Dripping blood, sore and bruised muscles, torn and dirty white apron, and a tired face who had her head hung low. Breathing was beyond painful for her. Taking oxygen from the air and getting it to the lung was seemed the hardest thing to do. This was the current Sabrina after last night’s inhuman torture. Even inhuman was an understatement.
Sabrina would always remember how her attacker mercilessly ran the knife through the various parts of her body. She would remember how cruel he was when he stabbed her in the stomach continuously, then poured alcohol all over her cuts and bruises. Sabrina would relive in her memories how he had beaten her to a pulp and left her to suffer for hours. Then sent medical treatment at the time of dawn.
Sabrina thought she wouldn’t survive such torture at this age. But here she was, living and breathing the hell. Years ago, once, there was a time Sabrina had to go through such tormenting, torturous moments. She still got shivers from the memories of those dark days of her life. Ironically, those torturous days were also responsible for bringing the love of her life to Sabrina.
She had mixed emotions about that part of her life. Sara didn’t know any of this. Both of her parents never told her and they still decided to keep that a secret from her for the best. Sabrina had never let any harm touch her family. She wouldn’t ever in the future even if that meant she would have to face such agonizing pain. Sabrina closed her eyes, taking a shaky breath.
“We survived that, Ravi. We will get through this too, you’ll see. I just hope you don’t use your visions to see me like this. Take care of yourself. Oh, Allah, please keep my husband and daughter safe, please,” She thought as tears slipped from her burning red eyes.
Sabrina saw the door flew open. She slowly looked up to see the White-Suit standing in all his glory. He wasn’t alone. Three of his black-suited men came with him. Without any word spoken, one of them went Sabrina’s back and soon she saw black before her eyes.
“What... What’s going on? Wh-what are you guys doing?” She spoke with her dried throat.
“Relax, Doctor, we are just celebrating the first day of your job here. Be patient,” The White-Suits sarcastic voice rang through Sabrina’s ears.
Sabrina couldn’t help but thought that if Sara was here she’d have taken no time to rip off his throat from his body for speaking with her mother in that manner. Sabrina was going to reply that pathetic excuse of a man when one of the men yanked her arms up making her stand. The next thing she knew, Sabrina was being dragged away from the room. She screamed and shouted, tried to free her arms from the tight grasp. But in reply, she only got harshly backhanded by her holder.
After walking for like ages, Sara yelped as a man threw her on the cold floor. Sabrina tried to open her blindfold but couldn’t succeed. A man grabbed her hands and tied them with rope tightly. They let her legs stay free.
“Good luck with your job, Dr. Rahman. Try to... survive, you know,” The White-Suit smirked along with his men-beasts before banging the door shut.
“Great! From hot pot to fire pit,” Sabrina muttered bitterly.
A huff, and the painful struggle later Sabrina found herself standing on the floor with no idea how it looked like, most importantly, who accompanied it that needed training.
Sabrina stepped forward to the unknown. She was constantly having an eery feeling that something was close to her, too close. But she couldn’t feel it touching. She gulped a lump nervously.
She called out loud as much as possible with her sore throat. Those bastards didn’t even offer her a single glass of water. Sabrina wandered aimlessly around the room trying to figure it out. While walking, she heard the faint noise of footsteps on the floor aside from her. The footsteps were like moving away from her one moment and getting close to her the next. Sabrina started to panic. During that time, many dangerous thoughts crossed her minds about the stranger she was with.
One moment she thought it was playing with her, the next she felt it was a silent predator, slowly getting on the prey’s nerves before the attack. Sabrina was sweating profusely. Her skin was itching with the contact of salty water and the blindfold.
At one point, Sabrina managed to touch the corner of the wall with her shoulder. The wall was also made of concrete. She headed to her right following the wall while taking each step tentatively. She didn’t know how long she was following the wall, maybe two or three minutes, the room was quite big for a blank panic room.
Suddenly, Sabrina found the corner of the wall. She was ready to follow the next wall in search of the door when her shoulder made contact with something solid and warm. The most frightening fact was that the solid wall was moving up and down in a breathing rhythm. Sabrina gasped and then stepped back shrieking murder. But she couldn’t get away too far as a big, wet hand held her left shoulder firmly, it wouldn't let her move an inch.
Next, to Sabrina’s horror, she heard the most grungy, unearthly laughter of a male voice of her life.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Sabrina’s mind shut down, taking her to an unknown dark abyss.
“Mrs. Karzai! Come here, now!” The man shouted to his top voice, almost shaking the house.
After a marathon race, his maid entered his closet, “Yes, master?”
“Where’s my black jacket?” He roared while furiously scouring through his closet.
Since last night his temper was stuck at 180 Degree Celsius. He spent an irritatingly restless night after Sara pulled the stunt. Though the pain was gone at one point of the night, he couldn’t help but be mad at Sara for hitting him like that. However, he was feeling slightly remorseful for putting her to the test. She had also suffered the intense pain. But he believed what he did was necessary and he didn’t need to apologize to Sara for that. She deserved it for defying him with her sarcastic attitude.
Now, it was as if, enduring agonizing pain last night wasn’t worst enough that he had to wake up this morning with a grumpy mood and a grumpy he was more dangerous than ever. His maid knew that very well.
“These mother fucking clothes! Mrs. Karzai, I asked you something.”
“M-master...” Mrs. Karzai stuttered while catching a flying t-shirt.
“Answer me, dammit!” His eyes showed fury.
Poor maid gulped a dry lump and mustered to courage to say the next words after much difficulty.
“M-ma’am Saravi took it,” She dropped the silent bomb.
The man paused on his place and stayed like that for full two seconds before slowly facing her.
“What?” He whispered with furrowed brows, eyes demanding an immediate explanation.
Mrs. Karzai took a deep breath before continuing. She didn’t like his whispering tone one bit. This was an obvious signal of the upcoming storm.
“Master, ma’am Saravi said that she was going out so...so she wanted a jacket to cover up her burn marks...”
“And you fucking had to give her my favorite jacket out of everything, Mrs. Karzai?” His voice was dangerously low.
Sara was really getting on his nerves. He had been patient with her until now. But if she continued to strike him down, he had to take some serious steps against her.
“I-I didn’t want...”
“How did she even knew how to surface the mansion when I changed the locks,”
She was silent, nerve wrecking silent.
He growled. “That’s it! Mrs. Karzai, speak the hell out or else...”
“She cornered me, master.” The maid sobered up.
That made him silent this time.
“Early morning, when you were sleeping, she came to me. She wanted me to... to open up the basement room. I-I didn’t want to listen, believe me, master. She insisted, telling that she needed to go out but I told her I can’t give her any information without your permission. I tried hard, master, really. I didn’t want to give in but then...”
“Then?” He demanded softly this time.
With a shaky sigh, she blasted the last bomb.
“She… she blackmailed me, master, threatening my family.” She sobbed as his black eyes grew wide and a few shades darker if that was possible.
The man threw away whatever cloth he was holding and rushed past her with a new found fury.
“You're so dead, Hussain!” He gritted his teeth before leaving the room.
“Thank you for the reservation, ma’am, here’s the site you wished to book.”
“Welcome.” Sara slightly nodded at the old man with a smile.
The man returned the smile and added,
“If you need anything, just inform me.”
“Sure,” Sara said as she started to walk forward.
“Eh… One last thing, ma’am,” The old man called.
Sara turned back.
“Um… This place wasn’t reserved for ages due to the accident of the Roger family years ago. Are you sure you still want to buy this area for some hours? If you want, we can arrange another spot for you. It’d be much more beautiful and…”
“No thanks, Mr. Joynal, I’m perfectly comfortable here,” Sara said with finality in her tone.
Without giving the old man any scope to talk, she walked in through the forest area. The forest area was an epitome of greenery and scenic beauty. Even though this place wasn’t booked for years, the grass was finely trimmed. Not one extra shrubbery could be seen anywhere, kudos to the perfect maintenance. the Sound of birds’ chirping, leaves murmuring, and insects’ muttering filled the air. Such a blissful place to find solace and peace! As Sara walked through the woods she was enjoying the environment with every fiber of her body. But her brain was fully active on the given task of searching clues.
Sara kept walking while looking the bridge and the lake where the accident happened. After fifteen minutes or so, she found the desired location. This was the part where the forest ends and the lake starts. The lake worked as a divider of the two side of the forest and the stone bridge was their only connection. The bridge was grey.
It was wide enough to fit a big car. Sara looked at the silver railings of the bridge on both sides. They were old enough to have rust on them. Sara moved through the bridge and came to a halt as she took in the left side of the railing. This part of the railing seemed newer and less rusty than the right railing. Sara smiled as she knew she had found what she was searching.
Sara ignored the railings and looked forward to the other end of the forest, or better say the start of the jungle area. In her head, Sara imagined a car running through that forest, coming straight to the bridge. A man who was driving, a woman who was sitting beside him and a four-year-old child in the back seat.
The car was approaching the middle of the bridge where Sara was standing. Suddenly, the front wheels turned left and Sara mentally heard them scream aloud. The car dropped down into the water with a loud splashing sound. This whole scenario had two major flaws.
One, according to his statement, Mr. Roger said that he break-failed the car and that’s why he slipped into the water. If he was telling the truth, then he should’ve known or at least sense that something wrong with the car when he was driving it first thing in that morning. No, he must have been aware of the break issue. Otherwise, how did he manage to cross the bumps and curves of the forest ground without pressing the break for once?
“Unless he’s some secret expert in controlling cars with break-fails.” Sara thought sarcastically.
Two, why did he suddenly realize that it was a great idea to let everyone know they were in trouble while coming near the bridge. Was it because it was his cue to let his ‘everything’s alright’ guard down or was it because it was getting really out of control?
“Or was it because there was never a break fail?” Sara narrowed her eyes.
Sara kept the thought in her consideration box and now imagined the post break-fail, underwater scene. There she saw the man struggle to get himself out. After ridding himself of the seatbelt, he opened the door and moved out to swim toward the back door. He opened the car door, picked up his daughter, then got out of the car, reaching for the lakeshore.
The main point here was that he left his wife there to struggle alone. If there was no dangerous animal in the water, he could have come back to the water to rescue her. But he didn’t. Better say, he didn’t want to do that.
If the last two possibilities were correct, then Mr. Roger’s innocent forest birthday celebration was all just a facade. he knew what he was doing and why. He purposefully chose the area and the date as an excuse to fulfill his plan. All these facts conclude to only one thing, he left her there to die, deliberately. But here’s the question, how did his wife get the scars? Surely, he didn’t have claws to do that unless he wore something artificial to kill her.
“Or maybe he hired someone with claws to do that.”
Sara's eyes widened at the sudden realization.
“You didn’t only plan daughter's birthday, Roger, you planned your wife's death as well. And, that leads to the next question - Why?”