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Oh my God, I’m so so disappointed. How in God’s name could all of this even be true, I…” The words choked in his throat; Frank was fuming like a freshly erupted volcano, “I can’t be in this room right now!” He finally yelled as he stormed out of the ward.
He’d expected to hear ugly things in Sandra’s revelation, but he never quite envisaged the horrendous misdeeds that she revealed had transpired between herself and Kolawole Ajayi. Frank was mad at her, but he didn’t want to show it. There was more to be worried about than Sandra’s naivete; their boss was still at large and until he was apprehended, the MD remained a lethal threat. Sandra’s life was in grave danger and Frank made a solemn pledge to himself to do everything within his power to protect her though he didn’t know how to go about it.
“Did you hear all that? Can you believe all they have done to me? My friend was wasted!” Frank unleashed his fury in a barrage of words as he barged into the doctor’s office.
“Mr Frank, I’m afraid you’ll have to act a bit more level-headed. We’ve heard just one side of the story, we need to find a way to interrogate her accomplice before drawing any conclusions.” The detective responded sternly.
“There’s a lot that needs to be done, and you have to act fast detective.” Frank retorted with equal seriousness. “Her life is on the line as I’m sure you’re aware and we have to protect her. As much as I don’t approve of what she has done, I can’t afford to let that man just waste her!” Frank was totally agitated; fear was written all over his face.
“Why don’t you let me take over from here?” The Detective shot back at Frank to keep him quiet. “I think you should go back to her now” he said softly, trying to calm the already tense atmosphere. He collected the recorder and gently pushed Frank towards the door. “Go now please, you can be sure I’ll do my job.”
As soon as Frank left the room, he faced the doctor and spoke in a manner that left no room for questions. “I’ll need you to discharge the lady; let her leave today.”
Frank quickly rounded the last bend leading to Sandra’s apartment. He looked into the rear-view mirror and spotted the red benz again. He knew now that the car had been tailing them, but it was too late for him to maneuver his way through the alternative route as the car sped ahead and pulled up right in front of them.
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Bertola and two other hefty men alighted armed with machine guns, Frank was lifeless but Sandra remained unfazed. With a cheerful smile, she held Frank’s shaking hands and spoke tenderly: “Don’t be afraid Frank; they have come for me, not you.” “Never!” Frank interjected before she could finish; “I won’t let them take you away!” He’d started to dial the detective’s number.
“Ssshhh! Don’t do that.” Sandra stopped him, “I’m getting exactly what I deserve. I have a feeling this might be the last time I see your face Frank. I want you to know that I truly love you and will die again and again just to see you happy. You deserve a happy life, and I want you to get one for yourself.” She pulled him close and hugged him like her life depended on it. Thereafter she stepped out of the car and made for Bertola’s staunch figure.
As she walked hurriedly into the company of the mean looking hoodlums, Frank came out of his car and screamed like a lunatic.
“Where are you taking her to? Who are you?”
“Mr Man, get back inside your car. I have no business with you yet” Bertola responded as he motioned to his boys to take Sandra to the back seat of the Benz, but Frank was not one to give up. He proceeded confidently towards Bertola screaming at the top of his voice. “I think you have business with me.” He kept moving seemingly oblivious of the menacing stance of the hired guns. “You’re taking my fiancée away and you expect me to keep quiet! I will call….”
He was promptly silenced with a bullet from Bertola’s gun and the trio settled into the car and sped away, leaving Frank in a pool of his blood. “No!” Sandra screamed at the top of her voice. Hot tears came streaming down her cheeks. “Why did you do that? It was me you came for, Frank was…”
“Enough of these idiots that can’t follow simple instructions” Bertola yelled as his fist beneath Sandra’s left eye silenced her for the rest of the journey.
“Is she dead?” The driver asked.
“Shut up and please keep driving, she’s just sleeping” Bertola responded.
The room was dimly lit. Sandra looked around for company but found none, she was alone. She was tied to a chair and her mouth was covered with a large tape. She wanted to be calm, to embrace the impending doom she’d brought upon herself, but the bullet she’d watched Frank take remained a huge source of agitation to her. She tried to scream for help, but her mouth had been expertly sealed; she silently wept and hoped the poor guy wasn’t dead. It was just not fair; unlike her, he didn’t deserve to die. She had done what was needed and dying for her was a source of respite; at least she would die in peace and have the hope of finding a place in heaven. She said another prayer of forgiveness for the umpteenth time since she came to in that room hoping God could hear her somehow.
Bertola suddenly flung the door open. He beamed his torch in her eyes and quickly removed the tape covering her mouth. Behind him was a figure Sandra easily recognized to be her boss.
“Kolawole Ajayi… You just don’t seem to ever give up on evil. I wonder how many more you’ll have to kill to cover your tracks” Sandra said.
“I didn’t want this, but you pushed me into it. Every blood stain on my garment was shed to protect you. But no, rather than remain indebted, you chose to have me wash my dirty linen in public. Death is just the perfect reward for ingrates like you.” The MD responded angrily. He moved closer to her and whispered in her ears “Have you said anything to that boy?”
“I didn’t realize I needed permission from you before speaking.” Sandra responded defiantly.
“That’s the problem!” The MD shot out. “Stubbornness!… Your loving Frank could have saved his own life if only he decided to be a little obedient to simple orders. He wasted my boys’ bullet and died for it…”
“Oh My God! You actually killed him?” Sandra’s eyes went crimson red. She was struggling really hard with the ropes in her hands and the tears were already flowing freely from her eyes.
“You are going to die by the same means except you obey simple orders and answer my questions truthfully” the MD continued. “Just look at you, getting yourself trampled upon for some guy, all in the name of love! He’s out of the picture, whatever you told him died with him. Who’s losing now you brat?” The MD asked as he moved his face towards Sandra’s
“Go to hell!” Sandra screamed and spat on his face.
The MD tried to feign a smile, but he couldn’t contain his anger. “Kill her!” He ordered and stormed out of the dark room.
The gunshot that followed his exit was the only thing that could calm him down as he got into his car. He threw his fist in the air and said triumphantly: “now, I am free!”
“I’m afraid not sir… You are under arrest for the murder of Dennis Azubike and the attempted murder of Sandra and Franks!” The detective appeared from the other side of the car with a smug smile of victory. “Step out of the car and put your hands behind your head Kolawole Ajayi!” He ordered.
Kola Ajayi stepped down gently and went on his knees. The door of the abandoned warehouse where Sandra was held opened and Bertola’s dead body was carried out. Sandra emerged with the policemen and went straight to the MD.
“Now who has lost?” She asked and went into the police vehicle as the MD was handcuffed and taken into a seperate police van.
Frank opened his eyes to a sight that almost sent him back to the world of the dead. It took him a moment to realize he was in the hospital, and the sharp pain on his shoulder was all he needed to remember his body had accommodated Bertola’s bullet. He groaned and tried to sit.
“Thank God! You’re awake.” Bimbo said as she rushed towards him. “I’m so glad you are alive.”
“Bimbo?” Frank asked, truly confused. “When did you arrive and how did you know I was here?”
“I went to your office when I didn’t find you in your apartment. It was there I heard about your ordeal and I had to rush down. I practically begged with my life for the doctor to allow me stay here with you.” She explained.
By that time, the policeman assigned to watch Frank in the ward had called in the doctor and the detective.
“Victory at last!” The detective announced as he stepped in.
“Kolawole Ajayi has been arrested, and his evil messenger was shot dead by my boys just when he was about to kill Miss Sandra.”
“Goodness gracious! Where is Sandra now?” Frank asked, totally forgetting Bimbo. “I hope she’s not passing through any trauma?”
“She will be okay” the doctor responded quickly. “I’m glad everything turned out as planned, even though we all had our hearts in our mouths when you were shot, we didn’t see that coming. I feared the worst but I’m happy we were able to save you and Miss Sandra.” The detective said on a final note and beckoned on the doctor as they both made their way out of the ward.
Bimbo was thrown into an awkward silence and Frank was lost in deep thought. Neither spoke a word, and there was nothing to be said.
“Eleven months of madness… I have learnt a lot on this journey and the most important lessons I’ve come to learn are PATIENCE, FIDELITY and TRUST. They have come at a costly price; lives have been lost, confidence has been forsaken, friendships have been compromised, love has been abused, but we must keep moving.
Everyone who have formed the crust of my life over the past eleven months have all been taken away from me, one way or the other. Dennis was murdered, Sandra and the MD stand trial in court and could be sentenced to death, and YOU… Even if you seemed to have a place in my head, you are definitely not in my heart anymore.
At this point, I think its best we both forge new paths for ourselves. I appreciate all you have done hitherto in my life, and I’ll never forget you. I pray you find a worthy man as you move on, I guess this is goodbye.”
These were Frank’s words to Bimbo. She returned to Port-Harcourt with every word of that impromptu speech in her head. Dafe whom she had earlier given up for Frank would be her last resort. She was ready to give an emphatic YES the next time he proposed.
She arrived Dafe’s apartment around 3:32pm, hoping to prepare him a meal before he returned from work but got the shocker of her life when she found Dafe and Susan tangled together on the couch, kissing and cuddling like long term lovers.
“Susan! Dafe! Oh My God!” She screamed, and collapsed on the floor. She did not need to be told, she had lost out on both men. Susan only took advantage of her desperation and indecision; and that she did by stealing Dafe from her. She was further mesmerized when she realized Susan was already wearing the engagement ring that she rejected earlier.
She packed her belongings from Dafe’s place and returned to her room in the corpers’ lodge of her PPA. She would be done with service in a week, and then she’d have to face life squarely as a woman. It had truly been eleven months of madness for her, and she learnt her lessons the hard way.
As she got back to her spacious room, she immersed herself in unpacking and trying to make the place comfortable, but it didn’t feel like home… It was her turn to shed hot tears; she cried for minutes. She felt like a traitor, and she also felt betrayed: “Frank, Dafe, Susan, they’re all as guilty as I am!” She stood up and picked a tiny rope she’d noticed earlier on the table she met in the room. “What shall I do with myself now? I’m just a laughing stock now.” She made a noose with the rope and attached it to the ceiling fan. “I can’t face them anymore…and I thought Susie was my friend”.
She laughed hysterically, probably to show some courage, as she stepped on a small stool she’d placed beneath the fan. Carefully, she placed her neck in the noose and displaced the stool…
The rope was weak, and her weight was more than it could hold. She crashed into the floor as the rope gave way and she burst into tears trembling uncontrollably.
“Bimbo, is that you?” Chidinma, her neighbour peeped into the room and rushed in at the sight of the noose. “What is wrong with you!”. She wailed loudly and struggled with her for some time. Finally, she looked at her and with tears in her eyes, she said to a bewildered Chidinma “If I ever fall in love again, I will be wiser.”
Thanks for staying with us.
“We all are scared to face the TRUTH; but are also scared to be caught in our FALSEHOOD….”