Shattered Dreams Episode 13 By Nissi Adeola
Michael chose a nice place to sit in the hotel’s restaurant as he waited for Alexa. He had no idea as to how the day would end up but one thing that he was sure of was that he ought to come out with the truth and stop pretending. The truth would hurt everyone, especially Alexa but it was obviously better to reveal the truth now before it became too late. But when Michael thought of it, he wondered if he could reveal the truth tonight. Alexa was coming to discuss the baby, how could he then confirm the horrifying things that had been going on, crowning it up with the shattering truth of who he actually was? And the baby? What were they going to do about that piece of unexpected bonus? He wasn’t ready to be a father, not even a little bit. How was he supposed to fix himself into the role of a daddy? Michael swallowed.
Michael raised his eyes in time to see Alexa as she emerged from the entrance of the restaurant. She spotted him instantly and walked towards their table. Michael stood up and pulled back the chair facing his, when she got closer. “Hi” he murmured and she also murmured a low ‘hi’ in returned. He swallowed and seated her.
Alexa was looking so stunning in her knee-length, figure-hugging red gown. The gown alone was enough to put thoughts in the minds of any red blooded male specie. Michael longed to tell her that she was beautiful but his mouth could not form the words; besides, that did not seem to be the reason for this meeting anyways. Her soft perfume drifted to him as he straightened after seating her and he closed his mind to the quiet seduction of the scent.
Michael took a deep breath as he went back to his seat. The evening was already looking awkward and he had a feeling that ‘awkward’ would not qualify this evening by the time it was over. “What would you like to eat? I didn’t want to order till you arrive”
The thought of eating tempted Alexa because she hadn’t been doing much of eating for some days now. But… “I am not here to eat Michael, get on with the reason for this dinner so that we can both go back to our respective houses” Alexa dropped, with dead-serious face and ruler-straight back.
Michael swallowed. “Ok. What do you want us to discuss? We have too many things to discuss and I don’t know where to start”. Michael said. She originated this meeting, didn’t she?
“Well, since you are obviously confused, why did you summon me?” Alexa asked angrily.
Michael frowned, “what do you mean? You asked me to meet you here to discuss the baby” Michael murmured defensively.
Alexa laughed bitterly and for some seconds, it seemed the laughter would turn to sorrowful tears but she instantly brought herself under control. “You sent a message, asking me to meet you here and now, you are denying it? Good job. Anyways, if you have invited me here to discuss the baby, then, this meeting is meaningless because there is nothing to discuss” Alexa stood up to leave instantly.
“I wouldn’t leave if I were you”
Alexa turned back to see the woman standing some steps away. The lady walked towards them and for some seconds, everyone in the restaurant seemed to have their attention divided as they stared at the lady that entered the restaurant. She was not only tall, she was in heels which made her even taller as she walked towards Alexa and Michael. She would undoubtedly pass for a model as her entire features spoke of beauty, class and style. Michael was as stupefied as everyone as he stared at the lady. She was already standing beside Alexa now and Alexa seemed shorter than she actually was beside her.
“We meet again Michael Coker” Felicia said.
Alexa stared from Felicia to Michael’s confused face. “Who is this Michael?”
“Oh, he knows me, alright. Why don’t we sit down? We are putting on a good show here” Felicia said as she ran her glare throughout the wide restaurant. Within seconds, everyone was back to what they were doing before and Felicia pulled out a chair and sat, leaving Alexa to reluctantly lower herself back to her seat.
“Well, you are wrong. I don’t know you” Michael said, relaxing on the chair fully, as he brought on his usual domineering office self.
Felicia turned her glare to him. “You don’t know me?” she almost yelled and she laughed heartily. Just then, Alexa thought that she sensed a bit of familiarity, like she had seen someone like that before; perhaps someone who looked vaguely familiar.“Applause! I knew you would not recognize me because you would prefer that I had died”
“What is this Michael?” Alexa yelled. “Who is she?” this was beginning to irritate her. Did she not know anything about Michael at all? Everyday brought on new discoveries.
“Calm down woman, you should know me. it is just unfortunate that you got yourself involved with this bastard over here.” Felicia yelled at Alexa.
Michael’s face burned with unhindered fury now. He jerked forward instantly. “Now, listen to me woman,” he growled. “Nobody dares me, nobody. I give you five minutes to take your self out of here, if not, you would be sorry that you interrupted our evening”
“Will you shut up?” she yelled, getting up and again, everyone’s attention was diverted to their table. “What do you think Michael? That you still have an influence over me? Hell no! in case you both do not know, I invited you both here, it is a pity that you both honoured the invitation because you would be sorry you did”
“I am leaving” Alexa said, standing up and Felicia shoved her back into the seat forcefully, almost making her fall. Michael’s blood boiled and he shut up from his chair, instantly grabbing Felicia’s arm painfully. Within the twinkling of an eye, Felicia had her arm in her back pocket and produced a gun, pointing it right at Alexander. Alexander froze on her chair and the entire restaurant turned upside down as everyone started falling on top of each other, trying to get out of the restaurant. Within seconds, the restaurant was vacated by everyone, apart from the three of them.
Michael let go of Felicia slowly. She laughed bitterly. “You see a gun and you are defeated? Look at me” she ordered even though Michael’s eyes were still glued to hers. “Who am i?” she yelled. “Answer me now” she roared. “You don’t know me?” she moved closer to Alexa and put the gun directly against Alexa’s skull. Alexa shook uncontrollably as hot tears sprung to her eyes and rolled down her similarly hot cheeks. “You better recognize me before I blow her brains to the sky” Felicia roared.
“Easy now Felicia”
Felicia? The name rang a vague bell in Michael’s head as he looked over Felicia’s shoulders to see the new intruder. He frowned. “Anita? What are you doing here?” he asked in total confusion. Something was terribly wrong.
Anita smiled and went to stand beside Felicia. She stared at Alexa’s shaky form and smiled wryly before returning Michael’s gaze. “You know me as Anita but my name is not Anita, my name is Sophia”
Michael looked stoned. For how long has there been a conspiracy to destroy him? He had enemies right under his nose and he could not even smell them? He was as good as dead with all these enemies around him. Michael! What have you done? He wondered vaguely, regretting this scheme. Felicia also laughed, bringing down the gun to her side. “You see, you could have been killed if I actually wanted it. I have my people all around you and you did not even notice.” She left Alexa’s side and Alexa could finally inhale correctly for some seconds. Felicia walked round them in a circular motion as she talked. “Oh Michael, you could have been dead long ago and you won’t even know who killed you, but I wanted you to know. I wanted you to know that your downfall came from Felicia. From Felicia Adams”
Michael’s breath caught. Felicia Adams? But he was told that she was dead! Felicia saw the recognition in his face and laughed bitterly. “Oh, you recognize me now? I thought so. You expected me to be dead right?” She said, smiling.
Alexa cried on, she truly did not know Michael.
“You expected me to be dead so you sprayed my face with acid right?”
“What?”Alexander yelled in shock.
“You are kidding me right?” Michael spoke up in total shock.
Sophia bent in front of Alexa. “Shhhhhh” she whispered with a deep devilish smile. Alexa’s fingers itched to grab Anita or Sophia’s hair but the gun she saw in her hand halted her. “Thought so”
“No honey, I am not kidding. The darling wife you tried to kill five years ago is not dead, and now, she is here to destroy you. Sophia here was the person that saved me and rushed me to a hospital. You destroyed me, now I am back for you. I would start with the bastard child in your tommy” she pointed the gun at Alexa”s tommy, “move to you” she pointed the gun at Alexa’s skull the turned it to Michael. “Then, it would be your turn dearest husband”.
Now, Alexa started crying for real. She remembered the picture that had been sent to her in that restaurant. The face of the woman in the picture did not exactly look like Felicia’s, but the height and body structure was exactly the same.
“You don’t recognized me Michael, do you know why? Because, i spent so much money on surgery after you poured acid on me.” Pain registered on Felicia’s face. “I spent months, pain filled months on an hospital bed” For some seconds there was silence. “Move” Felicia commanded, snapping out of her misery.
“Your problem is with Michael Coker, let Alexa go” Michael said gently.
“I am not the Felicia that you used to know; I don’t take orders. Now move” she roared.
Patricia drove faster than she had ever driven before. She had known that something was fishy in that boardroom and she had vowed to find out. Michael was in terrible danger but she never imagined that it was this type of danger. Patricia had traced one of the shareholders to his house in order to interrogate him. He had then revealed what she had suspected – that they had been persuaded by someone to vote against Michael. When she had heard this, she had thought that John Coker was the one behind this but no! It was someone else entirely. Felicia
She had collected the address and name of the hotel – Elites Hotel – that was used when Felicia invited them. Knowing that she would not be given audience if she went alone, Patricia had taken a police officer with her. On arriving the hotel, the officer demanded to see the records of the particular date given by Mr Roberts. After searching, they did not find Felicia but they found a name on the register – Stella – which coincided with the time that the shareholder had given Patricia. Patricia had taken the phone number and dialed. After few words, Patricia got what she wanted. She confirmed her suspicion. Stella worked for Felicia and it took just a few formulated to get Felicia’s address. Patricia left the hotel for Felicia’s house. They parked some distance away from the house but as they were about to leave the car, they had seen a car drive out of Felicia’s compound. They sat still as the car passed them and Patricia saw Anita in the car with another woman, who Patricia presumed to be Felicia.
Pat had sensed something awkward about Michael’s assistant, little did she know that Anita was actually conniving with the author of confusion. Without wasting time, Patricia had followed the car, purely under instinct. The policeman in the car saw this as unnecessary but Patricia had learnt to follow her instincts.
Her instincts have proved right again! Patricia thought now as she drove with the policeman still beside her. They hadn’t been able to follow Felicia perfectly. Some cars had blocked them and to crown it up, the traffic light had stopped them, right after Felicia’s car had passed. It had been very difficult to locate Felicia’s car but, as they drove, the policeman had spotted them as they came out of the hotel and entered the car, holding Michael and Alexander at gunpoint.
Patricia’s blood boiled now as she drove carelessly, pursuing the car in front of them. “Blast it” she cursed as a car got between them. She swerved to the other side and overtook the vehicle.
The policeman gripped the door tightly. “You should have let me drive, you are a woman and can never drive as good as a man”
Pat hissed. “As far as I am concerned, I can’t see a man here”. The policeman looked at her in anger but wisely got rid of the feeling and gripped the door as Felicia swerved again. It was now obvious now that Felicia and her friend were aware that they were being followed because they were also on top speed.
“I thought you called for back-up some minutes ago; I can’t hear any siren. Nigerian police!” She groaned. “Nothing must happen to my cousin, if not, I would sue your sorry asses.”
Felicia’s car turned and Patricia swerved also and discovered that it was a close. Felicia sped forward and parked speedily, forcing Patricia to hit the brakes forcefully. Dust filled the air and for some seconds, they could not see anything. The policeman came down from the car, using the door as a shield as he pointed the gun through the open window. Patricia looked forward and saw two guys holding Michael at gunpoint, while Anita held Alexa. She hadn’t seen the two guys earlier. They were probably inside the car. The tinted glass had hindered her from seeing anything inside. Felicia alighted slowly from the car and stood.
“Hey journalist” Felicia shouted. “Are you too scared to leave your car? This is not Canada, this is Nigeria”
Patricia swallowed. Never would she allow anyone intimidate her. She opened the door and alighted slowly. She heard the siren of police and exhaled. Maybe Nigerian police were not so bad. Police cars rushed to the scene and packed. The policemen emerged with guns.
“Don’t move” Felicia yelled, now at alert. “These men await my command, if you move any closer, Michael Coker here and Alexander Branson would be blown out of life”
Michael struggled with the two hefty men but they overpowered him. Patricia swallowed. “Woman, i don’t know you but if Michael Coker is the person you seek, you don’t have him.” Patricia yelled. “The person you are holding is not Michael Coker. He is Marcel, Michael’s twin brother”