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Short Story The Three Questions

The Three Questions by Haidji Inspirational short story

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The Three Questions

“Please answer these questions:

Question 1-
What do you think about, when you see yourself for the first time in the mirror in the morning?

Question 2-
What do you see when you look through your bedroom window?

Question 3-
What is the color of a candle flame?“

“What?” said John.

“Don’t ask, just answer. I just want you to answer the questions,” said Constance.

“And what happens when I answer?”

“Nothing, I am curious; can you just answer?” said Constance.

“Ok…here are my answers.

Question 1-
When I see myself the first time in the mirror in the morning, I think about how beautiful my life is, and I think about all that I will make in my day. I also think about the world, and the poor kids in Africa.

Question 2-
When I look through my bedroom window, I see the world. The world that I want to conquer.

Question 3-
The candle flame: it is yellow.”

An image appeared in front of Constance eyes, the image of smoke, and disappeared quickly.

“Can we go now, Constance?”

They were going, together with a group of friends, to the cinema.

It wasn’t a date, but it was more than the usual “just say hi” at the University’s breaks between classes.

Constance was quiet; they would not be friends for long. She did not know what to say. She was disappointed. She liked John. We will just be friends, she thought.

Constance was disappointed.
Oh well, she thought…the image of smoke again.

When Constance was 7 years old, her grandfather, who she called “Nonno” due to the Italian origin of her family, told her about the three magic questions. Questions that would tell her more about someone, than the person him or herself could tell.
Questions that allowed her not to wait for their actions, to see how someone is.
Since then, Constance used to ask these three questions to many persons. It was a way to know them better, to learn how they really are.

Nonno told her, one of the last times she saw him:
“Few friends will stay in your life. Some friends are just passing by, through your life, and most of them are not really friends at all. But all them will leave their marks, good and bad marks, and all of them will be part of your story. I will not be here forever, Picolina, so you need to learn to take care of yourself. So, never forget to ask The Three Magic questions.

The Answer to the first question will tell you if someone is a liar.
The answer to the second one will show you how the person sees the world.
The answer to the third one will tell you if the person sees the world in a conscious way.
Don’t expect persons to be perfect; no one is. But knowing how persons are can help you to understand them. Don’t expect them to be what they are not, accept them as they are, and, make sure to keep a healthy distance from people that could hurt you.”

Her grandfather died shortly after telling her the secret of the Three Questions. There was no sickness, no accident; he was just old, like an old tree that falls over the Earth when there are no more leaves on it to breathe. No more life inside of it, to create new leaves. Like that, he stopped to breathe.

And Constance, Constance was 7 years old when he died, and she missed him. The Story Teller, The Magic Grandfather, the one that could tell her stories, about all and nothing.
Like seeds from a tree, shortly before falling, he gave her the questions.

Constance wasn’t expecting someone to give all the right answers. But…? Another liar, again?
Smoke images, shattered ones and sometimes, sometimes no images at all. In her small group of friends, the answers were all different and they created different images inside of her mind.
No, Constance did not expect her friends to be perfect. Constance just wanted to know who they are. Because life was sometimes hard, and persons, well persons never seem to be what they really are. Or maybe, somewhere deep inside, she did expect a more solid image to appear with the answers.

Constance went to visit her Grandfather at the cemetery; she was 20 years old and had a bunch of wild flowers in her hands. Approaching his grave with respect, Constance left the flowers over his grave and asked:

“Nonno…I know that you are not here, but I don’t know where to go to speak to you. I miss you, Nonno. These questions, will there ever be someone that gives me the right answers? Are there any right answers at all?”

Only silence, and the wind passing by through the cemetery’s trees, but no answer.
Constance stood there, in front of her grandfather’s grave, hearing the silence until a child came from behind and said:
“Hi”, answered Constance, looking to the small girl, probably 7 years old.
“I’m here visiting my small sister, Marina; she lives here now, I think, under the Earth where there is the door to the sky. My mother comes here with me and we bring flower to her. I forgot my flowers on the kitchen table; can you please give one of yours? Who are you visiting?”
“Yes, of course, which one do you want? I’m visiting my grandfather”, said Constance.

“They are all beautiful, but my sister would like this one that looks like a sunflower, because we had sunflowers at home too. And because she had her yellow dress on, the most beautiful one she had. I saw it as they were dressing her, as she was sleeping over a table, before coming here. I was hiding and I saw it. I don’t want her to miss her home on her way to the sky,” said the girl.

Constance gave her the sunflower-like flower and the girl started to run, smiling.

“All flowers are beautiful, all answers are right, you just need to find the flower that feels closest to you, and this flower will go with you everywhere for the rest of your life.”

Maybe it was a thought, a loud one; maybe it was the wind, but Constance was reminded of Nonno’s voice, as would he be saying:

“These are the three questions, my dearest Constance. To know if the other person’s answers match; first, ask yourself.

What would you answer?”

This short story is included in Haidji's book Harables, scroll down to her info to find the book.
To see more of Haidji, click the link to her website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view her member details Visit Haidji Blogspot

Images used for the story are Girl Tree Sunshine at

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Short Story written by Haidji

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When Constance was 7 years old, her grandfather, who she called Nonno due to the Italian origin of her family, told her about the three magic questions. Questions that would tell her more about someone, than the person...

Harables: Short Stories 1 by Haidji

Harables (Short Stories 1) brings together eighteen of Haidji’s short stories. Each story is prefaced with a hint of what’s inside, for example: “To be shaped for life is never easy…”. “Life seemed to be just a letter, or a few words, in the metaphor of the Earth’s biography.” “All lines are drawings!”… “For the Earth to survive, for the human race to survive, we need to overcome our own survivor instinct.” Every reader will have their own favourites among...

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