Fiction Friday: Time Thief’s Love

He was a time thief. He used to sneak up to people unnoticed, stealing a few years of their lives that they’d never miss. It wasn’t like humans knew how much time they had on Earth, to begin with. There was no way anyone would ever catch him.

He wasn’t a bad person. After all, he didn’t do it for himself because he had no use for people’s life years. He was immortal. The trouble was that he loved a human. Their love was doomed from the start. Humans die. The very thought used to chill him to the core. That’s when he started stealing time. He stole it for her, his beloved.

Now, she was beginning to suspect something. How long a human could live without being suspicious? She knew something wasn’t right. Humans couldn’t live as long as she had. She wasn’t immortal. Then, she caught him in the act and that was the end of their love story.

He had given their relationship his all. He had loved her like he had never loved anyone before. His only crime was being selfish. He wanted her to live so that they could be together forever. Unfortunately, she didn’t understand his logic. To her, he had committed the worst crime and she couldn’t love a criminal. Someone who stole something as precious as time. So, she left him… with time on his hands and nothing else.

© 2020, Fizza Younis.

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Fiction Friday: Dreams (Part Four)

Note: Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three before continuing.

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“Have you decided or not?” My great-aunt asked me eagerly. We were walking in the gardens. The night was pleasant, not too hot but not chilly either.

“Decided what?” I asked, confused.

“Don’t take too long, my dear,” she said with a sad smile, “you must decide as soon as possible.” We’ve reached the lake and she stopped to look towards the horizon. It was a full moon night and everything was bathed in silvery light.

“Decide what, aunty?” I asked again, a little annoyed with her for being so mysterious. There was something on my mind but I couldn’t exactly tell what. It was just a nagging feeling that everything wasn’t as perfect as it looked.

“You still don’t understand,” she sighed, “you have to find the key. Find it and you will also find all the answers you need.”

So, it was about the key again. I recalled she had told me about it in a dream a few days ago. Wait, was I dreaming again? As soon as the thought entered my mind I woke up with a start.

I took a deep cleansing breath. My emotions were all over the place. The dream was beautiful and yet, I feel disturbed. Susan was still fast asleep. So, I carefully pulled back the covers and got out of the bed. I needed air, a stroll in the garden felt like the right thing to do.

It was a night much like the one I was dreaming about moments ago. The only difference was that my great-aunt wasn’t there. She couldn’t be as she had been dead for many years now. Sameen was there though, sitting near the fountain and gazing at the moon.

“What are you thinking about?” I said as I sat down beside her. She wasn’t startled, maybe she had heard me approach.

“The moon,” she said, almost whispering, “isn’t it beautiful?”

“I never understood your fascination with the moon.” I chuckled, “remember when we were kids you used to sneak out on every full moon night and spend hours gazing at it.”

She looked at me smiling, probably as nostalgic as I was. “It’s beautiful.” That’s all she said. We sat in silence for a while just soaking in the beauty of the night. It was good to be back. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed this place and these people, my family.

“Are you ready for your big day,” I said, “I can’t wait to meet your fiance. I wonder what idiot agreed to marry you.”

“You know me,” she said laughingly, “I always get what I want and I wanted him.”

“Seriously though, are you happy?” Although my family wasn’t your typical Asian family where forced marriages were a thing still, I thought I should ask Sameen if she was happy with this wedding or not.

“Yes,” she said and I knew that it was the truth. “By the way, I love Susan. How come you never brought her here before?”

“Life kept us occupied,” I said and didn’t elaborate. “Hey, do you remember great-aunt Shafa?”

“Of course, who doesn’t?” Sameen said, “how many stories have we heard about her during family gatherings. We were kids when she passed away but I remember how loving she was. And how mysterious.”

“Yes,” I said thoughtfully, “she was rather mysterious, wasn’t she?”

“Why do you ask?” She gave me an inquiring look.

“I have been seeing her in my dreams a lot,” I explained. “I remember something had happened that summer when I stayed with her, for the first and the last time.”

“Yeah, like what?” She asked me, intrigued by my odd line of questioning.

“That’s the thing,” I said, “I don’t remember but I do remember that it had made my parents upset and I wasn’t allowed to visit Aunt Shafa again. And a few years after that we heard she passed away.”

“Don’t worry,” Sameen smiled at me, we can forget our childhood memories very easily. I’m sure it was nothing. Also, you’re here to celebrate and not worry about something that happened years ago.”

“You’re right,” I said, “besides it’s your time to shine. I’m here for you and that’s all.” As I said the words, I willed myself to believe them. Sameen was getting married and this time was for the wedding celebration. The keys, the memories of the past, and the nagging feeling in my stomach could all wait for another time.

We stayed there until the sunrise, talking about things that didn’t even matter. With time everything had changed, yet it felt like no time had passed at all.

To be continued…

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

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P.S. I want to apologize for not posting last Friday. I was sick with flu and fever. But I know how annoying it can be when you’re reading an ongoing story and the writer misses dates. Once again I apologize and promise it won’t happen again. Thanks for reading my work. I write if for you. Take care!

Fiction Friday: Dreams (Part Two)

Note: It’s an ongoing story and you should read Part One before reading this.

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I blinked, once, twice and willed my brain to wake up. I was feeling drowsy and a part of me was still stuck in the dream.

“Oh, good you’re up,” my wife said, “don’t waste time sitting there. You need to hurry or else we would be late.”

“Late for what?” I asked confused, “it’s weekend.”

“Don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten already,” she was annoyed, “we’ve to leave soon if we want to reach your cousin’s house in time. Don’t you remember?”

“Oh, right,” it came to me then, “it’s her wedding. Just give me fifteen minutes and I’ll be ready.”

“Okay.”

I hurried through my morning rituals. There was no time for breakfast but that was okay, I could have something on the way. It was five hours drive after all.

“You should’ve woken me up, earlier,” I complained to my wife because it seemed that we might not make it in time.

“Don’t blame me,” she said, “I did try to wake you up, twice actually. You are the one who refused to budge.”

“Sorry, it’s just that this is a big deal for me,” I said with a sigh, “everyone will be there and you know that I haven’t seen any of my family in two years.”

“I know,” she said softly, “you worry too much.”

“Well, can’t argue with that,” I said with a smile this time.

“There is nothing to be worried about. It’s your cousin’s big day. I’m sure everyone will be too focused on her to pay you any mind. Besides, families are weird, no matter how much time passes they’re still there for you at the end of the day. I’m sure all will be well. It’ll be as if no time has passed at all.”

“Thank you,” I said. I was grateful for her attempt at easing my worries.

“You’re most welcome, Mr. Arshman,” she said and we were both smiling now.

She was right, I had no reason to worry so much. Yes, it was true that over the years I lost touch with my family and didn’t bother to connect with anyone. However, it didn’t mean that I stopped loving them or they stopped loving me.

“Were you ever close with your cousins?” She asked.

“Oh, yes,” I said, feeling nostalgic, “we were really close. We grew up together, did a lot of things together, went to the same school, college, and even worked at the same places. They were my best friends and I loved each and every one of them. Our parents were also close. Those were simpler times.”

“You’re so lucky then,” she said, “I don’t even know all of my cousins.”

“Yeah, I know,” I said, “that’s why this day is so important. I haven’t seen them in a while but I miss them. Anita’s wedding is a perfect excuse for me to see all of them in one place. It’ll be fun.”

“I’m sure it will be,” she said, “tell me more about your home town. How come we never visited before?”

“Oh, you know,” I tried to deflect her second question, “life happens and you know how busy we are. It’s not easy to take time off… you know how these things are. Besides, the truth is that most of my family doesn’t even live in Yani anymore. Only a few second or third cousins are still there. Everyone else moved away, to different countries and cities. After my parents’ death, I didn’t have any reason to return.”

“Isn’t Anita your first cousin though?” She pressed.

“Ahan,” I said non-committedly.

“She’s still there.” My wife wasn’t ready to give up that line of questioning.

“Well, the last I knew she was in Italy,” I explained, “but she returned. My great aunt had left her the house she owned. If I remember correctly, she never sold it and still owns it. Maybe she decided it was time to come back home. Who knows?” To be fair, I really didn’t know much about my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their lives.

After that, we mostly drove in silence. I was deep in my own thoughts and Susan also didn’t bother to engage in conversation. Maybe she realized that I needed time to sort out my jumbled-up thoughts.

She was the best thing in my life. She always gave me what I needed, space or time. Somehow, she knew me better than I knew myself. We had been together for a little more than two years and married a year ago. One blissful year, I couldn’t have asked for a better life partner.

This was the first time she’d meet my family. She must be nervous too but she didn’t show it. Her uncanny ability to remain calm no matter the circumstances, was one of the things I loved about her. I was the exact opposite; little things had the ability to make me anxious and let’s not talk about my panic attacks.

“You’ve reached your destination.” The GPS robotic voice brought me back to the present. I looked up and there it was, my great aunt’s house or rather a mansion, standing there in its full glory.

To be continued…

© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

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