Twenty years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Iraq is a country located in the Middle East. The people have suffered enormous amounts of hardship since the fall of their previous leader, Saddam Hussein.
Hussein was a dictator, no doubt, but he had kept the country together, at least. However, with his fall, the country descended into chaos. The Americans had promised to bring democracy to Iraq, but all they brought was bloodshed and destruction.
Khalid had lived through all of it. He had seen his family killed in front of his eyes and had fought with the insurgents against the Americans. He had seen the worst of humanity and had become numb to it all. But there was one thing that still gave him hope - love.
He had met Layla in the midst of the chaos. She was a nurse who had stayed behind to help those injured in the war. They had fallen in love instantly, and for a short while, they had forgotten about the war around them. But the war had a way of catching up to them.
One night, they were ambushed by American soldiers. Khalid had managed to escape, but Layla had been taken as a prisoner. Khalid had been searching for her ever since, risking his life every day to find her.
After months of searching, Khalid finally received information about Layla's whereabouts. She was being held captive in a military base in the heart of Baghdad. Khalid knew he had to act fast if he wanted to save her.
He made his way to the base and managed to sneak inside. He searched for hours and finally found her in a small, dimly lit cell. She was alive, but barely. Her face was bruised and swollen, and her clothes were torn.
Khalid's heart broke at the sight of her, but he knew there was no time to waste. He quickly picked the lock and helped her out of the cell. They made their way through the base, avoiding any soldiers they came across.
Finally, they reached the exit, but they were met with a group of American soldiers. Khalid knew there was no way they would let them leave. "Hands up! Don't move!" one of the soldiers yelled, pointing his gun at Khalid and Layla.
Khalid slowly raised his hands, but he didn't show any signs of backing down. He looked at Layla, and he knew he had to protect her at all costs.
"I'm not going back there. You can't make me," Layla said, her voice shaky.
Khalid stepped forward, shielding Layla with his body. "We won't go back. Let us leave, and we won't harm anyone."
The soldiers hesitated, unsure of what to do. They had orders to keep the prisoners in, but something about Khalid's determination made them think twice.
"Fine. You can leave, but don't come back here again," the soldier said, lowering his gun.
Khalid nodded, taking Layla's hand, and they slowly made their way out of the base. They ran as fast as they could, not stopping until they were far away from the military base. Khalid knew they were still in danger, but he couldn't bring himself to care. All that mattered was that he had Layla back with him, safe and sound.
They found shelter in an abandoned building and spent the night there, holding onto each other tightly as they cried and processed all that they had been through. It was a long road ahead, but they had each other, and that was enough to keep them going.
Over time, Khalid and Layla began to rebuild their lives together. They found a small village outside of Baghdad where they could live in peace and start anew. Khalid worked odd jobs to make ends meet, while Layla took care of the home and helped those in need.
For the first time in a long time, Khalid felt hopeful for the future. He had lost so much in the war, but he had gained something far more valuable - love. And as long
they could, not stopping until they were miles away from the base. Khalid knew they couldn't stay in Baghdad any longer. They had to leave Iraq, start a new life somewhere else.
Khalid and Layla found their way to Turkey, where they lived in a small apartment in Istanbul. They started their lives anew, away from the turmoil and chaos of Iraq. Khalid got a job as a waiter at a local restaurant, and Layla volunteered at a nearby hospital.
Despite the memories of what they had both been through, Khalid and Layla found happiness in each other's company. They explored the city together, trying new foods and experiencing new things.
One day, Khalid decided to take Layla to see the Blue Mosque. As they stood there, marveling at the beauty of the mosque, Khalid got down on one knee.
"Layla, I know we've been through a lot together. But I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy. Will you marry me?" Khalid asked, pulling out a small ring from his pocket.
Tears streamed down Layla's face as she nodded yes. Khalid slipped the ring on her finger, and they embraced, knowing that they would face whatever challenges life threw their way together.
From that day on, Khalid and Layla were inseparable. They got married in the Blue Mosque, with only a few close friends as witnesses. They had a small reception afterward, where they danced and laughed, surrounded by love and happiness.
Years passed, and Khalid and Layla grew old together, but their love never faded. They never forgot the horrors they had endured in Iraq, but they didn't let it define their lives. They lived each day to the fullest, grateful for each other's company and the life they had built together.
As they sat on their balcony overlooking the city of Istanbul, Khalid took Layla's hand in his, knowing that they would be together until the day one or the other died.
#shortstory #lovestory #warstory