weapon on the floor, and join the others.” His eyes stay locked tothe barrel of the gun.Both guards surrender. They know it’s too dangerous. ARemington could fire up to about 40 metres. It’s risky because aRemington bullet splatters upon firing. Once fired, things getmessy. Anyone could get hurt. Anyone including Majid, who has agun pointed at his head.The two Remingtons are placed on the floor and are quicklykicked away by the second
man. The weapons skid to thewall.“Good. Everyone’s here, ya? Don’t worry, we won’t be long.You, get up.” The boot tip of the first
pokes the waistof a woman in a modern
. She’s shaking.
, Majid whispers.
The first employee to greet me thismorning
. Wani stands up slowly. Her attention is fixed to the barrelof the gun, or to the husky voice, or to both. She bites her lip,trying to stop shivering. Her eyes start to water, and tears trickledown her cheeks.“Take this, go to the counter, open the drawers. You knowwhat to take, don’t you? Make it fast. Don’t try to be smart. If youdon’t listen to me, Uncle Majid’s funeral is tonight.” The barrel of the gun moves to the back of Majid’s head. Majid closes his eyes.
Allah, if I die today, take care of Yah and the children.
Wani walks briskly to the counter, sobbing. The drawers areopened one by one. Stacks of cash go into a bag.“You, you’re the manager, right? Get up.”The man in his late 40s stands up. Today he’s in a black suit.Majid looks at him.
It was just last week that I was interviewed byhim. But today, we’re both shit-scared. I know that Mr. Kazim fired me as soon as the gunshot went off just now.
“Let’s open the safe. The rest wait here. If anyone gets up,well, I don’t like to repeat myself. You know the consequences.”Kazim walks to the safe room, with both hands behind hishead. The second
man follows him. Majid hangs his head,feeling sympathy, regret, anger, shame and trying to stand the itchin his crotch that’s now spreading.
All my fault. How the hell could I not notice they’re not women?