"Thank you, sir," said Baksheesh in a low tone, even after the gentleman who had given him the coin had passed by. He looked into the cup he was holding, and quickly counted the money he had. 40 afghanis. He sighed and looked up at the sky. It was a beautiful shade of blue, a transition color between the light blue of a summer's day and the navy blue of a summer's night. A tear escaped from the corner of his eye. It was the same color as one of Aziza's favorite dresses. Everything he saw these days reminded him of the open wound in his soul: his beautiful, elegant, and horribly mistaken wife.
Baksheesh decided to go to the park. There were always a lot of generous people there, willing to give him a few afghanis, and it was the place he went to when ever he found his emotions too heavy to carry. He would go to a small thicket of trees, in which, quite pointlessly, the government had built a fountain a few years ago. It was a place of natural beauty, but no one ever went there, into the trees. He could sit there, on the edge of the fountain, look at the birds tweeting around him and the sunlight streaming through the trees, and cry as much as he wanted, in privacy.
Baksheesh set off on the sidewalk, stumbling along, almost tripping on the city's many beggars at every step. He thought about what they did when it rained. Ever since he was thrown out of his home, there hadn't been a single rain. Some of the beggars, he knew, stayed on the streets, not even in a hovel like he had. They would definitely get drenched.
As if on cue, the sky suddenly clouded up, and the rain started to pour.
He looked around him. He was at a point where the hovel was too far, and the park was too. He whipped his head around looking for some shelter he could stand in until the rain subsided. He almost choked when he realized where he was.
As luck would have it, he found himself right outside his old home.
* * *
One Month Earlier
Aziza was out. Just out in the city. She had decided to take a walk, since her emotions had started to act up again. She was now in her sixth month of pregnancy, and she realized. Only three months left until her baby was born. Aziza didn't like to think of it as Baksheesh's baby. She thought he didn't deserve something as precious as a child. As she passed a line of houses, she paused to gain her breath, leaning on the wall of one. Just above her head was an open window. As she panted, she suddenly stood up straight and listened. Coming from the window was a voice, a familiar one, saying not so familiar words. She gasped in shock, as she peeped into the room.
"Aha," exclaimed the gentleman, who had accused Baksheesh of cheating on Aziza. He had a phone on his ear, and seemed to be talking to his wife or mistress."Now that Baksheesh is out of business, I'm rich!" He held up a wad of money to the light, and he started counting. "I'm such a genius, dear.Don't you think that it was nice of dear Aziza to cooperate? It's her, after all we have to thank. Well, thank you, Aziza, for believing all those lies!"
Aziza's face turned white. She stood there frozen with shock, for a second or two, before collapsing in a faint.
* * *
He struggled with his emotions, but soon the rain wasn't the only water on his cheeks. And, soon enough, he found that he was no longer in control of his legs, and found himself walking towards his previous front door. As he tried to turn away, but found his legs too stubborn to comply, his face contorted and he sobbed even harder than before. As he approached the front door, he managed to get control of his body, and he started to walk away again. But, after hardly a few steps, he found his emotions back in control, and soon found himself back on his door step. After a few minutes of his brain fighting his heart for control of their shared flesh, Baksheesh gave up. He let his heart move his finger on the door bell, and he let it press it too.
* * *
Aziza was crying. She had been out looking for her husband again. It had been a few months since she had found out that the other gentleman had been lying, and that her devoted husband had been telling the truth. Her hand was on her pregnant belly, and she contemplated the idea of never being able to find Baksheesh again. She choked on her tears. Their child would never have a father.
The doorbell rang. For a few rings, Aziza just let it ring. But then, an almost impossible thought came into her mind: What if it's Baksheesh. As the doorbell rang one last time, Aziza, with this thought in mind, ran to get the door.
* * *
Baksheesh rang the doorbell, his heart pounding. For a long, painful, second, there was silence. No one answered. He rang again. Another painful pause. Another non-existent reception. Four more rings passed in a similar fashion. Baksheesh was about to leave, when a voice deep down inside him spoke up. "Try again."
His eyes watering, he heart aching, and his hopes soaring, Baksheesh rang the doorbell one last time.
* * *
Aziza reached the door, her whole body shaking. She gripped the the handle with a trembling hand, and swung it open...