It was a usual morning. I was getting late to work due to late night coding. I got out of bed as the clock was ticking away, pulled out a pair of wrinkled jeans and a t-shirt from my so called wardrobe and hurried to change. After getting ready, I had to skip breakfast due to lack of time so I took a sip from my last night’s coffee, which was as cold as ice, gulped down last night’s leftovers, packed my laptop and said goodbye to mom, who gave me an angry look. Yeah, you already know why. I was skipping breakfast as usual. After making up for that, I left home for work.
“Late again, How many times do I have to tell you? Come on, let’s go,” Ahmed said furiously, who was waiting for me at our meeting point.
“Yeah, yeah, I know I’m late, but we’ll get there on time. Why do you have to ruin my morning everyday, huh?” I replied, trying to hide my smirk.
“Well done both of you. You both are doing great work. Great effort.” Mr. Tariq, our project manager, complimented us while looking at my laptop screen.
“Thank you, sir. Project is on beta testing. It’s all done.” I replied while looking to Ahmed who was also surprised since I completed the whole project last night.
“Yeah upload the whole package on the server and I’ll upload it live,” Mr. Tariq replied.
“Hey, you both? Are you coming with us? We’re going for lunch across the street,” Adnan asked us while handing over his documentation to Mr. Tariq.
“Yeah, we were just about to leave.” Ahmed replied and we took our wallets and phones.
“You know what is our biggest mistake? Being Pakistani. This is our mistake,” Adnan said as he took a sip from his cup.
“I couldn’t agree more,” Ahmed responded.
“There were many Pakistanis who were born and ended up dying even before our existence, they didn’t think the same. You must be thinking this because of our current situation? Aren’t you?” I asked them both anxiously.
“Well, yeah. Look at the conditions these days. No one is safe here. You’re not even safe in your house. Last night, 4 houses on my street got robbed by the same people and no one came to stop them. Look at the street crimes, increasing day by day. Feels like they are not going to get better,” Adnan said sadly.
“In some deep dark tunnel, there is also a light in the end. Things will get better. All we have to do is change ourselves, and then you can watch how things will get better,” I said.
“You can’t make people believe you by doing something so little,” Ahmed said sarcastically.
“I believe in it. So do a few others. There is always a chance for a change in doing something so little,” I said angrily because his stupidity was creeping on my nerves.
It’s almost half past 12 at night and I am standing in empty street waiting for Ahmed, who is coming to pick me up. I worked an overtime and I can’t wait to get home now. As I get tired of waiting, I start walking down the street, thinking that maybe I could find a rickshaw to get home at the end of the road. I’ve walked for about 5 minutes and I hear the sound of a motorbike coming. I stop and hope that it’s Ahmed whom I texted to pick me up, but I’m wrong. It was someone else who didn’t stop and just passed by. I start walking again, and this is when it happens.
I had to stop and take a breather. I was walking for about 15 minutes and there was no sign of any rickshaw or a car. I was continuously calling Ahmed but he wasn’t picking up. I assumed he might be asleep. I was about to start walking again when a motor bike came and stopped right next to me. I was about to ask the guy on the bike what he wanted. That was when I saw a shiny pistol in his hand which he waved in front of me and then proceeded to carefully hide it. I didn’t have to say a word. I gave him everything I had on me, even my laptop bag and USB. He started his bike and moved it forward a little bit. I heard the bike stop and then a bang. I felt the hard hot piece of metal piercing through my back. I fell down due to the force and the pain. I felt my favorite shirt soaking in my own blood. I tried getting back up, but the strength I had moments ago had vanished. It wasn’t there when I needed it most. I couldn’t breathe properly, I was getting annoyed of this feeling. I had to believe that I was dying. What was my fault? What did I do? What did I do to deserve this pain? Is it my fault that I walked at night in my own city where I had been born and raised? I loved my city, my country. I would even die for it, but this? Like this?