Even If I Don’t Find Peace – Episode 12


By Edwin Lamptey



“What is that supposed to mean”?, Maxwell asked Alberta, looking into her eyes for an explanation. “You can take it to mean whatever you want but I know what I would do and I am sure you are going to hear all about it sooner rather than later”, Alberta responded looking at Maxwell with tears in her eyes. Alberta went into the room and was followed by Maxwell. She sat on the couch and like a robot, Maxwell did the same. “Continue eating your food”, Alberta ordered. Maxwell, who was now confused and scared at the same time looked into Alberta’s eyes as if he did not hear what she said the first time. “What did you say?”, Maxwell asked Alberta. “I said finish your food because I want to clear the table”, Alberta said. “If there is nothing going on between you and my friend, then you have nothing to worry about”, Alberta added. “I would do my best to find out how all of this started and we would set the records straight”, Alberta continued as Maxwell resumed eating. When Maxwell heard what Alberta said, he dropped the spoon and sat upright in the couch. “Why are you doing all this?”, Maxwell enquired. “What do you aim to achieve if you eventually find out?”, Maxwell added. “My dear Maxwell, that is none of your business and you shouldn’t worry your head over it”, Alberta responded. “There is nothing going on between your friend and I so just leave this matter to rest”, Maxwell explained. “Oh, Maxwell, I believe you and I know you would not do anything to hurt me”, Alberta said. Maxwell struggled to finish eating his food before Alberta cleared the table. She went out to take her bath and she came back smelling very nice. “It is getting late, so take your bath and spend the night here with me”, Alberta suggested. “I don’t think that is so much of a good idea”, Maxwell responded. “Moreover, the clock just turned only 5 P.M so I believe there would be more than enough time for me to get back to my campus before it really gets late”, Maxwell said. “My stuff are also dry except the ones you just washed so I can take all of them with me and dry out just the few wet ones”, Maxwell continued. As Maxwell spoke, his phone rang. He checked the number calling and it was Nancy’s. Alberta snatched the phone from Maxwell with force and also saw the name that just appeared on Maxwell’s phone and allowed the phone to ring till it timed out. “So why is she calling you?”, Alberta asked rhetorically. Just go outside, turn left, go down that hallway and you would see the bathroom. Take your bath and come back here”, Alberta ordered. “Before you ask, everything has already been set. Alberta handed Maxwell a towel and asked him to drop his boxer shorts on the couch. Maxwell had started to get very uneasy and wished he could predict Alberta’s moves but he was so confused. “Can I have my phone?”, Maxwell requested. Alberta laughed and said, “Don’t worry dear, I won’t answer any of her calls and so will you”, Alberta said. “I want her to feel how I felt when I missed you so much and yet, I couldn’t get to talk to you”, Alberta added and pointed toward the door to signal to Maxwell to go out and take his bath. Maxwell left to take his bath and hoped Alberta would keep her word. He hurriedly took his shower and went back into the room. Before he entered, he heard his phone ringing inside. The room in which Alberta stayed in her uncle’s house was a single room which was divided into two sections by a partition made of curtains. One side of the partition served as a living room and the other side served as the bed room. When Maxwell entered the room, Alberta was not in the living room section of the room where he left her before leaving to take his bath. He attempted to answer the phone but before he could get to it, Alberta had heard the door leading into the room open and close. “Don’t attempt to answer your phone because if you do, I would yell and she would know you are with a lady and I don’t think you are prepared for such drama”, Alberta said from behind the partition. Maxwell obeyed and asked Alberta to help him with his clothes. Alberta told him they were on the bed. Maxwell parted the partition and saw Alberta laying on the bed. She was wearing a black see-through short dress. Maxwell could see her red underwear. Alberta reached out and grabbed Maxwell by the towel. It quickly fell off and he joined Alberta on the bed. As he got closer, Alberta’s lips gently parted to make way for his. Maxwell was a good kisser because Alberta always loved the way he softly bit on her lower lip while kissing her. Things moved quickly but Maxwell was gentle and careful. He knew just how to treat a woman in waiting. He placed romantic kisses all over Alberta’s body, from her sole all the way up to her crown. All of a sudden, Maxwell had forgotten all about the brouhaha involving the two ladies and himself and in that moment, he aimed to please Alberta. He knew that he was capable of making all of the present confusion go away with his touches and caresses. He trailed Alberta’s back with soft touches and kisses. Alberta’s  body was a revelation and in the midst of being high of anticipation it was giddy with excitement. Maxwell knew Alberta’s body too well. With his right hand, he cupped Alberta’s left breast which was firm and supple with ample perk and played with her nipple while kissing the hollow of her neck. Alberta wreathed and shuddered. Maxwell traced his tongue down to her right breast and suctioned her areola and swirled his tongue about her nipple. At this point, Maxwell felt Alberta’s nails claw into his back. Maxwell and Alberta were suddenly lost in the moment and captivated each other with their touches…
 Maxwell opened his eyes long after the deed was done and realized that Alberta was not on the bed. He became alarmed and parted the partition that separated the living room from the bed room with great alacrity. He saw Alberta in the couch sobbing and in her hand was his cell phone. She had gone through his phone again and this time, she knew what was really happening to her relationship with Maxwell. “Albie, why are you doing this to yourself”, Maxwell asked, looking at Alberta with pity. “Maxwell I love you, please don’t leave me”, Alberta pleaded, when she heard Maxwell speaking from behind her. Maxwell looked into her eyes and said, “Alberta, we are a disaster and I doubt if we can get past the many hurdles we have set for ourselves to be happy together. Alberta refused to accept Maxwell’s discouraging words. “Maxwell please don’t say that”, Alberta said as she moved in and cupped Maxwell’s mouth with her hand. She placed her hand firmly over his mouth as she continued her speech. “Maxwell, I promise that I would change”, Alberta begged as tears run down her cheeks. “I don’t want to lose you to anyone and I would be the biggest loser on this earth if I lost you to no other than my , Nancy”, Alberta said. Maxwell looked into Alberta’s eyes as he stood there motionless. Alberta walked up to the dressing mirror which was not too far from the bed and came back with a blade in her hand. Maxwell took more than a few steps back and desperately looked around for a weapon he could use to defend himself should Alberta attack him with the blade. Alberta managed to smile as she saw Maxwell move back. “I do not intend to harm you, Max”, Alberta said as she moved in closer on Maxwell’s position. “So what do you intend doing with that blade in your hand?”, Maxwell asked as he pointed to the little shinny and sharp object in Alberta’s left hand. “Maxwell”, Alberta started, “I love you so much and I am willing to commit the rest of my life to you and if you claim to love me, then commit your life to me too”, Alberta said. “I want us to have a blood covenant to seal this agreement”, Alberta said as she handed over the blade to Maxwell. “No way!”, Maxwell yelled as he quickly hid his arms behind him at the mere thought of cutting himself with the blade. “I have seen far too many movies with these kind of commitments and I seriously did not like the way they ended”, Maxwell said. “I am sorry Albie, but a  blood covenant is the last thing I see myself doing”, Maxwell added. “We don’t need to do this to prove anything”, Maxwell started. “I’d rather we allow things to take their natural course and not take any rush decision out of our desperation to regret our actions later in life”, Maxwell explained. Alberta dropped the blade and dropped herself unto the couch. “You don’t love me anymore”, Alberta said. She cried uncontrollably and Maxwell had to struggle to keep her calm after he had disposed off the blade. He continuously run his hand through Alberta’s hair till she eventually stopped crying and fell asleep in his arms. He stayed awake all night as he was deprived of sleep owing to the fact that he did not want Alberta doing anything silly when he was vulnerable. Soon, Maxwell had gone against his word and had spent the night with Alberta even though he was awake half the time he was there. His phone had not rang for a while and he began to get worried. He gently placed Alberta’s head on the couch and quietly picked his phone and went outside very quietly. He looked at the phone and he realized he was out of battery so the phone had gone off as a result. He knew both Nancy and his roommates were going to be worried sick  over his whereabouts. He just could not wait for the break of dawn so he could leave. The next day was Sunday. Alberta woke up and claimed she had a bad headache. She apologised to Maxwell for her behaviour the previous night and begged Maxwell to pretend as if none of what happened the night before ever did actually happen. Maxwell was prepared to do anything provided Alberta also kept mute over what happened. Alberta did not say much after her apology. She packed Maxwell’s clothes into the jute bag and handed it over to Maxwell. Alberta called her uncle and told him to forget about coming over to pick her up because she was going to go back all by herself. Maxwell and Alberta took a shower together and got ready to leave the house. They sat in the same bus. Maxwell was going to alight in front of his campus and Alberta was going to continue on the journey alone. As the bus took off from the bus terminal, Alberta smiled cunningly at Maxwell and started playing with her phone. She sent Nancy a text message which read, “I really enjoyed your boyfriend’s company the whole of yesterday and I know he enjoyed mine too that is why he refused to answer any of your countless phone calls”. Alberta hit the send button after which she showed the text she had just sent to Nancy to Maxwell. “What is the meaning of this?”, Maxwell asked as he drew closer to Alberta so as not to attract the attention of the other passengers on the bus. “I am well aware of the fact that both of us cannot be together forever”, Alberta said. “So if I cannot have you, my friend will also not have you as well and I am going to make sure of that”, Alberta added. Maxwell did not know what to say to Alberta, as hard as he tried, he could not come to terms to find the right words to say to Alberta. He kept silent till he alighted in front of his school. He did not even stand back to wave at Alberta as the car was preparing to join the busy road again. He quickly crossed the road to the other side and picked a taxi going towards the direction of his hostel. When he got to his room, his roommates were preparing for a church service. He quickly looked for his charger and plugged it in to charge his phone. As soon as enough battery power had gone into the phone to power it, Maxwell called Nancy. He called her twice but there was no response. In a matter of minutes, Maxwell’s phone rang and Nancy was the caller. “Where have you been and who is there with you?”, Nancy fired away immediately Maxwell answered the phone. “I told you yesterday afternoon that I went to watch football and when I got back, I could not find my charger, I know you realized that at a point, my cell phone’s battery died right?”, Maxwell added. “You are lying to me”, Nancy said and hang up the phone. Maxwell was confused and was trying to find a solution to his dilemma when his phone rang again. It was still Nancy. “Hold on”, Nancy ordered when Maxwell answered the call and placed the call on hold. Maxwell desperately placed the call over his ear waiting patiently for Nancy to resume the call. “Hello, Maxwell”, Nancy said when the call was resumed. “Tell me again, Max, where were you the whole of the afternoon yesterday?”, Nancy added. “Like I told you before, when I called you, I went out to watch football and it happened just like I told you earlier, Maxwell summarized. “Stop lying Max and tell Nancy the truth about the fact that you were with me at my uncle’s place to entire afternoon yesterday”, another voice spoke. Nancy had conferenced the call among herself, Maxwell and Alberta to ascertain the truth in the whole matter. Immediately Maxwell heard Alberta’s voice, he fired off, “What is the meaning of this?”. “The two of you should stop this and leave me alone!”, Maxwell added and hang up the phone. “What have I gotten myself into?”, Maxwell asked himself. He quickly called Alberta and said, “Alberta, I think I have had enough of all this”. “I want us to break up and this time I mean it”, Maxwell said. “I don’t want to see you again and please do not come visiting me because you will not like what I would do when I so much as see you anywhere close to my school”. “It is over, I am done!”. “Just stay away from me”, Maxwell added and hang up the phone without allowing Alberta to say anything that might cause him to change his mind. He called Nancy and told her that she should not give Alberta any audience going forward. Maxwell tried his best to convince Nancy to forget what happened and she did although she had her own suspicions Maxwell refused to answer any of Alberta’s calls or return any of her numerous messages. Maxwell dedicated most of his time to making Nancy happy and devoted all his free time to her. They chatted and laughed all the time and they had soon forgotten about Alberta’s escapade and had come back together. Alberta stopped sending Maxwell or Nancy any more messages. Soon, Maxwell had forgotten about Alberta. One afternoon, Maxwell was returning from a lecture when a taxi zoomed past him heading towards his hostel’s direction. He wondered why the driver was speeding in that manner. When he arrived at his hostel, he realized that the taxi that had gone past him had stopped some metres away from his hostel. The driver and  another occupant were in the taxi. Maxwell walked past the taxi and suddenly heard someone calling out his name. He turned to see who it was and out of the taxi stepped Alberta, looking very pale and her hair was very unkempt. She had lost weight and was unevenly dressed in a long dress and a pair of shoes. “Maxwell please I came to apologize for all the things I have done to you”, Alberta started. “I am a completely changed person now”, Alberta added. “Maxwell sized Alberta from her head to her feet and could not fathom how she had sunk so low. “Alberta, are you alright?”, Maxwell asked as he drew closer to her to have a better look at her. “Alberta, you need help”, Maxwell said as he took Alberta’s hand into his. “I don’t need help, Max because you are all I need”, Alberta responded. Maxwell felt goose pimples all over him when he saw and heard Alberta. He moved in and hugged her tightly as both of them began to tear up…

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…To be continued

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