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This article was originally submitted by Shaezal Naveed
*a work of fiction inspired by real events*
“Milord, the accused abandoned his wife and his four-day-old daughter seventeen years ago for another woman. I would like to take your permission to question the accused.”
These were the facts another man was stating about my life, this man was the prosecutor. “Permission granted,” the judge said in a subtle tone. The prosecutor walked towards me, with stern expressions on his face, he asked, “Mr Saad Kamran, where were you on the night of 11th October 2017?” This single question sucked up the air out of my lungs and drained all the energy out of my body. It felt like the walls of the courtroom were collapsing and everything was shrinking, my vision blurring. I wished the Earth would open up and swallow my abhorrent existence. I was too cowardly to face reality. In this single moment, I regretted my entire existence.
“Mr Saad Kamran, where were you on the night of 11th October 2017?”’ the prosecutor repeated his question aggressively. His inquiry was deafening.
Before coming to the court, I had thought that I had enough courage to defend myself, but when the time came, I was unable to speak.
The most regretful night of my life was flashing in front of my eyes. I was physically present in the courtroom, but mentally, I was still in the past. Thinking about that night I lost my job and my second wife demanded divorce instantly. I was returning home from a disguised local bar hidden in the deep network of streets; fifteen minutes away from home. I was wall-eyed, the alcohol had numbed my senses and mind. It was dark and it was only me and a young teenage girl on the gloomy street, dimly lit by a distant street light.
I was frustrated, I needed to take out my frustration on someone and she seemed like a perfect prey. Her long, silky black hair, lean back and wide hips lured me in. Most interestingly, her style of walking kept reminding me of someone I could not quite remember.
Just when she was about to pass the narrow alley, I started walking towards her quickly and pushed her to the narrow dark alley, pinning her down to the bricked floor with all the force in my body. I stuffed her mouth with my handkerchief and started stripping off her clothing roughly. I ignored making any eye contact with her tearful hazel innocent eyes. Her nails dug into the skin of my neck as a protest but I was already in another trance; taking out all of my anger on her delicate beautiful body, trying to forget all my sorrows by destroying her body, soul and entire self.
At that instance perhaps, I had forgotten that I too had a daughter, a daughter I had abandoned long ago.
Twenty minutes later, I inhumanely left her unconscious and half-naked on the cold hard floor. Two months later, while I had returned to my normal routine and life, I somehow managed to keep myself completely oblivious of the sin I had committed; not even feeling any sort of guilt or regret. But that one unfortunate day, there was a loud banging on my main door and sirens could be heard in the entire street. The armed police swarmed into my bedroom in less than three minutes; shoving an arrest warrant against my face.
I was being arrested for the rape I had thought no one would ever file a report against. But the real hell broke loose when they told me the name of the innocent girl I had molested carelessly; in a lust-driven state of mind. Alia Saad Kamran. The name rang louder in my head than any clamour. My entire body felt a burning sensation.
Alia Saad Kamran, the four-day-old daughter of mine, whom I had abandoned seventeen years ago.
I fell to the ground, sickened by what monstrosity I had done to my own blood. The shame and guilt killed my inside like a parasite, feeding on my emotions and leaving me shallow and empty. The eyes I had ignored and refused to made contact with that misfortunate night, now haunted me every single night. I was overwhelmed by the awful clarity with which I started remembering everything.
The prosecutor’s voice brought me back to the present, “Milord! It is very evident that the accused is not willing enough to tell us where he was nor he is able to produce any defence. Hence, he surely is guilty as suggested by his silence.”
“I raped my daughter and I deserve unbiased punishment, I deserve a death sentence!” I finally spoke up, quivering but loud enough to be heard. The only cure for this guilt-fed parasite was death. Death was my only escape.