Dream or Mare

by Hassan Hayati
(Tehran-Iran)


The small garden in front of the house was sunk under a white blanket of fragrant cherry blooms. Jamal looked throughout the old wooden window to estimate if it is time for tea.

"Is the tea ready Sareh?" He called his wife; she was washing a bowl of rice to prepare the dinner.
"Yes man, will you help to bring the cups and saucers?" She answered with a demur in her voice.
Their daughter Nasrin always thought that tea is harmful and did not join them for evening tea. Sareh again called her and said, “your eyes are …”
Nasrin interrupted, “Mom, I am trying to answer my math question, and I must concentrate."

After tea Jamal turned on the small TV which was on the shelf. For him this part of daily schedule was of importance. He could see the news without any disturbance at this hour. His eyelids were heavy, and he snoozed during the news being shown. It did not take long to finish the dinner and get ready to sleep. He sank into a deep sleep so soon; it happened so fast that when Sareh came to the bed in a quarter or so, for she was gathering the dishes and doing other chores, Jamal was snoring.

It had passed two hours or more that Sareh who had a light sleep and was always sleeping vigilantly; felt that Jamal was crying in the sleep. She tried to wake him up gently and quietly."Jamal, wake up, Jamal.” She took his arm and, called him in a soft and kind voice. But he was still trying to speak and turning his face to the sides harshly. This time she pulled his arm and called him louder. Jamal woke up and his face full of sweat. What was that man? What did you see?
“I will tell you later, Sareh” He answered silently and sat in his place for minutes and lay down lightly.

Next day, Jamal was not able to get out of bed. He stayed in bed for a couple of hours after he had woken up. The birds were singing in the yard and a slight wave of cool weather forced him to finally go out. “What is wrong with you?" Sareh asked piteously. "What happened when you were sleeping?"
Jamal started to explain in a trembling voice.
I saw that I had passed away and I had nothing with me, I did not have even cloths and I was very afraid if others were looking at me. Soon I found that nobody is caring about me and neither do I care about others.
There was a good place with nice trees.
Suddenly a gentle voice called me and said it is your turn. I said my turn to do what?
The voice repeated again and said, "It is your turn.” And this time continued “this is the log of your performance all done during your life."
I took a look at that, all my acts from well doings and sins were shown. Even the hidden thoughts once had passed through my mind were uncovered and the curtains were removed. Then I asked my God to forgive my sins and conduct on his mercy with me.

Soon I was informed “The Almighty has shown his Mercy and your work sheet is accepted. Only there is a little matter, and that is your small debt to a friend of you, his name is Davood . If he accepts to excuse you, you will be sent to our best place, otherwise your processes would be complicated.”
We were talking and I was begging to be forgiven by God, but repeatedly I heard, “Go to your friend and ask him to excuse you. The decision is beyond the compass of us."
I was disappointed and sat under a tree. Suddenly I saw the friend they were talking about. He was walking through the garden. I called him, hey Davood.
He stood and listened to me. I begged him times and times, he said nothing. Again I asked him to forgive me. He looked at me and said,” you owe me man, you owe me."
I said “but God has forgiven me and I need only your approval.”
"God is merciful and forgives, but remember the amnesty is in his own right range” He answered and turned his face.
I asked and begged him again, suddenly he hooked his arm in mine and pulled it as vigorously that my arm was detached from my body.
Then I cried and woke up and saw you are pulling my arm.

Both man and his wife sank into a deep thought. His wife said, "Ok man, this is an alarm for us to heed others, right? Do you owe any one?” she asked her man in a soft question.
Jamal thought and said “As far as I know I do not owe anything to anybody. Any way I will ask the clergy man in the mosque this noon.”

After the noon prayers, Jamal went to the clergy man and asked the interpretation of the sleep.
“If one day you are forgiven by God, be aware that He will never ignore the right of others.
This is the message of your sleep," said the clergy man with a smile on his face.

Jamal was watching the beauty of the cherry trees in the garden all afternoon and thought do I owe anything to these trees?
***

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