[#13] The Lost Time
A tale told by Apurva Chawla
The story begins at The Haveli.
Shreyansh rushed towards Saafiya and tried waking her up, “Saafi.. wake up. Are you alright!? Ananya, get some water please.”
Ananya ran towards the kitchen rushing past Ramu to fetch water.
Ramu was a little terrified to see Saafiya collapse like that and came near her.
“Wake up Saafi.. wake up, please!” Shreyansh said with a caring and almost pleading tone.
Seeing her lying on the floor made him realize in that one moment that he had loved her all this while.
She gained a little consciousness and tried sitting up. Shreyansh helped him and Ananya came back with a glass of water and gave it to her.
“Are you alright?” she asked in a panicky voice.
“Yes, I am. Where’s Kaka?” Saafiya came into her senses and asked.
“I am here my child. I am sorry. So.. so.. sorry.”, Ramu said and broke down into tears.
Saafiya stood up to face him and asked, “Do you know how he’s going to kill my father? Do you know where he is? RYU! Where is he gone?”
“I don’t know Saafiya. I cannot know. He travelled through the candle. He can go to any time in future or past of your father. There is no way to know. I am sorry”, Ramu said crying.
“What happened Saafiya? Where has he gone?” Shreyansh asked.
“He just said he will kill my father now that he has the candle. I don’t know where he went after that. He just vanished!” Saafiya panicked a lot. She went to her room to bring her cell phone. She dialed her father’s number with trembling hands and tried calling him. She had absolutely no idea what would she say to him if he picked up, but just had to know that he’s alive at the moment.
He didn’t pick up. Saafiya panicked a lot more. “We have to go to Delhi. Right now! We’re leaving. Pack your bags!” she said and moved towards her room. She suddenly stopped and turned towards Ramu, “You’re coming with us. Please!?”
“I am, my dear. I have to make this right.”
He went to pick the candle from the table and put it inside his pocket. She rushed to her room.
In 10 minutes, everyone assembled in the living room and they put their luggage back into the car. Shreyansh went to the driving seat and Ramu sat in the front seat. Ananya and Saafiya went to the back seat and after everybody was settled, Shreyansh started driving. It was late afternoon and he had already calculated that if they maintained their speed, they could reach Delhi by night.
Nobody knew what was happening. All they knew was that Saafiya’s father was in grave danger. They didn’t know how to save him or what to do when they find him, if they do. But they knew they had to try.
“I want to tell you something, Saafiya. It is killing me inside”, Ramu spoke up first, killing the dead silence in the car.
“What is it? Just say it.. We can believe anything at this moment. It cannot be worse than what we have seen since morning”, she said.
“Your grandparents did not die in that bomb blast. The ball. It wasn’t parceled to me. Seven years ago they came to Kibber and handed the ball to me. Your Momo knew that she had prepared you well to use that ball. I called your parents to tell them that they died in that bomb blast. They tried finding their bodies in those bomb blast victims but didn’t find them. They assumed that the police couldn’t identify them among many other victims.”
“How did they die then?” she asked with shock. All those days when she had cried over their death came in her mind. She remembered breaking down completely when she heard about their demise, that too, a brutal one.
“They didn’t die in this time. They time travelled. The candle was working fine all this while. I cannot be sure of where they went. All I know is that their life and Ryu’s father’s life was in danger. Ryu came here just after your grandparents’ demise. I don’t know why but this is all linked and I am just not able to join the dots here.”
Saafiya tried to absorb every word and didn’t say anything. It was Ananya who spoke. “What does the ball do? Can it help us?”
Saafiya gets the ball in [Tale #5 The Box of Secrets].
“I have no idea what it does. I never used it. It was meant to be used by Saafiya. When your Momo met me she said she had already told Saafiya about the ball and she would know what to do about it.”
“But she doesn’t! How do we know what to do with the ball then?” Shreyansh asked.
“I know what it does. I knew it all this while.. oh Momo!” Saafiya said and broke into tears.
The story continues:
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