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Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The prodigal girl


Have you heard of the parable of the prodigal son? Of how he left home with all of his inheritance, squandered it away, and eventually decided to go home and apologise to his father? Of course, we all know it was a happy ending. To the prodigal son's pleasant surprise, he was welcomed with open arms, and a feast was thrown in celebration of his return. Now, let me tell you a much bleaker story about the prodigal girl...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who grew up in a sheltered home. She was well-loved, and had no lack. Like the prodigal son, food was put on the table for her every day, she had a whole wardrobe of flamboyant clothes, and even travelled to far places! Of course, she had her occasional squabbles with her family - that's what families do - but she was generally a happy person. Not until her coming of age.

As she grew older and started to have a mind of her own, she came to realise how much she was missing out in life. Instead of counting her blessings, she started to covet for what others had that she didn't. Perhaps, it was a quarter-life crisis. As the days went by, her unhappiness compounded at an exponential rate till one day, she snapped. She packed her bags and left to explore the world on her own.

And it was a fascinating world indeed. Some days, she woke up to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. Some days, she woke up to the hustle and bustle of the city. And on other days, she woke up with a hangover. But as with everything else, the law of marginal utility started to kick in and in no time, she sorely missed home. She wondered what home was like without her; wondered if home was still even there.

Some time later, she decided to check it out for herself and to her dismay, it was no longer there. She searched high and low, and asked the neighbours if they knew where her family went (after all, home was the people and not the building) but no one knew.

Crestfallen, she walked away to continue her journey of life on her own. She still woke up to birds chirping, waterfalls pouring, and other things that made her heart sing. But none of which she could ever call home.

So, this is the story of the prodigal girl and how she became homeless. I hope that one day she will find some place she can call home again.

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