THE AGONY OF LOVE-Episode 28
THE AGONY OF LOVE-Episode 28
Ojo Oluwasegun .A
A waitress arrived to serve their meal and Amara watched unconcerned as she
blatantly flirted with Maxwell, who basked in the glory of the attention. Amara
averted her gaze, focusing on the enticing fried rice, salad and chicken placed
before her but although the delicious aroma was making her mouth water, she
frowned at the food. Maxwell hadn’t even asked her what she wanted; he had
obviously placed the order before her arrival. She raised her eyes as the waitress
saunted away, swaying her hips provocatively. “And if I don’t like salad?” she
asked, staring at Maxwell.
“I have not seen a single lady who does not like this delicacy before you” he
“I see you have enough experience in this aspect” she retorted.
He grinned and a sparkling image flashed through her mind, making her blink
several times to drive it away. “It is not my fault that I am so handsome”
Maxwell stated grinning, bringing her mind back. “Women naturally float around
Amara bit her lip to stop herself from returning a sharp comment and she
focused on her food.
“You don’t have to be jealous though” he whispered conspiratorially. “I have
eyes for only one person”
Amara gripped her fork and knife like a vise and raised cold eyes at him. “Good
for you Mr. Babs” she stated and focused on her food.
Silence reigned for a few blessed seconds, only doused by the sounds of utensils
and the hushed voices of other diners.
“I would love to have you call me Max” he suddenly said.
She raised her eyes. “I don’t see why I would want to do that” she returned. She
saw where this was heading and it created a bitter taste in her mouth, making
her lose her appetite.
“Are you always this uptight Amara?” he suddenly asked unsmiling, yet not
Anger surged to the surface and Amara found herself holding the knife like a
weapon. Something tugged at her brain and she momentarily let go of her anger
as curiosity took place. “Who told you my name is Amara?” she asked. She had
made sure nobody knew her full name ever since she arrived Lagos, Max had
been calling her Amara and now, thinking about it, she found it unsettling.
He smiled. “The person who manipulated you into this place called you Amara.”
Amara almost growled aloud. Tina! She exclaimed internally. Somehow, she had
felt that the entrance of Tina in her well-calculated life would change so many
things. She could already feel it happening. The wall she had erected to guard
her heart was already weakening; that could only explain the reason why she
accepted to go on this date. And then, there was something else! She could not
shake off the intense feeling that something was about to happen. The feeling
was getting her all edgy. She took deep calming breaths and faced her food,
playing with it. She was aware of Maxwell’s eyes on her. “You never did tell me
about yourself” he said.
“Probably because there is nothing to tell” she said
“I heard you are single” he dropped his fork, relaxing fully as he studied her.
Amara raised her eyes icily to glare at him, wanting nothing more than to get
out of that place. “You hear too many things for your own good Mr. Babs”
He smiled. “Yeah” he winked at her. “You know, we both are single and I think it
is a good thing.”
“Yeah! We are perfect for each other; I am a complete package – exceedingly
handsome, tall, rich and connected – you would have all the contracts and
exposure you need with me by your side. You are also outstanding, financially
independent, beautiful and sexy. We deserve each other. ” he stated.
Amara shook her head in outrage, glaring at him. “You, Mr. Babs, are the most
egotistic man I have ever come across. How dare you” she barked, drawing
attention as she stood up. For the first time, she saw a deep frown settle on
Maxwell’s face. “I am not for sale handsome freak, and if this…” she gestured
wildly with her hands. “… is the reason why you gave Ara P that contract, you
better withdraw it now. I don’t know why I came here; Tina would hear it!
Rubbish” she grabbed her bag and stormed away, pressing the elevator button
violently. Her blood was running through her veins at an alarming rate, she was
sure she might have a nervous breakdown. She swallowed hard, taking calming
breaths to drive away her anger to a certain level but still, she kept replaying
Max’s words. She bounced out of the elevator immediately the door opened and
her heels clicked away as she marched out of the plaza.
Amara froze as that voice registered and echoed in her head. No! it can’t be. It
definitely cannot be! That voice couldn’t be mistaken, it was already stamped in
place in her heart.
Slowly, she took the longest turn of her life. Her breath caught in her throat as
she gasped. Standing some distance away from her was the very last person
she expected to see.
Alfred placed his head on the table of his office in total exhaustion. He should be
at home now, but he just could not think of doing that. The Island of Patmos
would definitely be a better place of abode, compared to his house. Precious had
been a thorn in his flesh and it seemed the thorn was there to stay. His only
consolation was Pamela. She looked just like Precious with her exquisite beauty. If
only Precious could match her beauty with good manners, his life would not be a
The door of his office jerked open and Alfred’s head snapped up in alarm. “Toba”
he gasped as his friend marched forward. “What is going on? Is the building on
fire?” he asked.
“You won’t believe what I just saw” Toba said instantly, looking incredulously at
Alfred sat straighter. It is not everyday you get to see Toba looking this serious.
Toba sank into a chair, facing Alfred with his open laptop poised on his laps. “I
was surfing through the internet, checking out some things when I stumbled on
a site. Apparently, there is this Events’ Planning company which is making
waves in Lagos, due to the designs and standard. When I checked it out, guess
who I found as the founder of this company…”
Alfred snorted. “Cut the crap and just tell me” he dropped.
“Your ex-wife, Amara” Alfred stiffened, staring unblinking as the words echoed in
his brain. Toba lifted the laptop on his lap and placed it in front of Alfred, who
stared unseeing at the laptop for some seconds. Blinking hard, he focused on the
laptop and saw the picture of a woman. The person before him, in a small dark
green gown and a white suit jacket was nothing like the naive village girl he
knew. Although the face was undeniably hers, it showed vividly through the
picture that the woman before him was a refined and well-polished woman. He
could not believe his eyes.
“This… This is impossible…” He breathed.
Toba laughed slightly. “Impossible right? I would not have believed it myself if I
did not see it with my own two eyes”
Alfred stood up forcefully and his chair rolled backwards from the force. He had
spent months searching for Amara all over Abuja but he hadn’t found her. Even
after getting married to Precious, he had searched but hadn’t found her. Life had
been cruel to him. Just when he was beginning to like his marriage to Amara,
she had turned out to be his sister and now, he was doomed to life with Precious.
But why did he still wish he could eat the forbidden fruit? Despite knowing that
she is his blood, why was he still harboring the abominable feeling that Amara
would have made an excellent wife. But no! He raked his hand through his bits
of hair. He had to come to terms with the fact that she is and can only be his
He swallowed. “You said she is in Lagos?” He asked thoughtfully.
Toba raised his eyebrow as he stared at the thoughtful face of his friend. “Oh no
man, you are not thinking of doing what I think you want to do, are you?”
“And why not?” Alfred turned, staring at the picture again. Oh, but she is so damn
“Why not? Are you crazy? If Precious finds out, your house would be a living hell”
Alfred hissed. “It is already a living hell. Besides, she doesn’t have to find out”
Toba shook his head. “And why would you go looking for Amara. She is your
sister, man! I know I am a bad person but I draw the line where family is
concerned” he said.
Alfred raised his eyes to stare at his friend. “And who said I was going there to
do anything untoward. I have learnt my lessons. She is my sister and I really
need her forgiveness so that we can be proper siblings”
Toba snorted and shook his head again. “Even if you can fool yourself, you can’t
fool me man, I know you”
Alfred sighed and looked at the laptop again. Lagos!
Amara seemed frozen as she stared at Kelvin standing some distance away from
her, looking as frozen as she felt. It was like she had gone back in time as she
recalled the very last time she had seen him. That day she had walked away
from him with a heavy heart. It seemed like a lifetime had passed between that
time and now. She couldn’t move as she gazed into his dark eyes despite the
distance between them. The people which crowded the plaza gazed at them
incredulously but they did not seem to notice.
Kelvin hadn’t been more shocked in his entire life. Who would have thought that
he would see Amara today of all days. She was nothing like the woman he
knew, yet, she was the same. Her hair was packed firmly behind her head in a
stern-looking way, making her look a bit unapproachable, coupled with the suit
she had on, but he did not see all that. He saw only the woman he had been
forced to part ways with six years ago. The woman who had remained in his
thoughts and dreams throughout the length of time. He swallowed hard as he
ran his eyes over her face, pausing slightly when he sighted her pink lips, the
one had only had the opportunity to taste once before. “Ara” he whispered
silently, knowing that the distance would make it impossible for her to hear but
the instant twinkle of her eyes made it obvious that she had heard him, or
perhaps traced the movement of his mouth. He could not stand it any longer, his
legs suddenly unlocked and he was walking towards her. Amara did the last
thing he thought she would do; she turned and started running away.
Amara ran with all her might with her heart pounding. Her heels were making
her legs hurt badly but she could not stop. She just couldn’t!
“Amara! Wait damn it” she heard Kelvin yell as he pursued her, advancing
rapidly. She increased her pace and nearly ran past her car. She pressed the
unlock button and ran into the car instantly, locking the door. Her hand shook
wildly as she tried to put the key in its hole, starting the car instantly. Kelvin
had obviously not assumed she would have a car and he immediately rushed off
to his own car, giving her the blessed time to rush out of the parking lot. Her
hands shook wildly against the staring as she drove in any direction she saw,
not willing to take the chance of driving home, lest he followed her. She gazed
at her mirror to see if he was following and was alarmed to find him, behind
several cars, trying to maneuver his way through. She swallowed and gripped
the staring harder till her knuckles turned white, going beyond the speed limit.
She saw the traffic light ahead and prayed for a miracle. She ran past it and
soon, the light turned red. She checked the mirror and saw that Kelvin’s car had
been held back. She exhaled the breath she had been holding and swallowed
hard, trying to regulate her breathing. After driving for ten minutes without being
followed, she found her way home.
She puller the car to a final stop inside her compound but could not find the
energy to come out. She was shaken to her roots. “This can’t be happening” she
asked. “No! No!!” She slammed her fists against the steering. “My past is not
crawling back. No” she cried out as her eyes watered. She blinked severally. “Oh
great! Now I am going to cry?” She yelled at herself, blinking furiously.
A neighbor knocked on her window and she raised her eyes. Perfect! She
thought. She removed her car key and alighted, grabbing her bag. “I am fine”
she murmured before the neighbor could say anything.
The Lady looked at her, full of concern. “Are you sure?” She asked
Amara managed a weak smile. “Yes, I am. Thanks for the concern” she turned
instantly and focused on leading her stiff legs to her apartment. She went
straight to her room and leaned against the door, breathing rapidly until she
slipped to the floor, staring at the dark room, without bothering to turn on the
Amara ignored all the calls that came in throughout the night, until she decided
to turn off her phone. She did not go to ‘Ara P’ until the afternoon, two days
after, when she was sure she had recovered from her shock. As she arrived, all
her worried staff greeted her with extra enthusiasm, wordlessly trying to know
what was amiss but she dismissed their worries with a cool smile as she
headed for her office. She met a few people waiting for her but without looking
at them, she quickly responded to Tega’s greeting. “Oh boss, thank God you are
here. They have been waiting to see you,especially that man over there.”
Amara turned to apologize but on seeing the man in question, she gasped,
grabbing Tega’s table to keep her from crumbling to the ground.
“Egotistic!” Maxwell grunted angrily as he sat behind his desk in his
office, glaring at his system without actually paying attention to the
details on the screen. It has been two days, yet, Amara’s insult
continued to replay in his senses. “Handsome freak uhn?” he barked at
the system again. “Well, at least she included handsome” he said drily.
Being insulted isn’t something he was used to, on the contrary, he was
used to people falling over themselves to please him. But why couldn’t
Amara do the same. He knew from his private investigation of her
private life that she has no one in her life. He saw no trace of past
relationships and this showed vividly that she would be a very hard
woman to get. But then, he felt drawn to her somehow. She intrigued
him in ways he could not begin to explain. She is different from every
other woman, he thought as he leaned fully against the backrest of the
chair. Women were falling on top of themselves to get him to smile at
them but the one woman that he wanted had snubbed him and called
him names. She hadn’t been enticed by all he had to offer. As annoying
and demeaning as her comments had been, they somehow made Max
like her more because it showed more vividly that she wasn’t like the
other women he had come across.
Egotistic! The word danced around in his brain, annoying him beyond
words. Someone knocked the door and he barked ‘come in’. The door
opened and his driver came in smartly.
“You called me sir” Bolaji said.
“Close the door and come here” Bolaji did as told and walked up to the
table, facing his boss. He hadn’t seen his boss being as angry as he
had been the past few days and he knew it had something to do with
the last date he drove him to. Bolaji kept his face passive as Maxwell
faced him with a glare. Maxwell swallowed as his driver faced him,
unsure if he should be doing this. After some seconds, he took in a
deep breath. “I want to ask you a… question” he said stonily. “Make
sure you answer with all honesty”
Bolaji nodded firmly, feeling uneasy. It is very unlike his boss to ask
him anything apart from evaluation on how handsome he looked;
however, looking at Max, he knew instinctively that that is not the
question he would ask.
“Am I… erm… I mean…” Maxwell cursed himself silently for doing this.
He had been thinking about what Amara said for a long time and
stupidly, he was starting to believe she actually spoke the truth. “Am I
egotistic?” he suddenly dropped.
Bolaji gaped, not believing what he had just been asked. And how on
earth should he answer that? His honesty can get him fired, he thought
in agitation. “Sir… erm…”
“I asked for honesty Bolaji” Maxwell said firmly.
Bolaji swallowed and shifted. “errrr… Yes… you… You are sir”
“What?” Maxwell roared and Bolaji squirmed.
“You asked for honesty sir, please forgive me. I don’t want to lose my
job, i have responsibilities” he ranted hastily, hoping his sack letter
isn’t part of the documents on the table.
Max swallowed as he gripped the edge of the table, glaring at his driver.
He couldn’t believe another person agrees with Amara’s insults. He
shuddered just thinking of the fact that everyone probably thought of
him this way. “Why didn’t you say something?”
Bolaji’s eyes widened like Max had just said something ridiculous.
“How could I sir? I was scared. My job could be on the line” he said,
looking at the table instead of the face of his boss.
But Amara is not scared, he thought. It surprised him how things like
these could intrigue him so much. Amara remained the only person
who did not cower at his presence or hold back her tongue because
she was scared of annoying him. He exhaled and dismissed Bolaji,
who gratefully vanished from sight. Max raked his fingers through his
hair. I have to get Amara, and if I would need to change myself to get
her, then so be it.
Kelvin watched as Amara turned pale before his very eyes. He hadn’t
expected this sort of reaction from her. First she ran away from him
like he was some sort of serial killer and now, she stared at him like
she had just seen a ghost. He was unsure why he should evoke such
reactions from her but he would be damned if he allowed her to get
away from him this time; he had waited a lifetime to see her again. If
only he had guessed that she might be in Lagos, he might have found
her long before now. He stood, unmoving with his hands firmly planted
in his pockets as Amara grasped the edge of her secretary’s table for
support. He fought the overwhelming urge to pull her into his arms,
because unlike that awkward moment at the Plaza, right now, she was
standing just a few steps away. He saw the shivering state of her
finger and tried with great discomfort to ignore it.
Tega rotated her gaze from her pale boss to the man who was
standing almost like an unmovable rock just steps away. When he had
arrived, she had tried hard not to gap at him because… jeez, the man
had to be one of the most handsome men she had on her radar. She
could easily point to one who is more handsome though, thinking of
the hot man behind Bracket, but this man had an edge. He had this
rugged look which made him seem different from the pampered child
that Mr. Babs looked like. Tega saw the strength which was still clearly
evident despite his loose shirt and firm trouser. He reeked of wealth
without even trying, making him seem as though he barely knew his
own appeal, though Tega doubted that was possible. Although, as she
watched her boss cower before him, Kelvin’s overwhelming look was
not what she thought about. This had to be the first time Tega would
see her boss shiver. It almost looked like Ara would crumble to the
ground any minute now and this both alarmed and amused Tega. Mr.
Kelvin who is clearly responsible for this reaction, stood firmly with
penetrating, yet unreadable eyes. Tega swallowed and touched the
hand Amara anchored on the table to stable herself. Amara stiffened
and Tega felt sorry for her, she needed no one to tell her that there had
to be a history between the two people. Even the other people seated
there staring up at the duo could see it. This is probably why Ara is
always so guarded around men, she thought.
Amara couldn’t see anything or anyone beyond Kelvin. How could she?
He had the most overpowering presence and his penetrating gaze
seemed to see right into her soul. She was finding it hard to breathe or
even keep her damned betraying legs straight. Immediately she felt
someone touch her hand, she stiffened and blinked, breaking the spell
that Kelvin had obviously woven to distract her and all of a sudden,
she saw everyone gazing at her and Kelvin in confusion. Tega gave her
a questioning look which instantly brought her back to her senses. She
swallowed and forced her legs to stand without the support of Tega’s
table. Her heart was running a hundred meter race as she returned her
gaze to Kelvin. He had that half-smile that she remembered so well,
playing on his face and she tried hard to breathe properly. “Kelvin” she
said, trying to sound formal but the name came out breathlessly,
making it seem like a caress. She saw the flare in Kelvin’s eyes and
quickly averted her gaze, making the mistake of looking at Tega, who
was openly smiling, enjoying the episode before her. Amara glared at
her and turned her angry eyes at Kelvin. “Why don’t we discuss in my
office…” she said. She quickly apologized to the other people and
marched into her office, passing by Kelvin.
Kelvin slowly turned and followed Amara. He sternly stopped his eyes
from ravaging her body, but he could not prevent the few times his
eyes disobeyed that command. Amara opened the door, waited for him
to enter before closing it firmly behind him. She took a deep breath
before turning with the sole aim of going to her chair, but as she
turned, Kelvin’s gaze got her hypnotized, freezing her to the spot.
Kelvin’s eyes slowly traveled down her body and back up, and
Goosebumps broke up on her skin. His eyes returned to hers. “You still
look as beautiful as before sweetheart” he said softly.
Amara swallowed, lowering her eyes. “Thanks” she said, vaguely
remembering that she had to get to her seat in order to put the large
table between them. She started walking but Kelvin grabbed her hand
immediately he perceived what she wanted to do.
“I certainly don’t know what I have done to make you so defensive and
edgy around me Ara” he breathed, looking at her face in confusion.
Amara did not meet his eyes. “It has been six years” he said. “I have
missed you so much” he breathed, swallowing the lump in his throat.
He wanted to move close to her but something told him that it wasn’t
a good idea.
Amara met his eyes then, “Don’t” she said and snatched her hand,
quickly moving to her chair.
Kelvin smiled bitterly. “It is rather late for that advice, don’t you think?”
he dropped as he watched her sit on her chair. “I expected you to be
happy to see me, as overjoyed as I was when I saw you two days ago. I
did not expect you to run from me like I was after your life”
Amara saw the hurt look in Kelvin’s eyes and looked away. “I am not
ready Kelvin. You are my past and-”
“Not ready?” kelvin asked incredulously. “It has been six years Ara,
when are you going to accept your past and move on?” he seemed
“I have moved on; can’t you see that” she returned angrily.
“No! I can’t see that. You have not moved on Ara, you have only locked
away your past. When are you going to stop running?”
“When my past stops pursuing” she barked. “I had successfully gotten
over my past, until Tina showed up, bringing back those bitter
memories, now you…” she laughed bitterly. “I won’t be surprised if Alfred
shows up at my doorstep tomorrow. Why can’t you all just leave me to
be happy for once in my life. Why?” she wailed.
Kelvin stared at her, seeing the hurt she had locked up bouncing to the
surface. When she had walked away six years ago, he had prayed that
she would achieve all she wanted, maybe it would help to heal the
wound that life had created in her; but now, he could see vividly, that
the wound hadn’t healed completely. The scar was still burning bright
red. He circled the table, moving towards her and he saw her shivering
fingers as he advanced. “Please don’t” she pleaded as he moved
closer to her seat but he ignored her. He perched on the table, directly
in front of her. Amara was the same woman he knew years back, but
still, she was different. Many things had changed about her and he
feared he might not see the old Amara again. He brought up his hand
to brush back the stray hair which had stubbornly left the tight confines
of the bond she used to hold her hair behind her head. Her breath
caught in her throat and she did not meet his eyes until he put his
hand on her chin, carefully forcing her head up.
“You haven’t been happy Ara” he whispered. “I see it in your eyes. You
have carried a shield around you all these years. You can’t fully bury
the past honey, you have to face it and accept it in order to be truly
happy” he bent until his head was level with hers. “You promised me
years back, remember? All I ever wanted was for you to be truly happy
and you promised me you would be”
Amara averted her gaze as pain flitted through her. “I don’t know if I
can keep that promise Kel” she said, not even noticing what she had
Kelvin could hardly contain his satisfaction when he heard her call him
‘Kel’. She was practically the only one who called him that. It was the
same satisfaction he had felt when he saw the name of her company,
knowing that he had given her that name. “I would see to it that you are
happy honey; very happy. I promise you. I will help you live again” he
She looked at him. Kelvin had been there for her, helping her through it
all, but then, she knew that he was fighting a lost cause if he thought
he could make her happy. She had tried to be happy but hadn’t been
able to achieve that until she accepted the cold and hard life she had
now. She had become comfortable in it and she would not risk getting
her hopes dashed again by believing she could have something better.
She took a deep breath. “Some people are waiting to see me Kelvin”
she said dismissing him.
Kelvin smiled softly. He had seen the exact second she closed herself
up, putting an invisible distance between them. He knew nothing he
said would make sense now. How strange! He had imagined the time
he would meet Amara again, more than a million times, but he had
never imagined it would be like this. He straightened. He was sorely
tempted to bend and kiss her, if not on the lips like he badly desired,
but on her forehead, but he decided against it. he would not have her
assuming that he was only doing this because of his feelings for her.
As much as possible, he would make her see again that one could do
things without asking for anything in return. If he would have to put
aside his feelings for her to get her to trust again, then, he would. But
even as he thought about it, he knew he was not worthy to teach her
about trust. Sighing shakily, he said. “I won’t leave you like I did years
back Amara, no matter how hard you try. I would be back”. With that,
he turned and left without looking back.
Alfred carried his suitcase down the stairs, tuning out Precious’s voice as
she ranted on. When he got to the foot of the stairs, his driver collected
the bag and carried it to the car.
“It seems you think I am joking Alfred” Precious yelled. “What business do
you have in Lagos? When did you start having business in Lagos ehn?”
Alfred tapped his foot on the tiled floor, praying for patience. “Woman,
what I do and where I go is none of your concern, would you stop
barking like a dog? You have my daughter to take care of till I return”
“You lie” she screamed. “Everything you do is my business; that is
why I am your wife. I am not a nanny, you hear me?. Ohhhh… you want
to go and meet one of your whores right? Shameless man”
Alfred hissed and made for the door, ignoring her high-pitched ranting.
“You don’t know me Alfred, don’t try me o” she yelled, following him as
he went out of the house. he rushed into the car and slammed the door
firmly, ordering the driver to lock the car instantly. Precious laughed
sarcastically. “So you think you can be free of me so easily; you know
nothing” she watched the car speed off, knowing he was going to the
airport. She glared at the departing car with her hands on her hips. “So
you expect me to sit here while you roll around with your whores in
Lagos, right?” she hissed and turned around, marching into the house.
“If you think I would do that, then I have a surprise for you, dear
Watchout for episode 29. Click here to read episode 27 or visit True Life Story category of this site for previous episodes.
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