“Andy. Is that you” “Oh my god. You look so different. I am seeing you after so much time. Where have you been” “Aunt Jenny, it is so great to see you. Yeah. It has been long time. I just wandered off the path in the past year. But nevertheless I am back.” “I felt sorry to hear about your mother. She was a kind women” “Nevermind. I too miss her everyday. Not a day goes by when I don’t regret that.”, he said, while looking down. “What regret. Son. It was not your fault what happened. It could happen with anyone. You cannot change the past.” “Yeah I cannot. But I can rewrite the past. Even if it will be only in memories, it is worth it” “I don’t know what you mean by it” “Na. Nothing. Sometimes I get carried away by my past memories. Nothing to worry about. Aunt, I need to meet someone today. Will meet you again in this week.” “See you Andy. It was nice to see you” “Same here Aunt Jenny”

He quietly walked on the path which he had taken long ago. The memories of the past year stirred in him, shaking him to the core making each step heavy. His breathing became heavy. Brain ached as if he is having a migraine. He paused and sat down on a bench on the side of the road. He looked down and breathed heavily remembering the misery and remorse which he had felt at his own actions and their consequences. He was on the verge of tearing himself apart when his remorse became his salvage.

He sat on the bench for five minutes. After regaining stability, he wandered on till a bend in the road near to which stood a small house. He knocked on the wooden door twice and waited patiently keeping his hands in his overcoat.

A girl answered at the door and upon seeing his face. Smile spread across her face and she quickly embraced him and proceeded to welcome him inside. Upon closing the door, she turned towards him, felt the hollow cheeks which he had and kissed him on the lips. He smiled in return.

“After so long time” “Yeah. It had been busy” “I know all about you and so happy to see you” Her eyes became moist. She cried and sat down on the nearest sofa” “Hey Anne, I am here all right. Look I am completely fine. I don’t have even a single scratch” “Lier. You said that you are going to Yaksey to work over there but that’s not what you did. Right. I have heard stories. Stories which make me doubt you that you the same person they are referring to. Tell me everything and I want to hear the truth”

“The stories which you have heard are all true.”

“Are they?”, she asked horrified.

“Yes, they are”, he said not being able to meet her eyes. “But those words coming from their mouth are not the whole truth. In face, when I think about it more, there hardly is any truth in them. Those words have all been corrupted by their own biases and prejudices that what leaves their mouth is not far from lies. But I would not demean anyone to hide my flaws and mistakes. I did all those horrible things because.. “

“Because of what”

“Because I was afraid. Afraid that I wouldn’t amount to anything. I lived in insecurities. Insecurity that you will leave me one time for a better person. Insecure of my job, of my family. I deeply craved love but didn’t respect the love you had for me. I wanted to make a name for myself. And then one morning, a curse disguised as an opportunity came knocking on my doors. I was looking for an internship during that time. Do you remember one evening, when I had called you to tell you about a new internship offer which I had got.”

“Yeah. I remember. You were quite happy but at the same time I felt that you were hiding something. What about it then?”

“Well, it was an unofficial internship. What they were doing wasn’t strictly legal, so I would have been paid a good amount considering it was just an internship. Little did I know how its repercussions would reverberate through the entire wizard-kind.”

At that moments, the flood of thoughts going through his mind, made him sit on the nearest sofa. He then proceeded, “They took us to a remote region which was a barren wasteland which supported nothing. After some time, it stopped supporting us too. They made us kill rabbits first. They said, it was for the animals in a nearby zoo. But since were strictly told not wander in the night, nobody discovered to so called zoo. Killing of rabbits progressed to killing of lions and deers. In front of humans, every animal was equal. Humans proved to be more impartial than nature.

— to be continued

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