The Gift (Part-50)

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To read the previous part of this story, click here.

The next morning the treasure hunt started at 8.00 a.m. Hidayat went with one of the groups to get a close insight for his article. Imran waited at the canteen with the lecturers. He joined Mr. Aziz, Yasmin and two other male lecturers. The lecturers were discussing about the next activity - Win, Lose or Draw. Imran learned that Syakirah and Mei Lin would be supervising together.

Syakirah and Mei Lin were so busy talking to some students that they did not notice Imran was looking at their direction. He wondered what made her agree to the meeting at Hillview. She seemed to mingle comfortably with the students and her colleagues. He could tell Syakirah was not someone who could be talked into something. Neither did she seem like someone traditional who would agree to be matched made by others. He snapped out of his thought when Syakirah turned her head towards him. She must have felt his stare he thought. He smiled politely at her and she returned it quickly. Imran looked at his watch. The time was 8.50 a.m. He had told Hidayat he would be leaving at 9.00 a.m. Mr. Azmi noticed him checking the time.

"Hidayat knows you're leaving at 9.00, right?", Mr. Azmi asked.
Imran nodded and said, "I guess he didn't think hunting for the treasure would take this long". They both laughed at Imran’s remark.

"Well, it's almost one hour. They all should finish any time now. We didn't cover that much area for this game", explained Mr. Aziz.

"I'll give another 15 minutes. Then I'll have to leave", Imran said.
Five minutes later some of the groups finished the game but the group that Hidayat had joined did not come back yet. Imran checked his watch again and told Mr. Aziz and the lecturers in their group that he had to leave.

"Tell him I'll call him tomorrow, InshaAllah", Imran asked Mr. Aziz who then promised to do so. They all said good bye to him. He asked them to say good bye to Syakirah and Mei Lin as the two lecturers were still talking with the students. Then he went to Hidayat's tent to pick up his stuff.

Syakirah and Mei Lin finished their discussion with the students and joined Mr. Aziz and the group. They were told that Imran had to leave. Syakirah asked about Hidayat and Yasmin told her that Imran had waited long enough.

"Well he won't get to watch the next activity. But then he could get a complete story from his writer brother, I guess", Mei Lin said and smiled.
"Now, that reminds me I need to get the word cards for the game. They're in your car", Syakirah said to Mei Lin.
"Here!", Mei Lin handed her car keys.
As Syakirah was walking to Mei Lin's car, she saw Imran putting his things in his car. He closed the door of the back seat and walked towards Syakirah. They both stopped at Mei Lin's car.

"Syakirah, can I speak to you for a while?", Imran asked.
"I thought you're leaving", she responded casually and continued opening the door of the car. She picked up a box containing the word cards.

"Oh, this won't take long", Imran said.
"Okay", Syakirah replied as she closed the door of the car. Holding the box in her hands, she stood facing Imran.
"I've been meaning to ask you this since...", Imran paused as Syakirah listened carefully. He knew he would be considered rude for asking this question.

"Yes?", Syakirah responded questionably.
"Why did you agree to meet us at Hillview?". There he had said it, Imran thought. He finally asked the question that had been on his mind since the day his mother had told him about the meeting at Hillview. He wasn't sure why he asked her now but he just wanted to know her reason. His face was expressionless as he waited for Syakirah to answer.

To read the next part of this story, click here.

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