Life was never an easy journey for me. The life behind bars was excruciating. I was always taught that a man died but his dreams did not. However, prison killed my dreams and forced me to stay alive.
The walls were grey, blanketed with dust and depression. Moreover, we were served the abominable food twice a day. From 9 pm till 5 pm we were abandoned in our cells. They consisted of a pillow, chair and a window that would give us the glimpse of hope that life is beautiful.
By the soft dripping sound of rain on my glass window, I was drifted to my bubble of thoughts. The gloomy night of twentieth April was when I committed the sin of stealing. I survived on the money earned by other people. As my mundane routine, I sneaked into this big whitewashed house that represented money and power hence attracted me the most. I stealthily searched for money in every room every corner of the house. Little did I know that the eyes of the camera were already on me and soon the police would be banging on my door.
Moments came in life when I would ponder over the idea of escaping especially at times when my fellow prisoners would be getting their freedom, their eyes would reflect absolute happiness and relief. I felt like a caged bird, my chest would swell with regret and tears of pain would escape my eyes and run freely on my cheeks.
Then came the time when I was unable to clutch tight on persistence. I devised a plan whereby my life would be in danger, however, my primary objective was to escape those walls. I knew where the exit was, just had to pass some guards and their watchful eyes. I managed to escape my cell, gingerly moved towards the next door. To my surprise, I founded a guard snoring, I tiptoed towards the next door and it creaked open, knowing that I was running out of time, I quickly ran towards the exit door. Engulfed in happiness I turned the knob, overwhelmed with joy I started to wonder about my freedom and my home. Suddenly I was brought back to earth due to the door which refused to open.
Looking closely, I realized only at the last moment that I had forgotten something important. The door required a key which I did not have.
‘Hey, you are supposed to be in your bed right now’, turning with fright, I founded myself looking at the guard whose menacing depth in the eyes told me that fate was struggling just like me and sometimes you just have to let go!

Written by: Fatima Ijaz

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