Chapter One: Where is Zara?

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CHAPTER ONE

A middle-aged man stops his tarnish truck in front of a house. He sighs and takes the crumpled note out of his pocket in which the address is scribbled. He looks around to see the other houses that are built in a distance to one another, "It got to be this house," He mumbles to himself before he switches off the heater and steps out his truck before slamming the door behind him. He shivers as the cold gust of wind prickles his skin. He adjusts his coat and walks over the fresh thin layer of snow. He steps onto the porch and glances at the note once again. 302 Avalon Street, it says. After confirming that he was at the right house, he rings the bell a few times. He sighs as the cold seems like penetrating through the thick layer of clothes he was wearing. When nobody answers the door, the already cold and now irritated man once again rings the bell. Still, the man didn't get an answer. "Hello!" he calls out. He looks around the house but nobody was in sight. Everybody must be enjoying the warmth in such cold weather and here he was waiting for someone to answer the door. He shakes his head, "This is Jack from Belmore Handyman. You called for a carpenter?" He asks loudly – waiting for someone to answer. He tsk and decides to try one more time before he leaves. He rings the bell before knocking at the door, but to his surprise, the door was already ajar and it further opens as he knocks. "Maybe they called me to repair this door," The carpenter mutters to himself.

"Hello, is anybody home?" He calls out but no one responds. Jack inspects the doorknob to see that it isn't faulty – it was just left open. He opens the door further just to be welcomed by the strong pungent smell with a hint of sickening sweetness. Jack almost gags as he put his hand to cover his nose, "Hello, is anybody there?" He asks as he steps inside the house. Thick curtains were drawn close causing the house to fall into darkness. As Jack walk further into the house – cautiously watching his every step, he feels like a thousand bugs were crawling on his skin. The smell was getting stronger by each step he takes. Jack doesn't have a doubt – he knows that something is wrong. He looks around to see if there is someone in the house. He was left startled when he sees a man sitting on the couch with a blanket drawn over him, "Sir?" He calls out the man, but the man doesn't respond. Jack walks nearer to him to calls the man out again and again, but he doesn't respond. He gulps as he stands behind the man and nervously put his hand on his shoulder just for the man's head to fall on his own lap. Jack's heart stops beating for the moment as he let out loud, ear-piercing and fearful scream.

Somewhere in SoHo, New York – Natalie Ramsey circles her finger over the edge of the coffee cup. The bitter-sweet smelled steam feels comforting on her hand on such a cold day. She sighs and looks at the personable man in his mid-thirties, sitting right in front of her quietly sipping his coffee, "So, you are going to leave just like that?" She questions him in a soft tone after a long pause. Melvin Lamont glances at the young lady sitting in front of her and nods his head, "Yes," He didn't want to further explain why he was leaving after all so, he just kept it short.

So, it is true – he really is leaving. Natalie's eyes fill with tears – she couldn't believe that after all this time he was quitting. She gulped the lump she felt in her throat and downcast her eyes, "And what about my sister?" She couldn't lift her head up while she asks about her lost sister.

Melvin glances around the busy coffee shop. He doesn't know how to explain this to her – he doesn't have any solid reason. What she is thinking is correct – he is giving up. He has been looking for the girl he loved the most for the past eight years, but he still hasn't found her. No one knows where Zara Ramsey disappeared suddenly in the broad daylight. She left for work one day but never came back home. Since then, Melvin has been looking for his fiancée day and night for the past twelve years, but it is like she vanished from the face of the world. She left each and every belonging of her behind. There was nothing left behind to trace her. Few years after her disappearance everyone around him gave up, but he didn't and that gave Zara's younger sister, Natalie, a hope that one day she will be able to reunite with her sister, but this hope of hers shatters as the only person that was looking for her till now is giving up as well.

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