The American Shahanshah
Love is Difficult
by Wolfy Ghalkhani
For as long as he could remember, Shahyad Farrokhzad dreamed of going to America with his brother and mother. But when Iraq invades Iran, he puts his dream aside to become a soldier of God, joining tens of thousands of young boys who rush across the minefields in human waves deliberately using their own bodies to explode the mines. Shahyad’s brother is killed, but he manages to escape the war seemingly unscathed.
Finally, he arrives in America full of hope and wonder. He wants to put his past behind him, but that’s easier said than done. The horrors of Khorramshahr and the battlefield come to him in vivid colors as flashbacks, nightmares, and apparitions. He is barely sixteen, yet he feels old and drained. His hands shake uncontrollably. He jumps at the slightest sounds and cries without warning. Only alcohol offers solace, until the day Anastasia Dearry appears like an angel sent from above and so begins Shahyad’s journey of love, family, patriotism, and understanding too late that lies have dire consequences.
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