និពន្ធដោយៈ លី កុសល
Written by: Mr. Ly Kosal
My name is Dara. I was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where I am now living and will be living for the rest of my life. I could tell that I am a very very old man who used to spend most of my life sleeping and keeping my secret. As I am very old, I almost forget everything but one thing for sure I will never ever forget is going back to 1948 when my story began.
In 1948, I was a freshman at one of the universities in Cambodia. I was a hard-working student… and I spent almost all of my time studying. I had nothing to worry about but my study. Until one night…
I remember that night, when I was reading a book in my room, I suddenly had a very severe headache…Never before have I had headache. So, I decided to go to sleep earlier than usual. As soon as I laid myself on the bed, I soon fell into a sleep… then something strange happened…
When I woke up, I found myself lying on the street…I got up and, to my surprise, I saw something strange… it was completely different… I saw all tall building was damaged except small old houses; also the leaves of the trees turned red and after all, it was like a city which was abandoned or inhabited many years ago. To my surprise, when I looked at my watch, it realized how tremendous it really was, it was the year of 2900…
Everything was not like the way it used to be. The earth turned red; the sun was bigger and of course, it was hotter and there was not much air to breath. Rays of the edge of the sun are mixed with the rays of the stars and the moon. The huge framework of the earth appeared to be twisting and turning. Things were really dimly discernible.
And it seemed to me that there were no more human kinds on this earth and it seemed that the earth was hit by some objects from the Universe. Suddenly, I saw something and my mind, without hesitation, told me that now the earth was occupied by the aliens. What I saw was a group of small green creatures with ugly faces of big eyes with an old stocking cap pull over their ears carrying some kinds of what I called strange weapons I have never seen before walking toward me with angry faces.
I immediately knew I was in danger. They now reached me and pointed their weapons on me and spoke some kinds of language which I didn’t understand. They tightened me and captured me as a slave and I knew later that I was brought to their barrel of compound mystery.
While on the way, I felt some itches on my head, and it hurt me more and more…I got a severe headache again…and suddenly, I fell on the ground…
When, I opened my eyes again, I realized that things have turned to its normal. The earth was now green; the sun was shinning like it is; the leaves of the trees were green; there were so much fresh air to breath and I knew immediately that I was now back in the year of 1948.
I was like everyone who had dreams. I never questioned myself why I dreamt about it… and never thought much of it. So, after waking up, I continued my usual life as a university student. And I went to my university, talked with my friends, studied as usual.
As usual, after school, I sometimes spent some of my time with my girlfriend. Her name is Thyda. I first met her when I was in my high school and she was a cute little girl with round charming lovely eyes and remarkably smiling face. Now she was also studying in the same class at the university. We were deeply in love with each other.
After spending some time with her, I returned home and started my daily job in my little room full of books. I often listened to soft romantic songs while doing my home work or term papers. It was almost 1 Am now…and I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore so I decided to go to bed.
I was so tired and soon I fell into a heavy sleep.
When I opened my eyes again, strange feelings were coming into my mind as I knew immediately that I was not in my room… I was in a small dark, dirty, cold room. ”Where am I?” I said to myself. To my surprise, I heard a voice coming from other corner of the dark room saying that “You are in a prison under the control of aliens who came and occupied this abandoned world many years ago.” When I turned back to see where the voice was coming from. I saw one creature. And as I moved closer, it wasn’t a creature. It was a girl…a very beautiful girl…
I asked her, “Why am I here?” She said I was brought here by a group of aliens. I thought to myself “Am I dreaming?” I didn’t know what was going on and I was even more curious when I looked at my watch and saw it was the year of 2900 again…
To my curiosity, I later learnt that her name was Vicheny. She too did not know why she was here. She was also told by another prisoner who was alien that she was brought here. We were not the only two persons in the room; as I saw another small green creature in another corner of the room too. Vicheny told me that this creature was also the prisoner and he was her friend; his name is Blaza. At first, she could not communicate with Blaza because they were from different worlds which used different languages. However, as time had passed, she and Blaza were able to learn each other’s languages and now she was able to understand what blaza meant and so did Blaza.
She introduced me to Blaza. Blaza looked at me, put his hand on his chest and announced Blaza which I already knew it was his name. So, I put my hand on my chest and announced my name: Dara.
Well, it was the beginning of the unusual friendship no men on earth has ever made and of course, the beginning of my new language class.
As time went by, we learnt each other’s languages and understood each other and knew each other more. Of course, it was not very hard to learn new language as I had Vicheny who was there to help me. She was a good language teacher I ever had.
One year now had passed; it was now the year of 2901 as shown on my watch. I now did not have any difficulty communicating with Blaza. I was able to speak alien language fluently. So happy was I to be able to speak another foreign language which no human beings on earth could really understand except me and Vicheny.
As communication was no longer a barrier, we all now understood each other very well and we now trusted each other and Blaza and Vicheny became my best friends… even though, my feeling told me that what I thought of Vicheny was really beyond best friend.
During my first year in prison, I always had a secret that I did not tell anyone. I too could not understand why it happened as the way it was. And I knew that human mind would not believe what it could not understand. Every night, I slept in a prison; I always woke up and found myself back in the year of 1948. So, it seemed to me that I spent the day time in the year 1948 and night time in the year 2900. How one person could live in two different time frames? I asked myself. Was it a dream or reality? I did not know and now I no longer questioned myself about it as it was too beyond my understanding.
I never told about this secret to any of my friends at my university even my girlfriend-Thyda. One year had passed, it was now 1949 and I was the second year student at my university. I was always studying hard, doing my homework, and spending some time with my girlfriend. However, of course, now I did not really stay up late at night like I used to do. I slept earlier so that I was able to fall into a dream and be in another world of the year 2901 again and of course, met Vicheny and Blaza.
One day, after class, I had to take Thyda home because she did not bring her motorbike. While we were along the way to her house, I noticed that the bright blue sky a moment earlier were now full of black clouds and turned darker and darker and glowed like red coals upward. The wind was also blowing stronger and stronger. I immediately knew that it was a sign of rain. Just a few moments later I could feel a drop of rains on my hand. So we decided to find a place to shelter ourselves. We went to one small restaurant along the riversides where we had fruit juices.
After a sip of fruit juice, I felt a bit surprised to hear what Thyda, my girlfriend, asked. “Will you marry me?” she asked. “Of course, I will” I answered. I was born on this planet, earth, to be a responsible, respectful, and best man. Never before had I thought of leaving her and loving other girls. I could see her sweet smile on her face. I had always remembered it was her sweet smile and her lovely round eyes that made me love her at my first sight when I was in my high school.
While thinking of how romantic time we had spent together at high school, an instant and quick feeling in my mind told me that I must tell my secret to her… and I was about to tell her my secret but then I took a deep breath and thought to myself… “Will she believe what I tell her?” I knew everyone would say I was crazy if I told them.
So, I later decided not to tell her because I did not want to make her worry about me and I did not want to see her sad face either.
It now stopped raining. The sky turned blue; the black clouds vanished away; the sun was beautifully shining and I could see a group of birds flying on the sky with a fresh new air after the rain. Then, I took her home.
I always kept my secret so neither human being nor aliens knew what had happened to me. I lived on my daily mysterious life within two different time frames just like no normal people on earth did. I did not call myself abnormal; I was just like any other living creatures on earth except what had happened to me was truly beyond my understanding and explanation. I believed although something was unexplainable, it did not mean it was abnormal. I sometimes admitted that it was beyond the human’s capability to explain, and only aliens could possibly explain what had happened or what happened to me was a mystery which no living creatures in the universe could possibly explain. It was just like the mystery of how big a Universe could be.
Until one day, something happened. While I was in a prison with Vicheny and Blaza enjoying speaking language which I called it alien language, there were a group of aliens equipped with strange, unmentionable weapons that I previously mentioned as small green creatures coming hurriedly with fearful look in their faces. I knew we were now in danger.
I felt confused as I did not know what was going to happen to me as well as Vicheny and Blaza. And I secretly noticed the pale and fearful faces on every prisoner’s faces. In no time, one of the green creatures, whom I later learnt he was one of the aliens’ leader, stepped a footstep forward the others and announced in his alien language. Thanks to Vicheny and Blaza, I now was able to understand what every aliens saying.
He said, “We are now in danger. They are coming again”
“They? Who are they?” I thought to myself curiously…
After a pause of silence, he continued, “Our enemy is coming, the red creatures; they are coming with their spaceships from another planet and they are going to make war with us for occupying this planet, earth. So, every prisoner is now released and must be ready to fight. ”
I thought to myself, “Fight? War? I am going to fight? Not once have I been a soldier and I don’t know how to fire…” Then another instant quick feeling coming to my confusing mind and I whispered to myself I would die for sure.
In the mean time, I secretly noticed everyone looked pale and terrified with their big eyes and their mouth open….
We were now released and I could see a sun which was different from that in the year 1949 and I could take a deep breath of fresh air even if there were not much of it. I did not want to go to fight; I wanted to escape but how? I thought to myself… I knew nothing about this place and I did not know where to go if I escaped…
A moment later,Vicheny, Blaza, other prisoners and I were led by a green creature I later learnt that his name was Mazzi and he was one of the important leaders of community to a place where all green creatures were gathered together being ready to fight…
I was later given a weapon and given a brief instruction how to use it. The weapon was quite small and light; there were not a single bullet as I noticed. I believed this small and light weapon were built with an extremely advanced technology. To the best of my knowledge, I could only tell it was built and enriched with what I called green laser that I could melt everything even a stone.
I, just a moment later, felt a bit relieved to learn that Vicheny was not going to war as she and other green creature females were told to look after the alien’s children while all male were to fight.
Now everyone was at war. I could see many small red creatures sailing serenely into view coming to stop exactly still ready to make war… we all began to fire and they, red creature, also fired back… As I probably told you earlier that not once had I been a soldier and I knew nothing about it. So, what I could do now was just to hold my little weapon and fired and fired…and fired… as you would probably know there was no other ways for me to do except firing and struggling for my life.
I could see the spaceships exploding, falling down and crashing on the ground; I could see everyone firing at each others, continuously prolonging with the rumbling sound from the weapons. I could also see many creatures not only green but also red laying dead on the ground and I could see all the horrible and frightening scenes. My bloodstream raveled at the sight and at the thought of dead coming near to me.
Suddenly, I saw, in front of me, one spaceship exploding and crashing on the ground. In no time, a group of red creatures were able to manage to get out of the spaceship and began firing at us. Other of our group and I were too firing back. And suddenly, I saw one red creature soldier pointing his laser gun to one of our group leaders, whose name I mentioned earlier-Mazzi, ready to fire. I, in no time, pointed my gun toward that red creature and was able to kill him and, of course, save the life of Mazzi.
Now the war was over and we won. The red creatures fled away leaving many of their damaged spaceships. The result of the war was not all about the winner and loser but the death and destruction. Other solders and I went back home. So happy was I to learn later that Blaza was too alive. Thank to gods, we were managed to be alive, I whispered to myself while on the way back.
A few months later, we almost reached our place and I could see Vicheny standing from a distance anxiously waiting to see me and Blaza. We now arrived in our place and I saw Vicheny busting into tear to see me and Blaza alive…I too could feel tear drops on my face. I was now sure she loved me and so did I.
Later, I was surprisingly appointed to be one of the green alien leaders due to the fact that I could save the life of their important leader, Mazzi. Never before had I thought of becoming the leader of the soldiers, let alone to be a leader of the alien soldiers. But now I was!!! One of the important leaders of the aliens…
With the title of leader, I was not living in the prison anymore. Also, Vicheny and Blaza were released from the prison upon my request. Three of us now lived together happily.
Five year now had passed; it was now the year of 1954; Thyda and I could manage to find a job. I worked as finance officer in the Ministry of Finance while Thyda worked as university lecturer. Even five year had passed; I kept dreaming and finding myself living in the two different time frames of 1954 and 2906. Last year, 2905, I got married to Vicheny and we both lived happily.
I knew what I did was wrong… Always had I remembered I told Thyda that I would marry her and love her only. Now I married another girl. I felt sorry for Thyda…I could feel my heart hurt and it would be even more hurtful if I would not marry Vicheny.
Somehow I thought to myself what happened in the alien world in the year of 2905 was only my dream even if it was a mysterious and unexplainable dream no men on earth could experience except me. And, I strongly believed if you too were given two choices between a nightmare and a sweet dream, you would surely choose to have a sweet dream. And, so did I. I chose to have a happy ending dream. I knew you would do the same thing if you were me.
Two years later, my entire sweet dream came to a nightmare when I was told by Mazzi that a very very big stone from a mysterious and enormous Universe was on its way toward the planet. I later knew that we could do nothing about it even with the most advanced technology we had. It would reach and hit the earth in a week…and we could do nothing about it except doing time. .
Within a week, everyone was living quietly with their beloved ones. I was sure they were spending their most and last valuable time with their family and love. I too spent it with my wife, Vicheny, and my best friend Blaza. Everyone was sad… but it was beyond our ability to solve…the only thing I did was to spend the happy and unforgettable time with my beloved wife and friend. I remembered every single minute I had last spent with them.
Now the final day came. I sat holding my wife and my friend… My wife said, “I love you.” and I replied “I love you too.” I could see the tear drop pouring down from her lovely eyes and I too could feel a tear drop running down on my face.
Suddenly, I heard a very big explosion; and in no time, I closed my eyes and so did the rest.
I woke up again and later found I was back to the year 1956. In no time, I cried and cried… did my wife, Blaza and everyone there die? I did not know what to do. I remembered from that time, I had spent more time sleeping than human being usually did. I wished I would fall into a dream again but I didn’t… why? What happened to me? Why couldn’t I dream and find myself back in the alien world again?
It was now almost three years that I had spent most of my time sleeping and wishing myself to fall into a dream… But not once did I dream again… So, I decided to take my normal life again… I firmly decided to lead my life as a normal people except with the unforgettable time and memory I had spend with my wife and my friend.
Many years had passed, I now had saved enough money and I had a suitable job to do. I believed I now had enough money to lead my own family. Sooner, I decided to propose Thyda for marriage and she too agreed. I was determined I would lead my happy life with her as I had always promised.
The day we got married now was approaching… I felt excited like anyone whose wedding days were approaching. I felt more and more excited as the time was approaching until one day while I was on my way along the road I saw someone…. on the street… someone whom I would never forget… I could not believe my eyes but it was not my dream anymore; it was reality. You would probably wonder who I saw… I saw my wife, Vicheny, ridding her motorbike a long the street… I tried my best to reach her but I could not because I drove my car and the street was crowded… Sooner, she disappeared and I could not find her…
From the day I saw my wife, Vicheny, I had nothing to think of but driving my car everywhere just to find her. Poor was I that I could not find her. I felt so disappointed but I always kept my effort to find her…
It was now my wedding day. It should have been the happiest time I had…but I turned out to be sad and I was still thinking of Vicheny. Anyway, I managed to conceal my sadness so that not only Thyda but also everyone would not notice.
Many years had passed after the marriage and I was now an old man. And, I had spent the rest of my entire life with my wife, Thyda. We really had a happy time together… Not once had we have an argument. I loved her and I knew she loved me too… However, I did not tell her my secret. I was now still searching for Vicheny; I believed she was somewhere in Phnom Penh and I kept searching for her…
I remembered I had told Thyda that I was born to be a responsible, respectful and best man. And, I would only love her. But now, I was searching for Vicheny even if I now got married to Thyda. I knew I was wrong and felt pity for Thyda if she knew about it. I knew it was unfair for her because I still kept my secret and searched for Vicheny even if I was not sure she was the one in my dream.
I sometimes asked myself if that person I saw on the street was really Vicheny. Was she the one in my dream? Was she the one spending the time with me in a prison? Was she the one I got married to? Was she too searching for me?
I knew one day I would probably find my answers. And I would spend the rest of my life looking for it.
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