A Dream To Live For

A Dream To Live For

7 mins 8.6K 7 mins 8.6K

The firearm was held at an exact 5 feet distance from the young white girl. Her gasps were visible through her neatly tucked black shirt and the ‘natural’ makeup on her face couldn’t cover up her blanched skin, anymore. Her eyes turned crimson, displaying every vein it withheld.

It was as if time had stopped at that moment and fear whirled in the wind itself. The clouds that floated as free spirits and the busy streets, everything stood still. The aura tensed more and more. The massive footpath of the fifth avenue was huddled with Emily and the boy being the center of attraction. The bystander effect proved to be true at that moment too. The more number of bystanders, lesser are the chances that help will be provided.

“Hands up”, ordered the guy with the firearm, in his pubescent voice.

His hands although manly in length, trembled in front of his face. His eyes were plain, emotionless as if he was sedated. His gray hoodie and black jeans, made him look like a casual young boy strolling in the streets in bright daylight.

Just like jewelers are smart at pointing out a real diamond to an artificial stone, who would be able to pick on a psychopath better than a psychologist? From a crowd of more than 200, a lady in long loose red garment made her way towards the innermost line of the circle. Her covered head was a means of fear for the ones standing around, which made enough space for her to move or stand comfortably. She looked at the man well for a minute straight and noticed a light brown mark at the center of his forehead and a beard with strands of hair distant from one another, so much so that a statue of liberty could be placed in each of those spaces. With these signs she was sure of him being a Muslim guy trapped into extremism. Any further delay would lead to irreversible damage. She simply put her hands up as if surrendering and slowly walked towards the anxious girl. Emily couldn’t help but keep crying. 

“Move away sister. She has to be killed.” Said the boy with the gun.

His statement confirmed the one percent doubt she had on her judgment. “Why do you want to kill her? Has she done something to you?” The girl asked in a very calm and inquisitive fashion. She had to continuously disguise her true feelings of extreme terror. She knew not what would happen the next second, how long was she to live. But now that this step had been taken, it was meant to be completed.

The boy stood still and chose not to answer her. He moved his sight from the girl to Emily again. She kept taking small steps towards Emily, until she was a just foot away from her.

“You haven’t answered me as yet.” The girl prompted the question again and took the next step landing exactly in front of Emily.

“Move I said, or I shall shoot you.” He had not a tinge of anger in his voice, rather panic, abundance of it.

“I know you aren’t someone who would be so violent.” She said softly but with confidence, looking straight into his light brown eyes. “There is something or someone forcing you into it. You don’t have to do this.”

He was beautiful indeed. ‘Handsome’ she thought to herself and with the same quickness she dropped the thought off, ‘Concentrate Aaliyah, he can kill you.’

“I want Jannah. The only dream I have. Don’t take this away from me.” He sounded as if pleading.

“I won’t I swear by Allah. But I assure you this act isn’t getting you anywhere close to your dream.”

“I know you will try to mislead me. Move.” His frustration was growing, that was a real sign of danger for Aaliyah.

The sirens were heard as if approaching towards the crowd. It struck to Aaliyah that a good deal of calls were made to 911 and within a few minutes the roads were to be having a line of police cars.

She took a deep breath and started reciting verses of the holy scripture, one after the other. The words pacified the terror struck crowd. The air changed its character and was relishing the sound it was conducting.

His hands started to slump, slowly towards the ground. The words had a stronger impact on him than on anyone else in the crowd. The distance between Aaliyah and the boy reduced by inches. 

“Do you understand these?” she asked.

He nodded refuting her query and picking his firearm back in place.

“ ‘We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people….’ – 5:32” As she advanced further and further with her words, his eyes landed on her face again and this time, his gaze turned into a stare. All attention to the words that her beautiful lips uttered, so much so that his brain was shut to the loud sirens, that took him closer to his end. His hands were losing hold on the weapon of destruction, they held and his eyes were ready to pour out that which was hidden in the depths of his heart.

“You seem to be steadfast about your prayers, but what about following the character of the prophet, what about having faith?

‘And Verily. for you (Muhammad (S)) are on an exalted (standard of) character’- 68:4.

‘Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? Then what is the reward of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be exposed to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not at all Unaware (Heedless) of what you do.’ (2:85)” Her points of argument were strong enough to make people misperceive her to be a lawyer, yet soft enough to touch his heart. His eyes could not contain the emotions they held for so long. With his heart pacing, his hands could no more stay where they were, neither could he. The gun dropped off and so did he. It was as if gravity had grown stronger or a human weak. The crowd was shook to see such an unusual and miraculous act of taming the bleek.


It was the same airport with some modifications off course, where Aaliyah’s crazy journey to America with all the possible drama began. The memories of Emily, Shahid, the courtroom all played at the back of her head. ‘Six Years’, she thought to herself. She generally used to get back in time and remember the amazing case she solved in her early years of practice and would try to find out where Shahid was, but all in vain.

She moved slowly towards the bookstall, her favorite place, but still lost in the images and the dialogues of then. It was enormous in nature, colorful and well segregated. The shelves quickly caught her attention and brought her back to 2018. She rushed to her favourite sections, scanning through fiction, psychology, religion and parenting, only to realise she had already read most of them. Looking at the shelves, those above her eye level she managed to spot a book named ‘The Don’ts of parenting’. Pulling herself against gravity, standing on her toes and pushing her hand up, so much so that she feared it might detach from her shoulder, she finally managed to get it. Without paying much attention to the details of the cover, she opened to book to its


  ‘Parents play an important role in our formation as a person and as a part of the social world. You have possibly heard this a number of times. I’m not going to give you anymore of this. Here I present to you my story, of how my parents affected, what I thought about myself, the world and everything else. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a roller coaster ride through my life.’

‘That’s it?’ She thought to herself and turned the page to Acknowledgements and happened to spot her name.


The person I’d like to thank first is Aaliyah Qazi, a psychologist by profession, a Muslim by religion, and an inspiration in herself. The one who pulled me back from committing a sin and a crime all at the same time, brought me back the path of guidance and made up a ladder for me to get out of the pit of depression I was in, bringing me to the ever illuminating happiness. Her long psychoanalytic sessions are the reason I live a life without the burden of my past. I remember telling her, ‘Jannah is my dream and I have to die for it’ and she said ‘ I know it’s your dream, but it’s something you earn of the good you do in life. It’s a dream to Live for, Shahid, A dream to live for!’

Aaliyah took a deep breath and her lips curved to form a beautiful smile.

“Pack this please.” She said to the cashier, collected the parcel and walked off to the terminal.

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