Truth or Falsehood

  • 26 Aug - 01 Sep, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

I got startled as I heard the sound of the gunshot. I bent over and turned to look behind myself. The next thing I heard was Lindsay saying:

“Oh, my God!”

I looked back at where I was looking before and saw her cousin Jimmy covered with blood. His chest was bleeding. He collapsed rearward closing his eyes. I asked spontaneously:

“What just happened? Did somebody fire at us?”

Lindsay with her eyes wide open was looking behind me. I followed her sight and saw my brother approaching our side. The fact that really shocked me was the gun in his hand.

I uttered:

“Oh God, please save us!”

Before I could hear him say anything. I heard yelling of men from the other side. We all looked towards them. Four men were rushing towards us. Unfortunately, which indicated Jimmy was not alone.

The next two minutes were really horrifying for me. The four men, who were actually Lindsay’s relatives, held Gabriel tightly and started hitting him. One of them was holding him and the other three were kicking him and punching him on the face.

My heartbeat began to run faster. Lindsay held my hand and suggested:

“We must run, or else they might hit you too.”

I don’t know why but I obeyed her and ran along with her. We escaped the park, and yet today I regret my decision. The moment I was running, I was getting many second thoughts on going back and rescuing my brother. However, I was at the same time thinking about whom did my brother intend to shoot. This was the mystery that could never be resolved and could only hurt me; the more I tried to solve it.

Lindsay was not talking to me. For several hours she didn’t speak in front of me.

In fact, she hardly appeared before me. The rules of Gabriels vs Hectors appeared before my eyes:

1- No family is allowed to murder any member of the opposite family.

2- Involving cops into disputes is not allowed.

3- Winning is only through debates and verbal arguments.

4- Women must not be involved in any sort of fights.

5- Books and pictures are the only evidences acceptable.

I think the rule has been broken. But the question is that was it the first time. I don’t think it could be the first time. The rules might have been broken in the past. Even before my father’s time. But the rule that was violated today was the first one. Based on my opinion, it seemed to have severe consequences in the future.

Lindsay finally talked to me:

“They are not going to kill your brother.”

“…How can you be so sure about it?” I asked after a pause.

“They are going to keep him somewhere. And blackmail your family.”

“Blackmail, wait what do you mean by that?”

“They are going to keep him under their custody. And when they’ll need to demand something from your family, I mean the Gabriels, then they’ll offer his freedom against their demand.”

“Oh God!”

“We have only one option now. We must move to their city.”

“I haven’t told anything to my mother yet.”

“You should,” she responded.

“But first tell me that why do we have to move to their part of the city.”

“Not their part, but their city.”

“Yeah, whatever!”

“We can keep an eye on them. Or at least determine what they are going to demand from your family.”

“And what about my job?”

“I’m sorry… But if you really want to rescue your brother and stop the violence forever, then you’ll have to quit your current job.”

My brother tried to kill me or my wife. And I am here thinking about giving up whatever I have to save him. How stupid of me? Don’t you think? But that’s what I will do. You know why? Because I am going to bring peace. My fight or my struggle to determine the truth has no other reason but to put an end to violence, forever.

One Month Later

My name is Aaron Tribiani and history has become my purpose. I have finally settled here at Lindsay’s house. Her father and mother had accepted me for whoever I was. But they were not so polite and friendly. Especially her father Mark Martinez who is a kind of man you don’t want to be around with for more than five minutes. These people are also Tribianis like us but they prefer being called Martinez as opposed to my family.

My brother’s whereabouts have not been found yet. But Mr Mark has assured me that he’ll make sure that things won’t go worse.

I spend my time reading this book ‘The Prince and Rebel of Octaland’ by Richard Tribiani as this was the book that was most recommended. The events mentioned in the book were no different from Dr Joshua’s speech. But my issue at the moment was not Gabriels’ side of story but actually Hectors’ side of story.

When I asked Mr Mark about whom I should listen to if I ever want to know the truth about Octaland tragedy, he replied:

“Lot Hector. He is one honest person in our family. Not highly educated but a good debater.”

“So, do you have any CDs or files, on which I can watch him?”

“I don’t!”

“Oh, well, thanks anyway…”

Now, I was on this quest of finding out their part of the story. The Octaland tragedy obviously had two different tales. Among the two stories only one was true, as of course there can’t be two different stories and both true.

I went through the files that I received from my old relative. I was looking for Lot Hector’s speeches. And fortunately I found three videos. One of them was entitled: Lot Hector’s first ever Octaland Speech. As I checked the files details, it was a half an hour video and was not a high quality video. Anyways, I inserted earphones on the laptop and then played the video clip.

In the video, Lot was sitting on some sofa holding a mike in his hand looking at people sitting on the ground. He began his speech:

“You guys should be proud of being Hectors. We all are Hectors. But only with names. We are Hectors due to our casts or sir names. We know nothing about what Hector truly means. Hector means being honest, being a man of rules and a person who is willing to sacrifice his worldly affairs and blood relations for the sake of family’s honour.

“Wealth never really mattered to our great ancestor Hector Tribiani. Speaking of which let me clarify one thing here. Tribiani… Those disgraceful people, descendants of Gabriel call themselves Tribianis. You all must know that we are the real Tribianis. Gabriel was just a half-brother of our great ancestor. He never showed off. He was happy with his single name Hector. Gabriel was a thief as you all know. So his traits are in his generation as well. They all have stolen the title Tribiani. Actually we are Tribianis. But we don’t prefer being called Tribiani these days because those dogs have attached this name with their names”

The crowd started clapping on his words.

I got to admit that I was a bit angered for the kind of language he was using. But right now, I had to pull myself together, keeping emotions aside and listening to the facts that might be new and useful for me.

Back in the video, Lot was saying:

“We Hectors are proud to be called Hectors. That outrageous person Gabriel was unfortunately great Hector’s brother. But don’t forget, his half-brother. Today, I’m going to reveal the events of Octaland tragedy in chronological order… Alright, there was a fraud trickster Zion Cesar, he used to trick people with his special skills. And secretly he used to steal away their possessions. Gabriel who lived with Hector at the time became Zion’s partner. The two were the most infamous thieves of Octaland. Hector, the landlord found out about this. He was concerned that this would destroy his family’s honour.”

I paused the video and wondered for a while:

This story is completely different from Dr Joshua’s story. This side of the story is almost new.

I resumed the video, and heard Lot’s words:

“This event broke our family into two tribes. Hectors and Gabriels. At times, I feel sympathy for these new descendants of Gabriel tribe. They are defending a wrong person. I really want them to come to me and talk to me about this. They are most welcome to join our family and become supporters of Hectors.

“So anyways, Hector called Gabriel and in front of everyone he asked him about his crimes. Gabriel refused. He said that he was an honest person and he would never do such a thing. But Hector found his truth by catching him with his own eyes. Hector sent Zion to jail. He imprisoned him. But he spared Gabriel another chance. He just warned him and instructed him not to do this again.”

Lies. I don’t know why I feel that he is completely lying. But my doubts were cleared after what Lot did next. He showed a book in the video saying:

“This book that I’m showing you was not written by us. This book’s author is not among us. This book was written by Gabriels. This was written by his grandson. In the book, he clearly mentioned that Gabriel was a friend of Zion. And they used to be partners. I’m revealing this book’s facts so that you all can understand that Hectors were on right path. Hector was the positive person and his step brother was a negative personality in this tale. Gabriels have testified this. I’m not saying this out of my own knowledge. This book is here in front of you. You can come and read it.

“So anyways, what happened further was even worse. After stealing from others, the greedy Gabriel stole from his own brother. He stole plenty of stuff from the house such as jewels and gold. And yet he was not done with it. He moreover, demanded a piece of land that actually belonged to Hector. Yes, that’s the truth.”

Someone among the audience asked something that was not audible. To this, Lot responded by keeping his finger on his lips as if avoiding his question.

I paused the video here and went ten seconds backwards. I played the video to hear his question. It was not clear, and I couldn’t comprehend anything. So I increased the volume to 100 percent. After going backwards ten seconds again, I played the video with my complete attention towards his question. This time I heard the question:

“Is this fact mentioned in their book?”

The questioner wanted to ask that was this fact mentioned in the book written by Gabriels. The question was valid and something that I also wanted to know. But Lot refused to answer this question, which obviously meant that the fact was not mentioned in books written by Gabriels.

Anyways the video continued with Lot’s speech:

“Hector got severely angry with Gabriel. He outcaste him. But the arrogant Gabriel rejected leaving the family. One thing led to another and eventually Hector had to interrogate him. He asked him to return the stolen possessions. Not the possessions that belonged to him but the possessions that belonged to people of Octaland. Do you realise how much he was, a man of honour? But the disgraceful and outrageous Gabriel refused to give up the possessions. Now what happened further is something you need to know. He was not a murderer. Hector never deliberately murdered anyone. But for the sake of others, he murdered Gabriel… Yes, he did!”

I paused the video and uttered:

Alright, one thing’s clear here. In both sides of the story, one thing is common here. Hector killed Gabriel. Yes, Hector killed Gabriel. My ancestor was murdered.

I played the video again. Lot spoke:

“He murdered Gabriel because he had evil intentions. He was planning to ruin the lives of poor as a means of revenge. Yes, revenge of these interrogations. Why Hector killed his brother? So he could save the lives of others. And that’s what an honourable person does.”

The video ended. I shut my laptop and thought for a while. I was getting multiple thoughts and mixed opinions.

These people are not honest. I commented in my thoughts.

I stood and walked in my room. These stories are not completely true. The truth about Octaland can never be found through these biased speeches. I need to approach someone who has really been to Octaland and has read something that was actually written by these personalities. Gabriel and Hector.

Now who is this new character in the tale? Zion Cesar.

Those two personalities were already way too heavy, and now I have to investigate this person as well.

to be continued...