The Siren-A Somali Short Story- Part 1

HARGEISA, 8 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) – In ancient Greek mythology, the Sirens where half human creatures that could lure men to their destruction through the beautiful songs they sung. To protect themselves from the Sirens, men would plug their ears so they could not hear their lovely music.

My friend Khalid had the misfortune to fall in love with a modern day Siren. Ubah instead of tempting men with her voice, she caught her victims using her beauty. Her victims were always careful selected. She would hunt them for sport and not relent until they unconditionally surrendered their hearts. She could play with men’s hearts like the cords on a guitar string. Even the most determined man would find her charms hard to resist and so it was no surprise that before long Khalid, who was a very willing victim, to the great distress of his mother, had fallen madly in love with her. But, like a true siren Ubah had no warm loving human heart and therefore could feel nothing but cold contempt towards Khalid once he revealed his feelings. By this time she had already set her eyes on her next victim, one of Khalid’s closest friends, and the poor fool was left devastated. To add insult to injury Ubah soon afterwards married Khalid’s friend, giving Khalid the final deadly blow.

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Khalid’s mother seeing this as the answer to her prayers, decided to seize the opportunity and convince her son to enter into an arranged married. Khalid not caring what happened to him now that Ubah was out of his life, indifferently agreed to the marriage.

Khalid’s betrothed was nothing like Ubah. Many people had given up poor Leila, as a spinster by the time she was only eighteen. Unlike the other young ladies within the community that went to beauty salons on a religious basis, Leila could have cared less about how she looked like. She would often be seen wearing a pair of loose fitted jeans, and her oversized university sweater, carrying a heavy backpack full of text books. Her face was hidden behind her glasses and her hair behind a jibah. Most people thought she was very plain and others, the kinder ones, felt she could look pretty if she only tried. Besides her exterior features Leila was extremely shy and reserved, and because of this she could be easily over looked. She never went out to weddings or community parties…in fact she never went out at all!

With no beauty and such a personality it was a great shock to everyone when her parents finally did announce her marriage. How she ever managed to get married was a secret many young women within the community were dying to know but in truth Leila had done nothing.

When she was five years old, an old school friend of her father’s paid a visit to their home and while there, the old men was so charmed by the cute, sweet, affectionate daughter of his friend that he asked for her hand in marriage on behalf of his son, who at the time was only ten. Leila’s father believing his friend was not serious, jokingly agreed to the match.

Years passed and the matter was altogether forgotten about until twenty years later when the old men paid the family another visit. Leila had grown into a young woman, still sweet though more shy and reserved, and the old man more impressed with than ever, soon remained his friend of the promise he made long ago. Leila’s father was taken aback be the proposal but not being a man to go back on his word said he would agree to the marriage so long as his daughter agreed. was at first reluctant to accept but her mother, thrilled at the prospected of the match told her to she should, and her father wanting the union between the two families informed her he was very much in favour of the marriage. So, she accepted, knowing nothing more about her intended husband then what her family had told her.

To be continued…..

By: Yassin Ismail
yassin_ismail@yahoo.com

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