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by Hassan Hayati

After all; war had been finished more than a year ago. The two neighboring countries started to exchange their war prisoners.

Almost everyone who knew Farhad, was among the crowd. He was back after eight years.
He was arrested by the enemy forces in the front line while patrolling. For the first couple of years his family was not aware of his status, his mother was always waiting for a call or a letter, but days passed without single news from him. Finally the family was informed by a formal letter signed by War Prisoner Affairs Manager, that Farhad had been caught by the enemy and was a war prisoner. The event was confirmed when the mailman delivered a letter from prisoner’s camp. All rumors on his death or disappearance were over, now they were sure of that, and at least they knew he was alive.
Fatima was the first one in the neighbors who was informed that Farhad was alive. His sister Fereshteh had told her about that, she knew Farhad and Fatima were in love.
Fatima was always thinking of him with her eyes glittering tear. A pretty young girl with long black hair Fatima attracted any young man. She always had a great fear, and that was forced marriage. Her father used to tell her “Young girl must not say NO to all suitors such she will remain alone all her life”.
Fatima had rejected many. She was waiting for Farhad, her parents almost knew that but first they thought she will gradually forget him and will accept another man. That was why in the first years when Fatima was younger they did not insist on her marriage. But in the recent years, Fatima had experienced a great deal of pain.
Fatima could not finish high school. She was in the last year when Farhad was arrested in war. School was meaningless. She could not understand any thing. She failed in her exams and did not register the year after.
But Farhad, almost thirty one now. His hair all grey, his white
bonny face was under a nice beard. His shoulder bones were seen under his army form. His firm body now thin, his belt had made wrinkles around his waist.
Fatima was watching all these through the window which overlooked the street and Farhad’s house. If her sight was blocked by people every now and then, she would relocate fast, not to miss a single moment.

He was warmly welcomed by attendant. He could not hide his front teeth broken in these years. He was not permitted to send letters during his captivity for military reasons, even for his family. He had sent only few letters. So he did not know anything about the events happened around, even that Fatima's father had passed away a year before. He saw Fatima's brothers in the people too. He asked his sister Freshteh about Fatima.
“She is home, looking at you through the window”. Fereshteh answered smiling.
“She has been waiting for you all these years” she continued happily.
Farhad looked at the window behind which Fatima was watching the crowd and focusing on him, he knew she was crying. He was both happy and embarrassed for causing all pain to the people he knew, especially Fatima.
He always had a mare and that was losing Fatima. Now he was really proud of her and wanted to shout and thank that loyalty.
He asked his parents to do something and that was asking Fatima's family to agree for their marriage, just when they entered the house.
“Wait a few days, my son, we will do arrangements,” her mother said astonishingly.
“We have waited enough mom,“ he answered. While he was looking to the sky and his larynx was a bit larger than a normal,for his thin neck.
Later in the afternoon he stood behind the window where he used to stay and watch Fatima before he was joining the army. He saw Fatima again and shouted with his mouth closed. "I love you."

(This is a story on the real event happened to a couple of real Lovers)

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