To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
On Friday morning Fanta was relieved that neither she nor her sisters had become sick during the night.
Fanta noticed that D’arby was looking well and seemed to be feeling relaxed that morning. Instead of rushing off to work D’arby was sitting and drinking tea with John.
D’arby also looked relieved when he saw that Fanta and her sisters were up.
“Can you invite Syafika over for dinner tonight?” D’arby asked Fanta. “I have something to tell everyone”
“Ok” said Fanta.
“What is it?” asked John.
“I don’t want to spoil the surprise – wait until tonight” said D’arby.
“It’s not bad news is it?” asked John.
“No, exciting news” said D’arby.
Fanta thought she knew what D’arby was going to be talking about, but didn’t say anything.
When Fanta arrived at work she was disappointed to find that Syafika wasn’t there.
Instead of paying attention during the team meeting Fanta daydreamed about having adventures. A particular favourite was imagining what it would be like to walk into the kitchen and discover Nelson trying to stab Christine with a knife. Fanta decided that in that situation she would disarm Nelson by throwing hot water all over him.
When Fanta walked back to her desk after the meeting Celine walked next to her.
“What is she doing here?” asked Celine, sounding disgusted.”She will infect us all”
Fanta looked up and saw Syafika walking into the office looking apologetic.
Syafika smiled at Fanta and then went to apologise to Christine for having missed the team meeting.
Then Syafika walked over to Fanta and whispered “Let’s catch-up over lunch” before settling down at her computer.
At lunchtime it was raining and so Fanta and Syafika went to a café instead of the Botanic Gardens.
As Fanta listened while Syafika told her all the details of her date with Anthony she realised she felt impatient and a bit cranky. Fanta wondered if she was starting to feel the way her mother had felt before she ran away.
“What’s your next date? With the waiter you met when you were with Celine?” said Fanta.
“Who?” said Syafika, looking confused.
“Celine said a waiter gave you his phone number and made you promise to call” said Fanta. “Or was she making that up?”
“No, now I remember” said Syafika and she opened her wallet and looked in all the sections without finding what she was looking for.
“Don’t tell me you lost his number” said Fanta.
“I must have. I remember putting it in here, but now it’s gone” said Syafika.
Fanta realised she felt disappointed – disappointed for the waiter, disappointed that Syafika wouldn’t have a new romance to distract her from Anthony, and disappointed because Celine was the one who’d been with Syafika when the waiter had given Syafika his number.
“What’s wrong” asked Syafika. “You don’t look happy today”
Fanta sighed as she gathered her thoughts.
“I wish my life was more interesting” said Fanta.
“Why would you want a life as full of disappointing dramas as mine? You’ve got love and stability – the things most people dream about” said Syafika.
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m just feeling left out while you and D’arby have all these adventures” said Syafika.
“Do you want to help me work out what Anthony is up to?” said Syafika.
“Yes!” said Fanta.
“But you’ve always disliked Anthony” said Syafika.
“I don’t want you to marry him, I want you to discover that he does evil things because then you won’t like him anymore” said Fanta.
Syafika laughed and Fanta couldn’t help joining in.
“Shall I tell you what happened when I got home yesterday?” said Syafika.
“Yes” said Fanta and she listened patiently as Syafika told her about the conversations she’d had with Amanda and Rose yesterday. Fanta wanted to think that Syafika was just being paranoid, but she had to agree with Syafika – the evidence didn’t add up to there being nothing going on.
“So what do you think? Do you know why Anthony has been watching me or my house?” asked Syafika.
“I think that Anthony does love you but that he is also spying on you for some other reason, and I think that he is scared that you are playing some kind of game with him. Maybe he thinks you know more than you do” said Fanta.
“I like that!” said Syafika. “I just wish it was true – that I did know what was going on. Do you really think he has mistaken my confusion for tactics?”
“It makes sense” said Fanta. “Anthony behaves like he is attracted to you one minute, and then is is angry or scared of you the next. What if he is just as confused as you and neither of you are trying to be manipulative?”
Fanta noticed a tear running down Syafika’s cheek.
“That’s so sad!” said Syafika. “Next time I see Anthony I’m going to give him a hug – poor thing! But what does that mean about Mum and Amanda?”
“I don’t know – what could they possibly be up to that Anthony would be interested in?” asked Fanta.
“Will you help me find out?” asked Syafika.
“Yes” said Fanta. “But we have to be careful. They are your family”