A story of a girl who lost her half family in a terrorist attack and a man who was wandering around in the darkness of the past. A job interview, a small deed of kindness and she was brought in front of Ahmed. Sandal, a girl with eyes so empty that he found the darkness in his heart brighter. Fighting their own demons, they find something unexpected. A ray of light in the darkness of night and they walked until the appearance of dawn, the end of a dark night and the beginning of a new day...
A few minutes ago I had finished my first job interview, never thought this day would come so soon in my life. Right now I am sitting in front of Mr Ali Ibrar, he is a man in his late fifties with a sagacious personality and soft facial features.
"Miss Sandal, there is something that doesn't make sense here. According to your resume, you were living in Peshawar before moving here a few weeks ago?" He asked, looking at me.
"You were doing your internship and you were also accepted in University for Masters. Yet you are here, leaving everything behind?"
I knew he would ask this question, I made myself ready for it, but still...
When I stayed quiet for a long time, he continued, "I know it's your personal matter and I don't want to dig into it, but it's necessary for us to know for us to appoint you."
I took a deep breath and look at him, "My family was living in Peshawar because of my father's job there. He died recently and his job was the only source of income in our family. So we moved here, near our relatives and I was left with no choice but to step up and take responsibility, as I am the eldest among my siblings."
"What was your father's occupation?" He asked, giving me a calculating look.
This conversation should stop - It is starting to make me anxious. I changed my position on the chair and answered him.
"He was a teacher... in Army Public School." He straightened his posture as he heard my statement. He looked at me with an expression I didn't understand.
Is he going to ask more questions... about my family?
Mr. Ali Ibrar's P.O.V:
From the moment this girl stepped into my office, I couldn't help myself from feeling something different about her. She makes less eye contact but doesn't give others the feeling that she is absent-minded. She was nervous at first but soon, she gained her composure and now she is telling me something I wasn't expecting to hear. I kept staring at her in disbelieve. Then I found myself asking this question to her.
"Was he the only one in your family who died in the attack?"
She shook her head. "My younger brother and my youngest sister also died."
"Inna lillahi wa inallah-e-raji'oon I mumbled under my breath.
No wonder her eyes are so empty. She lost half of her family in one day. It's hard to even imagine what she has been going through.
"I am sorry for your loss." I refrained from asking more questions.
She didn't say anything and just nodded.
"Back to the topic... Miss Sandal, rather than appointing you to the job you have applied for, I am offering you a different job." She raised her gaze at me as I continued, "A job of secretary of CEO." As expected, she gave me a look of disbelieve.
"The post you applied for needs an experienced person, which you are not. And.... the post of secretary is vacant. I am the one who appoints people here but I have to go out of the country for work. We can't leave this post empty for long, so I am offering you to take this job. Of course, I understand it's not your field and you've never worked before, but there will be people who can guide you."
At least let me do this much for your family...
"I am not asking you to work for a long period of time, you can quit when I come back and we can hire someone else. Think about it and give me your reply in two days." I cut her off.
"I am not asking you to work for a long period of time, you can quit when I come back and we can hire someone else. Think about it and give me your reply in two days."
After that, I was dismissed.
What should you do? Asked my inner voice and I didn't have the answer to it.
Army Public School
was attacked by terrorists on December 16, 2014. Where more than 142 students, teachers, and non-teaching staff were killed mercilessly.
*Inna lillahi wa inallah-e-raji'oon: The phrase is recited by Muslims when a person experiences a tragedy in life, especially upon hearing the news that a person died.