Life can be strangely familiar sometimes and with a little bit of help from the dark side, it can turn out to be that perilous unease which translates into the undoing of one’s existence. I too, had had my share of disappointments because I had just been an ordinary kid born in an ordinary town—except that it was also the most dangerous region in the world. In that, my parents’ lives revolved around an unending cycle of oblivion in which duties and obligations mattered more than any sense of purpose. I wasn’t old enough to reflect back and ponder upon the distant results of my small deeds, apart from the religious indoctrination of sin and rewards that might have built into the classification of children’s limited awareness of the world. My friends were the small outlet of companionship and comfort in a life, torn by the deafening sounds of drones and bomb-shelling. Needless to say, people in our society find the idea of fear to be an anathema, and the one labelled with it can be dehumanised in unspeakable terms. However, kids grown in the other part of the world might have had difficulty functioning normally in such abnormal circumstances. My life on the other hand was so acclimatised towards these aspects that I didn’t even know if there could be any other angle to one’s existence. But that’s the thing about pain and anger, it demands to be felt in order for one to become a real hero. I, too, probably needed to feel the pain of my friends as well as their parents in order to stop feeling forever. Instead of just ‘be’ there, I chose to be the person that ‘was’ there. My mother’s tears and my father’s sighs will be the muffled cries that fall on the deaf ears of time, but all the same, sometimes even one second can turn into an inextricable cycle of eternity, and for me that one second of sacrifice will be the true gift of all the breaths that I have taken and all the blessings that I have shared with my family and friends. And as for you with your suicide jacket and your self-awarded proclaim of righteousness, you are the face of that suffocating fear that I helped in shattering, because for me, my God and his faith was the real courage that I needed to undo the distant results of your ‘deeds’ This is an article written in the memory of Aitzaz Hassan, who chose to sacrifice his life in Hangu on 7th January 2014, in order to save the lives of hundreds of other students. May his memory live on forever in our minds. The writer is a lecturer in English department at Government College University Lahore and can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, January 9th 2017.