A short story
Hassan was waiting at the jetty for his present. Ibbe had only said it was a packet from Aikko's mother. Hassan couldn't guess what it could be. Perhaps it was actually from Aikko herself, not her mother, Hassan surmised. But why didn't she mention it when he phoned her yesterday evening? May be she was sending him a surprise present, Hassan thought, as he waited expectantly for the transfer launch that will bring Ibbe and the mysterious present to Kaanidhoo Island Resort and Casino.
When Hassan succeeded in the interview to get a waiter's position at Kaanidhoo, he thought it was a dream come true. The resort was super luxury and boasted the world's largest under water casino, the Dome, which rivaled Venetian Macao with its exquisite theme décor. Hassan's dream started fading when he was shown into the room that would be his home for the next 3 years. Far from the glitter of the main gaming floor of the Dome with its constantly spinning roulette wheels, baccarat tables and slot machines, his room was 10 by 10 feet, shared by 3 Bangladeshis sleeping on double decker cots. "And remember," the sad looking guy who escorted him instructed while leaving, "don't step out of the room without your uniform. Don't wander around the rooms. Just take the straight route to the coffee shop and back. And strictly no sea bath. You have no business on the beach."
The personnel manager looked up from a large pile of paper. "So you want leave? You guys always keep on taking leave…"
"But sir," Hassan pleaded, "This is the first time I'm asking for leave…I've been here one and half years…"
"All right, all right. But remember if you are not here on the 10th, then you need not come. I'll hire another Bangladeshi."
When Hassan landed on Maakandoodhoo jetty, he was greeted by his wife Aikko, Muhamma and his wife Maryan. Muhamma was the son of Ahmed Kaleyfaanu the biggest trader on the island. He was Hassan's childhood friend, and the two couples shared a wonderful time during Hassan's holidays. When it was time to leave Hassan had exhausted all his savings amounting to 3500 rufiyaa. Muhamma reassured him saying if Aikko needed anything she could get it from his father's shop.
"We need to talk again. The old deal is off. Now things are totally different. We got 20 more years. So you will understand we can't give the island for 25 million dollars. We already have offers of 150 million. But we will consider 125 if you are interested," Hassan overheard Ronnie telling the South African guy who was occupying Villa number 27. Ronnie was Kaanidhoo owner Shakeeb's son born of a Canadian mother.
"But Ronnie, this is just a windfall you got out of the blues. You were to lose the island in five years and then suddenly the lease increased to 50 years. Why don't we split 50-50 and settle for 75 million?" the South African offered.
"No way. My last price is 100 million."
"Done," the South African said and stood to shake hands.
The launch arrived. Ibbe handed over the packet and went on his way without a word. Hassan rushed to his room and opened the packet. It contained photos. But before he could see them his attention was diverted by a piece of paper falling. It was a note from Aikko's mother. It read, "I couldn't bear to tell you what my daughter did. But these pictures will tell you the whole story."
Hassan looked at the pictures. They showed Aikko and Muhamma. Hassan's dream suddenly became a nightmare.
[This is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a real place or person is purely coincidental.]