"I beg your pardon but what did you just say sir?", Henry asked out of shock, surprise, wonder and horror all mixed in one.
"I am asking you to sleep with me like a woman sleeps with a man", Julius reiterated. "I mean I want to make love to you", he rephrased.
Henry's heart missed several beats.
"Sir please I can't do that”. “It is out of place and equally out of this world for you to think up something of this magnitude", Henry said as he backed away but was stuck between the wall and Julius. "I am sorry if you picked up the wrong signals but I don't do men", Henry blurted. "I have never considered sleeping with a man before and as a matter of fact, I never consider doing that, never, not even for all the money in the world!", Henry exclaimed.
Julius just kept staring at Henry seductively as he went on in his ranting spree. "More so, I thought you said I was like a son to you so why would you even think about sleeping with your son?", Henry quizzed.
Julius laughed out so loud after Henry's submission that it made Henry look and feel so stupid.
"Sir please this is not a joke", Henry said as he started to get uncomfortable in Julius's presence.
"I know", Julius responded. "That is why I said you were like a son to me not as if I was insinuating that you were my real son", Julius explained with laughter.
There was a long silence as both Henry and Julius stared intently at each other. "Or is this some form of sexuality test?", Henry asked as he began to feel that Julius was just playing a prank on his sexuality to ascertain whether he had more than one sexual preference.
Julius laughed out even louder.
"Tests are conducted in classrooms and not in bedrooms", Julius said with a smirk on his face. "This is the real deal, Henry", Julius confirmed. "I can see that my actions have taken you by surprise but it is not as if it was not to be expected", Julius started. "I saw this from miles away so your reaction is nothing new to me", Julius continued. "You know another thing that is not new to me?", Julius asked rhetorically. "Just like all the other young men before you, you would come begging and crumbling at my feet to crawl into my bed", Julius said.
"The comment sent shock waves down Henry's spine.
"I am not the first?"..."He put others through such an ordeal?"... "Why did they choose to give in to him?"... "What would he do to me if I told him that I would never be interested?", all these questions flooded Henry's mind as he took in the shock from Julius's last statement.
"Sir, please I want to go home", Henry pleaded. "I promise not to tell anyone about what just happened here", Henry said. "After all, I have signed a nondisclosure agreement so whatever I say can make me liable for punishment", Henry added.
"You are very smart", Julius started. "In fact, you are too smart for my liking and I'd give you credit for that", Julius continued. "The others didn't resist this much so let's see how long you can keep up with your hard-to-get antics", Julius added. Julius backed away and gave Henry some space to pass. Henry quickly seized the opportunity to move clear off Julius. "You don't need to be scared", Julius reiterated. "I would see you in the office on Monday", Julius said as Henry started his way towards the main gate.
"One more thing", Julius started. "I'd be having someone come over next week and I can make you watch to see how we do it, that is if you don't mind", Julius suggested.
"I do mind and I still can't believe all of this is real", Henry said as he turned to listen to his boss. "Sir, I would very much appreciate it if you stopped giving me gifts", Henry said. "I feel patronized already", Henry said out of disgust. "The gifts are in no way linked to all of this", Julius inveigled as he walked over to where Henry was standing. "It is still the same thing to me", Henry countered. "I would like to take my leave now", Henry finally said as he picked flirtatious signals emanating from Julius body posture as he approached the place where he stood. Henry quickly rushed to the entrance leading out of the house.
When he got to the gate, the gatekeeper looked at him suspiciously as he made his way out of the house. Henry also returned the favour by giving him a very stern look as he opened the gate for him to let him out of the house.
Immediately Henry stepped out of the house, he pulled out his phone and called his two friends, Edwin and Kennedy and asked them to meet up with him at his house.
Henry got home after an hour and waited for his friends to arrive. When they did, he asked that they spoke outside the house.
"I am in deep trouble", Henry started.
"What is the matter?", Edwin asked.
"This national service posting will eventually do me more harm than good judging by the bizarre turn of events", Henry said.
"Henry, just cut the chase and get to the crux of the matter", Kennedy said impatiently and out of worry.
"I wasn't supposed to tell anyone this but you two have stuck with me in times that no one else did and you guys are more like brothers to me so I suppose telling you this won't hurt anyone", Henry started.
"What are you talking about?", Edwin asked.
"What have you done wrong?", Kennedy chipped in.
"As it stands now, the only thing I have done wrong is accepting to work as a national service personnel at Kaprisky Law firm", Henry started. "From what I hear, Kaprisky's integrity as the whole world knows it is just one big fat lie, a scam, to say the least", Henry recounted.
"What is that supposed to mean?", Edwin cut in. "You've been at the firm for barely a year and you know all this?", Edwin quizzed.
"My informant is no other than the daughter of the owner of the firm", Henry revealed. "According to her, the supposed flawless reputation of Kaprisky is built on a foundation of lies, trickery, underhand dealings, coercion and corruption", Henry revealed.
"Wait a minute", Kennedy cut in. "Are you telling us that you believe her?", Kennedy asked.
"I don't think she can lie to me", Henry said.
"Really?", both Kennedy and Edwin exclaimed.
"Henry, ask yourself this question", Edwin sat and spoke. "Who would say such damning things about her father's line of work to someone she barely knows and expect that person not to have his or her own reservations about what is being said?", Edwin asked. "And come to think of it, did you bother to ask her why she chose you besides all her rich and powerful friends to reveal this to?", Edwin questioned.
Henry looked startled as the questions kept hitting him.
"I really don't know why she told me but I am yet to find out if there is an ulterior motive behind all of this", Henry said. "That is even the least of my worries, Kaprisky can be the mafia for all I care", Henry continued. "There are more serious and pressing issues that I need to deal with now", Henry said.
"My boss is gay and wants to sleep with me", Henry revealed
"What?", both Edwin and Kennedy exclaimed.
"You heard me right", Henry said. "I am just coming back from his house and he came unto me without warning", Henry said. "He said he was in love with me and wanted to sleep with me", Henry added
"Prior to today, he always gave me gifts and spare change when I ran errands for him and I thought he was doing it out of goodwill but I realized that these gestures were all part of his schemes to get me to go to bed with him", Henry exclaimed
Both Edwin and Kennedy looked shell-shocked as Henry narrated his ordeal to them. "He even said that he had slept with countless young men before me and he knows that with time, I would eventually give in to his demands", Henry added.
"This is crazy", Kennedy said. "But are you sure you are not making all of this up?", Kennedy asked.
"You know me to be a lot of things except being paranoid and exaggerating stuff like this", Henry said in his defense.
"I have never seen myself this scared and confused all at once before", Henry said.
"So what are you going to do about this?", Edwin asked. "Because obviously, you can't continue to be in the same office with a man who has such bizarre sexual intentions", Kennedy said. "I think you should quit", Edwin suggested.
"No!", Henry exclaimed. "I can't quit", he added. "What am I going to tell my father if I quit?", Henry asked rhetorically. "He would definitely want to know why and I can't see myself telling him the truth", Henry said. "So what are we going to do now?", Kennedy asked.
"I promised him I was not going to tell anyone about this and I have also signed a nondisclosure agreement with Kaprisky Law Firm so anything I say that is out of place can be used against me", Henry said. "The last thing I need is to be engaged in a legal battle with Kaprisky as the opponent", Henry conceded. "So I intend to stay on at Kaprisky and see out my national service with them and leave the place immediately", Henry said. "From Monday, I would do my best possible to steer clear off my boss and avoid his advances to the best of my skills and ability", Henry said.
"How long do you think you can keep up with this plan?", Edwin asked.
"For as long as I can and I am determined to see it out", henry said getting back some assurance in himself.
"These people are very powerful and would go to any length to see to it that they get whatever they want so you better tread cautiously", Kennedy advised.
"I won't lie to you guys for anything but the mere thought of all of this sends shivers down my spine", Henry confessed. "I just hope that things go according to plan so I can finish this service quickly and get the hell out of that place", a determined Henry said.
"All of this wouldn't have happened if you were humble enough to have accepted your earlier posting but you vehemently turned down the offer and now look at the mess this God-given posting is doing to you", Kennedy said sarcastically and they all broke out onto laughter sending some of the tension out of the conversation...
On Monday morning, Henry's heart sank when he heard the sound of his cell phone's alarm. He contemplated calling in sick or going to work. On second thoughts, he decided to reluctantly get out of bed and get ready for work. After forty five minutes, he was having some breakfast and getting ready to leave the house.
He arrived early at work and set up his boss's office. The photocopying machine in front of their office had ran out of paper so he decided to go down to the storage room to get a refill. He decided to use the stairs instead of the elevator so that he did not have to go through the ordeal of meeting his boss on his way up to the office.
It was a long flight of stairs but Henry cared less. After descending five floors, Henry found himself on the final flight of stairs leading to the ground floor of the building. He looked down the staircase from where he stood and saw Julius ascending the same stairs that he was on.
Henry had just walked into the very thing that he dreaded and had taken pains to avoid. His first instinct was to go back up the stairs because Julius was yet to see him. Henry looked up and could not see himself undoing what he had just done by choosing to take the stairs instead.
He decided to face off with his boss.
"Why did he choose to take the stairs today of all the days?", Henry soliloquized. "Is he also trying to avoid me?", Henry asked as his legs trembled as he decided to go down the final flight of stairs.
"Good morning sir", Henry stammered as he and Julius met on the same stair.
Julius did not respond but kept ascending the stairs as if Henry was not even standing there.
Henry was startled.
Henry stood on the staircase and watched his boss go up the stairs. After a few steps, Julius turned. "Henry, see me immediately after you are done with what you are doing". Henry's heart missed several beats and he stood there speechless, only nodding with his head to signal to Julius that his request was heard.
Henry trembled as he went back up the stairs with the papers in his hands. He was so tense that he could not feel his feet. He walked into Julius's office and with a stern face, Julius gave him a tall list of duties to finish before the day ended. Henry grabbed the list and quickly dashed out of the office like lightening.
"So far as I am far away from you, that is all that matters to me", Henry said as he looked at the tall list in his hand to accomplish...
Henry and Sandra kept contact with one another and their bond kept growing. Henry never mentioned his encounter with Julius to Sandra even though the incident had taken place over two months ago. Henry had started developing feelings for Sandra but anytime he wanted to tell her about the way he felt about her, his intuition told him not to. "She is way out of your league", the voice in his head would often tell him. "You don't expect to get yourself involved in more drama than you already find yourself, do you?", the voice in his head would ask.
One night after work, Henry decided to tell Sandra about the way he felt about her. He called her and started, "Sandra, there is something I really need to tell you and I need you to pay close attention".
"What is it?", Sandra asked with laughter. She had come to know Henry as one who always joked around so more often than not, she didn't take the things he said very seriously.
"Talk to me", Sandra pushed.
"Sandra I am in love with you", henry blurted.
"Hahaha", Sandra laughed out hysterically.
"This is not one of them jokes, Sandra", Henry said, feeling very embarrassed.
"I know, I know", Sandra responded still laughing ridiculously.
"So why are you laughing?", Henry enquired.
"I am laughing because there is no such thing as love and my father has made me see over a thousand and one times that love does not exist", Sandra said.
"Love does exist!", Henry rebutted. "What I feel for you can attest to that fact", Henry said.
"So how do you know that you love me?", Sandra asked.
There was a brief pause.
"It is a feeling you have", Henry said.
"Ever since I was a child, my dad kept me from mingling with guys", Sandra started. "He has been very protective and he would do anything to see to it that I am safe and happy", Sandra added. "What is more, I have never had a boyfriend my whole life even though I know it sounds embarrassing at times", Sandra said.
"My dad always finds a way of driving any guy that comes lurking around me out of my life and I have learnt that way of pushing people out of my life", Sandra explained. "Don't be surprised if I tell you that we can't be friends anymore and that I can't talk to you again because I know that day will surely come and even though it hurts me, I cannot do anything about it because...I have to go now, I will see you tomorrow", Sandra said and hang up in the middle of the conversation.
Henry lay on his bed and wondered why Sandra would allow her dad to control her life at her age. He was lost in thought. "Maybe I can talk to her father about her", Henry thought to himself. "That would be suicidal", Henry said on second thought. "I am pathetically in love with Sandra and I would stop at nothing to get her to love me", Henry said to himself...
The next day, Henry was going about his normal routine when he met Julius in the lobby.
"I still haven't heard anything from you concerning our arrangements", Julius said.
"What arrangements, Sir?", Henry asked feigning ignorance.
"You know damn well what I am talking about!", Julius exclaimed.
"I get it now", Henry said. "But like I said earlier sir, I am not interested in it", Henry said.
"I can see you still need more time", Julius said. "Do well to see me in my office after lunch", Julius added and walked past Henry.
After lunch, Henry rushed to see Julius in his office because he did not want to do anything that would merit being reprimanded. On his way into the office, he met Ben, Sandra’s father coming out of Julius’s office.
“Good afternoon sir”, Henry greeted politely.
“Good afternoon”, Ben responded and continued to walk past Henry.
“My regards to Sandy”, Henry said as he turned.
Sandra told Henry that it was only his father who called her SANDY.
Ben stopped, turned and looked at Henry before nodding his head.
That night, Sandra called Henry and was furious over the phone. “What did you tell my father about us?”, Sandra asked fuming.
“Relax, I just told him to extend my regards to you”, Henry said.
“Are you out of your mind or something?”, Sandra asked. “What is that supposed to mean?”, Henry asked back. “I told you about my dad and the best thing you could do was to ask him to extend your regards to me?” “Why did you do that?”, Sandra asked. “Can you just stop freaking out and listen to me?”, Henry pleaded. “There is nothing to listen to!”, Sandra said. “Why are you making it seem as though I have done something so terrible?” Henry asked.
“Henry, please listen to me carefully”, Sandra said as she started to cry. “I would be a liar to say that I don't have any feelings for you”. “You are patient, funny, gentle, kind and hardworking and I could not have asked for someone more as a potential boyfriend but I wanted all of this to be hidden from my father but now, he knows that I know you”, Sandra explained.
“What is wrong with that, Sandra?”. “Isn't that rather a good thing; that your dad knows you have a boyfriend? “, Henry asked
“Everything is wrong with that Henry, everything is wrong with that”, Sandra reiterated.
“This is a part of my life that I have not shared with anyone but I don't know why I feel I have to tell you”, Sandra started. “I think it is because I am in love with you too”, Sandra conceded.
“Here is the thing, ever since I turned eighteen years, my dad had been obsessed with me and for a long time, he had brainwashed me to sleep with him several times”, Sandra revealed. “He would never allow me to keep male friends because he said he was going to provide all my needs including my sexual needs”, Sandra continued now crying uncontrollably. “I have realized how messed up I am and I am putting a stop to it that is how come I chose to become friends with you and I have fallen in love with you”, Sandra revealed. “Now that my father has found out that you are just a friend to me, he is going to come after you and he would do anything to you to get you to stay away from me forever!” Sandra added. “I am sorry Henry, but my father is coming after you”, Sandra said…
HENRY IS ABOUT TO GET CRUSHED. HE IS DEALING WITH ADVANCES FROM HIS BOSS AND NOW HE WOULD HAVE TO FIND A WAY OF SURVIVING ANOTHER ONSLAUGHT FROM ANOTHER RUTHLESS FATHER AND LOVER… MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY. NEED I SAY MORE? JUST BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS! THIS IS ANOTHER THRILLER FROM THE STABLES OF RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHTS ®.
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