The phone call seemed so unreal, the caller hadn’t revealed his identity but had passed on a piece of information that left Zainab shattered. Calling up her husband and telling him that she was going out for some errand she picked up the keys of the Ertiga and dashed out, not caring to double check whether she had closed the front door as she would have done normally.
The short drive to the play school seemed forever to take what with the heavy traffic that was obstructing her path. If only there was a way out of this snarl, wished Zainab. All the while her mind was focussed on the bit of news that was conveyed to her. She had been too scared and her first instinct was to call out to Salim and ask him to accompany her; but then she had decided against it. She regretted her decision to come alone as she felt fear rising within her being while still praying fervently that the alarm would turn out false.
Pulling into the parking lot behind the playground, her heart skipped a beat as she gathered and made sense of the scene that met her eyes. Ambulances and police jeeps, fire brigade personnel and the public that was gathered did nothing to console or lessen her fears.
Walking up to one of the paramedics who was holding a clipboard of sorts, she asked for the whereabouts of her only son, Zohrain. Her gaze was met by the person as if she had just landed from another planet. In a gruff voice he asked her to check in the City Hospital where all the injured had been shifted to.
On her way to the hospital, she saw his shoe. One of the shoes belonging to that blue pair he loved so much. Her hands felt cold and she felt faint, unable to take another step forward….