When Pity is stronger than Power
A Short story
by Freyad Ibrahim
The clock struck eleven at night when Wali, broke into the local pharmacy and stole a jar of medicines for his deadly sick wife. He was seen by somebody who reported this to the police office.
What Wali, the respectful, good , and pious teacher of a the secondary school did , aroused a universal alarm among the public. His act was counter to the general feeling.
The eyewitness gave the officer S.S. a terse account of what he had seen.
“The convict must be put in a bodily prison for at least six months.” He said before he set off to arrest him.
He walked as calm and composed as his manner always was, accompanied by a gunned police man towards the house of the convict.
He counseled his wrist watch then he suddenly dashed ahead, running the rest of the way , an act which drew the eyes of the passersby and the shopkeepers with his immaculately combed grey hair, cap in hand.
The officer, was well known by public of his sense of self-importance, consistency who allowed no disorder in performance in his duties.
Despite he was himself an ex-verdict and had joined the police –service out of need and poverty, he treated the wrongdoers unscrupulously, as every strict and stern personification of order.
The man who nicknamed himself the guardian of law, stood in the front of an old half broken colorless tiny door by an ugly and dirty dirt alley.
He pulled the door open.
He remained there watching in silence for a while. His emotions were at first as jubilant as that of a fiend who had found a victim.
A fifty old man, thin as a stick and sick was standing by a woman as pale and lifeless as a dead, almost unable to breathe lying on an iron rusty bed with barely a tattered mattress . The man was holding a teaspoonful of syrup. An oil lamp provided a faint light was hanging on the dark wall above the head of the dying woman in that dump, malodorous room.
In front of the miserable scene he revealed a countenance of contradictions: outrageous yet his greatness not to be gainsaid terrible but not ignoble .
But the view of two dying human beings, who were shivering from poverty, cold, fever, and now from the approaching imprisonment, awakened the human part in the elderly officer.
He stood there motionless. His duty persisted him to arrest the verdict immediately. But his strict quality of sincerity, integrity , honesty, was not to be misguided by the hideousness of ruthlessness.
Eventually he motioned forward to the bed. But to the bewilderment of all even himself, he had not arrested him. Instead he muttered some incomprehensive words and left with his head downcast.
Whoever saw him walking in the alley at that moment could judge confidently that the officer S.S. deserved at that moment pity more than the verdict himself. On his face was a smile, faint but that of a triumphed wretched!