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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 12


Lost in a Shadow - Episode 12

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor

She was seriously tired of complaining about the same thing every time. Dave wasn't changing instead he got worst.

She sat by the window and allowed the hot breeze caress her face.  She stared out of window, looking at the hustle and bustle of Port Harcourt. She remembered how Dave had been so angry when she arrived late for the meeting with his father. Paul had invited her over just to meet her and she had been extremely glad and worried at the same time. She didn't want to leave any bad impression instead she wanted him to like her. She had heard about Paul's past experience and how Amanda had left him. For a man whose wife left him for another man, pleasing him would be so difficult. Though, Dave had tried to calm her down by ensuring her that his dad was caring and not judgemental, she had still been very nervous.

She had selected her best clothes and had left the house as early as possible so as to meet up on time but it had been so difficult to locate Dave's house. She had been directed and redirected severally. She had wanted to call Dave but had deemed it foolish to disturb him after he had taken his time to describe the place to her. However, she had been distracted while he was directing. She had been thinking of how she would present herself and so had not heard a single word of what Dave had said.

She finally found the house after being directed by a good Samaritan. Dave had shot her daggers looks as he opened the door.
"You're late!" He had spat in her face.

She had felt so bad that she wanted to run back to her house for she felt more nervous than she had felt earlier. Paul had been sitting with his arms crossed and his forehead folded, staring at her quietly. Just staring at him killed her morale. She had been at the verge of tears as she greeted him. There was a slight resemblance between father and son. They had same skin colour and body structure but Paul had nothing compared to Dave's pointed nose and long lashes. Neither did he have Dave's full lips and square jaw.
"Stella, right?" Paul had asked and she had nodded, feeling too weak to talk.
"Dave told me a lot about you. I'm glad I finally met you." She had smiled nervously at that. "I'm sorry I'm late sir. I..."
"It's okay. The most important thing is that you're around now." Paul smiled at her.

There  had been various assorted foods on the table and she had wondered who had prepared them all. Paul's gaze had been fixed squarely at her and she knew he had been monitoring her.
"Feel free Stella." He had pronounced.

He had then asked about her parents and siblings. He had wanted to know about her family and she had told him everything he needed to know. The last question he had asked had taken her by surprise for she hadn't expected it.
"Dave must have told you about his mother."
"Yes sir. I still can't understand why she did what she did."
"No one will. Only her. By the way, I want to ask you a question. Can I?"
"Go on sir."
"Dave is my only son and I want the best for him. This is a very serious question and I want you to answer truthfully. Do you love Dave?"

Paul had looked so eager to hear her response and she had responded positively for she loved Dave more than anything. Paul had smiled broadly at her answer and had informed her that if she really loved Dave, he was sure she would never hurt him. Though, Dave was sitting next to her, they talked about him like he was there.
"I hope you won't change your mind about loving him in the future." He had said.

They had further discussed about some economical issues and Paul had called her a deep thinker; a compliment she would never forget.

She had always imagined the future with Dave. She had fantasized about how lovely their kids would be but all had been trampled upon. No more Dave. No more dreams. She missed him. Yes, she did so terribly but she was never going to be in a relationship where she would be the only one doing the pushing.
★ ★ ★

Paul drove into the compound and Dave got out and packed his loads from the boot. As he opened the door, there was a shout: WELCOME DAVE!

Startled he looked around, only to see familiar and unfamiliar faces, cheering and clapping. He looked back at his father who was smiling very broadly. The sitting room was decorated and his name was pasted at various angles. Some group of men walked up to him and took his luggage from him.
"Sit down Dave. It's your welcome back party." Paul informed.

Dave smiled broadly as he saw Thomas, the house help walking towards him with his new family. Dave hugged him fiercely and exchanged pleasantries with his wife. Chike and some of his course mates were around also and Dave wondered how they knew.

Paul walked to the center of the crowd and quietness enveloped the whole building.
"Thank you so much for honoring this invitation. Without you all, this party would never be a success." He paused and people began to cheer and applaud. When the noise had died down, Paul continued.
"As you all can see, my son Dave had made me so proud today. I've waited patiently for this moment for I've been thinking about what to do to appreciate my only son; my companion. So, yesterday, I got an idea and here it is. There would be no perfect time to present this to you."

Dave watched as Paul moved to one of his colleagues at the bank, collecting the parcel from him and presenting it to him.
"I present this little token to my son, Dave Uchechi Okafor as an appreciation for being my hope and companion."

As Dave received it, the guests clapped and cheered. A key was lying motionlessly in the parcel and Dave looked at his father, obviously shocked.
"That's the key to your new car. It's outside waiting for you."

Dave highly stunned walked up to his father and hugged him. "Thank you dad. Thank you so much."

They all went outside to see the car. It was one of the latest cars and was sprayed black with tinted glasses. Dave was fascinated. The guests cheered and some came forward to congratulate him.

Dave fell to a chair in the sitting room. He watched as people talked and laughed and as Thomas held his little daughter in his hands. It was so good to see him again after so many years. Dave wished Stella was here with him. He wished she was there to celebrate with him. Thinking about her made him feel so bad. She had left him with an aching heart and he yearned so much for her touch. He felt so stupid and alone.

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