It had been difficult to get Manas to surrender to the police in Cameroon. Not only because he would not have volunteered himself but also because she did not feel like turning him in. The time before she had taken him to the police was filled with days of laughing and visiting the forests and nights of lovemaking. One night though, she had realized that her team was closing in on them and she had confessed everything to Manas. More important was the fact that she confessed to him that his case would be better off with the local policeman than with the anti-terrorist team who had been asked to either bring him alive to justice or just shoot him if their mission was starting to be difficult. The morning after she had the realization about her team, they hid in a truck which was then driven towards the police station in Douala, Cameroon. The truck had dropped them off at the police station where she had asked to be dispatched to the US Embassy as a US Citizen with diplomatic status. Manas was immediately taken by the police and put in chains. Before being put in separate rooms he had walked towards her, his eyes shining and a smile on his face and told her that they would soon be together again.
She did not hear from him again for several weeks and she had been demoted and posted in Dubai where her anti-terrorist expertise was not used. She dwelt very little on the terrible things that had happened in the first two weeks before she was relocated. Her boss was seething at her initially for not having brought Manas to the drop off point as agreed when she met him or at least put the explosive and plant the trigger so they could bomb the shack where the marriage was taking place. After some thought, she was not fully let go off but was assigned to the trade commissioner’s team and meant to bridge between the UAE nationals’ companies and the US corporate interests in the UAE. While she was in the UAE, she had been contacted several times by someone who wrote to her at the UAE number that she had got from one of her procurement associates that she worked with, out of the sphere of her official job. The writing seemed extremely similar to the words that Manas would use. She started getting used to the daily communication and wrote as if it were Manas himself indeed writing to her. At one point her correspondent suggested meeting at a café in a mall and she went there but did not meet anyone. Just before she had left the café, however, someone with the stature of Manas but with hair had attempted to get inside the café before looking pointedly towards the right and aborting his attempt. She had then seen stroll through three emiratis in their national outfit. It was obvious, however, to her trained eyes that these were secret service agents. It looked like they just did not want the encounter to happen but disturbed neither her nor the man who had fled the mall.
After that potential brief encounter, the job she was doing was no longer sufficient to take her mind of Manas and was not even remotely connected to what she wanted to do so she had resigned. She was now an adviser on security in the private sector and most of her work was around choosing the right security teams for different types of jobs as well as building secure hideouts or camps for different types of individuals or corporates. Initially recruited by a security company in Dubai, she had slowly branched out of the Gulf and then started her own security company in the UK, advising high net worth individuals and corporates on security. She was based in London and had very few friends but was all the much better for it. Friends were a liability that brought you down in hostage situations and she did not want to have that kind of a weight put on her shoulders. It was then that Manas had reached out to her directly first sending a message to her phone and then contacting her over whatsapp. She had watched with longing as his face filled the screen, smiling like he had done when she had first met him. “Hello my angel”, he said and the tears had welled in her eyes. She knew that it was not him but his terrorist gang who had got to her the first two weeks after he had been turned over to the policeman but his face rekindled those dark memories. At the same time, she could not look at his face without feeling such elation.
3 Daqat - Abu Ft. Yousra