A War Story - Original Writing
I perched over the wall, looking deep into the darkness. Deep, with
unfocused pupils trying to forget it all. I stared at the
sophisticated shapes of the mosque when my eyes suddenly came into
focus. I sat and observed the devout Muslims, not coming to pray but
to bargain with Allah. The regulars were all there; the blind woman
wishing to see her daughter for the first time; the schoolgirl praying
to do well in her exams, somehow bargaining at the same time; and
Shahbana-the searching mother.
Shahbana had an interesting story, but remembering it was the hardest
thing for me to do. No matter how hard I tried I could never forget
him. He is my brother, Shahid Ahmed, and I am Sheeza. This is my
August 14th 1997
It was six-thirty and Abu hadn’t returned home yet. Ammi was getting
worried. Our dwelling was in the midst of a battlefield. Therefore
being home one minute late was compared to hell. The once captivating
valleys of bewitching Kashmir were now destroyed. Terrorists roamed
the streets daily to shriek their political messages. Shrieking
through bloody throats. Killing to be heard.
I sat and observed my surroundings. We constantly tried to forget the
war so our house was decorated like paradise. My eyes flittered over
the wooden mirror to my brother’s distinctive grey eyes. We’ve always
been very close as brother and sister but today he was acting
strangely. He’d spent his day with Hassan Ali. Hassan believed in the
principles of Islam, he enjoyed preaching them to people with his
rigid conviction, it was practically his hobby. Ammi hated the
extremism of Hassan and forbade Shahid to converse with him.
The doorbell unexpectedly played its melodic chimes as Abu entered.
Ammi lost her head! Abu was a full seven minutes late and that was too
much in our shattered Kashmiri combat zone. She began yelling at him
for being so late. Shahid and I were used to their constant bickering
and ignored it as I insisted to be difficult and began a conversation.
“I saw you with Hassan again. Why are you always with him?”
Shahid’s cheeks went as red as chilli powder, as his eyes darted
across into his bedroom. He possessed a look of terror over his
youthful, fourteen year old face.
“Well, tell me then,”
“We had some,” he paused as his face screwed into a thoughtful look
“business to deal with, never ask me such things again”
Suddenly, what we’ve been dreading for our entire life happened. A
fist banged onto our feeble wooden door, a fist full of rage. Abu
signalled us to stay still, as it would lead us to our unsightly
youthful deaths. It made no difference as the savages destructed the
door and ran in. A shiver trickled down my fragile back. Abu’s eyes
widened with fear as we witnessed dozens of men sprinting into our