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The rays of sunlight through the window aroused Bimbo the next morning. She’d fallen asleep in worry and didn’t realize when Dafe-the cause of her troubles-entered the house and went into the bedroom. She yawned and made her way to the room to change into something better. She’d resolved to go first to Susan’s house and then to the Police station to report her missing fiance. She stepped into the room and was shocked to see Dafe crouched quietly on their large bed.
“You got me worried” she almost screamed when she realized he was awake and busy with his phone. “Where did you go to and what exactly got you so caught up that you lost track of time?”. All she got in response was silence, Dafe remained fixated on his phone and acted oblivious of her presence. “Have I become invisible?” she asked, “Dafe, I’m talking to you!” Bimbo lashed out in anger.
Dafe immediately rose from the bed and made his way to the living room, a bewildered Bimbo followed him closely.
“What is wrong with you?” Bimbo asked. She got really mad when there was still no response. In anger, she caught up with him and seized his phone; “I’m talking to you Dafe, and I think I deserve a response!”
He looked at her as if noticing her for the first time. Dafe shook his head and spoke. “When did my life, my whereabouts and my well-being start becoming a source of concern to you? Over the past weeks, I stopped existing in your world, you stopped caring about me so… Why now?”
Bimbo didn’t need anymore to be said to realize how badly she’d treated him since the evening he proposed. She’d allowed the prospect of seeing Frank again overshadow her present reality-Dafe. She was really ashamed of herself, she didn’t know if tendering an apology was the appropriate thing to do. After a few seconds of awkward silence, she managed to respond.
“I am really sorry Dafe, I just needed time alone to sort out my feelings. I remember asking you to give me a few weeks to come up with a suitable response…”
“Enough of that nonsense Bimbo. I’ve had it up to here with you! You take me for a baby or some dumb idiot? If you must know, your time is fast running out. You’re either here or back in Lagos; in the arms of Frank… I’m sure he still loves you. Go to him, just please leave and let me continue my life in peace!” Dafe was enraged. He walked out briskly banging the door after him, then he returned to seize back his phone and leave yet again.
Bimbo was dumbfounded, her secret was out. All her ‘carefully concealed’ plans had been exposed, she was utterly confused and didn’t know the next step to take. The only person she could think to talk to was Susan; without much ado, she went back to the bedroom to put on a good dress and made out for Susan’s place with worry written all over her face.
Kolawale Ajayi felt a chill run down his spine; he’d never imagined that the moment would come when he would be confronted with the skeletons in his past. He thought he’d buried those ugly secrets forever, never again to see the light of day, but Sandra’s words made him realize that his ‘fool-proof’ plans had several loopholes.
Kemisola Abeke Pedro was the sole heir to the Pedro Dynasty. She was orphaned at the tender age of five when her parents died in a plane crash on their way home from a trip overseas. Their will stated expressly, that she was to get all they owned with the condition that she couldn’t take charge of her inheritance until her twenty-first birthday. Her uncles made sure her parents’ will was respected; they had no reason to deprive her of her legal rights because they were wealthy and all loved her dearly.
She met Kola when she returned to Nigeria after her studies abroad. She was on the verge of clocking twenty-one and had to come home at her uncle’s bidding so the paper work for the legal transfer of her parents’ properties to her could begin. Kola was just a random taxi driver at the airport but his demeanor and spoken English made her choose him to get her to her uncle’s in Ikoyi. After the pleasantries, Kemi told her uncle how impressed she had been with Kola’s driving skills (and person) and persuaded him to employ the young man as her chauffeur since she wasn’t perfect at driving yet. She’d discussed it with him on their way from the airport and he’d even offered to teach her how to drive. Kemi was hard to say no to, so Kola easily became the pretty ‘yankee’ girl’s driver and companion. They became quite close afterwards and when she realized that he was actually a graduate who had to succumb to taxi driving in order to survive due to the limited opportunities in the white collar labour market, her respect and admiration for him increased greatly.
After two weeks of seeing each other, learning to drive and talking regularly, Kemisola developed a soft spot for Kola and offered to help him. She offered him a job as a senior officer in her company (hitherto her parents’), and made him comfortable in every way. After six months, their friendship grew into a deeply romantic relationship, and three months later, Kola proposed. Kemi was head over heels in love, she didn’t think twice. There were tears of joy in her eyes as she looked at him with all the love in her heart before giving an emphatic ‘YES!’
Their wedding was the talk of the town. Many dignitaries loyal to the Pedro family graced the occasion. For Kola, it was an amazing “grass to grace” story and he just knew he had Kemisola to thank for everything. After their honeymoon in Paris, Kemisola further surprised Kolawole by presenting him legal papers which made them both owners of “Pedro Holdings”. His gratitude was more than words could express, and he agreed heartily when she suggested they changed the company name to “Rock Holdings”.
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Two and half months later, Kemisola took in and it was greeted with absolute delight by her husband. Fate continued to smile at them when she delivered a set of twins after nine months. The babies were thereafter named Damilola and Damola. For many years, the family of Kola and Kemisola Ajayi blossomed beautifully, and so did Rock Holdings.
Sandra Babatunde was one of the successful applicants in the first interview the company conducted as “Rock Holdings” in 2002. Kemisola Ajayi was so impressed by her CV and interview that she decided to make her double as both her personal assistant and secretary. Sandra was a smart, beautiful and diligent worker who deserved all the trust and praise she enjoyed from Kemisola. She was so close to the Ajayi family she sometimes passed the night with them. The twins loved her, and she became like an elder sister to them. Many workers began to envy her and there were several cock-and-bull stories around the offices that she was related to the Ajayis, that was the only ‘plausible explanation for the reason preferential treatment she was getting from madam’. Another ridiculous gossip was that she was dating Kola Ajayi. As ridiculous as it sounded, Kemisola had no reason to believe until she decided to visit Sandra’s office without prior notice. She opened the door to find Sandra and Kola having the fun of their life on the office table. She was heartbroken but didn’t want to create a scene. She simply walked out of the office and went on with her work as if nothing had happened. Even at home, she didn’t mention a word about it, she didn’t act like anything had happened; she continued to be her usual jovial self and this caught both Kola and Sandra by surprise as they had expected all hell to be let loose. Sandra however did not hide her fears as she told Kola that Kemi’s silence could be very dangerous. She told him about her plans to resign from her job in order to save face and save her boss’ marriage, but Kola stood against it and assured her that all would be taken care of.
Four days later, news broke of Kemisola’s sudden death. She was supposedly ‘attacked by robbers on her way home’. The robbers took away all she had on her, except her car and as well, they took her life. It came as a shock to everyone including Sandra. She felt so much guilt. She regretted not having the chance to apologize to her boss before her demise, but Kola was there once again to give her confidence. One day, she confronted him about Kemi’s sudden death, and that was when he introduced Bertola, whom he had employed to do the job. Sandra wasn’t happy that he had resorted to such measure but they agreed to keep the secret. Damola and Damilola were flown to the UK to stay with their aunt to continue their studies while Sandra assumed the role of senior manager in Rock Holdings. She promptly ended the relationship with Kola Ajayi, who had become the new MD and chose to focus on making something out of her life as she got over the guilt of Kemisola’s death. For a very long time, things went well until Frank was employed and Sandra got caught in the web of love, so strong that she could do anything just to be with him.
The MD snapped out of his deep thoughts when Sandra tapped him on the shoulder.
“Don’t think too much about it. Trust me, it’s better to surrender than to be caught. I know my life is in grave danger by confessing. I have died before, I’m not afraid to die again. I have this second chance just to make things right, and that’s exactly what I want to do.” Sandra said coldly.
“You speak of surrender like it’s the easiest thing to do. You seem to have forgotten that all that I did was just for you. Kemi and Dennis died to keep you from being put to shame. Why would you do this to me now?” The MD pleaded.
Sandra began to feel pity for him. There was some truth in what he said, but the fact remained that atrocities had been committed, lives had been lost, and an innocent man had been caught in the web of their wrong-doings. She wanted to free Frank, he didn’t deserve to be in the middle of all their secrets but in order to strike a balance, she knew she had to seek a compromise.
“There’s a way to confess our sins and not fall into total shame” she finally announced after several minutes of deafening silence.
Frank could not believe his eyes and his ears. He had just witnessed live on screen the events that unfolded between the MD and Sandra. It had been the doctor’s plan since Frank summoned enough courage to confide in him about his suspicions of a dirty secret between Sandra and The MD. Special attention was immediately given to the camera in her ward and live feeds were brought onto the doctor’s screen in his office. The detective in charge of Dennis’ murder had been in attendance on Frank’s invitation.
The dectective had earlier advised the doctor to ask one or both of Frank and the MD to see him in his office. They knew that the MD would naturally want to seek private time with Sandra and probably ask Frank to go in his stead. They’d hoped he’ll use that freedom to speak the truth about whatever existed between Sandra and himself. The plan really worked and the man who initiated the whole process seemed to be coming out worst of all. Frank found it hard to believe Sandra was involved in Dennis’ death. Too many unanswered questions ran through his mind. He wanted to run into the ward and begin to ask those questions but he was restrained by the detective
“We can’t afford to let them know we have them on camera” he said, “the lady is willing to confess already, let’s sit back and allow her come forth with it on her own.”
To Be Continued Next Week………………………….