Henry looked at Sandra in bewilderment as she introduced Johnson as her ex-fiance. He was left in shock. He could not believe that Ben would be so wicked to want to marry his daughter off at such a young age. “Hi, I am Henry”, Henry said as he extended a warm handshake to Johnson but he was met with rivalry; as was to be expected.
“Nice to meet you”, Johnson left Henry’s hand hanging in mid-air without responding to his gesture. Sandra, feeling somewhat embarrassed held Henry’s hand and dragged him towards the elevator leaving Johnson standing alone in the lobby as the two of them walked off.
“Your ex-fiance?”. “Like seriously?”. Henry asked as the elevator dinged signalling them to enter. “It’s a long story; a story I don’t want to recount because of the painful memories it brings up”, Sandra said.
“Are you kidding me, Sandra”, Henry rebutted. “You thought an ex-fiance was not an issue worth discussing because it brought back bad memories?”. “That is quite unfair; very unfair to me, Sandra”, Henry lamented. “I expected you to tell me what I was getting myself into”, Henry started. “I put all my cards on the table and I expected you to do same but not telling me that you were about getting married to someone and making me find out myself and in such a cold manner is so not cool”, Henry said.
“Henry, that part of my life is a part I am trying so hard to leave right where it belongs; in the past and so I didn’t think it was worth bringing up”, Sandra defended herself. “Moreover, I didn’t want to complicate matters for us because we had things going on perfectly”, Sandra added as she warmed her way up to Henry and placed a kiss on his lips.
“That is beside the point, Sandra”, Henry insisted.
“How did you expect me to tell you this?”, Sandra enquired. “You wanted me to walk up to you and say, ‘Oh Henry, I was about to get married to someone which turned out not to work out?”, Sandra enquired
“That would have been a good start”, Henry cut in.
“I was scared and I didn’t want you to see this differently”, Sandra said. “Well, congratulations, you’ve succeeded in tricking me”, Henry said
“Henry please don’t do this”, Sandra pleaded.
“What else are you keeping from me aside this bombshell of an ex- fiance?”, Henry asked.
“Nothing!” Sandra screamed.
“I don’t believe it; I am being very honest”, Henry said
“Henry, what is that supposed to mean?”, Sandra started. “Are you going to let this news tear us apart?” Sandra asked.
“Tear us apart?”, Henry asked sarcastically. “We’ve already been torn apart by the things that have happened ever since I decided to go out with you”, Henry said. “All the forces of good and evil are against this relationship”, Henry said. “Even men of God are against this union”, Henry continued. “I really think the time has come for us to end all of this once and for all and move on separately with our lives”, Henry said.
“Are you in any way insinuating that all that has happened and all that is happening now has something to do with me?”, Sandra asked
“Obviously!”, Henry answered. “We don’t need a soothsayer to tell us what is very obvious”, Henry added
“Wow!”, Sandra exclaimed. “I can’t believe that you have come to such a conclusion without hearing me out first”, Sandra said.
“What is there to hear out after this?”, Henry asked. “Is it the fact that you forgot to tell me that you were almost married?”, Henry asked. “Or the fact that your dad thinks we are the worst match or the fact that God spoke through your pastor warning us of getting together?”, Henry asked. “All these are clear indications that we cannot be together, can’t you see it?”, Henry quizzed.
“I can’t believe you are also thinking like them”, Sandra said. “I should have seen this coming”, Sandra added
“Don’t deal me these cards, Sandra!”, Henry cut in. “You knew what you were getting me into but you chose to keep me in the dark by not telling me all I needed to know”, Henry said
“I have to say that I am rather disappointed that you have fallen for these lies and schemes obviously being orchestrated by my father and his stooges with the hopes of tearing us apart”, Sandra said
“Oh, so it’s a lie that Johnson is your ex-fiance?”, Henry quizzed.
“Why are you so quick to judge me?”, Sandra sobbed. “Why are you allowing all of these things to get to you?”, Sandra said.
“Sandra, I think we should stop seeing each other for our own good”, Henry said as the elevator dinged as it got to his floor.
“Don’t do this to me, Henry, I love you”, Sandra said as she held Henry from stepping out of the elevator.
“I think it is the best thing to do in light of all these circumstances”, Henry said. “Love is not enough to sustain this relationship”, Henry added
“No, Henry, we cannot be separated; I won’t allow it to happen!”, Sandra said.
They both looked intently at each other.
“Henry, forgive me for not telling you about Johnson”, Sandra said softly looking deeply into his eyes. “But please don’t let this be the reason we are going to get separated over. “I have my own reasons”, Sandra continued.
“Which are?”, Henry asked.
“Johnson tried to rape me before our wedding”, Sandra revealed.
“What?”, Henry exclaimed. “Isn’t that rather absurd?”, Henry asked. “But why would he want to do that if you were going to be his wife sooner than later?”, Henry asked further
“One of many of my dad’s schemes”, Sandra replied. He was overprotective as always and didn’t even give us a chance to be on our own”, Sandra started. “He always had people watching us and was jealous of the fact that I was finally warming up to Johnson”, Sandra explained. “As this went on, it infuriated Johnson so much so that when he finally got the two of us to be alone, he tried to have sex with me to get back at my dad for being overprotective”, Sandra narrated. “We struggled and I pleaded with him to take it easy because we were going to get married soon and he could have me to himself but he just wouldn’t listen”, Sandra explained.
“I got injured during the struggle and to my surprise, my father showed up”, Sandra said. “To cut the long story short, I tried to defend Johnson and tried to convince my dad that what he saw was a misinterpretation of Johnson’s feelings towards me but my dad would have none of that”, Sandra said. “So he quickly called off the wedding and filed a lawsuit against Johnson for trying to rape me”, Sandra said.
“That is why I didn’t get married to Johnson”, Sandra added. “I have to go now, and you also have to get going before you lose your job my love”, let’s chat during lunch time”, Sandra said and pushed Henry out of the elevator…
A few hours later, Henry and Sandra were seated together at the plush cafeteria of Kaprisky Law Firm having lunch.
“I am sorry for judging you earlier today”, Henry said. “I didn’t know you had to go through such an ordeal”, Henry said.
“Henry, there is something inside so strong that keeps telling me that both of us can be together regardless of the opposition that comes our way”, Sandra said.
“Sometimes, I believe that all these things are meant to happen to make our bond stronger but on the other hand too, I believe we cannot be anything more than friends because of the opposition we face; first it was your dad, then your pastor and now Johnson, your ex-fiance”, Henry recounted.
As they spoke, Johnson entered the cafeteria and headed straight for their table.
“Hello Sandra”, Johnson said.
“I was in your office and I was told you were having lunch so I was hoping we could use this time to talk”, Johnson added.
“And who said I wanted to talk to you?”, Sandra asked.
Henry got up from his seat and started his way towards the exit.
“Henry, where are you going?”, Sandra asked. “We haven’t finished talking”, Sandra added.
“I have to head back to my office; I have some work I need to finish”, Henry said. “Moreover, you guys have some catching up to do”, Henry added.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Come on Sandra”, Henry said. “You haven’t seen Johnson in a while and it would be good for you two to get along”, Henry said. “Okay, call me when you close, I want to see you and talk to you about something”, Sandra said, sensing tension between the two men. “Sure, I will”, Henry added and walked away.
“What do you want from me Johnson?”, Sandra queried
“I hope you didn’t sell him the story about me wanting to rape you before our wedding and that your dad wanted to have me imprisoned”, Johnson said as he sat down.
“Isn’t that what you tried to do to me after I refused to give into your sexual desires?”, Sandra accused Johnson.. “Why have you come back here, Johnson?”, Sandra queried. “I thought we agreed that you were not going to show your face here anymore”, Sandra added.
“Yes, I agreed not to come here anymore but I just couldn’t help it anymore”, Johnson started. “I am tired of living with the fact that I am the beast when in actual sense, you who portray yourself as the victim; the weaker one is worse than the devil”, Johnson said.
“How dare you speak of me in such a manner?”, Sandra fumed.
“Isn’t that exactly what you are?”, Johnson said.
“I won’t sit here and have you spew garbage against me for no reason, Johnson”, Sandra said and got up to leave. “You will definitely be exposed come what may, and that is a promise”, Johnson called after her
“And who is going to see to that?”, Sandra queried. “You?…Very funny”, Sandra added. “You are going to live with the ‘rapist’ tag forever. “I can assure you that it won’t be long before everyone knows who you truly are Sandra”, Johnson said and drew closer to Sandra and held her by the arm.
“Let go of me!” Sandra exclaimed. “In case you have forgotten so soon, let me remind you of who I am”, Sandra started. “My name is Sandra and I will always have my way”, Sandra said. “Let me also assure you that before you even think of selling me out, you’d be out of here and this time, I am going to ensure that you disappear for good”, Sandra said. “I don’t even have to worry my head over you because no one is going to believe you because when it goes down to the wire, it’s going to be your word against mine and I need not tell you how it is going to turn out”, Sandra added and gave out a cold laughter
“You don’t know what is coming, Sandra”, Johnson said.
“Ha-ha”, Sandra laughed.
“I do know what is coming Johnson; I always do”, Sandra added.
“Despite all that has happened between us, I still love you Sandra”, Johnson said as he stood in front of Sandra. “I thought you said you could never love a snake like me after all I put you through”, Sandra rebutted. “What you made me do was strange but just so you know, I did it out of love and I did it because I wanted to save you from the implications of your action”, Johnson added. “Stop brushing it in my face”, Sandra rebutted.
“You should be worshipping me by now because I saved you from disgrace and jail”, Johnson said. “Yeah right”, Sandra rebutted. “This secret must remain with us and die with us”, Sandra said.
“Then you are going to have to do exactly what I tell you to do”, Johnson said. “Is that a threat or something?”, Sandra asked. “You can call it whatever you want”, Johnson responded and left Sandra standing alone in the cafeteria…
Sandra rushed to her father’s office after leaving the cafeteria to find out why he had agreed to take Johnson back after her ordeal with him. “Why did you accept to take Johnson back here?”, Sandra queried. “Ha-ha”, Ben laughed. “Did you expect me to consult you before recruiting staff members?”, Ben queried. “You and I know that Johnson is no ordinary staff member”, Sandra said. “His presence here makes me feel very uncomfortable and reminds me of the torture I had to go through because of him”, Sandra said. “Are you in any way asking me to fire him because you feel uncomfortable?”, Ben asked
“Maybe”, Sandra answered.
“Sandy, both of us know that Johnson is one of the bright minds we have here at Kaprisky Law firm. “Well, I beg to differ”, Sandra rebutted. “I think you should not mix work with pleasure and you both would get along just fine”, Ben insisted. “Sorry but I cannot give in to your demands of cutting Johnson off because we need him here”, Ben said.
“Fine!”, Sandra said and walked out of the office.
At 5:00 P.M that day, Johnson went in search of Henry and found him at the entrance of the law firm.
“Henry…Henry…Henry!”, Johnson called out as he drew closer to Henry. “Hi”, Henry said as Johnson approached him. “Sorry for ignoring you earlier today, I was being a complete jerk because I was jealous”, Johnson started. “Don’t worry, I would have done the same thing if I were in your shoes”, Henry said. “Do you want to say something?”, Henry queried.
“Yeah”, Johnson answered.
“What is it?”, Henry enquired.
“I need to tell you something about Sandra; something only known to Sandra and myself and it is going to change your perception of Sandra going forward…
WHAT HAS SANDRA DONE? WHAT DID SHE MAKE JOHNSON DO? WHY WOULD JOHNSON SACRIFICE THE TRUTH OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?…. FIND OUT THIS AND MORE IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF “THE SCENT OF YOUR HEART” . MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS IS RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHTS RELOADED!
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