Back Up Again
“Back Up Again” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Koh Juaner, Malaysia.
Back Up Again
Diana is a girl who leads a life of wealth and splendour. One day, her father was driving his car, looking at the graph that his business buddy had sent him. Seconds later, the car spun out of control and tumbled downhill off the road. He did not survive the tragedy. From this day onwards, Diana’s life turned upside-down.
Father was the one who worked, while mother was the one in charge of keeping the house in good shape. “What would they do without him?” She thought staring outside of the window at the magnificent lagoon which reminded her so much of father, ignoring the teacher’s gaze. Life feels dull and faded without Diana’s father. “Ms. Antoinette, I know that you are having some family issues, but this cannot be the reason that you do not focus on the lesson,” said the teacher exasperated. “Please go to the principal’s office immediately.” This could not have gotten worse. Diana got up from her seat reluctantly, looking down at the hard cement floor while her classmates snickered at her, mocking her every movement. A long and windy lecture was given to her. She had to get away from it all, but she always seem to be one step behind. Kring, kring rang the school bell, Diana ran to the golden sands and lingered there for what seemed like forever. The flat that was rented looked unorganised. The furniture was all mix of colours that did not go well together. Well, it is not meant to. “Another warning letter…” sighs Mrs. Antoinette.
Diana ate her microwaved dinner miserably, not remembering what genuinely fresh food tastes like. The family went from riches to rags. “Darling, you have to stay strong. We still have each other. I know it is hard to lose him but as long as we believe he is here, not physically but mentally.” Said Diana’s mother as tears trickled down her face. Life continued to go against them. On the other hand, Diana’s mother was living in a world of torment. Income was low. Their life was at stake. Somehow, they managed to make just enough. They both had to thrive. Diana decided to make the most out of life. Soon, 5 years had already passed by in a blink of an eye. A mature teenager now stood by the lawn of a small sized house. Each and every day, she would walk pass their ex-house. Tears would form in her eyes. That New Year’s Eve, grandmother visited them. “How I missed both of you! This year we are going to make sure that this house becomes amazing.” The house began to be filled with love, comfort and a sense of belonging. Never in those 6 years has food ever been this delightful. Many successes had come and go. In the school, all the students look up to her because of her stunning behaviour. Mrs. Antoinette now owned a restaurant. It was not faith but how they faced their difficulties. In the end, it all paid off.
Life has many ups and down. No matter how difficult life may be as long as we get up, have courage and stay strong. We will be victorious.