[This is the continuation of 'Story of a Woman Ch. 7. please Complete Ch.7 before reading this or start from the Ch.1]
“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 at the same spot. When I woke up, I was outside already. I thought I had lost her, in that pale and dark night. The entire house was on fire and her hair was waving with the wind. Watching all of her dreams and hopes broken, she stood quietly in the stillness of that night. No emotion on her face just tears dropping off her eyes like raindrops sliding off a rooftop.
She was watching old life burning down, 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 me those letters?” 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 Junad, i need you to listen to me, OK!”
He gestured agreeing but it didn’t seem like Rihanna was interested in any of this. She was only looking out into those flames and with the same impression on her face as always, tears were dropping from her eyes.
Then I proceeded with my reasons after looking to 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 had to somehow make the ends meet and try to bail her out. But when she died, I realized how alone I was going to be in this world. She was the world for me and now she had died.
The jailer told me that my mother had created a space for me in a family already and after some couple of days, Arkham’s men said to grandma that if she agrees, they will pay her a good amount of money every month.
Grandma refused to say that if she someday dies on her bead and she was alone, 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 and a brother too. They forced me to refuse Arkham’s offer and never to try to contact Rihanna.
After some days when the offer came, I had no other choice but to refuse.
With some help from the jailer, I was able to track you to 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 whole lot easier if it wasn’t for Arkham’s men keeping an eye on you at all times.
Without taking any risks, I planned to separate you from Rihanna first, uniting with you, and then try and go for Rihana.
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 about how I could make contact with her. I cautiously approached her telling her 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, but by those who truly worked for Arkham.
Then one day, Rihanna told me to follow you. After you handed me that suicide note, I thought it was for real and my plan had worked in the wrong way. Using one of my relatives who was 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 were striving to free Rihana too raised my hopes. I pretended as if I knew nothing and then we came across Hurram.
The details he gave us about Arkham’s life in jail contradicted that of the Jailer and I knew which side he was on. He gave a little more ease to my plan by recruiting me. But I was confused as to why he was doing so. 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 just for Four days, but the explosives were imported to that house for almost two weeks, 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 outside and asked him, “How is your sister doing son?”
“She is fine now. She enjoys the company of her siblings, I thinkâ€¦ and thanks to 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 the promise.”
“I must leave for home sir; 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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