This is a day late due to celebrations over-running yesterday, so I apologise. I will catch up, very soon. I have no choice, as my fiance is the hardest taskmaster known!
The prompt is: You head the credit union at a company that requires employees to explain needs for loans. One pleads privately for confidentiality, and you talk the the board into his loan, based on their trust in you. You go to your grave without revealing his secret, which is…
And here is the story:
I am writing this, as I think it is important, for should anyone ever want to know the truth, it is here. And I need to make amends with God. For what I did was the most awful thing, and I cannot live with it any longer. This is not a suicide note, as this isn’t the only reason for my demise. But all things lead to this.
It was January 2001, though I don’t remember the exact date, that Asha came to me. I had known Asha a very long time. I cannot say we were friends, but we weren’t enemies. He needed money, and as he knew I was a member of the Credit Union, he came to me. I told him he would have to go down the normal channels, but he refused. I thought that was that, but then he came back. This time he brought his brother with him. At first there was no problem, but they pushed me into my home and forced me into a chair. They threatened me. They told me to get the loan for them. They said I could not say who it was who wanted it. Normally when you get a loan with our Credit Union, you need to state a purpose. It also goes in your favour if you are a saver, though that wasn’t necessary. Asha didn’t have an account, and nor did his brother. I asked them what they wanted the money for. They wouldn’t tell me. But they threatened to hurt my wife and my children if I didn’t do it.
What choice did I have? If I went to the police, they wouldn’t do anything. There was no evidence. I had no bruising, nothing.
So I went ahead and pleaded their case with the Board. I did warn Asha that I may not be successful. And the sum they wanted was greater than any other the Union had ever given out. I was very surprised when it was granted!
That was that. Or so I thought.
Asha was prompt with repayments until July that year. He disappeared. I couldn’t even find his brother, or anyone else who knew him. We started the usual channels to get our money. I felt ashamed. It was on my head. I pleaded his case. I apologised again and again. I got the feeling I would never be trusted again.
But something bigger was about to happen. Two planes flew into the World Trade Centre in America, in September 2001. It wasn’t long before I learned why Asha had needed the money. His face was plastered all over the news. Police came knocking at our door, having learned where the funds for the Al-Qaeda came from. But everything Asha had given was fake.
Fortunately, no one in the company connected the dots. Or if they did, they never told me.
But as I watched the towers fall to the ground, again and again, and saw Asha’s face, I could not help but feel guilt. I funded the group, I probably paid for the tickets, and whatever else they needed. Asha may have been on one of the planes, I was just as guilty. I left the Union.
I did everything I could to wash the blood off my hands. But no matter what, I, the innocent party, had been involved in a terror act of extreme proportions.
And now, fifteen years on, through the guilt and despair, and the keeping of a secret so dark there can never be any light, I have decided it must end. I have lost my wife, and my children don’t speak to me. I have nothing but blood on my hands, and guilt in my heart.
Please forgive me.
This was a lot easier, but I gave myself a bit longer to figure it out. One day soon you will get two stories in one day, so I am caught up. But I hope that you enjoy today’s story!
And I have been asked what happened to Terry Hulland from yesterday’s story. We will catch up with her real soon. I promise.
How is your Story A Day going