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Chapter 3

  • Mahnoor's POV:
  • I looked at her swelled red face and called out her name. She opened her eyes and ran to hug me from across the room.
  • "Mano, you came... I thought you would leave me like other friends." She said in between her sobs.
  • "Leave?.... why would I leave you?" I was unable to understand.
  • "Because of the same reason, everyone does... they don't want to be with a person who is soon to be the wife of Black Eagle's second command."
  • How pathetic!
  • "Forget about them. If they can't stand with a friend, they are not a friend at all." I patted her back and make her sit on the bed.
  • "Auntie said that you haven't eaten anything since last night?" I asked.
  • "I am not hungry."
  • "But I am...the first thing I do is run over here. I haven't eaten breakfast yet... Alina, bring us something to eat please." I said to her thirteen-year-old sister who is standing behind me looking at her sister worriedly. As soon as I told her, she dashed out of the room to bring food.
  • Both Alina and I manage to make her eat a little but her sobs never died down. After breakfast, we gave her medicine as she was complaining about a headache. I put her head on my lap and started stroking her hair.
  • "What should I do, Mano? I don't want to marry him... he is not the Ahad I loved... he wasn't as cruel as him... do something, Mano. Please do something... I can't marry a criminal... do something."
  • "Did he talk to you yesterday?"
  • "Yes!.... he clearly said in front of college staffers that he is my fiancé and we are getting married in two days."
  • "TWO DAYS?!" I shouted.
  • "That's ..... that's so soon, Kanwal."
  • "Ye-" before she was able to complete the sentence, Alina came in.
  • "Kanwal api... Ahad Bhai is here to see you." I felt Kanwal's body froze.
  • "Tell him that she has a fever and she is resting." I answered in her place.
  • "Now that's not very nice... you know you shouldn't teach a kid to lie."
  • We all jumped on hearing this masculine voice. Our head turned at the door and found Ahad standing there with a few shopping bags in his hand. Kanwal quickly sat up and grabbed her dupatta from the side to cover herself.
  • "Assalam o Alaikum ladies...... oh! And look who we have here... isn't it, our little tigress, Kanwal?" Everyone kept quiet. Kanwal was looking at her hands on her lap, while Alina and I are glaring at Ahad.
  • "You've become quite beautiful." He complimented, which annoyed me even more.
  • "What do you want, Ahad?"
  • "Oho! Since when did you start to disrespect your elders?" He smiled at me, then, put all of the shopping bags on the floor.
  • "I don't consider a criminal as my elder."
  • "Watch it, Tigress. You might regret it someday... anyways I brought your wedding dress, Kanwal... I want you to look beautiful tomorrow...for me." He gave a warm smile to Kanwal and left but she sat on her bed numb... the only movement was her dripping tears.
  • ~*~
  • I spent my whole day with Kanwal. It pains me to watch her crying like this. But I can't do anything for her... nothing.
  • Damn it...
  • Oops! Sorry, Allah very sorry.
  • I facepalm myself for cursing. Cursing is bad... cursing is bad. I started to pace on the roof like a mad person. I feel frustrated about not being able to help Kanwal.
  • Damn you Black Eagles!
  • Uff! Sorry again...
  • I slumped on the floor, not bothering about my clothes getting dirty and start eating chips. I have this odd habit of eating when I am tense. After eating two large packs of chips, I feel much better. I looked around and start wondering why am I on the roof, sitting on the floor and ruining my clothes?
  • Quickly, I got up and start dusting my clothes, that's when I heard the piano.
  • Allah! It's the pianist from yesterday ...
  • Without thinking, I slump back to the floor again to enjoy the music.
  • Wait! This melody sounds familiar...
  • "Eternal Snow!" I mumble and close my eyes. I feel like letting go of everything and so I did. I match my breathing with the notes and as it gets high, warm energy builds up in me and flowed through my entire body like blood, making me at peace. I heard that melody several times but I never feel like this way before. People say that music is a language of unspoken feelings that spoke by chords and it differs from person to person. Maybe that's what I was experiencing.
  • "Enjoying the music, huh?" I got startled by Bhai's voice.
  • "Bhai, are you trying to kill me?" I said glaring at him but don't know since I didn't turn on the light.
  • "Don't worry! You won't die... evil doesn't end easily." He said sitting beside me.
  • "Here you go my Mano Billi (cat), your milk." He handed over a cup to me.
  • "Jazak Allah." I mumbled.
  • "Bhai, make a random guess... Where is this piano sound coming from?"
  • "There is no need for guessing ... it's coming from the house behind us."
  • "Huh...? That house has been abandoned for ages... I have never seen anyone there."
  • "Me neither.
  • "Then how do you know?"
  • "The sound is coming from the house... you can figure it out if you go close to it but I wonder who would be playing if no one is ever seen there... maybe a ghost?"
  • "Bhai, there is no such thing as ghosts... and by the way, why are you here? Do you want me to press your clothes again?"
  • "Na! I don't want to burn my other clothes. I was just ... worried, Ami told me about Kanwal. So, I thought you might need someone to talk to." He said in a serious tone.
  • "Thanks, Bhai... But even if I talk to you, I can't do anything except for sitting here and sulking."
  • "Hmmm."
  • "Bhai, wouldn't it be better if Black Eagles never came here in the first place?" I asked after a moment of silence.
  • "To be honest, I don't know... They are better than drug and land Mafias." He sighed.
  • "But you cannot justify their doings." I said abruptly.
  • "No, they shouldn't... force decision on others and use them as they please. It cannot be justified by any means." He sounds defeated and got up.
  • "Let's hope for the best... for your friend and for others... Allah knows better what is good for us... Anyways, I am going... You also come down soon. I don't want my only sister to be taken by our neighbouring pianist ghost." He took the cup from me and climbed down the stairs.
  • Allah, you know better... Please have mercy on my friend...
  • I quickly prayed in my heart and run down the stairs. Crazy or not, I am really afraid of ghosts.
  • ______________________________________
  • *Jazak Allah: May Allah reward you [with] goodness.
  • * Asalam o Alaikum (Peace be unto you) greetings among Muslims