“Anna, let me call you right back,” I said and finished the call. I thought it might be that irritating neighbor from the homeowner’s association coming to collect the check for my dues. Then, I remembered that he always rang the doorbell, despite my repeated entreaties for him not to wake my son. The light tapping made me think that, perhaps, he had finally gotten the message and was being a little more sensitive.
Nothing prepared me for what was waiting behind the closed door when I finally opened it wide…..
‘Nicole, Razi is the complete opposite of the man you think he is. And he’s dangerous.’
I read and re-read the message. This was the second one I had received from an anonymous number. But this time, it was more personal, the sender using my name and bluntly warning me off Razi. I wondered who it could be, and why whoever it was considered Razi to be dangerous, and what it was really all about.
“And I assume you’ve also heard their new creation is based on an idea originally conceived by a doctor of optical physics called Giora Golan – who killed himself a year ago.” The utter amazement that washed through me wiped the blankness from my poker face for a moment. I’d known nothing of this … this … insane story. Bondi was watching me carefully. “I see you haven’t heard about it,” he said with obvious satisfaction. “And if that’s the case, I bet you also don’t know that Shraga Zonenberg, your Razi’s father, went to see the scientist’s widow while she was still in mourning, still traumatized over the recent death of her husband, and bought all her husband’s company stock from her for a pittance.”
“Don’t you dare call me a coward!” His face darkened and he took another step towards me, his eyes now blazing with sudden anger. “Do you hear? Don’t you ever dare call me a coward!”
I was so scared by Razi’s sudden and utter transformation that I started to retreat from the kitchen…….
Against that human background, I unexpectedly saw him. He stood out with his elegant appearance, erect as a peacock, staring at me with those piercing eyes. I was shocked, dumbfounded. I found it hard to believe I was seeing him only thirty feet from where I was standing with Shay.
Shock quickly became anger. ‘What the hell is he doing here?’ I thought. ‘Is he following me?’
“In the years before she turned up again, an American family, distant friends of my parents, ‘adopted’ me. I had a lot of fun with them. I felt right at home and was very attached to the father of the family. He was the exact opposite of my own father, a warm, outspoken man I could talk to about anything under the sun. Then, one day, with no warning, he committed suicide. He left a letter in which he confessed his true sexual orientation and the secret affairs he’d had with young men…..
“What about looking for additional partners?” I asked.
“That would considerably dilute our holdings, and we could lose control of the company,” Razi replied.
“But what would happen with Lock-space?” “My dad and I have decided to go all the way.” “What do you mean?” “No one needs to know what’s happening in our company other than us.”
Before I did anything else, I wanted to talk to someone who was familiar with the Zonenberg family, someone who could give me some guidance about how to handle them and their devious ways. I could think of no one better than Olga, the late scientist’s wife, who had also suffered at the hands of that family.
“I have been constantly monitoring Razi and his family. What, you thought I’d let it all go?”
“You won’t ever regret doing this. Trust me, most of Razi’s business trips abroad, especially to the Far East, have been fake. He has dark sides and many secrets. He never abandoned his … adventures from the time he lived in America. On the contrary, in the past, he managed to drag Dorit into going along with what he wanted to do, and even now, he still does what he wants, but he’s been including the flavors of the Orient.”