The Runaway Bride Episode 6

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Tokunbo could not but leave the office earlier
than he planned, when he could no longer
cope with people staring at him from every
side and angle of the office complex. Most of
them had been guests at the wedding and
those that were not there must have heard
that his wife was kidnapped right before the
reception, few minutes away from the venue.
Chris had advised him to stay at home but he
could not stay without being buried in his
thought, he had thought it back and forth on
what could really have been the reason a
woman who seemed to be in love with him
could run right after saying her vows.
Could it be she was actually kidnapped or
could it be something he did that made her
run?
Chris called him and told him he was
downstairs, he did not want him driving
himself for fear of losing himself in thought
and gets into an accident, so he had taken it
upon himself to be his personal chauffeur for
the time being, until when they could get him
a driver.
“I told you to stay at home” says Chris as
Tokunbo got into the car and locked it behind
himself
“Doing what, thinking what the problem is
with me or what I probably did wrong” he
almost snapped at his friend.
“Well, the office is not the best place to
escape to either” Chris replied calmly
“I know that now” he said tiredly, rubbing his
eyes as he slumped back in his seat.
“Why not go to your parents place for a week
or so?”
“I don’t want to, they are worried also, and
seeing me there would constantly remind
them the source of their worry”
“This is so hard, but you still need to steer
clear of the office and your social pages”
He drove him straight to his new apartment
in Lekki and asked him to wait in the car.
Chris went upstairs and grabbed some clothes
from the wardrobe, some shoes and other
necessities, and drove him to his own
apartment in Gbagada.
He was sure his sister would be available to
keep company when he will be at work
********************************************************
It was Saturday, a week since she had taken
flight in the middle of her wedding, she
looked outside the window of the café where
she sat; Henry was fiddling with her phone
beside her. Clara was with Davis, he was
setting her up on one of the computers.
When he came back to sit with her, she was
lost in thoughts, her staying there would open
Clara and her son to some dangers and she
could not afford for them to be hurt, not
again.
“A penny for your thoughts” Davis said beside
her
“Hmm, I wish I could trade them”
“You could if you want, I am all ears”
“Well, I would not want to bore you”
“Do you think I would ever be bored with
you, staring at you all day entertains me”
“Really, I should start charging you for that
then”
“I mean it, I know you have troubles, but
can’t you share them with me”
“Can we walk outside for some minutes?” why
not indeed.
“Why not?”
Chinwe quickly told Clara she would be out
with Henry and Davis; she walked towards
the back of the café which used to be a
generator house, and beside it is a little open
field where the young boys earlier played.
The rain that drizzled some minutes before
had dispersed them, now the sun is back in
the skies.
“Henry, don’t run too far off” she cautioned
the little boy as he ran after an insect
“So, what has been troubling you?”
“I don’t know if I can trust you”
“Well, I can trust you to try to trust me”
“I am the daughter of Senator Babalola who
was thought to be kidnapped last week at her
wedding” she started simply.
Davis stopped in his tracks and glared at her
face, trying to link her with the same person
she claimed to be, he has never been the
news person, but he has seen different
versions of the story on the internet but he
never linked them to her.
The pictures he saw were of a well painted
lady and her name made it somehow difficult
to link, Babalola Chinwe to Ebere? He almost
could not believe it.
“So your name is not…”
“My name is Chinwe, not Ebere”
She sat down on one of the cemented drums
used as a goal post, and Davis sat beside her,
while they both watched Henry run around in
the small field.
“Go on” Davis urged her gently
“Clara and I were friends back in the
university, she was leading the department
from the beginning of the set and I became
close to her, so as to get academic support
from her, she was quite helpful, way helpful.
I lived like a crazy person back then and she
was the reason I passed most of my papers.
We started living together in our final year
and we became very close friends. A week to
our first semester exams, some of my friends
came from the UK and we agreed to have a
party, I invited Clara along and she said no. I
practically forced her out of the house to
come with me to the party, we were almost
graduates anyway and she would still lead the
department after the party, so I told her.
She went with me to the party and when we
got there, some other people had joined in the
party, people we did not know. I quickly
mixed with some of my friends and we went
different parts of the venue, I left her there
alone, hoping she would be fine.
I was apart from her for not up to an hour
when we were rounded up by the police, they
said there were suspected thieves amongst us
and we were all taken to a cell. I called my
father from there and was released the
following morning, but he refused to get Clara
out, saying he would not be smeared with
such ill publicity, she was there for 5 days
before I could get some friends to help her
out.
When she was released, she told me she had
been raped at the party, just right before the
police took us all to cell, and she had been
raped by one of the guys that escaped the
police.
The following day we started our exams and
we did not suspect anything. In the process of
going back and forth to the police station for
the daily appearance until the case was
dismissed, her parents found out she was
locked up and her mother took ill, she
shuttled between the exams, her mother and
the police station, that she forgot to visit the
hospital for an after rape treatment and
medications.
When we thought about it, a friend suggested
a drug to me which I bought for her and she
used it, that was after about 2 weeks.
She was fine all through the exams and when
the result came out, her result had dropped
badly, she was still not bothered, not pointing
any accusatory finger at me but we still
remained friend. When the second semester
exam started, we found out she was pregnant,
the drugs she used had been too late I
suppose. She fell sick so bad that we were not
sure she would be able to make it for the
exams but she did.
When she told me about it, I advised she go
for an abortion but she was scared and she
decided to keep the baby, which she did” she
pointed at Henry who was still trying to catch
a grasshopper in the grass.
“She could not graduate as the leading
student in the department; she lost the seat to
another guy in the department, forfeiting her
automatic employment that she would have
been entitled to if she had graduated as the
best student in the department, a position she
would have taken immediately after NYSC”
To cut the long story short, I practically
ruined her life even though she says it is just
chance and time.
That happened four years ago. Earlier this
year, my father’s company went into a
business merger with another top shot
company, and both men decided to sacrifice
their children for the company, asking us to
marry so we could hold the company even
after they are retired. I was against it, but my
father told me point blank it was marriage to
his business partner’s son or all hell would be
let loose.
I agreed to meet the reluctant guy and when
we did, we hit it off straight away, we fell
hard and deep for each other, so plans for the
wedding began but Clara had moved to Uyo
here and said she might not be there for the
wedding.
So a few days to the wedding I sent a picture
of myself and my husband with his friend to
her, that one captured his face, she saw the
picture and replied me in a text message the
following morning, “How well do you know
this his friend? Because I am dead sure your
boyfriend’s friend was the one who raped
me” . I was not sure who she was referring to
because, the person next to me in the picture
was Chris; my husband’s friend, my husband
was at the far end of the picture so I called
her to confirm.
She did not want to talk about it until I
threatened to come here personally to hear
from her. She was apologizing for mentioning
it at all and asked me to forget about it, but I
could not just let it go. What I sent as an
accompanying message with the picture was
“me, my boo and his friend” and she probably
took the naming for the way we stood in the
picture
When she told me the guy at the far end of
the picture, I was practically paralyzed for
minutes; she was referring to my husband to
be and not his friend. I had to run, but I
wished I knew earlier, I would have been
long gone.”