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A Silent Noise @thedreamreaper
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207. UCHE DIKE was an odd ball with a mild distasteful sense of fashion when he first gained admission into Nnamdi Azikiwe university in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Uche was one of those students in school who occasionally wore bogus long sleeved shirts...
208... and carton-coloured trousers that looked like something that came out of a thrift shop in the

A geek eyeglass, an afro, a black duffle bag and a brown shoe that shares the same oddity with Uche's choice of clothing, was also part of his signature appearance.
209. Uche was an awkward young man which made him an easy target for bullies.

Sometimes he felt there was a mental sticker on his head that screamed
'Bully me. Bully me. Bully me'.

Uche was the real definition of "Fashion makes you stand out." His mentality...
210... towards fashion was the factor that made him 'popular' for the wrong reasons.

Uche was from a poor home and he lived most of his life in Ibadan, Oyo state with his parents. When his father died, Uche and his mother relocated back to Nnewi, Anambra state...
211...where she started selling roasted plantain and beans mixed with palm oil.

She became popular in the area and was able to use her profits to send Uche to school.

When young Uche was in Ibadan, his parents lived close to an old man who was a professor...
212... of psychology at the University of Ibadan. The man was an example of having too much knowledge without knowing how to properly apply it towards making a living.

He was a drunk who loves the company of women to the extent that he usually sold the dignity...
213...that came with age just to have a meagre taste of the feminine essence.

In the professor's one room apartment, there were stacks upon stacks of book.

It felt more like a disorganized library than a living quarter. It was obvious that the man ran mad from...
214... reading too much books on the structures and dynamics of the mind.

The first time Uche entered the room, he could perceive the damp smell of old and soggy books which was not unconnected to the fact that the room lacked proper ventilation. Dr...
215... Jack as he was famously called, was the reason why Uche decided to study psychology.

Uche could recall stumbling upon a book on psychoanalysis on the floor. After reading the introductory parts of the book, Uche knew that he would like to study psychology one day but...
216... he wouldn't want to end up like Dr Jack who was being swallowed by a quagmire of insanity. Uche loved the idea of using psychology to understand people's behaviour.

He began to study basic texts on psychology in order to gather prior knowledge before...
217... attending the University of Ibadan.

And then all of a sudden, Dr jack died by choking on his own vomit; and then Uche's father died 2 months later which forced his relocation to Anambra state.

Uche's did not know when he unconsciously adopted Dr jack's...
218...odd sense of fashion. The old man occasionally told Uche that fashion was a societal construct that was meant to please the eyes of the society.

'You are here for you, not for others so it pays to be in charge of your reality.' He would tell Uche.
219. The first few months in school were difficult for Uche as he found it hard to interact with people.

He was so enthralled in reading books that had to do with human behaviour and it's connection with the workings of the mysterious mind. Uche was one of those...
220... people that walked straight to class and straight back to their hostel.

Uche failed to admit that he was turning out to be like Dr Jack in terms of character and choice of dressing.

The only thing that kept Uche from being a perfect replica of the...
221... bizarre old man was that he was young, not a drunk and he doesn't associate himself with women.

Uche's life changed forever when he met Sandra. Sandra was slender, tall, light-skinned, busty and curvy. She was a perfect example of an all-in-one package. She was a...
222... goddess of beauty and an embodiment of temptation.

Sandra was one of those chicks that garnered up to a 167k likes on twitter and 209k on Instagram. Sandra was a model and a student and a lot of male lecturers were both pronounced and secret
223... fans of her.

Uche's path and that of Sandra crossed on Uche's birthday when he decided to see what it felt like to be high on alcohol.

He was lost in melancholy and then went to a bar to take one bottle of beer which threw...
224... his senses into chaos. Uche came from a highly religious home and they didn't drink alcohol so it was his first time.

He had always wondered how Dr Jack felt when interacting with alcohol despite the warnings of his mother concerning being around the old...
225... professor. After getting drunk, Uche left the bar and decided to walk home while trying not to hallucinate.

Sandra happened to park her G-wagon by a lonely road to drink and cry away her pain after she caught her rich boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend.
226. Uche walked past her and then stopped. He normally wouldn't stop but there was a new voice that was awakened when his mind got soaked in alcohol.

Uche slowly approached her. She was wearing a red short skin tight gown with black stilettos. Uche was drunk and he...
227... didn't know when his third leg got so hard that the trouser he was wearing couldn't help but reveal a very significant eggplant.

"Hello. You're too beautiful to be crying here all alone. I'm sorry for your pain. You'll be fine just as you became fine after your last..
228... distress."
Sandra was sky high and when she saw the weird looking geek in front of her.

She almost wanted to laugh but she was in pain. There was something about Uche that made Sandra lower her guard- maybe it was because of the...
229... idea that he was a harmless nerd who was trying to be an emissary of chivalry.

Something came alive in Sandra when her eyes went to Uche's egg plant. She immediately felt an electrifying bolt of lust shoot across her whole body. Uche was hung...
230... like a Hungarian horse. Sandra knew the effect that she had on men and Uche's hardwood was proof that he wanted to tap some.

Why deny him the belief that the unexpected still happens? Sandra was angry, horny and drunk and she wasn't thinking...
231... clearly when she held Uche by the belt and dragged him inside the car's backseat.

She was about to have a senseless and vengeful intercourse with a stranger but she was too horny, angry and drunk to care.

Uche was a virgin and he didn't have much experience but...
232... all Sandra needed was a hardwood to ride. It was one of the best and mind blowing love making encounters she ever had.

It felt like it lasted forever and it came with multiple extraordinary climaxes.
233. The both of them slept on the back seat of the car till early in the morning and when Sandra woke up, she panicked and kicked a naked Uche out of the car and threw his clothes at him.

Uche managed to run inside the bush in order to cover up. He felt different...
234... that morning and his manhood ached from consistent usage.

Uche realized that he left a textbook on psychology - the one he was holding the whole time- in Sandra's car and he knew he was in serious trouble because it was a limited...
235... edition that belonged to one of his professors.

Was it worth it?

Oddly, yes!

Ever since Uche was born, he never knew such excitement existed and who would have thought that he would make love to a girl way out of...
236... his league. It was most certainly the day he would never forget.

When Uche went to school after the incident, his mates noticed that there was something slightly different about him.

Uche found himself looking at almost any lady; it felt as if that...
237... mindless and unprecedented love making encounter awakened a beast in him.

A week passed. Uche was walking out of his class one day in his usual haphazard attire and his back pack.

Sandra was sitting inside her car which was parked right in front of his department.
238. Immediately Sandra saw him, she recognized him because of his afro and nerdy looks.

She remembered that she thought it was a black mushroom enveloping his head when she was having drunken copulation with him.

Sandra was embarrassed by the way he looked and...
239... wondered if locating him was worth it. After that night, Sandra felt sexually healed and all she kept thinking about was Uche's equipment.

She hated herself for pushing him out of her car. She found Uche's text book and decided to look for Uche and did that for a...
240... week until she found him. The textbook was on the front passenger seat; she ran her hands over the book seductively.

One can tell this woman was out for a piece of Uche. Her satisfaction was more important than the embarrassment she would cause herself by...
241... hanging out with Uche. But she had a plan.

She brought out her head and called Uche who came after doubting that he was the one she was calling.

"Get in" Sandra said.

Uche awkwardly entered the car and sat down...
242... after Sandra removed the book from the seat. Uche sat down with his legs close to each other while he rested his hands on his laps.

"I do hope you remember me?"

Sandra asked and Uche responded by nodding.

"Oh come on. Loosen up. I don't bite... Oh, and...
243... here's your book."

Sandra said and gave Uche the book. Uche accepted the book and thanked her without daring to look straight in her eyes.

Uche was not drunk so he didn't have the kind of courage he had the night he met Sandra. Sandra was...
244... not about to let Uche's tasty 'meat' waste away.

She convinced herself that his meat was the right amount for her 'pussycat' to consume.

She wanted to have a consistent taste of Uche whenever she wanted and the only way to do that without damaging her...
245... reputation was to get him all cleaned up.

"We are going shopping. I need to pull you out of the 19th century."

Sandra informed Uche and then took him to a boutique where she updated his wardrobe. After that, she took him to a barbershop and...
246... then had his hair cut. Sandra would do anything for good dick.

She then drove Uche to a hotel where he took his bath and freshened up.

When he came out with a towel, Sandra was already on the bed with black lingerie. Every other thing that...
247... happened at this point was between the both of them.

Uche was a sex god and Sandra completely bowed to his natural expertise in bed.

Uche didn't go to school for 3 days and when he finally returned to school, people who knew...
248... him were surprised to see the dramatic and absolute transformation.

It felt as if aliens abducted him and gave him a total makeover. Who knew Uche could be this handsome?

It seemed like the sex improved Uche's confidence and the way he walked...
249...As time went on, Sandra became obsessed with Uche and wouldn't let him rest.

She formed a habit of coming to pick him up from school most times when was horny.

She was proud of her boy toy. If care was not taken, she would have even married this young man...
250... who satisfied her in bed every damn time. She got an apartment for Uche and got him a car.

Uche changed from a frog to a prince in just 3 months. Sandra became extremely jealous whenever she saw Uche with any lady because she felt that if not for...
251... her, no girl would even consider the possibility of talking to Uche.

Girls began flocking around Uche and Sandra hated it. As time went by, Uche started chasing girls. Uche became a beast of pleasure and he totally downplayed the...
252... importance of his studies because he became so engrossed in sexual escapades

When Sandra confronted him and threw a fit, Uche who has morphed into an eloquent and highly confident man, told her a truth that pissed her off.

Uche told her that she never..
253... cared about him because she takes him as a mere sex doll. It was true.

Sandra does not care to have any form of deep conversation with Uche whenever they were together. To be honest, the sight of Uche turned Sandra on and the next thing that...
254... always came to her mind was to tear him apart in bed.

Sandra took a knife from the kitchen and Uche ran for his life. Sandra was a psycho and Uche was about to find out the bitter way.

She set Uche's house and car ablaze. It was her money...
255... anyway. Uche became homeless and had to run back to his friends who gained from him during his days of wearing the privileged robe.

It came to a point when Sandra stalked him in school. Uche, who wanted to meet up with his lapses during the times when he got lost in...
256... sexual adventures with Sandra, felt his life was in danger and he had to go into hiding until the dangerous dust settled.

Uche got lucky when Sandra travelled out for a modelling contract. Uche returned to school and tried to fix the broken pieces of his...
257... education. It was certain that one more year would be added to his 4 years course.

Uche continued making love with girls while having little or no emotional attachment.

He came in a coy nerd, and graduated as a confident playboy.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 5. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .HERE COMES TROUBLE . . . .
258. MR D was having a family reunion on a Saturday afternoon. Diana, Maria- the 4th child in the pack- and Mr D were seated round a table loaded with a variety of edibles ranging from food, drinks and fruits.

Maria was an opposite of Diana. She was calm and easy...
259... going unlike her sister who was like a convention of thunderstorms.

It was a cloudy Saturday afternoon and a perfect time to enjoy the weather and the scenery of their lush garden which came with an assortment of ornamental greeneries. Not far from them,...
260... Teddy and Freddy were wrestling each other with nothing but jeans. It was a clash of muscles, sweat and abs.

Freddy was a fraternal twin to Teddy. He was a misguided artist, a horrible musician and a kick boxing enthusiast.
261... He had dreadlocks that he stylishly held together in a ponytail.
Freddy had anger issues and had been receiving treatment from a Chinese therapist whose office was at Ikoyi.

Teddy and Freddy were brute entities that do not joke with any of...
262... their sisters. 4 years ago, a guy slapped Diana and her cheeks got swollen. Mr D wanted to settle the issue by involving the police.

Before the police could get to the assailant's address, Teddy and Freddy abducted the unfortunate guy and drove him...
263... to a forest in a remote location while covering his head with a black sack.
They fastened some thick ropes to his hands and legs each & then tied the ends of the ropes to two opposite trees thus leaving him hanging in an X position. All the while, the man was trying to...
264... scream but the gag in his mouth frustrated that possibility. They brought out a bag of golf balls and a bag of golf sticks and simultaneously tested their golf skills using the man as a target.

The man screamed and struggled but the gag and ropes limited his...
265. hopes of being free. The guys shot a total of 240 balls but only 170 shots hit different parts of the man's body, with 5 shots being fatal, and one extremely fatal one that struck the man's nut.

After the guys were done, they set a fire underneath the hanging man.
266. They wanted to cook the man slowly with no intention of killing him. The fire was sufficient enough to cause excruciating pain and not big enough to lead to death.

The guys both sat down on the portable chairs they brought along with them and drank beer while they watched..
267... the unlucky and struggling man receive some hot and painful lessons above the fire. Teddy and Freddy believed that they were just preparing the man for hell because that's where he belonged.

Night soon came, and when the guys got their fill, they took the man...
268... who had fallen into a state of unconsciousness back to his neighbourhood where they tied his hands with a rope and fastened it to a tree's branch which left his whole body suspended in the air.

The guys hung a placard on the man's neck and on it, "WOMAN BITTER" was...
269... boldly & awkwardly written with a red marker. Freddy was too drunk to get the correct spelling of BEATER. The message they were trying to pass was lost in a typographical error.

As Mr D, Maria and Diana watched Freddy & Teddy tussle it out in a battle for superiority,
270... Bisola walked into their presence and all the faces sitting round the table lit up. Bisola gave her two sisters a high five and then when she got to her dad, he stood up and took her into his arms.

Bisola was everyone's favourite in the house and she had been away for..
271... 2 years. Freddy and Teddy stopped sweating on each other and joined the rest of the family. Freddy attempted to hug Bisola. She stopped him and then goes

"Hey. Hey. Hey. Don't sweat on me big guy."

"Hello sis." Teddy welcomed her.
272... "Geez. You guys should put on a shirt. I will not be intimidated in my father's house."

"It's also my father's house"

Freddy said & then proceeded to pick up an apple which he sank his heavy teeth into. He then shook his left chest as a taunting gesture towards Bisola..
273... who looked at her father.

"He does have a point dear." Mr D said.

"No he doesn't." Diana countered.

"Why must they be the only one who get to enjoy being in their father's house. Their freedom is obviously interfering with our...
274... freedom."

"It's not that deep Diana." Teddy said.

Chairman, you can't bully me with that your chest." Diana informed him

"Teddy, Freddy. Put on your shirts as a sign of welcome to your sister."

He said.

"Please." He added.
275. "I guess it's fair we appear "moderate" since the Queen is back after a long time." Freddy said

"Well thank you for understanding."

Bisola responded with a sarcastic smile.

Teddy and Freddy located their shirts and wore them.
276. "Now that's better. Show that to your girlfriends not your family."

"Well I don't mind." Mr D chipped in.

"Dad, seriously?" Bisola asked.

"Sometimes I need to see something that reminds me that I have wonderful genes."
277. "Most of that came from mom, dad." Diana said.

"But mom didn't have muscles." Maria added.

"Thanks Honey." Mr D was proud of his calm daughter for coming to his defense.

"Umm, it definitely came from mom, only that the feminine energy was transformed into...
278... masculine energy since it's a male." Diana carried them along.

"Stay off those science fiction novels Diana" Freddy told her and laughed.

"Don't attack my interests." Diana fired back

"Your interests sucks." Teddy said and took a...
279... bite from the guava he picked up a while back.

"Wait are you guys totally siding with dad?" Diana asked.

"Well, I would say dad contributed immensely." Maria goes again.

"Mom was a beauty Queen. Dad is just like a plain sheet of paper. No offense dad."
280. Diana said

"None taken baby." Mr D responded.

Bisola just sat quietly and watched her family exchange harmless banter across the table.

Everyone knew what to say and what not to say in order not to annoy anyone. Bisola was proud of her family.
281 "Bisola inherited most of mom's essence" Maria said.

"No I do not" She denied immediately.

There was a brief silence and then everyone agreed in unison that Maria served the truth.

"Oh come on guys." Bisola pleaded.

"You got to be proud that you're not as ugly as...
282... all of us." Teddy quipped.

"Eh eh. Speak for yourself. I'm not ugly." Diana countered.

"Well you ain't pretty either." Freddy tackled her and laughed.

"Dad" Diana looked at her father for approval.

"No Diana. Don't say anything."

Diana wanted to attack Freddy's
283...painful performance in music and her father knew this.

A look of revenge enveloped Diana's face and his father knew that things might get messy if Diana took a shot at his distasteful style of music.

Teddy noticed the look on Diana's face and...
284...then goes

"I think Diana is considering your feelings right now bro. I think she wants to tell you that your music sucks."

The air suddenly went thinner and there was an awkward silence.

Freddy dipped his hands in a bowl of chips and then threw it at Teddy's...
285... face.

"Say it to my face." he dared his brother.

Teddy ate one of the chips that landed on his laps and then goes again

"Your music sucks."

"Oh! That's it soldier. You're going down."

Freddy stood up, and charged towards Teddy, ...
286... tackling him and his chair to the ground.

Everyone in the family knew that attacking Freddy's "talent" in music was a bad idea. The last time Mr D told him that, he didn't talk for 3 weeks until his father apologized and was forced to listen to his song for over an hour.
287. A very excruciating experience, he recalled.

The family knew that both brothers disagreed a lot and were known to tussle it out in a display of raw agility.

They were on the grass struggling & Teddy ended up holding Freddy in a chokehold while the family continued with...
288... their discussion.

"You raised great sons dad." Bisola said sarcastically.

"Boys will be boys honey."

Mr D said and then started going through a newspaper with his legs crossed.

"So how was Kenya sis?" Diana changed the topic.
289... "Oh well. Kenya was good. Although I did a lot of work related travelling while I was there. I can have coffee in Germany and dinner in Kenya. Those guys wanted to kill me with responsibilities."

"Coffee? Ewww." Maria said with a wince...
290... "Seriously? How does anyone even hate coffee?"

Bisola asked.

"Don't mind her sis. She's Nigerian to the core. She is among the 'Nigerian Tea party'. You know, those who think that Milo and milk combo is the only kind of tea in existence."
291.."You hate coffee Diana." Maria reminded her.

"Um. No I do not." Diana denied.

"You totally want to look cool to sis B."

"Oh. Sis B. I think I like that." Bisola chipped in.

"Duh. Why would I want to do that?" That was Diana speaking.
292..."Beats me." Maria said and drank her juice.

"Don't listen to this tea monster sis." Diana goes again.

Bisola laughed and then said:

"Guys. Guys. Please relax. It's not that serious. Tea and Coffee are cool. Whatever floats your boat."
293. Bisola looked at her brothers who were still testing their strength on the grass.

Teddy was still holding Freddy in a chokehold. Freddy was overwhelmed with the pressure that he had to tap his hands as a sign of submission.

Teddy released Freddy and stood up. He then...
294... walked to the table and poured himself a glass of Juice. Bisola smiled and secretly appreciated her brothers' affection towards her especially.

Although she didn't quite agree with the methods they employed in the expression of that brotherly love. Bisola could...
295... remember vividly when she was dating her ex- the one she went out to meet- on the day she met Uche, and how her brothers had protected her interests.

She had a flashback on that fateful day she met Uche. The moment she left Uche, she drove to a hotel where her...
296... boyfriend had surprisingly arranged a suite for them in celebration of their 1 year anniversary.

The same day that Bisola thought she would be spending the rest of her life with her ex was the same day her heart got broken into pieces. It turned out that the man she had
297... come to trust with her life had a wife and 3 children in South Africa.

Teddy and Freddy were the ones who presented her with evidence that he was married. They had been investigating the man for 3 months ever since she introduced him to the family. Mr D was...
298... there to hold her daughter as she broke down in tears. No one knew what happened to Bisola's ex afterwards, not even his secret family.

He just disappeared into thin air. It took Bisola 2 years to start dating again which was when she met her current boyfriend. Mr D's... rang. He excused himself and then walked a few distance away from his pack.

"Hello X." He said.

"She's back." A gruff voice emanated from his cell.

"Oh my." Mr D said absentmindedly with worry building up his face and then looked...
300... at his children who were peacefully existing; oblivious of the dark clouds that approached with the promise of a deadly storm.

Something dangerous was coming and Mr D knew he had to protect his family.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 6. . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . A SECOND CHANCE . . . . . . . .

THE first thing Uche saw was darkness. In the infinite void, he heard the beeping of a machine. He slowly opened his eyes which projected a blurred environment.

After a while, his hazy sight attained significant clarity which was followed...
302... by a sharp pain all over his body after he tried moving his body a little. Uche had just returned from a journey down memory lane.

His life literally flashed before his eyes after the accident. He then remembered Bisola and there was a sharp pain in his heart.
303. He lost her and this time he knew it was forever. Uche found it very hard to accept the reality that he lost the girl who caused him to almost lose his life.

He wasn't so sure why he wanted Bisola so bad. Maybe it was because of her beauty or maybe it was connected to...
304 ... the fact that he has gone through hell because of her. A nurse walked in & as she saw Uche with his eyes open, she quickly rushed to him and inspected him.

She rushed out & returned with a doctor who ran some checks on his eye sight with a torch...
305... light, checked his pulse and the rhythm of his heart beat using his stethoscope. The doctor was convinced that Uche had fully recovered from the coma and his condition was quite stable.

The thing Uche didn't know was that he had been in a coma for 2 years...
306. He soon found out when he looked at the television and saw a news on CNN with the year 2018 on the TV screen.

He was convinced that the news was probably talking about a future event. He tried to say something but his mouth felt heavy and his throat was dry.
307. After several attempts, Uche finally managed to speak and he cringed at the coarse sound of his voice.

"Please what's the date?"
The doctor beamed with a smile and said
"The date is 2018. You've been in a coma for two years."

"But that's not possible." Uche was confused
308. It felt like he had been unconscious for a day.
Fear immediately gripped Uche's mind. Does his room mate and his mother even know where he was?

How is this happening?

How did he get here?

There was an array of questions running through his mind.
309. "How did I get here?" Uche asked.

"Well, the lady who knocked you down brought you here with the help of two men. They said you were riding a bicycle and you weren't watching the road.
The lady has been the one paying for your medical bills ever since then."
310. "Does my people know I'm here?"

"Yes. We were able to contact your mother using your mobile phone. As a matter of fact, she came to check up on you yesterday. She's going to be so thrilled to see you up and running."

The doctor updated Uche.
311. "What about the lady that brought me here?"

"Oh. She told us to contact her if you should ever come out of the coma. At a point in time, we considered pulling the plug because you showed no hope of pulling through but she wasn't having it. I guess she does not want...
312... your blood on her head." The doctor said blankly.

"Wait. You were going to kill me?" Uche was shocked.

"Well technically, you were dead." The doctor defended himself.

"Unbelievable. You guys should be sued."

"You have a loud mouth don't you? Watch your...
313... mouth son. You should be thanking God you're alive."

"Yea. I should be thanking God that he didn't allow you guys KILL ME."

"You little piece of shit. Forget the looks, I'm going to beat you back into your coma."

The nurse clears her throat.

"That's no way to talk
314... to a patient. This is harassment."

"Zip it you worthless arrangement of bones. We've been tending to your vegetative ass for 2 years only for you to wake up and chat shit. I have 5 grown men at home, boy."

"You're a mad doctor."

Uche struck a nerve and the doctor...
315... tried to 315... strangle him with his bare hands.

The nurse forced him off Uche and led him out while he spat rude remarks at Uche.
2 hours later. Uche was sleeping while the television channel was tuned to CNN. Donald...
316... Trump was throwing a tantrum on stage. Someone must have done something to trigger the blonde-haired president.

Sandra- Uche's psychotic ex- walked into the room dressed in a black jacket and tight jeans. She brought out a pistol with a silencer & walked closer to Uche...
317. She ran the gun across Uche's body, starting from his toes to his crotch.

A nurse walked in looking at a dossier, & as she turned to run out of the room after seeing the gun, Sandra shot her twice on the back of her head. She then turned to Uche and emptied the cartridge...
318...on Uche's body.

Uche immediately woke up from his bad dream.

He looked around the room and the station was still tuned to CNN with Donald Trump having a press conference in the white house.

Uche's paranoia towards Sandra had rematerialized in form of a bad dream...
319. Just then, Bisola walked in the room with the nurse that was shot in Uche's alternate reality.

Uche looked at Bisola with absolute astonishment. At that moment, Uche felt that the parallel patterns of his dream & reality have merged into a single line.

This dream must...
320... be in an ultra high definition.

The aftermath of the coma must be messing with his mind. Uche thought.

Bisola approached him. Her facial expression was dominated with signs of great relief. She didn't really know how to react. Maybe she was happy that she wasn't going.. be responsible for Uche's death afterall.

Uche knew he was no longer in a dream state & that bothered him.

What the heck is this?

How is she here when this is clearly not a projection of his subconscious.

He wondered.

The last thing he remembered was Bisola's...
322... driving away after he met his doom.

Bisola placed her hand on his and a tingling and electrifying current ran across the whole of Uche within seconds.

It felt as if her touch was a generator that provided him with energy.

"How? How are you here? What's going on?"
323. Uche managed to ask. Bisola requested for privacy and as the nurse left, Bisola slapped Uche.

"Ouch." What was that for?

"That was for taking away my peace of mind for 2 years."

Bisola strikes him again.

"Hey!" Uche retaliated.

"That's for jumping in front of me...
324 ... with your bike." Bisola informed him.

Yes. Bisola was the one that ran over Uche.

That fateful day when Uche was chasing after her on a bike, he mistook the car a few blocks from him as Bisola's car.

He had already lost track of her but mother destiny had plans...
325... for these two. They were two hearts that were destined to meet & then decide if they would spend the rest of their lives together.

"I thought..."

"You are a mad person. What is your problem?"

Bisola was annoyed.

"Look I'm sorry. None of this was my intention"
326. Uche pleaded.

Bisola could remember the sleepless nights she had and how her family was there to help her pull through.

She thought Uche was going to die at first and when it was obvious that he had gone into an uncertain comatose state, she slowly let the parasites of...
327... guilt eat her up. Her auditing firm opened a new branch in Kenya and her family encouraged her to accept the transfer option they offered because it came with a lot of travels.

She then told the hospital staff to contact her whenever Uche pulled through. Not a day...
328...passed that she didn't have at least a flash of guilt because of Uche's condition and when the issue of pulling the plug came up, she resisted, insisting that there was still hope.

She was not ready to accept the reality that she killed a man trying to woo her. If only...
329...she had given him her number, she won't have embarked on a guilt trip.

"Yeah right. Wake up from a coma and apologize for making me eat myself up for putting you in a coma. You had no idea what you put me through mister."

Bisola scolded him.

"Well, I've lost two years...
330 ...of my life already." Uche said defensively.
"Your fault. Not mine"

"You should have just heard me out."

"Oh now you blame me for not hearing you out? A sane person will move along when a woman tells him No."

"A sane person won't let bliss slip away from him"
331. "You are way out of pocket."

It scared Bisola that she may be in love with this man. Maybe it was because she thought about him for the past 2 years which may have conditioned her mind into warming up to the images of him.

She was really happy that Uche wasn't going to
332... be among the dead on her account, but it also pissed her off that she had to suffer because of him and that suffering brought about memories of him which may have led her to being emotionally attached to Uche.

"What you're doing to me isn't fair."

Uche told her.
333. "Please just stop saying that. You're pissing me off. What is wrong with men like you? I told you I was in a relationship and your ears stopped working."

"Easy miss. My life is still hanging by a thread. Look, I just wanted to be your friend."

"Friendship is it by force?
334... I don't want."

"I guess this is the part where I say I'm sorry."

"Just look at what your stubbornness has caused you."

"It was worth it cos you're here."

"I'm done."

Bisola took offense at his response and then left the room. Uche called after her but she was...
335...determined to leave his presence. She hated Uche's cockiness and how he was downplaying the trauma she went through because of him.

As Bisola walked away, she knew that was not what she really wanted. She wanted to scold Uche longer than she had. Why does this man bring...
336... bittersweet feelings to her emotional fortress? She hated him but loved something about him.

And no, It wasn't just the confidence. There was something else but she wasn't sure yet. She sought to spend more time with him but she realized she had a man- a man that she...
337...loved with just a part and not the whole of her. Maybe she never really recovered from the damage her ex did to her.

She felt guilty leaving Uche and the thought of going back to Uche also made her guilty because she had a man who loved her. It tugged at her heart whenever
338... she admitted that the intensity of his love was unrequited.

Uche felt as if his village people were grinding his heart on a stone. His heart ached, his breathing seized and head felt heavy.

Hell No!

Not again.

Uche thought to himself.

If he lets her leave this time
339...around, this would be the last time he would seek comfort in her presence. Why was this lady bent to walk out of his life?

He wasn't going to let her go. No. Not this time. He convinced himself. He tried getting out of bed but an explosion of pain reverberated across his
340...entire body.

No pain, no gain.

He motivated himself.

Uche removed the drip attached to his hands and tried standing up which led to his fall.

He groaned in pain but the fear of losing Bisola gave him renewed energy. He commanded the limits of his strengths and...
341...stood up but the efficiency of his legs betrayed him. Uche cursed his incapability to use his legs and he exited the ward while supporting his body movement with anything he could find.

He was in pain but he was determined to be lord over his pain. Uche moved closer to...
342 ...the wall along the hospital corridor and he used it to support his progress.

He had a feeling Bisola must have left the hospital but he really didn't care.

Uche, woman go kill you o.

The common sense in him tried to talk him out of the torture he had decided to...
343... put himself through but he wasn't listening. Uche ran out of walls and he soon found himself walking freely with a wobbly and painful movement.

Two nurses saw him and immediately panicked as they ran to him. Uche managed to walk a few metres before the meagre strength...
344... in his legs fizzled out which brought his whole body to the ground.

The hospital exit was about 30 metres away from him and he hopelessly looked at it while trying to accept the unfortunate reality that Bisola had finally walked out of his life. Another nurse...
345 ...joined the nurses who initially responded as they tired to get Uche back on his feet.

The grim colours of pain on Uche's face was vibrant and strong as he tried to resist the excruciating condition trying to damage the foundation of his sanity.

She's gone forever.
346. For a moment there, he felt that he had reached the very edges of the underworld because his body was thrown into chaos.

His mind, body and soul was against him and he believed it was because salvation had just slipped from his hands.

At that moment, Uche's idea...
347...of a sunny future was transformed into a wasteland of darkness.

As Uche struggled with his darkness, all of a sudden, it felt as if the sun came up and suppressed the dark ocean of nothingness that has filled Uche's existence.

It was Bisola.

She came back and...
348 ...Uche saw her standing just close to him as the nurses tried to tend to him.

The pain immediately lost it's power over Uche. His future yet again became a picture of a flower-filled land basking under the magnificence of the blazing summer sun.

"What is your problem?"
349. Bisola asked.


Uche managed to say while smiling in the midst of his nagging pain.

"I just wanted to get a drink. I wasn't going to leave."

She lied.

She had already gone into her car to leave but she changed her mind.

"Can I get your number?"
350. "Stay alive first.
Dead people don't make calls"

"Sir, please we've got to take you back to bed. You need to rest."

A nurse rolled over a wheel chair and they got Uche on it.

"Well, do you have a pen?" She asked Uche.

"I do"

A Yoruba woman who had watched the whole
351...scene unfold, said while she came rushing forward with a pen. She was totally rooting for Uche and Bisola.

Bisola's took the pen and wrote her number on Uche's hand while she knelt down. As the movement of the pen in her hands left a series of ink strokes on...
352... Uche's palm, Uche felt like his palms were under the influence of magic. Each stroke sent shivers down his spines.

It was a cocktail of pain and magic coursing through the complexity of his nervous system. It felt like seconds stretched into a hundred years because...
353...Uche savoured every single stroke of the pen. She had to hold Uche's hand in place to write properly on his palm and that alone elevated him to a cosmic consciousness.

He felt on top of the universe. Bisola was soon done and she rose to her feet. She turned and walked...
354...out of the hospital with a smile on her face.

The owner of the pen was grinning all along while the two nurses wheeled Uche back to his ward leaving the nurse and the woman behind.

Uche looked at the number on his palm and then folded it into a clenched fist.
355. After 4 years of psychological pain (from losing his certificates) added with a painful accident that led to a coma, he finally got her number.

"Ma. What about your pen?" The last nurse asked.

"Ah. Let her keep it. She deserves more than the pen. What a cute couple."
356. The nurse scoffed.

"What?" The woman asked.

"We all know that they won't last. We all know relationships don't work these days."

"Oloriburuku oshi. Omo ale. Bitterleaf like you. Don't blame someone else for the bad taste of your horrible life. Don't go and marry.
357. Useless white fowl."

The woman hissed and walked away leaving the shocked nurse with her mouth helplessly open.

She never saw that trailer coming.

Bisola walked to her car and got in. There was a smile on her face as she clasped her hands on the steering while...
358 ...savouring the precious and fleeting moment. She was impressed that Uche actually tried to stop her.

'This guy is really something else'

She mused.

Bisola fired the ignition which transmitted a surge of energy to the engine and brought the car to life...
359. She pulled out of the parking space and drove off.

What Uche and Bisola did not know was that the pain they went through because of each other had led them to subconsciously fall in love with each other.

Uche thought about Bisola almost everyday for 2 years after...
360...he lost his certificates. Bisola thought about Uche almost everyday for 2 years after she ran him over with her car.

Uche was a playboy who has never had an emotional connection with anyone and Bisola was a lady scarred by the insensitivity of her heartless ex.
361.The pain caused by each other had weakened their emotional barriers.

But they didn't know that.

Bisola knew she was going to have to choose between Uche & her man one day but that was a headache meant for another day. Right now, she just wanted to enjoy the moment
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 7 . . . . . . . . . . .

362. 3 WEEKS rolled by and Uche found himself back on his feet. He was able to score a 'harmless' date with Bisola. The venue? Elegushi beach in Lagos.

Uche said he would love to go to the beach one day when Bisola asked him what he would like to do once he returned to...
363... civilization after 2 years of disconnection from reality. Uche had never been to the beach before because he spent most of his life in Ibadan and a significant part of it in Anambra State.

Even when he moved to Lagos to squat with his friend Pablo in his two room...
364..apartment in the mainlands of Lagos, he never went. Bisola drove from lekki to Surulere to pick Uche up & Pablo was there when she came in her car.

Pablo was one of Uche's friends back in the University. He got the nickname Pablo Prickaso when he got drunk at a party one...
365... time and he was dared to use his penis to paint a picture for a chance to win 10k.

That night, he sold his dignity which wasn't worth much anyway because he was absolutely shameless. Pablo was slightly chubby and even though his chances of getting laid was slim to...
366...none, he kept trying his luck with the hot chicks whenever he saw a slightest opportunity.

He was a harmless guy at the end of the day and people saw him as a legend back in school because of his expertise in planning parties.
Uche became friends with him when he...
367... he became a poster child of promiscuity.
Pablo attained his legendary status when there was a lack of big space for throwing a party.

The only option that was left was the school auditorium but loud music would get them busted.

His solution?

He called his guy...
368... who was a radio presenter at Unizik FM- the school's radio station- so he can air an endless party mix Pablo compiled himself.

Pablo was actually a DJ- the best the school ever had.

He was known as a party god. Pablo had already disseminated the information that...
369... there would be a silent party at the auditorium and everyone must come with their phones and earphones.

On the night of the party, the students took the back fence and gained access to the auditorium after they had bribed the security guard with 4 adult magazines in...
370... order for him to turn a blind eye. Everyone was asked to tune to the school's radio station.

The party kicked off and everyone jammed to the sound emanating from their earphones. Anyone who came to the scene would just see a large group of students...
371...dancing to no sound. It looked like madness from the point of view of any onlooker but it was a brust of euphoria for those grooving to the sounds from their phones while they drank alcohol provided by the party planners.

Outside the auditorium, all that one could hear...
372... was just the sound of crickets piercing into the absolute silence of the night.

After the party, the planning committee made sure that they cleared every evidence that the place was tampered with.

On Monday after everyone returned to their classes, Pablo Prickaso was...
373... applauded and praised by the students in his faculty when he came to school.

A lecturer had asked a student why Pablo was being showered with accolades and applause. The student had said:

"He's the best student in the faculty."

The lecturer was confused...
374... because he knew Pablo to be a notorious party freak whose grades were lower than the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bisola parked her car on the other side of the street- opposite Uche's small compound- and stepped out. She was clad in a white dress and white shoes...
375... while Uche and Pablo were both wearing jeans and T-shirts.

Uche wore a black jacket on top of his T-shirt which gave him a smart and rugged look- one that Bisola secretly admired.

The hunger wallowing in the depths of Uche's brown eyes immediately faded as he laid...
376... eyes on her. This woman had never failed to impress him with her mesmerizing and outstanding qualities.

Uche believed that people like Bisola were proof that women indeed were the most beautiful creations to ever materialize...
377... in a universe of infinite wonders. No wonder angels fell from heaven in order to sip from the fountain of the feminine essence. Uche thought.

As Bisola approached, Pablo told Uche:

"Man. You never told me she was this fine."

"Now's not the time Pablo."

"She's way...
378... out of your league bro."

"Behave yourself." Uche cautioned him.

Bisola got to them and they both flashed a grinned in order to act natural.

"Hello." Bisola said.

"You're here." Uche goes.

"I guess I am"

"Please meet my friend Pablo.
Pablo, meet Bisola"

379... offered her hand which was adorned with a gold bracelet for a shake but Pablo took up her hand and gently kissed it after saying:

"Permit me but I must show great respect to the details of your beautiful perfection."

Uche was uncomfortable and then he goes:

380...Shakespeare. That's enough.

"Oh I'm sure he won't harm me."
Bisola came to Pablo's defense.

"This guy is electricity. Fear him."
Bisola laughed.

"Well, he taught me all that I know." Pablo said.

"Oh really." Bisola said.

Uche with a slightly nervous undertone goes...
381. "Don't listen to him. He's mad."

"Pablo would you like to come to
the beach with us?" Bisola offered.

"Oh. No no no." Uche quickly said.

"It would be an honour." Pablo interrupted him.

"What? I thought you said you have an appointment?

"Appointments can be...
382...rescheduled bro. Worry about your self."

"Great! Let's be on our way."

Bisola said and then walked to her car. Uche wanted to enter the front seat but Bisola stopped him by saying:

"Ummm. Let Pablo sit in front. I don't trust you just yet."

Uche was dumbfounded...
382. He wanted to say something but he noticed that whatever that would come out of his mouth would be complete gibberish.

"Now that's what I'm talking about."

Pablo said while rubbing his palm together in satisfaction and then hopped into the front seat.

'Ah. Pablo...
383... Thunder go fire you. Thunder must fire you.'

Uche thought to himself while he fumed. Pablo was totally damaging his game but there wasn't much he could do.

Uche had no choice but to enter the back seat of the car while he thought of how to pay Pablo back for stealing his
384... thunder. Uche was sulking at the back of the car while he tolerated Pablo's yapping.

"So how long have you known

Bisola asked as she focused on the road.

"We've known each other for 13 years now. We met when we were freshers back in school."

"Oh. Nice...
385. Describe your friend in one word."

Bisola said to Pablo.

"Hmmmm. Let me see. I think I'll go for pig-headed."

"Are you kidding me?" That was Uche.

"I agree. He's a stubborn one."

"Thank you very much guys."
Uche said with heavy sacarsm.

"So does he have a...
386... girlfriend? Be honest. I'll know if you lie to me."

"Nah. He doesn't. He's too dumb to keep one."

Uche retaliated by hitting Pablo at the back of the head.

"Hey. Don't be an enemy of the truth sir."

Pablo said after reacting to Uche's attack.

"I see." Bisola said...

"Look. Don't listen to him."

Uche said to Bisola.

"Oh. So you have a girlfriend?" Bisola asked.

"No. Not that. I just haven't met the right woman yet."

He defended himself.

"Yeah right." Pablo mocked him.

"I think I like you Pablo. You're honest."
388. Bisola told him.

"Well, thank you miss."

Pablo accommodated a wild blush.

"You really shouldn't listen to him. He's going to paint false images of me." Uche spoke out.

"I don't see any reason why he should do that while you're here."

Bisola pointed out.
389. A couple of minutes later, they were driving through Victoria Island, and surprisingly, there wasn't much traffic except at the Lekki toll gate where it took them about 25 minutes to pass through.

Pablo talked most of the time about anything he saw. They soon got...
390... to the private beach and made their way inside after paying 1000 Naira each for their gate pass.

Bisola looked for a safe place to park her car and then got out with the guys following suit.

There were quite a number of people walking around the beach. It was a...
391... convention of colours, activities and movement.

As they walked to the beach bar, Pablo sighted a plus-sized lady about 20 yards away from them and then goes:

"Umm. Damsel in distress guys. I'll meet up with you guys later."
392. Pablo left them and walked over to the source of his interest.

Bisola kinda disliked the fact that he left because she wanted to squeeze some reliable information about Uche from him, while Uche was relieved that the vocal threat had left the premises...
393. "You must be so happy your friend left."

Bisola told Uche as they ambled side by side.

"Oh. You have no idea." Uche said with relief in his voice.

"I guess I have to hear from the horse's mouth."

Bisola accepted her fate.

"You know you can trust me right?"
394. "Nope. Not after everything you put me through."

"I guess I'm going to have to apologize for the rest of my life."

"Don't flatter yourself. What makes you think you can even last a year in my life? That's if a year is not too much."

"You have clearly portrayed me...
395. "Yes you are."

Just then, the ocean came into view.

"Hold that thought."

Uche said as if he was under a spell. He left Bisola and walked down, closer to the shores.

That was the first time he was experiencing the beauty of the ocean in real time. The mental image...
396...he had of the ocean was gotten from televisions and print media.

Bisola smiled and then walked closer to him as her dress and hair moved in tandem with the silent rhythm and direction of the ocean breeze.

Uche was fascinated by the massive expanse of...
397... the ocean and how it met with the sky just at the point where the eyes could reach.

Uche closed his eyes and welcomed the gentle caress of the Atlantic breeze. He could hear the songs of the ocean as the incoming breeze mixed with the sound of the crashing waves.
398. Don't listen to the call of the ocean. I can't swim & the lifeguards are far from here."

"It's beautiful."

"You're weird. It's just water."

"Can I just enjoy this?"
Bisola laughed & then goes


Uche turned to Bisola & their eyes met but the confidence in her..
399... eyes were too weak to withstand the piercing gaze in his eyes.

He was standing close to two wonders of the world- the ocean and a wonderfully made woman.

Here he was standing in between a beautiful lady and the ocean, under the pale blue Atlantic sky.
400. Bisola looked away & Uche spoke as a chain reaction of dopamine flooded his brain.

"You look beautiful. And sorry I didn't mention it earlier."

"Well thank you. You don't look bad yourself."

"We all know you're being modest."
"You want to get something to eat?" Bisola...
401... quickly changed the topic.

"Well, after you."

Uche said and then she walked towards the beach bar where there was a high concentration of different people who had probably come to cool off from the heavy demands of surviving in Nigeria.

Uche then followed suit.
402. 30 minutes later, after buying some Suya- a type of spicy barbecued meat- & some drinks, they both settled down on a table outside the beach bar.

"So, tell me why you don't have a girlfriend." Bisola went on to dig for details.

"Well like I said earlier, I just haven't
403... met the right woman yet."

Uche responded.

"So when was your last relationship?"

"I can't say I remember."

"How is that even possible? Is it the coma or you just suck at keeping records?"

"I've met a few girls here and there but it was nothing serious."
404. "So you're a fuckboy?"

Uche who was taking a drink almost choked on it after Bisola spoke.

"No I'm not. Why would you think that?"

"You're lying" Bisola went further.

"No I'm not." Uche stood his ground with a lie.

"Your attitude says otherwise. You seem to have...
405... fuckboy qualities."
"Well, looks could be deceiving."

Just then, Uche's phone rang. He checked it out and it was Pablo calling. He didn't want his friend to rain on his parade with his uncensored input so he ignored.

"You're free to pick your call, you know." Bisola..
406... reminded him.

"Oh no. That's nobody important. Just someone from the hood." Uche lied.

"You, know. You have trouble written all over you." Bisola told him.

"How? I'm like the nicest person you'll ever meet."

"If that's true then I'm a better footballer than...
407... Ronaldo."

Uche chuckled and then goes:
"Ronaldo is overrated by the way. You should have used Messi."

"Speak for yourself. Ronaldo is a king."

"I'm so tempted to argue football with you- even though I find it attractive that you know a thing about football. But...
408... I've got to protect my reputation first cos you see me as a villain. I guess it's going to be difficult for me to create a 'second first' impression."

"Where is Pablo any way?"

Bisola asked as she looked around.

"He has abandoned us for a woman obviously."
409. You must be so comfortable right now."

"Yeah sure. I'm happy that he has gone in search of happiness. So tell me about you. How am I sure you're not a rogue government spy who harvests people's organs"

Uche tried changing the topic.
410. "I am an assistant manager in an auditing firm and I faint when I see my own blood. I'm sorry to disappoint your fantasies."

"Can you just stop? I'm not a psycho." Uche said.

"You don't sound too convincing."

Bisola tried toying with his emotions.
411. "You owe me a job." Uche boldly said.

"Oh really? What am I? The Job fairy?" Bisola mocked him.

"I lost my certificates because of you."

"Here we go again."

Bisola wasn't sure she was in the mood to talk about his certificates but then again, she decided...
412... to pay attention and empathize with him.

"Evil doesn't suit you, you know?." Uche told her.

"What? What did I do? " Bisola said, feigning ignorance.

"Can you at least show a little bit of humanity? My life took a fatal hit when I met you. The first time I met you,...
413... disaster struck. second time I met you, disaster came for my neck yet again."

"No, let me correct you. You saw disaster and still went ahead to flirt with it. Don't blame others for your misfortune.

"I blame you for motivating me."

Bisola laughed.
414. "There is something called self control you know."

"And there's something called mind control. Your spell was too devastating to resist."

Bisola let's out a smile that was mixed with a blush. Uche continued swaying her.

"You do not expect a dog not to nibble on a...
415... bone when it roams freely."

"Oh so you're a dog?"

"Urgggh. No, that's not what I meant."

"So what do you mean? You need a leash?

"Okay fine. I give up. I can see you're looking for who to frustrate."

Uche's phone rang again and he ignored.
416... because he knew it was Pablo. Bisola's phone rang too; it was her boyfriend calling and she ignored too.

"You know you can pick your call right?"

"Says the woman that's not picking hers."

"Well, that's my boyfriend."

"Oh wow. I feel so honoured right now."
417. Yeah right. I'm just not in the mood to talk to him."

"Truth be told. I feel bad for him. I can't imagine calling my girl & she's ignoring me because she's with a guy."

"If I truly loved him, I won't be sitting down here with you."

"Oh. Does that mean I stand a chance?."
418. "He stands a chance more than you to be honest." Bisola cleared his doubt.

"Easy with the venom."

"You know it's going to be hard for me to trust you. Your confidence is suspicious. Introverts are more likely to be faithful than extroverts like you."
419."That's a bold and false lie. Well, as a matter of fact, introverts are boring."

"You accuse me of lying and you had to come up with your own lies?"

"We are not legislators. Can we not argue over this?"

"Fine. I still don't trust you."
420. Bisola knew there was an atom of truth when he said that introverts were boring. Her boyfriend was a tad boring and too reserved and it bothered her sometimes.

Uche was quite an opposite of her boyfriend and her instincts told her that Uche was a player but...
421... she just couldn't help but feel attracted to him. She accused him of flirting with danger and here she was being a complete hypocrite.

"What exactly do you want from me, young man?"

"I'm not sure yet. For now, I just love watching you exist."
422. "Be whyning yourself."

Uche laughed and then Bisola joined him. Just then Pablo approached them.

With the look of it, he wasn't too happy."

"Guy. Why aren't you picking your calls. I've called you like a dozen times. Do you know...
423... how long it took me to find you?"

"Eya. Sorry bro. Phone was on silent."

Bisola stifled a laughter because she then realized that Uche had been avoiding Pablo's call because he didn't want him to interfere with his moves.

'Nice one'.

She secretly praised Uche."
424. "What about the girl you went out to meet?" Uche asked out of curiosity.

"Omo. Bad market. She's married. I was lucky I left before her husband came. If you see this guy eh, I'm sure he can squeeze a coconut like a tomato."

Bisola and Uche laughed.
425. "So what are you kids up to?"

Pablo asked and then dug into the Suya as he sat down.

"Your friend here has refused to tell me anything about himself."

"Well you didn't ask properly." Uche reminded Bisola.

"You were too busy distracting me for me to...
426... ask 'properly'."
Bisola followed up with an answer.

"Well I can tell you a thing or two."

"Thank you Pablo."

Bisola said and then her phone rang. It was her boyfriend again."

"Ummm. Sorry guys. I have to take this."

"Oh go ahead. Butterfly"
427. Bisola left to answer her call and Uche immediately lost his cool and tackled Pablo.

"Thunder will fire you if you say rubbish."

Uche threatened him.

"Sinners can't command thunder bro. Look Oga. This girl is not like the other girls I've seen you with. Don't play her."
428. "What makes you think I'll play her?

"I know you my man. I swear, I'll fight you if you mess this up. I'm your friend and I know a keeper when I see one."

"Sha don't pour sand in my Garri."

"Me I've told you my own sha."
429. "Hello Kolade."

That was Bisola speaking to her boyfriend.

"What happened? I have been trying to reach you."

He sounded so heartbroken. Bisola was worried.

"Kolade what is the problem?"

"Where are you?" He asked.
430. I'm with my friends." Bisola answered.

"I need to see you."

"Please just tell me. What's wrong?"

"My family. I just got a call that they died in a plane crash."

He spoke with a cracked voice.

"Oh my God. I'm so sorry. Where are you?"
431. Bisola responded with great shock. She felt terrible.

"I'm at home."

"Okay sweetie. I'm coming home right away."

She ended the call and walked to the guys. Night has already fallen and Uche couldn't help but look at the ocean which was now shrouded
in a veil of darkness.
432. The more Uche stared at it, the more he thought of the reality and mystery of death.

It felt like there was nothingness out there and he imagined if someone should venture into that darkness and get into trouble, there would be no hope of salvation.

He looked at the...
433... beach bars adorned with colourful lights as people were gyrating to Olamide's "Science student."

Uche could see the disparity between where they were and out there in the dark ocean. It reminded him of the duality of life and death.
434. "I've got to leave guys."

Bisola spoke as she got to the table.

"What's wrong?" Pablo asked.

"That was my boyfriend. His family just got killed in a plane crash."

Uche and Pablo aired their deep felt sympathies while Bisola left with Uche...
435... following suit. Pablo took the nylon of suya along. There was no way he could let that amount of meat go away.

There was silence as the guys drove back home. Uche suggested that they drop along the way and take a bus back to the mainland so Bisola can go check...
436...up on Kolade who lives n Lekki as of then.

When Bisola got to Kolade's classy apartment, he was sitting down on the floor with his beardless face tainted with heartbreaking tears.

When she saw him, her heart broke into pieces. She sat down on the floor with him and took
437...him in her arms.

Kolade wept uncontrollably because it meant that he was an orphan with no siblings.

Bisola was all he had and that scared her. Bisola wasn't expecting the next thing that followed. Kolade brought out a ring case and flipped it open amidst tears.
438... I've been wanting to ask you since last week but I wasn't quite sure. Bisola, will you marry me?"

Bisola froze. She never expected that those words would scare her one day. It's a question that she had imagined would be asked after following a trail of rose petals that
439...led to the love of her life, on one knee holding a case containing a diamond ring that acts as a symbol of commitment.

The only thing Bisola could come up with was:

"Holy shit."

And she was the only one who heard it.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 8 . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .A GAME OF DEATH . . . . . . .
440. Mr D was sitting down reading a newspaper in his living room which had all shades of opulence and class.

Diana and Maria's eyes were glued to the television when Bisola walked in. She greeted her father and then signalled her...
441... sisters to come with her. She went into the kitchen while they followed suit with curiosity. When they got to the kitchen, Bisola brought them up to speed.

"Kolade proposed."

"And?" Diana and Maria asked almost simultaneously.

"And I said Yes."
442. Maria and Diana were psyched at the news and they congratulated her.

"But why are you not happy?." Maria asked.

"And Where's your ring?" Diana probed further.

Bisola brought the ring out from her pocket.

"I don't get. Aren't you...
443... supposed to have it on one of your fingers?

"Yes I know but... I'm not quite sure of this." Bisola sounded tensed.

"ummm, last time I checked, there's a word called 'No' and if I remember correctly it is used when you don't agree with something."

Diana pointed out.
444. "I know. I just wasn't thinking. He was so heartbroken because he lost his family in a plane crash and I didn't want to tell him No."

Diana and Maria immediately understood the nature of the situation and they showed signs of sympathy.
445. "Well that's messed up." Maria said.

"Don't you think that's emotional blackmail?" Diana asked

"How do you mean?" Bisola wasn't quite sure what she meant.

"I mean why didn't he ask you when things have not fallen apart?"

Diana queried.
446. "It's not like he planned it." Bisola's responded.

She wasn't sure why it felt like she was defending Kolade.

"Well he shouldn't have asked. He should have waited."

"Unfortunately, He didn't." Bisola countered.

"Diana I'm sure Sis B called us here for a...
447...solution, not for us to judge her."

Maria came to Bisola's defense.

"Thank you Maria."

"You're welcome sis."

"Oh my God. I'm so screwed."

Bisola tried as much as possible not to panic but she was losing that fight. She walked... the fridge and took out an apple juice which she drank hoping to soothe the anxiety that was building up in her.

"You can just tell him you changed your mind." Maria suggested.

"Or you can fake your death and run out of the country."
449. Diana chipped in her suggestion.

"Are you serious?" Maria tackled her sister.

"What? That's the best solution if she doesn't want to hurt his feelings."

Freddy and Teddy walked in. The ladies tried acting natural in other not to arouse suspicion.
450. What are you guys doing here?" Teddy asked.

"Nothing. We were just working on a recipe." Maria tried saving the day.

"Two out of the 3 of you don't know how to cook. You guys are hiding something. Spill it."

There was a...
451... silence that lasted about 15 seconds and then Maria broke the silence.

"Alright guys. Here's the thing: Kolade proposed and Bisola said Yes and now she is regretting why she did. She wouldn't have said Yes if he hadn't told...
452... her that his parents died in a plane crash."

"Who's Kolade?" Freddy asked

"Bisola's boyfriend." Maria answered with frustration evident in her voice because everyone knew who Kolade was.

"Can't you guys...
453... investigate him as usual and see if you can find something incriminating?

"I thought you don't like that?" Teddy asked.

"Well the situation is critical. Look, I made a mistake and I'm looking for a way to fix it."

"Anyway, we've already...
454...done our research on the guy. The guy is as clean as a devoted priest."

"Oh God. Have mercy." Bisola was losing her mind.

"You're going to have to handle this on your own sis." Teddy concluded.

"Or we could frame him up for being bad if you want."

Freddy suggested.
455. "Oh no no. I can't live with that on my conscience."

Bisola knew that sooner or later, she was going to have to make a decision that could possibly
be the most difficult thing she would ever do since she became aware of her existence.
456. She realized that she just put herself in a more tighter spot when she accepted Kolade's proposal as opposed to If she had just refused. She then realized that she actually did it out of pity and she hated herself.

But she did admit that if Uche...
457... was not in her life, she probably would have welcomed Kolade's proposal and then go on to dwell in an average marriage where true happiness might just be a painful struggle.

"Cheer up sis. You'll be fine." Diana assured her.

"This is going to...
458...kill him." Bisola insisted.

"I'll be right back guys." Diana said and left the kitchen. She rushed back in after 30 seconds of leaving.

"Guys. I think you may want to see this."

She said and left the kitchen while her curious siblings hurriedly followed her out.
459. The guys entered the living room only to find Aunty Seyi sitting down while nestling in the arms of Baba Ibeji (meaning father of twins).

Baba Ibeji was the same old man who she and her family members tried to bury after mistaking him for dead.

"Oh. I'm glad...
460... you're all here."

Aunty Seyi informed them. Mr D walked in wearing a robe and was hit with a mild shock because he wasn't expecting to see the old man again.

"Oh. You're the doctor who saved my life."

Baba Ibeji spoke and the...
461... moment felt awkward for the participants of the attempted burial except Aunty Seyi who was smiling close to the old man.

"Thank you for your swift services. I owe my ability to sit here right now to you."

He looked at Mr D's pack...
462... and then goes:

"Oh, this must be your children."

"Yes they are." Mr D responded.

"Lovely set you got there Doctor."

He sighted Diana and Teddy and then continued:

"I can see that two of your children work with you as paramedics.

If only the old man knew.
463."I must say that the medical practice runs in the family."

"Anyway, Deji. I came to inform you that we are getting married."

There was a mixed reaction amongst the Williams. Bisola and Maria were surprised at the news. Freddy acted like he wanted to puke but he composed...
464...himself. Teddy was expressionless while a subtle wince flashed across Diana's face.

"Oh. I see." Mr D managed to say in a calm way.

"We are so much in love." Aunty Seyi said. She was deeply involved with Baba Ibeji and this felt weird for everybody because they found it
465...hard to deal with the idea that these two senior citizens were acting all lovey-dovey.

"Maria. Please offer our guests something to drink." Mr D spoke.

"Oh no no no. I'll rather not drink anything. I'm fasting.Thank you for offering."

Baba Ibeji turned down the offer.
466. Diana found it extremely funny that the old man was fasting. What was he fasting for? A quick death? She thought to herself.

"Can I talk to you for a second?"

Mr D said to his sister and walked to the wine bar while Aunty Seyi followed him. Baba Ibeji engaged...
467...the pack in a conversation on medical practice and paramedics.

"Are you out of your mind?

Mr D scolded his sister after they have achieved a comfortable distance from the others.

"I have made my choice, don't give me headache please." Aunty Seyi wasn't going to...
468...tolerate any counter opinion on her decision.

"What? That was the same grand daddy we tried to bury because his organs were unstable. What makes you think he's not going to die on the way to the altar?

"I am now aware of how to handle him. He's mine now."
469. "For heavens sake. He's like an ancestor."

"I doubt if you're half a man he is. He satisfies me in bed."

"Okay. Please stop. Now you're revealing too much. Don't ruin the sanctity of my organized thoughts."

"I'm going ahead with this whether you like it or not."
470. "This is ridiculous Seyi."

"Ogbeni, leave me alone. I just came here to tell you about the wedding. I figured there's no point keeping it from you."

"Is a wedding even necessary?"

"You don't have to come if you don't want to. Nothing is going to stop me from wrapping my
471... self in happiness."

"When you told me you were interested in history, I didn't know you were talking about your love affairs. That man is old."

"And you're not?"

Touché. Mr D acknowledged that his sister just hit him below the belt.

"Fine. Have your way. Just don't...
472. Just don't call me when he dies again."

Mr D left joined the others and sat down on a sofa. Aunty Seyi joined her outdated fiancé.

"I was just telling your children how much I love the practice of medicine. It's quite unfortunate that I failed...
473... to influence one of my daughters to practice medicine. No one wants to handle a professional course. Those children were as lazy as their mother."

Mr D decided to play it cool by engaging the old chap in a conversation.

"I believe parents need to find out their...
474... children's strongest spot and encourage them to improve their strength in that area. Sometimes it's unfair to take a kid with great potentials in art and fix them in a science class where they may become crippled with under-performance."

"Hmm. You're right. Just like...
475... forcing a fish to climb trees."

"Exactly." Mr D responded.

"We need an exit strategy." Freddy whispered to Diana who replied:

"Oh, you have no idea how desperate I am for one now."

"That actually reminds me of how good this woman is when it comes to climbing me in...
476... in private." Baba Ibeji continued.

"Oh. Stop it."

Aunty Seyi said with a blush while Baba Ibeji used his nose to rub hers in an attempt to tease her.

"I've got to pee."

Freddy said and then immediately stood up, and hurried out of the gathering...
477... While acting ike he was going
to throw up. The rest of the pack
stood up and followed Freddy.

Mr D just crossed his legs and started reading a newspaper, using it to block out the worrisome scene in front of him. The old couples did not even bother to notice...
478...what was happening. The pack gathered back in the kitchen.
They appear traumatized from the disturbing sight they just encountered.

"I think I'm going to be needing a lot of therapy after seeing that." Freddy spoke.

"Okay. What the heck just happened?"
479. That was Maria.

"My innocence has been stripped away from me." Diana lamented.

"Innocence? Says the little savage."

Teddy said and everyone laughed apart from Bisola whose laughter sounded awkward due to her nagging anxiety.

"You okay sis?" Teddy asked her.
480. "Of course, she's not. She has a ring that doesn't belong to her."

Freddy answered.

"Oh Freddy. Be nice." That was Diana.

"I am being nice." Freddy responded almost immediately.

"You know what? I think I needed to see what we saw out there. The shock may have...
481... neutralized the panic I was having."

They all laughed. In as much as Bisola knew that there was an inevitable and difficult decision ahead of her, she wasn't going to allow it steal her joy, at least not at that moment she gathered with her siblings.
482. She got a text message which she checked and then updated the gang.

"Guys. I think I'll be taking my leave now. I need to hand over some files to a colleague.

I'll see you guys later."

"You may want to cover your eyes out there sis. Aunty...
483... Seyi is still on the loose."

Diana said.

"Oh I sure will. I do not deserve more of that."

Bisola said and left while the others bade her farewell and reassured her.
About 5 minutes later, Bisola drove out of the compound. There was a black car...
484... parked a short distance away from Mr D's house. There were two hefty men inside and they have been watching the house.

Immediately Bisola drove off, the driver of the black car brought the car to life and followed her.

She drove all...
485...the way to her house oblivious of the car that was tailing her.

As she drove along the streets of Lagos, a million thoughts invaded her mind. She needed a solid plan.

There was a young man waiting for her when she got to her place. Bisola walked into the house and...
486...came out a few minutes later handing what seems to be a file to the man who happened to be the colleague that contacted her.

The two creepy men watched everything unfold from their car which was of course parked at a comfortable...
487... distance away from their target's house. Her colleague left in a car while Bisola entered her abode and never came out.

One of the guys made a call. About 120 kilometres away, a light-skinned woman of South African descent was sitting down...
488... in a five star hotel room, with legs crossed, stroking the fur of her white Samoyed. She was wearing a black gown which shared the same colour with her dark and straight hair.

Bisola was soon going to find out how dangerous this woman was.
489. The woman's phone rang and she put it to her ears without saying anything.

"Hello Mrs Snow. We have identified the target's location."

"And you're sure she didn't suspect that she was being followed." Mrs Snow asked.

490. "Good. Kill her. I need proof that she's dead."

She said and ended the call. The men in the black car brought out their pistols and attached silencers on them.

Mrs Snow didn't come to Lagos to play.

When Bisola gained access into her apartment, she sunk her...
491... weight into her couch and then stared blankly into her fancy ceiling.

She realized that a seemingly easy way out of this mess was to go ahead and marry Kolade. After all, she wasn't going to leave an incomplete and peaceful paradise... go to a beautiful and a highly uncertain one with the possibility of being torn apart by vile beasts.

'The devil you know is better than the angel you don't know.'

The underrated cliché ran through her mind. But in this case, she wasn't even seeing...
493... Uche as an angel. He was like a daredevil who was so full of himself and she hated that fact.

She was wise enough to realize that a lot of women must have fallen victim to Uche's audacious confidence. Uche had the classic symptoms of the...
494... playboy syndrome but she was still attracted to him.

She knew that the wise thing to do was to settle down with Kolade and try to work things out with him, at least that is more feasible than letting Uche sway her only for her to later worry about...
495...keeping him faithful and truth be told, she doesn't have that energy.

Just then, she heard the sound of a broken glass in the kitchen and that brought her back to the present.

She cautiously walked to the kitchen unaware of the nature of danger that loomed.
496. She picked up an umbrella hoping that was enough to serve as a weapon, and when she finally got to the kitchen, she saw her cat Bubbles amongst shards of broken plates, licking the tomato sauce that spilled on the linoleum floor.
497. Oh, Bubbles. Don't make me put you on a leash."


Bubbles responded and continued enjoying the spilled sauce. For a moment there, Bisola could swear that the cat told her to fuck off.

'What an ungrateful creature.' Bisola said to herself.
498. She sighs and then walked to the fridge.

Just outside her house, the men finished prepping themselves and stepped out of the car with their guns.

All of a sudden, a team of 5 men with assault rifles took them by surprise. They were mercenaries all dressed in black.
499. Two of the men had their guns pointed at the unfortunate assassins while the other two disarmed them.

The last guy brought out his cellphone and dialled a number. A phone rang in a well furnished house kilometres away from them and Mr D picked up.
500. "Hello X"

"She finally decided to play. We've got two of her pawns." X responded.

"We need to find her before she strikes again. I've got too many children running around Lagos."

Mr D said.

"We will see how well our captives can sing."
501. "Make sure my daughter gets a good night rest."

"Sure thing boss." X responded and disconnected the call.

He walked over to the captives who were now cuffed.

"Who sent you guys?"

No response.

"I was kind of expecting that to happen."
502. He said and then faced the two mercenaries holding them.

"Take them away and prepare them for the worst days of their lives."

They took them to a van parked by the side of the street while X directed his remaining men.

"The both of you, stay behind and watch the...
503... perimeter. Drop anything that comes close to that house."

X's phone rang. He picked up.

"Hello honey... I'm still at work... I'll be right there with you... I promise."

He ended the call.

"Alright guys. I have a date with my wife. You guys should not mess this up."
504. Have fun boss. We got you covered." One of the men said.

"Fun? Are you making fun of me?"

"No boss."

"Good. When you call it fun, it makes me look stupid."

"Sorry boss."

"You're now in charge. I need to go change into...
505...something more comfortable.

X said and then entered the assassins' car. The smell in the car drove him nuts.

"God. It smells like something died in here."

That wasn't going to stop him. He rolled down the glass and drove off leaving the two men there.
506. Back at Mr D's house, he fixed himself a glass of scotch and then walked towards the window in order to savour the view of the distant city which looked like tiny yellow dots in the void of the night. Mr D was always a step ahead.
507. He had already assigned some men to watch over his children after he got a briefing from X on the threat that just hit town.

As a matter of fact, there were men watching over Bisola when she went to the beach with Uche and Pablo. There were men already...
508... stationed to watch his house when the assassins came to spy on the house.

Mr D knew just how dangerous Mrs Snow was and he made sure he took the neccesary steps in order to counter any moves she made.

Mr D walked over to a...
509... table where there was a chess board that had been played half way.

He made a few moves which exposed the white pieces' Queen. He then used a knight and captured the Queen which was actually a representation of the woman he was up against.
510.The blood-thirsty woman was here to play a game of death and he had no choice but to play.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 9. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . .KNOW YOUR ENEMY. . . . . . .
511. The next morning, Mr D and his children except Bisola were gathered around a table in what looked a situation room.

He was standing while all his children were seated. He knew that he had to tell them about the nature of the threat that they were dealing with.
512. This time, Teddy was wearing his military khakis.

"Now I know most of you must be wondering why we are gathered here. As a matter of fact, we have a code red."

"Dad. We are your children, not some foreign government spies." Diana pointed out.

"I know what a code red is."
513. Freddy bragged.

"No you don't." Teddy tackled him.

"Yes I do." Freddy stood his ground.

"Prove it."

"Not now people." Mr D called them to order.

"Oh come on dad. I was just about to clear his doubts."

Freddy complained.

"Save it for later, son." Mr D asserted...
514... and then continued with the briefing.

"As I was saying, we have a serious threat on our hands. There is a mad woman on the loose and she's here for some sort of revenge and I don't know why exactly. She goes by the alias- Mrs Snow. As a matter of fact she was a South...
515... African secret agent and then she went rogue."

"Hold on dad. South Africa have spies?" Freddy interrupted.

"All countries have spies." Teddy said.

"Wait. What? Even Nigeria?" Diana joined in.

"Yes of course. I'll appreciate it if you all can just listen."
516. Mr D was losing his patience.

"Sorry dad."

The noise makers all said in unison.

"Now back to what I was saying. We are dealing with a highly unstable woman who is drunk with power and won't stop at nothing until she gets what she wants. Now you may ask what she wants...
517...why she wants it...I'll tell you why. She's doing it because of She's doing it because of Bisola."

Mr D's children exchanged glances with each other and he continued as he paced around the room.

"I was hoping none of you would find out about this because I thought...
518...i settled the case in the past. At this point, I have no choice but to inform you of the gravity of the present situation."

Mr D started by telling them about Bisola's ex boyfriend and how he was linked to the mess they were dealing with.

It happened that Bisola's...
519... ex, Frank, already had three children with Mrs Snow when he met Bisola who was on a business meeting in South Africa.

He was from Delta state in Nigeria and she couldn't help but fall in love with him because of his expertise in sending her surprise packages... different forms and sizes. Frank travelled a lot from Nigeria to South Africa because he had a business in Nigeria and a family in South Africa.

If Bisola were to be present when Mr D talked about Frank, she would have been hurt. She really loved Frank to a fault...
521... but she blamed herself for letting her heart rule her. She forgot about one of the greatest laws of new found love which is to love with the head and not just the heart.

As it happened almost 5 years ago, Mrs Snow suspected that Frank was cheating on her and...
522...she decided to investigate him which led her to the doorsteps of the Williams family.

When Mrs Snow was investigating Frank was also the same time Mr D and his sons were looking into Frank and his family with the help of X. This led Mr D to the...
523... discovery that Mrs Snow was looking for his daughter. Mr D remembered meeting the former spy in a bar in Lekki which was close to the sea.

He told her to leave his daughter out of the matter because she was also a victim of Frank's infidelity.
524. It took Mrs Snow some time to see reason in what Mr D told her and then decided to withdraw her plans on executing Bisola.

Frank has been missing ever since his can of worms was exposed. He switched his SIM card for years and went into hiding because he knew his life...
525...because he knew his life would be in danger if his wife should ever catch him.

A month ago, he sent Bisola a text which turned out to be a grave mistake because his wife had already flagged his phone number with the help of her government contacts.
526. When she laid hands on the contents of the text, she was so enraged that she had to pay some men to find Bisola and then take her out because she convinced herself that her cheating husband and Bisola do not deserve the same oxygen she was breathing. She also resumed the... for Frank and became obsessed with ending his life since she had already told her children that their father was dead.

Mr D himself wasn't quite sure why she came back at that point in time and he was eager to find out.
528. "Bisola must not find out about this. She has gone through too much. I have assigned a team of highly trained professionals that can blend with the crowd to watch out for those who may be watching her because I know just what that crazy woman is capable of. This will... on until we neutralize the threat."

"Wow." The news was too much for Maria

"Don't you think it's best we tell her? I feel awareness would help keep her on alert."

Diana suggested.

"In this case, Ignorance is bliss. Let her focus on her life while God fights her...
530... battles. There's a reason why we don't see the demons that God wards off for us every now and then."

"There's also a chance that her phone is being traced and that could possibly lead to a well coordinated long or short range attack."

Teddy suggested.
531. "I reject it in Jesus name." Maria objected.

"A bullet is not a spiritual attack. A bullet knows no saint. It will hit it's target... like bam!

Freddy spoke and then jammed his fist into his palm.

"Yeah right." Diana said.

"We considered the possibility of her phone...
532...being traced that is why we had to place a veil on her phone. We used a high-tech software to restrict the possibility of her phone number being traced. That way, no one can pin point her schedule or location & orchestrate a long or short range attack. Just recently, we...
533...recently, we intercepted two men that were sent to cause trouble and they are being interrogated as we speak. Hopefully, they can provide a means of getting in contact with the threat. We know who she is but we don't know where she is."

Mr D added.
534. Diana wondered how Bisola would have felt if she found out that there was a death threat being shoved down her throat along with the heavy dilemma she was dealing with.

She wondered why her sister couldn't just go through a break up like the average Nigerian...
535...girl where no one is looking for who to kill. What were the odds of having a cheating boyfriend whose wife was a spy that craved for Bisola and her cheating boyfriend's head on a stake?

The odds were slim to none. Everything felt super weird for her. Here she...
536... Was sitting down to swallow the news that government assassins were looking for her sister. It felt like one of those Nikita series where the lead actress had to fight a secret and dangerous agency known as The Division.

All of a sudden, she wished she was ...
537...well trained in weaponry and other attributes that spies needed, but she remembered she was scared of cockroaches so she humbled herself and accepted her reality.

Sometimes she concluded that big problems came her family's way because they were wealthy. 'God wouldn't...
538... give you a burden that will break your neck. He always knows the right amount of weight to put on you.'

She always reminded herself when things start falling apart.
539. Bisola was at the dinning table at home absentmindedly turning her bowl of cereal with a spoon.

She was wearing a T-shirt that had a distorted 'SHIT HAPPENS' written on it. It was an irony because she didn't even consider the significance the T-shirt had on her...
540...her present condition. It was the first shirt she could lay her tired hands on that morning.

Her mind was like a battlefield of two conflicting decisions and the consequences they both brought along with them. Bubbles walked close to her legs and made it known... her that she needed to fulfill her duties of being his owner.

"Go away, cat." Bisola wasn't in the mood.

The cat was relentless. He wanted some attention and he was going to get all of it. Bisola had no choice but to pick up the ungrateful little beast in order to...
542.. pet him due to the unconditional love she had for him. She did hear one time that stroking a pet can reduce someone's blood pressure.

Just then one of the two phones that lay on the table before her rang. She checked and it was Kolade. A gush of guilt surged through the...
543... confines of her conscience because she had avoided 2 of his calls earlier and also due to the fact that she was looking for a way to jump the ship she blindly jumped in.

As if that was not enough, Uche called her second phone and that made her heart heavy...
544...with a painful weight that brought her existence to the very bottom of an abyss. As she watched the two phones ring, she was once again reminded that she needed to make a seemingly difficult choice.

She placed Bubbles on the table and watched him feel threatened...
545... by the vibration and ring tone of the phones. Bisola's mind trapped a very silly trap and she acted on it immediately. She carried her cat and brought him much closer to the phones hoping Bubbles would give her a sign on who to choose.
546. Bisola watched her cat attempt to attack the vibrating phone that was being called by Uche with his claws.

For a moment, Bisola thought that was a sign that Uche should not be trusted.

'Don't be ridiculous' She cautioned herself.

She still couldn't get herself to pick...
547... either one of the calls. She groaned and walked out of the dinning room before the phones stopped ringing while Bubbles helped himself with the abandoned cereal on the table.

The door bell rang severally and Bisola went to the door to check who it was...
548. "Who's there?"

Bisola asked.

"You're mad. Open the door jare."

That was Anita's voice from the other side of the door.

Bisola immediately remembered that she had an appointment with her the previous day. She opened the door with...
549...with an I'm-sorry-I-forgot-and you-have-every-right-to-be-mad-at-me" look, and standing there was her best friend who was wearing an African printed attire that projected her curves.

Anita barged in and then turned around to face her. Sometimes, Bisola wondered... she still managed to be quick with her large breasts.

"How dare you?" Anita asked, her voice ladled with a black American accent.

"I'm sorry."

Bisola spoke carefully as If her voice would piss her friend off.

"Sis, this is betrayal."
551. Anita was a Nigerian who was born in America and has spent most of her life in the states until she relocated back to her homeland with her family some years ago.

"I'm so sorry, I lost track of time." Bisola's pleaded.

"You lost track of time? What are you? An old and...
552... senile time keeper? We were supposed to go see Black Panther yesterday. How could you miss such a historical event?"

"It's just a movie." Bisola said dismissively.

"Oh. Hell no sis. I won't tolerate this low key disrespect. It ain't just a movie sis, it's a...
553... culture; a revelation- a projection of the black future."

"Fine. I won't argue with you."

"Girl what the heck is wrong with you. Anyway, I'm going to see the movie again today and you're coming with me."

"Kolade proposed."

"Oh wow. The Nigga has got balls...
554...afterall. But you look like shit. Aren't you excited that he finally manned up?"

"I don't want him to 'man' up, at least not yet."

"Wait a minute." What was your response anyway?"

"I said Yes but that was because his parents died in a plane crash and now I regret it."
555. "Yikes. That's messed up. But girl, I thought you loved that man"

"I did. I mean I do but I kinda met someone else and it got me thinking if he's really worth it."

"Alright, spill it baby. Who's the guy?

"I believe you know him."

She paused and then continued:
556. "It was the guy I knocked down with my car."

Bisola said, expecting some revolt from her friend

"Wait. The roadkill? Girl you're wilding. How come you're falling in love with a stranger you nearly killed?"

"Look, it's complicated."

"Well, uncomplicate it."
557. "Anita, please I have headache. Breathing has been a burden for me."

Bisola said and then went to sit on her sofa while her friend followed her.

"Kolade is a nice guy."

"Maybe that's just the problem. He's just too nice. He hardly challenges my...
558...opinion. He treats me the way an inexperienced and clueless parent spoils his child."

"Look at you. I'm looking for a Nigga to spoil my fat ass; you found someone to do that and you're complaining."

"You won't understand."

Bisola didn't feel like going back and...
559... and forth with her argumentative and adamant friend.

"Well, the least you could do is to return his ring since you're being a complete chicken.

"I can't just 'return it'. This is not a product i can 'return' because it is faulty."

Anita put her hands on her waist and...
560... gave Bisola a look.

"You're kidding right? Get yo ass up and let that Nigga know you ain't boarding his ship."

Bisola stood up and walked out of the living room. Her friend was getting on her nerves and she would rather go hide under her sheets and wait for the world...
561...come to an end. She walked into her room and locked the door. Her friend followed her and knocked at the door but Bisola wasn't going to bulge.

Just then, Bisola's phone rang again and Anita walked to the table. She looked at the phone and smiled because it was Kolade...
562. that was calling. She took the phone to the locked door and threatened Bisola.

"Guess who's calling. I'm going to pick it up and tell him you're tired of his shit."

It didn't take long for Bisola to open the door and then tried to take the phone from her...
563...friend who kept it out of her reach.

"Anita, Give me the phone."

"That ain't gonna happen."

"What kind of problem is this one? Give me my phone.'

"Dress up and let's go see Black Panther."

"Oh come on."

"Don't dare me sis."
564. "Fine, I'll go with you. Can I have the phone now?"

"Girl, dress up and follow me. I'll give you when we get to the theatre. Deal?"

"Deal. I hate you."

Bisola groaned and entered her room before shutting the door.

"You better hurry up or I'll call him back."
565. Anita smiled and went to sit down on a couch where she switched on the television set.

There was a movie showing on cable TV. Two men were standing a few distance away from each other as they fixed a deadly gaze on one other. There was a girl on the sidelines...
566. with panic on her face. One of the men was wearing an explosive vest. It happened that the detonator to the vest was lying on the floor away from the two men.

The man without the explosive vest charged towards the detonator, and the other man with the vest, seeing that...
567...his rival was going to reach the detonator before him, decided to rush towards the distressed lady who happened to be his rival's girlfriend.

The man with the vest got to the girl while the other man got to the detonator, but he couldn't press it because that would mean...
568...killing his girl along with his rival.

Just then in the real world, Bisola came out of her room wearing a T-shirt and a jean and then Anita turned to look at her.

"Girl, what you wearing?"

"Just leave me alone. Hope you came with your car?" Bisola said and walked...
569...out of the house. Just then bubbles came into the living room and went into an aggressive and defensive stance because he always saw Anita as a threat to his territory.

"You little twat."

Anita picked up a cushion and tossed it at Bubbles who fled out of the living... Anita hated the cat so much and sometimes joked about how some shady manufacturer would love to use his fur to make a fake Gucci bag.

Anita then hurried out of the living room in order to catch up with Bisola.
571. Few minutes later, She drove out of the house with Bisola. There were two men in a car watching them from a distance.

"The fox is on the move. All agents, be ready to follow."

The man on the passenger seat passed the information to his colleagues...
572... through the invisible ear piece concealed in his ear. There were some agents stationed at the estate gate keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity.

These guys were so dedicated that they got the information of all the inhabitants and the type of vehicle they...
573...drove in the neighborhood so as to identify any outsider that was trying to gain access to the estate.

These were the people Mr D hired to watch over his daughter until he was sure that the dust has settled.

Anita and Bisola drove all the way to the...
574... cinema having absolutely no idea of the car that was following them.

All the while the agent riding shotgun updated the rest of the team stationed somewhere else in the area by giving them his current location.

Bisola and Anita walked inside the mall which was...
575... teeming mostly with people wearing different shades, styles and colour of African styled attires while one of the agents followed them with the other keeping an eye on their car.

Quite a number of people were at the mall to see the Black Panther movie and they...
576... brought a whole lot of energy and excitement with them. Other agents comprising of two men and two women joined the man after he communicated his location to them.

They were all dressed as ordinary citizens and no one could have identified them as spies...
577. Anita saw a wig on display in one of the stores in the mall and then went in while dragging Bisola with her. If they hadn't gone in the store, they would have sighted Pablo and Uche approaching them.

Pablo was munching on a pack of popcorn and Uche looked bothered.
578. They were actually there to see the Black Panther movie also and Uche had called earlier to see if Bisola would make it.

"I've called her three times on different occasions & she isn't picking up her calls. Maybe something is wrong."

Uche told his friend.
579. "Dude, just chill out. I'm sure she's busy or something." Pablo said reassuringly.

"Too busy to text back? Dude, something's not right. I can feel it.

"Oshey. Phillips." Pablo chuckled.

"I just wish she was here."

"Well, she's not. Snap out of it dude and let's...
580... focus on enjoying the movie."

"I can't even think properly."

Uche concluded and then Pablo stopped him by standing in front of him.

"Bros, I swear to God, if you ruin this moment for me, I'll make sure you don't get a good night rest for the rest of your life. Get...
581... It together."

As Pablo faced Uche, he blocked him from seeing Bisola and Anita as they walked out of the store.

When Pablo moved away from Uche's way for them to continue their walk towards the cinema, a little girl walked in front of Bisola and Anita with a set of...
582... floating balloons thus blocking the ladies from the gentlemen's view. The guys walked past the ladies and none of them noticed each other.

Some minutes Later, the two groups gained access into the movie theatre at different times after going through a queue, and they...
583... sat about 12 rows away from each other. Bisola and Uche did not enjoy the movie but we can't say the same for Pablo and Anita who were thrilled at every conversation, action and sound that was made in the movie.

All the while, Uche thought about Bisola's seemingly...
584... cold attitude and wondered why she wasn't picking up while Bisola on her end was torn on making a decision that involved choosing between Uche and Kolade.

It got to a point in the movie when Pablo became loud. Anita from her end was irritated by the noise coming out...
585... from a section of the viewers in the poorly lit theatre. Bisola for a second thought that was Pablo but she shaked off the thought.

"Hey. Who's that lunatic shouting over there! Keep it down!

Anita shouted at the noise maker.

"Sharrap there! We paid the same money!"
586. Pablo fired back at the voice attacking his movie experience. Bisola shunned Anita for being loud while Uche did the same to Pablo.

All the while, three of the agents were in the theatre to make sure that Mr D's daughter was safe.
587. After some minutes, the end titles rolled up the screen and there was an applause all over the theatre.

Uche and Pablo walked out of the theatre and started making their way towards the exit which was still far from them. Anita and Bisola came out about a minute...
588... later and Bisola wished her friend would stop talking about the movie. Anita checked herself and noticed she left her car keys where they were sitting.

She excused herself and went back to get it. At this point, Uche and Pablo was about about 12 gaint strides away from...
589... Bisola in the midst of people moving in all directions. Pablo walked into a nearby restroom to unload the urine that was trying to damage his bladder.

Just then, a young lady approached Uche and a smile appeared on his face. The girl hugged Uche while he held her close...
590... and that was when Bisola turned only to see a woman in the arms of Uche.

The look Bisola saw on the girl's face was that of absolute peace and her world came crashing down. Bisola moved out of sight before Uche looked towards her direction.
591. At that moment, Bisola felt devastated but she was actually glad that what she saw had given her the answer she's been clamouring for.

She knew Uche couldn't be trusted and there he was in a place she didn't expect to see him, engaging in a public display of affection...
592...with a woman who is probably one of his girlfriends. Bisola felt foolish for giving Uche her time and she got mad at herself for even thinking that he was worth it.

Bisola took another route out and when Anita called her phone to know where she was, she told her she
593... was waiting for her at the car. Just when Bisola took an alternative exit, Pablo returned and stopped Uche from touching his sister.

"Hey, stay off her." He warned.

"What? It's been a while." Uche said defensively.

"We were just greeting each other na."
594. Pablo's sister laughed.

She was just coming back from calabar and Pablo had told her to drop her bags and come to the mall to meet with them.

Bisola was quiet throughout the journey back to her house as she got carried away by the
595... beautiful night lights that brought life and colour to the lacklustre darkness while trying to pay attention to Anita's movie rant.

Bisola got home and drank some water hoping to soothe the dryness of her throat but that wasn't going to help. She whipped out a bottle...
596... of cognac and drank from the bottle as she sat down on her couch looking all defeated. She brought out her phone and typed a text to Kolade.

The text read:

"Hello Sweetie. I'm sorry I've been AWOL. I'll explain better when we see. How...
597... does November sound for the wedding?"

It seemed like forever before she hit the send button.

'This was the wise thing to do'

She convinced herself and what followed was a trickle of tears from her left eye.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 10. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . HAPPILY (N)EVER AFTER. . . . .
598. BISOLA was sitting down at her office desk in a spacious office in the 20th floor out of the 30 storeys in the high rise building located in Victoria Island.

Her office offered a view of the sea with large vessels docked on the other side of the water loading and unloading
599... whatever merchandise they dealt with.

She was working on a document on her computer while she tried to come to terms with her decision to go along the wedding.

Bisola believed that it was better to live an average and certain life with Kolade than to...
600... live an exciting and uncertain lifestyle with someone she barely knew. Bisola was more of a conservationist and she frowned upon something that threatened to rattle her roots.

At that point, she knew that she had to look for a way to work things out with her 'fiance'.
601. All she needed to do was communicate. She had come to learn of the power of communication and how it could remove differences between couples.

'I'm getting married.'

That realization scared her. This was never how she expected her life to turn out.
602. Why was everything happening so fast? Just then, Clara entered the office with a cup of steaming coffee. She dropped it on her desk.

"Here's your coffee, just the way you love it." Clara goes.

"Oh. Thanks Clara."

"Is there any other thing you will need?"
603. "Oh no. That'll be all. Thank you so much."

"I hope all is well Ma, you look... distant."

"Oh, I'm fine. I'm just having a slight headache." Nothing a little bit of aspirin can't fix."

"Oh. Just call on me if you need anything."

"Oh thank you. I will." Bisola said.
604. Bisola had always admired her dainty and chirpy assistant that had a face that was reminiscent of a field of sunflowers sitting under the summer sun.

She was so full of life and she had the tendency of spreading cheer in a room full of gloom.
605. As her assistant was about leaving her office, she called her back after giving it a consideration.

"Can I ask you a question that has nothing to do with anything we do here?" Bisola queried.

"Sure thing."

Clara was everly ready to offer any form of assistance.
606. Please sit." Clara obliged and then Bisola continued.

"Okay. I've got a friend that is getting married to someone she doesn't really love that much. This friend of mine told me she's tired of being in relationships that don't bear fruit so she has decided to settle down...
607... with the man she's trying to love hoping that she'll work things out on the way and mould him into the man she has always wanted." Bisola quickly brought her up to speed.

"Hmmm. First of all, do you know why your friend started dating him in the first place?"
608. That question struck close to home. Bisola had never really thought about why she accepted to date Kolade in the first place.

She then admitted that she decided to date him because she adopted a saying that goes: "the best way to get over a man is to get under another."
609. She knew it sounded very silly but it was the easiest way she could avoid dying from a painful loneliness- this all happened after slipping away and hanging unto the edge of her existence for 2 years.

What Bisola didn't know was that that was the same time Uche...
610... was suffering from the pain of losing his credentials especially when he got a call that there was a job for him that paid 120,000 Naira as initial payment but there was no way he could prove that he went to school.

Bisola actually thought about how she suffered for 2...
611...years, nurturing a broken heart courtesy of Frank and another 2 years nurturing the guilt of knocking the consciousness out of Uche.

Bisola realized that she has been quiet for like 25 seconds as she was engrossed in some soul searching.

"Well, I remember she told...
612... me she did it because she just wanted to be in a relationship after she suffered from an excruciating heart break from someone she loved so much- someone that she could have died for. Someone that showed her how her existence mattered."

Bisola spoke with a mild...
613... form of anger And Clara picked up on it.

"You seem to care a lot about your friend Ma."

"Oh yes. We are like sisters."

Bisola said dismissively and sipped from her cup of coffee. There was no way she would allow her subordinate find out they were talking about her.
614. There was not a chance in hell she would reveal her vulnerability in the office space.

"I would say that your friend's relationship was based on faulty foundations." Clara told her boss.

"ooh. That sounds deep."

"Yes you can say that. The relationship started...
615... off for the wrong reasons. There is a high possibility that she wouldn't have chosen him if all
things were equal."

Clara stated.

"Hmmm. Interesting. So is such a relationship a recipe for disaster or is there a chance that things will improve?"
616. Bisola asked. She was now fully invested in the conversation.

"It depends on the guy's personality. From what you have told me, I'll conclude that your unfulfilled friend does not find his personality appealing. Now the question is: Is he susceptible to change...
617... form like water or is he as rigid as a rock? That's the thing to consider if she must go ahead with the wedding because marriage is for the rest of your life and divorce is such a mess for it clearly projects one's naivety during the wedding phase. If he's uptight...
618... then your friend either calls off the wedding or accept that disadvantage." Clara lectured her.

"Wow. Clara. You seem to be experienced in the matters of the heart."

Bisola showered her assistant with some praises.

"Oh. I run a relationship blog."
619. "Wow. That's awesome. I didn't know that."

"I've been sending you links to my blogs for 2 years Ma."

"Oh, my Whatsapp messenger is a mess. I must have missed it some how."

Bisola wasn't going to take the fall and make her assistant feel bad at the same time.
620. Just then, Edward, Bisola's colleague entered the room in a blue suit and red tie.

Edward's parents must have hated him because they named him Edward even when they saw that his head was large.

Perhaps they never considered that "Edward" could easily be caricatured ...
621... into "Head World" which meant carrying a monstrous head that represented all of humanity's problems.

The staff members in the company's division where Bisola worked had joked that Edward's head must have expanded and damaged his mother's vagina and her psychology.
622. Edward's head looked like the top of one of those massive bomber jets that brought terror to the blue aliens in James Cameron's Avatar.

His head was so legendary that it served as a popular meme on Twitter. He was the Facebook type of guy so the office...
623...guys didn't worry much about him finding out that he was a meme superstar on twitter.

"Oh. There you are Clara. Get me a cup of tea."

Clara always hated the way Edward called her name like a village person. He always applied an upper stress to the 'Ra' part of her name... opposed to the seemingly lower stress at the end of her name which was the way it should be pronounced.

"It's Clara." She said under her breath and then stood up.

"Thanks Clara." Bisola said, pronouncing her name properly of course.

"Glad to be of help Ma."
625. She was on her way out when Edward told her:

"Make the tea taste as sweet as I am. I deserve some accolades for roping in more clients than any one of you in this prestigious establishment."

Bisola wondered if bitter was the new sweet. There was nothing sweet...
626... about Edward because he was a dedicated narcissist and a pessimist when things are taking too long to come to fruition.

Bisola remembered another joke that someone cracked where they said that Edward allowed success and pride to get into...
627... his head and that's why his head was growing out of control. Looking at his head and the smug look on his face could cause someone to have a headache.

"Hello Bibi"

Edward said as he approached her desk. Bisola always cringed when he called her that.
628. "Edward. I've told you to stop calling me that. I'm not some Blackberry phone. My name is Bisola."

"Oh please. Bibi is such an adorable name."

Adorable had never sounded so creepy. The word bore a sinister essence when...
629... coming out from Edward's mouth. Bisola thought.

"Besides, it's shorter and more convenient for me to pronounce. You know I can't be talking too much."

Edward said, so full of himself.

"That's an irony because it's coming from...
630... someone that talks too much."

Bisola attacked him with a calm undertone.

"Oh. Don't be belligerent Bibs."

"Bibs? Seriously?

"I like to get creative with people's name."

"What do you want Edward? I'm busy."

"I'm a real man. You need to admire my presence."
631. The arrogance in Edward's voice could never be missed. Bisola entertained a secret amusement because Edward looked like a low budget cartoon for him to brag about being a real man.

A Bloody Pinocchio.

Bisola sighed and goes: "Edward, if you don't
632... have anything to do this morning, I do. And the sooner I start, the better for all of us."

"Oh. Don't be so hard on yourself. I can get some guys from the 12th floor to handle the job. All you need do is to allow me take a whiff off your feminine essence."
633. He said while closing his eyes as he savoured the thought.

"Are you hitting on me?" Bisola asked.

"We are all civilised here. When you say it like that, it makes me look like an animal."

"Well, you look like a rhino." Bisola said underneath her breath.
634 "What was that?" Edward wasn't sure of what she said.

"Oh nothing at all." Bisola feigned ignorance.

Edward took a sit in front of the desk.

"Okay. You're sitting down. Why are you sitting down?"

"Oh come on Bisbis, Stop fighting the inevitable. Accept my offer.
635. Let me take you out for a drink."

"HR is a call away Edward." Bisola calmly threatened him.

"Screw HR. Those guys are losers."

"You want to test that theory? Look Edward, stop talking to me if you don't have any job for me."

Just then, Clara entered the office...
636... carrying a cup of tea on a tray. Edward took the cup and drank from it. His expression suggested that the tea tasted awful.

"What sort of abomination is this? Where's the sugar? I asked for tea not mineral water."

"You said something as sweet as you are."
637. Clara reminded him.

"Are you trying to be a smart ass right now because that won't end well for you"

He stood up and poured the tea in a flower pot, and then handed the cup to Clara.

"Now go get me a proper tea."

Edward commanded which was followed by Clara's exit.
638. "Can you imagine? What an amateur."

Just then. Bisola got a text. It was from Uche.

"Alright that's it, Edward. I'm calling HR."

Bisola picked up the receiver from her desk phone and attempted to punch in some numbers.

"Fine. I'll leave. At least let me wait...
639. for my beverage."

"This isn't Starbucks. Please just leave, I've got to work."

Bisola watched as Edward adjusted his suit in his usual arrogance. He brought out a small mirror from his inner suit pocket and admired his reflection.
640. "Look at all that intelligence and power. You sure you want all this pass you by?"

"I heard the cleaner's daughter is putting them to good use."

That took Edward by surprise which made him look out of the office exit in order to be sure that no one heard what Bisola...
641... just uttered.

"Where did you hear that?"

His voice was now low and desperate.

"Everyone knows."

Bisola informed him. Edward wasn't going to show signs of panic even though he was losing his cool. He thought he did everything to keep the affair with the cleaner's...
642... daughter on a low.

"Whatever you heard was a lie."

He said and walked out. He needed to protect his reputation by denying any form of accusations anyone would throw at him.

Bisola took a deep breath for finally having the disturbance leave her office. She checked...
643... Uche's text which read:

"I'm sorry for what I'm not sure I am responsible for. Call me?"

Bisola massaged her temple with her left hand and pondered on what to do. She decided to call just to inform Uche that all they could ever be was friends and that she was getting...
644... married in November which was 2 months away. Afterall, he deserved some closure.

Bisola called and his phone rang but he didn't pick. She saw that as a sign that she shouldn't have called and just then Uche called her back.

She watched the phone ring severally...
645... before she picked up.


She heard Uche's voice through her cellphone and she could swear that something came alive in her. She had never been so confused in her entire life.

Hearing Uche's voice made her regret sending that text to Kolade. Why was she acting...
646... like a dramatic school girl who blows hot today and blows cold tomorrow?

But then again, she remembered what she saw at the mall and that gave her courage to stand by her decision. She just wanted to settle down and have kids of her own and not to be at the mercy...
647... of a gigolo who squeals at the mention of commitment.


She managed to say. Uche waited for her to say something else and she also expected him to come up with something.

Before they knew it, they've spent about a minute listening to each other's silence and...
648... when they finally decided to speak, they did that at the same time.

"I'm sorry. You go first." Uche told her.

"No. You go first. You called." Bisola threw the ball back to his court.

"Technically. You called."

"Cos you asked me to."

"You sound angry."
649. Uche pointed out.

"Nope. I'm not." She denied.

"You've been ignoring my calls. Is this the part where I have to apologize for what I'm not sure I did?"

"I'm sorry about that. I've just been busy with stuff."

"Are you breaking up with me?"

Uche asked and then chuckled.
650. "And who told you we were dating?"

"I never said we were. Wow, it has even gotten to the point where you can no longer take jokes. Look, whatever you think I did, I didn't do it."

'Yeah right. What a liar.'

Bisola thought to herself. She wanted to tell Uche that...
651... she saw him with a woman but she thought that was a lost battle. There was no need fighting for what she can't keep.

She had already crossed the Rubicon when she sent that text message to Kolade. It wouldn't make any sense if she changed her mind again and not marry...
652... Kolade because she knew she would still override the decision and go ahead with the wedding. The last thing she wanted was to come off as Bipolar.

"You didn't do anything wrong."

She lied. She wanted to tell him about the wedding but she shook off the thought.
653. She'll tell him later. She concluded with a procrastination.

"You're hiding something."

Uche was perceptive enough to know that something had changed with her attitude. He couldn't help but think that everything changed after their hangout at the beach.
654. "Why would you say that? I've just been busy with stuff."

"Can you at least give me a chance to die in your arms if you're ever thinking of letting go because I feel like you're slipping away."

That brought almost Bisola to a state of weakness. She was no doubt attracted
655... to Uche's personality but she wasn't ready to beg someone to be faithful.

She always knew that no one could erase the stripes off a zebra just as no one could make a promiscuous human flirt with the reality of commitment."

'Issa Trap!'

She recalled the exclamation...
656... Diana her sister usually made when she knew something was shady.

"I don't know what to say." Bisola's defenses were weak.

"Say you won't stop the music before the party starts. Say you'll see me again."

All the while, Uche was lying on Pablo's brown couch...
657... in the living room of his two room apartment. Bisola knew she made a mistake by calling him.

She never expected that he was going to take advantage of a crack on her emotional walls.

At that point, Bisola felt like a helpless stalk of wheat swaying back and forth....
658... to the rhythm of a incoming hurricane.

Just then something happened that pulled Bisola out of the enchantment Uche was about to drag her into: Pablo's sister, Janet, entered the living room from the bedroom making a call to her boyfriend

"Hi babyyyyyy"
659. She said excitedly into the phone and then walked out of the apartment. Uche turned and looked at her just to acknowledge her presence.

Bisola heard Janet loud and clear on phone and she once again jumped into conclusions that that was one of Uche's girlfriends.
660. She once again felt stupid for wagging her tail to Uche's seductive cookies.

She ended the call immediately and then sent him a text telling him that she had to go because: work.

Uche sat up and ran his hands on his head trying to understand Bisola's odd behaviour.
661. Bisola on the other end, stood up from her armchair and walked over to the big glass windows that offered a view of the sea.

She found herself paying attention to the tempo of her breath and heartbeat. Bisola had always been a skeptic when it came to relationships after...
662... her heart got mixed with shards of glass and hardened thorns- thanks and no thanks to Frank.

Bisola tried not to remember the beautiful feelings she had nurtured because of Uche but that was exactly where her emotions were leading her to. She tried convincing herself...
663... that she won't lose Uche because she would just keep him as a friend.

She thought she just concocted the perfect idea that would involve having Uche in her life but the imaginary 'angel on a shoulder' reminded her that it was ridiculous keeping someone she was...
664... attracted to as a friend, especially when she's married.

It would only be a matter of time until she starts cheating and mama didn't raise no cheat. She was going to have to throw the whole of Uche away. She brought out the ring from her pocket and ran her thumb over...
665... it while she wondered how she ended up in this quagmire of hasty decisions and nagging regrets.

Where is rapture when you need it?

She wondered. Maybe happy endings weren't for her. Maybe she would create her own happy ending with the present reality that won't...
666... go away.

Just maybe.

She had a deep rooted hatred for maybes and here she was entertaining the idea.

'I'll just have a baby and that will be my happy ending.'

She passed a message to her subconscious. She remembered what a woman with 5 young kids and an absentee...
667... husband told her one time at a business fair in Abuja.

"I am happy I have my children even though my husband is probably cheating on me. I wouldn't blame him really because we were two strangers with different beliefs who got merged in a hasty marriage. It is the kids...
668... that makes it all worth it. The love I have for my children filled in the void that was left by the absence of a man to love."

The 45 year old Hausa lady told her. She was a woman Bisola admired so much in the business world. She was an independent and intelligent...
669... woman who was the CEO of a highly successful agriculture company in Kaduna.

Bisola had asked her why she didn't get a divorce and she responded by telling her she got an 'emotional divorce' from her husband and that was all that mattered. People out there thought that...
700... she was still happily married and she wanted to keep it that way as long as she was personally happy with her children and career.

That way, everyone is happy. She also recalled the woman telling her that people do not get married for love but to make babies...
701... and train them. She told her that love was just a bonus in marriage and that not so many people are lucky to receive it.

'If you don't want babies, there is no need to get married.'

She had told Bisola. After that fateful encounter with the woman, Bisola shuddered...
702... at the mental picture of living in a loveless marriage and she prayed to God for the gift of a loving husband because she knew that the 21st century was an era of haphazard relationships and marriage.

And here she was in her office 4 years after the encounter looking...
703... at a diamond ring she didn't accept with all her heart. She knew the only choice she had was to state her terms and conditions to Kolade and if he failed to accept, she'll call off the wedding.

That conclusion consoled her a little bit because it appeared to be a...
704... win-win for her. What followed was slipping the ring on her finger for the very first time.

It's official.

She was going to be Mrs Adeyemi. She took a deep breath and went to sit back down on her chair.

What Bisola or anyone at the office did not know was that...
705... there was a new lady that was employed just a few days back and she had an office opposite Bisola's glass office where she got to watch Bisola and everyone that went close to the office.

She was actually part of the team watching over Bisola. How did she get there?
706. This was how: the regional manager whose office she was occupying suffered from food poisoning which was orchestrated by X's team.

They forged the perfect transfer letter with a letter head that permitted her to occupy the position while the regional manager recovers...
707... from her illness. They cloned the number that belonged to the company's headquarters and linked it to the phone number of the Lagos branch; when the Lagos sector called the headquarters in Abuja to confirm the transfer, the call was diverted to an operative in X's team...
708... who answered the call and cleared their agent to take her position. It was just a temporary arrangement until Mrs Snow is fished out.

Mr D knew just how intelligent and cunning Mrs Snow was so he made sure there were no loose ends.

"Everything seems stable."
709. The agent spoke into her concealed ear piece which was a communication channel to her team members as she looked around the surrounding taking note of the staff members going about the tasks that brought them to work.

She looked into a file in front of her that had the...
710... faces and personal information of everyone that worked on the building floor where Bisola worked, including the day they started working for the firm.

X's team consisted of 2 genius hackers- one from Uganda and the other one from Korea. These guys have hacked...
711... agencies like the FBI and NASA three times. They were known as the gods of hacking.

As a matter of fact, X's team have worked for secret agencies in Pakistan, Russia, USA and Liberia.

They were spies for hire and they were good at what they do. The female spy was...
712... actually talking to the agents stationed outside the office building and the others stationed in the lobby.

Some miles away and hours later, Mr D was sitting down drinking a glass of water in a restaurant that had a gold and baroque touch.
713. He was waiting for Mrs Snow after she called a few hours back and arranged a meeting where they both agreed to come alone.

Mrs Snow walked into the restaurant with her pet and then sat down in front of Mr D. Her lips was heavy with a lusty red lipstick and she was...
714... wearing a sunhat and dark shades.

"Hello D. I see you honoured my invitation."

She said calmly.

"Why are you back?" Mr D said as he gently tapped his index finger on the golden eagle's head that served as the handle of his walking stick.

"Oh come on D, is that...
715... how you're going to treat an old friend of yours?"

"I don't consider people who want to kill my daughter my friend."

"Hand over your daughter to me and I'll be on my way."

"What kind of parent would do such a thing?"

"A wise parent who wouldn't want to lose two or...
716... lose two or more children at the expense of one. I see you've mounted some kind of security around your daughter. You can't stop me D."

"Leave Nigeria."

Mr D told her, his face expressionless.

"I just got here. Try to be more hospitable. I heard...
717... Nigeria is a land filled with hospitality."

"Really, why are you here?"

"I'm here for your daughter's head." she said flatly.

"May I ask why?"

Mrs Snow dipped her hand in her purse and brought out a phone. She opened a tab which had a message and then dropped...
718... the phone on the table in front of Mr D who checked it and then looked up at her.

"What has this got to do with my daughter?"

Mrs Snow removed her dark shades to reveal a small scar just below her right eyes- that was a farewell package she got after an explosion...
719... rocked her closet some years ago.

Someone tried to kill her after they found out she had some crippling information on the South African government.

We could go into that but this story is not about the psychotic woman.

"Everything." Mrs Snow responded.
720. "Like I told you the last time, my daughter has nothing to do with how bad you feel. If you should have anything against anyone, why don't you take it out on your unfaithful husband?"

"Oh, believe me. I'm this close to finding him."

The phone actually showed the text...
721... message that was intercepted from Frank's phone.

Mrs Snow tried to picked up the phone from the table so she could take her leave but Mr D stopped by placing his walking stick on the phone.

"Be careful what you wish for."

He sounded a subtle warning to her.
722. "I don't wish. I take."

She took the phone from the table and left the restaurant. Mr D knew that she must have selected the location because it gave her an advantage of getting away without being traced.

Mr D was a man of integrity who believed in a fair game and...
723... Mrs Snow knew this. Nothing stopped him from instructing X to come along with him and take her out but he knew she must have been smart enough to set some catastrophic move in place if anything should happen to her during the meeting.
724. She knew how to play the game of death masterfully. Mr D placed his hat on his head and left the premises.

As his driver took him back home, the contents of the text message ran through his mind:
725. "Hi. I know you hate me with all you have and may never forgive me but I never for one second regretted meeting you even though it had turned my life upside down. I do regret not telling you the truth about me. You made me understood that my life plan was a mistake. You...
726... made me realise my wife was a mistake I would give anything to erase. Meet me under the almond tree where the sky meets the land on the same date and time we met so I can give you the peace of mind that you deserve. You deserve to know the truth."
727. Mr D understood he had to look for a way to corner her nemesis like a rat so she would back down. Now she has threatened all his children.

This woman was asking for a full blown war but Mr D was intelligent enough to think that all he needed...
728... to do was to figuratively poison her armies so that they will perish before the fight.

In order words- to win the war before it begins.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 11. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . TERMS AND CONDITIONS . . . .
699... BISOLA was standing on Kolade's balcony that provided a view of other expensive looking houses in the over priced estate.

She was holding on to the rails with both hands as she welcomed the caress of the soft breeze on her face which had a light makeup. She was...
700... wearing a white long sleeved shirt tucked into a grey knee length skirt which was complemented by a black stilleto.

Bisola's fashion statement most of the time had a corporate touch and her appearance exuded some kind of feminine energy that was redolent of power and...
701... independence. The prospects of having a baby was the single most important factor that kept her from tearing herself apart.

She was just going to jump off the cliff with hopes that her love for Kolade will develop some wings and soar into the blazing sunset.
702. Just then, Kolade walked up to her from behind looking all dapper in a black suit and then held her waist from behind while kissing her neck gently.

Bisola was passive as she looked into space deliberately getting lost in some thought.
703. "We need to talk."

Bisola told him and then turned, breaking away from his hold.
That phrase has been known to bring up feelings of anxiety and defensiveness in people.

"What about? I hope all is well." Kolade managed to ask.

"Why are you getting married to me?"
704... Bisola asked and watched him fumble for an answer for about three seconds before saying:

"Because I love you."

"Kolade, we both know love is never enough."

"Love is all you need. Trust me."

Kolade concluded.

"You obviously think life is some fairy tale...
705... don't you? What would you do during the days when it becomes harder to love- When time has taken it's toll on things."

"I don't understand where you're going with this."

"If we are to go through with this wedding, I need you to know my terms and conditions."
706. "Wow. Okay... I'm going to pretend you don't sound like you're asking me to sign some kind of business contract."

"As a matter of fact, that's exactly how I sound. I want a peaceful home that won't drain the happiness and energy in me. I don't want a marriage...
707... filled with bad surprises and a high level of uncertainty"

"Of course I'll provide you with peace."

Bisola wanted to hold back on what actually brought up their discussion but she knew she had to clear the air once and for all and she didn't care if he was going to...
708... be hurt or not. "Look Kolade, I feel you're too soft on me."

"I don't understand, you want me to be hard on you?"

Kolade was all about missing the point.

"No, not that. I feel like you don't challenge me well enough." Bisola stated.

"What? You want us to argue more?"
709. Bisola wondered if he was deliberately trying to misunderstand her.

"You never counter my opinions."

"Maybe that's because your opinions are valid."

Kolade had an answer for her.

"That's not true."

"Look. I love you and I'm okay with anything that you come up with."
710. "Stop making me feel like I'm some sort of witch that enchanted you with a spell. I feel like you're worshipping me."

Bisola aired her dissatisfaction.

"Who wouldn't want to worship you? You're a goddess."

"Can you just stop?"
711. Bisola was fed up with the wet bread behaviour Kolade was fond of. He was the last person Bisola would go to if she ever sought an unbiased criticism and appraisal of her projects.

All Kolade could offer was to suck up to her thereby emasculating her in the process.
712. "Look, I'm sorry. I'll give you anything you ask for as long as it's going to make you happy. I'm going to make sure I make the best husband. You're all I have now on earth. I don't want to lose you too."

Bisola felt responsible for Kolade in a way. The fact that his...
713... parents were now a memory made her want to fill in the void they left in his life though she never got to meet them. Maybe the unfortunate news made her soften up to Kolade.

She had always loved the idea of a man depending on her emotionally. She yearned to...
714... be a man's stronghold where she gets to offer him strength and reassurance to get back on his feet.

Anita had teased her on wanting to be a holiday resort that pampered a man's ego and fuelled his desire to be weak.
715. Bisola walked to a table right there on the balcony and picked up a 4 page document, and then handed it over to Kolade.

"What's this?"

He asked collecting it, while checking it out.

"That's the terms and conditions of our marriage."

He chuckled nervously...
716... and then goes:

"Oh come on. This is a little too extreme. Don't you think?"

"No it's not. I want you to read it so that we are sure we are on the same page. I don't want any surprises."

"Fine. I'll read it when I'm free. Like I said, I'll do anything for you."
717. "You better read it. I'll be conducting an oral test by the weekend so I'm sure you read it."

Bisola was not going to take any chances even if it meant calling the shots in the marriage.

"Maybe I should disagree with this just so I'll fulfill your wish of wanting me... challenge you."

"Now's not the time to start practicing that. Just go through the document and if there's anything you don't like, kindly bring it to my attention."

"Okay fine." Kolade accepted.

"Can we be on our way now? We don't want to be late for the show."
719. Some hours later and some miles away, Kolade and Bisola were seen walking into an event hall in a nice hotel and they were ushered to an unoccupied table which was in the midst of other tables that had been occupied by prestigious ladies and gentlemen who came for the...
720... launching of a mobile phone app called The Life Experience. The hall wasn't all that big but it's ambience felt magical with it's colourful and dynamic neon lights that gradually changed every 5 minutes.

There was a stage in the hall and on it, a man and woman were...
721... performing a series of precise and death-defying acrobatics. The loud speakers located at the corners of the hall reverberated with a classical Jazz song as all eyes were on the performers.

The hall was crawling with about 7 waiters who were tending to people's needs.
722. "Are you okay?"

Kolade asked while looking at Bisola who appeared distracted.

"Yes. I'm fine."

"You look like you left home without your enthusiasm."

"I said I'm fine."

"Look, I'm sorry I dragged you into this. I needed you to come because this is really...
723... important to me."

"Kolade, really. It's okay."

"Or is this about the terms and condition?"

"No." She answered flatly.

"Okay fine. Thanks for being here anyway."

Bisola picked up the menu card and looked through it to see if there was anything that could fix...
724... the mild hunger slowly gaining momentum in her.

At this point, the phenomenal acrobats were done with their performance and then a series of Nigerian songs dominated the four corners of the hall.

A waiter passed them by and Kolade grasped the opportunity...
725... by calling him because these waiters moved around a lot. The waiter made a gesture that he was coming and then walked away.

Another waiter came into view and Kolade was fortunate enough to get him to come. Bisola's spirit ran out of her body when she saw Uche...
726... approaching the table dressed in a waiter's uniform.

Acting like it was a mistake, she took the spoon on the table in front of her & then dropped it on the floor. What followed was an attempt to pick it up using that as an excuse to hide from Uche while Kolade spoke...
727... to him.

"I would love some Italian champagne and a grilled lamb with a dash of Cameroon hot sauce. Please let the champagne come with some ice"

Uche wrote down the order and then Kolade looked over to Bisola's side of the table but there was no sign of her.
728. "Babe. What are you doing?"

"Sorry. My spoon fell." She replied from where she was hiding.

"Well haven't you seen it?"

"No I haven't."

"Just forget about it and tell this young man what you want."

"Ummm. Anything is fine."
729. "What are you doing down there? Can you just stand up?"

Bisola knew she was busted. There was no way she could avoid this weird encounter. She was such a genius for thinking that hiding under the table would make Uche disappear.
730. At that point, Bisola concluded that Uche was a demon for showing up when she least expected it. What on earth was he doing here? This was the third time they've had an unexpected encounter.

"Damn it." She cursed under her breath and then sat down on her chair...
731... looking at the menu as casually as she could while trying to keep Kolade in the dark about the awkward moment.

Uche wasn't expecting to see her too and what replaced the swift and subtle expression of surprise on his face was a very faint one-sided smile.
732. Uche played along to Bisola's composure.

"Um. I'll have some small chops." Bisola managed to construct a sentence amidst the shock.

"Oh I'm sorry ma. We are out of small chops at the moment. The chefs are making another...
733... one."

That was a lie. There was still a lot of what Bisola ordered on the food stand. Uche wanted to torment her a little longer with his presence.

Bisola wanted to get rid of Uche so bad and while she looked into the menu, she could feel Uche's annoying eyes...
734... trained on her. She could feel his stare burning her skin and she just wished for pandemonium to break out so she can run out of the hall.

But that wasn't going to happen.

Kolade brought out his phone and
focused on it while Bisola struggled to maintain her demeanour.
735. "How about peppered snails?" She asked, not daring to make the mistake of looking at him because she knew he must be enjoying every inch of the moment.

"Oh. We are out of that too. Too much demand. Another batch is coming up. If you'll be patient...
736... enough, I'll get them for you when they are ready."

"What is wrong with the event planner? How can stuffs like that run out so quickly when the show hasn't even started?

Kolade asked Uche.

"It's the demand sir. We never expected them to like our dishes...
737... this much. I would blame the chefs for coming up with magnificent dishes."

"Hmmm. Maybe you should get her the lamb then."

"No. I think I'll just take some non-alcoholic wine."

Bisola said while looking at Kolade. There was no way she was willing to make eye contact...
738... with Uche. She felt so guilty for pushing him away but she then remembered that she shouldn't be entertaining any level of guilt. Uche was a bag of scum afterall.

"You mean juice?" Uche asked.

"She said non alcoholic wine. She was obviously clear."
739. A clueless Kolade said. He had no idea that these two shared some history and Bisola would love to keep it that way.

Just then a waiter passed them by carrying a tray with 5 plates of peppered snails.

"Aren't those peppered snails? I thought you said you ran out of it?"
740. "Oh. Those were the last set. My apologies for any inconvenience sir."

Uche turned to Bisola and said:

"What kind of wine would that be? Nigerian, American or Italian?

"Anyone would be fine." She said still looking at the menu.

"Would you want it cold or warm?"
741. "Cold please."

"Is there anything else you would like Ma?"

"No, that would be all."

Bisola was nervous enough for Uche to detect her body language but it wasn't conspicuous enough for Kolade to notice it. Why would he when his cellphone was splitting his attention...
742... from the situation. Uche let out a confident smile and left the table while Bisola was left with a slight discomfort. She needed an escape plan and she needed it fast.

Uche walked to the DJ stand and behold, it was Pablo that was on the turn tables...
743... moving in harmony with Davido's song, FIA. Pablo was really good at what he did which had paved way for worthy gigs like this one.

He was actually the one who brought Uche along when he saw him lying on his couch like an unfortunate pile of worthlessness.
744. "She's here."

Uche spoke with a loud voice so his voice won't drown in the midst of the loud song. Pablo removed his headset & hung it round his neck.


"She's here."


"Bisola is here."

"oh wow. That's awesome bro."

"No it's not. She's with some guy."
745. "Oh wow. I'm sorry bro. I would have loved to feel sorry for you right now but I'm on duty. I've got to stay hot. Just take your L and go.

"Don't say that bro. I need your help."

Back at Kolade and Bisola's table, Kolade noticed that Bisola wasn't comfortable.
746. "Babe are you okay?"

"Why do you keep asking me that? I'm fine."

Bisola responded. Just then, there was an announcement through the speakers.

"Please the occupant of table 17 should kindly go and move his car for it is causing a serious obstruction for other...
747... vehicles. Thanks in anticipation of your kind gesture."

That was Pablo on the microphone. Each of the tables had a number on them and Uche had taken note of the number on Kolade's table earlier. Kolade groaned and then said to Bisola:

"I'll be right back. Let me...
748... know what these people are saying. I know I parked my car well."

Kolade walked out of the hall while Bisola looked around praying that she won't sight Uche.

"Hello." A voice startled her and she turned to...
749... see a man sitting down on the seat close to her. He looked like an Alhaji with his blue agbada that was starched to the point of making the 50 years old man look like he was in a paper craft.

Uche hurriedly went to the table when he saw that Kolade had left only to...
750... find the Alhaji sitting down with Bisola. Uche knew the man was a "bad market" who was trying to reap from what he did not sow.

Uche understood he needed to talk to Bisola quickly before Kolade returns.

"Excuse me sir." Uche said to the Alhaji and then...
751... pulled Bisola up by her hand.
He then led her to a corner where no one would see them, leaving the Alhaji confused.

Few of the guests around couldn't help but look at the scene of a confident waiter leading a woman away.

"What is wrong with you? Leave me alone."
752. Bisola said after Uche had led her to a secluded spot.

"Well, look what the cat dragged in."

"What's the meaning of all this?" Bisola fumed.

"So that's why you've been so busy?"

Uche asked while pointing towards the gathering. He was referring to Kolade.
753. "Young man, I owe you no explanation."

"Yes you do. You left me hanging and you don't even want to give me the satisfaction of knowing why you left me hanging."

"I'm getting married." Bisola blurted out almost immediately. Uche was stunned after he processed...
754... what he just heard.

"Wow. Well... congratulations." Uche managed to say.

"I don't need your congratulations."

"Why are you even fighting me? You ruined my life."

Bisola loathed that particular statement whenever it came out of Uche's big mouth.
755. "I ruined your life? You came to me. I was on my own and you forced yourself into my life."

Bisola responded angrily.

"You're not nice. You should have just said you're not doing instead of taking my whole life away."

"Urgghhh. I told you like a million times...
756... but you still had to be a housefly that wanted to perish with the corpse."

Just a few weeks ago, these two were nurturing the minute prospect of dating each other and here they were fighting with one another after fate unexpectedly merged their paths again.
757. Uche felt like a loser at that moment. He went through a pool of crap just for nothing- he lost his papers, 2 years of his life and now the girl he thought he had a shot with was being added to the list.

'Wow. There was no justice in the world afterall.'

Uche wondered.
758. "Look, I've got to be on my way. My fiancé should be back by now."


That didn't settle quite well with Uche. Bisola left him standing there looking all defeated while she walked back to the gathering.

Uche looked by his left and he saw a man watching them...
759... behind a flower pot a few metres away. The man immediately walked away and Uche sensed that something was wrong but he was too devastated to act on it.

If he knew any better, he would understand that that was one of Mr D's hired hands. They were at the venue...
760... the whole time watching. Uche untucked his shirt and took the nearest exit out of the hall.

The secret agents would have abducted Uche and asked him who he was, but they had seen him before at the beach with Bisola.

Kolade was already on his seat when Bisola came back.
761. "Where have you been?"

"I went to use the restroom."

Bisola hated lying but she just had to indulge in this little white lie that won't hurt anyone afterall.

"Can you imagine that I went to my parking space and my car was not obstructing any body. These people...
762... are confused."

If only Kolade knew that he was manipulated.

"I want to leave. I'm not feeling too well."

Bisola told him.

"But we just got here."

"I know but I need to go lay my head. You can drop me off and come back."

Kolade wished there was a way he could...
763... convince her to stay but he didn't like going against her. Bisola stood up and walked away while Kolade followed suit.

Uche was sitting outside on a bench when he saw Kolade and Bisola entering their car. Bisola saw him and looked away like she didn't give a damn...
764... about Uche's existence. Uche watched the car as it drove away and he knew his feelings were going to be shitty for the next couple of weeks.

Though Uche was a go-getter, he knew there were boundaries that should not be crossed when chasing a woman, especially one that...
765... does not want to be chased. But hasn't he been crossing those boundaries?

Well, all he did at last was to conclude that trying to stop her from getting married would only make him appear as a villain. It's not like he knew those magical words that would redirect her...
766... affection towards him. This wasn't some Hollywood movie where he would barge into the chapel and say some romantic words from the depths of his heart only for the bride to leave her groom on the altar and elope with him.

"Where you dey?"

He checked his phone...
767... after getting a whatsapp message from Pablo.

'I'm going home.'

Uche replied and buried his phone in his pockets. The pain in his heart was new and he wanted to find a way to come to terms with it. There was not a single doubt in his mind that this was going to crush him.
768. He then remembered what Dr Jack told him when he still had a membership with the living:

"Don't fight the pain. Embrace it. Let it become a part of you and when it does, you won't feel it any more."
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 12. . . . . . . . . . .

769. THE REFLECTION before her was not enough to stir up feelings of excitement and satisfaction, even though the wedding dress she was wearing was 50 shades of beautiful.

She was scared and apprehensive and yet all the sinews in her being kept pushing her to go ahead with
770... with an uncertain wedding that promised a potential unhappiness.

Bisola was at a store with Diana and Maria, and she had come to pick up the perfect wedding dress. (Nah. Scratch that. She wasn't so happy so we can't use the word "perfect")
771. "I can't believe you're going ahead with the wedding."

Diana said to her sister as she watched her staring at her reflection in the mirror.

"It's the right thing to do."

Bisola responded.

"It would have been if you were all in."
772. "I have decided to get married and I believe it's okay to say I'm all in."

"Oh come on sis. I know you. You'll rather be a nun than to end up in a loveless marriage. Your words. Not mine."

"Yes I know but then I realized that nuns can't have children. I've always...
773... wanted to be a mother of 3 kids."

"Just last week you were pushing your panic button, talking about how you made a mistake and here you are encouraging that same mistake."

"Diana can you just let it go? I've made up my mind. Rivers don't flow backwards."
774. "Yeah let it go Diana, we are here to support her."

That was Maria to the rescue... as usual.

"Oh please stay your lane, Hannah Montana."

"I'm not white, genius."

"Wow. I have a racist sibling."

"What? How did you ever come about that conclusion?"
775... "Maria, please leave me alone. I have cough."

"Why are you fighting this? It's my wedding and I am okay with the choice I made."

Bisola told Diana.

"I know why I'm saying this. I wouldn't want you to come to us 3 months into the marriage and complain about how...
776... he always leaves the toilet seat open or how he doesn't like onions."

Diana was armed with sacarsm.

"I appreciate your concern Diana but trust me when I tell you that I know what I'm doing."

"This isn't you sis. Do you remember when you used to dream...
777... about the perfect wedding when mum was alive? You used to say that you won't put on an expensive white dress for someone who doesn't make you lose your home training in private."

"Well guess what Diana, our plans don't always work out. Not all of our wishes are going...
778... to come true. You take the ones that have been granted and move on."

"Okay fine. I give up. Congratulations."

She said and then sat down after which she picked up a magazine in order to channel her displeasure elsewhere.

"Does this mean you won't come to the wedding?"
779. Diana asked Maria.

"I'll just kill her if she doesn't."

Bisola said which warranted a laughter from Maria and a smile from Diana.

The thing was that no one could stay mad at Bisola for too long because she was quite an accomodating soul and her attitude was down to earth.
780. "Look Diana, the future belongs to those who control the present. I know what's at stake and I'm willing to keep my hands glued to the reins of control."

"Well, what can I say but good luck. Just be careful sha."

Diana said to her sister.
781... "Trust me. I'll put that on top of my to-do list."

Bisola responded and then turned back to view her reflection in the mirror.

"So what do you guys think about the dress?"

Bisola asked after breathing out deeply as if to expel the anxiety that tormented her.
782. "I think the dress is lit. It's in perfect harmony with your body."

Maria commented while Bisola looked at Diana, expecting to hear her input.

"it's okay."

She said, forcing herself.

"I'm not spending 400k on a dress just to receive a bland comment on it.
783. Search your vocabulary for something more fitting."

"Fine. It's an exquisite dress with a wrap of magnificence."

Diana said and rolled her eyes.

"Thank you Diana." Bisola managed to conjure a mild smile and then succumbed to taking a...
784... deep breath as she focused on the way the intricate dress adorned with floral patterns and precious stones accentuated her figure.

She wasn't thinking of Uche like she used to because ever since she concluded that Uche was trash, thoughts of him only irritated her.
785.This was so because she didn't want another Frank in her life. Frank shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters and reduced her to an emotional wreck.

She had joked to her friend Anita one time when she was nurturing the sensitive parts of her broken heart, that she...
786... might as well become a lesbian but Anita informed her that cheating was not a gender thing but a character thing because even lesbians cheat.

'Speaking of Anita, where was she anyway?'

She wondered.

It's been about thirty minutes since she arrived at the store...
787...and Anita had told her she was 5 minutes away- that was 30 minutes ago.

She wondered if it was a Nigerian thing to tell people that you're 5 minutes away when you haven't even gotten the motivation to start the journey.

Anita, who was raised in the states, had...
788... spent a little amount of time in Nigeria and she was already learning some bad Nigerian habits.

Bisola decided to ignore her friend's lateness because she had already picked a nice dress that was made just for her.

Bisola once again focused on her reflection in...
789... the mirror and what followed next was a precious walk down memory lane.

She recalled walking in on her mother wearing her wedding dress when she was still alive.

When she asked her why she was putting it on, her mother responded by telling her she wanted to find out...
790... how fat she had gotten.

Bisola's mother was the true embodiment of who an African woman should be. She was well versed in the historical events that shaped African's image and her people's personalities.

Bisola then remembered what her mother told her...
791... about western culture: She said, and I quote: "I only adopt western culture when necessity demands for it or when I'm too tired to answer questions by the people of the society. It pays to make a choice using the knowledge you have than to make one out of ignorance.
792. Knowledge puts you in control of your destiny."

Most of the time, Bisola's mother was seen with an Afro or some other African inspired hairstyle, along with an Ankara attire in different styles and colours that was far from garish. She took the whole African...
793...consciousness to another level and she wasn't the type that denied herself the comfort some elements of western culture offered.

She was no extremist; she was just an African woman living in the 21st century where technology had overshadowed some aspects of traditional...
794... values and social life. Mr D used to remind her of how he does not deserve someone like her because of her gentle nature and "Warrior Queen" mentality.

As a matter of fact, she was the one who suggested that a very young Teddy be taken to a military school...
795...when they concluded that he was abundantly stubborn and beyond parental salvation. They way-billed Teddy to Command secondary school which was a military affiliated school in Lagos.

After a week of drilling by heartless military men, Teddy who was reluctant at obeying...
796... orders, became as docile and humble as a well trained puppy. He got to learn that the worst time to show your madness is in front of an angry Nigerian military man who is probably awaiting his personal allowance.

"Wow. That dress looks good on you!"

That was Anita...
797... just making an arrival.

"Wow. Thanks for coming ahead of time Anita."

Bisola made sure her sacarsm was not going to be missed.

"Oh I'm so sorry. Traffic was something else."

She exchanged pleasantries with Bisola's sisters and then walked towards Bisola.
798... "This looks good on you. Did you try any other ones?"

"I've tried 3 dresses. This is the best out of all of them. And no I'm not going to start wearing them all over again. You were late."

"Oh come on. That ain't fair. It ain't my fault that the city is choked up."
799... "Sorry girl, this ship has sailed. I really just want to get this over with."

Though the wedding was still less than 2 months away, Bisola wanted to start putting things in order and she was even thinking of bringing the wedding to a much...
800... closer date, that was why she was yet to print the invitation cards. She just wanted a very low-key wedding with just 50 people- 30 of those were friends, colleagues and business partners who were literally going to beat her...
801... up if she does not invite them to her wedding.

"Fine. I get to pick the bouquet."

Anita concluded.

"Even if it's ugly?" Bisola asked.

"Girl, ugly is allergic to me. Step aside and watch me do great things."

Anita received a text message and then threw her...
802...her mouth open in awe. "Holy Shit!"

"What is that?"

"Update from Big brother Naija.

There's war in the house. Hell no, I need to see this."

Bisola smiled at her friend's unbridled enthusiasm to the Nigerian reality show as she watched her meet the store keeper for...
803...the remote to the TV which was tuned to the African Magic channel where the infamous Igwe Tupac was vehemently demanding some accolades.

Anita changed the channel to the BB Naija TV show and there were two ladies inflicting damage on each other's packaging.
804. If you thought about hair pulling and clothe yanking, you're right. Good thing was that the other house mates were separating them from further disgracing their ancestors on national TV.

It was no doubt that the two ladies would be disqualified. So much for...
805... the 45 million. At that moment, Bisola's phone rang and Maria took it to her. It was Teddy calling. She picked and spoke:

"Hello bro."

Teddy was calling from a hotel reception. He was part of the security detail of a superior officer that came for a convention on...
806... national security in the hotel.

"I don't have much time to talk. Where are you?" He inquired.

"I'm shopping. Why?"

"You might want to get yourself close to a TV right now and tune into BBC news. I think you might want to see this. Bye. I've got to go."
807. Teddy ended the call believing he had done his part. Bisola then turned to her friend.

"Anita, please can you change the station to BBC news?"

Bisola asked as politely as she could.

"BB what? Girl, there's no way you're denying me of this fine entertainment."
808. "Hand over the bloody remote." Bisola asserted strongly and then grabbed the remote from Anita's hold before she could react.

For Teddy to call her, it meant that it was first class information. She wished Teddy had told her the channel number because...
809... she found herself browsing through channels randomly and that frustrated almost everyone in the store.

"Girl what yu doing?" Anita wasn't going to stand and watch her friend deprive her of watching an epic cat fight on national TV."

"Stay out of this." Bisola warned.
810. "Excuse me Ma. Let me help you with that."

The store keeper came to the rescue and assisted Bisola by simply pressing the command for the channel grid.

In under 6 seconds, they found themselves tuned to the BBC news channel...
811... and there was something interesting (or rather upsetting) that captured Bisola's interest.

There were 2 men and a woman discussing in what seems to be a news studio and the headline on the TV screen was:

"BREAKING NEWS: No recorded Plane Crash world wide...
812... in the last 3 months: Aviation Industry."

"Girl. This is just nasty. Since when did you start watching the news with so much seriousness?"

"Anita can you just stop talking?"

Bisola snapped.

That got Anita to shut up because she knew her friend meant serious business
813... while Diana and Maria stifled a laughter from where they sat. She had the store keeper increase the volume because she wanted to be sure of what she was seeing before she jumps into another conclusion.

As Bisola decoded the sight and sound that the television...
814... offered, a surge of betrayal and wrath invaded her defenses. She jammed the remote into Anita's hand and then marched angrily to her sisters.

"Give me the car keys."

"Sis, what's going on?"

Diana asked. She and Maria wasn't spared from the confusion others felt.
815. "Keys. Now."

Diana could see the vibrant rage in her sister's eye and she understood that she had to release the keys and then ask questions later.

She handed the keys to Bisola who left the store with an apparent rage without pulling anyone out of the web of confusion...
816... she created. She had already paid for the dress with her credit card but the store keeper was left in awe because she had never seen anyone buy a wedding dress and then walk out wearing it.

Bisola got into her car and drove off. She was heading towards...
817... Kolade's place of work because he had some pretty accurate explaining to do. She made a stop at a road side convenience store and bought a matchbox.

"Happy married life madam."

The merchant said but Bisola took great offense and zoomed off without paying...
818... for the matchbox. If only the store owner knew what was up.


The merchant called after her but Bisola was too angry and far away for his voice to permeate into her moral standards.

As Bisola drove towards Kolade's direction, she felt a stabbing sensation...
819... in her heart and it felt heavy as she thought of Kolade's audacious lie.

She was so angry that she soon zoomed past a scanty police checkpoint which prompted the 4 policemen on duty to run to their vehicle in order to engage the runaway bride in a hot pursuit.
820... They didn't go more than 100 metres because the vehicle's engine backfired and the truck stopped.

"Wetin happen?"

The police inspector riding shotgun asked the driver of the police truck which looked like something that came out of a demolition derby.
821. "E be like say fuel don finish Oga."

The driver responded.

"No fuel? Which kind nonsense talk be that? Jamiu, I think say you buy fuel for the motor?"

The policeman turned and asked his comrade behind him.

"Ah no o. No be me dem tell."

Jamiu denied.
822. "All of una dey mad! Ooooh God!"

The inspector sounded frustrated and rained abuses on his incompetent squad because he knew a potential money making opportunity had just departed from them.

How can a police patrol van not have fuel?

Just how?
823. Police work was like a private business for these corrupt and incompetent officers who were hoping that someone would break the law, no matter how small. They were the type of pack that gave the police profession a bad name.

God was obviously on Bisola's side that day.
824. Soon, Bisola got to Kolade's one storey office building and then barged inside wielding what seemed to be a one litre fuel gallon and the matchbox she bought (More like the one she stole.)

Was she going to set the building on fire? I guess we would soon find out.
825. She stormed past the secretary who was sitting on her post doing nothing productive but filing her purple nails.

If Bisola wasn't so angry, she would have asked where she did her nails. The secretary immediately responded by going after her because she does not...
826... want to lose her job owing to the fact that she allowed an angry bride gain access to the boss' office.

She was kinda new so she didn't have a clue on who BIsola was. Bisola gained access to Kolade's office with the secretary following closely behind.
827. Kolade was on his office phone and he had to inform whoever he was talking to that he would call back.

Kolade's secretary wanted to speak but:

"Please leave us."

Kolade told her and what followed was her undisputed exit. Bisola just stood there fuming...
828... and her soon-to-be fiancé saw just how marvellous she was in the wedding gown but he decided to keep his compliment because something just does not add up.

She was an angry woman wearing a wedding gown while holding a gallon of fuel and what looked like a matchbox.
829. "Babe. What are you doing here? What's going on?"

"You have only one shot to answer the question I have for you- Did your family die in a plane crash?"

If Bisola had an X-ray vision, she would have seen Kolade's heart skip a couple of beats. He stood up and...
830... attempted to come close to Bisola.

"Don't you dare come any closer. Just answer my question. Did your parents die in a plane crash or not?"

"Of course they did, I don't understand where you're going with this."

Bisola couldn't believe she allowed her self be so blind...
831... to not have inquired further into Kolade's tragic tale. But then again, she trusted him so she wasn't even expecting him to lie about something like that.

"I just got an update that there were no plane crashes in the last 3 months so how come you said your family died...
832... in a plane crash?"

Kolade chucked nervously and then goes:

"That's preposterous. Where did you hear that?"

"I saw it on the damn news. I can't believe you lied about such a thing. How could you wish death upon your family members?"

Bisola's tone was obviously...
833... heavy with fury. At that moment, she remembered what Diana told her about his proposal having signs of a possible emotional blackmail.

Kolade knew the gig was up and there wasn't much he could do to pacify his not-so-soon-to-be bride except to come clean.
834. He regretted why he didn't use a car accident in his lie instead of a plane crash. That would have been harder to detect. He foolishly thought.

He knew that Bisola may never have accepted his proposal if he just asked her on normal grounds. As a matter of fact, Kolade's...
835... family did perish in a plane crash upon a barren land but that was 15 years ago and he never liked talking about it.

"Look. I'm sorry. I later found out it was a car crash."

Kolade fumbled with his response and he didn't know it sounded pathetic until he said it.
836... "We are done."

Bisola finalized because there was no way she would share her bed with a liar and a manipulator.

"Oh no, don't say that."

Just then, Bisola slipped out of the wedding dress to reveal a cream coloured dress she wore inside.

Kolade was too slow...
837... to stop her from her next move: She picked up the gallon and the dress and then dumped the dress in a trash bin.

She sprinkled some fuel on the dress and Viola! She struck the match and set the dress on fire. A 400k was dress destroyed but she couldn't care less...
838... because it was Kolade's money. He insisted on paying for the gown and she was glad she accepted.

"Don't ever come close to me again!"

Bisola said to him in a rage and stormed out empty handed. Kolade wanted to follow her but that would have been a bad idea because he...
839... had to protect his office from burning down. Kolade reacted to the situation by fetching a fire extinguisher and then subdued the flames that was so eager to destroy his office.

After the fire went out, he ran out leaving his office heavy with a mixture of dense smoke...
840... and powdery substance from the extinguisher. Before he got outside, Bisola had already left.

Bisola drove to a waterside at Victoria Island where she sat down on a bench while being completely ensconced in an episode of regret and betrayal.
841. Why were the men in her life a pile of trash?

She does not deserve any of this. She convinced herself.

At that moment, she helplessly thought of Uche but that made her more angry- an anger that propelled her to rise to her feet and drive to his house.
842. She just wanted to go to his house and pick a fight with him. It sounded ridiculous but she couldn't care less.

She needed to confront him and tell him how much she hated him for wasting her time. She was too reserved the last time they met so she felt she needed to...
843... go berserk on him this time around. There was no way she was going to bottle up the toxic and bitter words in her when the person that deserved it still roamed around Lagos.

Before she left, two of her watchers had been keeping an eye on her from their car which...
844... was in a safe distance from her.

"She looks sad." One of the watchers said.

"Yes I can see that." His colleague replied.

"Maybe we should help her."

"That's not part of our job. We are spies not terrorists."

The watcher concluded.
845. About 50 minutes later, she was in front of Uche's familiar gate. She expected Uche to be around because he was after all a jobless liar.

She found her way to Pablo's carved wooden door after getting directions and knocked only for the door to be opened by Pablo's sister.
846. 'I'll be damned if I'm surprised.'

Bisola thought to herself because she recognized her to be Uche's girlfriend from the mall.

"I'm here to see your boyfriend."

Bisola said.

"I'm sorry. Who are you?" Janet asked.

"No one important. Please just tell Uche that I'm...
847... here to see him."

"Ummm. First of all, you've not told me who you are. Secondly, Uche is not my boyfriend, he's like 50 years older than me."

Bisola had no idea what she meant by that. Just then, Uche came to the door.

'Aha! The scumbag is home after all.'
848. Bisola secretly bashed Uche in her mind.

"Oh wow. Bisola. You're here."

Uche was surprised.

"Uche, why does this woman think you're my boyfriend?" Janet queried.

"Wait. What?" Uche was confused.

"Well, if you're not her boyfriend, then who is she?

Bisola asked Uche.
849... That's Pablo's sister. He'll kill me if I even take a sniff off her."

"Okay. Now that's weird." Janet chipped.


That was all Bisola could muster in reaction to Uche's revelation. She just came to make a fool of herself. Didn't she?

She thought.
850. But wait a minute. Wasn't she being gullible? This could have been a setup.

"Hold on. How on earth did you even come about such ridiculous conclusion. You just accused someone of being my girlfriend for the very first time of seeing her?"
851. That was Uche. He still couldn't fathom the drama Bisola brought along with her.

"I saw you hugging her in the mall."

Bisola responded and that brought about another round of surprise for Uche.

"Wait. You were at the mall that day?"

"Yes of course I was."
852. "Wow. Unbelievable. I guess you saw just what you wanted to see. I wonder why you didn't see the part where Pablo tried to scratch me to death for hugging his sister? Dude wouldn't even let me rest on the way home. He gave me 25 rules I must not break when it comes to...
853... his sister." Uche informed a skeptical Bisola.

"Yes that's correct." Janet joined in on the conversation.

"The last time I called you, I heard someone calling you baby."


Uche reaction suggested that he was clueless and then it hit him: he remembered...
854... the moment Bisola called him and then hung up all of a sudden.

"That was her on the phone with someone."


Bisola's feeling of disgrace was further amplified and this was obvious in her inability to construe a sentence.

"Janet, can you please excuse us?"
855. "Oh no bro. I'm here for this."

Janet countered. Just then, one of Uche's light-skinned booty calls showed up and she couldn't have picked a wronger time than that moment.

If Uche's body language had a voice, it would have screamed "Holy Shit!"
856. Uche had earlier called this particular lady that lived 5 neighborhoods away to help him ease the pain that was born with the realization that he lost Bisola.

He needed a sexual marathon to neutralize the reality of his loss.
857. "Baby, what's going on? I've been calling your phone and you aren't picking."

She said and then ran her hand on Uche's arm intimately.

Alright. Now that was a perfect example of an awkward moment.
858. "Okay I'm leaving."

Janet said and walked away but not without saying "Good luck" to Uche
because she knew he was going to need it.

The moment was too awkward for her to be a part of. Bisola wasn't even sure of the appropriate response in this situation.
859. She found out that she wrongly accused Uche and was about to bask in the relief that he was innocent only for her to find out that he was guilty in an entirely different crime.

So typical.


BIsola managed to say and then turned to leave.
860. Uche went after her.


His mistress called after him but his determination to reach Bisola deflected the sound of his name.

Uche caught up with Bisola and stopped her before she could reach for the gate.
861. "You have absolutely no right to be angry right now missy."


"Yes. I'm totally innocent here. Last time I saw you, you told me you were getting married and gave me the impression that you never wanted to see me again. Little did I know that you falsely...
862... accused me of lying that i have a girlfriend."

"It still doesn't change the fact that there is a woman in there who is probably here to screw your dark brains out."

"Oh what? I'm supposed to stay celibate because you're getting married? Look, all the times...
863... that you've been in my life, I've never been with any other girl. You were my only emotional investment."

"I called off the wedding." Bisola told him.


Joy would have been the appropriate reaction to the news but Uche found himself in a state of confusion.
864. At that point, Uche's female guest approached them and attempted to call Uche's name.

"Shut up!"

Uche and Bisola shouted at her at the same time and that startled the crap out of her.

She took up on the clue that it was time to leave and that was exactly what she did.
865. "So you mind telling me why you called off the wedding?"

Uche asked. His voice now a little relaxed.

"He was trash. Just like you apparently."

"All men are not trash." Uche came to the defence of the entire male tribe.

"I never said ALL men are trash. I have a dad...
866... and two brothers that I value so much. However, men like you are trash."

"Oh so your family members are saints?"

"Well, you can say that if you want."

"You really need to listen to yourself brag."

"Yes. They know how to treat people with genuine love...
867... and respect. Unlike you dolts that keep procrastinating on any chance to be righteous."

Bisola was firm as she spoke.

"Well, in other news I'm glad you're here." Uche told her.

"Well, I'm not. I'm leaving."

"Would you just relax? You're so full of threats."
868. "Why do I have a feeling that my presence here is making you feel relaxed. If that's the case, I'm about to disappoint you."

"Why are you like this? I literally didn't do anything wrong."

"It's only a matter of time before you show just how volatile you are."
869. "Wow. Your toxic perception is damaging my personality."

"No, I think it should be: "your toxic personality is damaging my perception."

It annoyed Bisola that Uche was one of those male folks that were seconds away from disaster if you decide to keep them.
870. She was kinda glad that Uche's hands were clean (but not so clean) at that moment but she was also infuriated at the tendency of him being like the wind- he could be felt but he couldn't be kept.
871. Bisola was angry and at the same time relieved that she wasn't going to marry Kolade after all. Teddy had never failed to deliver. He came through yet again with his brother duties.

"I'm leaving. I need a drink." Bisola said.

"I'm coming with you." Uche proclaimed.
872. "No you're not. You need to stay far away from me as possible."

Uche noticed the car keys she was holding and grabbed it from her.

"I believe you'll be needing this." Uche said mockingly.

"Give me my car keys."
873. "Until you accept that you'll take me with you."

"God. You sound like a 6 year old right now."

"I'll blame you for that. You have a way of bringing out the infant and fighter in me. Just accept that you'll carry me along to drink away your sorrows."
874. "You are part of my sorrow. Can't you see?" Bisola complained.

"I'm an imperfect perfection. I can't always make you smile even If I try to. Sometimes misunderstandings may occur that would lead you to sorrow. I'm like a fire, I'll keep you warm in your coldest days...
875... but sometimes I may burn you."

"Alright fine. Don't confuse me with those sly and evil words of yours. Give me my keys and go get properly dressed. You look like a bag of chips."

Uche was wearing a bogus T-shirt which concealed most of his bodily features.
876. "You want to play a smart one on me. Not today miss. Just wait here I'll be back."

"You don't trust me. What a surprise."

She said sarcastically.

"Don't feel attacked. You don't trust me either. Just wait here. I'll be back."
877. Uche hurried inside while Bisola stood there with arms folded & a lot of thoughts flew across her turbulent mind.

Uche reappeared wearing a black fitted Tshirt and blue jeans with black shoes. She was supposed to admire his looks but she wasn't going to let her guard down.
878. She was angry and she wanted to stay like that a little longer. She should be fighting him not going out with him for a drink.

Uche wasn't quite prepared for what happened next: Pablo came back home carrying a backpack.

As usual, Bisola was happy and Uche was not.
879. "Oh hey Pablo." Bisola welcomed him.

"Oh wow baby girl. You're here."

"Yes I am. Want to go grab a drink?" Bisola asked.

"You know I was made for offers like this." Pablo said and grinned.

"Pablo, for God's sake, you were the same person that called earlier to tell me...
880... you needed a 14 hour rest after your show."

"Try minding your business bro. It's healthy."

Pablo responded to Uche's attempt to exclude him from the outing, and then turned to Bisola and said:

"Let me drop my bag. I'll be with you guys in a jiffy."
881... Pablo hurried inside the house and then Uche goes:

"Let's ditch him."

"I'll rather ditch you instead." Bisola answered.

That response dazed Uche and before he could respond, Pablo was back- his face beaming with excitement. Just then, Bisola's phone rang.
882. It was Anita calling and she answered only for Anita to lose her cool over the phone because Bisola had ignored picking all calls that came to her cellphone during her blind rage.

Bisola was able to calm her down and then she told her friend to meet up with her.
883. Bisola, Uche and Pablo got into the car (the same sitting arrangement like the last time they hung out) and headed on to the location where Anita would meet them. Uche hated Pablo for always making himself present when all he wanted was to spend time with Bisola.
884. The thing was that if these four characters come together, all hell will break loose- but they didn't know that and they were about to find out.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 13. . . . . . . . . . .

885. THE TRIO soon got to a nice looking bar called '68' and settled down for some drinks. In this particular bar, there was a touch-screen tablet on each table that customers can use to order for anything they want.

Uche was served with a Hero lager beer while Pablo...
886... decided to 'cancel' a big stout. Bisola ordered for a two percent alcoholic drink and Uche couldn't resist the urge to bash her.

"When you said you wanted a drink, I didn't know you meant juice."

"What are you saying? There's alcohol in the drink you know."
887. "Yeah like one percent."

Uche laughed.

"I'm not used to alcohol. This is the closest I can come to getting intoxicated."

"Leave the young lady alone bro."

Pablo said, always ready to play the knight in shining armour.

"Thank you Pablo" Bisola appreciated him.
888. "You obviously think Pablo is some hero, don't you?" Uche asked.

"Well, he looks like he wouldn't hurt a fly." Bisola responded.

"He's no better than the rest of us men" Uche said.

"Oh so you're admitting you men are trash?"

Bisola took advantage of Uche's response.
889. "No I never said that." Uche denied.

"You kinda did. Maybe it's safe to say that less than 3% of you men are loyal"

"Ummm, I'm going to have to stop you there sweetheart."

Pablo said to Bisola.

She then turned to Pablo and goes:
890. "I see you're taking sides now Pablo."

"Oh. Don't blame me, it's just instinct. You're attacking the man tribe so it's my duty to protect the honour of men."

"Hear hear."

Uche said and clinked his beer with that of Pablo who continued:
891. "Don't judge me my lady. In life, we can't all agree on the same thing. We can both support Buhari but be football rivals. When one thing unites us, another thing divides us."

"Is that so?" Bisola asked.

"Most definitely."

"Who did you just quote Pablo?" Uche teased.
892. "I'm smart. Get used to it." Pablo bragged.

"Can I ask you guys a question?"

"Sure" The boys answered.

"What exactly is wrong with you men?"

Pablo and Uche exchanged glances and then said almost at the same time.

893. "Oh. So women are the reason why men lie and cheat?"

"Just so we are clear, I don't lie and cheat. There are still caring men like me out there. Women are not the reason men lie and cheat per se but they sure are the reason why a lot of men work and worry their heart out.
894. Love and the desire to be loved is one the driving forces of humanity."

Pablo explained.

Uche made to speak but Bisola interrupted him.

"You, don't even say anything."

"Would you stop seeing me as a bad guy already? Pablo can you just tell her?"
895. "You tell her. I'm sure she can hear you well."

"Oh so now you're switching sides. Being a traitor isn't exactly your forte."

Uche accused him.

"O boy, carry your cross. I'm not switching sides. All man must answer for his deeds."

Pablo laughed.
896. Uche, you need to be more like Pablo."

"Boy, hope you heard her? Be more like Pablo."

"Oga focus on your beer. Don't let it choke you."

Uche was annoyed.

"Someone looks riled up." Bisola said to Uche.

"I can't satisfy you with that fact."
897. "Oh screw this."

Bisola got tired of being socially correct and gulped her drink and what followed was a burped.

All the while Pablo was like:

"Woah, slow down baby girl." while Uche looked at her surprisingly.

"Wow. You never striked me as a glutton." Uche said.
898. "I'm actually trying to get drunk for your sake. I'm trying to step down on my anger so I won't have enough reasons to hurt you."

"And you're doing that with juice? Besides, you should direct your anger to the appropriate source. I'm not the cause of problem." Uche scoffed
899. Well you are part of the problem. For your information, this is the probably the second time I'm drinking alcohol since I was born."

"What are you? Twelve?" Uche teased her.

"Bro. Stop attacking the lady." Pablo jumped in.

"No, no. Leave him. Let him run his mouth."
900. Bisola was ready for a fight.

"Look, if you want to do something, make sure you do it well."

"Bro. That's bad advice." Pablo said to Uche.

"How is that a bad advice?" Uche asked.

"Context bro. You're encouraging her to indulge in drunkenness."
901. "You know what? I'll show you."

Bisola said to Uche and took Pablo's stout. She tried drinking it but the bitter taste stopped her, leaving her face in an awful grimace.

"Oh God. What is that? Is that bile?"

Uche and Pablo tried to suppress their laughter.
902. Bisola took the tablet on the table and ordered for a Smirnoff Ice. In a matter of seconds, a waiter brought it along.

"Oh, girl. You're determined to get drunk aren't you?" Pablo asked her.

"You have no idea. It's funny I'm still hanging out with you men...
903... after one of you rubbed deceit all over my eyes. I should be alone drinking and smashing mirrors." Bisola told him.

"Look, I'm sorry that you had to go through all that. I really am."

Uche spoke, his voice more gentle.
904. "I don't need your apology. You're probably happy that things turned out this way."

"How can you even say such a thing? Look, I'm sorry that your boyfriend lied but it's wrong for you to pin his sin on me."

Uche acted offended but in the real sense he was relieved...
905... that Bisola was still available for a chase.

"Yeah right. You're like the general manager of liars."

"Have I ever lied to you?"

"How am I to know when you're so good with your lies?"

The alcohol was slowly beginning to gain traction in Bisola's system and she...
906... could feel her behavioural restraints loosening up little by little. She was getting revved up for a decent vocal battle with Uche especially.

"Unfaithful men don't deserve a penis."

Bisola blurted out.

Pablo laughed and then goes.

"Aunty, that's cold."
907. "Life isn't fair as we know it. A lot of people have what they don't deserve." Uche told Bisola.

"Yeah, someone like you." Bisola stroked him.

"For the umpteenth time, stop bullying me. It's not going to help you."
908. "I'm just stating facts. You men cheat more than women."

Bisola once again went on an all-out attack.

"That's just some toxic belief."

Uche challenged her.

"Here's something to chew on: since men are known to be the gender that do the chasing, they are more...
909... likely to chase another prey once they are fed up with their kill.

"I've got a counter opinion to that." Pablo chipped in.

"Well, let's hear it." Bisola told him.

"I agree that men do the chasing but you've also got to admit that ten men can be on one woman's case.
910. The men bring the fight to the lady and that can put her in a more position to cheat. I mean, the woman literally doesnt have to put much effort when it comes to meeting someone new but it's harder for the men who have to make sure that their approach is original and...
911... effective. It takes great skill and courage to ask a woman out but it doesn't take much for a woman to accept."

Pablo explained.

"Being a woman who gets constant attention from men is a struggle especially when such attention is not entertained. Do you know...
912... how many creeps and pervs I've blocked on social media and avoided on the streets? I can't even count. Do you think it's everyone that loves being stared at on the road?"

Bisola rendered her own counter opinion.

"I'm pretty such that there will come a point in...
913... time when someone more worthy comes into a woman's life and that's when she gets to cheat."

That was Uche.

"It's all about being contented. There are a lot of faithful women out there but I can't say the same for men because they just won't stop chasing."
915. No, you're wrong. There are still faithful men in existence. A contented and faithful man won't chase after another woman."

Pablo responded.

"This is obviously not a fair fight. It's
two against one."

Bisola told them. Again, she wondered where Anita was because...
916... she was feeling outnumbered. She felt Uche and Pablo were ganging up against her in an unfair battle of the sexes.

Just then, she sighted Anita entering the bar. She was glad her reinforcement had arrived and there was no way the men in front of her would intimidate...
917... her any further. Bisola threw her hand up and signalled Anita to her location. Uche and Pablo turned to see Anita walking towards them.

Pablo got lost staring at her and before he knew it, Lionel Richie's Hello, came on in his head as he Imagined her walking in slow...
918... motion. Pablo was absolutely enchanted and even the stout he was drinking felt sweet.

At that moment, Pablo convinced himself that he had no more problems in life. Suddenly, everything in his life became sweet and beautiful. When Anita got to the table, she scolded...
919... Bisola for going AWOL on her and stressing her. After the tirade, she hugged Bisola and told her she was sorry, not for shouting at her but for what Kolade did to her.

Bisola introduced her to the guys but Pablo couldn't be more obvious with the way he was...
920... devouring Anita with his eyes.

"Drool much?" Anita asked him.

"Oh no, please imagine I'm not here."

"That will be when you stop imagining me naked."

Bisola and Uche laughed and Pablo just felt a mild embarrassment as he behaved himself. He leaned closer to Uche...
921... and whispered "Ol boy. Start planning my wedding. I'm in love."

Uche laughed at Pablo's ridiculousness while Anita looked at the half bottle of Smirnoff in front of her friend and then cast her gaze on Bisola only to notice for the first time the signs of intoxication.
922. "Oh my God. Did y'all let her drink too much?"

That question was pretty difficult for Uche and Pablo to answer as they fumbled with an appropriate answer.

"Drinking is bad for her." Anita added.

"Oh I'm sorry. She insisted that she wanted to get drunk." Uche said.
923. "it's a lie. He dared me." Bisola said. One could tell she was under the influence. Her mind was obviously muddled from the alcohol.

"You dared her?" Anita asked Uche.

"I was just joking and she obviously took it serious. I didn't know it was going to turn out this way.
924. But look at her, she looks happy."

"Well, you've got yourself a timebomb here. The last time she drank, she was breaking mirrors."

"Oh, I think she mentioned something like that."

Pablo spoke. It almost sounded like he did not want to piss Anita off.

"Oh really."
925. "Look, don't worry. She's in safe hands."

Uche said.

"Wait, you're the roadkill."

"The what?" Uche was confused.

"Oh wow. You're the one with a death wish."

"I don't have a death wish. Is that what she told you?"

"Well, you could have fooled me."
926. She scoffed and then added:

"You bloody niggas will do anything for some action."

"What happened was unfortunate. No one plans for pain."

"Guys, just a friendly reminder that I'm still here."

Bisola quipped.

"I need a drink. How do one get a drink around here?"
927. "I thought you don't drink." Uche said.

"Why would you think that?" Anita asked.

"Maybe because you were against your friend drinking."

"Oh please, we ain't all built the same. She is a disgrace when she drinks. I know how to...
928... control myself. Yo! Where is the waiter!"

Pablo took up the honour of showing her how to order with the tab.

"Ooooh. Fancy."

Anita admired the innovation and ordered for a big stout which got Pablo's love for her to skyrocket. If this was an animated...
929... series, Pablo's heart would have jumped out of his chest to sing her a serenade. Uche checked his time. It was 5 pm.

"I was telling these "men" here that they were designed with cheating in their DNA."

"Oh come on. Would you just let it go?"
930. Uche was getting tired of the gender conversation.

"Why? You're afraid that she's telling the truth?"

"Pablo help me out here." Uche said to his friend.

"Who? Me? I'm just going to listen and learn."

Pablo was totally sucking up to Anita. He wanted to be on her...
931... good side even if it meant denying the man code at that moment.

"Wow Pablo, you never seize to amaze me."

Uche said to him knowing that he would not come to his senses anytime soon.

"We all know that you men ain't shit. Y'all can't keep your business in your pants."
932. Anita attacked Uche.

"Stop making this a gender thing. It's not."

"Damn right it is."


"Here's one: Men are more likely to cheat on their wives when babies take away their sexiness."
933. "Stop generalizing. Not all men."

"Miss me with that horse shit."


Bisola goes. She was excited that her friend was representing womankind.

"So what have you got to say about women that can't be sexually and financially satisfied by their man?"
934. "Oh don't stress me."

"Oh, now you're being evasive. The point here is that you women are as guilty as what you accuse men of."

"Oh please. You sound like my grand father."

It was that that point that Kolade entered the bar. He looked around the bar trying to...
935... locate Bisola because he knew she was there.

The locator app on his cellphone cannot lie. It led him right to the bar. The thing was that Bisola also had the app installed on her phone that was why he was able to find her.

Immediately Bisola saw him, she tried to hide.
936. "Oh my God. Kolade is here."

She wasn't sure if she was ready to face him.

"Did you tell him you were here?"

"No I didn't. He must have used his GPS to locate me. My location services must have been switched on."

"You have a thing for hiding from people don't you?"
937. Uche was amused as he recalled when Bisola hid from him the last time they met.

"Girl, you crazy? He's supposed to be the one hiding. Stop being a pussy."

"I'm sorry. I've lost my ability to be angry right now. I just want to drink."
938. "You what?... You know what? Screw this."

Anita said and then called out on Kolade.

"Oh hey! Asshole!"

"What are you doing?"

Bisola reacted with a sense of urgency in her lowered voice. Kolade walked towards Anita after he sighted her.
939. "Hello Anita." Kolade said.

"You've got balls coming here you know."

"I want to talk to my fiancé."

"I guess you didn't get the memo. The wedding is off."

"You don't get to speak for her."

He noticed Uche sitting down and faced him.
940. "Hey, aren't you that waiter guy?"

He then turned to Bisola.

"Bisola what's going on here?"

"Nigga, I think you may want to take a step back."

Anita threatened him.

"Stay out of this Anita."
941. "Oh, baby boy. I'm here to stay and there ain't nothing your skinny ass gonna do about that."

At that point, Uche stood up and tried to calm the situation.

"Look, bro. Please don't cause a scene."

"Don't talk to me. Go wait some tables...
942... or something. I believe that's what you're good at."

That got Pablo on his feet. No one talked to Uche like that.

Except him.

"Hey, now let's not get ahead of ourselves. Try as much as possible to avoid getting hurt."
943. Let's not forget that Bisola was still under twenty hours protection. The security she knew nothing about was watching her from their table which was about five tables away.

"Seems like things are about to get messy. Should we get involved?"
944. One of the watchers asked the other.

"It's just a small squabble. I'm sure it's something they can handle. No need to interfere with the work of nature."

"This is plain ridiculous."

Kolade said.
945. "You need to stay far away from her as possible."

Anita warned Kolade. All the while Bisola just sat down quietly with her arms folded. The amount of alcohol she drank was obviously keeping her mind busy. As a matter of fact, she felt safe and unbothered because she...
946... had an army of friends fighting her battle. When Kolade saw that he was clearly outnumbered, he did the needful and left.

Pablo alone was enough obstacle for him to deal with. Bisola took her bottle and started drinking from it. Anita stopped her after she turned...
947... around to find her trying to finish the contents of the bottle.

"Oh no baby girl. That's enough. You're not supposed to be drinking because of that sack of pig shit. He ain't worth it."

"I'm not drinking because of him Annie, I'm drinking because of me."
948. Bisola responded and tried to figure out if what she said made any sense.

"Yeah right. Leave the drinking to the adults."

"Hey that's not fair."

Bisola revolted. The guys weren't expecting to see Kolade again. They thought he left for good. He pulled out a gun...
949... and pointed it at the group and that sure got everyone to act right. Customers who had the chance and courage to flee did so while the remaining 5 people that stayed back brought themselves down to take cover.

Bisola wasn't really moved. One of the watchers observing...
950... the scene tried to pull out his weapon from his jacket but his colleague stopped him.

"What are you doing?"

"Don't be rash. You might get her killed."

"No. Hesitation will get her killed."

"Stand down soldier."

The eager watcher reluctantly carried out the...
951... order given to him by his superior. Kolade was just out there brandishing the weapon in a bid to intimidate his hostages.

"Just give me my bride and I'll be on my way."

"Look bro..."

Uche was about to say something but Kolade cut him short.

"Don't call me bro."
952. "Alright I'm sorry. But this is not the way to handle this. You're putting everyone including yourself in danger."

Anita, Uche and Pablo were all well behaved just like a bunch of school children would react to a teacher wielding a fat and dry cane.
953. They came to drink and not to die from a gunshot wound. Uche was the one who was very much sober in the group but it seemed that the danger had neutralized Pablo and Anita's intoxication.

"Don't lecture me 'waiter'. Step aside."

"I'm sorry I can't do that."
954. Uche responded.


"Ummm, because it's not right."

"What are you talking about? Are you high?"

Kolade really sucked at being the bad guy. The next thing he saw was a bottle flying towards him. He dodged the bottle which broke behind him and what followed...
955... was an accidental discharge which got people screaming. Pablo and Anita quickly lay on the floor for cover while Uche tried to duck but fell to the floor.

Kolade checked to see who launched the ballistic object only to find out that it was Bisola who should be held...
956... accountable. She seemed to be in a drunk rage. Bisola picked up another bottle and before any one could say "Jack Robinson" Kolade dropped to the floor.

One of the guards shot his neck with a dart laced with a powerful tranquilizer.
957. There were not going to take any chances. No one was ready to face Mr D with news that his daughter died- not from Mrs Snow's attack but by the hands of an ordinary and deranged citizen.

It was this point that we realize that Uche was the recipient of the stray bullet.
958. The good thing was that he was struck on his left arm. The bad thing was that he was bleeding and in pain. Well, of course he should be bleeding. He was shot.

The watchers approached the scene as Pablo and Anita tried to understand why Kolade fell.
959. They noticed Uche's wound and immediately tended to him. Bisola just stood there as the bottle slipped out of her hands. She was completely clueless on what to do.

In her mind, she begged God for sobriety and promised not to drink again because her mind was in a total...
960... mess.

"What's going on? Who are you guys?"

Anita asked the watchers.

"We work for the government. This man is the leader of a drug syndicate and we have been tracking him for months."

The lead agent lied while Uche got to his feet groaning in pain.
961. Pablo took a napkin and tied it around Uche's wound in order to stop the blood that was so eager to escape.

"You might want to take your friend to the hospital."

The agent advised and then picked up Kolade's gun. The second agent carried Kolade's unconscious body...
962... out while his superior followed.

Poor Kolade.

If only he knew his unfortunate self would be waking up in a terrible prison in Cotonou where about 72 people were jam-packed in a room used as a makeshift cell.
963. He was a threat to Bisola and he needed to be disposed. The guys called an Uber and took Uche to the hospital where everyone was forced to be sober.

Luckily for Uche, the bullet went through his arm. He was loaded with painkillers as a nurse tended to his wounds...
964... in the emergency unit. Uche was sitted while he patiently waited for the nurse to be done with him.

Anita and Pablo were talking about God knows what while Bisola's eyes were fixed at Uche whose focus was on his wounds.
965. His eyes and that of Bisola soon met and she quickly looked away. Uche couldn't help but notice the blush building on her face.

He then wondered why he had to go through pain whenever Bisola was involved. If he had 9 lives, he'd already lost three...
966... ever since his path crossed with that of Bisola. Uche had never suffered for any woman the way he had suffered for her.

Normally, if any lady proved hard to get, he would simply move on but there was no moving on from the lady that sat across him.
967. The thought of dating Bisola scared him and he knew she wasn't really the type that would settle for a one night stand or an open relationship.

Uche recalled what his father told him where he said that some men were more likely to prefer a no-strings-attached...
968... relationship than some women.

The reason according to him was simply because men did the chasing.

He further told him that men were more likely to accept a no-strings-attached relationship when an attractive woman asked but when the script is flipped, some women...
969... would be more likely to turn down the no-strings-attached deal when a man makes the offering. His father was no researcher so he could be wrong.

There are men who don't have to love a woman before they chase them. Uche was one of such men.
970. Uche's father also said that no one settled for a one night stand with the one they love because they would want to see more of the person and it all made sense to him.

Uche remembered how innocent and naive he was before he got sucked into a world of pleasure and...
971... shallow relationships.
Here he was, looking at a girl he would not like to lose anytime soon.

Was this love?

Uche wasn't ready to admit that. All he knew was that he wanted a thousand night stands with Bisola if he got the chance.
972. But the problem was staying faithful. It wasn't the fact that he may be in love that scared him but the realization that real love comes with being faithful.

'If being faithful was oxygen, you'd be dead'

Uche reminisced on...
973... what one of his 'flash in the pan' girlfriends said to him when she caught him with another girl- that was when he was still a student.

Uche checked the wall clock and the time was 8'O clock. The nurse wanted to admit him but he declined...
974... because he hated the smell of hospitals; and besides, the wound wasn't all that serious. When it was time to leave, Bisola didn't want to go home alone.

She wasn't ready to let Uche out of her sight because his presence brought upon her a feeling of safety.
975. Bisola walked close to him after the nurse had left.

"Would you like to come home with me?"

The words flew out of her mouth and she almost regretted it because it made her sound desperate and wanting.

"I just want to talk to someone."
976. She added, just to make sure that Uche didn't get the wrong idea.
He would have been an idiot if he refused.

This was what he had always wanted. He had always looked forward to the day that he would be spending time with Bisola... alone... without Pablo especially.
977. "You know what's funny?" Uche asked.


"Why is it that I always lose my mind or my blood whenever it comes to you? If I remember correctly, this is the 2nd time I've been physically hurt because of you."

Bisola smiled and then responded.
978. "The first time was totally your fault."

"And the second?"

"Well, what happened today was my fault. I'm sorry."

"At least I got to learn that alcohol should be kept far from your reach. You almost got me killed."

"I said I'm sorry."
979. "One kiss and everything will be forgiven."

Bisola pressed his bandaged arms which got him to groan in pain.


"Don't get your hopes up."

"Hope you got Netflix?"

"Yes... but no chill. Just Netflix alone."
980. Uche chuckled. At that moment, all that he had ever wanted was right in front of him.

Anita and Pablo took an Uber that dropped them off in their various destinations while Uche and Bisola took another ride to her house. Her car was still parked at club 68...
981... because she was too tired and drunk to drive. When Uche got to Bisola's house, he couldn't help but admire the nice looking interior that gave out a natural ambience.

BIsola served him a glass of cold water and that felt like pouring cold water on a heated pot when he...
982. drank from the glass. Bubbles strolled into the living room in his arrogant manner and gave Uche a contemptuous look.

It was Bubble's duty to see anyone who came to the house as a threat.

"You have an ugly looking cat." Uche informed Bisola.
983. Please mind the way you talk to him. He can hear you."

"Oh please, it's just a white fur ball that managed to have life in It."

"Point of correction- That's a He."

"Yeah right."

Bubbles went on aggressive mode and left the premises.
984. It was almost as if he decoded the human sound Uche made.

"You must be over feeding the creature, no wonder it's ugly."

"Uche, please leave my cat alone."

Bisola switched on the television to a movie program and she sat down about two metres away from Uche.
985. The moment was feeling pretty awkward as both of them wondered what the other was going to do.

Uche wanted to pull her closer to him but he wasn't sure how Bisola felt at the moment. Bisola herself wanted to move closer to him but she doesn't want to come off as...
986... being too forward.

"You know you can trust me right?" Uche said to her.

"You're in my house. What other proof of trust do you want?"

"I need assurance. You put me in this condition."

"You never get tired of accusing me, don't you?"

"Can you just come close?"
987. "Why?"

"Because I'm in pain."



"Because you're in my house."


"Be grateful."

"I just took a bullet for you. Be nice to me."

"it's not like you dived in front of me."

"Your action put me in this condition."
988. "Leave me alone. I said I was sorry."

Before Bisola knew it, Uche moved very close to her. He could perceive her fragrance which reminded him of the smell of rain after a whole day of the scorching sun.

"What are you doing?"

"What are you afraid of?"
989. Bisola stood up holding the remote and then changed the station. Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know' came on and she increased the volume because it was one of her all time favourite song which she haven't heard in a while.

"Wow. I love this song."
990. Uche watched as Bisola closed her eyes and swayed to the beat.


She was so beautiful.

Bisola's synchronized movement with the rhythm of the sound brought peace upon Uche's life. At that precious moment, she was the only thing that existed...
991... because she was all he could think of. And just like that, she became his universe. All he could see in her was a complex layer of wonders.

Everything about her was perfect. This looked like love and Uche was scared and excited. He remembered when Dr Jack told him:
992. "the fact that you see something as perfect doesn't mean someone will see it the same way; neither does it mean that perfection is an intrinsic part of that thing. Love or lust is usually the driving force behind your perception of such thing as perfect.
993. Love and lust is blind- they both see beyond flaws."

Uche walked close to Bisola and she swayed into his arms. She stopped moving and looked into his eyes and it felt like an eclipse just occurred. She was the moon and he was the sun.
994. He was thunder and she was lightning. Together, they made the perfect storm- but they didn't know that yet.

Uche realized that that was the first time all forms of distance were removed between them. For a split second, their soul became one and their heartbeats merged...
995... in a united rhythm.

What these two did not know was that they were few seconds from being attacked. Mrs Snow had a team of 4 highly trained

mercenaries ready to cause chaos.
She was losing her patience and she needed to satisfy herself with the death of Bisola.
996. Before they could hit the house, the two permanent guards watching the house engaged them in a gun battle. It was more or less like a silent battle because everyone had silencers on.

Very soon, reinforcements from the estate entrance came and the attackers...
997... were all defeated but not without shooting up the streets which led to the explosion of
a car.

All the while Uche and Bisola were locked in a slow waltz with her head on his chest. If they had looked out the window, they would have seen the small scale war...
998... happening in the neighborhood. The music made it difficult for their attention to be drawn to the commotion.

It even came to a point when Bisola thought she heard something but Uche told her not to worry about it. He didn't want to let her out of his grip and sight.
999. 4 years and this was the first time their bodies were locked in an intimate fusion.


Uche thought to himself. Bisola on her part was thinking of what her father told her about ceramic and disposable cups.
1000. He said that she should make sure that she was treated like a ceramic cup that could be reused as long as it wasn't broken, and not a disposable cup that only gets to be used once and thrown away.

Of course Mr D was talking about permanent and temporary people.
1001. Uche made to kiss her but she broke out of his arms & went to sit down. She wasn't going to be no disposable cup. She needed to make that clear to Uche.

Mr D was sitting in his study when his phone rang. He answered the call and was briefed on the attempted attack...
1002... on his daughter. After the conversation, he was a bit tensed and wondered why X's team were yet to deliver on their reconnaissance mission in South Africa.

Mr D thought about sending Bisola into full protective custody but that would mean telling her of what he...
1003... wanted her forget- Frank.
Mrs Snow was an insane woman and he knew he won't be able to protect his daughter for long.

His daughter's life was more important than her finding out about the bounty placed on her head.
1004. Just then, he received the call he had been expecting. It was from X.

"Hello X."

"We found them."

"Good job."

Mr D listened to the rest of the information X had for him and then ended the call. The next thing he did was to dial Mrs Snow in her untraceable cell.
1005. It rang severally before she picked.

"Hello D. Are you calling to beg?"

"No. I'm calling to tell you that the game is over."

She laughed and goes:

"Don't be ridiculous D. The real game is just about to begin."

"I know where your children are."
1006. After a beat, she responded. "You're bluffing."

"736 Sisulu street, Pretoria." Mr D bluntly said.

That address sounded so familiar because that was her sister's house and her children were there with her.

"How dare you?"
1007. "Leave Nigeria or you'll never see your children and sister again."

"This isn't over."

"This game is over Mrs Snow. Come for one of mine, I will come for all of yours. Have a safe trip back to the south. My regards to your president."
1008. Mr D ended the call and fixed himself a glass of scotch that sat on his mahogany desk. He took a whiff off the glass and it smelled like victory.

1009. The game was over but little did he know that another deadly player was getting ready for a new game.

This time, he won't even know that he's part of it.

How can you win a game when you don't know you're a part of it?
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 14. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . DISCOMFORT ZONE . . . . . . .
1010. THE next morning, Uche found himself on the couch. It wasn't so much as a comfortable sleep because he dozed off in a sitting position.

He tried to get up but the pain in his arm reminded him that he was shot the previous day.
1011. He managed to ignore the pain and then got himself to stand up. The last thing he remembered from last night was Bisola shoving a goodnight wish down his throat after they had a not-so-fulfilling conversation.

When Bisola sat down on the couch the previous...
1012... night, Uche walked towards her and sat with her while he reduced the volume of the music.

"What's wrong?" Uche asked.

"The problem is that I like you."

"And how is that a problem?"

"Because I'm not supposed to be liking you. You're like a big bad wolf...
1013... and I'm the little piggy."

"B, this is crazy."

"Absolutely not. I have come to learn the lesson of asking the right questions before dealing with any man. Last time I listened to my heart, it led me off a cliff. Now I've come to listen to my head."
1014. Bisola obviously sounded like someone that was at the outskirts of sobriety. She knew she won't be waking up looking as bright as the sunshine when the dawn of a new day announced itself.

"I didn't walk into your life to hurt you."

Uche calmly said.
1015. "I hope you remember what you told me about being a fire that brings warmth and unintended hurt."

"That's different."

"And how is it different? I don't want to get my heart broken all because of an unintended action.
1016. Let me ask you this question: what do you really want from me?"

That was one of Uche's Frequently Asked Questions when it came to ladies he dealt with and his answers were usually shady and deflective.
1017. Bisola wasn't like the other girls. He had some kind of connection with her and he was yet to explain it.

He knew she didn't deserve to be lied to and he tried as much as possible not to be farther away from the truth.

"I just want you in my life."

He replied her.
1018. "As what?"

"I can't really say. All I know is that I don't want to lose you."

"Wrong answer. You know what? I'm tired. Good night."

"Oh come on."

Bisola stood up and walked into her room leaving Uche with a yearning that left an emptiness in its wake.
1019. He wanted to follow her but that was a bad idea because he obviously hadn't gotten her full trust.

And here Uche was, after last night's event, trying to acknowledge the inevitable arrival of a new day that came with a mild pain.
1020. It was still early in the morning and sunlight was beginning to break through the defenses of the thick morning clouds.

Uche walked to Bisola's door and made to knock but the door was slightly open.
1021. He was just able to get a glimpse of Bisola sleeping amidst a pile of yellow bedspread.

He smiled and left the door while he savoured the image of her peaceful face as she worshipped in the temple of Hypnos, the god of sleep.
1022. Uche didn't want to cause a ripple in her blissful lake and the next thing he did was to heed the call of hunger which led him to the kitchen.

Bisola's kitchen alone was more beautiful than Pablo's living room where Uche slept sometimes.
1023. The kitchen's design was reminiscent of an exotic architecture in terms of it's structure and size unlike the conventional Nigerian kitchen design that was mostly narrow and rectangular.

The kitchen had a dominance of white and a touch of green and it gave off a vibe...
1024... that it was hardly used to do any serious cooking.

The walls of the kitchen appeared curved and the kitchen cabinets and sink followed it's shape. There was a round table and two chairs at the middle. This was the kind of kitchen that made cooking fun.
1025. Uche checked the contents of the stocked up fridge and immediately got an idea for the perfect breakfast.

Bisola woke up with a slight headache and had a spiritual debate with herself: stay in bed or continue encouraging the spirit of laziness in her.
1026. The thought that Uche was still in the house propelled her to leave the comfort of her bed.

She went into her living room only to be welcomed with a sweet aroma that originated from the kitchen. Bisola was astonished and the only thing she could do was to deduce...
1027....that a burglar was making use of her kitchen because she never imagined Uche to be affiliated to the kitchen life.

Her doubts were completely diminished when she saw Uche backing her as he was focused on frying some egg sauce using an assortment of vegetables...
1028... like tomatoes and green pepper. Uche's proficiency and the aroma that filled the air forced Bisola to blush.

She also caught sight of Bubbles nibbling on some sardines that was served on his plate and thought about how Bubbles could easily switch sides...
1029... when it came to food. Uche turned to see her standing at the door way.

"Oh, you're awake."

"What are you doing?" She asked amusingly.

"Oh. Just a morning ritual."

"How come the food smells so good?"

"Oh. You don't think that men can cook?"
1030. "It's kind of hard to find a man who isn't entitled to his lack of knowledge on cooking. A lot of you Nigerian men have no business in the kitchen."

"Apparently, you haven't met much men."

"I grew up learning the kitchen constitution from my mother because...
1031... there was no way I could skip kitchen duties. Avoiding the kitchen meant no food for me and as a young boy, I couldn't take that risk. Oh, please sit down."

Bisola smiled and settled down on the chair while Uche served her a plate of plain noodles with the...
1032... vibrant looking egg sauce on the side which was accompanied with a glass of blended pineapple and water melon.

Bisola's sense of sight and smell was appeased but what was left was her sense of taste. She hesitated to dig in but Uche encouraged her to go ahead.
1033. The latent pessimist in Bisola was expecting the food to taste a tad salty or insipid and as she tasted it, her pessimism was disappointed and she was happy about it.

"Hmmm. This is really good. How did you learn how to cook this well?"
1034. "Research, practice and observation. I can cook anything, as long as I have the recipe."

"This is really nice. I'm surprised you did all these with your one hand."

"Imagine what I can do with two hands."
1035. Uche said and turned to put things in order. A smile enveloped Bisola's face as she accommodated some thoughts in her mind with her eyes were trained on Uche's broad back.

What Bisola didn't know was that cooking was one of the tricks Uche used on some of the girls...
1036... that proved hard to get. All he did was to invite them to his apartment back when he was a student and cook a really tasty dish for them and that usually got them wanting more or Uche.

He actually enjoyed cooking and saw it as a creative art process because it dealt...
1037... with the combination of elements and paying attention to timing along with measurement.

The few girls he had cooked for fell in love with him because his food was as good as his looks and the seductive skills in his books.
1038. Bisola was raised by smart parents so she wasn't really going to let Uche's moves weaken her resolve.

She was smart enough to know that Uche wasn't going to stay long in her life. He would have been the perfect husband material if he wasn't a player.
1039. 'You can't have it all in life'.

Bisola thought to herself. She admitted how difficul- if not impossible- it was for one person to have all the attributes people want in a partner.

'There is no such thing as the perfect person.'
1040. She concluded. Bisola's ideal man was to be tall, bearded, handsome, funny, humble, faithful, ambitious, God-fearing, confident and a sexual afficionado.

Anita once called her greedy for having so many preferences. Bisola knew she would have to live in some sort...
1041... of virtual reality universe where people got to build their ideal partner for all her wishes to come true.

She also understood that what many people lacked in looks, they made up for it with their attitudes and talents.
1042. Uche brought his own plate of food to the table and took a sit.

"You know what's weird?" Bisola asked.

"Enlighten me."

"I don't even know if you're a stranger, a friend or an acquaintance."

"Anyone is fine by me."
1043. "So is this your way of trying to make up for last night?"

"First of all, I didn't do anything last night. Secondly, I was hungry and I didn't want to wake you up. Thirdly, I enjoy cooking.

Bisola smiled and goes:

"Anyway, thanks for the meal. It's really nice."
1044. "I'm sure you're not a bad cook yourself."

"What gives you that impression?"

"You have a kitchen loaded with groceries."

"I'm sorry to disappoint you but I don't know how to cook. There's a woman that helps me with the dishes whenever I call on her.
1045. I only know how to fry onions."

The smile on Uche's face was obvious enough for Bisola to notice it.

"Aren't you going to look down on me?"

Bisola was quite curious.

"Why? Because you're a woman who don't know how to cook? I won't attack the privilege you had...
1046.. when growing up. We were all built differently."

"Mr Uche Dike. Are you sure that's how you really feel?"

"You know what's crazy? A few "cool" friends of mine think it's demeaning for me to handle kitchen duties. They think it makes me a soy being. They believed...
1047... that cooking strips me off my manly essence."

"That's sounds crazy."

"Yes apparently. They think a "man" shouldn't cook and that cooking should be ascribed to women."

"Your cool friends are awfully entitled."
1048. "Oh well. Everyone are entitled to their opinion. I personally think that men and women should learn how to cook. It's an important skill that brings fulfillment especially if you're good at it."

"You know, you should open a restaurant."

Uche chuckled and goes:
1049. "I'm not exactly entrepreneurship material."

"Or you could be a chef."

"I think I'll settle for the office life while cooking remains a hobby. I like the idea of juggling between two distinct activities."

"Please don't bring up your lost certificates."
1050. "Ha ha ha. Very funny." Uche said sarcastically.

"So what's your day going to be like?"

Bisola took the conversation to different waters.

"Oh. I need to go home, load myself with some drugs and wait for sleep to do it's thing."
1051. "I need to go pick up my car where I parked it."

Bisola's phone rang severally in the living room before she went to answer the caller. It was Anita calling. She answered.

"Hello Anita."

"So how did it go girl? Did he bless you with some D?"

Anita sounded curious.
1052. "Stop it Anita. Nothing happened."

Bisola tried cautioning her friend but she wasn't going to listen.

"Oh come on girl. You can tell me. You didn't invite a Nigga to your house to sing you a lullaby did you?"

"He was injured. Nothing happened between us."
1053. Bisola spoke while watching out for Uche just to make sure he wasn't listening.

If only she knew that Uche was talking to Pablo who called almost immediately she left the kitchen. Just like Bisola, he was trying to convince Pablo that nothing happened.
1054. Some minutes later after breakfast, Uche and Bisola walked out of the house only to see the residents of her street gathered in small groups.

There were some people cleaning up the mess that occured from last night while another group of residents were complaining to...
1055... the police. Bisola and Uche were clueless as to what happened until a slender woman with well defined cheekbones approached Bisola who was now wearing a pair of dark jeans and an aquamarine long sleeve.

The lady was clad in baggy pants and a T-shirt...
1056... and she had her hair parked in a bun.

"Ah Bisi, I didn't even know you were around."

"What happened here?"

Bisola's curiosity was quite pronounced.

"Some armed robbers came yesterday night but they were stopped by the neighborhood security."
1057. That was the narrative that found its way to the residents of the neighborhood.

"Oh wow. That's a first." Bisola was as clueless as they were.

"My sister. Me self I'm shocked."

"I can see you were busy yesterday."
1058. She said giving a subtle hint that she was referring to Uche. The Uber Bisola ordered soon arrived and she thanked God because she wasn't ready for a conversation that will end up in an endless loop of nosy questions which was a typical feature her neighbor always had...
1059... up her sleeves. Uche and Bisola soon went their separate ways after taking the cab out of the neighborhood and what followed was a series of thoughts as they tried to come to terms with the situation they found themselves in.
1060. Uche was the kind of man that was more likely to lose interest in a woman after having one or several episodes of sexual gratification with her.

He couldn't help but feel that he might lose interest in Bisola after having his way with her but the thing was that...
1061... Bisola wasn't going to offer him any cookie anytime soon. Uche was in a difficult situation because it's been a while he had sex and he needed to indulge in one as soon as possible.

Man was too horny to have a decent peace of mind.
1062. The thing was that he felt guilty whenever he thought about calling a random woman because it almost felt like he was cheating on Bisola.


He knew how ridiculous it sounded but the reality of the situation was that he thought about Bisola alot and wanted her...
1063... to himself but he was apprehensive about the possibility of meeting a much more attractive woman after he must have had his way with Bisola.

It was more like a situation where someone falls in love with a song and keeps vibing to it; the more they listen to the...
1064... song, the less the impact of the song on their pleasure points.

As a matter of fact, time and repetition tones down the impact of the song on their mind, and with the discovery of a new song, the song they used to love will become an old favourite song...
1065... that they hardly put on repeat because they have a new favourite song.

Uche was never going to forget how Dr Jack explained some aspects of love to him using music. He once said to Uche:
1066. "Look for a woman who is like music and not like a song. Songs may fade but music is life. As long as you're alive and sane, you can't get tired of music."

He added by saying "Music is the elixir that makes existence worthy."
1067. In a separate occasion, he told Uche:

"the beat of a song is what attracts someone and it is the lyrics that'll make them stay longer. This same thing applies to romance."

As it happened, Uche had been meeting a lot of fine-looking women with no interest in mental...
1068... enrichment. They were just like songs with a great and catchy beat but very poor lyrics.

They were just good for the moment- a perfect beat to the night club mood- and with the passage of time, their value totally fizzles out like steam in the atmosphere.
1069. One time, Uche told Pablo that it was hard to meet the 'good' girls. It was either they were always indoors or busy or that they were in serious relationships. As a consequence, the street then became a decoration of transient temptations.
1070. Bisola obviously wanted commitment but her desires scared Uche simply because it was a concept he knew nothing about- a situation he was too scared to find himself in.

Uche wanted some skin to skin action with her but he knew how difficult that would be.
1071. Bisola on the other hand wanted some action too but she wasn't going to build the foundations of her feelings on a mudslide.

She was not going to risk falling completely in love only to wake up next to a written note by Uche telling her that he was sorry...
1072... for deciding to leave.

"Love is a risk but risks can be managed."

Bisola also thought about what her father told her when Frank left her with a shattered heart, a damaged dream and a broken spirit.

She came to conclude that she was a bad manager because...
1073... she was just too blinded in love to see the signs. She thought life was a bed of roses only for her to be entangled in a network of thorns- a pain that made her forget the sweet taste of happiness.

With the experience that her pain taught her, she was not going to...
1074... easily lay down like a hen while the cock climbs her. She was going to give the cock a run for it's money. (No pun intended.)

Her pain made her wiser.

Throughout the new week that followed, Bisola was busy most of the time and she was able to talk to Uche...
1075... through the phone while he gradually healed from his wounds.
There was a problem though- Uche needed to get laid and Pablo wasn't making it easy with his Mia Khalifa and Vanessa Blue collections.

Anytime he tried to wheedle Bisola into love making, she always...
1076... changed the topic, and anytime he suggested that he come over her house, she would bluntly refuse telling him that she does not trust herself when they were together.

Bisola came to an understanding that if she agreed to Uche's mating call, she would just end up like...
1077... one of his booty calls. She was wise enough to know that a woman can't keep a man with sex alone.

Uche's sexual hunger or 'Konji' soon went to new heights.
1078. He began paying attention to young ladies in tight short skirts and gym pants that projected their well defined curves and tried as much as possible not to be creative with his perverted thoughts.

It came to a point when his imagination became wild and out of control...
1079... that whenever he saw a 'tasty snack', he would entertain some imaginary construction of him being sexually adventurous with them.

Uche always knew that there was no way he could cajole Bisola into making sweet love to him without agreeing to date her.
1080. He didn't trust himself when it came to not having eyes for another girl.

Once upon a time, Pablo told Uche that he was a mutant with 6 eyes and that was why he couldn't focus on one girl. Pablo never failed to serve some hot tea to his friend.
1081. A day came when Uche saw an old fling of his in a convenient store around his neighbourhood.

She was wearing a black skin tight dress that was just above her knees thus making her a magnet to the eyes of horny men.
1082. Uche was a firm believer that tight dresses gave women an unfair advantage because it highlighted the subtle curves and contours on their physique.

Pleasantries were exchanged and memories were revisited. Uche's eyes traced the arch on her back and how it led down...
1083... to her protruding and ample buttocks while she reached for her choice in the cosmetics stand.

He tried as much as possible to control the rise of his rod but that rebellious thing usually had a mind of his own. The fact that he was wearing a beige Chinos didn't help...
1084... his case at all and he had to dig his hands in his pocket in order to hide the embarrassment his third leg was threatening to bring upon him.

Uche's old flame understood what was happening and she had to smile at the effect she had on Uche.
1085. It's been 6 years and she actually missed Uche's rhythmic and passionate thrusts whenever they were alone in their birthday suits.

One thing led to another and Uche found himself in the lady's self contained apartment that had a dominance of purple and hints of lilac.
1086. They soon pounced on each other sexually while exchanging a series of wet and hungry kisses. She pushed Uche on a chair and she sat astride him while they were completely intertwined in a burning desire to devour each other.
1087. There was something Uche noticed: his body wanted the lady on top of him but his mind was flooded with thoughts of Bisola to the point that he imagined he was with her.

"Do you have a condom?"

The old flame stopped and asked Uche.

"Oh shit. No"
1088. "That's surprising. I always knew you as someone who always had a condom in his wallet."

"What can I say? I've been distracted lately."

"Well, good thing I always have a spare."

She stood up from Uche's lap to fetch a condom from her drawer but she couldn't find it.
1089. Her room mate must have found a reason to make use of it and that pissed her off. She turned back only to see Uche standing up. He was supposed to be stripping not standing up. Apparently, Uche's mood had flown out the window.

"What's wrong?" She asked.
1090. "I'm sorry. I don't think I can do this."

"What are you saying?"

"I can't have sex with you."

"Wow. Are you serious? So you want to turn me on and leave me burning? That's not going to happen o."

"Look Gloria, I'm sorry but I'm not cut out for this. I thought...
1091... I wanted this but I was wrong."

"Sha satisfy me if you don't want to satisfy yourself. Try not to be selfish and unfortunate."

"I'm sorry. I just can't."

The old flame moved towards Uche and tried to remove his trousers but he stopped her and hurried out of the room...
1092... while she rained abuses on him in her Calabar dialect.

The next thing Uche did was to call Bisola and begged to see her. She agreed and they met in her car just a few distance away from her office. She was quite eager to know what Uche had her for.
1093. "I want you to be mine." He had said to her.

"What does that even mean?"

Uche struggled with his next few words because it was a difficult thing for him to say. It was an uncharted water that he vehemently avoided in his romantic and sexual voyages.
1094. "Would you...?"

"Would I what?"

"I want you to be my girlfriend."

Uche changed from asking a question to making a statement. He felt asking her a question exposed him to the possibility of her saying No.

"I'm guessing you're expecting me to say Yes."
1095. "Well, obviously."

"And why should I? It's not like you've given me enough reasons to take your words seriously."

"Look, I'll willing to give this a shot."


"Okay what?"

"I said okay."

"Are you agreeing to what I just said or concurring to the part...
1096... where I said I wanted you to be my girlfriend."

"I will be your girlfriend."

Bisola was totally messing with him.

"Oh wow. Really?"

"Yes why not?"

"This is awesome."

"I guess it is."

The next line of action in Uche's books was to lean in to kiss Bisola...
1097... with his eyes closed but she placed her hand on his mouth and pushed him back.

"What do you think you're doing?"
She asked Uche.

"I'm trying to kiss my girlfriend."

She chuckled and then said:

"Don't outrun your shadow young man. Life doesn't work that way."
1098. "What do you mean? It's just a kiss." Uche was confused.

"Life is not that smooth, Romeo. There are some conditions you must adhere to. First of all, you're going to have to meet my parents."

That statement bothered Uche and the only thing he could think of was that...
1099... Bisola wanted to tie him down in wedlock. Uche was silly enough to think that confessing his love for Bisola would get her to open her honey pot so he could pamper the horny beast in him; little did he know that he just took the first step out of a journey of a thousand
1100... miles. Uche was about to meet The Williams- Bisola's crazy and overprotective family; and little did he know that his real problems were about to begin.

How long would he be willing to go because of a woman?
1101. I guess we would soon find out because his patience and perseverance was about to be tested.

According to Dr Jack:

"The road to sweet happiness is filled with bitter sorrows."

. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 15. . . . . . . . . . .

1102. THE DAY soon came when Uche was going to meet up with Bisola's family. He wished there was a way he could avoid the meeting-the-parents phase.

He had never dealt with a woman to the point of reaching the meet-the-parents phase and he never expected it to come so soon.
1103. Oh! The dreaded meeting-the-parents phase.

How delightfully unfortunate for Uche. This was happening too fast for him to back down. He had tried to think of a way to maneuver out of the situation and all he could come up with was the saying which goes:
1104. "The only way survive a storm is to go through it."

Uche's situation was more like a storm in a tea cup but still, he projected it into a life-threatening monstrosity.

His next best conclusion was to start the journey and handle anything he encountered on his way.
1105. That day, Uche wore a white and blue striped shirt along with a blue tie, dark grey trousers and a pair of black shoes.

When a cab dropped him in front of the Williams' house, Bisola was right there waiting for him.
1106. She wore long black dress with white and red triangular shapes all over it. When he stepped out of the cab, Bisola knew that he was going to be roasted- especially by Diana.

"God. What are you wearing?"

"I was nervous. I just want to create a good first impression."
1107. "No, this is only going to create a first bad impression. You look too... 'formal'. You're here to meet my family not for a job interview."

Before Uche could say anything, Bisola took off his tie and loosened up his collar to make his appearance lose the formality...
1108... it exuded. As Bisola prepared Uche to be more acceptable in the sight of her family, he couldn't help but sport a decent smile.

His eyes were on her while she did her thing. It was an ephemeral moment but Uche knew he would be thinking about the tingling sensation...
1109... her touch brought for a long time. Uche held her waist with one hand and she slapped it away.

"Behave." She said.

"I'm sorry. You're just too close for me to behave. You look beautiful by the way."

"Thank you. There you go. All fixed."
1110. At that point, the moment was over and Bisola took a step back.

"We need to go through the basis. You need to be yourself and try not to be intimidated."

"I can't believe you're making me go through this."

"No one is forcing you to do anything. If you want to...
1111... date me, you've got to meet my parents."

"Wow. This doesn't feel like an American teenage movie at all."

"It's a family tradition. We all get to bring whoever we want to date. Don't tell me you're nervous."

"Shouldn't I be?"

"I don't see any reason why you should be.
1112. Like I said, just be yourself and you'll be fine. Now back to the basics, you're an estate manager if anyone should ask you."

"Okay, now that's a daring lie."

"Can you just do what I told you? Don't screw this up."
1113. 'Maybe I should just screw this up and be free from this beautiful mess.'

Uche nurtured a sinister thought.

"It's funny how you told me to be myself and still want me to lie about what I do."

Uche said to her hearing.
1114. "I know why I'm telling you. I wouldn't want your judgment to pile up unnecessarily."

"So you're admitting that you're about to throw me under the bus."

"Don't be ridiculous, uncle. You're meeting my family not a bunch of psychos. Just do what I asked you to do.
1115. Oh and one more thing."

"I'm listening."

"Watch out for my brother Freddy. Try and avoid him at all costs. I wouldn't want you to be in his bad books."

"Is that supposed to make me feel good?"

"I just thought I should inform you. It's not enough reason for you to hit...
1116... your panic button."

"How about a kiss for courage."

Bisola smiled and walked through the large and intricate gate of her father's house.

Uche followed suit and came upon the magnificent view of the mansion that was at the background of a large compound adorned...
1117... with a garden on both sides leaving the middle grounded with a marble path that led to the doors of the Victorian inspired architecture.

A chained pitbull and doberman barked violently at Uche who was obviously threatened by the bloodthirsty dogs.
1118. Bisola shushed the noisy creatures and they mellowed themselves. Uche just watched her and mused about how she could calm an angry storm.

Diana and Maria were at the balcony with their eyes on their visitor.

"He's not to be trusted. He's afraid of dogs."
1119. "Are you kidding? Who wouldn't be afraid of those rabid monsters?"

"You sound like you're already fighting for him."

"Can we just meet him first before you crucify him from a distance?"

"Which side are you on Maria?"

"This is not about taking sides. From what I...
1120... can see, he looks cute."

"Frank was cute too, so what's your point?"

She asked and walked back inside the house.

"Innocent until proven guilty."

Maria said and then followed her sister as Bisola and Uche got closer to the house.
1121. A few minutes later, Uche found himself sitting down in the mansion's living room and he tried to control the tension that was building up in his hands while Bisola and her sisters were at a corner talking about him.
1122. "Look at him, he reeks of pretence." Diana said spitefully.

"He's just a friend, nothing is happening between us."

"Yet." Diana added.

"Look, I know you're concerned and I appreciate that but you've got to believe me when I say I've got this covered."
1123. Bisola assured her.

"He looks like a Yoruba demon."

"He's Igbo." Bisola responded.

"He's still a demon."

"I think I'll get married to an Igbo man." Maria said.

"Ah. Weyrey. Wait till I tell Lanre what you said."

"It was a joke o." Maria defended herself.
1124. "Diana, please just be on your best behaviour when you're around him."

Bisola said to Diana.

"Oh I sure will."

Diana said with a voice heavy with mischief as she went to sit down on a couch across from Uche. She crossed her legs, folded her arms and watched Uche...
1125... like a hawk or better yet, like an evil queen thinking of proper ways to end an enemy's life. Diana had already programmed Uche as the enemy and there was nothing he could do about it.

Uche waved at her but she didn't flinch and that made him uneasy.
1126. Maria joined her on the couch and waved at Uche with a wild smile. He responded by waving back in an awkward way because Diana's cold stare was still fixed at him.

Diana gave Maria a quick and wicked side look and at that moment, she saw her sister as a traitor.
1127. Just then, Bisola joined Uche on the couch and that made him ease up a little. Mr D entered the living room with his walking stick and he was clad in a white suit.

Uche stood up in an attempt to show courtesy to Mr D's presence. The old gentleman sat down and...
1129... crossed his legs.

"Oh please sit down."

"Thank you sir." Uche responded and sat down.

"Dad, this is my friend, Uche. Uche, meet my dad and my sisters, Maria and Diana."

She said while making the appropriate gestures that came with introductions.
1130. "Your friend you say?" Mr D said.

"Yes. We are still in the friend phase dad."

"So you're Igbo?" Mr D asked Uche.

"Yes sir. From Anambra State to be precise."

"I see... So young lad. What do you do for a living?
1131. "I don't have a job sir."

Uche said bluntly and Bisola immediately felt betrayed because he totally defied her instructions. She quietly thought of different ways to make him pay for the betrayal.

"Oh really?" Mr D goes.
1132. "I've got your daughter to thank for that. I lost my credentials while trying to get her attention. Long story."

Bisola showed signs of uneasiness by running her hands over her face.

"Come with me son."

Mr D said after he checked his watch and then walked out...
1133... of the house. Uche followed suit looking all confused leaving Bisola in a worried state because she deduced that things were about to get messy.

Uche joined Mr D as he walked along the lush looking compound.
1134. "Quick question son. What do you think my daughter sees in you?"

"With all due respect sir, I think she'll be in a better position to answer that question. If I provide an answer to your question, I might not be truthful enough for your satisfaction."
1135. "Fair enough. Now for my next question: what do you really want from my daughter?"

Uche knew he was going to have to say something even if it was coated with deceit.

"I just want to build a life with her with hope that she'll be willing to do the same with me."
1136. Even Uche had to cringe at the lie he just dropped.

"I do hope you know that for her to bring you to me means she really likes you"

"I'm aware sir."

"And I do hope you're also aware that you're not allowed to break her heart."
1137. "Yes I understand sir."

Uche's words and composure was a sharp contrast to the storm of panic in his heart.

"Are you aware of what will happen to you if any harm comes to her?"

"Ummmm, I'm not... I'm not sure I'm aware."
1138. "Let's just say that life would have little meaning to you if you hurt her. To put it bluntly, you will be physically hurt beyond your wildest imagination. I do hope there is absolute clarity in what I just told you."

"Yes... Yes sir."

Uche was troubled as hell...
1139... and he tried as much as possible to keep his cool. At that point, Uche understood that there was a high chance that he was absolutely screwed because Mr D gave off a vibe that he was the leader of some mafia and as he had seen in some movies, it was a bad idea to mess...
1140... with the capone's daughter.

"You still have a choice to back down now before it's too late. I want you to understand that once you start dating her, you're not allowed to see other women. My family and I believe in the traditional values of monogamous relationships."
1141. Mr D continued: "If you have a daughter, how would you feel if someone is set out to hurt her?"

"That would be upsetting sir." Uche managed to say.

"I'm glad you understand my concern. Let me tell you a little bit about my daughter... She is everyone's favourite...
1142... because she is a gem and a perfect replica of her mother. She has a good soul and a kind heart but some bad men has tried to take that away from her. Her birth was a painful one for her mother- God bless her soul."
1143. Mr D paused as if to console himself for disturbing the still waters of painful memories and then he continued:

"I almost lost my wife and my first daughter because of some complications. After 7 days of tension and uncertainty, I got news that brought relief...
1144... and seduced my fears. Bisola grew up to become a splitting image of her mother and for this reason, she became everyone's favourite.

I believe I have mentioned this earlier... She has been hurt severally and I have decided to involve myself in weighing the character...
1145...and resolve of whoever has interest in her."

"I'm sorry for the death of your wife."

"Oh. That was a long time ago. But I've got to admit that the images of her face is still as fresh as the morning dew... Another question son: how do you intend to take care...
1146... of my daughter without a job?"

"I'm doing all I can to get back on track so I can get a job. I understand the importance of work in a man's life. For now, all I can offer her is emotional security which I know isn't so much."
1147. "Tell me, how is my daughter responsible for the loss of your credentials?"

Uche narrated how his briefcase disappeared the first day he met Bisola. He was wise enough to leave out some details like when he forced her to be charitable with 30k.
1148. As Uche and Mr D ambled along the compound, Bisola and her sisters were watching from the window upstairs.

"What do you think they are talking about?" Bisola asked.

"Dad is probably giving him reasons why he shouldn't come back."
1149. Diana responded and Bisola gave her a disapproving look.

"Diana must you always be a pessimist?"

Maria asked.

"Only when the situation demands for it."

"Can you just give him a chance?"

"No. He's good looking and that's usually a red flag."
1150. "Diana, you've come again. A person's looks is not an indication of unfaithfulness."

"Damn right it is. Look at him, he looks... unfaithful."

Diana told her sister and Bisola couldn't help but worry about her future with Uche. She was not going to give him the...
1151... benefit of doubt until he has passed the little tests that she had for him. She accessed her memory bank and thought about what her mother told her about new romantic interests.

She was like: "The world is filled with vile and unworthy people and it pays to put those...
1152... who wants to share your bed to a little test before you accept them fully into your life. It pays to weigh a prospect before you invest fully in it. That way you know what to expect. But the problem is getting stuck in the process of weighing people's character to...
1153... the point that a good thing may just pass you by."

Mr D and Uche soon got to the spot where the dogs were chained and they barked at Uche again.

"Do you like dogs?"

"Not entirely sir. I've had some bad experiences with dogs in the past."
1154. Mr D walked closer to the doberman and stroked his head and that got the dark and brown beast to stop barking.

"Do you trust me son?" Mr D asked Uche.

"Ummmm, Yes sir."

"But we just met."

"I would like to believe you have my best interest at heart."

Uche replied.
1155. "Come and touch him."

"What? You mean the dog?

"Yes of course."

"Are you sure about that sir?"

"Absolutely. You trust me don't you? Go ahead and touch the dog. It won't do nothing. I promise."

It took about 2 minutes and the whole nerves in Uche for him to slowly...
1156... extend his hand towards the dog which growled quietly as a sign of warning. As Uche's hand got closer, the dog made to take a chunk off Uche's hand but he withdrew it immediately.

"What lesson did you learn from this?"

"I'm not sure sir."

"You can try."
1157. "Don't always do what someone asks of you?"

"That was close but not quite. I wanted to show you a simple illustration of how dangerous trust can be. Trust nobody: that's the lesson there."

"Oh okay sir."
1158. "In essence, I'm not allowed to trust you. So I would like you to give me reasons to invest my trust in you."

"Okay sir." Uche tried not to stutter.

"Feel at home son. I'm going out to take care of business. Endeavour to always remember what we just discussed. Oh and...
1159... meet me next weekend. I have a job for you... Oh and one more thing... This stays between us."

Mr D said and walked to his vintage car; he got into the back seat after his driver opened the door for him. Before Uche knew it, the car eased out of the compound...
1160... after the electronic gate slid aside. Uche didn't know if he should run out of the compound in panic because it sounded as if his life was on the line, or if he should run around the compound in joy because he just got promised a job.
1161. Just then Freddy who was just coming back from a long distance jog entered the compound with an earpiece jammed into his ears and he appeared to be drenched in sweat.

He was listening to the abomination he sang and dared to call it music. He was putting on a tank top....
1162... and a pair of tights that highlighted his muscles. He approached Uche and then goes:

"Oh. You must be Ushe."

Uche hated the way Freddy pronounced his name. He had come to understand that it was some of the Yorubas and indigenes of Warri that interchanged the C in...
1163... his name with an S.
Immediately Bisola saw that Freddy was talking to Uche, she hurried out of the house to meet them because she knew how sensitive and unpredictable her brother was.

He was like an unstable nuclear reactor that could go off at any time.
1164. "It's Uche actually."

Uche said, not realizing that that was his first mistake.

"It's my mouth and I'll choose to call it the way I want."

"Well, it's my name." Uche mumbled.

"What did you say?"

"Oh. Nothing at all."

"You're lying. You said something."
1165. "I promise. I didn't say anything."

"i saw your mouth move. You definitely said something and you're lying."

"Trust me. It means nothing."

Uche had the spirit of a rebel and he wasn't the type of person that would easily stay quiet even if it meant getting hurt.
1166. "Hello, I'm Freddy. Welcome to the Williams mansion."

Freddy offered a handshake to Uche; he took it and immediately regretted that he did because Freddy squeezed his hands and his facial expression could tell that he was trying to brave the pain.
1167. Freddy let go of his grip on Uche while Uche nurtured the pain in his hands as he appreciated the surge of relief that went all over him.

With that, he understood that Freddy was a bully and must be avoided just as Bisola had told him.
1168. Bisola finally got to the both of them.

"I see you've met Uche."

"Yes I have. I'm sure he's going to love my company."

Freddy said with a sinister smile on his face. A difference between Teddy and Freddy was that Teddy hardly smiled while Freddy's smile was in most...
1169... cases psychotic. Freddy's resumé while he was growing up included the annihilation of rats using inhumane methods that ranged from drowning, burning alive, throwing them in hot water, and when he was in a good mood, he would blind the rats and set them free.
1170. His war on rats began when one of them ate his snacks after he had gone to buy soft drinks to wash it down his stomach.

His parents were worried and then took him for a psych evaluation where they confirmed that he had anger issues and traits of psychosis.
1171. As a grown man, he had moved on to hurting people who according to him deserved it.

"See you later Freddy."

Bisola said to her brother and took Uche by his hand leading him away from his presence.

"Ushe, I'll be seeing you around."
1172. Freddy called out on Uche.

"Are you okay?" Bisola asked.

"Yes I'm perfectly fine."

"Oh well. Then permit me to do this."

She gave Uche a hard pinch and he reacted.

"Hey. Why do you always have to do that?"

"Because you're annoying. I specifically told you what...
1173... to say to my dad and you just had to do your own."

"He offered me a job."

"He did?"

"Yes he did."

"Well good for you but I still feel you should have listened to me... LSo what else did you and my father talk about?"

"Nothing at all. He's a good man."
1174. "You sound like you're hiding something from me."

"Trust me. I'm not."

Bisola led Uche to the picnic table where the family usually had brunch whenever the weather was cool. Just close to the table, there was an easel that had something that was supposed to be a man...
1175... showing off his muscles. The excuse of an artwork that had a painful combination of red, brown and blue looked like something that came out of a 9 year old's nightmare.

The hopeless caricature had big eyes, an almost invisible nose, a wide mouth that appeared to be...
1176... grinning, an irregular head and of course a really troublesome representation of a muscular body.

Freddy picked up interest in art when he saw an expensive painting that was made by awkward handprints and colour splashes.
1177. The $600,000 painting made Freddy believe he could call any creation of his an art and get away with it.

Uche saw the art and couldn't resist the urge to bash it as he stood in front of it. This was his second mistake.

"Oh my God. That art is really awful."
1178. "That's my brother's art. He's still working on it."

"Why are you guys still allowing him to continue. That thing could ruin someone's life."

"If you have nothing good to say about it, I'll advice you to keep your reviews to yourself. He doesn't take criticisms lightly"
1179. "What? He's not even here."

The next thing Uche felt was a hand on his shoulders. It was Freddy. His eyes were smoldering with rage.

Freddy tried to strangle Uche with his bare hands but Bisola got Freddy to let go. She dragged Uche by his arm and took him inside...
1180... while Freddy kept his blood thirsty and angry gaze at him.

"This your mouth will put you in trouble."

Bisola scolded Uche.

"What? I didn't know he was behind us."

Uche had just scored himself a new and dangerous enemy. As they walked into the house, Diana...
1181... was at the balcony giving Uche her own cold stare. Uche knew he was in trouble but little did he know that it was a very serious one.

Uche got home feeling all sore and perturbed. He immediately had regrets concerning his decision to go to the Williams house.
1182. He had directly walked into an entanglement all because of a woman. Uche felt like a mouse trapped at a corner and was totally at the mercy of his attacker.

'I shouldn't have gone o. Why did I go there? God, why did you allow me go.'
1183. Those were the nature of his thoughts and they made him restless like a pot of boiling water.

There was a knock on the door and Uche opened it only to find Teddy standing at the door with four other soldiers. Uche actually thought his problems were over.
1184. The next place Uche saw himself was at the back seat of a military vehicle; he was tucked in between two soldiers and one could tell humility was smeared all over his face as they drove him to a bar where they all sat round a table drinking beer while they watched football.
1185. Teddy was talking to Uche while the others were totally invested in the Derby between Real Madrid and Liverpool.

"If you break my sister's heart, I'm going to ship you off to Sambisa and put you in the middle of the crossfire. We will be watching you mister. Try and...
1186... be nice to my sister. She's been through a lot."

Freddy had told Uche that faithful day.

"You've got alot going for you, so don't mess it up. I do hope we're clear bro."

Teddy added.

"Yes sure."

Uche responded and wondered if he successfully concealed the fact...
1187... that he was losing his mind.

"You see those men there?"

Teddy was referring to his comrades.

"They have great love for my sister & they are willing to damage any one who tries to hurt her. As a matter of fact, they would all like to marry her even if that dream is...
1188... a bit far-fetched. Now imagine she ends up with someone and that someone messes up. How do you think they would feel?"

"Disappointed i guess."

"No. They are going to be pissed. You know why? Because that someone misused an opportunity they would have used better."
1189. Uche was fully convinced that his village people had opened his case.

"Oh and make sure she doesn't find out about any of this."

Teddy instructed him because he knew Bisola hated the over protection.

After that encounter, Uche concluded that...
1190... his doom was near. When Pablo came home that night, Uche laid down his problems to him.

"Pablo, we have a very big problem."

"What, you impregnated Bisola?"

"What? She wouldn't even allow me kiss her"

Pablo laughed and then goes:

"That's not so bad bro."
1191. "Dude that's not even the problem. I met her family and they are threatening to kill me if I cheat on her."

"Wait let me get this straight. Does she know about any of this?"

"No. They also threatened to hurt me if I let her know."
1192. It took Pablo about 5 seconds to analyse what he just heard and what followed was a burst of frantic laughter that seemed like it lasted forever and that got Uche all riled up.

"Let me know when you're done."

Pablo entertained himself with more laughter that...
1193... gave him stomach cramps.

"Why are you even laughing? This is not funny."

"But it is. You finally got what you wanted."

"What on earth are you talking about?"

"You've been chasing this girl with all your body and soul and now that you've finally gotten her, you're...
1194... supposed to be glad."

"Did you not hear what I said? Her. Family. Threatened. My. Life!"

Uche spoke with an apparent emphasis on each word.

"Not because you're dating her but because they don't want you to cheat on her."

"That's very crazy. I mean, who does that?"
1195. "Dude you should be glad. You finally found a reason to be faithful."

"You're supposed to be supportive."

"I am bro. It's about time you settled down."

"Not with a gun pointed to my head."

"Cheer up bro. Bisola is a sweet woman so you need to consider yourself lucky."
1196. Days went by and Uche's mind was saturated with thoughts of what to do next.

He really liked Bisola and letting her go wasn't even an option but the conditions that have been forced down on him was what bothered him. He was literally being forced to play for Team Faithful
1197... and he came to understand that telling Bisola about the situation would mean losing whatever favour he stood to gain from Mr D and that would also mean he just made enemies with some soldiers.

All he needed to do was to focus on one woman and that was just...
1198... like a herculean task for him. From then henceforth, it felt like there was an attractive girls convention in Lagos because all of a sudden, the streets became filled with sweet and lasting temptations.

Uche was still feeling randy and he desperately needed to let go...
1199... of the sexual energy that was building up around his waist. What made it all worse was that Bisola wasn't even considering to get down with him because she has her own terms and conditions.

Uche soon received a package that had photographs of him wearing different...
1200... clothes in different places.

The paper that came with it goes:

"The Eagle is watching. Wisdom is better than pain."

The urge to have sex consumed Uche and he had to start leaving the house with a baseball cap to shield his eyes from the enticements that was...
1201... threatening to ruin the structures of his sanity. Uche pleaded with Bisola and promised her heaven and heart just for her to show him some love but she just wanted to be sure that Uche wasn't going to hit and run.

She didn't know what Uche was...
1202... under the terms and conditions of her family members.

The next best thing Uche could think of was to start training in order to channel his sexual energy elsewhere.

He ran long distances; he lifted weights; he took out his aggression on punching bags, and did any...
1203... kind of exercise that made him drip large amounts of sweat.

He avoided music channels that had fine looking women dancing in provocative attires and bikinis because he didn't want anything that would further reinforce his desire for sex.
1204. Uche soon became Pablo's source of laughter and mockery because it was obvious that he was sexually starved.

He later got another package that specifically came from Freddy. He opened it to see a picture Freddy slaughtering a ram.
1205. Freddy was holding a large knife on one hand while he held one of the dead animals leg in the other. He was bare chested with blood stains on the knife and the brown khaki he wore as he gazed at the camera.

Uche felt like the static photograph of Freddy was staring...
1206... right into his eyes.

The paper that came along with the picture read:

"You're dead."

Uche had hurdles to cross and they came in form of Mr D, Diana, Aunty Seyi, Teddy and Freddy.

As a matter of fact, the only ally Uche had was Maria and she alone wasn't going to...
1207... save him from the others.
Uche's life was a mess but it was nothing compared to Aunty Seyi's wedding that was coming up the upper weekend.

Weddings were meant to be remembered for good things but this particular one was going to be a sweet disaster.
. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER 16. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. . . . . . . .
1208. "I can't believe she's going ahead with this"

Diana said to Maria as they sat down close to their father who was garbed in a solid-looking white Agbada. They were in the midst of the guests who had come to witness the holy matrimony (unholy according to Diana) of...
1209... Baba Ibeji and Aunty Seyi. Apart from Teddy who was absent due to duty calls, the squad were all present including Aunty Seyi's son, Gbenga, who just came back from the states.

Baba Ibeji's first son Tunde, and beautiful twin daughters - Temi and Kemi- who both wore...
1210... red ankara-styled dresses were also part of the people who graced the occasion with their presence.

Uche was also in attendance after Bisola forced him to come, and he was sitting down with her. He was wearing an all white 'senator' attire while Bisola slayed in her...
1211... red gown that had floral embossments on it.

Freddy- who was amongst the guests on the other side of the sitting arrangement- had eyes on Uche; and on two occasions when their eyes met, Freddy made a cut-throat gesture in order to instill fear in him.
1212. Freddy wanted a pound of raw flesh for Uche's remarks on his artwork- one which he had spent 7 days working on.

It was a small wedding with a 30 seater capacity; and on the green grass, there was a red carpet that demarcated the seating arrangements into two equal...
1213... parts and it was laid all the way to the altar. This was an occasion reserved just for close friends and family members.

The event was mostly dominated by old people and it looked like some gerontic parliament with a red and white dress code.
1214. The dedicated perimeter for the outdoor event was a decoration of red and white flowers, balloons and draped silk that went round the chairs and makeshift altar where an old priest stood with Baba Ibeji who was wearing a bright red suit, and Aunty Seyi who wore a...
1215... white wedding gown that bordered around subtle simplicity. The priest was so old that his movements made him appear like he was vibrating.

All the guests in the gathering were either wearing white, red or both because that was part of the wedding theme which according...
1216... to Baba Ibeji was "Peace and Passionate love." The gathering was a coalescence of white and various shades of red that was redolent of Valentine's day.

As the aged couples exchanged their vows, most of the guests' attention were invested in either sleeping or focusing...
1217... on their cellphones. In the gathering, an elderly man was checking Facebook with his smartphone and one could tell that he had absolutely zero idea on how to navigate his way around; another senior citizen was thirsting on images of half clad ladies with a boyish...
1218... smile painted all over his face that had received its share of ineluctable senescence.

The couples didn't even notice the guests' lack of attention because their eyes met like magnets as they both emitted beaming smiles that was inspired by the forces of romance...
1219... that burned within them.
When Baba Ibeji got to the part where he said "Till death do us part.", Diana imagined a scenario where someone buys a phone that would be dead in two weeks.

Out of the abundance of Diana's heart, she concluded that Aunty Seyi was out of...
1220... her mind. Uche, from where he was excused himself to use the restroom that was a some metres away from the event.

About two minutes after Uche left, six masked and heavily armed men invaded the gathering. They emptied several shots up in the air and that got the...
1221... terrorized guests to react by laying low. An old guest wearing a red Agbada was still sleeping- he wasn't going to let a couple of bullet rounds ruin the beauty of his day dreams.

Mr D was unmoved; all he could think of was that Mrs Snow didn't take his advice.
1222... Two of the men matched straight to the clueless and stunned couples who were inches away from jumping the Broom.

The two men bundled Baba Ibeji like a baby and carried him away while the other men discouraged the guests from being heroes just by brandishing their guns.
1223. The leader spoke: "If you're the groom's son please kindly come with us or we will shoot everybody here."

At that particular moment, he got a message on his walkie talkie.

"We got the son. Let's leave."

The leader of the pack walked away from the gathering while his...
1224... men followed.

After what felt like three minutes of silence, one of the guests stood up and took to his heels while the rest followed suit except the Williams, two old women, Baba Ibeji's son and two daughters. The ravishing twins were sitting down devastated that...
1225... their father had just been abducted while Aunty Seyi was sitting down on the altar floor refusing to be consoled by the two elderly women that flanked her.

Her hysteria was typical of the average Nigerian woman who had just lost something or someone dear to her.
1226. She was like:

"Hey! My enemies have located me o! They have finally remembered me. I was on my own and my enemies still came for me o."

Her reaction made Diana wonder what she really saw in the old man.
1227. Oh, Let's not forget that the sleeping old man was still wrapped up in the comfort of his sleep. Diana got annoyed and went to wake him up. The man woke up acting all disoriented like he found himself in some strange reality.

"The party's over." Diana said to him.
1228. He stood up and left with what appeared to be a slow stagger.

That must have been one hell of a nap.

Bisola had been trying to reach Uche on phone all to no avail and she had to bring it up to her family.

"Please has anyone seen Uche? His number isn't going through."
1129. "I thought you guys were together." Maria said.

"No. He told me he wanted to use the restroom and now his number isn't going through. Oh my God. What if something happened to him?"

"Relax sis. Maybe he's hiding somewhere."

Freddy made a weak attempt to assure his sister.
1130. "If that was the case, I should have been able to reach him."

"Ive got to see if he's okay."

Bisola attempted to walk away but Mr D gave Freddy a look and he immediately stopped Bisola.

"Hold on sis. We don't know if it's safe out there."
1131. "I need to go find him."

She turned towards her father and said:

"Daddy, I need to go find him."

"At ease baby. We need to know what we are dealing with first. Let your brother go check things out."

Bisola sat down on a chair for her restlessness was so overwhelming...
1132... for her to entertain straightforward and coherent thoughts. Maria went to console her sister and Diana hesitated to join in because it was Uche that she ached for.

Duh! She never liked him so why act like she cared about him? The traces of evil in Diana felt some...
1133... sort of relief because she never really liked the two men her sister and aunt were hurting for.

She then realized it wasn't about the missing men but about the welfare of her sister & aunt. She rolled her eyes and joined Maria to speak a little bit of comfort in Bisola.
1134. Freddy left the premises in order to ascertain what was happening outside. When he got to the exit, there was no sign of Uche but he sure saw something else: three helpless security guards were fastened round a tree...
1135... and it appeared like they were about to indulge in a group hug but the tree stood in their way.

Freddy untied them and tried getting the information of Uche's whereabout by giving them a detail of what he was wearing.

Since they couldn't provide any useful...
1136... information, Freddy felt disappointed and wished he had left them in their position.

Freddy wondered why he cared about finding Uche because he actually wanted to 'show him some pepper', but just like Diana, he realized it wasn't about the missing men but about Bisola...
1137... and Aunty Seyi. Freddy returned back to the others with the same cluelessness and curiosity he had when he left.

Mr D had a problem at hand: his daughter and his sister were devastated with grief and he had to do something about it. His deduction that it was Mrs Snow...
1138... who sent the armed men was diminished immediately the men bundled the old groom out of his wedding.

That gave him an understanding that Baba Ibeji must have pissed off the wrong people. In as much as he did not endorse the wedding, he wouldn't want his sister to...
1139... break down completely because that was one of her superhuman abilities.

"There's no trace of him."

He updated the gang and that made Bisola's reality to be completely overshadowed with a nagging terror. If anything should happen to Uche, it was all her fault.
1140. She came to a bitter conclusion.

"Those men asked for Baba's son and then left after receiving a call. I don't get it. Did they change their mind?"

Freddy said in a manner that sounded like he was some crime scene investigator.
1141. "Please, I implore you all to remain calm. We will sure come to the root of this."

Mr D walked away from the gathering, pulled out his phone and dialed X's phone.

"Is there still trouble in paradise?" X queried.

"Yes. But It appears that we may have a different type...
1142... of trouble. How fast can you send your men over? I need my family home first."

"30 minutes." X responded.

"20 minutes." Mr D Suggested.


"Track my location and get to me as fast as you can. I think we may be dealing with a case of kidnapping."

1143. X replied and ended the call. He had a feeling of paranoia and he felt it was necessary to drive his daughters and others home with security.

They were all going to stay at the mansion until he knew who and what they were dealing with, and how to put an end to it.
1144. In 22 minutes, two SUVs came to the event centre and conveyed everyone back to the mansion where Aunty Seyi received a call that confirmed that Baba Ibeji was kidnapped.

It was on loudspeaker and everyone clearly heard that they were demanding for 200 million Naira.
1145. A hundred million for Baba Ibeji and another hundred for his son.

The part where they mentioned that they had Baba Ibeji's son was the confusing part because almost everyone in the house knew that he was right there with them.

Bisola and the others strongly believed...
1146... that they must have kidnapped Uche along with the old man but what they didn't understand was how Uche ended up being his son.

Seconds rolled into minutes, and minutes turned into hours, and hours felt like days. With each stretch of time, Bisola's fears gathered weight.
1147. X's team were able to pinpoint Uche's location and it was in a remote area far away in Ogun State.

They were able to place a tracker on Uche's phone earlier and it turned out that it might just save his life. Here's how they pulled it off:
1148... a professional female pickpocket who was part of X's team had studied Uche closely and was able to know how and where he kept his phone.

She approached him with excitement and hugged him like she knew him from somewhere. As she disengaged from the hug, Uche's phone...
1149... was already in her hands. She walked away from an oblivious Uche who was still trying to figure out where he knew her from.

The next thing the beautiful thief did was to plant a very tiny tracker in an inconspicuous location at the back of the phone after she...
1150... had removed the battery. She covered the phone, switched it back on and then surreptitiously handed it over to another young man who was walking towards her.

The man hurriedly caught up with Uche and goes:

"Bros. You dropped your phone. I've been calling you since...
1151.. but you weren't listening."

Uche expressed his deep felt gratitude totally unaware that from that day henceforth, someone would be somewhere watching him and listening to his conversation like he was a lab experiment. Mr D had chosen to play God...
1152... when it came to filtering the men in his daughter's life.

Uche found himself pacing around an empty room that had just one bench which Baba Ibeji was sitting on. Uche began to question his purpose in life and why he had been a constant recipient of life's bitter...
1153... sting lately. Uche did all he could to avoid going berserk because he wasn't making sense of the situation he found himself in.

"Would you stop walking around?" Baba Ibeji said to him.

"Don't even talk to me." Uche snapped.

Uche was furious with Baba Ibeji because...
*1254...he was the reason why he was there. When Uche finished using the restroom, he came out and saw two men bundling Baba Ibeji out to a waiting van.

"My son don't let them take me away! Ah! Ọmọ mi! Please stop them."

The third man following them pointed his gun at Uche...
1255... who surrendered and denied being Baba Ibeji's son but the old man insisted that Uche was his son. With the gun as motivation, Uche moved into the van.

Uche was brought back to the reality of his unfortunate condition when the rusted metal door- that stood in between...
1256... him and freedom- flew open and two of the kidnappers filed into the room. The leader of the pack entered eating roasted groundnuts wrapped in a small nylon.

"Oga, your people don't want to pay. We will waste you both."
1257. "Ah. Weyrey. Ọmọ ale jati jati. It is your father that you will waste. The fact that you kidnapped me does not give you enough reasons to talk to me any how."

"Come papa, watch ya mouth o. Don't forget who is in charge. If I shoot you and that your red suit, we won't...
1258... know when you start bleeding."

"Bros. I don't know this man before."
Uche pleaded, hoping that his captives would listen to him despite his previous attempts.

"Oga sharrap there. If your voice does not carry news of when we are going to get our 200 million, please...
1259... remain mute or I will burst your knee cap."

"I know it is Alhaji Gamji that sent you."

"Papa you talk too much."

"Tell him that he won't see one Naira from me."

If we care to know who Alhaji Gamji was, he was Baba Ibeji's rival in the oil and gas distribution...
1260... business in the whole of Surulere and Isolo.

"Is that so?"

"Shey eti e di ni? Are you deaf?" Baba responded rudely.

The leader of the gang who was chewing the groundnut in an annoying way gave his men a signal. The next thing Uche knew, they descended on him...
1261... and gave him a refreshing beating that brought up memories he forgot he had. A particular punch that connected with his temple cracked a frozen memory of a particular girl called Henrietta. In his agony, he tried to grasp why he thought about the first girl...
1262... to ever fall in love with him. The kidnappers thought they were going to soften Baba Ibeji up by giving his 'son' a hard beating.

Uche's saving grace was that the leader of the pack received a call that informed them that the ransom was available.
1263. They stopped 'mending' Uche and left the room in order to get their money. Uche lay on the floor writhing in pain while Baba Ibeji tried consoling him.

The abductors wanted the money in dollars in order to reduce its bulkiness and they wanted it wrapped in a transparent...
1264... waterproof nylon. They gave the person bringing the cash a location which happened to be close to a river.

When he got to the top of the bridge that ran across the river, he was asked to dump the bag in the river which he did. As the river's current carried the...
1265... bag away, all of a sudden, the bag got sucked into the water. At least so it seemed, but in reality, there was a scuba diver underneath the water who grabbed the bag of money and swam away beneath the surface of the teal-coloured water.
1266. They chose to use this means because there was a high chance that they would be traced if they moved by land so they thought they might use an unconventional approach - one which no would expect.

When the diver surfaced at the other far side of the river, he couldn't...
1267... believe his eyes when he opened the bag to discover that it was stuffed with newspapers. The leader and two men approached the disappointed diver as he stared at the bad with resignation.

They had been waiting on that side of the river to pick up the bag when...
1268... the diver swam across. The leader of the gang was furious and the only remedy for his anger was to kill his captives.

He stormed towards an awaiting truck with his emotions corrupted with intense fury while the others tagged along.
1269. He rode shotgun and then cocked his pistol with a burning desire to empty the contents of the shiny gun in Uche and Baba Ibeji.

Just then, he received a call from the safe house where the captives were being held.

"Sir, I think the police are here. They are shooting...
1270... at us."

One of his men said amidst the exchange of gun fire.

"That's not possible. How did they find us?"

"Sir, I don't know."

"Kill the guests and find a way out of that place."

"They've escaped."

"What!?" The leader barked into the walkie talkie which almost...
1271... made the driver lose control. He soon realized that his informant was no longer responsive because the communication link had been cut off.

"Sir, I think we should turn back. We don't know how many they are."

One of the men behind said. The leader snapped and...
1272... attacked him with punches while the driver tried as much as possible not to drive off the narrow pathway.

After the beating, the driver sighted two figures from afar running into the woods. One of the men was wearing white while the other was sporting a red attire.
1273. It needn't take a genius to know that those were the men that were reported to have escaped from the holding house.

The driver jammed his feet on the brakes and brought the dusty truck to an abrupt halt. The door flew open and everyone ran after them except the diver.
1274. The kidnappers soon entered the woods and they could see the two men further ahead. They opened fire and that got the escapees' fear to skyrocket.

Alright hold it. Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Let's backtrack and see how Uche and Baba Ibeji got way.
1275. After Uche got the beating of his life, he sat on the floor by the corner like someone who was awaiting the fate of being fed to pigs.

One of the guards opened the door and dropped a tray that had a loaf of agege bread on it. Several gun shots went off outside and...
1276... as the armed man reacted by looking out the door, Uche quickly charged into him and slammed his head on the rough wall.

That knocked the lights out of the armed man and no one told Uche and Baba Ibeji to take to their heels.
1277. They escaped through a window & ran into the woods which was closer to the building.

It was X's team that came to lay siege on the building after they traced Uche's cellphone. They were the ones who organized the fake drop so as to split the number of men in the building.
1278. It was a situation of 'divide and conquer.' Having too many men around would have increased the chances of getting the captives killed.

As a matter of fact, when the kidnappers gave Mr D the drop off location, X's team got the coordinates using a GPS software which...
1279... revealed that the location was on a river. Since these guys were highly experienced in all the antics kidnappers employed on their victims, they were able to figure out that they wanted to use a strategy that involved moving undetected through the waters and that...
1280... was exactly what happened.
There were 3 men who attacked the building and when they searched the whole perimeter, there were no signs of Uche and Baba Ibeji.

Consequently, they reported back to Mr D informing him of the absense of the captives.
1281. They were able to locate Uche's tracker in another room that had a table and few chairs little did they know that he was currently running from his life.

As Mr D spoke to the retrieval team on his study, Bisola was on her way to meet him and she paused to listen to...
1282... what he was saying on the phone after she heard him talking about him.

She strained her ears to intrude on the conversation Mr D was having with X and then, she heard that Uche was being traced and also got to find out that she used to be under 24 hours surveillance...
1283... but didn't know it. She entered the room and made her presence known to her father.
He sighed and then said to her:

"How much did you hear?"

"Enough for me to be mad at you."

"Sit down."

Her father sighed and told her and she complied. Mr D was forced to tell her...
1284... everything. He told her how everything that he did was at her best interest but the part she found hard to digest was where he said some people placed a tracker on Uche.

"Dad, how could you do this?"

"I'm sorry baby. But i was worried."
1285. Bisola didn't know how to react to the revelation because it was the tracker they put on Uche's phone that made it possible for him to be located.

Mr D told her that they found his phone but there were no signs of Uche and Baba Ibeji. That info infused her with so much...
1286...tension that her heartbeat lost it's natural tempo. Bisola got up to her feet.

"Dad, I'm going to need about a week to be angry with what you did."

"I understand child."

Bisola walked out of the study and tried not to break down in tears. She was worried out of her...
1287... mind and she couldn't help but feel guilty that she wasn't thinking much about the old groom that was snatched out of his wedding.

If only Bisola knew that right at that moment, Uche was carrying Baba Ibeji on his back as he fled from the hail of bullets that came...
1288... from his pursuers.

If not for the high concentration of trees that was in the forest, either him or Baba Ibeji would have been easily shot.

Uche soon hurt his ankle and dropped Baba Ibeji who immediately took to his heels when a bullet rattled a shrub not so far...
1289... from him. Uche tried running but the damage to his ankle made it excruciatingly impossible to continue.

His eyes raced for a place to hide and as soon as he found one, he limped towards it and prayed to God to spare him that day.
1290. As Uche hid under the root of a tree which stood on a soil that had suffered a serious erosion, he feared that his breath was too loud and tried to control it.

Was this the end? Was he going to die because of a woman who he hadn't even kissed? He found himself begging...
1291... God to save him and he asked for forgiveness of all the bad things he had done. Meanwhile, the kidnappers kept chasing Baba Ibeji thinking that Uche was with him.

Baba Ibeji soon ran out of the forest and into the major road. A truck carrying tomatoes stopped...
1292... just inches away from hitting him. Baba Ibeji quickly opened the passenger's seat and hopped in.

The driver of the truck shouted at him to get down and the moment the kidnappers sprayed bullets on his truck, no one told him to hit the accelerator as hard as he could.
1293. The armed men ran to the middle of the road and tried to disable the truck with a hail of bullets but they were long gone.

Uche had to fall asleep in his hiding place until dusk fell upon the earth. Long after the kidnappers were gone, he crept out and headed out...
1294... to civilization. The white the wore was a complete mess that he had to change it after he came across some cloths hanging on a clothing line behind the home of some locals.

The only befitting cloth for Uche was a worn out 'native' attire that probably looked older...
1295... than him, and an oversized trouser that he had to tie with a rope. Uche soon got to the populated part of town and by then night had fallen.

Uche was stunned to see a metal sign board advertising a church that was in Ogun State. It didn't take long for him to know...
1296... that he's no longer in Lagos. He got to a place that appeared to be a bus park and saw a truck being loaded with people who were mostly Hausas.

Uche met one of the men there and told him he was going to Lagos.
The man responded excitedly in the Hausa dialect and...
1297... mentioned Lagos about two times while nodding his head in agreement. He had no idea on what Uche asked him.

Uche was relieved because he thought the truck was going to Lagos. He hopped in on the truck filled with his fellow hitchhikers and thanked God that he was...
1298... going home. He was worried about what might have happened to Baba Ibeji and those were his last thoughts before he fell into a deep sleep.

The next morning, he woke up in Kogi State which was in an opposite direction far from Lagos state.
1299. The truck was actually heading towards the north but stopped at Kogi to refuel.

He thought his problems were over only to find out that it just got harder. Uche regretted his decision to get on the truck instead of looking for a way to call home.
1300. He got down from the truck and was able to locate a policewoman who he narrated his ordeal to and she ended up helping him by giving him a phone to call Pablo.

Uche had to wait at the police station for Pablo to come pick him up and while he waited, he got something...
1301... to eat- courtesy of the police. When Uche got back to Lagos, he found out that Baba Ibeji had already made it back with the news that he had died.

Bisola had broken down in tears and wept her heart out as her father tried to comfort her. Uche freshened up at a hotel...
1302... before he met Bisola who held him so close to her bosom to the point that she felt that anything less would make her lose him again.

For the very first time in 4 years, they shared their very first passionate kiss and the more their tongues met, the more they wanted...
1303... more of each other. Bisola totally ignored the terms and conditions she placed on Uche because she needed to have all of him.

She was one who believed that sex before getting to know someone well enough can make couples miss out on the need to have other forms of...
1304... emotional connection. She was going to make mindless love with Uche. She just couldn't take it anymore.

'If i die, i die."

She had concluded to herself. She feared losing him without tasting the whole of him and as it happened, Uche couldn't make love with her that day
1305... because he was in pains and he needed to get better. Bisola had never craved for the D the way she did with Uche and she was willing to wait for it even if it cost her her peace of mind.

After a week, they were able to get together in another hotel room and right...
1306... then Bisola got to know what she had been missing. She slipped out of her dress which revealed the true nature of those curves that Uche had only seen underneath her clothes. Uche wondered what the area of those curves would be if one was to apply a mathematical formula.
1307. Uche soon mirrored her action by getting rid of of his shirt which showed his well defined manly features.

As their bare and hungry bodies met on top of the king-sized bed, the only thing that existed to them was pleasure...
1308... because it felt like the world had lost all of its pain. The only sound that was audible in the room was Bisola's helpless moan as she moved her waist- while on top of her lover- in a sensual rhythm that sent an explosion of wild excitement to her and Uche's brain.
1309. They held each other tightly as they felt that they weren't having enough of the action. The more they dug into each other, the more they wanted more of each other.

(Okay let's stop here and give the couples some privacy.)
1310. After Uche and Bisola got their complete sexual healing, Bisola fell completely in love with him and thought about him more often.

She focused more on the sunshine than the darkness - this was almost the same thing she did with Frank. She was beginning to lose herself...
1311... in love again.

One fateful day, after going on a date with Bisola, Uche returned home in order to get some things in order.

Upon his arrival to the compound, there was a bright looking little girl- that had an abundance of natural hair that was well packed in a...
1312... bun- sitting down outside with her kid-sized orange travelling bag. She was about thirteen years old. Immediately she saw Uche, she got up and stood in his way.

"Hello little one, can i help you?"

Uche asked her as friendly as he could.
1313. "You look shorter in real life." The smart mouthed kid said.

"Excuse me?" Uche was taken aback.

"Oh. Forgive my manners. Hi, I'm Daisy."

She stretched forth her hands. Uche reluctantly took it because he was yet to understand why this kid was talking to him.
1314. "I'm your daughter."

She added, and with that Uche froze like a deer in the headlights.
. . . . . . . . FINAL CHAPTER. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . .WHO'S YOUR DADDY? . . . . . .
1315. Henrietta was a freshman in Nnamdi Azikiwe University when her path intertwined with that of Uche who was also a greenhorn.

Let's say that she was one who had always liked Uche even before he transformed from a weird frog to a glowing prince.
1316. She always saw the diamond amidst the dirt when it came to him and even went as far as perceiving his style as interesting and amusing.

Months after Uche got a total makeover, they met at a party where Pablo was the DJ of the event as usual.
1317. The department of psychology was organizing their social function which was an annual thing for all departments in the university that was situated in the heart of Awka, Anambra State.

That night, she was wearing a green gown that he found enticing and motivating.
1318. One thing led to another and they both ended up in a hotel room that was in the same location as the event.

What followed was these two horny adults putting on their birthday suits which was coupled with the fact that alcohol and lust coursed through their systems...
1319... and acted as an adrenaline that propelled their desires.

Weeks passed and Henrietta got the shock of her life when she tested positive for pregnancy- a pregnancy that was a product of a drunken one night stand.
1320. She took the issue to Uche and he outrightly denied being responsible. With his new found lifestyle and sexual binge, he wasn't ready to take the fall for a bun in the oven.

Henrietta was devastated with regret and confusion. How was she going to face her parents...
1321... with news that she allowed a horny male to deposit a whole baby in her womb instead of the lecturers hammering knowledge into her head- which was why she came to school in the first place.
1322. Knowing that her parents would erase her existence, she decided to settle for an abortion.

On her way to cut the thread that holds the destiny of the child that was slowly forming in her, she had a motorcycle accident where a reverend sister ran into her & her carrier...
1323... with her Jeep. She was taken to the hospital where it was discovered that she was pregnant. Henrietta broke down in tears and confessed to the nun that she was on her way to terminate the expectation that was gaining form life in her.
1324. Out of all the things the nun told her, the one that stuck with her most was when she said:

"God wants that child to live. Give God a chance."

Henrietta narrated the imminent destruction that awaited her if her parents were to find out...
1325... about her new and unwarranted membership in the experience of motherhood. The nun took Henrietta to her parents and just like she expected, she was outrightly disowned.

Her parents were strict disciplinarians that ruled with iron hands.
1326. Their reputation in society and their religious image mattered a lot to them so they were willing to do away with anything that posed a threat to such image.

She wept to the point that her agony was felt in the very edges of the universe.
1327. A fleeting moment of pleasure and indiscretion had led her on a sorrowful path filled with a lifetime of bitter regrets.

After the fires of pleasure and enjoyment had finished spewing forth it's blaze, all that was left in her custody was the ashes of had-i-knowns.
1328. Her sorrows knew no boundaries and she soon fell into a hopeless state of dark depression.

The nun took her in and tried to revitalize the life in her by taking her places; introducing her to inspirational books like "The Purpose Driven Life"; taking her to the zoo...
1329... to see exotic creatures; introducing her to new music and movies amongst other activities.

Sister Mercy- as she was popularly called- told her at a point in time:

"Once a mirror is broken, the next step is to accept that you can't undo the reality of the damage.
1330. If it was your favourite mirror, it's okay to cry but you must not be a slave to your grief. You must always remember that after the rain and storm comes the sun, and after the tears, a smile should follow."
1331. Henrietta soon put to bed and added to the humanity pool a daughter she would come to name Daisy and "Echefunam" which means "Don't forget me" in Igbo language.

She named her daughter Daisy because she was born outside in a makeshift tent that was erected...
1332... in the midst of vibrant African daisies. The convent hospital burned down due to some electrical surge and was under renovation so they decided to use a space in the hospital compound.

It was a beautiful day with thick clouds obstructing the sun from pouring forth...
1333... it's bright yellow rays. That day Henrietta gave birth, she kept staring at the gathering of daises that embellished the hospital compound.

"Do you like them?" One of the nurses had asked.

"Yes. They are beautiful."

"That's an African daisy."
1334. The aged nurse informed her. And with that, she believed she had found a name for her newborn daughter.

The birth of the child came with the conception of a new flame in Henrietta. That flame was called hope.
1335. It brought warmth and light to the cold darkness that had found comfort in her soul. She was damaged but somehow, the birth of her daughter brought tears along with the assurance of an in depth healing.

The more she held Daisy, the more her love for her grew;...
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