He bent down and caressed the sand with his fingertips. He drew her face and watched as the southern wind wiped it off. If only the wind could breeze through his mind and erase her memory. He stood and watched the immense desert that lay in front of him. He had wandered away from where his tribe camped and hid behind the high dunes.
The sun was rising, and the frosty nightly air was slowly getting warmer. Soon, the tribe would awaken and each would assume his duties. He smoothed the hair on his horse’s back for an instant and then swiftly climbed on the saddle. He didn’t have to guide the pure breed, for it perfectly knew the road back to the camp…
He caught a glimpse of her, as he neared the camp’s well. The woman that reigned over his thoughts; the last image that flickered inside his mind, before he surrendered to sleep; and the first thing he thought about when he opened his eyes. And, yet, as their eyes met, no words were uttered, respecting an unspoken pact made months ago.
He tied his horse’s leash next to his tent and went inside. He found a jar of fresh goat milk and a warm piece of bread: gifts from one of his pupils. He was one of the few tribe members who knew how to read and write, and he was assigned to teach the new generation. He loved molding young minds, exposing them to new ideas and watching their baffled faces.
Sitting on the beautiful Bedouin tapestry, he thought about today’s lesson. It will be at night, and he was going to teach the kids about stars. The men will soon go out to herd the cattle, while the children stayed to hear war stories from the elderly about brave warriors who fought valiantly for honor and pride, who faced whole armies with a smile and who tamed beasts with a glance.
Pride ,bravery, integrity… the pillars of their society. He had since learned that these values were in fact a global code, respected throughout history by every culture. Yet, the modern city, as he discovered, chose to abandon these values and base itself upon treachery, disrespect, vanity, bitterness…
She had went to the city with him. They were inseparable the whole time, protecting each other from succumbing to the perverse charms of the city. What happened was inevitable. She had found a way to unlock the gates of his heart and carve her name upon the walls. He thought she loved him as well, but his efforts were lost in vain as he was knocking on a door that would never bulge without the proper key.
The worst or best thing about a Bedouin’s life was that you have plenty of time to think. He longed to hear her voice, to see her beautiful smile and look into her mesmerizing eyes. And, he questioned for the one hundred time his choice to leave her. For, months ago, when his soul craved more than her friendship and his heart longed for her affection, he had decided he had had enough, and simply stopped speaking to her, desperately trying to erase her memory .
That turned out to be utterly useless, for with every beat, his heart echoed her name over and over refusing to let him forget…
He motioned to the stars, scintillating in the dark sky, and told the children:
” What if I told you’re now looking into the past? Remember when I told you can only see objects if they emit light? Well, light takes time time to reach us. Sometimes, hundreds of thousands of years. And, by the time, we finally see them. The stars could’ve burned out and exploded. What you see in the night sky can be deceiving. You may think you’re looking at a lively fiery star when you’re only seeing a ghost of the past….”
He was preparing to go back, when she appeared. She sat beside him and said:
“Someone out there might be pointing a telescope on our planet and watching our ghosts laughing in a park back in the city. They’re probably wondering how the story ends.”
“Well, nobody knows.”
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