Mission Istaanbul - Owain Hussein's thoughts in the helicopter after the firefight in Afghanistan. The Wikipedia article about the film suggested that the woman seen at his funeral was his Irish girlfriend. That got me to wondering about what Owain would think about as he was dying.

Facing Home

I can't hear the rotors.

I can't hear anything at all.

Might be effect of the last explosion. It was close, threw me down hard.

The ache in my shoulder is sharp when I move. My abdomen is in agony. The hurt there is wider, deeper, more demanding. I can feel these sensations but they feel like they're at a distance.

This must be shock.

I've been shot before. It didn't feel like this.

I can feel the blood spreading across my chest and down my left side. These wounds are deep, fatal. I might have survived the one to my shoulder but the one to my stomach is very bad. I have seen enough wounds to know that help is too far away. We're flying fast and still, we're not going to get there in time.

This is my day to die.

Ma always told me that we could never change fate. How we die is already written when we are born. I never was sure before but now I think that I believe her. My father's certainty that life is our one chance to attain Paradise or face Hell seems far away now. This death is not payback or failure or bad luck. This is the wheel turning. This is what always was going to be. There is no need to fight it.

What is left to fight for now?


She'll be alone now and those bastards know where she lives. She doesn't know that I stored the information from my investigation of Al Zohra in my safety deposit box. She's got the key, but I never told her what it was for. Gazri doesn't know about it but the 13th floor will find it sooner or later. I have to warn her. Get her away. Make sure she's safe.

I try to speak, to say her name, but there is no air. My lung is filling with blood. She will never know my last word was her name or that I tried to warn her.

I pray to Ma's gods and Allah both for Ari before the pain swells. My energy is gone and I close my eyes.

They are scared, especially the new kid. Vikas. He's holding me as if the strength of his grip will save me. If I could speak, I'd tell him not to worry. He can't prevent fate. I'd tell him to run as fast as possible away from this job so that he's not next in the Hall of Martyrs. I'd tell him to think less about money and audience. I'd tell him to do whatever it takes to get his wife back. To have kids, build a life. Make a place to call home.


Where exactly is that for me?

When I am half asleep, I imagine that I am still in my parent's house in ErciƟ. I haven't lived there since I was 17 but I still think I am in my bedroom on the roof. I only realize there is no moonlight revealing the pattern on the tiled floor when I wake up completely. Ari tells me I speak in Turkish and sometimes Hindi when I am like this. I told her how I got shot in Somalia because I was half awake. She had caressed the bullet scar on my hip whenever we made love but never asked. I finally told her the story. She listened without interrupting. She said nothing but instead kissed me and laid down with her head on my chest and her hand over the scar.


I think my home is with her. I keep her St. Frances medal in my pocket. Meeting her gave me the reason to want to leave Al Zohra. No matter where I am, she's the one I want to come back to.

My breath goes very shallow and I begin to pull back from the struggle of my body to breathe and make my heart beat.

I will go home to Arianne.

Vikas will make sure she gets the medal of St. Frances back. I will look out for her from the other side. I will stay with her until it is time for her to join me on the other side.

I will stay with her.

I will make sure they don't hurt her.

I will never leave her.

She is home.