For The Love of ISARA
A Short Story by Johnnie J. Lim
The sun was so reluctant to sleep that day. The sky turned salmon. It was never a fine afternoon to the old folks. They knew that the awesome sight of the sky had a message to say. And they mostly believed in the omen of the unusual behavior of nature. But whatever mystery it had, the moon was timid to reveal it. She was even in alibi to show her fascinating beauty. She looked guilty of a crime that only the wind knew. And the wind was away in the north. The moon was partly silent for this, but the voice within her wanted to seek justice against the indecent proposal of the sun. She didn’t want to be dishonest. She couldn’t learn to love a man who had no space in her heart. And she wouldn’t give her heart to others since it belonged to the only man she ever loved.
“Isara! Isaraaaaa!” A young man’s voice echoed in the hill side. It sounded like a horrible voice of an angry lion which irritated the tranquility of the animals in the wilderness. “Isara! Isaraaaaa!” The pitch became more intense as if there was no space for serenity in his mind. His heart pounded with madness. A feeling of being deprived of a certain right made him weep in anger. But he was never lost for a hope to find justice in the name of love. For the love of Isara, the only woman in his life. And he was determined to take her back no matter what price he had to pay.
A group of women was busy in the receiving hall. A lot of men were seated enjoying a discussion of some issues about life. The palace was set for a significant occasion which the King wanted to announce to the entire kingdom. He was always anxious to attain recognition being the most powerful man in the land. He didn’t care about any unlawful act. He didn’t care about frustration. All he knew was right to him. And he got what he wanted. The hall was brought back to silence when Marjuki came with a group of bodyguards. The visitors bowed their heads as he sat on his majestic chair. He slightly raised his left hand and put it down denoting an acceptance of the visitors’ way of giving him respect. Then by clapping his hands twice, a man approached with his head bowed. “Your highness,”Kamlian said. He was the right hand of the king.
“Go and bring the dancers in to entertain me and my visitors,” the king ordered. In few minutes, Kamlian came back with the entertainers. Each of them tried to please the majesty. That moment, an old woman entered. “Mother, where is she?” Marjuki inquired. “She is in the bedroom. I tried talking to her but she disapproved my advice. She locked herself in the room instead.” Puraida explained.
Isara was there sitting in front of a mirror. Alone… Speechless… Disturbed. She stared at herself. Confused. She wanted to shout but her heart dictated her to calm down and remain strong. She was not an ordinary woman. Everyone knew it. She was not only beautiful, but she was a well-trained fighter. She deserved to be admired.
“Go and bring her here, mother,” Marjuki ordered. With no hesitation, the mother went back into the main house. But the door was still locked. So she gave it a knock. “Isara, you wouldn’t disappoint me, would you?” Puraida said. “There is no need to explain why I want to talk to you,” she added. But there was not even a single response from the woman. So Puraida informed the king about it. Marjuki expected it. He knew that Isara wouldn’t like him. But he was the king. He must be obeyed. He unlocked the door. But to his surprise, the woman was no longer there. Isara had gone. No one had noticed when she slipped by the window.
“Isara! Isaraaaaa!” The king shouted. For the first time, his voice sounded like an angry tiger from the wood. He called his men and ordered them to bring her back to him. But Isara was as swift as a leopard. She fled into the wood. She hid herself wisely. When the night fell, she went to her mother's house where she had temporarily stayed in when Hamid left for a business. She thought that Hamid was in he house, but he wasn't there. She told her mother about what happened. Then she went straightly to a house in the hill side.
Hamid was there. He had just finished eating his dinner. “Hamid!” Isara exclaimed. “Isara!” The man surprisingly said. They embraced each other….for a couple of minutes…..very tight….very, very tight like it was the last night of the world. To be emotional was no longer an issue to lovers like them. “How did you manage to come? I was terribly worried looking for you before I learned about what happened,” Hamid explained. “It’s a long story to tell. We need to leave this place as soon as possible. The king and his men would be coming anytime now,” Isara explained.
The nature was uninviting that night. The weather was angry. But it didn’t hinder the two from running away on a horse. They went to a seashore and made use of a small boat to escape. “I was sleepless when I learned that the king abducted my wife,” Hamid said to Isara. “But now that you are here, I won’t let him take you away from me anymore,” Hamid emotionally said. “Did you hear me? Did you hear me, Isara?” He asked. Isara looked at him intensely. “ There’s no need to tell me about this, Hamid. I’ve known you since the day I first met you. And I have promised not to love any other man than you," she added. But it wasn’t that easy to escape. Marjuki and his men came over. “You can’t leave, Isara. You are mine.” Marjuki said. “You can’t go with Hamid as long as I’m here,” He insisted. He ordered his men to hold Hamid and bring Isara to him. “You, devil!” Isara exclaimed. “You know that I’m married. Why can’t you understand?” She angrily pushed the king away. Her brown eyes were widely opened. A drop of blood flowed from her Indian nose. Her long and black silky hair remained uncombed. But she still looked beautiful. “Tie that poor man and throw him into the ocean!” Marjuki ordered his men. He dragged Isara on her limb forcing her to go with him. But Isara tried to fight back. She quickly took Marjuki's gun and pointed it at him. “I’ll kill you if don’t free us!” She warned. She took some steps backward and pointed the gun to the men who were trying to torture Hamid. She shot one of them and said, “Untie him or all of you will die!” She ordered. She didn’t notice Marjuki moving toward her. He tried to grab the gun from Isara but the woman’s hand was tightly holding the weapon. That gave Hamid a chance to get a sword from the man beside him. He immediately attacked and hacked Marjuki on his back. But Marjuki was able to move fast to avoid the sword. He also took a sword from one of his men. Isara pulled the trigger of the gun once more pointing it to the sky. The sound of the weapon momentarily stopped Marjuki and Hamid from fighting. Then she pointed the gun to Marjuki. But when she pulled the trigger, there was no more bullet coming out of it. She didn’t know that Marjuki only loaded it with two bullets. One for her, and one for Hamid. “Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha! Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!” Marjuki laughed. “My poor, Isara. You can’t never be smarter than me, you, idiot!” He added. But Marjuki had no more chance to deceive the woman. Hamid was there standing, the woman's knight in shining armor. He was eager to defend his lady. He requested Isara to stand at his back. So the two men continued the fight. The clang of their swords echoed throughout the seashore. Isara was even taken a back. She thought of finding a way to stop the two men. It was then the time when the wind finally returned from the north. It came impetuously as if it was there to stop the two men from fighting. The lightning struck. The thunder roared. Everyone was amazed while the moon vividly appeared in the sky. It was a sign of being no longer guilty of the crime she knew. The nature became more turbulent. But Hamid was never moved by it and so was Marjuki. Both remained watchful from every hit of the deadly silver swords. The wind kept on blowing with maximum speed pushing giant waves unto the shore while the lightning continuously flashing in the sky. Finally, Hamid hit Marjuki on his shoulder. The king fell to the ground.....Helpless. But he was still alive. He stood again and took his sword. He was very much determined to kill Hamid. He tried to prove before the eyes of his men that he was not born to be a loser. But when he was about to hit Hamid on his back, the lightning struck against his sword. A thousands of volts completely burned him to death. Everybody was astonished. Isara and Hamid were even thrown few meters away. And they were so thankful to God. So it was over. The end has come for the king to set Isara and Hamid free.