Then she blew

Tired from the hours of shopping, I went to a nearby coffee shop to have some coffee and also wait for my daughter who told will be there anytime by now. The coffee shop was crowded as it is one of the most popular in the city and most people are here either to take a break from their shopping at the mall like me or just gossiping about the current affairs. Anyways at the moment it was the best place for me to take a sip of coffee and relax before I go home and start work again. I ordered a coffee and few cookies and called my daughter who said would help me with shopping after her class. But she said that she would be late as her classes have been extended and would directly push home. There was no reason to stay longer but I had to finish my coffee.

“This place is really crowded, isn’t it?” I was looking out of the café’s window when a sweet voice suddenly startled me.
“Yea”, I answered with a smile as she sat opposite to me sharing the same table. The café was crowded so I didn’t mind her sharing the table.

“Hi, I am Sunaina.” I tried to be friendly. But she didn’t reply. She was gazing out of the window continuously. I felt little weird.
“Hi, I am Sunaina”, this time I said it with a little louder tone and smiled just as she looked at me.
“Hello, I am Sainaz”, she replied but with a pale expression.

I must say Sainaz was really beautiful. She must be around my age or even younger than me. Her spotless fair skin and the glowing deep blue eyes really fascinated me.

But she seemed to be lost. She continuously kept staring out of the window without a blink which made me feel a little odd. I thought that she too might be waiting for someone.

“Are you waiting for someone?” I asked her as I was too bored sipping my coffee alone.
“Yea, for the right time.”
She looked mysterious, and this answer of her made me think that she was more mystical than I saw. I felt she must have something going inside her and something she wanted to share. As I have always been curious about others I wanted to know Sainaz more and thought of starting conversation. As I had no more shopping to do, I thought I could chat with her for a while till I was done with my coffee.

“Are you married?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Yes I am married with two daughters,” she answered.
Her answer relieved me and I thought of conversing more.
“So nice, I am also a mother of two children, a son and a daughter. I was waiting for my daughter but since she said she won’t be coming, I will be heading home soon. So you are waiting for your daughter or husband?” I always talk more than I have to but a little friendly talk won’t hamper I thought.
“No, my husband and daughters passed away in an accident a year ago”, she answered.
“Oh, I am so sorry”, I said but I didn’t see any pain or sadness in her eyes, instead her eyes were fixed at the people going in and coming out of the mall. This scared me. “Is she so emotionless that telling about the deaths of her close ones didn’t bring any sadness to her? Or was she lying to me? Or is she a lunatic?” many such questions were spinning in my mind but I didn’t ask any this time. Both of us continued looking out of the window, at the crowd.

“Have you heard the open firing at a man and children last year?” Suddenly I heard Sainaz’s voice.
“Yea yea, outside the Little bud school, isn’t it? I read about it. That was a real inhuman act. How could people go so cruel and brutal and kill innocents for no reasons.”
“They were my husband and children. My husband had gone to pick them and were returning home when few masked men for no reasons opened fired at them”, she continued, “My husband and my daughters both were killed on the spot.”

My eyes were filled with tears by the time she completed her sentence. I imagined myself in her place and tried to feel the pain. I too have two children and a loving husband, and imagined my life in their absence. I could now sense the ache of such tragedy and see the deepness of the pain in her beautiful eyes.

She was opening up and talking about her but this time I didn’t ask her anything. She just started her story. “My husband, Sami worked at the local post office. We were married twelve years ago. We were very happy and then god gifted us with twins. Though Sami wanted to have a son, the gift of two daughters overwhelmed him and was very happy. Every morning I thanked God for blessing me with a loving husband and two beautiful daughters. But I guess God must have thought that he has given much of happiness to me, that’s why he set me through such tragedy of life. Tell me Sunaina, were my family guilty of anything? Why were they supposed to be killed? Didn’t we have any right to live a happy and peaceful life? My daughter’s were just ten years old. How can they harm anyone? “

I had no words to console her soul. The grief that she was going through was inconsolable I know and no worlds of mine will make her feel better. I felt like hugging her and be a little help in overcoming the grief.

“When are you leaving Sunaina?” Sainaz asked.
“I don’t feel like leaving you for now. I know we are strangers and I am not trying to pity you but I want to make you feel better. I know it must have been very difficult for you all these times but you see time heals all wounds. The memories of your family should be the reason for to live now. I know you must be a strong woman, I can feel that. Don’t make yourself feel alone or grief stricken, I am there for you. “

“Thank you Sunaina, I know people try to pity on me listening to my story and so did you. But I think the people must be punished for what they have done to me. They have no right to live after killing my innocent daughters and husband. I have still not got justice.” I saw a rebel in her eyes this time. She looked determined for what she had said and this scared me. I was worried that she would take any wrong step in verge of finding justice.
“Leave for your home Sunaina, your family must be waiting for you. I have been waiting for the time and the right time has come.” Saying this she stood from the table and moved towards the mall. I watched her walking inside and I too left for home. After listening to her story I have been missing my children and husband so I quickly took a cab and headed home.

Anuj, my husband, and Shriya and Arwan, all were glued to the Television. “So you guys have started again, guys help me with my packs”, I called them out. “Mom”, both Shriya and Arwan ran towards me. They hugged me and started crying. I was clueless for what had happened. Anuj too came to me and hugged me. “What’s going on guys, what happened?” Their strange behavior surprised me.
“The mall that you have been to was blown off by a suicide bomber. We were so worried for you. Thank god you are safe honey”, Anuj said in a nervous tone.
What! Sainaz was there, inside the mall, I remembered.
“A woman of around 35 years had carried the bomb in her and she blew off the bomb. The local police had found out that she was at the coffee shop before heading to the mall.” Anuj continued.
So it was Sainaz, I told myself. It was her then. Oh God, I had spoken to a suicide bomber for so long and didn’t even get a hint of the thing she was going to do. She blew off herself.
I stood there speechless watching the news of the blast on TV.


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