"Daddy! Please bring me a new pair of school shoes or else my teacher is going to scold me again." Flashbacks ran through Asif's mind when he was about to ask the office's manager. "Oh! You middle class people" Said the manager. "My daughter Ali needs some of my time too." I had to reply. He was harsh and said, "Ok! Go now!"
Asif bought a pair of shoes for Alia. He sat in the car and switched on the radio to listen to a commentary.
"One more blast near Clifton, Karachi. Almost 32 shops burnt. 103 injured.
Yes listeners! This is the fourth attack in Karachi within a week. If these attacks continue, what will be the future of Pakistan? Is the government sleeping? Will the locals raise their voices once again?"
"I wonder why media always wants people to come of their homes." Asif spoke to himself.
"Its been lately reported that Norangi Town is under threat."
He heard this on the radio and got shocked. He didn't want to believe it as it was the place where he lived. His heart started thumping faster. He drove at a speed at which he never drove before. It took him about 13 minutes to reach near his street. Alia was standing at the terrace, waving at her dad. Asif ran towards his house, parking the car at the end of the street. A man, helping in the construction of a house nearby was murmuring. He was counting something.
On the other hand, Asif was eager to meet her daughter. He was overwhelmed to see her safe.
The bomb exploded.
Asif couldn't make it. His body blasted apart, blood splashed all over and the pair of shoes remained in his hand. Alia was silent for a moment but as soon as she realized what actually happened, tears ran through her eyes the only thing she could speak was "Daddy". From the terrace, she could
only see bodies buried under debris, mud in the air and ambulances coming. She didn't wish for her father to return. Instead, she wished for their house to burn in the fire too.
She was too young, but still thought like adults. "I wish I died with him. Heaven would be much better than living here, dying daily. Is this the future of our country? What do people get from these blasts?" Alia asked herself. Through the fire, she still could see her dad's face. She noticed her mom, staring at the smoke like a spacer. "Come on mom! We are not that weak." They both slowly walked down the stairs. From then on Ali slept with a torn shirt of Asif and always kept the same pair of her shoes her father brought for her, under her bed. How do I know?
It's because I am Alia and he was the best father in the whole world. Nothing is in our hands. All we can do is to pray for this laving hatred to end...
© Copyright 2016 Neeha Hammad. All rights reserved.
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