Shattered Dreams Episode 14 By Nissi Adeola
Patricia knew she had lied about her real assignment and everyone would be angry, but now seemed like a good time to reveal this. She knew she hadn’t actually revealed it but at least, this was a start. Immediately the words left her mouth, she knew that she hadn’t made a mistake. If this situation would be salvaged, the truth must be out, and the truth was that Michael, or Marcel as the case may be, was not who everyone thought him to be. She had no idea as to why Marcel was doing this but one thing she knew was that she did not want anything to happen to her cousin, and even though she denied it, it would hurt her terribly to see Marcel or Michael hurt.
Patricia had successfully convinced ‘Tellers’ to transfer her to Nigeria after showing them an unnoticed case. They had been too happy with the successes she brought them in Canada that they did not want her anywhere else. Pat had travelled to Germany on a vacation and had seen Michael. She had been stunned by this but to her surprise, she had discovered that another Michael Cooker was still in Nigeria.
Never had she heard of Michael being a twin, a rather confusingly similar twin at that. Merely looking at them, she doubted if their mother would be able t tell them apart. What Patricia hadn’t known was which of them was Michael. She had pointed this out to Tellers and she had been speedily given the transfer she sought. The gay news had only been an unexpected bonus with which she penetrated Michael with.
Initially, Pat had thought that the person she saw in Canada was Michael’s twin, because they were too identical for it to be a mere resemblance. But after close investigation, she had a different idea altogether. This couldn’t be Michael. There had been a noticeable change in Michael’s behaviours for about a year now. He gentler, and even more business minded. The Michael that was known before was less relaxed, compared to this one which stood like an immoveable mountain in the hands of his captors. Michael had been very inconsiderate with his staff and with everyone around him, he had been mean, disturbing and frightening most times. He was not one who could love; this she knew because of her research and ability to discern a person’s true nature. The Michael she had spent some time with had a similar nature but he was definitely not mean, which the real Michael had in excess. He was definitely frightening in his quiet and unreadable stance but he had the tendency to be a true gentle man if he actually wanted to. He was disturbing, too disturbing, far much more than Pat cared to admit, and one thing was sure – he was not totally closed to love. Probably not as open as other men but Pat knew that he had a soft spot for Alexa.
One distinct difference was the fact that the real Michael flirts a lot, this she knew from her research but this Michael did not seem to need flirtatious skills, women were attracted to him, without him trying. This realization would definitely hurt Alexa, but it was unavoidable. How could a woman handle the fact that she had been dating someone else?
“That is a lie” Felicia roared back at Pat. “Do you think I can’t recognize my Michael? Nothing that comes out of your mouth can be believed, besides, you are a journalist, your job is to frame up lies.”
“You should know me woman, I say nothing that can’t be proved, that is who I am” Patricia said, shakily but steadily, she hated guns. “Ask him if you don’t believe me”
Marcel was no longer struggling with the men holding him, he now glared at Pat. Alexa had gone death still as she awaited Michael’s response. Life couldn’t be so bad that she would have wasted a year of her life with an imposter, could it? The policemen almost became invisible as the drama went on.
“Why do you stick your nose in other people’s business” Marcel asked Pat point blank.
“It is my job” Pat murmured.
“Just answer the damn question” Alexa yelled. “Who are you?”
Michael/Marcel did not seem ready to talk and Felicia marched forward and pulled up his shirt. She gasped. Felicia knew that the real Michael would have a large scar right beside his abdomen because she had cut him herself when they had a fight but she she saw nothing now. Not even a scratch in that area.
“What is it girl? Is he the one?” Sophia asked impatiently, holding Alexa loosely.
Felicia moved backwards slowly as she shook her head. Again, Michael had proved smarter. He had made a fool of her, a fool of all the schemes she had put in place, just to get her revenge.
“Shit” Sophia swore and Alexa wiggled out of her grasp.
“What is this?” Alexa asked painfully. “I am an object to be passed amongst brothers?”
“No Alexa, you don’t understand.” Marcel murmured, becoming more tense, the tension, showing off with the tight set of his jaw.
“Oh, I understand alright. I am off and I dare any of you to stop me” she murmured, pointing at the people around before turning back to face Michael. “As for you, I never want to set my eyes on you or your evil twin, as for the child, it never existed, just a false alarm” Alexa turned and marched off. While everyone was distracted, the policemen had walked behind them and now, they closed in on them, instructing them to drop their guns. Marcel looked frozen as he stared at Alexa. Had she told him she was pregnant just to trap him? This was just so crazy. Patricia, equally stunned when she heard of the pregnancy, tried to stop Alexa as she passed by her. “Let me take you Lex” Pat said but Alexa shrugged her hand off.
“Let go” she yelled as she walked away, even though it was already very dark.
Richard drove like the devil was behind him. Patricia had called to give him the details of what was going on. The people behind this would suffer or he was not Richard Branson. Belina was terribly worried beside him and he did not even have the words to console her. He was about to turn to the close when he sighted a rather dejected form of Alexa walking. Belina pointed at her and almost opened the door of the car on motion. Immediately he slowed beside Alexa, Belina jumped out. She hugged Alexa instantly. “Oh, Alexa” she whimpered. “What happened to you? I could have died if they hurt you”
Richard closed the door of the car and went round. “Sweetie, are you OK?” He asked.
Alexa nodded. She surprisingly had no tears on her face. Richard held out the car keys for Belina. “Take her home Bell, I need to get to the scene of the incident”
“What? You are going nowhere, I won’t let you” Belina almost yelled.
“I am going there whether you agree or not Bell, my daughter’s life was threatened and I need to see those involved”
“There are guns there Richard, you can’t go there”Belina said, pleading.
“I can and I will” Richard remained adamant. Belina’s face took a downturn and he quickly reassured her. “I would be careful sweet, I promise, besides, Patricia is there and I can’t leave her in harm’s way”
Belinda exhaled as she watched Richard walk away. Alexa had been terribly silent, locked up in a world of her own. “C’mon dear, let’s go home”
The police handcuffed Felicia, sophia and the two hefty men, leaving Patricia and Marcel behind. The men were busy leading Felicia and her crew to the police car. Marcel walked to Patricia. “I don’t know what to say to you?”
“You can start by saying thank you” Pat said.
“For doing what? Revealing what was perfectly hidden?”
“No, for saving your neck. Need a ride?”
“He doesn’t need a ride” Richard said, approaching, with a deep scowl. “He needs to face me”
“Are you Ok sweetheart?” Belina asked Alexander for the umpteenth time as she drove and Alexa nodded. “Are you sure you were not hurt?” Alexa nodded again and Belina swallowed. She hadn’t been able to draw a single word from Alexa and it was scaring Belina. She had no idea as to what had happened back there. And where was Richard? This stubborn husband of hers would not just kill her one day. She blasted the horn at one of the road drivers, her frustration getting the better of her. She thought of her children as she drove. Was it that she was not a good mother to her children or what? Even Roland, her son, was also not having it very easy in life. He was almost totally closed up to relationships because he hadn’t had it easy with girls from the onset. Everyone he loved seemed to just part from him. Now, the same thing was happening to Belina. What was happening? Belina wondered if she had offended God in any way to warrant this punishment on her children. Richard and Belina had both had had similar problems before they got married, and now, it was as if things were repeating all over again in the lives of their children.
Belina drove into the estate and soon got to the house. Alexa instantly removed the seatbelt and alighted. Belina watched her go, feeling at a loss as to what to do. She sighed heavily. “God help me”
Alexander walked into her room. She did not know what to do or feel, she just felt like a robot, doing things that just came to her head without thinking. She removed her clothes slowly immediately she entered the room and walked naked to the bathroom. She turned the tap and watched as water splashed into the bathtub. She sat down at the edge of the tub, waiting for the water to fill up as her fingers played with the rising water. She refused to think about anything as she sat there, her pale face looking ghost-like in the dimly-lit bathroom. She applied the bathing oil to the water when it reached her desired level and she entered, lying down perfectly, with her head at the headboard.
Richard went to speak with the police officer in charge, asking a few questions. He glared at the people in the car and his anger increased. “They must not get away with this, my daughter was at risk” he said in anger. “I would come to the station to see your DPO” Richard said and after a few minutes, the police car went away, leaving Richard with the person he assumed to be Michael. Patricia had left after he had made sure that she was perfectly ok. The girl was definitely a very strong woman, Richard thought.
Richard stared at Michael, feeling anger creep into him. Michael also stood poised but still very confident. “Michael” Richard began. “We had an agreement, remember?” Richard asked walking, forcing Michael to fall in step with him. “I never supported this affair you have with my daughter but you claimed you were a good thing. Alexa is blindly in love with you and there was nothing I could do about it because all I want is her happiness. Do you remember the promise you made? To never hurt my daughter and never allow harm to come her way? You have totally broken that promise, confirming my suspicion that I was right all along” Richard murmured.
Marcel swallowed. “I know nothing about what you are talking about sir” he said and Richard halted. “I am not Michael”
Richard turned to him with an unreadable face. “Do you see me with glasses? My eyes are functioning perfectly and I don’t need one”
“I don’t doubt that sir” Michael said and breathed out. “I am Marcel, Michael’s twin”
Richard smiled tightly, looking slightly confused. “Twins” he murmured and Marcel nodded. “OK, tell me something. Which one of you is in a relationship with my daughter? Think very well before you answer me and be sure it is the truth because I am very protective of my daughter”
“It is Michael sir” Marcel said carefully.
Richard became thoughtful. “Ok, where is Michael now, he needs to answer to me”
“I am afraid you can’t see him sir, he is not in the country”
“He travelled out in the midst of all these?”
“No sir, he was never here” Marcel murmured and saw the tiny flash of light in the older man’s eyes. He tensed. He had heard so much about Mr. Richard Branson and standing with him was an honor even if the circumstances were not right. Still, knowing Richard Branson as an easy person was not enough assurance that all would go well this evening. Richard was obviously a father, and no father would hear what he was about to say and take it lightly.
Richard laughed slightly as he came to a full halt. “Wait; enlighten me because it seems I am older than I thought I am. I ask again, which one of you is involved with my daughter”
Marcel swallowed heavily. “It is complicated sir. The… she started the relationship with Michael but I…” Marcel closed his mouth instantly. He was so in trouble. Richard’s eyes burned like hot flames.
“What are you trying to say?”
“I am sorry sir, I know what we did was wrong but I did not do it intentionally”
“Do what?” surely it was not what he was thinking!
Marcel took a deep breath. “Sir, actually, I met Michael in Germany over a year ago but he was very ill then. It was just like looking at myself in a mirror. I could not spot a difference between the two of us. Apparently, his dad… I mean my… dad already told him that he was a twin and that my mum had left with me when I was little. Well sir, what actually happened was that Michael was very sick when I saw him” Marcel said and swallowed. “He is still terribly sick. He… he got involved in drugs and had become an addict” Richard paled a bit. He could not believe that he had allowed his own daughter to get involved with an addict. “I could not leave him alone. He is my twin and I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. He was the only one I knew as family because my mum had died when I was very young, leaving me to fend for myself without family members. I had been able to establish my own company though and it is doing well in Germany. When Michael became very sick, he asked me to come and take over his company for him. He was dying and he was very certain that he was going to die soon so he begged me to help him right the mistakes he had made.” Marcel breathed and continued. “He said he had made so many mistakes in his life and that he would like people to think that he could also be a good person. That is the reason why he begged me to come as Michael, not as Marcel, so that he could take comfort in the fact that people saw him as a good person.”
Richard swallowed. This was really pathetic. “So you abandoned your life and business to pretend to be someone else?”
“This was the first time I was meeting someone that also shared my blood. I wanted to give him that gift, just in case he died. I would never have forgiven myself if I could not grant him one request before he died. I had my assistant take over the running of my company while I came here. It was very hard, pretending to be someone else but then, people made it easy because they never even assumed that I wasn’t Michael. The hardest challenge came when I had to be a boyfriend.” He paused.
Richard stood poised, looking at Michael. “So, if I am correct, my daughter has become an object to be passed around, right?” he growled.
For the first time, Marcel was scared of another human being. It was almost as if Richard would grab him and tear him into tiny bits. “I never wanted to” he defended. “Michael never told me he had a girlfriend, it was almost as if he had forgotten about it. I confronted him and he agreed, begging me to do something about it. I… I tried everything to make Alexa breakup with me, including ignoring her calls and refusing to call her but she still pressed on. I totally cut off sexual advances so that I won’t get tempted and tried all I could but she still stayed. I did all those things so that she would leave in order to prevent her from getting hurt from this switch but none worked. I am sorry sir”
“You should be sorry” Richard roared. “Oh my God! No wonder Alexa looked like a ghost when I saw her. I don’t care what you might have gone through, but getting my daughter into this is the last straw. I won’t take this because I would never allow any injustice to be done to my daughter. I am guessing you are not the gay right?” Michael nodded vaguely. “Right! You better get ready because you would be lucky if I don’t sue you for impersonation”
“What are you saying Lina?” Prisca yelled on the phone as she talked to Belina.
“You mean she hasn’t told you?”
“She hasn’t told me anything” Prisca shouted back, pacing. “The Patricia that returned from the states is not the same Lina, she does not confide in me, she keeps too many things locked up inside her, I don’t know what to do. I am so worried. First, she told me that she has no intention of getting married, now, she is no longer afraid of guns. I hope she is alright”
“Richard went there, I am sure she is fine. Do you think I should talk to Pat, she might open up with someone who is not her mother?”
“I don’t know, I am-” The door opened and Patricia walked in. “She just got back Lina, I would call you later”. She hung up.
“What is all these Pat?” Prisca yelled. “Wait, so you now count your parents the last set of people to know what happens with you right? You pursued killers, are you the Nigerian police? What has come over you?”
Patricia sighed. “Relax mum, at least I am fine right? I had to act fast; did you expect me to leave Alexa in danger?”
“No but you could have called. I had to hear of this from Belina. Christ, I wish your dad hadn’t travelled; only he can deal with you”
“Oh mum” Patricia went to hug her mum, holding her tight. Pat always knew how to escape her mum’s whining.
“This sweet daughter act won’t get you anywhere”
“Awww… c’mon mum, I am sorry”
Prisca smiled faintly and sighed. “Oh Pat, you are just like your dad”
“I am tired mum, I need to rest. I would tell you everything tomorrow.”
“Ok baby, you have seen enough guns for one day. I would get your dinner”
“Alexa” Belina called as she entered the room but she did not hear anything. The bed was still straight, showing that Alexander hadn’t slept in it. Belina’s head seemed bigger than it actually was, as she spun to leave the room. As she was about to leave the room she decided to check the bathroom. She opened the door slowly and she gasped, turning white. “Oh God!Alexander” she screamed.