Chapter Two

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I woke up in a bed in a room that looked oddly familiar. A woman I didn’t know walked in, gave me a loving smile and said: Good you are up. Get ready or you’ll be late. I got up and looked in the mirror the image that stared back at me was of a dishevelled 14 year old with a shock of black hair and wide black eyes. I couldn’t tell if the amazed look on his face was his or my own. Apparently he.. I.. had to get ready to go to school. God, I have not done that in ages. I slowly dressed and drudged down the stairs carrying the heavy schoolbag. I was given breakfast sandwiches and told to be on my way. Go figure, I had to walk to a school that wasn’t my own. Halfway there a riot erupted as protestors filled the street screaming against injustice, mourning the dead, condemning the living, showing support for the resistance and lamenting their own fortunes, fates and destinies. A swarm of individuals setting the streets on fire, united by a common goal; perhaps there is hope for this nation yet. I joined them for a while; a passer-by was distributing water bottles to the demonstrators. He handed me one, I raised the open bottle to drink.

Water splashed on my face; suddenly I was very aware of the scorching sun above. I was in the middle of the desert somewhere surrounded by sand dunes in all directions for as far as the eye can see. I was standing beside the one other living creature for miles. A snow white Arabian stallion, I was dressed as a Bedouin….right out of a Michael Asher novel with a dagger strapped onto my arm in a very well hidden yet highly accessible position. You’d think I was expecting trouble. There was an unusual heaviness on my left ear; I ran my hand around the location to discover that my ear was pierced high up. I took off my jewellery to examine; it appeared I adorned a silver earring with engravings in an incomprehensible language. Having nothing else to do, I mounted my trusty steed and off we were. We galloped through the desert sending sprays of sand behind us. I felt like a prince from “Arabian Nights” on a crusade to reclaim his land and win back the heart of his princess. The stallion seemed to know where it was going, who was I to argue? I ended up in an oasis in the middle of this scorching uninviting desert.

I now truly understand why people see mirages. The desert is that foreboding that one hopes with every cell in his existence for an oasis, for a drop of water in all this sand. He stopped at a tent, I dismounted. Something deep within told me that this was home. I entered the tent attempting to get some sleep, the exhaustion of these odd activities was finally getting to me. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night, well rested yet totally dehydrated. I made my way to the water spring at the center of the Oasis. It was a full moon that night, the silver rays of the moon shimmering as they reflected off the still dark water surface. I got down on all fours to get a glimpse of my reflection in the water as Narcissus did in the Greek myths.



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