“Don’t struggle. It’ll be worse if you do.”
“What can be worse than this? My life is worth nothing.”
“Is your wife’s?”
Vishal fell silent, his head dropped and his shoulders became rounded. Three words had aged him by decades.
The guard snapped shackles around Vishal’s ankles and they shuffled towards a military vehicle.
“I can’t.” He nodded towards the restraints on his ankles. The guard laughed.
“You think this is hard scum? You wait for the labour camp. You understand why you’re here yes?”
Vishal didn’t but he nodded anyway.
“You wrote a note. You wrote a note to your wife.”
“No excuse. You know the law. No writing. No reading.”
He pulled a scrap of paper from his pocket, spat on it, and threw it to the floor. Two words were visible, ‘Happy Birthday’.