Misery bordered with happiness (Chapter 4)A Chapter by Mr.Writer
Read to find out what happens!
I took the lock, leashed it onto the doorknob, I seized the key from the table, and locked the door with it. I was alone, all alone… There was no Saleem or Seera. It was just me in the bedroom. Just me…
Sweat slowly trickled down my forehead. It painfully reached down my legs, trembling me.
Still trembling, I stumbled on the corner of the bed and rushed straight to the ground.
A cold voice approached me. “Still in pain Afia?”
I choked, jumping backwards.
“W-wh-who is this?” I exclaimed, my fists tightly clenched together.
Another wave of coldness passed by in the form of laughter.
“Stop ignoring me Afia, you know me very well.”
I closed my ears with my hands like a child, mumbling creepily
“Allah, save me!”
THUMP! My heart went.
“Allah, save me!” THUMP! Even more…
“Get up mothe-”
“ Allah, save m-”
Everything blacked out.
15 hours later…
Light gleamed on my face. The gentle and sweet sound of tweets echoed through the room. I leaped up. Night was drowned by morning. What happened? Where was I?
That dream last night… was it real?
I called out to Saleem. “Saleem! Saleem! Son…”
Footsteps approached. It was Seera “Mum-ma?” she said, her eyebrows down and trembling.
I looked at her dearly “Come here, sweetheart.”
She came to me, but didn’t look directly into my eyes.
“Where’s Saleem bhai?” I asked. Seera shaped her mouth in the way she wanted to talk.
“Sallu, go w-work.”
My mouth hanged wide open. I rushed outside mumbling furiously.
He’s going to work and becoming like ME! I won’t let that happen.
“Do you know where he went Seera?”
“Moo, moo! Bah, bah.”
Al Saeed’s farm? I thought.
I draped my head with a hijab and tossed one to Seera as well. “Let’s go!”
I sneered like a vampire as light touched my skin. I hadn’t been outside in ages.
Seera’s hand tightly held my shalwar tightly, slowly tearing it, but it didn’t matter. What now mattered was stopping Saleem from doing a job.
As we walked further, the farm came into our view.
“We’re almost there!” I called out to Seera.
A couple minutes later, we reached the Al Saeed’s farm.
Seera wrinkled her nose, groaning.
The smell of manure was everywhere, grabbing hold of our noses and burning them with a crisp.
I spotted Al Saeed, talking to his workers.
“Salam Saeed bhai! Have you seen Saleem?”
His eyebrows raised.
“Salam Afia, yes he came here a while ago, asking for a job at the farm. He’s milking the cows right now.”
I let out a gasp. Without asking, I jerked my shoulder to turn around, knocking Saeed bhai to the fence, and went to find Saleem.
The smell of manure distanced itself away as the odor of cow dung started to appear. I held my breath in disgust, walking. Soon, the cows popped up as we got closer. There were 8 workers.
One of them was Saleem. He milked the cows out tirelessly, his shirt drowned with sweat.
“Ugh… It’s so hot!” he exclaimed.
I grabbed his wrist and pulled him back.
I shot him a stern look. “Yes! It’s me! Now clean yourself off because we’re going home!”
He pulled back. “No! Until I don’t go back to school, I’ll be working!”
“As a farmer?! You won’t be able to do this complicated work!” I spat.
“Why not?” He motioned his head towards the other workers. “Aren’t they human?” he questioned. “Look at that kid! Over there! Guess how old he is?”
“I don’t car-”
“He’s 7! Only 7! He wants to help his parents, mother! That’s what I’m trying to do! Seera and I’ve only got you mother! Father used to do something until he left… left… us.”
Did Saleem think I worried about money? I thought
Saleem looked at me in concern. “Mother… mother… ?”
My cheeks heated with embarrassment. “So it’s about money, right? Don’t worry, I’ll find a job.”
His eyebrow twitched. He threw the bucket of milk he clutched on to.
Seera looked up at me. Her eyes weren’t glowing this time.
“Mum-ma.” she said weakly.
“What Seera! What do you want now?”
I walked away, crying secretly. My eyes blurred. I couldn’t see anything.
“Seera and I’ve only got you mother! Father used to do something until he left… left… us.”
I fell down to the ground, my body violently shaking, and wrapping my arms around me as if they were a blanket.
Seera! Where was she? I turned around and had seen that most delicate thing ever.
Saleem had his arms around Seera dearly. He gave her a kiss to the cheeks and came towards me.
“Mother…” he said. “You can find a job. I told Mr. Saeed that I won’t be able to milk the cows anymore.”
I didn’t know if I should have been happy or sad.
Why aren’t you being strong Afia? You have to face reality and become a bit cold. Anyways, you’re doing this for your children's future. They’ll remember you and always thank you for this! Trust me!
When we came back home, I freshened up and went straight to my friend Saima’s house for chai.
I walked down the alley, made a right, and then a left and reached.
As I was on the way home, 2 men wearing black kurtas came up to me . “Salam, sister.”
My eyebrows raised. “Walaikum salam… “
“Are you looking for work?”
“No, I’ve already foun-”
“The salary is 25000 rupees per day!” they both blurted out. “It’s a one-time offer.”
25000 rupees! Per day!
“What’s the job?” I asked in disbelief.
They looked at each other. “Nothing much… just… delivering packages to specific people we tell you to.”
Packages? What kind of packages? I thought
“What are in the… packages?”
“Oh… that’s not for you to know.” they said. “Well, come on! You don’t want to miss this offer. I bet you have to feed your family as well, sister.”
“Oh ok… I accept it.”
:”Great! Just make sure not to inform ANYONE about this job… Not even your family.”
“We can’t tell you that.”
They walked away, talking to each other in whispers.
I walked back home, thinking about this offer. I already committed myself to it, so nothing much could be done. Questions flurried through my mind.
Who were those men?
Why couldn’t I tell anyone about this?
Did I mistake by joining?
What secret thing could be in those packages that I would soon deliver?
© 2017 Mr.Writer
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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