Thursday, 14 June 2018

VALLEY OF ANGELS Episode 13-14

‘Mother, I appreciate you telling me this story over and over, but I really have to prepare us dinner’ Tola rose to her feet. In actuality, she couldn’t wait to put a call through to Seyi, to see if she had agreed to hire her to spy on her boss.
‘I don’t like that look on your face Omotola’ the woman wore a frown as she stared at the girl’s face.
‘Don’t do anything stupid’ the woman flashed her stern warning.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, I must prepare dinner’ Tola feigned ignorance.
She felt slightly guilty as her mother’s words haunted her; it always amazed her how the woman could read her thoughts by just staring at her face.
‘I am sorry mother but I am doing this for us’ she dialed Seyi’s number and waited patiently for her to take the call.
The phone rang thrice, he picked it up on the third ring; he had ignored the first two as he thought Seyi was the caller; he didn’t want anything to do with her anymore.
A smile twitched the corner of his sensuous mouth as he realized it Diana; his love was calling and he could never resist her.
‘Hello darling, how are you’? He said in a hurry if it were possible, they’d leave for the trip he promised the next morning but Diana had put their relationship on hold because of Seyi.
‘Chimobi…’ she called his name gently.
‘Yes’? He paused; he didn’t like the sound of her voice. It was too cool, too deadly and his heart raced. Was she in some kind of trouble?
‘Are you okay dear’? He asked.
‘Yes I am’ she replied tautly.
‘Is there something bothering you, you don’t sound like yourself’ he pushed, something wasn’t right about the way she spoke, about the way she answered him.
‘We need to talk urgently’ she replied. She decided it would be better to break upon him in person than on the phone. It was also better to initiate the topic of finding their child face to face.
‘I am staying at a friend’s, would you like to come over’? Chimobi asked.
‘No. Let’s talk tomorrow, not in your office though; we could go somewhere else’ she suggested.
‘Alright then’ Chimobi nodded, his heart was already pounding firmly against his chest as he dropped the phone on the table. What was so important that she couldn’t say it over the phone?
‘Here is some food’ Gibbs sauntered into the dining with two plates of white rice topped with vegetable stew.
‘I am not hungry’ Chimobi pushed the food aside.
After his quarrel with Seyi, he had felt slightly depressed; he had wanted to lodge in a hotel but decided against it; going to stay with his parents was a No-No, Gibbs was his best friend, his wife and kids were on vacation and so the house would be empty.
‘Hey, you have to eat, I put in a lot of work’ Gibbs rolled his eyes and pushed the plate closer to Chimobi.
‘What’s bothering you, do you want to talk about it’? Gibbs asked.
He had known Chimobi since they were kids; he knew his marriage with Seyi wasn’t running smoothly and it weighed him down heavily but he didn’t want to interfere.
Seyi wasn’t as innocent as Chimobi thought she was but he had been quiet all these years; how could he separate what God had joined together? He was eaten up with guilt anytime he paid Chimobi a visit and saw Seyi’s “innocent” face; so he stopped going there by giving his friend flimsy excuses.
‘I don’t know the man; what’s the secret to your happy marriage’? Chimobi wondered. It seemed he was a cursed man. He had made wealth and gotten married to a belle but God had withheld them from having children; since he couldn’t have kids with the woman he had married, at least he deserved to have peace. But those two things he desperately yearned for were not given to him by that woman.
‘There is no happy marriage my friend; we all have our struggles; some of us wear it better than others’ Gibbs answered.
He knew his friend was in a very dark place and would require only wise words to come out insane; he desperately wished he could tell Chimobi the truth about Seyi, but again, that wasn’t his call.
‘I don’t know if Diana placed a curse on me when I denied that pregnancy; everything in my life is a failure; I am a failure’ Chimobi held his head in his hands.
‘No, you’re not, where is all these coming from’? He had never seen Chimobi this way.
‘Diana just called me and says she wants to talk urgently; I have a strong feeling that she wants to break up with me; how am I going to handle that’?
‘Were you having an affair with her’? Gibbs asked.
‘Of course, you know how much I love her; I don’t need to tell you’ Chimobi replied.
Gibbs nodded slowly, Chimobi was right, it was written all over his face that he was in love with someone other than his crazy wife.
‘She told me to play it cool with Seyi till I am finally able to divorce her but Seyi is making things so difficult; I am tired of her; I am tired of my marriage. It is over’ Chimobi gave up.
‘Slow down, take it easy on yourself. Everything happening to you is not your fault; you are not cursed; you are a blessed man. You are the 47th richest man in the world; do you know how many lives you have touched’? Gibbs attempted to life his spirits.
‘What’s wealth without peace and joy? Let’s be honest here Gibbs, I am not a happy man; since I got married to Seyi, I lost it. I am a stranger to my own self’ he retorted.
Gibbs knew Seyi was the wrong woman for his friend, but he had not wanted to interfere, but there was something he could do, he could help put his friend out of misery by encouraging him to divorce such a despicable woman.
‘I support your plans to divorce Seyi; if she is not making you happy, please go ahead; you have tolerated her long enough’ Gibbs offered his support.
‘What if she does something stupid? She already knows that I am having an affair, if she goes to the court with that, I could lose a lot’ Chimobi felt trapped, he felt frustrated.
‘Does she know the woman is Diana’? Gibbs raised a brow.
‘No, I don’t think so’ Chimobi replied, he had totally forgotten the words that had left his lips while he made love to Seyi.
‘Good. As far as she doesn’t know about Diana, she cannot prove anything. You’re safe for now’ Gibbs calmed his fears.

‘Get me substantial evidence about this Miss. Anyebe that your boss is seeing; I need concrete evidence; do you hear me’? Seyi asked the girl over the phone.
‘Yes, Mrs. Adams. I promise to find something concrete’ Tola replied.
‘Good. I will make a transfer of fifty percent of the money I am supposed to pay you tonight and I shall deposit the remaining fifty when you’re done with the job, is that okay’? Seyi asked.
‘Yes! Yes it is’ Tola replied in an excited voice.
‘Goodnight then, I hope to hear from you soon’ Seyi cut the call abruptly and threw the phone on the bed.
Her hands were akimbo as she paced the bedroom she shared with the man she called husband. Chimobi had no regards for her whatsoever and she was going to deal him a blow he would never forget.
Obviously, he was sleeping with a woman in his office and she needed to see that woman face to face; to look her eyeball to eyeball; woman to woman.
‘I would squeeze the life out of her’ she curled her fingers around an imaginary neck.
No woman could take Chimobi away from her; she was deeply in love with him and that was why she was working with Tola to secure their marriage forever.
If she had concrete evidence against Chimobi, he could never divorce her for fear of losing half of his wealth to her; he was an entrepreneur and they hated losses. So once she got the evidence, she was going to use it to her advantage.
‘I might have lost you for a moment, but soon, you’ll come running to back to me like a little dog’ she rubbed her chin thoughtfully. She couldn’t wait for his moment of submission.
The morning sky was sad, she wore a grim face and spilled light tears that ran to comfort the earth from also weeping; the air was chilled and the weather was slightly dull.
Diana stared at the windscreen and how the rain lashed angrily at it; she wished the rain could drop on her and wipe away her tears and all the pain of yesterday; she wished she could start over again, on a clean slate.
‘You ready’? Saddiya jumped into the car and started it.
She noticed her friend was still not herself but she didn’t want to intrude on her special moment; it was good for people to ponder on their lives, every now and then.
‘Thank you so much Saddiya’ Diana whispered to her friend whose attention was on the road.
‘For what’? Saddiya glanced at her briefly.
‘Not encouraging me to do evil; I should never have slept with Chimobi, it would complicate our working relationship especially now that I am about to break up with him’ she replied and quickly grabbed her phone.
She texted him an address of a coffee shop that wasn’t too far away from the company.
‘Well that would hurt him, definitely, but you’re both adults and you’ll work through it especially because you both will be finding a way to locate your child’ Saddiya replied.
‘That’s something that would stress the hell out of us’ Diana rolled her eyes.
Where would they start the search? What if the woman had moved from where she lived? What if she was dead? She had so many questions.
‘For starters, stay positive, it’s going to take a while, but you’ll find her’ Saddiya replied as she brought the car to a halt.
‘Here we go, sorry I am such in a rush but I have some files to deliver to your boyfriend’ she winked and jumped out of the car.
‘Ex-boyfriend’ Diana laughed, her chuckled ceased as she wondered how Chimobi would feel.
This confused her more, one minute she hated him, one minute she liked him; one minute she sought revenge and the next she pitied him.
‘Very confusing’ she slid out of the car and moved towards the entrance of Fesocorp, Chimobi’s massive business empire.
She fetched her phone as she felt a buzz, he had seen her message and had agreed to meet up with her; she decided to feed her eyes with some other things so she could keep her mind distracted.
Without warning, she bumped into someone; she quickly looked up and realized the harm she had caused.
‘Oh my dear, I am so sorry’ she bent down and fetched the plastic bottled drinks that were sprawled all over the floor.
‘No, my bad, I wasn’t looking’ the young girl smiled and joined Diana to pick the drinks into the basket that she held.
‘Really’? Diana laughed and straightened.
‘Good morning, my name is Lola and you are the most beautiful person I have ever seen’ the girl smiled at the woman before her.
She had a beautiful brown skin that was flattered by the red dress she wore; her features were bold and beautiful especially her almond eyes and her luscious mouth.
‘Why, thank you, you’re beautiful too’ Diana thought the girl to be very sweet and polite.
‘I am actually here on a visit, I came to see my aunt, she works around here and I am here to sell some of my beauty products’ she fetched a plastic bottle and handed it to Diana, it was followed by a leaflet.
‘Oh, interesting’ Diana quickly grabbed the bottle and skimmed through the leaflet.
‘Nature Products, are you sure it can work wonders in my head’? Diana laughed and scanned the girl briefly.
She was young and should’ve been around nineteen or twenty; she wore a silky lilac shirt on a denim and sneakers. Her hair was braided and made her look neat; she didn’t wear much makeup but her face was every bit angelic. She was really beautiful and young.
As Diana scanned the girl, she imagined her own daughter would be around this age range; her heart raced as she realized she needed the girl in her life. She needed to do everything to find her.
‘So, where are you based’? Diana decided to patronize the girl, she loved to encourage young entrepreneurs like this one.
‘Abuja, I grew up there and live there with my parents’ Lola replied.
Diana paused and stared into the girl’s eyes, she realized she was growing paranoid as she imagined this girl to be her daughter.
‘That’s nice, where exactly do you live’? Diana probed further as she handed her a wrap of naira notes.
‘Maitama’ she replied curtly.
That did it, her heartbeat increased as she remembered the place where she had met the woman who had collected her baby; she had been at Maitama.
‘Is your mother alive’? Diana found herself asking.
‘Yes, why’? Lola was slightly confused.
‘I am sorry, I am having a bad day; how long would you be in Lagos’? Diana dug out her complimentary card, there was something about this girl; an aura that was mysterious though not dark, and it was pulling her closer.

To be continued…..


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