It was 1:50am. Perfect time. Nur thought as she put on her rain coat.
She looked outside the window. The starry night was illuminating the dark velvet sky. It seemed almost mystically comforting.
Nur sighed. I need to get out. All my father’s negative emotion towards me makes me so weak! I need to find peace! She thought as she climbed down the ladder she’d fixed against her window sill. She quietly climbed down. Reaching the soft grass below, Nur breathed in the cold clean air and shivered as it filled her lungs.
The sky was beginning to get dark and it was drizzling. She broke out into a run. She ran and ran and ran. She didn’t know where she was running to.
She felt like screaming in the quiet and dark night. Noise was better than the stillness. The vast openness and the willowy trees weren't enough to drive away the mild sense of claustrophobia she was feeling. Suddenly, she wished Cherry was beside her. Her warmth would have been enough to make Nur unafraid.
She was nearly in the meadow. A soft breeze combed through the soft grass. Nur looked off into the darkness of the meadow - she could see a shiny light moving towards her, in a fast speed. She stopped as the grass of the meadow wet her toes.
Far out there was a horse, running towards……towards her! Am I dreaming? Nur rubbed her eyes. She heard the galloping sound of the horse nearing. She opened her eyes.
She saw him, the stallion which she hadn’t even named. He stood majestically near her, neighing so happily. It was the best welcome she could get on a lonely night like this. He spotted me running towards the meadow and came to me…..tears welled up in her eyes. She hugged her horse tightly.
The rain started to pour. Nur looked at the stallion. He was bright and beautiful in the dark night. She named him Angel (because he looked like an angel in the black night). Nur didn't even give second thought. She heaved herself lightly on the stallion. "Come on, Angel," Nur patted the sturdy horse. They rode on and on in the cold rain.
Nur had probably been riding through the meadow for hours. It seemed just like a few passing moments to her but her limbs felt exhausted - partly from running all the way here. "Let's get you to your stable, Angel." The horse neighed in acknowledgement. They made their way to the dry stable. They both shivered as Nur closed the stable door. She took off her raincoat and she soon fell asleep in a cozy stack of hay.
Within a few hours, the sky blossomed into a lavender dawn. The early-morning sun shone on Nur’s face. She got up and realized that she was in the stable and quickly recalled how she'd come here last night.
At home, everyone was looking for her. The maids searched everywhere for her. Mr. Khalid couldn’t understand why his daughter wasn’t in her room. He didn't show it but deep inside he felt a wisp of fear. The cops looked around the streets for her. Hussein, their driver, guessed that she was in the meadow. But he didn't have the chance to say anything. It wasn't long before Jessica came to know about missing Nur. She put on an evil grin as she powdered her plastic face.
Now’s my chance to split some relationships… father and daughter hmmmmm…..she thought. She was evil and all she wanted was to marry Mr. Khalid and poison him to death so that all the property could belong to her alone. Think about it Jessica, you’ll have all the riches; the grand mansion, the cars, the servants to obey you…it’s worth it.
So Jessica stopped Hussein from telling anyone his guess about Nur being in the meadow. She even stopped him from going to the meadow to check if she was there. Jessica grinned her evil grin and all over a sudden, her perfectly made face looked like a grinch from hell.
In the meadow, Nur sat on the grass with Angel beside her. She thought about home. “Can you imagine that? No-one seems to be bothered about me, Angel, ”she sighed patting Angel softly on his head. Angel neighed softly. He could sense Nur’s sadness.
Back at home, Mr. Khalid allowed Jessica to stay in his home till late evening. Yes, and this is just the beginning, Mr. Khalid…..she thought as she stared at the giant chandelier on the intricate curve of the ceiling. They were in the sitting room talking. When Mr. Khalid brought the topic of Nur, Jessica changed the topic smartly off.
“And….Nur, where could……..”
“Hmm, nice smell from the kitchen! I think lunch’s ready Khalid dear, ” Jessica interrupted.
Throughout the conversation, the topic of Nur was always brought up by Mr.Khalid but interrupted by Jessica again and again. This time, Jessica thought, I need to stop him from remembering that pesky little pest! And she did the worst thing anyone could think of; she lied. She lied that Nur did a bad thing,
“Speaking of Nur, Khalid, I hear that she run away with a boy in her school. She made a plan with him to escape in the night. What a spoilt child! Anyway, can I borrow the car ……..”
All the colour drained from Mr. Khalid’s face. “WHATTTT??!!!!!” he shouted, “That…a boy!....I’m surprised! How could Nur do such a thing?! You heard very very wrongly, Jessica. Who told you that horrible news?!”
Jessica was applying lipstick while looking at her small mirror. When Mr. Khalid was done, she closed the lipstick and laughed, “Oh really? When I saw her talking in school with that boy and skipping lessons. I saw it with my own eyes, Mr. Khalid. And of course I can’t lie to you.”
She said in her high-pitched voice, “She’s probably run away with him.” She had a good acting skill.
Mr. Khalid just said, “It’s late. Good night, Jessica.” And he walked away.
Jessica started filing her nails while laughing her evil laughter.
Still in the meadow, Nur was sad.
“Papa doesn’t care for me after all….,”she whispered, “he probably married Jessica today and never wanted me to know.” She was sad, so so sad. Then she suddenly shouted, “But if he thinks I’m not his daughter anymore, then fine! As long as I have Allah and Angel and…and…Tahir!!” Then she realized, “Tahir?”
So she set off for Tahir’s home while Angel was feeding on the grass. Tahir was so happy to see her but when Nur told her the news, she felt sad for her. Nur had supper from Tahir’s home. And she was happy there. After supper, Tahir’s dad called Mr. Khalid and he came for her right away.
In the car, Mr. Khalid was quiet, he didn’t say anything to his daughter. Then suddenly he asked, “Who’s the boy you ran away with?”
Nur was shocked, “What?!!!” She felt like dying from there. Now what does papa think? What does the world think? Which boy did I run away with?!! What does he mean?!!
Tears were welling up in her eyes but she controlled herself. She bit her lip as she tried to stop the burning tears from rolling down her cheeks. I have no one, no one! She didn't even bother explaining to her dad the actual situation as she saw him inhaling deeply from another cigar. She looked away and turned her hazel eyes to the night sky. Another starry night...