united as one

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 06, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 06, 2017

A A A

A A A


My ears continue to ring as another bomb drops a few metres in front of me. Debris flies up, momentarily blinding me as lifeless bodies are thrown into the air. Zilal is crying in my arms, his wails drowning out the screams of the innocent. A man pushes past me, his eyes searching for a way out. I look down and my head starts to spin. Images flash before me, death, despair, murder, people with nowhere to go.

 

A man’s hand brushes past my shoulder. I slowly look up as he extends his hand out to me. A wave of gratitude washes past me as I gently clasp his hand. He pulls me up and as I stare at him, I am suddenly reminded of Zafeer.

 

Just a few seconds ago, my husband, Zilal and I were walking towards the picture palace hand in hand. It was going to be Zilal’s first movie and we had been long awaiting this moment. Zafeer went to purchase the tickets and we moved towards the food stand. Suddenly, the first bomb dropped. I watched it slowly inch closer and closer towards Zafeer, unable to do anything. It fell and my heart dropped. People were flung out, body parts everywhere. Blood stained my shirt as I fell to my knees. A loud piercing cry escaped from my mouth. “Zafeer zafeer” I screamed. I could not lose him, not now, not ever.

 

Again I called out and again all that was heard were the sounds of despair. Panic started to build up as I frantically push past others in search for him. I close my eyes and pray that this is all a dream but when I open my eyes, I am still here, still standing amongst the dead. Letting out a muffled sob, my last resort is to call out his name one last time. Again, nothing.

 

Giving up all hope, I sit back down still cradling Zilal in my arms, when suddenly I hear someone whisper “Aaminah” in a croaky voice. My stomach fills up with hope as I step to my feet. The whisper seemed to be coming from the left of me. I walk towards it and like a miracle, I spot Zafeer. Time freezes as I see him lying down, his hands pressed against his stained chest. Without a sound, he slowly places my hand into his before passing me his flashlight. I look at him in confusion wondering why he has passed me this when I notice his eyes starting to flicker. His grip loosens as he blinks for the final time.

 

I stare at him in shock. I don’t believe this. I shake him violently. Begging him to come back. Now I am completely drowned in tears. He doesn’t get up so I shake him harder this time. A voice in my head tells me that he’s not coming back. I know I need to go but I just can’t bring myself to leave him. Zilal tugs on my shirt, bringing me back to life. Determination rushes through me and I stand up. He will not die in vain. He will die knowing that his family is safely living in a different country, leading a different life. I grab my scarf, wrap it securely around Zilal and pick him up. I spot a crowd gathering around the end of the field and gravitate towards it.

 

There, I am greeted by men lined up on trucks extending their hands out to me. I grab one making sure my hand is fastened around Zilal. Wind sweeps my hair as I am pulled onto the truck. As soon as I enter, my nose picks up the stench of sweat, vomit and blood. I try to locate a seat amongst the others and when I do, I carefully step over the other feet and sit down.

 

Next to me is a lady also carrying a baby. The baby is wailing but the Mom is making no effort to subdue him. I look up at her and instantly, sympathy floods through me. Her face is covered in dry gashes and her arms are stained with wet blood. I look for the source and notice a huge skin tear on the left of her shoulder. I debate asking her if she needs some help when a man comes over and carries the baby. “The father” I whisper to myself. I think about Zafeer and tears well up in my eyes.

 

My thoughts are shattered with the sound of the loudspeaker. “We will be arriving soon at the border crossing of Turkey” and then seconds later “Please prepare all your personal documents”.

 

I grab the only bag that Zilal and I have left and pull out our passports, entry permits and whatever else I can dig up. I notice the flashlight at the bottom of the bag and promise myself not to lose it.

 

The bus jerks to a stop and three men come on the truck. They go around checking documents with hard stares. Two women in front of me have been kicked of the truck due to invalid documents. Fear builds up in me as one of the men comes to our section. He takes the documents of the woman and her family next to me and inspects them closely. Just when it seems that her family is good to go, he mouths something to his friends who immediately come forward and pick them up. They proceed to drag them out of the truck. She screams and begs for mercy but none is given to her. Soon, her screams are simply mere faint noises in the distance. All eyes turn to me as I shiveringly pass him my documents.

 

I pray to god, pray to the holy spirit, pray for help. I hold my breath as he looks at me. My heart drops as he gently passes the documents back to me, my chest instantly feeling like a weight has been pulled off it. I look down at Zilal and whisper that we have done it, that we have won. He inquiringly stares at me and then places his hand in mine, uniting us with a bond that can never be broken.

 

Now thirty years later, Aaminah looks down onto her palm still entwined with Zilals and smiles to herself, a slow growing smile. Thirty years have passed but still they are as united as ever. She turns around and notices the flashlight by the drawer. She had kept her promise, as she knew she would.

 


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