I picked my phone and was surprised to see 20 missed calls. The calls were from JK and Sa’a.
I am surprised and filled with dread simultaneously but placed a quick call to Sa’a who picked the call on the first ring.
“Where have you been?” more an accusation than a question.
“Meena has gone missing. JK is all over the place frantic with calls. He thinks we know something and we are not talking. I have never felt sorrier for him than today. He seems to be losing it.”
“Have you tried calling her?”
“Yes, phone switched off.”
“What about the office?”
“She resigned last week.”
That was news to us. Meena never told us she was resigning. The situation definitely had alarm bells ringing in my head.
“We should call her mum. She might know something we don’t,” I suggested.
“I think we should not be hasty in asking her mum.” Sa’a refuted.
“What if the poor woman does not know and causes a heart attack or something worse. We don’t want to be held accountable for an old woman’s death.”
The lawyer brain of mine was going on overdrive.
“Do you know if JK has told her the findings of the private investigator and the result of the DNA test. She probably took off on another Parisian shopping spree.”
“JK has not told her,” Sa’a replied quietly. The full implication of what we were dealing with beginning to unfold.
I felt an instant headache as a result of the dread that engulfed my being. Meena not knowing the real story had probably left town.
“Where are the kids? the questions came so sharply as I tried woefully to hide my rising panic.
“Gone with her, I think because JK mentioned they were not at their grandma’s place.”
I sigh. I must have aged in the last ten minutes of our discussion.
“She is gone. Sa’a. I know it, and I feel it in my bones.”
I am taken back in time to a discussion we had when we were mere teenagers.
It was one of those silly soap opera we watched where a man was unfaithful to his wife. I recollect Meena being so distraught about the way the woman stayed back in the marriage for what was a repeated action.
“You make the mistake of infidelity. I take a walk. It’s like a man lifting his hand on you the first time, and it becomes a pattern where you become his punching bag and perhaps die in the process. He cheats the first time, he will do it again.” I could hear the words of many years ago in my head like she was saying them sitting across me in the room this minute.
“I do remember too, but that was just her view on the TV programme,” Sa’a argued feebly.
“Sadly, It now gives us an insight that it was not just her view, but what she firmly believed in and now in that same position, she is doing what she said at that time. Walk far away. How far? Is what we should be trying to find out.
I closed my eyes and refused to a shed a year. Meena walked away from all her friends and family for nothing, and she would never know unless she came back. I could be one hell of a hard lawyer, but this situation was doing a number on me. I had to keep my head in the right place for everyone all of us. This was going to be a long, long walk.
“Rayuwa!!!! I am off to see JK. We might have to use the same private investigator to find out where she had gone. Talk to you later Sa’a,” I rushed on the phone not before hearing her say, ” I ‘ll meet you there.”