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Friday, 18 March 2016

The Vanishing

The day before yesterday a friend arrived at Amsterdam Airport after an 11 hour flight. She texted me right after landing. I haven't heard anything of her since. She was supposed to be picked up by her family. Unfortunately, I didn't ask for her Amsterdam address despite having a weird premonition. I recall that my mind rationalised this feeling away: What's the chance you will not hear from her again? Almost zero. Indeed, almost.

Yesterday she was supposed to visit me to celebrate my birthday with me today. Since the day before yesterday, I have been contacting her family but so far nobody replies to me. Mostly, I am still concerned about her whereabouts but sometimes I also get upset as it might be her way of a sick practical joke.

I am reluctant to go to the authorities or contact the various Amsterdam hospitals. Despite virtual contact for several years, she and I have never met. I do know that she exists as I have seen her in Skype. She was supposed to visit me mid December last year but she chickened out. As far as I am aware of, she has just emigrated to Holland but what if everything she told me is a lie?

I feel that I am in the midst of a thriller, and one similar to the 1993 movie The Vanishing (IMDb). This morning I even told my brother that I expect the Dutch police to ring my doorbell anytime soon.

Since Wednesday morning several scenarios have entered my mind with varying probabilities: (1) something has happened to her (high), (2) she changed her mind about visiting me (low), and (3) her communication tools do not work (zero).

The communication scenario has a zero probability as I left messages anywhere. I even called her foreign mobile number which rings normally and then goes to voicemail. So her mobile is on and the battery is not dead.

Perhaps she did change her mind about visiting me. However, would anyone pretend to be dead just to chicken out of a meeting?? That scenario is too ridiculous to seriously consider.

The only plausible scenario that is left to me is that she is either in jail or in hospital for whatever weird reason.

Whodunnit stories may be nice on TV but not in real life. I am supposed to celebrate my birthday today but all I can think of is a missing friend and what options are left to me to find her. I think it's the primary task of her family to report her missing to the Dutch authorities. If they don't then I will reconsider my responsibilities.

It gets even weirder while writing this blog. This morning I found the mobile number of her sister through Google and left her a message. I just communicated to her sister in WhatsApp and her sister claims that she does not even know that my friend is in The Netherlands since Wednesday. After her initial astonishment, following my unexpected WhatsApp messages, she just acknowledged the emigration of her sister to The Netherlands.

TO BE CONTINUED............

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