The innocent boy

By Arezo

I woke up to the sound of my alarm going off. I pulled the blanket over myself, tried to switch my mobile phone off, but when I tried to open my eyes, my eyelashes felt glued together. When I was finally able to open them, I hit the off button, and stayed in that indeterminate place between sleeping and waking for a while. It was time for prayer, but my body was too heavy.

“Get up! It’s time for your prayer!” I heard my father say, and finally I got up, prayed, sat down and opened the Qur’an. While reading, I thought about how boring and repetitive life can be. We wake up, perform the same tasks, see the same people, enjoy the same things, only to fall asleep again and again, and before you know it, another day has passed, then a month, and then a year the years. How much our life is without excitement and change, with the only concern to find money and fill our stomachs?

After reading a few pages of the Quran, I began to feel sleepy, so I closed the Quran, kissed it and put it back in its place, above all the other objects that filled the house. I went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, but I stopped for a few minutes to listen to noise coming from the alley. My father rushed out of the house, and I quickly opened the window. My eyes fell on a tall man with a long beard, who was beating a skinny boy wearing old, dusty pink clothes with a stick. He must have been younger than 18. A number of men formed a circle around them, and just watched the scene. The young boy swore in the name of God and said that he did not do anything. He held his hands in front of his face to ward off the blows of the stick.

“I am not a thief! I swear I’m innocent!” he said with a trembling voice. “I only passed this way to go to work in that building over there!” In addition to screaming, the boy cursed too, and said that he’d lose his job if he arrived late. The boy cried and begged to save himself from that strong man, but no one responded to his pleas, it was as if no one heard him.

After an hour, the man with the stick in his hand got tired, so he stopped hitting the boy. He threw the stick on the ground and took the boy’s hand and said we should go to the police. The boy started crying and begging again, but the man did not pay attention. The boy said that he didn’t do anything and he won’t go to the police, but at that moment, a police car arrived and started talking to the man. I couldn’t hear their voices properly, but the man’s hand movements indicated that he was telling the police something about the boy. After they finished talking, the police officers threw the boy into the car and took him away.

When my father returned, I asked what had happened outside. “It seems that the guard saw the boy stealing from the house of one of the neighbors.”

“Maybe the guard is wrong and the boy is not a thief? And even if he is a thief, he has no right to beat him before the police come. What else is the law for?”

My father rejected my words and said that if thieves are not beaten, they will steal again. He praised the security guard, saying that even though he’s new, he know how to do the job.

I thought about the events all week. I still couldn’t believe the boy was a thief. At night, when my father came home from work, I asked him if he knew more about the boy.

“You were right,” my father said looking at me. “The boy was not a thief. The police found out that the guard of the place, to prove himself, accused innocent people. He picked on people who leave their houses early every morning to find a piece of bread, and who return home from work late. He called them thief and shows them the strength of his arm.”

I was happy to know that the boy was proven innocent. But I was still uncomfortable that the guard did such a thing to protect his duty.

3 May, 2023