Inception.
Paris, 2016.

- I know this bridge. This place really does exist, doesn't it ?, asked the older of the two individuals standing in front of me.

I had to start explaining to them. We were here at the beginning of a story. Both very short and interminable. They looked at me without really understanding. Behind us, the Seine carried its tourists. Above us, a line 6 subway train made our perception of the world tremble for a brief moment. I had to take them far from here, this bridge disturbed them too much. I had to attract them elsewhere. So that they finally talk to each other. In any case I had to try, I was only there for that.

- You are right sir, said the second man facing me. This place exists ... or perhaps has existed.

"Absolutely," I confirmed curtly. Besides, you both already know him. You don't remember it clearly, that's all. For now, we will have to do with it. But don't worry, everything will come back to you very quickly. Now, both of you follow me. I have to show you the movement of the world.

I looked at them. Right in the eyes. They didn't read it. But they only had me for the moments to come, they had to trust me. They did not have a choice. To my right, I felt the breath of a cyclist pass and sink into the night. We started walking, striding along the sidewalk. They followed me without saying a word. There were two of them. Two men. From central Europe, the Caucasus or even further east. If I hadn't known who they were by discovering their respective files before arriving here, I wouldn't have been screwed to define their accent. I had the impression that they themselves were trying to guess the origin of the other's intonations. As if they distrusted each other, just out of instinct. It was obvious. They were completely confused and did not like this uncertainty and this feeling of ignorance. They had just passed through the other side of the mirror. From my side of the mirror.

They both followed me in single file. We walked along the Quai Branly, passed the Avenue de Suffren. In front of us, the Eiffel Tower sparkled. She seemed even more beautiful to me than the last time I had been here. It was ten years ago, something like that. On the sidewalk to our right, a thick cluster of Asians were heading towards my pretty tower to take dozens of photos that would end up on Instagram. Without more ambition than that. I turned around, the two men still following me. Ismail, the oldest, with his smooth and shining brow of a chartered accountant, seemed to be struggling to follow us. I slowed down when I saw the lights of the old merry-go-round spinning in front of us, a hundred yards away. It was him I wanted. And I knew he would be there. It's like he's always been there. However, I didn't know how I was going to go about getting them to talk to each other. I had no plan. I improvised.

- Ismail, let me introduce you to Azad. Azad, Ismail.

They didn't answer, still both feet on the brake pedal. As if both had already found common ground without wanting to.

- I have brought you together this evening because you have to be able to talk to each other. It can't go on like this anymore.

- We know each other? Who is he ?, Ismail asked with a gesture of his chin to point to Azad. And what are we doing in Paris?

- Don't you remember working here a long time ago?

- Yes indeed, but the rest is still unclear, he conceded.

Azad seemed very reserved. He kept staring at the palm of his hand as if he was holding something invisible that was burning his fingers.

- What about me ?, asked the latter. What am I doing here?

- Let's say you're both here to avoid making the same mistakes again. Again and again.

- What do you mean ?, Ismail said dare-dare.

- Well, I'll try to be simple and straightforward. Azad, you represent everything Ismail hates. And the reverse is also true. Both of you accuse each other of being the other's terrorist. Tell you two one thing: I saw him in Lebanon or Rwanda. And in many other places where the men have killed each other and where they still cannot speak to each other. We are all false witness to each other. No one is totally right, the other is never totally wrong.

- Can you be more precise ?, Ismail said, who seemed to be losing patience. He gradually regained his confidence as a principal.

- Good. You Ismail, you are Turkish. You Azad, you are Armenian.

- What does that mean ?, Azad defended himself. Ismail looked at the young man with pronounced contempt.

- What that means is that because of you two, because of those who came before you and those who succeeded you, you are not screwed to talk to each other. I just wanted to draw your attention to one detail: you are only next door neighbors on this planet. Nothing more.

- Why us?

- Because the two of you are symbols. You must know it, if nobody ever told you: everyone has forgotten you today. No one gives a damn about your stories! All of humanity has almost forgotten your little quarrel. However, you, you believe yourself monstrously important, you cannot overcome your differences. It's still crazy to hate yourself so much when you know that there is only a small mountain range between you?

“Why the two of us?” Azad repeated.

- You Azad, you died in Paris, in an apartment in the rue Bleue. It's a pretty name for a street ... La rue Bleue. In short, bad handling, and you detonated your bomb in the building where you were planning an attack with other members of your shitty little revolutionary brigade.

- What about me ?, Ismail asked worried.

- You, Mr. Ambassador, very dear Excellency ... Azad present here is none other than your assassin. A few months before playing stupid with his bomb, he shot you on the Bir-Hakeim bridge, where we met ten minutes ago.

Azad seemed to be listening with only one ear. He was still staring at his right hand, and began to see the imprint of the butt of the automatic pistol he had used on October 24, 1975 to shoot Ismail. Two bullets in the chest. A ball in the head. The same goes for the bodyguard.

- Where are we exactly?

- You are currently in my dream. Even dead, you are in my dream.

- And who are you ?, asked Ismail.

- I'm just a smuggler. I have only one role: that you get rid of your tinsel.

- This man is only a terrorist.

- And you, you are only a tyrant, cursed Azad. Does the genocide mean anything to you?

- Here we are ... It is this kind of nonsense, provocations, that must be stopped now. You consider that your people have been slaughtered by the people of Ismail. Amen. And you Ismail, you camp on your positions and consider everything that is against your policy as "terrorist". You want me to tell you: you are the poor man's Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Do you realize that what you say, what you do, that all this is useless? You are the problem and the solution at the same time. Damn, this solution is obvious to everyone! And is there really that you not to see it… So you do not want to end with all that?

- What do you expect from us, exactly? Azad risked himself.

- It's very simple. As soon as the three of us go our separate ways, you will go and populate the dreams of your fellow human beings and plant in their minds this simple idea which is not as crazy as it sounds. You are brothers ... Let's say cousins, so as not to be offended. And that you owe yourself forgiveness, that your bullshit has to stop.

- Who sent you? Is it God? Is that all he found as a solution ?, Ismail quipped.

- Your cynicism is useless. Settle other people's dreams, spread the message. It is only dreams that can change the world.

I stared at them in silence. Then I repeated my last sentence several times. They both listened to me and looked far beyond me. Over my shoulders. Hypnotized. Behind a few meters, the merry-go-round turned and still turned. And nothing could and could not prevent it from turning. Azad and Ismail finally began to understand the movement of the world.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

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In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Loosely based on Christopher Nolan's film Inception (2010).

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.