THE SCENT OF YOUR HEART...EPISODE FOUR
"Henry, my dad is ruthless and I don't want anything bad to happen to you", Sandra said as she held Henry's hand tightly in a dimly lit apartment.
"Let's run away to a faraway place where my father or anyone cannot find us so we can be together forever, just the two of us", Sandra suggested as she held on to Henry's right hand even tighter. Sandra had packed a little travelling bag with some clothes and quickly grabbed it from the wardrobe. She launched herself toward Henry as she married her palm with his and they quickly made for the exit.
"Where are we going?", a puzzled Henry asked as he was being pulled towards the door by Sandra. "We are running away like you suggested", Sandra answered as she quickly scanned the room with her eyes to see if she had left something behind.
"I suggested?", a totally confused Henry asked.
"But where can we go without your father finding out?", Henry asked, now feeling reluctant to leave the room in which both of them found themselves. He pulled his hand out of Sandra's and started retracing his steps to the opposite end of the room. "What are you doing?", Sandra asked as she walked towards him. "We are running out of time", Sandra revealed.
"Stay away from me!", Henry screamed. "Just stay away from me!", Henry reiterated.
"Henry, I thought you promised to love me and would stand or fall with me regardless of the opposition we faced", Sandra enquired with tears in her eyes. "Please don't cry, Sandra, you know your tears make me weak and helpless", Henry said as he quickly moved in on Sandra to stop her tears from flowing.
"Then prove your love for me; run away with me, take me away from this torture and stay with me forever", Sandra said, hugging Henry tightly.
"Give up everything and start all over with me", Sandra begged.
"This is not how I wanted all of this to play out", Henry started. "I expected us to talk to your dad, make him understand and ask for his blessings for the two of us to be together", Henry said. "I didn't expect that we were going to have to fight to be together, Sandra, don't you get it?", Henry enquired.
"Henry, both of us cannot fight my dad even if we tried", Sandra explained as she looked into a drawer and stashed some money into her purse.
"As it stands now, we can not have everything going our way all the time and you and I know full well that every true and worthy cause faces fierce opposition", Sandra rebutted. "This is the test of our love and we have to pass it by all means", Sandra added.
"Run away with me, Henry!", Sandra insisted.
"Okay", Henry answered as if he was under a spell.
"I am willing to lose everything for your sake and even if I have to die, I would be glad I died fighting to be with you", Henry said in a shaky tone.
He mustered courage, walked up to Sandra and held her hand tightly. "I love you so much, Sandra", Henry said and pulled her towards the door. Immediately the door cranked open, there was Sandra's father standing right in front of the opening, blocking both of them from leaving the room.
"Where do you think you are going?", Ben asked in the most angry tone of voice imaginable. "Where are you taking my daughter?", Ben asked. "I would make sure I have you arrested for kidnapping and I would personally make sure that you rot in jail", Ben said in a fit of rage. Ben launched himself at Sandra in a bid to grab her and yank her from Henry's hold.
As Ben made his attack on Sandra, Henry turned to shield Sandra from any possible attack from her father but in his desperate attempt to shield her, she had surprisingly vanished into thin air.
Sandra was nowhere to be found. He looked around the room and it appeared empty. Sandra's father, Ben started walking towards Henry. He stretched forth his hand aiming for Henry's neck and suddenly, Henry woke up.
"My God!", Henry exclaimed as he opened his eyes and saw himself on his bed; sweat dripping from his cold face. "It was only a dream!", Henry exclaimed as he made the sign of the cross to console himself. He touched his face and pinched himself a couple of times to be double sure that he was not still having the nightmare. He cast his mind back on the last conversation he had had with Sandra the previous night.
"That portion was not a dream too?", Henry asked himself as Sandra's parting words came hitting his conscience. I recall what Sandra told me vividly.
"Oh my God, I am in trouble, please if you truly love me, save me from the fury that is about to be unleashed upon me", Henry prayed. He felt with his hand all over his bed in search of his mobile phone in the dark room. When he finally reached for it, he turned on the phone's screen and used the dimly lit device to illuminate the room in search of any figure hiding in the shadows waiting to attack him. "What have I done?", Henry asked himself. "See where my desire has led me", Henry continued. He tried to go back to sleep but even sleep had eluded him.
"I am doomed!", Henry lamented.
"Sandra would be the reason for my failure", Henry said.
"Sandra is the lady the pastor talked about!", Henry said. "She was the lady the man referred to in his vision!", Henry exclaimed.
Like magic, immediately those words came out of his mouth, his mind went back into the past; to many years before that fateful night and the conversation with Sandra...
When Henry completed Senior High School, his mother asked him to accompany her to a prayer group meeting one night. During the prayer session, the leader called Henry and told him this, "You are highly favored and it makes the devil very jealous of your bright future", the man revealed. "You have many weaknesses", the prayer leader said. “You have a haughty character and you are quick-tempered", the man continued as he began to get into what seemed like a trance-like posture. He was however ably held upright by two other members of the prayer group "One more thing, if ever you are going to fail, it will be because of a woman so choose your friends and lovers wisely!", the man exclaimed and stood at attention after which he asked the people gathered together in the meeting to pray for Henry.
After the prayer meeting, Henry's association with girls plummeted. He kept more company with guys than ladies and even up until the time he completed university, he didn't have a girlfriend. He found company and solace in his two faithful roommates, Edwin and Kennedy. Even way back in the university, Henry stood up most of his blind dates and hook-ups set up for him by his roommates. He had made it a point and a rule to steer clear off female friendships so as to avert the fulfillment of the prophecy.
"How come I didn't see this coming?", Henry soliloquized as he looked down upon his mobile phone.
It was 2:24 AM.
Henry knew it was only a matter of hours left before all hell broke loose upon him at Kaprisky Law Firm that morning.
Henry went through the contacts on his mobile phone and called Edwin.
There was no response.
He called a second time and still there was no response.
He then did the next obvious thing; he called Kennedy. Kennedy answered the call after the phone had rang like six times.
"Did someone die?", Kennedy asked immediately he answered the phone. Before Henry could answer, Kennedy went on again, "Or is it Edwin?", "Is he alright?", he asked. "If you called to ask for money, then I am sorry, but you dialed the wrong number, dude", Kennedy said.
"I am the one who called you so shut up and let me do the talking and stop making these unnecessary insinuations", Henry cut in.
"You can't call me at this ungodly hour and bark at me", Kennedy said out of anger. "My phone is my private property and I can choose to answer it or otherwise", Kennedy added.
"Ken, my situation is getting worse with each passing moment", Henry started. "Apparently, Sandra is involved sexually with her own father", Henry, revealed
"Incest?", Kennedy asked. "What?", he exclaimed. "I am as shell-shocked as yourself", Henry confirmed. "As it stands now, he has found out that I may be involved in a way with his daughter and he appears not to like the sound of it and he is said to going to come after me for my foolish courage", Henry explained. "What is all this trouble?", Kennedy asked. "Can't you just stay away from this girl?", Kennedy enquired "Ask again, my brother", Henry seconded. "I don't even know what to think or what to do", Henry confessed.
Before he could continue, his phone beeped signaling an incoming call, he took it off his ear and checked, it was Edwin. "Hold on, Kennedy, Edwin is calling so let me join his call so we can have a conference call", Henry told Kennedy.
"Are you having an emergency?", Edwin asked when Henry conferenced the call. "Hahaha", Kennedy laughed out loud. "The same thing I asked him when he called me", Kennedy said. "What's up?", Edwin eagerly asked anticipating a positive response. "Henry's issue is getting murkier", Kennedy answered. "It appears his girlfriend's dad is sleeping with her and is coming after Henry out of jealousy. "This can't be real!", Edwin cut in abruptly. "This is the worst kind of story I have ever heard", Edwin started.
"I think it's about time we put an end to all of this nonsense!", Edwin said angrily. "I cant be losing precious sleep over this madness", Edwin burst out, to the surprise of both Henry and Kennedy. "I think your girlfriend needs a psychologist and I think you also need to stop fueling all her fantasies by avoiding her", Edwin said. "It is because of the attention she is receiving from you that is making her cook up all these cock and bull stories", Edwin ranted. "These stories are so bizarre that, it wont fit into any storybook or movie", Edwin continued.
"Slow down, Edwin", Kennedy said realizing how angry Edwin was getting.
"Come to think of it, what proof do you have of her incest claims?", Edwin asked as both Kennedy and Henry listened so quietly that you could literally hear a pin drop. "Have you had any form of encounter with her dad before?", Edwin asked.
"Yes, but briefly", Henry responded with a meek voice resembling that of a child who was being scolded for misbehaving. "And in that brief encounter, did he come across as an incestuous father?", Edwin questioned.
"No he didn't", Henry answered.
"So why then do you let us lose sleep over such fabricated stories?", Edwin queried.
"But...", Henry started
"But what?", Edwin rudely cut in. "To be totally honest with you, this matter is beginning to get on my nerves", Edwin revealed.
There was a long silence.
"You guys remember the prophecy about me with the girl in it right?", Henry enquired. "Could she be the one the man was talking about?", Henry asked with a worried tone of voice.
"That is true!", Kennedy exclaimed. "How could we have forgotten the hell and embarrassment you put us through because of this unfounded prophecy?", Kennedy said sarcastically. "And now, you walk unaided into the same thing you have been trying to avoid for years with your two eyes wide open", Kennedy questioned. "That is the irony of life, we end up crash-landing into the very thing we keep running away from", Kennedy added.
"I still maintain that the pastor was lucky and just guessed that scenario", Edwin cut in.
"If it was just a mere guess, why are all the things he said falling in place?", Henry quizzed.
"Why me and why now?", Henry questioned.
"Henry, you are making this too hard on yourself", Edwin started.
"Till Sandra's dad personally asks you to steer clear off her beloved daughter, let's just assume that all that you have heard are not true", Kennedy finally said. "I am beginning to take sides with Edwin on this particular matter", Kennedy added. "Let's all catch the little sleep left for us to catch before morning", Edwin suggested. "We can update one another as and when the need arises, goodbye", Edwin said and was the first to end the call.
"Don't worry, Henry, everything will be fine", Kennedy said, yawned and dropped the call.
Henry was left all alone in his own dilemma. Instead of going back to sleep like his friends, he lay on his back and looked up at the ceiling fan as it swirled. "It is easy for them to whine and rant because they are not in my shoes", Henry talked to himself referring to Edwin and Kennedy. "If all this is true, how can I stand up to Ben and Julius?", Henry continued.
He tossed and turned in the bed and as he was finally about to doze off, his phone's alarm sounded and he had to get ready for what could possibly be his worst day on earth...
Henry walked through the car park towards the entrance to Kaprisky Law Firm. As he walked, he looked through the car park to see if he was going to see Ben's car parked among the fleet of luxury cars at the car park.
Ben's car was not there.
Henry walked briskly past the reception and quickly stood in front of the elevator waiting for it to open so he could go up into his office. As he stretched forth his hand to press the elevator's button, he realized his palms were very wet from anxiety and tension. He placed his hand in his pocket in an attempt to wipe his hand on the handkerchief he kept there. Immediately, his hand touched the handkerchief, a hand tapped his shoulder and he jumped up like a frightened cat that had been startled. As he turned, he saw an unfamiliar face.
"Oh, I am so sorry to have startled you", a tall, dark man probably in his mid-thirties spoke. "I am looking for the conference room", the man spoke. "The lady at the reception asked me to go down this hallway but I can't seem to find it", the man said.
Henry's heart was still racing inside of his chest. "Okay, when you get to that door, turn right and count three doors, the fourth one on the right is the conference room", Henry said as he pointed and gave directions to assist the man. As soon as the man was on his way, the elevator door opened and Henry rushed into it without second thoughts.
"It was thirty-seven minutes past midday and Henry had heard or seen no sign of Ben or Sandra. Even Julius had not showed up. Henry began to get worried. All his colleagues had gone out to have their lunch already but Henry insisted he was not hungry.
Henry kept thinking of how he was going to face Ben if it so happened that the two of them had to face off in a confrontation. It was almost 5:00PM and there was still no sign of Ben, Sandra or Julius. Henry began to suspect that something had happened to Sandra. He picked out his phone and called Sandra.
He called her four more times and there was still no response from Sandra. "What has happened to Sandra?", Henry asked himself. In his state of confusion and helplessness, he decided to call Julius and find out if he was going to come into the office that day. Since he knew Ben and Julius were friends, he had the conviction that if anything was going on, Julius would definitely have wind of it.
"Hello sir", Henry said as Julius answered the phone. "Are you going to come in to the office today?", Henry asked politely.
"I am already inside the building", Julius answered. "I just came in", Julius added. "Meet me in the lobby downstairs", Julius requested.
"Before you come, I want you to pack your bag", Julius ordered.
"The hour has finally come", Henry said as he walked to his desk to pack the bag in which he had his files and documents before making his way downstairs. "At least, I should be thankful that they are just sacking me", Henry said to himself. "It could have been worse", Henry said to console himself.
"Good afternoon Sir", Henry said in a shaky tone as he reached downstairs and met Julius.
"Good afternoon, my boy", Julius responded giddily.
"I want you to close early today because I want you to carry out a task for me very early tomorrow morning", Julius revealed.
Henry heaved a heavy sigh of relief.
"They are not going to terminate my appointment?", Henry thought to himself as he listened attentively to Julius.
"I am going to work on a case but I am sure it would take me late into the night", Julius started. "I would leave the finished work on my table but the client and his lawyers would pass by very early for it so I want you to report to work tomorrow earlier than usual so you can hand over the file to them", Julius explained. "I would call you and give you details of the file after it is done so please keep your phone close to you", Julius added.
Henry was so shell-shocked by Julius's request that all he could say was, "Yes Sir".
"I will call you tonight so be sure to get some rest", Julius said and held the front door open for Henry.
As Henry walked out of the premises of Kaprisky Law Firm, he could not believe what was happening. He knew within his heart of hearts that something bad was going to happen. He just kept his faith, went home and immediately after getting something to eat, went straight to bed. He sent messages to Edwin and Kennedy updating them on the happenings of the day and they assured him that nothing was going to happen.
Around 10:38PM that night, Julius called Henry and gave him details of the file in question and asked him to be sure to be in the office before 6:30AM the next day so that his clients could pick it up for an early court hearing.
The following day, Henry obeyed his boss's instructions and showed up at the main gate of Kaprisky at exactly 6:20AM. He quickly went up to Julius's office to pick up the file in anticipation of the clients. It took him no time to get into the office. The building was virtually empty save the two night security guards at the gate. When he picked up the file, he realized it was so light in weight and wondered why it had to take Julius so long to work on.
Out of curiosity, he decided to take a quick peek at the work Julius had done.
To his surprise, when he opened the file, written in capitals were the words, "WE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. WE ARE CAPABLE OF MAKING LIFE FOR YOU AND YOUR UNBORN GENERATIONS A LIVING HELL. KNOW YOUR PLACE AND STAY THERE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!".
Henry's heart sunk after it had missed several beats. He turned to leave the office but there was a figure standing in the doorway.
The figure approached Henry.
Henry recognized the figure instantly. It was the man whom he had given directions to the previous day... MORE SOON!!!
HENRY IS IN TROUBLE. HAS HE BEEN SET UP? FIND OUT MORE IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF THIS CHILLING SAGA. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS IS ANOTHER STORY FROM THE STABLES OF RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHTS.
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