This story and it's characters are fictional but it relates to reality of what innocent Palestinians are going through under Israel's occupation.
Moon was shining in sky and spreading it's light through alleys of Gaza city and not only moonlight but street lights were also filling these alleys with brightness. Though it was 3:00 am but Gaza city was as bright as sun - it surely was a beautiful sight to watch. The city as lively like a blooming flower and why not after all it was Ramzan - month of blessings. Many people had woken up for sehri and houses were filled with laughters and joy. Mohamed shoaib's house was no different.
"Shoaib, wake up. Come on it's sehri time, get up and eat otherwise sehri time will end and you won't be able to fast", he groaned listening to yells of his mom that were probably coming from kitchen. He wanted to sleep but he knew he had to wake up otherwise his mom would again start yelling at him. He slid out of his blanket rubbing his eyes to get rid of sleep and went towards bathroom to freshen up. After freshening up, he came to dining area where he saw his father sitting on chair doing his sehri while his mother was in kitchen.
"Good morning Mumma Baba", his parents turned their faces towards him and smiled seeing their son coming for sehri. Though he was just thirteen years old, he was actually doing pretty good while fasting.
"Good morning", they wished him back unitedly.
He sat on dining table and started eating his food, his mother also joined them.
"Mumma, Baba, we will go to shop for Eid shoes tomorrow right?", Shoaib asked his parents excitedly.
"Of course Shoaib, we'll go to market before iftar son", replied his father, smiling on his excitement.
'great, when we go to buy my shoes, I'll sneak out to buy their anniversary gift. I'm so excited, their anniversary is on Eid this time, it'll be so much fun. Thank God I've saved enough money and also earned some money by giving tuitions to little kids so I can buy a perfect gift', Shoaib mentally patted himself on back.
"Let's go mumma, Baba. Soon it's going to be iftar time", Shoaib jumped excitedly. They entered the shop and started shopping. First they bought shoaib's shoes and later started their own shopping. While they were doing that Shoaib thought to sneak out to near jewellery shop but declined the idea as his parents will get worried. So he came with another idea.
"Mumma, can I go outside? I saw one of my school friends, I wanna go meet him" asked Shoaib from his mother who was busy trying a shoe.
"Okay, you can go but don't go too far okay son", his mother warned.
Shoaib quickly got out of that shop and entered that jewellery shop he first saw and was amazed to see beautiful pieces. Just then the owner of shop came.
"What do you want kid?" asked the shop owner.
" I want to buy anniversary gift for my parents. Can you show me gender neutral silver rings?" Shoaib asked the shop owner.
"Yes, come here", shop owner started showing different rings to Shoaib but he couldn't choose one as some were extremely expensive and he didn't have much money or some were too simple. Finally after much struggle he found two pretty silver rings, hearts carved in their center. They were simple but elegant and perfect for anniversary gift, also they didn't cost much.
"I'll buy these two", Shoaib told the shop owner. Shop owner quickly packed both the rings while Shoaib paid money. After picking up his things, he went back to his parents who were now standing outside shoe shop waiting for him. He quickly hid the little shopping bag behind his back.
"Did you meet your friend?" asked his father.
"Yup Baba, let's go now", they sat inside their car and went back their home unknown to what was future holding for them.
'To my lovely Mumma, Baba. Love Shoaib', he finished writing little cards that he was going to stick with those gift boxes. As he was doing that, he suddenly heard a loud deafening sound and than another and another. He got scared and those sounds were hurting his ears. He put his hands on his ears to block those sounds but it was useless. He couldn't understand what was happening. It was so frightening. He started calling for his parents.
"Mumma, Baba. Mumma!! Please come save me, I don't know what's happening, I am scared", he shouted continuously.
Just then his parents came running to his room yelling his name.
"Shoaib, son, are you okay?", asked his worried father.
"Yes, Baba but I'm scared what's happening?" , Shoaib inquired getting tensed.
"They dropped a warning bomb, let's get out of here and evacuate this house before anything happens. Don't worry my son, your mumma Baba won't let even a scratch come to you", his mother assured him and tried to sooth him down to lessen his fear. Shoaib was still as scared but he also trusted his parents. His parents grabbed his hands and towered over him to not let any harm come. They started running outside their apartment and just then another blow came and all of a sudden everything went black.
'carry that rubble carefully, I think there's a kid there. He shouldn't get further hurt. I think he is alive, hope he is. His parents died he shouldn't', Shoaib could faintly hear man shouting, the man was talking about a kid and his parents but whom he didn't care, he just woke up from unconsciousness, he couldn't see anything as darkness surrounded whole place and his whole body hurt. He just wanted his parents, he was scared, they will surely take his care and console him. Just then someone held his hand, at first he got frightened but then understood that the person was trying to get him out. He was taken out of rubble, he got a little happy finally they'll take him towards his parents, he'll meet them, they must be worried for him.
" Alhamdulillah the kid is saved, at least one member is saved", the man said carrying Shoaib to get him medical help.
And here shoaib became more alert. 'what was that man talking about? At least one member? What does he mean by that? His Mumma Baba were there right? They must have been saved too and given medical help or were they still under the rubble? Or could it be that the kid and his parents that man was talking about was him and his Mumma Baba? No it can't happen, how can his Mumma Baba leave, how can they leave their Shoaib alone? They were supposed to celebrate Eid together, they were supposed to celebrate his parents' anniversary together and he was supposed to give them their anniversary gift, they were supposed to live together forever. They just can't leave him like that. Why him? Why his parents? Why their family? What did they do to anyone? His parents were just simple people working hard to give him good life, they were innocent, then why were they taken from him? Why was he left alone? Why? Did the FOREVER end here?Did it mean that his and his parents' journey together as a family end here? But Why?' And he couldn't get his answer that Why?' he couldn't handle so many thoughts, he couldn't handle the shock, he couldn't handle the pain and fell unconscious while paramedics were treating him.
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