The Ambitious Beauty

Centuries ago in a city in the central region of Iran, a beautiful girl was living. She was gorgeous to the extent that she had gained many admirers in her neighborhood. Many had given her offers and asked for her hand. The girl but was ambitious and she wanted to go beyond her family who was from middle-class society. For this reason, she till now refused all that suitors that were from her class. She had refused all of them but many still had hope and seek a chance to win her love or only followed her for amusement.

Within that neighborhood was a religious school that admitted students from all around the country. The students of that school had to study hard because the lessons were tough and they also had to live on a small fund that they each received from charity provided by some merchants of the city. Then most of the students were poor and lived almost such a monk during all their study time. But after graduation, they gained a reputable position in society. As a religious leader, they were sent to some locations around the country and they lived the rest of their lives in fame and in eminent.

At the time that the name of the girl was rising in circles in that neighborhood, a student was becoming famous but in another way. He was gaining respect by advancing in his education by a fast pace. He was already surpassed many older students and was in near stage to be declared graduated. Ostads (Professors) were proud of him and many declared that he will be the next Gazzali, and his name will stand in history beside huge figures.

He was smart too. His body was of good features and handsome and with kind and exemplary face he had some kind of charisma that would help him in his career future. These qualities could not be acquired but only intrinsic in some exceptional people.

The students after lessons in the afternoon went to the bazaar to buy their daily meals. It was usually some bread and yogurt that was the cheapest food that was affordable for most students. One day when the students were in the queue in front of a dairy shop, and our peculiar student among them, that beautiful girl was passing by chance at that corner of the bazaar. A few of her girl friends accompanied her and a few of her admirers, young men, too were following her at a little distance. She was enjoying herself that as she moved in lines of the bazaar the general attention was changing toward her. She could feel people’s gaze on herself. Sh was proud that she could arise in them their admiration for her beauty and charm. Then she noticed poor students lined in front of the dairy shop in their rags. They were studying in a religious school so it was shameful for them to look at women in the bazaar, yet she noticed most of them steal a look at her stealthy. This made her happier that these monks were also attracted by her beauty. But suddenly she saw a different person among them. She knew at the first glance that he was someone that greatness was seen from afar in his features and face, even if he was dressed in rags. He had the beauty of Joseph and wisdom was peculiar in his eye. But he didn’t even raise his head from the book that he held in his left hand. In his right hand was a bowel that would be filled with yogurt when his turn came. Under his right arm, he held a piece of bread that he had bought from the bakery nearby. She stopped for a moment, in hope that with all the noises his party produced, maybe the student at last look at her once, but her hope was in vain. He was deeply consuming in his reading and only pushed forward in line by the person behind him as the queue moved forward.

The girl moved on and in whisper asked her best friend, “Who was that guy?”

“He is Wa’ez,” her friend even didn’t need to ask who she intended. “That famous young student that is well-known to the public.”

From that day that corner of the bazaar was an everyday destination of the girl and her party, in a certain time; when she was certain that Wa’ez is among the students buying his everyday meal. Her friends knew her intention without her own commitment and helped her in this regard. But day after day passed and the boy was not responsive. The girl knew she can’t get his attention in this way. She needed a new plan.

One day that Wa’ez was late to the dairy shop at the bazaar because an Ostad had held him after lessons on a particular purpose. He was the last one that bought some bread and a bowl of yogurt and was hurrying toward school head-down. The girl went on purpose on his way and they clashed together. The boy dropped the bowl on the ground. It broke to pieces at once and all the yogurt spread on the ground. The girl cried in astonishment, “what are you doing? Look what did you do to my dress?”

“Forgive me. It was my fault. I should be more cautious.”

The girl glanced on him with an air of dissatisfaction. One of her friends stepped forward and wiped the yogurt from her dress with a handkerchief. After a moment she changed her tone. “Your bowl is broken. How you suppose to buy yogurt again?”

“I eat bread only today. I have to save my money for several days until I can buy a new bowl. I will fast. It’s better for me.”

“I’ll buy a new bowl for you. Also I buy you yogurt too. Or something better. Now that I think better I was who to blame. I was looking to things in shops and didn’t notice you.”

“No, no. Not at all. The blame is all mine.”

“Okay. It’s better we go to the line of bazaar that clay shops are located. I’ll buy you a bowl. You can pay me later. It’s not a present that make you uneasy in accepting it. But wait. You can teach us! We all with my friends were after someone to teach us . We are eager to learn.”

“But I’m not in a position to teach anyone yet. Especially ladies. First my Ostad should consent.”

“No problem ask for his permission. He will accept, I know. Let’s go and buy a new bowl for you and then some yogurt.”

He was hesitant for some time and excused for accepting her offer. But finally he accepted and they all set to go to the line of Clay Shops in the bazaar. But instead of clay bowl, she went to a shop that had the finest china. After a long time of examination, she selected a fine china bowl. It was expensive and Wa’ez protested that it’s too expensive for him, but she waved at him and made him silent.

When the time for payment, several young men stepped forward to pay for the price. The shop owner took the money from the nearest one and sent them all out of his shop. They went back to the dairy shop and she bought a full bowl of yogurt for him. When it was the time of parting she said: “We are waiting for your response tomorrow. I think your Ostad will consent, so we can arrange an hour for you to teach us every day.”

His Ostad consented for him to teach those girls, because he was an exceptional student and there was no danger of any scandal with him. But he was not happy about the bowl and said you should not accept such a bowl. And another thing. Be careful about relationships with those girls. These girls perhaps are innocent, but be careful. Evil is always in company with young girls and boys.

The next day they arranged their schedule. Wa’ez was to go after his lessons to a house of one of the girls’ families in turn. They invited to have lunch with them but he refused and preferred his own meal and then going to theirs. The lessons usually were held in yards of houses. In that time most houses had a spacious yard with a pond in middle and trees around it.

After a month the girls felt that Wa’ez is going more easier with them. The girl specifically felt some kind of affection from him for herself. In the beginning, he didn’t accept her offer to dine with them before their lesson started, but finally, he accepted and he went to the girls’ houses right after his own lessons were finished and had lunch with them. Their meals were different every day a delicious and as time passed he was used to the food of their household.

When the girl became certain of his affection for herself, she planned a day that no one in the house except the girls and a female servant. They served him wine beside food and he drank a huge amount. Now he was completely drunk. They started to play. The girl said come get me. He went chasing after her in the yard around the pond. After a while, she changed her path toward the stairs that went to the roof. He followed her. When both were on the roof and they both were visible from the street and nearby houses she shouted, “Help! Help! He is drunk! He wants to hurt me.”

Wa’ez was confused. He didn’t know what to do and ashamed went down the stairs. People already were gathered at the front door of the house. As he was going to go out they caught him and all started to beat him. They brought him to the judge. He ruled that from rape crime he is not guilty but for drinking, he should be whipped for 80 strokes.

The next day all the people of the city gathered in the main square of the city to watch Wa’ez’s punishment. That famous student that many expected to be one of the important figures in history. They whipped him 80 times then set him free.

After this scandal, he didn’t have any place in his school. He had no option except going to his home village and live with his parents and work as a farmer. But he thought about how his people may be hostile to him. The news will reach them sooner or later. This option was not good either. Finally, he decided to go to a monk who lived in the mountains nearby the city for years. He had heard about him in the past and knew that he had no connection to people for years. Maybe he would accept him in his cave.

On the other hand, the girl became the most famous girl in the city. All were talking about her. About her beauty and charm. Such a beauty that finally seduced such a person to go off-path. It should be such an extraordinary beauty to get such a man from the right path. She was now allowed in more higher class circles in society. That might be the real intention of her relationships with Wa’ez. She used him as a tool to reach her goal. Now instead of her ordinary suitors, she was under the attention of sons of rich merchants and even a few princes.

She was enjoying the society of higher ranks in the city for several years. She didn’t settle her mind on a single one, and she thought she had enough time to select the best option. On the other hand, the ones she preferred were not in the mood of marrying her. They only sought amusement in being in her party. As time passed and she became older her beauty was fading and her company reduced too. Her girl friends married one by one and her admirers reduced to a few old widowed or old unmarried guys.

Finally one day she discovered that she is pregnant. No one would accept her and she became completely alone. One day she heard by chance that some monk that lives in a cave in the mountain says great poems and provided a repute for himself. She became shocked when she heard his name. It was Wa’ez. Maybe that fool is of my help again. I’m sure he loves me still. I’ll go to him and ask him for forgiveness. I say I was really afraid of you at that moment. He will marry me and my child will be his legal child.

She knew that he comes every Friday to the city. She found him and asked him to forgive her. She said that she really loved her and she was afraid at that moment.

“I had forgiven you from the beginning,” he said.

“Do you love me still,” she asked

“Yes. I love you. But I love the most beloved one more, now.”

“Who is she? Do I know her?”

“I don’t know. You may. You should ask from yourself.”

“I don’t understand.”

“My companion in the mountain showed my real path I learned many things from him. Things that never taught in any school. “

“Come live with me. I love you. I need you.”

“I can’t he said. I thank you because you helped me find the real path. Now I’m going to our cave in mountain.” He left her then.

Months later that woman died in childbirth.

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