Rescuing Sara Jacob

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
The beginning of the tale of an Arabian Lieutenant in the Ottoman Army.

Submitted: January 29, 2019

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Submitted: January 29, 2019

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When Rajab Abdulhameed Effendi completed the military training in Istanbul and graduated as an Ottoman Lieutenant, he was foreseeing his future climbing to the rank of Captain, Major, Colonel, and a General perhaps. He even dreamed of being an Arabian Field Marshal in the Ottoman Army one day.

With such optimistic feelings, Rajab Abdulhameed was amid at yet un-organized fate before the event of the 1909 counter-coup. During that 11 days city chaos, his company was based in Selimiye barrack that was built first in 1800 by Sultan Selim III. However, they were patrolling at Haidar Pasha Port and suburb, named after an Ottoman Vizier, on the coast of Sea of Marmara.

Near the garden of Haidar Pasha military hospital, there was a big demonstration. The mass looked as if crushing its way aimlessly. Lieutenant Rajab Abdulhameed spotted a beautiful young woman with liberal appearance, pushed and staggered in the crowd as if spiraled down an extended drain. There were masses of people, and she was struggling to find her way out.

The Lieutenant instinctively jumped in the crowd, hardly working his way to reach her. When he succeeded, he held on tight on her both hands, almost embracing and walked her out of the swarm through a small side road. She surrendered to such romantic rescue. Only a white horse for this Knight was missing from the rescue scene.

She was wearing a casual and simple but elegant dress with a short haircut style that was called bob, which made her, looked like students. She also wore a Russian loose headscarf called Rusbas? which was tied at the back of her head and showed part of her neck and black hair.

"What brought you in here?" Lieutenant Rajab Abdulhameed asked her.

"I was at work and left, trying to reach home when I found me trapped in," she replied.

"Where is home?" he asked

"Oh, not far, just two blocks away," she answered.

"I will escort you to the door of your family," he said.

"Thank you; I can make it on my own now," she reluctantly replied.

"It is an order; I walk you the distance," he affirmed. "Now tell me where you work," he asked while walking together.

"I am a nurse in that hospital," she replied. "Anton Pasha Nafilian trained me," she added.

Since Anton Pasha was well known Armenian chief doctor in Haidar Pasha military hospital, the Lieutenant said: "that is a military hospital, and you are not wearing the uniform or the nurse's badge."

"Yes, I am not a regular nurse. I just volunteered to help to deal with the riot casualties", she said.

After her beauty, her spirit and moral stand impressed him. "What is your name?" he asked

My name is Sara, Sara Jacob", she replied, "You probably know that Sara was the name of one of the two wives of Prophet Ibraham," she added.

One of the hobbies of Rajab Abdulhameed was learning about the origin of names. The historical referral of her name brought his attention.

"Yes of course, but do you know the name has an Akkadian core? Sara means Lady Princess or "Lady of countless cosmic powers," he said.

As her outfit wasn’t  Alaturka (Turkish style) that was the traditional clothing style made up of the ?alvars, the bagginess gathered at the ankle, nor wearing  the long and baggy outer vestment covering the entire body known as  ferace (or Ferache) with the veil, he asked her " Sara Khatun, are you Greek or Armenian maybe?"

What makes you think that?

"Because your outfit is Alafranga, the European style I mean," he replied. Like any pragmatic person, Rajab Abdulhameed had no reservations towards others. He had Armenian, Assyrian and Greek friends from Istanbul.

"I am from a family used to follow Paris fashions through Modistra, the big fashion house and Greek tailors who made house calls in Istanbul," she explained. "And in fact, I am a Jewish Ottoman," she added.

That didn’t surprise him as many religions were wandering, and positively interacting in the streets and markets of Istanbul.

"I consider my self-lucky meeting you Sara Khatun," he said

"Bless you for rescuing me," she said.

The Silence ended the conversation whereas he kept enjoying her company in the short walk. In spite of that, he used to deal with facts and not realities; he wished it were a much longer walk. When they arrived at her house, he said "Aha, you live in this waterside yal??"

Like other yalis and traditional big houses, the predominant construction material of the big house was from finely worked wood with red roof circled by blue wooden high walls and blue iron door.

"Yes this is our house; my grandfather built it at the immediate waterside so the family would spend more time at the refreshing seashore." "Anyway, thank you for escorting me," she added.

"So that is it? Will we meet again, I wonder", he whispered. 

"Include me out," she said

That disappointed him, but then while she was crossing the gate of her house, she confused him with a smile, saying, "You could have an exact maybe."

She left him with mixed feelings because of her last-minute remarks. She did not ask what his name was. Again, that sweet smile, though it was slight, made him happier on his way back in the rain which started slightly too. He considered that a good sign. He did not stop at his post; he walked around it, walked and walked until the slight rain stopped.

Lieutenant Ragab Abdulhameed Effendi spent the rest of the day and night with his humid gleeful heart.

(To be continued)


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© Copyright 2020 Ali Al-Zaak. All rights reserved.

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