The Inklings: Chapter 121

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When Syafika arrived at Anthony’s flat she was only interested in getting to the toilet because she knew she was going to vomit soon. Syafika was glad that Anthony didn’t follow her into the bathroom. Syafika knelt down beside the toilet and waited for the next wave of nausea. When she’d vomited she rinsed her mouth and washed her face. Syafika discovered that Anthony was sitting on the floor just outside the bathroom door.

“I bet you think this is fun!” said Syafika. She always felt quite good just after she’d vomited, but knew that she’d start feeling sick again soon.

“It is less predictable than the movie we were watching” said Anthony. “What do you think made you sick?”

“Food poisoning or a tummy bug I guess” said Syafika, without giving much thought to what she was saying because she was too busy worrying that her parents would get home and not know where she was.

“Maybe you picked up some germs while running barefoot” said Anthony.

“Maybe. Hey, I need to try calling my parents again” said Syafika.

“But you can stay here” said Anthony.

“Thanks, I know, I will. I just need to tell them where I am” said Syafika.

Syafika got out her phone and called her home number. As she listened to it ringing she realised she was feeling angry with Anthony for having commented on her running barefoot. A couple of seconds later Syafika realised that if Anthony had seen her running barefoot he must have seen her running yesterday and wondered if he’d been following her. She wondered whether Anthony had meant to reveal that he’d seen her yesterday or whether it was an accident. When the answering machine answered the phone Syafika decided she didn’t want to have to keep ringing so she left a quick message about being sick and staying at a friend’s house.

“My parents still aren’t home so I left a message. Now they won’t worry when they come home and I’m not there” said Syafika.

“Good. Now you can relax” said Anthony. “Would you like something to drink? You probably need to rehydrate. Would you like some water with ice and lemon?”

“Thanks, that would be nice” said Syafika.

“Have a look at the view while I make it” said Anthony.

Syafika looked around and realised that the flat had large windows and a balcony on the harbour side so she went to have a look, but what she most wanted to do was see if there was a balcony facing the Botanic Gardens. She was hopeful that there was because when they came in she’d noticed that this was the only flat at the southern end of the floor.

“Wow! Do you have a view of the Botanic Gardens too?” asked Syafika.

“Yes, there’s a balcony off the main bedroom – go and have a look if you like” said Anthony.

Syafika tried not to look suspicious as she walked across the flat. She was aware that D’arby would be confused about what to do because he was supposed to keep watch over her and she suspected that he would be standing outside the door of the building and wondering what he should do. Syafika considered trying to sneak D’arby into Anthony’s flat but realised it was beyond her deceptive abilities.

Syafika turned on the balcony light and went out, closing the door behind her. Even though it was dark she could tell that the view on this side was amazing. She wasn’t a fan of the busy waterfront and would prefer to look over the Botanic Gardens. Syafika looked down to see if D’arby was there and noticed that someone was waving at her – it was D’arby. Syafika was very relieved to see D’arby and yelled out that he should go home because she was going to stay the night. When he said he’d stay outside she thought he was being ridiculous and told him to go. Then she hurried back inside because she knew it wouldn’t take Anthony long to make her drink.

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