Happy morning after Thanksgiving! I hope you all stuffed yourselves completely with turkey and other delectable goodies. So, yes, I have made severe edits to Memories of a Distant Love, considering it was initially written when I was younger. I wanted a fuller story, and I hope you all enjoy the goodies I've added. I'm also planning on submitting Memories to a contest on inkitt, so, please vote for Memories! Also, your reviews are very much loved, thank you! If there is one thing I am thankful for, it is for readers like you, who make writing this worthwhile!
Disclaimer: Aladdin does not belong to me, it belongs to Disney.
Chapter 1- Mistakes are meant to Happen
The sun blazed down on the city of Agrabah with a fierce growl of humidity that left those within its walls frustrated with perspiration, envying the Sultan who most likely was bathed in the brisk walls of his elegant abode. The people loved their ruler, but they weren't in favor of dying from the unbearable heat, being whisked away in a blazing inferno of debilitating sweat that they cursed the royal name.
As days rolled by, it was the same commotion. Nothing ever changed in Agrabah, with the exception of theft, fights, and crime. Stealing a loaf of bread to fill ones stomach, being chased by the palace guards and escaping by a thread of hair just in time to settle down to enjoy ones hard earned meal. Hard earned beheld many differing meanings. You either earned your meal in coins, or you earned your meal by surviving a day in the marketplace. The caste system was dreadful, there were more bottom dwellers/street rats than could ever be imagined. Agrabah was a city of mystery, however, and enchantment. Hearts were won, and just as easily were they broken. One never knew who they would run into, whether in their favor or not. It was a labyrinth. But, no resident could ever say it was boring.
He was sick of struggling to live, but being a "street rat" had a price to pay. It wasn't fun, but it was one big game. He blew his raven tresses from his eyes and looked back to see if any guards were making their way down the alleyway he had jumped into. None. With a sigh of relief, he climbed his way through the barrels and onto the other side of the street, his warm and crusty treasure safely tucked between his forearm and armpit. Grinning to himself, he dove into another empty sector and tore off the end of his prize and sampled, savoring the steamy flavor before remembering the next step to chew and finally swallow. He continued this pattern until the loaf disappeared.
Late teens, many would describe him as; A time of trouble making and decisions driven by hormones. Teenage boys came into their own, just as teenage girls began to settle and prepare to marry. Upholding family honor was everything. Uncertain if they could say the same for Aladdin, many could vouch they had seen him steal food and give to the hungry children of the city, so his heart was kind and humble. His hands were calloused, though his upper arms were toned from all the muscle he had to use from scaling walls.
Clothing was simple. Bare chests, violet vests to barely cover. Pants that once held shades of white were now tanned, torn, and patched. Shoes became obsolete for Aladdin and he learned to use what he was born with to survive, as that's all he had. That's all he would use.
Stealing had become second nature for the poor boy. He had been left on his own at the age of ten. He had progressed and advanced, wizened up to how things transpired in Agrabah. Every year, he enhanced and improved than the last time he had stolen an item; grew twice as swift; ever cleverer in strategy. It was a horrible way to live. But, whether they liked it or not, this was peasantry living. Unless taxes were lowered, poverty was becoming larger than the population, if that was at all possible. Once again, the people cursed their beloved sultan.
As the street rat ate his loaf, commotion brewed elsewhere as a young woman no older than sixteen herself roamed Agrabah's marketplace, waiting for an ignorant vendor to turn his back so she may partake in any of the delectable items he had freshly created for a consumer to purchase, or a street mouse to snatch.
"Just a little more..." she half muttered, eyeing this particular vendor carefully. Heavy set confirmed he lacked in agility. She had to plot accordingly and use his weakness to her advantage.
Elsewhere, trumpets played their harmonious tune, creating a symphonic congested mess before the palace balcony. The people awaited the announcement of their ruler. Uninterested, the young woman moved in and reached her hand out, fingertips brushing wood and a hint of the delicate peel of a red apple. The vendor turned around to see and she snatched her hand back. No go. If only the round man would just follow the herd, she thought to herself. She was growing impatient, her mind sore from thinking on an empty stomach. She remembered patience was a virtue, patience was key, and the best things came to those who were.
She huffed. "Damn it," she muttered softly, withdrawing quickly and drew her attention elsewhere as the merchant looked over to her with a rather suspicious glance. She paid him no mind and looked up to the balcony. It was a blur, but she could make out the small little man that had been known as the sultan. Once again, he was gracing Agrabah's people once more with his presence.
"Oh what a treat," she muttered bitingly. She assumed she was supposed to appreciate the image before her. Royalty taking an ounce of kindness on his people with generous words, promises of a better future she never saw the day after, or the following months. It was the same blather that she had given up hope on. She slunk down to the ground, sitting before glancing up at the sound of shushing.
"Shush," a commoner silenced her. "The sultan has done many things for us. Placed a roof over our heads, gave us such fine food," And from there he prattled on his admonishment to the young girl whom he felt had much to learn. The youth, he gathered, were just so darn disrespectful.
The young woman shook her head softly, her eyes drifting towards the back of her head. How more wrong could this man be? Either he was brainwashed, blind, or just refused to believe that their ruler hadn't done a damn thing but raise the taxes and sit on his fat ass in the lap of luxury with his prim and proper brat. There was no greater reality, but she supposed some would rather bask in their ignorance.
"If you say so," she said, more so to get this man to stop his blather about something so far from the truth, it was practically delusion. She rose from her seated position and leaned against a cart. "So, what's going on?"
"As if you didn't know," he chuckled softly. "They're announcing the beginning of the many suitors to face Princess Jasmine. She must choose a husband, seeing as how once her father passes, she'll rule Agrabah. And what a fine job she'll do," he gave a rather satisfied sigh, which caused the young woman to contort her face in a rather disgusted fashion. The man frowned upon sight of her displeasure. "And just what do you have against the royal family?"
"Nothing, nothing at all," she waved the stranger off, looking up to see the small, stout man continuing on with his speech, the peculiar crowd that had gathered roared their cheers. She tucked some of her brown locks behind her hair and frowned a bit as her eyes soaked in the display. "I just don't understand, I guess."
The man smiled. He was reaching his twilight years, supported by a cane, the hunch on his back was prominent, clad with balding gray hair. He held a rather kind face, which was deceiving with heavy opinions and compliments towards the sultan that easily rolled off the tip of his tongue. She had words in response to that, but she wasn't about to argue with an old man, so, she left it as is. Perhaps he remembered a time when Agrabah thrived, she'd never know. But, for now, she had other things to worry about.
"It was nice talking to you," he said, gave something of a wave and teetered on his merry way. His cane dug into the sand, passing through the small aisle in the middle of the marketplace to walk. Hearing the tap of the cane, people parted to create space for him to walk.
Once she was sure the elder was out of her vision, she turned back to the cart to see the owner's attention was fixed on the sultan. With a sneaky grin she slowly moved in, her arm sliding up to the wood paneled siding, then to the soft lining of the cart, then felt a ripe peel of a sweet piece. With itching fingers, she quickly plucked a side one; she gave a grin in triumph, but that wouldn't last for long the moment she heard the low growl of rumbling. With a fearful glance, she peeked up to see the apples threatening to spill. "No, no, no..." she pleaded with the fruit for a moment or so before she gave something of a shriek as the fruit toppled onto her.
The vendor looked over to the racket which caused a disturbance of the sultan's speech to see his goods had vanished. The young woman groaned a little as she lifted her hand up and out of the pile, only to suddenly be hoisted by the wrist and held up for all to see.
"Thief!" the vendor shouted into her face as many others followed his loud voice. He shook her like a rag doll for a few moments, the citizens of Agrabah turning their heads to view the scene the vendor was making. The young woman's new label chastised her, not that street mouse didn't already berate her in the city streets as is.
"Guards!" He shouted. "Guards!"
There was no way was she going to allow herself to be found out. It would mean losing her breakfast. Then again, it was better than losing her wrist, or worse, her head. She wriggled about in his grasp, which caught him off guard momentarily, and caused enough friction to sweat and ultimately release her, and then she roughly dropped to the ground. Groaning, the young woman forced herself up and found an opening to her escape. She slid between the man's spread legs, hurried to her feet, and ran with the fruit still intact in her hand. Hey, she even amazed herself sometimes.
She picked up her speed, climbed atop a few crates, then shot over a wall to lose anyone who may have been in back of her; she was far too afraid to look back. Sighing with relief she settled down against the hardened slabs of mud, certain she had lost those who had been most likely to follow her. The young woman looked at the dark red fruit in her hand and her eyes shimmered with delight. Leaning the juicy piece towards her cracked chapped lips, she felt weight applied on her shoulder, and then felt the weight lessen. She witnessed a creature hop off of her, along with her hard earned snack. She blinked in confusion for a moment and found a small brown ball of fur make off with her food.
"Hey!" She nearly died for her bit of food, and she wasn't going to let anyone take that away from her. The fur ball was fast, she had to admit, but, nonetheless was hot on its trail and would have caught it, if she didn't smack into something, or someone. Her whole world went black in a matter of seconds after the force of contact.