I felt uncomfortable with such an answer from I. I absolutely could not understand what caused such an inadequate, in my opinion, reaction, both to the story about a 125-year-old Indian, and to my note. Of course, I.’s phone for Vijay is completely unnecessary, all he wanted was to be left alone. What measures is he going to take? I told him that I did not tell anyone him number, and he himself called the Indian store and it looks like our communication ended forever.
On Saturday afternoon, while we were having lunch in the gazebo in the yard, Vijay called.
“Hello! Thomas came again this morning.
I’m starting to change my opinion for the better. He also apologized for the incident and offered his help in finding the missing guys. When he arrived, my friend Vihaan was in my store, whose brother Atharv runs a fairly large business in cooperation with the Turks in Tiflis.
Vihaan said that he, too, could not stand aside, and we both gladly agreed to the offer of the owner of your house, to go to the port and look for traces of our disappeared friends there. We drove around the entire territory of the port, but did not find any clue. Yes, I almost forgot, Thomas gave me a box of plums. But I don’t take food gifts, my friend took it.”
My son and I looked at each other, remembering how strange those plums looked on a plate in the morning.
“Yeah, it looks like Thomas has not only plums growing in the village, but also some kind of dope. And it is quite possible that he pumped by them plums. Tell Vijay not to eat them” – I said. And the son conveyed it to him.
“Okay, I’ll try to get in touch with my friend now” – Vijay replied.
About 15-20 minutes after this conversation, we heard the gate open and saw the owner of our house. “Did you eat the plums from my bowl that I left you in the morning?” – he asked us.
“Yes” – I replied.
By the evening, my son and I had a distinct feeling of some kind of turbidity enveloping us, views of our blog also dropped sharply, people seemed to have ceased to see it.
What’s happening? Need to do something. And we need to find out how Vijay is doing, lately we seem to be somehow connected with this Indian for an incomprehensible reason for us.
“Hello Vijay! How are you, what news?” – asked the son “There is news. When I returned to the store, I saw that under the door there was a note “This is a gift for you, b*tch!”
I looked at the cameras, Thomas put it down. The postman came, he brought a fine for incorrect parking of the car of the owner of your house. He parked the car at a bus stop, which is right next to the store and apparently some bus driver did not like it, he took a picture of the car and sent a complaint. Interestingly, the first time he vandalized the store, he was here for about forty minutes, and the second – he was here only five minutes. So – the photo was taken on his second visit and in the photo he is kissing that woman in a short skirt.”
I didn’t mention, but it better be told, in the first part of the episode, that Vijay saw on the video camera that Thomas was not alone to apologize, with him was a woman of about 35 in a very short skirt, high heels, with brightly painted lips with whom he was kissing, getting out of the car.
“And some very unpleasant facts came to light. Atharv called, brother of Vihaan, who took Thomas’s plums. I tried to call him, but apparently it was too late, he did not pick up the phone.
So Atharv said that he was called from the police and said that they found Vihaan lying unconscious on the side of the road, next to him were several plums and that same half-empty box.
And we were already going to rest after a tiring day, but then again we heard the call.
This time the landlord Khalil called.
His voice was interrupted by fear.
“Hi Brother! Be very careful, please, be quiet and do not go to the window. The area is occupied by a gang that is engaged in human trafficking. I am staying at a friend’s place, there are many people, safer, I will be back in the morning” – he said.
We were not very inclined to fully trust this message, but the street was somehow very quiet, and when I looked out the window, I saw that there was no one in our, usually noisy in the evening, alley.
Most often, an active life there only began after eleven and these parties, in which Khalil often participated, traditionally dragged on until 6 or 7 in the morning.
And as soon as I went to the bathroom, someone began to knock on the door very persistently. I froze and quietly returned. The knocking continued for several minutes, then it became quiet and the light on the stairwell went out. And I decided to repeat my maneuver. But now, as soon as I reached the bathroom, someone outside began to shake the door with serious force and aggressively shout something in Arabic …
And even below us, in the basement, where the owner of the apartment lived, it could hear someone walking and even moving furniture. But Khalil said that he left. WHO is there then?
“Brother, just be quiet, very quiet and everything will be fine. Friends said they were unlikely to break down the door. But, if they suspect that there is someone in the apartment, they push a flat gas bomb with poisonous gas under the door, which quickly spreads through the apartment and people, so as not to suffocate, run out into the street themselves, and there they are already waiting for them …
But these bombs are quite expensive, so they only use them if they know for sure that someone is in the apartment. So just behave as quietly as possible and everything will be fine. ” – told us in one of the calls for additional information the owner of the apartment.
“So this note on the alarm clock was really a warning? It’s been exactly a week since it all started … What to do now?” – we began to ask each other.
After a while, several more calls followed … from the numbers of Khalil and Emre … with even more not even scary, but simply creepy and the creepiest messages … which I don’t even want to tell.
Their meaning boiled down to the fact that something is happening in Istanbul, without exaggeration, HORRIBLE.
And “fear has big eyes”, gradually we began to feel that we were as if entangled of some kind of sticky dark horror.
We were afraid to talk, we were beware of looking out the window, to move, because someone outside is walking below, and he hears everything, we were afraid to even watch any information on the phone, since the light from the smartphone screen, and we lived on the first floor, could be seen on the street and thus betray our presence in the apartment …
My heart was beating fast …
I turned off the sound on the phone so that it would not suddenly ring … and began to pray that we would safely survive this night …
And when the seemingly endless night ended, I pushed the curtain back a little and saw on the street a small man in a black shirt and a woman talking to him.
I woke up my son, who, unlike me, still managed to fall asleep in the morning, and said to him, “Look, everything is fine, there are people on the street, so everything is over, they are gone.”
The son woke up and reached for the phone to call the owner, just in case.
“Brother, I implore, do not go out, the man on the street is the leader of the group, and the woman is his wife. Friends called me and said that there are 40 shooters on the upper floors. Be careful, please. They will leave soon, only they will get down and take the corpses with them … Hear, they are already leaving … “
And we really heard people coming down the steps from the upper floors and dragging something (or someone?) obviously heavy and this something was pounding noisily on the steps …
They went up and down several times … and each time they got down something pounding on the steps …
Closer to lunchtime, Khalil called us and said that everything was calm, they left, he looked at the cameras, we can go out freely. But, to be honest, we had already lost the desire to go somewhere and the whole day we were moving away from the strongest shock, having reached only the nearest store. Next to which we noticed a store called “Erol.”
And it upset and scared us even more.
“What a great and cheerful guy that Erol was. Could this really happen to him? Maybe we should go to Emre and talk to him and find out if this is true?” – I suggested.
“Yes, I think this is the right idea. But not today. Better, let’s come to our senses” – answered the son.
When we returned home, we saw that our little alley was already full of quite expensive cars, and they continued to drive up one after another.
“These are people from our area who come to discuss the dangerous situation and take protective measures” — Khalil explained.
In the evening we thought that we need to get away from all this nightmare, get a good sleep and then calmly analyze the situation.
As soon as we began to carry out this plan, the call rang:
“Brother, they are back. Be careful. They quarreled with another group and at night there may be a showdown between them. Be quiet, pretend that you are not and everything will be fine, they are fighting among themselves, they are not interested in you” ― again stunned us the owner of the apartment.
And for some reason, all night long on the street, every few minutes, cars drove up one after another and their doors were loudly slammed, some aggressive loud male voices were heard (we do not know Turkish) and several times there were screams similar to requests for help. And again we sat in some kind of bubble or web of sticky horror until the morning and again wondered what was happening on the street … and again were afraid to look out the window …
And the next day we saw that Khalil, whose door was next to ours, was brought a large refrigerator and he examined it inside while standing on the landing.
“Great! Do you want to buy more food now?” ― we asked.
“Brother, I think that if to take the shelves out of it, it can hide in case of danger” ― he replied.
After these two, we were given a whole series of nights with similar, but each time different “performances” and “scary” calls.
And after 7-10 days, the owner of the apartment knocked on our door and said: “Sorry, brother, I myself don’t know what came over me and I unintentionally scared you. Forgive me please!”
Gradually we began to come to our senses and reasonably comprehend and analyze what was happening.
The man in the black shirt turned out to be surprisingly similar to the guy sitting on the check-in in the hotel opposite, and the woman who was talking to him was the owner of the neighboring guest house “Tulip”.
And when we passed a store called “Erol” as if someone started to stretch our mouths in a smile.
And now these episodes my son and I can no longer remember without laughing.
Now that some time has passed since those events, and we have a little comprehended what happened with us in Istanbul and tried to understand what really happened there.
This is what we want to discuss with you in the next short note-comments to this episode.
After a few moves, we settled in the very heart of Istanbul next to Taksim Square, a two-minute walk from Istiklal Street.
We loved this place and the welcoming friendly attention of the owner of the apartment, Khalil, and the sincere disposition of the housekeeper Zuleikha.
On Friday afternoon, when my son and I were about to go for a walk, as usual in anticipation of the arrival of our friends, an alarm clock suddenly rang on the phone, which none of us had set.
“You need to leave, there’s less than a week … you need to go to North America” - the creeping line on the top of the alarm clock said “prophetically”. By the way, how it is possible to write anything there is still not clear to me.
We did not know how to react to this warning, who wrote it, is it true or false.
We thought …
Why do we have to leave within a week, what can happen?
Unclear. There was no explanation.
“As for North America, it’s not easy, we don’t have a visa to the US. Maybe it makes sense for us to go to Antalya?”, I asked my son.
“In my opinion, this is not a stupid thought” – he responded and dialed the number of Turkish airlines.
“Good afternoon, please tell me the flights to Antalya in the coming days and the price of tickets.” – he asked.
“Oh, you called on time, you know that we now have special discounts on the flight to Tucson, I myself recently flew round trip for $ 500. And I’m just delighted with this trip!” – we heard the voice of the “operator” from the phone.
“We need a flight to Antalya, not Tucson. We do not have an American visa.”
“Oh, do you need a transatlantic flight?” – the operator asked …
Amazing! It was as if he didn’t hear us or didn’t want to understand, imposing on us the thought expressed in the creeping line of the alarm clock.
What does that mean? Was it a real Turkish Airlines operator? Or not?
We looked at each other with surprise and at that moment heard another alarm clock ringing that we also have not set.
I grabbed my phone and read a new note on the creeping line:
“You can stay in Istanbul longer, but do not walk in crowded places. You are not in Turkey, you are on your way to North America. You do not need to go to Antalya.”
Why? I don’t know, we didn’t understand. But we didn’t go.
Exactly one week has passed since that message and the clearly marked at the first ring of the alarm clock day and hour has come …
We walked our favorite route across Istiklal Street to the beautiful white bridge over the Golden Horn to admire the beautiful view while awaiting the “arrival” of our friends.
We stood on the bridge and headed back, as usual discussing our business, or rather not even our business, but those extraordinary events that we thought were happening to our friends and acquaintances.
And we were already on Istiklal Street, when all of a sudden my son says to me in a frightened way:
“Some strange guy has been walking behind us all the way for two hours and constantly takes pictures of us, don’t look at him and pretend that you haven’t noticed anything.”