Henry's was startled and confused on seeing the man. The man stood in the doorway to signal to Henry that he knew exactly what he was doing and sent the indication that he was not lost but was standing there for a reason.
"What do you want?", a scared Henry asked as he walked backwards and found himself on the other side of Julius's desk. "You are the one I directed to the conference room yesterday, aren't you?".
The man was silent as Henry asked him questions but only looked intently at Henry.
"What do you want?", Henry screamed to signal to anyone who was in the building that he might be in trouble and needed assistance.
"You remember me from yesterday, don't you?", the man finally spoke.
Henry nodded. “The conference room guy”, Henry said.
"What are you doing here?", Henry asked.
"Yesterday's meeting was not our first encounter", the man revealed. "I have been watching and following you these past two days", the man revealed. "I followed you back home two days ago", the man said. "I know where you live, I know your family members and I know you would not want any harm to befall them", the man continued. "I stayed here all day because of you so you should know how serious what you are doing is affecting the one who hired me", the man said.
"Someone hired you to follow me?", Henry enquired.
"Don't be stupid, Henry", the man started. "I believe you know better than this", the man added. "Let me explain things to you briefly", the man said as he walked up to the desk Henry stood behind and took a seat.
"I want you to stop seeing Sandra for your own good", the man started. "I was hired to scare you off but I guess our encounter yesterday was enough", the man recalled.
Henry nodded timidly.
"Now tell me, how far did you think this could go?", the man asked Henry as he placed his hands on the table revealing some scars on the back of his hand.
"How far? ", the man asked. "Just so you know, I am willing to do anything to see to it that my client is happy and I wouldn't mind breaking a few bones to ensure that I achieve my goal", the man added.
"There is nothing going on between Sandra and I", Henry rebutted as he stood his ground.
"I beg to differ but that is not what my client thinks", the man said.
"Henry, this thing is bigger and messed up than you think", the man tried to explain. "You are like a very tiny dot in this chain and it would take very little effort to erase you and believe me, the world won't lose sleep over your disappearance", the man added. "You are not the first person I have been asked to come after", the man revealed.
"Henry, I chose to be gentle with you because I realized you were scared senseless yesterday as you are today", the man said with a smirk on his face. "I'd expect that you listened to me and do exactly as I have instructed", he added. "Just steer clear off Sandra and we all go home happy", the man said. "You get to keep your job and if you are dedicated to not having this encounter with me in the foreseeable future, you would do what we have agreed on right now", the man said and got up to leave. As he got to the doorway, he turned, looked intently at Henry one more time and said. "I am not this gentle and pleasant often so should there be another encounter, you would see my unpleasant tendencies", the man said sternly. "It's a free world Henry, so the choice is yours", the man added and left the office.
Henry stood at Julius's side of the desk with his legs quivering with fear and tension as the man finally left the room.
"I am now fully convinced that Sandra was the girl in the pastor's vision", Henry said as he tiptoed to the door to check if the man had truly left. He slowly pushed his head out of the doorway and looked in all directions for signs of the man. When he could not sight him anywhere, he quickly withdrew into Julius's office, shut the door and turned the key twice.
He leaned with his back against the door.
"All of this was real after all", Henry said to himself. "What am I going to do now?". "Do I have to inform my dad that my life and possibly that of my family's could be in danger should I fail in staying away from Sandra?", Henry thought out loud. "Should I opt out of this national service and apply next year at another institution?", Henry said to himself. "Should I involve the police into this matter?", Henry soliloquized.
"I think I should seek counsel from Edwin and Kennedy", Henry said and reached for his phone from his left breast pocket. He dialed Kennedy's number first and waited for it to ring. As the phone rang for the first time, there was a sudden forceful crank of the door knob leading into Julius's office. The sound frightened Henry so much that out of reflex, he dropped his phone unto the tiled floor, cracking the screen and causing it to go off due to the impact.
Henry started to back away from the door and the feeling he felt in the presence of his "assassin", began to come back to him. There was a number of forceful cranks on the knob. When the cranking stopped, the person behind the door started banging on the door.
At this point, Henry knew his assassin had definitely returned to harm him this time. He quickly took cover behind Julius's desk and frantically looked around the room for something to arm himself with.
Typically of the room he found himself in were stacks of books placed neatly in their shelves. In one swirl movement, he looked on Julius's desk as the banging on the door continued and armed himself with a stapler and a small statue of Atlas holding the globe.
He placed his weapons behind him and asked, "Who is there?". There was no answer but the knocking continued, this time louder.
"Who is that?", Henry reiterated as he tightened his grip on the stapler in his right hand.
The banging stopped.
There was a brief moment of silence and suddenly, there was a very gentle knock on the door.
Henry began to sweat.
"Please, who is it?", Henry asked one more time.
"It is me Sir, the janitor", the voice from the other side revealed. "I want to come and clean the place sir, the voice added.
As Henry recognized the voice, he heaved a sigh of relief as his confidence returned to him and he mustered courage to answer the door. Before he got to the door, he dropped his "weapons" from where he picked them, picked up his cell phone from where it had fallen and unlocked the door for the janitor to come in and go about his business.
"I thought Mr. Julius was here", the janitor said as Henry unlocked the door.
"No he is not", Henry said. "He asked me to do something for him early this morning and since I didn't want to get distracted, I locked myself in here", Henry explained. "But on your way here, did you chance upon any strange looking man?", Henry enquired. "No please", the janitor answered. "I see many strange faces here every day but I don't pay attention to them because that is not what I was hired to do", the cleaner said sarcastically. "My job is throw the rubbish away", he added.
"Alright", Henry answered.
As Henry exited the office, he remembered the wording in Julius's warning in the file and it sent shivers down his spine...
That day too, Julius, Sandra and Ben didn't show up at the office. When the day was over, Henry left the office for the house but this time, he gave every little occurrence on the way back to his house grave attention. He flawlessly made the effort to ensure that he was not being followed by anyone. When he got home, he went straight to his room and locked himself inside...
Sandra was under a mild form of house arrest by her father. He had taken her cell phone from her so that her contact with Henry could be minimized. She lay on the bed with tears in her eyes and memories of Henry in her mind. Every thought of him made her heart miss several beats and sent sweet tingling feelings through her entire body. The feeling gave her a sense of reassurance that she was meant to be with Henry.
She was now convinced that she was madly in love with Henry.
As she lay in her bed, there was a gentle sound and the door to her room slowly flew open. Ben, appeared standing in the door way with the light from the lobby assisting in casting his shadow unto Sandra's bed.
Ben had dark brown hair, which was thick and lustrous. His eyes were mesmerizing. His face was strong and defined, his features molded from granite. He did not look as old as he really was. He had dark eye brows, which sloped downwards in a serious expression. He usually put on a playful smile which sometimes drew a hard line across his face. He possessed strong hands which had become slightly rough from working hard jobs as a young man.
He walked into the room and shut the door. His voice was deep, with a serious tone.
"Sandra, are you still crying?", Ben asked as he walked up to her and took a seat at the edge of the bed.
"No, I am not crying", Sandra said in the most sorrowful tone of voice imaginable. "So why are you sounding that way?", Ben asked.
"It's nothing, I am fine", Sandra responded.
"Sandra, ever since you were born, I have made it a point to protect you in the best way that I know how", Ben started.
"Your way has been wrong all this while!", Sandra rebutted as she sat up on her bed revealing her red, sunken eyes.
"What we are doing is wrong, daddy", Sandra said as she wiped away tears from her eyes. "I want us to stop it", "I want to have a normal life", Sandra started. "I want to be free to choose my friends and not have you interfere with it". Sandra revealed. "I want to talk to someone", Sandra said as she started crying. "I want to be free", Sandra added.
"Sandra", Ben started. "The world is full of liars, cheats, gold diggers and opportunists", Ben said. "They are just waiting in the shadows to pounce on you once they realize how vulnerable you are", Ben revealed. "This young man you are getting yourself attached to falls within the category of people I am talking about", Ben said. "Because he knows whose daughter you are, he wants to take advantage of you, can't you see?", Ben said. "I don't want you making the mistake of entrusting your future to such a person", Ben continued.
"How can I tell who is good for me or who is not if you don't allow me to go out there and experience things for myself?", Sandra questioned. "Allow me to make my own mistakes and then I would concede defeat that you have always been right", Sandra pleaded. "Just this once dad, allow me to do this on my own without your interference", Sandra begged as the tears flowed freely from her eyes. "Are you asking me to wait till you get hurt before I protect you?", Ben enquired.
"Daddy, people get hurt, cheated on, lied to and betrayed once a while and they eventually get over it", Sandra explained. "Should I get hurt along the line, I would cry but trust me, I would get over it no matter what", Sandra preached.
"In all the years we have been together, I have never seen you this adamant and strong-willed", Ben disclosed. "What has come over you?", Ben queried.
"Nothing", Sandra answered.
"But let's just say something I have never felt before has been awakened inside of me", Sandra said with pride written all over her face.
Ben was adamant when he spoke.
"There is no telling that no matter how many times I try to convince you, your mind has obviously been made up and my words are going to mean virtually nothing to you", Ben opined. "
"I have never been so sure in my life", Sandra said. "Daddy, please give me this chance to prove to you that I can do this and that I am strong enough to face the world on my own", Sandra added. "I just want to fall in love like every other normal young lady", Sandra stressed. "Even if I don't find peace while I am at it, I would know that I was advised against it and I refused to listen", Sandra revealed.
Ben looked at Sandra with awe. "That's a first", Ben said. "I have never seen my little girl so happy like this in a long while", he added. "I am convinced that you know what you are getting yourself involved in and I am prepared to let you have just one shot at this", Ben explained. "But let me throw this caution to the wind, should I get word of any foul play, that young man would be as good as dead", Ben added.
"None of that is going to happen", Sandra said confidently.
Her father went further up the bed and hugged her. "I know what is best for you and I would expect that you listen to me", Ben said.
"I can do this", Sandra assured him.
"You know I would always be here for you when things go bad right?", Ben said as he began to caress her.
Sandra's first instinct was to break his hold but she didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize her being together with Henry. So without putting up a fight or showing any signs of disgust, Sandra quietly sat on the bed as Ben caressed and fondled her breasts. He soon took off her clothes, placed her on the bed and gently parted her skinny thighs. As soon as he was on top of her, she closed her eyes and all she could imagine was how making love with Henry was going to feel like. Tears run down her cheeks as she lay there, motionless. She clinched the bed sheet firmly and whispered, "I love you Henry, I really do"...
The next day, Henry was almost running late for work. He spent the whole night on the phone with Kennedy and Edwin updating them on the happenings at work that day involving the alleged assassin. Edwin advised that Henry stay away from Sandra for good per the man's instructions. Kennedy even wanted to have the matter reported first to Henry's parents and then the police to ensure their safety but Edwin and Henry vehemently disagreed. "I would have none of that!", Henry remarked. "I don't want to get my parents involved in this thing", Henry added. "Moreover, the people we are fighting are far more powerful and wealthy so the police would deem it a foolish case at best", Henry explained. "Even if I really wanted to get the police involved, what sort of evidence do I have to back my claims with?", Henry asked.
"You can use the note from Julius's office", Edwin suggested. "I don't have it", Henry said. "Where is it?", Kennedy asked. "I left it in the file on Julius's desk", Henry answered. "Are you kidding me?", Edwin asked. "You have to get that file before Julius or anyone gets it and ends up destroying it eventually.
"Okay", Henry started. "My boss didn't turn up at the office yesterday so I would wake up very early and go and pick it up before anyone else does", Henry said.
It was that same morning that Henry was running late for work.
When he entered the premises of Kaprisky, it was almost half past seven in the morning. As he hurriedly made his way to the main entrance to the building, he had a shock of his life as Ben's car pulled up right beside him.
Henry kept walking.
The driver was ordered to follow him. When the car got close to him, the left back door of the car flew open, "Henry, get in!", Ben ordered. Henry declined the offer and slowly backed away out of fear.
"Get in!", Ben ordered, this time very sternly.
"I can't sir", Henry said.
"Henry please get into the car for Christ's sake", a female voice spoke from the passenger seat in the front. Sandra pushed her head through the seats and signaled for Henry to get into the car. On seeing Sandra, Henry was at ease and slowly entered the car, although all of his confidence had deserted him in the process.
Immediately Henry entered the vehicle, he was ordered to shut the door. "My daughter has spoken to me at length about you", Ben started. "Even though I have my own reservations, I am going to allow the two of you to be just friends and nothing more", Ben explained. "She seems to have a lot of faith and confidence in your friendship and I hope that you have the endurance to keep it that way", Ben continued. "Therefore, I give you permission to be her friend but be warned, should she come complaining about your attitude, be sure to brace yourself because you will witness hell on earth", Ben promised.
"Stop it Daddy", Sandra screamed.
Henry sat in the back seat of the range rover like a newly-confirmed mute.
He did not say a word.
"Can you excuse us while I have a word with Henry?", Ben asked politely looking at Sandra.
Sandra knew that she would not like what her dad would say to Henry but she had to obey him. "Every worthy venture comes with great risks", Sandra said to herself and disembarked the sports car.
"Sir please I don't understand all of this", Henry started as Sandra shut the door. "If you care to know, I was threatened yesterday by some guy who was asking me to stay away from your daughter", Henry remarked. "Today, you are telling me to do the very thing I was threatened not to do", Henry added. "I just don't get what is happening".
"I am glad you received that message yesterday and I hope you would know what is best for you to do what is expected of you", Ben said.
"So why are you asking me to go against your warning just to put my life and that of others in danger?", Henry queried.
"My daughter seems to believe that she is in love with you and so are you", Ben said. "She doesn't want to listen to me, her father, who knows what's best for her so I am letting her hear what she wants theoretically but in practice, I would never allow it to happen", Ben added.
"Now I am confused", Henry said. "What exactly do you want me to do?", Henry asked.
"I want you to make her believe that all is well between you two", Ben said. "Again, I would expect that you say nothing of what ensued yesterday with our mutual friend or details of this conversation to Sandra", Ben warned. "I hope you can do that without any difficulty", Ben said.
"Yes sir, Henry replied.
"You are a smart young man and I know you would figure out what's best for all of us and not cross the line", Ben said. "I think we are done here so get the hell out of my car", Ben ordered...MORE SOON
CAN HENRY KEEP UP APPEARANCE? NOW THAT SANDRAIS MADLY IN LOVE WITH HIM, WOULD HE SUCCEED IN GETTING HER TO STAY AWAY FROM HIM? THE WEB OF SCHEMES IS JUST ABOUT TO BEGIN…STAY TUNED. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE FROM THE STABLES OF RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHTS. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY.
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