Note: Part 2: Asad and Anya
Ever since I was a child, I imagined and imagined. When no one was watching me, I would be a stern teacher who is always writing on the board (my room’s wall) and disciplining children and youth (imaginary friends). I used to do the whole routine after classes were over. Some of our (my imaginary students and I) tasks were to have an assembly; review uniform, nails, boots, and hair; group exercise and a march to the classroom; notetaking as I wrote on the blackboard (my wall); and, ongoing disciplining or praise of students as well as feedback from students. I used to spend hours doing this routine alone in my room. I would even memorize my homework while writing on the wall. By the way, I used to also dress three of my siblings for school and teach two of the younger ones. I used to do some of these tasks in the mornings and the rest in the evenings or nights. I used to imagine things whenever I had spare time on my hands. Can you believe it? I was really that super-smart…
I thought I would stop imagining one day. But, I couldn’t stop. I am much older now and my mind is preoccupied with things that adults do like managing job, friends, and family. But in the night, I am a child again. This interesting mental state of existence becomes even more alluring every time it rains or storms. I feel so romantic during those moments. Thus, I sleep while imagining almost any kind of story going from Regency Romances to Arab Romances.
Here is what I imagined tonight:
Once upon a time, a young lad had to visit a new village to sell some bread. The village was far away so by the time he got there, the bread became stale. He sat near his merchandise and cried really hard. As he was shaking with grief, a gentle hand touched his shoulder. Then he heard the sweetest voice, “Why are you crying?” Feeling shocked, he turned around and was startled to see a young maiden smiling at him.
“My bread is stale”, he complained as he cleaned his nose.
“Oh! But do not worry. I will buy it all from you”, the young maiden replied in that soft bewitching tone.
“Thanks! But wait! What will you do with it?” he questioned as he hushed his selfish heart.
“I will cook Fattoush with it and then sell this appetizing dish to the locals”, the young lady smiled as she took out a large bag of coins.
“Thanks a ton! You just saved my life. Wait! Can I visit you while you cook this dish? I need to know how you make it,” he smiled in a boyish manner as he took the coins from her and packed all the stale bread for her.
Then, I thought to myself, “I think he just got a date”. Then, I started feeling so happy and sleepy. Hahaha! This sounds so fun. I think I will imagine further after finishing this post. Maybe, she is a fairy; or, maybe she is very rich and adventurous.
Sheesh! This works better than counting sheeps. Obviously, there is gonna be a better effort if I were awake and writing.
Added Next Day on Sep-06-2018: Below are the rest of my thoughts that came to me last night. I slept very well after imagining all this. Storytelling improves my mood.
As she cooked Fattoush, the young man just stared at her, her utensils, and food.
“I love your place; You seem really rich,” he slowly observes. “C’mon, gimme some of the food, mother,” he jokes in a boisterous manner.
“You can have it because its ready now,” she smiles generously and places some food on his plate. “Its not my place. Its my best friend’s place,” she adds hesitantly.
“Where do you live?” he asks politely. And, he is surprised to hear her blurt, “Please! I need to run away from home. Please take me when you leave this place.”
His guts tell him that something is really wrong. After some more conversation, he finds out that her dad is not a good man and that she wishes to flee his company. “Of course! I need to help her,” he thinks as he tells her to hide behind the large rocks that are situated to the left of her friend’s house. The young lady next complains that her dad will find out that she is leaving because she has lots of stuff to carry with her. He calms her down and tells her to involve her close friend. “You will take one month to slowly move your stuff out of your father’s place. You will store all your luggage in your best friend’s place. We will meet behind the large rocks after one month,” he holds her hand and kisses it gently.
For a month, he remained a hidden man and she got ready to leave. The escape takes place exactly as it was planned. He had also worked hard to sell his donkey and buy a horse and a carriage. As she clings to him, he drives her away from her city.
“Who exactly is your dad?” he asks her cautiously while hoping that he has not disturbed her.
“He is the King of this country,” she starts sobbing hysterically. “He is a mean man who scares me a lot.”
He runs his horse faster. “King of this country! Hell No! She is making me confront that dude with a horse and a carriage. Sweet babe…” he thinks as he eyes her with more affection. His horse runs even faster as if he is also cued into their needs.
As they approach the second city, some thieves attack them. The young man tries to fight but he is easily outnumbered. To his surprise, the young lady uses a staff to harm them all. “She is applying the art of the Royal army,” one of the hooligans screams and runs away. “Stop fighting, lady,” the guy whispers. “You have just created a witness who can easily narrate that we were here.” Off they run again!
As they enter the fourth city, she throws a note folded on a stone at the window of a really large shop. “What! Why did you do this? They are about to just kill us. These people are really wealthy, God Dammit!” he curses at her loudly. “Don’t worry! My best friend runs this shop. He will read this note; and, he will know where I am going. He usually sits near the window I just broke,” she laughs and replies back. The note gets delivered to the right hands and the horse runs faster.
By the time they reached the sixth city, they had eaten all the food. As he stops to feed his horses, she runs away to a shop. “Pack this, this, and that,” she orders the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper stares at the Royal coins, which are specific to the Royals of this country, as he hurriedly packs all the food.
She gives him the food and asks him to eat. “How did you pay? I was still feeding the horses. You should have waited,” he exclaims in a tired voice. Even before she answers, he screams, “Wait! You just gave them the Royal coins. At this rate, we are going to get toasted, young lady,” he complains as he lifts her and places her in his carriage. Then he commands the horses to run fast.
“How dare you touch me? You fool of heart!” she cries and pulls his hair.
“How dare you touch me? How dare you touch me? Is that all you have to say? You are the one distributing all the evidence out there. Don’t you know how to stop, young woman,” he finally lets it out. “Who am I? Who am I? I am a Knight from your father’s enemy’s country. I just got to your city to collect some evidence; and, you found me. What am I going to do with you?” he hits his head in frustration.
“Sorry! I won’t tell dad. I promise!” she replies slowly as she uses her handkerchief to wipe his forehead.
“Wait! What! I won’t tell dad. Is that all? Your dad is the worst man if he hurts you. I mean I just took this job because I had to help my country; but, now you are adding additional purposes inside my mind. I am sorry too! I am not angry at you anymore. And, thanks for the food,” he takes her handkerchief; wipes his hands with it; and, puts it in his pocket.
The horse runs faster as she clings to his arm.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.