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Remembering Her

After years of facing abuse, threat and violence, Firoz, a 25 year old Afghani finally finds a companion. But will the circumstances be in favor of their union in a war ravaged country? The story subtly explores and highlights the plight of human living in an unstable country and environment, and focuses on the consequences if hate wins.

It was after a long time that Firoz had come across a beauty in a Bazaar in Afghanistan. The

absence of a feminine presence was too strong in his life. Being sold from one market to next

by men he never knew to men he expected nothing from, had been his life before her. That

one sight of her was enough to push him to rebel against the 'norm' of his life. A norm he

shared with so few. He rebelled. Escaped the shackles of tormentors. Escaped the burden of

entertaining men who could kill him anytime, anywhere, and anyways. Finally, they married.

However, it was nothing like what he had imagined it to be. The storms had just befallen and

the tide had just turned against them.

Two years into their marriage, he could hardly make ends meet with what little he was paid

working secretly at a healthcare facility in a remote village in the suburbs of Kabul. It was in

a small house belonging to an old man and woman, abandoned by their kids who had

immigrated, that Firoz and his wife lodged. While Firoz worked at the healthcare facility, she

looked after the old couple who remitted their rent in exchange. Days passed and both struggled to

hold it together. Life, despite the struggle, felt beautiful to both. Until one day, she figured

that she was expecting a child.

Those 9 months were hard for her. For him too. As those who he had escaped looked for him.

There was no moment of the day that he left her and no second of the night that he closed his

eyes. Finally, the time came when she had to deliver. With no health unit near to where they

lived now, no midwives available and no women to help, she screamed and groaned in pain.

He felt absolutely helpless.

Finally, he was reported of a paramedic in that area, which he quickly called to aid them. The paramedic, a 30 year old women, switfly arrived on the scene.

Three hours following the paramedic's arrival, the woman was no more. The baby was

there. But she was not. He had lost her. He had lost his life. His reason to breathe and live.

Through the next 15 days, as the threat of him getting caught by his enemies grew, he plotted to

leave for Pakistan. Then, he left. With a child in his hands and almost nothing of what little he

owned. He left. He left what he once called his home. Where he once lived with his greatest

companion, trustee and above all his love. He left the country that gave him his worst

nightmares, for what he had endured in his childhood and his sweetest dreams, of what he

had little but felt plenty, at the same time.

Today, 10 years after his arrival to Pakistan, he sat in his art room, one which Junaid had gifted him. His friend, without whom he might still of been stuck in those gloomy and drab refugees camps. For 10 years, he had refused to let her memories perturb him, batteling them with his mind with every ounce of his will. For 10 years, he had not let his hands paint her beautiful face. For if he had let his mind wander to her, he would've gone insane. Her absence would've driven him crazy. He would've lost the last thing he had left-his life which now

resided in his daughter.

As he sat in silence in front of the canvas, he felt a tug at his heart, so distinct that he felt like

it could've caused his breath to stop. There was absolutely nothing he could think of at the

moment- except of her. So he finally raised his brush, and let his mind be open to her

thought, her beautiful face that he could visualize better than all the traumatic experiences of

his childhood. He finally raised his brush to draw her. To draw, Sanober.

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