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My Father and the Jasmine Tree

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#1
Penelope

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I would like to know what do you think about my humble short story


My Father and the Jasmine Tree

He was a successful butcher, but when threats started haunting him, he closed his shop in the time when most of the Algerians became “butchers”; when the lamb became more expensive than the human flesh; when the human heads and limbs became as leftovers thrown apart for the dogs and the enemies of serenity to bite. But after the extinguishing of that fire, life came back to the dead-like people who expected every single night the knives to cross their necks, and with it life came back to the closed shop of my father; he restored his job as it was the only thing he could do which he inherited from his father who inherited it himself from his father. Each evening when my father came back home dead tired from his work, he sat on a bench underneath a jasmine tree to take some rest and sip some black coffee.

There was a peculiar relation between my father and the jasmine tree; he was obsessed by it; he loved it like it was a woman who entered his life without tapping on the arteries of his heart. I used to see my father sitting for hours underneath or beside that tree in the summer’s nights without forgetting to fill his lungs by its scent before going to his bedroom like the one who tried to fill his lungs by air as possible as he could before diving into the sea. It was out of doubt that my father was enamored with the jasmine tree; it was true that he loved all the trees of his garden and took care of them as if they were his children and used to say: “If you love a tree, it will love you for it feels your love,” but his love for the jasmine tree exceeded all the limits to the edge of making my mother feel jealous from that tree for she was sure that the jasmine tree shared her my father’s heart. I sometimes felt that my mother was crazy or a kind of insanity was creeping into her mind; how could she feel jealous from a tree?! But maybe she was right as she knew the story of that tree and the secret of my father’s love for it, for that she hated the tree and detested the one who sowed it. I still remember her face when she saw my father tickling the leaves of the jasmine tree and fondling its white flowers like a paramour who stroked the hair of his lover and patted her face.

The jasmine tree shared my father everything; his agonies and anguishes, his thrill and ecstasy. Whenever he faced a problem or the ghost of sadness found its way to his heart, he sat underneath it looking at it as if venting his burden; it could alleviate his melancholy with a graceful shake of its branches. Even when he felt happy and exited, he never forgot his tree and shared those moments with it, picking its flowers, smelling them and giving them to us saying: “Smell; smell the jasmine, really its odour can heal the sick heart.”

In fact the jasmine tree was not ours, it was our neighbours’ but most of its lush branches were leaning on the wall of our veranda as if it was going to hug someone and whisper something in his ear or like a languid jaded lady who leaned on that wall to take a pause and catch her breaths. It was sowed twenty years ago or thereabouts by a beautiful woman named Yasmine; she was my father’s cousin who lived just next to him; there was a wall that separated their houses but a destiny that separated their lives. Both of Yasmine and my father grew up and with them grew a seed was planted in their hearts since their childhood and bloomed in a beautiful flower in the spring of their life, its name was love. Both of them opened their hearts on the love of the other one like the boys and the girls of that time who didn't find a shelter but in their cousins’ hearts.
Yasmine sprouted into a beautiful flower to become the desire of many hands who longed to pick it, but my father was the winner, or as he thought, for he dared one day and asked his father to ask Yasmine’s hand for him. Things went just like love had decided and Yasmine was deemed to be my father’s future wife, but fate, as he is always the enemy of love, poked its nose to mar the beautiful dream and kill the baby in its gestation; an affair of heritage separated the two lovers and raised a war between their families. After that, my father and Yasmine couldn't see each other except when a coincidence drew a meeting for them.
Yasmine was married from the first man he was proposed to her and my father from the first woman; my mother, his mother chose for him. But, at least for my father, that beautiful flower didn't wither; it stayed growing inside that blessed ground of his heart. For that my father was enchanted by that tree; it reminded him by the first and maybe the last woman invaded his heart, and for that he used to say “Smell the jasmine, it cures the sick heart,” he meant his heart and the solely woman who had the curative power to cure his anguishes.

My father died in autumn with the first fall of the white flowers of the jasmine tree. The next spring wasn't like the previous one for that tree as it didn't flower in abundance like it was in the days of my father as if it was sad for the loss of my father. In summer nights, its branches rustled mournfully making the small flowers falling on the bench my father used to sit on as if it missed the one who used to take care of it and spend long hours beside it under the light of summer's starry sky. Even in its sorrow, the jasmine tree was alluring like a woman who wore a white dress instead of a black one in her mourning for the loss of a dear person and cast its sad flowers on his chair as if putting a wreath on his grave wishing him a serene long sleep.
  • Fatony and The Big Algeria like this

#2
Omeymaa

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First of all, Allah yer7am your father inshallah and grant him paradise Amine.

Excellent story, superb use of similes here, really tells what you are trying to say, very well thought out.

I also liked how the story unfolds, you kept the reader at the edge of her/his seat and longing to know what was going on. Good intro..captivating.

A small question, what time of day do you write? Be specific please :D

Thanks in advance.




Done is better than perfect.


#3
Fatony

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very nice story/ thank you
There are people with experience and people with opinions. Listen to one, smile at the other.
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#4
Snow White Queen

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please allow me to express my congratulations to you for writing such good piece!
way to go sister! smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
read ya soon ;)

#5
Snow White Queen

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btw ,i wasnt planning to read the whole story,can't believe you made me read the whole page,lol :P

#6
Penelope

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Hello,

Thanks a lot for your encouraging words, mates. Snow White Queen, thrilled I am that I made you read the whole story.

Well to answer you, Have faith, there is no specific time but I like a lot to write at night especially when I am depressed. It sounds strange, yes?! But really it is the truth; I can vent and express myself and my feelings in such state better than any other state.

#7
The Big Algeria

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wanna you make me cry or what? :P

I like it, very nice Story. will read it again.

Thank you.





#8
Red flower

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Very beautiful story!!

#9
Penelope

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Thanks a lot Star and Flower!