The Pale Girl with Dimples


There are quite some times in life when a sense of familiarity develops with foreign bodies, things and strangers. Sunrise after sunrise, seeing the same man in the worn out shalwar kameez passing by your window, the neighbors cat at your doorstep after every monsoon rain or that corpulent man always letting you sit on the crowded metro bus, we have all felt an eerie sense of bonding with an unknown person or a thing.

In my case, it was a pale girl with dimples. Nestled among them who always did the talking, this short girl had a chiseled face and sat in the same row as mine. Her eyes were little and they gleamed with joy whilst telling tales. Her snot nose dropped daintily and she chuckled when she got the tables correct. We studied together for a year and we never spoke but occasionally, when we’d be the only two in class, the pale girl with dimples and I would exchange a faint smile.

It took me three months to make out what name she yelled, “I’m present!” to and a few more weeks to recognize her from her looped spiraled hair that was tightly held in red ribbons but it took me just one second to realize that the she in the news who had been stabbed twenty three times was indeed the pale girl with dimples from five years ago in school.

I sat in the backseat of my car, disgusted- with bile rising up my throat as my little sibling told me what had happened that day outside our school. Just like I came every day to pick Hajera up from Convent of Jesus & Mary, the pale girl with dimples had come to pick up her little sister. Little was she aware that within minutes she’d be battling death.

Pushing the younger one playfully into the car and humming to Michael Jackson’s Thriller playing, she was about to make her way in when a ruthless creature covering his dreaded intentions with a helmet, pounced on her. He plunged a knife into her chest and neck. Twice would have been monstrous, but he did not rest till there was an odor of blood. He stabbed her twenty three times. The abnormality left no stone unturned whilst attacking; he injured the younger sister as she tried to fight him off with her tiny arms. The driver rushed both the sisters to the hospital.

At this point of listening to the formidable story, the image of my friend, smirking with dimples, and swinging her pony tail, with a foil wrapped lunch tightly clutched under her arm, flashed before my eyes.

Back when I was twelve, I dropped apple juice on the backseat of my car. I watched the leather turn a light shade of yellow before my school bottle’s water washed it away. No matter how much water I poured, the crimson color of blood stained the leather as if it had come with the coral star patches. Today the neighbor’s daughter questions her mother in the most fascinating way. “Ama jaan, why does apa wear a scarf even when she bathes?”

I hope that justice is served because if not, then I lost, You lost, Pakistan lost and the pale girl with the dimples lost.

By Ayesha Muzaffar

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Author`s note: The article is inspired from true events. For details

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