‘Old-new friends is’ the continuation of chapter 6 ‘the market’. Please read chapter 6 before reading old-new friends.
Old new friend
I also pretended that I had seen nothing and began to walk by his side, But I knew what had happened. I had seen it before him. But the way he acted was pretty unusual. He never was that kind of guy. I don’t know about him, but to me, it was damn… painful, crazy. It was like an indication that my life was going to turn to hell again and this wasn’t a normal sign.
Aylin was with Basit, in a candle-lit restaurant. We could see them from the glass window, holding each other’s hands and smiling. So, she had found her man of morals? This was the girl I thought was wise and was going to trust my heart with! ‘No! She can’t be Aylin.’ I thought knowing that she, unfortunately, was Aylin.
Altan kept walking without saying a word and I kept silent too, respecting his pain and agony. For some reason, I was not in the same state as Altan.
“So, go home bro. See you soon.” He said and left.
“See you soon bro,” I said as he walked off. He didn’t reply nor did he gesture anything. He just kept walking until he vanished from my sight.
I tried to contact him the next couple of days but he neither received my calls nor replied to mine. After three days I left for the market. It was cloudy but it wasn’t raining. I just walked alone to the market, so as to feel a little social in that crowd I used to hate. I thought Altan might be going through the same stuff as me, so I preferred to leave him alone for some time. Maybe I was waiting for his father to advise him like mine. I don’t know, I just left, without him, alone. But nature had its plans.
I walked into the Bazar and suddenly the rain started pouring from above. Some had umbrellas with them, so came under it, some ran to buy a new one and some took cover, so did I.
“Hello! Tabib.” A voice called me. when I looked back it was the same girl who had asked for an autograph back at the playground.
“Hey! I know you.”
“Yeah! We were in the same school; I was your junior.” She said and then proceeded, “Hafsa, remember my name.”
“ooo! Yeah, I remember.” I said faking.
“So, Tabib the great remembers names!” then after laughing a bit she said, “What about a coffee?”
“But you will pay.”
“Of course,” I replied and we entered a café. We grabbed a corner seat near a window. The café was kind of fascinating. It just had candles lit and all of it seemed so beautiful on that cloudy dark day. It was beautiful. The cafe was serving since 1746 under the same roof in the same building. Everything was old here and that is why, the candles, maybe.
“So, you don’t play football anymore.” She said with questioning eyes.
I suddenly came to my senses and replied, “No, I just wanted to give time to myself.”
“What is YOUR-SELF then?” She asked
“What do you mean by that?”
“You are not just your body and the different clothes you put on, but you are all the things you do, all the words you say, how you do them, and how you say them. You are everything that is related to YOU. Football was a part of yourself and if you want to give it up, then, you want to be reborn, with something new and I want to know what it is?”
“Well, that’s quite fascinating.”
“It sure is.” She said laughing and both of us smiled. That time, something new was born inside me; full of joy and I didn’t know what it was. Soon we realized that the rain won’t stop, instead, it was getting late.
“Let us run then.” She said.
“But according to physics, it will…” before I could finish, she grabbed my wrist and said, “Let us enjoy the rain.” We both went outside and started running until she got all tired.
“So, I think the football is not ready to give up on you.” She spoke.
“Well, goalkeepers are not as good as attackers at running.”
“I don’t know about that but that’s enough running for today.” She said and we starting moving. then she left to her home and me to mine.
“So, how was the day son!” asked father back home.
“I had a walk through the Bazaar. It felt good.”
“I called you many times but you won’t pick the call!”
“Ah! I had forgotten to take the phone with me.”
“Ok, go now to your room and start studying.”
“Yeah Abba, sure.”
“Son.” He said as I stepped on the stairs.
“You know I have always been proud of you. You are a perfect child a parent can expect. You never say no and always obey. And may Allah give you whatever you want.” He said and smiled. I went upstairs and after some four months, I started studying again, like I used to do some years before. I thought of playing football again and as I touched my phone to call Altan again, I saw some missed calls. Two from Abba and seven from Altan. Without delaying a second, I called him back.
“Hey, dude! You had called several times.” He said after we both greeted each other.
“Yeah! Is everything alright?”
“Alright! Yeah, everything IS alright.” He said and then added, “I was thinking of starting football again.”
“I too was thinking the same.”
“So let us meet at the ground.”
“It is raining bro.”
“Really! O, yeah!” he said “So tomorrow!”
“Ok, tomorrow it is then.”
We talked a little more and then I realized something wasn’t right. It felt like he was trying to hide his depression. But he was a warrior without soldiers; who can fight but can’t win. And I was going to realize this soon.
End of chapter 7: old new friend, read Chapter 8 Here.
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Written by Waqar Farooq
Edited by Ayaan Ashraf
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