Shahnameh by Ben Mirza

I know the only time we’ll meet is in my dreams. Where again I had to find her, and again will find her on a bench, high up the cliff, beside the lighthouse. This time she’s in a cute cream evening dress with a matching hat with a cute red ribbon tied to it sitting on her lap. Her long flowing hair was slightly managed by clips that looked like butterflies, as their wings flutter to the slightest of breeze. As always, she was looking intently at the sunset over vast seas, with a hint of melancholy, as ships slowly disappear into the horizon.

I sat beside her unannounced and quipped about how her eyes were as mellow as the sunset, she smiled, already aware of me being here, welcomed me back to this dimension. The dimension of hopes and dreams; or sorrow and despair depending on who you ask. I said I missed her, she smiled and replied saying I already know she can’t answer me, at least for now. As the sun sets slowly, our hands touched wrapping our pinkie finger, like a promise was going to be made as twilight falls into darkness.

She invited me up high to her lighthouse. Now two fingers interlocking as she guides me in. As we walked up the spiral steps, her long flowing hair and butterfly clips invoked parallels to Rapunzel, the fair maiden of the tower, duty bound to it, where our supposed story ends in tragedy. But I prefer that we are in the Shahnameh, where she’s the beautiful Rudaba and I’m the outcast Zal, high up in the tower we talk, we laugh, we fall in love under the blanket of stars.

Finally, up near the controls, she already showed me before how the lighthouse worked in this dimension. Helping as many as possible in the darkest of nights so that they can witness the brightest of days after. I too was helped by this lighthouse. As it led me to her, the confident but cynical maiden of the lighthouse, but hides a deep sorrow within. I heard somewhere, in all the universes, all the dimensions; there will always be a man, a woman, and a lighthouse – all interconnected these together.

As she is bound to this dimension, I am too bound to my dimension, for now. It is time for me to wake up again from this dream I don’t want to leave. Our hands in full hold now, smiling, making a silent promise, not uttered but understood by each other. As the rising sun slowly caresses my face, I woke up to the rubble of my own dimension – where my duty lies. As the sun guides my path, I can’t wait to meet her again when it sets, by the bench high up the cliff, beside a lighthouse that shines hope.

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Artwork by Leonid Afremov

Abdul Rahman Shah is a writer who contributed articles in Mitos Mahasiswa Sibuk (2015) and Letters to Home (2016). Now he is just a passing-by writer trying to find stories in moments of life. He frequently uploads his stories onto Facebook.

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