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On December 23rd , just three days to the day I planned travelling home for Christmas; I was in my shop going through my accounts when my phone rang, displaying an unsaved number on its screen. I quickly answered the phone-call thinking it was a business call but to my surprise the caller introduced himself as Cassandra’s father. I instantly became alert and excited, thinking he was calling to make peace with me, but the next words he said clearly left me stunned and speechless.
‘’Mr. Dave, please are you with Cassandra?’’ he asked immediately after introducing himself. I couldn’t believe my ears. I couldn’t believe he asked the question and I only answered after he repeated the question one more time.
‘’Cassandra?, no I haven’t seen her in a week’’ I stammered, wondering the reason for such unexpected question. The old man kept quiet for some seconds, probably pondering over the next words to say.
‘’you mean you are not with my daughter?” he asked once again, leaving me very curious and suspicious over the direction his questions were heading.
‘’no I’m not with your daughter but what made you think that she’s with me after all I complained to you about her?. Have you forgotten what she did to me?” I quickly asked.
‘’I haven’t forgotten my friend, but you see on that very day you came to my house, I was told that she rushed over to see you immediately after I called her to confirm your allegations and according to her friends she hasn’t called nor returned to her lodge till this moment. Knowing how you threatened to deal with her, I’m very much inclined to think that you are probably holding her against her wish in your house’’ he said pointedly, leaving me totally perplexed.
‘’whatttttt!’’ I exclaimed.
‘’please I beg of you, if that’s the case, do release my daughter. I believe we can work something out to settle what she owes you’’ he pushed on as if he was very sure that Cassandra was with me.
‘’please sir, just like I told you the previous week, your daughter derives joy in hanging out with different men. Yes she came to see me that very day. She showed up at my house very late in the evening, we argued and she ran out. I believe she is somewhere having a good time with another man. Don’t get yourself worked up, she will return home or to her school whenever she feels like doing so’’ I assured the old man seriously.
‘’very well then, do have a good day Mr. David’’ he breathed and hung up, but something in his tone made me believe he doubted me and I couldn’t just understand why he was suddenly so worried about his daughter’s safety. Nevertheless I muttered a quick prayer on Cassandra’s behalf, because I knew I could be in danger if something bad happens to her. I equally had no choice than to tell Chinedu about the strange phone call from Cassandra’s father.
‘’you shouldn’t be worried; the girl probably is staying with her doctor friend or with some other guy and switched off her phones to avoid speaking with her parents. I believe she is hiding from her parents out of shame’’ Chinedu assured me, settling my mind.
I soon forget about the strange phone call.
I travelled home on 26th December like an empty man. Yes I returned home like a man who failed to achieve anything all through the year. I failed marrying my Cassandra and yes it really dealt a devastating blow to me and my pride. I returned home to face my family who were clearly overjoyed over what happened to me even though they never openly showed it. I equally was left with no choice than to make a lot of unnecessary explanations as if they cared to know..
Nora on the other hand visited my family on 31st December to spend the last day of the year with us and as you can imagine, I hid away from her because I couldn’t face the shame of standing before her.
The New Year soon arrived with great speed and with it came new resolutions and plans. Somehow I was scared of my future. I was scared and clueless on how to start a new relationship. I really needed the love and attention of a woman but I just didn’t know to how to go about it anymore. I equally was doubtful if I could ever love again.
January 2nd 2015 , Cassandra’s father called once again, this time around threatening to arrest me for kidnapping his daughter, according to him, Cassandra was yet to return home nor contact anyone. I couldn’t believe my ears.
‘’I hope you haven’t killed my daughter?, I’m going to hunt you down where ever you hide. I can’t believe you had the mind to carry out your threats. ’’ The old man barked over the phone, leaving me with the first shock of the New Year.
To be continued.
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