“I cannot live away from you. I cannot think of my life without you. Let me stay,” said Andrew.

“You need to go. We have no time. You have to go. I will return in a few days. You cannot stay here. If they get to know that we are here, they’ll kill both of us,” said Sarah.

Andrew and Sarah were whispering to each other. They were stuck in the attic of an old dilapidated house for the last thirty minutes. It was a war zone. The army and terrorists were firing from both the sides. One of the soldiers suggested them to get on to the top floor and stay there until the shooting stops from both the sides.

Sarah is a solider who acted as an investigative journalist in this country destroyed by war in the last two decades.

Andrew is a doctor who knew many things about the terrorists as helped cure some of them after the recent attacks by the police authorities.

Sarah met Andrew at a relief camp two weeks ago. Amidst all the war and blood, they fell in love with each other. Andrew helped her with crucial information about the prominent people of the terrorist group and their hideouts. Sarah shared the information with her department and the cops immediately began attacking the place.

Andrew came there to tell Sarah that his work is over and he is leaving the next day. He wanted Sarah to join him because he knew her life was in trouble. The terrorists came to know that some of the investigative journalists are actually undercover cops and are killing these journos one after the other. Sarah has been very careful all this while. But, for the terrorists, it is their country. They can track anyone down.

Sarah was not sure if the common people in every war torn country are so confused. The common man here is helping both the soldiers and terrorists. Andrew feels that the innocent citizens are forced to help both the terrorists and the soldiers as they are frightened of both of them.

So, it was getting difficult for Sarah to escape from the terrorists while trying to nab them and attack them, in their own country.

The shooting stopped and the place became silent all of a sudden.

Andrew said, “For one more time, can I hug you?”

Sarah nodded in the affirmative. Andrew hugged her tight and did not want to let her go. Tears started rolling down Sarah’s eyes. She wanted to have this warmth for the rest of her life. She wanted to have a life in the warmth of his hug. But, she was not sure if she could safely escape from these dreadful terrorists. She has only one week. She needs to nab three more kingpins and arrange for attacks on them. She can leave this country. If she cannot find them in the next one week, she can leave. But, she would not be happy leaving without finding them. Like her last assignment, she might want to stay on her own and find them at any cost. Though the authorities might not be happy if she overstays, she could receive support if she found some information about them.

She prayed to God for two things. First, she asked God to give her more time to live with this man. Second, she asked God to send her the little boy. When she came here a few weeks ago, the army had no clue about the operations. After talking to many civilians, she got help from a very unexpected source – a little boy aged eight. She did not know his name. He came running towards her and told her two things – the names of two kingpins and how she could get information about their location. The kid told her that she has to meet this doctor at the relief camp who could help her out. Initially, she wondered if it was a trap meant to kidnap her. Luckily, Andrew was the doctor in the relief camp who helped our nabbing the two prominent terrorists.

After struggling hard, hey both decided to let go of each other.

Suddenly, they heard gunshots again. They were surprised.

Sarah said, “I can hear them only from one side. And, these gun shots are not from our army. I know our weapons too well. This means that the terrorists killed all the dozen cops who came here. Do not move. Let us be careful.”

The place became silent all over again.

Sarah and Andrew embraced each other one more time. They decided to go downstairs. As they silently walked along the walls of the dilapidated old building, they came across a dark entrance. Sarah did not see this entrance when they came inside.

Sarah said, “Let’s go this way. It might take us out sooner or lead us to the terrorists and their place.”

The dark entrance led to a dark alley. A dim light from the top guided them along. Sarah was frightened she was taking him in the wrong direction. The path was wide enough for at least five people to walk together. The walls on either sides were wet. Water was percolating from top. The water did not smell like drainage. It must be fresh water, Andrew thought. But, he wondered where they got fresh water in this desert. It then occurred to him that this building was not a dilapidated one. Instead, it was ruined in one of these attacks. And, the overhead tank continued to leak because of the bomb attack.

While Andrew was busy examining the place and thinking of getting away soon, Sarah started getting worried about him. She felt bad she led him to this way. She thought it would have been better for them to go the way they came in. Her spirit of adventure might cost them dear, she thought. She did not want Andrew to get hurt. For a moment, her goal changed from finding the three main terrorists to safeguarding Andrew until he left the country.

Sarah was walking ahead of him. Andrew realized that she was trying to safeguard him. Though he did not like the idea being safeguarded by a woman, he felt it romantic. It was some kind of fantasy game, he thought. He could hardly control himself. In the darkness, he grabbed her hand and pulled her back. He hugged her again and started kissing her passionately.

Sarah wondered what was wrong with him. But, she did not resist his passion. She wanted to stay in this position. She just wished the surroundings changed to her own country.

As the thoughts of his safety came to her mind again, she tried to let go off him. She became angry as to how he could think of hugging at this time when they were in such danger.

Suddenly, they heard some footsteps coming from the opposite direction.

Andrew whispered in her ear, “Save me.” After listening to his words, even Sarah felt a tinge of romantic desire in her mind. They both immediately moved towards the wall and sat down. They controlled their movement and made no sound until the footsteps moved past them.

At least five men were walking towards the entrance from which they came.

While going, they did not notice these two who hid in the corner of the darkness. The men who walked by stopped for a moment. Sarah wondered if they found out. But, they called out a name asking another person to come soon. Sarah understood the language better than earlier. Sarah immediately recognized the name. It was one of the persons she had to find out. She waited for all of them to go out.

With Andrew, she immediately followed them out of this alley of darkness. She felt glad she found one more terrorist.

When Andrew and Sarah stepped out, they could not find these men. As they walked out of the building in broad daylight, Sarah noticed that soldiers of her army were alive and hiding.

Andrew and Sarah went towards the head of the battalion. The soldier said, “Thanks, Sarah. We’ve found the remaining three people here. They were all hiding in this building. We will attack them now and will win in a few minutes.”

Sarah asked him, “How did you know that the remaining three were here, too?”

The solider replied, “A little boy came to me while we were fighting. He told that all five of them were here. He showed us the other entrance. We stopped shooting for a while as to make the terrorists believe that we are all dead. For a moment, I did not want to trust the boy. But, it worked in our favor. Now, we have all of them.”

Sarah thanked God for answering her prayers. She traveled back to her country with Andrew the next day and married him after a couple of months.