To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
Syafika watched the clock all afternoon and when it was finally time to leave she rushed off to change into her running clothes. They were damp and stinky from her run in the rain that morning but Syafika didn’t mind – she wanted to get home as soon as possible so she could take her time getting ready for her date.
When Syafika got home there was nobody there. There was a note on the fridge saying that everyone had gone to India’s place to install the ramp and plan the street meeting. They were going to have dinner there, and there were leftovers in the fridge that Syafika could have. Syafika realised that she hadn’t told her parents about her date that night and decided she’d leave them a note before she left.
Syafika opened her wardrobe, took out the dress she was planning to wear that night and carefully put it on her bed. It was made from dark blue cotton with a tiny red flowers printed on it. Next Syafika took out a pair of sandals and checked their condition. They were her favourites and very comfortable. If Syafika hadn’t known Anthony was a spy she might have considered wearing some of her prettier, less comfortable shoes, but she wanted to be able to escape quickly if things got uncomfortable.
Next Syafika packed a red shoulder bag with all the things she thought she might need that night, including the mobile phone D’arby had given her. As Syafika put the phone in her bag she noticed that a light on it was flashing so she looked at the screen and saw that she had a new text message. It was from Anthony’s number and said “I can’t wait until tonight”
Syafika noticed it had been sent an hour ago. She tried to reply but didn’t really know how to send text messages, and was feeling too nervous to be able to work it out. In the end Syafika decided to have a shower before trying to reply.
When Syafika was dressed and ready to leave she looked at her watch and saw that she dind’t need to leave for another 15 minutes so she had another go at trying to write a text message to Anthony and eventually managed to write “Me neither”, but as she pressed ‘send’ Syafika realised she didn’t mean it. She was feeling so terrified she didn’t want to see Anthony at all.
Syafika put the phone in her bag and wondered if there was anything she’d forgotten, but nothing came to mind. Next she spent a couple of minutes looking at herself in the mirror, checking that her dress didn’t have any holes in it or fluff stuck to it. Then Syafika set out.
As Syafika walked along her anxiety started to fade and she began to feel excited instead. She wondered what she would learn about Anthony that night and wondered what he was hoping to learn about her. Syafika was imagining her conversation with Anthony when she realised that someone was walking next to her. It took her a couple of glances to realise that it was D’arby because he was wearing a disguise. D’arby had grey hair and a beard and must have padded his tummy because he looked a bit fat.
D’arby managed to stop himself from laughing until he was sure that Syafika had recognized him. Syafika noticed that he’d even disguised his laugh, making it a deeper chuckling sound than his usual hyena sounds.
“I just picked up something really useful from John” said D’arby, and he showed Syafika the transmitter, and how to turn it on. “I haven’t thought through what to do with it though. What would be really great is if you could hide it at Anthony’s place somewhere, but if you don’t get an opportunity don’t worry”.
“I’m going to dinner and a movie with Anthony, not his house” said Syafika. “But I’ll take the transmitter and see if I get an opportunity to hide it somewhere. If Anthony brings a bag with him I could try to put it inside the lining or something”. Before Syafika put the transmitter in her bag she turned it off – she didn’t want D’arby listening in to her conversation with Anthony.
“Sorry, yeah, silly me” said D’arby. “You might also be able to hide it inside a jacket or shoe – although I don’t suppose you’ll be able to access his shoes”. D’arby had wanted to ask Syafika to try to find out the number of Anthony’s flat but was too scared to make Syafika angry so he decided to change the topic instead and asked “Did your parents ask where you were going tonight?”
Syafika felt sick when she realised she’d forgotten to leave a note for her parents. “Thanks for reminding me. I need to call them – they were out and I forgot to leave a note”
“Why don’t you use your new mobile phone?” asked D’arby.
Syafika felt a bit disgusted with herself as she took the phone out of her bag and dialed her home number – if she’d known where the nearest pay phone was she’d have gone there instead. Nobody answered and Syafika realised that her parents probably hadn’t got back from India’s place yet. Syafika hated leaving messages on the home phone because she didn’t know who would listen to them and so she hung up and decided to try again later.
“They aren’t home yet” said Syafika. “I’ll try again in an hour or so”
As Syafika and D’arby walked they went over their plan. D’arby would have dinner at the same restaurant where Syafika was meeting Anthony and then he’d go to the same movie. The trouble was that Syafika and Anthony hadn’t decided on a movie yet, but they had chosen which cinema. D’arby had narrowed the movie they would see down to two options, based on the time of night. His plan was to buy a ticket to each and then follow Syafika and Anthony to see which theatre they went into.
When they were a couple of hundred metres from the restaurant D’arby stopped and waited for Syafika to get ahead of him.
When Syafika arrived at the restaurant she looked at her watch and realised she was a couple of minutes early. Based on previous experience she expected Anthony to be late, so she sat down on a wall and watched out for his arrival. Fifteen minutes later he still hadn’t arrived. Syafika noticed D’arby walk into the restaurant. Either he didn’t see her or pretended he hadn’t seen her, but a few minutes later D’arby walked out of the restaurant, looking at her briefly before going back inside. Syafika suspected he wanted her to follow him so she went inside too. Syafika quickly noticed that Anthony was sitting at a table in the middle of the restaurant
“Sorry” said Syafika after she rushed over to Anthony. “I was waiting outside”.
“That’s ok” said Anthony. “It was my turn to wait”