The following morning; 9:15 am precisely, met Amanda at Joseph’s home. As much as Ella would have loved to go with her, she couldn’t. She was an employee of the bank. She had to be at work. And early too.
Joseph was almost set for work when Amanda knocked on the door. She was almost out of breath as she was rushing to catch up with him; even though she had called earlier to let him know she was coming.
When the door opened, the scent of Versace Eros, Joseph’s most preferred cologne, filled her nostrils and tickled her senses. But oh well, she wasn’t here for tickling. Her friend’s life was at stake.
“Good morning, love,” she stepped into the apartment.
“Good morning, beautiful,” Joseph pulled her into an embrace and started to plant kisses all over her face.
Of course, she kissed him back before pulling away. “You’re going to be very late if we spend more time kissing before talking,” she explained when she saw his shot up brows, “and I have work to attend to too,” she finished.
“Ok,” he sighed and pretended to be disappointed, ”so what’s up with my baby?” he reached for his socks and started to put them on.
“This is,” she stretched a piece of paper to him.
“A letter from Brenda. She hid this in the legal files she gave to Ella yesterday.”
Curious as to what Brenda wrote and still had to hide, he took the letter and opened it. Joseph’s expression was grave when he finished reading the letter. So Simi was now in league with Tony? And if nothing was done these two would go on to be a thorn on his flesh every minute of his life.
He could take drastic actions, and Brenda would be in even greater danger. At the same time, he had to be sure Amanda was willing to agree to his suggestions.
“What do you think we should do?” he asked.
“We should report to the police. Unfortunately, we don’t know who to trust among them.”
“My brother knows some policemen personally. Perhaps we can start from there.”
“I still think we should release that CCTV footage and make a case against Tony,” she insisted.
“I thought Brenda didn’t want that?” His brows shot up.
“Well, she needs help, and we need to give every way we can. The important thing is that we get Tony away from her, and Simi off our backs.”
“I’ll discuss with Moses first. Let him discuss with his friends; off the records. Then we’ll know how to proceed!”
“Ok then. I guess I’ll just wait for feedback,” Amanda sighed.
“Yes. In fact, I want you to move in here with me until this is over, “ he got off his seat, moved over to her side, bent over and planted a kiss on her forehead and lips.
“I know you care about my safety. But I’ll be fine. Tony doesn’t know my new address yet,” she tried to persuade him.
“Tony doesn’t know it. But Brenda does…”
“I doubt she would give away my location. Despite everything happening to her, she’s still trying to protect us.”
“Move over to my place, please. I have better security here. Ella can come with you,”
“My business I…”
“Please,” he cut her short, “I need to know at all times that you’re safe. I don’t want to take chances and neither would it be easy to split my security. I don’t want Tony laying his worm infested hands on you. I don’t want Simi coming anywhere near you. She may be a woman, but she’s dangerous”
“Ok. I’ll do as you’ve asked,* she promised, “but I don’t know if Ella would agree to move over.”
“Then convince her. It’s only for a while.”
He got to his feet, grabbed his phone and dialled a number.
Amanda rested against the backrest of the couch and watched Joseph speak to the person at the other end of the line.
From their rapport, she could tell it was Moses he was talking with. The brothers were the closest in the Ossai family and most cooperative.
“… Please, this is important. I’ll come straight away to the station once you confirm we can see him today. This lady is getting married on Saturday. That’s two days from now. We can’t let it happen. Thanks, Moses. You’re a lifesaver,” he cut the call.
“What did he say?” Amanda asked.
“He isn’t sure his friends are around. So he’ll call first to find out if we can fix an appointment for this morning. Of course, we’ll need to go along with the little evidence we have.”
“Well, I’m here. A living witness. Ella is too. Then we have the CCTV footage and Brenda’s letter,” she announced.
“Yes. But Ella can’t meet us until the close of work. Meanwhile,” he pulled her into his embrace again and planted his lips on her. It was a long passionate kiss, “please promise me you’ll move in here today.”
“How would I attend to customers?” her brows shot up.
“Tell them you’re out of base for a short while. You’ll be back soonest.”
“We don’t know how long this would take, babe. And besides, you and I know that some milestones achieved in business come from just showing up daily. It’s not like you’re staying so close to me you know. It takes almost an hour’s drive to get to your place. I don’t want to close shop.”
“You’re not closing shop. You’re protecting yourself. Would you prefer that I move over to Ikeja? Joseph asked.
“Why would you leave this beautiful house for the ones at Ikeja?” She frowned.
“Then do it for me, because after all the drama with Tony and Simi, by God, Amanda, I’m carrying you to the altar. I’ll drag you if I have to, so we wouldn’t have this kind of discussion again.”
Amanda burst out laughing, “but you haven’t even promised to me before you’re talking about dragging me to the altar.”
“Oh. Forgive me, sweets. Simi used her stupidity to confuse me. I actually bought you a ring, but then, our vacation turned into something else. So please, hold on. I need two minutes.”
As soon as Amanda nodded her approval of two minutes, he dashed to the bedroom and returned quickly with a small black box in his hand.
Joseph then moved to put on his home theatre and slide in a disc. Ife Wa Gbono by Tiwa Savage emanated from the speakers.
Amanda smiled as Joseph sang along. He reached for her hands, pulled her to him and together they sang.
The end of the song met Joseph on one knee. He held a small box housing a silver ring and looked up with excitement.
“Will you marry me, baby?” he grinned, “if you say no, I’ll lock that door till you say yes,”
Amanda chuckled. Her joy was at level 900; if not 1000. “Yes, my love. I’ll marry you. You don’t have to lock the door,” she giggled like a teenager.
Joseph slid the ring around her middle finger. When he got on his knees again their lips met, and their tongues did exploits.
“I love you, sweetheart,” that was Amanda.
“I love you too baby. I can’t wait to change your surname,” Joseph grinned.
Amanda laughed. “But we still have to deal with Tony first.”
“And Simi. All these headaches need to stop once and for all. I just wish I had…”
His phone rang, interrupting their conversation. He picked it up and looked at the caller ID. It was the secretary in the office.
“Yes, Sarah. Is something up?”
“Yes, sir. Good morning,” she sounded scared, “some policemen just left your office. They came in respect to the allegations laid against you by that Simi girl and since they met your absence, you’ve been invited to the station.”
Joseph frowned. He looked at the time. It was 10:30 am already. “No problem. Kindly text me the address of the police station they want me to visit.”
The call ended.
“They can’t possibly be arresting you for what you didn’t do,” Amanda sounded very uncomfortable as she overheard their conversation, “I will suggest you get in touch with your brother’s friend first before you go to them. These police people can be funny.”
“Yes. Definitely. Simi just started what she can’t finish.”
Joseph moved around to prepare his office bag and put finishing touches to his dressing. Once done, he looked up at Amanda. “Seriously, babe, move in with me tonight. Invite Ella too. Please,” he handed her his spare key.
Amanda nodded as she reached for the key.
In the next 15 minutes. He was set. The duo left the house together. He would drop her home before heading to work.
Few minutes after Joseph dropped her in front of the compound gate, kissed her silly and then drove off, Amanda stepped into the compound. However, something felt out of place; like someone had been in the compound.
She headed for the door and when she touched it, it squeaked open.
Had her house been burgled? She operated her business from home and all her goods were right there in her showroom. In fact, it was the first room one gets to before the other rooms; as it was her sitting room she turned into a showroom and business centre.
Amanda pushed the door wider and stepped in. NEPA electricity was on and so it was easy to see inside the showroom.
But then, her heart stopped for a microsecond when she spotted Tony, dressed in a simple black t-shirt and blue jeans pants, emerge from one of the private rooms. Black hand gloves covered his hand. And the only thing that crossed Amanda’s mind was the word, ‘kidnap’.
He too stopped in his tracks when he saw her. And he smiled.
“What are you doing in my house?” She challenged him.
His smile widened into a grin. “Welcome back, Amanda. I have been waiting for you.”
To be continued…
A Pelleura Story – Chapter 18 Written by Karo Oforofuo
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