I'm Back But She is Gone...
For almost a week before I returned back from the U.S., I was sad. I thought I am going to be happy to be among my friends and family. But what happened was shocking. I never expected it. “Jill is kidnapped and Alan is killed,” O. told me when I called him the moment I left the Baghdad airport going back home. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe him first or in fact, I did not want to believe him. “You must be kidding!” I said. “Do not joke with me now. This is not the time to joke,” I added. And of course, I was wrong. He wasn’t kidding. He was saying the truth.
I did not want to believe the news. I wanted someone to tell me that O was joking. I called G, a colleague of mine in the office. After greeting me he tried to hide the news. I asked him, “What happened to her? Is what O said right?” sadly, he replied, “yes”. I hanged up and started crying and crying. And as usual I couldn’t do anything because I was in a taxi cab. I couldn’t say a word. I had to keep my tears fall secretly like my feelings that are hardly revealed.
Everything became black in my eyes. I couldn’t see anything except her picture in front of me. I remembered how I worked with her for the first time before working with the paper I am working with now. I remembered how delicate, lovely, sensitive, and honest she is. Then, memories flashed back into mind to reminding me with her translator whom I know. I remembered how all of us gathered on the referendum day at night. We chatted, sang, smoked hookah and enjoyed the beautiful weather in our office’s huge garden. I remembered how he taught me to make Hookah in a professional way. I remembered how she described him being jealous of us sometimes as he used to accuse her of loving us more than him.
My parents were shocked, specially my mother who cried continuously for a long time. I couldn’t have lunch although I was starving. I took a shower and went to the office to know the whole details.
She was in love, but not with a man. She was in love with Iraq and its people. She always felt that she belongs to this country. It was obvious in her eyes. once, I had hamburger for lunch. “What is this?” she said sarcastically. “You leave all this delicious Iraqi food and eat a Hamburger?” she used to come to the office when she has time and we spend great time altogether.
I wonder what she is doing now. It’s cold. Is she covered well? She was kidnapped wearing her light black abaya. She used to call it a “bullet-proof abaya” but it seems she was mistaken. I am afraid that she might die out of the shock seeing her translator, the friend, killed in front of her.
Today, I was busy with the news but just when I finished, I felt sad. “What’s wrong B?” O. asked me. I told him I don’t know I just feel sad. I didn’t even feel my hands that reached the laptop and played a song of Kadhum Al-Sahir which I used to listen when I was in the US.
Come back, Habibi, come back
Come back, Habibi, come back my dearest
Loneliness and emptiness, I am collapsed
You left me alone among four walls.
I sleep and wake up with pain and sorrow
Come back… come back
After you left, I announced my strike
Even on the most dearest thing
On my happiness and joy
Even on myself and all my friends
Come back… come back…
I couldn’t control my tears that were falling on my tears like rain. I tried to stop them, but I couldn’t. I kept the whole way back thinking of her and her situation now.
I did not stop praying to God to save her and rescue her. She is a good person who dedicated herself for the sake of the case in Iraq. she wanted to help Iraqis and the only thing she was able to do was to write. Now, even this might disappear.
I am watching at her photos now and my eyes are full of tears that never stopped since I heard the news.
I wish they had kidnapped me instead of her. I cannot imagine her sitting among armed men carrying rifles or maybe a sword. I might collapse and never wake up again out of shock.