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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 10

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LOST IN A SHADOW
Lost in a Shadow - Episode 10

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor



Dave and Stella's relationship  continued to blossom. Many people watched to see if their relationship would lead to marriage or if it will end up crashing. Though their relationship had lasted for three years and some months, some people still doubted it. Countless of people had dated for five years and above yet their relationship crumbles. Did that mean they noticed too late that they weren't right for each other or had they grown out of love for each other?

 But Dave's relationship with Stella had waxed strong. They had quarrelled countless of times and had not spoken to each other for a day or so. One of the quarrels had been about Dave forgetting Stella's birthday only to remember in two days time. Stella had been so furious. She had expected Dave to send her a birthday text first thing that morning and later come knocking on her door with flowers but Dave had forgotten; not deliberately but he had still forgotten. He had an upcoming test which he had to prepare for. Reading and moving in and out of the library occupied his mind that he forgot about her birthday. He tried apologizing to her but Stella had refused to listen to him. Dave couldn't understand why girls took their birthdays so seriously. To him, it was an ordinary date. If it had been his birthday that had been forgotten, he wouldn't have minded. How many times had he forgotten his own birthday, he couldn't count. Most of the time, it had been Stella who had reminded him about it. She would call so early in the morning screaming 'happy birthday!'

Though fights like this happened often, it couldn't be denied that they cared about each other deeply.
★ ★ ★

Few weeks after the incident with Tobiah, Stella called Dave to find out if he was free.
"Let's go out."
Dave noticed her enthusiasm. "Where would we be going to?" He asked.
"There's this Chinese restaurant I found down the road. Let's try something out."
"Great! I'm free." He told her and she squealed. She then gave him the address of the restaurant.
"I'll be waiting." She added.

Dave who had not gone to a Chinese restaurant before, had mixed feelings about the date. The feeling of excitement and uncertainty. The thought of being with Stella brought excitement while going to a Chinese restaurant brought about uncertainty. What would he eat there? He could remember watching a Chinese movie years back and the man had eaten a fly with his chopsticks. Would there be flies also in his food? He didn't even known how to use chop sticks.

After dressing up, Dave set out on his journey only to be stopped on the way by Tobiah's roommate. She was sweating profusely like she had been running.
"Hello! How can I help you?" She didn't respond instead she was gasping for air. After she had gotten herself, she looked at Dave and sighed.
"When last did you speak with your father? I heard he was involved in a ghastly accident and had been rushed to the hospital."
"I don't know you so how would you know about my father?" Dave panicked.
"Are you seriously asking me how I knew? I'm telling you that your father is battling with his life and you're still here? Your friend sent me to you."

Dave stood transfixed. His father? Involved in an accident? How? Without thinking, he ran out to the school's park and boarded a cab out of school. The road outside was crowdy and the bus driver yelled intermittently. Dave kept calling his father but Paul wasn't answering. This made Dave panick even more. How could this happen? Why did this happen? Questions of all sort rang inside Dave's head. Just like the devil was holding a meeting with his council of elders, there was a traffic jam.
"Oh God!" Dave was too upset to pray.

Eventually, he got home but it was already too late. No one was at home and this increased his anxiety. He realized too late that he had forgotten to ask the lady for the hospital address. He didn't even have her number. What was he to do now? His hands were trembling as he stood in front of the gate.

Just then, a call came in. It was Paul.
"Dave! I missed your calls. What happened?"
"Are you okay dad?"

Paul laughed. "Are you worried about your old man? I'm fine Dave. What were you thinking?"

Dave heaved a sigh of relief. "Where are you dad?"
"I'm on my way home."
"I'm waiting for you." It was already late and so Dave couldn't return to school that day. He fell on the sofa, trying to steady his breathing. He was so tired. As he sat, he remembered the date he had with Stella. Shit! He had forgotten. He quickly called Stella to explain why he couldn't come.
"But you should have called to at least inform me. Don't you think I deserve to know if something like that, God forbids, happens?" Her voice was cold and blunt.
"I know and I'm sorry." Dave apologized.
"It's alright. We can go some other time." She closed the chapter.

Paul came in looking at Dave with a bemused grin.
"What are you doing here? Did you miss me so badly?"
"Don't flatter yourself." Dave teased and Paul laughed.

Dave then narrated all that happened to him; how he was deceived by a lady he barely knew.
"I feel so stupid." Dave blurted and Paul laughed.
"Maybe she was playing pranks on you."
"How could she tease someone she barely know? Like, that is even an expensive joke. It almost gave me hypertension plus I missed my date with Stella. I pray  I see that girl again, let me give her the warning of her life. Besides, why weren't you picking up?"
"I left it with the cashier. My boss called me to discuss something important and I didn't want any disturbances." Paul stood up and slapped Dave lightly on the shoulder.
"You must be tired and hungry. Dad has been living a bachelor's life and hardly cooks. Let's go out and get something to eat." Paul smiled wistfully and Dave nodded.

Dave returned back to school the next day. He prayed silently that he met the lady that deceived him. He was so angry and had lots of questions to ask her. Why would she play such an expensive joke on him; a total stranger?

Though, he felt stupid to have believed a total stranger, but when it came to issues concerning his father, he was very sensitive.

Unfortunately, he didn't see her. Angrily, he left for his room.

Few days later, he was invited for another date with Stella. This time around she wanted to see a movie. It was one of the popular movies and Dave hadn't seen it. Dave hadn't watched any good movies. She had once mentioned some couple of movies and Dave had been completely blank about it.

Tobiah walked up to Dave as he was leaving his hostel. She informed him about an impromptu test a lecturer was giving that afternoon.
"But it wasn't announced on the group chat besides it's our free day."
"It was announced in mine. Maybe your class rep forgot."
"How could he forget?"

Dave went back to his faculty and into the class Tobiah had mentioned to him only to find few students who were not in his class talking and eating. He sighed disappointedly. As he turned to leave, he was stopped by Chike, one of his friends. He hadn't seen him when he entered the class.
"Wey u de go fast fast like this? On lecture free day again."
"Wo! Mr man, I have an important date."
"With Stella?"
"Who else?"
"Omo, I envy this love o. Na real love in Tokyo." Chike laughed and Dave stormed out.

Dave decided to call Stella and tell her that he was on his way only to discover that he had forgotten his phone in his room. He rushed back to the hostel to get it. There were several calls from Stella. On reaching the movie theatre, he called Stella only to hear that she had gone. He tried to give excuses for his absence but Stella shut him up by telling him some other time. "Let's just have lunch later."

Why had Tobiah lied to him? Dave couldn't understand. Stella on the other hand was very mad at him.  She had waited patiently for him and had called his cell phone severally only for him not to pick up. She never liked it when Dave missed their dates. She wasn't even sure about the lunch. Would he come or would he bring forth another excuse?

On that particular day of the lunch, Dave didn't show up because of his project defence. But Dave sent a message to Stella.

Fed up, Stella wiped away the makeup she had painstakingly done on her face. "Screw you Dave!"
★ ★ ★

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