Sitting in a big office, wearing his usual skinny jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie, Ahad waited for none other than Moosa Khan himself - The leader of the famous gang Black Eagles and his Boss. This will be Ahad's seventh meeting with Moosa in this month. In their last meeting, he was given a business assignment directly by Moosa, which was quite unusual because Ahad is a field worker and he is usually given orders through a trusted man of Moosa, named Sarmad. Moosa doesn't give orders directly, but there were two or three missions when Moosa not only led them directly but took part in the mission by their side. Ahad sighed and look at his wristwatch.
"How much longer?" He grumbled under his breath and glances at the newspaper on the table. He was about to reach for it, when the door swung open, revealing Moosa, followed by a familiar face of a teenage boy, who is often seen with him.
"MB, can't you reconsider your decision?" The boy said to him.
"We will talk about this later, Yawar. Now go home and wait for me there." Moosa said to the boy named Yawar and he obeyed, after releasing a dramatic sigh. "Sorry for the wait, Ahad. Assalam o Allaikum." Moosa walks up to Ahad and reaches out his hand to him.
"Wallaikum Assalam." Ahad shakes Moosa's hand lazily.
"So, how was your trip?" Moosa asks while taking off his jacket and puts it on the back of his chair.
"I wasn't sent on a holiday." He throws a comment instead of answering Moosa properly. Moosa smiles lightly and leans back in his chair after offering Ahad a seat. "I've already acquired all the information needed with regard to the deal and I've come to know how easily and wisely you handle your assignments, so there isn't any need to ask you."
"So, why am I being called?" Ahad jumped directly to the point.
"I wanted to talk to you and offer you a deal." Moosa also cuts to the chase.
"I intend on making you in charge of our business."
"I am not interested." Ahad bluntly refused.
"Tell me, Ahad, what gave you the courage to throw my offer onto my face without any fear?" Moosa asks, looking at him curiously.
"I left my fear, along with everything else behind four months ago when I joined the gang." He answered with an expressionless face.
"Hm!" After a pause, Moosa said, "Ahad Murtaza ... what are you really after? If you are not drawn towards the power and money, then what do you seek?"
"I will find whatever it is that I seek, at the moment I realize what I am really seeking."
"So, you are really going to reject my offer?" Moosa asks Ahad after a long pause.
"Yes." Ahad answers firmly.
"And there is nothing that would change your mind?"
"Very well then. Ahad, I am ordering you to take the responsibility of being in charge of our business." Moosa ordered firmly with his eyes fixed on Ahad, who was fearlessly staring back into his eyes.
"Understood, Sir." Ahad said.
14 months later:
"Ready! One.... two.... three...." As Alina, Kanwal's twelve-year-old sister said 'start', both Kanwal and Mahnoor starts singing once again and Alina puts her fingers in her ears.
"Sub se mehangi hai...(It's priceless)
Chalti rehti, Ruki nahi...(It continues, it never stops or end)
Teri meri aisi dost-"(That's your and my frien-)
They have been practising for the farewell party of the final year students.
Being in the third year of college, Kanwal was dragged to participate by her classmates and Mahnoor forced her too.
They couldn't get any further with the singing because of the door banging sound. Both of them stopped singing and Alina rushed to open it.
"Here! Give this to Mano and Kanwal." They heard Hammad's voice and when Alina turns back to them, she held a small plastic bag full of coins.
"Girls, take it. I collected all the coins I could find in the house. Please, have mercy on our ears." He almost pleaded, addressing both of them and abruptly left, as he didn't want to miss the cricket match more than he had already missed.
Their mouth was left ajar in shock on how they were implied as beggars indirectly by Hammad. On recovering from the shock, they attacked Alina who couldn't stop giggling and start tickling her.
"Allah! ....Kanwal appi.... sorry...Mano baji.... please, sorry.... sorry." She kept apologizing in between her laugh but they didn't stop until she couldn't take it anymore.
Breathless as Alina, Mahnoor and Kanwal drop themselves and try to catch their breaths.
"Are we really singing badly?" Kanwal pouted.
"Don't believe whatever Bhai does or says when he is watching cricket." Mahnoor rolled her eyes.
"Yes, baji. Mahnoor baji is right. Don't believe Bhai or the birds which fall from the sky and died after hearing you guys." Alina said and quickly moved away from their reach.
"Anyways, what will we be doing with all the money?" Mahnoor sits up excitedly after shooting a fake glare at Alina.
"What do you mean 'doing'?" Kanwal said, also sitting up, "We are returning it back to Bhai."
"No, we aren't. He is the one who gave it, we didn't ask him to." She shrugs, "Alina, count the money. It should be enough for our ice cream." She winks at her and both start counting the coins.
"Ye kahan ki tehzeeb hai? (what kind of manners is this?)." Kanwal puts both of her hands on her hips, "Alina, stop counting. Mano, return this money to Bhai." Kanwal said to both of them in her big sister mode.
"Is this your money?" Mahnoor asks.
"No." Kanwal shook her head.
"Then you shouldn't be bothered about it. Besides, if you don't want to eat, then Alina and I can eat your share too." Mahnoor said, giving Alina a high-five. Kanwal chuckle and accept defeat.
Kanwal was only a year older than Mahnoor, but she is definitely not as mischievous, stubborn and confident like her. Kanwal is a selfless, obedient, and simple type of girl and being a big sister, she is very careful of what she does or says in Alina's presence. Especially after her engagement is broken off, she became even more serious.
Her engagement only lasted for a year, but the feeling she had for her fiancé was not of one year. Ahad Murtaza, son of Majid and Amna Murtaza, who were their family friend as well as living in the same neighbourhood. She knew Ahad since the day they moved to Shareefabad and had liked him since she understood the meaning of liking someone. Her feelings for Ahad was innocent and sweet like a kid's crush on a celebrity. But her likeness gradually increases and bloomed into love when she got to know that her feelings aren't one-sided.
It was after she finished school and was about to take admission into college when Mahnoor broke the news to her that both Ahad and her parents are willing to bond them in marriage. But they weren't planning on telling her anytime soon as they all wanted her to focus only on her studies.
In the state of shock and extreme happiness, she listened to Mahnoor that Ahad himself told her mother that he wants to marry Kanwal. Since then, her life changed, she started to feel hesitation in facing Ahad and avoided talking to him or being alone with him.
Ahad being Ahad, never missed the chance of teasing her after he realized that Kanwal knew of his feelings for her. And what's worse is that he would always team up with Mahnoor or Alina in such missions. Kanwal could easily handle Alina by scolding her or blackmailing her but she couldn't stop Mahnoor. Though, she never hated his pranks.
"Hello, Earth to Baji?" Kanwal snapped out of her thoughts on hearing Alina's voice.
"Sorry, what?" She looked at Alina, then at Mahnoor, like someone has woken her up from sleep.
"Nothing, get up and wear your scarf."
"Oh! Right. Give me a minute." She said and abruptly stands up to take her scarf as if she is about to have a panic attack.
Mahnoor bit her inner lip and looked away. It breaks her heart to look at her friend in this state. She loves her, like a friend, like a sister and because of that, she is starting to hate Ahad who was once like a brother to her and was also her Mathematics tutor. Now he is nothing but a big scum, who left everything for power.
It was clear from the beginning that Ahad had always sought something different. He never liked the idea of settling down after having a nice job and do nothing. Mahnoor remembers that he often told her that Allah made everything for a purpose and as being Asrah-ul-Makhlooqaat (The greatest creation), it's our duty to find our purpose in life and fulfil it.
But no one would have ever thought that Ahad would join the Black Eagles one day - The same gang which he hated so much. Looking at her best friend's broken self, she wanted to grab Ahad from his collar and ask him, why did he do it? What is so important than his family and the girl he claims to love?
But she never put her thoughts into words. She couldn't open up to Kanwal that she is starting to hate him as others because she's aware that Kanwal still loves him. Even after her engagement is broken off and her parents are planning to marry her off to someone else, she still feels for him.
"Sir? ..... Sir, we're here." Shakeel's gruff voice woke Ahad up from his sleep.
"Sir, are you sure that you want to stick to the schedule? You look rather exhausted." Shakeel, Ahad's PA asked again and once again, Ahad refused, shaking his head in negative.
"You know how I like to accomplish things on time. And I don't like to postpone things either." He settled his tie and stepped out the car.
Just today, just a few more hours...
"I see you are very eager to go back, Sir." Shakeel said, catching up to his pace.
"Who'd want to live away from their family for long, Shakeel? I have waited more than a whole year to go back and now, this one day is starting to feel like a decade."
"I'm afraid I don't understand how you feel Sir, as my whole family lives here."
"Be happy about it." Ahad smiled and enter the elevator.
He silently gazed at the buildings outside through the glass of the elevator till they disappear from view as he went up to the highest floor.
To most people who had come from a developing country, Dubai was a haven. But to Ahad, these high buildings, as well as the impeccably developed areas has no appeal. He preferred the small town where he was brought up. After spending so many months, days, hours, minutes there, he was starting to feel homesick now.
He wanted to go back to his hometown, back to someone who is waiting for him...