Tag Archives: Anthony

The Inklings: Chapter 99

To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/

D’arby couldn’t help running the last kilometre of his trip home. He was anxious to find out if he was right that Lawrence the spy was also Syafika’s Anthony.

When D’arby burst in the front door Fanta came out of the kitchen and whispered for him to be quiet, then pointed towards the chair where John was sleeping.

D’arby quietly opened his backpack and took out an enlarged copy of the photo on Lawrence’s license.

“Is this Anthony?” D’arby asked Fanta.

Fanta looked at the photo carefully and then said “I think it is him, but you should ask Syafika to be sure. I only saw him once, and he was running pretty fast. But why on earth do you want to know?”

D’arby hated that he couldn’t tell Fanta what was going on. “I decided I would try to find out what Anthony is up to afterall” said D’arby.

“Where did you get that photo?” asked Fanta.

“I’m not supposed to say” said D’arby. “Is Syafika coming for dinner tonight? I’d really like to show her the photo”

“She is. I will call her to see if she can come early” said Fanta. She had never seen D’arby looking so excited and didn’t want him to have to wait any longer than necessary.

The stress of the fire on Saturday had left Syafika mentally exhausted and she was not enjoying being at work on Monday, so when Fanta called to ask Syafika to come early for dinner she was happy to oblige. Syafika turned off her computer and went downstairs to change into her running clothes. The clothes were still damp with sweat from Syafika’s lunchtime run but she decided that being a bit smelly was a fair price to pay for getting to Fanta’s place a bit faster. Syafika started running as soon as she came out the front door of her office building and smiled to herself because she looked and felt like she was running away from work.

When Syafika arrived at Fanta’s house John answered the door and Syafika thought he looked like he’d just woken up.

D’arby was in the kitchen making salad to go with leftover pumpkin soup and bread. Fanta and her sisters were in the backyard taking the washing off the clothesline because it looked like it was about to rain.

Syafika went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and caught D’arby muttering to himself.

“I want to show you something” said D’arby and he quickly washed and dried his hands before going to get the photo of Lawrence.

“That’s Anthony!” said Syafika as soon as she saw the photo.

“I thought so” said D’arby. “I just have to make a quick phone call and I’ll be back in a minute” said D’arby and he rushed to the phone to call Rudnika.

“I was right” said D’arby to Rudnika.

“Ok. See what else you can find out and I’ll see you tomorrow” said Rudnika.

Syafika was still looking at the photo of Anthony when D’arby returned to the kitchen.

“Where did you get this?” Syafika asked.

“I can’t say” said D’arby. “But I’ll help you find out more about Anthony if you like”

“Why now? A couple of months ago when I suggested we spy on him you and the others thought it was a dangerous idea” said Syafika. She’d been feeling a bit hurt ever since.

“I realised I should have been more helpful” said D’arby. “Tell me what else you want to know about Anthony”

Syafika didn’t want to tell D’arby that she wanted to know if Anthony had a girlfriend so she tried to think of other things she’d like to know and eventually said “I’d like to know how he can afford to live in a flat with harbour views and where he really went last year when he said he was moving to Perth. And I’d like to know where he works now, and why he pretends to be someone called Lawrence and has meetings with Celine and Nelson from work”

D’arby couldn’t help smiling when he heard all this information, even though he’d heard most of it before, because this time it made sense and he no longer thought that Syafika was making it up. D’arby really wanted to give Syafika some answers but knew he had to be careful. Then D’arby had what he thought was a brilliant idea. “Why don’t you organize to meet up with Anthony and just ask him all your questions?”

“I don’t know how to contact him” said Syafika. “I don’t have his current phone number”.

“Nelson must have it though” said D’arby.

“And so does Celine” said Syafika. “I saw her put it in her mobile phone”.

“What’s going on?” asked John as he walked into the kitchen with a fresh teatowel.

“Do you know anything about mobile phones?” D’arby asked John.

“Only how to steal them” said John.

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The Inklings: chapter 94

To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/

John had a hellish Sunday night. His body seemed restless and it ached if he tried to lie still. He moved about so much in bed that the bottom sheet came off and became twisted around him. John must have fallen asleep a couple of times because he managed to have some bad dreams. In his dreams John was trying to get away from something or someone and was feeling extremely guilty. Sometimes he was driving a car, sometimes riding a bicycle and sometimes walking, but always along a quiet country road with the sun setting on his left.

John desperately wanted to get outside and stretch his legs but waited until 5am because he thought that was about as early as you could go out without raising suspicion. John was careful not to make any noise as he got dressed, and he closed the front door very gently. It was still dark outside but there were a few people around, mostly runners. John remembered how much fun Syafika seemed to be having now that she’d become a runner and he decided he should run too so he dashed down the street. The pavements in the area were old and unpredictable and so John had to pay attention to where he was putting his feet. To add to the challenge, there were spaces between street lights were it was completely dark. John took short, quick steps and concentrated on how his feet were moving. John had so much fun that for a little while he wondered why he didn’t run everywhere, but then he became puffed and sweaty and had to stop running.

John wondered what to do next. He didn’t want to go home until it was time for Fanta to get up. John decided that the university grounds would be fun to explore at this time of day so he headed that way, but when he realised he was on the street of the flat he and D’arby used to live in John instead decided to go and see it first. D’arby had told John how a fence had been put up around the block of flats and that he expected it would be knocked down soon. When John arrived there he saw the fence but the building was still standing. Attached to the fence was a large, friendly-looking sign. The sign was just close enough to a street light for John to have a go at reading it. It said something about a housing cooperative and that the building was going to be renovated. There were contact details on the sign so John tried to memorise them. He couldn’ wait to tell D’arby that the block of flats wasn’t going to be knocked down, but it was still too early for anyone to be up at home so to kill some more time John ran into the university. John noticed that the paving of the university was much more predictable so he started running as fast as he could and then stopped to walk and catch his breath. He did this quite a few times before he noticed that the sky was starting to lighten. Then John started walking back home. As John walked along he realised that while he’d been out running he’d forgotten all his worries.

John was glad to turn into Fanta’s street because his legs had started to feel heavy, but he was startled to see a man coming out of the gate of Fanta’s house. In the half-light of early sunrise John thought it might be D’arby leaving early for work, but when he got closer he realised that it wasn’t. The man hurried across the road, got into a car and quickly drove away. John tried to memorise the numberplate but only got the first half of it.

When John got to the doorstep he found a small parcel on it addressed to D’arby so he picked it up and took it inside.

D’arby was putting on his shoes, which meant he was about to leave for work. Nobody else was up yet so John had to be quiet, even though he was very excited.

“A man left this parcel for you. I saw him leaving as I came up the street” whispered John. “Do you think it might be a bomb?”

It took D’arby two seconds to comprehend what John had just said, before he looked at the parcel and shrugged.

“What was it about the man who delivered the parcel that makes you suspicious?” asked D’arby.

“Well, it was so early and he drove a car not a van. He wasn’t wearing a uniform either” said John.

D’arby wondered what he should do. If he hadn’t been working for RenewBank he probably would have just opened the parcel, but because of the top secret work he’d been doing, and the deception he had to keep up everyday about what he was working on and where his office was, D’arby had become suspicious. He didn’t think it likely that the parcel was a bomb but he did think it likely that the parcel was meant to cause some kind of mischief. D’arby thought about the timing and wondered whether whoever left the parcel was hoping that he would take it with him to work so he considered leaving it at home and opening it that night. However, he didn’t want to risk leaving a parcel that might be dangerous at home in case it harmed someone there. D’arby was annoyed at being delayed by this conundrum and decided to compromise. He put the parcel in his backpack and set out. He planned to stop and open the parcel when he was halfway to work.


The Inklings: Chapter 77

To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/

Anthony was more worried than angry as he ran away. He was under a lot of pressure at the moment and he knew that if he made any mistakes his life could be ruined.

When Anthony ran past the spot where Syafika had been hiding the day before he smiled as he remembered how Syafika had followed him on his run. Anthony had taken an extra long and convoluted route just to make sure Syafika really was following him. He had enjoyed being chased by Syafika but wasn’t sure if it was just another one of her games or if she really thought he hadn’t noticed her.

Anthony decided he’d probably need to call Syafika soon because she might be able to tell him things that Nelson wouldn’t. Thinking of Syafika made Anthony feel happy, and he smiled. When Anthony realized he was smiling it made him remember how dangerous it was for him to interact with Syafika.It wasn’t unusual for him to develop a fondness for people he had spent a lot of time watching, but with Syafika it was worse than usual. Anthony didn’t feel in control of his actions when he was near Syafika. He kept forgetting he was meant to be working. If he made a mistake and told her too much he would be in real danger, and so would she. And Anthony wasn’t sure how much Syafika knew. Sometimes she seemed clueless but other times he thought he could see in her eyes that she knew everything and was just pretending she didn’t.

 


The Inklings: Chapter 54

Tuesday at work was much quieter for Syafika. Nobody emailed her, and nobody called her. She could only assume that the Ministers Office had been happy with the information she’d supplied the night before. After the excitement of the day before, Syafika actually felt a bit bored. At lunchtime she decided to go for a walk in the nearby Botanic Gardens and enjoy not having to keep an eye on the time (if she was late nobody would be there to care and she’d already finished everything on her list of things to do that day).

Syafika wandered along the paths enjoying the smell of damp leaves and some strange fluffy white flowers. She was humming to herself and not paying attention to where she was going when around the corner came a runner and they collided. Syafika nearly lost her balance but he quickly put his arm out to support her. She looked up, not sure whether to be angry or apologetic and saw that it was Anthony. Instead of taking a step back to reclaim her personal space, Syafika stayed where she was and took a deep breath.

“You ok?” asked Anthony

“Yep” answered Syafika and tried to think of something else to say to keep the conversation going.

“I didn’t know you came here” said Anthony.

“I didn’t know you came here either” said Syafika

“Or you wouldn’t have come here?” suggested Anthony.

“No! I mean….” said Syafika. Then she was too embarrassed to say anything else.

“How’s Vincent?” asked Anthony.

“We broke up. I guess he’s fine” replied Syafika.

“Again?” asked Anthony.

“For the last time. We neither care for each other anymore” said Syafika.

Anthony smiled then said “I need to finish my run and get back to work. I’ll call you”. Then he ran off.

Syafika sat down on the first seat she could find. She felt shaky – she had that Anthony-induced feeling again. It was unsettling and made her feel a bit anxious but it was also delicious – warm and happy. Syafika remembered what it felt like in those seconds she was standing close to Anthony and didn’t want to move. She thought about following him to see where he went, but it was too late – she didn’t know which way he’d gone.

Instead Syafika went back to her desk and was engrossed in reading an article Fanta had emailed her when she realized that someone was standing behind her.

“Ah, so this is why you have to stay so late to finish your work” said the man from the lift. He introduced himself as Nelson and explained that he was hiding from his Executive Director Christine – the lady Syafika had seen him coming out of the lift with the night before.

“I can’t believe you are really hiding” said Syafika.

“I am” Nelson replied. “Christine is a bully”

Syafika was unsure what to do or say so she wheeled a chair to the empty desk next to her and said “Sit down if you like”

Nelson sat down and didn’t say anything. After a few minutes Syafika couldn’t stand the awkwardness anymore and started laughing nervously.

“Do you want some paper and pens so you can do a drawing?” she tried to joke.

Nelson looked Syafika in the eye while he took a breath.

“Can I tell you something?” asked Nelson.

“Ok” answered Syafika, sounding a bit worried.

“Sorry, but I need to tell someone. Christine is doing something really bad and I don’t understand why” said Nelson

“What is she doing?” asked Syafika.

“I think she is helping the Minister steal money” said Nelson.

“You should report it then” said Syafika.

“Yeah, that’s easier said than done” answered Nelson. “She’s had me organize the dodgy modelling and sign-off on all the paperwork so it looks like I’m the one who’s doing the wrong thing.

Syafika didn’t know what to say. She felt scared because she didn’t know whether it was Nelson or Christine who was the bad one and she wished Nelson hadn’t told her anything.

Luckily for Syafika, her phone rang and as she answered it Nelson got up and left.


The Inklings: Chapter 45

To read the story from the beginning go here.

Syafika gave up trying to sleep when she heard birds chirping outside. She reached out and opened the blind so she could watch the sky change colour as the sun came up. The excitement she’d felt the night before had given way to sadness. As she enjoyed the sunrise she couldn’t help crying. How was it that she only managed to appreciate the beauty in everyday things when she was feeling miserable?

A Noisy Miner landed on the window sill and looked judgmentally at Syafika. She couldn’t help asking “Did Vincent send you, little bird?” and in reply the bird flew away.

Then Syafika cried some more because she had finally realized that Vincent was not going to call her again.

“What am I going to do now?” Syafika asked herself. Then she realized that it was Tuesday and she was going to Fanta’s place for morning tea.

“How was last night?” said Rose when Syafika walked into the kitchen. She was a bit confused by Syafika appearing so early in the morning when she didn’t have to go to work. Then Rose looked a bit closer and noticed that Syafika looked really tired and had red eyes, as if she had been crying all night.

Rose rushed over to Syafika and gave her a cuddle and asked “What happened?”

“Vincent isn’t going to call me ever again, is he?” answered Syafika quietly.

“Don’t worry about that!” said Rose. “He doesn’t deserve you.”

Syafika smiled and started to feel better. She decided to have a cup of tea.

A few hours later Syafika swished out of the front gate on her way to morning tea at Fanta’s house. She was wearing a pretty dress and carrying a bunch of jasmine.

Evan though Syafika was a bit worried that Fanta wouldn’t approve, the first thing Syafika did when she arrived at Fanta’s house was to tell Fanta about her date with Anthony. Fanta had never liked the sound of Anthony, but for some reason Fanta wasn’t particularly angry and seemed more concerned that Vincent still hadn’t called Syafika. John and D’arby arrived while Syafika and Fanta were discussing it.

“John! What can we do to make Vincent realize that he won’t find anyone better than Syafika?” asked Fanta

“He still hasn’t called?” asked John

“No” said Syafika. Despite the sudden change in topic from Anthony to Vincent, Syafika was feeling sad enough at being reminded that Vincent hadn’t called for tears to start rolling down her cheeks.

“Don’t cry! Leave it up to D’arby and me” said John

“What are we going to do?” asked D’arby.

“We are going to remind Vincent of Syafika” said John

“How?” asked Fanta

“Yeah, how?” asked D’arby

“Do you have a special song? A song that will remind Vincent of the times he spent with you?” John asked Syafika

“I don’t think so” said Syafika

“Nothing? Didn’t you share music? Didn’t you listen to music together?” asked John

“Yeah…Vincent did give me a CD.I took it to work with me but hardly listened to it. Wait! It’s in here somewhere” said Syafika and she started rummaging around in her handbag.

“Here” said Syafika, and handed a CD to John

“The Very Best of Cat Stevens!” said John

“Yeah, Vincent things he is great but I found it sort of boring” said Syafika

“I know this song – The First Cut is the Deepest” said Fanta

“Did Cat Stevens write that?” asked D’arby, looking at Syafika

“Don’t ask me!” said Syafika

“That’s a good song to play Vincent” said Fanta “But how are you going to get him to listen to it?”

“I have an idea, but I’ll have to discuss it in private with D’arby first” said John. “What I need to know is where Vincent lives, works and the places he likes to go in his spare time” said John

John and D’arby seemed to be pretty excited by their new assignment. Fanta thought it would be better if she didn’t ask what they were planning in case she disapproved. Syafika didn’t really care what they did. She’d be happy if Vincent called her again but she would also be happy if Anthony called instead.


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