“Please, don’t get lost. Please, don’t get lost.”
My heartbeat became louder and louder as I carefully pushed my head out of the kitchen’s topmost cupboard. Nibbles wasn’t there either. Where could a cat, the size of a panda cub, wander off to? It’s been over an hour since the search for this missing cat began, and so far we have had no luck whatsoever.
“You sure she didn’t sneak out the front door?” asked Samiha with a frown. “Cats have that tendency to ignore every single comfort and luxury in this world, and slip right by you. You sure Nibbles hasn’t done the same?”
“Sneak out of the house?” I thought to myself. “That too through the front door?”
Nonsense. I left the front door open and unattended for less than a minute. Surely it wasn’t enough for her to run away.
“Sabah’s flight is supposed to land at 4,” I said to Samiha with a trembling voice. “What are we gonna do?”
“Don’t worry. We’ll get her back. Aurin is still looking around the apartment while Rafid is doing a full search of the entire building. I have also asked him to talk with the guards and see if they had seen Nibbles leave the main gate. Stay calm. We’ll find her.”
Sabah would saw me in half if she found out that I had lost her cat. If there was one thing on earth she loved more than me, it was Nibbles. To put it in simpler terms, if she had to choose between me and her cat, she would choose the cat twice. Agreeing to look after her cat while she was abroad was not a wise decision. Of course, there was no use regretting it now.
Rafid was now looking around the surrounding streets of the neighbourhood in search for Nibbles. However, he was not doing that good of a job. He was screaming out her name hoping to trigger her cat senses into responding to his call, but that was not the problem.
“Oye! Rafid! The cat’s name is NIBBLES, spelled with two ‘B’s. For God’s sake, get it right or else you are gonna end up scaring the entire society.”
As I screamed at him from the apartment balcony, Rafid realised the grave mistake he had made and seemed quite embarrassed about it.
“She is not in the building,” reported Aurin. “We talked to the neighbours, the guards downstairs, and we have looked everywhere we thought a cat could fit. But no sign of nibbles”
“May be we should focus our search outside” added Samiha.
“Okay,” I shuddered as I replied back. “Aurin, stay here while Samiha and I join Rafid outside.”
“Alright,” said Aurin as Samiha and I made our way downstairs. “I will post some of the cat’s pictures on different cat and pet groups. Maybe we’ll get some kind of a lead then, or a replacement maybe?”
“Okay, you take care of yourself,” murmured Samiha on the phone. “Have a safe flight. Bye.”
“That was Sabah on the phone,” said Samiha sprinting towards me. “She is at the airport. Her flight is on time, no delays.”
The flight was scheduled to leave at 2. We barely had three to four hours for finding Nibbles. Outside, Rafid was already done looking around the neighbourhood, but he had no luck. “I asked around, showed people her pictures, but it was of no use,” said Rafid. “None of the people I met saw her.”
We then continued to look around the alleys and also the park nearby. The cat was nowhere to be found.
With each passing minute, my heartbeat grew louder. I had soon given up hope of finding Nibbles and instead, began to think of excuses I could throw at Sabah. Excuses that were actually believable.
“A thief broke in last night and took her? Nope. I mean why would a thief steal a crabby little cat instead of everything else in the apartment?”
“She wanted to take a break? A break from being spoilt by Sabah? Nah, that cat is way too attached to the luxurious lifestyle.”
“Nibbles ran away with another cat? No, that won’t work either. She is an arrogant and proud cat, not a damsel in distress.”
“You know what, I will just have to tell her the truth.”
“Welcome back!” I screamed at Sabah as she entered the airport parking lot. “How was the flight?”
“The flight was okay. Nothing out of the ordinary. How have you guys been doing? Everything okay at home?”
“YES! Nibbles is fine”
Sabah laughed at my sudden outcry. “Relax,” she whispered. “I know Nibbles is fine. After all, I left her responsibility to you, and you are the most competent guy I know.”
“Ah, yes. That I am.”
The two of us got into the car and I drove us out of the parking lot and into traffic. The roads were all clogged up as usual and for the first time in my life, I was actually happy with the thought of being stuck in traffic. The longer we were stuck, the more time Samiha and the others would get to find Nibbles.
“So, did you bring chocolates?” I asked Sabah in an attempt to make small talk.
“Uh huh,” she replied, her eyes glued to her phone. “Got something for everyone.”
“Great, great. So, how was the trip in general?”
“It was good.”
Sabah seemed quite distracted by her phone. I did have the urge to drag her attention away from her newsfeed and towards myself, but I let her be. For a while, there was a long period of silence in the car. We didn’t say a word to each other until I finally decided to break the silence and reveal everything to her.
“Hey, Sabah. Would you be sad if something had happened to me?”
She slowly took her eyes off of her phone and pinned them on me. Her face, as beautiful as ever, showed no expression. No smile, no angry look. Then, Sabah took a deep breath and said, “You lost Nibbles, didn’t you?”
Faisal wants to be the very best, like no one ever was. To survive university is his real test, to graduate is his cause. Send him memes and motivation at firstname.lastname@example.org