THE FAST LANE - Episode 3

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog. Port Harcourt, Germany, Manchester United – Chelsea match, hotel, on a trip to Milan, Bordeaux, Swiss Alps, Athens, Facebook and Google Plus, Lagos, lawyer.

Sandra told Cletus she wanted to do some shopping. She took a taxi and left while Cletus watched a Manchester United – Chelsea match. As soon as she entered the tiny air conditioned hotel room, she and Charles began to rip their clothes off. “I just don’t want to let you go,” she said breathing heavy. “You have to Sandy, you are married now. “But I don’t want to!” “Remember we agreed on this from the beginning?” “I don’t care what we agreed on. How was I supposed to know that I would fall in love with you?” “You have to forget us now. I return to Port Harcourt after this; your husband is taking you to Lagos where he has rented an apartment for you until you are able to join him in Germany. So the sooner we stop seeing each other the better for us.” “It is so easy for you to say. It is like you have already lined up a girl to replace me. I hope it is not one of my friends?”

“Stop talking like that Sandy. I can’t hang around waiting for you when I know that it is over between us. I am not the one that is married, remember?” “Please honey, hang around for me. I am not sure I want to be married to Cletus for long. He is not fun! He is…a bit on the old side, you know. And not very good looking.” “You have agreed to marry him, so you have to live with it. Besides, I don’t even have a job. You are better off staying with him.” About two and a half hours later, Sandra reluctantly jumped back into her clothes and left the hotel. She had specks of tears around her eyes as she left. As always, Cletus was excited to see her. She faked a smile and reciprocated his kiss.

Even after she had moved to Lagos, she continued to meet secretly with Charles, who had started dating Njideka secretly. He made sure to keep that from Sandra, while keeping his secret meetings with Sandra from Njideka. He was still without a job, living off Sandra who made sure he never lacked money. Nearly a year after the wedding, Sandra travelled to Germany to be with Cletus. Cletus took her on a trip to Milan, Bordeaux, Swiss Alps and Athens upon her arrival in Europe. She made sure to post every possible picture she took on Facebook and Google Plus. She called Charles as often as she could and even sent him pictures of herself that only her husband should see. Njideka landed a job in Port Harcourt and soon became Charles’ money bag even though Sandra continued to send him money.

Charles who did not believe in love began to fall in love with Njideka, but he could not easily wean himself of Sandra’s money. Seven months after arrival in Germany, Sandra falsely accused her husband of battery and dragged him to the police and later to court. She had the law, which favors women in Europe, and the strong women protection agency on her side. With little or no investigation, Cletus was jailed for three months for assault; as a result, he lost his job. He was thrown out of the house, which Sandra gladly occupied. She was assigned a powerful lawyer who helped her annul her marriage to Cletus. Soon after the divorce, she began to receive government support in addition to milking most of Cletus’ hard-earned money from him.

Cletus moved into a small apartment, starting life all over again. “God will judge you, Sandra” he said the day he left the house. Sandra ignored him and began to make plans for a quick trip to Nigeria to marry Charles. Cletus battled severe depression as he tried to pick up the tiny pieces of his broken life. Because of his jail term and battery record (which was false), he struggled to find another job. One night, he walked the streets of Frankfurt on a cold winter night. He climbed a flyover hanging above a busy road heavily used by trucks. He stood at the center of the flyover, trying to muster the strength and will to jump down as trucks sped past. The flyover was deserted, just what he wanted, but he struggled at the last minute to jump down.

As he looked down, trying to find a reason why he should not take his own life, Sandra was at the airport waiting for her flight to Nigeria. Charles was in Lagos waiting for her arrival. Njideka did not know why Charles was in Lagos. He had lied to her. She had been trying to get him to marry her, but he would not agree. “I have a good job honey. I will help you start a business of your won,” she explained, but Charles said he wanted His own money. He carried on living off both girls. He had started nursing the idea of travelling to Europe with Sandra even though he knew he did not love her. A woman walked briskly along the flyover towards Cletus. “Hello, she said to him in German. “Hi,” he replied. “It is too cold to be here alone you know,” she pointed out to him. “I am fine,” he replied “I live over there. I see what goes on here very well from my house. It looks like you are thinking of jumping down from here. I don’t know what you are going through or what you have already been through, but I know one thing. There is still more to life and you can still make it. God still loves you. I used to be a drug addict. It was my way of dousing the pain I carried from childhood when my father raped me repeatedly.”

Cletus fought back the flood of tears that were knocking heavily and strongly on the door of his eyes. He stared at the plum, beautiful German lady who was in either in her late twenties or early thirties by Cletus’ assessment. “One night, I decided to end it all,” she continued. “The pains of reality were far too deep and too strong for me to live it. I came right here to kill myself. I stood here and prepared my mind for the final plunge that would end it all. And that was when an African woman noticed what I was thinking. She talked to me about God. She told me all the sufferings she too went through in life, and at this point, she had a beautiful smile on her face. How could she be smiling after everything she told me she had been through? I thought.” She kept her eyes fixated on Cletus as she spoke, waving her hands.

“Come with me, she told me. Let me spend the night with you and just talk. If by tomorrow, you are not convinced as to why you should live, then you can go ahead and take your life,’ this woman told me. I was drawn to her ‘happy smile,’ so I reluctantly followed her. Now I am asking you, come with me. Let us talk. After I spoke to this woman, I turned my life around with God’s help and now I live over there. I work at day and by night before I go to bed, I watch this bridge. It is a perfect and popular suicide site, so I stay over there watching for anyone who may be thinking what I thought that very day. I devote my life to sharing the good news with others. My friend, there is more to life. Don’t do it!”

She moved closer and took Cletus’ hand. Then she embraced him.  They went to her house and talked. Cletus shared his experience with him. He cried, letting the tears flow, finally. The lady’s name was Anna. She and Cletus became good friends. She helped Cletus get a lawyer to try to wipe his false record.  She also helped him get a job albeit with a meager small pay at first. Soon, Sandra was in Nigeria. She and Charles married in a quiet court wedding. Sandra quickly returned to Germany and filed for his visa to join her. When Njideka heard about it, she was heartbroken.

“You are evil, Charles. How could you?” She yelled. She threw her shoe at him. Charles ran across the room and took her forcibly in his arms. “I am doing this for us, Njide. It is you I love. It is you I want. I have no intention of living with Sandra for long. After all, I know everything she did during youth service. She is not a marriage material. I want you Njide. I will bring you to Germany,” he pleaded. “I don’t like that idea. If you don’t want her, tell her that and marry me,” she countered. “Things are getting tougher in Nigeria. What if you lose your job? What if I start a business and it does not take off? We are better off abroad.” “But you are…you are going to be sleeping with her for some time. How do you think that makes me feel? What if things don’t work out abroad?” After a prolonged argument, Charles managed to convince her.    STORY CONTINUES...

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THE FAST LANE - Episode 3
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog. Port Harcourt, Germany, Manchester United – Chelsea match, hotel, on a trip to Milan, Bordeaux, Swiss Alps, Athens, Facebook and Google Plus, Lagos, lawyer. An African Literary Blog
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