بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
While driving back home, the previous week’s events played in my mind. Was I a bit too harsh and rude to the poor child? I had to do that because I can’t take a risk, not in this situation. If Basheera has to find out she probably won’t want to know me anymore, she’ll hate me! I don’t think I’ll be able to handle that.
‘But you could have been more polite,” my conscience reprimanded. Wait…It was a good thing I kept the phone with me that day because few hours later the phone began ringing again. Checking the caller ID I recognised it as her number so I immediately cut the call. Maybe I should have been even harsher. She called back despite everything! What if she tries something else?
The hooting of the cars around me pulled me out of my thoughts and I began laughing at myself when I realised why. During my internal debate, I had begun driving slower and slower unconsciously shifting down gears with the decrease of my speed and now I was on 2nd gear! No wonder everyone around me looks mad, if I were them I would be mad too.
Picking up my speed, I finally approached home. Parking the car I consoled myself with the fact that it has already been a week so she has probably given up. I locked the car and turned to head inside when something caught my eye.
I walked over to the mailbox and to my surprise found an envelope pushed in. Turning it over and examining it, all my fears came rushing back full force. I became so paranoid that I quickly ran into the house and locked the doors reading random duas that popped into my panicked mind.
I pulled out a bowl and filled it with water and threw the envelope and its contents inside. I let it soak for a few moments so that the writing began fading. I then began shredding it until I was left with a mushy mess.
I still felt that it was not enough. I grabbed the remnants and ran to the bathroom and threw it into the toilet and flushed. My paranoia was so bad that after the flushing sound had ended I even checked not once but twice to the see that it had completely flushed away. Only then did my breathing begin to regulate.
My breathing may have regulated but my rationality had not yet returned. My emotions were a complete mess. I grabbed the hand phone and flopped down onto the couch. I began dialling but then thought the better of it. I was so distraught that I didn’t know what to do.
In this unstable state, I began sobbing and screaming at the empty house, “Why? Why now? Why after 13 years? I can’t lose my daughter! Silly Maleeha! Why did you have to try to phone? Why did you write that silly letter? Why did I flush it down the toilet? Why do I feel like a rebellious little teenager scared of being grounded? At least then you still know that your precious possessions will be returned one day. If Basheera finds out I’m scared she’ll never forgive me!”