Open Sky

KISH ISLAND by Sety Sadri

Part 1.

There are journeys that can take us to a place of deep comfort and solace. Within 24 hours of one’s arrival, the transformation induced by such aura will manifest on one’s radiant smile and complexion. Kish Island has such an effect on me. The first time I ventured to the island, my spirit had returned to the way it was in my youth. I dreamed about residing on the island, but didn’t think it would become a reality as quickly as it did.  Although I had made a pact with myself to retire, I was made a job offer that I could not refuse as a legal consultant for a Norwegian company in Kish. So there I was, living and working on an isle that had seduced me from the get-go. I spent the weekends either swimming in the Persian Gulf, scuba diving in the Persian Gulf or horseback riding on the shores of the Persian Gulf.

The experience of joyriding in Kish is one you could not possibly imagine. The roads are newly paved and wide stretched. The ride is smooth and it overlooks the water and the white sands which are partially lit. There is a sense of mystical release on Kish Island. One feels as if perpetually levitating. The architecture of the buildings was modern and unique. I always appreciated the diverse designs erected there.

In the evening, the edifices looked different than they did during the day. The manner with which they were lit at night gave them an unusual scale and proportion. There was one building in particular that mesmerized me. It was called Open Sky and it consisted of three separate structures attached to one another, two of which were habitable.

Open Sky’s main structure was 12 stories high and rectangular in shape. It had large windows shaped the same. The roof was flat and the building was suspended on multiple legs that held it up. Only the entrance of the tenement which was in the center of the building was on the ground floor. At night, Open Sky had an internal white light fixture which was about three feet high that extended from one end of the building to the next. Attached to the very back of the building was an enclosed pedestrian walkway; an elongated cocoon which led to a separate two-story residence where the custodians lived. The abode was shaped the same as Open Sky. The walls and ceiling of the pedestrian tunnel were designed like an accordion. You had to be an employee of the company to be allowed access to Open Sky. Although, the custodians were always polite and cordial, they made it clear that no one other than employees were admitted in.

Kish Island’s monument is also one of my favorite structures. It has the appearance of two white flames rising back to back. The driveway to the monument is beguiling. The road is lit up by light fixtures that are about four feet high and a foot wide. The light bordering the width of the fixture is electric blue and the rest of the fixture is lined with bright white light.

“I want to kiss the person who designed that light fixture.”
“Really?” questioned my friend Tahoorah who was taken aback by my enthusiasm.

Everything on the island is set far apart except for the little nest of hotels and malls that are huddled together within a one mile radius.
Things were going swimmingly and all I saw in my future were blue skies. My fate had become an aesthetic sensation. Then the news came. Our country was on the verge of war with a neighboring country across the Gulf. The possibility of fighting a neighboring country disgusted my friends and me. We were bitter and angry. The entire scenario seemed so unjust and vicious. That night, we congregated at my apartment and spoke of the possibility of war with resentment.

When we grew tired of our own negative state, we decided not to be sullen and go for a joyride. There was no one on the road except us. The stillness on Kish Island seemed, for the first time, eerie. We drove to the south end of the island and parked the car. My friend Bahman who was driving turned on the radio and sat in the car listening. The rest of us ignored him and walked to the
beach. That’s when I got a call from Larssen, my Norwegian boss.

“Where are you right now?” he asked.
“I’m on the beach with friends. Why?”
“I want you to promise me you will do exactly as I say, without asking any questions. Get back in the car with your friends and go home. Stay together until I call you.”

“Why? Did it start? Are we at war?”“It’s about to start.go home now.”I got off the phone and told my friends to get in the car. I was panic stricken which caused my friends to panic too. I told them what my boss had said. “The radio hasn’t announced anything. Are you sure your boss knows what he’s talking about?”asked Bahman. “Let’s just go home.” I replied.

My friend put his foot down on the gas and we jolted forward at top speed. When we reached the center of the island, we heard the noise of loud engines roaring all around us. The electricity on
the entire island shut down as we sat in the car looking at each other. “What is happening?” I asked my friends.

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