Bella still had the disc in the DVD player when her husband knocked, she rushed to open the door. It was the first time since she confessed that he was knocking on her door. She forgot to pause the video and it was still playing when Gberan entered. He had come to talk to Bella about living separately and gradually divorcing because of Ken. But when his eyes fell on the television, he was stunned. This was evidence to nail Tania and his wife had it.
Gberan: “How did you get this?” he asked. Bella looked at the television and covered his mouth with his hands. She ran to cover the television but it was too late. She began to stutter, then she stopped.
Bella: “I stole it from Tania, she was working with a man I suspect to be a police man, he gave it to her” she explained, deciding to come clean.
Gberan: “So why haven’t you given it to the police. I can’t believe that after everything you have done, you still find it hard to do the right thing” he lamented.
Bella: “I know I have made mistakes but I did them from a place of love. I was scared, she tried to kill me once”
“But you weren’t scared of stealing it from her” he mused but he didn’t tell her that, instead he made a deal with her.
Gberan: “It is going to be hard to rebuild our marriage after everything, as the day passes without Dayo, the more I resent you. But if you can help put the woman who did all these behind bars, it would help towards forgiving you” he said, and Bella rushed to hold him.
Bella: “If that is what it would take for you to forgive me, I will do it. I still love you, and everything I did was for the love of family, and I regret it” she replied and removed the disc from the DVD, then handed it over to Gberan.
Gberan: “We are going to the police station right now. Perhaps if Dayo knows she is behind bars, he would find his way back to us” he said.
“I hope not” Bella thought within her.
Tania was frantic, she couldn’t hand herself over to the police and she knew Damilola would tell the police when the time elapsed. She typed a text message and sent to him. The text read;
“I am sorry my love, all I did was because of a misunderstanding. You loved Dayo even before you knew he was your son, I saw that you didn’t care anymore whether we had a child together or not. I felt cheated and I acted out of fear of losing you. Is it a crime to love, because the only crime I committed was loving you. If you do not care about me, what about our child?”
She waited for a reply but got none. She decided to activate plan B, which was running away. She ran up to her room, the disc, momentarily forgotten, and began to pack a few important things into her suitcase, including the certificate of occupancy of the house, and some other important documents that pertained to Damilola’s properties. She would sell the properties, and with the proceeds get a new life where no one would find her.
“But as for you, Damilola, I will never forget how you abandoned me, and when it is right, I will come for you and your son, Dayo” she thought within as she looked around the room where she had spent so many years loving Damilola. A single tear trickled from her eyelid, and she whisked it away.
“This is no time for crying, it is time to act” she thought and left her room.
But as she hurried down the stairs, she missed a step in her hurry, and tumbled down the stairs. At the base of the staircase, she laid in a pool of blood, unconscious.
Gberan drove his wife to the police station where she narrated her ordeal and everything she knew about Tania and Dayo. The police told her that they could not arrest Tania based on her words alone, that they needed proof.
Gberan: “We have proof” he said and brought out the disc. The detective in charge was the same who had put Skyby on the covert operation. He was stunned when he saw the disc, it was identical with the corrupted one Skyby had given to them, but he instinctively knew that the one Gberan was holding, was not corrupted.
Detective: “How did you get this?” he asked, yanking the disc from Gberan’s hand.
Bella: “A man, who I suspect to be one of yours, gave it to Tania. I stole it from her” she replied, and went further to describe the man as the same person who lured her to the warehouse, so that Tania could kill her. The detective immediately knew that Skyby was the one Bella talked of, and it occurred to him that Skyby had been compromised. But before he could give the word to have Skyby arrested, another dirty cop close to Skyby informed him, and the latter absconded from town.
After playing the disc, the detective was sure his instincts had paid off and finally he had Tania. He mobilized his men and they went to Tania’s house to arrest her. When they got to the house however, they met Tania in the pool of her own blood.
Detective: “Call the ambulance immediately” he said, and went to touch her neck, to feel for a pulse. He shook his head sadly.
Bella: “Officer, she is still alive, right?” she asked, as fear gripped her heart. She clutched the hand of her husband because, even before the officer replied, she already knew the answer.
Detective: “She is dead, she probably fell a long time and no help came. It is a pity” he said shaking his head.
Bella: “Oh no, she was pregnant. It was her first pregnancy” she cried. The force of Tania’s death hit her so strong, she broke down and began to cry.
Bella: “What is life, that we should live it unfairly in pursuit of love, family or fulfilment, not caring who we hurt or tread on. Life is fragile and can be snuffed out just like that” she snapped her fingers. Then she turned to her husband and began to beg for forgiveness, this time she was truly repentant., shaken to her core by Tania’s death.
Seven Years Later
It has been seven years since Tania died, Damilola never remarried. He had lost hope of seeing Dayo again, and had gone back to Lagos, where he gave all his time to caring for people as a doctor. He established an orphanage home, where abandoned babies could call home. He always said Dayo was his inspiration and he always wanted to put smiles on peoples’ faces as Dayo did.
The day of the ground breaking, Dayo watched it all on television. He saw Damilola recount his affair with Khadijat and how he had fled to India to pursue his education while the woman he had impregnated suffered the shame alone. He talked about how he had his son close and never knew it was his son until he left. There was a lot of crying, as people listened to the sad story of a love gone sour by the occurrence of pregnancy.
Damilola: “Dayo, wherever you are, if you are still alive, please forgive me. I wish I could ask for another chance to make things right, but I don’t know if I deserve such luxury” he said to the camera. His face filled the television screen and Dayo could see the unshed tears shimmering in his eyes. Suddenly, the screen went black, Dayo turned and saw Stone holding the television remote control.
Stone: “Remember, you are no longer Dayo, you are Robert” he said angrily.
Dayo: “Robert or whatever, I am still the one that man is referring to” he said, and his mind went back to the past, that he had tried to move away from.
Damilola had been nice to him, he even set up a trust fund for him. He remembered the moments they shared and he wondered if his life would have turned out better if his father had not abandoned his mother. He also remembered Tania, the woman had probably found out about him being her husband’s son, that would explain why she wanted to kill him. He remembered the look in her eyes just before she swerved the car and hit the bridge. He also thought of what his life would have been like, if he had not run away, perhaps his daddy Gberan would have protected him.
“Daddy? He is not your daddy; do you see him looking for you?” a voice said within him.
Stone: “You are a fugitive as Dayo, you cannot go back. Robert offers you a new chance, and a new slate. You already passed your exams, you can go to any school in Nigeria” he said, intruding into Dayo’s thoughts.
Over the years, he had become close to Stone, and though he had advised the man to quit the business he was in, his advice was always met with a deaf ear. Stone was greedy, he had come from extreme poverty, and after his University days, with no job, a politician had hired him to assassinate an opponent. The operation was successful and he was paid in millions. That was how he got into the crime business, and now he didn’t want to leave.
However, he had protected Dayo as much as he could, but he never let Dayo go, as he felt Dayo would rat them out. But every day, he saw the loath in the boy’s eyes. Even though the boy saw him as an elder brother, and probably loved him, there was no denying it that the young boy loathed what he did for a living.
Question: Will Dayo run away from Stone and his gang of assassins, or would he give up on his life as Dayo and embrace Robert?
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