A love story in no man's land - Chapter 3.3 books and stories free download online pdf in English

A love story in no man's land - Chapter 3.3

Chapter 3.3. The ceremony begins?

Tuesday (The next morning)

"Still knitting the sweater?!" Raya's friend asked surprisingly, "You are taking too long!"

"Just some final touches," said Raya as she almost finished knitting the sweater

Raya's mother, aunts, and cousins were busy stitching the wedding dresses for themselves and Raya, along with bedsheets and linen. It was Sandit Al-Arous in two days and the kinswomen were very busy as they had to get the wedding gown ready by the night before.

The groom's house was also busy with people running around making things ready for the Urs, the wedding celebration.

Zahira was busy making some baklava, which was the groom's responsibility while the other women are making some sweets and other items ready.

Walid wanted to see Raya. But he must remain at their homes till tomorrow morning. He went into the backyard and sat on the well thinking of his first conversation with Raya. Suddenly he saw Raya climb the terrace of her house.

"I was waiting to see you," smiled Raya.

"Even I...," Walid paused as he saw Raya's friends coming.

"We know you both want to," teased her friends, "But save these smiles for the moment you sit on Kerset al-arous"

(Kerset al-arous refers to the chair on which the bride sits for her Sandit al-arous, the event in which she is introduced to the guests for them to admire the bride)

"See you later," Raya waved her hand at Walid as he waved back


Sea of Galilee, sometime in the noon

A few children were playing on the shore of the lake (Lake Tiberias – Also known as the Sea of Galilee) when they spotted something in the sky and suddenly there was an explosion nearby.

The attack left several properties damaged and a few civilians injured.

A military camp

"Hezbollah has attacked us," informed one of the officers, "A rocket attack on the Galilee towns."

"When?" enquired the superior, "How is the situation?"

"A few are wounded. One is critical."

"We should do something!"

*A few hours later*

"We are launching a retaliatory attack," confirmed the superior.

A retaliatory attack was launched on the Khirbat Salim village. Two civilians were wounded in the attack.



Bride's house, A sunny noon

All the women were busy making some sweets for guests and arranging all the items required for the wedding procession.

"Did you make some Baklava?" asked one of the kids, "I love Baklava."

"No, my dear," told one of the elder women, "Only the groom's family makes Baklava. You can have it during the Urs."

(Urs is the wedding celebration)

"Do we have enough henna?" checked Raya's mother, "All the women will be here tonight."

"Yes, we do," assured Raya's cousin, I have asked Raya's friend to get some more just for the safe side."


IDF Camp

"Hezbollah has attacked again," an officer updated about the latest developments, "This time on our security post."

"We lost one of our soldiers. Three others are wounded."


Zahira's village, starry night

Zahira was busy making the arrangements for Akid, the shaving ceremony. All the young men of the village had arrived at Zahira's house for the ceremony.

Walid's friends played the drums as the ceremony started.

Meanwhile, at the bride's house, the henna ceremony had started with Raya's friends and family around her.

The ceremony kicked off with Raya's hands being decorated with henna. Meanwhile, her friends and cousins started dancing to favorite music. Later, all the women in the house too decorated their hands with henna.

Post the ceremonies, both the bride and groom's family had special dinner in their respective houses.


IDF camp, a few hours before midnight

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. If we do not act now, we will not have enough time to react when they start attacking our villages."

"What is the final decision?"

"Launch the operation," ordered the superior, "Early in the morning."


Zahira's village, starry night

Music and dance continued in both the houses post the special dinner.

Walid and Raya meanwhile were trying to catch a glimpse of each other while dancing outside their respective houses.

Of course, they could not succeed as their friends made sure that they hold their excitement until the Urs.

"We should go to sleep now," suggested Raya's mother, "We have a lot of work to do tomorrow."

"Save some energy for tomorrow," smiled one of the ladies, "Also for the Urs."



Bekaa valley, A tense early morning

Israel aircraft and artillery began an intensive bombardment of several areas including Bekaa valley in a bid to pressure the Lebanese government to curb the activities of Hezbollah. Another war broke out. South Lebanon Army is fighting alongside Israel.

"Ask all the forces to get ready for action," ordered the colonel, "Cancel all the leaves. All those who were supposed to join in the next few weeks should report immediately."

"Sure, sir."

"All the medical personnel should be on their duty as well."


Zahira's village, sometime around the noon

"Quick, Walid," said Zahira, "If you delay, it will lunch break by the time we reach there."

"Getting ready, Ma," replied Walid as searched for his perfume.

Walid's and Raya's families have reached the court for signing the Katabet Elekteb.

"Walid...," someone called him as he was climbing the steps.

"An urgent message from the headquarters," informed the person, "I was on my way to your house. Luckily, found you here itself."

"What happened?"

"War," he said, "And you need to report immediately."

Zahira's face turned pale as she heard the word "war."

Walid quickly opened the sealed cover and read the order, "I need to leave."

"But Urs?" asked Raya's father.

"Urs will be when Walid comes back," said Raya hiding her tears, giving a nod to Walid's decision.

"The very next day I return we will celebrate the Urs," promised Walid as he was about to leave.

"Sign the Katabet Elekteb," interrupted Zahira, "I am not letting you go without that. Sign and then leave."

Walid and Raya signed the Katabet Elekteb.

"I will be back soon," Walid hugged Zahira as he was ready to leave.

"May you have the god's blessings"

Walid left.

Zahira sat down crying and praying for his safe return.


(Move to chapter 3.4...)