Monday, 23 November 2015


Fred had gained the admiration of Ellen. On ‘special’ occasions, as Fred put it, he basked in the glory of Ellen’s love. On one of such occasions, Ellen called Fred “Daddy”. That night, Fred could not sleep. He was so elated that he and Ellen were finally beginning to get along. Fred was determined to keep the rapport going. Ellen on the other hand was beginning to also get some liking for her father. She was once praising him to Cheryl saying that she really appreciated the time he spent with them when he was off work. On the eighth day, after the birth of Fred’s son, a plush naming ceremony was held for him. Fred’s eldest Uncle chaired the event. Fred’s father had passed on two years earlier so his younger brother stood in his stead. Fred decided to name his first son, ‘Isaac’, which meant 'laughter'. Fred’s wife, the ever beautiful Cheryl, could not agree more to this name. When word got out that Fred’s son was to be called ‘Isaac’, the news was received with mixed feelings. Some were of the view that God had smiled on Fred to regain his lost ‘possession’. Another school of thought stipulated that the name was chosen to spite David because Fred had managed to constitutionally take away from him the one thing he so much desired. This, though a rumour, was not far from the truth. Many years passed after the naming ceremony of baby Isaac was held. With the passing of time, many events had taken place. Significant of all these were the many birthdays that were held for Isaac. Ellen could count ten of them. For Isaac, the next birthday was more exciting than the previous one. On his sixth birthday, Fred and his family had two reasons to celebrate. His wife Cheryl had put to bed again. She had given birth to a bouncy but cute baby girl. Both of them had decided to name her Macaria. Macaria was almost four years old on Isaac’s tenth birthday party. Ellen too had made much progress. She was now the manageress of Fred’s fleet of transport companies and was the Director of his luxury car dealership. She had graduated from the university some years back and was very successful at running her father’s business. Many of her customers knew her to be a very shrewd business woman who always fulfilled her part of any business deal. Her father respected her for that. Ellen was still very much in love with her first love, Collins. On their graduation day, Collins managed to make it a memorable day. After the graduation ceremony, both the families of Ellen and Collins hosted both of them at an exquisite dinner to celebrate their achievements. The dinner was held in one of the best restaurants in the city. After the families had all had their fill of the many delicacies served them, Collins proposed a toast and asked for the waiter to bring in the cake he had ordered to crown the evening’s celebration. Before Collins proposed the toast, he asked permission from Ellen’s father to allow her stand by his side. Ellen was wearing an exquisitely made blue evening gown laced with the traditional ‘kente’ cloth. She was wearing a beautiful emerald necklace which was given to her as a graduation gift by her step mother, Cheryl. Fred had gathered from Erica that ever since Ellen started growing up, she had harboured the ambitions of one day marrying a prince to make her a princess so on her graduation, Fred bought a crown for her which she fixed in her hair. That night, Ellen looked like a true beauty queen. Ellen was looking all gay and excited by the fact that she had all her family members around even though Fred disagreed to her suggestion to invite David to the celebratory dinner. Ellen managed to find her way to Collin’s side and Collins proposed the toast saying, “I would like to thank you all for all the support and encouragement over these four years”. “We find ourselves here today because of your efforts and words of encouragement.” “This toast goes to all of you”, Collins added and asked if Ellen wanted to add something else but she was so full of excitement that nothing really mattered at that material moment. The waiter finally came in with the cake Collins had ordered. He placed the cake in front of Collins. Collins asked Ellen to help him unpack the cake as he took a second sip from the glass he had in his hand. Ellen took a little peak and saw that it was her favourite type of cake; chocolate cake. “Wow, It is chocolate!”, an excited Ellen exclaimed. When she went on to open the cake all the way, she received the shock of her life. The cake was coated in creamy chocolate and had little love-shaped toppings. There were some writings on the cake but the cake was turned backwards so Ellen could not make out what was written on it, when she turned the cake to be able to read what was written on it, she put both hands over her mouth in surprise. On top of the cake were the inscriptions, “Baby, Please Marry Me”. “Oh my God!”, Ellen exclaimed and looked at the faces of all the people gathered and instantly knew that she was the only one who was not aware of the surprise they had planned. Collins took Ellen’s hand into his and said, “Ellen, from the first day I met you, I knew that a day like this was going to come”. “You make all my pain and sorrow go away and you are one answer away from making me the happiest man on earth.” “This is my question to you, Ellen, will you spend the rest of your life with me by being my wife?”, Collins asked in a trembling voice. The room was dead silent and Ellen still had her mouth cupped with her right arm. All efforts to get her to say anything apart from “Oh my God” and “Oh Collins” proved futile. Collins started to fear that his proposal was going to be rejected. Ellen looked at all the people gathered again and looked back at Collins. “You are making me nervous, Ellen”, Collins said. Ellen nodded three times in quick succession. “Baby, to make this binding, this is the right time to say ‘yes’ if you are going to accept the proposal”, Collins jokingly said, when he sensed how tense the atmosphere was getting. The people gathered room broke out in uncontrollable laughter and anxiously waited to hear Ellen’s response. “Yes!”, Ellen yelled out. Collins went down on his knees, brought out a ring he had kept in his pocket, slowly took Ellen’s hand and slowly placed the ring on her finger. He rose to his feet amidst cheers and applause and hugged Ellen who was already in tears. Collins whispered into her ears, “Thank you for making me the happiest man on earth, now, we have two reasons to celebrate”. Ellen never forgot the events of that day. Three years had passed since that night but Collins and Ellen had still not walked down the aisle due to Collins’ commitment. He had won a scholarship to study in South Africa. He was already in his third year and was bound to return the next year so that they could finally get married. The distance and time that had passed did not worry Ellen or Collins. Collins was bound to return the following year so they could finally walk down the aisle to merit the title 'man and wife'. Ellen was always caught up in business dealings. She had somewhat built for herself and her father, an unparalleled dynasty of business. Many business moguls respected her for the unmatched success she had bestowed upon her father's company. With her help, Fred managed to win a contract from the government to supply vehicles to all the ministries and arms of government. It was the biggest contract ever won by anyone in the transport business. Ellen who knew the terrain and type of competition that was available advised her father to send her step family abroad till the contract was sealed. She was concerned about their safety. Fred agreed and had Cheryl and her children flown to France to spend sometime there. Ellen and Fred then got to work to ensure that they won the contract. On the final day of the presentation, Fred was awarded the contract because of the many recommendations he had managed to get. He wanted to be the first person to break the  good news to Ellen so he quickly sped off in his Range Rover Evoque homebound to celebrate with his hardworking daughter. He got to his gate at exactly 7:30pm on the Thursday night. The whole house was plunged into pitch-black darkness. Fred never spent more than two minutes outside his gate because Ellen was always there to open the gate for him even before he honked. Today was different, he had honked for close to ten minutes but there was still no response from the other side of the gate. He used his copy of the keys to gain entry into his mansion and parked right in front of the main door. He used the light emanating from his IPhone 6 to find his way into the hallway where the main switch to his house was. He managed to get to the switch and illuminated the house into the Christmas tree it was on a nightly basis. He called out Ellen's name. Upon calling for the third time without a response, he knew instantly that something was amiss. He always had the police emergency line on speed dial so he selected it waiting to hit the 'send' button if he suspected any foul play. He walked through his enormous hall looking for signs of forced entry. Upon reaching the side of his giant LED TV, he saw a figure coiled on the tiled floor. "Ellen!", Fred yelled and rushed to her side. She was in pain and was crying. "Ellen, what is wrong with you?" "Who did this to you?", Fred asked all at once looking for signs of an intruder. Any effort to get Ellen to say anything else apart from squeaks and gibberish proved futile. Fred bundled her in his arms and gently placed her in the backseat of his Range Rover. He quickly sped off to the nearest hospital which was a few blocks away from their house. As he hit the main street, Ellen managed to finally speak, "Please take me to my doctor", an alarmed Fred who was trying to dodge the legendary potholes on the road and at the same time trying to save the life of his first child looked back and said, "Please let me take you to the community hospital for first aid then we can go and see your doctor." Moreover, I don't know who your doctor is". Fred then turned to face the road. Ellen spoke again, "Daddy, please, I don't want any other doctor aside Dr. Johnson". "He is at the Durban Clinic which is close to the underpass near the new Bayview hotel which is under construction". When Fred heard the title Ellen used, he agreed and sped off like a formula one car driver heading towards the underpass. The underpass was usually deserted at night. When Fred got to the middle of the dark underpass, another car started approaching from the opposite direction. "Can't you see me coming?", Fred yelled out at the oncoming vehicle. He honked for the car to make way but there was no response. He tried to reverse to allow the troublesome driver to pass but when he tried, another car shone its light on his car from behind. "What is the meaning of all this?", a frustrated Fred let out. Fred got out of his car to find out what was going on. Immediately, two masked men wielding locally-manufactured pistols got out of the car behind him. "Where do you think you are going?", one of the gunmen asked, pointing his weapon at Fred. Instantly, Fred knew that they had fallen into the hands of robbers because everything seemed so professional. "Who is in the car with you?", the second gunman barked at Fred. "Please sir, it is just my daughter". "She is not feeling well so I am taking her to the hospital". "Please don't harm us, I would give you anything you want", Fred said in a trembling voice. The gunmen ordered Ellen out of the car and ordered both of them to lie face-down on the ground. All this while, the occupants of the first car were still inside the car. Immediately both of them were face-pressed to the ground, the door of the first car flung open and a masculine figure started to make his way to the spot where Fred and Ellen were pinned. Immediately the figure was standing over the two captives, Ellen jumped up like a child on an early Christmas morning and hugged the person. Fred was in a state of shock and left confused as he calmly lay on the tarred ground but waited for his captors to make the next move. "Did you ever think that things were going to turn out this way?", the figure asked. Fred's world came crushing immediately the last words of the masculine figure touched his eardrums. The words belonged to no other than David, his worst nightmare. "Fred, you left a permanent scar in my heart". "I trusted you even to the point of death but what did you do?" "You were so selfish and thought of only yourself and your happiness". "How does it feel now to have the tables turned in my favour now?", David asked and gave Fred a kick in the stomach. "Ellen took over proceedings. She recounted how they both orchestrated this turn of events. "I have never loved you because of what you did to David". "Ever since I found out the truth, I have hated you with so much passion with each day that passed". "I had to be patient just as David said and do my best so that I gain your trust". "Unfortunately for you, this is the end of the road". David and Ellen had fake passports made for them and first class tickets bought for South Africa that night stashed on the glove compartment of David's car. Fred knew his end was near so he let out shrill sounds and pleaded for mercy. "Mercy is the last thing you need", David said. He requested for a pistol from one of the gunmen and began to attach a silencer to the muzzle. "Before your world ends, I want you to take a good look at me", David said.  Fred kept his face pressed to the ground disobeying David's request. "Look at me, Fred!", David yelled. The pistol began to speak with David's help *clock*clock*clock. It was 11:39pm and  Emirates Flight 419 was bound to touch down in Johannesburg Airport in approximately 7 hours and 35 minutes. David and Ellen looked at each other as the plane was about to take off. THE END. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS HAS BEEN "BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS". THANK YOU FOR BEING A LOVELY BUT PATIENT AUDIENCE. MORE at

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