Val’s side of the story continues from the previous episode
We got to Abuja later that evening and In no time made our way to Clara’s family’s residence. A magnificent mansion located in a plush Maitama neighborhood. I just couldn’t say a word for some seconds as I stared at the edifice that stood before me. Clara smiled and placed her hand on my shoulder.
‘’you like the house?’’ she asked softly.
‘’aww, so beautiful’’ I breathed.
‘’yes dad invested in real estate long before becoming governor. We have a house keeper and two security guys here’’ she added.
‘’I pray to have such an investment someday’’ I added softly.
‘’of course you will, once you are focused. You are still very young nau’’ she replied as we walked into the building.
9pm, same evening
Clara took me to a quiet restaurant within the neighborhood where we had dinner. I equally used the opportunity to question her about the plans she had for Charles’s birthday.
‘’so concerning your friend’s birthday, is there anything I need to know?’’ I asked softly as soon as we settled down in the restaurant.
‘’nothing really, you have done your part by accompanying me to this city. All you have to do tomorrow is rest while I attend the party. I really don’t know when the party is ending. He told me it’s an all night event, so I guess I will be sleeping over’’ she replied quickly.
‘’the party is holding at his house?’’ I asked.
‘’no in a hotel’’ she answered freely while I thought of how to attend the party with her without raising any suspicion.
‘’but is there anything wrong if I go with you?’’ I chipped in softly. She brought up her eyes to meet my gaze, keeping quiet for a while as she probably pondered over my words.
‘’I really don’t want to be selfish. You have tried a lot by sacrificing your time for me. You can’t continue like this. It’s just as if I’m using you. You are free to come with me if you wish to but I’m not forcing you to accompany me’’ she finally replied, settling my mind with the answer. Of course my job was to be with her always and I clearly didn’t know what to do if she insisted on attending the party alone. Out of relief I reached out for her right hand which was on the table, drawing out the deepest stare from her.
‘’I always enjoy being with you’’ I breathed while she blushed.
‘’ It hurts me that you are still unemployed. You have a kind heart and wonderful spirit. Someone like you deserves a better life’’ she slowly said, making me very uncomfortable with her words. I had to quickly change the topic.
‘’so why didn’t you take Vivian along?’’ I asked.
‘’she isn’t my servant. She has her own life and I can’t be dragging her to everywhere I go’’ she answered freely. I smiled, saying nothing.
The rest of the evening was a bit uneventfully. We soon returned to the house and headed to our separate bedrooms.
By 6:55pm the next evening Clara and I were all dressed up and ready for the evening outing. By 7:45pm we arrived at a hotel in Wuse 2, which was the location of the event (Charles birthday party). Of course I was a bit nervous attending a function I wasn’t invited and at first insisted on staying behind in the car which left Clara extremely surprised. It really took her an effort to convince me to go into the hotel with her and I kind of prayed not to run into Charles, which was really impossible because he was the celebrant and i had this feeling that the evening could end up very badly for me.
We barley had gotten into the exquisitely decorated hall when two girls hugged Clara.
‘’finally you are here. Nawa for you oooo, you just left Charles worried’’ one of the girls said to Clara as they dragged her towards another corner of the hall while I stayed back and kept my eyes on her. But unfortunately for me, I barely had stood there for five minutes when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
‘’what are you doing here?, you think I won’t recognize you or what?’’ I heard a familiar voice ask. I turned to face Charles who looked very angry to see me.
‘’let’s go outside and talk. I need to know what’s going on between you and my girl’’ he added and nodded towards the door way. I shrugged and obeyed after noticing two hefty guys who were standing with him. The last thing I wanted was causing a scene in front of everyone and I equally couldn’t help but wonder the kind of guy Charles really was. He looked very ready to ruin his own birthday party.
Luckily he followed me outside without his two friends, making me a bit relaxed. He dragged me to a slightly dark part of the hotel, where he felt we won’t be interrupted. I also couldn’t help but notice that he was nervous.
‘’I know how this happens; it all starts innocently from friendship. Gradually, you take over my girl, you are already her companion and close pal right?. Slowly I become the enemy and the rude insensitive boyfriend. Then boooooom I lose out like a stupid fool. I’m not stupid, what I can’t just figure out is how you managed to get into her life, live in her family house and be everywhere with her. You guys are virtually everywhere together. Who are you, because you are not a member of her family or in any way related to her? I know everything about Clara’s family but I don’t know you. Who are you?’’ he asked with a slightly raised tone while I stared at him, clueless on what exactly to say.
‘’I have heard stories about how close you guys are since she returned to Nigeria but I don’t want to fight you. I know what guys like you need is money. Where were you when she was just an ordinary girl?, where were you when she was struggling with her studies?. Where were you when her father was struggling to become the state governor?. What you need is money, so tell me, how much do you need to back away?’’ he asked seriously, drawing close to me as if he had another thing in mind if I tried giving a negative reply. I kind of felt he was drunk to be questioning me in such manner.
‘’I’m not after Clara’s money neither will you influence me with your money. And please don’t insult me again’’ I said defiantly, shocking the young man with my words. He instantly grabbed me by the collar out of anger but before he could go any further, I heard Clara scream out his name as she appeared with the two ladies she went out with a while ago.
I really didn’t know how much they overheard as Clara angrily slapped him while the two girls tried to hold her back.
”imagine how you are questioning a guy you barely know” Clara shouted at him.
TO BE CONTINUED…