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It had been two days, two days of peace and reflection without her mother bickering on her back. Surprisingly Aneesah was enjoying her short stay.
In the evening she walked to the foyer of the hotel and just sat observing the decor and staff, everything was top notch. The isolation and peace had given her a chance to reflect on all the decisions she’d ever taken in her life. Eventually, she realized that she had never decided for herself.
No, she had to think of everyone else. Back in school, she recalled moments when Petra had tried to call her off from marrying Faisal, but she staunchly refused to, claiming that wedding plans were already in place. What was wrong with her? Was it so hard for her to make decisions and do what was right for herself? She was proud of herself when she recounted the number of women and children she’d helped. But she knew it was time to rearrange her life and think of herself first.
And like the sun bursting up on a wet dewy morning, she remembered where she’d seen the address.
34th avenue, Ridi Street.
Quickly she went through her belongings and brought out the card Miss Querah had given her.
“You can call me anytime you need help”. She had said.
Could Miss Querah be behind all the messages? It made sense. She wasn’t always in her home but she was there enough to know what was happening. That explained the previous messages, all the puzzles in her room. It had been Miss Querah all this while. Life never ceases to amaze one. So the ever quiet timid Miss Querah could even log on to a laptop? She didn’t really think she could be tech-savvy!
Miss Querah had asked her to call anytime she needed help. Come to think of it she could really use her help now. She couldn’t live in a hotel forever and no one could think of finding her at Miss Querahs, not even Petra. Aneesah opened her phone for the sole purpose of reaching out to Miss Querah. On the first ring, her vibrant voice resounded from the other end of the phone.
“Aneesah, I knew you would reach out. I’m sure you have a lot of questions”.
“I do. Miss Querah was it you all the time?”
Miss Querah chuckled lightly. “Not on the phone Aneesah. There will be plenty of time for that. I’ll call you later so I could come and pick you up”.
“Okay, Miss Querah. Thanks.”
“Merci Aneesah merci.” With that, she cut the call. Aneesah was surprised at the turn of events. However, she was glad that it had been Miss Querah all this while. Somehow she knew she could trust her.
Faisal was already waiting for them before they got to the house. Upon sighting him, Dave got out and quickly went round to open the other door for Petra.
“Get inside the house Petra, I’ll deal with him,” Dave said, anger clearly lacing his voice.
“Dave please I want to know what he wants. This is my friend we’re talking about here”.
“Petra don’t be stubborn. Just stay in the car let me talk to him”. With that, he closed the car’s door and went ahead. Clearly, Faisal was furious, he was wagging his finger and talking heatedly. After a few minutes, Dave gestured to her indicating for her to come out.
“Petra he claims you have an idea where Aneesah is. Tell him you don’t”.
Petra turned and faced Faisal. “You dare to come here and ask me about your wife. You must be crazy. After all you did to my friend, you think I’ll give up her location. Look Aneesah is making some changes in her life and that includes you. Now get off my lawn before I call the police and report an intruder”.
Dave was impressed with his wife’s reaction. “You heard the lady, get off our lawn.” He swiftly added.
Faisal was about to turn when his phone rang. His eyes lit up as he glanced at it.
“Yeah, any news?”
“Are you sure?”
“I’ll be there now. Thanks.”
He turned to the couple who were now wondering about the call. “The best your Aneesah could do was to hide in a hotel”.
Petra’s eyes lit up. She was now extremely worried. “where is she?”
“Oh, I thought you asked me to get off your lawn. And just so you know, I’ll get my wife back at all cost. No matter what it takes.” With that, he got into his car and drove off.
Petra turned to her husband. “What are we going to do? Obviously, he discovered where Aneesah is”?
Dave sighed. Truth be told he didn’t want to do anything. He felt like enjoying this quiet evening with his wife, but he knew she wouldn’t just agree. “Alright, let’s go into the house, then we can try to reach Aneesah and warn her”.
“That’s not enough Dave, besides her number is not connecting.” Petra burst into tears.
“Hey, hey it’s okay. Don’t cry. I’m sorry, look we’re going to find her okay?” He held his crying wife and led her into the house.
Aneesah’s clothes were neatly packed and fastened in the small trolley she’d brought with her to the hotel. She was wearing blue jeans with a long dress that reached to her knees. She liked her look in the mirror as she sat on the bed waiting with trepidation for Miss Querah.
After texting her the address, she was on pins and needles and couldn’t wait to leave the hotel. It still amazed her that Miss Querah was her stalker, though everything made sense now. Another lesson she learned, never to underestimate anyone. Aneesah heard a scuffle outside with raised voices. That was unusual, it was a new hotel hence always quiet. The voices died down a bit before another one vehemently rose. Instantly she recognized the voice, Faisal was here. She got up to peek at the window and saw his car parked in the garage.
How did he find her? Could Miss Querah have given him her address? This might just be another setup. Aneesah concluded that she was a fool. Again she’d learned another lesson, never trust anyone. She thought of a way of getting out without being found but found no backdoor. A loud knock resounded heavily in the door.
“Neesah I know you’re there. Open this door or I’ll break it.”
Aneesah jumped in her skin. Faisal had gotten to her. She quickly called Petra but she wasn’t picking.
“Aneesah opened this door now. It’s Faisal, your dearest husband. I’m here to take you home.” He hit the door firmly a couple of times.
Aneesah’s eyes were filled with tears. She’d rather die than go back to his house. She dialed Petra’s line again and waited for a voice. It continued to ring till Aneesah lost hope in her picking. At the last ring, Petra picked up.
“Aneesah where are you, I’ve been….”.
And just at that moment, Faisal burst into the room by breaking the door lock. Aneesah screamed into the phone.
“Aneesah talk to me, what’s wrong?”
Faisal burst out laughing and smashed the phone on the floor. He looked like a beast, out of control. Even his laugh was monstrous. ” Aneesah whatever you do, wherever you go, I’ll find you. You’re mine. You belong to me. You can’t hide from me.”
He grabbed Aneesah by the hair and smacked her twice on the face. The hotel staffs were beside the door, but all refused to enter. Faisal’s expression must have scared them off. “What did I tell you about this horrible red lipstick? Huh?”
Aneesah tried to fight back but he was much stronger than she was. She could feel the hot tears dripping down her cheeks. Why had she married Faisal despite all the red flags? This was the price she had to pay for her wrong choices. He gripped her tightly on her hair.
“Let that woman go right now”.
A quiet but firm voice resonated in the room. Both of them looked up to see the small Miss Querah standing right in front of them. There was a fire in her eyes that Aneesah had never seen before.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Faisal was stunned.
“Don’t ask me that, let the woman go”. She repeated.
Was it the surprise he felt, or the firmness in her voice, or probably she worked a little voodoo on him, but Faisal abruptly released Aneesah. She scampered to Miss Querah grabbing bag.
“We’re leaving now, don’t you dare follow us”. Miss Querah warned Faisal, looking at him straight in the eye. She turned and helped Aneesah up, guided her to a blue car parked just outside the hotel vicinity outside the gate, and drove off.
Aneesah couldn’t recall when she slept off. The Swift and smooth ride coupled with the slight humming of the engine gradually lulled her to sleep. And when she woke up, the dark comfy bed and room greeted her. She panicked for a moment before she remembered the events of the previous evening and she couldn’t control the hurt she felt and the tears that fell.
Do you think Aneesah is safe with Querrah? Or do you think Faisal will get her back as he vowed? Tell us in the comments section.