Zara - S01 E06 (Story Episode)

7 months ago

Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 6

His flight had landed over thirty minutes ago and there was still no sign of Zara.

He’d hoped it was traffic responsible but he wasn’t
so sure anymore.

Did she change her mind?


Shaking his head, he headed for the Bureau de change.

He couldn’t call her to find out
where she was because his local line needed
to be reactivated and because he had relied
on her to come pick him, he hadn’t bothered
about money for a taxi. Fortunately, he was in
possession of some dollars which he could
change into naira.


Some twenty minutes later he was in a taxi to
his apartment in Lekki.

An apartment he
knew his cousin Stacey would have ensured
was cleaned properly by available hands.


Because he knew her so well, he knew that
there would be food in the freezer awaiting
his arrival.


Without thinking about it, he tapped the
driver and asked him to stop in front of the
experience center they had almost missed. He
didn’t know why but he felt the
unexplainable urge to reactivate his dormant
line.

Bright light pierced through her eyelids as she
tried to open them.

As she opened them,
something told her all was not well.

Looking up and sideways, she saw that she lay in a
car, constrained with climbing ropes knotted
impossibly around her wrists and as far as
she could see, her ankles.


From what she could see, it was a Jeep.

At least the interior looked like one.

For some reason, she couldn’t fathom, Zara didn’t feel
the need to fight the hold of the ropes.


Instead, she busied herself with tracking her steps and trying to figure out how she had
ended in a stranger’s Jeep.


The car bounced again sending sharp pain
through every inch of her as the back of her
head made contact with the floor of the car.


She willed herself not wince loudly guessing
she was only safe or undisturbed as long as
her captor thought she was asleep.


As the pain resided, she looked at her wrist
and had to swallow the relief she felt at the
continued presence of her wrist watch.

It was some minutes past 8am. Luckily, her
wristwatch was one of those that told the day
of the year. It’s still Saturday. How did I end
up here? The last I remember is leaving the
house for the airport. Iyke! He’ll think I
purposely left him hanging. I’ll have to
convince him when I see him.
If you see him.


She couldn’t discount the wisdom in the
words that permeated her being. If. The word
singularly stripped her of any hope.


Then, a thought occurred to her. Perhaps, it
was all a joke. Maybe, she was overreacting.


Yes. She was bound but it could mean –
Mean what?


Against the backdrop of the mysterious call
and Ima’s disappearance, it really did feel like
she was in danger.


Ima’s disappearance. Could it be-
The car came to a halt and she quickly closed
her eyes.

As she did, she prayed for strength
in the coming days because she had a sense
that she would need it.

He couldn’t help but be worried. Since
reactivating his line, he had placed almost
thirty calls to Zara’s number but the operator
insisted that the number was switched off.


It was now past 9pm in the evening. There’s
no way Zara will let her phone be dead for
this long.

Not the Zara I know that practically
lives on Instagram.

Maybe her phone was
stolen.


Deciding quickly, he walked out of his
apartment to his car and drove to Ogudu. He
was just parking when he noticed Zara’s car
in the driveway. Ima’s was there as well,
although dustier. The reason wasn’t hard to
guess.


Could Zara have been at home all day?


As he turned off the ignition, and walked to
enter the compound, he noticed a figure
slowly come out of the house. Following his
better judgment, Iyke stayed put outside the
gate and observed through the metal bars.


The man who was visible under the full moon
which brightly lit the compound looked to be
elderly, possible bordering on almost fifty
years old. With surprising agility, the man
sharply descended the three stairs and walked
briskly towards the back of the house.


It was a good thing that the pedestrian gate
was opened.

He was able to enter in without
the gate making any noise.


As he approached the building, he noticed
that no lights were on inside. Already, he had
surmised that Zara wasn’t in the house.


The full moon shone brightly, catching
surfaces and making them glitter. Iyke’s eyes
caught a shiny object on the floor. As he bent,
electricity was restored the compound was
now flooded with night lights from the street.


The shiny object turned out to be that back of
Zara’s phone but what was it doing there on
the floor beside her car? Had it fallen off
without her knowing?


Then, he spotted the reason why the phone
calls were not going through. Her phone lay
in pieces under the car. It was obvious it had
fallen from her hand and the only reason why
she would let it still be there would be for two
reasons.


The first reason was feasible. The fact that
she probably didn’t know where her phone
had fallen.


The second reason was unbearable to
consider. He didn’t even want to pursue that
line of thinking.


Picking up the three components, he hurriedly
put the battery into the phone and covered it
with the back. Tempted to turn in on there
and then, he decided to walk to his car
instead. Considering where he was, he knew
it wouldn’t take much for some misguided
neighbor to consider you a possible threat.


In the safety of his car, some five minutes
later, parked in front of a popular eatery, Iyke
pressed the power button. A sigh of relief
escaped his lips as the inner lights came
through.

The lights also revealed that the
screen was badly cracked, in a thousand
multiple places even.


The phone must have fallen suddenly, without
any attempt made to break its fall.


Just as the phone finished booting, a text
message came in, followed by other messages
and notifications.


The text message was from her mum.


Alright, dear. Be safe. Give our love to Iyke.


He smiled at the greeting and as he did,
several questions began to pop up. Since
when did Zara give her parents updates about
her movements? The Zara he knew was
highly independent. Something was obviously
not right.


Looking closer, he saw that there were up to
ten text messages exchanged between mother
and daughter in the past three days. He
scanned through the messages.


Be careful. Come home.


Be safe.


Don’t worry, mum. God is watching over me.


Was this the regular correspondence between
mother and child? It was a foreign concept to
him. He hadn’t had anyone worry about him
to this extent in a very very long time. Was
there something else? He couldn’t help but
feel he was missing something.
Then, his eyes saw that the very first text
message in the thread was three pages long. It
took him less than two minutes to absorb
every word. When it dawned on him what
had been happening, he purposefully shoved
aside his feelings of hurt at not being told.


The second reason he had tried not to
consider was becoming more real by the
second.


Could this have anything to do with Zara not
showing up at the airport?
Not finishing his thoughts, Iyke placed a call
to Zara’s father for if he knew anything about
the man, it was that he wouldn’t rest until
Zara was considered safe and sound but that
wasn’t all, Iyke wanted to know first hand
what all the messages were about. Even as the
call went through, he found himself dreading
the truth for he feared he already knew what
it was.

Previous Episode

Zara - S01 E05 (Story Episode)

Next Episode

Zara - S01 E07 (Story Episode)

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