An Untimely Love
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by Tendai Huchu
Description: Love can find us in the most unusual of circumstances. This is what happens to Khalid Patel, a terrorist, when he falls in love with Smokey, a feisty and independent young woman who was to be Britain's first female suicide bomber. On what is meant to be his day of martyrdom, his violent worldview is thrown into turmoil. We share his thoughts as Death and Duty become irrevocably and movingly entwined with Love and Life.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: December 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [266 KB]
Reading time: 173-242 min.
4 Stars! "From the first page of An Untimely Love the reader is drawn into the story. The theme is topical, and the work is extremely well written, with strong narrative and dialogue. With greater exploration of cultural, religious and political conflicts that surround Islam in the modern world, this book would have made a more powerful impact. Tendai Huchu provides a fascinating glimpse into how young and impressionable Muslim suicides can be lured into making the supreme sacrifice for Allah by unscrupulous leaders who have little belief in a cause, except inflicting destruction on the innocent. An Untimely Love is well worth reading." Readersfavorite.com
I'm drowning in my own sweat. These sheets aren't Egyptian cotton; they must be made in China. I keep tossing and turning, doing the backstroke and then the breaststroke. Tonight I am converted. I now believe in global warming. It's here, it's real and it's going to get us all, along with SARS, the Swine Flu, Ebola, and a meteor of course. These are times for the bold and the brave. Everyone else will be swept in a sea of fire.
How long has it been since I last slept? A week, maybe nine days, there is no way of being sure. Beside me is a tattered copy of the Quran which I don't care to read. I know everything I need to know. In the next room I can hear Imran's unrelenting snoring. How can he sleep at a time like this? He is a hero of our time.
The room at the end beside the bathroom is Tariq's. All night long I've been listening to him going in and out. Flush, flush, flush. I hope he washes his hands. I hate germs. In fact I can't stand anything that is invisible. The ceiling in my room is lower than it was last night. I get up to check the calendar; maybe I've got my dates mixed up. We are in August, darn it. There is no hiding from it, today is the day.
Last night they did the videos. The ones that will be played on world wide news channels, downloaded and uploaded on numerous websites hours before what remains of our bodies is even scraped from the ceiling. I held the camera and recorded them. I should get an Oscar. I am actually proud of my work. First on was Imran. We had a white sheet with "God is Great written in the background." He sat down, legs crossed, and ranted for ages. I was so sure the tape would run out. He is an angry man, that one. It's a pity we didn't have a gun to sling across his shoulder for added effect. When he was done, he made us play it back and forth twenty times as if he expected us to say something. I just don't know what it is he wanted to hear.
Next on was Tariq, his gaze dashing about the place.
"Look into the camera," I kept telling him. He is definitely more Bollywood than Hollywood.
We had to retake the shot over and over because he kept mucking it up. Finally Imran wrote something on paper for him to read out.
Muslims are dying everyday in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine because of the actions of this government. We want you to stop these unjust wars and the slaughter of innocent Muslims. Today you will face a grievous punishment; you too will taste the penalty of fire. I pray Allah will accept our sacrifice. Be warned that these attacks will not stop until you stop killing innocent Muslims.
When he finished he looked nervously at Imran who gave him the thumbs up. Then came Smokey's turn and that's when the problems started. She walked onto the set in her torn jeans and stained white t-shirt with massive bangles jingling off her wrist. I won't even mention the wet look lip gloss and tons of purple eye shadow she had on.
"You can't do the video like that," Imran said.
"Duh," she replied, rolling her eyes and dumping herself on the floor. "Roll, Lab Boy," she said to me.
"Turn the camera off," Imran shouted. I did as I was told.
"This is gonna take all day," Smokey said with a sigh.
"Go and put something decent on."
"A burkha or hijab at least."
"Not gonna happen. In any case I don't have any."
"You must be deaf."
"What kind of Muslim girl are you? This is nonsense; you won't be in the video if that's the case."
"Then I won't do the job."
Veins were bulging on Imran's neck. Tony walked in. We didn't even hear him come in. He was our handler and as slippery as an eel. Clean shaven, he smelled of contraband Armani aftershave. Ten quid at the market and they don't even use urine as a base.
"Do we have a problem here?" Tony asked, leaning in the doorway.
"This stupid girl--"
"Language please," Tony said, pointing at Imran. "We are family."
"She wants to do the video looking like a common white slut."
"All of you leave the room. I want to talk to her in private," he said.
Ten minutes later he called us back in. We filed through and waited.
"Guys, you've got to respect her like your own sister. She is very important in our operation. Never forget why we are doing this. Your names are going to go down in history together with those of the 7/7 martyrs. She will do the video in her own style."
Imran shook his head at this. Smokey looked at him and smiled.
"Give me a hijab and I'll wear it."
The grin on Imran's face said it all. He gave her the thumbs up. I switched the camera back on and focused it on her.
"But we don't have a hijab," Imran said.
"I can go to the market," Tariq volunteered.
"No you mustn't stray out. Someone might recognise you. We have come too far to take risks." Tony spoke with authority yet somehow still sounded like a fish oil salesman.
"What do we do?"
"Get a towel from the kitchen."
"You've got to be kidding me," Smokey cut in. "This is an eighty pound hairstyle. There is no way I'm gonna put a kitchen towel on my head. Nada."
Back to square one. I had my finger on the off button ready to switch off again when I had a moment of inspiration.
"The sheets upstairs, I'm sure we can cut one of them up," I said.
"Now you're thinking, Lab Boy," Smokey said.
Tariq went up to get one and we spent the next half hour playing with it until it looked proper. Smokey even removed some of her make up. She was so gorgeous without it. Her only blemish was a solitary pimple on her right cheek. She looked confidently into the camera. There was a sophistication about her that none of us could match. It was the product of private schooling and four years at Cambridge.
She spoke eloquently, with finesse, as if she were at a dinner table. She went through the usual list of our grievances and in an instant we were all hooked. I could see a half smile on Tony's face as she finished.
"Magnifique," he called out, clapping his hands. She stood up, gave him a curtsey and cast the sheet off before leaving the room.
"It's now your turn champ," Tony said to me.
"I don't want to be on TV. I'm doing this for the cause," I said, switching the camera off and handing it to him. End excerpt