The short story “The Escape” by Qaisra Shahraz features an old Pakistani man, Samir, whose wife has recently died. At the mosque, he prays for his wife’s soul and for his escape. Outside the mosque, he meets an old friend, who invites him to his house, but Samir refuses, not wanting to see his friend happily interacting with his wife.

Samir’s son, Maqbool, picks him up and takes him home, then returns in an hour to take him to his house for dinner. The family is celebrating Eid, which Samir’s wife used to host, and this makes him miss her even more. His family does not seem to notice.

During dinner, Samir tells his large family that he wants to return home to Pakistan, because he wants a change of scenery. He plans to stay there for a few months. H...

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