“So Bharosa! Enough talking about us! Honestly young lady!” Hope Zarvit’s mother smiled at her again after making one of her own personal jokes that really weren’t funny.
“How is it going over there in South Africa? How many homes have you built this week?” Hope struggled to hear her mother over the drowning noises of the traffic back in India. Her parents despite their abundance of wealth had never decided to move to a quieter region of Thane, a high density city north-east of Mumbai. For some reason they preferred the pace of life there, that I couldn’t deny them.
The cover story was that she had moved to South Africa to become a full time volunteer for an Indian charity that helped developing African cities to improve the conditions of their slums. In fact Hope’s real mission that she had involved herself in was in helping a local group of social democrats who were determined to expose the truths about their corrupt Government.
“Wow! I am so proud of you honey.” She gave her daughter a warming smile as the time ticked away on Skype; Hope couldn’t help eyeing it every few seconds.
“Thank you mother. Anyway, I have to go now. You caught me just after I had finished eating my dinner and I have to do the dishes now.” Hope had noticed her father had already left the office room, obviously finding the conversation boring too; leaving his wife to gaze longingly and regrettably into the computer screen at her daughter. Hope knew that her mother was still upset about her rejecting the opportunity to go to an upper-class university in Mumbai just to become a missionary in South Africa.
Hope didn’t care.
“Ok then. Take care, Hope. And make sure to call us again next week otherwise your father and I will get very cross. Do you hear me?” They both smiled; Hope’s mother more reluctantly than Hope herself.
“Of course, mother. Bye now.”
A sigh of relief escaped from Hope’s lips as she closed her laptop and made her way over to her crummy little kitchen where a small hill of pots, pans and plates were piled in the sink. It took a lot just to make a traditional Jalfrezi curry, but, it was worth it, definitely worth it.
Halfway through cleaning the second saucepan her mobile rang on the kitchen top. She quickly dried her hands with a ragged cloth before answering the phone.
“Lenka! How are you?”
“Just calling up to ask how you were getting on with decrypting their files. I’m dying to know what this secret is that they’re trying to hide from us. They’re all wealthy, but even an encryption service is costly for the South African government. Have you found out what it’s about yet? We can’t even be sure that they don’t know that we’ve copied the files.” The casual, joker-friend that she normally knew didn’t sound the same as normal. Even when he was talking about something serious he never quite held that edgy tone to his words. Lenka’s voice was frantic. Like he was trying to convey something to Hope that she wasn’t quite getting
The phone slipped from her hand and crashed onto the floor.
“Thank God.” She heard from the speaker in her phone before Lenka was cut off by a punch to the head.
Quickly she grabbed her emergency phone that only had her private contacts on it and the laptop that held the most secretive files of the South African government.
They had captured Lenka. They were torturing him and had used him to try and see if she had figured out their big secret.
But they wouldn’t care, and no doubt they would already be on their way to stop by her house and pay her a little visit. Outside her motorbike that her parents knew nothing about was hoisted off the side of the small house as Hope strapped on her helmet and swung her leg over the side of the bike.
She fumbled around for her Bluetooth, finally managing to attach it from her ear. Before she sped off into the night she had called Michael Dredgely, who would soon pick up. And he had to too.
He was the only one who would be able to help Hope Zarvit escape from the men who wanted her stopped.