For Talib Ware the past is simply what happened yesterday. Talib or Kalim as he known so long ago has spent centuries falling in love with the same woman, Hagar. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Hagar (despite them changing name and form) have been drawn together—and he remembers it all. Talib has “the memory”, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse.
For all the times that he and Hagar have been drawn together throughout history, she's found some way to break his heart tearing them painfully, and sometimes fatally, apart. He has fallen in love countless times before, and he is not going to let it happen again when Janelle Tucker walks into his life. He no longer wants to be destiny's doormat.
Can Talib truly fight destiny or will he be a slave to this cycle for all eternity?
The Hollywood premiere for the long-awaited “Sands of Time″ movie had a dress code that told guests “royal attire requested” and, damn, did everyone involved delivered. The action-adventure romance film followed the tale of a young prince facing the struggles of becoming Pharaoh of Egypt while battling the dark god, Sutekh while finding love with a handmaiden named, Hagar. At this technicolor premiere, the star, Chadwick Boseman (playing Kalim), donned a black and gold silk dress shirt. Kerry Washington, who played Hagar, wore a gorgeous red gown with a gold harness. “Sands of Time” was based off the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by author, Talib Ware.
“I was hoping for this,” Talib Ware said on the red carpet when reporters stuck microphones in his face, wanting a comment or two. “All of the movie premieres I’ve read about in Essence or seen talked about on the news, I was like, ‘Oh, you wait until the ‘Sands of Time’ red carpet rolls around. It’s a celebration.” He smiled. “How best to get the party started than to, on premiere night, have the cast, have the crew, have the directors and everybody participate in this explosion of patterns and African garb? There hasn’t been something like this since Black Panther came out!”
Talib’s words rang true as since Black Panther, the outpouring of love and support for a movie from the African American community as well as Hollywood had been incredible. It was mostly due to his insistence on an all-black cast and crew. He was labeled a racist by members of the Alt Right, but just like with his many books, Talib’s stance was that: ‘if he was going to tell any kind of story, he was going to do it right’.
He took photos alongside Chadwick Bosemen, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, James Earl Johns, and many others before all were filed into the theater. The film began in it’s two-and-a-half-hour runtime, at certain scenes there were cheers and applause which made Talib swell with pride. That was until Hagar’s betrayal in the film, which caused an audible gasp from everyone in attendance. Watching Kerry ‘stab’ Chadwick in the particular scene forced Talib to close his eyes, reliving memories that he’d wished to forget.
During the reign of the Pharaoh Neferkare III, the monarch of Hieraconopolis Ankhtifi, led a coalition of his nomads with the traitorous Egyptian High Priest Anpu against Thebes. The nobles of Thebes were led in battle by Prince Kalim, who was the fiercest warrior in the land. He stained the golden sands in nomad blood. After a vicious campaign which lasted nine long months...the young prince and his army were defeated.
One by one, Ankhtifi had the survivors tortured and the slowly perished under the harsh punishment until only the great warrior, Kalim himself was left alive. Day after day, he was stricken with rods. He lashed with the whip. Kalim was bound to a stake to be pieces of his flesh burned away. But somehow—someway, with the gods by his side, the young prince endured.
After what he’d heard during his torture—his torment, Kalim had no choice except to live. From the mouths of his enemies, he found that there was a traitor in the Theban ranks. They were betrayed and Kalim swore to the gods that he’d only draw his last breath after the traitor met their end at his hands.
After weeks and weeks of the nomads grew tired of their own torture and chose to behead the prince. The bound Kalim’s hands behind him. They paraded the noble through their village to his death. But they said to his judgment, but not before destroying his spirit. Beaten—not broken, Kalim stood before Ankhtifi still the proud warrior—still a prince of Egypt. Coming face to face, Ankhtifi spit in Kalim’s face and his right fist knocked out a few of Kalim’s teeth. Defiantly, Kalim spit his blood back at Ankhtifi.
Ankhtifi smiled. He couldn’t help, but admire the young man’s resolve. “Even as you draw your final breaths of life, you still stand firm. I would not have expected that from a pampered noble.”
“I stand firm because our defeat came not from your own might but from your power to poison one of our people’s minds with your riches and false promises.” Kalim smirked faintly just as a soldier struck him in the stomach with the end of his spear.
“True, young noble. Very true.” Ankhtifi laughed. “And before your end, your eyes will see your traitor. Hagar!” The nomad king looked behind him and Kalim’s eyes widened in pure horror as his beloved stepped into the room’s light.
Hagar’s beautiful eyes were filled with tears. “Forgive me, my love. Forgive me! This was not what I wished for.” She was dressed in fine linens though it didn’t matter to her as she fell at her lover’s feet.
“Then what did you wish for?” Kalim questioned her as Anpu brought her back to her feet, holding the young woman in place. “What did you wish for?”
“I wished for life. A life with just you—only you.”
“Betrayed in life though the gods shall grant my soul peace.” Kalim looked to Amun-Ra in the sky.
Ready to face his end, Kalim’s world was filled with Ra’s divine light. If he had been coherent of the mortal world he would have have seen Hagar grab Anpu’s dagger—a dagger blessed by Hathor, stabbing the priest to death. Before anyone could act, the dagger was plunged in Kalim’s chest, filling his world with a sharp pain. At her actions, the nomads watched on in a mix of shock and delight.
“Asar, Aset, Apu, Heru, Bast, Ma’at — I pray for forgiveness.” Hagar prayed softly, kissing Kalim’s dead, still warm lips a final time. “I truly loved him, bound our souls for eternity in death.” With her last words, Hagar turned the dagger on herself, her body collapsing upon Kalim’s.
The gods heard her prayer and granted her not only forgiveness, but bound their souls to reside forever on the mortal plane.
The credits for “Sands of Time” began to roll as the film ended. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause. While everyone else cheered, one individual sat with tears in her eyes in both sadness and anger. This was the mood of high fashion model Janelle Tucker. She stood up in her stunning sky-blue maxi dress, storming out of the theater. She wanted to make a quick exit, but with everyone else leaving as well, that wasn’t so easy. Back on the red carpet, camera flashes and reporters stopped her in her tracks. Security flagged the reporters away, but then fans were all over her.
Appearing for Lane Bryant, Glamour, Saks Fifth Avenue, Target, and Sports Illustrated, Janelle was a face of Lane Byrant’s body positive #IAmNoAngel and This Body campaigns along with Precious Lee proudly advocates for diversity in race, size and gender in her field. Janelle believed in encouraging self-love and a healthy body image in young women. This was why the female fans were swarming all over her. The men were something else, snapping pictures and lusting after her.
Standing at five foot eight and weighing one hundred and eighty pounds, Janelle was blessed with a smooth caramel skin complexion, brown eyes, thick lips, and B cup breasts. Her hair was jet black and flowed long down her back in a ponytail. It was the sight of her twenty-four-inch waist and fifty-two-inch hips made men’s knees weak. Her anger subsided for the moment, smiling at the drooling dogs near her. Her anger quickly returned as she caught sight of Talib Ware taking photos with Chadwick Bosmen and Kerry Washington.
How dare he? She twisted her face up as a reporter shove a microphone in her face.
“Janelle Tucker! You look absolutely stunning tonight. By the emotion on your face, it looks like the film had an effect on you, huh?”
Janelle wiped the tears from her eyes. “Yes—Yes, it did. The Kemetic imagery was beautiful. The story was amazing. Hagar’s betrayal broke my heart. I was fine through the entire movie. I was good, but that scene broke me.”
“Thank you for the comment. Enjoy the rest of your evening. We’re going to let you get yourself together. Have a wonderful night. Thanks again.”
Janelle nodded and exited stage right, getting in her limo to ride off into the night.