A Small Box

by Nishtha

“Mom please, I have an important assignment. I can’t be late!” Kabir yelled as he hurried towards the door.

“Wait! Finish your breakfast, you know we don’t leave food in our plates.” I ran after him with his plate in my hand.

He barely grabbed a bite and ran out the door.

“It’s Saturday today. Where is he off too so early?” Kabir’s dad asked in a sleepy voice as he came out of the bedroom.

“His exams are coming up. He has gone to Sameer’s place to finish some assignment.” I said while serving him breakfast.

“Well, can’t Sameer just come over and study here? It’s the weekend, I want to spend some time with my son. You know I don’t see him all week!” He complained.

“I know, guess you will just have to wait till sundown. Sameer recently got an internet connection, I doubt Kabir will give up on that! Do you even know this new WiFive thing apparently gives access to a lot of information?” I raised my brows in an attempt to sound smart.

“WiFive? Oh, you mean WiFi!” He laughed and nodded away. “Well, I wonder how they are able to afford that in such an economy. We are here barely making ends meet.”

“I was thinking the same thing. But I’m just happy that Kabir can now study on a computer.” I smiled and made my way into the kitchen.

Thereafter, we went on with our daily chores. At about 7 pm, Kabir’s dad went out to get groceries and forgot to turn the TV off, as usual!

I walked into the living room and grabbed the remote to turn it off.

About an hour later, my husband returned home. He shrieked as he saw me lying unconscious on the floor.

He ran towards me before the ongoing news hit his ears.

“…Kabir and Sameer, two 14-year-olds, were killed in a suicide bombing mission. They walked into the Government Bank carrying the bomb in their school bags and are responsible for killing 23 other people.”

I managed to regain my consciousness and found my husband sitting against the wall, limp and motionless.

The news continued…

“These terrorist organizations target young kids who are easy to brainwash. They find them on the internet and trick them into joining their chat rooms. These naïve minds are then manipulated to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion…”

My husband simply stood up, turned the TV off and went to bed.

I could tell he was in shock, still in denial. I was too. I couldn’t cry. Why should I? This wasn’t true.

I peacefully slept through the night because I knew this was a dream and everything will be alright when I wake up.

The next morning was like any other. I prepared the breakfast, Kabir’s favourite, while his father made a list of places he would visit with Kabir once he was back.

And then my son came home. But this time in a small box, dismembered and in pieces.

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