Until We Meet Again | Ajwa Emad
It was a busy night in winters. I along with my colleagues were stuck in traffic, that bloody traffic in Lahore always bugs me. We were stuck there for almost an hour. Meanwhile, as we all were stuck there and we had to pass our time somehow, so all of us decided to share the stories of our childhood. I broke the ice and started the conversation.
Those were the days of 2013. Careless, peaceful and the calmest days of my life. When there was neither load of work nor tension of money. I used to go to my school on motorbike. From my house, I was the only one on the bike but on my way, we were total of five friends on a single motorbike. Without any worries of challan by police or any sort of accident, this was our daily routine. My father used to see every time in the morning alone on the motorbike, but he also knew about my habit of going to school with plenty of friends with me. The air of freedom and independency was so high at that time.
In my school, I had a friend named Zayn in my class who was such a prankster, trickster, the coolest person I have ever seen and yet the most ambitious and intelligent among all of us. He was one of the best friends I had at that time. I was with him all of the time. I was kind of a lone wolf with no proper motivation or ambition. I was just habitual of going with the flow. I used to study always a day before my paper. And this was how little my ambition in life was. Contrary to me, Zayn was totally different. He was full of life and better in studies than most of us. He was the one on whom you can rely completely for academic as well as personal purpose. We used to share the same neighborhood so we were also very close friends. Zayn’s mother who was quite healthy and had a very beautiful smile was a very good friend of my mom. They used to go to each other’s places quite often. Everything was in harmony and peace. My life was complete with my family and best friends. Back then, I was the person who used to have so much attraction with the opposite gender. I had many affairs with plenty of girls of my school and society. But Zayn, had only one flaw in his personality. Which was the lack of empathy in his life. He was only devoted to his one true love, which was work. Days passed very beautifully. Our papers were very near. So, I somehow managed to pass my matriculation by studying just one night before. And he as usual scored the highest in the state. For the purpose of studying further, his family shifted from that neighbourhood and they went somewhere else, a place of which we don’t know of. From that day onwards, I never heard of Zayn. My mother and I, used to miss them a lot. With the passage of time, I again became that careless boy. A boy who was just habitual of going with the flow. A boy who used to observe everything and used to appreciate every little thing in my life. Time passed and I changed a lot during all this time. I took admission in Government College University, Lahore and by that time, I found my motivation of life. I was ambitious maybe because of Zayn. I used to miss him till now. But after all this time, I never talked about him with either my family or close friends.
One day from my university, all of my friends decided to bunk a lecture and we went out to a nearby restaurant to eat something. Just on our way out from that restaurant, I saw Zayn’s mother. She was in a rickshaw going to someplace. In that very moment, I just started running behind her. She saw me and recognized me. She asked the rickshaw driver to stop. I went there to greet her. Her smile was still very beautiful but her health was so down. She had become so pale and weak; her eyes were swollen and she did not look fresh. It was quite difficult for me to recognize her. I was so happy to see her. I, immediately asked her about Zayn. How is he? Where is he? Has he never missed me? Where have you gone? My mother and I, missed you a lot! After all these questions, she started crying in no minute. Her voice became so husky that she could not breathe. I asked her what happened. She told me about Zayn. She told me that last year he died in a car accident. He was his parents only son. The most intelligent, brilliant minded student. When she told me what happened to him, it felt as if sky has fell upon me. I became so numb. I moved and an as fast as I can. I reached a dead end where there was no one. I cried there like a small baby. That night, I could not sleep. I realized about the uncertainty of life. And cried all night.
A car was honking badly behind us. My colleagues and I realized that the traffic was no more stuck there. All of my friends were silent. Ahmad, who was driving the car, started the car and we reached our homes silently. Till now, before going to bed, I miss him. One day, I will meet him and hug him so tightly that we will never get away from each other again.
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