This story takes place in Syria. On a hot summer afternoon, a beautiful lady in her 30 s sits in the living room of her spacious house wearing a cotton red/black traditional kandora. In her hand she holds a ring a wedding ring from the placement of gems upon it. She sits quietly and stares down at it in her hand intently; there was a time it used to be placed on her ring finger. What one incorrect decision had brought to have passed?

 

Years of loyalty to the ring had brought about a lot of change in 3fra. She had learned to be independent, strong, unquestioned, experimental and most of all .. free.

 

In the spectrum of event where she had eventually gotten out of her marriage, but not with a definite bang of the hammer, it had been a refreshing breather once she had gotten back to her feet. To think they said she’d crumble, and watched her get up and stride as strong as anyone could possibly could, was a victory in itself.

 

How unfortunate is the heart that believes too soon or gets blinded by false hope of true love and nourishment of the soul… and more so vulnerable it is at its beginnings.

Now in the prime of her age, she felt full of vigor, inexorable, accomplished. She had it going slowly but surely, a house, a job and a line of suitors; yet there was something missing, something kept her on her toes and to herself.

 

In her explorations of people she had stumbled upon a young man. It had been a steamy internet-phone-bedroom encounter that was supposedly going to end up in “hi and hellos” and eventually subside.. or they thought so.

 

The man got attracted to more than just her body, her perpetual charisma, veracity, a positive attitude towards life after the years of pain in her soul begot humility and essentially a compassionate heart beating with her breast. , if that is not enough; astoundingly sincere smile, light hazel eyes, hair in wild tresses , and skin as soft as  milk and honey off of a white loaf, a body toned to the years of her wonder years showed no signs she was actually a mother…  yes my friends, we had a contender. But of course the gentleman of our story was too prudent to show such flimsy hold of character against the will of her allure!

 

In the days that followed, they spend time together, getting to know each other, discovering the mysteries of the being of each other in the simple things in life.

One a fair day, the gentle man proposes to 3fra, just as he has imagined her, free and wild, he takes her to the beach, and under the 4 elements of earth as witness, fire, water, earth and wind, confesses his affection and asks her to be with him.

 

The only way they could live together was through marriage. This is not taken too well by 3fra after the taste of freedom and the patina of being self-contained has brought about so far. Marriage was not possible and so the man leaves with a broken heart in the streets of Damish  eagerly tracing the rumours of the Ring of Fortune .

 

After few months of searching from shop to shop and paying the right people for information, the man finally gets to the ring. “There is a price to pay for everything you ask for” said the street hawker before he handed the ring to the man.

 

He returns to 3fra with the good news, the ring grants one wish to the bearer and the ring takes something in return only when the ring is removed, so as long as he wears it, it will abide by his One wish.

 

“I have asked the Ring to make me invisible, so I can be with you all the time and no one will know we are together except for us”. Saying this, the man puts the ring on; he becomes completely invisible for the years to come, except for the ring itself.

 

The arrangement works wonderfully with twists of humor into the kind of relationship a woman can have with a man she cannot see. After years of being together, talking, snuggling, and doing activities besides afternoon tea , the woman feels a man who has been affectionate to her yet not asked for anything in return, care and friendship that was not something she had expected due to her past relationship… today when he got home, she had decided…  decided to tell him that she was ready to have him in her life, that she saw that these 10 years had been so different from the ones she had lived before.. And now she wanted to see the man behind all the time she had experienced

 

Years had gone and it was summer again in Syria, and the man returned early in his ice-cream man costume, the only thing that provided him with a cover to be normal in a workplace.

 

As he walks in , she runs up to him excited, her heart pounding in the excitement of the movement, in the presence of the essence of the other half of her life. She was going to look into his eyes today.. She had replayed the scene a hundred times over before he arrived… it was going to be perfect.

 

She asks him to sit with her as she wanted to profuse something running through her mind all day. Holding his hand with the ring, the only thing visible of this man to her,,  “ I have realized that I want to look into your eyes when I say that I am ready for you in my life” saying this she slides the ring off his hand..

 

What happens next is exactly as she had imagined all day, except only for a fraction of a second, the ring comes sliding off into her palm and the man breaks into pieces with the gush of wind sweeping his reappearing body into dust… this was the price the ring had asked for in return of invisibility, his body. As his face is about to join the fate of his body, she catches his eyes and hears him say “Thank you” with a smile.

 

So in this hot summer afternoon, a beautiful lady in her mid 30s sits in the living room of her spacious house wearing a cotton red/black traditional kandora. In her hand she holds a ring. She sits quietly and stares down at it in her hand intently; there was a time it used to be placed on his finger. What one incorrect decision had brought to have passed?

 

-Asad

 

 

 

 

 

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