By this point, the beads of sweat had turned into rivulets flowing across his brown forehead. He doubted every aspect of his resolve and ability to complete this impossible task.
“Inshallah, I can do this.”
The man returned to his work, hunched over a paint-stained and poorly lit workbench. Mountains of clutter surrounded him, but it was all treasure. This was his lair. It was the place he wrenched secrets from the universe. Against the far wall, a pile of disassembled electronics attested to it.
Life had not permitted him to have a formal education, but he learned on his own. He earned a reputation as a problem-solver in his village. In hushed tones, they gossiped about what must be going on in his workshop, but he didn’t mind. Learning was his focus.
Solder smoke rose around his head as if he were in an opium den. He dabbed the sweat away as the pressure increased. He worried that he was behind schedule. If that was the case, he would pay for it dearly.
Anxiety clawed at his heart, but he would not waver. Steadying his hands, he soldered the last wire. Suddenly, from behind, he heard the workshop’s old door crash open. He twisted around and saw a terrifying silhouette in the doorway. She was here.
Her countenance was a sight to behold. Pain, sorrow, and fear distorted her features into something nightmarish.
Through a grimace, she asked, “Are you done?”
The man feared to answer, but soon a smile began to form at the corners of his mouth.
“I did. My habibi, I am so sorry for breaking your toy.”
The man handed his niece the only speaking doll in the village. Tearfully, the little girl beamed with love and gratitude. Offering a quick hug, she raced to meet her friends and show them her newly-repaired pride and joy.
The man loved her so much.
© CGT, 2018.