It was an evening out planned for the family with the next door neighbour Laila aunty and her husband. Everyone got ready. It was snowing. But the rose bush was still standing tall with very few leaves and a rose in white with a pink centre and a bud next to it.
They went towards the gate to stop a cab at the foot path in front of the gate. Everyone was talking and uncle Laila (as he is known in Molly’s family) waved his hand to hail a cab. A cab approached. Suddenly a helicopter flew over them. This was an army helicopter. Suddenly another two helicopters joined and started hovering over Molly’s front yard where everyone was dressed up to go out. The helicopters were getting lower. Everyone went indoors. Molly and her mother-in-law were scared. Her mother-in-law couldn’t move. Molly, equally terrified, tried to take her indoors. But instead both of them fell on the ground. The copters went away.
After that day’s nightmare, Molly and her mother-in-law stayed inside for several days.
It was late afternoon. The two ladies of the house were watching television in the living room. Suddenly the door made a sound. Someone was trying to open the door with a key. They looked at each other. Their faces were happy and uncertain at the same time. They knew that only one more person had the key to the door and that was Molly’s husband Sid. Sid went away one night and did not come back. They had no idea what happened to him. They tried to find him everywhere. Then they decided to file a missing report at the local police station. Just when they were leaving for the police station, news flashed on the television that Sid was the new entrant in an outlawed terrorist group of the country. Tears rolled over Molly’s eyes. She started remembering the dreams she had about her married life and a life with Sid.
Sid entered the living room. Molly and her mother-in-law were surprised and scared at the same time! So many questions came to their minds! Why now? Why did he take the risk of coming home? Why was he here? What happened? Didn’t he know that the police were looking for him?!
Sid’s face was calm though his body language was screaming restlessness. He sat down on the sofa after walking around the living room for few minutes. Perhaps he could sense the questions Molly and his mother had in their minds.
“I am here to attend Rita’s marriage”, he said.
(Rita was a distant neighbour’s 2nd daughter whom Sid treated as his own little sister. They played together during their childhood. He had always been like her big brother. He couldn’t miss her marriage for the world.)
Suddenly the door knocked. Sid opened the door saying, “It’s Rahul” (Rita’s big brother). Molly greeted him with a nod and a “Hi”. Rahul looked at Sid, and as if it was a continuation of a previous conversation, he told Sid, “Listen to me; it is for your good. Surrender.” Sid was annoyed. He moved towards the window. The doorbell rang. Rahul went to open the door. Sid approached the window and looked at Rahul. Sid felt betrayed. His facial expression screamed, “You shouldn’t have done this to me my friend”. Rahul opened the door while Sid jumped out of the window. A troop of police entered the house pointing guns. The three helicopters came again to hover over the house. Molly and her mother-in-law sat on the corner sofa. They were hurt, terrified and clueless. They didn’t know what to do now! A police pointed the gun towards the mother-in-law. Molly shouted, “No!” “Don’t shoot them,” screamed Rahul from behind. Boom! Boom! Two shots were fired. Molly was shot after her mother-in-law. Blood flowed from the wounds. Molly felt nothing. She had no regrets. She felt free.