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The Night of Shame

Najati Al-Bukhari

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Aisha

At the beginning of the next week, and more specifically on Saturday, I went out of my bedroom to begin my nocturnal surveillance before midnight. By the way, the full moon was decorating the sky of our small world. The heat at that night was more or less supportable, bearable and the absolute silence was in fact dominating everywhere in the big house.

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As soon as I arrived at my hiding place, I was really surprised to find myself facing the phantom, the girl whom I have met since several weeks. This time, the phantom came towards me without hurrying up.

The thing which astonished me most was that this girl was not overwhelmed by fear and terror. The moment she saw me, she realized, as she did in the previous time, that I was only a small boy and that it was not possible on my part to cause to her any kind of fear or harm.

"Rajab, why did you come out of your room in the middle of the night? I cannot understand that." said the young girl to me.

"You know, I could not sleep. I tried several times to sleep but I could not. Then I thought that I should go out and have a walk in the salons, in the corridors and in some other parts of the big house. You know this is not the first time that I come out of my room. Lately, I did it several times. I replied in stammering."

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"No!! This is acceptable at all. You are not supposed to be out. You should try to sleep with your two brothers, Chaban and Ramadan. The two are now asleep. Nobody walks in the night except you. I know that. If our father had seen you he would have become angry with you. Hurry up and go back to your room quickly and without any delay." said to me the phantom.

The phantom was nobody but one of my half sisters, Aishah, the daughter of the third wife of my father. Because of the great number of the posterity of my father I was not in a position to know the identity and the personality of this sister. In reality she had disappeared all of a sudden from the scene and the daily life in our family since two years or more than that. No-one knew where she had gone

"Don't worry. I am going to disappear very soon, the moment you would finish telling me the story, your story, the story of your life."

She did not give an answer and did not say anything. She kept silent. While she was not saying anything I fixed my regards on her and specially on her face. The yellow and golden light of the moon light has been enveloping her charming beauty. I was fascinated by her charm, her gracefulness and her attractiveness. She was hardly fifteen years of age. However, and in spite of her young age, she was more like a girl of twenty years old.

Aishah was putting on a blue robe of silk. Because of the moonlight her face looked for me pale and fatigued. In general, Aishah was like a fairy that came from the world of the fairyland rather than from the sequestration residence of our house.

Stroll
Above artwork is by the author's son Nawaf Al-Bukhari... See more!
© 1980-2017 by Nawaf Al Bukhari, Amman-JORDAN and Dubai-UAE

She had two eyes like those of a dreaming young girl and not any other girl whatsoever. She was not having shoes or anything else on her feet. In other words they were naked and small. Aisha was barefoot.

-Listen to me Rajab. Do you really want to know my story? Isn't it so? However, all the members of the family of this big house know very well the story, the tragic story of Aishah. Since approximately two years, and when I was thirteen years old, my fath

My sister stopped talking for taking some rest. She really got exhausted and was overwhelmed by some agitation. She was perspiring a lot.

"If you please, take it easy. Take a rest. You don't have to talk now. You should take rest." I asked my sister.

However, Aishah resumed her discourse after a rest of few moments. Aishah said:

"At the last minute before slaughtering me, that is cutting my throat by his kitchen knife; my father all of a sudden changed his idea, his decision to kill me. He gave the orders to the old maid to prepare me to live in the cursed sequestration residence and for life. My mother could do nothing to save me by convincing my father of my innocence. As you know, our father is the only and the sole source of law, order and authority in our house. We live in our home in accordance with the law of the master of the house and of the family, the law of our father. As a result of that there was no other solution except to obey my father and to prepare myself to the sequestered, imprisoned, in the cursed residence of imprisonment. In order to go to such a place it was like undertaking a journey without a return to a very far country. In spite of the fact that the cursed residence of sequestration is an integral part of the big house, it is, as a matter of fact, in another world. This is like a very far island surrounded by deep water. Whoever goes there to this isolated island would stay forever, isolated from all people and from the entire world. The one who is condemned to life isolation would die inside this island and his flesh would be devoured by the vultures and all the birds of prey. However, just recently, I began to come out of the cursed residence of sequestration all through the long night and with the knowledge of the old maid servant and also the knowledge of the two young men who work as guards of the cursed residence." Aishah finished telling her strange and tragic story of her incarceration while I was listening with interest, curiosity and concern to her story.

"Your story, Aishah, is really tragic as well as bizarre. But your story is a phenomenon that has been repeating itself in our community and history. I remind you that before our cursed father, our grandfather lived in this house and he led a way of life that was exactly similar to that of the son. Our father applied the same traditions as those of his father." said I to Aishah.

Searching Man
Above artwork is by the author's son Nawaf Al-Bukhari... See more!
© 1980-2017 by Nawaf Al Bukhari, Amman-JORDAN and Dubai-UAE

As soon as we have finished, I and Aishah, our conversation and discussion, Aishah, all at once told me that it was time for her to go back to the interior of the residence of sequestration. She did not accept at all to stay with me for more time to tell me more stories and more details and to provide me with more information about the cursed sequestration residence.

Aishah, my half sister, warmly embraced me and in a flash of an eye she has disappeared in the world of the unknown. I would have wished to pose to her several more questions about the life in the residence of incarceration and about the detainees, the prisoners who lived there.

Unfortunately, there was not enough time for both of us. Sunrise, the daybreak, the dawn was about to arrive at any minute to our little world. I did not have the sufficient time to think and to make some reflection after I have witnessed many mysterious and scandalous events. My waking up during the long night was not recently as frequent as it used to be in the past.

Almost six months have passed since the last meeting with Aishah, my half sister. After our meeting I began to have the feeling that this sister could have been killed and buried during one of these obscure nights.

During my subsequent rare coming out during the long nights I have not met Aishah at all by chance in the corridors of the house. Equally, I hoped to meet Huda, the second wife of my father whose newly born baby girl was kidnapped and killed. I would have wished, equally, to understand more and more about the identity and the life of the other inhabitants, prisoners, of the sequestration residence and about their daily life.

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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The Night of Shame

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© 1980-2017 by Najati Al Bukhari, Mont de Marsan, France

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