The secret story of ibra.., p.3
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       The secret story of Ibrahim, p.3

           Anna Russo
 
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  At this point, the child headquarters came to the conclusion that the grown-ups had a plot in mind and therefore, they would not listen to them at all.

  Finally, they did everything they could to come up with a strategic plan to make them play on the field when nobody could see them; or rather, they would go in the morning, very, very early in the morning, when the whole town was asleep.

  *

  From that day, the children went to the field before sunrise.

  At the first games, nobody was really very awake and so the games lingered on.

  Some children were so sleepy that when the ball reached them, they would let it go by.

  The first games weren’t that great.

  Even the little cloud, who didn’t know who to root for, had noticed that the goalies of each team had fallen asleep on the sand and the two rival attackers, alternating moments of wakefulness and of sleep, kicked the ball to the wrong side.

  For the first week, the games went on with self-made goals and fouls, until the children got into the right pace and finally began to have fun.

  They would go to bed at around seven every evening and nobody could understand why. But since they were very, but very happy, nobody worried.

  So they gave way to a new chapter of their lives where they would wake up at four o’clock and at ten past four they were already lively on the field and at six back in their beds. So for a log, long time nobody noticed anything.

  Through the years, the children became great soccer players but nobody had witnessed this fact, either. Actually, since that far day, a veil of sadness was perceived by everyone who went by and saw the empty field.

  *

  Only a few questioned themselves on why the children and, above all, Ibrahim, had so easily given up on the field, but it was only a brisk thought and just as quickly as it came, the thought vanished as they all had many things to do.

  In the meantime, the children continued to play and have fun and slept and…dreamt.

  During all those mornings, besides being an ordinary ball-field, the field had returned to be what it was in its original nature: a runway, a mysterious planet, an invisible city, an ocean, an underground world and all those wonderful things that only a child could imagine.

  And while the days went on and the field and the cloud remained the same, the children were slowly growing.

  They grew so much that one day they found themselves practically grown-up and little by little, each and every one of them began to abandon the field, leaving Ibrahim all to himself.

  He had tried not to grow up, but his mission had failed.

  And so now life had changed.

  *

  Many of his friends had left town and at the end, Ibrahim did the same, who had arrived in a very far away place, in a way he would have never imagined and with only a one-way ticket. And here, Ibrahim, now a grown-up man, got married.

  He had many children and taught each and every one that there were no bigger or smaller brothers, but only brothers and that a thousand more could have been found anywhere: all it took was to open the house-door.

  His children had other children and so on…

  To all was told the story of the field and how Ibrahim’s entire life had passed through it.

  Until one day, when Ibrahim turned a hundred years old and only one candle was put on his birthday cake, because he wanted to return a child, his numerous family decided to gift him of…the return ticket!

  So Ibrahim returned home.

  He had expected great innovations instead…nothing had changed. Absolutely nothing, not even the field that everybody had thought to be mined.

  At this thought, Ibrahim laughed, just like he used to when he was young, and decided that if nothing had changed until then, everything could have been turned back like many years before.

  *

  The first thing he did was…forget his age.

  Thing that was easily said and done because he didn’t really feel his actual age. He returned to his native home and just like he had done ninety-nine years earlier, elected the ground floor his official headquarters.

  He would wait for his sisters to disappear to the upper floor with their brooms and dusters to then attempt to stand up on his own.

  He was so eager to go back to the field, that he knew was waiting for him, too but he also knew that he had to return to it all by himself.

  Just like ninety-nine years before and even without his brother Ishmael, the task appeared no simple at all!

  He had turned old now and could barely move. But even so, something had changed. Ibrahim decided that he had to walk and to do so he would have to learn all over again.

  He tried to get up on those skinny legs and stretched up his body; he then tried to move one foot. He even ordered the foot that had remained behind, to move upfront, but did not seem to want to obey. It remained glued to the floor and had no intention to move.

  So Ibrahim gathered up all his courage, all his strength, all his carelessness and grabbed the rebellious leg and helped it make a step forward.

  The foot was forced to move, so the other one moved, too. And again the other, until Ibrahim found himself walking again. He no longer remembered how old he was: one or ninety-nine; what mattered was that he had felt the same struggle and the same joy, as well.

  So life changed.

  *

  Or maybe time had just gone back.

  Ibrahim, who knew exactly where to go, walked down the street, up to the corner, turned the block and went by an alley, then another street, when all of a sudden…everything disappeared. The streets, the houses, the white walls, the clothes hanging out to dry, even the sun, the cars and the people were all gone…he had made it to the field!

  Considering the occasion, he decided it would have been the case to stand up in sign of respect and recognition and this time his will won over everything else.

  He headed towards the field proud as a king that had just reconquered his throne and so he sat down on the mass of stone.

  The little cloud, who throughout all those years had never moved an inch, saw him and with great delight greeted Ibrahim in its own personal way: opening up and letting a bright sunshine come through.

  Meanwhile, beneath the cloud stood Ibrahim, who had just remarkably accomplished the task of standing up, and now was motionless and nothing of him moved either, while the field, without anyone knowing, was asking to be transformed, because it felt lonely.

  So Ibrahim transformed the field…into a yellow ocean, so immense that the sky seemed so tiny. Then he changed the cloud into a camel, a bucket full of dates and finally a flock of birds, that Ibrahim wished to follow; so he spread out his arms and with his imagination, began to fly.

  And so Ibrahim’s family finally found him; after searching all the floors of the house, those of their neighbours, the bars, the inns, half of the town streets and after blaming Ishmael, who never found time to finish correcting his students’ homework.

  *

  Then somebody came up with the idea to go look at the field…and there they found him.

  He was standing with his back towards the people and he was flying, but they didn’t know that; they thought he was just staring at the sun.

  But the moment was magical and this, at least, could be perceived, so they did not shout out at him or ran over to get him.

  They just stopped to look at Ibrahim, while Ibrahim watched the field and the field watched the sun and even if no one understood what was going on, they knew that that field and Ibrahim belonged to each other.

  *

  Ant that is the way it went…because from that day on Ibrahim and the field never left each other.

  It was a matter of seconds and Ibrahim, who had always done everything he wanted in his life, accepted the fact that he was now tired.

  At first, he bent down, then he kneeled to then find comfort on the massive throne/rock and this time he seemed like a real king; everybody saw him until he dr
opped down and fell in a deep sleep.

  Meanwhile, besides his family, everybody in town had run to the field, but remained on the sides of the field since they were still convinced it was mined.

  For a moment they all stood still and in silence while watching Ibrahim seated in the middle, motionless.

  The first one to make a move was his brother Ishmael, who gently laid his foot on the field, followed by the other, a little more decisively, and then he began to walk, then to run, until he reached Ibrahim; behind him followed the rest of the family and the town people; by then the field was completely invaded by thousands of people, who didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  But the surprises were still not through.

  Brother Ishmael not only walked on the field, but now he started digging and so did everyone else and all together dug until…Ibrahim and the field became all one.

  *

  From that day, the field was named Ibrahim.

  The children began to play on the field again and even the teacher, who was Ishmael, came back, too.

  The field then became a soccer field and went back to be all the things it always was and nobody ever again thought that “Ibrahim Field” was mined, not even when the soldiers came and when it became a land of border and then a controlled territory…

  There were always children playing, grown-ups strolling, dances, concerts, sack races were organized, weddings and last but not least, the school.

  The soldiers could not understand all this and were forced to leave and, to avoid shame, unanimously decided to erase the field from their maps.

  And they did… well for that field belonged to God and God, many years earlier, had given to Ibrahim that field.

  *

  The End

  *

  AUTHOR’S NOTE

  *

  Thanks for reading this book,

  it was an honour for me to have spent

  this time together.

  *

  BOOKS - Anna Russo

  *

  PAO CONQUERS THE WORLD

  Pão was a grain of sand, a breath of wind, a rolling speck of dust, a lizard, a beetle, a drop of water, a stone… it depended on what he saw.

  *

  SEVEN BILLION

  Since they had told him that he was the seven billionth child born on earth and since he was at that age when everything is taken seriously, he could not get those words 'seven billionth' and 'world' out of his head and he did not really know if he was the number or the world or even both. Anyway, he opened up his eyes and took at heart the numbers and facts of the world.

 
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