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Captive Heart: Hearts In Peril (Episode 3)

Posted by on September 8, 2016.

Captive

The phone in Helen’s hand felt heavy. This was terrible news. If Mr Thomas was returning to Nigeria next week, she had to find a way to keep him safe from his cousin. And she had no cards up her sleeve. This wasn’t looking good at all.

“Miss Bassey? Helen? Can you hear me?” her boss’ voice interrupted her panicked thoughts.

Helen shook herself out of her shock, “Yes. Yes, I’m here sir. The connection got a little bad.”

There was a pause and she almost imagined she could hear the frown in Mr Thomas’ voice when he asked, “Are you sure everything is okay? If there’s something wrong, you can tell me.”

For a moment, she toyed with the thought of telling him everything; about the danger he could be walking into, and about her suspicion of his cousin, Bernard.

It would be so easy to just let someone else shoulder the responsibility, but… she had no proof. Suddenly, doubts filled her mind. What if she was wrong? What if she had misheard? She couldn’t afford to risk her job or safety over mere suspicion. This was Nigeria; people had gotten arrested for lesser offences.

Mr Thomas coughed in her ear, and she realized she had been quiet for too long.

“Um… sir, everything’s fine, really.” She replied, injecting a cheery tone into her voice. “The news of your imminent return took me by surprise, that’s all. I will begin to prepare the house and staff for your arrival.”

He chuckled, “Why am I not surprised? I should have known you were already setting that brilliant mind of yours to doing what you do best- planning and organizing. I like that. I didn’t employ you just because of your pretty face. I employed you because I admired your single-minded determination and your intelligence, Miss Bassey. Thank you for living up to expectation.”

Helen found herself blushing at the unexpected accolades. She hadn’t missed the implied compliment about her prettiness, either. Her face felt hot and she scolded herself as she felt her stomach flutter.

“Thank you, sir.” She stammered out, shaking her head at how high-pitched and nervous her voice sounded. Why was she reacting like a teenager?

He chuckled again and the warm sound fanned heat across her face. “Don’t mention it, Miss Bassey. Just keep doing your job right and I will definitely acknowledge it. By the way, is Bernard around?”

All the good feelings in Helen’s stomach tumbled away immediately, “Yes sir, he is.”

“Alright then. Please, do inform him of my plans. I tried to call him and left him a message to that effect, but just to be safe, please inform him directly.”

Safe? Helen scoffed in her mind. Telling Bernard would make things anything but safe, but she couldn’t ignore a direct order. “It’s not a problem, sir. I will inform him as soon as I can.”
From that point on, till the phone conversation with Mr Thomas ended, her mind was filled with thoughts of her next move. When she finally left her office, she had decided on what to do.

She would delay telling Bernard as long as possible, so he wouldn’t have time to solidify his plans to kidnap her boss. Other than that, she really had no plans.

She was pleased with her decision until about an hour later, when she was standing in the courtyard of the mansion with Garba, the employee in charge of taking care of all the flowers, shrubbery and general cleanliness of the house’s immediate environs.

“The walls on this side have to be freshly painted; so please draw up a budget and sent it to me for approval.” She ordered, as they squinted up into the afternoon sun, checking for areas on the house that needed retouching.

“Make I call that fool man to come clean the fool?” the older man asked in Pidgin English. Helen swallowed a laugh; Garba’s northern accent was always a source of amusement. She knew ‘fool’ was actually supposed to be ‘pool’.
“Yes, Garba.” She replied with a smile, “That is good thinking. We need the swimming pool freshly cleaned by next week, for Mr Thomas’ use-”

“Oh? Do we now?” A voice interrupted her.

She turned to see Bernard walking towards them, a sweating bottle of wine clutched in his hand. He raised the bottle and took a long swig, letting some of the wine run down his chin and into the matted hair on his chest. He was wearing just a pair of shorts and his stomach wobbled as he trudged towards them.

“And when were you planning to let me know that my cousin was coming in next week, Mrs Bassey?” he asked when he reached where Helen and Garba stood. “Hmm? Or was it a secret?”

Helen swore beneath her breath. So much for her plan to delay Bernard’s knowledge of Mr Thomas’ return. “Of course not, Mr Bernard. I was planning to return to the house and inform you, after my talk with Mr Garba. And it’s MISS Bassey.”

Mr Bernard raised the half empty bottle in her direction, gave a nasty smile, and then walked past them. “Sure thing, Mrs Bassey. Consider me informed.”

Helen watched him walk away, then closed her eyes in frustration.

Now, Bernard knew Mr Thomas was coming into the country next week.

Could things get any worse?

To Be Continue

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2 Responses

  1. Love this story

    by Anonymous on Sep 24, 2016 at 2:57 pm

  2. me too

    by Tina on Jan 4, 2017 at 11:38 am

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