Shaheen bhai was panicked. It had all happened too soon. Unexpectedly too soon.
He was only 35 years old. He had promised himself a long time ago that he was going to mend his way at 40 and he had a very good reason for it. If the greatest man of all time was but a mere heathen until his fortieth birthday, Shaheen bhai had reasoned, it was unfair to expect anything more from him. If anything, in simpler times, he may have pushed it up to 50 for himself.
But now was not a simpler time anymore.
It was the end times, and he had little to no time left to try and mend his ways.
Yes, Shaheen bhai was indeed panicked.
He had spent longer than ideal in the human-chain. After than haughty, stuck-up girl had walked away from him without saying a word, he had considered going after her, at least long enough to find out where she lived. He liked knowing things like that. he would have written down the address in his notebook and thought about her now and then.
But before he was on her trail, fortune smiled down upon him and a girl, younger than the haughty one, fairer and prettier still, had held out her hand in front of him and he had taken it without a thought. “Hi, I am Shaheen.” He had said. And then, fortune laughed down at him and another man grabbed his other hand, and he found himself as a part of the human-chain and for what purpose, he did not know.
And that is how he had spent his morning and early afternoon. At high noon, he had collapsed from sunstroke and passed out. By the time he came back, things had changed. Seeing all the death and destruction around him, and correctly gauging that the end of the world was nigh, Shaheen bhai had known that there was only but a sliver of hope for his salvation and he had no time to waste.
Thus, he had sprinted. In whatever direction looked safest. Because any place would do, he did not care much where. A mosque, a church, a synagogue, a temple. He had to pray and repent and mend his ways and he needed just one shot at it, he could truly and completely repent, if given just one shot.
But everywhere he went, he found an empty lot.
On his last leg, with darkness beginning to fall, he finally knew what he had to do. He picked himself up and bolted towards his favorite bar.