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STORY* =Dangerous Addiction [Episode 2] –




I hadn’t had time to take the drugs I bought when I lost my footing and fell with a thud just before the glass doors held a jar by the janitor. I heard distant voices in the background and someone shutting the door, followed by silence. My eyes opened and squinted again from the bright lights that hit my retina and gave me a tough time recognising that I was in a hospital ward. I tried to sit up but my head refused to follow my will. It felt like lead against my skull. I groaned from pain and bit my lower lip as the thoughts of my last few conscious hours flashed back. Tears trickled down the sides of my eyes on to the bed as I sobbed. Thankfully the door opened and a young nurse walked in with a broad smile that felt like home. The name tag on her uniform read Sabatnelly. “How are you feeling?” She asked while placing a hand on my forehead. “Where am I?” I ignored her question. “You don’t have to worry about anything madam.” She grinned and felt my pulse. “You’re at Dr. Fly’s hospital. We have been waiting for you to resuscitate since a gentleman brought you here some few hours ago. He said you slumped at a pharmacy nearby. You know…. NGFM’s Place.” Her voice was soothing, I thought. “I need to leave here at once.” She had gone to use the intercom to inform the doctor I had regained consciousness. I made to stand up and felt the pound on my head intensify. That was when I also realised I was on drip, hence had my right wrist fastened to the edge of the bed. “Don’t do this to yourself madam, at least not until the doctor has certified you are okay. We need to identify you please.” She spoke with such calmness that defied my thoughts of a typical trained Zambian nurse. She didn’t appeal to me like those that would spank and yell at someone for not pushing so hard in the delivery room. “Look, I just need to leave as soon as possible.” I winced. “Lemme just leave here please.” “Please madam, the gentleman who brought you here said he’s under instructions…” “Instructions from who?” I defied my pounding head to rant. “…From the manager at NGFM Place, where you lost consciousness.” I sighed with relief and relaxed. Sabatnelly seemed relaxed as well. “Can I have my phone please?” “Yeah sure. We would have reached out to someone but we’ve not been able to identify you, besides your mobile phone has been locked or we would have reached your…husband or anyone else.” She said as she handed me the phone. I wanted to wonder how she knew I was married when I remembered I had my rings on. I didn’t know who to talk to. My family was out of it as I didn’t want to cause any form of panic. I didn’t care about my status anymore, I needed help and was going to ask for it, even if it meant putting it up on social media. I wasn’t the first after all. When I unlocked the phone, I realised I’d had twenty nine missed calls, Vincent alone called me twenty times. I was sure the others were from his friends. “Thank God.” Sabatnelly looked at me inquisitively as I was glad they hadn’t taken any of the calls to inform Vincent about my location. “I’m sorry we missed the calls that came to your phone. That’s why I was asked to come and get the phone. “There’s no problem at all.” If only she knew what was on my mind. I called the only person that could understand what plight I was suffering at the time, the only person I should never have called. What face did I have. What guts? But that was the Hobson’s choice. The shock in Nelly’s voice was almost palpable but the love and wanting was perspicuous. “Hello love,” her soft voice emanated benignly as the line clicked open. I lost my vocal cord and my senses turned off. Eishhhh! something happened… WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 31


EPISODE 8 “Wouldn’t you have your seat, Mr. Coker?” Patricia asked with a smile as she waited in vain for Michael to speak. “What do you want Miss Williams?” Michael asked in return, still not moving his position; he could almost be mistaken for a mannequin. “Ooohhh, eager right? Why don’t we sit calmly like two adult so we can talk properly?” Pat threw back, matching his calm perfectly. “If the vague rumors and news are correct, nothing about your visits are calm, so why don’t we get in the mood right from the beginning?” Patricia raised her brow and smiled. “I love a man who doesn’t beat around the bush.” She murmured and still got no facial expression from Michael. She wondered how Alexander managed to fall for such a cold man. Well, what a shame! “It is good that rumor is a familiar subject to you because I am here to get out the facts from you. The news taking over the entire country and beyond is the fact that you are gay; what do you have to say about this?” For the first time ever, Michael moved away from the massive glass which was facing her because of its position behind Michael’s large table. Michael moved to the small portable fridge and extracted a pack of juice and a glass. For a second, Patricia actually thought he did not hear her question and when he took out the juice, she also thought he was finally making an effort at being hospitable but when he filled a glass and raised it to his own lips; she swallowed her fury and disgust and kept a straight face. “Is that why you flew to Nigeria from Canada? To meddle in my affairs and find out if I am gay?” Michael finally said, sitting. “Oh, you are not big enough to bring me from Canada” she said factually, looking disgusted. “But meddling in your affairs is my business just as stocking people’s phones with irrelevant and annoying offer messages is your business” she dropped. “At least I don’t read my customers’ messages, listen to their telephone conversations or ask them to tell me about their private lives” Michael said as he dropped into his seat. “Well, meddling is my business. But I am not here to discuss what I do; it is pretty obvious to everyone who knows me. I am here to talk about who you are… or rather, what you are” she grinned. “You know what? My being here is not only professional, it is also personal. Tell me, why did you go out with my cousin when you knew you were obviously interested in an asshole?” Michael raised his eyes to hers sharply. “You should have known what you were getting yourself into; I protect my own, I always do” “Well then what are you doing here then?” “To confirm if the rumors are real, there are facts; on net. I must say that you have a…” she ran her eyes from his chest to his eyes. “… nice physique.” She said with disgust. “It does not look like you need a confirmation, it is obvious that you have drawn your conclusions, why waste time here? You can write your reports on all the rumors you have.” “Oh no Mr. Coker, I don’t work that way. I have never come up with a broadcast that was later judged false and the same goes for ‘Tellers’. We speak the truth” she boasted proudly. “Yeah right, well, you are just wasting your time because I won’t feed you with any ridiculous story” “Oh, you will Michael Coker, you can count on that. You know me right? Truth cannot be hidden from me, especially, not one that is very open.” She stood up and made for the door. “I wonder; did you dress so enticingly to seduce the answers out of me?” Patricia turned speedily and pinned Michael with a glare but he raised his glass of juice to her in salute and she had to bring down her anger before it skyrocketed, she opened the door and went out, closing the door as gently as her temper could allow her. ********** ********** Alexander tapped her foot restlessly on the floor as she waited for Teresa at Regs Restaurant. She knew it was just a few minutes past twelve and she should not be so testy but she couldn’t help it. She checked her wrist watch again and picked up her phone to call Teresa again. She glanced through the large restaurant and saw few people. The restaurant was a good environment which also gave a certain level of privacy. The call went unanswered and she almost jumped for joy when she looked up and saw Teresa coming into the restaurant. She waved at her and Teresa quickly saw her and made her way to the seat. “Hey babes, how are you? Sorry I am late” she said, dropping her bag and lowering herself to the chair without the usual hugs and kisses that the two ladies often shared. Alexa was grateful for this too, she was in no mood for pointless pleasantries. “Better late than never” Alexa said. “I’ll second that. Now spill it, I almost could not breathe since you called me, what is happening?” Teresa said hastily. Teresa had thought a million times of how to tell her closest friend her predicament but now that it was actually happening, she was at a loss. “How do I tell you this?” “Alexander, you better open your mouth and spill it” Teresa warned, already tired of the long suspense. “I am scared Teresa, I am doomed.” Alexa ran her hands through her hair and bent her eyes. Teresa groaned and raised her eyes heavenwards. “I am pregnant” “What?” Teresa yelled suddenly and heads turned in the restaurant to look at them. “Alexa, how can you say such rubbish?” she said, trying to reduce her voice. Alexander swallowed heavily. “Control yourself idiot, people would hear you” Alexa took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself. “What do I do Teresa?” “You are not being serious, are you?” “I found out about two nights ago and almost died Teresa; my parents, how would they hear this? Our family name… oh God, this is worse than a shipwreck?” “Have you told Michael?” “No! Never! And I won’t tell that bastard anything” Alexa said with her voice rising. “You never told me you both had problems, what did he do this time?” Teresa asked, not happy that a lot had happened and she was just hearing about it. Teresa choked. “What?” this was the second time she would exclaim. People turned to them again and she swallowed. “What else are you hiding from me Alexa uhn? Too many things are hidden from me” she said bitterly. “Does this look like fun news to you? Is it good news that I am pregnant for a gay?” Alexa took a deep breath. “It is all over the net Teresa, it is not hidden” “Wow… what do we do now?” Alexa exhaled and put her head in her palms. A waiter approached the two ladies with a smile. “Good afternoon madam” he greeted Alexa and proceeded to do the same to Teresa before turning to face Alexander again. “Ma, I was asked to give you this” he said and stretched a picture. Alexander’s mouth dropped open as she stared at the picture in the waiter’s hand. Teresa peeked and gasped. The waiter, seeing the commotion, dropped the picture and started retreating. “Come back here, who gave you this?” Teresa asked, taking the picture in her hand. “A lady did but did not tell me her name. Please excuse me” The guy hurried off, leaving the two ladies to stare at the picture of a wedding which not only had Michael as an attendant but as the groom. ********** ********** Felicia had been about to enter Reg’s Restaurant when she sighted Alexander from afar and stopped. It had come as a surprise that Alexander was there but she did not want to meet the woman yet, it might ruin her plans, but she could not let the opportunity slide. A brilliant idea had struck her and she had opened her purse and removed the picture she always kept in it. She had called the waiter, tipped him and watched as he walked to Alexa’s table with the picture in his hands. When the picture was successfully delivered and she saw the reactions, she smiled and turned. She instantly called Sophia. “Hey babes… I know but Alexa is in the restaurant… yes, meet me at Tantalizers instead, there is a new development” ********** ********** Belina waited for Felix and her anxiety rose with each passing minute. She had a feeling that something very defaming was going on. The thought of the report that Felix would give almost drove her mad with anxiety. Her intercom rang and she instantly picked up. Her secretary told her that Felix was waiting and she heaved a sigh, telling her to show him in. When Felix entered, he greeted Belina but would not meet her eyes. “How did it go? Did you get what I asked?” Felix swallowed. “I don’t know if I should tell you this ma’am” “Of course you would tell me what you found out, that is why I sent you” “You would not like what I have to say ma” Belina sighed. “I know that already, now spill it” ********** ********** Alexander got home about two hours later with a terrible headache. She did not think she could handle anything anymore, all she wanted to do was cry herself to sleep. She hadn’t noticed her mum’s car outside but as she entered, she saw her mum pacing the sitting room. “Good afternoon mum” she greeted with a frown. “Is everything ok?” Belina’s eyes shot her a thousand bullets as she stopped midstride to stare at a daughter she could not identify. She was glad that the maid was not home because she did not need to worry about being heard. Belina marched towards Alexander and watched as fear creaped to the eyes of her daughter but she couldn’t care less. Alexander shrank as her mum approached with a thousand thoughts floating through her head. Belina hadn’t reached Alexander when her hand swung out and connected forcefully with Alexa’s cheek. Alexa whimpered and even Belina’s hand vibrated from the force of the slap. “How dare you?” Belina yelled. “How dare you do this to us Alexa? After all I taught you, after all the values I instilled on you, after all the love and care that your dad and I gave you; is this how you pay us? By dragging the family name in the mud? Tell me” Belina yelled. “Mum, I am sorry” Alexander cried. There was no use pretending again, it was obvious that there was nothing to hide again. “You are sorry?” Belina cried out. “Oh, so now you are sorry. When you found out, why did you not tell me? You lied to me, telling me that Teresa was traveling out while you went out to meet her and unburden yourself. What happened to the time you always came to me with your troubles?” “I am sorry mum, how could I tell you such a thing” Alexa cried as she crumbled to her knees. “I was scared of what you would do if I told you that I was pregnant” Alexa sobbed. Belina gasped and froze. What is going on? She wondered. For several seconds, only Alexander’s sobs filled the silence until Belina got her speech back. “You are what?” “I am so sorry mum, I never meant for this to happen” “You are pregnant?” Alexander raised her eyes to meet her mum’s shocked and stricken gaze. “Didn’t you know?” Alexa was more alarmed now. The door opened and Richard entered. He stood stupefied at the scene before him. “What is going on here?” he asked but no one could answer, they were all dealing with various levels of shock.


EPISODE 7 Belina arrived home later than she had envisaged. Prisca had successfully dragged her out of the house to help her interview the new salesgirls that applied to her boutique. Belina had been uncomfortable throughout, thinking of what to make of Alexander’s strange attitudes. Belina entered the sitting room and dropped her keys on the chair. Tolani came to welcome her but all Belina needed was her daughter. “Where is Alexa?” she asked. “In her room ma” the girl responded. Curiosity took over. “Has she left the house after I left?” “No ma, she never left her room once” the girl said, also awed by that odd fact. Belina frowned and waved the girl away as she went up to Alexander’s room. A million things went through Belina’s head but what she felt was more logical was that Alexander might be having problems with Michael. Belina knew Alexa to be very emotional because she always loved deeply so she knew that problems with Michael would affect Alexander a lot. She got to the door and paused when she heard Alexa’s voice. Eavesdropping was something that Belina detested but she found herself carrying out the mundane act. Moving close to the door, she silenced even her breathing to hear the muffled words. “I am finished Teresa” she heard Alexa say. “…I need to see you… Yes, tomorrow is fine… no, no, I would come to you… Lunch? Can’t it be in the morning… ok, fine… I would tell you when I get there…” Belina opened the door and Alexa suddenly hung up and spun like a top. Her face was pale. Like the writer that she was, she tried to cover it up. She placed her hand on her chest dramatically. “Oh, mum, you scared. Is the house on fire? I never knew you were back” she threw all at once. “What is going on Alexa?” Belina asked. Alexa frowned. “I don’t understand mum” “Don’t you dare play the innocent card Alexa, what is the matter with you? You are behaving strangely” Belina’s voice rose a notch. “I heard you talking now, who were you talking to?” Alexa started stammering. “Sit” Belina commanded and Alexa instantly dropped onto the bed. Belina stood with folded arms. “Now spill it before I draw it out of you” “Mum, there is nothing wrong, believe me” Alexa said with a stamp. “I see… and that is why you are pale” Belina raised her brow. “is everything Ok with Michael?” Alexa gasped then quickly comported herself. “Of course mum, why would you think otherwise.” Alexa quipped silently. “Where were you off to this morning?” Belina continued to interrogate. “I told you mum, I saw a friend off to the airport” Alexa said, looking exasperated. “Oh, I remember now” Belina said vaguely. “Which friend is that?” “Teresa” Alexander said without thinking and Belina raised her brow. “Alright dear, I trust you. You know you can come to me when you have problems right?” Alexa nodded. “Ok baby, I would go and freshen up now, go and eat, you look as white as sheet” Belina smiled and walked out. Immediately the door closed, Alexa collapsed on the bed with her hands on her head. Water came to her eyes and floated down her cheeks. “I am finished” she murmured. Her life was in shambles. ********** ********** Patricia parked her car at the car park in front of the massive ‘TEL’ building. She had turned a deaf ear to everything her parents had said about how much she needed to rest for some days before going back to work. Pat did not need to be alone, she needed work just as she needed fresh air. Solitude was a medicine that Patricia discovered could slowly lead to a painless and boring death. Working took Patricia off her own personal problems and gave her something to think about. Pat hadn’t reported to the office and she is not due to return to work for the next two weeks. Pat had decided to use the two weeks to work on her first assignment so that she would resume powerfully. Patricia’s pencil heels clicked away as she walked confidently into the massive building. She was clad in black fitted pencil jeans which clung to her body from hips to feet. She had red heels on, followed by a red and black shirt which was neatly tucked into her trousers. Her hair was neatly packed on her head and plaited into a single braid which hung down. Patricia arrived at the receptionist’s desk on the ground floor and the lady smiled at her, clearly not knowing her. “You are welcome ma’am, I am Clara; how may I help you?” The receptionist asked sweetly. “Oh, I am Patricia Williams from ‘Tellers’ newspaper, I am here to see Mr. Coker” The name of the newspaper seemed to sink in and the lady straightened. She nodded several times. “Do you have an appointment?” Patricia smiled internally. Who in his right mind books appointments with Pat Williams? “Something like that” she murmured. The receptionist led her to the elevator which she entered and went up to the last floor. On getting there, she went to the lady who was apparently Michael’s secretary. The lady recognized her instantly and Patricia smiled at the job made easy. “Hi” Pat said. “Hello ma’am” the secretary said, standing. “I guess you already know who I am, I am here to see Mr. Coker” Pat said instantly. “Oh, does he know you are coming? I mean erm…” “I don’t think so” Pat murmured. “Oh, ok, let me inform him” Pat smiled. “Since you know me, you should know that I don’t get invited, I invite myself” Patricia turned instantly and walked to the door. The secretary immediately picked her desktop intercom and called her boss. Patricia opened the door without any formality and Michael, who had been facing the massive transparent glass, suddenly turned at the rude intrusion. Immediately Michael turned, Pat raised the camera in her hand and snapped instantly. After that shot, she dropped the camera in her bag and raised her eyes to look at Michael. Cool indifference and something that looked like fury flared in Michael who looked as unmovable as a rock. Patricia had to admit that Michael looked far better that he looked in pictures. She had thought him handsome before, just by looking at the pictures but now, he looked striking and overpowering. “Hi” she murmured, finally closing the door. “Miss Williams” he called back in a voice what was both quiet and loud, she did not know which. His voice was as strong as he looked and a lesser woman would have quivered but Patricia was not that kind of woman. She greeted his stony and expressionless face with a smile and walked to the office chair facing his table. She dropped into it and crossed her legs in front of her then met Michael’s gaze again with her smile firmly in place. Michael hadn’t moved a muscle. “Nice to finally meet you Mr. Coker” she murmured. ********** ********** Alexander sat at the table as she forced food down her throat. She hadn’t been able to sleep throughout the night and when she had dozed off, the maid had come to call her for her breakfast. The meal was prepared already and Belina had scolded Alexa for sleeping for such a long time. Alexa had to keep up the pretence that everything was alright as she ate. Silence reigned at the dining as she ate without real enthusiasm. She felt the gaze of her mum on her as she ate but she did not dare to meet her eyes. She thanked God for the umpteenth time that her dad was in the hospital, seeing to a critical patient, it would have been extremely hard, if not impossible to hide the truth from both dad and mum. Belina’s phone rang and she got up instantly, scrambling for her bag. She allowed the call to ring out without picking it until the phone stopped ringing. “Alexa, I am off to ‘Bells’, take care of yourself and sleep, you look like you were up all night. Are you sick?” Alexa swallowed. “No mum, I was writing all night” “Oh” Belina said then nodded. “Ok, take care”. After a mother to daughter kiss, Belina was off. Alexa packed her food instantly and went to dump it in the kitchen before retreating to her room. She took her phone and called Teresa. “Hello babe, let’s meet at ‘Regs Restaurant’… yes, twelve… thanks” she hung up and wrapped a blanket around her body. ********** ********** Belina got down from her car and met the guy that was already waiting for her outside her complex. “Morning Felix” “Good morning ma” he responded with slight bow. “I hope you have not been waiting for a long time” “Oh, no ma” “Ok, here is what I want you to do. I need you to follow my daughter, find out who she is meets today and get their conversation.” The guy frowned and Belina explained. “She wants to meet a friend today, I think it should be a girl, but I am particularly interested in their conversation. She is still at home now; can you do this for me without being seen?” The guy smiled. “It is very easy ma, I can do it” “Good, come with me” ********** ********** Felicia dropped her tab which she was using to watch an assassin movie she had downloaded. She paused the movie and took out her small blackberry phone which was ringing. “Hey Sophia” she said immediately she picked up. “How is everything over there… I trust you… why don’t we meet so that we can reconcile our plans… yes… Ok, since your lunch break is twelve thirty, why don’t we meet one o’clock… perfect… ok, meet me at ‘Regs restaurant’… ok, bye”. Felicia smiled and dropped the phone, picked up her tab and continued the movie.


EPISODE 6 Michael paced his office with every nerve in his body screaming for release. He had never been this confused in his life. He caught sight of the pictures which were on full display on his laptop and he froze again, staring at the pictures in stupefied horror. About two days back, Michael had noticed that the company had changed. He hadn’t been able to pinpoint what the matter is, but he had received numerous stares from people, even his staff. The reason for the long stares was foreign to him but he had shrugged it off. But now, how could he bear the thought that everyone saw him as a gay? The Intercom rang and he grabbed it instantly. “What?” he barked. “Sir, erm, your friend, Mr. Eric is here. Should …” “Send him in” Michael barked again and slammed the phone back in its cradle. He paced the length of the office until the door finally opened and Eric walked inside in his usual calm composure. “Alright, what is it man? Is the world ending today?” he asked as he sat on the chair. “There is no situation you don’t make light of right? Well, let’s see you make light of this” Michael roared angrily as he turned the laptop to face Eric. Eric frowned and stood up from the couch he was sitting on. He bent the screen of the laptop till it was facing his. “You never told me you were a model Michael” he murmured and Michael groaned, wanting to hit Eric. “This is more than enough invitation for sex-seeking women” he said. “I regret inviting you here” Michael hissed. “Oh shut up” Eric shot back. “Now, tell daddy; what has you so worried?” Michael hissed. “That nonsense is making me nuts you moron” Michael yelled. “I can’t even understand this shit. I have never taken these pictures” Eric frowned. “Then, how come you posted them on your Facebook account” “Don’t you still understand this shit? I did not post them” “Wow, let me get this straight. Someone hacked into your Facebook account and posted pictures of you on your wall” Eric thought out loud. “Yeah! Only, those are pictures that I never knew existed, I mean; how would I take these pictures. I don’t do nude, I am surely not the one in that picture.” “Oh, Michael, one thing is certain – you are the one in this picture. If you never took this pictures, then I guess whoever did this did some computer editing to get this” “I have thought of that but these pictures look too real, I can’t imagine any computer doing these” Michael put in, totally frustrated. “You would be surprised. Who is behind you Michael?” “Damned if I know” Michael swore then laughed bitterly. “It would have been better if it all stopped here” “There is more?” Eric now looked worried. Michael ran his hands through his hair. “They have me labeled as a gay” “What?” It was Eric’s turn to raise his voice in stunned surprise. Michael laughed strangely. “It is good to know that someone else is as stunned as I am” Eric stared for some seconds at a loss. “Wait, I don’t get this” he finally said. “What made people call you gay? Is it because of these pictures? We have numerous made models who showcase their muscles like this but that does not make them gay. Who called you that anyways?” Michael swallowed and bent over the laptop, launched a site he hadn’t been able to keep looking at. There was silence for a very long time and Michael took a second to marvel at the speechless state of Eric. Eric was never caught unawares; he was always very vocal, no matter the situation. After a very long silence, Eric finally spoke. “It would have been better if the picture did not look a whole lot like you” he murmured. Michael sighed and went to the massive glass which oversaw the large city. Cars and human beings went about looking like ants from his vantage point. He had always felt in control here, in this office. Nothing shook him, even his office made him look larger than life but someone somewhere had totally gone round all his defenses and brought him to his toes. Who had he offended which was capable of this? “This is bad Michael, really bad. This alone can ruin your life and reputation. My God! Being gay is now against the law” Michael sighed again, finally going to sit down. “Alexander was here” Eric winced. Michael’s gaze looked haunted. Eric did not like this. “I can imagine what it must have been like” Michael smiled painfully. “No, you can’t. It was all like a movie man, I have never seen Alexa that way, she looked so hurt; so shattered” Michael swallowed. “Give her time, she would get over it” Michael laughed. “She can get over a cheating man, a dishonest man or any other trait, but a gay? I don’t think so. She didn’t even believe a word I said in my defense; what is there to believe anyways, there is evidence which says the exact opposite.” ********** ********** Escaping into her room had been very easy for Alexa, with Patricia’s help. After the two ladies had jumped on each other like two years old kids, Alexa had hurriedly greeted everyone, and then faced Patricia who dragged her towards her room. As Alexa went, she caught the frown on her mum’s face and knew she was not out of trouble yet. Patricia slammed the door and turned to Alexa. “Oh my, look at this yesterday’s infant” “Cut it out now before I tickle you” Alexa threatened, grinning. Of all the things that Alexa thought possible this fateful day, she had never imagined grinning happily while her sentencing tool lay in her bag. She dropped the bag inside her wardrobe hurriedly and closed the wardrobe before Pat decided to do what she did best, investigate. Alexa jumped on the bed, trying desperately to look as happy as she should. Patricia was almost like a best friend to Alexa, apart from being a cousin. Alexa felt that it was due to the closeness of their mothers. “So, how was yanki?” “Hmmm, it was good and stressful” Alexa raised her brow. “That is what you all say, does that explain why you are looking so fresh? I could not stop boasting whenever I saw you on air; you have made waves even in a foreign land” Patricia laughed. “Oh, come on. What of you? I have watched too many movies which were written by you. You are looking much more stunning also; I almost did not recognize you” Alexa smiled. She was sure that her face alone was enough to stun people because she had just received exceedingly stunning news. Alexa loved writing, it was the only thing that she knew she did flawlessly. Leaving the house had been good for her because she had been able to write without disturbance. Patricia also wrote but her only niche was writing reports and articles after thorough investigation, Alexa wrote stories and novels. Patricia turned serious. “Yes, I could not wait to get here. Are you still with Michael Coker, the guy you always told me about?” Alexa swallowed and wondered how to answer the question. If she said yes, she knew that it would only take few seconds for Patricia to know that it was a lie; if she said no, it was certain that Pat would ask why. “Why do you ask?” Alexa said instead. “I want to know, why else would I ask?” Patricia pushed. “Why do I have the feeling that you came back from Canada to interrogate me?” Alexa asked. “Maybe because you feel I am so concerned about you, which is correct, so, answer me. Are you with him?” “Well, erm…” “Yes or no?” Pat pushed. “No” Alexa yelled. “You are such a pest, you have not been back for ten minutes and you are already under my skin” “Oh, great. Then my first assignment in Nigeria has been made easy” Patricia sighed. “What does that mean?” Alexa didn’t like this. “I have been seeking for a transfer back to Nigeria for over six months but ‘Tellers’ had been postponing my request. All of a sudden I was granted the transfer over a week ago, I knew they needed me.” she paused and frowned. “When did you both break up?” Alexa swallowed. “Today” “Wow. Oh my God!” she wrapped her arms around Alexa who shrugged off, refusing to be pitied. “So, you were saying?” “Do you know about the ‘gay’ stuff?” Alexa winced. This bizarre news had spread throughout the globe and it would just be a matter of hours before her parents heard of it.. She closed her eyes and managed a nod. “I am sorry I asked; it must hurt badly. Although, as I was saying, a day before I got on the plane, I received my first assignment. Michael Coker is my first assignment; I have to get the facts from the man himself.” ********** ********** Alexander got her breakthrough some hours later. Just like a miracle, everyone seemed to vanish. Her mum was dragged along by Aunt Prisca, reasons unknown, both her dad and Uncle Tony had to rush off to their various hospitals to attend to emergencies. Aunt Prisca had talked ceaselessly with Patricia until Pat agreed to go home and rest. When Belina had tried to get off Prisca’s claws, Alexa had combined forces with her Aunt in order to make sure her mum left the house. Alexa saw the curious and suspicious look on her mum’s face but she didn’t care, she would find a perfect excuse for her mum later when the time came. It was such a relief to finally be alone. After seeing everyone off to their cars, Alexa quickly retreated to her room. After closing the door, she dashed to the wardrobe and pulled out her bag clumsily. After removing the test sticks, she ran into the toilet. She took out a bowl, forced out urine from her bladder and threw the two sticks into the urine. She saw on the pack that the sticks needed to stay in the urine for five minutes. She swallowed as her hands shook uncontrollably. She left the toilet and went to the kitchen, filled a cup with water and drank everything at a go. She felt dizzy as she went back into the room some minutes later. Alexa stared at the toilet door for what seemed like hours until she finally mustered the strength to open it. She walked to the bowl with her heart in her mouth and shakily took out the sticks. The two sticks had the same sign. Her eyes blurred until it finally settled on the (+) sign on the sticks.


EPISODE 5 Alexander mopped her eyes and blew her nose on the hankie that Anita thrust into her palm which she gratefully took. No sooner had she mopped the tears than fresh tears replaced them. She was happy that the cafeteria was not so filled, giving a small level of privacy. “Do you mind sharing what is eating you up?” Anita offered quietly after Alexa had regained her composure. Alexa sniffed several times and looked at Anita squarely. “Why are you being nice to me?” she asked. “I thought you hated me… at least, I expected you to” Anita smiled. “I did when I knew who you were to him at first. I would definitely be jealous if I were in your shoes. Michael is the dream of any woman with a vagina. He is so sexy with all the muscles in the right places; perfect places actually” she corrected. “He is handsome, elegant, rakish…” Anita’s face turned dreamy. Alexa frowned as she stared at Anita who had turned quiet and thoughtful. Alexa grabbed the steaming cup of coffee to keep her fingers from strangling Anita for visualizing her Michael so much. Or he was her Michael. She sipped and the hot liquid almost burnt her tongue. “You sound like you have a crush on him; besides, you are a woman with a vagina” Anita avoided meeting Alexa’s stern gaze. “I did and still do”. Alexa’s eyes shut up at the confirmation. So she had been right all along! “But I knew better than to nurture that feeling” Anita finished. “What does that mean?” “You found out right? That is why you are so upset.” Anita said knowingly and Alexa froze slightly, knowing that the images of Michael’s Facebook was as public and open as a whore’s legs. “Upset doesn’t cover it, try alarmed, even that seems shallow to what I feel currently.” Alexa said in one breath, and then later frowned. “Why do I have the distinct feeling that you knew earlier?” “I did” Anita said simply. Alexa sat up straight. “You did? So you knew all along that he was…” she glanced around and lowered her voice. “You knew that he was gay and you did not breathe a word of it to me?” she was alarmed. So this woman knew she was sinking into a stinking narrow pit and enjoyed watching the show? “You wouldn’t have believed me. Who would have believed such an unbelievable truth? It still sounds ridiculous currently even with all the proof. Besides, you might have poured it all out at Michael’s feet and the job I struggled hard to get would be over” Anita lamented. Alexa knew Anita was saying the truth. “How did you know?” “I saw the way he occasionally checked out men that came into his office whenever I was there. He looks at them, and I mean, really checks them out. At first I did not think much of it but after noticing it for a while; I discovered the awkward and degrading fact. He is with you now but I am sure he would rather be with one of his male friends”. That stung and Alexa drank from her cup to drive away the sting of the foul words but it was replaced by the sting of a burnt tongue as the exceedingly hot coffee hit her mouth. She swallowed hard and dropped the cup. “he ‘was’ with me. I dumped his sorry ass” she said sternly and wished the words did not hurt so much. Life without Michael would be really hard. “That is a right move” Anita nodded with vigor. “The relationship is already headed for the rocks, so, the earlier you get off the speeding boat, the better. At least, you don’t have a baby to deal with” Alexa almost choked on the hot coffee she had picked up again. She paled as Anita’s words registered. Anita frowned. “Or is there?” “No… No, of course not. I was imagining what an awful thing it would… erm… have been” Alexa said firmly. Anita sighed. “Thank God. It would not have been awful; it would have been a disaster. ‘Pregnant for a gay’… Ewww” she sighed again. “I just wonder what would happen to ‘Tel Communications’ now that Michael has decided to make this stupidity public. Pardon my language, he might be my boss but I hate gay guys” she glanced around to be sure no staff had heard her. Alexa managed a fake smile. Anita suddenly grabbed Alexa’s hands. “It is going to be fine. I know you love him but you would get over him. I am here for you” she smiled. “I think we would be good friends” Alexa smiled faintly, “I think so too” ********** ********** Belina had called Alexa several times all to no avail until finally, Alexander’s message popped up. She read it and instantly relayed the message to a very worried Richard. He sighed and also tried to call Alexander again but it did not go through. He finally gave up and went inside the room to get his jacket. Belina followed him and helped him into his suit jacket. “That girl would be the death of me”, Richard said in exasperation as Belina ran her palms down his chest, he smiled again. “Why can’t she be like me?’” he asked with a forceful frown; “she took her stubbornness and unpredictability from you”. Belina frowned and folded her arms across her chest. “But I won’t trade either of you for all the meek and predictable women in the world”, Richard quickly rectified but Belina still didn’t smile. “When she is sweet, you claim her but when she upsets you, you push the bad habit on me right?” Belina murmured. “Oh heart, I was just pulling a stunt, besides, you are stubborn”. He pulled her against him even though she struggled. “Well, you can’t change me now, can you?” “Oh, honey, I can’t even think of changing you, where would I find the woman I fell in love with if I change you?” Belina smiled, “you are stuck with us then, two stubborn women; just as I am stuck with overbearing men”. Richard frowned and Belina stuck out her tongue at him. She quickly jumped out of his front before he conceived a very tempting punishment. “You have patients waiting for you Mr. Branson”. The door bell rang and Belina was a bit surprised. She was not expecting anyone. If it were Alexa, she wouldn’t press the bell. Richard was a bit curious but he picked up some things so that they could both check the visitors. They didn’t have to get there though. “Mummy B” Belina’s eyes widened as she heard that. Only one person called her that. Richard grinned as he dropped some files and hurried out. “Pat” Belina gasped as she rushed outside. Immediately she saw her niece, she beamed in delight. Patricia squealed as she hurried to Belina. “Oh my love”, Belina wrapped her arms around her niece. “My God, you have grown so big”, she exclaimed. Prisca and Tony grinned as they watched their daughter move from Belina to Richard. “We decided to surprise you. She came back about an hour ago but would not rest until she saw you”. Tony explained. “She sure looks like the star that she is” Richard said with pride, even though he was not her biological father. “I have missed you mummy and daddy B” Pat said grinning. “Turn around Pat, let me see you” Belina said and Patricia jumped around like a little kid. She always felt like a little girl around Belina and the ever pampering Richard Branson. Everyone laughed at her childish displays. “Where is that naughty girl” Pat asked impatiently. She couldn’t wait to see her cousin. “Oh, Alexa should be home soon, she rushed off to do some things”. Belina said, still doubting the message she had received from Alexander. Whatever the truth was, Belina had a feeling that she would not like it at all. ********** ********** Alexa left the very enclosed pharmacy shop and stood on the road waiting for a cab. She had nearly made her discomfort obvious as she hurriedly tried to end her conversation with Anita. The mention of pregnancy had almost choked the life out of her as Alexa hadn’t even considered the possibility. The thought of being pregnant had slapped her and nearly driven her crazy as she sought a small and hidden pharmacy to buy the pregnancy test sticks. After buying two, she had left the place with her life sentence carefully sitting in her bag. Now that she thought of it, she could not remember seeing her period since she had slept with Michael. ‘Oh God’ Alexa blanched as she stood poised by the road side. This was a total disaster! Several cabs passed her by but she saw none as her pale form stood motionless as she stared at her shattered life. She thought of the disgrace, the disappointments her parents would have in her, the shame that would be accrued to the family… No! it can’t be happening. One man could not destroy her life so much. She just could not be pregnant. She flagged down a cab immediately she saw one and pushed her frozen form into it. “Richbel Estate” she managed to say and the cab driver swung into the road. Her brain was in turmoil all through the drive and the driver had to tap her to tell her that they were already at the entrance of the estate. She needed to walk so she asked him not to enter. She paid him and made her way into the estate. She unconsciously moved her mouth to greet the security men as she walked like a robot into the estate. All she prayed for was that her dad had gone to the hospital and that her mum had already gone to her supermarket store. She did not want any lectures now; all she needed was some heavenly silence and a warm bed. As she drew near the entrance, she acknowledged that wished were not horses. The voices of her parents echoed, combined with the distinctive voices of Aunt Prisca and Uncle Tony, as she always called them. When Alexander heard a voice, she froze with a frown. It can’t be. She instantly opened the door and her eyes widened. Patricia raised her eyes and shrieked, jumped up and ran to her cousin. Even though Patricia was three years older than Alexander, no one could notice because they both were inseparable. Patricia ran and enfolded a frozen and wide-eyed Alexa in a tight hug.