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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 2

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LOST IN A SHADOW
Lost in a Shadow - Episode 2

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor


Jimoh took Paul to a movie theatre down the road after work that day. They drove past it slowly to see what movies were playing. After much moving around, they decided to go in and watch whatever movie was playing. Paul wasn't the problem; any movie was okay by him but Jimoh kept searching for the perfect one.

They entered the darkened theatre and luckily for them, the movie was just starting. Jimoh chose some seats away from everyone else and ushered Paul to have a seat. Paul rolled his eyes at him as he sat down. This was stupid! He thought.

The movie was called night wonder. It was about two friends who lived together and worked at the same company. They even dated two identical sisters. This made them mistake their girlfriends which caused lot of quarrels and problems. The movie was really hilarious and surprisingly, it lifted Paul's spirit.

Jimoh then suggested they watched another movie since it was not really dark. The movie Jimoh suggested was about a young woman in her mid thirties who lost her husband in an accident when they were barely married for five years. Three years went by and she remained a widow. This was strange to some people for they thought she would get married to someone else but the woman was bent on taking care of her two children. Instead she increased her  working hours and made sure she took perfect care of her children.

The movie touched Paul so much that he sat glued to the chair. His eyes were fixed squarely on the screen ignoring everyone beside him including Jimoh. What he so admired about the lady in the movie was her ability to get up from the ground, dust herself up and move on with life. The lady was the direct opposite of him. Moving on without Amanda was something unrealistic to his. It seemed so simple in the movie but was it really pragmatic?

After the movie, Jimoh introduced Paul to one Miss Tope; a young women in her late twenties. She was slim and dark with really long attachment that swayed to the side each time she walked. She looked like she had appeared right from a fashion magazine. Her nails were newly fixed and her lips were blazing red. She had really great curve despite her slim figure. Her voice was microphonic and her gaped teeth shone anything she smiled. Paul was extremely stunned to meet her. Jimoh introduced her as his family friend and they exchanged pleasantries. Paul then took an excuse to leave. Since he was already the mother of the house, he had to reschedule his time. He couldn't stay late in the night with the assurance that Amanda would be there taking care of Dave.

Paul woke up early the next morning because he didn't want any form of embarrassment from anyone. He took Dave to school and hurriedly left for the bank which was about fifty metres away from his house. It was painted white and was decorated with flowers of all sort. Allamanda at the right hand side and bougainvillea at the left, hibiscus and roses were also planted by the side. The surrounding wasn't really big but it was about a plot of land. Few cars were parked at the parking lot beside the security office. That day, two security guards stood by the door ushering customers into the bank. They were dressed in navy green trousers and milk coloured shirt with a beret on their heads.

Outside the bank were different shops, one was a restaurant which housed the bankers during lunch. There was a large board placed by the side of the restaurant which read: "sales girl needed." At the top of the restaurant was a huge lettering written in Gothic: Madam make dem talk. The restaurant wasn't so fancy but the foods were really delicious. If one was not early, one would have to queue for the whole place would be crowded and all chairs occupied. Funny enough, this was not the only restaurant available in the street but people trooped in making people wonder if the woman had used charm to blindfold her customers. However, the bankers were treated differently. They had a special place designated for only for them.

That afternoon, after eating their lunch at the restaurant, Paul sat, chatting with Jimoh and some other colleagues who had also gone to eat at the restaurant when he received a phone call from Dave's teacher: Mrs Emem. She informed him about one Miss Tope who came to pick Dave from school. Realization hit Paul like an arrow as he turned sharply to Jimoh who was laughing with his hand on his stomach.  Jimoh stopped laughing immediately he saw Paul glaring at him.
"What?" He asked looking genuinely confused.
"Did you ask Miss Tope to pick up my son from school?"

Jimoh shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Of course not!" He denied. Paul shook his head at him and sighed. Jimoh seeing that Pail didn't believe him moved closer to him and whispered,
"Paul, you need a companion to help you out. You can't be feeding, bathing, taking and bringing Dave back from school everyday. You're gonna die of stress, Man!"

Paul smiled for he knew his friend well enough. He knew that the meeting with Tope was for a reason.
"Well played." Paul exclaimed clapping his hands. "You introduced me to that Tope Lady so I can marry her eh?"
"No o. That's not what I said. All I said was..."
"My good friend, thanks for the concern but I don't need any woman, in fact, I can't trust any. I gave all my love to Amanda but what did she do? She threw it away; like a piece of trash. I would rather get a male help who would help me with these house chored rather than get married."
"But you can't judge all women because of just one lady."
"Look who's talking? No b u talk say u no wan marry? Why u cum de force me now?"
"Don't compare yourself to me."
"Oh! You're the only one allowed to stay unmarried while the rest suffer in marriage? Oga abeg, leave that thing. By the way, I'm really grateful for what she did. I really am but I'd appreciate if she doesn't do that again cause it's going to lead her no way. I don't want to feel like I'm using someone that's why I'm telling you now to pass my message to her." Paul concluded and Jimoh gave up the matter for he knew Paul's mind was made up.

It was funny how one person could change the way you've always thought or your ideology about a thing. Paul had given all his trust and love to Amanda but she threw them away. What made her leave me? Paul couldn't stop wondering. He racked his brain to remember if there was anything he did to trigger such treatment from Amanda but he found none. He earned pretty well in the bank, so money could not be the issue. Paul rested his head on the steering wheel and shut his eyes tightly to prevent the tears from pouring but despite the energy he used in tightening his eyes, the tears still found a way to crawl out; gently at first and then like a angry storm. Never had he cried like that.

Years back, when he was still a child, he couldn't understand why people cried for another person especially when they are not dead. He had often argued with his peers, boasting that he would never do such a thing but here he was, sobbing uncontrollably. What was this thing called love?

He had gotten home that day Amanda left him, looking for her and shouting her name. Dave was standing by his side as he screamed: Amanda! His angry eyes roved about to settle on a white envelope lying motionless on the dining table. He walked quickly to it. Why would Amanda leave him a letter? He had thought. Little did he know that that letter would change his life.
"Dear Paul,

I'm sorry that things turned out this way, you are a good man but I don't think I can continue my life with you. I never wanted to leave this way but you pushed me to it. If you had signed the divorce paper when I presented it to you, I wouldn't have to leave this way, at least we would still be friends but you left me with no other option than to leave the house for you. Forget me for I am no more your wife. Take care of my lovely son, Dave. Tell him mummy loves him always!"

Amanda.

Paul had torn the letter to shreds and thrown it into a bin. What an ignoble woman! How could she open her irritating mouth to say she loved Dave? Was this what love meant? Leaving your only son to the world? If she truly loved Dave like she claimed, she wouldn't have left, at least for Dave's sake.

Paul wiped his face angrily as he came out of his reverie. He heaved a big sigh before driving home. He wished he was stronger than this. He wished he could stop crying over spilled milk. He wished he was like the widow in the movie who was strong enough to face life.

As he had claimed, Paul employed a male help who would take care of the house chores in the house. With this, he was able to pay more attention to his work. Though, things were like they were coming back to normal, Dave kept on asking for his mother and each time such happened, a lingering ache appeared in his chest, leaving him tired and helpless.

One fateful day, Paul went shopping at a supermarket three towns away from home. He was returning from a task given to him by his boss when he stumbled at a shopping complex. He then decided to maximize his opportunity and kill two birds with a stone. While he was picking stuffs he deemed useful, he sighted a familiar figure walking hands to hands with another man. The man looked stinkingly rich as he threw whatever Amanda laid her hands on into the basket in front of them.

Paul's heart skipped a bit as he watched them move about. The guy was really handsome and quite young; younger than he was. He had fresh skin like that of a model and a lovely haircut. Jealousy, huge as a mountain crept into Paul's fragile soul as he fumed. Though it hurt, Paul couldn't deny that the guy was indeed perfect.

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