[NOTE: It is the continuation of chapter 1 The Library. Please read Story of a Woman chapter 1 before reading this article.]
When I was a kid, I longed for a good friend. A friend who could cross seven oceans for me and I was ready to cross seven-hundred for him. I used to give compliments to my classmates whenever they tried to show off, to mingle with them, but they never replied. I knew they heard me, but still, they never replied.
I wanted to have friends as everyone else had. No one ever helped me with anything, no one ever walked alongside me and no one ever laughed at my dumb jokes. In this world of billions, I felt alone. I saw the same kind of aloofness in Rihanna’s eyes.
When my father used to beat my mother after being drunk, I never saw my mother revealing it to anyone. She would take my father’s name with respect but never complained about the way he treated her.
A woman’s heart is the universe in itself. She would never act with reason because reason reveals others to us, but she always wants to see everyone’s bright side.
A woman is weak because of her love, and she is proud of her weakness. I saw my Ami in Rihanna’s eyes and I got it that she was going through something. I had no other intention of hanging around her, but only to help her, to free her.
I went straight back to my home with this piece of paper that this man had given me and I knew he was never going to appear again because that is why he flew away from my sight so quickly. If he had any intentions of coming back to the library again, he wouldn’t have disappeared like this.
But it was not the real problem. The real problem was… what was I going to tell Rihanna tomorrow. What if she asked about this man? Should I say the truth or try another way.
‘A man without an eye knows the worth of the sight.’ My Ami used to tell me. I never had someone to help me, maybe that is why out of all the people in this world, God chose me to help her. To Help… Help… Help!
Maybe I just wanted to fix the things I have broken. Maybe no one ever helped me because I never helped my mother. I would only hide under my bed until the sound of slaps, cries of my mother, and that coarse voice of my father would go off and I would wake up early in the morning sleeping under the same bed.
‘I can’t let this man die.’ I said to myself and suddenly a thought crossed my mind. Maybe it isn’t Rihanna who needs my help, maybe it is that man. Maybe Rihanna already knows everything and that is why she wanted me to follow him. ‘But why does he come to the library?’ I wondered.
One of my relatives was in the railway service. I called him and told the whole story,
“So, what do you want me to do?” he asked.
“look uncle, we can save someone’s life. I only want to check the CCTV camera recordings to find that man who handed me this note.” After a lot of requests, he agreed to it.
I swiftly rushed to the railway station. We watched the CCTV recording, but the man had a mask on his face. We couldn’t recognize him.
“What next Musaeid?” Uncle asked me.
“I will find him and I will save him, I won’t let him die with his help who is the creator and most merciful.”
“It is time to correct your mistakes Musaeid. A life for a life.”
I still remember what my Ami used to say about my name.
“You know what it means?” Ami used to ask me.
“It means the one who helps.” I used to reply.
“Oh, who taught you this?” she would ask.
“I have told you thousands of times Ami, Abu has taught me this.”
Now it was the time to be the Musaeid.
Suddenly Uncle called “Look!” and he pulled out a pen and wrote the number 103 on his palm.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It is the seat number he sat before the train disappeared from camera.” Then uncle pulled a file and proceeded, “We can know his name from the passanger registry.” then pointing a finger to one of the lines, the uncle said, “Oh! So, his name is Mr. Not Known. And he was headed to station no. 5, that is two stations from here.”
“Well, it can’t be his real name.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“That means he has got off on station 6, one station from here.”
“What makes you think so?” uncle asked.
“Look clearly, Uncle. He has not used his real name in case I call the police, he won’t use his real address as well. He should have gotten off at station 6.”
After a second, uncle pulled a key out of his pocket and said, “Take my car, you might be able to save a life if it isn’t to late.”
“Thank you, uncle.” And I left. I searched every bit of that area, under the bridges, in hospital and local pharmacies, but found no track of any suicide or suicide attempt. I realized that it was like looking for a needle in the haystack. I gave up and came back home.
The next day I visited the library. As I had imagined the man wasn’t present that day so I walked over to Rihana to tell her about the man but before I could say anything she handed me a note which read :
“I don’t need your help anymore.”
End of chapter 2: Help! Click here to continue for chapter 3.
Also read: A Father’s Letter
Written by Waqar Farooq
Edited by Ayaan Ashraf