بخش 69

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 69

بخش 69

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح متوسط

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Baybars the Warrior

KONYA, MAY 1246

Bloody but unbowed. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that Shams had found the nerve to confront my uncle in front of his students. Doesn’t this man have any decency? How I wished I had been in the madrassa when he arrived. I would have kicked him out before he even had the chance to open that wicked mouth of his. But I wasn’t there, and it seems that he and my uncle had a long conversation, which the students have been blabbering about ever since. I take their words with a grain of salt, though, since their accounts are inconsistent and give too much credit to that rotten dervish.

I feel very nervous tonight. It is all because of that harlot Desert Rose. I can’t rid my mind of her. She reminds me of jewelry boxes with secret compartments. You think you own her, but unless you have the keys, she remains locked up and unreachable even when you hold her in your arms.

It is her surrendering that troubles me most. I keep asking myself why she didn’t resist my fits. How come she just lay there on the floor under my feet, listless as a dirty old rug? Had she hit me back or screamed for help, I would have stopped hitting her. But she lay motionless, her eyes bulging, her mouth shut, as if determined to take it on the chin, come what may. Did she really not care at all whether I killed her?

I have been trying hard not to go to the brothel again, but today I gave in to the need to see her. On the way there, I kept wondering how she would react upon seeing me. In case she complained about me and things got nasty, I was going to bribe or threaten that fat patron of hers. I had everything worked out in my mind and was ready for every possibility, except for the possibility of her having run away.

“What do you mean, Desert Rose is not here?” I burst out. “Where is she?”

“Forget about that harlot,” the patron said, popping a lokum into her mouth and sucking the syrup off of her finger. Seeing how upset I was, she added in a softer voice, “Why don’t you take a look at the other girls, Baybars?” “I don’t want your cheap whores, you fat hag. I need to see Desert Rose, and I need to see her now.”

The hermaphrodite raised her dark, pointed eyebrows at this form of address but didn’t dare to argue with me. Her voice dwindled to a whisper, as if ashamed of what she was about to say. “She is gone. Apparently she ran away while everyone was sleeping.” It was too absurd to be even laughable. “Since when do whores walk out of their brothels?” I asked. “You find her now!”

The patron looked at me as if she were seeing, really seeing me, for the first time. “Who are you to give me orders?” she hissed, as her small, defiant eyes, so unlike those of Desert Rose, blazed back at me.

“I am a security guard who has an uncle in high places. I can shut this den down and put you all out on the street,” I said as I reached over to the bowl on her lap and plucked out a lokum. It was soft and chewy.

I wiped my sticky fingers on the patron’s silk scarf. Her face became livid with rage, but she did not dare to pick a fight.

“Why are you blaming me?” she said. “Blame that dervish. He is the one who convinced Desert Rose to leave the brothel and find God.”

For a moment I couldn’t understand who she was talking about, but then it dawned upon me it was no other than Shams of Tabriz that she meant.

First disrespecting my uncle in front of his students, and now this. Clearly that heretic didn’t know his boundaries.

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