There came no disclosure, but banging of the door continued. Ayesha asked again, " What do you want from me now? Haven't you taken my everything already?"
" We haven't taken anything from you. We just want a place to stay for tonight. And by tomorrow dusk we will leave." replied a deep, husky voice from other side of the door.
She had some idea about who that might be and without hesitancy, Ayesha opened the door. There stood two boys with long hair. One of then had long beard too but the second one still looked a kid. Maybe 15 years old. Both had AK-47s hanging on their shoulders. It looked too heavy for a small body of that 15 year old lad. With any further dialogue, they entered Ayesha's house and not waiting for her directions went into the room.
They deposited their guns and stuff and the older one went towards the restroom. Again without asking for guidance. Their behaviour surprised Ayesha. They seemed to be well acquainted about the house ; as of someone had already given them a detailed description.
After they settled down Ayesha asked them as how they knew about the house. The elder boy, Afaan told her that he was a good friend of her son Qais and Qais had told them long back, in case they ever needed a place to stay for a night or so, they were welcomed there.
On hearing about her son, Ayesha's eyes swelled up. There came a lump in her throat. It had been a long time since anyone had mentioned Qais to her. And that too so upfrontly. On hearing his name every nerve in her body became alert as if they were live wires. Every wound opened up as she commemorated how ruthlessly he was killed. A hole came in her when she remembered how lonely she was in the world so big.
Soon she retired to her room to mourn her loneliness but instead gave a thought to why did she let the two boys get in her house. Maybe because with long hair they resembled Qais. It had been months since anyone crossed over the threshold. Ayesha didn't even remember when was the last time she smelled a different person in the house. She couldn't figure out the time when she had expressed to anyone.
Tonight she felt something more than just her flutter. She felt alive. The knock on the door felt like a knock of her soul on her body. When she glanced at Afaan, the longing of the eyes to see Qais vanished. And when he talked about Qais, her heart got reassured that he existed. That there was someone else in the world that knew him. And with these thoughts circling her mind she fell asleep.
For the first time in an eon she had met someone who, intentionally or unintentionally, brought her peace of mind back to her. That night she slept without any nightmares. She woke up to the azaan of Fajr and noticed that the two boys were already offering namaz. Sun was about to rise and she was starting her day without a single tear dropping from her eyes. She was at concord.
Ayesha made proper breakfast for Afaan and his companion. It had been less than 24 hours but she developed a kind of fondness for Afaan. She treated him just like she would have treated Qais. But there was something about her luck. She ran out of it too soon everytime.
It was just 7 in the morning when they heard an announcement. No not the one coming from the mosque but from the Ayesha's compound. And it definitely wasn't about CASO either.
It was an announcement that Ayesha's house was surrounded by Army and Afaan and Iklaq( Afaan's companion) were ordered to surrender. Ayesha turned white from fear. Her palpitation increased. Cold sweat broke out on her forehead. She didn't knew what to do. Her destiny was too hard on her.