A Thousand and one stories #17 No Hero

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No hero in this story. Just a common man who doesn’t ride a white horse or fights the dragon on the castle. Just walks the fields alone and can’t take his eyes off of the farmer’s daughter. It won’t be a cute love story like you imagine it to be because the farmer was a hardworking man barely with any time to take care of his family, too busy supporting the livelihood, you see?

So the hero of the story, the common man is given the duty to see after the farmer’s daughter and see her, he does. Though not with the eyes the farmer expects him to. They’ve been neighbours for ages. The farmer considers him a caretaker, a brother, a protector and the man dreams of walking in the fields with her by his side. Of daring to touch her skin with his dirt-laden fingers, brushing her hair aside so he could see, the eyes at least once, looking back at him.

But the world is cruel and she rules a dreamworld of her own. There’s a girl much like herself, dances beautifully in a golden dress and she sees her, through the window and she breathes in the ecstasy of free movements of her limbs as she twirls unknowingly of the eyes that search for a glimpse. You see it is no love triangle for there is no love among any of them. Just a random curiosity and lust for touch. It ain’t as holy as a romantic love song but it ain’t too dirty like a filthy thought. It is just something new no one else comprehends.

There’s a thought he can’t get out of his head, of having to walk the fields alone for all days to come. The loneliness of having to take the eyes off of her isn’t a prospect he feels comfortable accepting. Much like the position she has to hold herself in to be able to peek into someone else’s world without her realizing her privacy is being projected out to a mischievous curious soul.

She was aching to be able to move with the same grace, filling in the space the girl had left behind when she moved. The urge was so strong that it physically manifested itself and she groaned out in frustration. The dancing girl turned to find the source of the noise and she hid, unable to meet the eyes that matched the golden dress for she was afraid of the girl that might look back. She was quite happy in her illusions and moments stolen, the reality could shatter it all to pieces if the girl looked at her curiosity with disgust. She couldn’t, wouldn’t let that possibility manifest.

The farmer worked the field very hard. There was a thought, even he was trying to forget. There was this urge he got when he looked at the man walking in the fields. The protector of her daughter, the caretaker of her family, there should’ve been gratitude that he felt. But instead of that, there was another feeling, a longing to know what made him who he was. He carried so much on his shoulders but walked the fields in solace. And here he was, working the same work all his life and he felt nothing but disgust for the same sight. Except of course when he saw the man, then there was something that kept him grounded to his spot, unable to take his eyes off of him.

No, there’s no hero to this story. There’s no villain either. It ain’t a love story. There’s no lust or hate either. But there are three people all filled with longing. And a window with a sight out to the empty field. Ain’t that just tragic?

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