The woman with a red earring

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Here I am, back to Chechnya. A short tale.

“He was so beautiful even as  a dead man, laying down here in his elegant battledress” the woman says, pointing the finger at her parent’s old bed in the wooden country house. She has black muddy eyes, and stares somewhere far away, out the window. “They took him to our place after he was hit by the russian rocket while on the phone. Nobody wanted to keep his body. It was wartime, and everybody feared a brutal revenge for hosting the rebel General or this guys of him. So my father, a respected mullah in the village, offered to hold it until the funeral.

He used to visit my dad when he had a break with war. I remember I felt in love with him since the first time we met.  I was a young girl, and I served him homemade meat that I prepared myself. He said he had never relished such a tasty meat in all his life. Second time he came, he asked me Dear friend of mine, can you cook this meat of your for me? I was shy but smiled to him bravely, and did my best to honor our guest. I was always standing for independence, as all my family did.

Later, as a dead man, it took them 3 days to take him out in a safe place for the burial – too late for Islam, but war is war. Meanwhile, his body stayed in this bed, and the thousands of people from the villages around came at night to see and mourn him. Every morning after breakfast, I slide into his room on the sly when nobody was in, although my father had forbidden me to. Once in, I  looked at his feets showing underneath the bedhead: they were blue and stiff, but so delicate and beautiful. So beautiful they were”.

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