Rebound

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    Toriperi
    Keymaster

    Rebound

     

    Episode 22

     

    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… but…”

     

    “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”

    #19580 Reply
    Toriperi
    Keymaster

    Rebound

     

    Episode 23

     

    Even though it had been hard to leave Sam even for a minute, she had to step out of the house for the first time in three days. Sam was at home with his grandparents – Mr and Mrs Peters, who couldn’t let him out of their sight for even a second. Amara on the other hand, drove to Reliance, feeling anxiety eat away at her. She was putting her past behind her. Now, looking at the positive side of all that had befallen her, she could boldly say that ‘all things had worked together for her good’. If she hadn’t met Alex and gotten pregnant, she would probably still be in the village, since her parents were not even rich enough to sponsor her university education. Everything that happens in a human’s life is for a divine reason, one that cannot be easily deciphered by the feeble minds of men. Now she appreciated the mistakes she had made in life, for those mistakes have crafted a brand new woman from the naive village innocent that she once was. Now, she had become a force to be reckoned with in the society; a woman that cannot be easily deceived by minute things. She had become wiser, better and stronger, all thanks to the past she had once seen as the bane of her existence. Now she had reasons to thank Alex, because, he had unknowingly led her to becoming a better and happier person.

     

    With a sigh, Amara parked her car and alighted. She craned her head to the back to look at the building that towered over her. Reliance! Never had the name of a company suited its owner so well. Closing her eyes briefly to muster enough courage, she walked into the company. The company radiated Kelvin’s essence and strength and she smiled happily, proud of the man she had fallen in love with. Her heart pounded wildly. She was relying on the hope that Kelvin was here. She had been to his house and called him several times; she couldn’t begin to think of what she would do if he wasn’t here. She approached the receptionist with a shaky smile on her face. “Hello miss, how may I help you?” The lady asked.

     

    “Errrr… I am here to see Mr Kelvin Johnson” her heart pounded loudly in her ears.

     

    “I am sorry Ma’am, he is not here at the moment”

     

    Amara deflated and her knees almost gave way beneath her. She felt the overwhelming urge to cry. “When would he be here, maybe I can wait” she squeaked.

     

    “Actually, I think he is out of town, he is not always in Lagos for long.” the lady confided.

     

    “Do you have any idea where he might be or when he would be back?”

     

    “Mr Johnson never tells us about his movements ma’am, I am sorry. He usually is at our other branch in Abuja but he is not there currently.”

     

    Amara left the place dejected. She had never felt such pain and emptiness. She was worried, nervous and scared. She didn’t even want to imagine anything bad happening to Kelvin. How would she live without him? How would she contain the fact that she might never see Kelvin again? No! She refused to give up. She would find Kelvin no matter the cost. Blinking back unshed tears, she drove away from Reliance.

     

    **********

    **********

     

    Senator Bello followed the doctor into his office with a grave look on his face. It had been several days of turmoil. It seemed his life had suddenly turned into a world-class circus display centre. First, it was the issue of Alex’s parentage, now this! He swallowed hard as he settled in the chair facing the doctor. “Just tell me my son is going to live doctor” he said instantly without preamble. He couldn’t lose everything in his life all at once! First his family, his wife, now his son? How could he live on when he had literarily nothing to live for?

     

    The doctor looked down and sighed. “He would live sir”

     

    Senator Bello released the breath that he had unconsciously been holding. “Oh thank God! Thank God!” He looked up like he was gazing directly at God.

     

    “But…”

     

    The Senator froze. “But what?” His voice rang out loud and clear, panic clinging to his every muscle.

     

    The doctor looked around again before his gaze finally settled on the Senator. “Sir… I am afraid the accident affected his spinal cord”

     

    “What? So… i mean… what is the effect?” He asked dreadfully.

     

    “Due to the examinations carried out on him, I fear he has partial paralysis” he declared.

     

    “What?” The Senator jumped up. “You can’t be serious! How can my son be paralysed?”

     

    The doctor shifted. “Not complete paralysis, only partial. Some parts of his body have gone numb and are would not respond to command, however, there are some parts of his body which are still functioning to capacity.”

     

    Senator Bello racked his fingers through his hair, then, drew in a deep breath. “How long will this last?”

     

    “With due therapy, we might be able to bring his body back to its full capacity in the long run, but I can’t promise anything”

     

    The Senator walked out of the doctor’s office with sagging shoulders. He couldn’t come to terms with what he had just heard. It was so disheartening! How would Alex take this news? How would he be able to bear this state he now found himself? Mr Bello entered the waiting room and three women jumped up. His wife, Alex’s mother and Alex’s wife. They all looked at him with grave expressions on their faces. How could he tell them that Alex would be confined to a wheelchair, reduced to nothing more than a liability on everyone? The news was more than he could handle himself.

     

    From the corner of his eyes, he watched his wife walk up to him. The one pleasant thing that Alex’s accident had achieved was that it had succeeded in bringing him closer to his wife. He couldn’t tell if she still wanted to go through with the divorce, but he would enjoy this time with Katherine, because despite knowing that Alex wasn’t her biological son, she had stayed put in the hospital throughout the waiting trauma. He turned to her just as she stood before him, eyes filled with compassion. Unable to hold back, he pulled her into a tight embrace. Just like a mother would console a grieving child, Mrs Bello offered what little consolation she could offer.

     

    **********

    **********

     

    Amara entered the church with her heart thudding wildly in her chest. Amara looked round the empty church, filled with only numerous chairs. It had been years, almost ages since she stepped foot into a church. She missed it. She missed that close intimacy she had once shared with her maker. Would God reject her? If he did, she knew she surely deserved it.

     

    She walked until she finally found herself standing next to the altar. Sighing deeply, she knelt down before the altar, allowing silence to envelope her thoughts. Closing her eyes, she opened her mouth and – for the first time in years – prayed.

     

    **********

    **********

     

    Amara entered the eatery with an excited Sam clutching at her arm. Sam hadn’t stopped asking for a cup of ice cream all day and since Amara couldn’t deny him anything, they were at the eatery to buy the ice cream. She walked to the counter and smiled at the uniformed ladies. She opened her mouth to order for two cups of ice cream when suddenly, Sam’s high pitched scream caught her full attention.

     

    “Daddy” Sam suddenly screamed and snatched his hand from hers.

     

    Amara turned around so fast, she nearly lost her footing. It was like one those slow motions she had watched countless number of times, but now, it seemed like she was the cast in one of those movies. Her heart slammed wildly against her chest, almost breaking out of it as her eyes collided with Kelvin’s. Her breath caught in her throat and she grabbed the counter for support. Was it real? Was she really staring at Kelvin? His presence, despite the distance, enveloped her senses, leaving her completely and utterly breathless. Her eyes were as large as two huge doughnuts. Kelvin! Kelvin is here! She couldn’t believe it! Neither could she move a limb. She was practically glued to the ground, staring at Kelvin like an idiot as he stood, close to the entrance, also staring at her.

     

    As Sam got closer to Kelvin, Kelvin had to take his eyes off Amara. His eyes brightened in an animated fashion and he scooped him up in the air, the way he used to. Sam squealed in delight, giggling happily. He had missed him so much. Lowering Sam, Kelvin squatted before him. “How have you been son? You cheeks look bigger” He said, pulling Sam’s cheeks playfully.

     

    Sam was smiling so widely, the smile engulfed his entire face. “Mummy has been giving me too much food.”

     

    He glanced at Amara who had finally moved a bit closer, with a cunning smile. “I am sure she has. Have you been taking care of mummy?” He asked Sam with a raised eyebrow.

     

    Sam grinned proudly. “Yes daddy, Sam has been a very good boy. Promise”

     

    Kelvin chuckled. “I am sure you have.”

     

    “We came to buy ice cream daddy” Sam said, looking longingly at the counter.

     

    “Really? Which one are you buying for mummy?” He asked, with a mischievous glimmer that Amara knew too well.

     

    “Chocolate ice cream. Mummy said it is her favourite”

     

    Kelvin’s eyes slowly moved to Amara’s as his eyes heated. “Of course.” He whispered to Sam, still looking at Amara. “Chocolate ice cream is the sweetest I have tasted” his gaze lingered on her lips and Amara’s face turned red from embarrassment. This is not the scenario she had imagined when she thought of the time she would meet Kelvin. She swallowed as his gaze slid back to her face. “Ara” he whispered. How could Kelvin make her feel so alive by just whispering that?

     

    “Kelvin… I…” she stammered.

     

    “Kelvin” a high pitched woman’s voice pierced the tension between them and Amara looked up to see a stunningly beautiful woman walking towards Kelvin. Kelvin straightened to his full height as the woman got to his side and poked playfully at his side. “I told you to wait for me, how could you leave me behind?”

     

    He smiled at her. “I am sorry baby”

     

    Baby? Baby? Amara saw red as she glared at the two of them. What was going on? Fury and uncontrollable jealousy ate at her as she glared at the pair before her. Could this be Kelvin’s girlfriend? She almost expired at the thought. She had to get out of there fast before she embarrass herself by crying at their feet. They were beginning to draw stares in the eatery. Was it a coincidence that every time she was in this eatery with Kelvin, she always managed to draw people’s attention?

     

    “Aunty Tricia” Sam squeaked and jumped on the lady, who grabbed him fondly. Oh great! So Kelvin has introduced my son to his woman! Oh perfect. Amara’s blood boiled hot. All thoughts of apologizing to Kelvin was forgotten as she snatched Sam from the ‘Aunty Tricia’s hands.

     

    “Let’s go Sam” she said instantly.

     

    “But I want to stay with daddy” Sam complained.

     

    “He has a guest” she said firmly and started to move when the lady’s giggling voice halted her.

     

    Tricia looked up at Kelvin. “I think she is jealous”

     

    Kelvin was staring at Amara with an unreadable expression on his face, but an amused expression crossed his face at Tricia’s comment. “It seems so”

     

    Amara’s fury spiralled beyond control and she bit her tongue to stop herself from causing a scene, more than enough people were staring already. “Let’s go Sam” she almost dragged Sam along in her rage. She blinked away the bitter tears that clung to her eyes. As she got to the door, she pried it open but the door didn’t budge. She pulled at it again but the door remained glued to its spot. She whirled around to yell at someone, anyone, as long as the door was opened. What her eyes collided with froze her to the spot.

     

    “Amara Peters, will you marry me?”

     

    Amara’s eyes were so large, they engulfed her entire face. She couldn’t see clearly as tears blurred her gaze. She wiped at her eyes vigorously until she could see clearly.

     

    Kelvin’s heart hammered against his chest as he knelt down at the middle of the large eatery, waiting for Amara’s response. What if she says no? Oh no! He mentally shook his head. He couldn’t negatively now. He swallowed hard as the hand holding the ring box shook nervously.

     

    “Marry you?” She croaked out, grasping the handle of the door behind her.

     

    Alarm rang in Kelvin’s head. Mr Sinja had encouraged him to take this step. Could he have been mistaken to assume that Amara loved him. It had taken days to summon this courage, but now, as Kelvin watched Amara, he had the great fear that the would be turned down. “I love you Amara, with the whole of my being” he said, his heart pounding. He looked at the small crowd in the eatery and yelled. “I love Amara Peters” his voice echoed and he watched Amara wipe at her eyes over and over again. His eyes burned into hers intensely. “I want to spend the rest of my days with you Ara, loving you and our son and every other child that comes along. Please marry me Ara”

     

    “Oh Kelvin…” Amara cried and ran to him, going to her knees and hugging him tightly. Kelvin clutched her to him tightly, inhaling her essence. “I thought you wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me Kelvin” she murmured, crying against him. “Oh Kelvin…” she moaned as her tears racked through her. “I love you Kelvin. I love you so much”

     

    Kelvin pulled back slightly, searching out her mouth until he found it. He kissed her deeply, running his fingers through the silky mane of her hair. Pulling back forcefully, he stared intently into her eyes. “Is that yes?” He whispered against her lips.

     

    A bright smile slid to her tears stricken face. “It’s a yes” she whispered, then, looking at the crowd of expectant spectators, she screamed. “Yes, I will marry you Kelvin Johnson”

     

    Loud shouts and applause greeted the proclamation as Kelvin slipped the dazzling diamond ring onto her finger and kissed her finger before kissing her lingeringly.

     

    Tricia cleared her throat and Kelvin and Amara finally stood up. “Careful lovebirds, we have children here.” Then, she stretched her hand to Amara. “I am Tricia Johnson Babs, Kelvin’s sister” she declared with a grin. “I am not his girlfriend, so you don’t have to worry”

     

    Amara felt an embarrassed flush creep up her cheeks. “I am sorry” then she frowned. “Babs?” She turned to Kelvin. “Babs? That is the surname of the founder of Bracket right?”

     

    Kelvin smiled. “That is Max, my cousin”

     

    Amara gaped at him. So that is why Maxwell had looked familiar!

     

    “Yaaaay!” Sam screamed happily. “My mummy is marrying my daddy”

     

    Tricia lifted him to her arms. “That is so right!” She faced the couple. “When is the wedding?”

     

    **********

    **********

     

    Kelvin stood all grins at the altar with the most ravishing bride in the continent. He couldn’t wait to whisk her away from the crowd and have her all to himself. The happiness in him couldn’t be weighed by any scale. He smiled at Amara, with his eyes shinning with love and happiness. “I love you” he mouthed and she grinned.

     

    Maxwell stood behind Kelvin, smiling at the couple in front of him. He still couldn’t believe he was exceedingly happy as the best man, but he was. There was a time he had sworn that he would do anything to make Amaea his, but now, instead of being angry that he was the best man in Amara’s wedding, he was exceedingly happy. He had never seen his cousin so happy in his life. He on the other hand, felt another type of happiness. He turned to stare at Tina, who was seated with Tola and his heart soared. He and Kelvin had gathered money to fly Tina out of the country where she had undergone the Kidney transplant. Now, she was recovering fast from the operation and Max knew he would do anything to capture her heart as quickly as she had captured his. Besides, who can resist Max’s charms? He grinned to himself.

     

    Amara had never felt more blessed. Now her life felt complete. Amara looked at the crowd and saw her two mothers, dressed in the same native attire and smiled. Forgiveness pays! She had come to love and forgive Mrs Bello. Only pain can come from carrying anger in your heart and Amara had learnt that the hard way. Tina and Tola winked at her and she smiled happily.

     

    “You look ravishing boss” Tega said to Amara and Amara smiled.

     

    “Thank you Tega” she said to her Maid of Honour.

     

    “You can go on a full one month honeymoon boss, Ara P is safe with your P.A” Tega said proudly.

     

    Amara grinned. She had officially made Tega her assistant and it was an excellent choice. “I am sure of that”

     

    Kelvin enclosed his arms around his newly wedded wife from behind and Tega literarily vanished as Amara turned to her husband with a bright dazzling smile. Kelvin rained kisses on her face and and she giggled. “What do you say we escape from this place?” He asked distractedly as he kissed her her neck.

     

    Amara ran her fingers through his hair. “It sounds like a good plan” she murmured.

     

    He lifted his bright eyes to hers. “Aren’t you curious about where we spend our honeymoon Mrs Johnson?” He raised his brow.

     

    Amara linked her arms around his neck. “I would go anywhere, as long as I am with you Mr Johnson”

     

    Kelvin lowered his head and kissed her hungrily and she returned the kiss with equal fervor as she basked in the happiness that Kelvin had brought into her life. They forgot everything and everyone as they dwelt in a world that belonged to them alone. A world where unlimited sacrifices are made for love.

     

    ***THE END***

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