"Gode, brought eggs and a little bread toasted and meatball. I hope you like them. You know, I like meat balls with cheese a great deal." Ella spoke softly to the unmoving grave.
It might look like she is inane for the people who come across this event, but it was her everyday task. She shares her day events with her husband and tries to have at least one meal per day with him.
Living a deserted life out of the habitat, her husband's grave was the only thing that helped her get over her loneliness. After her husband, she never once looked at another man nor would she ever do.
Even if she wants to too, she cannot. After all she was banished from living in any habitation.
She was treated like an infectious virus and an inauspicious sight for everyone.
The person who saved the village is now an ominous person for everyone.
How selfish people are...!
How heartless to abandon a person who did their cruel bidding to save them and in return the same sacrifice became a curse for her.
"Alex, what do I do? I can live a lonely life but the self-pity I have for myself is eating me from inside. I feel so pathetic and helpless, Alex. There's no energy in me to go further in this life." Ella tears flowed down through her pale cheeks.
The dry sand rose up along with the wind and swirled around her and her husband's grave. The burning sun and the dry hot breeze is making her hard to breath but she didn't let that effect her as her main task right now is to cover her husband's food from getting dirty.
Ella leaned forward spreading both her hands over the food plate covering it with her hands as well with her torn napkin.
How come such a dainty little thing who's heart is as pure as pearl, is going through a stormy life?
This is unfortunate at the fate's end to make such a person pay for something she did not do at all. It was fate's evil game.
Waiting till the waves of sand haboob to turn calm, Ella had her remains of her meal while sharing her day activities with husband and went off towards her little trampled cabin to rest for the day, covering her husband's food plate with a hay basin and leaving it on the grave itself hoping it to be empty by the next morning like always.
"How was the meatball and toast?" Gode asked once Ella returned to her cabin after having her meal. She sat on her ragged hard bed and sighed a little before looking at her friend with a sad smile.
"It was like it was always." Ella answered with a sad smile and returned to the small clay pot to drink cool water and quench the dryness in her throat.
Not answering, Gode looked at her friend's harvest of fresh fruits and vegetable, "I spoke to one of my uncles who arrange a place for sellers to sell their goods in village market a mile away. I told everything about you and he agreed to have a place in the corner for selling your goods as long as you cover yourself or disguise yourself." Ella looked at Gode speculatively musing at the idea of selling her harvest.
Certainly it would do good to her if she earn a few coins but her only concern is what if people recognize her and throw names at her or worst what if the whole market gets shut down just because she was give a place.
She was a curse.
She was an untouchable and shouldn't be seen.
She was a bad luck.
What should she do? Should she embrace the opportunity and disguise herself or should she think about the welfare of the village people?
"Do not think about the wellbeing of the people who used you for their own selfish motives. This is a great chance for you to gain a few coins and repair you cabin and you should consider this proposal." Gode admonished, seeing through Ella's thoughts.
Gode maybe a little selfish and a hard nut to crack but she has an immense affection for her friend, Ella. From the past four years, she was the only one who stood beside Ella and caught her when she was deep falling in misery.
"I brought three cloaks that I'm not using now. You can use them and go to the market. You can sell your goods once every three days from noon to the sunset." Ella nodded her head at Gode and took the three cloaks that her friends was so kindly offering her.
Oh, how can she ever repay Gode for her kindness...!
"Do you think that I can fair well?" Ella asked, scared of the villager's reaction once they realize who was the lady in the cloaks.
"Yes, Certainly. The corner you were given was usually visited by the travelers and people from the other villages so I can tell you that they will not recognize your face unless you tell your name." Gode reassured Ella's concerns.
Sighing with scared fortitude, Ella tried the cloaks and capes she has to notice if she was well covered or not.
Next morning, Ella woke up early and packed the fresh fruits and vegetable along with few hay and jute platters she made in her free time. She was going to see if people would like to buy the platters or not and if they did buy them, then she was going to make them more for selling.
Putting the baskets of harvest in the large cloth, she knotted the ends of the cloth tightly without out any hole.
Sighing heavily at the thought of walking a mile with the heavy bundles and baskets to the market, she got wooden container of water and walked towards her husband's grave.
"Alex, I am going to the village market to sell the harvest. I might not be able to have the noon meal with you but we will have the supper together. Rest well." She spoke softly, kissing the flat top of the grave with a slight smile.
Walking through the vast dry vacant lands, she heaved and paused many times to catch her breath. Not long enough, a carriage rode towards her and stopped right in front of her to her surprise.
Stunned at the courage of the carriage driver who stopped and looked at her, she chose not to look at the driver for his own safety and walked past him.
"I am going to the market, dear child and the carriage is empty. Hop on, I will give you a ride." The old looking driver spoke with care and anticipation.
Ella still did not look straight at the driver but definitely shook her head, "No sir. I do not have coins to give you." Ella explained skipping the real reason of rejecting the ride.
"Do not worry, dear. Pay me with few of your fresh fruits."
"But -, You must be new to the village. You shouldn't be seen with me nor should you talk to me, sir. I am a curse."
The old looking driver smiles softly at her and gives her a knowing look. "You may be a curse, dear one but a boon is on its way to embrace every curse of yours."
'What is the meaning of that, granny?' curious and involved granddaughter asks, looking at the wrinkled smile of her dear grandmother.
Grandmother lays a shawl over her granddaughter and smiles brightly at the little child.
'It means Ella's life has already started to change. And it means a curse for someone is a boon for someone else.'