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The Masked - Chapter 3

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THE MASKED
The Masked - Chapter 3

©Godwin Winner & Aghedo Grace


SMITH'S P.O.V
I never knew my wife was so good in racing,am finding it hard to keep track of her. How will i know which route she took. Still contemplating on the right road she went to,i saw a crowd gathering,something attracted me to them...my heart missed a beat when I came face to face with the reason behind their gathering...it was my priceless jewel,my treasure..i ran to her as i carried her hurriedly back to the hospital

BELLA'S POV
Struggling, I opened my eyes to an unfamiliar place. It took me time to realise where i was... turning to meet the gaze of the most beautiful eyes have ever seen, I discovered he was looking stressed out...With sadness in his voice he said...
"Do u know that i almost lost you?...what came over you Bella"...he blurted out. I pulled him closer to me as i crashed my lips to his,he was reluctant but i forceful made my way as we got lost in our own world..a world of so much sensation..a world where feeling him covers for words that can't be said..when we pulled away for air,i notice my sister-in-law's presence...
"when did you arrive?
"not too long..hope i didn't disturb your moment together"..she said laughing
"of course not sis..i will go settle the bill"
my husband replied shyly....

FUSTINA'S POV
Am really tired of my brother's wife...she have some nerve...she got married before me, destroyed my brothers life by wasting all his money on material things, became a control freak and turned the tables around...damn that bitch....i was the only miss Adam,the only queen, my brother was under my control but she came and bewitched him. After eating all the normal children God gave her, she finally gave birth to that thing..she's cursed from birth and is paying for her mother's sin. Instead of her to find a remedy to her daughter's problem, she is flirting with my brother at the hospital..she's so shameless and gullible...i hate her so much...i lost my chances once before but i won't back down till i destroy her even if it's the last thing i do...
"Aunt Aunt"
Oh no what is she doing here?
"Shilla...how are you sweetheart? what brings u here"
i asked, irritated by her presence.
"i stopped by to say hello"
"oh i see,have you gone to visit your friend? she must have been...."
"no ma,i don't want to see her"
She interrupted me arrogantly. I was super shocked to hear that from someone who has always been by that daughter of a bitch. But come to think of it, this girl will be my perfect companion and the best key to unlock my success
"I don't understand you"
I said so as to be sure of what am hearing..
"aunty..."
I interrupted whatever she had to say..
"i won't judge you,you must have very solid reason why you don't want to see her"
Well, all i need to do is get into that head of yours and turn you into my puppet..
"thank u so much ma, you're the only one that understand me..it means a lot to me"
Now you're trapped with me and I know with you my dreams will be achieved..
"You're welcome...am always here for you..you can count on me anytime"
She waved goodbye but I didn't forget to tip her just to tell her that am ready to give her more if she co-operates with me and I will indeed be here for you till i get what i want....puppet....

***********************
TWO MONTHS LATER
***********************

SHILLA'S POV
Mum kept on nagging me to visit Anna but am definately not going there. I can't afford being irresponsible....
"Shilla you have to visit Anna"
"i don't feel like going there"
i replied in a very irritating manner which I wouldn't do normally....
"But Shilla she's your best friend..she was always there for you when you needed a shoulder to cry on..she always protected you"
At this point she was already crying. I didn't know I was also crying until I felt something on my check..
"she treated you like her own flesh and blood...what has she done to deserve this betrayal from you. You hate her for no reason Shilla...am just so ashamed to be called your mother"
she walked out angrily..her last statement kept ringing in my ear..I can't believe she just said that to me. She didn't even bother to find out why I made this decision. Does it mean she doesn't know what I can do or Anna had completely won her over? Why does she seem to love and care for Anna more..probably because she's ill or has Anna taken her away from me???
.
BELLA'S POV
As a mother, I couldn't just sit back and watch my family suffer. At first when Fustina (my sister-in-law ) came to me to go with her to her magician's place, I objected to it. Although there are numerous people in this part of the world that doesn't believe in God but my family is among those who believe in God and His principles. My daughter has been in comma for the past few months. For those months that looked like years to me, I cried, prayed and sought the help of my pastor. But there wasn't any improvement and with the pressure my sister-in-law has been putting on me I decided to give in to her advice. A woman has to do what a woman has to do. I have been waiting here for the past few minutes without news from the magician. Why is he taking so much time to come out of his room or whatever it is called and tell me the solution to my daughter's problem so I can leave here on time . I stood up to leave and just then he arrived..
"Fustina you did the right thing by bringing her here"
He praised my sister-in-law before turning to me with a half smile. Honestly, there's something creepy about his smile but I couldn't place my hands on it. I knew he was about to say something serious because I watched his smile disappear as soon as it came.
"you'll have to stay in this house, locked up in a room.. striped naked without bathing, eating or sleeping for two straight days while I and Fustina intercede on your behalf"
When I heard that, I froze and turned slowly to meet the gaze of Fustina. She nods her head in a silent approval. I couldn't bring myself to believe this madness. Locked in a room for two days without wearing a thing??? How is my husband gonna feel when he doesn't see or hear from me in two days. I shook my head in disapproval but thought about my daughter's health before agreeing to his proposal. I mean I gat nothing to loose.
"Okay"
"Give me your phone"...he instructed. I reluctantly gave him and turned to Fustina who assured me that she'll be here with me although the process....

SMITH'S P.O.V
Two days ago, my sister encouraged my wife to go and see her so called magician. I knew my sister was into some fetish things but I didn't imagine her suggesting it to my wife. A woman that is serious about God and all that stuff. I know God but am not as serious as she is. But what surprised me the most was that my amor agreed to go with my sister. What a woman can do for love. I love this woman.
She left with Fustina and since then I have been expecting her. I have been worried sick. Not able to do anything meaningful. Amor missing and my princess in comma has almost rendered me mad...we had hoped that all this will be over when she visits the magician but see how it turned out. God has always been unfair to me. I was one of the richest men in the world when he took that away from me. I came to this rural place trying my best to get government to sign a contract to reform and upgrade this place. All my savings disappeared into thin air as if it was swallowed. With all these efforts, the only thing I can boast of is the inheritance I kept long ago for my daughter who is now battling with the curse he layed on her and my beloved wife is out there facing only God knows what. Am less stressed because she's with my sister but am also scared because my sister never liked my wife from the start. God if you truly exist please protect and save my amor.
"Daddy"
I couldn't believe my eyes. Did my daughter just call me? I quickly rushed out to call the doctor in case I was just imagining things. They came and ran series of tests on her before telling me that she's perfectly ok. My daughter is out of comma and she's alive. My princess is alive.
"Dad, where is mum"
she dropped the bomb. Telling her that her mum is missing would hurt her.. "Sweetheart,your mom is alright..we need you out this hospital bed as soon as possible okay?"
she nods in a silent yes. Just then my Amor rushed in. She looks like she just ran a hundred of mile to get here. I hugged her tightly without knowing I was hurting her until she spoke up..
"Careful babe am fine"
And she gave me the look of I'll explain later. Then she turned to our princess and hugged her while she cried. Women are too emotional....
.
.
ANNA POV
Am so glad to be back home though am still having those nightmares. They keep on hunting me but have made up my mind to fight back. Mum always told me never to back down from any challenge and if there's no solution anywhere, I should create one because a conqueror always overcome every difficulty...
Being back to school was nice and weird. Weird because am all alone in this school without a friend but I'll scale through...Shilla whom I thought was my best friend has been avoiding me like a plague. She's been rude lately. She betrayed me yet she act like the one who was offended. She stabbed me where it hurt the most i can never forgive her..once i get a chance to talk to her i will give her a piece of my mind. Speaking of the devil,I saw walk towards our sitting spot. What is she doing here?
"Hello bestie. It's been a long time"
she looked happy to see me. She is just a pretending bitch. She won't trick me like she did in my dreams.
"Anna am glad you're okay now"
she says staring at me...
"Spare me that bullshit...you can't fool me"
I say in totally disgust...
"you irritate me Shilla. Why would you betray me like this? I loved you like my own. I trusted you with my life you bitch"
I yelled at her in tears..
"Anna i never betrayed you. I always protected and loved you"
She yelled back at me. This girl have some nerve...
"you're still pretending even when you've been caught red- handed. When i needed you, where were you?"

Read Related story:EDGE OF A KNIFE (action)

I shout at the top of my voice..
"do u remember how i saved you from those slave traders..I put my life at risk to save yours even though i was still a child. I put you above my own life. I was there for you when your dad died. We were just kids but i put all my effort to make you laugh"
I cried bitterly. Betrayal was is so painful...
"Please just stop crying Ann"
she says crying but it only made me felt very bitter
"stop your hypocrisy...those crocodile tears doesn't suit you and don't call me Ann ever again. Only my best friend called me that and she's dead and buried in my heart"
i responded unleashing my anger through my words even in tears...she cried along with me but couldn't stand it anymore so i started to run away...away from my betrayer...away from every source of unhappiness. I knew she followed me and kept calling me but that did not stop me it only strengthened me to run further...until i heard that voice and i froze instantly...

SHILLA'S P.O.V
I never intended to hurt my best friend. I got carried away trying to protect her. She had always protected me more than my own mom... she chose to save my life instead of that of her brother. How could i hurt such a person..seeing her cry hurt me the most. She couldn't even listen to my explanation.. instead she ran but i kept on chasing after her.
"Anna"
i yelled with all the strength I could muster.
"i never betrayed you"
i say calmly
"and i will never betray you. I just want to be there for you" she looked confused but am not surprised cos she thinks am evil right now..
"please trust me"
i cried out even though i know i didn't sound convincing enough. I just hope she listens and understand me. She's just staring at me without saying nothing. Her silence is gonna make me insane please talk to me....
"I believe you"
she says as if she was reading my thought or seeing right through me..
"i believe you but..."
I interrupted her statement by hugging her so tight so I don't get to loose her ever again.
"Thank you Ann"
It's amazing when you see that one person you love understands and trusts you. I felt happy that she still trusted me even after everything. But she moved away from me, fold her arms as she spoke up
"I deserve an explanation and you better make it nice or else"
I laughed..its sound so good to laugh even in this messed up situation. My laugh prompted her to laugh too. I missed the sound of her laughter so much.
"come let's seat here and talk"
i said while gesturing her to a sit nearby..
"when i heard you were in comma, I decided to find out what's wrong with you cos I was scared to death"
I let out the breath that I had been holding for a while now..
"only your mom was aware of this decision. I felt it was spiritual"
She looked at me for a while before saying..
"But that did not stop you from visiting me"
I hold her hands..
"yes i know but someone was after your life and i needed to find out who it was"
Then she asked anxiously
"who might that be"
I never knew telling her this would be so difficult but I had to anyway...
"it's your aunt"
I dropped the words as fast and steady as I could. She was blank. I couldn't even read her to know how she was taking it..
"how could you even say such a thing to me??
she says
"am her niece, she would never hurt me"
Then I saw her sigh as if she was holding her breath. I had to say something soothing to save her from doing something stupid because I was yet to unfold so many things
"Please calm down"was all I found myself saying. We sat in silence for about five minutes then i finally spoke up when i found the courage to continue
"i visited her while you were at the hospital. She seems happy about your condition. she had always hated you because of your mom"

ANNA'S P.O.V
I knew shilla was right but it still hurt to know that my aunt never loved me. I know it's stupid but I still hope that my aunt would love me someday. Am just glad that shilla wasn't hurt in the process of helping me because my aunt is a very cunning lady
"promise me that you'll not abandon me again" i asked her "i promise".
Those words she said meant a lot to me. I couldn't help but to hug her.
"I never abandoned you to begin with" she said with laughter in her voice.
We were suddenly interrupted by a gun shot..
.
I heard people screaming and rushing around us. We were being shoved and Shilla gripped my hands tight so I don't let go. I try to push my way through to the classroom. I catch a glimpse of teachers and students running out of the school. My heart starts hammering in my chest. What's going on?
My brain begins to assimilate the situation. That sound is not the normal call out meeting for people to gather in my town. They were shots being fired, I mean real shots.
"I don't think those were the normal call out shots for meeting, Shilla" I tell her.
"I think we're under attack. "
She gasped in fear, unable to utter another word.
Another round of gun shot is heard followed by the screaming of people around us. Shilla grips me hard as people push pass us violently trying to rush towards safety. Honestly, I don't know where to run to because some are running to the left while some are running to the right so I just stand to think of the next thing to do. This is chaos, just like the world war. But this time I don't even know who to run from and what we have done to deserve this. This town was a peaceful one, why all this now?. Then it hit me to run to my parents to inform them if they've not heard so we can flee. So we headed for the house.
As we run home the shock of everything hit me because I see people lying on the ground, bleeding. This is very serious. Houses were on fire and people were running haphazardly.
The sight of my house from afar brought a little hope but it disappeared as quickly as it came. My house was on fire. I increased my pace and ran into the house in spite of the smoke I could clearly see. Everywhere was scattered as some items were already burnt. I left for my mum's room while Shilla checks the back of the house and nearby places for them. I kept calling out for my mum and dad. Checking from room to room if I can find them not even minding the smoke everywhere and the gunshots I hear outside.
A log of wood fell across me and was burning. I felt trapped by it because it cuts across the room. I was just trying to find a way to cross it when I heard Shilla wailing and screaming from the other side of the house. I don't know if I jumped or climbed across the burning wood but all I know is I ran as fast as my legs could carry to were I had the sound from. What I saw was not something to behold. My mum was lying on the ground bleeding, while my dad was lifeless not far from her. Someone should wake me up please. Just tell me it's one of my numerous nightmares. No one was willing to wake me so I pinched myself and when I saw it was real I screamed at the top of my voice.
"Dad, mum what happened to you??
Everything faded when I went to my dad's lifeless body. I was just lost in my own world. How did my life end when it hadn't begin. How???
Shilla was rolling on the floor, wailing and hitting her self on the ground. Seeing that there was nothing I could do because he is dead already, I rushed to my mum's side with the determination to save her life. But she was hesitating and at the same trying to pass a message to me. Her behaviour of resisting help gave me great concern so I bend down to listen to what she had to say
"Run..."
Was what she said in a whisper. Why would she tell me that. As I wondering why she told me to run, I felt the sound of gun shots close to where we were. Then my mum spoke a little
"Don't die My Princess" "Promise me you'll make it out alive "
Immediately I said yes she breathed her last. Her death was more painful because I helplessly watched her die on me...seeing my parents dead body made me feel like I was dying. i called out silently
"mum open your eyes"
"Am here...Plz don't leave me like this.."
I sob loudly shaking her "Anna we need to leave. Our people are being slaughtered mercilessly "
She says dragging me away from my parent's corpse. Now I see why I had those nightmares. It was meant to prevent my parents and the whole clan from dying but I didn't heed to it. Now I have to fight to be alive. I already promised my mom that. Hearing the sound of close gunshots we increased our pace. I didn't even know we were surrounded until a man pointed a gun towards our direction.
"Bend down"
i yelled. She was quick to move away but i wasn't lucky enough. It pierce through my stomach i gasped in pain.....
"Anna hold up to me"
"we need to get out of here alive..."
Shilla says supporting me. We ran toward the forest struggling to escape alive..dodging from bullet and explosion...the people that were once full of life were being killed or burnt alive without guilt...I was beginning to feel the massive pain in my stomach. I fell on the floor crying. Shilla quickly pulled her shirt and tied the stomach for me..
"please get up we need to run..."
I continued crying cos I was feed up with ideas of where to run..
"Anna please stand up we need to run. You can't give up now especially with the promise you made to your mum"
"No, i can't continue"
"Ann I really can't continue without you"
I heard the gunshots getting closer so I decided to make a move. Just as I was about to stand up, I heard a loud noise.. what's that?
Shilla who was supposed to be helping me up was on the floor with blood spilling all over my face.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO...THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING...NOT YOU..I CAN'T LOOSE YOU....SHILLAAAAAAAAAA"
I cried out loud. Whoever is responsible for this must pay. They must pay with their blood. I will make sure I see to it that their families dies one after the other. I was still crying when a bullet hit me on my shoulder..dodging the other one I kissed shilla goodbye and rose to my feet... i won't give up... my dream is really happening but the death of my people is a motivation to stay alive and make these people pay with their lives. With the promised I made to my mum, I continued my race even when I was losing so much blood and in great pain...
"Nooooooooooo"
i cried out in pain when a bullet pierced through my legs. This made me weak as I fell heavily to the ground. I knew they were approaching me because I heard close footsteps. One of them spoke up..
"little girl... you gave us a hard time tracking you down"
"You've got a strong will power to survive..."
"But too bad,am gonna kill you"
"please sir...don't kill me"
i begged him
"so touching but goodbye"
he smiled at me as he pulled the trigger....


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