The cars and other vehicles formed a beeline along the small road as the sun above shone brightly. It was a busy day, and everybody was in a hurry to reach their respective destinations. Rehan rushed out of his apartment gate and waved at one or two cabs, but each one of them seemed to be occupied. He was a tall and decent-looking young man wearing jeans, a loose shirt and spectacles.

He dragged his suitcases with one hand while scrolling through his phone with another.

“Where is this cab?” He angrily muttered to himself. He had to catch a flight for a business meeting, and he needed to get to the airport in two and a half hours. Rehan frantically looked around and then back at his mobile screen, browsing through the cab-service apps to end his predicament. The traffic was high as usual and he was doubtful if he could make it in time.

He had a panicky look in his eyes, as sweat began running down his temples. After ten minutes of desperately waving at every single cab, one taxi slowed down and Rehan jumped into the backseat with his luggage like a madman.

The cab driver was a balding man who wore simple white clothes and looked to be in his forties.

He only looked at Rehan through the rear-view mirror with raised eyes. Rehan got the question.

“The airport, please.”

The driver nodded and Rehan breathed a sigh of relief as he wiped off the sweat from his forehead and neck. He glanced at his wrist watch. He still had two hours. Looking around restlessly, he ordered the cabdriver to drive faster. Once again, the driver responded with a nod.

Rehan kept urging the driver to hurry. The car suddenly turned into a narrow lane. Rehan looked at the driver with wide eyes.

“Where are you going? This route doesn’t lead to the airport.”

The driver flashed an eerie smile at him and replied, “Trust me,” and continued driving.

If Rehan had been worried earlier, now he was absolutely petrified. The driver continued down the narrow road through the twisted alleyways and hairpin turns.

The driver increased the car’s speed and Rehan grabbed the front seat to stop himself from jumping up and down as the car zoomed through the dirt road. Rehan’s mind was suddenly flooded with negative thoughts as he looked around wildly, trying to make sense of where they were heading.

Rehan tried speaking to the driver, but ‘Trust me’ were the only words that he had heard from him. Rehan suddenly remembered that he still had his mobile and that he could probably call someone for help. His eyes fell on the watch and he still had an hour and a half to catch the flight.

However, he was not sure if that mattered anymore. Rehan moved the cellphone around but there was no signal. He cursed himself for choosing to sit in this taxi. His mind was clouded with all the negative emotions that haunted him.

Was the driver kidnapping him? Was he going to take his money and dump him here in this secluded area?

Questions whirled through his brain and he just could not think straight. Rehan debated if he should try to strangulate the driver by holding his neck. However, then the car would lose control and both men would end up getting seriously injured in this godforsaken place.

Rehan kept glancing at the driver through the rear-view mirror as if trying to read his mind. The driver’s features did not seem to give him any bad vibes. He looked like a rather normal person going about his business. However, Rehan could not help but feel sick in his stomach as the negative thoughts continued to hammer his brain.

All thoughts of the meeting and office had flown out of his head. Desperate to do something, Rehan looked around the car and found a wrench lying around beneath his seat.

He grabbed it and curled his fingers around it reassuringly. At least now he had a weapon to defend himself, just in case. Images of his family danced before his eyes. He forcefully closed them as he prayed to all the gods he could remember.

The drive was beginning to suffocate him. He raised his hand with the wrench to hit the driver’s head when the driver suddenly turned and saw what Rehan was about to do.

The driver took a sharp right turn and the car turned upside down. Ryan crashed down on the floor as he heard a voice

“Get up, get up!”

A hand went around him and Rehan scampered to get away. “No, don’t touch me!” Rehan’s hand shot out in self-defense and slapped the person trying to get hold of him.

“What the? Stop it, you…”

Rehan was confused for a minute. The driver’s voice sounded different to him.

His eyebrows furrowed as he felt around to find his glasses and put them on before seeing his familiar room and his all-too-familiar friend, Vansh, staring back at him with wide eyes.

“Ow, are you trying to kill me?” Vansh asked as he rubbed his elbows where Rehan’s hand had hit him with more force than necessary.

Rehan was almost in tears when he saw Vansh gawking at him and muttered to himself, “I’m home… and alive?”

The question was more to himself than his friend.

Vansh sat on the bed, still massaging his hands, and replied, “Yes, for now you are, but you’ll be dead if you miss your flight four hours later.”

Flight? Meeting?

Rehan shook his head and realized that he had been dreaming all along. Relief flooded his body as he sat on the floor, still entangled in the sheets. It took him a few minutes to realize that he was alive and not about to be kidnapped by someone.

However, the relief quickly gave way to panic. He needed to get ready and get to his office!

Rehan dashed through the room, nearly pushing Vansh onto the bed.

For his part, Vansh had a great day ahead, mocking Rehan for his crazy dream.

…now that you’re here

As you might know, Ameya runs on a purely non-profit basis. With no tangible products on offer, advertisements and donations are our only two sources of keeping this blog up and running. You could convey your support to us with something as little as $5 - that's less than what an average Starbucks would cost!

Anagha Aglawe, English poetry writer at Ameya

Anagha likes to make the most of her creativity to come up with intriguing stories. To know more about her, feel free to get in touch with her over her Upwork profile here.