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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 11


Lost in a Shadow - Episode 11

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor

It was only but some weeks for school to wrap up second semester. Various activities were going on in school for the final year students. It was final year week for the students of Accounting and there was a little party to be thrown after the 'Ankara day show off.' Dave had called Stella that week to discuss about happenings in his faculty but Stella had refused to pick up the phone. She had even gone further to switch her phone off.

Stella had refused to see Dave throughout the remaining weeks left to be spent in school. She had refused to come out of her hostel when he came visiting.
★ ★ ★

Dave packed his huge belongings into a box. It was the last day in school and all students were to vacate the hostel. His luggage were so many and Dave wondered how he would have carried them home if his father was not bringing his car. His thoughts switched to Stella, it would be very stressful for her to transport herself and her loads. He thought of inviting her to join him so as to minimize the stress of using a public transport, but  then, Stella had refused to speak to him for the past weeks. After some minute, Dave decided to meet her. He called her immediately he got to her hostel and as usual she didn't respond. He tried again and same thing happened. Sighing, he called one of her roommates to ask if she was in the room.
"Yes she is."
"Tell her to meet me outside please."

He waited for some minute and to his surprise Stella came out. He hadn't expected her to come out due to the way she had been behaving lately. He wondered why she was behaving strangely. Was it because of all the dates he had missed?
"Why have you been acting differently? Why haven't you been picking my calls?"
"Do you want an explanation?"
"Yes I do."
"Okay, I didn't pick up because you were disturbing me just as you are doing now." She blurted out.
"What has come over you Stella? How can you say that to me?"
"Nothing has come over me Dave instead something has come off me. I can now see brightly now. It is obvious you don't have time for me and all my life, I've never wanted to be with someone who didn't have time for me. I don't want to be secondary."
"Who told you you're secondary? It's about the dates right? I'm sorry Stella. It was a coincidence, can't you see?"
"I can't see anything. It's always you're sorry,  you're sorry and I'm tired.  I'm sick of hearing that. Don't force yourself  or feel obligated to me. It's obvious I'm the last thing on your mind. In a nutshell, I'm a disturbances. Say it Dave.  Be honest to yourself and say it."
"How can you tell me to say something that isn't true? You know it's not like that. It's just that I ..." But she held her hands up to signal him to stop talking.
"I'm tired of your excuses. Dave, let's just go our separate ways, okay? Don't call me again."
"You know I can't do that. I can't live without you."
"Of course you can. You just met me three and a half years ago. You've been living without me for over fifteen years."
"That was before I met you."
"Just go Dave." She began to walk back into her hostel but Dave held her back.
"How would you carry your loads back home? My dad is coming so let's at least go together."
"I came to this school alone right? I can go alone." With that she left for her room. Dave stared after her with his mouth slightly opened. What the hell?

As Dave slowly walked back to his hostel with his shoulder drooped, Tobiah grabbed his hands and Dave looked up, completely startled.
"Should I say you're sad because you're going to miss this school or what?" She asked him.
"Well..." Dave mumbled, then becoming serious, he remembered that Tobiah was part of his predicament. He had not seen her since the day she lied to him.
"Why did you lie to me about an impromptu test when there was none?"
Tobiah looked sideways before apologizing. "I didn't know it was lecture free day. I'm sorry."
"But I told you it was."
"Yea, but it was announced on my group chat. I never knew it was a false message."

Dave waved his hands as a signal to tell her it was in the past. As they walked, Tobiah asked if he brought a car or was going to trek home. Dave stopped abruptly, looking at her with an amused grin. He asked if it was ever possible for a human to trek that long distance. He then held her cheeks with both hands and pulled lightly. She shrieked, making him laugh more. She gently pushed him by the chest making him lose his grip on her cheeks.

"You make me laugh anytime I see you." Dave said, gasping for breath. Tobiah who had been smiling suddenly looked shy.
"I don't want to make you laugh only. I want you to see me as a woman."
Dave was taken aback as she said that. He hadn't expected something like that. "What do you mean?" He asked quietly.

Blowing dust from her hands, she replied. "I don't know if you're pretending not to know or you really don't know, but I'll tell you anyways. I love you Dave. I've always loved you."
"You don't know what you're talking about." Dave replied.
"I do know what I'm talking about." She blurted out. "I'm a woman just like Stella. I also deserve to be loved. You also deserve something better; someone better. You can't continue to drool over her."
"What did you say?"
"I know Stella broke up with you."
"Dave stared with open mouth and twitched jaws. His eyes were flaming. "How did you know?"
"News flies Dave. I'm sorry I brought that up, I was just..."
"Like you said, I don't know if you really don't know or you're pretending not to know but I'll say it clearly and plain. I don't love you. I'm sorry but I don't. Besides, my girlfriend just broke up with me and my head is spinning right now. I'm really not in the mood for this so if this is a joke, please stop it." Dave said in a cool and deep voice.
"I'm not joking, Dave! And I understand how you feel. You..."
"You know nothing about how I feel." Dave interrupted and walked away.

Nelson, his roommate was sitting on his bed, zipping up a bag when he walked in.
"Dude, it's our last day. Why are you walking like a man whose wife just died."

Dave chuckled a bit and sighed. "Let's say I'm sad to leave lovely people like you."
Smiling, Nelson offered, "We should hang out sometime."

Dave shrugged as he made way to his already packed luggage. Few minutes later, he received a call from Paul to bring all his loads outside. He hugged Nelson, and made way with his luggage, out of the hostel. Paul was standing with his hands folded.
"Where's Stella? I don't see her anywhere close." Paul looked around.
"She has gone. She left earlier." Dave lied and Paul nodded.

As they drove, Dave leaned into the headrest and closed his eyes. There had been a small party the day before in his room. It was organised by his roommates. They had arranged the room and gotten enough drinks for the party.  They had each invited their girlfriends but Stella refused to show up. He had earlier told her about it and she agreed to come but she didn't. He had called her countless of times but she refused to pick up. He had felt really bad and angry. Now he knew. This was how Stella had felt when he missed any of their dates. He had always missed their appointment for a reason or the other. He had always kept her waiting. There had been a time when he brought a suggestion for them to see a movie. He had made the rule that whosoever got there on time purchased the ticket. Stella had gotten there earlier, of course and had then purchased two tickets. Nonchalant him, had fallen asleep while trying to whirl away time so he could come late. Sometimes, the things one felt was too little or didn't matter were actually the things that destroyed. If he could turn back the hands of time, he would make everything right. But it was too late. Stella had left him.

Tobiah on the other, boarded a cab with Lola. Though her plans had worked, she wasn't happy. She had succeeded in tracking Stella's phone through Lola and had monitored the calls she made. However, it was of no use. She still didn't get what she wanted. Dave had proven to her that he loved Stella and her alone. Coming to think of it, she had been awful towards Stella. She had only brought pains to Stella. Jealousy was sure a bad feeling and it destroyed the good heart of people. It was a worm that ate the heart of people. She would live with the guilt of wronging two lovers.

Stella had also packed her things and had left with some friends out of school. She was still fuming due to the quarrel she had with Dave. Though it hurt her so much to do what she did, she felt it was for the better. She was tired.

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