A day in a jail – Part 2 [Archives:2008/1119/Community]

January 10 2008

By: Ghaleb Hassan Al-Ahlasi
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[email protected]

“One day, just as I was ready to leave home for the store, Ala'a stopped me and ordered me to take the garbage with me.”

“Excuse me, but I don't think I got you. You said your youngest brother ordered you?!”

“Yes, he gave me an order.”

“That's…that's really unbelievable. I mean….what did you do?”

“I told him to do it himself and he said, 'Are you crazy! Do you want me to smell bad and soil my school uniform? Do it, villainous one!' and he began insulting me and my dead mother.”

“Well, that's bad,” Ramzy replied, trying to calm me, “What did you do?”

“I slapped him, very roughly. He went to his mother and within minutes, the whole family was surrounding me.”

“Even your father?”

“Uh-huh. He was the first. After telling him that he had insulted me and my mother, he said, 'So what? That's no reason to slap him.' His words made me crazy. When I heard his thoughtless words about my mother, I became beside myself and shouted at him, 'You know what? You're not a man! You're just a woman's ridiculous slave!' and then I ran. I ran for more than three hours without eating, resting or thinking.

I heard nothing except Ala'a's and my father's words ringing in my ears, over and over, until my legs could carry me no further. So I sat on a rock, buried my face in my arms and cried. I cried and cried until I was pushed from behind by a car for more than five meters, after which I became unconscious. When I awoke, I found myself in a hospital with a very respectable man sitting before me and a nurse injecting me. After she left, the man came beside me and apologized for the accident.

He tried to give some excuses, but I said 'Please sir, there's no need to apologize. I wish it to end.' After 10 minutes of silence, he said, 'Is there anything I can do for you?' I looked at him and then said I'd be glad if he could help me find a job and a small room in which to live. He gave me a big smile and we made the deal. I left behind everything regarding the accident and he gave me a job, a place to live and helped me continue my education. And that's how it went. I finished high school, received a scholarship and traveled abroad to complete my studies, after which I returned and started the large company that you see.”

“Well, that's great, but why are you here?”

“I'm coming to that. As you know, I left my old zone and friends more than 20 years ago. I missed them a lot. Last Friday, I met one of them and we agreed to pray in the zone mosque. While I was looking around and observing the 20 years of changes from the door to the mosque, I saw a dirty, old, tired and sad beggar whose face was very familiar, so I walked nearer to him, drawing closer and closer, until, unbelievably, I recognized him. It was an incredible surprise because it was my father!”

“What?!” Ramzy exclaimed.

“Yes, it was my father! I couldn't believe it! My heart and mind heart stopped working. He came to me, asking for charity, so I took his hands, kissed them and said, 'Don't you recognized me, father? I'm your son.'

'My son?!' he declared, turning his face from me, 'I have no children. You're mistaken.'

'Father, I'm your .. 'I told you, I'm not your father!' he shouted at me, 'Are you giving me charity or not?'

'I'm Amir, father, I'm Amir Salem, your son. Don't you remember me?'

“Ten seconds passed without a word and then he looked at my face and said, 'Are you Amir, my son?'

'Yes father, I'm him!' He threw himself at me and cried. I was so happy. For the first time in my life, I felt how warm and pitiful is a father's embrace. After praying, we went to my house and he narrated this story to me: 'After you left, your mother began insisting that I distribute my assets among her and her sons, day after day and year after year, until I gave in. I gave some to Sami when he was 18 and when Ridha became 18, I gave some to him too and the same with Ala'a. The next year, I gave her the house as a birthday present. Not more than three months after that, we got divorced, as she wished. She kicked me out of the house and my sons disowned me. I became homeless, unemployed and all alone.' He cried and cried until I thought he wouldn't stop.”

“And what did you do?”

“The next day, I sent a man to find out everything about her and her sons. He returned to my house at 10 p.m. with everything. After divorcing, she married another man, her childhood love, and they traveled to Paris for their honeymoon, but they never reached it because their plane crashed, killing them. Meanwhile, Sami, the oldest, was killed in a nightclub over a glass of wine. Ridha, who simply was careless and stuck up, committed suicide when he found himself totally broke and full of debt, while Ala'a, the most successful one, after collecting his mother's and his brothers' estates, opened his own large corporation. His firm was one of my company's best agents and largest debtors, owing me more than YR 2 million and I didn't know it was him!”

“Well, that's great. What did you do?”

“As the corporation owner, I phoned and summoned him to my office to discuss some account problems, but he excused himself, saying that he was too busy. However, he invited me to his house that night, which I found a very good opportunity to meet him and discuss everything logically.”

“So, did you meet and discuss things with him?”

“No. When I went to his house as we agreed, I didn't find anyone. I tried his mobile, but it was turned off. I then waited more than an hour, but he didn't show, so I returned to my house, promising myself that I would call him the next day.”

“Did you call?”


“Why not?”

“Because when I arrived home, my father was sick, so I took him to the hospital and stayed awake with him there the whole night. I went to my office that morning, but at 10 a.m., I went home and slept four hours. When I awoke at 3 p.m., I found two police officers at my door, demanding that I go with them. At the police station was a very young, good-looking officer who questioned me about myself, my father and his family, concentrating much on Ala'a and what he had done to me. He then asked me if I'd met my father, so I told him how I'd met and took him in with me. Next, he inquired about my appointment with Ala'a and whether I had gone to it and then he said, 'You know, Ala'a was found dead this morning.' His words were as heavy as if a mountain had been dropped on my head. I couldn't stand it. How and why?!”

“You don't know anything about it, do you?' he asked maliciously with a sly smile. I looked at him and angrily replied, 'What?! You think I killed him?!'

'Well, why not?'

'Are you crazy?! Why I would do something like that?'

'Well, revenge, for example, or maybe for his corporation.'

'What are you talking about? What revenge and what corporation?' I shouted at him.

'Well, first, he was the reason you didn't complete your education and why you were kicked out of your home; second, because of what he said about your mother and what he did to your father and third, he took back your father's and your possessions. Isn't this true?'

“What the hell are you talking about?! You must be out of your mind!'

'Maybe. So tell me, why did you make that appointment to meet at his house?'

'I told you, there were some account problems and we agreed to discuss them.'

'But as far as I know, those types of problems are discussed in offices, not at the agent's home.'

“Our two-hour conversation ended with appeasing my family and then phoning my lawyer, who was outside the city, and ordering him to come as quickly as possible. I then was taken into a hot, dark, bad-smelling small room and that's my story.”

“Wow, that's really an unusual story. Excuse me for the question, but you didn't kill your brother, did you?”

I looked at him strangely and then said, “Of course I didn't! I'm not that foolish.”

“I know, but… just

“Okay, no problem.”

Three hours later, the cell door opened and the guard called my name. I stood, gave a surprised look at Ramzy and then went with the guard.

“Hi, Amir. How do you feel?” the officer received me into his office, smiling.

“Huh? How do you think I feel?” I answered ironically, “Tell me, sir, what do you want?”

“Well, I just want to tell you that your innocence has been proven.”

“What?! My innocence? But hen and how?”

“Just an hour ago. We received a phone call from a man regarding two dead bodies behind his unfinished building, so we went there and discovered two old criminals lying dead. It was clear that they'd killed each other while dividing the large amount of money we found with them.”

“Excuse me,” I interrupted, “but I don't see how those criminals relate to my case.”

“They are the entire relationship.”

“How?” I asked in disbelief.

“The money,” the officer replied, which I met with a querying look.

“After searching,” he continued, “we discovered that the money belonged to a bank, so we went to the bank and after a lengthy search, we found that it had been withdrawn by your brother Ala'a.”

“Well,” I said after a short silence, “then what?”

“After examining the guns and their fingerprints, we concluded that they were your brother's killers.”

The officer drank a cup of water while I watched him sadly.

“Well, congratulations Amir, you can go home now. We're sorry for everything.”

Not answering, I simply walked toward the door, but before leaving, the officer called out to me, “Don't forget to come with your father to take his body.”

As it was too late to find a taxi and as I hadn't come by car, I decided to walk. I was so perplexed and sad. “What should I tell him?” I whispered to myself, “Your ex-wife and three sons are all gone. All died unnatural deaths and there are no killers. I should've told him everything at that time. Oh God, help me.”

Before I could receive an answer, the muezzin called for the dawn prayer, so I went to the mosque and prayed, remaining there for hours and praying for Allah to help me.

At 7 a.m., I arrived home to find my wife and two children crying.

“What? hat's up? Why are you crying?”

“Father,” my son began, “it's grandpa but I didn't wait for the rest. I just ran as fast as I could to my father's room, where I found him lying peacefully. One look was enough – he was dead.