• 03 Feb - 09 Feb, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Maria sat in her room, anxiously waiting for Rehan to come home. Her phone beeped with a text message: it was him, “Everything’s fine, I’m coming home.” She felt a sudden wave of relief that provided her the stamina go to the kitchen. Thank God, she thought to herself, I was so worried.

A few minutes later she heard the doorbell, Rehan was standing outside. As she opened it, she expected him to step inside but he didn’t.

“Come inside,” she said.

“Maria, ask me who killed Yasir Javed.”

“Yes, tell me, who killed him?”

“Yasir Javed killed Yasir Javed,” he replied.

“What? Come again?”

“You heard me right,” said Rehan, as he entered the house.

Maria shut the door behind him and said, “What do mean by that?”

“Give it a thought.”

“… Did he try committing suicide or something?” she answered after thinking for a moment.

“No,” he chuckled.

Later that night, Rehan sat powerlessly on the lounge. He looked at the glass in front of him and poured himself some soda. He created a weird concoction, adding other drinks to the mix and gulped it all down in one go. Maria watched as he prepared another glass of the same brew.

“Rehan,” she called out, “Please don’t be too hard on yourself.”

“I’m fine, I’m just trying to distract myself.”

“By damaging your health?”

“What, this?” he gestured to the glass, “This is not harmful.”

“Look, Rehan,” she said trying to console him, “I know all this has been upsetting.”

“Upsetting?” he interrupted her, “It has been traumatizing and downright disturbing!”

“I understand,” she said.

“You know, I always admired him for taking down criminals, little did I know that he was one himself.”

“Oh God!” cried out Maria, not liking a word he had said.

“He always claimed to be a hero, who knew he was such a disgraceful person?”

“Rehan, just forgive him. You are a kind hearted person.”

Rehan didn’t know what to say so he closed his eyes. “I wish I could forgive him,” he said after a while.

“He has already been punished for his sins, he’s gone now. It’s over.”

“I know, I just don’t believe it.”

“At times we don’t believe the truth because we don’t want to accept it,” said Maria, reminding Rehan of his own words.

His eyes lit up. “I guess, I can’t disagree.”

“Please, don’t drink this,” she said, reaching to take the glass away from him. “Just be happy, at least you know the truth. And more importantly, you’ve learned an important lesson.”

“Have I? What’s that?” he asked.

“People who are close to us may not always be what they appear.”

“That’s a wise thought. Yasir was a hypocrite,” said Rehan as he closed his eyes and leaned back on the sofa.

“Anyway,” she Maria, “It’s getting late. You better get some sleep.”

“I will in a while,” he answered.

Maria left the lounge, feeling sorry for him.

A week passed.

Rehan had finally moved on and was planning to look ahead in life. He wanted to settle down and find a house of his own instead of being a burden on somebody. One morning, he put on a tie and prepared to leave for a job interview.

Maria knocked on his door and announced, “Your breakfast is ready.”

“That’s great, I’m coming.”

“Before your interview, I wanted to ask you something. Are you sure you don’t want to work for Crimes at Corners?”

“No I don’t, I’d rather work somewhere else,” he clarified.

“I’m only asking because Jahanzeb, the video editor from the show just called on your phone.”

“Did you answer it?”

“No,” she said, handing Rehan his cellphone.

“I’ll call him later to explain why I can’t work there anymore.”

“May I ask, why?”

“Because I don’t want to be a part of an organisation that’s housing killers. I know the host and the producer of the show. They both were murderers and ended up making some very bad choices,” explained Rehan.

“Well I can’t disagree,” said Maria.

“But, are you sure? They are willing to offer you a spot in that studio?”

“A job earned through merit and struggle would be worthier than a job earned merely by reference.”

Maria was impressed by his words. She looked at him fondly, admiring his thoughts, “I’m proud of you, Rehan. With this determination and mindset, you shall be very successful one day.” •