Lies of Leha

It had become a habit for her. Besides, a lie or two wouldn’t hurt anyone. So why should she stop when the poor should be fed?


It had become a habit for her. Besides, a lie or two wouldn’t hurt anyone. So why should she stop when the poor should be fed?




Leha adjusted the stained bandage on her big toe. It added a bit of zest to her character. She was ready.

“Assalamualaikum, I’m so sorry to bother you, child.” Leha began.

“Waalaikumsalam, Aunty. How can I help you?”

The young woman looked tired, a file in one hand and perhaps a full purse tucked away in her handbag.

“Do you know where the toilet is?” Leha asked. “Could you bring me there? I hurt myself, you see.”

It worked as always. How much could she get out of this one? After all, groceries were so costly these days with the GST hike.

“Please, child, before I go in, could you help me? I don’t have any money to go home. Ten dollars would be enough.” Leha added a little sob. She waited for the lovely purse.

“Why don’t we go to the toilet first?”

Leha panicked. That wasn’t how it usually went.

“Please, please, just give me ten dollars.”

“Don’t worry. Let me help you and I’ll give it to you later.”

“Surely ten dollars means nothing to you. Please help this old lady. I have no one at home.”

“All right, Aunty, all right.”

Finally, the purse. Let’s see, let’s see.

“Here, this is all I have. Is seven dollars enough for you? I have no more. See?”

The purse was worn out. Not even a bank card.

“I’m sorry, Aunty. I have to go now. My mother is in the hospital.”

A while later, Leha left the toilet. Unlike other days, the easy money felt unpleasant. She rested on a bench, adjusting her bandaged toe. The discomfort didn’t go away but a loud laughter distracted her.

Two young women, shopping bags between them.

Leha hobbled towards them.

“Assalamualaikum, I’m so sorry to bother you.”



Part Of The Anthology: Bits & Pieces 2018

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