They all were running away from the place, they had to. The families could no longer live with the fear of getting executed or captivated at any moment. There was no peace, their homeland could no longer house them. Syria had been the victim of violence and cruelty for so long that the land, which was already barren, was now being abandoned.
“I am very hungry, Abba. I cannot walk now, how far is it?” asked a little boy who had lost his mother to the terrorists and was now trying to flee the land with his father and other fellow victims of similar circumstances.
“Just keep going dear, its not too far now. I promise to feed you as soon as we reach there.”
“Abbu, my lips are dry, do we have some water left.”
“Sorry son, the water is also not there.”
And they kept walking with the others in a pack of 20, carrying bundles that consisted of their clothes and some money. Everything seemed to be going as planned when suddenly they heard gunshots from a distance and everyone started to panic. The father was very scared, he had lost his wife already, he couldn’t lose his son now. They hardly had enough energy to walk and now they had to run. They had been dying in installments already living in fear, and even now as they were trying to escape they have die little more.
The terrorists could be seen coming in jeeps to catch them, and looking at how futile it would be to try to outrun the vehicle, the Syrians decided to surrender. They all knelt down on their knees with hands behind their heads and their eyes filled with dry tears and their hearts half dead from the fear itself. But at the back of their minds they wished to be killed right there, in the hopes of reaching a better world of heaven if they could by leaving this world which gave them nothing but a life that smelled of gun powder, dust, grenades, blood and brutality.
They were already in position when the terrorists approached them. The father forgot about the position and just hugged his son as he knelt down to save him somehow, anyhow. The terrorists took a hold of his son first, and then made them all sit on the sand.
“Brother, little boy here must be thirsty from all the walking in the scorching heat. Here, son, have some water.” offered the terrorist.
No one could understand what was happening. They thought it was their way of poisoning and killing them so they prepared themselves for the eventual death.
“You all must be hungry too, here we have brought all the food that you would want to eat.” said another one of the terrorist.
“So poisoning it is” they all thought to themselves. And the father took the first step. “We all will die anyways, so why not together with my son.” he thought.
The father and the son drank water to quench the indescribable thirst and ate all that was offered like wolves who had not received any prey for ages, only in this case they were the prey themselves and the very metaphor was a joke on their situation. Looking at them eat, the others couldn’t take it and joined them as the terrorists kept looking at them. It was weird, very strange in fact, no guns were being pointed at them.
“God will bless you all.” prayed the father who had realized after finishing that he was not dead and the words of blessing came out uncontrollably. And the father took his son and started moving towards the border again like before when suddenly a voice spoke out.
“Where are you going?” asked a terrorist.
“Please don’t kill us and please don’t stop us, we have to go. Please just let us live peacefully.”
“How can you leave your motherland and hope to live peacefully?” asked the terrorist.
“How can you live in your motherland hope for peace among the cruelty?” asked the father.
“Don’t go. The ISIS has decided to not let anyone go out of the border because the Syrians who are living outside are homeless and in pathetic conditions and we have been ordered to make sure that you all stay here in your motherland.”
“If you want to kill us just do but don’t play such cruel jokes on us. Even sarcasms have limits.” screamed the father outraged by their statement.
“We are not joking. We could have taken you back on our gunpoints but the ISIS has decided to leave all violent ways. We will make sure your kid goes to school, and you get a job and all Syrians live in peace and harmony.”
“This is definitely a dream. Son, could you please slap me to wake me up ; or perhaps I am hallucinating from all the heat.”
The terrorists laughed. “So thinking it is a hallucination after all, could you all just get inside the vehicles? It is a dream after all.”
They all did still wondering what was happening although they were more sure of their execution than they were of the Sun being on their heads. The terrorists took them to their camp and assigned them their tents and asked them to rest. Just as they were getting off the jeeps to go to their respective prisons disguised as tents, the father saw his wife carrying water in a pot and walking with other women who seemed to be talking to each other. The son ran immediately to hug his mother. It was the best moment the father had ever witnessed in his entire life. He had told his son to not expect his mother to be alive as he didn’t want him to go through the heartache he already had. But to see a son get reunited with his mother was the most beautiful feeling for him, the mother being his own wife. The son ran with all his strength and speed and as he reached near he didn’t even stop for a glimpse perhaps in a fear of losing her again, he grabbed on to her tightly and the pot fell off her hands as she held onto him. She knelt down to hold his head between her palms, and take a look at her son and kissed his forehead as she closed her eyes and he felt it raining as he mother’s tears landed on his heated skin. The son just stayed there, didn’t move while his mother kept crying silently. And the father slowly moved towards them and knelt down and hugged them both and when they looked at each other, they exchanged words that didn’t come out of their mouths.
“I thought I would never see you. We thought we had lost you.”
“I thought I would never get to hold you two in my arms.”
Everything was fine. Everyone was given permanent shelters in their respective homes, the schools were started and it was compulsory for the kids to join and get educated and the people were employed for regular jobs, while the women were given training of skills that could let them earn themselves and become independent. The families were secure. The terrorists had now changed their name from ISIS to Syrian Army. They were all happy.
(Even though the ending of this story was a happy one, it hurts me to think it was imaginary.)