Zara - S01 E02 (Story Episode)

1 year ago

Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 2

The phone buzzed, drawing his attention away from the article he was reading.

Before he saw the caller ID, he knew who it would
be. As he looked he saw that he was right but
the usual good feeling that accompanied his
spot on guesses was understandably absent.
He had been avoiding her calls for almost a
week for reasons he couldn’t even understand.


Before his trip to Switzerland for his 6 month
course, they had been inseparable. Although,
even then, he could see the tell-tale signs of a
possible break up. They were signs he recognized from his previous relationships.


Howbeit that this time around the feelings
were being reversed.


He knew it would continue vibrating for
almost a minute. She had set up the phone
that way.

Ringing tones of any kind grated his
nerves and as such, his phone was usually
with the sound off.

His friends had come to
accept him that way but not her. She changed
it. She changed everything in his life, so much that he was scared.

He knew he was in
danger – in danger of losing his heart.


As much as he hated to admit it – he missed her.

So much it hurt. He reached for the phone, momentarily imagining her silky voice
warming his cold heart.

A flash card from the
past raced past his eyes, making him stop
abruptly. Shaking his head, he let the phone
ring.

There was no way he would allow a
mistake happen twice in his lifetime.

His cousin Stacey’s advice came to him and he
hurriedly shoved it aside.
Sighing heavily, he got up and walked barefoot to the fridge in his rented apartment.


The six month course in Geneva, which made
for the miles between himself and his girlfriend, was rounding up in two weeks.

All that remained was to turn in his thoughts on
a given topic. It felt more like a project to him
but the professor had termed it otherwise.


Smiling, he pulled out a can of cold Pepsi and
downed it thirstily.

The humid weather called
for lots of cold drinks and air conditioning. He
was glad his room had that installed.


Taking his former position on the bed with
his back resting on the wall, he sat down just
as the last buzz sounded from the phone.

He picked it up and saw that she had left three
missed calls.

Tempted to call her back, he
paused over the redial button. Then as if
burnt, withdrew his finger immediately.

The scene that flashed before his eyes from long
ago wasn’t one he had remembered in a long
time. In fact, he wasn’t sure what was bringing the flashes on but if it was a warning to stay away from her, then, he
would obey.


Obedience, however, wouldn’t come easy for
while he tried to concentrate on the article
before him, his mind drifted to the sounds of
her laughter.


Two lone tears dripped down her cheeks as
she sat in her car.

Once again, she had
reached out and been burnt. After all these
weeks of ignored phone calls why did she still
reach out to him? She should have known
then, when he said the short trip wouldn’t
change anything between them, that he had
been lying. In the near distance, she heard
the sounds of a car driving into the compound.

It would be the neighbor they or rather she had met only once.


Picking her bag up, she alighted from the car
and locked it behind her, sparing some
seconds to look at Ima’s car which was dusty
from being parked for almost two weeks
without being washed. A wave of sadness
washed over her and she turned quickly to
walk into the apartment.

Iyke woke up to the sounds of knocks on his
door. Groggily, he looked at his watch for the
time. It was past 7pm. He must have slept off
thinking of Zara.

That was what happened
when one chose to work on the bed.


The knocks sounded again. Slowly, he got out
of the bed and walked to the door trying to
imagine who would be looking for him at that
time of the day.

It wasn’t that he hadn’t made
any friends.

All of the male friends, he had
made were natives of Geneva and married too.

He remembered the shock on their faces
at one of the little dinners organized by the
school, when he mentioned that he was
bordering on thirty years of age and still
wasn’t married.

Not even the mention of Zara
had calmed them down because in their view,
if he hadn’t given her an engagement ring
before leaving Lagos, then he wasn’t serious
about the relationship.

Their words that day
had gotten him thinking because prior to that,
the thought of marriage to Zara, in fact,
marriage to anyone had never seemed like a
possibility. Not that he hadn’t found any to
change his mind.

The only experience he had
in that regard had left him scarred for life.


Opening the door revealed a familiar face he
couldn’t immediately place.
“Hi!” A cheerful female voice greeted.

Iyke smiled faintly in return.

He still didn’t know
who she was. “I’m sorry for waking you up. I
was in the neighborhood and thought to drop
by.” Iyke’s arching eyebrow had her
rephrasing her statement. She laughed lightly.


“I’m saying this all wrong. Hi. My name is
Sovie.” She stretched out her hand to shake
his. He took it warily and as their hands
separated, he remembered who she was. “I
am your tour guide. Remember you requested
for one at the school.”


Iyke nodded and then scrutinized the lady in
front of him. Her dark hair was pulled into a
ponytail, bringing out her oval shaped face.


She looked too young to be a tour guide,
looked like she should be worried about
shopping and girlfriends. If he ahd to guess,
he would say she wasn’t a day older than
twenty.


“I remember. That was yesterday?” He asked
rhetorically. She nodded. “ jah. Sorry. I mean
yes. I slip into my native German language,
sometimes. You’ll bear with me, no?” She
asked with a pleading contagious smile. Iyke
found himself smiling too. “No. I mean yes.


Besides, it’ll give me an opportunity to learn
another language in addition to English.”


Sovie almost giggled. “Alright then. Gut. I’ll
see you tomorrow in front of the school at
3pm. Come, dressed light and free.

The weather is hotter than usual these days.” Iyke
frowned lightly. “You have no idea.” He replied. She smiled and turned from the door.
It was after he closed the door that he
remembered he had forgotten to ask what the
second German word meant.

As he walked
back to his bed, he felt better. The tour
around Geneva would be a perfect to his time
there. His happiness evaporated as Zara
flashed through his mind.
He still had that to settle.

She knew it was pointless to dial Ima’s
number but she couldn’t leave it alone
because it always rang and then went to
voicemail. Each time, she would leave a
message and promise never to argue with her
friend on the usefulness of voicemail. Ima
was probably the only person she knew that
used the voicemail feature on her phone.

Zara didn’t think it necessary and as such would
stick out her tongue whenever her friend
bemoaned the fact that Nigerians didn’t use
voicemails to leave messages.
What surprised her was the fact that phone
kept ringing even two weeks after her
friend’s disappearance. What phone’s battery
in the world lasted that long? She didn’t think
it was possible for a phone’s battery to stay on
for more than two weeks.

Especially since her
friend’s hadn’t contacted her personally in
the two weeks since she didn’t return home
from her vacation in Calabar.


Being that the voicemail account was still
active, Zara resorted to dropping messages
hoping that perhaps her friend would be
listening.


“Hi, Ima. Today is day 14 since you
disappeared on me. God knows a day doesn’t
go by without me hoping you are okay.

Are you okay?” Zara paused and took a deep
breath. “Sorry, there.

I was getting emotional.


Can’t have me putting the waterworks
corporation out of work with all my tears. So,
let me tell you what’s happened lately. As you
know, at least I hope you know, Iyke is
returning in about five days. He still isn’t
answering my phone calls and I don’t know
why. It hurts so much to not know why, Ima.


I wish you were here to give me some wise
words. You always did have a w-“ Did. She
used past tense. Was she beginning to believe
what the police was saying?

That a person
who disappeared without a ransom being sent
thus far was most likely dead?
“Oh- no. no no no. Ima, you can’t be dead.


Please, come back. I didn’t mean to use past
t-. It’s just been so hectic and crazy with you
missing and Iyke in limbo. Sometimes, I feel
like we’ve broken up.

Just haven’t said the
words.” Another set of tears ran down her
cheeks.


Please God. Please don’t take them both from
me. I’m not sure I can survive that.


“Hi Ima. Yep! That was me crying about Iyke
again. I just wish he would return my phone
calls.

As it is, he doesn’t know you are
missing.” A text. “A text! Yes. Why didn’t I… I
didn’t want to tell him about your disappearance through a chat but as it is if
that’s what it has come to, I’ll have to go
through that route.

He might not want to hear
from me but I’m sure he’ll want to know that you are missing. Alright, Ima. Bye. I’ll send
him a message and let you know what he
says.”

Somewhere in Lagos…
A female voice whimpered in fear as the end
tone sounded. She felt sticky all over and so
afraid. Her mouth was covered with rags that
made her tongue dry.


“Your friend sounds wonderful. Her concern
for you is heartbreaking.

So heartbreaking.


You miss her, don’t you?”
She nodded frantically, hoping that would move the person she didn’t yet recognize to
release her.


There was silence for some seconds and then
the rustling of feet. “I will consider getting
her to join you here if that’s what you want
then.”


Ima shook her head as tears rained. What had
she done? God, what have I done?

Previous Episode

Zara - S01 E01 (Story Episode)

Next Episode

Zara - S01 E03 (Story Episode)

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