Sunset in the desert

The sun was coming down over the desert. On top of the west side wall of Nofir the princess was making her evening walk. She liked the colors of the sky at sunset. It looked like the sky and the sand came together. Everything was orange, as the flames in the dark, and it was endless.

The city of Nofir was an island in the sea of sand. It was built on a bed of rock. It looked like somehow it just grew there.  From its walls, you could see only the sand, no way for an attack. Not that anyone would be crazy enough to think of that. The sands were only for the desert people. Nobody dared to enter the endless sands, except in the cities close to the sea. The ones that connected Nofir to the world.

The camel caravans brought everything from the seaports. The city was always in need of something. Between its huge walls, Nofir was completely different. The silence of the desert was replaced by the noise of a living thing.

The markets seem to be full all the time. In the morning the voices of the merchants were coming from everywhere. Before noon they filled with children coming for the fruits left by this time, cleaning the stalls in exchange. This was how things worked here.   

By the time the noon sun was up and burning, everyone went inside, hiding from the heat. They will come out by evening time to either enjoy a walk in the coolness of the night wind in the king’s gardens or to prepare their stalls and shops for the next day.

The king’s gardens were his pride. The gardens were started at the birth of princess Haya. It was a gift of life for the city, and of love for his daughter. It took ten years for the gardens to become what they are now. And for everyone in Nofir they were valuable than any riches in the world.

In this harsh land, the people only had one another. They were always ready to land a hand. Even the sand raiders only went after the foreign caravans. Because they were of Nofir before embracing the desert.

But for at least one of the people in this place, the nofir-ean way of life was too much. And like most of the times, it was someone appearing to have received all the blessings of the gods.  While walking the walls in the evening, princess Haya dreamed of a different world. One where no one knew who she is. A world with woods and rivers. A world of love and adventures. A world other than the one she had in the city of her father. Because this city, the pride of Malik Alsama, was no longer hers.

She was now old enough to make her own choices. At least she believed so. She has decided a long time ago she’ll see the world but never found the courage to do anything about it. In the next two weeks, the feeling of being a bird in a golden cage grew stronger.  She needed to break the prison of her life before she withered as the dust and be blown away by the desert storms.

She talked herself out of this too many times before. Tomorrow is the day she’ll speak to her father. And he’ll listen. He must understand the way she feels. He was young once. But what if he doesn’t? Then she’ll run away. She had enough friends in the city to make something like that happen. Maybe it won’t come to that.

Malik Alsahra was a reasonable man. And he loved his daughter.  But he never took the time to listen to her, to understand her. And this made them grow apart. It was years they didn’t speak the same language.

It doesn’t matter anymore. She hoped that next day they’ll be able to understand one another. They needed to, in order to hold to what they still had between them.

“I hope the desert night will be of good council” she thought, going down the stairs to the city level.