Today was a very weird day at school. One of my friend’s expensive key-chains had gone missing during recess, two days ago. She had been crying that entire day, even the teachers were going from class to class, searching for it.

“I’m telling you, Ma’am, someone stole it. It was attached to the zip of my bag. It couldn’t have fallen, unless someone pulled it off!” Sameen said while crying.

“Are you sure Sameen? what if...,” I began to reason, but she only became more annoyed.

“It was a present to me by my father, I can’t lose it,” she kept saying again and again.

The next day, a rumour spread out like wildfire that our class fellow, Aayel, had taken it since she had been eyeing it the day it went missing.

“I remember, she had asked me about it just before recess,” Sameen said to the girls, hence adding fuel to the fire.

“Sameen, are you sure? I don’t remember anything like that,” I tried to convince her but she didn’t listen.

“Sobia please, I’m the victim here,” she snapped back.

The rumours reached the teachers and they started investigating. But the students took matters into their own hands and started pointing fingers at the quiet girl Aayel, targeting her, calling her names and blaming her for the crime.

“Oh please, I didn’t do it,” she tried explaining, but everything just got worse.

After a couple of days, when I went to school, our class teacher told us that the keychain had been found in the trash can of the classroom. The janitor explained that while cleaning the room, he discovered the broken keychain on the floor just beside the door. Assuming someone had deliberately thrown it away, since it was already broken, he disposed it in the trash. The teachers then concluded that similar incidents had occurred before during the rush to leave at the end of the day, where keychains or other items hanging from bags had become entangled and broken.

So no one stole it. It was just a coincidence that Aayel happened to compliment Sameen’s keychain right before it went missing. The teacher made them apologise to Aayel and told everyone to never point fingers at anyone unless they see it with their own eyes. The past two days had caused Aayel a lot of distress and we all were responsible for it.

Sameen, along with the others, then went to Aayel and apologised again for the pain their words had caused her. Aayel forgave everyone and we all became friends.

I’m glad the mess was sorted and Aayel was proven innocent. We should stop bullying, accusing and spreading baseless rumours about others.

“You were right Sobia, I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you earlier,” Sameen said when we were alone.

“It’s alright, just remember that every story has two sides to it. Now, let’s go, everyone must be waiting for us,” I said as we skipped off hand in hand.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 4th, 2024

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