“We’ve got to live,” he said, his eyes focused on some far away point in the darkening horizon, “no matter how many skies have fallen.”
Alibeel always quoted his favorite authors. As if he were afraid time would erase them and parts of his soul would die along with their memories.
There was a melancholy in his voice that she picked up immediately, but knew she couldn’t resolve its cause. The wind gently blew against his hair like cattails near the water. She didn’t remember a time when he’d ever been so disheveled as he was then. His coal colored hair was longer, like his beard. He kept the beard trimmed almost to a point at his chin. He always rambled about heritage and how he wanted to reflect who his family was before the Great War.
The Great War.
Alibeel’s entire family had been assassinated in the days before the fighting broke out. His father was in parliament as were his uncles. Alibeel had just begun his own efforts in gaining political clout when everything crumbled. He watched his entire family get slaughtered while he was tied to a cross that was hung in their foyer. He watched his entire family get slaughtered while he was tied to a cross that was hung in their foyer.
He wasn’t even Christian. Neither was the opposition, though they claimed it.
She watched him relive those moments in his mind while he fingered at the gravel on the ground where he sat. The whole world was in front of them, but he could still only look back. She pulled her knees close to her chest and watched the first star manifest in the darkening sky.
“It’s going to be okay, Ali,” she sighed, “it has to be. There is a plan. Even if we don’t know it yet.”
Alibeel wanted to scoff at her. He wanted to chide her for her naiveté and unrealistic expectations. He wanted to, but he didn’t. Deep down, he hoped she was right. And even if she wasn’t, it was nice to finally be around goodness and light for a change.
And Ali wasn’t going to be the one to put out her light.