A retired postman: Mr Barker was fast asleep when he was abruptly woken up by the continuous ringing of his phone. Before picking up the call, he glanced at the top right corner of his phone to check the time.
The time was 3:30 am.
Without any greetings, the guy on the phone said hastily: "Your Daughter Natalie Barker had been involved in a serious road accident that has unfortunately taken her life. Firstly, my condolences and secondly, would you be able to come over to do the paperwork?"
Before Mr Barker could utter something, he heard a click and then, he was left with nothing but silence.
Mr Barker was finding very difficult to believe what was just said. To confirm whether or not the guy was telling the truth, he hurried to check his daughter's room which was adjacent to his own room. He lifted his dilapidated body and got out of his room. On the door of his daughter's room, a do-not-disturb sign was hanging around the doorknob. He disregarded the sign and went in. In the darkness, he couldn't tell whether or not his beloved daughter is lying on her bed so, he had to turn on the lights but he was a bit hesitant to do so as he didn't want to wake her daughter up in the midst of the night if she was asleep.
Mr Barker chose to turn on the light and found no one in that room.
His eyes widened with the realisation that his daughter is gone. He stumbled to her bed and plopped down as his body started to tremble like an aspen leaf and skin pores were spurting sweat all over his body. Still trembling, he tried to wipe his face by pulling the bottom half of his shirt all the way up to his face.
He sat in silence for 2 hours.
Suddenly, he could hear a distant sound of the Nokia Grand Valse ringtone.
He quickly checked his pockets but they were void.
He trudged back to his room where he saw his Nokia 6310 lying on the bed and still blasting the ringtone.
He pressed the green button on the phone and the same voice came back to life that had brought misery upon Mr Barker earlier.
This time, the guy on the phone said: "Mister! I been trying to reach you for the past 3 hours and you seem to be very irresponsive so, let me tell you once again we have your daughter's dead body...Cou.. Could you please come over to sign all the paperwork?"
Mr Barker grinded his teeth in exasperation. Without any prior warning, he shouted into his phone: "Motherfucker! I lost a gem! I lost a gem! And!....an.. And!"
Mr Barker tried to calm himself down by taking a few deep breaths and continued: "you are a highly unprofessional person. You did not tell me where to meet up when we first talked."
Zaa'ir Ibn Usman was a young ambitious man who always wanted to be a doctor but getting into a medical college was near to impossible because it requires a profound work experience at a health care centre along with outstanding grades.
Without paying any attention to the challenges ahead, He applied for various health care centres but no one was willing to give him a chance.
To mount a last-ditch effort, he contacted his biology teacher to arrange him a work experience. Within a day, his teacher found him an opportunity at Horizon Community Medical Centre. He was assigned to do the 1 to 8 night shift every Wednesday as a Receptionist. The job didn't involve any complicated handling of papers. Therefore, he was so happy that he could already see 'gardens underneath which rivers flow.'
On his second shift, he was told by his seniors that he would be informing about Natalie Barker's demise to her father. Zaa'ir had no clue how he should go about this predicament. Immediately, he dialled her father's number. After some rhythmic beeps, he heard somebody breathing and before they could say anything, he rapidly said everything and hung up but forgot to tell them the address. To redeem himself, he tried to call her father again but nobody was picking up the call. He began to panic and therefore, he kept trying to get in touch with Natalie's father. Finally, at about 6:00 somebody picked up the call and Zaa'ir couldn't control his emotions and unleashed his frustration. In no time, Zaa'ir also received an aggressive bashing in return from his victim that had shaken him so much that he could only mumble: "the address is 220C Wallopia Rd, Fiosa, Bursek, 2560-3442."
Mr Barker went through the main entrance and saw a reception right in front of him. Before he asked the receptionist where he needs to go, he apologised for being rude earlier. The receptionist handed him a form and told him to fill it out in the room behind the reception.
The form had a picture of her daughter on the top right. She was looking impeccable with her ash brown hair being tucked behind her ears, slender eyebrows, velvety eyelashes and high cheekbones.
As Mr Barker contemplated the picture, tears started to roll down his cheeks. He gave back the form to the receptionist after filling it out.
The receptionist politely asked Mr Barker: "Would you like to go through bereavement counselling? the specialist is in."
The poor man replied: "Yes! please."
Mr Barker was told to take the lift to the second floor where he would be greeted by Dr Shruti.
As he reached the second floor, the first thing he saw was a very graceful lady with a white streak in her black hair. She was wearing a grey textured blazer over a grey knee-length pencil dress. She took Mr Barker to her room.
Dr Shruti started the counselling by asking: "what was she like as a person?"
Mr Barker didn't respond until 2-3 minutes later and said apathetically: "She had a very bubbly personality. There was a time when people used to regard her as a bimbo but he proved everybody wrong by getting a nursing scholarship to Fiona Medical Institute. She stills owes me a lot of money though. So..Sorr..Sorry to go off track but I haven't gone through the details of the accident yet. Will you please whizz through the details?"
Dr Shruti replied: "I'm extremely sorry, you should have been told about this by our receptionist but he just joined so, I guess he forgot to tell you the details. Natalie was a block away from your home when she got run over and according to her friends, she was coming back from a New Year's Eve Party...."
Mr Barker interrupted her nonchalantly: "Who did she get run over by?"
Dr Shruti was strictly instructed not to disclose this information but she didn't want to keep Mr Barker in the dark. Hence, she spilled the beans by telling him everything inside out: "I'm not allowed to tell you who is responsible because the culprit is none other than Mr Shield's son. As you probably aware that Mr Shield is the mayor of the city and everything is under his control. Even police can't touch them and I would advise you not to report anything because it will cause more suffering."
Mr Barker replied: "Dancing is my passion and I will dance through this bereavement period so, please do not worry at all. Also, thank you very much for being honest with me and I want to promise you that I'll keep it a secret. Now, I think I'm feeling better and should say goodbye to you. Take care."
Mr Barker left the building with only one thought in his mind: "I've nothing more to lose. Let the hand of God strike."