THE PROMISE - Episode 10

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - apartment, her first pregnancy, Regents Park, Love was not in her books, cold winter sun, seven thousand pounds, pistol, lives in London.

“Please take your things and leave, Lydia,” Abhimanyu said. “Where do you want me to go Abi? You know I love you. You cannot believe what Everest and Shomaila told you. I was friends with Everest but nothing really happened between us,” she pleaded. “I don’t believe you. I truly love you Lydia and it hurts me to ask you out, but I have no choice. I will call your mother to explain everything to her. It is no use anymore; we have come to the end of the road. You have to leave now. Now I know where you never wanted to marry me. Please leave. I don’t want to be a burden to you anymore.” He walked to the balcony and covered his face with his hands. Tears raced down his face. He loved her very much, but he could not allow his emotions to cloud his judgement. It had to end between them.

Lydia refused to leave, so Abi called his best friend, Anup over to help him throw her out. He was too emotionally attached to her to do it all by himself and he knew that Anup did not like Lydia. Soon after Anup’s arrival, Lydia’s belongings were diving in their numbers into the hallway. “Abi, please don’t do this to me. Don’t let him throw my things like that, please,” she pleaded. Abi cried as he watched her things land hopelessly in the hallway. Anup had been telling Abi for years that Lydia did not like him, let alone love him. He was delighted to do his part to rescue his dear friend from the claws of Lydia. Aimlessly, Lydia gathered her things and began to make phone calls. Her distant relative, Pankti, who lived in East London, agreed to take her in, for some time. She parked her things into a taxi and left.

Lydia walked quickly along the snow-covered Warren Street. She pushed in the door of the café and walked in. She was happy to leave the biting cold behind her, albeit momentarily. From the right hand corner of the café, Raleen waved at her. She waved back and headed towards her. She slotted into the chair opposite Raleen after a brief hug. “Good to see you Raleen. How did it go?” Lydia asked going straight to business. “It went well,” Raleen replied with a naughty smile. “Really? Tell me all about it. Did he kiss you? Did you make him to start falling in love with you?” “He is all in. We even went back to his apartment after the date…” “And?” Raleen nodded with a smile. “You did it with him?” “Yes. He is sloppy in bed though,” Raleen replied. “I know. Not to worry, it is just for a while. He is loaded though and he is willing to spend,” Lydia noted. “I know that. On our first date he bought me an expensive diamond earing. Look!” Raleen turned to reveal her new pair of earrings more clearly. “My goodness!!! Don’t let that get to you though. You must stick to the plan. Make him fall head-over-heels in love with you and then, you will walk out on him breaking his heart to pieces,” Lydia explained emphatically.

“You don’t have to worry about me,” Raleen assured her. “He is not my type…well, you know me. The guy is lame in bed; fat and unappealing. He is working hard to lose weight though. I don’t know if that will improve his bed skills, but I don’t care,” Raleen answered coldly. It had been seven months since Abhimanyu ended his relationship with Lydia. She was still living with her relative, Pankti, but she was due to move into her own small apartment in a few weeks. Raleen was a good friend of hers; well, they met a few months back. Raleen was the ultimate ‘cold’ girl who slept with anyone to get what she wanted. She barely had any feelings. Love was not in her books. Lydia had planted the seed in her mind to date Abi and then break his heart. She wanted to see him suffer for leaving her, but she had lied to Raleen that Abi had ditched her unfairly. The girls chatted and laughed as they plotted their path to Abi’s heartbreak. “I am seeing him tomorrow. I can’t wait to make him fall even more in love with me,” Raleen said. “I trust you will, Raleen. I trust you!!!”

Shomaila moved slowly through the apartment. She literally dragged her bulging body. She had taken in some six months back. She and Everest had quickly married in a small wedding ceremony involving just close friends. They moved in together into an apartment overlooking Regents Park. They both did very well, work wise. Everest had been promoted a few months ago. It was a Saturday and Everest had to go into work in Amersham for half the day. With his promotion, his responsibilities at work had grown immensely. Behind their apartment in the park, a man looked straight at their apartment while pretending to be watching squirrels in the trees. In his pocket was a pistol. He dipped his hand in his pocket to feel the gun. His heart was beating rapidly as he pondered his plan. He could see the shadow of Shomaila walking around the apartment. He had seen Everest leave earlier. His heart was beating faster as he walked across the road and inched carefully towards the apartment. The cold winter sun was pouring into the apartment through the glass window.

“You mean so much to me, Raleen,” Abhimanyu said to Raleen. They were lying in bed after a lovemaking session. “You have no idea how much I love you, Abi,” Raleen replied as she kissed him. “I will do anything for you, Raleen…anything,” Abhimanyu declared wholeheartedly. “I trust you will my dear. I am very lucky to have you in my life.” Excitedly, Abhimanyu dashed to the guest bedroom and returned with a gold watch he had bought for her. “I was walking along Bond Street when I stumbled upon this. I had to buy it for you,” he explained as he passed it to her. “Wow! It is very beautiful!!!” She exclaimed. “Not as beautiful as you my love.” “You are so sweet, Abi…what a lucky girl I am.” ‘No, I am the lucky one.”

“Mom, can’t you put the past behind you and offer me some support in a time like this. I am carrying your grandchild and you still treat me like this simply because my husband is not your preferred choice? You disgust me mom. I am shocked. If you carry on like this, I won’t let you see your grandchild…perhaps grandchildren in future,” Shomaila said angrily at her mother. “I am sorry my child. I have to uphold your father’s values and beliefs. I want to come and help you now as you look forward to delivering your first child but I am afraid that your father’s spirit won’t be happy with me if I did that,” her mother countered. “Do what you believe and stop telling me about what others expect you to do mom.” “I think I am doing what my heart tells me, actually. I am not sure you did the right thing by marrying him.” “I am very sad that you are very blind and judgmental. I am done discussing this with you. I never want to see you again,” Shomaila yelled angrily and dropped the call. Carrying her heavy body, she walked to the kitchen and took a drink of water.

The man had inched much closer by now. He could see her better. He ducked behind the tree and pretended to be watching squirrels. The biting cold was zipping through his body, but he had to stay focused. His client had promised to pay him another seven thousand pounds after the job was completed. He had already received five thousand pounds. He smiled sadistically as his thoughts dwelt on the money. That would take care of his cocaine addiction for a long time. He turned carefully and peeked into the apartment from the corner of his eyes. His right hand rested on his silencer-fitted pistol inside his coat. If she shows up near the window again, I will shoot her, he thought to himself.

“I cannot believe that my son threw our values away and decided to marry an Indian girl. That is it…he is lost!!! How can his children be raised according to our values and beliefs? I am shocked…disappointed!” Everest’s father, Mr. Cletus Amadi complained to his best friend. Mr. Umunna. “That must be gut-wrenching. I worry about my daughter, Uremma who lives in London too. She is working for some big company but it does not seem like she is willing to get married soon. The last time my wife visited, Uremma was dating some man from Switzerland. I am just as worried as you are, my friend. I wish there was some way to get her and your son together. They would make a good pair!” “I know they would. We did our best to raise them well…why can’t they stick to their roots. We have to do something to get your daughter and my son together,” Cletus emphasized. “But since your son is already married to the Indian girl, how do we get him together with Uremma?” Umunna asked. “It does not matter! They can dissolve the marriage if my son fancies your daughter. Anything is possible, my child. I will do my best to get those two together…anything I can my friend!” They were seated in the living room in Cletus’ house in Lagos.

Shomaila was crying. She could not fathom why her mother was this obstinate. She desperately needed help with her first pregnancy, but her mother, the one person she knew that could offer it was adamant about her decision not to help. She sipped a cup of coffee as she walked closer to the glass window. Regents Park was covered in snow. She admired the beautiful site in front of her even as tears made a frantic effort to cloud her vision. As her hand rose towards her mouth for another sip, the man who was hiding behind the big tree stepped out of his position. It all happened very fast. He fired two quick shots at Shomaila. She fell backwards and hit the ground. Shards of broken glass went flying in all directions. “Everest!!!” Shomaila shouted in fear as her body struck ground. Fearing that he could be spotted, the shooter scaled the low metal fence and made his way into the Park. The sound of broken glass had left him thoroughly scared. He walked briskly towards and disappeared behind pine trees, making his way towards Camden Town.
Story continues...

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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THE PROMISE - Episode 10
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - apartment, her first pregnancy, Regents Park, Love was not in her books, cold winter sun, seven thousand pounds, pistol, lives in London. An African Literary Blog
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