“What are you talking…talking about?” Cherry stuttered.
“What am I talking about? The whole world knows you’re
engaged to this man!” Mitch shouted, shoving his phone in her face.
Cherry was speechless, the lady at the front desk pretended
to be busy on a phone call but her eyes and ears were recording Mitch and
Cherry’s conversation.
“Can we talk about this some other time?” Cherry asked.

“To hell with some other time! You and I are going to talk
about this now!” He shouted.
“Please don’t shout…this is an office…let’s go outside.”
Cherry said and taking his hand, she led him out of the office.
When they were outside, she looked at him and started to
cry.
“Your tears are not going to solve this problem. Cherry. To
think that I gave you my heart…” Mitch said with a broken voice.
“No, I have an explanation for this…I honestly
do…please.” Cherry said.
“What’s your explanation?”
“It’s all my dad’s fault.” Cherry blurted.
“Your dad?” Mitch stared at her in confusion.
***********
Madu resumed work with a bitter taste in his mouth, he
couldn’t tell where his anger was coming from; was it the fact that his wife
left the hours in the wee hours of the morning or that he was working for a
woman he thought he knew but didn’t know at all? He couldn’t tell. He had just
sat at his desk when his intercom buzzed.
“Madu, can you come in for a moment?” Anita’s voice floated
out to him.
He stood up from his desk, he had no idea that she was in at
work that morning as the secretary hadn’t told him anything and he hadn’t seen
her car outside office. He stepped into her office and stopped in his tracks.
Anita was there alright, but she looked a wreck.
“Anita! My God! What happened to you?” He asked, rushing up
to her and forgetting all about the questions he’d built up in his head for
her.
“Don’t worry about me…I’ll be fine…” She said turning to
face him and wiping the tears from her eyes with a handkerchief.
Her eyes were puffed, her cheeks had bruises, her hair was a
mess, and she wore a pair of track pants and a loose T-shirt. She looked like
one who was beaten severely.
“I didn’t know you were in the office already…I…” Madu
started.
“No one saw me come in, I arrived at about four am this
morning and only the security on night shift saw me come in.” She sniffed. “Oh
Madu, I hate to drag you into this but I don’t have anyone to turn to. My
family…only check up on me whenever they need money and everyone else sees me
as unapproachable and as a money bag…except you…except you…” She cried.
Madu pulled her into his arms and hugged her tight.
“Who did this to you? Who?”
“I don’t want to drag you into this…don’t bother about who
did this to me…just hold me please. Tell me that everything will be alright.”
“Everything will be alright…” Madu said. “But you have to
tell me, let’s bring the culprit to book…whoever did this to you.”
“It’s my ex husband, he came to my house last night and we
got into a fight over some property and he hit me several times with a wine
bottle.” She sniffed.
Madu knew that Anita must have been married or in a
relationship but he never knew she had an ex-husband. What happened to their
marriage? Why did they separate?
“What? He hit you with what?”
“Forget that old buffoon! I don’t know how he got past
security but he got into my house and he beat me up.”
“You need to report this at the police station.” Madu said.
“No, don’t worry about that. He has his connections and I
can assure you that even if I report him, he’ll go scot free.”
“That’s madness!”
“The thing is, I am so scared of living in my house…I am
so scared.” She cried.
“Can you maybe, double the security watch or something?”
“These security guys are not loyal, they let my ex-husband
in…I can’t trust them again.” She said and paused. “Madu, I need a man…a
man to protect me…if a man was there and I wasn’t alone, this won’t have
happened.”
“Well, where will you get the man from? Do you have any man
who might be willing to stay with you?”
She looked at him and said.
“You can come and stay with me.”
Madu’s eyes widened as he stared at her in shock.
********
Stella stared at the pregnancy knit in her hands and closed
her eyes. She opened them and walked out of the toilet to stand before her
friend who was staring at her reflection in the mirror.
“What is it?” Rhoda asked, turning to look at her.
“It’s positive!”
“What? Like play, like play? How?” Rhoda asked.
“Oh my God! Just when I was beginning to enjoy life…”
Stella lamented, turning on the tap and filling water in her palms and
splashing it on her face.
“Why are you washing your face? It’s still office hours…”
Rhoda said.
“I know…but I need to pour water on my face to absorb this
news.” Stella said.
“Pregnancy is a major turn off ooo especially when the child
doesn’t belong to the guy you’re shagging.”
“Urrgggghhhh…don’t remind me…please don’t…”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m not ready to sacrifice my life for this child. I am a
human being and I need to live free and make my own decisions. Duncan and I are
having something really special between us and sooner or later, he might just
decide to maybe settle with me and one child from my soon to be ex is fine but
two? I don’t think he’ll be able to handle it.”
“So, like I asked earlier, what are you going to do?”
“I am going to abort the baby.”
“Really?”
“The future is filled with possibilities and I can have more
kids when I want to have them but as for now, this baby is a big liability.”
Stella said.
************
“Your dad? What do you mean by your dad?” Mitch squeaked.
“I didn’t tell you this but my dad came back to ask for our
forgiveness after a long time of being separated from us. He…he came to us
and my siblings turned their backs to him but I kinda felt sorry for him and I
accepted him back. Along the line, we became so close and I started frequenting
his office…that was where I met his client…the man who I’m engaged to. My
dad owed this client a lot of money and err…he wanted to lock him up for that
so…somehow, his client saw me at his office one day and he instantly liked me.
I promise you that I had no choice but to give in because my dad was like, his
client had stopped pressuring him over the money because of my growing
friendship with him, even though I swear that I’m just stringing him along. You
see, my dad has almost paid up his money but somehow, he just proposed to me
and I had to accept his proposal but it’s all a lie…you see…I don’t want
him and as soon as my dad finalises the payment, I am going to leave him and
tell him that I love someone else.” Cherry lied desperately.
Mitch looked at her as though trying to understand her
story.
“This doesn’t make any sense, how can your dad who left you
guys years ago, come back into your life and begin to make demands of you?”
“He’s my dad Mitch, you know how much I’ve longed to have
him back in our lives again, I am his favourite child.” She said. “I don’t
expect you to understand, you have a dad who’s always there for you.”
Mitch softened and pulled him to himself for a hug.
“Listen, I am sorry I barged into your office the way I did
and screamed at you…”
“No, I am sorry for not telling you all this earlier, it’s
just that I didn’t want you to feel so protective over me.”
“You know I’ll go to the ends of the earth to protect
you…no matter the cost, my angel.” Mitch said, giving her a kiss on the lips.
“Hey, we are still in my office…no kisses…” She said
with a smile.
“It’ll kill me to see you in another man’s arms, we were
born for each other, we will grow old together and we will die in each other’s
arms.”
“Yes…my love.” Cherry said.
“So, what are you going to do about the man? How do you
break off the engagement to him?” Mitch asked.
“It’s not time yet, my dad still owes him some money.”
“How much?” Mitch asked.
“About five million…” She lied.
Mitch looked at her for a while and said.
“The bank my office works with has a loan package for
workers, I am still new there so I have to spend at least three months before I
can apply for a loan. I wanted to get a loan to get a car but I’ll set that
aside for now as we need to set you free as soon as possible from the clutches
of that man…” Mitch said.
“Oh no…you’re so kind Mitch, but this debt was incurred by
my dad and he has to pay it himself.”
“Not if it involves you…I can’t think of another man near
you.” Mitch said, and then asked. “Tell me, are you having sex with him?”
“What? God forbid! The relationship is on my own terms
darling, I haven’t even kissed him yet.”
“I trust you baby…and I promise that we will find a way
out of this mess.” He said.
Cherry nodded and hugged him again before walking him to the
gate of her office, as soon as he was gone, she let out a sigh of relief.
“Cherry! You’re one heck of a talented liar.” She told
herself.
Her phone beeped and she saw a message from Sean.
‘Hey
babe, stopover at my place tonight and don’t forget to bring your sexiest
lingerie. I want to specially thank you for being my doctor all night last
night….’

Sean’s message startled her more than it excited her, she
was suddenly scared, something told her that there was a part of Sean that she
didn’t know yet but what was it?
***********
“Move in with you? But that’s impossible!” Madu said.
“How’s it impossible? I am in danger, Madu…and that’s why
I am begging…come and live with me at least for some weeks till all the dust
has settled.”
“I am married.”
“Does marriage mean imprisonment? Speak to your wife and
make her understand that you are doing me a favour. Do you know what? I’ll up
your salary by a hundred percent.” Anita said with hope.
“Marriage is not like that…you don’t just pack your bags
and go wherever you will…just because…”
“I brought you out of squalor, I gave you a new life, I help
put food on your table and decent clothes on your back, the least you can do
is, come live with me.” She said.
“I know you did all that I am indebted to you but I can’t…what
do I tell my daughter?”
“Bring her with you?”
“What happens to my wife?”
“I dunno…if she wants to come with you, she’s welcome even
though I’d rather you came alone. If she comes, there’ll be too many women for
you to look after and you’re just one man.”
“Anita, your request doesn’t make sense. Hire a bodyguard.”
He said.
“A body guard? Do you know how expensive they are? Besides,
I don’t want anyone I don’t trust.”
“You can afford it and besides, body guards are loyal and
trust worthy, that’s what they sign up for.”
“Do you know what? Forget we had this conversation. I see
that you’ve forgotten how close we used to be at school back then…” Anita
said.
“I haven’t forgotten…but I haven’t told anyone who I work
for.” Madu said in a strangled voice.
“What are you saying?”
“No one knows I work for you, if my aunt finds out, she’ll
throw a fit and if my wife finds out, I don’t know what she’ll do.”
“You didn’t tell them?”
“No, and it’s unlike me because I am very honest with my
family but I’m scared that I’ll be pressured to drop it… you know…” He said.
“It’s okay Madu, I am fine. Thank you so much for coming
when I called. You can go now.”
“Anita…” He started.
“I said you can leave! Go now please!” Anita half-screamed
at him.
As Madu left her office, he almost asked her what the white
substance was doing in her warehouse but the thought of her request kept
bearing on his mind. How in the world did she expect him to leave his family
home and live with her?

9 COMMENTS

  1. Do we still have guys like mitch? Cherry is really pathetic liar. Madu hummm what can I say you're a good men with greedy and stupid wife

  2. The desperation to do evil is so strong in Cherry and Anita is baffling. Madu is slowly roping himself in while Stella is digging her own grave.
    I would love to see how this ends.
    Well done, Adaeze.

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