• 17 Aug - 23 Aug, 2019
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

The judge started:

“I’m sorry Stephen, but your evidence is not strong enough.”

There was a little noise in the court room. Everyone was shocked especially Mr. Schimberg and his son. The judge continued:

“Order! Please let me finish. I must say that Stephen you have done quite well this time. And this is why I’m going to give you another chance. I want you to present this video in a better and clearer version. If you can, then the jury might be in your favour.”

Stephen was sitting in a calm position as if winning the case didn’t really matter to him. The judge turned to look at Roald.

“Defense, on the other hand, is given a chance of proving in the court that Simeon is medically insane and the person driving the vehicle who stepped out of the vehicle that we saw in the video was someone else.”

“Thank you your honour,” Roald acknowledged.

“The court is adjourned for the day. Our next session shall be held on Monday,” the judge concluded.

Everybody in the court stood up, William was sitting really relieved with his eyes shut.

“We’re celebrating tonight,” Simeon said to Roald.

“Shut up!” William said to his son. “You were just lucky today, that’s all.”

“Whatever,” Simeon replied, ignoring his father.

William looked at his son, fuming.

Roald picked up his files and left the spot.

“So what are you going to do now?” Benjamin asked Stephen on the other side at plaintiff’s table.

Stephen didn’t respond. He was still, like he couldn’t even hear Benjamin talking to him.


That evening, Simeon was preparing to leave the house with his friends. He was holding the keys of the car and was almost about to open the door and step out when he heard his father.


He turned back and looked at his father standing there angrily.

“Where are you going?” William asked.

“I told you before, I’m going to celebrate today.”

“What is the matter with you? Haven’t you learned anything today? You were lucky today. Days before, we made a blunder of going to that club,” William said, walking towards his son.

“That was your idea, not mine.”

“You are a thankless and shameless child, I have been struggling day and night to save you. And you are ungrateful. Ungrateful as ever!” William said losing his temper.

“I am not being ungrateful, all I’m trying to say is that you were the one who forced me. I didn’t want to go to the club that night. You said that we should…”

“…Shut up!” William said raising his finger. “Don’t say another word. You killed a woman and I have been hiding your crime. And this is the gratitude I get?”

“You aren’t saving me. You are saving your own reputation.”

Angry William picked up a glass and threw it on the wall. The glass shattered.

“Just calm down,” Simeon said. “Okay fine, let’s talk this out. Please calm down, okay?”

“You are a killer!”

“I am not a killer. It was an accident and you know it. I had nothing against that woman. She came in my way. She was walking in the middle of the road.”

“Don’t teach me rules of the road. You were the one who was driving with the headlights off.”

“They weren’t off, they were diffused, that’s all.”

“Don’t fool me. I know what’s with that car. And if you think that I will spare you after we are done with case then you are wrong. There’s plenty of stuff that you won’t be allowed even if we win this case.”

“Like what?” Simeon said harshly.

“I’m not going to tell you that right now.”

“Tell me damn it.”

“Mind your words, young boy,” William warned raising his finger again.

Simeon angrily threw the car keys away.

“That’s it,” William said. “You’re not going anywhere today.”

“Okay listen to me first,” Simeon said to him. “Alright, fine I won’t go outside until we win this case. But after we do, then we will make some boundaries. And within those boundaries…”

“…Don’t try to negotiate with me,” his father interrupted, “I have given you enough already. You will do what I’ll tell you to do. And if you won’t obey me, you will have to hire your own lawyer then. I will take Roald off this case.”

“Oh,” Simeon replied slyly, “but would you risk your reputation?”

“I might. I’m not afraid to do that.”

“So be it. I will hire my own lawyer. Because I’m a grown man now and nobody tells me what to do. Not anymore.”

William looked at his rebellious son and realised how shameless he was.


One Day Later

Benjamin and his father were in a car. Benjamin was driving the vehicle and they were headed to Stephen’s office.

“Don’t worry. I’m quite sure that we will win this case,” Mr. Schimberg said to his son.

“How are you so confident about it?”

“Because we are halfway up there.”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean is that we have already provided two witnesses. And the court has accepted their testimony.”

“What more do we need?”

Mr. Schimberg was silent for a while.

“I have faith in Stephen. I know he will find out some way,” he said after a minute.

“And if he doesn’t?”

“Oh come on son why are you being so pessimistic and hopeless? Why? Why are you doing this?”

“What other option do I have?”

“Come on Benjamin. What is the worst that can happen? We’ll lose the case, so what? We can take the matter to the high court. We’ll appeal.”

“Do you think we’ll be able to?”

“Oh my God. My son now I am disappointed. You are being so negative today. Why is it so? Have you lost all the hope in the world?”

“I don’t know. Misery has always been a part of my…”

“…Okay I want to hear no more!” Mr. Schimberg interrupted his speech.


“You need to get out of the house more often.”

“I don’t have any friends out there.”

“So go to the church. Spend some time there. I’m sure you’ll find some hope.”

“I don’t need hope I need answers.”

“You’ll get your answers there. Just spend an hour or two there.”

They didn’t talk further. Benjamin kept on driving.

Several minutes later, they finally reached their destination.

Ten minutes later, they were inside the office. Stephen wasn’t in and they were waiting for him to show up.

Benjamin was browsing through the collection of books. He was trying to figure out how hard it was to do the lawyer’s job.

“I never want to be a lawyer when I grow up,” he said.

“You don’t have to be,” his father replied. “No one’s even telling you to become one.”

Benjamin was silent sensing his father’s annoyance.

However, several minutes passed and there was no sign of Stephen. So Mr. Schimberg dialed Stephen’s number.


“Hi Stephen, where are you?”

“I’m uh I’m at…” Stephen answered as if he was confused. “I’m not at home.”

“We are waiting for you at your office. When are you coming?”

“I don’t think I’ll be there anytime soon.”

“What?” Mr. Schimberg asked, surprised. “Weren’t we supposed to meet today?”

“I know I know. We were but I’m stuck here with a little task.”

“Oh man… Tell us should we wait or should we leave?”

“You can leave. How about I come to your place instead? In the evening.”

“You can…” Mr. Schimberg said hesitantly, “we can…we can talk then.”

“Sure. Bye.”

The call got disconnected.

Mr. Schimberg looked at his phone wearing an unusual expression on his face.

“What happened?” Benjamin asked.

“He’s not coming. We have to go back. He’ll probably meet us tomorrow.”

Benjamin stood up immediately and walked towards the exit of the room. His is father also stood up and quite slowly followed his son.


That evening Benjamin was sitting in his room, upset as usual. He was looking at the window.

A picture of Evelyn came in front of his eyes. He closed his eyes and changed his position. He thought:

Why can’t you simply forget her? Why can’t you just move on with your life? Like everybody. Why can’t you be like everybody else? Alive. You need to do better. You need to forget everything happened and just move on. You can do it.

He got distracted by the doorbell but continued talking to himself.

Life is not going to be easy if you keep on mourning like this. You need to make a move. You have to go out and start over.


“Mr. Stephen’s here. Come let’s talk to him,” his father interrupted coming to his room.

Benjamin responded in a nod.

His father left and he stood there thinking for a while.

A few minutes later, in the guest room, Stephen and Mr. Schimberg were seated.

“Mr. Schimberg today you’ll be really proud of me. You will not have enough words to thank me,” Stephen said.

“Really? Why, what is it?”

“Where is Benjamin?”

“So what did you find today?” Mr. Schimberg asked trying to avoid his question.

“I’ll tell you but where is Benjamin? Is he coming?”

“I don’t know, he is not so active these days.”

“Not active?”

“Please forget it. Just tell me what you have.”

“Well what happened today is that at my house while I was preparing to leave, William and his son came for a visit.”

“Oh my God. What happened then?”

“Well they were…”

He stopped talking when he saw Benjamin entering inside the room.

“As I was saying Mr. William and his son came to my house for a visit. They were asking me to withdraw from the case. Blackmailing and other sort of stuff,” Stephen continued once Benjamin sat down with them.

“Oh no. Then what?” Mr. Schimberg asked curiously.

“But what I did this time was something clever. I turned on a camera secretly. Without letting them know. And all this time, while they were talking to me, Simeon’s every act is recorded. The way he was talking like a normal person.”

“Wow, that’s great.”

“So does this mean we will win this case,” Benjamin asked.

“Most probably,” Stephen replied.

“Do you have the video right now?” Mr. Schimberg asked.

“Yes I do. I’ll send it to you afterwards, you can see it later. But the good news is that we have evidence now. And I haven’t even told you the best part yet.”

Benjamin and his father were alert and listening to him.

“In the video, Simeon admitted that he was the long haired guy who stepped out of the car.”

“Really? How come?” Mr. Schimberg asked. “I mean how and why did he admit?”

“I made him admit it. I was the one who asked the question.”

“Come on show us the video, please.”


Stephen took out his phone.

He played the video and forwarded it to the part they wanted to see. He then handed over his phone to Mr. Schimberg and Benjamin.

In the video:

Simeon face was very clearly visible.

“So it was you who stepped out of the car? Tell me honestly if you want me to cooperate with you.”

“Yes it was me,” Simeon replied clearly. “I got a haircut when you filed the case.”

“Oh my God. That’s perfect. Now I think we have won the case for sure,” Mr. Schimberg said pausing the video.

“Let’s just wait for three more days until we meet at court.”


Three Days Later

Mr. Schimberg and his son Benjamin were seated and were excited for the day’s events at the plaintiff’s table. As Stephen showed up, they heard the bailiff saying:

“All rise!”

Everybody stood up. The judge of honour made his way to his seat and said:

“Sit down.”

Everybody got seated. The judge declared:

“Prosecution may proceed.”

Everyone waited for Stephen to say something. But he remained silent. A whole minute passed and he didn’t say anything. Benjamin and his father were quite surprised seeing him like this. The

judge of honour finally broke the silence.

“Prosecutor, do you have anything to present?” He asked Stephan.

Stephen looked at defendant’s table for few seconds.

“I have nothing your honour,” he announced.

Mr. Schimberg was brutally shocked hearing this.

to be continued...