Friday, November 07, 2014

War Love Story - Haidji - Short Story

see also    SG - Suicide Game - ebook and book   and  SG - Suicide Game - Video

My Short Story "War Love Story"  is available  for free to my subscribers.

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War Love Story

Bagdad was like a fairy tale land for William.  Located on a vast plain bisected by the river Tigris, with temperatures exceeding 50C (122F) at daytime and not far under the half of that at nighttime.  For William, the actual city, with a population of over 7 Million, in 89 neighborhoods within 9 districts, was part of the “Arabian Nights”.   Whether it was a translation into Arabic from Persian stories, or if the origins of the tales were Indian, this all did not matter for William.  For him…Baghdad was a city full of magic.  Flying carpets and Scheherazade were, in a certain kind of way, really inside of his heart and his imagination.  The Arabic language was for him like a wind whisper; full of mysteries, tales and secrets, even though he could not speak or understand a single word of it.

Yes, it was.  Until he joined the army and was sent to Iraq, sent to Baghdad. Together with his buddies Connor and Tony, arriving in Baghdad, shortly before Thanksgiving Day.  The dream was over and the nightmare started.


The ISIL – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - had proclaimed a worldwide caliphate, months before William arrived in the war zone.
It was November; the day started as a sunny day, but the sun rapidly disappeared behind the war.  Baghdad was being hit by several car bombs a week; instead of flying carpets, William saw flying pieces of corpses among the dust, dirt and smoke, turning the air into a thick grey mass.   Multiple attacks in the city killed several people, including a bomb blast on a commercial street that killed three people and wounded 11 others in Baghdad’s western district of Amil.  Two soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in a western suburb.  Tony was one of those soldiers.

William was walking around; still scared about what he saw, still without understanding what happened to Tony, as he saw her eyes.  Deep brown eyes, and she was walking fast, carrying something in her arms.


Nada was one more, like many girls wearing a black veil covering her hair, all looking the same for William.  Still disappointed with the difference between his dreams about Baghdad and the real city, William was staring at her.
He noticed that her eyes were different, and for a moment, William forgot about the war and was back into the “Arabian nights.”
Nada was coming back from the University.  She was one of the members of a street protest that included students, their parents and faculty, participating in ongoing protests from students and faculty they made to try to force the Iraqi government to back off it’s controversial plan to carve out a new female-only institution from Baghdad University, the country’s oldest establishment of higher learning.

Walking with her friend Raghda, Nada stopped, looking at a young soldier carrying a weapon, who was staring at her on her way back home.
Nada’s friend noticed the soldier looking at her and at Nada looking back, and she smiled with the back of her hand in front of her mouth, touching Nada with her elbow, to make her start to walk again.


Everyday Nada walked the same route back home, and instead of looking down, like other girls used to do, she looked up to William every time she passed by him.
William could not speak Arabic.  Nada could not speak English.
But somehow, their eyes could speak for them.

Even in the middle of this war, William waited anxiously everyday, for this small moment of his day.
Even in wartime, every day Nada counted the hours to see him again, this strange man, dressed like a soldier, with a weapon in his hands; he seemed to her to look more like protection, than like a treat.

After a month, William could speak some Arabic words.
After a month, Nada could speak some English words, and both said “hi” in each other’s language at the same time, for their first time together.

Will this war be over one day?  Will we be able to be friends?
Their daily conversation was quick and made by few words, words that turned into sentences and then paragraphs, as time was passing by.

It was wartime; there was no possibility for more.  But speaking those few words every day, they promised each other to meet.  No matter what, they would meet each other at the same place, in one year's time. One year after the first time that they saw each other.
Their belief that the war would be over, that time would pass by and that they could meet each other in one year’s time, in the middle of a peaceful street, gave both the strength to support their daily battles in this war.


Almost one year was gone, flowing away into the memories of their lives, since they saw each other for the first time.

One day, Nada went out of the University one hour earlier than usual.   This same day, on which ISIL attacked again.  William was waiting for her to pass by, and walked a little bit in the direction from which she used to come, chatting with his friend Connor.


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