I took out the key from my pocket to open the lock of the flat door, but I was shocked when I saw the door. There was no lock on the door, Perhaps a thief has entered the house, this was the first thought that came to mind. I pressed the door and saw that the door was locked from the inside, but then I laughed at my own concerns.
I rang the doorbell thinking that Mazhar might have gone back. When the door opened, Mazhar’s smiling face appeared. The hair was neatly done. He was wearing his favorite blue jeans and black shirt. The pungent smell suggested that perfume had also been used liberally.
Mazhar had told me in the morning that he was going to his city Chiniot, but his decisions change from moment to moment. Maybe he was ready to go, but I was not surprised to see such special preparation. The real surprise came when I entered the room. Inside was a young girl sitting on a chair.
“This is Ashi” Mazhar introduced.” Oh, so this is her cousin.” I thought. A few days ago Mazhar mentioned that one of her master’s degree holder cousins wants to come to Islamabad and get a job. Since Chiniot is a small town, there are more opportunities for development than in the capital.
“Well, did you tell about me?”
I asked Mazhar after knowing this well.
“Surely told, don’t worry. And yes, it will stay with us for three days.” He said.
I protested in a low voice. But Mazhar was probably not in the mood to listen to me.
“I arrange the food,” he said and hurried out. Our flat was on Double Road and there were many cheap and quality restaurants. He had gone out to get food from a restaurant or maybe to avoid my objection.
I looked at Aashi, she was sitting staring at her shoes. Dressed in a simple shalwar kameez with black highlights. Dupatta was in the neck. Rings were prominent in the white hands on the lap. How far do compulsions take a person?
I started to think that this girl must have had some dreams and now she has set out to fulfill those dreams. As I left home a few months ago in search of a good job. Traveled from South Punjab to Islamabad. I was lucky to get a job in a college. The salary was reasonable but living in Islamabad was not easy. So finding a one-room flat was very difficult.
The flat had a single room with a washroom and a small kitchen, but the kitchen was so small that it barely had room for a man to stand.
Then one day I met Mazhar, he had also come to try his luck. He had got a clerical job in an office but was deprived of housing. My guts flared up and I talked to the flat owner and got him to stay with me. But he had warned on the first day that no guest could come. That’s why I had not told any loved ones where I live.
Mazhar came with food. He placed food shoppers on the center table and brought utensils from the kitchen. “Now you sit comfortably, I will prepare the food.” Ashi offered her services and Mazhar immediately sat down on the sofa as if waiting for the same sentence.
Aashi put hot food on the plates. Then he and Mazhar sat on the chairs and I sat on the edge of the bed. There was complete silence during the meal. It seemed to me that Mazhar was a bit embarrassed about having Aashi. And I was thinking about the time to come. Usually, I used to turn on the TV as soon as I came. Political comments used to go on during the meal but today I was silent and Mazhar was also not talking.
There was no expectation from Aashi, the guests do not talk much anyway and here the situation was such that a girl was sitting between two boys. If I were him, I would have apologized and gone back by now. I was thinking that maybe this girl wants to stay in Islamabad at all costs and doesn’t care about any obstacle to achieving this goal. Maybe my looks would have increased, but after the meal, Aashi started the conversation. “Would either of you like some tea?”
“Why not! We are both addicted to tea.” I said quickly.
Well then, I will make tea and bring it. Aashi smiled for the first time.
“Let me tell you where the tea set is kept.” Mazhar also entered the kitchen with him. I deliberately turned on the TV and started watching the news channel. The 9 o’clock news was on. I don’t know why it was hard to pay attention to the news. Instead, the sound of Aashi’s laughter coming from the kitchen echoed in the ears. Well, she is quite frank with Mazhar, may be similar. I was guessing again. After a while, they both emerged from the kitchen with half of the tea set being carried by Ashi and half by Mazhar. We started taking tea.
“So what are your hobbies?” I asked Aashi.
“Nothing special,” he said taking a sip of tea. Meanwhile, my eyes fell on his shining nose. Some girls look a little more attractive with a nose pin, or so it seemed to me. Maybe she felt my deep gaze. She smiled under her breath. I glanced at the TV and turned on the political topic. Mazhar also started to giggle.
As time passed. My anxiety was increasing. There was nothing else in the room except two single beds, four chairs, a TV, and a table. I was wondering how the sleeping phase would go. I myself was thinking of giving up and sleeping with a sheet on the floor, but the thought was particularly painful as it was November. Just one sheet was enough to absorb the cooling effects of the floor. So will Mazhar sleep on the floor? For one, we didn’t even have any extras. Well, if it is cut tonight, mattresses, etc. can be bought in the morning. I was immersed in the same thoughts when Mazhar’s voice startled me.
It’s getting late, I think I should go to bed now.”
“Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. There are two beds and… I mean,” I tried to say something while looking at Ashi to tell Mazhar if she had any solutions. Mazhar said without hesitation, “I think you should go to your bed now, don’t worry about Ashi, she will sleep with me.” Listening to him, I hurried towards my bed as if he was a warden and I was a boarding student.
Mazhar had turned off the lights but the very dim light of a small LED bulb was still in the room. Today, this light seemed more to me.
There was an air of decay in the room. The silence looked very strange. Earlier, Mazhar and I used to comment on the political situation of the country before going to bed. He used to appreciate the actions of his political leader and I used to criticize him. We used to have a good discussion just like in a TV show but today he was also completely silent.
I curled up against the wall and tried to sleep. I don’t know when I fell asleep. It was probably midnight when I opened my eyes. Some sounds were the reason for waking up. But now I was regretting why my eyes were opened.
Now I couldn’t even take a crotch. If they both knew that I had woken up, it would have been very bad. I was also angry with them. If that was the case, Mazhar should have taken me into confidence. But in such a case Mazhar would have to go somewhere else. That’s why he didn’t say anything. I don’t know how long their love story was going on.
Anyway, they fell asleep but I stayed awake for a long time. Finally fell asleep. The eyes opened late in the morning. This time the reason for the eye-opening was the smell of parathas. This smell was rising from our kitchen. We didn’t eat parathas for a month. Mouth watered.
We used to eat bread for breakfast so as not to have to travel too much, although it was not fun. Even evening meal was often brought from outside. Mazhar would sometimes cook something and feed it to me too. Mazhar was getting ready, and I hurriedly entered the washroom. When he got ready and came out, Breakfast was served. The parathas and omelets were very tasty. Maybe because it was made by a woman.
I used to look at Aashi with furtive eyes. She was a very beautiful girl. Proportioned body and sharp prints. Her red lips were very attractive. After breakfast, I immediately left the house as it was already late.
Busy in college all day. On my return in the evening, Ashi opened the door of the flat. I hesitantly entered my own room. Aashi was alone Naumi hadn’t come yet because he got a late leave usually I came first.
“What were you doing?” I asked.
“I was watching TV. Shall I make tea?” she asked.
“Yes please,” I said quickly and she walked into the kitchen. When she brought tea, she held one cup for me and sat on the chair with me holding the other cup.
“You come at the same time everyday dear?” She asked casually while taking a sip of tea.
“Dear…?” I repeated her word.
“I’m sorry dear, I don’t like a formal conversation.” She said as if she had known me for years.
“Never mind, I don’t like trouble either,” I said immediately.
“Mazhar told me he would be late. How was your day?”
“It was just fine.”
“Fine,” she laughed.
She looked very cute while laughing. Her red lips and shining nose pierced my heart. I immediately looked away.
“I notice you don’t see me, am I ugly,” he said as if mischievously
“Very well! A very good excuse to listen to your compliments, listen, ma’am, you are very beautiful, but I am a gentleman.”
“Good! You don’t even have a girlfriend.”
“How can this be? I can’t believe it.”
“What is the question of whether you believe it or not, if it is not there then it is not there”
“So make it, what’s so hard about it?”
“Yes! Thinkable” I said, shaking my head.
During the tea, A lot of frankness developed while chatting over tea. When the tea was finished, she took out a packet of gold leaf from her purse and said, “Would you like a cigarette?”
No thanks! I am missing this “blessing” right now. I said somewhat bitterly.
“I’m not a regular smoker either. Sometimes it’s too demanding.”
She said without taking offense and lit a cigarette with the lighter.
“Does Mazhar know you smoke?” I said.
“What does it matter.” He replied indifferently with a sigh.
I was very surprised. I was trying to understand it. Suddenly I remembered something, apologized to him and came out. I had to go to the medical store. Had to buy sleeping pills. After last night’s bitter experience, I thought that this problem needs to be solved. The medical store was also nearby but I went away. I don’t know why my heart wanted to walk on the road. When I came back, Mazhar had already arrived.
Anyway, I swallowed a sleeping pill with dinner and then slept soundly through the night under its influence.
This time again the appetizing aroma of the parathas woke me up. After having a delicious breakfast I left for my work. The day passed but instead of going home, I wandered around the market. As the evening got dark, I thought I should go home now.
Aashi opened the door. I was shocked to see her dress, I had seen him in shalwar kameez last two days. Today she was wearing jeans and a shirt. She looked even more adorable in this outfit.
“Where’s Mazhar?” I asked.
“He hasn’t come yet.” She spoke. I immediately called him.
“Where are you, Mazhar?” Hearing his voice from the other side, I quickly said.
” Dude, I’m pretty stuck, I am badly trapped. I am in Peshawar with my boss. I came here on his orders. Here, a political party has gone on a wheel jam strike. We cannot leave the city; otherwise, we will lose both the vehicle and our lives.” ”
He said helplessly.
“Oh! Then how will you arrive?” I asked worriedly.
“I told you, I can’t come. I will come in the morning. And in the morning, Ashi will leave.” He said.
“Oh, so this grief is bothering you, I am worried for you,” I said sadly. “Okay, thank you very much, we’ll talk tomorrow.” He hung up the phone.
I told Ashi, but she did not show any particular concern and started smoking cigarettes quietly
During the meal, I was not looking at her but thinking about her. It was the last day of November. The intensity of the cold was increasing, I took the blanket and lay down.
“Is it cold?” Aashi said jokingly from the other bed.
“Yes, it’s a bit cold today,” I replied.
“So I will come to you,” she said jokingly then without waiting for my answer she got up and lay down next to me.
A sensation ran through my whole body. I hated it. What would Mazhar think of her and what she is doing?
“No, you go to your bed,” I said, shrugging.
“Are you saying something else?” She spoke.
“And what will be the matter?” I asked him the same.
“You’ve never done anything like this before.”
“Whatever, please go.”
“Why? What’s the matter, why are you running away from me? Don’t you find any attraction in me?”
“I don’t have answers to your questions, just go,” I said firmly.
“Or is the problem something else?” This time he said in a sarcastic tone.
Once I wanted to answer this sentence in such a way that her misunderstandings were removed then Mazhar’s face came in front of my eyes I thought that I should not leave my positivity so I asked her to move to another bed. She went peacefully, I swallowed a sleeping pill and fell asleep.
Woke up in the morning but this time there was no smell of parathas. A soft warm being was wrapped around me. Her hair was on my shoulder. Not wanting to remove it, I started looking at her beautiful face. A transparent color like milk and honey mixed. Bold red lips with a natural blush. Her face had the innocence of angels.
I wanted to kiss her forehead but at the same time her eyes opened and she smiled charmingly.
“I couldn’t sleep at night. That’s why I came to you.” She explained in a husky voice. “Well, you’re getting late, I’m just making breakfast.” She said in a tone like a wife talking to her husband. Had breakfast of parathas. So she had his little bag ready.
“Are you going?”
“Yes! I came for three days. Now I have to go.”
I don’t know why I felt a little moisture in her eyes.
“What happened, the guest is for three days, but the host’s will is also something, don’t go now and Mazhar hasn’t come yet.” I justified.
She started laughing after listening to me. Then she spoke looking at me very carefully. “You are wonderful. I will miss you very much.”
“As if you won’t stop?” I said.
She looked at me for a few moments. There was admiration in her eyes.
Well, you are very different from others. Honestly, I like you. Here we meet only for lust, But you are very different from other people. My heart wants to throw myself at your feet and not ask anything from you, but what should I do? Look, if you really want me to stop, I stop. I charged much less than Mazhar, only ten thousand for three nights, but there is a special discount for you. Only two thousand rupees per night.”
She said with a charming smile. I was so surprised that I could not even speak. The eyes were fixed on her, the lips were silent
“What happened? Why did you keep quiet, did I ask for more money, your choice, otherwise a call girl like me will never be found for so much money?” She snorted and stepped towards the door. I was watching her go, motionless by the stone idol.