Have you read other parts? If NO, read them below

Part one

Part two

Part three

 

 

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

My phone was soon bombarded with calls and text messages as we headed home, giving me no chance to discuss things Charles. It was just as if some of my friends who weren’t at the wedding ceremony all got the news of my engagement in a flash. I really was in a very precarious situation. I was very much confused over how to follow things up. Charles on his own part kept smiling like someone who won a jackpot. We got back to his house without discussing a thing.

However as I settled on my bed to think things through, he walked in and sat on the bed.
‘’How do you feel my dear?’’ he asked calmly. ‘’I feel awful. You used me Charles. You took advantage of my trust and forgiveness’’ I replied with a raised tone. ‘’’but I only proposed to you before all our friends for you to see that I’m genuinely in love with you, For you to see that I very much want to be with you, For you to see my seriousness. Come on my dear, don’t tell me I did wrong again. Wasn’t it a good surprise?’’ he asked with an innocent tone. I sat up on the bed, pulled out the ring and offered back to him. ‘’I don’t need your ring Charles. Not now, not yet’’ I said simply, shocking him with my words. ‘’I beg of you Clara?, what is this madness?’’ he breathed, drawing backwards. ‘’I don’t want to be engaged with you yet. I only accepted your proposal in order not to hurt your ego; I did it to help you save face. I didn’t want to embarrass you before everyone’’ I muttered. ‘’then kindly keep the ring and still pretend that all is still fine. I can give you all the time in the world to make up your mind. I really see no reason why you are having a double mind all of a sudden. Every other girls would be happy to marry me but you are so unbelievable. This isn’t fair to me at all. This is supposed to me my happiest day’’ he sulked, trying hard to play the victim. ‘’I don’t care what you say or feel. Just take back your ring or I will throw it away’’ I threatened. He softly took the ring, stood up and left the room without another word. I fell back on my bed and cried. Of course I couldn’t say if I did the right thing or not.

Early the next day, we headed back to the east in a cold mood. Of course after all that happened the previous day, I was so eager to head home because I knew the more I stayed with him the more uncomfortable I would be. I couldn’t sleep the previous night and very early in the morning I had dressed up and walked up to his room to tell him that I was leaving. At first he appeared confused but when he noticed that I was very determined to leave on my own he had no option than to offer to take me home. He silently drove, saying nothing to me while I busied myself with my thoughts. I had a lot to think and so his silence never got to me. When we eventually got home around 7:10pm, I simply muttered a quick ‘’thank you’’ to him and headed to my room without turning back. At exactly 10pm, that same evening, mum surprised me by walking into my room. It was something she rarely did and I couldn’t even remember the last time she came into my room. She softly sat on my bed, breathed deeply and placed her hand on my body. ‘’how do you feel my dear?’’ she asked ‘’I feel awful mum’’ I confessed. ‘’Charles told me everything and I understand how you feel but you should please act like an adult and stop behaving like a baby. You already accepted him publicly and as far as I know he is yet to do anything that would lead to a change of mind’’ she added softly. I sat up and faced her. ‘’I only accepted his proposal because I didn’t want to embarrass him’’ I defended weakly. ‘’I know but what good will it be for his image, for people to hear that you broke up with him the same evening you accepted him before everyone. It’s still the same as rejecting him publicly. As far as I know, you don’t have any other strong suitor you have feelings for. So take back your ring and act like an adult. You are engaged to him doesn’t mean that you are married to him. Wear his ring and still take your time to make a good decision. For now you are blinded by the past. You can still call it off in the end when have a good reason. You once told me that love is never enough. So calm down, and act like a woman. You already accepted him before the whole world. So take back your ring’’ she said strongly, leaving me with no choice than to obey and hesitantly take back Charles’s ring she brought along. I wore it and looked down. She drew close and hugged me ‘’when I married your father, I liked him, I was a bit fond of him but was never in love with him. I had other admirers who were more fashionable, handsome and presentable than him but I chose him because I saw he had a good future and ambition more than the rest. Now here I’m a governor’s wife and an envy of many women. So my dear, I totally agreed with you when you said love is never enough. You have my spirit and I know you are wise. Charles has all it takes to go far in life and you guys already have a history together’’ she added convincingly, caging my feelings with her subtle words.

Val’s side of the story continues at that same moment:

(Val is seen talking to agent Jennifer who listens with great interest)

‘’so that was how Charles brutally stabbed Vivian and I that fateful evening and all I just told is exactly how it happened and the threats he made. Right now I’m scared of Clara’s safety and I know my story is hard to believe but I’m also disappointed that you guys didn’t investigate properly before concluding that Vivian and I had a fight and I stabbed her. I’m a trained agent and supposing I wanted Vivian killed, it wouldn’t have been messy as it is,’’ I summarized convincingly while Jennifer nodded. ‘’I believe you Val but for now you should lay low and wait to heal first. By then the department must have made a decision on your case. I believe by that time Vivian must have recovered as well and once she returns to the country, her words will be enough to nail Charles’’ she breathed softly while I returned her gaze with great gratitude. She really sacrificed a lot to keep my mum and I company all the time I was down. There was no doubt she believed in me.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

Early the next morning, I was woken up by loud knocks coming from my door entrance. I quickly washed my face and mouth before checking who was knocking and on getting to the door; I met the greatest surprise of my life. I opened the door to see Charles smiling at me.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe he still had the courage to show up at my house after what he did the last time. There wasn’t any doubt he was getting bolder with each passing day.
‘’Hello Val, I can’t believe you recovered. I’m here for something important. Maybe we can reach a deal’’ he added with a smile, while I gnashed my teeth and controlled my temper. My main worry was my mother who was in the other room.
Yes I knew I was going to face Charles once again but I never knew it was going to be so soon and of course wasn’t really prepared for him. I was just so vulnerable that moment, very vulnerable. I equally didn’t know what he had planned out already and everything just seem to be working perfectly in his favour.
‘’can we go inside and talk?’’ Charles asked calmly as if we were nothing but friends. I scoffed and shook my head.
‘’say whatever you came here for and disappear before I lose my temper’’ I replied with a slightly raised tone while he laughed.
‘’you see the difference between us? I think before I act while you act before you think. Anyway let’s keep that aside. I’m here to reach a compromise with you’’ he muttered calmly. I stared at him suspiciously.
‘’Clara and I will be getting married very soon and I wish to clear my conscience. I want to settle you handsomely so as for you not to cause problems for me again. I do know you have a pending case with the people you work for and I have the connection to make it all go away. I’m equally ready to pay you off with a reasonable amount. All you have to do is simply to forget everything about Clara and move on with your life’’ he offered softly while I laughed coldly. His words just appeared like a slap on my face but I controlled the anger in me.
‘’and what if I still chose to refuse your offer?’’ I asked curiously. He shrugged.
‘’that means you are putting your life and your family in danger. I already told you I think before I act. You have no idea what I’m capable of doing and it will be so disgusting for a young man like you to die over a woman in this present century. Anyway Clara sent me to check how you are faring. She really wants to talk to you. What should I tell her?’’ he concluded and asked, drawing out more suspicion from me. Deep down I felt he was trying to rope me into one of his games. I knew if Clara actually wanted to see or talk to me, he would be the last person she would send.
‘’get out from my house. Get out’’ I screamed, not caring about anything as I violently pushed him backwards.
‘’I’m leaving, but think over my proposal. I will check back for your feedback’’ he muttered and left calmly while I bit my lips in great anger. I really felt like going after him and finishing him off but I knew it was only going to get me in jail. I needed nothing but a tactical approach to deal with him but first I had to keep aside my pride and call Clara. I felt it was good I talked to her.
I rushed to my bedroom, grabbed my phone and called Clara.
‘’hey Clara it’s me’’ I breathed as soon as she picked my call.
‘’my God, Val!’’ she screamed over the phone. I couldn’t help but notice the excitement in her voice which made me wonder why she was yet to call me if she really was this excited to hear from me.
‘’we need to talk’’ I breathed.

(Vivian’s side of the story continues:)

(Vivian is seen fully awake as a young black doctor attends to her. Her eyes equally were surprisingly filled up with tears)

‘’So how are you my dear? My name is Chinedu, I’m the doctor in charge of your recovery’’ the young handsome doctor said to me in a very affectionate tone as he checked me up. I stared at him, not exactly knowing what to say. I was extremely happy to be alive, happy to testify over God’s miracle. It was a lucky escape from death. I couldn’t believe that bastard tried to kill me. I really thought we were friends. I thought we were on the same side but no he turned against me with the slightest opportunity he got.
‘’where am I?’’ I managed to ask with a soft voice, knowing full well that I was in a hospital.
‘’you are in a hospital my dear. You are in Indian’’ the doctor answered quickly, smiling deeply.
‘’but you are a Nigerian?, your name sounds like…’’ I asked like a little kid.
‘’yes I’m a Nigerian but I work here’’ he replied with a smile, softly feeling my pulse.
‘’you made a magnificent recovery dear. You were in a very terrible state when you were brought in here but with the look of things, you will leave this hospital within a month’’ he added reassuringly as more tears dropped from my eyes. I couldn’t help but play back in my head the terrible incidence that happened in Val’s house. How I was badly stabbed and left for dead. I knew Val wouldn’t survive it because he really was the main target of Charles’s brutality.
The young doctor soon observed the tears flowing down my eyes, leaned forward and wiped the tears softly. I blushed. I really haven’t been this close to a man for long. The last time I was this close was when I was with Val and it led to nothing but calamity. But the doctor before me looked kind and caring. I couldn’t help but feel a tingling sensation.
‘’I almost lost my life because of a man. I was in a place I wasn’t supposed to be and the worst of it all is that I almost died for nothing, for someone that never cared for me. That’s the worst feeling one can ever have’’ I confessed, very much surprised with my outburst. I never knew what made me open up to him so easily.
‘’we all have a story to tell my dear. Without a story, without challenges our life would be so meaningless. You can’t believe I left Nigeria just to escape the humiliation and scorn of a failed relationship. Just try your best and recover quickly, I promise to tell you my story once you are very strong’’ he promised in Igbo language, bringing out a smile from my face with his words. I lifted my eyes to meet his gaze once again. I liked what I saw, but slowly the light in my eyes died down as I realized that it could also be the way he played with other patients. He was a doctor and his duty was to treat patients both emotionally and physically.
‘’why the sudden frown my dear?’’ he suddenly asked.
‘’I need to get well as soon as possible. I need to know the situation of things at home. My sister could also be in greater danger. Charles must pay even if it’s the last thing I do’’ I breathed with all my strength while the doctor smiled and caressed my shoulder.
Sure I was ready to make Charles pay.

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

I quickly brought down my face, preventing Charles from going any further with his kiss. He smiled nervously and licked his lips as he studied my reaction calmly..
‘’by tomorrow I promise to be back with new information concerning Val. I always keep my promise, trust me’’ he assured me, stood for a while before taking his leave. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.
Yes I desperately wanted to see Val but I couldn’t tell that moment if my decision to see him was a wise one or not. Nevertheless I found it difficult to wait for the next day to approach. Deep down I equally was greatly surprised that Charles was very willing to assist me in finding Val. It was the last thing I expected him to do and by the look of things he was all out to impress me.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

‘’I quickly got myself and pulled my lips away from Jennifer who still held unto me tightly with her hands. Her face was all colored up. The sparkle in her eyes was real and revealing. I breathed with my mouth as I met her gaze.
‘’tell me the truth Val, were you really in love with me back then in the camp or you just asked me out for asking sake. I really want to be sure?’’ she asked curiously while I lowered my gaze.
‘’come on, how many times will you ask me this same question?. Let’s just forget about the past. Moreover I now have feelings for someone else, even though it looks silly to say right now’’ I replied innocently. She quickly pulled away from me, taking few steps backwards and backing me. I needed no telling that I wounded her ego with my confession.
‘’I’m sorry for being insensitive’’ I stammered, closing in on her from behind. She allowed me embrace her without pushing off my hands.
‘’I like your honesty. It’s rare these days.’’ She breathed, turned and faced me, looking very serious this time around.
‘’concerning the things you told me about Charles. You must be careful this time you are out of the hospital. As long as he is still free out there, you are at risk and I bet you have a lot to lose. He has the money, the governor’s shameless support and even the police with him. He will keep trying until he pulls you down. Just look at your mum and your family. Is Clara worth gambling with your future?. You were lucky the last time, you might not be so lucky again and you are still at risk of losing your job or facing tough disciplinary action from the department. Imagine your Clara never even bothered to visit or know your whereabouts all the time you were in the hospital. That’s how girls like her behave. They are insensitive. They think only about themselves. Is that the kind of wife you want for yourself?. You just have to be wise. I may be leaving for Abuja in few days and might not be there for you any longer. Think about your mother in everything you do’’ she muttered seriously, leaving me so shaken with her words. I was very touched.
All she said were nothing but the truth. Clara never bothered to search for me. She never cared to know how I was faring. Supposing I was dead, it wouldn’t had mattered to her; it would have all been for nothing. I felt bad for the first time.
‘’good night Val’’ Jennifer breathed, forced out a smile, shook her head and left, leaving me with my own thoughts as I battled with my mind over all she said to me. I couldn’t help but wondered if I was letting the woman that loved me from the bottom of her heart slip away all because of my feelings for Clara. For the first time I felt something overly strong for Jenifer, something more powerful than the respect I used to have for her. I wouldn’t call it love but it looked like it. I headed to the sitting room to watch TV and clear my head only to run into my mother who was shutting the entrance door.
‘’you let her go by this hour? That girl really meant well for you and I hope the sadness I saw in her eyes isn’t what I think it is?’’ she asked, forcing me to draw back and return to my room without answering her question.

All night long, I thought about Jennifer and Clara. I had this great urge to call Clara on phone, to talk to her, to scold her but my pride kicked against it.

At last, I called Clara: “Hey Clara, how do we see?, can I come over to the house?’’ I eagerly asked Clara. ‘’No don’t, I don’t think the security guys will let you in. Just go to a less crowded restaurant and send me the address. I will be there within few minutes’’ she quickly replied. ‘’okay then, that’s cool by me’’ I breathed with a quick smile and hung up. Few minutes later I left the house in search of a less crowded restaurant. Luckily due to the time of the day it was very easy to find a less crowded cozy restaurant. I got a table near the window, ordered a fruit juice, relaxed and sent the address to Clara. Yes I was equally nervous like someone on a first date. I couldn’t help but remember the things I shared with her in the past. I just wished I had the power to turn back the hands of time, to correct my mistakes. Exactly thirty minutes later, Clara slowly walked into the restaurant. My heart pounded very fast as soon as I spotted her. She looked more beautiful and radiant than she used to be. There wasn’t any doubt she was living well. I quickly waved at her, gaining her attention. She smiled and walked up to my table. ‘’Good day val. You really don’t look like someone who just escaped death. You are one lucky guy’’ she said with a smile. I blushed, fighting hard to calm down my feelings. Seeing her that moment gave me a kind of funny urge. I felt like kissing her right there and then. Yes I really missed her very much but due to the situation of our relationship I held back my feelings. Moreover she never cared to look for me. ‘’what will you take?’’ I asked as I waved at the waiter. ‘’I will take the same thing you are taking’’ she replied quickly. ‘’did you leave the mansion all alone?’’ I asked curiously. ‘’no I was assigned new security team after the kidnap thing Charles pulled off. My security team is outside waiting for me’’ she replied quickly. ‘’I’m not really happy with you but anyway, first, I’m here to talk to you about Charles’’ I quickly breathed while she frowned. ‘’I didn’t come all the way here to listen to any crap you have on Charles. I came to confirm some things from you as well. Yes the issue has been bugging my mind for the past few weeks. It’s all about your relationship with my sister Vivian which you very much hid from me the way you hid your identity. Vivian was with you the night you were attacked. What was she doing in your apartment?’’ she quickly asked, leaving her furious eyes on me. To be candid I was expecting such questions from her but I never expected the energy and manner she threw them at me. I was totally disoriented. ‘’she brought me food and was about leaving when Charles showed up and attacked us’’ I answered innocently but she never believed me. She scoffed and shook her head. ‘’Charles attacked you huh? Come on Val, you and I know that Charles isn’t that strong or silly to attack you on his own’’ she hissed. ‘’I can tolerate every other thing apart from being taken for a fool. Come to think of it, When did Vivian turn to your cook?, to bring food for you by that hour. You can’t deny you guys were having an affair. Tell me Val, what else am I yet to know about you? What did I do to deserve this deception and lies?’’ she softly asked with a deeply colored face. There wasn’t any doubt she was totally pained. There wasn’t any doubt she never believed any word I said. There wasn’t any doubt she was disappointed in me. I felt like grabbing her and forcing her to believe in me but we were in a public place and there wasn’t much I could do. ‘’from day one you lied to me. The only good memory about you I now have is the memory of how you risked everything to save me when I was kidnapped but still I know you did it just to save your job and not really to save my life. After I learnt what happened to you and Vivian, a lot of questions popped into my head. It’s all good. You said Charles stabbed a trained agent like you and equally stabbed Vivian at the same time?, what else do you have on him because I’m going to marry him?’’ she asked with a mockery voice as she stood up. I swallowed hard as I watched her stand up to leave. She already made a bad judgment and I totally was at lost on how to convince her. She was very much blinded with rage and merely showed up to conclude things she had in mind for me. ‘’I don’t have to tell you that Charles is a master planner. He planned your kidnap and still got away with it after turning the whole town upside down. I know I no longer have a stake in your life but please marry anyone but Charles, you don’t know what he’s capable of doing. He came to see me today’’ I managed to chip in. she simply shook her head, sighed and left the restaurant without bothering to listen to me anymore. Deep down I felt sorry for her. She had every reason not to trust me.

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

Yes at first I was very much excited to meet Val but then he gave no remorse, no regrets, or apology over the things I confronted him with which were definitely the truth. Instead he only came up with more lies, he only tried to bring in Charles to the picture. Yes of course I knew Charles was no saint but he wasn’t the kind of guy who would get his hands dirty in such a way. Charles was a bit scared of Val and the last thing I knew he would do was going to his place to stab both Val and Vivian on his own. Definitely it was a badly concocted fairy tale from Val to probably make me stay away from Charles but unfortunately he only got me angrier.

On getting back to the house, I was told mum was looking for me. I quickly headed to her room. ‘’where went you my dear, you don’t look okay’’ mum asked curiously. ‘’I’m okay mum. I just went out to see a friend’’ I answered quickly. ‘’your cousin Vivian is fast recovering. I just spoke with her doctor’’ she informed me softly while I shrugged. ‘’good for her, but you guys are not showing any interest to investigate what actually happened in that guy’s house’’ I added thoughtfully. She breathed deeply. ‘’for now we can do nothing till Vivian returns, but I’m also confused over the whole story. When Mr. Val was your security guy, Charles had this fear that he was having an affair with you but it now appears like the guy was really having an affair with Vivian instead. Is there anything else I need to know?’’ she asked while I kept quiet, saying nothing. Of course supposing she was very close and attentive as a mother perhaps she wouldn’t had asked the question and I would have confided in her with a whole lot of things but she was so busy playing the governor’s wife that she knew little about what was going on under her nose. Though everything that happened back then was fully not her fault. ‘’Charles really wants to wed you as soon as possible and you have a decision to make. If we allow you have your way, you could take forever to give your consent. So I beg of you if there is anything I need to know, you better talk now and if you have nothing to say I will then ask Charles to start up with the traditional marriage rites as soon as he can’’ she pushed on seriously while I looked at her with great disbelief, too stunned to say a word.
‘’Mum I have nothing else to say to you. I’m returning to my room. I’m tired’’ I said a bit rudely, surprising my mother with my outburst. I didn’t wait for her to say anything else and headed to my room to breathe in fresh air. Meeting Val and equally getting queried by my old lady in the space of few minutes were just too much to handle. I felt like taking alcohol and sleeping off but I knew it wouldn’t do me any good. Instead I grabbed one of Coolval’s novels and started reading. I barely had read for few minutes when Charles knocked and walked in with a smile. I instantly grew tense on seeing him while he smiled confidently. ‘’how are you doing my dear? You look good today’’ he greeted pleasantly as he drew close and touched my shoulder. I couldn’t help but wondered what was going through his mind as the report Val made against him slowly flowed back to my head. ‘’you look good as well’’ I muttered politely, noticing his well matched suit for the first time. He was so well responsibly dressed like someone who wouldn’t dare hurt a fly. ‘’I talked with Val early this morning. You know I promised to get in touch with him’’ he added softly as he sat beside me. I breathed deeply, dropped my book and faced him seriously. ‘’mum told me you are very much eager to fix our wedding date. But you know marriage is a very serious engagement. Yes we are already cool with each other but I want to know the truth. What will be your gain, my family’s gain and that of your family in the union?. Please don’t bring up the love thing again. I’m not a kid. I had a talk with my mother few minutes ago and she couldn’t hide her desperation. If I’m going to marry you, I need to know everything playing down behind my back’’ I demanded seriously. He instantly looked worried, stood up and took few steps backwards. I equally stood up and faced him. His expression confirmed my fears that there were other things at stake. ‘’come on, I want to be your husband because you are the only lady I fancy, I adore, I honor. I have virtually known you more than any of your friends. Your parents trust me more than any other person out there. What sort of interest or benefits are you thinking about?’’ he stammered defensively. ‘’alright since you are not going to open up to me, I have something else to ask. I spoke with Val today and he tried to convince me that you were the person who stabbed him and Vivian at his house. Is it true?’’ I asked seriously, studying his reaction. He quickly turned, headed towards my balcony and stopped at the door. ‘’I can’t believe you believed such a silly accusation. The evening your cousin Vivian was stabbed I was at the police station trying to help out my friends who were arrested when you were rescued from my house. I headed to the DSS office with some police officers later that same evening and I spent almost all night there. Moreover do you think I’m capable of attacking a guy like him on my own?’’ he breathed and turned to face me again. I shrugged. ‘’I really don’t know what to believe but I guess I will have to wait for Vivian to return and tell her side of the story. Thank God she survived’’ I added with a smile but my words only got him angrier. ‘’why are you acting as if you are doing me one huge favor by marrying me?. Our marriage will benefit both of us and not only me. Moreover the only way your dad is going to win his next election, the only way he is going to remain relevant in politics is if you marry me. If not he’s going down with a whole lot of corruption cases. He needs the support of my family. And if you don’t know, my family controls a big part of the state resources and equally has the financial power to influence the party delegates in every election. Your dad knows that, and even before becoming the state governor he signed an agreement that he had no way of fulfilling before the end of this current tenure. The only sure solution he has right now in order to kick and fight back the opposition building up against him is by forming a stronger alliance with my family through marriage. All the apology I showed off before him in your presence was all a charade to impress you and your mother. You have to start seeing me as your husband and not as an option. Moreover I’m very much in love with you and that’s why I’m letting myself to be used and ridiculed. I have already done a whole lot of regrettable things just to win your heart. Sometimes happiness is just a choice. We have to take it or give it up. I’m the only man that can give you stability’’ he breathed, drew close and held me by the waist as I stared into his eyes, unable to say a word. Deep in my heart I still felt he was lying even though his outburst sounded very truthful.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

Seeing Clara that fateful morning brought in a whole lot of old memories but with the way our conversation ended, I knew I had to push away old memories and move on with my life since she already made her choice. Jennifer was right all along and somehow I regretted backing away from her all because of Clara. All day long, I thought of what next to do with my life and couldn’t really come up with anything. I equally thought about Vivian and really wished I could see the future. Early the next day, I took my mother back to the village with a whole lot of gratitude in my heart. There is nothing as pure and wonderful as the love of a mother. No matter how ugly, bad and poor you are, her love would still be unshakeable. Mothers are unique.
‘’my son, I really don’t know what’s going on with your love life but try and fix up yourself. No woman is perfect. You are not getting any younger and I wish I could force you into marrying Jennifer. That girl made sure you were alright when you were down at the hospital’’ she breathed when we got to the village. I smiled, hugged her and kissed her goodbye before heading back to
the city.

5:34pm, same day

I was in the process of opening my apartment entrance door when someone closed in from behind and covered my eyes. I smiled as the familiar perfume of the stranger hit my nostrils. Of course the person was no other person than Jennifer. ‘’I never knew I would see you again’’ I smiled as I brought down her hands. ‘’I came to say good bye for the last time. I’m leaving tomorrow’’ she replied as she followed me into my apartment. ‘’I equally was asked to inform you that a decision has been reached over your conduct in the department. You have been placed on three months suspension without pay and you equally stand the chance of being transferred to another state at the end of the suspension. You can go to the department to get your suspension letter whenever you are free’’ she informed me with a frown while my heart froze. I couldn’t
believe it. ‘’this is so unfair’’ I screamed. She drew close and held my hands. ‘’just leave the issue as it is. You can do a lot with your three months break. You can go stay with your mum. You can travel out of the country. You can equally stay with me at the federal capital city’’ she breathed with a smile. I dropped my eyes. ‘’Life has taken everything away from me, my job, my Clara’’ I muttered. ‘’no you still have your family. You still have me, though I’m leaving right now’’ she added and hugged me tightly. I felt like begging her to stay for a while but just couldn’t.

Two and half months later, I was in my family house at Mbano. I whistled happily as I inspected my mother’s poultry farm at our backyard. I really couldn’t understand the special feeling of happiness I was having that fateful morning. Of course it really was a miracle that I survived my suspension in the first place and was now on the verge of going back to the city to report to work. Somehow I felt the suspension I got was nothing but a miracle in disguise because it gave me the much dreamt opportunity of spending quality time at home with my dear mother. Yes the two months I spent at home was very much well spent. I recovered my energy, my weight and my life. I equally was able to turn my mother’s little poultry that housed only native birds into a very big poultry farm with two paid workers. Yes at first it really wasn’t easy staying all day long in a very quiet village that had little or no lively activities to occupy one’s mind. But I soon got used to it and was even able to get Clara and my past mistakes behind me. I really was lucky to survive it all and I swore never to make another silly mistake over a woman. I whistled happily as I moved my attention to the day old chicks we got the previous day. I was happy with what I saw. I couldn’t help but count the fortune I was going to make out of them in six months time. I smiled to myself, happy to be a farmer and wishing I could stay a little longer in the village to make the sales myself. I slowly made my way to the last section of the farm, housing some native fowl I was growing for cross breeding. I loved experiments and I was hopeful they were going to give me the result I needed.
‘’Val,’’ I heard a soft familiar voice call my name. I froze as I listened again, not really sure of what I heard the first time. ‘’Val it’s me Clara’’ I heard the second time and turned to see Clara standing just before me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked very impossible. I couldn’t imagine how she got to my village house, how she made the journey and who led her to my place. My mind instantly went towards Charles as I drew back with confusion, wondering what the idiot was up to by leading her to my place. ‘’what are you doing here?, who led you here?’’ I asked guardedly. She smiled and shrugged. ‘’I confided to the head of my security that I needed to see once again and she led me here. She’s also from your community’’ she replied and signaled to her companion who was standing a distance away. She slowly walked up to her with a smile. ‘’good day Mr. Val. We have met before but I don’t think you still remember’’ the female officer greeted but she wasn’t my problem. My problem was seeing Clara standing before me uninvited.
‘’so why are you here?, the last time we talked you made it clear that you no longer trusted me. I hope I’m safe or you came to spoil my suspension which is ending in few weeks?’’ I asked rudely. ‘’come on Val’’ the female office tried to intervene but Clara tapped her hand. ‘’just leave us alone please’’ she softly said to her. She shrugged and headed back to the front of the compound while Clara and I stood facing each other at the back yard. ‘’so what now”’ I asked her. ‘’I’m getting married to Charles in three weeks time and I’m here to make peace with you and equally confirm some things from you. Ever since that day I walked out on you, I haven’t been myself. Please tell me the truth. My happiness depends on it. I need to know if it was Charles that actually stabbed you and Vivian at your apartment? I never believed your word back then because I knew you were blinded with rage but right now I’m about making a lifelong commitment and I’m appealing to you. Tell me the truth, did Charles actually go that far?’’ she appealed solemnly while I stared at her without showing any sign of sympathy.
Supposing it were two months ago, supposing it was even a month ago, I would have been touched by her presence but on the contrary I felt nothing. My heart was already locked up in my late father’s cupboard and perhaps that was the reason I felt no chills, no current, no passion, no excitement on seeing her beautiful face. ‘’the only answer I have right now is for you to wait and talk to your cousin Vivian. She survived, didn’t she?’’ I asked with a scornful smile, surprising her with my nonchalant attitude. She just couldn’t believe herself. ‘’Val I came all the way down here to seek you and this attitude is what I get?’’ she stammered while I scoffed. ‘’no you came here to tell me that you are getting married. Congrats on that but also know that you are no longer my problem. In the next two weeks my suspension will be over and I will start all over again. You made a mistake coming here. I have nothing to tell you over the answer you seek. As you can see I’m busy with my fowl and you just interrupted me. Good bye Clara’’ I said coldly, turned and faced my fowl, whistling to them as I resumed what I was doing before she walked in. she stood for a while before walking away without another word. Did I act right?

Meanwhile at that same moment, Vivian is seen with her mother, her brother and doctor Chinedu heading out of Murtala Muhammed international airport. Vivian looks super excited to be back in Nigeria, while a distance away, an immigration officer is seen dialing Charles number

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

As I headed back to Owerri I played back Val’s action in my head. I really was very mad at him over the way he embarrassed me. I had hoped he would be happy to see me but on the contrary he looked so uptight and indifferent. I had never felt so embarrassed in a long while and I couldn’t help but feel ashamed of myself for coming to his house in the first place. There wasn’t any doubt I missed him. There wasn’t any doubt I had longed to see him but all those yearnings and hunger disappeared as soon as he treated me like a leper. I slowly thought about Charles and the doubts I was having in my heart. My family, friends and everyone were encouraging me to go ahead and marry him but deep down I felt hollow. There wasn’t this hunger in me to get married to him. There wasn’t any excitement, nothing but then could everyone be wrong about him? I wondered over and over as my convoy speed back to Owerri.

(Vivian’s side of the story continues:)

When I got to the airport I was so happy to be back in Nigeria, So happy to finally be back in my country. I really made one hell of a speedy recovery all thanks to Chinedu. He was my guardian, my helper and my comforter. I was so happy to finally be in love with a man who loved me back unconditionally. He even had to take his much overdue leave from work just to come back to Nigeria with me and start up with the marriage formalities. He really was so eager to get married to me and it was just as if we had known each other for years. Our relationship kind of confirmed to me that whatever is yours is yours. On the night I was discharged from the hospital he proposed to me, shocking me with his action because it was so fast and unexpected. ‘’come on Chinedu, what are you doing?. Have you known me enough?’’ I had asked with disbelief. ‘’yes my love I now feel like part of your family. I can recite every bit of your story and I feel as if I have known you for ages. There is no need delaying anything. I want to get married to you as soon as possible’’ he had insisted and I had no choice than to accept him because I was fully in love with him and just like he said there wasn’t any need holding back anything. We finally agreed to return back to Nigeria together, to make our wedding plans. ‘’so when are we seeing?’’ Chinedu asked, interrupting my thoughts as he grabbed my hand. I instantly noticed a young man who just joined us. The guy looked exactly like a younger version of him. ‘’in five days time I should be in Owerri. I will notify you once I get to town’’ I answered softly. ‘’meet my younger brother Michael. He’s here to take me home’’ he added with a smile while I nodded at the young man who greeted my mother and I. ‘’I can’t wait to see you again’’ he breathed, pecked me and disappeared with his brother.
‘’Hmmmm! love nwantinti — deeply in love,’’ my mother joked while I blushed.

It was 6:30pm the next day in Lagos state Nigeria, when I saw off some friends and was returning back to the house with a happy smile on my face as the Lagos hot air blew across my face. I momentarily closed my eyes as I mediated over some things. Returning home to be with my family in Lagos was something I dreamt pretty much every day when I was down in the hospital. I missed everyone, hence my joy of returning home to spend quality time with them. I missed my family, my neighbors, the Lagos traffic and the noise. Owerri was just a very different city all together and I really missed the thrills of Lagos all the time I was under the governor’s care.

Nevertheless I was still very eager to return to Owerri to put Charles where he belonged. The idiot never deserved Clara and I was very ready to tell my dear cousin everything he was. Yes I knew things could get rough. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I was very determined even if it was the last thing I did in my life. Yes I could have told Clara the truth the few times she called me up but it wasn’t something to say via phone. It was something to be done face to face.‘’Vivian we need to talk’’ I soon heard a familiar voice say from behind. I instantly turned and froze as I saw Charles smiling down at me. Yes at first I was scared as a human being because I knew what he was capable of doing but I soon relaxed because we were just in front of the house and the street was very lively. He equally was dressed in a well fitted suit and matching tie like a bank manager. ‘’I’m glad you are alive. Please can we go somewhere private to talk?’’ he asked while I scoffed with disbelief. ‘’you must be crazy’’ I screamed. ‘’Vivian I never intended to stab you. I never knew you were the girl with Val that fateful night. By the time I realized it I had already stabbed you and I had no choice than to finish up the job. I’m sorry and I’m glad you made it out alive. Just name your prize and I will compensate you’’ he begged softly. ‘’do I look like a beggar to you?. Do I look like a poor girl?. Just get the hell out of my presence. I’m coming for you Charles and I swear you will never marry Clara. You are a murderer. You are an animal’’ I screamed breathlessly. ‘’be careful on what you plan for me my dear. It’s better we settle this peacefully. You already know what led to the desperate action I took back then and please don’t let me repeat it again’’ he begged. ‘’are you threatening me?. Just stay away from me. The farther the better’’ I screamed and headed back inside the house, breathing heavily like someone who partook in a marathon race. Was I scared?, yes of course I was. Charles was really capable of anything and I felt he could be a step ahead of me. I had to act fast, pretty fast.

I couldn’t sleep that fateful night. I was so preoccupied with varying thoughts on how to tell Clara everything. Of course I had no choice than to speed up my plans. There wasn’t any need waiting. I knew Charles was ready to do anything to stop me and I equally knew I had to be very careful with the way I handled the situation. I thought of Val and how he was faring. We were yet to speak to each other after that unfortunate incident in his house. I heard he survived but perhaps he was waiting for me to be the first to reach out to him which I really wasn’t ready to do at the moment.
Very early the next day, I headed to mum’s room to tell her about my new plans. She was very much surprised to hear that I was booking the next available flight down to south East that fateful day. I told her about my new plans but perfectly hid the reason for my sudden change of heart. I couldn’t really get myself to tell her that Charles confronted me the previous day in front of the house because I didn’t want her to get nervous and worried. My other reason for wanting to head down to Owerri as fast as possible was to take Charles attention away from my family. Because he could be compelled to do something nasty to them in order to force me into submission but unfortunately I was a bit late. At exactly 8:30am I got a shocking phone call from my sweetheart doctor Chinedu.
‘’my dear I’m in a big trouble right now. Some NDLEA officers stopped my car yesterday evening as my brother and I was heading down to Owerri and found drugs in my car. I really can’t explain it. I don’t know anyone here and I don’t know who could be doing this to me. Please pray for me’’ he cried over the phone, shaking me with the information. I instantly suspected Charles.
‘’where are you?’’ I stammered.
‘’I’m being detained with my brother at their office in Shaw road Onilegbale I think?. You know the place?’’ he breathed.
‘’I don’t know I don’t know but I will get a cab or someone to take me there. You don’t have to fear my dear. Thank God they let you make calls with your phone’’ I muttered quietly as sweat drenched my entire body. I needed no one to tell me that Charles was up at it again. It couldn’t simply be a coincident that my Chinedu was found with drugs the same evening Charles confronted me.
I instantly realized that Charles could have been monitoring me all the time I was away in India. Yes he had the money and resources to pull such a thing.
‘’Damn’’ I breathed with frustration as I quickly dressed up.

An hour later in NDLEA office Lagos, Chinedu and his younger brother were looking so frightened and shaken up when I met them at the empty dirty room they were detained in. I just didn’t know what to say to him when our eyes met. I felt so responsible and touched. I knew he was set up. He was a medical doctor for crying out loud.
‘’my love just look at me, Isn’t this corruption at its peak?. That’s why most of us living outside the country hate coming home. I’m not a drug baron. I’m a doctor. I save lives. I don’t know what’s happening here. We were on our way down to Owerri when five guys wearing NDLEA apron blocked our car and subjected us to a rough search. I was busy arguing with one of them when all of a sudden a polythene bag filled with drugs was pulled out from the trunk of my car. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s even my first time of seeing such substance’’ he narrated quickly.
‘’We were forced to spend the night here and worst is that they are yet to tell us our fate. We don’t know if we are going to be taken to court or not. I was just given my phone this morning to call a lawyer or a friend. I’m so lost’’ he added solemnly.
‘’don’t be scared. I will see what I can do. I will be back’’ I promised and headed out in search of the officer in charge of his case. But none of the officers in the premises were willing to cooperate or even reason with me. Reluctantly I dialed Charles’ number to know if he was responsible for the mess.
‘’Charles what are you up to?, why did you set up my friend?’’ I asked as soon as he picked up my call.
‘’I don’t know what you are talking about my dear’’ he quickly answered.
‘’you very much know what I’m talking about and you just hit me where it hurts the most. Just start watching your back’’ I threatened nervously.
‘’my dear I really don’t know what you are talking about but we can reason things out and help each other. I can see you are in trouble. Just tell me where you are and I will show up in few minutes’’ he softly demanded.
‘’I’m at the NDLEA office. I know you know the place. I’m waiting’’ I breathed and hung up while my heart pounded very hard. I really didn’t know what to do. I just wasn’t prepared for such a thing.

Exactly an hour later, Charles showed up at the NDLEA premises. He however refused getting out of his car and asked me to join him inside the car. I hesitantly joined him.
‘’so what’s your problem?’’ he asked.
‘’you set up my friend with drugs. I don’t know you do drugs as well’’ I breathed seriously.
‘’are you here to insult me or to seek my help. I can help your friend get out of any mess he is in right now but I also need something from you. I need a confessional statement from you which will be recorded on tape. All you have to do is to say on tape that you were having an affair with agent Val prior to the night you got stabbed. You came to his apartment to be with him on that very night. You guys argued and he tried to stab you to death but wasn’t so lucky. You managed to pull the knife from your body and stab him as well. I need the story confession from you before I can help your friend. Yes I know the story is somehow flawed but it’s enough for me. You know how these NDLEA guys work? They always crave for media attention and I promise you by tomorrow if nothing is done to secure your friend’s release, he will be on the front page of every newspaper and TV station with the caption ‘’ A Nigerian born Indian doctor nabbed with drugs in Lagos’’. Wow such a good headline’’ he giggled evilly while I lowered my eyes.
There wasn’t any doubt he was responsible for everything. His words gave him out but then I was just right between a murderer and a raging fire.

‘’Well, it’s too late for that. I already told Clara everything you did. I told her the whole story this morning via phone’’ I bravely said to Charles, bringing up my eyes to check his reaction but he still remained calm. All he did was just to shrug and breathe deeply. ‘’I still need my own version of the story on tape. I don’t care if you have already told Clara everything or not’’ he insisted, shocking me with his words. ‘’so are you willing to go on with my request or are you willing to sacrifice your new boyfriend over nothing?’’ he asked while I swallowed hard, not exactly knowing what else to say or do. ‘’you should know I always have my way in everything. Even if you sacrifice him for your selfish reason I will still get another way of caging you. So don’t waste my time. Are you going on with my request or not?’’ he demanded with a raised tone. ‘’you are a monster’’ I breathed with disgust. ‘’come on dear, life itself is a monster. Good people die every day while bad people live for long, so what say you?’’ he demanded once again. I hesitantly nodded. I could tell he was more than willing to let my boyfriend hang over his selfish ambition. ‘’fine you just made the right choice. Now bring out your phones’’ he suddenly demanded, licking his lips and surprising me further. ‘’what do you need my phones for?. You think I’m recording our conversation or what?’’ I asked breathlessly. ‘’no my dear, you won’t dare try that. Just bring out your phones’’ he demanded again, leaving me with no choice than to oblige. He took the phones from me, checked them out before handing them back to me. ‘’now turn on the recorder and read out what I wrote on this paper’’ he requested as he pulled out a sheet of paper which he gave to me.
I instantly froze as I read the contents. ‘’oh you thought I didn’t have my own version of the story written down?. Come on read it out loud’’’ he demanded. I nervously turned on the recorder of the two phones and did as he requested. ‘’I’m making this record in case anything happens to me again. Val tried to kill me in his house because I wanted to expose his secrets. He was having an affair with Clara and I at the same time and none of us knew. When I found out the truth it was already too late and he tried killing me when I confronted him. Luckily I survived by fighting back and stabbing him with the same knife he used on me before losing consciousness. How did I pull it off?, it was nothing but a miracle. That last move saved my life and now I’m back in Nigeria to put him in jail where he belongs. I’m still scared he might make another move to end my life’’ I read painfully while Charles listened and smiled. ‘’nice work’’ he giggled as took back my phones, saved the recording and transferred a copy to his own phone. ‘’Vivian I’m really sorry that our relationship got this sour. I never wanted all this to happen. It’s all Clara’s fault. I’m equally ashamed of what I have become and I really don’t know how to compensate you for trying to take your life in the first place. I will make a wire transfer of 1.5million naira to your account later today. Don’t ask me how I got your account number. Anyway I know the money isn’t worth your life and I’m very sorry for everything. However don’t try anything funny. I need not to tell you that I can make your whole family sleep in jail. You also know that I have people watching you. There is a restaurant down the street. Just go there and wait for your friends to be released. ‘’ he said softly. I shook my head, eyed him and alighted from his car. Of course I felt very bad. I never expected the turnout of events. I never knew he was capable of going that far with me. I hated myself. I hated myself. I hated myself.

Exactly three hours later, Chinedu called me on phone, sounding very excited. ‘’my love how did you pull this off?. My brother and I have been released and the case dropped. I was told my girlfriend pulled strings for me. Where are you?’’ he asked happily while tears of joy melted my eyes. I heaved a sigh of relief. Their freedom came with a very heavy price. ‘’I’m just across the street my dear’’ I managed to answer. There wasn’t any doubt Charles had every corner blocked and well secured. He had everything already thought out and planned. I realized that fateful day that I wasn’t going to be able to take him down on my own. I needed help. I needed Val’s help. I needed Clara’s trust. I needed the support of Clara’s family. Of course I knew getting the needed support from Clara’s family was going to be very hard because to them Charles was nothing but an angel. I wasn’t going to let the issue die like that. I had a duty to protect my cousin from getting into a very dangerous marriage. But then my life was equally on the line. Charles could easily have had me killed after getting the recording but instead he paid in money into my account, something that looked very fishy. Yes the dude was smart, very smart.

I really had a very sleepless night thinking over everything and early the next morning, I dressed up in readiness to travel down to the east to be with Clara. I couldn’t travel the previous day as planned because of issues that came up and I wasn’t going to let any other thing delay me further. I also was a bit nervous over seeing Clara once again because even though she sounded cool the few times we spoke on phone I felt our closeness wasn’t going to be like old times because of what she must have heard about me and Val. Yes I had a lot of issues to settle with her and I equally knew I was embarking on a very dangerous mission because any slip of tongue could get Charles unleashing his terror on me but first I had to call Val. I needed his help and if possible the help of the whole department of state services. Charles wasn’t a danger to me alone but to the governor’s daughter and everyone. Yes it could stand as a matter of national security because the dude was a time bomb waiting to explode with his connections in every sector of the government. ‘’Val we need to talk and it’s very urgent’’ I muttered as soon as Val picked my call.

‘’Hmmm Vivian how are you?, where are you?’’ Val asked with a slightly raised tone as soon as he picked up my call, showing how surprised he was to hear from me. ‘’you sound surprised huh?, I can’t believe you never bothered to check on how I was faring?’’ I reprimanded him. ‘’you won’t understand. Seriously’’ he breathed while I scoffed. ‘’it doesn’t matter. I’m calling for another reason. I need to see you this evening. I will be at All Seasons Hotel later today for something very urgent, let’s meet there. It’s more about your life and future. I’m still in Lagos though but I will be taking the next available flight down to south east’’ I muttered very quickly. ‘’fine I will be expecting your call when you arrive’’ he replied. I smiled, hung up and called Clara. ‘’hey dear how far?’’ I greeted as soon as she picked my call. ‘’I’m just there jare’’ she replied in Pidgin English. ‘’I will be arriving town this evening, but won’t be coming to the house, instead I will lodge at a hotel because of some issues that came up. I will invite you over when I arrive there. Hope it won’t be a problem to you?’’ I asked ‘’no of course not but I hope all is fine?’’ she replied and asked with a worried tone. ‘’yes just be patient till I get to town’’ I added, hung up and breathed deeply. The stage was now set for my next line of action and I needed no one to warn me on being very cautious. It was a big risk I was about taking and it could either end well or badly for me. ‘’dear Lord I hope I’m doing the right thing this time?’’ I prayed.

By 5:45pm that same evening I was already settled in one of the best rooms ‘’All seasons Hotel’’ could offer. The comfort of the room however couldn’t stop me from being nervous and a bit scared as I waited for Val and Clara to arrive. It really was the first time we were about being together in a long while and I knew things could get messy. I equally was unaware of the relationship Val was currently enjoying with Clara who was now about getting married to Charles. I had a lot of questions in my head that needed answers. I equally had my own story to tell. Yes the get-together was definitely going to open up many secrets and truths. I couldn’t help but weigh my options over and over again. I knew going against Charles’s directive could backfire on me in a very explosive manner. It equally was the only way I could redeem myself and save Clara and Val from impending doom. I had a lot to lose; I equally had a lot to gain by going through with my plans. My prayer was just for it to go very successfully because it really was taking a whole lot of courage on my part to get on with.

Val was the first to walk into my room and just like I expected he looked very suspicious and curious over my motive. He perhaps thought I was all out to seduce him. I couldn’t help but laugh in my mind. ‘’thank God you are finally here. What will you take?’’ I asked, trying to make him feel relaxed. He shrugged and breathed deeply. ‘’Vivian I’m not here to take anything but first to apologize over everything that happened in my house the last time we met. It has been in my mind to apologize all these while but I haven’t been myself. Yes I survived Charles’ brutal attack but I have never been the same ever since. I got suspended from work, I lost Clara, I don’t even know if I lost my mind as well. I have been in the village ever since, trying to start all over with life. I’m glad you are okay’’ he softly apologized, shocking me with his words. Yes his apology wasn’t supposed to touch me because I deserved one from him but I was moved by it because I wasn’t really expecting it that minute. However before I could say something, a knock landed on the door. Clara showed up.

Clara’s presence changed everything. Her presence brought in tension and heat to the room. Val looked very disturbed and surprised to see her and she equally looked very unhappy to see Val. ‘’what the hell are you up to Vivian. Why invite me here? You want me to see you guys together or what?. I already know everything, there is no need’’ Clara breathed angrily, forcing me to reach forward and grab her hand. ‘’it’s not what you think my dear. Yes I liked Val. I still do like him but we never had an affair. We were never together. We never went far from being friends. The night I was attacked, I was just in his house to thank him for rescuing you and equally give him the food I got from the house. I did that because I knew what he was passing through that moment but unfortunately someone else had something planned for us. Charles surprised us, using the surprise to his advantage to overpower Val and I. we were brutally stabbed by him. We were stabbed by your fiancé,’’ I breathed with all my energy. Clara instantly colored up while Val slowly sat down. There was uneven quietness in the room as my words sank in. ‘’but that’s not the main reason I invited you guys here. I’m in a deep terrible mess right now. Charles set up my new boyfriend yesterday and forced me into making a confession indicting Val. I was forced to confess on tape that Val stabbed me. I had to do his bidding in order to free the innocent guy who just got to the country for my sake. I don’t know what he planned doing with the tape. I was warned not to talk to you Clara and I beg you to act as if I told you nothing until we get enough evidence to jail him’’ I added breathlessly. ‘’this is just too much. I don’t know why I believe all you just said. It sounds like a cooked up tale. Can Charles really be this cruel?’’ Clara breathed, sitting on the floor with a look of despair. ‘’I know . . . I know but we have to work together to nail him. We have to set our differences and suspicions aside. You can’t marry Charles. That dude can murder you anytime he wants. He’s not a human being. I used to be on his
side until I learnt my lesson the hard way’’ I begged Clara who shook her head, covering her face with her palms. There wasn’t any doubt the information was too much for
her and I was taking a big risk by revealing everything. I looked at Val for him to say something but he looked a bit uninterested. ‘’I don’t think I have any role to play here. Clara is no longer my problem. I’m equally on suspension. The best you guys can do is to find a way to secretly tell the state director of my department your story and plans. He’s a good man and will handle it well. I have to go now’’ he simply said and stood up while Clara looked up at him with eyes filled with tears and disdain. ‘’I came to your house. I begged you to tell me the truth but you were willing to sacrifice my happiness in order to have the last laugh. What kind of guy are you Val?’’ she asked while Val looked away.
She surprisingly stood up with great energy, walked up to him and landed two hot slaps on his face, shocking me with her action. Instead of retaliating, Val tried to hold her still, a struggle ensued and in the process the two love birds ended up on my bed breathing heavily. I couldn’t help but wonder that moment what would have happened supposing I wasn’t in the room with them. There wasn’t any doubt their hormones were raging like wild fire. love song plays in the background ‘’meanwhile unknown to them, Vivian’s phone which was tucked under a pillow had been ringing endlessly. Perhaps the tension in the room, coupled with the low ring volume of the phone made it impossible to be heard. And yes the caller was no other person than Charles ’’ Do you think Charles was dumb to let Vivian live to tell her story?

[To be continued]

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