Say Goodbye

Bad Signal
by Ben Huberman
Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

What was my friend Omer saying? I couldn’t hear it clearly, except for the last bit, “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.”

He, and his family had shifted from Karachi to Peshawar last year. His father wanted to live with his widowed mother, and take care of her.

Omer wasn’t happy living in Peshawar. He wanted to be back in Karachi, where he grew up, and where most of his childhood friends were living. His father wasn’t sold over the idea of his living in a hostel.

I intended to call him back, but I was busy with tests then, and I forgot.

Two days later on reaching home, mother gave me the bad news, that Omer had killed himself. Mother hugged me to herself when I started crying. I couldn’t take it —- he was only nineteen, and no longer alive.

His father was pressuring him to apply for Medical School. Omer wasn’t keen on the idea of becoming a doctor. He wanted to join the Navy. His father wasn’t letting him do that, and that was the reason he took his own life.

He had observed the outside guard stationed at a near by Judge’s house with a rifle. He got up early in the morning. He left home at 4 am, on the pretext of going to a mosque (which was close by), for morning prayer.

He silently watched the guard. As soon as the guard prostrated in prayer, Omer picked his rifle, and shot himself in the neck at close range.

Wish parents won’t force children against their inclinations.


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