‘Accident’ is the eighth chapter of distances and continuation of chapter 7. please read chapter 7 before reading ‘Accident.’
As far as I know, I never saw Altan’s dad or even his mother. I never saw any of his parents on any Parent teacher meet.
The next evening, I met Altan outside the Playground. He was looking rather down. After we greeted each other, he said, “Bro I have a request.”
“Could you visit Aylin?”
“Why… Why would I visit her?”
“Tell her if she could come to the market with us… you and me… to hang out, like we used to.”
“Ok… I’ll tomorrow.”
We played football together that evening. But I could see that Altan was not in the game, he was somewhere else, and so was I. But to the north of me, was a girl, watching me and as I looked at her, she waved her hand and I felt a little warm. It was Hafsa.
When we left, I thought to introduce Altan to Hafsa, but to my surprise, they both knew each other, very well.
“So, I thought Altan would never visit the ground.” Hafsa said pointing to Altan, to which he replied, “And I thought you won’t consume coffee anymore.”
“Ok, keep mine I’ll keep yours.” She said.
“Yeah, whatever,” Altan replied back with a sigh of grief.
“You know each other like you are childhood friends!” I interrupted.
“Of course, we are.” Hafsa replied and asked me “Where is your childhood friend?”
“I don’t know, I have not seen her since I left the school.”
“I think we should keep going,” Altan said and we walked. After walking some distance, my phone rang. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and what I saw was unbelievable. It was a call from my childhood friend, “Aylin!” I exclaimed.
Altan stopped walking for a split second but never raised his head. I stretched my lips and picked the call smiling.
Besides Aylin, I was able to listen to Altan and Hafsa too. Aylin told me that she missed me and she had called me several times but I had apparently blocked her. I told her what Altan had requested to tell her, and I don’t know why I did that, but I did.
“You said you liked Tabib.” Altan was saying this to Hafsa while I was on a call with Aylin.
“I didn’t see it in your eyes when you talk to him.”
“So, what do you see?”
“Aaah! I don’t know. I am just overthinking.”
“Yeah, you are.”
Then as I cut off with Aylin, their conversation cut off too.
“What was she saying, bro?” Altan asked right away.
“She said she would be happy for the reunion.”
With a sigh, Altan seemed more nervous now. It was clear that he hadn’t expected this.
We walked Altan to his home and as I left, Hafsa followed me, “Wait… let me walk a little distance with you.” She spoke.
“Yeah, fine,” I replied.
“He is depressed, isn’t he?”
“Yeah, he definitely is. I doubt his parents care about him at all.”
“He’s got no parents.”
“Wha… what are you talking about.”
“They both died in an accident. He actually lives with his aunt.”
“I am so sorry about that, I had no idea.”
“It is ok. For him this kind of life is normal.”
We walked a long distance and as I reached my house I asked her, “Where were you heading to?”
“Nowhere, just roaming.”
“Let me drop you at your home, it is already late.”
“Don’t worry, I too don’t have parents to worry about. They were in the same car as Altan’s parents.”
“I… I am sorry.”
“It is ok. You can go home; I’ll walk by myself. I like walking alone. Especially in the times like this.”
I was not able to resist her. I let her go and I myself left for my house.
I can say that Altan wouldn’t have slept that night. At least he was going to meet her the next day.
All I have learned from my life is that everything that happens in our lives is complicated. It might seem normal or simple sometimes, but it never is. A win is a loss for others. But sometimes, everyone loses and none wins. I was not sure and this was neither predictable where this story was going to lead us, but what else can we do other than hoping for the best.
End of chapter 7: Accident, Chapter 8 coming soon.
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Written by Waqar Farooq
Edited by Ayaan Ashraf
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