“3 Friends and the Deception” a Short Story :
I was driving and roaming around the lake with Tahir on my side seat who was lost in daydreaming while peeping his head outside the car window. Tahir returned to his hometown yesterday after serving outside the state for so many years. Now God knows in which organization and never have I asked him anyways.
Me and Tahir had been friends since school time. But today as I saw him after so many years he has changed a lot. Baldness starting to appear on the head, dark circles on face, untidy beard, a sign of chain-smoking from his brown lips. I remember he used to smoke 2 cigarettes a day and now from the last 45 minutes being in the car he already had the 4th cigarette.
As he reached to the box of a cigarette again on the dashboard for 5th one I grabbed his fist and said:
“Tahir, is everything alright buddy?”
He replied with a long smile hiding a thousand scars behind,
“Ya, of course, I am fine it’s just I have missed this place so much”
I realized his unexpressed silence behind his words but couldn’t tell him anything.
Maybe that’s how long-distance friendship gets affected when ignored over time. We were heading towards our favorite spot where Qasim was waiting for us.
Qasim had been our mutual best friend since childhood. Tahir introduced me to Qasim when I was a kid.
Finally, we reached the point where Qasim was waiting for us. 5ft 4inch, a sweet cute little guy standing near the green fence of the lake, wearing his glasses having his cigarette puffs enjoying the lake view. I parked the car on the roadside. As Tahir stepped outside of the car, Qasim saw us and came running towards the car and gave Tahir a tight hug.
For some time, I also haven’t been in touch with Qasim. I was also meeting him after long. Life gets complex every other day. We remain friends but never like before.
Qasim greeted me casually and three of us sat down near the shore. I personally never liked the habit of smoking so usually while meeting my smoker friends, I prefer having chewing gum or some snack to avoid the distraction over something that is not good for health.
Tahir and Qasim were having regular gossips which usually best friends have when they meet after so many years despite being in touch over the phone. I believe physical face to face interaction relieves our stress more and relaxes us better than talking to the same person over the phone.
While forgetting everything that was happening in our lives we preferred enjoying the view and the moment we were having.
Meanwhile having a chat, Tahir asked me to buy some snacks from the nearby shop which was at a 15-minute walking distance from the spot where we were resting. I quickly stood up and walked towards the shop.
I guess 15 – 20 minutes have passed when I was walking back towards Qasim and Tahir. I noticed an argument has aroused between both of them and they were shouting at each other. Due to road and traffic noise, I couldn’t hear anything and since I was still far from them. I ran and just before I could reach near them. They started punching themselves when suddenly Qasim lifted up his shirt, grabbed a 9mm black pistol hidden under his shirt pointing it towards Tahir. Tahir meanwhile lifted his white trousers and pulled out A-60 brown pistol from his ankle gun holster and pointed it back at Qasim.
Snacks fell all over the road as I tried to run fast.
Qasim and Tahir fell down, blood oozing out from their heads, spreading all over the wet soil and dripping into the lake. Shocked, paralyzed I was not able to understand and absorb what just happened? Was it real or was I day-dreaming?
Clearing the blurred vision with my elbow from my teary eyes, I saw i- card of a famous terrorist organization in Tahir’s other hand having Qasim’s photo on it while Qasim was lying dead beside with a smile on his face.
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