Everyone has a story.

Omar lived in a neighborhood that a normal person would easily label as weird. Everyone who lived in this area collected things that didn’t make any sense. His neighbor Sufi only collected red chocolate wrappers and her husband loved framing individual piano keys. Everything has stories behind them and these two weren’t any different.

Red chocolate wrappers reminded Sufi of her father. Her father had died fighting a war when she was only ten years old and one of the few things found in his blood covered pant after he died was a chocolate and a letter. The letter – with corners covered in blood – was addressed to her saying “I’m proud of you. Keep studying just like this, champ. Also, I have something for you.” She’s collected red chocolate wrappers to remind her of the gift and the blood ever since.

Her husband Amal was a big fan of music and photo frames. Amal could play Beethoven on the piano without missing a single key. He, however, never considered himself handsome enough to have many good pictures. So one night, he decided to use photo frames to hold musical notes. His bedroom wall is filled with framed piano keys today.

There wasn’t a single day Omar felt out of place in this neighborhood, though. He loved calling it home. He believed that the whole neighborhood was an abstract masterpiece and this was the only place he would feel happy. Omar loved collecting Autumn leaves that had mostly been trampled on and replacing them with flowers every Spring. He had a trunk in his bedroom where he would store golden leaves every Fall. He did it because the leaves reminded him of broken hearts. His choice of words to show the resemblance – which he had engraved on the lid of the trunk – was “Dying but beautiful”. And then he would replace them with pink flowers to restore his faith in love.

How could this not be his home? Home is where your story makes sense, after all.


Instagram handle: @utsavraj_
Previous post: Insanity and heaven.
Related post: He is a metaphor.

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45 Comments

  1. Home is indeed where everything makes sense. I have been in “normal” places, where people did things according to “conventional wisdom” and “common sense”- and felt like I was going insane. It’s much nicer for me to be among the quirky.

  2. What a beautiful essay! “Dying but beautiful” is special to me regarding elderly people who we so take for granted and often don’t realize how big an empty space we’d have in our world without them.

    As a writing teacher, I often teach not to try to appeal to the masses with blandness, but to use distinct specifics which touch the hearts of readers of all different backgrounds and cultures. Utsav, You have exemplified that concept to perfection here!

    This writing is so original. I hope you won’t mind if I read your post to my class next Tuesday here in Santa Rosa, California (of course, giving them your name and website).

    Thank you for this excellent writing from the heart.

  3. Hi again, Utsav,
    If it’s okay, I’d like to link to “Everyone Has a Story” from my website http://www.LetsWrite.com for my readers as an example of the excellent use of specific detail which fosters originality and offers identification with readers from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures. Would that be okay? Thanks again for this great post. You made my day. :- )

      1. Thank you, Utsav. I read your post to my class as an example of the excellent and original use of detail and they really appreciated it. Also, to my surprise, several of my students knew you by name as I had recommended you on my blog. You da man. :- )

  4. a place where a person is allowed to be their own person, with validation and acceptance, is a beautiful place to be. i love the part about the leaves and the flowers <3

  5. Hi again, Utsav,
    If it’s okay, I’d like to link to “Everyone Has a Story” from my blog for my readers as an example of the excellent use of specific detail which fosters originality and offers identification with readers from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures. I hope that would be okay. Thanks again for this great post. You made my day. :- )

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