Amara looked down at Alex’s upturned face, her eyes going large in their sockets. He was looking at her with what looked like… expectation? She couldn’t place that look on his face, but then, he was there before her, on his knees, gazing at her like she held the ticket to his last supper. Amara took two steps away from him to see him clearly. It was all too unbelievable. She had imagined this time countless number of times; had even given up, thinking it would never happen, but then, some dreams do come true. What was before her was definitely a dream come true!
“Are you truly doing this Alex? I thought this wouldn’t happen during my lifetime” Amara gasped out.
Alex swallowed as what looked like hope flared in his eyes. “I should have done this a long time ago Amara. I should have done this before marrying you that time, to make the proposal… memorable.”
Amara suddenly laughed heartily. “Did you think I was referring to your stupid proposal?” She hissed. “I was referring to this” her eyes ran over his kneeling form. “I thought I would never see you kneeling before me. Wow! This month is full of surprises”
“But what?” Amara threw back. “Oh… you thought you could bring your pencil legs down here, murmur a few senseless words and I would jump into your arms, all grins and kisses? You are more stupid than I thought you were Alex” she declared, then her eyes took a slow perusal of his kneeling form and a slow grin spread across her face. “I must say, you present a rather interesting sight Alex. I had imagined this scenario where you would be kneeling before me but… reality is surely way better than my imaginations” Amara said, grinning.
Alex jumped to his feet, scowling as anger took over him. “What is the meaning of this? Are you making fun of me now?”
Amara laughed. “Fun?” She gasped out, then sobered a little. “You are yet to see fun. I will show you the real meaning of fun if you don’t get your sly arrogant overbearing self out of my sight. Oh! Because I have become somebody, you think you can crawl back into my life, presenting an innocent pretentious face the same way you did in the village, ehn?” She walked up to him slowly. “Newsflash Alex, I am not as foolish as you obviously are” she declared.
Boiling with rage, Alex opened his mouth to respond but a voice from behind halted him.
“What is going on here?”
Amara looked up and gasped. It had been years, but even at that, she couldn’t deny that the person before her was Mr Sinja – her biological father. Who else from her past hadn’t she seen? She wondered as he walked forward. Unlike someone who was a police officer, he looked like someone who had enjoyed financial stability over the years. Ignoring what Alex just said, she really didn’t have anything against Mr Sinja because he was equally a victim of Mrs Bello’s deception, besides, she wasn’t certain Alex was telling the truth. “What… are you doing here sir?” she breathed quietly.
Mr Sinja’s eyes stayed on her for several seconds before moving to Alex. His face, which was cool initially drew back as a deep frown took its place. “What are you doing here?” He asked Alex.
The question seemed odd because they both had no business being there. She stared at the two men in confusion. Yes, she recalled that the two men would have met at some point but she couldn’t decipher why Mr Sinja was frowning at him so much.
Alex also returned the glare with equal measure. “I believe I have every right to be wherever I want, you clearly…” he glanced at Amara, then back at Mr Sinja, “… are the unwanted party” he declared.
A slow deadly smile graced Mr Sinja’s lips, not reaching his eyes as he walked up to Alex. “You don’t want to play with me boy. If you as much as move an inch closer to my daughter, I will crush you. Never forget who I am boy, and what I represent” Alex shifted slightly beneath Mr Sinja’s penetrating glare. Amara looked from one man to the other, in utter confusion. Was she being delusional or was there a vague tension in the air? It was like there was a quiet unspoken secret which threatened to break free at the slightest provocation. She didn’t like Mr Sinja defending her like a small kid of two years but currently, all she could do was stare at the two men who seemed to be fighting an unspoken battle.
Remembering what Alex told her about her son, she instantly opened her mouth. “Sir, Alex just told me that you have my… son” she instantly murmured. For some weird reasons, she prayed that Alex had lied. Maybe because she didn’t want to hear that her father had also been a party to the injustice that was done to her.
Not taking his eyes off Alex, Mr Sinja responded. “Of course! I would expect nothing less from him.”
So it is true! Amara swallowed the hurt that overtook her but it still bubbled to the surface. “So you are also party to this? You helped Kelvin take my child away? This is something else” she ranted as her voice increased. “How can you call yourself my father and do this to me? Must you both think you know what is best for me? Oh wow! Just when I thought Alex was the worst thing that happened to me, you both prove me wrong”
Mr Sinja’s head turned to her sharply and his frown seemed to deepen. “So you think he isn’t the worst thing that happened to you now?” He asked, as if stunned. He glanced at Alex, who was beginning to look agitated, then back at Amara’s angry face. “Looking at how angry you are with Kelvin, I take it that he didn’t tell you what really happened years back” he said.
Amara would have snorted if she hadn’t been thought respect. “What else is there to tell?” She asked painfully, reliving the horrid tale that Kelvin had told her . “I gave birth and he kidnapped my child, claiming that he was saving me from the torture of mothering a product of incest. What more is there to tell?”
Mr Sinja smiled drily as he glanced at Alex. “I guess he didn’t tell you of the role Alex played in that decision” he stated.
Amara started as she looked horrified from Mr Sinja’s face to Alex’s pale face. “I should probably leave” he said hastily and turned but Mr Sinja grabbed him.
Alarm bells rang in Amara’s head, telling her that she wouldn’t like what she was about to hear. “Alex had something to do with this?” She gasped out.
Mr Sinja glanced at her as if she wasn’t using her head properly. “He practically had everything to do with it” he answered before turning back to glare at Alex. “Alex here, paid the doctor to have your child killed if he comes out alive”
The earth stilled beneath Amara’s feet as the words reechoed in her head. She stared, mouth agape at the two men before her in horror.
“That’s a lie” Alex yelled palefaced.
Why then did he look so shaken and exposed? Why was he sweating so profusely? “You deny it? The testimony of the doctor might awaken your senses.” Mr Sinja said and Alex shifted uncomfortably. “The doctor fortunately, was a friend to Kelvin and he confided in Kelvin. Kelvin told me and my immediate decision was to get Alex behind bars but then, Kelvin had made me see the folly of such an action. The senator, to protect his name and political ambitions would have stopped at nothing until he got Alex out of police custody. Despite the fact that the senator is a honourable man, I can’t put it past him to do that, besides, he got you both married secretly just to protect his name.” He paused and shook his head. “With Alex free, the child and the doctor who betrayed him wouldn’t be safe because he would still try to kill the child for the mere fact that he is a product of incest. It was then that Kelvin suggested that he keep the child. Coupled with the fact that you might come to hate the child for what he represents, he decided that it would be better for everyone if the child remained a secret. He did it to protect you and the child.”
Mr Sinja’s gaze burned into her pale stricken face as he continued fiercely. “I am sure he didn’t tell you about Alex’s betrayal because he wanted to reduce your pain. Kelvin might have his flaws Amara, but no one can love you as much as he does. He has sacrificed so much for you dear and it hurts to see him so shattered now”
Amara couldn’t breathe properly. Tears flowed down her eyes like a river. She had made mistakes, ones she regretted severely. She had felt so betrayed all her life, but now… now, she had betrayed the very person who didn’t deserve it. She had betrayed the one person who had been there, standing by her and protecting her, even in her absence. The one person who had loved her unconditionally, even when she hadn’t returned his love. She felt sick! So sick, she felt she wouldn’t be healed! Naturally, she should be clawing out Alex’s eyes now for what he had done, or almost done. But all she could do what think about that look on Kelvin’s face. She had yelled at him, even slapped him over and over and over, she remembered in horror. He had done nothing. Oh God!!!
She barely noticed as Alex stormed out of her compound furiously.
“You ready to meet your son?” Mr Sinja asked and the words rang out loud and clear. For the second time, she felt winded. Her tongue vanished as she couldn’t even open her mouth to utter the needed words. Her feet threatened to give way beneath her. Mr Sinja smiled softly and placed a gently hand on her shoulder. Her put his phone in his ear and whispered. “Bring Sam inside”
Sam? Amara’s breath came out in gasps as tears spilled out of her eyes. Kelvin had remembered. She has told him that she loved her son to bear that name. He had remembered! Tears blurred her eyes as the gate opened and a young lady came in holding the hand of a boy. Mr Sinja held her firmly as her knees unbuckled. My son! My son!!
Her gaze cleared and she truly saw her son. He was looking back at with deep concentration and curiosity. A brief acknowledgement seemed to flash across his face. “Mummy?” He breathed inaudibly.
Amara left where she was instantly, walking like a crying robot towards her son. She bent and knelt before him, coming to his height. He stayed in front of her, watching her cry until, unable to hold it much longer, Amara pulled him into her arms. “My son…” she sobbed. “Oh my son” she crushed him to herself, as she cried her heart out. But this time, not tears of pain but of joy.
Alex hit the steering over and over again as he drove furiously away from Amara’s house. He couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe the disgrace and humiliation! He wished he could make the policeman pay for what he had done. How could he have made a fool out of him? Years back he had thought the doctor had carried out his dictates, that he no longer had an abomination in his life but finding out months back that the child was alive had shaken him beyond reason and he had been searching for the child ever since only to find out that he was with Mr Sinja. Unable to face the wrath of the policeman, Alex had chosen to ignore the child’s existence, but after finding out that Amara wasn’t really his sister, he had thought of the child as the perfect way to get her. His threat to Mrs Bello had had little or no effect at all because Amara held too much hatred for the woman. But now, everything had been ruined. He swore under his breath.
His phone rang, and without looking at it, he picked the call. “Hello” he barked.
“You this stupid man, you would come home to meet me” Lisa’s voice rang loud and clear in his ear. “You left this place to pursue Amara right? I would show you pepper. I even sent a note to her telling her to leave my husband alone, not knowing you are the idiot pursuing her. Your daughter is here, sick. If anything happens to my child ehn, I would personally kill you, skin you and give your bones to the dogs. Stupid fool” the phone went dead.
Alex gritted his teeth and dropped the phone furiously. He closed his eyes briefly as he gripped the steering. Now, he knew that he was officially in hell. As he opened his eyes, alarm flared in his eyes as he came face to face with a truck. The truck blared its horn, sending him to more panic. He swerved his hand but was too late as his car crashed headlong with the oncoming truck.
In just two days, Amara had experienced a happiness that couldn’t be rivalled by any other. The joy of motherhood! All her worries that her son would hate her had been for nothing. It was as if they had been together all along. Kelvin had obviously told Sam every single detail about her and showed him pictures. Everything Sam did fascinated her. They had spent two days together but Amara couldn’t stay a minute without seeing him. He became the air she breathed, the one that brought a smile to her face. But there was still that lingering pain. The sadness that engulfed her whenever she thought of what she had done to Kelvin. She had called him countlessly but his line wasn’t going through. Mr Sinja also didn’t know of his whereabouts. He said that he had practically vanished after telling him to take Sam to her. She wondered where he might be and how he was doing. Was it selfish of her to wish that he would still come for her? That he would forgive her? She sighed. She wouldn’t blame him if he never wanted anything to do with her. But she couldn’t help or stop herself from wishing.
She ran her fingers through the hair of Sam’s sleeping form. He behaved more like Kelvin with each passing minute. Kelvin has transfered his caring and loving nature to Sam.
Mr Sinja peeked his head into the room. “You can’t take your eyes off him” he murmured with a smile.
She hadn’t heard him come in but she wasn’t surprised. For the past two days, he had been coming over repeatedly and strangely, she liked it. She smiled back. “He is so adorable” she murmured, careful not to awaken him.
He closed the door behind him. “He sure is” he said, then stared at her for some seconds. “You might need to come out to see someone” he said.
Amara nearly jumped out of the bed. “Is Kelvin here?” She asked as hope flared in her.
Mr Sinja’s eyes looked sad now. “No. It is another person.” He responded and Amara deflated instantly. “I am sorry. We caught the person behind all that happened recently. The people Kelvin positioned close to your place caught her as she tried to sneak in yesterday and I think you might need to see her. You might be shocked though”
Amara swallowed. Right now, she wanted to be done with it all. She already had her son in her arms, she didn’t want bitterness of the past to cloud her relationship with her son. She knew what she must do and this would be the first step. It was high time she started making the right decisions in her life. She would do it for Sam! She would do it for Kelvin. From what her father said, she knew that the person would be someone she knew and she swallowed. “Okay” she breathed and after glancing at her sleeping son, she followed her father to the door. He opened it for her and she took a deep breath before stepping out of the bedroom.
Despite all her outrage, Amara couldn’t stop the startled gasp that tumbled out of her lips. Two guys stood before her, but they were not her concern. She stared in horror at the person who had very nearly crumbled her life and company.
“Tola” she gasped.
“Hello Amara” Tola said and a dry smile coated her lips. “We meet again”
Amara stared in horror. Surely there was some mistake. It had been years but she remembered Tola very well; just as much as she remembered Tina. They had been her pillar when she went through hell in Alex’s house. How come she was here being accused of being responsible for her misfortunes? “Tola. What is going on?” Amara glanced at Mr Sinja. “There must be a mistake somewhere. This lady here is my friend”
He nodded gravely. “I was equally stunned. Not everyone who smiles at you actually love you my dear”
Tola smiled drily. “There is no mistake Amara, I did the damage to your company and wrote all those notes”
“But… but why?” Amara gasped out. “We were friends. You, Tina and I were friends”
She laughed humorlessly. “I thought so too. I thought you loved us both equally but I was proved wrong. When you gave us money to start up businesses, you gave Tina more money than you gave me. It was painful then but I let it go. You had done what no one had done and I loved you for it, but then, I got really angry when I discovered years later that Tina kept in contact with you but did not tell me anything. We talked often and I mentioned always how much I missed you and wished to see you again but she never told me that you both were in contact with each other, not to mention the fact that you both did business together.” Her mouth twisted in disgust. “I was so angry when I found out. It only went to confirm my suspicion that you never truly liked me. You never truly forgave me for my initial hostility towards you, despite all I did, even sacrificing myself for your child’s safety when you were pregnant.”
“That is not true, I always loved you. I met Tina by chance and because she wouldn’t go, I had to maintain relationship with her” Amara countered. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with the past, that is probably why Tina couldn’t tell you”
Tola snorted like she couldn’t believe her but continued. “I got angry but didn’t plan vengeance until Alex approached me. I once dated Max and Alex felt that Max was interested in you so he got me to get Max away from you.” Amara was stunned to hear Alex’s name in the matter again. “I was helped into your company by the security who also told me of the drawer where your secretary keeps her spare key to your office. I hid Tina’s bag there hoping that you would suspect her and that would bring an end to your friendship but unfortunately, I didn’t know that she had been admitted in the hospital.”
Amara swallowed the lump in her throat. So all of this! All the drama was because she had been too closed off, trying to seal off her past. Could she even find it in herself to blame Tola?
“Alex told me about the child and that was what formed that last note I sent” she finished, looking a bit remorseful now.
Mr Sinja shook his head. “You and Alex deserve to be locked up in the same cell so you can both tear each other apart.” He said then faced Amara. “I would have a police suit filed against them once you give the approval Amara. They should clearly pay for the damage and pain they cost you”
Amara just stared dumbfounded for some minutes, taking in the information she just got. Everything she heard surprised her, but not as much as her feelings did. Naturally, her old self would have had them locked up but for how long would she hold on to the pain of the past? If she continued to seek vengeance, she would never move forward. She would never be happy. She had to learn forgiveness, and even though it seemed illogical, she held the hope that if she could probably forgive everyone who offended her, Kelvin might be able to also forgive her.
Swallowing hard she shook her head. “Let her go” she said forcefully.
“What?” The four pairs of eyes in the room looked at her like she had lost her mind but she smiled. Tola looked shaken.
“Tola would never have done such a thing, I made her. You did not deserve to be shut out of my life the way I did and I am sorry” Tola’s eyes grew misty. “Sam is alive today partly because of what you did years back and I would never forget that. If you would forgive me for what I did Tola, I also forgive you”
Tola looked about to cry. “Why are you so nice? Why can’t you get angry?” She seemed annoyed at that.
“I am tired of being angry Tola, I have carried anger in me for more than six years and it has done me no good. Please forgive me Tola. I actually miss our friendship”
Tola swallowed as Amara approached her. They stood face to face, staring in agitation at each other, but they couldn’t stay like that for long. Drawn to each other by the memories of friendship long forgotten, they pulled each other into a tight hug. Amara felt it then! A kind of peace that comes with forgiveness and letting go. She smiled happily. “Thank you Tola”
…to be continued