Warning: This story is based on actual events and while the names have been changed, it is not for the faint-hearted.
Zahra looked into her youngest daughter’s room. She was sleeping peacefully with her favorite doll Dora tucked in her bed with her. Zahra smiled and brushed the little girl’s curly black locks away from her face. She then laid out her red and pink polka dots dress with pink tights on the sofa next to her bed. She also took out her favorite head band with the red flower and laid it next to the clothes.
Next she went down to see her elder two daughters off to school. Gita had already prepared their bags with their lunches. Zahra added the homework they had completed together last evening to the bags.
Sana and Habiba came down dressed in their smart school uniforms just as their parents sat down for breakfast. Sana was talking non-stop and Habiba was listening to her. Zahra looked at her daughters and wondered how the two of them just 11 months apart could be so different. She glanced at her husband who was holding a mug of coffee in one hand and the newspaper in the other.
Abdullah had been working for a big oil company for the last 15 years. He had slowly worked his way up to the position of Senior Manager. The job had its ups and downs but overall he was content with the way things were. Together with his wife’s income they had a comfortable life and could afford a house in the city and send their children to a good school. He looked over at his wife who was busy lecturing his eldest daughter about something.
Sana frowned as her mother told her off yet again for speaking too much. She never understood what all the fuss was about. She liked to speak and others liked to listen to her. She wished their bus would arrive so that she would be saved from all the lecturing. “Why doesn’t Gita call us now” she thought.
Gita was waiting outside with the girls’ bags for the bus. She had been working with the family for 3 years now. The 3 girls had become quite fond of her. She had taught them songs in her language and was really good at drawing cartoons for them. She was particularly fond of the youngest girl Nada who was not yet going to school.
“The bus is here!” she announced. Sana was the first to get up. The two girls kissed their parents goodbye and their mother watched them board the bus.
“I’m off too”, said Zahra to her husband as he finished his coffee. “I have a parent teacher meeting today so I’ll be a bit late. But I’ll be back before the girls come home.”
“Is Nada sleeping?” asked her father.
“Yes, but I have to start waking her up earlier, she’s going to start school soon.”
“Ok I’ll just see her before leaving, she was a bit upset with me yesterday for coming so late”, said Abdullah as his wife walked out of the door with her folders.
Zahra had just finished meeting with the parents. The last parent was particularly difficult and wanted to know every detail about what her child was being taught and why and when they would start teaching her to read and how. When she finally left, Zahra was left with the fragrance of her perfume and a splitting headache. She quickly sorted out her papers and prepared to leave.
Abdullah was halfway through a business lunch when he received a call from his wife. He was surprised because he couldn’t even think what kind of emergency had prompted her to call him at work.
That afternoon the police received a call from a man claiming that his youngest daughter had been murdered. When they reached the scene of the crime they found a headless body dressed in pink and red polka dots. The head of the 4 yr old girl was found in the kitchen along with the maid holding a bloodied cleaver in her hand.
What motivated Gita to commit such a heinous crime perhaps we shall never know. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to death earlier this year.
This post has been written in response to the Daily Prompt: What a Twist and I profusely apologize for any sleepless nights caused by it. This story has not left my memory ever since I read the report in the newspaper. May no family have to suffer the way this family did.
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