The Protective Hands


The Protective Hands

As she was closing the curtains, she caught sight of the lightning. They forecast a thunderstorm; but her mind was wandering around about something else. It’s a routine to close the curtains, like many other routines: washing the clothes, cooking a meal, preparing for breakfast for tomorrow…She wasn’t particularly aware that it was different now.

But of course she knew, for she had prepared. Who wouldn’t have? It was just that it had happened so fast—from one chapter to another. And it had been complete without any requirements for adjustment. Solid reality now. Not the imagination anymore

No return. But who would want the last chapter to return? Life flows forward, does it not? She felt disposed, yet she was also perplexed.

Then she saw the photo. Her hands. The protective hands. They were never far away from the tiny soft body, to offer support, care and love, to protect it from harmful matters, physical or mental or emotional; these small skinny hands always wanted to accomplish the noblest. She looked down at her hands and laughed. What a busy pair of hands!

Over the years, the tiny baby has established its many ways. It has met with the challenges of life through kindergarten, schools, exams, university, overseas experiences, work and now marriage. Through many trials, it grew up and learnt to stand firmly on its own and run vigorously when needed. It became a person and a mature adult. But her protective hands had never been put away—until that Saturday, when she withdrew them at the church.

Now a chosen man’s hands have replaced hers to offer protection, care and love. The baby has become a wife. Many chapters have been turned.

My hands have done their duties, haven’t they? She asked herself. Or is there something else they can still achieve? Like what?

She felt a breeze stroking her face; and she realised that the door behind the curtains was not shut. She opened the curtains and saw the birds flying by. Free. Independent. Joyful.

She smiled and went to the bathroom to wash her hands, cut the nails and put some cream on them.

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