An unexpected sight greeted Isra, as she innocently skipped into her house one warm summer evening. Across the entrance she could see the veranda where her mother was sitting on a chair, surrounded by a number of women. She stopped, pressing her toes into the ground nervously as she further noticed her surroundings; the entire veranda was filled with people. She hesitantly made her way towards her mother and realised that she was crying profusely and that the women who were her aunts and close relatives were unsuccessfully trying to soothe her.
Her mother cried louder when she saw Isra delicately making her way through the crowd.
“Be brave, stop crying.. you will scare Isra”, she heard her aunt scold her mother.
Isra looked at her mother with concerned eyes, her five year old mind was too naïve to understand the commotion.
“Your sister has gone..” her mother cried to her.
“Where?” Isra asked innocently.
Unable to answer the question through her sobs her mother pointed to the sky. Isra followed the direction and looked at the clear blue evening sky. The half-moon was shining beautifully where the stars had not made their entrance.
Isra quietly sat near her mother’s feet, staring at the moon. Oh, how jealous she felt of her sister who was on her way there. ‘Maybe if I am lucky, I will see her flying there, or I might even see her playing on it’. She sat quietly, unwaveringly staring at the moon with intrigue.
“Why are you crying? All children go to heaven, she is there now…” Isra heard her aunt say to her mother.
‘Oh’ she thought, ‘she is not on the moon, she is in heaven… Maybe, heaven is close to the moon… if I look hard enough I might get a glimpse of heaven too…” In her quest to find her sister Isra refused to be distracted by the growing number of people around her.
“What a loss! She was the prettier daughter…” Isra was unable to comprehend why this comment from a stranger disturbed her but it did not deter her in her mission to find her sister on or around the moon.
“Thank God, it was a daughter and not the son who passed away.” A tiny frown made its way on Isra’s forehead as she heard another unknown voice comment.
“What an unlucky woman, I am sure it was all her fault that her child died… serves her right!” Isra completely forgot about the moon as she turned to stare at the old woman who was conspiring with another woman nearby.
She got up and ran to her room and hid behind her bed. She stared at her hands that she had unknowingly brought together in prayer position. After an instance when she realised what she wanted, she looked up at the ceiling and whispered, “Dear God, has my sister died? What happens to people who die? Is she really in heaven? If she is, then she must be so happy… please God take me to her also. In fact take my brother also so we can all play together… I don’t like these people outside, dear God please take me to heaven also…”
With this simple prayer, the little girl who knew not what death or realities of life were, slowly slid into deep sleep on the floor beside her bed.
Note for the reader: This is part of the “Doll House” collection of stories which will revolve around a little girl discovering the world around her. I hope to have a variety of settings and stories to tell.