I wish my Mohsen was on that plane too

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a real story of a mother who lost his son during a crackdown by the theocratic regime ruling in Iran.

It was almost dawn, but It was still dark. I had pulled the quilt over my
head. I felt my head and face were frozen. I felt a little lethargic and
numb. The room was very cold. But it was still November, and too early
to turn on the heater. To save gas, we were forced to turn on the heater
only in winter, and only for a few hours a day, just as in previous years.
At night, we would turn off the heater and crawl under the duvet,
turning it on for just a few hours, early in the morning and early at
night, so that the house would get some slightly warm air. We could not
afford to pay the utility bills that I could not even understand how they
were calculated. Every time we received the bill, it was like a nightmare
of the day of reckoning.
I could hear his footsteps. He walked silently. He always walked that
way. I did my best to call him in a loud voice. I did not want him to know
I was unwell.
“Mohsen, my son, I brewed tea. Eat your breakfast and go. Dress warm,
it is a bit cold outside.”
He answered:
"Mom, how many times do I have to say you do not have to prepare my
breakfast? No matter how quiet I try to be while leaving, you always
notice. It is as if you hear my soul! Do not worry! I will pick up bread on
my way with Master Mohammed and the guys on the job site and we
will have a feast of bread and eggs. “
“Enjoy it. Go my son, stay healthy.”
He opened the door a little and with a smiley face said:
"It was a little cold this morning, I hope you were not cold! If you get
cold, turn on the heat! Do not think about the fuel money! Before I
forget! Do not prepare supper, on my way back I will buy bread and
eggs and tomatoes."
“No, you do not have to. Do not overspend! Didn't you say you want to
save money and buy a cell phone


"Mom, I will not run out of money buying four eggs! Do not worry!"
I stared into his eyes. His immense resemblance to his father brought a
smile to my face. It was exactly two years before that his father died
after years of struggling with a disease that we did not finally figure
out. I remember the last doctor who visited him said:
"You have to undergo a surgery!"
Hussein asked:
"How many days should I stay in bed after the surgery? I am a day
laborer in construction. I have no savings. I am a family man. If I do not
work one day, my wife and children will go hungry, and the landlord
will evict us if we do not pay the rent on time. She is an old lady who
depends on the rent money that she receives. "
The doctor impatiently cut across his words and said:
"I do not know! You know! You must act as soon as possible! Your
disease has progressed! Soon it will get to your stomach and intestines!
Go now and do the scans and ultrasounds that I wrote down so that I
can give a more definite opinion."
I pulled my chador over my face so I would not see Hussein and witness
his embarrassment.
Anxious and ashamed, Hussein said in a low voice:
"Doctor? How much should I pay for these tests and imaging?"
"What kind of question are you asking my dear man! What do I know!
Call and ask the radiology department, they will tell you!"
Hussein, more embarrassed than before, blushed and stood up and
apologized, and I left the doctor's room with him.
On the way home I told him:
“Hussein, we will sell my bracelet. It may be enough to cover for the
tests.”


He said in a voice from the bottom of his throat:
"Samaneh, don't even talk about this. What is the value of this stuff? In
any case, if we sell, it is more important we spend it on Mohsen’s
education. In two years time, after he finishes high school, he will have
expenses for attending university and for his studies. We should leave
everything that we have for him. Samaneh, you and I are lucky that
Mohsen is my son! You cannot believe it! Nobody believes me when I tell
them this child passes his course with a perfect score of 100! One day my
employer said: "My son with thousands of facilities and complementary
teaching still fails his courses and I do not know what the hell is wrong
with him."”
On the way, he bought three small baguettes and six slices of chicken
baloney, 200 grams of pickles and three tomatoes and said with a smile:
"Let us go home! Mohsen will return any minute from school and he will
be very hungry! He will be in heaven to see we have a baloney sandwich
for lunch!"
This was the last cold cut meal that we had, all 3 of us sitting around the
same table.
After that, there were a few painful and hard months of severe illness
and he was only able to eat soft foods and soups.
One day, when I brought him a cup of tea and some porridge, I found
him cold and hard like a stone and he could not breathe. With financial
help from family and friends, we were able to bury him in a village in
Varamin, where the grave was cheaper than in Tehran.
After a while, at the suggestion of Parry, our neighbor, who worked for
a service company as a cleaning lady in the uptown houses, I took a job
cleaning and cooking, all day, three days a week, for a kind and
respectable family. The family consisted of a middle-aged woman
named Azam, her husband and teenage daughter, and a son who had
just left Iran and was studying at a university in Canada.
It was not long before Mohsen dropped out of school to work as a
construction worker like his father and became the breadwinner and
asked me to quit my job………………………..


I was so engrossed in my dreams that I fell asleep and did not remember
Mohsen leaving.
Strange noises were coming from outside. Sounds like the firecrackers of
the Persian Spring fire festival, Chaharshanbeh-Soor. I hurriedly got up
and went to the entrance door.
A woman, our next-door neighbor, was running and shouting: "They
killed! They killed everyone! The street was covered in blood! They killed
people’s children!"
I had a bad feeling. I hurried back into the room and put on my chador
and ran to the building where Mohsen was working. On the way, I saw
armed men, special forces, and plainclothes men who were everywhere,
punching, kicking, batting, and using shockers on anyone who passed
by, regardless of age or gender. Further down, there was the sound of
gunfire and people’s commotion. Further still, frightened people were
fleeing and knocking on houses to find shelter. A middle-aged woman
with a bloody head was running, and a man in bloody clothes and
bloody hands shouted, "They killed everyone with live ammunition."
People took the lifeless bodies one by one and raised them and shouted:
"we will kill the one who killed my brother! ... Death to Khamenei! ...
Death to the dictator!"
I made my way to the half-finished building. I shouted like crazy:
"Mohsen! Mohsen”
An Afghan worker slowly emerged from behind the bricks and speaking
softly and in a low voice said, “Sister, Mohsen was beaten on the head
with a baton. But he was alive. People put him in a car and took him to
the hospital. Do not stay here. Don't you see, bullets are flying
everywhere!? Go home! Mohsen is in a safe place. It was nothing, just a
little blood came out of his head. "
The world became blurred before my eyes. My heart was pounding.
Trembling and pleading, I implored:
“Where? Which hospital?”
"I do not know, sister! They just said they would take him to the
hospital!"


I went to all the nearby hospitals and asked for Mohsen. Either no one
was answering, or they were all so involved and confused that no one
could provide any information. It was past midnight when tired,
disappointed, and hopeless of finding Mohsen, I sat down on a cold,
rocky sidewalk, pulled my chador over my face and sobbed.
For several days I went wherever I could and inquired. I asked everyone
I knew for help and even called the families I worked for and asked them
to help me.
I remember that day well, when I called Lady Azam and said:
Madam, I like you have only one boy. I beg you to help me. I cannot live
if there is no news of him. My child disappeared without a trace!
Everywhere I go, they say, “Sit at home, and stay silent about this! If he
is in a hospital, they will call you. Just don't make noise!"
The lady replied:
"Dear, calm down! Did your child go to the demonstrations? Why did
you let him attend? My son says the TV where he lives says there were a
lot of people killed! Oh God, what a misery! We had an internet that we
could contact our children from time to time, but they cut that also." "I
do not know, now, trust in God, God willing he will return! When he
does return home tell him to mind his own business and not to get
involved with politics. He should think about his mother and not make
you tremble so much!"
“My dear lady, I beg you to do something for me! My son had nothing to
do with politics! He did not know what the Internet was at all! He went
to work as he did every day! I remember once you said that your
brother works at the embassy! Maybe he knows someone!”
"No, my dear! He does not know anyone! Now the situation is so bad
that you cannot even ask for news of someone. They stigmatize you in a
thousand ways! He would lose his job! My brother just had a baby! Kids
lie a lot! These guys do not go to people’s homes and force them out, or
shoot people just like that! If someone does not participate in protest and
does not do something, no one is going to do anything to them! Arrest or
kill them! I do not know what to say, everybody says something
different! I have nothing to do with these words at all! We as a family


just work and live. Whoever wants to take power and who gets toppled
is not my business!”
“Madam, what should I do? I am worried to death!”
"I say stay home, take it easy! Get your mind busy with something!
Sooner or later, he will show up, if he did not do anything as you say! Do
not worry, if he is innocent, they will release him in a couple of days
when the situation calms down! “
“But I am not sure if they arrested him!”
She seemed a bit annoyed by this stage and said impatiently:
"Do not worry! He will return wherever he is! Trust in God!"
I went home, dispirited, but determined to find my son.
Days passed and there was no news of Mohsen. I went wherever I could,
to detention centers, police stations, Basij bases, hospitals, and forensics.
I was humiliated wherever I set foot. I was cursed at. I was even beaten.
I was a walking dead. I neither ate nor slept. Everywhere I heard
Mohsen's voice calling me.
After a few days, I was startled by the sound of the phone ringing and
answered quickly:
"Your son is here! Arrested! If you want to see him again, do not tell
anyone about his arrest or interview any foreign reporters or TV! Wait
until he is released! If we find out that you have confirmed his arrest to
anyone, you will not see him again!"
Frightened by his terrifying and mysterious voice and weeping
incessantly, I quickly asked:
“Where is he? Which detention center? My son is innocent! He was just
returning from work! Believe me, my son was not involved in the
protests!”


He shouted in a more terrifying voice:
“This is what you all say. Bastards! When your puppies get arrested you
all become like a mouse. When you were feeding them dog milk, you did
not teach them not to eat more shit than their mouths could handle and
not to be thugs and not to burn and destroy the treasury properties!"
"Do not whine! Remember if you open your mouth, you will not see the
color of your puppy!"
With the sound of the telephone being cut off, the whole room revolved
around me, and I was in the center and all the objects in the room
rotated around me.
Days passed and I was in deep silence! I did not talk to anyone and I did
not go anywhere.
Suddenly my phone rang, and I ran to the phone and quickly picked up.
It was the lady that I worked for.
"How are you, Samaneh? Is your son back safe and sound?"
“Yes, he will be back!”
“What does it mean he will be back? Is he arrested?"
“No, I meant he is at work and will be back by nightfall!”
"Well thank God! Where has he been then?"
“Nowhere! They held him two or three days by mistake, then they
realized he was innocent and released him!”
"Oh, so that was it, I am happy for you! Now hit him on the head and tell
him to stay in the house and not to cause you so much trouble, I hope
this internet will not be cut off for long so we can communicate with our
children overseas! Dear Samaneh, could you come here in 2 weeks’ time
for 2 to 3 days, I have some work for you to do? My son has two weeks
of new year holiday and is coming back. I want to clean his room. Can
you come or should I ask someone else?”
“Yes, I will come! I really need the money. Please do not ask anyone else!
I will do it myself.”


"Well then I will be waiting!"
I got up early that morning, changed three buses, and got to their home.
I entered her son's room. I saw his happy and smiling photos taken
when he had won awards or medals in sports, in music at school and
Olympiads! It reminded me of Mohsen when his school had said that he
had to pay a fee and for tuition to participate in the Olympiad, and his
father said that we should not even eat bread at night to save the money
to pay that fee. Mohsen also won a provincial medal in wrestling and
was still interested. Sometimes, after work, he would go to the local
wrestling club and follow the wrestling enthusiastically, and his coaches
would say that with his talent, he could think about national and world
competitions.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I continued to work. I came to myself
with the voice of the lady of the house:
"Dear Samaneh, come lunch is ready!"
She had served me a plate full of rice and eggplant stew and said:
"I'm a vegetarian, I only cooked meat for you today. You have become
very thin since the last time I saw you. You must take more care of
yourself! These children will grow up, you know it is not easy! You went
through a lot of trouble! Your son, thank God, is a hard worker! He is
not doing anything illegal! Tell him, at least for your sake, to not
concern himself with politics and this kind of thing! Dear, this is the way
it is, we should slowly and calmly change the situation, and nothing will
be achieved by protests and disruption of people's business! Some,
people will die in vain, and nothing will happen! A wise person does not
dance to the music played by others from overseas, who incite the youth
and get them killed and then say the government has killed them! The
government is not sick! No, they do nothing to anyone if they do not riot!
From that day until now, the dollar has become more expensive. I am
worried about the cost of sending my child to university with this
inflation! Our government should go to hell! A hundred blessings to that
monkey looking Ahmadinejad, at least the dollar was cheaper, and the
prices were not so skyrocketing."


I did not want to eat. I listened to her words here and there, and when I
had finished my work, which left me with almost no life, I left, I returned
home tired and crushed, carrying the plastic bags of fruits and snacks
that the lady Azam had given me under my chador.
I woke up in the morning to the sound of the phone. A voice on the other
end of the phone said:
"Come to this address where I tell you and take back the corpse of your
child! No mourning and noise and no interviews with hostile networks!
You quietly come and take back the corpse and leave. If we find out that
you said something, we will pull his corpse out of the grave. And we will
not even tell you where we dump it."
Just as I wanted to open my mouth, he hung up the phone.
I was still holding the phone and I could not move. Everything was like a
dream, or more like a nightmare! Confused and broken, I walked to the
neighbor's house. I knocked at the door with all my might. The door
opened. Parry, the beautiful woman next door, opened the door with
puffy, red eyes. Without saying anything, she just looked at me, soulless.
“Dear Parry please help me.”
She did not let me finish. She said with the same cold and soulless face:
"Did they arrest him or kill him?"
I looked at her in astonishment and suddenly I started crying loud and I
hugged her and said: “They say they killed him. They say come and take
back the corpse!”
She put her finger to her lips and said:
"Talk lower! Come in!"
She dragged me into the house and closed the door. And continued:
"Didn't they tell you not to spread the news?! In this alley of ours, at
least twenty to thirty people have disappeared! Either killed or taken
away! They told the father “if you make any noise, you will not see your
child again and we will come and take away the other two children of


yours.” They ask for money to hand over the corpse of those they killed!
Mohsen was not involved in the protests! Was he?"
“No, he was not! He was coming back from work! Do you believe they
really killed him? Or they just want to scare us?!”
"What did they say?"
“They said come with someone and take back the corpse!”
She started clawing her face in mourning and said:
"Oh God, I wish I were dead! God have mercy on this lonely woman! I
pray to God that this is a lie!"
She showed me her cell phone and said:
"Look, after a month, they are still talking about this everywhere! Look,
and see, they say a lot of people were killed by these dishonest
murderers! They themselves say a few hundred people, but just in our
area at least a hundred people have been killed! This dishonest bunch
are lying! They say in Shiraz and Ahvaz and several other cities they
created a bloodbath! They shot at the people with tanks and machine
guns!"
Seeing pictures and videos, my legs started shaking and I sat there. I
said with tears in my eyes:
“My Mohsen went to work like every other day! I am sure he is alive!”
She put her hand on my shoulder and said:
"Do not be afraid. They took my Meysam too, but he is alive, and they
said, if we do not spread the news, they will release him! When the
children's father returns home tonight, I will ask him that we three go to
the address that they gave you.”
I was awake until the morning and prayed to God and begged God to
return my Mohsen to me.
In the morning, I went with Parry and her husband, Mr. Javad, to the
address they gave me. After waiting for several hours in the cold
weather, Mr. Javad came to me and said with tears in his eyes:


"Sister, God bless you with patience! We have to get a car, take your
child and bury him."
I do not remember anything else ... nothing.
Only continuous images …...
Mohsen's kind face was bruised, and his eyes were closed. But he still
had the same kind of smile. I removed the white cloth for a moment and
saw that there were scars and irregular stitches on several parts of his
body.
Mr. Javad was whispering:
"The dishonest bunch took out his organs! The child was not dead, they
killed him for his organs!"
He sighed heavily and cried and said:
"God I am begging you to bring back my Meysam!"
I went aimlessly and dumb wherever I was dragged and did not say a
word.
They buried Mohsen. My old landlord hugged me and my brother and
his wife cried out loud. Parry was holding my hand and pulling me this
way and that way.
At the moment of Mohsen’s burial, I had a powerful sensation as if dirt
was being poured on my eyes. And my whole body was under a pile of
stones.
...
Days passed and one day Parry in a hurry knocked on my door and
said:
"Don't go out, Samaneh! There are protests again. Today a plane
crashed, they say it was hit by a missile. Look everywhere they are
talking about it!"
She showed me the screen of her cell phone, and I stared at pictures and
videos, then I stared silently at a corner.


Parry while caressing my face, said:
"Samaneh! I know whatever I say is just small talk, for the love of God,
get out of this mood a little bit. Eat something, if not you will die like
this! God bless his soul is not happy with this! Your son is a martyr! One
day they will give our children a badge and a medal of honor! These
children were innocent. People will not forget our children! People are
gathering every single name of these children! Iranians overseas have
filed a lawsuit in international courts! These criminals must answer for
their crimes! Do not doubt! No one offers you your rights and you should
fight for them! People are united! Very soon people will topple them and
there would be no sign of them! "
She visited me every day and each time she shared a small portion of her
food with me and cared for me like a kind sister.
One day she showed me photos and videos of people who were killed in
the plane crash. The plane, which turned out to be Ukrainian, was shot
down by two IRGC missiles, killing all on board, mostly children and
young people. Beautiful photos of the victims, of their personal lives, of
their weddings, of the degrees they received. Their innocent eyes were
extremely happy and fulfilled. They were full of love and life. Among the
photos, I saw familiar photos. I took the phone from Parry and realized
that I had seen it correctly. There were pictures of Azam’s son. The same
pictures as in his room. He had a smile on his face. My heart was
pounding, and I was in deep pain. It felt like I had heard the news of
losing Mohsen again just as recent and painful.
I remembered that Azam had said:
"Surely your son has done something, otherwise they will not shoot
anyone intentionally in the sky."
Tears welled up in my eyes and I said:
“Parry? Mohsen never laughed from the bottom of his heart. He just
smiled at me to make me happy. He always had a great sadness in his
heart. I do not know if he really lived at all or not! Because he just
worked. His only happiness was wrestling. He thought maybe one day
by wrestling he could join the national team and board a plane and see
the world! You cannot imagine how much he wanted to board a plane
since childhood! You know he had not visited even our own northern


provinces. Parry? Do you think people will also remember my Mohsen?
Will they light candles for him?”
She was silent for a while and then said:
"Yeah, they would remember him, it is not possible that they would not
remember him! Your child is a martyr! Even now the overseas tv
channel call them martyrs of Aban (November 2019)! One day, for sure
they will come to see you from that TV channel!"
"Did you see the name of Mohsen somewhere or a photo? Does anyone
know how kind and talented he was? Do they know what his dreams
were?"
"I don't think by name, but people know a few of them by name. They
talk about them everywhere. But no one knows what happened to our
children! You know, these children on the plane were all important
people. They were relatively wealthy. A lot of them had foreign
passports. Many of their families are able people! They will not let their
lost loved ones be forgotten! God bless them with patience! They made so
much effort to raise their children and provided for them to escape this
ruined hell. Then lost them so unjustly!”
“Parry?”
" Yes, my dear!"
“I wish my Mohsen was on that plane too.”


Submitted: May 22, 2021

© Copyright 2021 cyrus1000. All rights reserved.

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