Mysterious Safe House
“Dammit! Just pick up the phone, girl!” Sabrina said with frustration.
She was standing near a window of her bedroom and had been trying to call Sara for the umpteenth time by now since she came back. But Sara’s phone was switched off for like forever to her. She threw away the phone to a nearby couch on her right, near the bed. She huffed and crossed her arms, angry and annoyed beyond the description.
“Just sit and relax, Sabrina. It’s midnight and she must be asleep now.” Ravi said while keeping his eyes on the book he was currently reading.
He was resting his head on his soft cream white pillow and under the comforting floral white bed cover, waiting for his wife to join him. His wife on the other hands, glared back at him instantly, after hearing his comment on the phone call.
“Really? Then what’s with the switching off the phone? Battery low or there’s no balance, which one?”
Ravi shrugged, “Who knows, maybe both.”
Sabrina narrowed her eyes.
“Mr. Ravi Hussain. Would you mind teaching your beloved daughter to be, at least, responsible enough to give me a message that she’s okay and she has taken care of her health despite the awful hard job she does? Because that’s what I’m concerned about the most at this time,” She said through the gritted teeth.
Ravi shook his head and smiled, “Well, what can I say when you have to blame me for all the things my little girl does.”
Sabrina raised her eyes, shocked.
“I...blame...you...for everything? Oh, Allah, who am I married to for all these years? I can’t believe it!”
“Well, the name’s Ravi Hussain, in case you’ve forgotten.”
“Hey, you, don’t dare to test my patience.”
“I’d love to boil and roast it,” Ravi said with a wink sending her way.
Sabrina groaned, “I hate you! You always twist my words.”
Ravi shrugged nonchalantly.
“What can I do, I love you with all my heart. And by the way, you are the one to twist my words. Would you please care to recall what I said earlier, love?” Ravi said with a smirk.
Even though he couldn’t see Sabrina’s face due to his eyes stuck on the pages in front of him, but he could the invisible steam coming out of Sabrina’s nose and ears. And he also knew what would happen next.
Before he could even process the whole thing in his head, his book got snatched from his hand furiously and a pillow made its way to his face. He couldn’t help but laugh out loud. His wife, despite being a strict wife, mother, and doctor, was enough childish to hit her husband whenever she used to lose her temper.
“Say another foul word in a serious moment and I will...”
“You will?” Ravi played with his words, seriously testing her limits.
“I will, I will...” She lost in her words for a few minutes, giving space to Ravi to laugh even more. But when she spoke, it stunned him to enough to instantly shut up. What she said was,
“I’ll stop talking to you for next six months and with that, I’ll make sure to cut the line ‘cooking for you’ from the daily routine. I won’t laundry your clothes and set them in the closet according to your need. Even, I won’t share the same bedroom with you. In short, you won’t get any more facilities from me.” Sabrina finished with a proud winning smile.
“You can’t be serious!” Disbelief was dripping from his mouth.
She made a dead-serious face and said with a rough voice, “What do you think?”
Ravi sighed out in defeat, “Fine, the kingdom is yours. You win.”
“Oh, yes!” Sabrina shouted, throwing hands in the air.
Ravi laughed at her behavior. Who would say she’s going to be in her fifties in the next few years when she still acts like a teenager sometimes?
After the moment of amusement, suddenly they both got serious. Silence fell on the room. Sabrina, who was sitting next to Ravi, broke the silence first.
“Can I ask you something?” She said with a calm voice, but tension and hesitation were noticeable there.
“What’s it, Sabrina?” Ravi asked with equal concern.
Silence fell upon them again. But Sabrina again took the responsibility for breaking it.
“Would you please, um...use your...special ability to see if she’s alright, please?” Her voice was pleading.
Ravi chewed his bottom lip before answering. He didn’t tell her yet about his recent start of using his extraordinary abilities. Now, if he opened up to her about things he’d have to talk to her about Sara’s secret job too which he didn’t want to do for sure.
“Another lie to her. God, when will you save me from this unbearable burden?” Ravi thought with great grief.
“Sabrina, you know I’ve stopped doing such things for years and...”
“Please, Ravi, I need to know what she’s doing now. You know I’d have never asked you if I didn’t feel so bad about her. I’m very worried, please?”
Ravi let out a hopeless sigh and slightly nodded his head, making Sabrina relieved.
“Thank you,” She said with every ounce of gratitude she had.
Ravi sat up on his bed and closed his eyes. First, he calmed himself and freed himself from all other thoughts, concentrating only on the thought of Saravi. He focused on commanding his brain to view the image of her current state. After few black moments, he captured a blurry image in his head, which soon cleared with each second. Within a minute or two, he saw a colorful vision of her face.
She was standing near a black bike on the side of the road. The place seemed more like a narrow lane with only two yellow streetlights, on both sides of the road, as the light source of that place. Sara was standing quite far away from that street light. She seemed prepared to ride the bike, but she didn’t get on. Something was stopping her. She picked up a paper from the seat on the bike which was securely placed with a small stone on it. She threw away the stone and looked at the paper for a few moments.
Then she suddenly looked up from the paper. She might have sensed something. She looked around to find something. Then her eyes got fixed on something or better say, someone, on her right. Because when she looked at that direction, she saw a man in a shadowy corner who was quick on escaping on another black bike. Sara’s eyes widen. She quickly got on her bike and turning on the engine she rushed toward the man who just passed the narrow lane.
Sara followed him on the bike till they both reach out to
the main road and soon after getting out of the main road, they struck the highway. The night was lonely with wet road. Maybe the rain there had occurred a few hours ago. Very few cars felt the need to cross that road. On both sides of the road, breathtaking view of hills and tea gardens of Chittagong could be witnessed with steel fences to divide the road with the green nature.
Two bikes were thriving the road with their extreme speed. One would never let the another beat them. While running and chasing the man for like forever, Sara thought about tackling it the other way. She had a plan ready for it. Sara slowed down a bit and let her opponent notice her sudden slow pace. He surely got surprised by her sudden change of behavior but didn’t forget to take the advantage of it. He speeded up more and rushed forward.
Sara was still following him on that almost lonely highway, waiting for the perfect time to come. While running with 130 kilometers per hour, that man didn’t notice when he became so absent-minded about that chaser that he actually let her slowly come close to him, inch by inch. By increasing the speed limit to just 20 kilometers more than him, Sara closed the distance in less than two minutes.
It was no wonder she soon crossed him and stopped crossing the path with him. The man got startled in an instance and quickly pushed the break. He looked at Sara with wide eyes. Sara on the other hand, who was fashionably holding on her bike postures, looked back at him.
And with a surprise, she twitched her lips into a smile,
“Ah, got you Wild-Runner!” She said with her sarcastic smile.
Ravi felt his body being shaken hysterically. He was pushed out of his mental vision and forcefully opened his eyes to meet Sabrina’s impatiently anticipating ones. His gaze seemed blank.
“What took you so long, Ravi? What did you see? Was she okay? Tell me, please, Ravi.” She said desperately.
Sabrina’s worried voice shook Ravi to the conscious state.
“Huh...Oh, yeah. Sh-she is okay, Sara’s fine.”
“Then what did you see for such long time?” Sabrina said, still not satisfied with his words.
Ravi thought a moment before answering. He definitely couldn’t give her the truth. So, he’d had to carry the burden of lie far more. Finally, when he came up with an acceptable reason he said,
“Well, she was driving the car from her office to the hotel she’s going to spend the night. I just checked if she safely reached her destination or not. That’s why it took longer. Oh, and I saw her entering the hotel room. She’s good,” Ravi finished with a perfectly composed forced smile.
Sabrina felt a wave of relief that washed over her whole being. Sara was safe and that’s what she needed to hear the most. But somehow when she looked at Ravi, she sensed his forced self there. She shook her head in the next moment the thought came to her mind. She Ravi would never lie to her. She had that undying faith in him.
She returned his smile with her genuine ones.
“You’ve got nothing, Ms. Hussain,” The man said with a deep, calm voice as he smirked. It touched his dark, black eyes.
“Uh-huh? But, Mr. Stranger, as long as I know, you were running away from me and I managed to keep you within my distance. Doesn’t that make any sense to you?” Sara said with her ever sarcastic tone.
The man tilted his head while kept smirking.
“Maybe. But as long as I know, you must’ve got the hint that I don’t want your company. So, you should stop chasing me around.”
“Not until I’m satisfied with your presence,” Sara replied with a sudden sharp tone.
The man narrowed his eyes.
“You won’t get anything out of me!” He stated boldly.
“We’ll see who gets what,” Sara replied with coldness.
“Yeah, of course,” He said as he showed her his humorless laugh.
“Anyways, what’s this new lovely thing here?” Sara showed him a piece of paper.
The paper was consisting of some lines and black spots here and there, certainly indicating a map of any location.
The man looked at the map of once, then smiled.
“Did you read the backside of the map?” He suddenly asked.
Sara furrowed her eyebrows in confusion and flipped the paper and saw there some kind of instruction to reach the exact location. It wasn’t very far from the highway, in the forest area. But it seemed a bit deeper and far from the civilized place.
“You didn’t give me the chance,” Sara said while keeping her eyes stuck on the paper.
The man smirked at her while looking at her frowned, very-attentive-at-work face. His moving over every single of her face. They lingered extra two seconds on her mesmerizing eyes and lips.
“Just because I’m beautiful, it doesn’t give you the right to eat my face with your eyeballs, Intruder,” She said in her casual tone, not looking at him for once.
His smirk grew wider and he let out a small chuckle.
“Now, is it my fault that you like to taunt a man with your poisonous beauty, Lioness!” He said with the most innocent look he could muster, emphasizing the last word.
Sara scrunched up her nose in disgust.
“Lioness! What the actual...”
“Did you just say...” Sara snapped her neck at him. Venom dripping from her voice.
The man lazily looked down at the paper, completely ignoring her existence.
“It’s your new hideout here, a safe house.”
Sara furrowed her brows, “What do you mean?”
“You heard what I said. Now, if you are done with your attitude, I’d like to leave and this time, don’t even dare to chase me.”
Sara choked with amusement.
“I do love dares. But I’m not sure enough to trust you yet. Why would you favor me with a safe house and without even a reason? Doesn’t it sound too odd?”
The man smiled.
“Who said I’m doing this without a reason? There’s always a reason for everything happens around here and... besides, you can trust me,” He said with a smile, making Sara raise her brows, and then added, “Only if you want.”
With that, without letting Sara reply his words, he turned his bike and stormed off. Sara, on the other side, was left in a dwelling thought whether to listen to that stranger or not. After couple minutes of mind fighting, Sara decided to check that place out to see if that was really a safe zone or some kind of danger zone with deadly traps for her. No matter what that smart-mouth said, she couldn’t trust him. Who knows what were his true intentions?
“I, damn, can’t believe it!” Sara couldn’t help but shout out loud.
It was really a matter of shock that the place she was standing was actually a huge, big open field beside the deep forest river. Acres of acres of the land lay ahead of her and not a single sign of hideout could be seen, only if the hideout is under the river on her far left corner which seemed an impossible thought.
“He told me to come here for this!” Sara said, exhausted, angry and tired.
Sara looked at the map she was holding in her right hand. According to the map instruction, this was the possible location of the actual place of the hideout. But in reality, she was disappointed to see nothing.
“I’m going to strangle him for good.” Sara thought.
She had several thoughts and possibilities crossed in her mind about the place. It started from the place is an actual dangerous trap to the fact that the whole thing is a big prank. But no explanation could satisfy her brain. Then she decided to explore the place a bit. No matter a trap or safe house, she would never hesitate to pay a good attention to the ground she landed.
She looked at her left while walking. Her focus was on the river, so calmly and peacefully flowing the water. On the far left, even crossing the forest river, she could see two proud peaks of the same hard hill, creating a perfect blackish green contrast with the night sky. When devouring the beauty of the night, suddenly, something clicked her mind.
She looked at the map again and flipped the instruction page. Her eyes found the very last instruction which was something like a romantic poem. It was like this,
At the end of the world, when night falls
You are with me, both here together
False become truth and truth becomes false,
Chills run down my spine
But I still stand there with pride,
Looking only at you, while you look at the sky.
At the beginning of the dawn, when nature arise
I stand there with a half-eaten apple
Talking to you like a wise,
Your touch is like a trigger, makes me go melt
Only you can reach my buried soul, where my heart is kept well,
So, tell me, still, your soul doesn’t belong to mine?
At first, she thought this was a useless poem with skillful creativity adding a stupid question in the end. even though, deep down in her heart, she knew they meant something, something deep. She read the poem twice and then looked at the hill again. Her gaze remained fixed there for a couple of moments. Then suddenly, a smile made its way to her face, which soon turned into a victorious grin.
The direction Sara was facing that time was west. Sara turned around to face the east. She looked at the trees on the edge of the forest. She brought out her lighter and turned it on. Then she ran to those trees and started to search that certain apple tree. After a couple of minutes searching, Sara found the one and only apple tree of the east.
The poem told about a hill which stood pride with its two peaks facing the sky at night. The right peak looked like it was slightly tilted toward the other. It was as if the hill was watching it’s twin, or lover, according to the poem. Then, there had a mention of a half-eaten apple or to say more precisely an apple tree. It was situated in the direction where the dawn begins, the morning starts which means in the east. That tree maybe had some kind of trigger which may show Sara the way to that safe house.
“You sly little fox,” Sara said as she remembered that smirking pair of black eyes.
But she saw no trigger or something like that on that tree. Instead, she saw three engraved thin and rough lines, left and right lines were shorter than the middle one. Sara looked up and around the tree, pointing the lighter to various light positions. She looked there closely. At first, she found nothing interesting or useful. But soon, she managed to find the difference.
“Ah, there you are, baby,” She muttered.
Sara’s hand reached the gun in her left holster to bring that out and then pointed it up, at the tree. Sara’s other hand was holding the lighter. Soon, she found herself satisfied with the gun position and then pulled the trigger. Sara heard a loud noise of bullet running through a small yellow gap of some loosely hanging blackish apple. That little action significantly ruined the peace of calm night.
However, the after effect was quite dramatic. Shooting that apple piece made the ground shake. It got divided into two parts. Sara couldn’t believe her eyes as she witnessed the whole big field got divided and then magically revealed an extremely huge, beautiful cream colored modern mansion in front of her while some black metal was lifting the whole thing up in a slow motion.
“What...the...hell!” Sara gasped as she said, entirely shocked.
This was definitely no way near her expectation.