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Roadside Restaurant Owner

by Gulla Balla 8 months ago in Young Adult
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Story of A Murder That Happened a Long Time Ago

Since he worked in the administration, he knows only one of the city's roads; He is the one who connects his house with the building in one of its offices that follow in its corridors; the desk behind him, accustomed to the stacks of papers he occupied; placed neatly and carefully to his left, and a computer to his right, and if he takes another path, it is either because it is not possible to pass from his usual way, or because he or a member of his family urgently needed it; On a weekend day, until that day he remembered in one of his late nights; Days ago he was free to go to the parental home, to walk in any way, in any direction, and to return to his room, and he calculated that he toured the world of a street of shops and cafes, a street surrounded by trees with leafy branches, and grassy sidewalks, and walked on an empty rocky or sandy beach Except for a few people at sunset, he longed to get out of his house early; not for a motive; Except because he likes to do it freely, and to travel on a road, and not any road, for it is that which extends or almost parallels the seashore, so whoever walks in it is refreshed by the coolness of the sea breeze...

However, there was a difference between the days when he was travelling on foot, and between now he is riding his new car, which allowed him to go long distances, and to any place he likes, and he did not know before that taking one road may not allow you to meet the faces of many people, including you were not acquainted with it in old times, and take one or two other paths; You may be able to meet people, and if the years of life change the features of their faces, and turn the black hair of the head and the charcoal beard to greying whiteness, but the signs remain the same that introduce you to them...

What is that place that allowed his departure on that day, as usual, to reach him, and who is that person whom he met after forty years?

Whether you want to hurry driving on that beach road, or slow down in driving your vehicle, your speed limit marks range between forty, sixty and eighty, and this suited his mood on that morning, for there is nothing in his rush, as he returns to work and home duties, He was driving his car, enjoying its flow on a smooth black asphalt road, with no sound due to the friction of the wheels; Except in some parts of it that have been eroded by some action, and by listening to quiet music playing from the car’s radio, and to the waves of the sea crawling on the rocks and on the sand, and by looking from time to time at what appears on both sides of the road of cultivated lands, orchards full of fruit trees, or large houses Beautifully built villas built by well-to-do people, willingly dedicating themselves to the nature of the road, and plunging into the arms of that sun-lit atmosphere, the temperature of which is still moderate; He caught his gaze and was drawn to a building beside the road; Doors and windows were opened to him on all sides, and the rudders opened against the humid pre-twelfth hour, and from the communal pans set in a straight line on a rectangular tin brazier; Steam rises from the broth that is boiled in it, and the vegetables and meat that are cooked in it. He knew that it was a restaurant, and on the other side of the road there was a parking lot that could accommodate four cars, no more, and beyond that the ground would go down and accommodate plastic tables and umbrellas that would protect those who sat eating what was cooked in a tagine from that restaurant; from the heat of the June sun, and his gaze glistened by hills of beach sand; There she looks far, and beyond, where the sea water stretches to the horizon...

How pleasant it is to sit in this secluded restaurant far from the hustle and bustle of the city, and what a delicious dish that is eaten at its round and rectangular tables! The silence of the place and the quiet movement inside the restaurant was interrupted only by the sound of a car or truck passing by, so he lowered the speed and turned the steering wheel to the right, and left his car to find its parking spot, and got off to explore gradually and in harmony with the front of the restaurant, and the workers of the latter, who were no more than six, and one of them was tall ; As soon as he crossed the road, he gave him a sharp look, welcoming him, and gave him the choice between sitting between the walls of the restaurant, or in the wide back garden, open to a clear blue sky. So that the latter casts its shadow over the largest area of ​​the sitting place, so he thanked him and sat down with respect and appreciation for the warmth, and started turning his head to his sides and back; to give his eyes the opportunity to see a cage as wide as a small room, and as tall as a tall man; It is inhabited by a pair of peacocks, chickens and roosters, and in a far corner to the right of it a dog tied up close to his wooden dwelling with a pyramidal roof; barks occasionally; Erecting his long ears, and looking at guarded glances at the faces of those coming.

He returned looking in front of him, and saw the owner of the restaurant referring to him smiling, so he reciprocated the same, and said:

- Hello again; What kind of dishes do you desire on this day, and in this shop of ours, which I hope you will be satisfied?

He answered, trying not to show that he was not used to sitting in cafes and restaurants:

- In fact, I enjoy sitting in your restaurant... I want a tagine with meat...

He did not add a single letter from his request, and he kept staring into the eyes of the owner of the restaurant for a period of units of minutes, and his eyes wandered over the page of his face, and carefully looking at his features, and he recalled an image from the distant past; It never left his imagination, nor did he leave the same question as to what had happened then; He's been thinking about it since that date, and he can't find an answer to it...

He tried again to conjure the face of that young man who was riding in a light two-wheeled cart, and holding the reins; He urged the horse to run with the long whip, to run in the iron cart as quickly as possible, and sit next to him on the long leather seat another young man of his age, and if he forgot things, he would not lose his memory of a terrible fear emanating from their eyes, and their apparent readiness for a dangerous act, and he had turned the young accompanying back once; to see if anyone was following them, and they were gone; They do not take a paved path or a road, but ruthlessly cross the reaped lands and cultivated fields...

The two riders of the fast carriage had passed him, and he was standing behind the barbed-wire; Surrounding the peasant exploitation that his father guarded, and it belonged to one of the wealthy Jews, he was fourteen years old at the time, and he had made a flute from the reeds growing in one side of the orchard, by forming it with an old knife with a bone handle, and blowing into its pipe, piping loudly under the shade of lush trees. Twigs and leaves, in the heat of June.

That coachman and his companion left behind them nothing but the sound of cracking dry branches. Soon he stopped, a lump of dirt stirred up by the quick pneumatic wheels, and within five minutes two men appeared, much older than the two; They are riding a motorbike, and the latter's two wheels did not find paved ground for their driving straight; to the one who held the steering wheel, and this was unsteady in his hands, and her course was stumbling, and their haste was hysterical; It was no use, so they stopped and asked him:

- Did two guys drive a cart pass by here?

He was not aware until that time of the seriousness of what was happening, so he replied spontaneously and naively, unaware of things:

- Yes... I just met

One of them asked:

- Which direction did they go?

He answered with a gesture of his hand to the direction in which the two young men had disappeared. Even if the two cyclists tried to catch up quickly, the bumps and bumps of the harvested and cultivated lands prevented the bicycle from launching with them as it should, and they continued to struggle with stones and gravel and digging the plowed soil; With little success.

The clutch on the handlebar did not hide the truth of what was happening, so he told him:

- We are pursuing these two young men, because they broke into one of the owners of the estates near here his house, and robbed a large amount of his money, and killed him, and fled in his carriage, and by this they are also horse thieves.

Aiba ran in; looking for his father; He found him among the branches of vineyards pruning their branches, so he told him, so the father’s hand stopped working, and the pruner remained idle, and the eyes of the old man looked solemnly at his son, who said it in a quiet voice:

Do not go back to talking about this matter again, and do not tell anyone about it. We are not safe in this dangerous area.

His tongue was bridle, and he retreated, realizing and aware of the danger of what he saw and heard.

This had happened forty years ago, and he did not err. The owner of the restaurant, who is now an old man, is that young man of strong build, glorified in sending the bridle of the horse of the cart high; Hamza animal...

He said between him and himself, still peeking at the owner of the restaurant; Whenever he appears, he hesitates between the corners of his restaurant and the kitchen; Responding to the requests of visitors from time to time, “...I carried out my father’s order, so my tongue did not tempt me with the pleasure of gossip about that subject, the consequences of which were not bad at least at that time.”

And this is one of the escaping thieves who is still alive and making a living, and he runs a luxurious restaurant in his possession, and in his walk comes an order in his slaves; And he forbade and forbade them, and he did not neglect a decision he would make at the time, and none of those who served the restaurant failed to do so... These words swept his mind, and his eyes contained walls, ceilings, and the vast earth, and he spoke within him, "A is this from the profit of investing that stolen money... What is the property of the murdered person?”

Four decades have passed since that incident, so what happened to it? Has the search for the perpetrator been closed forever since then? Suppose he knew that this one who sits between the back garden tables; He was waiting to eat it from one of his kitchen casseroles. He remembered him, and his image was never absent from his memory, as it remained present in his imagination and refused to leave him, even if he was trying to erase it; However, memory has no phases in its lifetime, does not age and does not die, and forgetting does not affect any of what happened in the past of human life, if memory judges people for its reprehensible actions to the technician of the world... What will he do?

If he is then sought, arrested, tried, and sentenced to death; He has received his reward, but if this restaurant owner is still a fugitive from justice, he is the one who is going to this remote restaurant for relaxation and recreation; have opened a burglary and murder case file; For decades, it has been neglected in the corridors of the unknown.

The tagine was served to him on the table, its lid was lifted, the cooking steam rose, and it smelled delicious; The appetite of a hungry stomach is stimulated and exhausted by the daily and routine food of the city and restaurants. But does he still yearn for it after what he recalled from the horrific past, and the tagines of this man's restaurant? The trespasser of people's property? And as soon as he took three bites of it, he recovered himself and wanted to leave him, but he continued eating under duress, so that the owner of the restaurant would not notice that, so he became suspicious, and ate until there was nothing left in the clay plate except for some bones; Her nerves were removed and her flesh was plucked. The cutters, and pieces of potatoes and carrots, did not reach her, and the eyes of the owner of the restaurant did not leave the eaters, as he seeks to see the signs that the casseroles lead to; Is it admiration and satisfaction or something else? He saw that he had finished eating, so he came to him smiling as usual, and as long as he was the only one sitting, and without company, the owner of the restaurant sat on the vacant chair, and asked if he wanted to think about eating:

- Health and wellness... What do you think of the way we make "Tagine"?

He tried to hide the traces that he could leave from his knowledge of this person on his face, his orbits with fake smiles, his turns on the plate, and in his own face, but he was overcome by curiosity that could lead to a dangerous reaction, and he kept staring at his face and checking the remaining signs of that youth covenant, he says:

- What I see in the tagine is not a compliment to you, it is really delicious, and the hands that made it succeeded, and of course this is the goal to attract more visitors and customers.

He was the owner of the restaurant, who extended his life, and had experience in probing people's psychological depths; He noticed the long look on his face, and did not realize at that time what was behind him, and he spoke confidently about the popularity of his casseroles at almost all tables; saying:

- I did not study the art of cooking, and I did not learn it from a master cook, so what I thought about working in is that when I immigrated to Italy, I worked there as an assistant in several professions and crafts for thirty years, and when I returned I could not find a suitable job, which guarantees a fairly stable income He opened a restaurant, and I chose this place because it is by the coastal road, for professional drivers, and travelers on weekends, or annual summer holidays.

He did not add other words to his practical biography, whether brief or concise. He had noticed how the eyes of the one who was nourished by the tagine in it grew, and did not tilt to any direction, and his eyelids only blinked once, so the owner of the restaurant invaded a captivating doubt, and he rose from his sitting and his face changed, and for the first time turned from a man of self-confidence; The head is not bowed down, nor defeated, nor is he afraid of anyone; to another who was shaken in his presence, and walked and did not turn, for he realized that he who is not accustomed to sitting in restaurants and cafes, and who is not accustomed to going to remote and isolated places; He knows a tale from his life, the exciting and frightening tale whose event occurred in the years of youth, in the liveliness and wit of the latter, his recklessness, his impermeable rush and his unplanned adventures, which lead to the abyss; is the accompaniment of burglary and murder; The latter was ignorant of his art at the time and how to do it.

He returned to his work without looking back, as he was better aware of reading the signs on the features of the person sitting at one of his shop tables, and their strange shape was only an expression of the hidden secret, and the effects of his terrible feeling; Float on the face.

Therefore, the tagine no longer had a taste, and our friend did not like to enjoy it or continue it; Because of the horrific picture of the past, he did not want to sit for the longest time, and the desire for enjoyment, or the inclination to the quietness of this place left him, so he rose on two trembling and lost legs, and trembled in the people afflicted with pleasure, and at the entrances to the restaurant building, and he walked, hoping that the eyes of that retreating man would not follow him To the past that almost strikes in the first human crime, and one of the users appeared; looking at him with anxious and excited eyes; An order issued by the owner of the restaurant overpowered them, and he realized that he was being sent to take money for the tagine, so he emptied in his hands what was in his pocket for that, and his feet cut the distance that separated him from his car, and as soon as he turned the key, and the mechanical elements of the engine were in harmony; So that he was keeping pace with the curvatures of the return road, and so that he would not make mistakes, neglect or neglect what causes a deviation from the lane, or a collision or a fatal overturn, and in order to harmonize with the overtaking movement, or give a space or a grace period to the one who crosses him, he would look again and again in the interior mirror, which at one time caught his attention the appearance of a black Mercedes; in a rectangular mirror frame; Its driver kept a certain distance separating them, and had previously seen part of the back of this model appear from the entrance to the garage adjacent to the restaurant where he ate, and he left ten minutes ago. Is this car following him? Is her driver behind him? And if he continues to follow his return, the tracker will recognize the neighborhood in which he lives in one of his houses, as soon as a road appears to him from afar on the right side; leads to one of the beaches of the summer, turning to it, slowing down, and glancing back; To the driver who was driving the Mercedes, and who had not thought that the car he was following would turn, was wearing glasses that changed the shape of his head to an unknown person, and he only knew that he was the owner of the restaurant by his gray hair, and from his wide and blue collar, so he was following him So he continued walking in that direction with his car, while reading on an information board the name (Golden Sands Cafe), then he parked the car in a row of cars, climbed a flight of stairs, and sat on one of the cafe’s table chairs looking at the sea. Here he sits, thinking about how he will escape the coastal road, and return to his house as he left it; No one knows him, than to follow his way, to guide the one who follows him to his neighbourhood, while he is still gathering his thoughts, overcoming his fear and being aware of what is happening now; As the roar of the Mercedes engine knocked in his ears, he turned to see the progress of its front behind the fence of the vegetable cafe and its stop, and the appearance of the owner of the restaurant going up the steps towards him; Leaving his plump body to settle on a chair, he said nervously, his cheeks almost melting with old age, trembling:

Do not practice, for you know my story, and I say something that you must believe, and more than thirty years have passed since that act; that I did not kill him; Yes, I did not kill him. The one who accompanied him to the theft was the one who struck him on the head with an iron rod, because he wanted to resist us; That he pointed a hunting rifle at our bodies, and it was clear from his eyes that he was trying with all his might or with all his might to save his life and money.

He is hot to watch what he is going to say, and the hysterical impulse of this man, who at his age of more than seven decades, has begun to bend his back; and thinks of what he might utter to disbelieve him; He was unaware of what he had done years ago. He said:

- How did you know, sir, that I knew of this murder, of which you acquitted yourself?

The man raised his finger to his face, his body trembling, and said:

- Do not ignore; I read on your face what your memory preserves, and what is hidden within your soul.

He replied, afraid of the man's tyranny:

- Get away from me, man... Suppose I know what happened, so what do you think I'm doing now... Nothing.

The man's eyes flashed and he laughed with a sharp emotion, and said:

- You will tell me... You will report me to the security services so that they can arrest me.

He replied, trying to get up and leave the place.

- For what purpose? I do not inform anyone, and how do I transfer your action to the Security Department, and it has been going on for several years, and that this is for the actions of those who do not appreciate the consequences, and why did I commit myself to stealing you, and to killing a person from whom you absolve yourself.

He did not care about what he promised to himself that he was far from his story, so he said, threatening him:

You are now known, and I will watch your movements, and if you desire to tell me, I will kill you.

Then he remembered an important matter; He was deep in himself, so his calmness returned to him a little, and he said, and his soul affected by that situation had filled the eye with shining tears, and the redness of deep sadness:

- We were; He and I and the others have thrown ourselves into the raging waves of the sea, and he who has the power to fight the waves crashing against the shore swam with a might that shatters your bones. The captain of the boat was holding the steering handle of the motor; It is the smuggler of human beings to the coasts of Italy; Either they are alive or lumps of flesh carried by the currents of the Mediterranean to the deserted shores, and that terrible thing shouts at us; To swim, for the shore of survival and access appears from behind the mist of the morning breeze, and I swam with the swimmers, and called for him, and my friend answered me in a dull voice and choked with the salty sea water that he was there, and he did not answer me the second time, so I knew that a strong wave closed on him, and I fell into the depths of the sea, He was not only killed by the tidal waves. The human body could not stand the temperature of the water, which fell to freezing in that season. The one who killed the owner of the estate drowned, and we are trying to set foot on the land of Italy, clandestine immigrants; the land of the dream of getting rich; We used to supply him in our barren imaginations, and in our thirsty hearts, and I did not know of any news of his corpse, but disappeared from the watching eyes, and I avoided searching for him, or inquiring about whether the sea had thrown his body, because I wanted to escape myself from the investigators in the crime of robbery and murder. And to escape from drowning.

In the midst of this charged atmosphere, a sudden meeting between the participant in the theft and his acquaintance, and the recall of the murder, the difficult days of emigration across the sea, and the painful end at that time of one of those two adventurous young men with deceptive enthusiasm, and the siege of the unexpected owner of the restaurant; An idea came to him to let him go.

Listen, man, to what I will tell you; Make up your mind as to what I have confessed, for I am not a witness to what I have committed, and I have no evidence of that. I was a boy lounging under the shade of the trees with flutes of reeds; I don't know what's really going on, and a cart passed by two people, followed by two others; riding a motorcycle; That's all I remember; Were you one of the rickshaw speeders? I am not sure, and if I tried, I would have plunged myself into something I do not know the details of.

The owner of the restaurant tapped the fingers of his right hand on the tabletop convulsively, and said:

- Yes... You do not have conclusive physical evidence... Yes...

A man in a roadside restaurant, worn out by the burden of a criminal act and of long life, turned his face toward the sea, inhaled deeply and desperately the air saturated with the cold sea and the seaweeds and moss of the latter, and then left the place.

The public servant breathed a sigh of relief, and the fear of the seriousness of the situation left him. He felt the weight of the terrible past on the man, for he lived this long period with a daily feeling; With a sin that increased in severity with the approaching term, and after the symptoms of the disease had developed in the body, then he returned to his house, and did not sleep for only a few hours, and when he woke up the next day; I wanted to know the first thing that happened, for what he knows now is the last part of the story; Then the owner of the estate was killed, and the attackers fled with a sum of money, until they disappeared from the investigators in the crime, and the inspectors tracked them down; They are not known where they might be, so they are arrested; They migrated to Italy secretly across the sea, and one of them was able to swim to one shore and the other sank, after the boat of the secret migration could no longer approach any more; For the possibility of falling into the hands of the authorities of the Coast Guard, land and sea.

How did they infiltrate the estate? How did they find the place of money? And how the owner caught them and bumped into them? And in the end, what happened to his property after his death?

What is the way to answer these questions? And he comes back and reviews himself, and says that the incident does not concern him in anything, and he continues to repeat those questions that answer the axes of the event, so he decides in the end not to retreat, so he travels to the side where the estate of its murdered owner was, and to ask who still remembers the tragedy and that Tracks footsteps.

To go there he has to cover a hundred kilometers, and this is not a long distance, and at least one day may suffice to find someone to talk to, and he grabs the thread that loosens the knitting rope.

He walked the roads leading there, and the biggest surprise was that urban explosion; It was as if the fertile lands and the paths that connected them, in which he ran barefoot, soaked in the hotness of the soil strewn with the hoofs of animals and the wheels of chariots; These tall, densely populated buildings have matured, and these furnished villas have their floors with cultivars and artificial turf; All that he saw was shaped by skillful hands, and there is no trace of nature in him except barren or unpollinated bushes; It does not grow sweet or sour, and it is for decoration only, and nothing preferred from that time except an old road where mechanical graders stand on the lookout, and on one side of it is a dilapidated and dilapidated house, which still occupies part of its facade, a barber shop; He was dragged on by his father, when he was young and hated the dreaded hair clipper; to shave his head, and the front of the shop did not change anything, before entering it he pronounced the greeting of peace, and when a group of men responded in kind, he looked inside, and saw an old man sitting and talking; On the long and fluffy customer waiting chair, the barber was cutting the hair of the one sitting on the barber's chair, and looked at his face for a long time, and recognized him; He is the barber of childhood, and if the skin has shrunk and begins to shrink, and the lips have withered, and some of the front teeth have left his mouth forever, and if he calls him by his name, he does not turn around, and he replied, “Yes.” Because it is common for the barber to hear the greeting of peace; Whether from the one who is coming to the barber or passing by his shop who knows him, and to hear his name, and the barber at last gave him a cold look, then came back and kept staring, remembering the face and saying:

- I have not forgotten your picture, for you are the son of the guard of the Jew's estate.

He answered with a happy smile upon meeting the good old faces:

- Yes; I did not come to shave, for you are the only craftsman who keeps track of the joys and sorrows of the injured, and the painful events in this region, and I only remember the incident of the murder that the owner of the chains was exposed to, as I remember it was not far from here.

No sooner had he finished his words than the seated sheikh spoke, whose voice comforted the silent barber, attentively focused on the razor and the one with his shaved head; enthusiastically saying:

- It's been a long time since that incident.

barber said:

- It is an old case of murder, and as far as I know the killer has remained unknown; The security department was not successful in finding him.

Sheikh said:

The crime of murder had terrified the inhabitants, and changed their lives from pleasure and ambition to sorrows, fear and frustration, and distrust of foreign immigrants who intended to farm to work in the seasons of reaping the fruits of the land. The past, the encroachment of urbanization, and strange names were given to the local ear of streets and neighborhoods, and the dwelling of homes coming from afar, and the atmosphere of the bloody incident that ran for three decades only became extinct.

If the barber had not uttered, the sheikh would have gone on speaking long, and the remembrance would extend to regretting the past of his generation’s life, of which nothing is mentioned except for the feats and achievements of youthful vitality, and the heroisms of physical perfection; He said:

The tragedy did not end with the killing, after the burial and the end of the mourning period for the great afflicted; The heirs gathered, and those who were not hindered by anything attended, and among them relied on those who were residing outside the country, and their number was over twenty, because he had only a daughter, so the living were from his brothers and sisters, and the sons and grandsons of the dead among them; They are all inheritors.

Sheikh said:

- It appears from your words that the condition of the widow and orphan after the liquidation of the estate was not pleasant.

barber said:

- That's what happened.

The barber did not add another word to what he said; So that the people sitting in his place would not be informed of what might be common among the people, even if the advancing city dispersed the members of the peasant estate group, who would like to know the end of the family of the murdered rich manor of the estate.

This was what he understood from the barber, and what his analysis led him to. Despite this, he was encouraged and asked the barber in an sympathetic tone:

- The story of these two individuals; The widow and the daughter affected me a lot, the conditions of life are not harsh, so I am not ashamed, refrained, or hesitated, so I ask you.

The barber said with satisfaction:

- I will answer that by hinting or what satisfies your question without evasion.

He asked him:

- Or do you know where the daughter resides now?

The barber answered without hesitation:

- ... and when the girl was not satisfied after the murder of her father and the distribution of the inheritance to live in an unknown city; No one knows the glorious past of her father, who was one of the great landlords, and that her life ends in one of the city's houses in misery and poverty; She bought a plot of land far from the city’s urbanization, exactly after the detour at the crossroads; At the two hundred and ten kilometer, she built a modest house on it, and she now lives by cultivating the land and raising poultry, livestock and animals, and she is good at riding horses, as her father used to do, and people see her there every morning on horseback; This is what some of those who still know her have passed on to us.

Once the barber had finished telling the end of the bloody story; He even thanked him and ended his short visit to the barber's shop with a greeting of departure, got into his car and drove it at a speed that covers the distance of two hundred and ten kilometers.

He looked at the meter that recorded the kilometers the car had covered. Then he slowed down, turned and continued down a narrow road, slithering to the side for three kilometers. He found a land surrounded by trees; It was filled with the songs of sparrows and birds, and among the lemon, orange, and almond trees there appeared to him a small house painted in pale pink, and it had a door on the side of the road, and he banged it hard so that the sound of the chimes reached those in the dwelling deep in the middle of the orchard, so dogs barked frantically, and kept barking until they received an order from those He heard the knocking in silence, and one of the doors of the iron door opened, and a woman in her sixties appeared; She wore a long dress, with her gray hair frizzy. she lifts him off her knees; He ties his limbs to her waist, covers her legs as short pants, and wears a woolen bodice over her torso; Knitting by hand from woolen threads, with two plastic boots on top; They went as long as they came to the knees, for the woman worked in the farmhouse, in the henhouse, in the cattle shed, or in the stables.

He greeted her, and she replied to him, and questioned her facial features before moving her tongue. She inquired, saying:

- Yes... Do I have a purpose to serve you?

He said; So as not to distract him from her, because she was resolute to work:

- I have no need of you, madam; What I want to say is that I have previously seen the thieves of your father's money, may God have mercy on him, and the killer was one of them.

She loosened her right fist on the doorknob, took a step outside, and kept staring at this strange comer who knew the whole story, and frowning, said:

- Or are you speaking truthfully?

confidently said:

- Yes; Why would I travel three hundred kilometers to come here?

She said with disdain and courage:

- It may be a quorum, as the one who tempted me and tempted me with false love and took possession of the money I inherited, so I divorced him.

He said in a low voice, which he did not hear clearly.

- This is another chapter of the tragedy.

She said while still looking at his figure:

- Yes... What do you say?

He said:

I will tell you what proves my sincerity.

He told her about the two young men passing quickly in the cart, while he was standing by the fence of trees, distracted by his childhood; With a flute of reeds, he added and said:

- You know, madam, what fear and dread this left in me at that time, and the image remained fresh in my memory, and the incident is unforgettable.

I believed him, so she invited him to enter, locked the door, and led him to the place of the vineyards; There were chairs and a table made of cane, then she indicated to him to sit on one of the chairs, and she sat on another in relaxation to take a breath from what she heard, and her face swollen with blood, and her eyes filled with tears, and she sighed deeply, then she began to cry, and she said frankly Alasif:

Bring back to me what you saw on that fateful day.

He repeated what he had seen. This time he was speaking in detail and tightly; She was listening attentively and meditating on him; He had seemed to her a boy from that age, and she read in his eyes and in his features his sincere words. He had promised himself that he would not tell her of the surviving thief, until the time came, and of the death of the second, the murderer, who drowned in the sea.

She said desperately and realistically while wiping her tears:

What is the use of all this now? A long period of time has passed since the incident; A place for them has not yet been known, and the years have come over people’s lives, so those who have left, and those who are still elderly are waiting for the inevitable fate, and I only think that the killers die minute by minute with remorse of conscience, and they are now nothing but an illusion of appearances.

She continued, tenderly:

You will not leave me now, for I feel that you have lived all your life, remembering that bloody day as we did, and still the sight of my father lying on the ground, his head agitated and bleeding torrents of blood; It never leaves my mind.

She rose from her seat, then disappeared into a path between tree branches, pots and shade flowers, and after a short time returned, carrying a tray with a traditional fridge; From the legacy of the prosperous past, I offered him a cup of hot tea.

After taking the brewed tea several sips, he asked her:

- And the mother?

She said lowering her eyes and sighing:

She died after a lifetime of sorrows.

He said:

- May God have mercy on her

She said to him affectionately:

Promise me that you will visit me from time to time, for your visits make me happy and make me forget the tragedy of the past.

He promised her, finished drinking his cup, and left wanting to go back to his house, after I led him to the door, both of them barking loosely from dogs, and I waved to him with a smile and tears of new joy that came to her on that day.

And he kept his promise, and he used to visit the house of the daughter of the murdered rich man. Whenever he had time, and on weekends, she was at ease with him, took comfort in him in her solitude, and inclined to him with the affection of brotherhood; Because she did not have a brother, and she remained deprived of a sense of his presence, just as she lost the tenderness of fatherhood by losing her father, and the tenderness of a mother by losing this one.

He almost forgot the threat of the owner of the restaurant to him, as if he realized with his sense that he was starting to age, and his body collapsed with the weights of the reality of life, under the influence of the call of the mind, and his self-blame. He did not imagine, or it occurred to him, that he would live the end of the story, so what happened?

On that day he was on one of his visits to the daughter of a slain rich peasant, and he had left the main road in his car; After he crossed the usual distance of kilometers, and turned to his right to walk on the narrow secondary road for a distance of three kilometers to reach her house, he did not notice the presence of a car that was parked at the junction of the two roads, which is often empty in his presence in the extension of the vast agricultural lands, and did not realize its existence first The matter, as soon as he turned until he saw her in the mirror of his interior car, and her driver was trying to catch up with him, he felt a danger threatening him, so he hurried the car, and could not escape, so the car that followed him overtook him and blocked the road without him, and he tried to evade, but the car strayed from the road, and if he stopped the turn The wheels were fast, but under the impact of the force of the rush they slipped crushing stones and dirt on the side of the road, and the front of the car sank into the drain channel that overflows in winter; not deep, and turning around in fear, he saw two people getting out of the strange car and heading towards him. He recognized one of them; He's the owner of the restaurant, he's moving slowly; With his full and flabby body, and the man accompanying him, he broke the windshield of the car, so his hand was able to extend to the interior key and open the car door, and clenched a strong fist to his shirt collar and pulled him out forcefully, rolling him, and he saw the owner of the restaurant raising a heavy iron rod high to strike him on the head; However, he tilted his torso aside, so he avoided a fatal blow, and with the force of the movement of the forearms the rod hit the ground, and the owner of the restaurant was going to try for the second time, but the sound of a gun resounded in the place, and it reverberated far away, so the accompanying man turned to the source of the sharp sound, and saw a masked being aiming the barrel of a gun To them, he got into the car and drove it away, and he was able to get up to see that one who was covered with the veil hitting the owner of the restaurant from behind; On his broad shoulder, he fell flat on the ground, and added to that by descending with the heads of the valley on his neck, and shouted at him, threatening him:

- Don't move, you bastard, or you will dig into the veins and ducts and slit your neck.

The one who rushed to the place were two shepherds who were tending their goats near the battlefield, and they followed with astonishment and panic the crazy race between the two cars, attacking someone to kill him, and the first thing they did was to remove the masked person and remove the weapon from his hands, and they were astonished when they knew who he was after he sat He panted on his knees and removed the veil. He is the daughter of the murdered manor, so she indicated to them to tie the hands of this one who is bent on the ground, and hand him over to the security men. He is one of the two; One of them killed her father.

She walked steadily and stood in front of him, looking at them and saying to him:

- And if you did not tell me that you came across one of them, then I knew that by my intuition, which does not betray me, I read it in your eyes, and noticed that two car passengers were watching you, and they passed by how many times from here; They are waiting for the opportunity to pounce on you, so I decided to protect you from them, even if you ask me to do so much.

She continued with certainty:

- He wanted to be relieved from the whips of conscience, so he came to fight in despair, and his life extended with him, and the penalty for an immoral act would relieve the transgressing soul.

He takes her old Renault 4 with her to her country house; To bandage his wounds, the scents of summer crops, yields, and beasts smelt from her chariot rotten with rust, with which she moved, prepared for the battle she had planned, and tried to win in, forgetting the one who went to her one day, affected by an accident he witnessed and heard about when he was young, and it had a great impact on his life.

Young Adult

About the author

Gulla Balla

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