The Search For My Beloved

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I was roaming outside on the vast fields under the tearful sky searching for my beloved one.

I lost her the previous night, while I slept, while I drifted through the valleys of discontentment in my dreams. When I awoke, she was gone… And realising my folly, I rushed out of my house searching desperately for her. Searching up trees, walking into caves, scaling the solitary hills of woe. I had not found her and I was becoming a nervous wreck of a soul. Before I left, I rang my teacher and asked him what I should do.

He asked me: “Who do you love the most?”

I replied: “she who possesses my innermost soul. When I am quiet, she is in my thoughts, when I am speaking, she is all that I speak of. And now I have lost her.” I began to sob. “I lost her when I slipped into the valleys of my fears and walked down those descending plains into oblivion.”

My teacher stopped me with a firm voice, saying: “well, get out there and find her! Search for her everywhere. Retrieve your beloved. Find her once again and do not be afraid of the outside. Keep going through the storms that will come, keep going through the hills, although you find nothing is there. But watch out for a wretched one… He will be out on the fields, sowing seeds of discontentment. Do not listen to what he says and embrace the storm.”

So I left. Oscillating between hope and fear, love for her and deep self-loathing. How could I have lost her? I walked on and on, through the fields of despair, climbed through forests of guilt and scaled great hills of loneliness. Wherever I roamed, I was all alone. There was no sign of her. When would I find her? Where could she be?

Suddenly, thunder clapped, as savagely as two mountain gods crashing against each other. The wind howled like an angry ghost and remorseless clouds, dark and thick as the earth, crowded the sky. I happened to be traversing an expanse of farm land, interrupted by rows of ominous trees, when I came across a crooked old man, with sharp eyes and sharp nails. He stood there, holding large seeds, which wriggled and hissed like snakes, in his prickly fingers. He was planting them in the ground. His cutting eyes looked upon me as I walked by.

He said: “go home my friend. A storm is about to come. You can not outlast it. All your efforts are in vain. You will not find her and this storm will consume you and spit you out into the sea. Retreat to the safety of your home. Find someone else to love. There are plenty of beauties in your street. Look to them instead.”

His words became wretched, poisonous worms that crawled into my ears and began burrowing away inside. Thunder grumbled and roared throughout the sky; the wind pushed me backwards like a big bully. Those thoughts crawled deep inside and the old man wore a wide smile.

“You’ll never find her; you’ll never find her. You can not survive the storm. Retreat! Retreat! Go back to your cosy bed. Go back to your dreams of despair. The wind is too strong; the thunder will deafen you; the lightning will burn you up!”

I stopped in my tracks and began looking behind me. Could it be true? Perhaps I had lost her for good? Perhaps she did not want to be found by me. Perhaps she had found someone else… Then I remembered the words of my teacher.

“Watch out for a wretched one… Sowing seeds of discontentment.”

“No!” I yelled at the old man, who gawked at me in astonishment. “I will embrace the storm!”

Suddenly, rain poured on me like someone had opened a cosmic tap in the sky; the wind increased in its intensity, battering me, blasting me and I struggled to move ahead. I could not see that old man any longer, but the worms still crawled deep inside.

“You can not find her; you can not find her; you can not beat the storm…”

This is when I sobbed and called out: “My darling! My only love! I can not go on without you! Help me to find you! A storm has come; worms have entered my heart and I am afraid!”

The rain continued to blast me; the thunder deafened me and the wind bruised me. But still I pushed forward, beyond my fears and beyond my hopes. When, as if by miracle, when all hope was fading away into the horizon, I stepped out of the storm and found that the air was sweet; the sky was clear and the sun shone kindly. Beside me stood a great willow tree, with branches and leaves hanging down like the lustrous locks of a goddess. And there behind the tree, beyond the sun and the sky, beyond the earth, so near and so far, I found her, gazing straight into my heart. The worms disappeared; my woes swept away; I sighed as the sweetness shivered within. I had found her. I had found her beyond the storm.

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About Novid Shaid

I am a Muslim writer and English teacher. I have written poetry, short stories, a play, and I am currently working on a novella. My subject matter and themes are related to Islam, Sufism, politics and also my job as a secondary school teacher. My work is copyrighted and any works published here may not used or copied without my prior consent. You can contact me via the "Contact Me" page, if you wish to use any these writings. I am keen to gain the notice of publishers and if any are interested in my writings, please contact me via the "Contact Me" page. Was salaam, Peace

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