Chapter 1

It was the dawn. The sunrise in the desert was fascinating because it was so different from other places. .She had seen so many of them during her trips for work., so many that she should have gotten used to it. But here, in Sahara, no day was like the day before and would be different from the day to come. She walked out of the tent that the Berber, she was travelling with, had offered her She didnĀ“t remember how many days she had already been travelling through this "sandy sea" but long enough for her body to be adapting to these trips in the heat. She stood in front of the tent and with her hand resting on her forehead she was shading her eyes, a familiar gesture looking exactly towards the East, where the sun had just appeared. The sky was turning orange, pink while the first rays of sun shone onto dunes. Slowly the sky got clearer and clearer until it looked almost white the sunlight was getting so intense that she was forced to look away.

There weren't clouds. The day promised to be hot and breathless. Another one.

A little girl of about 10 years wrapped in her "burnus", tugged her by the arm and brought her back into the tent where the girl's mother had cooked the morning meal.

"Jedjiga" the woman said making sign to enter and pointing to the plate with food.

Berbers called in that way the woman found in the desert and alive by a miracle. Jedjiga, "flower" was a name that suited her. Her long blond hair was something special in the desert, exactly as flowers were, and as the days passed her hair had taken golden shades even more pronounced because the sun.

Her complexion had become more vivid due to outdoor living. Her eyes were the most striking thing in people that looked at her: big brown eyes that watched everything with great interest and that had the ability to convey her thoughts to anyone who looked at her.

She was very beautiful. Beautiful and alone.

Jedjiga didn't remember how she got into this Tuareg tribe. She just knew that, since they had found her, at least a month had passed during which she had spent feverish and wounded the first week.

Khennuj and Ghumer, the married couple who had been appointed to see her, and their daughter Lila had tried to explain circumstances of her finding which is not easy, however, even if Jedjiga spoke Persian and Turkish and some words were enough similar to tribe's Berber dialect.

In this way she could under stand they had found her dying along the Salt Caravan Route that connects Timbuktu to Taoudenni, in Mali. Jeeps and means that made up the convoy with which she was traveling, were ambushed and had been blown up. In a few survived, and those few, were accepted in the nomadic tribe and taken to the nearest center of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Timbuktu.

Tracing back the road, Abu-Mokhammed and his people had stopped on the site of the attack to plunder the convoy of what could serve them.

While they were seeking useful goods in the wreckage, Lila had noticed that, below one of the jeep, there was a blond lady "as beautiful as a flower." Ghumer and Khennuj pulled her from the wreckage, trated her quickly and put her gently on a camel of caravan.

Abu-Mokhammed decided to bring her with themselves because bringing her back to MSF camp meant loosing other two days of trip.

Medical doctors geve them several kind of medecines, s they were able to cure her without having to go back to town.

The comunication among them was not one of the simplest things. Jadjiga had learned a few Berber words but not enough to hold a conversation. She spent much time alone, when the tribes camped for the night, followed silently by Lila, who became her shadow.

Jadjiga did not remember almost anything of her past, except for a few flashes of the places where she was, that, along with the fact that she knew several languages, were assumed to have traveled a lot.

That morning, after eating his bonchiar, a kind of wafer covered with butter and honey, came out of the tent wearing a blue burnus and a white veil.

Berber tribesmen were all very busy dismantling the camp to continue their journey as soon as possible. They had been stopped for a couple of days because of a sandstorm that had completely changed the landscape, moving dunes with impressive speed.

Jadjiga was enchanted to observe how, in the space of half an hour, the sky had become clearer and at the same time more vivid. Then, for a few seconds, she stared at the sun and suddenly closed her eyes dazzled.

"I may be blind, now. Like him" she thought.

She opened her eyes in surprise. Like him. Him, who?