Opening the door to the living room, Abeer saw his eight year old slumped on the couch, gazing at the rising sun forlornly.
“Up so early? Everything ok, buddy?” He enquired softly as he came to sit beside his son, not wanting to disturb the tranquility of the moment.
Rahil gave a tired smile, eyes glassy with pain. The treatment and meds were taking a toll on the little body, fighting a wily disease that found new avenues to attack every few weeks.
“Tell me a story, baba” the boy requested, slowly crawling his way to sit at his father’s lap. The tough, ‘big-boy’ image offered little comfort, next to the strength of a father’s embrace.
Gazing at the coral coloured sky, Abeer suddenly felt thankful for each sunrise that granted his boy a new life each day.
“No no, a story always starts with ‘Once upon a time’, baba.”
With a fond smile, Abeer began, “Once upon a time, there lived a fierce dragon inside a ball of light, that we call the sun today. And this lonely dragon wanted to find a friend, to talk to and dance with him.”
With a sigh, Rahil leaned against his baba’s shoulders. Though simple, his stories were always more exciting than amma’s boring, grandiloquent books, read to him at the hospital waiting room.
“And everyday, he would blaze across the sky, searching for a friend. But how could he make friends, when the others were scared of his scorching fire and wanted relief from his permanent presence in the sky?”
“But he found his friend, right baba?” Just like he’d found his best-friend at the new group meetings his parents took him every week, since his diagnosis.
“Yes, he did. A girl called Earth came forward to meet him, despite the apprehensions of her people. And just like your friend Kainat, she too befriended him.”
“Why? Wasn’t she scared?” Rahil was curious, for the dragons in the movies were huge and scary.
“Maybe. But she saw the lonely boy, hidden behind the scary and powerful dragon, who just wanted a friend to understand him, play and dance with him. And so, they became friends.
“They were always together, moving in sync as they danced their way through the years. As the Earth and Sun spun around each other, parts of the land saw sunrise and sunset. They each got to experience day and night, sunrise and sunset. Thus began the cycle of dark and light.”
“I like this tale,” Rahil whispered. It was much more interesting than the explanations of science shows. The lonely sun got his friend and lived forever.
Maybe with his sick friend Kainat, he too would get to live and dance in the sunrises to come.
Other prompt: Word of the Day– Grandiloquent.