Two Years Earlier
I’d spent almost three hours at the mall, trying to buy some new shoes for an event that me and my mates have been invited to. We’d made it into the X-Factor, and with one album already out, and the second one in the works, it was a dream come through.
In such a short amount of time, we’d made it, and we’d also saved up enough money to buy more instruments for our music. I was so excited about our career move and I was also so happy to share that with Mehmet. The only thing, was that Mehmet wanted to maintain a low profile with the paparazzi following us. I wanted to honor that because he was different from us. He wasn’t the kind to want to appear in the media, in magazines, interviews, etc…but Louis’s girlfriend Lulú, who was just plain weird, in a not so good way, seemed to be in it only for the fame.
I headed to the jewelry store to pick up Mehmet’s gift. He’d once said how much he wanted to have a necklace that had his name in Arabic. Since my little run in with fame, and now us actually fulfilling our dream of being in a band and having our music out for all to hear, I decided to custom make a pendant for Mehmet, with his name written in Arabic. The pendant was actually in the form of a white coloured, almost pearly, stone with his name Engraved.
Mehmet - محمت - that was what his name would look like in Arabic. Of course his name’s origin was Turkish, and was also the Turkish form of the Arabic name for Mohamed. Plus, he always insisted that Arabic letters were very artistic looking, and that because he was also part Lebanese, that he preferred it to be written in Arabic. I was so happy to actually be able to do something like this for him. Mehmet has been a very important part of my life since I met him nearly three years ago at that skate park. All of my mates and I loved him, with the exception of Louis, who always discredited him for just about everything, and insisted that he wanted a piece of our fame. Yet, that was the last thing he wanted, and always maintained a low profile.
I finally picked up his gift, and then went to have it wrapped. I had a feeling he was going to be so happy and hyper excited when he saw what I got for him. He was a really playful boy.
I ran out of the mall. Even though we were still somewhat new at this whole fame thing, there were often times people asking me or my mates for our autographs. I was always happy to give my autograph to an adoring fan, but right now I wanted to hurry up and get home. Mehmet was more than likely already home from school, and I was really excited to give him my gift. I finally made it into a cab, and left.
Arriving home, I was surprised to find the cops outside. Something felt odd. I couldn’t really explain it, but it felt like potentially, I was the last one to know something. After paying the taxi driver, I quickly headed up there, and entering, I could see my mates all looking sour faced and confused. Mehmet was there, looking scared. Lulú was there as well, looking conniving and like she had a malevolent plan in mind. I never trusted her for nothing, but because she was Louis’s girlfriend, I never said anything about how uncomfortable I felt around her.
“What’s going on in here?” I asked.
“Our money has been stolen” Louis said angrily.
I took a look at Mehmet, and he looked really out of it, like he was severely tired or something. I felt a sudden worry for him. Something here didn’t feel right. My gut was telling me that something was twisted here.
“Are you sure you searched everywhere for the money?” one of the officers asked Louis.
“Yes, but we kept the money in a specific place to ensure that it didn’t get lost” Louis said frantically.
“Did you tell anyone where the money was, maybe a friend?” asked another officer.
“No!” Louis practically burst in anger. His face was red and his clear blue eyes were blazing.
Lulú suddenly turned and looked at an already out of it Mehmet. He looked disoriented, like he’d just woken up from a deep sleep. It almost seemed like he’d been drugged or something.
“What about checking his backpack?” Lulú pointed at Mehmet.
“What?” Mehmet asked in shock.
“Let us see your backpack now!” demanded one of the officers.
Mehmet looked confused, because why would he even steal money?
“Fine, check my backpack. I have nothing to hide.” Mehmet willingly handed him the backpack. He didn’t look scared or worried that he was going to be caught red handed. The officer took it and opened it. He searched through it, then gave Mehmet a look. A weird sort of look. He pulled out what looked like cash, put it on the coffee table, and pulled more and more cash out. Mehmet looked scared, shocked even. I was shocked, as were the rest of my mates here.
“Is this the money?” the officer pulling the cash out, asked Louis, and the rest of us.
“Yes!” Louis said quickly. “That is our missing money, and he stole it!” he shouted, pointing at Mehmet.
“No!” Mehmet looked beyond scared now. “I don’t know how that ended up in my backpack, but I did not take that money!” he started crying.
“Then how did the money get in there?” he gave him a challenging look. “Did it somehow grow legs and walked right in?”
Mehmet knew he was in big trouble, and the shock I was feeling from what I had just seen being pulled out of his backpack, left me paralyzed, and with no words to form.
“Take that little thief away from here!” Louis demanded.
“NO, Please!” Mehmet cried intensely. “I didn’t do it!”
“Sure you didn’t!” said another officer, who grabbed and cuffed him. “You’re under arrest little boy!”
“No, please!” Mehmet cried. He turned to me, his eyes red from the heavy amounts of tears that were being drained out of his hazel green eyes, that at the moment looked a lot greener because of how red and irritated they were. “I’m innocent!” he yelled. He quickly turned to me. “Zayn, you know that I didn’t do this! You believe me right?!”
I didn’t say anything to him. I just looked at him with disbelief. The officers forced him to walk out, and I only watched him as they put him in the car. I could not believe what I had just seen. I could not believe that all that cash, that somehow he stole it from us. It was so not like him to do something like this. Mehmet, in these last two and a half years, he never said or so much as did anything that would make me doubt him, or much less believe he was capable of stealing. It just didn’t make sense to me. Why would he resort to this? I wanted to believe he didn’t do this, and that there was some kind of misunderstanding here. But there was no other explanation.
Mehmet cried and begged for me to believe him, as the cops took him away. The cops asked him how he'd entered the house, and he claimed that Lulú had been the one who let him in, and that he felt she was somehow involved in this whole missing money business. She however denied his claims saying, that she'd just arrived a little after the cops came. I almost wanted to cry, and I felt my eyes watering up in tears as they dragged a fifteen year old boy away. I wanted to defend him, somehow prove that he was innocent here. But something didn’t allow me to. It was like some kind of force, beyond my control, kept me from defending one of my best mates.
In my room, I sat there, looking at the gift I’d gotten Mehmet. I stared at it for a long time, wondering what came over his head. I was torn, I couldn't believe what he’d done, but then again there was no other explanation as to how that money ended up in his backpack. I started crying because even though he’d done something really bad, I still loved the boy. He was like a little brother to me. He looked up to me, and often times sought me out for guidance. I also stared at a photo on my iPhone that we took together. He looked so happy and so innocent. Now, I doubted if he was innocent in this.
Louis formally pressed charges on a fifteen year old boy, with no mercy. It made me wonder a lot about the hate he felt for Mehmet, but somehow I started to wonder if he was perhaps right about him.
Despite my doubts, I tried to get him to drop the charges. Somehow I didn’t believe Mehmet had done this to us. But at the same time the evidence was in his backpack, so that spoke a lot louder than words could. I walked over to Louis’s room. I had to speak to him. I had to beg him to at least drop the charges. Sure, Mehmet made a mistake, a really serious mistake, but I didn’t believe he was a dangerous thief that needed to be punished. Sure, I was mad at the boy because he had done something really bad to us that counted as a form of betrayal. Chances were that after today, he was going to have to forget that we were friends.
“Look, I know you love the lad. But you cannot actually believe that he’s innocent. The cop caught him with our money in his backpack!”
“I know!” I said, realizing that there was no room for doubt that Mehmet had in fact stolen the money himself. “After what he’s done, there is no way we can welcome him back into our home. But don’t ruin the lad’s life either. He’s just a boy who needs to be taught discipline!”
“I can’t do it! I won’t! I would rather see that bloke in jail for a really long time!”
He was being beyond cruel, which angered me, but at the same time I had to keep my cool. “I know you’re upset. Believe me, I am too. I brought that boy into our home, believing he was a good lad that would not betray us this way!”
“But you did bring him in. You brought a criminal into our home! Whose sole purpose was to get close to us because he knew that we would make it to be famous one day!”
“Stop being paranoid. We weren’t even famous when we met him!”
“But he knew we would be one day! That’s what Lulú has always said!”
“Forget about her, this has nothing to do with her! This is a fifteen year old boy we’re talking about here. If you drop the charges, I will make sure that he never sets foot into this house ever again! He is no longer welcome and he is not to ever contact us ever again.”
For a moment it seemed like he was rethinking his position in this. I didn’t want to believe that Mehmet had done this, and something told me that something more was going on here, that I could not see. Still, another part of my mind was telling me that he had done it, while my instincts told me that he was not guilty. Then I realized that perhaps I was being blinded by my attachment to this boy. I realized I had to be firm and perhaps even cruel, to make him see that he was lost to me, and to us.
After thinking about it for a long time, Louis said, “Ok fine…I will drop the charges against that little bastard! But make sure that he never shows up here!”
“Fine, go and drop the charges, and once he gets out, I will make sure that he never enters into our lives ever again!”
We both headed to the police station to get the charges dropped. After that happened, they released Mehmet from his cell. Louis left, clearly having no desire to see Mehmet. As soon as Mehmet saw me, he ran to me and hugged me, “thank you! I knew you would not leave me here” he said with his arms around me. I didn’t return the hug. It pissed me off that he’d even hugged me. Finally, when he realized my arms were no longer hugging him, he looked up at me with disbelief.
“Mehmet” I began, unsure how to proceed with this. Finally, I just decided to continue. “I told Louis to drop the charges, but that does not mean that we’re still friends!”
“What?!” his expression was now saddened.
“You heard me little kid!” I spoke to him in a cruel tone. “You stole from…from us. And that’s something that we cannot forgive…”
“Don’t deny it!” I shouted, and he got scared. “Louis was right…I never should have trusted you ever! You were just up to no good, and I just could not see it because of how attached…!” I stopped for a brief moment. “Because of how attached I got to you.”
“Please, don’t hurt me like this please!” he started crying more. I could see the innocence in his face. But I could not allow myself to be blinded either.
I had to be firm with him. “You did this to yourself! And I am warning you now you little bastard” more tears stated to shed from his eyes, and I felt so bad for how I was treating him now. But my anger would not let me back off. “You are to never come over to our house! You are no longer welcome! And you are to forget about me having ever been your friend, you got it?!”
“NO, I didn’t steal from you guys!” more tears escaped from his eyes.
“Don’t you lie to me!” I gritted my teeth hard. “You stole money from us, a lot of money that just mysteriously ended up in your backpack?”
“I don’t know how it happened, but please give me time to prove it!” he begged. “Please, I promise you…”
“Shut up!” I yelled loudly. So loud that he jumped and nearly fell backwards. “All I am going to say to you now, you little thief! Is that you better ‘Bugger Off! Or trust me when I tell you, you will see just how cruel I can really be!”
He stayed quiet, disbelief written all over his face. The devastation in his face was breaking me to pieces. But I had to do what Louis said. I had to detach myself from him. I had to make sure he understood that what he did was wrong. I turned around, and he followed me. He stood in my way, trying to explain how he did not steal our money. I was so angry at him that he was blocking my path to get out. For a moment I felt an anger so intense, that I balled my fist hard, a feeling intense hatred for the boy. “Please, just hear me out!” he continued begging through teary eyes.
I tried to get him out of my way, not interested in listening to more of his lies. But I also knew what I was capable of doing, and didn’t want to resort to that. He wouldn’t stop. Suddenly, I picked up my hand, and punched him so hard, that he landed hard against a wall, and on the floor. I could not believe I had just hit him. He looked at me with intense fear. We stared into each other’s eyes for a long time. Finally, I walked away, feeling bad for what I had just done. But I continued walking away and leaving the boy behind, crying intensely.
I also started to cry, but I had to get over it. I was not about to cry over a criminal little thief like Mehmet Narvaéz! He was gone from my life, our lives! I hoped I never ever saw him again. We were all done with that boy!