Let’s stay sober tonight.

Abu was a storyteller by day and an alcoholic by night. Every day, till seven in the evening, he took money from kids and told them stories of black moons and flying swans. At night, after the last story, he would drink for hours. That’s when and how he came up with his stories. He was twenty-two.

One day, a twenty-year-old girl stopped by for a story. She sat next to him. With their backs against the wall of the building he sat in front of, they looked at the blue sky in silence for a while as Abu thought of a story. He wanted the story to be different, better, more real. Men in t-shirts, suits, and denims and women in gowns, suits, and crop tops passed by as he rummaged in his thoughts for a story. To his left, in a furniture shop across the street, the television showed news of storms in a city half a world away. That’s when the story came to him.

“This is a true story. My friend, who lived in Rio De Janeiro, loved associating strange theories with human nature and often shared them with me. He told me about the butterfly effect once. It goes something like this: When a butterfly flaps its wings at the right place and the right time, it can cause a hurricane thousands of miles away. A month after he shared this theory with me, his wife had to go to Chicago for work . On the last night of the trip, she decided to take a stroll by the beach. She sent him a picture of a butterfly that night because she missed him and wanted to share the things she saw. The picture was the last thing he saw before he died because of a storm. These two events aren’t necessarily related but I love it anyway.”

The twenty-year-old smiled, got up and pulled him up with her. They walked and shared stories for a long time that day. When she finally had to leave, she gave him her number and name. They parted ways.

Her name was Titli, which meant butterfly. He didn’t drink that night.


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35 Comments

  1. Wow that’s really lovely – super simple, but really effective. I like something that can fit a lot into a few words, and you’ve done that here. Thanks

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