It’s been over six hours and there’s still no sign of Jordan or Kyle. There was only one explanation why they were not yet here.
Their plane went down.
Akeem’s fortress was rock-solid and we could barely feel the effects of the raging storm outside. After the third hour, Maya got ready to go out into the cruel, forbidding night to look for them but Akeem was just short of restraining her to the couch. The hurricane was fierce and merciless-there was no way Maya was going to go out there and live to see the light of day. I was just about ready to gear up and go with her but she talked me out of it.
“No, Lana,” she said. “Think about your baby, please? I will go.”
“But you can’t go out there alone. There’s flash-floods. It’s dangerous-you could die out there!”
“My life without Kyle would be pointless. I’ll be as good as dead anyway,” she shrugged. “I can’t stay here either,” she said, the tears flowing freely down her cheeks. “I’ll go mad. I can’t just sit around while they’re out there somewhere. They need our help. I know it. I can feel it.”
“Then let me come with you? My husband is out there too.”
“You can’t Lana. Jordan would never forgive me for putting you and the baby at risk.”
“Need I remind you that you’re pregnant too? Kyle would never forgive me for letting you go out into that death trap,” I deflected. “I would never forgive myself for letting you do this on your own. I’m worried about them too Maya. I can’t-if anything happens to Carter-I don’t even want to think about it.”
“I’m sorry Lana I can’t allow you to come with me. I need to do something,” she said slipping on her boots. “I’m going to look for them and no one is going to stop me.”
“Then I’m coming with you and don’t stop me either.”
“Both of you-please listen?” Akeem intervened. “There is no way you can go out there. A helicopter won’t take off in this weather, neither will a boat. I know you’re both anxious but let’s just wait until the storm passes. It’s the only way to keep you safe,” he tried to reason with us. “You won’t make it-you will be swept away in seconds. Please be reasonable habiba? I beg you,” he directed at Maya. “As soon as it stops raining I will escort you myself. I promise.”
Maya’s sheikh was quite the hottie. If I was Kyle, I’d be insecure too.
“He’s right you know,” Maya’s sister Sarah finally voiced her opinion. “We wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. Our dad wouldn’t be able to live with himself…neither will I…” She sighed and retreated back inside without another word.
The storm only receded after three, long, torturous days, and only then did we venture outside. We combed through the area and landed up at a deserted island, where we found the debris of an aircraft.
Please be safe. Please be safe. Please be safe…was my prayer as Maya and I trekked through the dense forest. Akeem had got a troop of men to help in the search and we hoped to cover more ground before nightfall.
We had no luck so far and the local guides warned us that this was a snake-infested region-poisonous snakes to be precise. One bite and you were a goner in less than half-an-hour. It didn’t help to ease my anxiety but only added to it. What if they were-no! I wasn’t going to go there. I wasn’t going to think any negative thoughts. I was going to find Carter in one piece…alive and well. He was a fighter, he would get through this. If there was any person that knew how to get himself out of a sticky situation it was my husband. Plus he had Kyle. They would be there for each other.
Owing to the rugged character of the coast and its numerous ravines and caves the guide told us the whole island was once infested with smugglers. We walked until we were sweating, our feet ached, and even blistered. The pain was irrelevant compared to what Kyle and Carter could be going through right now. We peeked in each and every nook and crevice as the day stretched on but still couldn’t find a single lead.
Maya and I collapsed behind a huge rock and took a break. She controlled her breathing to keep her frantic emotions from consuming her.
“Here,” I thrust a flask at her. “Have some water. You have to keep up your strength.”
“Where are they??” She looked somewhat confused and delirious.
“We will find them-or die trying.” My smile reassured her, sapping the ire and replacing it with peace.
“We’d better,” she smiled weakly.
“We will,” I said resting my head against the boulder.
Suddenly a frightening sound, a piercing masculine scream, reverberated from the hilltop, sending us scrambling to our feet.
“Kyle!!” Maya cried out running towards the rick shelters. “It’s him! I know it’s him!!”
Another agonized scream rang out as we neared the mouth of a cave.
“Look out!!” I shouted a warning as the biggest snake I’ve ever seen slithered out of the crag.
Maya thought fast and grabbed the weightiest rock she could lay her hands on and dropped it on the reptile’s head, rendering it useless.
The glow from the flashlight barely illuminated the next few feet of inky darkness as the two of us crept along the dank passageway.
Then we saw them.
It was like a bloodbath in there- it could have been a scene from a Stephen King movie.
We ran forward and dropped to our knees, examining our significant others. Jordan was badly injured, unconscious but still had a faint pulse. I cradled his head against my chest and wept. Kyle was in a worse of state and he kept mumbling something about a snake bite.