Mahmoud Khafi, Iranian writer
Reprinted from: Global Seminar of Fiction and Dialog Among Cultures, Farokh Negar Pub., Karnameh, Negar EskandarFar, 2004
The girl was staring at the bright colored shade of the street. The shining electric lights in the street disturbed her thoughts. She didn't hear the music from the tape-recorder. She was cold. The darkness of the street reminded her the devil of the stories of her grandmother of the many years ago.
The man said, "Don't you think that tonight you are making a decision based on your feelings, too? I am afraid that you will get hurt." He looked at the girl.
"Friendship is not simple. It's a special holy meaning. You didn't say what you thought right about, and made a decision?"
The girl nodded her head. The man looked in front of himself. He gently pushed on the gas pedal.
The man said, "Then you shook hands correctly?"
The girl thought about the cold outside. The dark color of the lights became light. The man said, "Give me your hand."
The girl looked at him. She stretched out her hand. The man took the girl's left hand with his right hand.
"Look, in one way, I want to end restlessness. Maybe, a part of my loneliness will be filled. I want to open up like flowers. Somehow, I should change psychologically.
The girl was thinking of the warmth man's hand, which was touching her hand.
"How do you feel?"
The girl nodded her head.
The man said, "What does that mean?"
The girl stared at the man, murmured, "nothing".
The man said, "You don't have any feeling!"
The girl said, "no".
The man put the car in the neutral shift. He slammed his foot on the brakes and waited behind the traffic light and he looked at the girl again.
"You know almost everything about me, but, what about me? My fear is the 28 years difference is not bad or difficult. Excuse me... I don't have any intention to be child again. I'm pessimist.."
The girl said, "No, why pessimist?"
The man said, "You're very smart. You have great intelligence. It is really very good! Don't you think that you are challenging with me? You haven't still said anything. Do you expect me to search for something in the dark room? Friendship without smelling your physical presence, won't excite any feeling. You will become upset, if I touch you?
The girl looked at the moon. The clouds covered the half moon in the sky.
The man said, "Will you be upset?"
The girl said, "I don't know, maybe I get upset."
The man took a deep breath. The girl said, "I think of you as my father."
The man said, "good, very good", and he looked at the girl's face. The girl looked at him, too. They looks meet for a second. She looked at him and once again she stared at the moon. The man lost his balance of the car for a second. The car almost hit the middle barrier of the road. The man was drowned in his thoughts. His cheek was touched hers.
"Is it possible to believe? It is like never needing to eat."
The man squeezed the girl's hand. He wanted to transfer all of the warmth of his hand to the girl's. The girl looked outside; at the bright darkness of the street; and then, she listened to the sad sound of the man, who was still reading on the tape-recorder:
The blue of the ocean is forbidden. The love of two fish is forbidden.
The man said, "The first day I saw you, your kindness reached my heart. Perhaps, you thought that I need you."
The girl took a deep breath. She took her eyes from the street. She looked at the man and smiled. The man let go of the girl's hand. He put two hands on the steering wheel and he put a heavy foot on the gas pedal.
"There are many things that I must tell you. But, I'm afraid that you will get hurt. I want to put my head on your shoulder, to touch your hair, talk to you."
The girl looked down. She looked at the tape-recorder in the car and she listened to the man still singing:
The chatter of whisper is forbidden.
The man's lips were moving.
"You were supposed to talk this evening. For four night, I've been doing all the talking."
He was whispering at the girl's ears. He was smelling the girl, feeling free, and his thoughts goes wrong. He thought that he could write a story tonight.
The girl said, "You went the wrong way."
The man get back to himself and he looked at the street and said, "Aren't you late? Let's take a ride." They passed the girl's house.
The girl said, "no", and she looked at her watch.
The man said, "I could have hired many people in the company, if it was meanness. Did you think of why approximately two weeks I have been waiting for you to become my fellow worker?"
The girl said, "I never thought."
The man said, "Do you know, what kind of person I am? Really, do you know me?"
The girl played with the fingers of her hand. She said nothing.
The man said, "Did you sleep well last night?"
The girl thought on saying goodbye, and about the night, weltering shoulder to shoulder, and the chaos, which will fill the whole of her. The man thought, the car hit the electrical pole in the middle of the street and his head is on the steering wheel. His face was full of blood. The girl cleaned the blood away with her hands and she gently closed her eyes.
The man thought that he was not doing the right thing, and it is lack of conscience to bring the girl to the gray years of his life. Everything ended at that very moment.
The man thought of the nights with the warmth of her hand and nightly whistles and perfumed fragrance that will reach the beautiful seconds and he will have a sense of serenity.
The man stopped stopped the car. They have reached the girl's house. He stared at the girl. The girl said, "Thank you. Goodbye." Then she opened the door and smiled. She looked at the man for a second and she closed the door. The man pushed on the gas pedal and he turned left. He told himself that he would go and write a story.