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Real Life Stories Abortion in Ears Part 1 My wife is an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon while I am a Gynaecologist.

This can lead to some complications as I recently learned to my anguish. A General Practitioner called me up and told me that she is sending a patient of hers for an abortion. Unknown to me, she had also referred a female for removal of earwax to my wife.

"It depends on my moods?" Again I saw her point. "My mistake. You need not be in any sort of mood. It just happens." Part 2

"My neighbour advised me to go to one of those chaps who sit by the roadside." "You mean that pin man?" "Yeah!" I duly informed the receptionist to send the patient This neighbor of hers seemed to be a very right in as she was expected. Due to Murphys Law, dangerous man. Besides using pins, he was it was natural that the patient who wanted wax sending her to such quacks. removed from her ear end up with me. This is the "You were wise not to heed his advice." conversation that I had with the patient. "But I tried his other advice. He told me to put warm oil inside and wait. However, that also did not work." "Please come in and be seated." I said with a big This was getting more and more bizarre. Her smile. neighbour deserved to be locked up either in a I always have a big smile when I am going to earn padded cell or a barred one. some money. The patient gave a feeble smile and sat hesitantly on the edge of the chair. "But have you taken your husband's permission?" Now the patient looked confused. "Relax." "Do I have to take my husband's permission? He is "Doctor, will this hurt a lot?" working in Dubai if you need his signature. We "Not at all." were not able to meet for the last one year." The patient relaxed visibly. "You know something, Doctor, we tried removing it It was my turn to be shocked. I gave a sly smirk. It was one of 'those' cases. The pin-wielding at home but we failed." neighbour seemed to me the usual suspect. I I was shocked. "Thank God. Trying this at home can cause serious reassured her. "No! No! The husband's signature is not at all complications." needed." "I first tried to remove it by jumping up and down, "However, I did inform him on phone." but it just wouldn't budge." Her husband seemed to me a very broad-minded I smiled and said, "If it were that easy, who would fellow. I didn't know whether to congratulate her or need doctors?" to commiserate with her. Hence, I hastily turned to She gave a cute smile and said, "Yeah! My neighbor other aspects. tried to remove it with his finger, but the hole is so "Its good that you came a bit early." small that he used a hair pin." "Actually I wanted to come early in the morning but "Oh my God!" I had some other work." "Yes! My mother even tried removing it with a "Oh! I did not mean early today. I meant that if you matchstick." had delayed this removal, it would have started My blood pressure was shooting skywards. I just moving. Then, it would have developed a sputtered without uttering a word. heartbeat." "Tell me, doctor, how do I avoid getting this dirt inside me?" I knew that it was an unwanted pregnancy but calling it dirt was simply too much. I replied a bit angrily, "There are tablets which can prevent this from happening. Either that or you could use protection at night." The patient was staring at me with eyes wide as if watching a horror movie. Looking at her face, I decided that she was not fit to listen to the grotesque details. I decided to relieve her a bit. I said, "You will bleed a bit, but only for a few days." By now, the poor patient was trembling, "How-HHow much bleeding?" "Oh, only slightly more than your menstrual period and it will continue only for a week or so."

Now it was the patient's turn to be confused. "You mean to say that it only happens at night?" I saw her point. "No! No! I meant anytime of the day. Whenever you By now the patient was clutching her hair in her fingers and staring at me with eyes wide. are in the mood, you should use protection." I asked her soothingly, "Why don't you lie down on She was left even more confused.

the examination table? Remove your clothes and relax." This was the final straw. She didn't even wish me goodbye. I just saw a blur of motion leaving my consulting room at top speed. By Dr Kishore Shah Real Life Story Hold My Hand A little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter, "Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river." The little girl said, "No, Dad. You hold my hand." "What's the difference? Asked the puzzled father. "There's a big difference." Replied the little girl. "If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go." In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond. So hold the hand of the person whom you love rather than expect them to hold yours... True Life Stories My Little Brother Part 1 Dear Patrick, I was then an only child who had everything I wanted. However, even a pretty, spoiled and rich kid could get lonely once in a while so when Mom told me that she was pregnant, I was ecstatic. I imagined how wonderful you would be, how we would always be together and how much you would look like me. Hence, when you were born, I looked at your tiny hands and feet and marveled at how beautiful you were.

walk nor talk." The doctor told us that it is a condition that affects one in fifty thousand babies, rendering victims severely retarded. Mom was shocked and I was furious. I thought it was unfair. When we went home, Mom took you in her arms and cried. I looked at you and realized that word will get around that you're not normal. Hence, to hold on to my popularity, I did the unthinkable. I disowned you. Mom and Dad didn't know but I steeled myself not to love you as you grew. Mom and Dad showered you with love and attention and that made me bitter. As the years passed, that bitterness turned to anger and then hate. Mom never gave up on you. She knew she had to do it for your sake. Everytime she put your toys down, you would roll instead of crawl. I watched her heart break every time she took away your toys and strapped your tummy with foam so you couldn't roll. You struggle and cry in that pitiful way, the cry of the kitten. However, she still didn't give up. Then one day, you defied what all your doctors said and you crawled. When mom saw this, she knew you would eventually walk. Therefore, when you were still crawling at aged four, she put you on the grass with only your diapers on knowing that you hate the feel of the grass on your skin. Then, she would leave you there. I would sometimes watch from the windows and smile at your discomfort. You would crawl to the sidewalk and Mom would put you back. Mom repeated this again and again on the lawn. Until one day, Mom saw you pull yourself up and toddle off the grass as fast as your little legs could carry you.

She was laughing and shouting as she shouted for Dad and me to come. Dad hugged you crying We took you home and I showed you proudly to my openly. friends. They would touch you and sometimes My Little Brother Part 2 pinch you but you never reacted. When you were five months old, some things began to bother Mom. You seemed so unmoving and numb and your cries I watched this heartbreaking scene from my sounded odd - almost like a kitten's. Therefore, we bedroom window. brought you to see many doctors. Over the years, Mom taught you to speak, read and write. From then on, I would sometimes see you The thirteenth doctor who looked at you quietly walk outside, smell the flowers, marvel at the birds said you have "cri du chat" (pronounced as Kreeor just smile at no one. I began to see the beauty of do-sha) syndrome or "cry of the cat" in French. the world through your eyes. It was then that I realized that you were my brother and no matter When I asked what that meant, he looked at me with pity and softly said, "Your brother will never

how much I tried to hate you, I couldn't, because I had grown to love you. During the next few days, we again became acquainted with each other. I would buy you toys and give you all the love that a sister could ever give to her brother and you would reward me by smiling and hugging me. However, I guess you were never really meant for us. On your tenth birthday, you felt severe headaches. The doctor's diagnose it as leukemia. Mom gasped and Dad held her while I fought hard to keep my tears from falling. At that moment, I loved you all the more. I couldn't even bear to leave your side. Then, the doctors told us that your only hope is to have a bone marrow transplant. You became the subject of a nationwide donor search. When we found the right match at last, you were too sick and the doctor reluctantly ruled out the operation. Since then, you underwent chemotherapy and radiation.

Thank you for all these, my little brother. Life Love Stories Real Love Part 1 My wife called, How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food? I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter, Sindu, looked frightened; tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with curd rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age.

I cleared my throat and picked up the bowl. Sindu darling, why don't you take a few mouthful of this curd rice? Just for Dad's sake, dear. Sindu softened a bit and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. Ok, Dad. I will eat - not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should... Sindu hesitated. Even at the end, you continued to pursue life. Just a Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me month before you died, you made me draw up a list whatever I ask for? of things you wanted to do when you got out of the Promise. hospital. Two days after the list was completed, you asked the doctors to send you home. There, we ate I covered the pink soft hand extended by my ice cream and cake, run across the grass, flew daughter with mine and clinched the deal. Now I kites, went fishing, took pictures of one another became a bit anxious. and let the balloons fly. I remember the last conversation that we had. You said that if you die Sindu dear, you shouldn't insist on getting a and if I need of help, I could send you a note to computer or any such expensive items. Dad does heaven by tying it on the string of any balloon and not have that kind of money right now. Ok? letting it fly. I started crying when you said that. No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive. You hugged me. Then again, for the last time, you got sick. Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and my That last night, you asked for water, a back rub and mother for forcing my child to eat something that a cuddle. Finally, you went into a seizure with tears she detested. After the ordeal was through, Sindu streaming down your face. Later, at the hospital, came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. you struggled to talk but the words wouldn't come. All our attention was on her. I know what you wanted to say. "I hear you." I whispered. Dad, I want to have my head shaved off this And for the last time, I said, "I'll always love and I will never forget you. Don't be afraid. You'll soon be Sunday! was her demand. Atrocious! shouted my wife, with God in heaven." A girl child having her head shaved off? Then, with my tears flowing freely, I watched the Impossible! bravest boy I had ever known finally stop Never in our family! My mother rasped. breathing. Dad, Mom and I cried until I felt as if She has been watching too much of television. Our there were no more tears left. Patrick was finally culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV gone, leaving us behind. programs! Sindu darling, why don't you ask for something From then on, you were my source of inspiration. else? We will be sad seeing you with a cleanYou showed me how to love life and live to the shaven head. fullest. With your simplicity and honesty, you Please, Sindu, why don't you try to understand our showed me a world full of love and care. You made feelings? me realize that the most important thing in this life I tried to plead with her. is to continue loving without asking why or how and without setting any limit.

Real Love Part 2 Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice. Sindu was in tears. And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for. Now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of King Harishchandra and its moral that we should honor our promises no matter what? It was time for me to call the shots. Our promise must be kept. Are you out of your mind? Chorused my mother and wife. No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honour her own. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled. With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round face and her eyes looked big and beautiful. On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch, my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile. Just then, a boy alighted from a car and shouted, Sinduja, please wait for me! What struck me was the hairless head of that boy. Maybe that is the in stuff. I thought. Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed! Without introducing herself, a lady got out of the car and continued, That boy who is walking along with your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from leukemia. She paused to muffle her sobs. Harish could not attend school for the whole of the last month. He lost all his hair due to the side effects of the chemotherapy. He refused to go back to school, fearing the unintentional but cruel teasing of his schoolmates. Sinduja visited him last week and promised him that she will take care of the teasing issue. However, I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son! Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter. I stood transfixed and then, I wept. My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is! The happiest people on this planet are not those who live on their own terms but are those who change their terms for the ones whom they love! Christian Love Stories Honk If You Love Jesus

I got a letter from my grandmother the other day. She writes: Today I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance followed by a thunderous prayer meeting so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. I stopped at a red light at a busy intersection and was lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is that I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked I'd never have noticed! I found that lots of people love Jesus! Why, while I was sitting there, the guy behind me started honking like crazy and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, "For the love of God! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, go!" What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share the love! There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yell something about a "sunny beach"... I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. Then, I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant and he said that it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I've never met anyone from Hawaii so I leaned out of the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why, even he was enjoying this religious experience! A couple of people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended but that was when I noticed that the light had changed. Hence, I waved to all my brothers and sisters, grinned and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love that we shared so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

Love, Grandma Christian Stories Pure Blood Part 1

"Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been cancelled. If your loved ones are overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing."

Within four days, the nation is plunged into an The day is over and you are driving home. You tune unbelievable fear. People are selling little masks for your face. in to your radio. People are talking about, "What if it comes to this country?" and preachers on Tuesday are saying, You hear a little blurb about a little village in India "It's the scourge of God." where some villagers have died suddenly and strangely of a flu that has never been seen before. It's not influenza, but three or four fellows are dead It's Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the and it's kind of interesting. They're sending some doctors over there to investigate it. You didn't think parking lot and says, "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!" much about it. However on Sunday, you hear another radio spot on your way home from church. While the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up in it, the This time, they say it's not three villagers but its announcement is made. Two women are lying in a thirty thousand villagers that died of the flu in the Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu. back hills of this particular area in India. The news The flu swept across the country within hours. is also on television that night. CNN runs a little People are working around the clock trying to find blurb on it; people are heading there from the an antidote. Nothing is working. California. Oregon. disease center in Atlanta because this disease Arizona. Florida. Massachusetts. It's as though the strain has never been seen before. flu is sweeping in from the borders. By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead Then all of a sudden, the news comes out. The code story. For it's not just India; it's Pakistan, has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine Afghanistan, Iran, and before you know it, you're can be made. It's going to take the blood of hearing this story everywhere and they have somebody who hasn't been infected. Sure enough, coined it now as "the mystery flu". all through the Midwest, everyone is asked to do The President made some comment about how he one simple thing through all those channels of emergency broadcasting. and everyone else are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. In spite of that assurance, everyone is wondering how are we going to contain Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That's all we ask of you. When you hear it? That's when the President of France makes an the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please announcement that shocks Europe. He is closing make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the their borders. No flights will enter France from hospitals. India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where this thing has been seen. That's why you watch a little bit of CNN that night before going to bed. Your jaw Pure Blood Part 3 hits your chest when what a weeping woman said was translated from a French news program into Sure enough, when you and your family get down English: There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris there late on Friday night, there is a long line at the dying of the mystery flu. It has gone to Europe. hospital. Nurses and doctors are busy pricking Panic strikes. As best as they can tell, once you get fingers, taking blood and putting labels on it. Your it, you have it for a week without knowing it. Then wife and your kids are out there. you have four days of unbelievable symptoms They take your blood type and say, "Wait here in before you die. the parking lot and you can be dismissed if we call your name." Britain closes its borders but it's too late. The flu You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, strikes Southampton, Liverpool, Northampton and wondering what in the world is going on and if this other British cities. The President of the United is the end of the world. States makes the following announcement on Tuesday morning: Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving Pure Blood Part 2 a clipboard. What? He yells it again! Your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. 5

Wait a minute. Hold on! They say, "Its okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he has got the right type." Five tense minutes later, the doctors and nurses come out crying and hugging one another - some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week and an old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you, sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, it is pure and we can make the vaccine." As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming, praying, laughing and crying. However, the grey-haired doctor pulls you and you wife aside and says, "May we see you for a moment? We didn't realize that the donor will be a minor and we need... We need you to sign a consent form." You are about to sign it until you noticed that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. Pure Blood Part 4 "H-h-h-how many pints?" That is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all! But-but... You don't understand. We are talking about the world here. Please sign. We-we need it all We need it all!" "But can't you give him a transfusion?" "If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign? In numb silence, you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?" Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?" Thats when the old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've-we've got to get started. People all over the world are dying." Can you leave? Can you walk out while your son is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why-why have you forsaken me?" They have the ceremony to honor your son the following week and some folks sleep through it, some folks don't even come because they go to the lake, some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care.

Would you want to jump up and say, "My Son Died! Dont You Care?" Is that what God wants to say? "My Son Died. Dont You Know How Much I Care?" "Father, seeing it from your eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great Love you have for us." Christian Story Do You Love Me? Part 1 One day, I woke up early in the morning to watch the sunrise. Ah the beauty of Gods creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praised God for his beautiful work. As I sat there, I felt the Lords presence with me. He asked me, Do you love me? I answered, Of course, God! You are my Lord and Saviour! Then he asked, If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me? I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldnt be able to do. I thought hard about the things that I took for granted. I answered, It would be tough Lord, but I would still love you. Then the Lord said, If you were blind, would you still love my creation? How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and his creation. So I answered, Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you. The Lord then asked me, If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word? How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to Gods word is not merely using our ears but our hearts. I answered, It would be tough, but I would still listen to your word. The Lord then asked, If you were mute, would you still praise my name?

How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me. God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. We do not always praise God with a song but when we are persecuted, we praise God with our words of thanks. So I answered, Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise your name. The Lord asked, Do you really love me? With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, Yes Lord! I love you because you are the one and true God! I thought I had answered well, but God asked, Then Why Do You Sin? I answered, Because I am only human. I am not perfect. Then Why In Times Of Peace Do You Stray The Furthest? Why Do You Pray The Earnest Only In Times Of Trouble? Do You Love Me? Part 2

I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? My heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be your child. The Lord answered, That is my grace, my child. I asked, Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do you love me so? The Lord answered, Because you are my creation. You are my child. I will never abandon you. When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days and I will love you forever. Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, How much do you love me?

There were no answers. Only tears. The Lord continued, Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully? The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.

The Lord stretched out his arms, and I saw his nailpierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Saviour and for the first time, I truly prayed. Bible Story The Pearl Necklace Part 1 Jenny was a bright eyed, pretty five years old girl.

Why are you ashamed of me? Why are you not spreading the good news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer my shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in my name? I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give. You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed my word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown my blessings to you but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants but you sat idly by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all. Do You Truly Love Me?

One day when she and her mother were checking out the grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl necklace priced at two dollars fifty cents. She wanted that necklace and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, her mother said, "Well, it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot of money. I'll tell you what. I'll buy you the necklace and when we get home, we can make up a list of chores that you can do to pay for the necklace. Don't forget that for your birthday, Grandma might just give you a whole dollar bill, too. Okay?" Jenny agreed and her mother bought the pearl necklace for her. Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day and sure enough, her Grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her birthday. Soon, Jenny had paid off the pearls. How Jenny loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere; to the kindergarten, bed and when she went out with her mother to run errands. The only

time she didn't wear them was in the shower as her mother had told her that they would turn her neck green. Now, Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed, he would get up from his favorite chair every night and read Jenny her favorite story. One night when he finished the story, he said, "Jenny, do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you." The little girl said. "Well then, give me your pearls." Her father asked mischievously. "Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!" Jenny said. "But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too. Okay?" "Oh no, darling, that's okay." Her father brushed her cheek with a kiss. "Good night, little one."

Are you holding onto harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. God Stories Satan's Evil Plan Satan called a worldwide convention.

In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from conservative values. However, we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an The Pearl Necklace Part 2 intimate, abiding relationship experience with Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our A week later, her father asked Jenny again after her power over them is broken. Hence, let them go to story. church, let them have their conservative lifestyles "Do you love me?" but steal their time so they can't gain that "Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you." experience in Jesus Christ. This is what I want you "Well then, give me your pearls." to do. Distract them from gaining hold of their "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Saviour and maintaining that vital connection Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember her? throughout their day!" She's my favorite. Her hair is so soft and you can play with it and braid it. You can have Ribbons if "How shall we do this?" Shouted his evil angels. you want her, Daddy." The little girl said to her father. "Keep them busy with the non-essentials of life and "No, that's okay." Her father said and brushed her invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their cheek again with a kiss. minds." He answered. "God bless you, little one. Sweet dreams." Several days later, when Jenny's father came in to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lips were trembling. "Here, Daddy." She said, and held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her father's hand. With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. Inside the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls. He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing. It is the same with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of? "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work six or seven days a week, ten to twelve hours a day so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work." "Overstimulate their minds so that they cannot hear Christs still small voice. Entice them to play the radio or music player whenever they drive and keep their music players, computers and televisions constantly on in their homes. See to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ." Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with news twentyfour hours a day. Invade their driving moments with

billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mails, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, free products, services and every kind of newsletter and promotional offerings and false hopes."

more time left and I hope that you will talk to me yet.

You went home and it seems as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done, you "Let them be excessive even in their recreational turned on the television. I don't know if you like time. Have them return from their recreational television or not. Just about anything goes there activities exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for and you spend a lot of time each day in front of it the coming week. Don't let them go out in nature to not thinking about anything and just enjoying the reflect on God's wonders. Send them to amusement show. I waited patiently again as you watched the parks, sporting events, concerts and movies television program and ate your meal, but again instead. When they meet for spiritual fellowship, you didn't talk to me. involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled I guess you felt too tired at bedtime. After you said emotions." goodnight to your family, you plopped into bed and fell asleep in no time. That's okay because you may "Let them be involved in soul-winning. However, not realize that I am always there for you. I've got crowd their lives with so many good causes they patience, more than you will ever know... I even have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon, they want to teach you how to be patient with others as will be working in their own strength, sacrificing well. their health and family unity for the good of the cause." I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer or thought, or a thankful part of your heart. It was quite a convention in the end. The evil It is hard to have a one-sided conversation. angels went on eagerly with their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, Well, you are getting up once again. Once again, I busy and rush for time constantly. will wait with nothing but love for you. I hope that you will give me some time today. Have a nice day! Has the devil been successful at his schemes? You be the judge. Your friend, God God Story Your Friend, God P.S. - Do you have enough time to send this to another person? If you aren't ashamed to do this, As you got up this morning, I watched you and please follow the directions. hoped you would talk to me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for Pass this story on to your friends and family. Please something good that happened in your life only do it if you mean it. yesterday. However, I noticed you were too busy, trying to find the right outfit to wear. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father." When you ran around the house getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop Yes, I do Love God. He is my source of existence and say hello but you were too busy again. At one and Savior. He keeps me functioning each and point, you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing everyday. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without to do except to sit in a chair. Then, I saw you spring him, I am nothing; but with Him I can do all things to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but through Christ that strengthens me. you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the - Phil 4:13 latest gossip instead. I watched patiently all day long. With all our activities, I guess you were too Bedtime Story busy to say anything to me. Blue Summer Part 1 I noticed that you looked around before lunch. Maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me and that is why you didn't bow your head. You glanced at three or four tables around you and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate but you didn't. That's okay. There is still

It was the first summer I had after I moved to California. I was seventeen years old at that time. I was a very young and vulnerable teenager. Falling in love was easy but I dropped out of many relationships because I noticed that all boys are the

same. I thought that nothing will change my mind about them until I found Luke. It all happened when I was trying to get familiar with the place. I found a river near my new house and it was the perfect spot for me. It was peaceful and I could watch the sunrise there every morning. I could also hear the music created by the flowing of water into the lake and the joyful chirps of the birds up in the trees. The cool breeze of the air touches my face every time I sit at the top of a big stone writing poems and composing songs. The very special moment in my life happened one morning. Hi, may I know your name? He said. I wasnt able to say anything because I was shocked. I thought that I was alone. I said hi, may I know your name? He smilingly repeated. My senses came back to me when I heard him repeated his words. Oh, Im sorry. I was shocked because I didnt know that someone aside from me is here too. By the way, Im Anne. I finally replied. Thats fine with me. By the way, Im Luke. I live at the nearside of the river. Are you a new resident in this place? Your face is not familiar. Yes, we just moved here last week. Im originally from Italy. Why are you here if youre an Italian? My mother is an Italian but my father is an American. Thats why Im here to spend my summer. After this summer, I will return to Italy to study. I want to become a medical technologist someday. How about you? Me? Im a graduating student next year. I will be a pilot. How old are you? Im seventeen years old. How about you? Im twenty years old.

straight in the face at him whenever we talked. I couldnt talk whenever he looks at me. My heart melts when Im with him. I fell for him hard and fast. I was crazily, madly and deeply in love with him. It seemed that my world stops when hes not around. I dreamt of him every night. I was totally in love but I did not know if he felt the same way too. One day, he calls and tells me to meet him at the river. I ran to the riverbank and found him standing back facing me as he waited for me. I was excited because I thought that he will finally tell me about his feelings for me. Bedtime Story Blue Summer Part 1 It was the first summer I had after I moved to California. I was seventeen years old at that time. I was a very young and vulnerable teenager. Falling in love was easy but I dropped out of many relationships because I noticed that all boys are the same. I thought that nothing will change my mind about them until I found Luke. It all happened when I was trying to get familiar with the place. I found a river near my new house and it was the perfect spot for me. It was peaceful and I could watch the sunrise there every morning. I could also hear the music created by the flowing of water into the lake and the joyful chirps of the birds up in the trees. The cool breeze of the air touches my face every time I sit at the top of a big stone writing poems and composing songs. The very special moment in my life happened one morning.

Hi, may I know your name? He said. I wasnt able to say anything because I was Our conversation went on and on and I realized that shocked. I thought that I was alone. we enjoyed each others company very much. Luke I said hi, may I know your name? He smilingly was my first friend in California. I found it repeated. interesting to be with him everyday. The days My senses came back to me when I heard him passed by easily when were together. Honestly, I repeated his words. was nursing a broken heart when we moved here. Oh, Im sorry. I was shocked because I didnt know However, the pain in my heart caused by my past that someone aside from me is here too. By the love was removed in his company. We learned way, Im Anne. I finally replied. about our similarities and differences. I found out Thats fine with me. By the way, Im Luke. I live at that we are music lovers. In fact, he was a bassist the nearside of the river. Are you a new resident in and vocalist of a band. We enjoyed having a good this place? Your face is not familiar. laugh while sharing stories. I called him whenever I Yes, we just moved here last week. Im originally had any problems. He gave me strength each time from Italy. I fall as well as happiness and inspirations in life. In Why are you here if youre an Italian? short, life was easy when Im with him. It was as if My mother is an Italian but my father is an my problems vanished when he looks at me. He American. Thats why Im here to spend my has beautiful eyes, winsome smile and is blessed summer. After this summer, I will return to Italy to with a handsome face. I had past relationships but study. I want to become a medical technologist my feelings for him were different. I couldnt look someday. How about you? 10

Me? Im a graduating student next year. I will be a to live my days, months and years without him in pilot. How old are you? my life. Im seventeen years old. How about you? Im twenty years old. - After Five Years Our conversation went on and on and I realized that we enjoyed each others company very much. Luke was my first friend in California. I found it interesting to be with him everyday. The days passed by easily when were together. Honestly, I was nursing a broken heart when we moved here. However, the pain in my heart caused by my past love was removed in his company. We learned about our similarities and differences. I found out that we are music lovers. In fact, he was a bassist and vocalist of a band. We enjoyed having a good laugh while sharing stories. I called him whenever I had any problems. He gave me strength each time I fall as well as happiness and inspirations in life. In short, life was easy when Im with him. It was as if my problems vanished when he looks at me. He has beautiful eyes, winsome smile and is blessed with a handsome face. I had past relationships but my feelings for him were different. I couldnt look straight in the face at him whenever we talked. I couldnt talk whenever he looks at me. My heart melts when Im with him. I fell for him hard and fast. I was crazily, madly and deeply in love with him. It seemed that my world stops when hes not around. I dreamt of him every night. I was totally in love but I did not know if he felt the same way too. One day, he calls and tells me to meet him at the river. I ran to the riverbank and found him standing back facing me as he waited for me. I was excited because I thought that he will finally tell me about his feelings for me. Blue Summer Part 3 I am now a professional medical technologist. There is a job offering in California and I need to go back there to work. However, Im afraid to go back because of the past. The joy, hurt and sadness brought to me by love is still clear in my memory. Honestly, I still love Luke. He is still the one I love after all these years. I was on my way to California in a plane when it crashes. There was a lot of confusion and destruction. When I woke up, I found myself on an island. The plane crash gave me a spinning headache. Just when I thought I was a sole survivor from the crash, I heard a very familiar voice. Hi. Its been a long time since we talked. Can you still remember this man that you fell in love with? I turned to look at him. I was shocked when I saw Luke. He sat down beside me. I guess you are still in a shock from what happened. By the way, Im the pilot of the plane. Yes, I am shocked. Its such a coincidence that Im one of your surviving passengers. Are there any survivors apart from us? I dont know. It seems that we are alone and stuck on this island. He seemed to have become more mature but he is still the Luke that Ive loved before. I asked him about Katherine. How are you with Katherine? His mood changes when he heard my words.

She died a week before our wedding. We were on our way home from the jewelry shop when a I slapped his face and ran away from him towards careless driver hit our car. I am lucky to survive the car. I had drop by before I left for the airport. that accident but shes not. She was in a coma for I whispered, I love you even if it hurts me to do so. about a month before she gave up on her life. I wish youll be happy with her. I will never regret Im sorry to hear that. the day I met you. Goodbye my love. It hurts so badly. I want to end up my life just to be with her for eternity but she came into my - After Two Weeks dream and told me to live happily. She told me to find a new love and start again. I noticed that she is The vacation was over and it was time for another a resemblance of you. school year. I felt empty because of my blue summer. After that conversation with him two Blue Summer Part 4 weeks ago, I still feel undone. I still feel the hurt and loneliness in me. However, I have to move on How are you? He asked. and live my life. I will live my dream to become a He is trying to change the topic and I understand medical technologist. We lost contact as he never the reason completely. called after I got back to Italy. Its hard for me to Im doing fine. Im now a medical technologist. I forget but I have to. He will be married to the one have a job offering in California. he loves and I should be happy for him. I will have 11

Great. What about your family? They are fine and because of my work, we decided to stay in California. We continued our conversation and there was no doubt that I still love this man. We searched for food on the island everyday and he took care of me. We stayed there for a week and my feelings for him became stronger. I was about to confess my feelings again but a rescuer found us and brought us back to civilization. - After A Week -

Short Bedtime Stories When the Wind Blows Years ago, there was a farmer who owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. I am now sitting at the same place where I first saw "Are you a good farmhand?" The farmer asked him. him by the river. Its been a week since the rescuer "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows." Answered found us. I have not seen Luke ever since. He didnt the little man. call either. I thought there was a possibility that he doesnt want to see me anymore. What happened Although puzzled by the answer, the farmer hired on the island could just be a coincidence. He could him as he was desperate for help. The little man be running away from what happened to him with worked well around the farm and was busy from Katherine. Just when I was lost in my thoughts, a dawn to dusk. The farmer felt satisfied with the voice came out from nowhere man's work. Hi! Its me again, just like the first time. Yeah, I recognize your voice. This time, I am not shocked. Why are you here? I just want to tell you something that you never knew. I was supposed to tell you this on that island but the rescuer found us. Why didnt you show up right after that day? I was not yet ready for this. Listen carefully, Anne. I fell in love with you on that island. Yes, I love you. I sobbed as tears streamed down my face. Do you love me because I am a resemblance of her? Of course not! I love you for who you are. Please believe me, I love you! One night, the wind howled loudly as a storm approaches from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all the haystacks had already been He bends his knees and tries to convince me that covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, his love is true. I believe him. I can see the sincerity the chickens were in the coops and the doors were in his beautiful eyes. I held his hands and signaled barred. The shutters were tightly secured. him to stand. He hugged and kissed me. I told him Everything was tied down and nothing could be my feelings for him were still the same as before blown away. and I still love him. The farmer then understood what his hired hand After being together for a month, we decided to get meant. He returned to his bed to also sleep while married. We love each other so much and it is not the wind blew. because of my resemblance to his past but because of our love for each other. After some years, we Moral - When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally had two kids and settled our family down near the and physically, you have nothing to fear. river where we first met, near the very special spot to the both of us. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep By Flomi Dela Cruz because he had secured the farm against the This story is dedicated to Queedary storm.

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Fiction Stories Mom's Eye My mom only had one eye. I hated her. She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for the students and teachers in school to support the family. During elementary school, my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school, one of my classmates said, "Eeeeeks, your mom only has one eye!" I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear.

I think of you all the time. I'm sorry that I went to your house uninvited and caused your children to be frightened. I was so glad when I heard you were coming back for the school reunion. However, I may not even be able to get out of bed to see you. I'm sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up. However, theres a good reason why I only have one eye. When you were very little, you got into an accident and you lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn't bear to watch you having to grow up with only one eye. Hence, I gave you mine. I am proud of my son who is able to see a whole new world for me in my place with that eye.

I confronted her that day and said, "Why don't you just die if you're only going to make me a laughing With all my love to you, stock?" Your mother My mom did not respond. I didn't even stop to think for a second about what I had said because I was Short Fiction Stories full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings. Butterflies in Love I wanted to leave the house and severed all ties with her. Hence, I studied real hard and finally won a scholarship to study abroad. I got married and bought a house of my own. I had kids and was happy with my life. However one day, my mother came to visit me. We had not seen each other in years. She also had not met her grandchildren before. My children laughed at her when she stood by the door. I yelled at her for coming to my place uninvited. I screamed at her, "How dare you come to my house and scare my children!" Get Out Of Here! Now!" My mother quietly answered, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address." She disappeared out of sight. One day, I went back to my hometown for a school reunion. After the reunion, I went back to my old house out of curiosity. I found out from my neighbors that my mother had died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have. The content of the letter is as follows. "My dearest son, Two butterflies were in love... One day, they decided to play hide and seek. During the game, Boy butterfly: Lets play a small game between us. Girl butterfly: Ok Boy butterfly: The one who sits in this flower tomorrow morning is the one that loves the other one more. Girl butterfly: Ok Next morning, the boy butterfly waits for the flower to open so that he can sit in it before the girl butterfly does. After waiting for some time, the flower finally opened. Guess what did he see? . . . . . He saw the dead girl butterfly inside the flower. The boy butterfly was shocked! The girl butterfly had stayed inside the flower all night so that she can fly to him and tell him how much she loves him when the flower opens in the morning. This is true love. Life is love.

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Fictional Stories The Body Switch

After he woke up the next morning, he immediately knelt by the bed and said,

A man was sick and tired of going to work everyday Dear Lord, while his wife stayed at home. He wanted her to see what he went through so he I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to prayed, envy my wife for being able to stay at home all day. Please, oh! Please, let us trade our bodies back. "Dear Lord, Amen! I go to work everyday for eight hours while my wife The Lord, with his infinite wisdom, replied, merely stays at home. I want her to know what I go through. Hence, please allow her body to switch My son, with mine for a day. Amen!" I feel that you have learned your lesson and I will God, with his infinite wisdom, granted the man's be happy to change things back to the way they wish. were. However, you'll have to wait for nine more months. You got pregnant last night. The man woke up as a woman the next day and started doing the daily chores his wife usually does. Fictional Story The Healing Poison He cooked breakfast for his mate, woke the kids up, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, A long time ago, a girl named Li-Li got married and packed their lunches, drove them to school, came went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In home and picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get cleaners and stopped at the bank to make a along with her mother-in-law at all. Their deposit, went grocery shopping, drove home to put personalities were very different, and Li-Li was away the groceries, paid the bills and balanced the angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In check book, cleaned the cat's litter box and bathed addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly. Days the dog. passed. The days turned into weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. Before he knew it, it was already 1.00 p.m. What made the situation worse was that according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. He hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum the carpet, dust the furniture, sweep and mop the house. Just when he thought he could take All the anger and unhappiness in the house caused a break, he realized school was over and he ran the poor husband great distress. Finally, Li-Li could there to pick up the kids. He got into an argument not stand her mother-in-law's bad temper and with them on the way home. When he got home, he dictatorship any longer. She decided to do set out the milk and cookies and got the kids something about it. organized to do their homework. Then, he set up the ironing board and gave himself a break by Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. watching television while ironing. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him about the situation and asked if he would give her some He started preparing for dinner and supper at 4.30 poison so that she could solve the problem for once p.m. He peeled the potatoes, washed the and for all. vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and Mr. Huang thought for a while and finally said, Lisnapped fresh beans. Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you. Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the tell me to do." dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids and put them to bed at 9.00 p.m. Mr. Huang went into the back room and returned with a package of herbs after a few minutes. He was exhausted and though his daily chores He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to weren't finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love to his mate. He managed to get rid of your mother-in-law because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I get through it without complaints. have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day,

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prepare some pork or chicken and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen." Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to carry out her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks and months went by. Li-Li would serve the specially treated food to her mother-in-law every other day. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion so she controlled her temper, obeyed her motherin-law and treated her like her own mother. After six months, the situation in the whole household had changed. Li-Li managed to control her temper so much that she almost never got mad or upset at her mother-in-law anymore. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months, who seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li had also changed and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law treated each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening. One day, Li-Li went to Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, "Dear Mr Huang, please help me to prevent the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She has changed into such a nice woman and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her." Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has all been washed away by the love which you gave to her." Greek Love Stories Orpheus and Eurydice

One day, a satyr saw and pursued Eurydice. She ran in terror and accidentally stepped on a poisonous snake. Eurydice died and her spirit went to the Underworld. Orpheus was devastated. He decided to go down into the underworld to bring her back Once inside the Underworld, Orpheus charmed Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Hades who guards the Underworld to sleep using his lyre and beautiful voice. He also played music so sweet and moving that Hades and his cold Queen Persephone relented and allowed Orpheus to bring Eurydice back to the surface of the earth to enjoy the light of day. However, they warned Orpheus to walk in front of Eurydice for the journey back and not look back at her until they are out of the underworld. Orpheus readily agreed and began his ascent. Throughout the journey, he listened closely for her footfalls behind him but he could hear nothing. Fearing that Hades had tricked him to get him out of the Underworld, Orpheus turned around when he was only a few feet from leaving the Underworld. He caught sight of Eurydice for a brief moment before she was whisked back down into the land of the dead. Orpheus tried to enter the Underworld again but failed. He spent the rest of his days not willing to love another so as to stay true to the memory of Eurydice. Vampire Love Stories The Vampire Love Story Part 1 "Mommy," the little girl cried out with her arms in the air. "Please just tell me one story." The older woman stopped near the door and looked at her daughter with tired eyes. She walked back to her daughter's bed with a sigh. She kneeled on the hard wooden floor and rested her chin on the side of the bed.

"Which story, my dearest?" She ran her pale fingers through her daughter's silky brown hair which was nearly identical to her Orpheus was son of Apollo, the Olympian god and own. Calliope, the oldest and most beautiful of the nine "I want to listen to the story where the vampire fell muses. He plays the lyre and had an enchanting in love with a human." voice. He could charm beasts, trees and even rocks The woman's eyes flashed with pain. to do whatever he wanted with his musical talent. "Honey Haven't you heard that one enough times?" He fell in love with a nymph named Eurydice and "Please mommy?" before long, the two were married. They became practically inseparable and could not live without Her mother paused when she saw the pleading look each other. in her daughter's eyes. They were full of innocence and love. The little girls belief in love was touching but it hurt the mother inside to admit that she had 15

once succumbed to that side of herself and it had ended in misery. "Please? Just one more time?" The woman felt her resolve shatter. "Fine, just one more time." She crawled herself into the small bed. "Okay, so where do I start?" She grinned at the little girl. "I'm sure you know the story better than I do." That was a solid lie. No one knew the story better than herself. "Ooh, start with" The girl sat up straighter wearing a smile on her porcelain face. "Once upon a time, in a small rainy town" The Vampire Love Story Part 2 "Oh, right. Once upon a time, in a small rainy town known as Forks, Washington, there was a girl. She had just moved from Arizona to live with her father. She had always been a bit different and she never felt like she fit in with the others. Her mother told her she was too mature for her own good. On her first day of school, she met a boy. He was the most beautiful boy she had ever seen." "But she thought he didn't like her." "Yes." The little girl chuckled.

their leader decided to hunt her to cause pain for the family." The Vampire Love Story Part 3 Her daughter let out a little shriek and hid her face beneath the blanket. The woman's brown eyes looked at her daughter with concern. "Is it too scary?" "No mommy. Keep going." She sighed and closed her eyes. "The family hid her at somewhere safe. They thought she will be safe but she wasn't. The leader was able to track her down. He tricked her into meeting him alone by telling her that he captured The womans voice trailed off and she suddenly said in a stern voice, "Why do you want to hear this story? It's much sadder than the others." "I love this story. It seems more real than the others." "Even with the vampires?" "Who said vampires aren't real, mommy?" The womans eyes showed a flicker of pain. "Honey, are you sure you don't want me to tell you a fairytale? One with princesses and fairies?" "There is a fairy in your story, mommy." She laughed. "Yes, I suppose there is." "Please keep going?" "Oh, alright. Anyway, I'm almost at the end of it.

"She thought he didn't like her but he did. He was like no one she had ever met before and it seemed like he wanted nothing to do with her. One snowy day, she was almost hit by a truck but he saved her and with that one accident, their fates became "The evil vampire captured and bit her but the undeniably intertwined. She was completely taken vampire she was in love with sucked the venom out by him. and saved her life. He was still there when she woke up in the hospital the following day. He told "After that, he couldn't seem to stay away from her he would stay with her for as long as she her. He followed her when she went to Los Angeles wanted. He also said he wanted to be with her and saved her from some very dangerous people. forever." That night, he told her all about himself. He told her The womans voice cracked with the last words. He hes a vampire. He was scared she would run had lied. He left her without any consideration for away. her feelings. "However, she didn't. She wasn't even scared. They Vampire Stories Online began to spend more time together even though it The Vampire Love Story Part 4 was risky because his identity might be exposed. He took her to a beautiful meadow and told her "Did they live happily ever after?" how much he loved her. The woman swallowed the lump in her throat. "Yeah, they lived happily ever after." "She met his family who became her best friends. "I don't believe you." The little girl said with a yawn. She loved them. They took her with them when they went out for a dinner but they ran into other Her mother was shocked. vampires. "Why not?" "Its because if they had lived happily ever after, you would be happy. You would actually smile" "These vampires were not like the vampires in his family. They were mean and they hurt people. When they saw how much the family protected her,

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The woman turned around and wiped the tears from her cheeks. Sometimes she felt that her daughter was too similar too her. She was too smart and wise for her age. She kissed her daughter's forehead and secured the blanket around her tiny frame.

However, I noticed a problem. Like any other things which seemed perfect, there is a problem or rather; there should be a problem somewhere along the road. As I sat near the window, I got a nice view of the whole shop including their regular patrons. Most of them are in their late-twenties wearing expensive coats, well-ironed long sleeve shirts or blouses and newly-polished leather shoes. Each of As she walked out of the room into the hall, she began to wonder. If he loved her, would there be a them gave out an air of sophistication not only in happily ever after to their story? Or would it just be the way they dressed but also in the way they talked. Only a handful of people were dressed in another sad ending? casual wear, including myself. Somehow, it felt like He promised her forever. He'd lied. She had tried to there was a barrier between the two groups of differently dressed people and it was kind of move on like he wanted her to but she couldn't. suffocating. It made me felt anxious. Starbucks seemed to have built a frightening gap between Suddenly, she became aware of the knocking on the front door. She blinked away the pricking tears two different groups of people. Nevertheless, this was only my personal opinion. in her eyes and trudged down the stairs to the door. She opened it slightly and standing there was As my eyes continued to wander around, I noticed a the hero of her daughter's stories. girl about my age sitting on a couch. She was tapping her fingers on her knees along with the "Bella" He whispered with a smooth enticing beat of the music. She had her dark brown hair in a voice. loose ponytail and wore a small light-blue tank top She gasped and stumbled backwards as she over a white t-shirt and brown pants. She laughed recognizes the man that she had been waiting for a long time. However this time, there might actually as another girl talked to her. I was about to look away when she noticed that I was looking at her. be a happily ever after to their story. Our eyes caught each other for a brief moment before I turned away. A few minutes later, I saw her By Bulai wave goodbye to her friend at the door before making her way to my table. Bedtime Stories Online Memories and Chances Part 1 Hey. She greeted and I looked up to meet her eyes. I had the chances. He gave me lots of them but I It was then I finally realized who she was. She was never had the courage to do so. Hanezawa Kana, a friend of a close friend back in high school. I guess she looked a little different I met her one Sunday afternoon in mid-October from what I remembered five years ago and that when red leaves hanged on the trees aligned by was why I didn't recognize her initially. She had the road and one gust of wind was all it takes to grown her hair and ditched her glasses. To put it send the leaves flying into the sky. The air gave off simply, she looked more beautiful. The last time I a certain gentle scent that changed my image of a saw her was during our common friend's party after dusty Tokyo city into a more rustic place. high school graduation. I was waiting for a friend at a nearby Starbucks just two streets away from my apartment in Shinjuku. It was my first time there as I am not much of a coffee person and would only drink it whenever the time calls for it. This might sound disappointing to Starbucks or coffee lovers but that's the truth. When I was there, I understood why others raved so much about Starbucks. The place provided a relaxing ambience with a strong coffee aroma in every corner of the shop. The service crew showed smooth movements even when the shop was crowded. They would bring the customers orders to them with a smile before striding away at the beat of the bossa nova music in the background. I offered her the seat in front of mine. Thanks. She smiled and tapped both hands on the table as if signalling that she was about to say something. I guess she liked tapping. So, I bet you don't remember me, right? I shook my head to indicate that I do remember her. She smiled again. And correct me if I'm wrong. Youre Motoharu, right? I nodded, suppressing a grin. She remembered me. Uh, Motoharu Jin? Actually, it's Jun. S-Sorry. I can only recall surnames of people I knew back then. Hanezawa apologized and then

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smiled sheepishly. I should have stopped with Motoharu. It's okay. I said, shrugging the topic off. I often don't remember the names of people too, so that makes it even. So Hanezawa, you need to talk about something? From the expressions on her face, it seemed that she was a bit surprised by my question. I guess no matter how you look at it, I was too straightforward. She was the one who approached me so I assumed she wanted to talk. I didn't know how to put it in a nicer way but that was how I felt. Memories and Chances Part 2 Nothing. She chuckled and she looked into my eyes. I kind of remembered something when I saw you, Motoharu. Like what? She took a moment of silence before answering my question. Maybe you'll think that it's weird but seeing you now made me remember what I used to be five years ago. Ever since I came to the city for college, I haven't seen anyone from our place. It feels like I have lost my connection to the past and I feel like a wandering soul here in Tokyo. I do have friends here but it still feels different. I kind of understand that. I told her and her face lighted up. I used to have that feeling after two years of living alone in the city. I didn't pursue college but started working in a small publishing company right after I graduated. I was the youngest employee back then but no one really cared. The pay was good and my co-workers were all nice people. Maybe those are the reasons why I am still working there. However my relationships are like hit-and-run vehicles. You got hit and after a few months, they would all run out of your life. The last time I dated someone was two years ago.

Somewhere at the back of my mind, I expected her to ask that. He got married five months ago. Yeah. I heard about that. ----------------------------------------Ryuu was our common friend. We were in the same classes throughout high school. He was a military freak and was always fascinated about wars. He would have band-aid on his face for cosmetic purposes. He also liked keeping his black hair long in a pony tail. He said that a soldier would look cool with long hair and I guess he did look cool. Girls from other classes would whisper to one another whenever he walked through the school corridors. He would receive love letters in his locker everyday and different girls would confess their feelings for him every other week. He was also popular with the guys. Wherever he went, everybody liked him. He was that kind of person. Everybody thought that he wanted to be a real soldier but they were wrong. I found it weird too when he personally told me that he likes the military but he wouldnt want to die in a war. His obsession about the military sort of influenced me too. I became used to military time which is time in a twenty-four hours format. It became a habit of mine to report and identify time using military time. I was happy to see him again when I attended his wedding ceremony back in May. He hadn't changed a bit since we last saw each other and his hair was still long. I got to know his wife, whom he met from work. I learned that she was a military freak as well. I guess that might be the reason why they got along well. Hanezawa was Ryuus childhood friend. However, few people knew about it. They never talked in school nor exchanged glances whenever they crossed paths. I barely see them together in school. They each had their own different social circles but there was always a special bond between the two of them.

Anyway, are you waiting for someone here? She asked, changing the topic. I told her yes. A girlfriend? The first time I saw them talking was during Ryuu's No. Just a friend from work. He said he'll drop by at sixteenth birthday. I remember there was full moon sixteen hundred hours. on that night and we had secretly set up a party for him in the school grounds. While I was chatting Her expression softened after hearing what I said. with some friends, I saw Hanezawa went up to him She wore a small smile and looked as if she and handed him a gift. At that time, I thought she recalled some good yet sad memories. She looked was just another girl confessing her feelings to him lost as she stared at the table. I thought I bothered but to my surprise, Ryuu called me over and her so I apologized. introduced me to her. It was also the first time I Sorry. It's kind of weird that I said sixteen ever talked to Hanezawa. She looked small and shy Have you heard anything about Ryuu? back then. 18

Memories and Chances Part 3 I assume you didn't attend the ceremony. I hadn't seen her that day and Ryuu seemed sad about it. He was expecting to see her. You're right. She said. I didn't go. Ryuu was expecting to see you. Hanezawa nodded as if she already knew that. She then asked me if I wanted to know the reason behind her absence. You would tell me otherwise even if I said no, right? She laughed at my comment. I was being selfish. I thought only Ryuu and I shared a special connection. I mean, we practically spent half our lives together. We knew each other's secrets and dreams. When we entered high school, I was a little sad that he found a whole new world for himself. He met new friends and had quite a number of girlfriends. I thought he would never have time for me but he would always find time to drop by my house once a week. He would always tell me the good things that happened to him, how he enjoyed playing softball with you and other friends and how annoying were the tons of love letters he received everyday. I smiled at her. Maybe that's the reason why you didn't give him one. Hanezawa gazed at me in surprise. Seconds later, her expression changed into that of a shy little girl. Her face was red. Motoharu, would it be weird if I tell you that I love him? It will be a lot weirder if you didn't.

walk them outside and call a taxi for them so they could go home. It was already nine o'clock or twenty one hundred hours when I checked the time and I was walking my seventh man of the night outside. I realized that we have been drinking for four hours straight. I called a taxi and entrusted the drunken guy to the driver. When I got back into the bar, Hanezawa was sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees, swaying with the music. Oh no, she's drunk.

I asked if she's feeling okay. You know what? She answered. It's entirely your fault that I'm feeling miserable again. I took the seat beside her and refilled my glass. Really? Now, she's blaming me. Hell yeah! If I hadn't seen your face, I wouldn't have remembered things. I would have been in my friend's apartment and we would be watching this drama called Oh no I forgot the name. Anyway, I would have been with her right now! But no! You showed your face in that coffee shop and I saw you there! It would have been better if I didn't turn around at that moment but I did. I even approached you! Now, memories are coming back to me, flowing like hell and I don't even like it! But at least you're not like a wandering soul now. That calmed Hanezawa down. She sighed and drank another glass. Tell me. You're regretting that you didn't let Ryuu know what you felt for him, right? I heard her sigh again. It was a long, deep sigh. I had the chances, Motoharu. Ryuu gave me lots of them. However, I just didn't have the courage to ----------------------------------------tell him and I hated myself for that. I saw her bury her head on her knees and I felt kind In the end, my friend whom I was waiting for wasn't of sad for her. She must have really wanted to convey her feelings but one thing prevented her. able to come. He told me that something cropped Fear. It was the fear of being rejected and the fear up. I didn't mind and told him that it was okay. of losing everything if things didn't go the way she wanted. I thought Hanezawa would leave after I told her about my change of plans. However, she came If we had been much closer before, would you back after walking off initially and asked me if I wanted to go out and have a drink somewhere else. ever fall in love with me?' I was taken aback by her question. I didn't expect it She said she wanted to talk more. I agreed since I coming. Nevertheless, I thought I ought to answer had time and we went to a newly built bar named her. She might go berserk if I didn't. After all, shes Vanilla Lemon in the backstreets of Shinjuku. The drunk. However, that wasnt the only reason. I felt place was small but good. They had someone playing a familiar mellow piano piece. There were a that I really need to answer the question. Cold sweat ran down my cheeks. I told her what was on few people drinking. my mind at that time. We ordered vodka. During the first few drinks, neither of us talked. We drank and savoured the Memories and Chances Part 4 liquor as it made invisible lines in our throats. Several times, drunken old men would try to hit on I personally think that anyone can fall in love with Hanezawa but I made them leave on seeing her anybody. I don't know how to explain it properly discomfort. If they wouldn't, I would generously but I just have that feeling. Everything is about

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understanding and acceptance. Most of the people who have high standards in choosing partners ended up with the exact opposite of what they wanted. One must open his or her eyes to see. Hanezawa threw me a look saying that I didn't exactly answer her question. So what's your answer? If that had been the case, then I must say yes. I might have fallen in love with you. You know what? You are so not real. She said but then smiled. But thanks anyway. I've got my confidence back. She raised her glass and offered a toast. I accepted it. We didn't talk for a while after that. She had her eyes glued to the woman playing the piano and I was busy thinking about her last question. When she asked, I hadn't given it much thought and simply said what I was thinking. Her voice rang in my mind again. Would you ever fall in love with me? I thought of how Ryuu really felt about her. Did he ever see her as a girl and not just some friend? Sometimes, I thought he did. Whenever he was talking to Hanezawa, he had that certain smile that I didn't see when he was with others. It was as if he was fully opening himself up to her but then stopping at a particular point. Now that I thought about it, he seemed to be controlling himself whenever she was around. He was always showing off, goofing around but it was different with her. Something was always holding him back. I chuckled as the truth dawned on me. Hanezawa and Ryuu were the same. They were both cowards. I think Ryuu loved you. She didn't answer. I became worried and turned to see why. Somehow, I felt relieved. It was not that she didn't want to answer. She just couldn't do so. Hanezawa was off to dreamland.

hair smelled nice too. I found myself staring unconsciously at her hands which were hanging in front of me. They were small and beautiful and resembled those of a pianist. I wondered if she can play the piano. Suddenly, an image flashed in my mind. Wait Was it just dj vu or did this scene happen before? Ryuu once carried me like this too Hanezawa murmured even though she was asleep. Something just didn't feel right. Something told me that what she had said wasn't right. Nevertheless, I went outside and hailed a taxi for the eighth and last time. ----------------------------------------It was not Ryuu who carried her back home that night. It was me. I was sure of it. The memory returned to me after I carried Hanezawa on my back again and somehow, it felt good. It was as if it filled a space in my heart that has been empty for a long time. The memory was a long lost piece of me. We were at Ryuu's house that night for a grand graduation party. Ryuu's parents came back from America and they thought they should hold a celebration. Ryuu came from a rich family. They owned a big furniture company that exports to different countries and I heard they were trying to enter the real estate business. Memories and Chances Part 5 The party was open to everyone and many people, especially the girls, accepted such a rare opportunity. Who wouldn't want to spend their last day as a high school student with Ryuu? Nobody. It was good news for the boys too. The boys could find plenty of eligible girls at the party and might get lucky with them. I guess it was pretty normal that everyone wanted to go.

Hanezawa arrived at the party at ten minutes before eight in the evening. I could tell because I remembered looking at my watch before she came. Ryuu brought me with him and we greeted her with No way. a playful salute at the gate. She looked beautiful as I smiled hopelessly. Where should I take her? I she stood there in her simple white dress and her didn't even know where she lived. I thought of her hair tied in a knot. She didn't wear her glasses too. friend but she did not mention the location of her Like always, she chatted to Ryuu and simply smiled friend's apartment. I tried to look for her wallet but at me. We never really had a proper talk with each she didn't have one. I laughed again. She invited other then. It was usually a smile and a small Hi me for a drink without money? Not knowing what to whenever I was around. I even thought she hated do, I paid the bill and carried her on my back. me for being there. Anyway, Ryuu took her hand and said that his parents would be glad to see her again. I saw her cheeks burned red as she left with I stood for a while at the bar as I tried to feel her Ryuu to talk to his parents. weight. She was not as heavy as I expected. Her

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As usual, I was left alone again. It was fine with me I felt a sense of relief when we finally arrived at her though. I returned inside and talked or rather flirted house. I quickly paid the driver and carried with some girls. Hanezawa again. You've got a cute girlfriend there. He said, opening his window as I passed by it. A few hours passed by and I went to get a drink after being bored of flirting. My throat was dry from I shrugged the comment off. I guess I was too tired to react and I should just let him think what he talking too much. A girl from my class named Koizumi was singing in the background. I listened to wanted. Anyway, theres no chance that Ill ever her as I drank in a corner even though she missed a meet him again in the future. few notes and her tempo was kind of off. I got nothing better to do anyway. That was when I Part 6 overheard Ryuu talking to his parents. No one answered when I rang the doorbell. Are Do I really need to meet them? He asked, they already asleep? Luckily, the door was left frowning. open. I entered the house and lay Hanezawa down I mean it's late and are you sure they are still on the nearby sofa. She was still asleep. I thought coming? of bringing her to her room since she might not feel Of course! They just called and said they are on comfortable sleeping on the sofa but I had no idea their way. You need to stay. His mother said. where it was. Their house was quite big and there But I need to were many rooms to choose from. I removed her Let's just have someone bring Kana-chan home, shoes and undo her hair so she would feel a bit okay? more comfortable. After resting for a while, I Kana-chan? It hit me who she was when I saw decided to leave. Hanezawa sleeping on the sofa. Did she get drunk? No! What if something happens to her? Thank you I heard her murmured. Like I said, our driver would It made me smile a little. Thank you, Ryuu. I didn't know what came to me but I interrupted Surprised, I turned to look at her again one more their conversation. I told them that I could send her time. Hanezawa's eyes were closed. Seeing her and back home. Ryuu was a bit hesitant but he agreed hearing what she said made me feel hopeless. I to my offer. After all, he didn't have any choice. He don't know how to put it but I felt hopeless and kind wanted to lend me his car but I refused since I of sad at the same time. I realized it was because didn't have a driving license. she thought I was Ryuu. That's the reason why I ended up carrying the sleeping Hanezawa on my back while Ryuu called a taxi for us. As soon as we got one, I let her in first before getting in myself. I remember Ryuu warning me about not to lay a hand on Hanezawa but I simply laughed at him. 'Don't worry. I won't.' And the taxi set off. The ride was unexpectedly long. I was sitting beside an innocent sleeping girl and the driver kept staring at us through the mirror. He might be thinking that I am a pervert who have lewd ideas about Hanezawa. I left without another word. That was the last time I saw her. In fact, I never expect myself to see her again. Not in another five years. -----------------------------------------

When we got back to my apartment, I lay her down on my futon, removed her shoes and placed a glass of water near her just in case she feels thirsty when she wakes up. Following that, I rested my back on the wall and let myself become sober. I didn't feel drunk even though I drank more alcohol than I probably should. Normally, the same amount of I shifted my gaze and tried to focus my attention on alcohol will knock me out. I guess being with her the things outside the window. helped me control my senses. I needed to stay I heard a little chuckle but I ignored it. I was feeling awake and alert so I could protect her. I did it for really uncomfortable and I thought of jumping out the sake of a girl that only said Hi to me before of the car. we met at Starbucks. What have I gotten myself into? I thought. I just wanted to help out and what did I get in Maybe I should be the one to tell her what she said return? A silent torture? Yeah, that's what I got. to me back in the bar. I should be the one who should be saying that it's all her fault that I suddenly feel confused. It's all her fault that I

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started remembering things that I never thought I will recall. If she hadn't turned to look at me at Starbucks, if she hadn't approached me then I would have came home much earlier. However, she did come up to me and greeted me with a Hey, the second word that she ever spoke to me and even invited me for a drink without any money on her. Yeah, someday I should tell her that. I should really tell her that. However, let me look at her closely. Let me look at the girl who clearly reminded and explained to me the word, Regret. She was a lot better than any dictionary in the world. ----------------------------------------I woke up the next day sleeping on my futon. Hanezawa was nowhere to be seen. I assumed she left while I was sleeping. The sun was already up. Feeling really light-headed, I made my way to the bathroom to wash up. I smelled really bad due to the alcohol I drank yesterday. Something caught my attention. It was the full breakfast meal waiting for me at the table together with a note on the side. Thank you last night and I take back what I said about you. You are real. Hanezawa Kana I flipped the note and there was something else written on the other side. I thought it was her phone number but it wasn't. P.S. I thought of visiting Ryuu and his wife when I'm finally ready. I hope you can be by my side when that time comes. I'll drop by your apartment sometime. She did not mention when would it be on the note but I admit that I had never been more excited about going home since that day. ----------------------------------------You only gave me two chances even though I have known you all these years. I had two chances to tell you everything and I always had the courage to do so. Or so I thought. However it is kind of unfair. I am not complaining about how few chances I had but I think you are the one who is unfair. You are so unfair. In both of the chances that you gave me, you never listened to me. You were always drunk and I always end up talking to myself. Lonely isn't? By prshr

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