a boy and a girl lived exactly the width of a street apart.

he used to stare at her window every day – which was quite an extravagant window relative to his.

the tall, gold and shiny blocks in which the girl lived were occupied by elegant, high-class people with surprisingly ill and unpleasant manners.

the shabby blocks in which the boy lived dwelled poor, beggarly people with more courtesy in their mannerisms than you would expect even from a well-educated crowd.

the boy and the girl had met only once.

the boy loved the girl for she was a complete opposite to her family and neighbors. pretty, sweet and docile, she had the exact qualities that the boy fancied.

the girl loved the boy for his humor and his masculinity – something the boys living in the same block lacked. he had the exact qualities that attracted her.

opposites can attract, but they can also repel. the folks in the shiny building loathed the ones living in the shabby building.

one night, the boy’s elder sister stole a wallet from the girl’s uncle to pay for their mother’s hospital fees, as she was injured after a car accident. since the wallet contained a USB with highly confidential documents, the girl’s uncle was outraged and in his anger – shot the boy’s elder sister.

the inhabitants in the shabby blocks were infuriated and swore to bring justice to the thief’s demise.

threats were made, voices were raised, guns were pointed.

the boy and the girl stood beside each other, devastated.

they automatically inched closer to each other, their hands searching for the hands they belonged in. 

slowly but deliberately, their hands touched and their fingers intertwined.

“we’re going to be fine, i’ll stop them,” the boy whispered.

with her fragile heart hammering in her chest, the girl nodded fearfully.

drawing in a deep breath, the boy released the girl’s hand and strided over to the disputing adults. their arguing voices were extremely loud, disagreement hung in the very air around the area. 

the adults were too busy aiming insults at their rivals, their heads filled with only one emotion: hatred.

as the boy approached, the girl’s father was beyond furious. his arm raised and his fingers pulled the trigger before his brain processed the situation. the boy fell back with a cry of pain, clutching his arm, his ears ringing.

“no!” the girl cried, horrified at the sight of the crimson blossoming from the puncture.

at the sight of his wounded son and injured pride, the boy’s father lifted his gun. forgetting what the law meant, he glared at the frightened girl in front of the barrel of his gun.

when everything seemed to fade into slow motion, in the daze of his pain and on the brink of slipping into unconsciousness, the boy snapped back to reality.

his father’s index finger added pressure to the trigger, the bullet was fired.

there was not a minute for the boy to ponder. his arms reached for the girl and held her, his back shielding her.

his father looked on in absolute horror as the bullet struck his son’s back.

the girl’s silent scream resonated across the area and the sound of her heart breaking was deafening.

the boy drew his last breath in the girl’s arms.

the boy and the girl once lived exactly the width of a street apart.

the boy used to stare at her window every day.

now the girl stares back at the empty room across the street.

– alichannie