|Akren was a
shoemaker. Everyday, he made more shoes than any other shoemakers can,
with very neat craftsmanship. And yet he never overcharged his clients,
and for all this, he was famous abroad. He lived his life alone, for he
always thought that work was his partner, that real relationships are too
good for him to have.
One Autumn evening, when coldness outside stabs though the dark night, Akren was finishing up a pair of boots. He was exausted that night, since he did not take any rest throughout the day. So, he, for the first time that day, decided it was a break time, and staggered himself to the old chair by the window. Akren saw that the street outside was completely deserted, which did not surprise him. He poured himself a cup of tea, added some milk and brandy, and took a sip. The warm mixture of drink helped to regain his strength a little, and he felt a little better.
Akren continued to stare out the little window. The Sun was now set, and everything was dark as if death had overcome the little town. Akren was afraid of the dark. It reminded him that he was alone, a thought he disliked most. And as he stood up to close the curtain, he noticed that there was someone outside. "Strange" He thought to himself, "I shall see who it is." And he stepped out the door, and as he approached this mysterious figure, he saw that it was a young woman, foreign from the town, inappropriately dressed for the autumn cold. "Good evening," said Akren to the stranger: "You seem cold and tired. Come to my place, and I will give you something warm to eat." "Thank you very much sir, you are very kind." And they went into Akren's place.
Akren told the stranger to sit while he prepared some cabbage soup. And as he brought the soup to the stranger and while he watched her finish her soup, he saw that she was exceptionally beautiful but there was misery around her.
"What were you doing outside? It could kill a person this time of season, and you haven't even a coat!"
"I'm looking for a place to stay for a while. My name is Amisha and my husband was drafted and had no way of sustaining myself when I heard that there was an opening at the town cafe here, so I walked here from Aiza when I met you."
"Well, if you want, you can stay here. I've no one else but myself here, and I've plenty of space. You don't have to pay for anything."
"That's very kind of you. I think I'll do just that."
"Wait a minute though. You'll also need these."
He took out his finished boots from earlier, and gave it to Amisha. He saw that she was delighted, and he also felt happy.
A month has passed this way, and Akren began to care for Amisha. He was sure that he had fallen in love, even though he did not fully understand what love is. And Amisha too began to feel the same for Akren. She first pitied on this man for his loneliness, and she wanted to take care of him. So, they lived as husbands and wives do, and they were content.
One day, Amisha learnt that her husband was to return from his services. She did not know what to do: To stay with Akren or leave him, for she deeply cared for both. Akren, also having to learn this, also became sad. He thought Amisha would leave him, and that every minute they've spent together was a mere illusion. And to him, the only way now to be with her was through death. He began to think of dying together.
It was now January and the stabbing of the cold became more and more intense. That day, Akren asked Amisha to go to the bell tower located at the center of the town together to observe the dusk. And when they got to the top, they held eachother and they jumped off together. There was a brief excitement and panic, followed by a surprising darkness.
In a little town, there lived a cripple. He could not walk, so he had to crawl whenever he had to go somewhere. He did not have a job, for he could not move his fingers very efficiently. People took pity on him and gave him food, for they knew what had happened to this miserable being. The cripple crawled to the town cemetery everyday, bursing into tears each time he went. His name was Akren.