The knock on the huge wooden door at midnight is as eerie as the illusory shapes creeping along the walls. I open the heavy door to find a crouching figure by the pines and was about to wave off the image supposing it to be the gardener on his nightly rambles when I saw an old man standing behind the pines partially hiding his face behind the trees. He was wounded and pale and was staring at me. The candle in my hand fell down as my hands trembled and I felt numb. I was breathing heavily.I heard the police running; they neared the place. They caught him and dragged him. The old man looked back at me again and again and I heard him murmuring. "Princess of Jonathan, they will hang me tomorrow, this was my last wish."Sister Nancy came running, "Catherine, what is wrong? Close the door and go back to sleep."Should I tell Sister Nancy what I saw? I was speechless, I walked back to my room but I could not sleep. His words haunted me; I did not understand. I was still shivering as I saw creeping figures on the walls. I consoled myself by saying, "It’s the swaying trees outside." I opened the Bible and started reading and slowly fell asleep. I woke up when the sun rays peeped in and warmed my room. I tried to recollect last night’s events. Was it a dream? Did I really see a man behind the pines?X --------------------XI like the life at St. Ann’s convent and am happy. Mother Superior calls me ‘God’s Precious Gift. Life begins early here. It is 5 in the morning and I rush to the Chapel; it is my duty to decorate the Chapel for morning mass. I light the candles and decorate the alter with white lilies and roses. The church looks so beautiful; I sing along as the birds chirp in the branches. Oh! How beautiful these mornings are!Father Daniel is giving the sermon this morning.
He is pink and plump like Santa Claus.
After the mass, Father Daniel tells me with twinkle in his eyes, "Catherine, you are turning 16 tomorrow! What gift would you like?"I reply softly, "A glimpse of my mother and father." Father Daniel is speechless; he smiles and walks slowly towards the gate.I move towards the kitchen to help Martha with her cooking. I also have to iron all the clothes, sweep all the 16 rooms and water the plants in the evening. I love to spend my time in the garden; Sister Nancy joins me there every day and recounts her childhood stories.The day melts down and night is spreading its dark blanket over the earth. I close all the huge convent doors, blow out the candles and move towards my room. I close my eyes and the soft breeze sings a lullaby for me.The next morning I wake up with a bright smile on my face. It’s my birthday!Today is Father Daniel’s farewell too. He is going to Germany to serve in a church there. After the sermon and the farewell, Father Daniel wishes me and hands me a cover. He says, "This envelope contains your photograph when you were two years old. See it later." I watch him walk away and my eyes turn moist.I rush to my room and close the door. I open the envelope with bated breath and read the piece of paper kept along with the photograph…"Father, take care of my little princess." – Love Jonathan