Chapter 33 : In the Footsteps of the Disappeared


In the backseats, Aria and Cathy were on edge. Jay was clueless about what to say, 'cause in situations like this, words can mess things up even more. He glanced at Aria through the rearview mirror, but she seemed lost in her own thoughts. Jay felt choked up seeing her like this. He decided he had to find Tim, no matter what. They pulled up to the place where Jay had last met Tim. But shocker, the place was totally empty, nothing like it used to be.

Jay said, "This is where we met, but why's it so bare now? There used to be furniture and a pool table over there."

Cathy sighed and explained, "I figured. Don't sweat it, Jay. Tim's always changing locations to throw off his enemies. That's why we're in the dark about where Dad's operation is. He used to say, 'Wherever I stay, that's home.' His crew sticks by him no matter where he goes."

Aria felt even worse and quietly left the building. Cathy and Jay followed. Out of the blue, this guy popped up and asked Jay, "Hey, you're Tim's buddy, right?"

Jay recognized him as someone from the gang that was with Tim when they met. Jay felt relieved and shook his hand, asking, "Yeah, it's me, Jay. You remember me, right?" The guy looked puzzled by Jay's excitement and asked, "What are you doing here?"

Cathy gave the guy a look and lied about their identity, "We're looking for Tim. He's our friend, and he's been off the grid for a couple of days. Do you know where he is?"

The guy was wary, wondering if they were enemies, but he could see they were seriously concerned about Tim. He said to Jay, "I'm not supposed to spill the beans, but I trust you." Jay nodded and reassured him, "Believe me, we don't want any harm to come to Tim either."

The guy sighed and said, "Okay, it's not safe here. Follow me." He led them out of the alley. Leaning on a bridge, he said, "Alright, now ask your questions. Why are you looking for Tim?" Jay looked at him and said, "Bro, Tim stopped getting in touch two days ago, and we're worried. We just want to know if he's okay and where he is."

village under clear sky
village under clear sky

The guy sighed and confessed, "Honestly, we're worried too. He mentioned he was going to Italy for a while, but we haven't heard anything since."

Aria glanced anxiously at Cathy and then back at the guy, saying, "He went to meet Kendrick, right?"

The guy looked puzzled and asked, "How do you know Kendrick for sure?"

Cathy replied, "Tim mentioned it once; he said Kendrick was the big boss."

The guy looked skeptical and said, "Yeah, Kendrick is the top dog, but I'm not sure Tim would be sharing such info with friends." He paused and added, "Alright, you got it. He did go to meet Kendrick, but we don't know why. Sometimes he meets Kendrick for important stuff, so we don't ask questions when he's seeing Kendrick."

Jay then cautiously asked, "Is there any way to find out where in Italy he went?"

The guy looked furious and asked, "Are you out of your mind? That place is crawling with mafia and kingpins. You want to get yourselves killed? Just chill for a few more days, and Tim will be back." Jay persisted, "Do you know what Kendrick looks like, or where Tim might have met him? We're really worried about him, and I won't rest until I see Tim."

The guy went quiet for a few moments and then said, "Okay, I don't know where they meet or what Kendrick looks like. All we've got is what Tim told us, but I can check with the pilot who flew with Tim on that private plane and let you know if I find anything." Jay, hope in his eyes, locked onto the guy and said, "Call him now."

Emergencies reveal the silent heroes among us, where ordinary people find the extraordinary strength to save the day. But if we survive those situations, even after our efforts, it is again left to fate itself. I pray that all of you have emotional strength inside you during your lowest times.

To be continued..

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Chapter 32: When Timing Matters The Most

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Chapter 34: Fear Factor - Where is Tim?