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Ahlem’s Dreams (2) (Souvenirs)

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Post by chinda on Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:34 pm

Ahlem’s Dreams (2) (Souvenirs)


Two months after a year had elapsed since the day of his marriage; some months of grief and sorrow had passed away now. Each day passed away made Ahlem stronger more and more and took with it few souvenirs voiding her memory little by little. She was not beset or bewildered by those memories any more, she knew how to heal herself from him, from his pursuit to her mind, from his chasing to her thoughts. His dimpled smile was not alluring like it was, his brownish eyes were not any more the pools she used to sink in, and his calm and special gait with folded hands didn’t madden her any more.
A shred of hope inviting a new life found its way to her life breaking the utter darkness and warming her bleak soul and heart once more so that her heart restored its hopeful beats and started pumping warm blood once more.
Though some memories and souvenirs tried from time to time to tickle her heart and cark her mind but she could always distract them from her mind. She, several times, while sitting underneath the jasmine tree staring at the moon, saw his face on the moon surface but swiftly she took her sight away from the moon just not to see him there, too. Although she forgot him but she confessed to herself from time to time that he stayed living inside her in a remote atom in her heart; she herself didn’t know where it was located that ounce, he was like a souvenir of a dead person we remember just in some occasion or when the shadow of his countenance haunts us yet we can do nothing but invocating God to give peace for his soul. Yet, many other times she felt that her heart was vacant from any feeling towards him; there was nothing from his souvenir into her soul and heart but some fungi of forgetting grew up inside on her decaying love.
Time was the curative for Ahlem’s sorrows and woes for there is nothing that can heal the sorrowful hearts and the distressed souls like time; either it helps us to be acquainted with our pain, living with it and accept it as a part from our new life or it makes us forget about it but after an acute sufferance; after witnessing a huge agonies for it is not easy at all to forget about some one who lived inside us for years, whom his countenance chased our sight days and nights, whom words haunted our ears, and about whom we dreamed nights and nights. It is not easy to get rid from another soul living side by side with ours, another soul inside us which goes up and down with ours, another soul we dwelled one day in us, and this was the case of Ahlem; that was a moment of truth that came to Ahlem from time to time and which she couldn’t deny.

On that starry night under the jasmine tree, some souvenirs haunted Ahlem once more. She was still remembering that day and the moment she could leave the wedding room with all the strength she could muster in her feeble feet. She was still remembering that pain in her heart which made it palpitating furiously rushing a surge of blood through every cell in her body causing her to shiver in every limb. A pain like the pain which makes every ounce of your body aching like a disease eating away your bones from inside or needles picking you deep inside. A pain hinders you from breathing as if someone is choking you, like a huge weight you feel it upon your chest. A sting you feel it aching in your belly, deep inside in your stomach then goes up, up to your lungs to squeeze them and deter you from breathing, then continues its way to your heart, squashes your arteries and gushes an unbearable agony till it makes you want to take off that heart from inside and throw it away to get rid from that pain. A twinge that continues its way from your heart to your throat to cut your vocal cords and make you speechless; unable to utter a tiny word but blowing out hot breaths, feeling that something is stuck into your throat, and finally it reaches your eyes to weep them and make hot tears streaming down your cheeks; hot tears which can do nothing to you but adding more dismay, torture and torment and throw you in a storm of despair, lost in its furious wind, wandering like a dry leaf of Autumn flying left and right , up and down without finding a serene place to wither and die peacefully.
Ahlem was still remembering that surfeit of pain as well as that cold draught on that bleak and dim night quivering the dismal half-naked branches as their leaves had ditched them without returning. She was still remembering her soul roving outside herself looking for a quiet place to set in. The doldrums she passed through that night would never be forgotten until her dying day.

While she was wandering lost in the darkness of her anguishes, she found herself repeating these verses:
O God! Extract this pain from my heart
And grow the seed of forgetting in this night
O God! I know that is my fate
But help me from him to exempt
Sprout the flower of forgetting in his stead
And let it in my mind spread
Help me not to think about him any more
And make the days, his remembrance, devour

At that moment, Ahlem tried to remember a tiny word or a tip from the advices she read one day in a book for her favourite Algerian author, Ahlem Mosteghanemi; Nessyan.com, maybe it would help her to allure her melancholy and lighten the sharp pangs of pain which were devouring her heart but in vain; her mind was paralyzed for it couldn’t muster a single word among the myriad advices she liked and promised herself to apply in the hope of forgetting.
“Oh God! Why can’t we forget whenever we want to do that? Why the things we want to forget stick forever in our minds?” Thought Ahlem. “Why can’t we wreck at once all the cells which are responsible about storing those memories and with their devastation all those memories go away and vanquish forever? Why should we suffer before forgetting, if we can forget at last? Why life is not docile with us when we are so frail and feeble?”

The smell of the white jasmine wafted through the air everywhere, reached Ahlem’s nose and caressed her nostrils. She remembered now how much he loved the white jasmine and how much he loved to pick its flowers on the first beams of the sun saying that it was the best moments to pick them before being spoiled by the dirty air of the day. He used to pick them and throw them on the tray making the strong scent of coffee mixed with the delicate fragrance of the jasmine making a peculiar yet splendid sharp odour penetrated into the mind little by little to awake the cells which were still under the cover of sleeping.
She was still remembering that they used to sit underneath the lush and flexible jasmine tree leaning on the wall of the garden where Ahlem used to spend most of her day; he used to shake the branches of that tree making the small flowers of jasmine fall on her. She liked him very much to do that; it was as if flakes of snow were falling from aloft, as if the sky was snowing white jasmine.

After his marriage, he stayed many months not visiting her house though there was common business between him and her brother. But after, he started paying visits to his uncle’s home from time to time; at first each two or three weeks but then each two or three days and sometimes everyday. At first, Ahlem refused to see him but with time she started behaving like the old days; welcoming him, sitting with him and talking about everything, about the common things they shared. He sometimes asked her what she was reading then talking about that book or that writer, that was the thing that attracted each one to the other; both of Ahlem and him were keen on reading, both of them were enamoured of literature, the thing which opened the door wide in their faces and fostered that flower to blossom inside each one’s heart. They used, many times, to stay for hours outside under the starry sky discussing a book they read together.

He, sometimes, brought his wife with him, and Ahlem never felt at ease with her; there was something in her eyes, a way to stare at Ahlem with baleful looks as if she knew what was between her husband and Ahlem. Though it was clear that there was nothing between them now but she deemed Ahlem as her foe. It was what a woman feels when she knows something about her husband’s past especially if a piece from that past is still living near her husband. The plant of jealousy which is sown in every woman’s heart blooms when she knows something like that and that plant in the bride’s heart started growing day after day to sprout into blossoms of hatred towards Ahlem. Though the bride didn’t do or say which confirmed her hatred for Ahlem, but Ahlem could feel that immense hatred toward her and read that detest into the bride’s eyes. A peaceful war arose between the two whenever a room gathered the three; Ahlem, him, and the bride. Maybe the bride felt that a part from her husband’s past was still living inside Ahlem’s mind and heart and her husband’s, too; maybe she saw how her husband looked at Ahlem, how his eyes shone when he looked at her; a look that women are skilful in deciphering it and so was the bride.

One day, he came to Ahlem’s house with the excuse of talking to Ahlem’s brother about some business but in fact he came for Ahlem’s sake. He found her sitting beneath the jasmine tree like usual, the tree which was heavy by its small white flowers, it bloomed in abundance as if it was profiting before the coming of winter. Ahlem was reading a book as usual, he sat next to her and asked: “What are you reading, Ahlem?”
“A novel for Almanfalouti; Majdolline.” Said Ahlem without lifting her eyes from the book or looking at him. In fact Almanfalouti was one of her favourite authors; she read all his novels and works and she always favoured one of his books which she read many times; Paul and Verginy. It was an escapism for her soul; whenever she felt not good, she re-read it, it could violate her soul and made it wandering between the lines, the author always stirred her imagination and took her to another world and another epoch; it was enough to open a book from his novels to travel through time and space to a world and a time which were not hers.
“Nice book, it is really a great one,” said he then hushed for a while.
Ahlem felt that he was going to dig in the past giving birth to some dead souvenirs, and restore some covered feelings. He was roving his eyes between Ahlem’s face, the book in her hands, and the jasmine tree, then he said in a warm voice: “Ahlem! Do you remember the days we spent underneath this tree?”
“Yes. I do,” answered Ahlem swiftly in a hushed tone without shifting her sight from the book.
How could she forget that the sky was snowing white jasmine when he shook the tree making the small buds of the jasmine falling on her like stars falling from the sky! How could she forget that he everyday came from his home to hers to have coffee together near that tree! How could she forget that sharp smell of coffee mixed with the fragrance of jasmine patting their noses! That oudour came now to her mind piercing through her nostrils to her brain rendering it numb under the souvenirs of those days as if she took an injection of morphine which stopped every muscle in her body to move but her heart which throbbed violently while those souvenirs rushed into her mind; even the mere remembrance of that scent was now painful. For a moment she closed her eyes and wished to stay near him like that forever, she wished to throw herself into his bosom, forget herself there between his arms and never let him go, but a cold draught gusted suddenly making the papers of the book rustling in her hands and some buds of jasmine to fall on her and causing her to wake up from the thought which was swimming in her mind.
She, in order to escape from the chase of those souvenirs, said wondering: “Have you talked with my brother? He is here!”
“I didn’t come to talk to your brother. I came for the sake of talking to you, Ahlem,” answered he with a serious tone. “You know! My wife made my life dim. She is very jealous; she feels jealous from every one, her blinded jealousy is dragging me to insanity. Each time I came here, a quarrel arose there. I am sitting in peace in here, but I am pretty sure that an impending war is looming in the horizon there. She thinks that I came here just for the sake of seeing you ignoring that me and your brother are partners in business.” Ahlem didn’t utter a word, she was listening intensively to what he was saying, thinking about many things. He stopped talking for a while then added: “There is nothing in her mind but women’s prattle and drivel or what they are saying about fashion and new furniture. I tried many times to make her read a book or do something useful but in vain; all my attempts were futile, in fact I got sick from her vacant mind!”
Ahlem was listening to him without saying a word, she was thinking about the story she was reading; she felt that what he was saying was a scene in that story but with a slight difference.
“I decided to forsake her, and ask for divorce,” continued he. “I can’t live with such a woman for I need one who shares me my interests, who longs for what I yearn for; who can understand me from a fleeting glimpse; who can see me the protagonist or the hero of each book she reads!”
Ahlem understood what he was thinking about and alluding to; she could understand him from a glance, his eyes were an opened book for her, yet she kept silent staring at the book in her hands without knowing where her eyes were lying or which words they were reading. Her heart started shivering making her to shiver without knowing if that tremor was because of Autumn’s evening cold breeze or because another thing which started to re-sprout inside her; another thing which re-ignite the dying heart!
“Let us enter the house before getting wet,” said he after it started drizzling.
“No. I will stay in here for a while,” answered Ahlem lifting her face to the sky letting some drops to fall on her face.
He hurried into the home letting Ahlem sitting where she was, thinking about many things; many thoughts drove their way into her mind throwing her into a labyrinth of wonder and perplexity; thinking about Majdolline in the novel she was reading; thinking about her life and those buds of jasmine which would fade and wither soon with the coming of winter; the frost of winter would devastate those delicate flowers.

The air was pregnant with the strong sharp odour of the dry ground; the scent of dust when the first rain of the fall falls. Ahlem thought that her heart was as dry as that ground and it needed some drops, too, to moisten it. Many thoughts dashed to her mind about what he said; would he ask her for restoring the old days, would he correct his fault after knowing that there wasn’t another woman who fitted him like Ahlem, would he declare that openly! But sometimes it is better to keep things as they are; sometimes it is for our goodness to accept blindly what fate has chosen for us because some things can be too late to be fixed when detecting that we were wrong in doing other things in their stead, so that we accept the current state though we wish if things went the other way they went, but we can do nothing; we find ourselves tied-handed that we accept that bitter reality and learn how to adjust and live with it. We find ourselves obliged to accept, with wounded heart, what was preordained for us, and so it was Ahlem’s case; though she wished things to go the opposite way they went but she could do nothing. Though she was sure of what was turning in his mind but she would never accept what he was thinking about because, for her, life gave merely a single chance, a chance he didn’t know how to benefit from it and let it flee from his hand, so no need for another chance. Albeit Ahlem was sheer sure of what he was alluding to but she could never accept to be like he wanted for the second time!

Ahlem felt cold outside under the rain, she closed her book, and with it closed all the doors which were opened while she was sitting next to him, and entered the home letting all the souvenirs and the thoughts which devoured her mind few moments ago, letting them under the rain, maybe that rain would fade them away forever!

chinda
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Post by Londonhbb on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:31 pm

Finally u posted it!
1 wow chinda great work indeed . I really like every word u used nd every thought u mentioned . Yes life is all abt choices either we choose the right orthe wrong one.
2 majdoline : an artistic taste

3 U R GREAT WRITER CHINDA
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Post by NANA on Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:59 pm

I am speechless! Chinda, it's amazing! i enjoyed reading it so much. i congratulate you my dear, you are really A GREAT WRITER...
May Allah bless you
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Post by bilinda on Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:44 pm

What shall i say? I can never put to words what i have in mind and heart. I can only say that you are an amazing writer my dear chinda. Never let go this talent. It is no more your business now it is ours.
congratulation: a wonderful work my dear.
ps: Ahlem Mustghanmy's book is very useful. lol Ahlem’s Dreams (2)  (Souvenirs) 942288 Ahlem’s Dreams (2)  (Souvenirs) 5078 Ahlem’s Dreams (2)  (Souvenirs) 500631 Ahlem’s Dreams (2)  (Souvenirs) 520852 cheers
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Post by jamie on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:56 pm

hello
wow how artistic story
u'v done a good job chinda carry on
maybe that rain would fade them away forever
i don't think it would do bcz real love never Ahlem’s Dreams (2)  (Souvenirs) 865413 fade
read u soon Ahlem’s Dreams (2)  (Souvenirs) 471538
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Post by Ezinma on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:12 am

My dear talented Chinda, I really enjoyed reading Ahlem I and II. No words can fully express the extent to which I liked your story. I like the ending because it's realistic, I do believe that the power of "nisyan" can heal all wounds although Ahlem's souvenirs were not completely wiped out after a period of 14 months. Sometimes even " el-tanassi" can be a healer if merged with some dignity and spiced with a pinch of hatred Smile .


Congrats on this amazing feat Chinda, I'm looking forward to reading Ahlem III.
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Post by chinda on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:42 pm

Thanks a lot for your sweet words dear mates, Landon, Nana, Bilinda, Jamie, and Ezinma. Rejoiced I am that you like the story.

Jamie, be sure that rain can fade them away! And that's why spring, the birth of a new life, comes after winter!
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Post by Belkacem Meghzouchene on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:15 pm

Hello, dear
Why didn't you named the man? Make your story really woven, really felt. That will strengthen the reader's desire to grasp the gist of the story hell well! Readers like reality-prone characters Is it unjust to male readers as you blotted out the male's name. A name gives birth to genuine stories.

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Post by Belkacem Meghzouchene on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:23 pm

Sorry, I should have written: Why didn't you "name", nut not "named". Typing error

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Post by chinda on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:31 pm

Thanks a lot for your comment, Belkacem Meghzouchene and thanks for the precious advices.
(Between us, not naming the man was on purpose, I wanted the man to be nameless!)
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Post by wonderland20 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:00 am

Ahlem is such a lovely girl, she didn't deserve what happened to her, right girls?
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Post by paris-girl on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:52 pm

absolutly ,girl
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Post by paris-girl on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:53 pm

and thats pretty much what happen to every cute girl in our age so we gotta be strong and tough !
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