[This is the continuation of 'Story of a Woman Ch. 7. please Complete Ch.6 before reading this or start from the Ch.1]
… “Don’t you know that Arkham was the one who killed our mother?”
“What! No….” I exclaimed because that was not what Hurram had told me.
“Who told you this?”
It didn’t surprise me as I always suspected Hurram.
I drove Rihanna home and left for mine too. I had no idea what was about to happen, so I simply turned on the TV to relax a bit. Junaid wasn’t home. at around 9 PM, I heard someone calling for me outside. when I looked out of the window it was Junaid.
“You need to come with me,” He was screaming. I got out rushing and without saying anything, he got in the car and I followed him.
“What is the matter?” I asked him.
“I overheard someone talking about explosions going off near the psychopath’s residence. We need to hurry.” then he proceeded, “I have been spying on Hurram and I have a very strong suspicion that he might be behind all this.”
“I knew he was going to take his revenge from that psychopath, but I never knew he would go this far, becoming a psychopath himself.” I said and suddenly a thought crossed my mind, “I think I know now why he was so desperate to recruit me.”
“Because I will be an easy suspect if my identity gets revealed.”
When we reached Arkham’s residence, it had gone up in flames. There were people rushing from all sides. Suddenly Hurram’s car passed by us. I jumped out of the car and told Junaid to tail it.
“Hey!” I called upon a man, “The people who were inside… have they been rescued?”
“No… no one came out yet.” He said and ran with a bucket in his hand. Without caring a bit about myself, I rushed in to save Rihanna.
I searched every room of that burning house but found none. There were no signs of any human being in that house. Suddenly I heard something behind a wall. I got out of the room I was in and rushed to the backside, in the direction I had heard the voice coming from. There was a room almost detached from the rest of the house.
When I got in, I saw Rihanna confronting an old man who was lying on the sofa. He was so weak that I could see his jawbones. His eyes were so deep inside those sockets that one would think that he didn’t possess any.
“… Killed her?” He was saying with a grieving voice, “I didn’t kill your mother.”
“NO…” Rihanna screamed at him yet again, “I know you killed her. You are nothing but a psychopath.”
“Tell me, my daughter, why would I kill someone who gave a new meaning to my life? I loved her.”
“No… no… no… If you really loved her, you wouldn’t have left one of her children at an orphanage.”
“I wanted to adopt both of you, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible.”
“You are a liar.” Rihanna screamed, “You never let me unite with my brothers. I can’t believe that i have spent all these years with a psychopath, who never cared about anyone but himself.”
“No, he is not a lair. Hurram lied to you. Our mother died a natural death.”
“He made a living hell out of my life. He never let me go out on my own. There was always someone keeping an eye on me. my whole life I felt like I was imprisoned and all because of this psychopath.”
“Perhaps I was too harsh on you, but whatever I did was to keep you safe.” Then I saw a teardrop falling off the eyes of one whom I always considered being a villain. “I sinned a lot in my lifetime, and I think I deserve burning in both the worlds.” After a little silence, Arkham proceeded,
“When I was a kid, about seven years old, some local gang members crashed into our house. My parents were dead already, so I lived with my grandfather. He stood up and told them that he has no intentions of selling the land to them. After torturing him, they cut his thumb to take the seal on the property papers. Due to the heavy loss of blood, my grandfather died in a hospital.
I had no one else, so I was adopted by the same person who killed my grandfather. He taught me how to be fearless. He taught me how to use a gun. I learned that I should care only about myself and no one else.
In my prime, no one dared to look me in the eye. I loved how I was treated, but m deeds eventually caught up to me. I realized that I had more enemies than friends. Even those whom I called my friends, stood beside me only because of fear. I was truly alone. But it all changed when I met your mother in jail. She changed me. I felt something I had never felt my entire life.
Then I came across you, two little souls. You were fearless yet lovely. you used to smile looking at me and the only person who had previously done that was my grandfather. You made me feel that ‘seven years old me.’
With all the time I spent there, I got close to you three and decided to start a new family and leave my old life behind. But God had other plans. Your mother got sick and could make it. before her death, her last words to me were to protect you two.
The next day as I woke up, Junaid was already gone. Someone had adopted him. I knew that if I don’t get myself out of the jail immediately, I would lose you too.
I used my influence to get myself out of the jail and I legally adopted you. Then I searched for your brother but couldn’t find him anywhere.
To ensure your safety, I gave up on everything. I was not taught how to love, but I tried my best to love you, even though I ended up failing miserably.”
“So, was Hurram behind the life-threatening letters he used to send to Junaid?” Rihanna asked.
“Which letters?” Arkham asked. I was a little ashamed but I stepped in,
“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. and the man we used to call a psychopath was dead.
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Written by Waqar Farooq
Edited by Ayaan Ashraf
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