It’s autumn, and the city has been drenched in rain. I love the rain, and I am determined to take a stroll. I walk under the rain to feel it on my body. The continuous droplets, like a line connecting the sky to the flower-filled earth, are visible. The wind caresses my black tresses and enthusiastically scatters them across my face. It seems to enjoy playing with my locks. I try to put my hair back in place, but it returns to my face. It’s as if it, too, loves the wind. Under the rain and the free-flowing locks, one senses freedom in the air. This atmosphere reminds me of the first day I set foot in university, wearing a scarf that my father had gifted me in celebration of my success. On that spring day, rain poured on the glass window, creating a soothing sound. A gentle breeze carried the scent of rain-soaked earth to my nose. I had donned the appropriate university attire. I wrapped the scarf, a token of my father’s appreciation for my hard work in reaching university, around my head. Carrying my book-filled bag on my shoulder, I proudly embarked on the journey to university.
Two streets ahead, Hammasa and Mahsa were waiting for me. I hadn’t seen them for quite some time. Hammasa has large doe-like eyes; her eyelashes could be verses of poetry, and her lips are adorned with a captivating smile that became even more enchanting in the drizzling dawn. Mahsa, of average height, has black eyes and always carries a serious demeanor. I can’t compare her to any other girl I know. For her, the singular thing that holds meaning and significance is success. She reads and writes mostly. Hammasa affectionately called her the “bookworm.” After greetings, we, with feminine strides, headed towards the university that held our dreams. As we reached the university gate, my eyes sparkled, my heart raced, my feet felt numb, and my knees trembled. Beyond the blue gate, I saw the path to success. After passing through the gate, I stood firm on my feet. At that moment, I thought that one needed a strong and determined dream to achieve success.
We studied at the university. After finishing classes, Mahsa insisted that we return home, but Hammasa and I liked the atmosphere and environment of the university. In that pleasant weather, we wanted to take a stroll on the university grounds. Hammasa invited Mahsa, and me to have a cup of coffee in the university’s café. We couldn’t refuse. It had been a long time since we had talked together. It was a good time for conversation.
We sat in the university café, sipping coffee and sharing the unspoken. I looked around the university; the rain had ceased, and the air had become more romantic. The sky was shedding black clouds. The university was lush and illuminated. The café was situated in front of the engineering faculty building and the heart of the university. Outside the café, amidst the tall and short grass, several tables had been placed, but they were damp from the rain. Some students were strolling around the university, enjoying the post-rain atmosphere, while others were seated in the café, engaged in conversation. A moment of silence fell in the café; all eyes were fixed on the cloudy sky outside. I sensed the collective gaze and knew they were contemplating their struggles.
-The weather is beautiful, isn’t it?
-Yes, it is beautiful.
Hammasa broke the silence reigning in the café. The gaze of eyes that had been fixed on the cloudy sky turned inward into the café.
I was in love with that gaze and the image of that scene. The university I had struggled to be accepted into, was the heart of my aspirations; Kabul University.
The sound of the sky tearing and the rhythmic tapping of rain pulled me out of the core of my dreams. Since my school days, I had dreamed of attending Kabul University. I was a diligent and determined student. I aimed to become a doctor. Becoming a student at the Faculty of Medicine at Kabul University is no easy task. It requires roughly two years of preparation. I did it. I spent two years preparing for the entrance exam. Countless sleepless nights were spent. I would tell myself that this is called love! One endures the great pain of sleepless nights for something one passionately desires.
Nevertheless, with my day-and-night efforts, I placed myself on the path of my dreams, but I didn’t reach them. Two years ago, on exactly this day, in my daily notes, I had written: “Kabul University! Prepare yourself. You are supposed to nurture a lady who will later soar in your domain, and make you proud!” Today, I confronted this note and drew a cross over it. Kabul University and the dream it held left me with nothing but sighs and regret. My right from my endeavors should not have been sighs and regret. Now, I dream of the university at night. My dream, too, has become tainted. This was not our due reward. We didn’t deserve this.