Victor and I looked at Aslam, horrified. “You know him Umair?”
“Get into the car now.” Aslam snarled at us.
“Woah wait wait! What do you want and who the heck are you?” Victor asked him as Aslam shoved him with a blade to his back.
“Keep the mouth shuts and do as I tell.”
We drove in silence and Aslam turned into a dark alley. Under the shadows,I could not make out his expression as he turned to me.
“Ok it’s dark here let me park here… Can’t see anyone. Umair tell me why you came to make problem for me? Why? What are you doing in Amrika? And why are you hanging with this troublemaker Smith?Is this him?”
“I told you, I came to recruit mujaahideen and yes this is him,not a troublemaker though.”
“Is this label? To recruit?”
“Label? Aslam why do you have us at knife point here?”
“I think he mean’s legal… Hey I know you! Aslam! Aslam the caretaker!” Vic looked amazed. “Chup kar saala, No one calls me that anymore,I am the respected businessman now, who are the bloody you?”
“it’s me Victor! Kent Uni?”
“Victor Smith! How are you!??Areh yaar! Long time man! Hi 5 man! Hey wait! Let’s not get curried away. You are the same Smith they are looking for.” And Aslam visibly subdued.
“Whose looking for me Aslam?”
“Those men in the dark suits…they came to me at the shop and pulled me into the alley as I was locking up.”
Suddenly Aslam Bhai burst into tears, wracking his body with some hidden torment.
“I’m so sorry Umair, they were following you everywhere and you came to my house and that’s how they found me…they said they had to keep an eye on you and that you were friends with Victor who was a troublemaker in Vietnam. They offered me so much money and I have so big debt from Humaira’s wedding that …I…I took it…make me maaf Umair Jaan.”
Muhammad al-Baqir said:
“There are four types of sinners who are punished very soon:
- a)The person who violates the pact that he has made with you, even though you have respected it.
- b)One who inflicts harm upon you even though you caused him no harm.
- c)One who has promised you something and you are faithful upon your agreement but he is unfaithful.
- d)One who wants to severe relations even though the relative wishes to continue the relationship.”