. . .
In late evening the phone rang. Aya was staring out the window, as the darkness of the room surrounded her.
“Hey there hun.” – She answered the phone.
“Hey there my dear.” – Husbands voice was really the needed bit she ought for. – “How are you?”
“Absolutely tired. Mentally, not physically. Body seems to be quite energised, unlike my mind.”
“Poop honey.” – He let out a soft giggle. – “I’ve researched the mystery. Things don’t look well.”
“Um?” – Aya awoke a little from the hazy mind she had.
“The other students were also female. They really closely resemble you, or rather you resemble them.” – He breathed out. – “I’m concerned.”
“What do you mean I resemble them?” – Aya was puzzled.
“Well, your face looks close to how they look. And thing is – they went missing. All of them. Not found. First one had disappeared 15 years ago. The next vanished in thin air four years after the first one. They both had studied under Levin for around eight months, then nothing. There are no police reports, no information. Just missing person case that was never solved. Aya, I suggest you pack your stuff and head home. I’m no longer convinced that you’re safe there.” – Husband stern in decision and really concerned tone started to make Ayas heart fill with worry.
“Hun, I’m buying you tickets for the day after tomorrow. You just say there is emergency at home. You’ll have tomorrow to prep and pack.” – His voice was sounding in ears.
“I get it. I really get it. I’m here for few months and you know how I really just wanted…” – Aya tried to find some words, but her husband cut her off.
“Aya, my dear wife, I care about your safety more than anything. I care about you, more than anything. If there was something to happen to you – I’ll kill.” – The cold dedication and worry were in his tone. She knew she has to agree, or this is not ending well.
“Alright. Send me the ticket details.” – She conceded.
“I will. Aya, if you won’t make the train – I’ll come in person. If you won’t answer the call – I’ll come in person. You better not be stupid, or…” – He sounded like the worrywart he is.
“Or you’ll come in person.” – Aya cut in. – “I know. I know. And I won’t do anything that would get me in trouble. Trust me.”
The rest of the conversation was easing out the situation. He spoke of the day at work and how he was drowning in papers, then how the office had a very strange customer.
Aya decided not to tell about her day. She felt that worrying her precious man would be a bit too much, on top of what already happened.
As the conversation was done, she looked out the window on her third floor.
The person who sat in park opposite the dorms strangely reminded Levin. The person was facing the building, as he sat on the bench.
“Weirdo.” – Aya silently said.
. . .
Not being sure how to say to people she was leaving was quite troublesome. In the morning Aya went to the main office, giving them the notice. Then asked not to tell anyone, and that she’ll deliver the news to magister Levin herself.
She met him next to the magisters library, as they walked in same direction towards it.
Once they walked in – the usual vase with flowers was looking different. Someone had cut off the flowers, leaving stems in the vase, from flowers that Levin put there. Plus the new living flowers were inserted.
Levin shook with fury.
“You cut my flowers?! I cut your flowers!” – He ranted as he took the scissors and cut the flowers in vase.
Then he angrily in rushed manner walked to Fillip.
“Who was that rascal?! Who dared to touch my flowers?” – Levin shouted.
This was the first time for Aya to see him this mad. This was fury. Pure fury. The way he was now – he could snap someone’s head off.
She saw Levin getting mad when he taught classes couple of times, but somehow due to her being present he would contain the anger. She even heard students mutter that due to her Levin is holding back his rants.
Levin went on to cut in half stems of flowers that someone else put. He then rampaged and went to the Fillip, shouting loudly about the fact that someone “molested” his precious flowers. Then Levin went off to the depths of the Library to cool off, few teachers came out from lounge.
“Was that Levin with a rant?” – Walked out the lady in the floral dress, one of the Literature Major Magiters of Academy.
Then she laughed, as Fillip nodded with concerned look.
“He never changes.” – She muttered and laughed. – “Oh, Marianna must come soon.”
Fillip looked with a little distress, then quietly added:
“Levin will be furious. He really has ‘that’ towards her.”
Aya observed the scenery then added that she is going off, as the family emergency is requesting her immediate aid. The others nodded in understanding and sighed, as having such prominent person with bright brain leave – quite the saddening thing.
Levin returned, once he felt little better. Then he received the news.
“Oh my,” – He gasped. – “I’m so sorry for you leaving. Such a treachery.”
He thought for a moment, scratching his forehead. Then he exclaimed:
“We must arrange for a leaving party. We can’t let you go off with no biscuits and tea!”
Levin stormed off chatting with lecturers and then went off to get some sweets. Fillip was rather amused by the pro-active Levin. Quite the rare sight.
Lecturers put out the table, the tea was done, the whiskey was out, the shot glasses too. The biscuits and cakes were on the table. This small leaving party of Aya, Fillip, Levin and three more lecturers was a fine lunch.
The doors swung open and a very chubby lady walked in. She beamed with positivity and mischief. Once she saw flowers at the entrance – she laughed hard, making the party notice her.
Once Levin saw her, he stood up, his face covered in shadow, being really on edge. Fillip saw the scene and tried to hush Levin.
“Aaaa! Lellaaa!” – Lady went to the floral dress madam and hugged her, then other lecturer ladies. Avoiding men, yet sarcastically and with a bit of evil remark watching them.
“Marianna. What bring you here?” – Solemn voice of Levin was quite the chill driving tone.
She looked at him, placing her hands on her hips.
“Ha! Like I’m telling the likes of you!” – Marianna looked at Aya, – “And you, my sweet child?”
“I’m Aya Litatio. Here studying under Magister Levin, but unfortunate events make me leave the gracious side of a great teacher.” – Aya smiled.
“Litatio… Litatio… Is the Dima Litatio your relative by any chance?” – Marianna pointed her finger at Aya, she nodded.
“Oh wait! Wait-wait-wait! Oh my lord! You’re Aya! How could I forget! He told me all about you. So proud and so happy about it. He literally beamed. But he was the best student and top of the university, so you should be proud of your husband!” – Marianna went on rambling with other ladies then.
Aya just smiled.
The moment word “husband” was spoken, the air about Levin and Fillip changed in a moment. They were darker than the night, more ominous than anything.
They walked out of table for about ten minutes.
During that moment Aya pulled out her phone to ask her friend for the money to travel ASAP out of here. She felt like now, right now, she needs to get out. She felt in danger.
The voice of Fillip snapped her out, she turned off the phone screen.
“What you checking there?” – His tone was no longer sounding friendly, more like the inquiry from the prosecutor.
“Ah, just checking time before the plane.” – Aya spoke, her voice slightly higher pitched.
Levin sat on the left from Aya, blocking her from the getting out or away.
“So, before you leave, let’s have a drink.” – He pushed her a shot of whiskey. – “For the great students and lecturers.”
“I don’t drink alcohol.” – Aya politely declined.
“Oh come on. Only one shot. For the sake of the respect.” – Levin smiled.
A smile that sent shivers, cold shivers and the need to run.
Aya took the shot, after the “cheers” she downed it.
. . .