When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert.
The narrator describes the moment in which Santiago and Fatima meet, a pivotal moment in the story. For Santiago, time stands still and the Soul of the World surges within his heart. He wonders if Fatima might be the treasure he has traveled so far to discover. Her smile appears as an omen, the one he has been waiting for all his life.
What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world.
The narrator provides readers with an understanding of how Santiago and Fatima feel upon meeting. In this moment, both of their lives change. Fatima serves as an omen, but she is not the treasure that Santiago seeks. Despite his parents’ philosophy that love takes time, Santiago and Fatima experience love at first sight, an undeniable part of his Personal Legend exemplified in the maxim
“I came to tell you just one thing,” the boy said. “I want you to be my wife. I love you.”
Santiago expresses his love and devotion for Fatima very soon after meeting her at the well. She responds by dropping her container of water. They agree to wait for each other every day as he continues his journey, a situation common to the women of the oasis. Fatima confesses that she has been waiting for him since she was a child. The desert gave him to her as a gift.
I'm a desert woman, and I'm proud of that. I want my husband to wander as free as the wind that shapes the dunes. And, if I have to, I will accept the fact that he has become a part of the clouds, and the animals and the water of the desert.
As they begin to plan their lives together, Fatima expresses to Santiago that she accepts she may need to wait for him as he travels. He may continue to wander, and she will wait patiently for him at the oasis. Fatima prepares to accept his death as well, if she must. She feels content to be one of the oasis women who wait for their loved ones to return. She speaks Santiago’s language as she describes those who don’t come back as returning to the Soul of the World.
She would have to send her kisses on the wind, hoping that the wind would touch the boy's face, and would tell him that she was alive. That she was waiting for him, a woman awaiting a courageous man in search of his treasure. From that day on, the desert would represent only one thing to her: the hope for his return.
The narrator provides readers insight into how Fatima feels as Santiago bids goodbye and heads for the Pyramids with the alchemist as his guide. Before he departs, Fatima tells Santiago that just as her father returned to her mother, she hopes he will return to her. Fatima lives as a brave woman of the desert, and she will look to the stars every night to see the one he follows in search of his treasure. Fatima and Santiago agree that his leaving is the right thing to do.
Instead, it brought the scent of a perfume he knew well, and the touch of a kiss — a kiss that came from far away, slowly, slowly, until it rested on his lips. The boy smiled. It was the first time she had done that.
The narrator tells of the moment, after digging up his treasure from under the sycamore tree near the ruined church, Santiago receives Fatima’s kiss, carried by the wind. Her kiss traveled from the oasis to Spain on the levanter, the wind from Africa. In this final moment of the novel, Santiago feels grateful, wise, humble, and fulfilled. He will soon reunite with Fatima, carrying his treasure, complete in his Personal Legend.