The Missing

J. Malcolm Garcia in Guernica:

GhaafarsSon_575 Amina kept all the flowers her husband Masood gave her over the years. She kept the first bottle of perfume, the first scarf. She believes he will be back as strongly as she believes in God. Tomorrow or the day after or next week or next month. She doesn’t know when, but someday. She must believe this to stay motivated. If she is a fool, okay, let her be a fool. For years she was unaware of the miseries of the world. She decorated their Rawalpindi home, painted pictures and wrote poetry. She never read newspapers. They met in 1977 when she stopped by a gallery he administered and inquired about hanging some of her paintings. He could organize things in an instant.

They married and had children. They loved to go hiking on weekends. They enjoyed impulsively packing up their son and daughter and driving into the countryside with no specific destination in mind. When it snowed in the mountains they would go skiing on a whim, leaving behind the congestion of city life with all its problems and politics. Masood was openly critical of corruption and of his government’s ties with the War on Terror, but otherwise he was not a political person.

Nor was she—until he disappeared.

More here.