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Episode 37 and 38
Clara’s side of the story continues from the previous episode
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 from the last scene of the previous episode @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’’ my mother joked while I blushed.
6:30pm the next day
Lagos state Nigeria,
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 idio.t 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. Its 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.
Vivian’s side of the story continues from the previous episode
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.
‘’D.amn’’ I breathed with frustration as I quickly dressed up.
An hour later, 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 me 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. steampunk prom dresses
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.