"How long till we reach the farm?" asked Alvi, stifling a yawn.
"Shouldn't be too long now," replied Ahmad.
"They said we'll reach within two hours. How long has it been?" asked Alvi, this time sitting up straight.
"Ermmm..." was all Ahmad had to say as he checked how long it had been.
"I guess since the locals don't use cars much, they overestimated how fast we could go."
"Man, they really didn't feel creative while choosing which trees to plant around here, it seems," said Ahmad.
"That's because they're the same trees, Ahmad bhai. We've been going around in circles for at least a couple of hours now," droned Alvi as the fourteen year old idly picked at a scab.
"Don't do that and no we haven't. We're going towards the farm. Thank God we decided to show up with a day at hand," said Ahmad while running his hand through his hair.
"Well, there goes both my phone and power bank. Now I've officially run out of things to do," said Alvi as he fiddled with the radio knob on their old Toyota Sprinter.
"Dad chose a nice place to set up his fishing project, didn't he?" said Alvi.
"It was cheap and being out of the way means less chance of pollution messing with the fishes and no random brickfields will pop up either," replied Ahmad.
"Why are brickfields still a thing, though?" asked Alvi.
"Because we haven't figured out how to make buildings without bricks, genius," said Ahmad.
Alvi ignored the quip and started playing with the reclining lever of the car.
"Wow, this heap of junk won't even recline. I really wish you and Dad didn't keep buying cheap crap."
"This is a very good E90, Alvi. You wouldn't know a good car if it hit you smack in the middle of your face."
"Like that one?" Alvi's lips curled at the edges.
"Well, obviously. It's the same car as this," Ahmad ignored the quip.
Ahmad frowned and looked towards Alvi who was gripping his seat tightly with one hand and pointing with the other. He quickly parked his car behind the one on the side of the road and got down.
Both cars had the Dhaka Metro GA 12-1554 license plates.
The brothers stopped their bickering altogether as they looked at each other. Alvi took a deep breath and quickly nodded at Ahmad who started towards the passenger seat. His key unlocked the car to reveal nothing inside. He quickly ran back to check the boot which didn't have their backpacks either for a change.
"Bhaia, what are these?"
Ahmad saw two sets of footprints on the dirt path bordering the gravel. He looked back at the highway and furrowed his brows.
"We didn't see any cars for the past few hours, did we, Alvi?"
Alvi shook his head.
Ahmad walked back to the boot of his own car and got their backpacks out. His heart was hammering against his chest as if trying to escape.
"Here, you take yours. There's no point going round in circles over here. That might be light over there which means there are people. We just have to get past this crop field."
The boys slowly got down from the edge of the highway towards the mustard fields as another car slowly pulled up behind theirs and two people emerged from a white Toyota Sprinter E90.
Rumman R Kalam is a Sub-editor at SHOUT and when he's off-duty, he likes to be a goat with opposable thumbs at Rantages. You can send him hate mail at firstname.lastname@example.org