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The Masked - Chapter 24


The Masked - Chapter 24

©Godwin Winner & Aghedo Grace

I drove like a mad man.. I stepped out of my car as i took a deep breath..
"This is for you dad" i walked towards the big brown door.. You can do it.. I assured myself as i pushed the door open..
I walked straight to alter and knelt down..I don't have faith in you but here i am for the sake of my father.. I laughed slightly as the candle light goes off..
"Even the lights are mocking me.. I know the last time i came here i yelled at you...
"My mother have strong faith in you but what did you do.. You took her away from her son, and her daughter.
You're wicked.. You're ungrateful and unjustful. She worshipped you regularly.. Do you remember she escaped from the hospital and came here.. She sang praises to you even though she was in pain.. What kind of a God are you..? I don't worship you like she does.. I have no faith in you but she had one.. Why didn't you just take my life but no you proved how mighty you are by taking hers.. I hate you so much.. I'll never come back here.. Never.. And even if i did.. I'll break this building down..

Am sorry.. I was so young and hurt.. I just lost my only support.. It was immature of me.. Let bye gones be bye gones.. Please forgive me and forget i ever said such blasphemous thing to you. I light the candles at the alter...
"please just remember the good times i use to come here with mom..

"Mom please i want to light the candle.."i grumbled..
"you might burn your hand.." my mom said lighting the candles as i frown
"you know mum's right.. When we grow older like mum then we'll light all the candles everyday" Emilia explains to me "you should never frown in the church except you wanna drive the angels away with that face.. Right mummy?" she ask my mom
"you're right sweetheart.. Now kneel down let's pray together..."

I came back here not to break your house but for you forgive me and heal my father.. I don't have strong faith in you.. But i do believe that you'll not neglect the prayer of a repented sinner.. Please God answer and grant me my heart desire..

Emilia tapped me and I opened my eyes.
"What did you pray for.." she asked me..
"I asked God to accept all your prayer request.." i answered proudly and she giggled..
"Well i also prayed for you.. Mum and dad"
"why don't we take a vow before God and the Angels"
"what kind of vow..?" she asked
"promise me that you'll always be by my side no matter what become of our future..?
"I promise.. Together forever" she replied.. I drew closer to her as she looked at me in awe....
"What are you doing" she asked nervously.. "Trust me and close your eyes"she closed her eyes as I claimed her lips.

"I know it's not appropriate to think of that now but I can't help it. She promised to be by side and I kissed her for the first time here on this alter. Now where's she. She abandoned me and I need her. Right here with me.
I've always held my emotions not allowing anyone see them but she broke down my walls and now everyone can see through me.
She abandoned me but please spare my dad. I cannot stand another heart break"
just then someone so familiar said hi.

Why do i feel so restless..? There's this sharp pain in my heart.. Something is definately wrong somewhere..
"What are you thinking about ...I have been talking to you but you seem lost in thought" Bill sighs..
"Am sorry dear.. What were you saying."
"nah.. Forget about that.." he lifted me up to sit on his lap.. what is your problem dude..
"you look disturbed.. What's the matter love" Love? You must be sick...
"I don't know.. I have this strange feelings that its not well.." he was about to say something when my phone rang...
"Hello Zee" i rolled my eyes
"babe come to the hospital your da.."i hanged up..
"I need to go the hospital.." I told Bill while i grabbed my car key..
"Am driving you there... No argument... Please" i sighed and handed him the car key..
As we descended from the stairs i bumped into someone.. Someone I was pratically avoiding..
"Ann.. I.."i raised my hand to silence her "Now is not the best moment to talk.." i walked past her..
"Where are you love birds heading to?" Ardo ask startled me..
"What hell was that for.." i shouted before I inhaled a deep breath..
"We're on our way to the hospital..." Bill answered....
"brother can i tag along" Ardo asked Bill. I hissed silently. Does he have a say this?. Bill nods his head in agreement as if controlled by my thoughts...
"Can i also come with you..?" Shilla asked looking at me.. I turned to look at Bill and Ardo. Both expression were pleading to accept her request..
Now am feeling like am the villian. I unwillingly nod my head..
The drive to hospital was uncomfortably quiet. I caught a few stares from Shilla though...
We arrived at the hospital and hurried to my father's private ward..
"How's he..?" i asked Nils..
"The doctor hasn't given us any update..We should hope for good news.." Nils replied..
"Who's she?" Nils asked..
"my sister inlaw.." i replied..
"Sandra Shilla Gate.. Pleasure to meet you" she said stretching forth her hand..
"Nils Clinton Julo.. Her cousin brother.. Pleasure is all mine" Nils replied shaking hands with her..
"your name sounds familiar.. Shilla.. I've heard that name before.." says nils.. I just stare at him like am surprised but am actually not..
"Emilia called out her name when she woke up from comma.. Shilla that's the name.." Zena answered happily like she won a trophy.. Shilla looked shocked and sad.. She walk slowly towards me.. I gave her a death glare and she stopped...
"Can somebody explain what's going on here.." Nils asked pointing at me and Shilla..
Shilla was about to say something when i gave her a dont-you-dare look.. She swallowed back whatever she wanted to say and I took that as a clue to leave.
I went to take a seat next to my suppossed husband and ignored their stares.. When i say their i meant Nils, Zena and my husband.. Except Ardo.. He knows too much for his own sake..
"Emilia, what's going on in your life.. Your attitude.. It's like you're a different person.. What did you do to my sister..?" Nils asked. She's dead.. I wanted to say...
"Don't you dare say nothing because i know for a fact it's something.. So many secrets.. Won't you at least share it with me. Your Nils?.. Even if you say nothing to others.. You should say something to me.." i was about to say something the doctor came out.. Just at the right time..
"He's out of danger.. But he's in comma.." thank God he made it..
"You may see him" he said and walked away..
"This conversation is not over.." warned Nils as i nod my head. Wait..
"Where's emilio..?"i asked anxiously..
"He left in haste while i was trying to get in contact with you and Nils.." Zena answered..
"I think we've been hard on him and that might have caused him leaving like that. Please we need to find him.. I'll try to contact a few friends i know.."
We called the few friends we knew but nothing. They were all saying the same thing.
"Where could he be..?" Nils asked worriedly.. I know you think I'm evil and I also know that I no longer feel anything towards him but resentment but he's still my plan and my life.

"Where are you coming from.." i asked rudely..
"I went to the source of my problems" he answered. I put my hands on my waist. What is he saying...
"Where might that be?"saying i asked curiously..
"The church.."he replied..
"The church..?" i asked uncertain..
"Yeah.. The church"

"I know where to find him.."
"where.. I'll take you there.." Bill offered.. "Nah.. It's a long drive.. Give me the car key.." i demanded..
"I insist"
"give me the damn key.. Bill"i shouted.. He handed me the keys.. I sighed.. Now i feel bad for raising my voice at my pathetic husband..
"Am sorry for yelling at you.. I need to go alone."he nods.
The drive was indeed long .. Am begining to regret my decision but there's no turning back..
I parked my car and let out a deep breath.. This is it. I walked inside the church and noticed the bright candle light.. I halt at the sight of Emilio.. I pinched myself to be certain that i wasn't daydreaming.. I walked closer to him counting my footsteps.. I don't know if he noticed my presence cos he didn't turn around.. My heart beat increased as I walked closer to him... oh! my poor heart.. I thought he always wanted to destroy the Temple of God but he proved me wrong.. Never in my wildest dream will i believe to see my brother in church praying..Imposs
ible.. What a miracle..
"Hi.." i whispered.. He turned, stood up and rushed to embrace me as if he was expecting me to come.. He sob silently on my shoulder.. seriously? The Emilio I know is not the one to show his emotions. Anyway, I pat his back gently as i allowed him to pour out his emotions.. After he calmed down, we sat opposite each other..
"How's father.." he asked almost immediately....
"he made it but he's in comma" he nod his head and glanced around as if looking for something..
"You came alone..?" he asked and i nod.. We both fell into an uncomfortable silence.. Seeing that neither of us was willingly to speak up.. I rose to my feet..
"We should head back to the hospital.."i suggested turning to walk away.. I expected him to follow me but instead he grabbed my arm, spun me around swiftly and smatched his lip roughly against mine.. History is repeating itself again but this time the situation is more complicated. I mean, he kissed me here before when I thought I was his sister and now he's doing it again. I struggled with him for few minutes before I melted into his arms. I stood there not doing anything but allow him kiss me. But when he started caressing me I lost it. Our hands were practically everywhere. Oh how I missed this. This is how I want my husband to handle me..with love, passion and hunger for me. Shit! Husband? Husband? Husband? I gathered all the strength in me and pushed him off me.. I raised my hand to slap him but i stopped. I also contributed to it. He looked from my eyes to my hand.. I dropped my hand and it felt like my heart broke..
"Why didn't you hit me..?" he asked but sounded more like he was daring me.. "We're in the presence of God.. If not i would've smashed your nose.. That way you'll learn how to respect a married woman.." he wanted to speak but i raised up my hand to silence him..
"Shut up and follow me.. This never happened.." he nods and quietly followed me to the parking lot. He entered his car and drove off.. I got into my car and started my engine.. Why didn't i slap him..? I asked myself.. Am i still in love with him? No.. That's not possible.. Nah..
"Ahhh"i shouted and hit my hand thrice on my driving wheel.. I touched my lips as i recalled the kiss.. I smiled.. OMG.. Anna stop this nonsense. What is wrong with me? It never happened.. It never happened I said trying to convince myself..
I arrived at the hospital just as Emilio stepped out of his car.. I walked up to him and we both entered the hospital. We arrived at my father's ward and he turned to me...
"Thanks.." Gosh! A stain of lipstick. Before I could tell him he walked away..

It's been over one hour and no news from Emilia.. I should have called sniper to follow her or something.. That way i would be sure of her safety.. But no.. I wanted to respect her decision but now i regret my decision.. Maybe am just jealous.. Jealous that she's alone with Alejandro.. Her lover..
"She's taking so long.. I'll call her and find out about her whereabout" Bill suggested...
"Go ahead.." Nils said..
As he was about to call her, they walked inside..
"here they come" i exclaimed.. The first thing i notice was a cocky smile or shock on her face. Then my eyes wandered to her kissable lips. F*ck! I noticed something different. Her lipstick was smeared.. I glanced at Alejandro's lip to confirm my doubt and there it was a stain on his fucking lips.. I boiled in anger.. How dare him..?My heart boiled with anger.. Why the hell should she let him kiss her..?
"Where did you find him" Nils asked
"at the impo.." she tried to explain...
"That's none of your business.." Emilio interrupted her..
"You should be glad am here alive and not in prison or dead" Alejandro said rudely and walked away to see his father. Zena followed him while Bill excused himself to recieve his call. Perfect.
I stood close to Emilia..
"He kissed you.. Didn't he?" i asked curiously.. She stared at me in awe.. She lowered her gaze..Yes.. She kissed him.. Nah.. She can't do it.. Can she?
"Did you kiss him back?"
"No.. You should know me better Ardo." I couldn't look through her emotions to know if she's lying or not. I decided to believe her even if something told me not to.
"I believe you.. Pardon me for being jealous.." I said while I scratched my head. I looked at her to find her smiling.
"What's funny..?" i asked curiously
"Nothing.. You amaze me a lot Ardo.. You share your emotions truthfully with me.."
"I would never lie to you.." i looked into her eyes.. I wish i could really share my emotions with you. To tell you what's more important.
"I know that.. But for the first time in a long time.. I can also do that boldly" she smiled.
"Sweetheart shall we go..?" Bill said with his eyes on his phone.. Thank goodness.. Emilia bid farewell to Nils and Zena..
"Well.. when he's done make sure he eats something and if he refuses you know what to do..?" Emilia say to Nils
"I'll call you boss lady" Nils replied..
"that's a nice nickname you know...from little angel to boss lady.. I feel angel" Emilia rejoiced like a kid who got her favourite toy as a birthday gift.. My Emilia.. Mia sounds better.. She's mine. She will be mine soon enough...

It's been three weeks since i talked to Ann.. She seems pretty talented at avoiding me even when we live under the same roof. Am sure my brother is helping her.. Afterall he's her husband.. Whenever i talked to him about her he quickly divert my attention by talking about unnecessary things and when he doesn't he'll say..
'She needs time to process things'
I thought if i told Bill my past, he would have sympathy on me and help me but reverse was the case.. His sympathy was only for his beloved wife.. I had to skip dinner and eat out just for Ann's sake maybe she'll have a change of heart.. None of my effort yielded a good result.. Edwardo on the other hand do understand my pain.. He does his best to cheer me up sometimes.. He maybe a gangster, a business tycoon but he's one of the best brothers anyone would wish for...Thinking of him always lighten my mood.. Am glad to be his sister..
I grabbed my jacket with full determination to talk with Ann today or never.. I went to her room but she wasn't there.. So i decided to check downstairs..
As i step closer to the staircase, I saw Ann climbing the stairs towards my direction.. So i hide my self at the extreme end of the stairs next to a statue.. Now she won't hide from me i'll do the hiding and finding myself..
I counted her steps as i wait for the final step.. I rose with determination to come out and talk to her but the statue i was hiding next to fell down and i heard a loud scream.. I watched helplessly as she stumbled down the stairs..
"Ann" i screamed as i rushed towards her body..
"HELP" I shouted on top my voice.. I raised her head to place it on my lap.. My hand was stained with blood.. I began to shiver as i look at the floor.. Blood.. That was the last thing I saw until everything went blank..
To be continued...

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