Unfortunately, a calamity would soon strike Karina. Her both parents would perish in a car accident. Being the only child to her now-deceased parents, she would be adopted by her religiously conservative uncle living in Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, the uncle would make Karina to move to that country. Soon, it became clear to both Hayat and Karina that their long distance romance had hit a roadblock and nothing could be done to rescue their relationship, while one was living in a secular country and the other in a religiously conservative nation.
On graduation, Hayat would become a professional tourist guide in the city. Istanbul (Constantinople in previous incarnation) had experienced its share of the rise and fall of various human civilizations involving the Greeks and the Romans. The city had witnessed also the tension between modern religions of Christianity and Islam. Recently, Hayat was leading a group of tourists, comprised of citizens from various Middle Eastern nations. After a visit to the city’s iconic Blue Mosque, Hayat was guiding the group towards the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the past Sultanates. He noticed a young gentleman carrying a heavy-set backpack rushed past him. Then he heard a click noise, followed by an eye-blinding flash of silver light and a deafening sound blast. Bodies flew around with accompanied screaming from the throngs of tourists. Hayat, himself wounded, realized modern terrorism that had been plaguing the Mid-East finally struck his secular country.
Fortunately, most of his guests were following him in a slow pace keeping a certain distance, thus sparing them from being severely wounded. However, one female member of the group, covered with a traditional black dress remained motionless on the ground. Hayat approached her. After a little hesitation, he lifted and carried her to a safer distance.
As Hayat was placing the lady under a palm tree within the perimeter of a grassy knoll, he heard the long forgotten voice of Karina, whispering “Dear Hayat, this time you did come back to rescue me from the wrath of a radical fundamentalist.”