The apparition

                                                        THE APPARITION

Adele felt trite. Her whole world had turned topsy turvy. She sat by the window gazing out at the bright blue sky and thought that there was nothing bright about her days anymore….

Despite the sun shining brightly, Adele shivered mildly and hugged her old pillow tightly to herself. It was early February but there was still a nip in the air. She felt that it mirrored what she experienced deep in her heart-chilly, bereft, lonely and isolated.

Clad in a black tank top and a bright yellow wrap-around skirt, and her hair roughly pulled back into a pony tail of sorts, she felt every bit as vulnerable as she looked. A grownup, middle-aged, refuse-to-grow-up kid at heart… mused Adele to herself as she glanced at the mirror on passing. A slight breeze tugged at her stray wisps of hair framing her face and to pep herself up, Adele decided to step out for a stroll. All she felt like doing was to run far away from the ghosts of her past and present. Adele had had her fair share of put-downs and let-downs to last a lifetime; recently she and her friends had parted ways over a minor debacle. A special friend she had bonded over the past couple of years refused to talk to her anymore and Adele felt torn, disillusioned and was badly in need of something to boost her sagging morale.

She slipped on her comfortable walking shoes, took her keys, wallet and mobile and stepped out to walk her blues away. Adele plodded her way through known and unknown pathways, aimlessly meandering and reflecting on the days past. She was brought rudely back to her senses when a huge raindrop splattered on her eyes. Whoa! The bright sunshine was enveloped by dark rainclouds and they loomed large and forbidding on the horizon.

Adele looked around desperately as huge rain drops splashed all around her and thankfully she realised that she was very near to her old childhood home. In her desperation, her feet had inevitably brought her near to her home, literally. She had rented out her childhood home to a prestigious organisation until recently, and now they had vacated, it stood lonely and desolate, mirroring exactly her present mind-set. Adele remembered that she had the keys to the house in her wallet and she walked up the pathway to her house, and opened the huge wooden door.

The rain had started pelting in earnest. Adele stood shivering in her tank-top and skirt and fumbled for the switch near the wall. Thankfully, it came on and she sank into a cushioned armchair near the far wall of the living room, or rather, what was once the living room of her old childhood home.

She closed her eyes and lay back with her head resting on the deep cushions of the chair…..

Adele woke with a start when someone touched her lightly on her shoulders. She rubbed her eyes lazily and found herself staring up at an apparition! A beautiful, elegant, classy version of herself!

She tried to clamber up in shock and disbelief but the apparition pulled up a chair and sat down beside her, smiling prettily with amusement creasing her eyes. Adele couldn’t help noticing that the beautiful version of herself had smooth, shiny black hair, lustrous sweeping lashes, luminous black eyes, spotless glowing skin and perfect white teeth flanked by luscious red artfully made up lips- a well put –together version of herself. The ‘apparition’ had donned a beautiful sleeveless pink top and a black flowing skirt. Her toenails were painted baby pink and her petite feet were encased in the prettiest bellies ever. Her shapely hands held an expensive looking clutch. She looked on , smiling indulgently while Adele’s eyes roamed all over her, taking in every single detail.

The beautiful, angelic ‘apparition’ laughed out heartily as Adele looked down at her own unkempt, fly-away strands of wispy hair and bare plain toe nails. She felt practically dowdy next to the angelic apparition. Adele realised with a jolt how much she had neglected herself over the years. Her dress was all unironed and her legs were encased in ugly looking dowdy shoes.

Finally Adele found her voice and asked,’ who are you? How come you are here? I let myself into the house and locked the door behind me. Or did I leave it open?!!!”

Her words came out in a rush and her eyes widened in horror at the thought of having left the door open. She glanced at the door and found it locked. She looked up in puzzlement and a tinge of fear at the ‘apparition’.

‘Who are you? You look familiar!

At this, the beautiful angelic version of herself started tinkling merrily.

“Adele, I am you. You are looking at your own self several years ago. And your future too is me, Not the dowdy you.”

“What!?’- Adele looked up in confusion and puzzlement.

‘Yes, you used to be beautiful in your college days, remember? With lustrous black hair and long lashes, perfect smile and a lissom figure to sport. You were truly happy”.

Adele nodded mutely, she remembered only too well…

Her thoughts turned to those friends who had walked out on her, the siblings who had hurt her, the spouse who was so full of himself, and her eyes welled up.

The ‘apparition’ moved closer to her, took her hands and held them and gazed deep into her eyes. It was like an unspoken thread of communication passing between them; unspoken, unheard, but understood and felt deeply.

‘ Yes Adele, stop clinging to the ghosts of the past, to those places and people and events of the past that do not serve you anymore. This is the moment of reckoning. You can choose right now. Your future is ME. Or you can choose to continue to be the dowdy You. ‘

“How do I do that”- whispered Adele with tears I her eyes. “Help me please’

‘Tell me Adele; don’t you deserve to be happy? Do you want to continue being a door mat and a snivelling grovelling dog to be kicked by others or be an elegant, self-composed empowered woman of today? The only thing you need to do is to make a choice right here, right now, in your mind. Refuse to be a door mat!’

“It’s all in your mind,’ sighed the beautiful version of Adele.

Adele sat unsure of what to think.

“Tell me, open up’- cajoled the lovely lady.

Adele had decided to call the beautiful lady not an’ apparition’ anymore. After all, it was her future! She was looking at her own future self!

“Can I call you Ursula’- Adele asked shyly. ‘ I have always loved that name. It represents al that I am not, but all that you are! Elegant, poised, charming, sure of yourself joyous, full of fun and beautiful’!

Ursula smiled disarmingly.’ So now you have made your choice. It’s not just coincidence that you walked in here. You were drawn to this place for a purpose, so that you could reconnect with yourself, your lost soul; I am your lost soul. As you walk out of your childhood home, the shift would have happened in your mind. It already has. You are Ursula alias Adele now. I will be with you throughout, the moment the old Adele merges, push it back and think of me, your alter ego Ursula. Keep your mind focussed on your dreams, on what your soul hankers for most, and you will never go back to being the dowdy you. Let go of the past. Forgive others who have hurt you. Write. That’s where your destiny lies. Treasure your childhood home. Promise me that you will come back, and pursue your dreams”

’ I promise”- whispered Adele.

Ursula reached out and hugged Adele. ‘ We are one now’, whispered Ursula.

There was a loud clap of thunder Adele sat straight up in her chair and glanced around in disbelief. She was alone in her childhood home. But the words kept reverberating in her ears-“ We are one now”…

There was a faint hint of Ursula’s perfume lingering in the air..

A new and determined Adele got up and opened the door of the house. The sun had come back and she was greeted by a bright rainbow spanning the skies overhead.

Adele has never met Ursula since. Another world is not only possible and she has to see this life through, but she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if she listens very carefully she can hear her Ursula inside of her breathe.

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