I was up-set for a while, but suddenly realized that this is my wedding, the only and especial night I have. I asked the musicians to play Strauss, and with Sam, my father, Mr. Dickens and my sister danced and danced joyfully. Mr. Dickens told me: I really couldn’t believe you are a good dancer! I said: this is because of your generosity and good deed.

I had a very delightful night.

Two weeks later

Two weeks later, amazingly, I heard my father is arrested. I passed a leave absence and went to the jail Mr. Dickens was there. I started to cry and scream what happened Mr. Dickens, I would like to know who has done this dirty job?

He said: don’t worry my dear Melody, he will be free today. It is a big mistake, you are right.

I said: I don’t understand I am sure my father is one of the best and honest man in the world.

I would like to know who has done this shameful job!?

Mr. Dickens said: I told you it is a mistake. His lawyer is working on it. I am sure he will be free today.

I saw my father’s lawyer but he was running so fast that I could not reach him and ask about my father. I was feeling miserable for the second time. This thought came to my mind that my mother could have done it, but how? On brief: when my father came to help me at Nursing Institute, still I was under 18th. My mother’s lawyer had taken many pictures showed my father is with me, He showed them to my mother but she had told him: I am not interested any more. Leave them alone,. But after my wedding, my mother realized that: Mr. Dickens and my father are going to be closed friend very soon, which my mother doesn’t like it. Especially because she had presented bad figure of my nice father to Mr. Dickens which has been all wrong and gradually true appears. She asked the lawyer to inform the court.

My father was free without any charge in the morning. This judge told my father as a British judge: I am really sorry and ashamed, for many years you and your daughter have been suffering  because of a rubbish judgment. You, Mr. Richardson are free now, and you have the right that: you makesentence and take to court your ex-wife and even her lawyer to be punished.

My father came out very tired but happy to see me. I started to scream and said sorry Dad this is all because of me..Forgive me please. He hold my face between his hands and said don’t cry my beautiful bird, it’s not your fault, and not my fault. Most of us think and believe that we are smart, cheat corrupt and ruin, but he especially she is very stupid. Instead we think about kindness, friendship, happiness and co-operation, try to destroy our life and make a mess.

Look around, what you may see killing, rape, robbery, smuggling, and war.

Melody: are you going to make a sentence for my mother, Dad?

-     Not at all, I signed that I have no complain. I told my lawyer and the judge that: Mrs. Dickens is Melody’s and Poesy’s mother. If we have problem we should not make troubles for children.

My father believes that forgiveness is much better than revenge. That was the reason that: judge said I admire you Mr. Richardson.

Afterword my Mom unfortunately, had a nervous breakdown and Mr. Dickens took her to her psychiatrist. The diagnosis was a deep shock. He prescribed electroshock for her. When I heard I was very up-set. She is my mother although she seemed hateful human to me after that shameful arresting my father.

I went to hospital to see her, but she was still under shock and apathetic. Her doctor said: this is usual and temporary, don’t worry. While I was there that day some beautiful roses was sent to her by my father. The cart showed: Get well soon, Richardson.

I couldn’t control myself, started to scream but my husband took me out and said you shouldn’t cry here she understand but she can not show any reflection. I said this is true, but you see what my father had done look at those flowers all love and friendship.

After a week my mother recovered and she could do her job. We went to her, she was ashamed, I told her don’t think about past, think about present and future you can make it, it’s not late. She started to cry and said Melody I could never find myself and my real life. I am sure all people may do mistake, but if is going to be an experience for future life wouldn’t be so bad. But because we are selfish we are not going to accept our mistakes and continue.   This is my story. I shouldn’t hide your father from you. He is a gentleman, we couldn’t live together, but I did mistake to get divorce, and another mistake to separate him from you. I made you and him to suffer.  I do not mean that I do not like my present life I am happy with Mr. Dickens and our daughters. I apologize I have hurt you and your father for years, not forgivable.

I started to cry, and I was very sorry for her that she ruined a wonder life that she could have and did not know why?

I told her: Mother please do not reproach and blamed yourself, it may happened to everybody. You are not the first one and neither the last one. Now you must think about your health, your husband and my sister. Life is too short.

She said I believe now that I never grow with age. I should think better. I am sorry I do not treat your husband either.  I said don’t worry he understand your situation. I was happy after this meeting.

I left her I called my father and reported her situation. My father was very thanks full to me.

I asked him why don’t you get married Dad? You shouldn’t live alone now. He said: Ok Melody, be sure I will.

Two weeks later he invited us. I and my husband went to see him. This was the first time that:  I `was invited to my father villa. It was a very large villa with 3 bedrooms, nice garden and pool. We were going to living room, a charming lady approached and said: hello Melody dear, I am so glad to meet you.

I was to ask…, but my father said: Eva is going to be my wife Melody. I said nice to meet you Eva and I kissed her, she seemed an eminent and friendly lady, then she was introduced to Sam. We went around visit the house and garden. We had very good time especially with Eva’s hospitality. We had very delicious barbeque by the pool and nice talk. I realized that: my father is satisfied with her.

Two questions came to my mind, first: is it the house that my father and my mother used to live together?

The second is my father going to invite my mother and Mr. Dickens now, or not? But I did not ask him at all, I said myself: I should not make busy myself with this kind of thoughts, which is not my business.    

My husband started his business in oil station beside his computer shop, He is a hard worker and very conservative, thus he has been successful, so far. I started my job in a local Hospital. We bought a nice flat and later a large house. We had very fun and joyful times.

Move to Spain

Three years ago we moved to Spain. He started import and export business. We bought a large and wonderful apartment later on we bought another 3 floors house in a nice area with a royal life, when we moved in. But unfortunately because of crisis in Spain he preferred we go back to England. Which seemed to be more stable than Spain; I started my job at the same hospital, again. Frankly I am more satisfied, now. I went to Spain only because of my husband.

Mandolin’s story

Mandolin laughed and said: Although your story is sad but with very good and satisfactory end, my story is much more sad and hateful. I had had a wonderful childhood and teen life with my father and my eminent wonderful mother who is a well known anesthetist untill my father, after one year suffering from Leukemia, died. Although my name as his daughter, Mandolin Parastoo Chamberlin was in my identification and the will, his relatives protested that: Mandolin is not his daughter. She is an adopted child. I realized that Drs .Mahnnaz  is not  my real mother either. I faint and was unconscious for 2 hours. When I opened my eyes my so called mother was tearing and all over my face was wet.  I felt that everything became dark and un-different to me. I couldn’t cry either. I was staring to something or someone, without any reflex ion. I was deeply depressed. I quitted school. Before this bloody incident I have been very happy and extrovert, but, after, I wouldn’t like to see or talk to anybody even my lovely mother that still I really love her. She was crying all the time and trying to make me sure that I will have all I’ve had before and be supported totally by her. But I thought that I have no identification. Then my mother said: you should accept that I am your mother I love you, believe me that I cannot live without you. I am sure is difficult for you to believe it at this moment, but if you try it would. She opened her arms and pooled me toward her heart I had a good feeling, but very tired. I slept in her arms.

Next day she said Look my love, if you think you would be happy to live with your parent I would find them and arrange it you can see them. You should understand that: this is true love, yes true love. But I could not say a word and just look at her.

She found my parent, and explained my situation that: I would like to meet my parent and live with them. But, surprisingly: They announced that it is not logic, first of all she doesn’t know us anymore second she has experienced a very comfortable and luxury life which we cannot afford it. We believe that she will have more happiness and more progress with an eminent and popular M.D lady. I was struggling with myself, but no use. Till my mother told me that: she has talk to them,, and they prefer you to live with me, said she should come to this conclusion that: you are now her only real mother Drs. Mahnaz. I felt more miserable: my real parent do not accept me either. I went to my room and slept while crying.

Next day

She took me to the kitchen, breakfast was ready.  I cried and said I am not going to school. She said don’t worry I have talked to your teacher. She gets a leave absence to help me, but no success. You know the other problem that more suffering me was: who and where are my real parents, those who made love and enjoyed it, nine months later they spelled me out, and know preferred  me to live with someone who is not my real mother although she more than a mother for me and love me. I felt I did not have any identification. Mandolin started to cry, but Melody took her hands and said I am sure you are fortunate today.

Mandolin said OK and continues: My mother took me to a psychiatrist. He said: She experienced a deep nervous shock, we call it nervous breakdown if our medication doesn’t work I have to give her Electric shock. This word was another shock for me and for my mother .I remembered my mother had told me one day that: she anesthetized a patient for taking shock, and  explained to me the patient’s situations. I started the drugs but also I came to this conclusion that my mother is worse than me only because of me. She really loves me. One night I did not sleep and I thought about millions homeless and hanger people around the world. I read a novel:“ Michka” which was really helpful to me.  When we read about miserable situations of others and cautious and God believer writer intelligently shows the ways of better living we may find the right way. Better than using tranquilizers or other drugs .This novel is written by an Iranian Surgeon, who used to be at the same hospital with my mother. I gradually got better, which was mostly out-come of my try, courage and advises of my intelligent mother. I decided do not think about imaging parent that I do not know them at all.

My face showed that I am not any more psychotic. One day my mother run to me with open arms and said: Oh my Angel Mandolin, I am so happy you are my wonderful healthy daughter, let’s have a trip to the beach. I said thanks Mom. I know you have so many works to do I’d rather to go to school and start my piano lessons again. She pressed me firmly toward her heart and with tear told: you saved me! You know Mandolin I was almost dying. Today is a new life for me, thanks Mandolin. I took her arms looked at her most beautiful face and replied: Oh mother, I cannot believe a human can be as good as you are. You are the best in every things, mother. I put my head over her shoulder and while crying pressed her for a long time toward my heart, true love. You know Melody, what do I mean? This is true love.

When I finished high school, I applied for Nurse School, and finally graduated as a registered nurse.

I met John in a party and two month later my Mom said: Mandolin he is a good boy, you should engaged and after two years we had a very wonderful wedding party. I asked my mother I prefer that my father’s relatives not be invited to my wedding. I don’t like to see them, they are mean. My mother said Ok, but if your husband ask where are your father’s relatives what is your answer? I said: I really have not found a proper answer. She said don’t make busy yourself with this subject I will find a solution.

-     Melody: what did she do?

-     Mandolin: Nothing, and John never ask about it. But it is miserable that we cannot accept our relatives, that are our enemies, even if forgive them. It’s crucial.   

-     Melody: This is right. We are not the first one and the last one with this kind of destiny. A great scientist in France has a very exciting history life. When De La Lambert reached to the top as a great scientist, his name came to all newspapers and scientific journals in Europe and he was nominated for a great Award.

When he was invited for receiving the Award he took his mother, Mrs. Dior, with him to the celebration.  The speakers gave magnificent lectures about his works and researches, finally he was invited for his speech  he talk about the value of science and courage, at the end he thanks his parent Mr. and Mrs. Dior, which arises  question for audiences. Then the Award was presented to him. Her mother was flying tearfully. He came down and kissed her mother hands. But a well dressed charming lady stand beside him and said: Professor De La Lambert Congratulation. He said thanks lady. She announced that: Professor I am your mother and General De La Lambert is your real father.

-      Sorry I don’t recognize you, as far as I know my mother is this lady and her husband, glass seller, Mr. Dior is my father replied De La Lambert.

-      She looked at Mrs. Dior and said: I am sure you have done a magnificent job I will pay all the expenses and bonus instead of what you have done for my dear son, in so many years.

-      Mrs. Dior: Lady you are right, he is not my child as a child bearing. I did not deliver him, but after delivery you delivered him at the corner near my flat, thirty eight years ago. It was very cold day, he was crying, I looked outside and I saw a cradle, while a magnificent couch was passing, my husband and I went down and brought him up. We are so trustful that we have not changed his name which was written in his medallion and a note. But she burst tearfully and continued: Yes he is not my child but he is part of my body. You are right you may be his real mother you should not offer money for what I have done for him. I love him tell me what you should pay for love?  What is the price of love? Can we sell or bay love? No, Lady I will not accept anything. If he would be happy with you he is free to join you as your son. Be sure I will be happy if he prefers a better life, lives with you and the General, who is very popular. This is the order of true love. All depends of him. He is now a great man.

-      De La Lambert: I do not know you Lady. If you are Lady De La Lambert, still I believe that Mrs. Dior is my mother. I love her and her husband Mr. Dior. They have let me grow they cared and spent time and money for me to be educated, healthy and happy, with successful out-come that you can see and palpate today. I do not know where you have been for this long time and years. Forgive me Lady De La Lambert, please.

I don’t want to make you sad, but believe me that to live with this faithful couple is more agreeable for me than living in a castle without these couple, my parent.

Lady De La Lambert was freeze and shocked she couldn’t find any answer or a defendable word.

De La Lambert: I will never ask you why did you left me on the street as a baby without any power and clear future. I never blame you and I never ask you that what was the reason you have dropped me on the street? Because it doesn’t change anything,

And you are not the first one or the last one who has done this unpleasant job, sorry.

Lady De La Lambert: please, please I am smashed. I had problem with your father and I believe It was an idiot reaction I am awfully sorry. I am happy you are on the top, by help and courage of Dior’s couple and your admirable courage too. Now I leave you but you are in my heart, believe me all the time for years I have been you have any serious problem. You may remember me riding a black couch carried by a white horse used to pass beside you almost every day from your house till you reach to school but I did not dare to introduce myself to you, or talk to you. I believe I have done an unforgivable offence.  

De La Lambert: Yes Lady I remember now and your face which was under a black “tramail, veil” is very familiar to me, especially I remember you sometimes smiling and I replied by a smile to you but I did not know the reason. Today I found the reason: is “following love gone with the wind”.

Lady; I am happy you are well educated and admirable. Ok my dear son I am leaving you and I wish the best for you and your parent Mr. and Mrs. Dior.

She went to Mrs. Dior and bowed to her and wanted to kiss her hands but Mrs. Dior Kiss her face and said: we are always ready to welcome you no need invitation.

Melody’s face was rainy; like rain in spring clear and meaningful, rain of morality and humanity which cover all over her face. And meant all love.

-     Mandolin: Oh, wonderful you are really nice.

-     Melody: Thanks Mandolin: is very interesting we may find some dedicated people like Dior’s family in any society. I would like to find out: Why Lady De La Lambert has done this dirty job. I am sure love has not been died in Lady De la Lambert. Love is attracting her to his son. Love never dies.   It is really a very nice and advisable story. I was telling you that: It has been my best moment in my life. Today when I think about it I reach to this point that some people are destroyer and some constructive and builder. Both are human, but there is a long distance and different between these two.

The driver stopped and the guide announced we are going to stay here for half an hour, please don’t go very far, is dangerous and do not drink except from kiosk, please.

-      Mandolin: I am sorry this trip is going to be finished very soon but I missed my husband very much. This is the first time that I travel alone after our marriage. Unfortunately or fortunately we are attached together. Leo Buscaglia in his famous book” Love” showed it acceptable. I really love this kind of book, are positive. Not those of Carlos Castanda which are neutral or even destroyer and negative. 

-      Melody: Yes I am sorry about those writers who put negative and bloody stories in front of our eyes.

Amazingly, some people like it and admire this kind of writers. Perhaps may be advisable. It is like a music note, depends who play it.

-      Mandolin: You are right. The problem is that we do not think properly only follow some leaders who do not show the right way and reality. You think about the religion, so many religions and their followers are around the word. All pretending believe in God, their holly books are said: all come from God. If it is so why we has been seeing so many conflict, war, killing by weapons or suicide bombers every day, all over the word especially in Moslem countries!?

-      Melody: Politic is a dirty play, religion is spiritual. When the politics and religions mixed together produces a dangerous and destructive direction that would be beneficial only for the directors and the governors. Europe had experienced this mixture for centuries. We may find a lot of crimes misjudgments and brutality in history books of those periods, that today we call it dark ages.

-      Mandolin: Do you believe is going to be finished?

-      Melody: Off course not. Because all people do not believe on:  true love. When we love each other never make any harm for any one, we would be forgiver, friendly and generous people.

-      Mandolin: This is what the writer of “ MIchka” presented in his beautiful and  teaching Novel.

We are going to approach to “National Park of Nairobi” in few minutes, guide announced. You can see true life here. If you want to be safe you have to be powerful and cruel. The way that: we may see in all societies and “isms”.

Bus stopped and driver announced: unfortunately the engine is broken if I could not fix it we have to wait for another bus which takes 8 hours.

-       Lillian & Gary said: We have to be in Nairobi by 9 PM, otherwise we will lose our flight.

-       Driver: I will do my best but no promise.

-       Katrina: How about food and water? It’s very hot.

-       Guide: Please take it easy. It may happen to any kinds of transportation. We are sorry.

If a car passed I would ask to transfer Lillian & Gary to Nairobi, otherwise……   

-       Mandolin: Stood-up and said: Our dear friends this is true life, believe it and take it easy please otherwise..

Katrina laughed and said: you are really someone Mandolin,. You make us always be happy and relaxed with a jock or good advises. Yes this is true life. We have to accept it.

 


 

Dr. Mahmoud Lotfi, MD, FICS, is a professor of surgery and former vice-head in education and research at Tehran Medical Sciences University in Iran. His email is mahmoud_lotfi2002@yahoo.com.

 

 

 



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