A Thousand Splendid Suns - Greetings from the Past

September 11, 2012:
September 11.. it's this date once again. The day which changes lives for the better or the worse.. again and again and again.

At first this fateful day 16 years ago: the birth of Laila's and her former husband's son Zalmai; the temporary end of her suffering as she gave birth to the long awaited son but at the same time the loss of her possibilities to escape.
Then, four years later, the attacks at America which once again brought war to her parent's beloved country.
And finally last year. September 11 2011.. once again a day she would remember forever..

Same day, just one year ago...
It's the evening of Zalmai's 14th birthday. The last guests just left the cozy house near Kabul and finally peace settles.
"What a day!" Laila pants as she lets herself fall onto a chair. "Either I'm getting old or those celebrations get more and more demanding!" "Believe me, my beloved Laila, it is the latter one," her husband answers while hugging her. Ever since the birth of their second daughter Mariam both adults act like love-sick teenagers as they rediscovered their brutal stopped passion from past years.
"At least the kids are sleeping now," he continues.
"And we still have to clean everything up."
"Let it be, my Laila. It's already late. We can do this tomorrow."
"But.."
"No buts. Let's go to bed. And the night is still young.." Tariq breathes into her ear while a smile flitted across his face.
"Well, then," Laila rises up from her chair and winks at her husband seductively, "we can still clean up!"
"My dear wife, that's not what I was talking about! Stop teasing me," he laughs as he adjusts his artificial leg once again.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Both adults exchange startled glances but open the door. It reveals a small man with gray hair wearing a old, black tuxedo.
"Hamshira, I've been searching you and your family for so long! Finally I found you!"
"Who are you?" Laila and Tariq ask, obviously confused.
"Amir Khan is my name. I'm here to fulfill your friend Mariam's last will."

As soon as the three adults are seated at the table Khan continues:
"I'm sure you wonder why I come to you so late. To be true I have been searching you for years now, but until some days ago I did not know where to find you. I met Mariam jo years ago after her trial in prison. She was a truly caring woman, wasn't she? Never before I met a woman who would sacrifice so much for the ones she loves. But she was also very burdened, very burdened. And so many things she wanted to tell you, hamshira! All those things she couldn't tell you! It made her so sad. And during her last hours, when she told me her story and asked me to find you I just could not deny her this last wish.
She wanted me to tell you," the old man has to wipe away a tear which blurs his sight, "that she knew your mother before her dead. She knew her even before her sons were sent away to war. Despite the fact that she got to know her just for a fleeting moment, as big a a little grain of sand in the hourglass of life, she got to know her as a nice and caring and loving woman and mother. She wanted me to tell you your mother was the first one in Kabul who was nice to her without any ulterior motives.
She wanted me to tell you that you are exactly like your mother as you accepted Mariam just like your mother without ulterior motives. Both of you saw her as 'Mariam the woman' and not as a harami or a possession. And she wants to thank you for this.
Another thing she couldn't tell you was that she loved you and your children from the bottom of her heart. To her, you were the family she never had and she regrets she could not be with you forever.
And at last she wants to ask for your forgiveness. She deprived your son Zalmai of his father and because of her act you and your children had to leave your home and your country behind. Forgiveness, as she made you suffer for being chosen after her husband chose you as his wife.
I hope you can forgive her, hamshira, as thus really burdened her, so she may rest in peace."

"Why should I forgive her,", Laila cries. "as there is nothing to forgive?"


Authors Note: Well, I know that I should continue my other stories, but my stupid, idiotic, sadistic wannabe-computer decided to kill itself and now all my stories (and the nearly finished chapters!) are gone :(. Instead I post now a small homework I had to do which was a slight start for my muse to recover herself^^.