The Runaway Bride Episode 8

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Davis was eating when Joseph came back
from the bathroom, he was telling him about
the café attendant he was angry with earlier,
whom he caught him printing someone’s
project with the intention of taking the
money. That would be the second time.
The first time he had caught him printing out
a large document in several copies for a
particular lady, he had asked her to buy
reams of papers so Joseph would not suspect a
thing. He had placed a call to the friend that
introduced him and he promised to warm
him. When he caught him receiving money
from another person yesterday for a
completed project work that would have
fetched him a lot of money, Joseph knew he
had employed the wrong guy and not getting
rid of him now would only dug a bigger hole
in his pocket but might also influence other
workers to take such acts as a norm.
He picked up his plate of food and started
eating.
“So what do you want to do about him?”
“is that not obvious, who knows how many he
must have done that I did not get to know. I
will ask him to stop coming on Friday, the
only thing stopping me from not asking him
to stop now is for him not to hurriedly round
up some transactions I suspect he still has.”
“But do you owe them?”
“I don’t, even when sales are low in some
months, I would rather pay them than pull
out money for myself.”
“That is unfair of him, but he might be
splitting the money with others and that is
why they cover up for him”
“Sacking him should get the message across, if
any of them is caught, they should be ready to
leave. I am just not ready to start looking for a
new person, I will have to start showing the
in an out of things here”
“Chinwe nko?”
“Who is Chinwe?”
“Ebere, her real name is Chinwe”
“Did she tell you that?”
“Yes and she told me more” his friend looked
up from his food, waiting to hear what
Chinwe had told him.
“She said she did not trust me when I asked
her for her name” Davis provided the first lie
that came to his mind.
“She is not serious, so she now trusts you?”
Joseph said, eyeing him in mock
Davis simply shrugged and continued with his
food, hoping Joseph would not ask more
questions he would not want to answer.
“She is a master’s degree holder, how much
do you think I can pay her?” Joseph shook his
head, discarding the idea of having her as his
employee.
“The work her friend was trying to source for
her might not be coming as fast as they
hoped, she said she would be looking for
something so as not to be a burden to her
friend”
“I still don’t know”
“What don’t you know, it is not by force, you
offer her a salary and she can either accept or
refuse”
“Well, you are right, if she asks me I will talk
with her about it”
Davis was satisfied that he has spoken to his
friend about it and he is willing to consider
her
The days went fast and Chinwe often visited
the café to sit with Joseph and sometimes
wait for Davis, Joseph was already warming
up to the idea of having her work there with
him.
She seems to know a lot about the use of
computer and just needed a little putting
through as a café operator. They seem to work
well too but Joseph must confess he likes
having her around so that he could see Clara
when she’s returning from work, with her
son sometimes.
He likes her and would like to ask her out
properly but he is always careful with women
with kids, most them he believes still have
ties with the father of their kids that would
have a great say in their present
relationships.
She sometimes would sit with them for a few
minutes before they would all leave for her
house.
On this particular Saturday, Davis had called
him to inform him that his mother would be
coming to Uyo from Calabar where she had
gone to for a party, she wanted to surprise
him but not too familiar with the direction he
had send her.
Also, he would be tied up in class till some
hours after noon and his mother’s flight to
Lagos would be the 3:30 flight back to Lagos.
Joseph agreed to pick her up from the park
and take her to the house while Chinwe
watched the café for him.
When he returned with her to the café,
Chinwe came out of the admin room to give
Joseph information but was not prepared for
the reaction he met from the woman Joseph
introduced as Davis’ mother.
“Are you not Chief Babalola’s daughter?” She
asked without wasting time. Joseph was totally
lost, looking back and forth between the two
women who kept staring at each other, one
with a total dumbfounded look and the other
in shock and fear.
“Joseph, is she living with you guys?”
“No ma she is a friend”
Chinwe stared in shock as she recognized the
look in the woman’s eyes; she knows her from
somewhere
“You are Chinwe Babalola, right” she pointed
at her with a surprised look on her face
“No ma I am.. ” Davis chose that moment to
walk into the admin room of the café where
the whole drama just unfolded
“Don’t you dare lie to me, you are Chinwe
Babalola,” she turned to her son and his
friend “do you know who this young woman
is, do you know she is on the news and the
word out there is that she has been
kidnapped?” she stared at them as they did
not give her any answer, neither refuting the
claim that they knew who she is.
“Oh my God, did you kidnap her”
Of course not”
“But…”
“Ma, they did not kidnap me, I came here on
my own”
“And they are housing you?”
“No they are not”
“Do you know who her father is and what he
could do to anyone who he finds her with, or
anyone helping to keep her at all?”
“Mum, calm down, she knows what she is
doing”
“Apparently she does, but I don’t think either
of you do. Her father is an influential man; I
can assure you his influences run to this part
of the country and would ruin anyone who
could be keeping his daughter”
“Mum, the decision was hers and she should
be left to make that decision when she wants
to return”
“You mean to say if?, this lady would put you
in trouble.”
“Mum,”
“Don’t you dare mum me, I am telling your
father about this this instant” she stood up
and walked to where she dropped her bag,
Chinwe stared in shock as Davis hurried after
her. Joseph could only stare at her with
nothing to say.
Davis collected the phone from his mother
and held it away from her
“Mum!, listen to me, that lady ran away for a
reason, she deserves to have a right to make
her decision”
“Which I perfectly understand, but were you
there when the whole situation started? No,
you were not, and you don’t have a right to
butt in now and act the super man. Let me
tell you this, your father secured a contract
from her father and the project is about to
begin. I was at the wedding when she
disappeared and saw how distraught her
mother was, I would never want to be in that
position, and that would happen if her father
finds out she is being helped, especially by
you, the son of a man who won a contract
from his portfolio, would he not think it is a
planned work, that your father knew about it,
especially since he could not make the
wedding and I was there alone to attend the
wedding. Davis, think for goodness sake. ”
“Oh God, but I did not know her, we never
met and she’s not staying with me”
“Who would listen to you then?”
“She’s staying with her friend”
“With another man?”
“No, a lady, her friend from way back”
“Davis, give me the phone and let me speak
with your father about this, we can find a
way around it and not get the police involved,
and this is way beyond you. Please, don’t
invite the devil to a private dinner, that man;
her father would destroy us if he finds out we
have a connection to this.”
Davis handed her the phone and walked back
to where he left Chinwe and Joseph, they
were quiet and looking at him with curiosity.
Davis shook his head and pulled Chinwe to
his arms, and she began to cry.
Joseph walked out of the room to give them
space, closing the door quietly behind him.
“My parents work for your father indirectly
and if you are found here, they could be
accused wrongly for what they know nothing
about” he said as he pulled her back and
stared at her tear stained face. He held her
shoulders tightly and barely could hold back
his own tears.
“If you still want to go somewhere else before
your father gets here, there is still time, I
could help you to do that”
“No, I guess I have to go back, Clara would be
ruined if my father finds out I have been
staying with her”
They walked back to where Davis’ mother
was speaking on the phone as she saw them
approach she told the person on the other end
of the line
“Davis is here now”
She stretched the phone to him, he asked who
it was and when he heard that it was his
father, he turned back and pulled Chinwe
with him, they walked back to the back of the
café, to the field where she had told him
everything the week before.
He pulled out his phone and asked her to
speak with Clara.
“hello Clara, can you help me get my things
together”
“What is the problem, did your father find
you?”
“Someone else did, someone who knows him
well and she is contacting him soon, I don’t
want him to find me with anyone…..”
“oh my God, what do you want to do now, are
you going somewhere else or what…”she was
already sobbing from the tone of her voice.
“No, I have to go back, how long can I hide
anyway, it was just stupid of me in the first
place to think I could run away forever”
She ended the call and waited for Clara to
bring her bag to the café; Davis’ mother came
to where they sat, close to the field and sat
beside Chinwe
“My dear, I am sorry I came to spoil your
plans, but believe me when I say I am doing
this to protect the people I love. I know your
father too well to want to get in his path.
Whatever your differences are, I would like
you to settle it with him and if it is with the
man you married, divorce is an option. But
your father would ruin the lives of people
who are helping you to escape or hide.”
“Ma, I understand, but just to be clear, your
son did not help me escape. We did not know
each other till I arrived Uyo here”
“I understand that now, but I have called my
husband and informed him, who in turn has
called your father and they are on their way
on a private jet to the airport, I suggest you go
to the airport to wait there for them, they will
arrive in less than 3 hours”
On hearing that, Chinwe’s heart went heavy,
beating with effort and she became weak, she
pulled herself to an upright position and
walked back to the café, while Davis watched
with sorrow in his heart, especially with the
thought of losing the woman he has come to
love leaving him.
He knew his father would gladly come with
Chinwe’s father, his involvement would put
him on the good page with him and that
would lead to bigger projects would it not? He
could not just disown him, because truthfully,
he hated the man as much as he loves him
sometimes, but his mother would always want
to do what would protect her family.
Clara was paying the keke driver when
Chinwe came out of the café, she pulled
Henry into her arms and rubbed his head
fondly, she would miss the little man who
looks like the man she would be returned to.
Davis came out of the café too, his mother
and Joseph behind him.
“Let me drop both of you off at the airport”
Joseph said after lifting Henry in a
halfhearted greeting.
“No, I still have the number of the cab man
that dropped us off the last time, his car is a
taxi, I don’t want to risk the chances of my
father already alerting the police and then
pick up anyone who drops me off”
“That is true, although my husband assured
me they would be arriving without any police
being informed”
“Give me his number so I could call him then”
Davis said
Chinwe pulled the piece of paper from the
small pocket of her back pack and handed to
Davis, she listened as the man bargained for
the price, claiming he would have to drive
from the airport to pick her up.
They all went back into the café while the
waited for the taxi, all the while Clara was
sobbing quietly, while Joseph tried as much as
possible to distract Henry.
When the driver arrived, he was surprised to
see Chinwe, she dropped her bag in the booth
of the car and Davis helped with his mother’s,
who climbed in beside Chinwe. As the car
drove off, Clara was weeping loudly now,
Joseph had to pull her into the café and Davis
watched as she was driven off, holding Henry
in his arms.