In a dark and murky corner of Jubilee Market, a young man in his late twenties fumbles with his keys, trying to unlock the door to an abandoned shop. The fact that the lock is rusting into oblivion isn’t helping either. The yowl of a stray cat echoes faintly in the nearly empty street. “How much longer, Usman?” His face contorts at the sound of her voice. He puts on his best happy face before turning around to face a visibly perturbed Ayesha. Her burqa is dusty from the long walk and her hands are fidgeting, either from fear or excitement, he didn’t really know—or care. The full moon is the only source of light in the narrow Saddar lane, bathing in the darkness of the late night load-shedding hours. Source: Surhan He moves close to her, leaving the keys dangling in the hole. “It’s gonna be okay Jaan , don’t you trust me?” He says, tenderly touching her cheek. His tone reflecting impatience more than comfort. “You are so close to freedom, don’t let fear stop you now” he tries his best to feign solace. He was good at that, after all, this wasn’t his first time. She […]

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