Ziya had grown up as an outcast.She had always been the black sheep in her family.no one cared about her and her house was a living hell but this did not stop the mysteriously scarred girl from becoming a bully in school.She could eat from anybody’s tiffin box,swear at anyone and steal anyone’s money without being threatened because everybody felt like a coward in her presence. She had an undefinable aura and her face was proof that she had suffered much. There was only one person who could stand up to her without blinking an eye , and that was her ‘so called’ friend Aayan.
And then one day, out of the blue Ziya disappeared.No one knew where she was.Her forever drunk father had been out since 3 weeks and hadn’t returned. Her careless mother had left the house, saying that she was going out with friends for the weekend but that was 5 days ago, and when Ziya didn’t show up in school for 4 days in a row Aayan got tensed up and suspicious. Moreover, Ziya wasn’t even picking up her phone. So, Aayan decided to pay the Shah house a visit.
The Shah house looked as though a hurricane had hit it, wrecking havoc. There were pieces of broken glass on the floor, the house was stinking and hadn’t been cleaned in a month. But Ziya’s room was like a contradictory statement to the rest of the house.
It smelled of tube roses, though a bit rotten. The room was very meticulously maintained and had stars painted on the walls which had faded and there were chapped parts which were unsuccessfully hidden. The only oddities about the room were that the contents of the cupboard had been hurriedly messed with and the bedding had creases,and looked as though it hadn’t been made since a week.
These peculiar findings were pointers to the fact that Ziya had left the room in a hurry. Which brought mind-boggling questions to Aayan’s head about Ziya’s sudden disappearance. Had she been abducted? Was she alright? Had she eloped? He shrugged away the last question on realising that Ziya would never do that, she was not a coward. But her being missing suddenly brought tears to his eyes, and he broke down… astonished that he had done that, and that was when he realised that his best friend Ziya completed his life, made him feel secure, made him feel loved.
What Aayan didn’t know was that the very brave Ziya had actually run away, having no other option left. She had discovered a fact that was heartbreaking. She had been lied to, well one wouldn’t if their entire life was a lie, if their existence was a lie.
The very thing that made her an outcast was not a mistake but a very carefully planned plot by her father. The scars that covered her burnt cheeks were not due to the hot tea that she spilled on her face as a kid but had been given to her when her father had tried to murder her alive as a kid by shoving her face into the fireplace.
Ziya was a strong girl and could have handled it because she had always doubted the story about the spilling of tea but the woman whom she had grown up referring to as ‘mother’, was actually her father’s partner in crime. They had together killed Ziya’s real mother because she had refused to kill Ziya, as her father wanted a boy rather than a girl. To show his rage and fury, he had killed Ziya’s real mother.
And reading all this through a well hidden diary in the attic made matters worse. Her brutal father had written it as though he had done a good deed which deserved a reward. The brutal man had made her suffer so much that being dead would have been a better option especially sitting there alive in the creepy darkness of the attic with a single ray of light coming from the torch in her hand.
Ziya had lost all hope, she had lost faith, her life turned into a joke, a very cruel one. Emotions engulfed her and she started weeping, weeping for herself, weeping for her dead mother whom she had never known, weeping at the cruelty of her father, and more than anything else she wept as she was struck by the fact that she did not have a place called home, but just a house.
Then the thought of Aayan, with a perfect family, who loved him and would do anything for him came into her mind and she felt not a pinch of jealousy but remorse. And that was the point of time when she decided that she had lost the little that she had. Ziya then and there made up her mind that she would never return to misery. And then without another thought, she picked up a backpack , stuffed her bag with a few things including her teddy bear. And then she put on her jacket’s hood to face the harsh weather outside. Ziya stepped outside the house, looked up to see the stars twinkling and wondered which one of them her other was, then she ran, ran from life, ran to relive life…. ran… ran… ran never looking back.