“I was the one behind all that.”
“You were what…!” Rihanna turned to me in utter shock and suddenly a burning closet filled with the books fell on that old man. The last thing I was able to see in him were those grieving droplets filled in his weak eyes.
Suddenly a cloud of smoke came inside that room and being allergic to smoke, I fell unconscious. When I woke up outside. I thought I had lost her, in that pale and dark night. The entire house was on fire and her hair, billowing in the wind. Watching all of her dreams and hopes broken, she stood quietly in the stillness of night. No emotion on her face just tears dropping off her eyes like raindrops sliding down the glass.
She was watching her old life burning in front of her, and somehow, I was a fit villain in her story now. That was not a house that had kept her imprisoned, but a house that had kept her safe.
Then I saw a Junaid’s car approaching. He came out of the car and went straight to Rihanna. I was leaning on the ground, still dizzy, and I could see the impressions changing on Junaid’s face as seasons change in fields, and I knew that Rihanna was telling him everything. But I had my reasons; legit reasons.
After dropping Rihanna in the car, Junaid came to me and I asked him where Hurram was. “He escaped.” He said and helped me get up and took me to the car.
“Why on the earth would you send those letters to me?” Junaid asked.
“I had my reasons brother,” I said,
“Reasons? what reasons?” he came closer to me and proceeded, “Your reasons have brought us here brother, can’t you see?”
“Look Junaid, I need you to listen to me, OK!”
He knodded his head but it didn’t seem like Rihanna was interested in any of this. She was continuously gazing at those flames, with the same impression on her face as always, tears were falling from her eyes.
Then I proceeded with my reasons after looking at the questioning eyes of Junaid,
“After mother died in jail, the police sent her dead body for burial. I never visited her in jail because apart from studying, I somehow had to make money to get her out of the jail. But when she died, I realized how alone I was going to be in this world. She meant the world to me.
The jailer told me that my mother had already created a space for me in a family and after a couple of days, Arkham’s men said to grandma that if she agrees to send me there, he will pay her a good amount of money every month .
Grandma refused because she thought that if someday she dies on her bed, no one would be there to pick up her rotting corpse.
After some years, grandma died. Those men showed up again, but this time, it was different. They told me that if I agreed to live with Arkham they would not only kill me but my little sister brother too. They forced me to refuse Arkham’s2 offer and never try to contact Rihanna.
After some days when the offer came, I had no other choice but to refuse it.
With some help from the jailer, I was able to find you in your college Junaid. My plan was to enter the college as a janitor and unite with you, but to my surprise, I saw you there with Rihanna. This would have made my job a lot easier if it wasn’t Arkham’s men keeping an eye on you all the time.
Without taking any risks, I planned to separate you from Rihanna first and unify with you, and then with Rihanna.
I wrote those letters to you but as a consequence, you disappeared and I was not able to track you. But I never gave up on tracking you and eventually, I found that there was a place where Rihanna wasn’t followed by her men and that was the library.
I went there and kept thinking how I could make contact with her. I cautiously approached her by asking if she needed any help around the library but it wasn’t easy at all because of how solitary she was. Before I could make another move, Rihanna herself came to me. She talked to me via morse code in the library and that is how I found out that she was still being watched by those who truly worked for Arkham.
Then one day, Rihanna gave me a signal to follow you. After you handed me that suicide note, I thought it was for real and my plan was going in the wrong direction. Taking help from one of my relatives who works in railway service, I was able to pin down your address.
I reached your house, but the fact that you already knew who I was and you too were striving to free Rihanna, raised my hopes. I pretended as if I knew nothing and tried to play along, then we came across Hurram.
The details he gave us about Arkham’s life in jail contradicted the jailer’s statement and I understood his game. He gave a little more ease to my plan by recruiting me. But I wasn’t sure why he was doing this. And finally, everything became clear.
“So this is the story?” Junaid said.
Epilogue: Police station
“I want you to tell your sister that we are very close to Hurram and sooner or later, we will find him.” Said the jailor to Musaeid.
“Yes sir, Thank you,” Musaeid replied.
“So, assuming that you worked there only for Four days, but the explosives were imported about two weeks ago. I don’t think it would be reasonable to label you guilty.” After a little silence, the jailor proceeded, “You may go home now.”
After the end of the interrogation, the jailor came to Musaeid and asked him, “How is your sister doing son?”
“She is fine now. She is enjoying the company of her siblings, thank you for helping me, sir.”
“You don’t need to thank me. I had promised your mother that I would help her children at any cost. And thanks to you for helping me keep my promise.”
“I must leave now; I don’t want my wife to worry about anything especially when she is pregnant.”
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End of story of a woman.
Written by Waqar Farooq
Edited by Ayaan Ashraf
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