The smell of Pakistan crawled inside his nose and he felt the need to vomit. Memories of neo talibs came rushing to his mind, and it was all he could do to suppress the pictures that once wrought his psychotic state. Outside was bleak and gray – the mountains appeared smeared with dirt: brown and colorless. Since the war, Abdul Khalil no longer saw the majestic Sulemans as beautiful, instead he viewed them with contempt and anger.
As he stepped outside of the Chai Café, he remembered he had forgotten his passport on his dresser. Panicking, Abdul raced back to the hotel, afraid that the clerk might steal it, or perhaps sell it to make a few rupees. As he approached the front desk, he saw a suspicious character, a definite extremist, jumping into a taxi. Abdul began sweating, certain that if his passport was gone, he would have no way to get out of this wretched country, and might be forced to succumb to memories everyday of his life until he escaped.
When he reached his hotel room, Abdul noticed the door was ajar, and a servant was inside cleaning. He pushed past the servant and over to his dresser, which was wiped clean, no remnant remaining. Screaming angrily in Urdu at the servant, he demanded to know what had happened to his passport. The servant was a Pahtan, and had no idea what the crazed man was talking about and stuttered a reply in Pashto only to be given an irate look of desperation from the man.
Abdul began shaking, frightened of the possible consequences if it couldn’t be located. He ran down the hallway towards the stairs when he heard some muted voices in English coming from the lobby. He could only make out a few words from a man with a British accent.
“Have you seen this man?”
“What time …. check out?”
“Shukria, Allah hafiz”
Abdul didn’t know what to do. Could they have been talking about him? Should he be seen? What if they had his passport? All these questions ran through his mind as he paced the hallway.
To Be Continued….