So much noise is coming from the yard, Mary turns the TV up and keeps her look fixed on the screen, but her mom with sisters rushes to look out of the window; the big apple tree is shaking with fear, because it is being surrounded by five people: two men with hammers and three children with a plan. What is surprising about the tree is the fruit on, among the branches and leaves, a pretty incomplete tree-house is glowing red in the late afternoon sun.
Mahta, Ayda and Aynaz look up at their dreamy house; Mahta's father is kneeling down on the floorboard to hammer a nail, the children's look turns to Armis's father who hands a lumber to his co-worker. Impatient Mahta asks, " How long does it have to build, Daddy? ", the father stares at the plan thoughtfully, after a while he responds, " Two or three days, I guess- Hasn't Mino returned home yet? " . Mahta's hazel eyes turns honeyed, she murmurs " No, she is still in her palace, Bats and owls only come out at nights." the little girls burst into laughter, her dad shakes his head sadly, " Bats and Owls! ...Oh, Mino isn't your sister?!" Mahta nods and walks away.
She wonders, " Oh, Mino? I forgot her, So What should I do now?... in a few minutes, Mino will be back home and tell the truth. I bet that Mommy will cry loudly and Daddy will shouts angrily, then they will decide to punish me by putting off the project, Oh no, I don't want to lose my house ... I must talk to Mino and apologize to her right now, or else I'll be taken away from my dreamy tree-house."
The men give the work rest as Aunt Lilli emerges with a tray of strawberry juices. Mammani also comes along with Aunt Samy. Aunt Samy laughs, " Lucky Mahta!" her husband nods. Aunt Lilli looks satisfied with her husband's work, she says, " Thank you, the children are very excited." Mahta's daddy feels a glow of pride.
Aunt Lilli asks, " what time do you get through your work then? " Mahta's daddy replies, " When Mino will arrive."
Aunt Lilli starts laughing loudly, " Oh, you are like sugar and spice and everything nice! "
The daddy's face glows with embarrassment, " Thanks, Honey! but I was not joking, night is coming on."
Aunt Lilli sighs deeply," Right, the Little Adviser, She must be very tired. Rumor has it that she earns million of dollars, I feel proud of our smart daughter."
My Lovely Sister
No one answers, Mahta calls Mino over and over again, but there is no answer, a look of panic crosses her face as she recalls Mino's scream for help, " Mommy ... Mommy ... Help .... We are lost.". Mahta wonders aloud, " Oh, My God, they are really lost! what now? ", Mahta feels totally numb, she closes her eyes and thinks about her lovely sister for a while. She can feel the tears burning against her closed lids.
" What's the matter?" Mahta jumps at the voice, she lifts her lids and notices Ayda looking at her with surprise, Mahta tries to pull herself together, " I'm OK, Where is Aynaz? "
Aynaz is sitting alone, Mahta approaches her with a red apple. She divides the apple in half, hands a half to Aynaz, and says, " That's very beautiful!"
Aynaz nods, " Yeah, it is."
Mahta, " We can celebrate Uncle Sergey's birthday in our tree-house."
Aynaz's eyes grow large, " What a surprise! but Isn't the house too small?"
Mahta, " No, It's big enough for Uncle Sergey and his birthday's cake."
Aynaz, " Wow! that's great."
Mahta lets out a bitter sigh, " I wish Mino was here to see our tree-house."
Aynaz laughs, " They'll be here so soon."
Mahta sighs deeply, " I hope so." she mumbles, " I'm, I'm afraid."
Aynaz, " But why?"
Mahta, " I called her, but she didn't answer."
Aynaz frowns, " She is above herself."
Mahta shakes her head, " No, she isn't. I'm really worried about her, Aynaz."
Aynaz, " Don't worry. I call Armis now."
Mahta thanks , and Aynaz calls Armis, but again No Reply. Aynaz says, " Let's get in, Aunt Mary probably knows where Parmis is."
Mary is still watching the football match on TV as Aynaz with Mahta comes running into the living room. Aynaz says, panting, " Aunt! I can't talk to Armis, where is she? " Mary glances at the clock, " They must be on the way home." Mahta sits beside her Aunt, her face is as white as a sheet and her hands are shaking," We thought they got lost."
Mary shouts, " Well, I never! they will arrive soon."
Mahta places her tablet in Mary's palm," None of them answers their smartphones- May you call Parmis, Aunt?"
Mary's eyebrows knit together in confusion, " All right, I'll call, thought It won't be necessary- they're coming ."
Parmis's cell phone is disconnected, so are Mino's and Armis's. " I always advise her, " Be home before dark." Mary grumbles while she is trying to call Larry, How odd! his smartphone is disconnected too. Mahta is chewing her nails, " They got lost, didn't they? "
Mary says nothing and dials Google's number, Oh No, it is really unbelievable! all the numbers is Red, Red, No Green. Now she is very blue, but she keeps on calling: Sergey's smartphone is also off, so is Gloria's.
Is there any hope? Mahta is weeping.
" They've stayed an extra hour, I guess." Mahta's aunt says when she attempts to call Uncle GD. As Parmis was supposed to work in his office, he have must known where she was.
GD On The Smartphone
GD arranges the colored pencils carefully in the pencil vase, then he glances around, his office looks extremely neat and tidy, a bright smile emerges on his face. Now he is ready to leave for home, but the mobile ringing stops him dead in his tracks, Gee, It is Parmis's Mom!!!
Mary, " Hi, Is that you, GD?"
GD, " Yes Mary. How is Parmis?"
--, " Oh, I don't know, she doesn't answer her smartphone."
--, " Don't worry, maybe its battery is low."
--, " Neither do Armis and Mino! I can't talk to Larry too, Isn't it odd that all the devices are disconnected? when did they leave for home?"
GD bursts into laughter, " Home? It's true that you are very absent-minded then?! they are on the ship now, did you forgot they left for the harbor this morning?"
The mother's eyebrows knit together in confusion, " Ship? they weren't with you? I myself sent the children to Google this morning." Mahta's eyes grow wide.
GD, " No, Parmis wasn't at Google, I thought you knew this."
Mary laughs nervously, " Naughty girls! I should have understood this before, as they were very quiet, so they planned to do something naughty...oh, Parmis and her mysterious suitcase!?... then haven't you seen Parmis lately?"
--, " Well, I saw her today, Not in my office, but on the air."
--, " On TV?"
--, " Yeah, Larry was a cooking show host for a second, he and the children were in a hot-air balloon riding above Glass tower, then disappeared."
--, " After that what happened to them? they boarded a ship, is that right?"
--, " Yeah, they went to hunt for Parmis's treasure."
--, " What a foolish idea! the freezer is fully empty."
GD laughs loudly, " Really?"
--, " Yes, Parmis is not only stupid, but also very refractory. She was not allowed to travel without me. " She bursts into tears, " My Little girl"
--, " Don't blame Parmis, she is just a child, and the children always take the game seriously."
--, " Yes, she loves adventure, but how about Larry? he is grownup, I didn't expect him to take the children to the sea without my permission."
--, " Yes, sometimes grownups go wrong."
--, " So what? the sea is too rough, and the children too naughty, even I can't handle them."
--, " I understand you. it's a great responsibility looking after other people's children, but Larry is good at it. He is a very tender Uncle, in fact, the best uncle in the world, So don't worry and Don't believe anything you see on TV, the sea is very calm, plus Sergey isn't with them."
--, " Indeed?"
--, " Yes, I put your mind at rest, the children will be safe, Sergey is here."
Parmis's Mom takes a deep breath, " OK, but his smartphone is also off , same Google's phones "
--, " Well, after vanishing Larry, Sergey attended the cooking show, he couldn't cook pancakes, yet he was a great host, I enjoyed the show. However Pancake's fans disagreed, they felt insulted... well, the phones were ringing non-stop ... we didn't like to hear people swearing, for a few days the phones were taken off the hook by Eric's order, and Sergey's smartphone also went off."
--, " A week from now."
--, " All right, thank you, talk soon."
--, " Don't worry, Parmis can take care of herself- Until then."
GD lets out a bitter sigh, " She is so talkative, now I can realize why Parmis has ran away- I really need a pill as I have a bad headache."
Mary puts the tablet on the sofa, Mahta asks, " Where are they, aunt Mary?"
" They've gone away, to the sea to hunt for Parmis's freezer", Mary replies angrily as she digs in her purse. Mahta breathes freely again and searches for the remote, but fear roots Aynaz to the spot. At last Mary finds what she wanted, she takes her smartphone out to check her messages. Bad news! her lips are pursed after observing the screen, it is totally black, Mary bites her lip, " Oh damn! it's caught a virus, what should I do now?"
Aynaz murmurs under her breath, " Sea! Armis's gone to the sea?!" . while Mahta switches channel, she smirks, " Yeah, Again they left without us, they are always in the news. Poor daddy, he's still waiting for Mino. Hey, Don't stand there- Go and tell him." Aynaz nods and runs out of the room as quickly as she can.
From laughter to shout
The garden is filled with laughter, the ladies are sitting together in the last glow of the sunset and joking about Parmis's stories. The men are cracking their hammers and the apple tree's still shaking with fear, though the sun is sinking. Ayda is standing alone by the building and thinking about Mahta's words that a long shadow on the lawn makes her jump, Aynaz's shadow passes her hastily. " Mommy, Daddy! they won't come tonight, she won't come." Aynaz shouts as she reaches her parents, Ayda runs after her too.
The dead silence surrounds the yard, Samy asks, " What's matter? who won't come? "
As Aynaz is out of the breath she pauses for a few seconds, then responds, " Armis- Armis won't come until next week."
Her mother , " Why?"
Aynaz cries " They all have gone to the sea."
The evening shadows are beginning to fall all around. Everyone is shocked by the news and stares at the frightened child in silence.
Aunt Lilli, " But Why? Who said this?"
Aynaz says with a shaky voice, " Aunt Mary."
Samy, Lilli and Mammana begin screaming, they all run into the building hastily, now the tree-house is hidden from view and the garden is filled with the terrible shadows.
When they enter the living room, Mary was still pressing her smartphone's button. Lilli asks, " Where are the children? Is it true that they have gone to the sea? "
Mary nods, " Yeah, they're looking for the freezer."
Lilli shouts, " Freezer? How could they be so stupid as to do that? "
Samy throws herself into her mother's arms and cries, "Armis, My Little Daughter, She's gone."
Mino's daddy yells, " Who's responsible for all this mess?"
Lilli cries, " Parmis, that's all Parmis's fault, that adventurous girl's going to kill our daughters."
Mary flings the smartphone down onto the Persian carpet, shouts at her, " It's Parmis's fault then? How do you mean? they always plan a trip together, plus your daughter was who wanted to work as Larry's adviser."
A wrinkle forms between Lilli's eyes, " Larry is with them then?"
Mary, " Yes, he is."
Armis's daddy, " Larry is a very caring and considerate man, didn't he ask to bring the children? didn't he call? "
Mary , "Maybe- I'm not sure, my cell phone's gone off, because it has caught a virus."
Samy takes her smartphone out of her handbag, " Mine has too. Isn't it strange?"
Mammana and the fathers say together, " Mine is off too."
Lilli , " And I've lost my mobile. I looked for it wherever, but I haven't found it so far."
Her mother asks , " Since when? "
Lilli, " Since lunchtime."
Her mother lets out a bitter sigh, " Lunchtime? Oh no, I thought my cell phone rang when I was napping near the swimming-pool, I opened my eyes and saw," she pauses and sends Mahta a glare that is full of suspicion, " yes, I saw Mahta playing with her tablet, then I checked my mobile, its screen was totally black, Mahta said that it suffered from sunburn and needed a little sun-cream. "
No one laughs at the joke, quickly all the looks turn to Mahta who amuses herself with watching cartoon. Her mother asks, " Mahta! haven't you seen my mobile recently?"
Mahta shrugs her shoulders, " Search me?"
Her Mother, " Mahta!"
Mahta keeps her look fixed on the screen, " Well, your smartphone rang several times, but no one noticed it, its heart broke and flung itself into the water."
The mother asks angrily, " You threw it into the water then? "
Mahta replies absently, " It was very old, I'll buy a new one for you." The mom turns the television off, Mahta purses her lips, her mother asks her, " I don't think you are telling me the whole truth about what happened. Did Mino call?"
Ayda is standing beside Aynaz and staring at Mahta. A look of indecision is on her face, she knows the whole truth, but she doesn't know what should do. Ayda wishes she could shout, " Yes, Mino called and said they were lost. Mommy! Daddy! Please help them." but she's promised Mahta that she doesn't tell anyone.
" Mahta! Your mother asked you a question." The father's shout breaks the silence.
Mahta's eyes drops to the carpet, she is wondering what should say, a few seconds go by, finally she murmurs in a low voice," I thought someone had got the wrong number, so I cut it off."
Mammana asks tenderly, " It was Mino?"
Mahta brings a wry smile on her face, " Yeah, she called to Mommy happily, maybe she wanted to tell her that the company throws a party to welcome the newcomers."
Mahta stares at the carpet with embarrassment, " I'm sorry, I was angry at that time, because-"
Lilli grumbles, " Mahta is very irritable, I don't know why she is so jealous of her sister, before she adored her."
Mammana, " Take it easy, She is just a child, she was upset and did such a dumb mistake, there are times you should ignore the mistakes little children make. "
Mary, " I am very worried about the children."
Lilli, " Me too."
Mahta's Daddy, " Don't worry, they are with Larry, he feels a strong sense of responsibility towards the children."
Samy, " Right, but I can't realize why he went to the ocean."
Mammana, " Don't blame Larry, I'm certain the children made him search for the treasure. You know that your daughters are very insistent."
Mary, "Yeah, but I have my doubts about this trip, as Parmis was supposed to leave for Canada, I should talk to Martin, Maybe he has the news of Parmis. "
Mahta sits alone in her room and bursts into tears. She is really worried about Mino, Armis and Parmis. She wonders what happened to them? Was Mino joking? Are they lost? The reality is that she is not sure.
Mahta thinks why she had hidden the fact form her parents? she is very sorry for what she has done, her tears fall freely from her eyes as Ayda steps into the room.
Ayda asks firmly, " Why didn't you tell the truth?"
Mahta, " I told the truth: Mino called to mommy happily."
Ayda, " It was a half truth Not the whole truth."
Mahta, " Yeah, she shouted for help, too."
Ayda, " Now what? What is in your mind?"
Mahta shrugs her shoulders, " I don't know."
Ayda, " You should tell them the truth right now."
Mahta, "No, I can't. "
Ayda, " Why? you have nothing to lose by telling the truth."
Mahta, " Please Don't tell anyone. I feel they are OK, Let me speak with Uncle Sergey and GD first, OK?"
Ayda nods and steps out. By the way, Mahta can't stop thinking about Mino.