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Story: RESTLESS-EPISODE 22(Back In Bethanna)

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RESTLESS

Restless-Episode  22(Back In Bethanna)


Story By 

Oyin Oluwatosin Emmanuel




It has gone past six months of living in Anthanna. Henry was yet to be declared medically fit by the doctor. And even though he could manage to walk carefully with his injured leg, he still felt pain in the leg and fared better when he used his walking aid.
His relationship with Sheila got strained after that night’s discussion where he had told her he could not love anyone else but his wife. Apart from the causal greetings, she avoided him like a plague in the house and only spoke to him only when it was necessary. They stopped spending the evening together and even stopped eating together at the dining table.
After the first two weeks, there seemed to be a little change and Sheila began to talk to him ocassionally but their conversation always seemed so strange and without any connection.
Henry however had his revenge plan going on, he already some steps to take in Bexford and only needed to tell Sheila about it. He didn’t plan to move fully at once. He wanted to go first to Bexford for an underground investigation and return to El Deols to recover completely before going back to Bexford for a full mission.
He however wasn’t sure of how to explain it to Sheila. He wasn’t sure she would understand his plan especially when he had earlier promised not to leave until he fully recovered. He had drawn up a calendar for his steps and the start of the calendar was approaching quickly, he needed to tell it to her anyhow, regardless of how she would accept it. He hoped she would accept it well, but what mattered to him most was getting revenge for his family, and that is by totally wiping out the invisible terrorists.
It was soon seven o’clock and Henry heard sounds of Sheila in the house. He braced himself and got out of his room. He confirmed that she was in the living room and proceeded straight there.
He ran into her at the corridor which led to the living room, she was coming out from the kitchen and holding a tray of fruit pack with three glass cups which signified the presence of visitors.
“Hey Henry!” She smiled at him lightly and briefly, not waiting for his response as she advanced towards the living room.
“Hi Sheila, how was work today?” Henry asked, following behind her.
“Work was great as usual,” Sheila replied and then took a glance back. “It’s been a long time I saw you around this part of the house at such a time like this, what’s different today?” She asked in a light tone.
Henry continued following behind her. He couldn’t give her an answer immediately because the question made him think deeply. He realized that it wasn’t Sheila who had necessarily stayed far away from him, he had also done it too unconsciously.
“Ermm… I wanted to discuss something with you,” he replied as they stepped into the living room.
He already knew what her answer would be as he saw the visitors seared there. They were Victoria and Florence, the two ladies who had been with Sheila when Henry was injured and was at the hospital.
Sheila turned to him and spoke in low tones. “Don’t you think we should discuss it later? When they’re gone?”
“Of course, I just needed you to know, that would be okay,” Henry said with a smile. “I’ll be in my room and check back later.”
“Okay,” Sheila replied and turned back.
Henry could have turned back immediately but his eyes met with Victoria’s and he noticed that the ladies had already seen him.
“Good evening ladies,” he waved his hand at them from where he stood.
“Good evening Henry,” Victoria replied audibly while the other lady only waved back and smiled.
“Please do have a nice evening together,” Henry said and turned immediately, advancing back to the corridor.
“Hey, Henry!” One of the ladies called back.
Henry turned back to hear why he was called.
“Ermm, where are you going to?” Victoria asked. “Why don’t you join us here?”
“Ermm…” Henry fumbled, not knowing what response to give.
Victoria who was staring at his face turned her gaze to Sheila who had just placed the tray of fruit juice on the centre table.
Sheila noticed Victoria’s stare and then glanced at Henry before taking her seat, she didn’t want to influence his decision but she was indifferent about him staying or not.
“I have some few things to do upstairs,” Henry lied, already tired of the eyes gazing at him curiously. “Please do excuse me.”
The ladies apart from Sheila watched him go until he was out of sight. They turned to Sheila and stared at her with curious eyes while she formed busy with the phone in her hands.
“Why are you girls staring at me like that?” Sheila was forced to ask after being uncomfortable with the stares. She raised her brows and glanced at the both of them one after the other before putting back her focus to the phone.
“Hey, Sheila, tell us what’s going on.” Priscilla asked.
“What’s going on?” Sheila raised her head to stare at Priscilla’s face. “What’s going on where?”
“I mean why didn’t he want to join us?” Priscilla questioned again.
Sheila raised her brows. “Why are you asking me? Didn’t he just mention that he had something to do upstairs?”
“But we all know that that is just an excuse for him to leave here because he doesn’t want to stay for some other reasons.” Victoria chipped in.
“Oh! I don’t know why he wouldn’t want to stay, since you know he has some other reasons, maybe you can tell us.” Victoria replied.
“Because you should know why he doesn’t want to, it doesn’t look like everything is going on well between the both of you.” Victoria added.
“Well… There’s nothing wrong with us, he doesn’t just want to stay here and I think we should respect his desire to be alone.”
Victoria chuckled and stared at her. “Is there something you don’t want to tell us babe? I noticed that you’ve stopped talking about him like you always do before the fight. Has something gone wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong with us, I already told you so.” Sheila insisted.
“Or is he mad at you for what happened?”
“No, of course not.”
“But the way you acted to each other was unusual and he was less friendlier than he was the day we first met him here.”
Priscilla just kept on listening and watching them both.
“People change Vic, he just felt like keeping to himself today.” Sheila replied. “Please can we change the subject of discussion?” She added in a serious tone.
The both friend sighed.
10PM
Henry had been expecting the knock at his door for more than one hour before it sounded. He rolled out of bed quickly and sat at the edge.
“Please come in Sheila,” he said.
Sheila stepped into his room gently and closed the door behind. She walked straight to pick his footstool and dragged it somewhere close to him for a conversation before sitting.
“So Henry,” she spoke after taking in a long drag of air. “My friends are gone now, what is it you wanted to discuss?”
“Thanks for remembering to come up Sheila,” Henry began. “It’s something very important and it’s about my future and plan to return to Bexford.”
Sheila sat silently listening to him.
For the first few days after she had opened up about her feelings to him and he rejected, she had felt so bad that she totally avoided seeing him. It was only after some more days, she was able to start putting it behind her gradually.
“I’ll like to go to Bexford on October 15th,” Henry broke the news. He paused to see her reaction but she made no visible reaction, so he continued. “I need to start some underground work and I’ll need to seek a lot of information and data.” He stopped again, expecting her to talk but she did not. “Ermm…” He tried to talk again but this time was stuttering. “I know I promised earlier that…”
“So, what are the things you need to make your trip?” Sheila interrupted him in a cool and calm voice, communicating an unsaid message that he didn’t need to explain the reason for his decisions.
Henry paused for a moment. He stared at her face and sat upright.
“You don’t need to bother about the things I need, I should be able to find my way alone.” Henry replied, still unsure.
Sheila squinted at him. “You mean you’re not going to need money to make the trip and to get some necessary provisions?”
“I can find a way to get the money and things I need,” Henry replied.
“No way I’d let you ‘find a way’, I am here to help you with what you need to carry out your work.”
“I don’t want to bother you anymore Sheila, you’ve done enough to help me already.”
“Henry, I’ve not complained of being tired but you would be offending me if you refuse my help.”
Henry heaved a sigh and shook his head. “Okay… I will only let you lend me the money.”
“Lend you?”
“Yes, I beg you to allow us leave it at that.” Henry pleaded.
Sheila opened her mouth to speak but ending up breathing out without saying anything.
“Okay, so you plan to leave on October 15th, that’s approximately two weeks from this time.”
“Yes, it is.”
Sheila smiled and stared at his face for a moment.
“It’s okay, I wish you all the best in your plans.” Sheila said as she closed her eyes brefly and took in a breath.
“It’s not a final movement yet.”
“Yes, you said you’d return.”
“Thanks,” Henry said again.
“You’re welcome,” Sheila replied and opened her eyes. A deep look into her eyes revealed that she was holding back tears. “So is that all you wanted to discuss?” she asked, getting ready to stand up.
“Ermm…” Henry frowned. He had discussed all he planned to discuss with her, but he was expecting a slightly different response from what she gave. “Well, I thought you’d be mad at me for planning to go so soon when I earlier promised not to until I’m fit.”
She smiled lightly. “I do not have any reason to be mad at you or stop you from going, I may not fully understand what it means for one to watch his loved ones being murdered but I am sure it is was horrific. If it were me, I would be restless as you are. So I understand your need to go quickly and I promise to support you in any way I can.”
Henry chuckled. He was amazed at Sheila’s kindness and understanding. He felt loved and blessed to have met someone like her. He thought of her promise to help him and he smiled at the thought, he sure would not want to get her involved deeply in his mission, she had helped him enough and had gone through so much troubles already.
“Thank you so much Sheila, I must confess you are one of the best person I’ve met in this world, I’ve never met someone with a pure heart as yours.”
Sheila smiled lightly at his compliment and then chuckled. “Thanks for saying that really,” she said and got up from the seat. “I’ll be available to help you in any way you want me to.”
Henry got up and followed as she advanced towards the door.
“Goodnight Henry,” she said as she placed her hand on the knob and turned it.
“Good…” he was about to reply when he remembered something. “Sheila,” he called back before she could close the door.
She stopped at the entrance with her hand on the front knob and stared straight into his eyes.
“Ermm… I’m sorry to bother you, but I just remembered something which you could help me with.”
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Ermm… Maybe we should talk about it tomorrow, it’s late tonight.”
“It’s just few minutes past ten o’clock,” Sheila replied, confirming from the time on her phone. “And tomorrow is Saturday, I was just about to go start a new movie.”
“Oh! If you think we should start tonight, it’s okay then.” Henry stepped out of the way for her to step back in.
“So, what is it you want me to help you with?” she only took some few steps in and turned.
He closed the door and faced her.
“Ermm…Can you sit please?” he said ushering her to sit on the bed.
She decided to sit on the footstool instead. He sat on the bed, directly facing her.
“I’ve been trying to track the invisible terrorists from here,” Henry began. “But I’m suspecting there was a foul somewhere.”
He got up briefly to pick his laptop from the table. It was the one Sheila had given him for his practicals on his private lessons. He opened it and turned it on. He carried the laptop closer to her and squatted, holding it on his palms.
“You see… I tried to log in to my account on the FOX’s server and luckily for me, it hasn’t been deactivated yet but the access is restricted, so I have not been able to find the names of the men that attacked us that night. I need those names and you can help me get them.”
“How?” Sheila squinted.
“I’ll tell you why first,” Henry said, at the same time also working on his laptop.
“Let’s sit here, so you would be comfortable,” Sheila said as she moved to sit at the edge of the bed. She had now realized why he ushered her to sit on the bed.
Henry joined her and placed the laptop on his knees.
“I want to trace those men who attacked us, if I get records of their activities before that day, I would be able to trace the people they met and possibly find other living invisible terrorists members.”
“So how do I help you do that?” Sheila asked again.
Henry did not reply immediately. He made some few clicks and few taps on the keyboard before he spoke. “Here,” he showed her something on the screen of the laptop. A questioning look appeared on her face as she looked. She stared at his face, her eyebrows gathered together.
On the laptop was running the CCTV application made for the security agencies of the country and Henry was at the access page, a page which was prohibited to non staffs.
“What are we doing with this?” she asked.
“I need to track the movement of those guys who dropped me at the Nura River,” Henry replied.
“Nura is an uncivilized village, there’s zero presence of security cameras there.” Sheila replied him. “And we never saw those men’s faces.”
“We can still find a way to trace them even there are no cameras at Nura,” Henry replied. “And I remember you once mentioned that few days after I was taken to the hospital, your tour man said some of the villagers saw the men who dropped my body.”
“Yes, truly.” Sheila answerd thoughtfully. “Osey told us they came in a blue Sienna.”
“Blue SIenna, that’s some good information.”
“To track those men, we have to find all the entraces into Nura Village from other towns.” Sheila said and took out her phone. She switched on the google map application. After two minutes of using the map, she spoke again. “There are only two entrances into Nura,” she raised her head to look at Henry who was staring at her.
“So, let’s calculate the aprroximate time it would take the men to drive from that entrance to the river.”
“Great, we can really track them.” Sheila replied, her eyes widening in excitement. “I’ll just have to subtract the length of time for driving and length of time they spent at the river from that hour we saw them that night. That would give me an approximate time they were at places they could be covered by the CCTV.”
‘Exactly, Sheila, brilliant!” Henry hailed her, amazed that she was thinking so quick like an investigator already.
“So what do you need me to do with this?” she asked, looking at the laptop screen again. She glanced at his face.
Henry bent his head low a bit and looked directly into her eyes. “I need you to hack into this so that we can have access to the past CCTV footages, I know you can do this Sheila.”
2 Days After
15:25PM
Location: Rutna, Anthanna.
Mark and his family were seated in the living room as their usual custom was. His wife was assisting the eldest child with his school assignment while the youngest one was already asleep on one of the chairs.
Mark himself was already dozing off in the three seater when a sound woke him up. He sat up quickly and his eyes met with his wife’s as they both wondered what had made the security alarm of the car go off.
Mark got up from the chair and advanced towards the front window of the house immediately. He opened the curtains slightly and peeped to see what was going on but he saw nothing and no one outside. He walked back into the living room and picked the car keys and a torchlight, even though the secuity lights outside the house provided enough brightness.
He stepped outside and walked straight to his car. He did not see anything as he approached the car. He decided to go round the car and check if there was a neighbour’s dog or other pet hiding beside it. He was just about to turn from the bootside to the other long side when a figure rose suddenly in front of him and grabbed him by the neck. He tried to scream but the grip on his neck was so tight. A white handkerchief covered his nose.
_______________________________
Location: Queen Land, Bexford Bethanna.
Henry took in a deep breath as he stepped outside the cab. He looked around the place slowly and breathed out again.

He was back where it all started, he was back in Bexford, the home city of the FOX.


To be continued

EPISODE 23

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