One Hundred and Sixty One

*fzahra7860 this one is for you!Β πŸŒΈπŸ’•


As narrated by Meez:

“The bullet wasn’t meant to kill her. It wasn’t even meant for her.”

I look at the boy I see countless times in the school hallways always dressed in branded clothes, hands stuffed in his pockets.

Zishaan – that’s his name.

He looks unrecognizable.

Disheveled hair, sandy clothes, an arm covered in scratches and a bruised face – I can’t seem to pull my gaze away.

His usual mirth-filled eyes are dead. Completely and utterly dead, terrified, lost.

“It was for Faizal,” he says, bitterness lacing every inch of every letter he speaks. “But it wasn’t meant to kill him either – it was just meant to hurt him. No matter how much I hate him, I would never kill him.”

“But you loved Lubna and you killed her,” I blurt out before I can stop myself.

He looks up, meets my eye.

Oh shit.

“Shut your mouth, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says.

His voice – low, deadly, tinged with lunacy – sends a shiver down my spine.

Dad shoots me a warning look and I quickly look away, a prick of fear settling in.

He’s in denial.

And if we don’t watch what we say, we could trigger him.

“Why don’t you tell us the story from the beginning,” says Uncle Sulaimaan.

Zishaan looks at Uncle Sulaimaan, considers for a moment of eternity, then starts talking again.

“Faizal and I had been friends since the first year of high school. Lubna and I dated for 5 months before she decided that it wasn’t what she wanted,” he says, talking briefly. “Only a couple of weeks thereafter, rumors of Faizal and her being together started going around. I asked Faizal whether it was true, but, he knew I loved her, so he lied about it. I obviously didn’t know at that time. And when I seen him with another girl the next day, I was at ease. But he was just unsure in the beginning, that’s why he was still messing around with other girls. But then I saw Lubna and him together more and more often, so I cornered Lubna this time. She confirmed that they were dating and she was certain that Faizal was the one for her. And that obviously was the turning point in Faizal and I’s friendship. Today was his 21st birthday and I knew it was gonna be big. It was my best chance. I just had to do what I needed to, and then get away unnoticed.”

Too bad I noticed you.

“But seems like that didn’t go as planned,” he mutters, glancing around at the white walls of the empty room we’re in.

“What happens now?” he asks quietly after a long moment of silence.

He’s scared.

No, terrified.

I can hear it in the way his voice trembles.

I can see it in his eyes, alight with stark terror.

I can sense it from the way he sits; tense yet defeated.

His fear is so evident, so overwhelming, that I can even smell it.

It smells like the cold metal of a gun; like a blade covered in blood.

It smells like the sweat of a convulsing animal fighting the jaws of death.

It smells like flashes of hot electricity and burnt flesh.

It smells like a deserted dungeon.

And even though I don’t want to feel sorry for him, even though I want to hate him with every fiber of my being, somehow – impossibly – I don’t.

I can’t.

Because it’s painfully heart-wrenching.

The whole situation, it’s unfair and horrible.

He’s to be blamed, yet how can he be blamed?

God, he’s barely even an adult.

All he did was fall in love – his only crime was falling in love.

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*****

Sitting down in the corridor of the police station, I lean against the wall and close my eyes.

Breathe.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Slipping my hand into my jeans pocket, I pull out my phone, grateful that I had taken of my HP robe; the party seems like a long, long time ago..

A sleepy voice answers.

“Zee. Bro. What’s up?”

A long moment of silence follows.

Then…

“What’s up?!” he groans incredulously. “Da heck you mean ‘what’s up’?!”

I wince.

“It’s bloody… what… 1 in the darn morning!” he says, more like a question.

I check my watch.

“12:26,” I say.

“Exactly,” comes Zee’s muffled reply. “And what do we do at 12:26 pm? We sleep!”

I don’t say anything.

“Well, I do at least,” he says, starting to sound a little more awake. “What’s up?”

“Nothing much,” I say nonchalantly. “Just chilling at the police station. You know, usual Saturday night routine.”

Silence.

Then…

“Don’t mess with me, Rameez,” he says humourlessly.

I sigh.

“What the freaking frikkadels is going on?” he asks, sounding very much awake now.

“Can I pick you up in 10?” I reply with a question of my own.

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*****

Almost a whole hour later, after answering a dozen of questions at the police station, then going back to Faizy’s place to see if everything had been taken care of, Uncle Sulaimaan stopped at Zee’s place, picked him up and then dropped the three of us home. But it was only after we filled mummy and Zee in and drank a cup of steaming chamomile tea which she insisted on that we got to go to bed.

Rubbing my eyes, barely able to walk straight, I climb the stairs slowly and head to my room; Zee following close behind.

I pull off my dusty, bloodstained T-shirt, kick off my shoes and collapse onto my bed.

Exhaustion kicks in full force and I bury my head into my pillow, my limbs and muscles aching.

“Why don’t you take a shower?” Zee asks quietly. “You’ll sleep better.”

I grunt in response, unable to give him more of a decent reply.

“Do you want me to open the sliding door or leave it closed?” he asks.

But I’m already fast asleep, my body succumbing to the massive waves of tiredness, allowing itself to be pulled under into darkness.

My body sleeps, but for my mind, there is no rest – only troubled illusions.

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13 thoughts on “One Hundred and Sixty One

    • New posts go up every Saturday. And if I manage a bonus post it goes up on a Wednesday.
      Next post will probably be on Saturday, Insha Allah.
      Aameen! Shukran for your feedback, really appreciate it. πŸ˜€πŸŒΈπŸ’•

      Like

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