Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keeping the act

Celestine is once again looking at her face, checking if everything is in place. She looks stunning as usual, being the perfect picture of success, the dream of her many fans around the world; she’s well known, rich and successful. All that and much more was the prize for selling her soul!

A dry sarcastic smile suddenly dresses her beautiful face, with resignation she lights another cigarette and sips some more champagne, as if this could erase her apprehension and bitterness. She hates her life and many times contemplates the idea of ending it, as there is nothing to live for! But then, what an example will she set to others! To all those that have put her on a pedestal and look to her for advice and leadership…

If they knew that she is just a preacher but not a believer! What will happen to them if they ever know she is “just an act? Will people come to spit on her grave or will they come to put red roses on it?

At the very beginning she loved what she did, she did believe in everything she wrote and talked about. But fame came to her by surprise and like a drug she was hooked. From being a nobody to suddenly be someone was too much for her to handle, her “ego” took over and she become the “guru” she always condemned.

What was supposed to be a life inspiration to others became a mere business, a product that needed to be sold to a demanding competitive market. Things where no longer driven by the heart; instead they were driven by business advisors, publishers, event promoters, markets trends, etc. She did try to resist at the beginning, but then she was afraid of losing everything... the fame, the money, the trips around the world and her endless admirers. So she crossed the line knowing there was no coming back.

A lazy mischievous smile resembling the long forgotten Celestine illuminates her face, secretly suggesting what she is thinking… today she could surprise everybody, including herself; she could cross the line again and break free! But then the fear slaps her again shutting down any intention of not keeping the act.

Breathing deep she smirks at her reflection and with a sudden strength she stands up and slowly begins to walk towards the TV studio where the reporter is waiting for her….

© 2009 Gabriela Abalo Author

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This story was published on Paulo Coelho's blog on 25th June 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pedro takes his second chance

The view from the bedroom window is stunning; without any effort, he can enjoy the day slowly waking up. With delight he admires the sun gently painting the ocean, the mountains and the sky. The silence and loneliness of his bedroom will soon be broken by the noises of his family waking up; shortly his wife will be calling everybody for breakfast. On their way down they’ll all greet him with enthusiasm: “Good morning daddy! Did you sleep well? We’ll talk later!” Then the silence again until the nurse comes.
Pedro used to be a very wealthy, powerful man. He was never home, always missing family events and had no time to enjoy all he possessed. He was convinced that the company couldn’t manage without him and that he’s sacrifice was worthy. He used to believe he was indispensable. How stupid he was to believe that! Soon he learnt the truth when the unplanned happened. All it took a cold dismissal letter with the words he’ll never forget: “your services are not longer required” and blast! His kingdom, his life was over! He wasn’t indispensable after all. Without his job he felt he was nothing, the stress and the depression was too much to handle, he had a stroke that left him paralyzed. He cried and wallowed for one long year over the injustice of it all, until the day he got tired of feeling sorry for himself. If God decided to keep him alive he must have had a very good reason for that, therefore he, Pedro, will not waste this precious time crying over what was done. Life has given him a second chance, although not exactly the sort of chance somebody would wish for.
He thought that without him his job and family could not survive. What a joke! Not only did they survive, but they actually moved on! He can’t move, but he can feel, listen, talk, observe, and smell; he has the time to appreciate the small and the big things. Now he can fully enjoy life! He sees life through his wife, children and other people’s faces and the things they share with him. They all come to tell him their deepest secrets, dreams, failures and achievements. He is a friend who really listens with an open mind and with all the time.
© 2009 Gabriela Abalo Author

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

What if ....

What will happen if today....
• I misbehave?
• I remove my mask and stop pretending?
• I do things without thinking twice or its consequences or what the others may say?
• I act as if I have the same innocence and the same will for adventure that I had when I was 6 years old?
• I’m spontaneous and I forget everything I have learnt?
• I call a friend to tell her how much I love and miss her and that I do not remember why we fought and I no longer care, because all I want is to have her back in my life. Since all I remember are the good moments we spend together and I want to enjoy them again.
• Instead of getting annoyed with the supermarket cashier because she is having a bad day and has decided to take it on me, I ignore her attitude and then treat her with more kindness than the usual one?
• I put on my best dress, shoes and perfume and sit to wait for my loved one, then when he comes and he asks me: “Where are you going gorgeous?” I just answer: “Nowhere, I was waiting for you!”
What will happen if……?

The list is very long; there are so many things we do not do because we are afraid of breaking the rules, or to be labeled as crazy or risking everything we have…

So what! Life is supposed to be fun, so let us dance while we travel our road, always remembering that what matter most is the way we travel and not to where we are heading to!

© 2009 Gabriela Abalo Author

This post was published on Paulo Coelho’s blog on 12th June 2009.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Aurelia and the house at the top of the hill

She parks the car and reluctantly looks at the house, so many memories; so many feelings overtake her at once. Aurelia knows it is necessary to face the ghosts from the past.

Trembling, she steps out of the car and slowly begins walking. It is a sunny spring day; the wind is gently blowing, like trying to clean with tenderness the negative emotions surrounding her. Slowly she opens the main door; the odor from the house ambushes her at once, hugging her like an old lost comrade. The air is heavy, making it difficult to breathe. Her instinct is howling to leave the place right away.

Suddenly everything is back, all the abuse, the yelling and the cruelty. Bitterness, sadness, hate, revulsion… the list is too long and solves nothing! Breathing deep she reminds herself that she survived, that she is a winner and that she is not who she used to be. Although the past was tough she knows that it taught her to be strong and never to give up. She learnt that there is always a way out, coming back was crucial; she needed to remember. Aurelia wishes she could let go of everything, but she can’t.

She made her decision long ago and nothing is going to change that… Thank God she’s got the house to remind her “Why”.

But then a long forgotten warm feeling takes over her, when she remembers the man she met two months ago. Shall she give another chance to love?

© 2009 Gabriela Abalo Author