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Pursuit of Happiness
“Like the ocean, life is vast and mysterious.”
-Distant Waves, by Suzanne Weyn
Everyone is searching for happiness, but one can never truly find it and understand. But I did. Searching for happiness on Earth is moving through life and making the best of its experiences. I never had a problem with that, until I first came to where I am today. My story, from beginning to end, has a heart of its own, as if it were a person.
My name is Wisteria Sissi Liesl Etvounde and I was born when the roses of my mother’s garden bloomed at their fullest. My hair is brown with natural red highlights, and it is long; longer than up to my waist. My eye color is a deep green-blue, the color of the sea. My face is heart-shaped and oval. It is as white as snow. I grew up as a regular girl in a small town in London, England. By the time I was five, I knew English, German, French, and Italian. I was a good and loyal Christian. When I was six years old, I started learning of starvation in other nations and the horrors some had experienced. Because of that I became who I am. People in town spoke of me with smiles. They told others that I was the kindest person they had ever met. It is true that I helped my neighbors, and even people I did not know, before myself, but I wouldn’t think of myself as a very kind and giving person, but as a person who always, no matter what, helped others before herself. Yet for some reason, I was not liked by my classmates at school, and they laughed quietly, when they thought that I didn’t know. “Why?” I wondered: I was always polite to them. Maybe it was because of my habit of twirling my hair, or because everyone else spoke so highly of me. I did not share the interest of popularity with some of the girls in my class. They would laugh and act cool around boys, and dress as if they were in a dance club. Instead, I would just be myself, with my three best friends, Brooke, Kristen, and Charlotte.
I dressed simply, but out of style, as a casual 50’s girl. I opened myself to the world when I was pressing the keys of my life. It was the piano that I could be anyone with. I loved cooking, because I could cook anything and it tasted great. I could also dance most ballroom dances with great fluency. I read novels, especially the ones by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I did not forget all the books I loved dearly and cared for. Animals and ice cream were two of my favorite things. Animals are creative thinkers that express their intellect through hunting, and they have spirits of gold. But where was I truly small in the world, but also the greatest? The ocean was my angel, where I had all my thoughts scattered underneath the water. That was the background of my life. At sixteen, I had already applied to colleges, such as Oxford, the University of London, and Cambridge. I had an important day at school-the day before I found out what college I would attend. It had been a sunny day, with mild wind, when I parted from my friends after school.
That’s where it all began- the reason for my home today. I walked a few meters from my school, when I heard it. The scream of a helpless child. I rushed to where the piercing sound was coming from, and I could see a large mansion with scorching golden flames and people huddled outside the large stone mansion, now burning with hate. I once again heard the child screaming for help. As some people ran for the fire department and police frantically, I knew something had to be done. I quickly opened the gate, creaking slightly, and ran across the yard to the house. Just as I was about to enter the flames, people farther behind me yelled,” Stop! You cannot save the poor child! You will get hurt, or even killed!” I turned around elegantly and stated,” Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” “A quote by an unknown person. And then I stepped into the embracing fire.
Mysteriously, the fire did not get near me at all. It was as if I floated to the child. I found the poor girl, no more than eight years of age, huddled in a corner, where the smoke started to fill up. As I reached her, the smell of smoke settled in my nose, and I began to fill dizzy. I shook my head desperately, and yelled hastily,” Come on! I’ll help you! Just grab my hand!’ She hesitantly reached for my hand, with tears streaming down her face. I pulled her through the still burning fire, now filled with ashes. The fire did not even touch us. I was perplexed yet again, as I helped her get out ahead of me. Just as I reached for the solid ground, I knew I was falling. I fell into the fire, and I knew it. This is it, I thought. And the smoke swallowed me up. The taste of death suddenly chilled me. I heard the roaring of the fire as people from outside screamed,” Help her!” I didn’t care that I was condemned to die here; I just knew I had to tell the girl I was sorry she had to see me die. But, all I saw was a white light, and I was carried out of the fire, without anyone seeing, onto the yard far from the flames.
The luminous white light was my angel’s wings, which were as soft as puffy clouds. His velvety voice was smooth against my ear, “Well done, my love.” I couldn’t open my eyes, but I was safe from the world of suffering and horror. And then I slept.
I was taken by surprise, for when I finally awoke, I was laying on a gorgeous plain! The flowers were large and radiant, with colors I have never seen before. Suddenly, I gasped; I could see everything clearly! I had not seen well when I was alive. Alive…I was dead, wasn’t I? But this was not hell. I was in heaven.
I looked around, bewildered. I felt my hands. They were illuminatingly bright, heavenly. I did not understand. I was in heaven but how? I had not gone to confession before the fire. The fire…I wanted to see the little girl and how she was doing. I wanted to see my family and best friends. Now I would never know what was happening on Earth. Then I remembered that when my angel took me, God took away my sins. I felt better now. I started to walk.
As I turned around to see everything around me, I stopped short. . I had forgotten that angels could fly. I gazed at the angels, both male and female, I found mine. Even though I have never seen him before, I knew him spiritually. He flew closer to me, and I felt a surge of sadness, as he spoke. “Your honesty and kindness for all has allowed me to give you two choices. You may choose to stay here, or you can go back to Earth. Either way, I am your angel.” I couldn’t believe it! I was given a choice! Of course, I would go back. But I remembered little detail that I could not forget. I found the courage to speak,” But my body was taken by you away from the fire. Won’t people wonder? I was dead one day, then became alive the next.” My voice was a bit different, somehow. Softer, more glowing. As I realized this, he began to speak again. “I took your body because I knew you would need to make a choice.. People will not be surprised, for they now believe you were saved by angels.”
I was petrified, as I whispered, “Can I see Earth?” My angels and the others said at once, “You can see anything and anyone in order to make your decision.” At once, I disappeared, or rather, heaven disappeared and I saw Earth. I saw my school, and then my English teacher and the principal. They were talking about me. “She was such a good student, and a very good soul.” I saw my friends, mourning at their homes. I saw my family dressed in black, and their faces stony. At last, I saw my body being flown; excuse me, transferred from the fire to the yard behind the mansion. And then I suddenly cried, the tears first salty, then sweet. Then the scene changed. I was in a bright and sunny graveyard, the graves not gray and gloomy, but colorful and mystic. I knew the graveyard was in heaven for everyone who got there. I saw my grave, with roses and then I heard the music. “The Voice of the Heart,” by Henri van Gael. The song that I played on the piano before the day I died, and the one I loved dearly. I walked to my grave, and stepped on the greenest grass, one that never grew on Earth, only here. I traced my fingers over my name and birth-death dates. I sighed. This cemetery would be my consolation here.
I said, “I don’t know what to do.” I walked to the largest tree in sight, for I loved trees, and I saw a rose in the soil next to it. I bent down and picked up the rose, and as I inhaled its scent, I felt happy. Then I felt my self lift off the ground, and I was rising, higher, and higher, until I felt more wind. I opened my eyes slowly, and looked down. I saw a whole new world. I saw people laughing, talking, singing, and even dancing. I touched my back, but there were no wings. I could fly without wings! I had always wanted to fly. And then I laughed and lowered myself, steadily, to the ground. I knew how to fly, somehow. It was a meadow before me, and all the things I ever longed for were here. There was a white piano in the grass, and birds. But one thing was missing. The ocean…And then again, the landscape changed to the ocean! Oh, the salty-sweet air of this deep blue plain! As I smiled, the mountains grew taller and more glorious than before. But I knew I had to make my decision.
I said,” Bring me back to the angels.” Back there in a split-second, I moved towards the people who had come here before me, and I saw the emotion in their eyes, telling me that they were my friends. I went to my Angel and touched his wings slowly, and then looked up into his eyes and said,” I need to see Earth once more.” The people then faded, but my angel was here with me. I watched the images of everyone I knew and loved, and then I started to weep uncontrollably. I then felt his wings brush my tears off.” I could help the world if I’m on Earth. I could be happy,” I said sadly. And then I knew. I knew that happiness comes from the soul, and I had always pursued happiness through my works. I had found it, In myself. I knew it now. I had to be happy. Many people don’t even try, but I did, and I had found the reason why people had to live. They had to try to be happy, no matter what happened. And I had made my choice. I decided to be happy forever.
-- “There are more things in heaven and earth… that are dreamt of in your philosophy”. –William Shakespeare