Val’s side of the story continues
‘’actually my name is Val, we have run into each other a couple of times but I don’t know if you noticed or not’’ I kind of stammered, very surprised that I wasn’t able to make an eloquent introduction. She shrugged, staring at me inquisitively.
‘’I don’t know how you will see this request but I will actually love to discuss something with you at your leisure time. Please can I have your card or phone number?’’ I asked with a forced smile. She silently studied me for few seconds before shrugging once again.
‘’sure you can have my number’’ she guardedly muttered, putting my mind at ease as she took my phone and entered her number. I smiled gratefully and thanked her.
‘’so how did it go?’’ Jennifer curiously asked with a smile when I returned to the car.
‘’it went well, we can now plan for the next stage’’ I replied happily while she shrugged. There wasn’t any doubt she wasn’t very much comfortable with the plan.
Clara’s side of the story continues, same morning
I was with Vivian in her room discussing and arguing with her over her reason for asking Chinedu to stay away when I got a call from Charles that he was in the sitting room upstairs waiting for me. I left Vivian and nervously headed to the sitting room to see him. I wasn’t really expecting him and he never told me he was coming. Anyway that was his style, always showing up without any notification.
‘’my love how are you doing?’’ he asked with a smile, standing up to hug me as soon as I got the sitting room. I forced out a smile as he kissed my hair.
‘’I came with bright news my dear. I hope this will make you smile’’ he softly muttered, leaving me slightly curious. I brought up my eyes to meet his gaze.
‘’something came up my dear. Plans have changed sweety’’ he breathed, bringing down his hands to my cheeks and leaving me colored up with his touch.
‘’we leave for Paris in few days dearie. We are getting married there. A short ceremony and nothing more. We will complete the traditional rites when we return. I hope that suits you?’’ he muttered, trying hard to smile as if all was alright but I wasn’t a kid. I could tell he was nervous and a bit shaky. I could tell all wasn’t well.
‘’what?, this is my life we are talking about?, you can’t be making decisions as it suits you without first seeking my opinion. What happened to the old plans you were forcing on me? Anyway I’m not even going anywhere with you. You can leave for your Paris anytime you want. I’m tired of seeing you everyday’’ I replied with a raised tone while he held me strongly.
‘’my dear I’m taking you to Paris. The dream of every woman, Of course I know you can afford going there on your own but without a man it won’t be fun. Come on why are you so uptight? You never wanted a big wedding and I chose to this for you’’ he pleaded.
‘’I can’t marry you. Forget it Charles. I used to think I know you but I don’t. Your life is filled with secrecy and confusion. Just look for another woman ‘’ I breathed, breaking free from him and stepping backwards.
‘’I have already talked to your mum about it and she didn’t protest, of course they will show up at the wedding’’ he added with a smile while I scoffed and backed him.
‘’I don’t know what you have on my parents that are making them dance to your tune but it won’t work for me. I feel nothing for you. Each passing day increases my hatred towards you’’ I breathed softly. Somehow my words made him snap and lose control..
‘’you are just a naïve girl and I’m done begging and pampering you’’’ he hissed.
‘’you are running away from Nigeria isn’t it so?. What else could make you want to leave in a hurry?’’ I asked thoughtfully, turning to face him.
‘’my dear all you have to do is to go prepare for the trip ahead and not question me. You have a lot of packing to do and I have a lot of planning to do’’ he softly breathed, drawing close to hold my waist.
‘’get off me Charles. I don’t want to see you ever again. i can’t bear your touch anymore. You make me sick. I’m not going anywhere with you’’ I fired angrily, hitting him on the chest and provoking him further.
‘’how many times did you sleep with that idiot?’’ he strangely asked.
‘’do you really want to know?, I can’t count how many times I sleep with him and yes I don’t regret it’’ I replied bravely, very much surprised with myself. Perhaps it really was his sudden decision to take me to Paris that got me all fired up in such alarming way. Yes and he was really having a hard time controlling the rage building up in him.
‘’Spoilt kids like you really don’t know that the world is a tough place to be. You have everything provided for you and all you dream of day and night is love and silly romance. You get your head filled up with silly books, stories and soap operas. You don’t know what your parents pass through every day to provide for you. You don’t know what a guy like me goes through to make it in a harsh economy. I’m offering you the whole world and all you do is spit on me. Now I’m going to break down everything for you the way you will understand and I call that leverage’’ he breathed furiously.
‘’I have a tape which could land your lover boy in jail anytime I want and as for Vivian and her family, just a little twist from me will make everyone of them become permanent tenants in a federal prison of my choice over drug trafficking. Hmmm and your family?, yes the scandal it will create will be too hot for your dad to continue being the state governor. He will either resign or be impeached. And as for you, you will end up being a very miserable girl who will spend the rest of her life regretting ever making a bad decision.’’ he threatened softly, leaving me so furious and fired up. I instantly slapped him, shaking with rage. He licked his lips and smiled.
‘’yes that’s my girl. I bet you can’t live in poverty. I bet you can’t live to see all your loved ones in jail?. You can’t live with nothing. I’m just offering you two books. One for happiness, the other for a life of penury and shame, it’s all left for you my love to chose.’’ He added while my eyes melted with tears.
‘’you are a devil. You are heartless’’ I cried.
‘’no you are the one being heartless and cruel my dear. I have known you for years. I have been close to you more than any guy. I have been your friend more than anyone. But what do I get in the end?, rejection, deception, heartbreak. You even cheated on me with an agent sent to be your bodyguard. You never cared for my feelings. You never cared for all the sleepless nights I had, the pains I went through to struggle on my own, to make my own money so that you could be proud of me. You never cared and now you call me heartless when I open up the reality of your decision?. My love I’m not heartless, you are the inconsiderate one here. So get ready. We are leaving for Paris, The city of lights. The city of love’’ he poured out, leaving me so broken and empty. Yes he had me where he wanted. There wasn’t a way I was going to let my family humiliated and kicked out of power. There wasn’t a way i was going to let my loved ones rot in jail.
‘’dear lord why?. I’m supposed to be happy as the governor’s daughter but my life is nothing but a living hell’’ I cried.
‘’my love don’t cry, I beg of you. It hurts me seeing you like this’’ he surprisngly begged, drawing my head to his chest as I sobbed.
TO BE CONTINUED…