A Strange Encounter

He lived a busy life in the city. But he was never truly happy and he knew something was missing.

One night he walked up the hill overlooking his city. The thousands of lights couldn’t brighten his mood.
He turned around to walk back to his car when he saw movement in the bushes
“Who is there? ”
Panicking of being robbed he searched around for a broken glass bottle to defend himself. With a broken piece of glass in hand he called again.
“Show yourself ”
Not sure if he actually saw something or he imagined it. he turned again to leave when a voice came, almost a whisper.
” I don’t mean to hurt you”
He saw a beautiful girl standing in a short white dress, with long red hairs looking at him. It was difficult to say the color of her eyes but they must be chocolate brown.
She was barefoot.
“What are you doing here miss? ” He asked.
” I like up here. Its all so beautiful from here, you can’t guess the loneliness, the emptiness, the bitterness of the people who live in there.
You can’t see the faded paint of the buildings, you can’t hear the noisy honks or breathe polluted smoke. ”
she answered in a soft voice.
“True that’s why i came here. I m Dominique holden and you?”
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what your name is. ”
Why? He asked curiously.
” Wearing a well tailored expensive suit,
Shiny shoes not at all recommended for tracking to be honest, reeking of more than one perfume, a car waiting down the hill. a businessman.
More money than you can spend.
Boring, fed up with life, so busy that you cannot even afford to die,
sulking alone on a hilltop wondering what’s missing . ”
“Excuse me? ” he asked
Anger flushed on his face, he was angry not only because of her words but because of the truth in them.

” I have worked hard to reach where i m today at the age of 28 i have the biggest mansion of this town, i will soon be married to the most eligible bachelorette of this town and according to the growth rate of my company in 5 years I’ll have enough money that my next generation can spend their entire lives in luxury without working at all. ”

” Nice, Mr. Richy rich. You have everything that anyone in the town will dream of and still instead of resting on the soft comfy couch of your mansion you are here surrounded by Mosquitoes talking to a stranger you know nothing about trying to prove how lovely your life is..
“I m n.. Not trying to prove anything ” he yelled out.
” Sorry. i didn mean to shout “embarrassed he muttered.
She smiled.
” Who are you trying to convince me or yourself?”
“It doesn’t matter what you think. You are a nobody to me” he replied annoyingly.
“Yes of course it doesn’t. I m noone but a stranger. You can walk away now and we may never meet again. There are a lot of people in this town who admires you for who you are, respects you for your work, work under you everyday why does a strange girl’s who met you at a hill top matters?” she replied matter of factly.
He sighed “because you saw the truth noone else ever did and you have the courage to throw it on my face with a smile too.”

“Oh Dominique! Look, look at the city what do you see? Everybody claims to be working to earn happiness. They see happiness in monetary objects. You are no different. So far in your life you have earned to live in luxury but no amount of luxury can provide the happiness you are seeking.” He chirped

“But we need things to survive, lecture about happiness to an empty stomach or to a shelterless man on a stormy night. ” he answered smartly

” I never said money isn’t necessary but its not everything. ” she said

” Then what is it that makes you feel complete? How to be happy?” curiously he asked.

That i can’t tell you, i can’t tell you what can make you happy. That’s for you to figure out.

Ok fair enough.
what makes you happy? you can tell me that right? May be I’ll find my way to happiness through yours.

Yes. I can tell you that.
My idea of happiness lies in little things,
Freedom of being unapologetically me.
Compassion for needy.
When a stranger smiles back at me.
When i share my food with a dog.
Fighting for the love of my life.
Dancing in the rain.
Memories that are worth more than all the money in the world.
Happiness lies in true essence of life.
Living it the fullest.

Inspired by her words. He smiled after a very long time. The stranger’s words have sank deep and opened up a vault of hope in his heart. He remembered his childhood, things that he used to enjoy. Friends with whom he spent the happiest time of his life. The teenage love he never really got over with.

“I see you are smiling. I leave you here now” she turned and started walking.
” wait you haven’t told me your name” he asked, in his mind he was determined to know more about her.
She stopped.
“With what name would you like to call me? She asked.
“So you won’t tell me your name?” His heart sank.
“C’mon choose a name ” she said ignoring his questions.
After thinking for a minute he replied.
” ava”

“The bird” she laughed in the most beautiful voice he had ever heard.
“Good bye Dominique, hope you will find your happiness ”

She walked away.
” Wait… You haven’t told me about yourself, how can i find you again?”
But she was gone.

From Next day, he was determined to make a difference.
When he entered the office as usual every employee wished him good morning the unusual was his smile at them.
Half way through the day, he walked to the old age home and registered to be a part of regular visitor’s group.
They days went by, he found a new spirit in his life. A new approach.
He was no longer missing anything.
Marriage was no longer a business deal or a status symbol for him.
He was determined to find love.
It wasn’t about money making anymore either.
He was spending it with both hands for good causes, making sure no one sleep empty stomach.
Building shelter homes, education centres.
Each step of compassion was a step towards his happiness.
He took out time to meet his old friends, planning visits, vacations.
He went back to his old love, books every night sleep came peacefully to him.
He finally found solace in his own life.
He wanted to meet the person who changed his life.
Determined to find her, he directed his best men to search for her.
Asked around the whole town himself but she was nowhere to be found.
Frustrated by the failure he went back to the hill . his last hope.
But she wasn’t there.
He found a piece of paper there, a letter.

Dear Dominique,
I knew you will come finding me.
I hope you have found your happiness, don’t let anything take it away from you. Not even me.
Stop searching me as I m somewhere you cannot reach. Enjoy the beautiful life you have, for yourself and for me.
Yours
Ava.

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