Chapter 33 by Azeen Gorgin

Nadia awoke dazed. Her head felt heavy due to the sedatives that had been forced into her and her senses were submerged and muted. She was no longer in the lab, she knew that much. She tried to recall anything that could make sense of the situation she now found herself in. Eyes closed in an attempt to settle the spinning in her head, she felt around with outstretched hands at her surroundings. 

She noted that she was lying on top of soft sheets and satiny pillows and a pale orange glow through her eyelids from the lamps on either side of her bed, the soft breeze from a ceiling fan kept the room at a comfortable climate. 

It was a welcomed change from the cold, sterile room she had been confined to that reeked of disinfectant and from the incessant hum of the fluorescent lights that were kept on day and night and the humiliation of being kept in a backless paper gown that creep Ken would peek through as he administered to her against her will what he called his “cocktails”. 

Nadia shivered at the thought of not knowing what was inside her, coursing through her veins and changing and affecting her body and not being able to refuse or cry out. She felt dirty and violated. 

She opened her eyes and sat up slowly, looking around what she now saw was an opulently outfitted kind of guest room. She looked at the foot of a bed and there she saw a change of clothes and a gold embossed card propped up on top of them. 

Nadia pushed of the heavy embroidered blankets and clumsily made her way to the bottom of the bed. She retrieved the card, which she saw was embossed with an intertwining “CY” sitting on a  green chiffon dress and pieces of jewelry and a set of green heels neatly laid out for her. 

“There is a guard outside your door. He will bring you to me once you are presentable. Try anything and you’ll be shot in the knee caps and dragged here. Remember, you are always being watched.”

Nadia clasped her hand over her mouth to stifle a sob. She began to dismay and wonder at how her cousin could have betrayed her like this. How could Adi have thrown her into the lions den and left her for dead. 

She remembered Rob and how he had promised he’d save her, he said he had a plan. She scoffed at the thought, Rob has a plan, yeah right, she thought to herself. She mused about Rob and how he never really had much of a plan at all. Ever. Always hanging around doing nothing and being mopey. But he was always sweet to her which she rather enjoyed now that she thought of it. 

Suddenly a loud banging came from the door, then what Nadia could only presume was the guards voice called out, “Hurry up! You don’t want to keep the boss waiting!” 

Nadia jumped, startled out of her thoughts and back to the present. She shakily got out of bed and began dressing. She stepped out of the room and was walked down the hallway by a large suited man with no neck towards large ceiling high doors that had been left ajar, firelight flickering through onto the surrounding walls and mirrors. 

She stepped into a large well-decorated room where she saw a tall blond woman standing at a stone work desk wearing a deep blue gown with diamond earrings. She looked up from her work as Nadia walked in and scoffed, “couldn’t you have at least run a comb through your hair? You look a mess. Your buyer will be here any minute now and here you are looking like a pig in a wig. That dress is couture, try doing it justice.”

Nadia stood there silently, not knowing what to say to the woman’s comment. Then she began slowly walking forward towards the desk. She knew this person was attempting to keep her off balance so she quickly fired back. “Pig in a wig though I may be, still valuable enough to have a buyer, as you put it. Isn’t that why you threatened to shoot me in the knees and not the face?”

Nadia was met with laughter from the other side of the table, “Oh look at you! Proud that the meat on your bones is worth more because it’s sweeter, you’re still going to get eaten little girl. And your little friends have forgotten all about you too!” 

Nadia lower lip began to quiver, but she kept talking. Talking would buy her some time to think of some way to escape from this place. 

“My friends will find me! They’ve probably already contacted the authorities and told them-“

“Told them what exactly, Nadia?” The woman started walking around the desk towards her. Her cold icy blue eyes locked with Nadia’s as she continued, “only your cousin and your friends know where you were taken, albeit vaguely. With all the confusion of maintaining strict lock down, the Matana police department has enough on their plate and won’t be bothered with the business of a missing girl, especially since no one will be telling them, especially not your friends Tara and Rob.”

“They’re my friends! What makes you think they won’t do everything in their power to find me and take you to jail!?” Nadia was desperately looking for an exit, a weapon, a phone, anything! She didn’t know how much longer she could stall her captor. 

“Because your cousin, Adi made short work of them after they broke out of the lab, their bodies are now being processed into raw materials for other lab trials. I know it’s too bad, but Adi is quite excited about buying his new Ferrari with his cut of the money... I hope that in light of your cousins betrayal, it gives you comfort knowing that they struggled till the very end.”

The woman grinned sardonically, watching horror overcome Nadia. Nadia slowly sank into a near by chair and trembled. Her friends were gone, Adi had betrayed her, she had been abandoned and not even her family knew where she was. 

Suddenly there was a commotion outside the doors and cries and then the sound of breaking glass and pottery. A guard burst into the room, with blood pouring from a gash in his head, then collapsed onto the rug. Behind him were two figures.

They stepped into the light, and Nadia gasped, there standing next to each other, was Rob and Adi, who said “Hey Cuz, long time no see!”

About the author:
Azeen, 27, is a fashion design stylist living in Dubai. With heritage from Iran and Philippines, she loves combining culture with arts. She is mum to 4 cats and wants to adopt many more in the future.