Clara’s side of the story continues from the last scene of the previous episode
‘’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 stared 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 wonder 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 on his a.ss. 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 show i pulled 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 Jenifer.
‘’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
TO BE CONTINUED…