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Friday, January 17, 2014

HIGHWAY 29- I KILLED A MAN





My name is Rushtom Ilhahi and I have  killed a man….. I did and I feel no remorse of doing it. I really don’t. I am 29 years old and have led a good life. There was nothing in my life which would make me kill somebody, except for the mosquitoes or an odd rat which entered my house some days.  As I said I have led a good life, at least till the start of this year I have. I have done an MBA from one of the best business schools in the country and have been working for one of the best  investment banks in the world from the last 4 years. After completing my MBA 6 years ago, I was placed with a auditing firm, I worked there for 2 years and switched to work in investment banking 4 years ago. I have done really well here and have 3 promotions in 4 years to boast of. I have a very good salary to take home at the end of the month. It is on the basis of this salary that I bought this house that we now live in. The house is like a country house. We have a highway which goes right in front of our house. The highway makes it possible for us to get to the city everyday. We work in the city, so we have to go to the office every morning. But then, it is good to come back home in the evenings. The cool country air makes you feel so relieved after a hectic day at office. Did I forget to mention, I got married 2 years ago.

I married Shazia, I saw her for the first time on my first day at the current workplace. There she was sitting pretty at the reception desk. I was mesmerized by the look in her eyes . I can still remember the way she looked at me for the first time. Her eyes are brown in color, not the regular brown, a bit on the lighter side. She had looked at me and asked how she could help me. I told her that I was employed there. Then it was all uphill from there. We started talking, going out for coffee, dinners. We also started going out for movies. She told me she came from a conservative family and her parents wouldn’t allow her to marry anybody other than somebody chosen by her father. But, then to our surprise they agreed. We got married within a year. A dream job, a beautiful wife, life was like a fairy tale.

I got promoted a few months after my marriage, the position required me to travel a lot to meet clients across the country. I did not want to take up the offer, but then Shazia asked me to, she said the extra money I would be getting, would be very useful when we planned to have kids.  Even though I would be away from home most of the times I agreed. Everything was good for the few years after that. We had extra money, I would take Shazia  out for dinner every weekend, I would also take her along with me if her job permitted her the leaves.

Last month, I returned from the trip and I found Rahim in our house. Rahim worked in the company as an accountant. He told me that Shazia needed some help with moving the furniture so he had come down to help her. But then I could see that none of the furniture had been moved. Shazia told me that they were just about to do so, but then since I am home now, Rahim could leave. I had my doubts, but then I did not say anything, even when Shazia seemed lost on which furniture to move where. I decided to ask people in the company. I asked my best friend Abbas to keep a check on Rahim.
Two weeks ago, Abbas called me and told me that he found out that Rahim used to look into my schedules a lot. He had tracked Rahim to my house more than once in a week. Some furniture shifting it was. I decided to try the direct approach. I returned from my trip, I went home and asked Shazia about it. She looked shocked. I don’t know what shocked her more, me asking her the question, or me knowing about Rahim’s trips to my house. She said she could not believe what I was talking about , but then when confronted with the evidences she finally relented. She said I was not there when she needed me. She said she did not have feelings for me any more. She blamed me for everything. By the time the clock stuck 10 that night she had packed her bags and left. I could not believe what had happened. I did not know what to do, where had I gone wrong. I had done everything I could for her, what more could I do. I agree I was not at home most of the times, but then I was working for her , our kids, for our family to have a better future. I decided to sleep on it and call her the next day. I woke up early the next morning and called her. She just did not pick my calls. At 9 am a man picked up my call and told me that she did not want to talk to me and that the divorce papers would reach me at the earliest. Rahim. I thought she had gone to her parents house, but she had gone to Rahim instead, I felt so ridiculed, so small, so broken. This is what I get for my unconditional love. I felt anger rising through my veins, at the same time I was saddened by what had happened. How did I end up in this mess. How did my life turn upside down. Fairy tales don’t last for a long time.

I skipped work that day. I did not know how I could face all the people in the office. Abbas called me and asked me about it. I told me what had happened. He said both Shazia and Rahim had reported to work, and chit chatting as if nothing had happened. He told me he would confront them. I asked him not to. What was the point in confronting. If my wife did not want to be with me, if she was not happy, what good will come out of confronting them. I still felt angry, angry at myself for letting that happen, angry at Rahim for taking my wife away from me. That is when the plan came in mind, and I decided to murder a man for the first time in my life.

I called up the hotel to confirm. Early the next morning, I shaved , took a bath, put on my best clothes, and left my house. I sat in my car and drove on highway 29, towards the city. I entered the city in 15 minutes, it was still early in the morning, so traffic was very few on the streets. I drove directly to the hotel. Checked at the reception. Room number 2011 the lady sitting at the desk told me. Looking at her reminded me of Shazia, her eyes, her looks, the way she smiled. I smiled nostalgically and walked up the stairs. I reached room number 2011, it was on the second floor. I opened the door to the room, closed it silently. My hands were shivering, after all I was going to kill somebody for the first time. I thought for a moment, and walked towards the bathroom. The bathroom door was slightly open, I could see a mirror inside the bathroom. I could see him  looking back at me, his eyes were looking sad. I wondered why, is it because he knew I had come to kill him.

I stepped into the bathroom, looked at the man once again. I removed the gun from my coat pocket, aimed at his head and shot him.

“ Quite a writer”,  said circle inspector Rafiq Khan looking at his subordinate.

“ Ya it is the most elaborate suicide note I have seen in years” his subordinate replied.

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