Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Second Chance - Chapter 42


Love, is for the risky, he’d heard a tiny voice say and he came undone.

Ben began, kicking his worries to the curb. “You’re right, I do know her. Two years ago, I shared with Aisha my desire to leave the business because it was getting messier and for the price of not telling Tunde about my secret, I told her she could come with me whenever she was ready. My plans were going smoothly, I was avoiding Tunde, I was avoiding every arrangement with the girls and when I woke up one day tied to a chair, I knew she’d told Tunde about my plans after all.”

          “I was taken from my home one night and almost killed for something I knew nothing about. Tunde had scammed one of our clients and told the man I did it and he sent those men after me. And it made sense at that time that Aisha must have told Tunde about my plans of leaving and he felt betrayed and wanted to send me to my grave. But after I escaped, I was so angry at both of them, at Aisha especially. I didn’t look for her, didn’t keep up with my end of the promise, and didn’t see the need to after she betrayed me.”

“But...” He paused to take a sit on the concrete floor of the compound. “Now that I think about it, if really she’d told Tunde about my plans, he would have never sent you to me in the first place as a way to apologize for what he put me through. He wouldn’t have attempted to make peace with me by all means possible. He would have still been fighting me till now. He wasn’t the one to let things go at all but he let me go. Why?” he asked, feeling as if he was about to take a blame for how Aisha’s life had ended so soon and tragically all because he hadn’t gone back for her.

“I’ve been so angry at them, planning a way for both of them to pay. But I was supposed to take her with me, Bisola; she wouldn’t have had to do it on her own! My revenge and my anger cost her her life. I did this to her—I killed her.” he sobbed into the palm of his hands.

“She might have been pregnant too when she died. She was going to do that last job and then run away with Philip.” Bisola added, sniffling her tears away.

“Philip?”

“Yes, the father of her child. He didn’t know about the kind of work she was into and she wanted to keep it that way. I don’t think he knows she’s dead either.”

“Is she here right now? Can…can I meet her?”

“As far as I know Im the only person who can see her. But let’s go back inside; I think she’s waiting for you now.”
         
          When they returned to the living room, they found Judith arranging some of the things that’d fallen and broken. She’d even cleared the dinner table before they arrived. 

          “Are other people okay?” she asked when she heard them come in.

          “Other people?” Ben asked.

          “Yes, it couldn’t have only happened here.”
         
          “It” was referring to what Judith believed had caused what they’d experienced tonight. Ben who now had a better and yet unbelievable understanding of what had happened simply told his sister what he knew she could handle at the moment.

          “Yes, everyone is okay. It was nothing serious.”

“She’s here.” Bisola called out when Aisha suddenly appeared behind her.

“Hey, I need to talk to Bisola in private,” His sister didn’t budge, she continued with what she was doing. “It’s business related, so can you please excuse us?”

“You can go upstairs and lay down a bit, my room is open.” Bisola chipped in and surprisingly she complied without another word or resistant stares.

Once out of sight, Bisola gestured for Ben to sit. He complied, rolling the sleeves of his shirt up as he sank on the couch, depressingly. Aisha came to sit on the table in the center of the room, facing him.

“Did you tell him about me?” she asked almost nervous, and maybe ashamed.

“Yes. And there’s something you need to know also. But, why didn’t you ever mention the deal he had with you?” Bisola asked. After their talk tonight, she’d felt a pinch of guilt for hating Ben all these while when he at one point had been a victim of Tunde’s greed as everyone else in the room has. And almost as if Aisha had read her mind, she said, “Nothing about him has changed, nothing! And whatever he has to say doesn’t change the fact that I’m dead and…he’s not.”

Ben sat back quietly, watching the exchange; Bisola talking to thin air, an empty space that was Aisha. He prepare himself to do the same while listening as Bisola narrated all what he’d told her to Aisha. Sooner than expected, it was his turn.

He coughed several times before he could speak his first sentence. “I’m sorry,” but his voice failed him gradually as it began to break while he narrated the fuller version of the story. “I…I never should have left without you. I should have at least confronted you about it, but you see, I was just so angry and there was no way of seeing you without having to go through Tunde and that I couldn’t do. I should have protected you, I failed and I am sorry. I can’t forgive myself Aisha; I won’t for what I did to you, for everything.”

He continued, “I don’t want your forgiveness either, I don’t deserve it. But I promise you this, Tunde will pay, in the most horrible way, he will pay and I hope that’s enough because it’s all I can do.” He stopped to ask Bisola this, “How am I even sure she’s listening to me?…”

“Ask him about the picture of the girl he use to carry around with him when I first met him. I thought she could be his sister but seeing who his sister is tonight, I think that might have been someone he loved.”

So Bisola asked and Ben almost had a heart attack when that piece of evidence dropped.

“How… how could she have known that?”

“Tell him that I know he kept her picture in his wallet because I stumbled on it one day while trying to steal money from him.” Aisha said, smiling as she recalled that specific day, how nervous she’d been and how calm he’d been when he caught her as she was closing the wallet. No, he hadn’t been all bad, she admitted, remembering their short friendship after that deal they made with each other. And he wasn’t all good either, she added, but the greater evil was still loose, the greater evil which was Tunde and she knew that until she made sure he was going to be accompanying her to hell, she was never going to be free of this world.

“She’s here Ben, she is here,” Bisola said to him.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting.

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    1. Hi Nune! Thanks for stopping by. I've been reading your comments and would love to read more. If on IG, follow us @nigerian_romance_stories for updates!

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