Safe and Sound? – Flash Fiction

“Didn’t you sleep all night again? ” her mom asked him looking at his red eyes.

He kept quiet with his deep brown eyes looking down on his hands on lap. His mind was blank but too tired to listen or respond to anyone. This has been his condition for many days now. His mom’s heart sank once again to see his son with a pale face and messy curly hair which was the exact opposite of his usual bright looks.

Musa was a 19 years old chirpy boy who was hard to ignore for his bright, handsome, and carefree personality. He was another teenager who would like to enjoy life ignoring all the ifs and buts.

Flying with the wind on his bike, Musa left college early than usual as he just had one class that day. Sliding smoothly on the service road reaching his society, he saw someone running on the road. Within a few seconds, a waving hand of a girl caught his attention and he stopped the bike with a jerk as she came just in front of him. She was a beautiful girl with a lean body in her mid-twenties wearing turquoise shalwar kameez with a comparatively darker shade dupatta hanging on her shoulder. She came closer to Musa hurriedly, ” Can you please drop me off at the next stop?”, in a breathless panicked tone while holding her big brown purse. He didn’t understand the attack from that girl on an almost deserted road. It was the peak hot summer day when there is very little traffic on roads. He suddenly recalled all the crime news coming along these days. His mind worked abruptly and he accelerated the bike as fast as he could without saying anything. He didn’t listen to that girl. All he heard was her scream of “wait, wait, don’t goooo! “.

Throughout his way, he kept praising himself for dodging the criminal gang and for acting vigilantly on time otherwise his name would be in news as another victim.

Soon after entering the home, he proudly announced, “Mom!! Go and pray nafil, your brave son saved himself from an incident right on time today”. His mom ran out of the kitchen in a hurry towards him.

“What happened? Are you alright?”, she asked with a panic in her voice.

She looked at him top to bottom and took a sigh of relief after finding no visible injuries. He grabbed an apple from the kitchen counter and crashed on the nearest sofa in living. He explained the incident with little spices while switching TV channels. He later went into his room.

He woke up to the knock on his bedroom door. He looked up to see the clock striking 10’o clock. He stretched his arms with a yawn to feel the pleasure of oversleeping one more time. His sister entered the room.

“Dinner is ready Nawab Sahab, would you like to join us?”, Natasha informed with a pure sisterly tone.

He came out of the room grinning displaying his achievement of taking a more than 5 hours long nap.

“Good morning, son”, his father greeted him sarcastically and turned towards television screen again.

Musa opened his mouth to say something but the news bulletin caught his attention. They were taking the name of the road on which he passes every day. It was the same road on which the incident happened today. His eyes popped out when he saw the picture of the girl. The news anchor was repeating, “Girl was attacked with acid for refusing the marriage proposal of a colleague.”……..

“Was she asking for help?”
“the acid attacker was following her!!”
“I could have saved her”
“I didn’t even listen to her”
“Am I responsible for this?”

His head started to spin with all the thoughts which are of no use now!

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