Tell me, will you choose death if you can’t attain your true love? Or you can only bend your knees, crying, sobbing, and hiding behind the door like a child loses a candy bar?
A tale about Jim this is. Since boyhood he believed that every soul is destined to have one true love. Truthfully, it means almost all of us have a similar tale with Jim’s. However, this tale becomes different with ours when Jim didn’t even come to realize that love is a noun. And as a noun, it obviously needs actions, not just feelings.
Jim was born and raised in a beautiful coastal town. His simple and naive life as a fiddler playing in every party in town changed one hundred and eighty degrees when he attended the mayor’s daughter, his best friend Marguerite’s wedding. In that party, Jim met Nayla, a beautiful girl from the neighboring sub-continent, a member of Marguerite’s husband’s family. Their eyes met, and nothing else mattered.
Jim has found his true love.
They have fallen for each other. Alas, Nayla’s family confined her in the walls of nobility, traditions and pride, and also guarded her with a band of Bedouin-Arab mercenaries brandished with broad scimitars. And the cowardly Jim made a big mistake! Not only he was too scared to break those walls and go past the guards, but also made Nayla desperate. That ill-fated girl took her own life.
Footages of this classic tale are presented briefly at the first part of this novel. A full chapter is used to make the readers understand about Jim’s love problem. But actually, this novel doesn’t go around the cause of Nayla’s suicide. Not like other classic love stories that ended with sadness (or happiness) because the failure (or success) of the protagonist’s love, that kind of ending is actually the beginning of this story. The tale begins with: Jim felt very guilty upon Nayla’s death and didn’t now what to do but to cry regretfully. After all that happened, Jim’s life became very painful...
Luckily, Jim was chosen by the Keeper of Tales, the Taleweaver to weave a tale about overcoming his grief of the loss of the love of his life. Chosen to weave a tale about making peace with the past. The Taleweaver is a wise character, keeper of all tales in the world told by our parents by our bedside and rewritten in books. He asked Jim to do two things: Firstly, to believe in the words: “A true lover never gives up on life until death comes and takes it away.” Secondly, to join the Floating City Fleet expedition first thing in the morning.
In the timeline of this story, great expeditions to find new, undiscovered continents were just begun. One of them was Admiral Ramirez, leader of the greatest fleet in history of forty large ships that looked like a floating city from above. Jim didn’t want to go, as he has decided to spend the rest of his life in grief. Staring at Nayla’s grave. He also didn’t believe the Taleweaver’s promise at all. All that was nonsense to him. But the Bedouin mercenaries came for his head, forcing him to flee. So, Jim joined the fleet at last.
Years of journey along the vast oceans has begun. An expedition to find the Promised Land. Here, the cowardly Jim began to develop into a man of honor. From zero to hero. Day by day, along with the troubles in the Floating City Fleet, Jim was forged into a real man. The battle with the legendary pirate lord in the Oceans of China; The mysterious giant turtle with the great storm that came with it... The land battle in the
Along the voyage, the Taleweaver guided Jim. Jim also found out that Admiral Ramirez was also chosen by the Taleweaver to weave another tale. The tale to find the Promised Land – and more.
Several events in the journey are told in a colossal way. The tale about one of the most magnificent voyages ever recorded in history of mankind. But the grand seafaring tale was not the main theme, only the background of Jim’s love story.
It was because although Jim became one of the Commanders in the fleet, became the right hand man of the great Admiral Ramirez, became so valiant and powerful, educated and wise, Jim still couldn’t make peace with his past. Couldn’t ever forget his grief upon Nayla’s suicide.
Instead, the events in the Floating City Fleet became the symbol of the never-healing wound. Indeed, he looked tough from outside through the important events, but his heart was very fragile. Even Jim was always clouded with questions: he couldn’t be able to completely forgive his past, ever.
And here’s the most important story. The story about how Jim must believe the Taleweaver’s words of a true lover’s way, never to give his life up until death came and took it away. When Jim MUST finish his perilous journey – at any price!
Because all people in the world need this tale. To define the true meaning of heartbreak! To understand the true meaning of loss and to cope with it!
A tale for us to realize that the falling leaf doesn’t hate the wind...
“Will you die for me too?” Nayla asked softly.
Written by: Tere-Liye
English Publishers Wanted
For inquiries, please e-mail the author to: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Published in Indonesia under the title: Sang Penandai
Publisher: Penerbit Serambi, Jakarta