It was dark, complete pitch darkness. There were no light, no visible signs of mundane entities. I was alone, just standing there, in that isolated place I like to call the portal of shadows. In the portal of shadows, you play a game. If you manage to get the light you survive, and if you don’t your corpse just rots there, insignificant and insubstantive. The light will come to you, if you keep standing, thinking and pondering over your life.
I was devoid of all thoughts. Anything ideas that come to my mind just disappeared like I had amnesia. I was not afraid of death as knew that death is just the beginning of another fantastic journey. As I was giving up hope, I looked at my right palm. Somehow, a chess pawn had manifested itself there. It reminded me of the many games of chess I had played. The first time was with my mother when I was eight. For some reason, my mother kept on winning and I had suffered a total of 46 losses. I assured myself that I was about to win the next one despite the superior intellect my mother had compared to mine. I decided to focus all my attention on a pawn with a blue etches at its globe, at the far right. I observed its dynamic movement throughout the game and always protected that one pawn despite all odds, even going on to sacrifice a queen to save it. The pawn was finally at the second last row in the enemy’s “territory”. I was elated with my achievement. One more row and I could turn that pawn into a magnificent rook and by some miracle win the game. However, my mom just said “check-mate” and moved her queen directly facing my king. I just answered “So what, I’ll just turn my pawn into a king in the next turn.” She burst out laughing and said in her mellifluous voice and genial look on her face, “Very well, you won at last Rahim.”
I came back to the portal, thwarted from enjoying another few moments of life. The same pawn was in my hands. It had those same globe with the blue etches. My heart started to fill with melancholy and I dropped it down into the deep black abyss I was standing upon. That was when the string of profound and significant memories in my life started to unravel in my brain. Dreams, experiences, thoughts and actions all convoluted together and hit me back at once. But one single entity among these surpassed everything: Dreams. I saw my aspirations to be an astronaut, a French cook, the mayor of a city and finally a doctor. I was very much like the pawn, wanting to be greater, wanting to have a better future than the meager one that I had now. I remembered my oath to not let anyone I love die and my determination to defeat death. I was not about be sacrificed like those other average pawns on the board. I would surpass every other piece in the board to become the grand champion.
None of these dreams might come true. Maybe I would just perish with my foolish ideologies and views and be left in the darkness, having lived my life with no purpose.
Then I saw a speck of light coming towards the unfamiliar grounds I was treading. Soon it was glittering and hovering over my head. I extended my rough arms to try to touch the tiny star and closed my eyes, my brain devoid of all emotions and mundane thoughts. I felt a tingling in the hand I caught the star with and opened my eyelids. The light was back and I realized that I was just sitting under a tree with a novel in my left hand. Flabbergasted, I looked into my opened right palm. There stood a king, almighty and impregnable. There were faint, yet distinguishable blue etches travelling down its crown.
The light was back in my eyes and it almost blinded me.