The Lie

Sometimes, life is full of surprises. Sometimes one looks at oneself and marvels at why one has mislaid massive chunks of time somewhere in a maze of mystification. And sometimes one simply wakes up and takes a good look at oneself. Here is the story of one almost-lost soul. Of necessity, it is a re-write.

Ibrahim Waheed “Kalaavehi”

They say that a lonely figure stands on a dark beach somewhere…..

Years ago, he stood there, frozen in time. A treeless beach lay in front of him like a shroud in the velvet darkness of a moonless, starless night. Perhaps the vision was of his own making. In the distance was a misty horizon, more imagined than real. Still, he knew he was waiting. Waiting for something that might, perhaps, never even happen…..

And yet he was waiting for something elusive, something close to desire, something close to….. closure?

A small boat materialized in the mist. Perhaps it had been there all along. A lone oarsman sat in the boat, gently rowing. His head was covered in a black hood. A mysterious silence engulfed the vision as it floated before his eyes. The boat, he assumed, would carry him out into the cold of a time without time. Into a mysterious place without space. Timeless, placid ocean would take him on a journey from which he would never return.

As he waited on that desolate beach, the wind tore at his hair. It whipped unshed tears from his eyes. But he did not notice or care. He stood unmoving, unaware of the passage of time. He refused to feel the salty spray that lashed his face mercilessly. He waited for a return to a point in time long forgotten. I had misplaced his reason for living, perhaps life itself. He had long forgotten any joyous moments he might have had.

All he held in his hands was a faded photograph. She had once shown him the distinction between love and lust. She had told him of the deep difference between respect and fear, the difference between selfishness and humanity. She gazed back at him from the photograph, unmoving. Her smile was now frozen in its own time and space. She had become nothing more than a few shattered memories.

Time passed in days and years on that beach. The waves grew, became old and died. He watched the tide come in and go out, like life made futile by unseen forces. Waves lapped at his feet and left their cold wetness on his toes. They tried wiping the beach clean and failed. Some of the unmoving wanderer’s footprints stayed on like silent rebukes. Monsoon after monsoon passed in uncounted furor. The wind, the rain and the few scorching sunny days kept the dark figure in the boat so near and yet so far away.

Then, from another time, almost from another world, someone paid a visit to the beach. It was an old friend looking for someone to share unknowns with. She brought with her the fruits of years of friendship. She came on a ray of light that shone out of the sky and whispered in his ear. She sat down on that desolate beach by his side talked to him. She made him think. She made him wake up from a sleep he did not know he was in. She shared her smile with him and multiplied it. She showed him that even a sorrow, when shared, often translated into happiness. That was when he saw what he had not seen in a long time: He saw the moon shining in the sky, asking him to try to smile again. The stars twinkled in the sky, telling him that he had to miss that imaginary boat and its grim crew. It was a time for silent stories of reincarnation.

As she spoke, the will to live life to the full slowly crept into his heart and strengthened it. She led me by the hand and guided him away from that terrible beach. She led him to the wonders of answered prayer. Time itself looked him in the eyes and asked him if he would hold her hand. It asked him to head back towards the good road that lay untrodden, unexplored and waiting. Somewhere in the distance, he heard the faint chords of an old song. Les feuilles mortes, rephrased and rejuvenated in modern swing jazz was not all about the golden leaves of fall.

Yes! The story is that she took him back and gave him a new life — a new life for her own use. A new life that would help her rebuild the wrecked cottage that had once held in it so many light lullabies and heavy sighs. A new life that would carry her far away from the reality, the squalor, the cheap drunken nights and the wolves that preyed on her charity and chastity. A new life to spike the potion in her cauldron; of evil fruits and bats wings, frog spawn and everything else that witches used in their daily brews.

And the story continues that he, the fool, took it all in. It also says that he, in turn, became the monster that no longer had anything good left in his soul. He used her and squeezed every ounce of decency out of her. He abused her as no man ever abused a woman. That was what they called him.

As truth stood on the sidewalk, too scared to express itself, falsehood used its box cutters on their world and slit its throat.

So he still stands on that beach, or so they think. And she is back to her dirt and her squalor, or so they think. And then there are the few who say that they are forever together because they are so far apart, for they know that happiness is not always togetherness, but the ability to say to oneself, “ As long as my significant other is happy, I am happy!”

They say that a lonely figure stands on a dark beach somewhere….. but that is a lie as well. For I have checked that beach and no one stands there!

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  • Mysterystar  On April 13, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Amazing description. WOW!!! Women shouldn’t used men for granted just to start a decent life. It’s a pity!!!!

  • Mysterystar  On April 13, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Forgot to say I like Autumn leaves too.

    • ldive  On April 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

      C’est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
      Toi tu m’aimais et je t’aimais
      Nous vivions tous, les deux ensemble
      Toi que m’aimais moi qui t’aimais
      Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment
      Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
      Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants désunis

  • ldive  On April 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    And no one is being used by anyone here… please.

    • Mysterystar  On April 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Was commenting to the story;perhaps I got it wrong. thank you

  • Lost-Soul  On May 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Remarkable, descriptive piece. It’s compactly encased in a beautiful philosophy. A touch can reanimate a corpse… I can relate. Because I haven’t glanced at the stars and the moon in a long while, either. thanks for posting.

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