Sunday, 17 June 2018

VALLEY OF ANGELS Episode 19-20

‘What was that about’? Chimobi asked.
‘Don’t worry, why are you here, you were supposed to meet me at home after work’ Gibbs took a deep breath, he decided he would break the news about Seyi later; he didn’t have the courage to do it right there as he wasn’t sure of how Chimobi would react.
‘I couldn’t wait, something urgent came up and I need you to use one of your men, it is very urgent’ Chimobi narrated to Gibbs all that he had discussed with Diana.
‘She is really desperate about finding our daughter, I can’t imagine what her life would be like if that child is not found, you must help me. Please’ Chimobi begged.
Gibbs could see this meant so much to his friend; this was the first time Chimobi would be asking him for a favor and he couldn’t turn him down. If he was able to track down Diana’s daughter, maybe Chimobi would forgive him for not revealing Seyi’s secret earlier.
‘Thanks, I knew I could count on you. Here, I penned down some details that may be of use’ Chimobi handed him a sheet where he had written down all the necessary information Diana had revealed about the woman she had given their baby to.
‘I’ll get back to you; give me forty-eight hours’ Gibbs promised.
‘Thanks, man, I knew I could count on you’ Chimobi felt relieved as his friend agreed to help him. Gibbs was experienced in tracking people now but mostly criminals; his men were adequately trained and this meant there was every possibility that the child could be found.
‘You don’t look too good, are you okay’? Gibbs noticed his downcast look.
‘I would be a liar if I said I am’ Chimobi was still hurting after the breakup.
‘I guess she broke up on you then’ Gibbs observed.
‘And you know this how’? He asked.
‘I am trained to read minds too’ Gibbs responded and they both laughed but deep down he felt hollow as he remembered her words that had stung him so deeply.
She sat glued to the laptop for hours after her return for work. She decided to do her own personal tracking on Social Media. She wasn’t going to relent till she found her daughter; she wasn’t going to fold her arms and wait on Chimobi’s private investigator.
‘You’ll give yourself a headache by staring too long at that screen’ Saddiya walked into the room with two newspaper wraps of Suya.
‘Is that Steak? I smell a lot of cabbage’ Diana felt her mouth growing wet as the scent of deliciously spiced meat decorated her senses.
‘So, what have you found so far’? Saddiya took a glance at the laptop; she was starting with Facebook possible names.
‘Honestly, I feel so frustrated, there Is no person bearing anything “Obinna Okachi”’ Diana complained as she threw a piece of meat into her mouth.
‘Not possible, did you narrow your search to Abuja’? Saddiya asked.
‘Of course’ Diana shrugged.
‘I have an idea, let’s do a little snooping’ Saddiya winked and then typed a name into the search box provided by Facebook.
‘What are you doing’? Diana wondered.
‘You feel so convicted that Lola may be your daughter, let me search her out’Saddiya replied.
‘Whatever’ Diana rose to her feet and walked towards the refrigerator, she felt like washing her steak down with something really chill, like a beer.
She had not still recovered from Chimobi’s hurtful words, had he meant it? Or had he said those words barely to save his ego? She felt terrible about it and that was the reason she had buried herself in work: online search of her daughter.
Her heart fluttered as she remembered the way he had made love to her that night; it was beautiful, raw and passionate. Though she denied it at first, she had felt something and it scared her.
How could she still harbor feelings for the man who had betrayed her?
‘He was just a kid’ she quickly reminded herself, there was no point dwelling in the past. This was the future and she was going to take it.
‘Come over here baby, I just found someone’! Saddiya’s loud scream pierced the air. This got her running back to the dining table where she had been sitting to browse.
‘What did you find’? Diana asked in a rush.
‘Here’ Saddiya didn’t answer; she simply pointed at the scream.
She had not slept much the night before as she kept thinking about her job; Seyi had threatened her and she knew the woman would want to keep to her promise of getting her sacked by all means. That wasn’t what bothered her actually; she was more concerned with the way her boss would see her; he would be disappointed in her.
‘Are you okay? You look worried’? Her mother observed.
‘Good morning Mum, I am fine, thank you’ Tola replied and began to dress for work; maybe today was her last day because she knew for sure that Seyi must have told Chimobi the truth.
‘No, I am tired of this behavior of yours’ the woman shook her head and rose towards her.
‘I don’t understand you mother, I don’t know what you are talking about’ Tola replied.
‘You have been avoiding me like a plague, this shows that you are hiding something’ the woman stared into her daughter’s eyes, to be sure.
‘I am still a virgin, don’t be worried’ Tola replied coolly, knowing that her mother’s greatest fear was her having a child of out of wedlock; she didn’t know why, but that was her mother’s biggest fear.
Could she blame the woman? Who was to care for such a child?
‘I know that you are still a virgin, but it is work-related, this thing that you are hiding from me’ she continued.
Tola was quiet for a while; she didn’t want her mother to scold her for agreeing to work with Sean and Lola, whose interests were not at par with her any longer.
‘I am waiting for an explanation, the woman stamped her feet angrily’.
‘I can’t’ tears welled up in Tola’s eyes. Her mother would be so disappointed in her; she would feel so hurt that she had neglected all that she had been taught. All the morals and religious beliefs, she didn’t want her mother to see her that way.
‘Tell me Tola, I can see that whatever it is, is eating you up; I promise to absorb it as much as I can’ the woman begged.
‘I conspired with my boss’ wife and some office guy to spy on him; according to his wife, he has been having extramarital affair and she wanted me to get her evidence’ Tola blurted out.
She felt horrible as she stared into her mother’s face; disappointment was written all over it; she was in great shock as she never believed her daughter to be capable of something like that.
‘How could you do something like that? It is better to stay away when married people have issues; have you ever seen your boss with any lady? Even if you did, your job is to look the other way and not to play judge. I am so disappointed in you Tola’.

Her mother’s words stung her deep; she suddenly felt angry as she stared at the woman; why was she eager to castigate her in the first place? Why didn’t she ask her the reason she had for doing so?
‘I don’t care about your disappointment, I am off to work’ Tola rose to her feet.
‘No, we must solve this right here and now’ the woman rushed towards the door.
‘I don’t understand you mother, you asked me to share my burden and when I did, you made me feel horrible; has it ever occurred to you that I chose to spy on my boss because his wife promised me money? Something that we both needed badly’?
‘The fact that we need money does not mean you should engage in something so black to get us money’ her mother cut in.
‘Whatever, just get out of my way, I am done with you’ Tola pushed the woman aside and rushed out of the house.
The woman had never seen her daughter act this way; the girl that had just pushed her away from the door seemed more like a stranger; what was happening?
She had raised the girl in a godly way and had ever seen her react or talk back at her like she did that morning; something wasn’t right.
A sharp pain pierced her heart as she stared at the girl; why was she so aggressive? Had she discovered her secret?
‘No’ the woman shook her head, nobody knew her around here; she was safe for now.
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she remembered her mother’s disappointed face when she had told her about the deal with Seyi and Sean. She knew she had to fix this somehow as Sean had promised to come back for her.
‘I have to fix this’ she whispered, even if it meant losing her job.
Two days had passed since he had set foot in his house; he dreaded the whole idea of going back there; once his child had been found, once all these was over, he was going to divorce Seyi and there wasn’t any argument about it.
If he had not been a self-willed and very determined man, she would’ve ruined his life with her physical and verbal abuse.
‘What’s on your mind’? Gibbs sauntered into the room where he slept.
‘Nothing, just thinking of how Diana broke my heart and how I would’ve to get back to my house eventually’ Chimobi replied.
‘You can’t blame Diana; she suffered a lot of humiliation at your hands. You slept with her because of a bet and when she got pregnant, you denied her blatantly; you’re even lucky she is not plotting evil against you because you would’ve really deserved it’ Gibbs replied.
The words cut deeply into Chimobi and he realized he had been unfair to Diana; he felt worse as he remembered the day he had denied her right in front of his parents.
‘I am ashamed of myself; sometimes I wish I could turn the hands of time’ he rose to his feet towards the window.
‘You can’t, you just have to give on some things’ Gibbs replied.
‘I can’t give up on Diana, I would never; I still have feelings for her; I would fight for her till the end of this world. I want to show her that I have changed, that I am no longer that scared little boy’ Chimobi replied.
‘I wasn’t talking about Diana’ Gibbs replied coolly. Maybe it was time Chimobi learned the truth about his wife, but he still feared to lose his friendship.
He decided to wave it off for another time.
‘Oh’? Chimobi returned to where he sat.
‘The man working on your case; finding your daughter; left for Abuja that same day you informed me’ Gibbs was hesitant.
‘And’? Chimobi asked.
‘He found nothing. He searched the whole of Maitama and there has not been a record of any “Obinna Okachi” living there; I just wished Diana had her phone number, email address or even her picture. It would make things easier’ Gibbs replied.
‘I know, but I was really counting on you and your men’ he felt hopeless, how will Diana handle this let down?
‘There is nothing much that we can do man, we are not magicians; we work with what we are given; it is a give and take relationship; maybe I’ll have to speak to Diana myself; if she can be more vivid with her descriptions of the woman maybe we could start a National search which I forgot to mention would cost a lot’ Gibbs yawned.
‘I don’t care about the money; I just want to find my child’ Chimobi rose to his feet and left for the bathroom.
There was a lot of work to do in the office and he needed to leave early for that.
‘I have to run now man, see you later’ he announced to Gibbs.
‘Ride on’ Gibbs replied, wondering when it would be convenient to tell his friend that his wife was a junkie and that Omale was at the brink of tarnishing his image.
Minutes later, still deep in thoughts, his phone rang. It was work.
‘Gibbs Agaba on the line’ he waited for a response.
‘Good morning sir, we have a situation here’ the man replied.
‘What situation’? Gibbs rose to his feet.
‘The criminals have started releasing the names on their list’.
‘Shit’ Gibbs cut the call, why would Omale do something like this? If Chimobi’s name was on that list, it would things more difficult.
It was going to be tough trying to refurnish him in the eyes of Nigerians who believed wealthy men were into rituals or drug business; it would destroy all that he had built.
‘I need to get to the bottom of this’ he strolled out of the house as there wasn’t any time to waste.
She woke up after a bout of heavy drinking and cocaine inhalation with a throbbing head; her mouth was sore; her eyes hurt; she had never felt this way.
‘I guess I had a little too much to drink’ Seyi groaned and peeled herself from the marble floor of her bathroom where she had slept.
She staggered into her bedroom; the cold and empty bed welcomed her; a feeling of loneliness overwhelmed her. Where was her husband?
‘Still fucking that whore’ she spat angrily on the floor. Pools of tears welled up in her eyes afresh as she stared at the picture of them that hung on the wall; how long would she continue in an unhappy marriage?
‘I am going to teach him a lesson that he would never forget and I would tear that bitch down’ she whispered.
She picked the bottle of scotch that she had gulped from all night, parted her lips and poured down the contents into her mouth; it was delicious; energetic. She suddenly felt a force of confidence and a voice telling her what to do.
‘I’ll come and get you bastard, there’s no running from me, now’ her bloodshot eyes scanned the room briefly, till they found the keys to her car.
She was heading to Chimobi’s office. Since he had totally forgotten about her and his marriage; she felt a strong need to remind him of their vows.
‘Till death do us part’!

To be continued…..


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