Praying to forget
Hasan sat in his computer class quietly. It was early in the morning and he was still tired from the weekend. He cursed the wrath of Monday under his breath and found it hard to concentrate on what was happening around him. Sri Lanka was dominating Pakistan at stumps and that did not help his mood either.
He had his favourite TV show on at one end of his computer screen and on the other he had the scorecard open. The match started in 30 minutes. He wasn’t worried that he would get caught, the teacher was absent, and it was a double period.
‘Hey Hasan! you guys are getting smashed by the Lankans, aren’t ya!’ Brendan yelled from the other side of the room.
‘Yea mate, just hoping we get some early wickets this morning.’ Hasan replied.
Brendan smirked, but didn’t reply.
Hasan was pretending to be busy, just in case the substitute teacher looked up from the book she was reading. The truth was he was bored and anxious. He had already read all the analysis and predictions for the third day and now he wasn’t sure if Pakistan’s bowling could really turn the match around, but he had hope- miracles have happened before, especially when the Pakistan team is concerned.
A few moments later, something happened. He didn’t quite understand what it is was but he definitely felt something. Was it his sixth sense or just that the room had suddenly started buzzing? He wasn’t sure.
No one was talking, his hearing was alright, but it felt like the tension in the room had just increased tenfold. He looked around and saw that Brendan was looking at something with his mouth open,
‘Brendo! are you looking at Megan Fox again?’ Benny called out chuckling- his smile faded when he looked at Brendan’s screen.
Hasan could tell it was something bad; everyone in the room had now walked over to Brendan’s desk.
He slowly walked over, to the group of eight people, confused,
‘Hey guys, what’s going on?’
‘Hey mate, um.. there was a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.’ Brendan replied.
‘What!?’ Hasan pushed to the front.
There it was, in big bold letters, ‘Sri Lankan team attacked in Pakistan.’
Hasan’s heart skipped a beat, his body froze, and his stomach sank. Millions of thoughts raced into his tiny head. He didn’t know what to do, what to think or how to think for that matter.
‘Nah, I am not ever going into that country’, someone said- he didn’t know who it was, he didn’t know how to respond, but the words surely hurt.
‘It’s all their good batsmen too, man, Jayawardene and Sangakkara!’ Someone else added.
‘What are you trying to do mate? Take out their batsmen so you can win?’ Someone jested.
At this point Hasan couldn’t tell if the person was mocking him or accusing him.
All he could tell was that the words were painful; he was helpless and furious at the people who did it, at himself, at his classmates, at Pakistan, at Sri Lanka, at the whole situation.
In this moment Hasan could only plead to God and so he did. He prayed for everything to be fine, for everyone to be okay, for everything to just go back to normal. He prayed hard, he didn’t want to become a product of scorn.
He kept praying…
He prayed for everything to remain the same, he prayed that Brendo wouldn’t stop discussing cricket with him, he prayed that Benny wouldn’t slap him on his back, he prayed that he didn’t ever have to hear ‘ Hasan they’re winning mate! Go blow em up!’ He prayed that the incident wouldn’t be discussed in his next class. Moreover, he prayed that everyone would forget that this ever happened.
After all, when it comes to the Pakistani team, miracles do happen, right?
Hasan woke up, it was 8am and he was getting late for school. He didn’t want to go. Yesterday he had bowled ten overs and his shoulders and back were killing him. But, he needed to go as much as he wanted to stay in bed; he wanted to see his principal put up his name on the sports achievements board. He wanted to touch his man of the match trophy as well. He had taken six wickets and had an unbeaten 65; he deserved it.
‘Hasan!’ Benny was making his way towards him, with Brendan following close behind, ‘Mate! Good job, maybe you should be the one bowling for your country, you guys got smashed by the South Africans?’
‘Yea, it happens, we’ll get em next time!’, Hasan answered, trying to change the subject.
‘Far out your cricket is going down the drain, you guys can’t play IPL, no one wants to tour Pakistan, your women team gets confined to the stadium, by the way what was that all about? Did any of them threaten the locals or something?’ Benny chuckled.
Brendan smacked his shoulder.
‘What! He knows I am joking, you know I am joking right?’
‘Yea, of course!’ Hasan replied.
He walked towards the front of the assembly to collect his award. It still hurt and he was still silently praying for everyone to forget.
Follow Ali on Twitter @ajzeb
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