“The Trance” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Maria Diya Rodrigo, Sacred Heart Matriculation Higher Secondary School, India.
I was walking back from my friend’s funeral. I reached home and sat back in my old armchair by the window and watched the sky blankly. Clusters of clouds flooded the sky; memories of Jane flooded my eyes.
We were both like twins because we were born on the same day! We were best friends right from the start; just that I was boyish and she was girly. She seemed like a presence which never died.
It was our 11th birthday and this time, we celebrated it together. We wore similar frocks and invited all our friends. I was so excited like a girl left inside a chocolate house, I went up to mom, ‘Mom could I eat one more ice-cream?’ ‘No’, she frowned. ‘It’s okay Mrs. Brown, let them enjoy their last one together.’ I was puzzled, why would Mrs.Rivers ever say like that? Are they covering up a secret from me? Questions popped as my heart beat faster.
Later at night, when I woke up to drink water, I saw my mom crying in the sofa. ‘Mom! Why are you crying?’ ‘Well, I should have told you quite earlier. Jane and her family are moving to Paris. Her father has got a transfer.’ I fell into her arms and had a good weep. I thought over and over again. Why didn’t she tell me about this? She confides her darkest secret then why hid this? I was worried sick.
The next day I saw Jane playing with my worst enemy. Now I understood that this was a plan to leave to Paris with a fight so that I don’t miss her. Silly Jane! I called her and said, ‘Hey! I know everything, its okay if you don’t tell me.’ She wept and everything seemed alright.
I was really sad; we did not have a good talk or nice warm hug. Jane was leaving the next day and nothing could stop it, I am going to lose my best friend forever! In the middle of the night, I heard a knock on my window I jumped and opened it. Jane! She had climbed all the way to my room. She said in a pathetic voice, ‘I don’t want to go…. please I want to be with you. You are more than a friend, my twin sister. Come! we will run away. Where? I’ve booked the tickets in my computer to granny’s place.
What? I shouted. She put her hand on my mouth, ‘Come its time, let’s leave!’ Unable to believe the sudden turn of events but eager to stop this separation I decided to go with Jane. We packed our things and stealthily closed the door behind us. We ran away to the railway station and slept on the platform benches until our train arrived. I strained my neck to have a final glance at the city I was leaving behind. Jane cried under her sunglasses. I knew we were going to have a lot of trouble doing this.
We had trouble calming her shocked granny and convincing her not to inform our parents. But the very next day, our parents arrived. Mrs. Rivers thundered, ‘Are you jealous of us going to Paris?’ They also blamed me for spoiling their Jane. I saw my parents cringe in shame.
I took the blame on Jane’s behalf because she’s my best friend and I’ll do anything for her. Closing my eyes I could place my trust in her, I knew she felt the same too.
On my 12th birthday, I knelt down and blew the candle for the first time without Jane. It’s almost been a year, how I wished I could see her again. The doorbell rang. Jane! My joy knew no bounds. Everything became just like before. While our parents were talking inside, we went for a walk outside. Jane piped a question, ‘Hey! How was it when I wasn’t there? Just when I was about to answer, a big truck came and hit her hard. I saw Jane lying still in a pool of blood on the road with her eyes fixed on me.
I felt a throbbing pain in my head, my coffee cup was smashed into pieces, my t-shirt stained with coffee spots all over. Now, Jane is beside me, both of us are laughing happily. I realize it is a trance she has sent me from heaven.