It was raining. I was walking the dusty streets of Shar-e-naw. The Kabul air was different; everywhere smelled like roses. Yellow leaves on the trees looked like a bride wearing a yellow veil.
It was Fall and under my feet, the yellow leaves made a sound: cretch, cretch, cretch…
I walked on a strange street: half dark and half very light. I grew afraid. I had never seen that before: Me in a light and dark way.
Should I step to the dark side, or the light? Where was I going? What if I lose the way?
We had a neighbor, a woman whose husband died in a suicide bomb blast. She had three children, and nothing else. Sunlight was her children’s only food and at night, although she was hungry herself, she sang to her children, “Lalo, lalo,” until they slept.
I was thinking about them: what will happen to her? Who will support her? I turned right on the street. At the corner was her house and I knocked on the door. Mariam opened the door. She didn’t have that disappointed face. She was not hungry. She wore new clothes and held a red apple in her hands. She smiled and said, “Roya! My dreams came true.”
Then she closed the door. I went back to the street again. At the end of the street lived my cute friend Shabnam. She left school at Grade Four to support her sick mother by selling plastic bags on the street. Once she asked me with tears in her eyes: “Roya, do you have any old clothes? No matter if they don’t fit me; I need to wear something.” Another time I asked her what was her dream. She said, “I want new clothes.” I know she never touched new clothes in her life.
But that rainy day, I saw her with new clothes and she was laughing. Shabnam told me she was not only the happiest girl, but all people were happy. The sound of her laugh was like a song sung for brides. It had hopes of beginning a new world, dreams and lots of desires behind it.
I was thinking everyone’s dreams had come true. But suddenly, everywhere grew quiet. Even the raindrops fell without noise; they as silent as a dead body. I heard a strange voice that I had never heard before. It was not the voice of rockets or bomb blasts. It was kind and friendly and asked me: “Do you know which dreams came true?”
I couldn’t reply. I was afraid. The voice continued: “All the dreams came true, Roya. They all prayed for peace.”
A drop of a tear was in my eye and words bloomed in my mouth: Peace, Peace, Peace.
I woke up; it was six o’ clock in the morning and Mom was praying!