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Chapter 59: Promises. 


"We make promises, 

to avoid the shortcomings"

-2am on promises-


Yazdan concluded his prayers and stood up, hoping to catch the brief sun rise at the Rashad Barns. He walked out of the mosque (after greeting everyone he met on the way) and set at the steps, tying his shoes. Once done, he headed out of the parking lot of it towards the path outside. The morning air rustled past him, sending shivers down his spine. He stuffed his hands into the pocket of his jeans as he walked, with his thoughts lingering everywhere.

The sound of his phone ringing snapped him out of his reverie. Without as much a glance, he picked it up.

"As salaam alaikum. Yazdan" he spoke in a monotone; not because he was unhappy or stressed but because it was his usual business tone.

"Wa alaikum mus salaam, Bhaiyu" He immediately smiled at the sound of his younger brother's voice.

"Safwah! How are you?" Safwah laughed on the other line. Yazdan felt warmth erupt within him, despite the chilly air around. This is the warmth of my family.

"Alhamdulillah. How are you? And Bhabhi?" he questioned like an excited kid. Yazdan chuckled, standing by the pedestrian crossing, looking at the light to change to green.

"All good, Alhamdulillah. What's the news?" he asked, just when the lights turned green.

"I am heading to India for border patrol" he told Yazdan. Yazdan frowned, as he finally stepped onto the footpath across the road.

"India? But why?"

"You know how we work, Bhaiyu. It's undecided where we go. I am glad Sahl is staying back" he told Yazdan who sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Does mom know?"

"No. Don't tell her. Please Bhaiyu. If you do, she won't let me go" Safwah explained and Yazdan nodded. Their mother would never let Safwah go if she knew what exactly her son was doing.

"Fine. But-" he spoke and the line went silent. "-Be careful, Safwah. I do not want you hurt. You can analyze, investigate or even fight. But you are not allowed to injure yourself. Clear?" he spoke like a stern older brother. On the other line, Safwah felt his breath hitch as his throat clogged up.

"I will Bhaiyu" he managed. Yazdan let out a small smile. A sad one.

"I love you Safwah. No one will be able to bare the pain of one of us getting hurt. Especially mom and Daadi." He explained, as he began walking again. He had not realized that he had stopped.

"I know, Bhaiyu. Trust me I know. I have been at it for a while now to know what you mean. Anyway. I leave tonight" he told Yazdan who nodded at him.

"Take care. Pray on time. I'll pray for you" he told Safwah who let out a small laugh.

"Your prayers have been keeping me alive, remember Bhaiyu" he joked. But something about the way he said it made Yazdan's inside churn. Don't overthink Yazdan. He has done this many times before. Yazdan said his silent prayers before continuing his chat with Safwah. By the time the two were done, he had reached Yahyah's street.


Yahyah caught a few hours of sleep before he was awoken by a phone call. He had been getting little sleep these past few weeks, well since Nahal left. He picked it up carelessly until he heard her voice. Then he smiled like an idiot.

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