Hello there! So hereby I am welcoming you to follow me through my journey. Actually, I am in need of some decent company. Until this very moment I was just a simple and ordinary girl living my life with my family in Sweden. My name is Sana and I am 20 years old. I live in Stockholm, the beautiful historical capital of Sweden. I study pharmacy in another cozy and green city which is an hour away. I have a loving family consisting of my parents and my two younger siblings.
I forgot to tell you, I am a Muslim. The mere fact of me being a Muslim has never been so important until this very crucial moment. Yes, I belong to the beautiful religion Islam and have never felt the need to enlighten anyone about it. Why should I? That's between me and my lord.
Allhamdullillah, meaning all praise and thanks to God, I was born and have been raised as a Muslim. That has been my privilege. Unfortunately, I am far away from the good Muslim that I can be. Why am I even chattering about this? You will understand soon. You're thinking that I have lost it right? Well, maybe I have.
I have never thought or dreamt of the fact that a terrorist attack may occur in a peaceful and tolerant country like Sweden. The vision hasn't even visited my nightmares. What I am facing right now is not describable but I will give it a try.
The thing is how do you hold it together or behave when you are face to face with a terrorist? What do you feel or how do you react when you are being held at gunpoint?
Well, right now I am staring into a pair of cold dark blue eyes mere two meters away from me. The gun in his hands is pointed towards my, I guess heart? I have no idea who the person is beneath the mask. I have no idea if I will make it or not. I only know that I am not scared. Instead of being consumed by fear I stand there numb. I am beyond disappointed with myself and my choices in life. I could have been and done so much better. It is really true, when standing inches away from death your whole life flashes by in front of your eyes.
Allhamdullillah for the life I was blessed, but unfortunately I wish I had lived more and stressed less. Unnecessary education consumed more of my life than it should have. Silly me, that doesn't even matter right now. What matters is, am I ready to face my Lord? I don't think so.
With my appearance you would never guess that I am a Muslim. I am more the girl that prays secretively. I feel awkward showing people that I am religious. I am just an ordinary girl who can distinguish between right and wrong. My parents have showered me with good values and I try to be a good human. Unfortunately, the man standing in front of me is in my opinion not even trying to be a decent human. It is hard not to judge him when he is pointing a gun at me.
We are right now standing in Sergel Square, it is right beside the subway and train station. We are standing on the sunken pedestrian plaza furnished with large black and white triangular pattern, we call it plattan meaning the slab. People are running over to the wide flight of stairs leading up to the pedestrian street Drottninggatan, translated the Queen Steet.
Screams and cries for help doesn't reach me as I am zoned out. I am staring at the cold dark eyes but my mind is somewhere else. My head snaps to my right as a ear piercing gunshot breaks me from my trance. I look with wide eyes at the wounded man on the ground pleading for his life. The man who shot him now runs to him and shoots him again. "No!" I gasp and hear myself scream but I can't move. A tear escapes from the corner of my right eye.
"God is the greatest." The terrorist who shot the man on the ground screams.
I tremble where I stand and it is as if the ground I am standing on is made of quicksand. "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un." I mumble to myself shaking. The meaning of it is Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.
More gunshots and I close my eyes. "La ilaha illa-llah, muhammadun rasulu-llah." I keep chanting and try to shut away the screams, cries and gunshots. The meaning of it is There is no God but God, Muhammed is the messenger of God.
"You're a Muslim?" I hear a deep voice ask in middle of all the chaos.
I keep on chanting and open my eyes to see the tall intimidating man in front of me. He is at the very same spot where my eyes left him while his three companions keep terrifying innocent people.
My eyes halt at his gun which is still pointed at me. Will he shoot anytime soon and just end my misery? Gosh, I miss my family. I miss home. I feel numb again when realization hits me. I might never go back home. This might be the end of my life. I want to hug my parents one last time and kiss my siblings goodbye.
"I asked are you a Muslim?" The man raises his voice to ask again with his cold eyes locked with mine.
Startled my heart furiously beats in my chest.
I halt my chanting to answer. "Yes." I force out and go back to chanting. I want my last words to be La ilaha illa-llah, muhammadun rasulu-llah.
My eyes are still locked with his and even though I can't see his face I can see him frown. "You don't look like one." He bitterly states matter of fact implying that I don't cover myself the most modest way. "A disgrace is what you are." He adds with coldness and I keep chanting ignoring his words.
I now hear the sirens of the ambulances and the police cars closing by. Will I really make it? He hasn't shot me yet.
My eyes widen in disbelief. "No." I whisper when the man takes his steps towards me. I gasp when he turns me around and takes a hold on me by my neck with his arm. The guns head is now held on my temple. "La ilaha illa-llah, muhammadun rasulu-llah." I keep on chanting and see a huge crowd above the staircase. Some watching in horror and some recording the whole event with their cellphones.
"Move back boys!" He orders to his partners and the three terrorists run.
He starts to drag me with him and I can't think straight. "No." I scream now. "Just kill me! I don't want to go with you." I beg him and try my best to pull away from his grasp.
"Just shut up and keep moving." He says between gritted teeth. "Does it seem like there can be any negotiation here?" He mocks in my right ear and tears stream down my face.
A few policemen starts to run down from the stairs in front of me. "Stop! Let the girl go!" One cop commands and they all are pointing their guns towards us.
The irony is, I am now more or less the target of six guns and here I was trying to flee from one.
The terrorist chuckles as if being a mental case. "If you don't stand back, I will do the honor to shoot her." He threatens and my pulse rises.
He keeps dragging me. "Just shoot us!" I call out. I rather die than go with him.
"Shut up!" His grip on my throat hardens and I almost choke.
This isn't happening. He drags me into a block and now quickly shifts his grip to my wrist. He starts to run and I almost fall due to the sudden pull. "No." I try to pull away from his grip.
"Just run! If you stop I'll shoot you!" He warns and drag me.
I fight back. "Then shoot me." I scream and try to get out of his iron grip with all my force. I pull back, hit him and scream but all in vain. I am the one getting hurt in the process. He manages to pull me with him to the other end. I try to hold on to the railing to not be dragged up by the stairs.
His eyes turn to me now and a cold shiver reaches my spine when my gaze meets his. "If you don't cooperate, I will kill your family." He threatens composed with every word pronounced.
I stand there with a piercing pain in my heart. "You wouldn't." I whisper with all my fighting spirit gone.
His eyes seem to smirk. "Is that a challenge?" He questions.
I shake my head. "You don't even know who I am. You won't find them." I tell him matter of fact.
"You are really naive aren't you? You are captured in every single media and by an hour your name, address will all be out." He says with a stern voice.
"How evil and inhuman can someone get?" I question emotionless more to myself.
"You don't want to know." He murmurs and start to drag me up the stairs again.
This time I don't fight back. He starts running once we are upstairs. We are headed towards the superellipse-shaped fountain with black-and-white compositions. It is a partly overbuilt street with a roundabout centered.
I am panting for air while forcing my legs to move in sync with his. I see three cars parked in front of us. My gut tells me that we are soon going to be riding in one of them.
The doors of the cars open and out comes to my surprise four terrorists. There were three before if I am not wrong. As expected he pushes me into the passenger seat in the front and takes the car keys to the first car from one of his partners.
"I am going with her towards the north. You guys head towards the south and the east." He orders the masked partners and they all nod in sync. I get goose bumps seeing them all together and feel intimidated.
I can't even think straight. How will I get out of this mess? My bag is left on the plaza where I dropped it before. The only thing I have is my mobile but I doubt that I can make a call right now. As on cue my mobile starts to vibrate in my pocket. Thank God that I always have it on silent mode. Without taking my mobile out of my jacket pocket I turn it off to save battery for later.
The terrorist opens the door and takes his seat. I somehow feel relived that his friends aren't coming with us. I rather am with one terrorist than five. The three cars leaves for different routes and I can hear police sirens nearby.
"Cover your face" He orders looking at me from the corner of his eyes.
I look at him confused. "With what?" I question him. He points at the backseat. I look back to find a black scarf. I put it around my head to cover my hair as modest as I can.
"You're doing it all wrong, cover it properly. Pull it down a bit so your features are covered." He says annoyed and my heart drums harder in fear.
I do as he say and loosely put it on the lower half of my face. "Why are you taking me with you?" I ask him now playing with the corner of the scarf.
"You're a shield." He answers shortly.
"But you don't need me anymore, let me go." I whisper pleadingly.
"We don't know that for sure." He says. "Take of your jacket and throw it down at the back." He orders now.
Hell to the no, pervert! "What?" I shake in disbelief and feel uncomfortable.
"If a policeman sees you he will recognize you because of your jacket and it will blow my cover." He says sternly. "And don't worry, I have no interest in girls like you." He says as if I am a parasite.
I nod and take of my green summer jacket. I can hear police sirens close by and the terrorist tries to untie his mask.
"Open the knot behind." He orders now and I get annoyed. What is it with him and ordering people?
"Can't you ask nicely?" I ask him sternly.
"You do understand that I am the one keeping you abducted right now?" I shrug not knowing what to say. He narrows his eyes as the sirens gets closer. "Please!" He says now.
I reach for his mask without emotion and fumble with the messed knot behind his head. "Hurry!" He murmurs. After a few attempts I manage to open it and he pulls away the mask and throws it behind. He had already thought of disposing his jacket before getting into the car.
To my surprise I find a normal decent looking man around his twenties behind the mask. Black hair, defined jawlines giving an intimidating edge to his features and a very sharp nose to my fascination. His nose seems plastic. Wow, which surgeon has he gone to? Or has he? Ok, shut up brain! That's not important. The important part is that without his mask I would never have guessed that this everyday looking man could have been the cause of a terrorist attack.
A police car passes us in a hurry. I feel suffocated. Where are we going? What should I do? What if he kills my family? How can I sit here with a murderer? Oh Lord please help me.
I keep my gaze on the road while he drives for what seems like an eternity. Suddenly I feel the urge to ask him one anxious question.
"Why didn't you kill me?" I say breaking the silence with my gaze still on the road and my head resting on the cold window.
"You don't have Alzheimer's do you? I told you I am using you as a shield. That means I need you alive." He says casually.
"Whatever reason, I guess thanks for not killing me." I say with sarcasm and it starts to rain.
"Yet." He mumbles.
Wait what? "Meaning?" I stare at him dumbfounded.
"Who said that I won't?"