The Enemy Within Episode 12
I was stunned. I wanted to be angry at the way she perceived me. I thought I meant more than just that to her and her father even before I got married to her sister. I held back from cutting short her confession; I was interested in every bit of what she had to say so I allowed her to continue. ‘I remember the day I finally finished my last WAEC paper and I knew I had to go away, I will secretly go to the back of the house and cry myself silly, I knew I was going to miss the hell out of you, all the attention you use to give to me, secretly admiring me every time I pass by, I wanted all that to continue but I just had to go. When I got back together with my parents, I wouldn’t stop talking about how brilliant you are, how you helped me overcome my fear of Mathematics and all that, I told them so much about you that they had fallen in love with you even before they met you. All along, I still couldn’t bring myself to tell them exactly how I felt about you, I felt I was too young and my father wouldn’t have none of it, so when I invited you to our house, I wanted them to see how good we could be together, I didn’t bring you to meet my sister, I wanted it to be a trip for you and I. I guess you misjudged it and thought I was setting you up for my Andral. You can imagine the heartbreak I felt when I got to know that you guys were getting married. I cried for weeks, drank myself to stupor and eventually came to terms with it. I didn’t love Jide, I only agreed to date him because I felt it will please you, though it turns out to be your saving grace and when I found out that Andral was going to kill you, I felt responsible for the whole thing, if I hadn’t brought you into the family you probably wouldn’t have met her’. I didn’t utter a single word all through Abigail’s expressions. When she was done she stood up from the bed walk towards me and snatched the bottle of vodka in my hand, threw herself back to the bed and emptied the content.
I just laughed at her naughtiness. I left my previous position by the window and sat beside her on the bed and said ‘damn! Those your secondary school boys back then can really get on my nerve! They will walk majestically to our house in the night asking me “Brother Ben please is Abigail at home?” the way I use to shout at them makes me wonder if they ever say anything to you’ ‘they do’ she replied ‘some of them will be like “warn that Benjamin oo, or else we will waylay him one day and beat the hell out of him” we laughed so hard we were almost falling over each other on the bed. I tried to snatch the bottle of Vodka from her to see if I can salvage anything from it but she wouldn’t give it back, we started struggling for it, one thing led to the other and we started kissing with so much passion and hunger, before you know we were butt Unclad and…………………………..
THE ENEMY WITHIN EPISODE 12
I was lying in my bed on a Saturday morning when a call came in. it was an international number but I don’t have it on my phone book.
‘hello….hello Daddy!’ it was a distressed voice, it sounded like Isabella and before I could mutter anything out, she said ‘Daddy it’s me Isabella!’. I
jumped off the bed like I just had an electric shock. I hadn’t heard from her and her mother for the past two years, since Andral and Nnamdi
relocated to the United States of America after my father in-law disowned her. ‘Isabella how are you? Ar..ar..are you okay?’ I was stammering,
confused and agitated, not knowing how to react to the child I once shared a close bond with. ‘Daddy I’m fine’ she replied ‘I have missed you
some much Dad please come and take me away from here’ she was sobbing and I was thrown into more confusion. She had made several efforts
to call me in the past but I think the mother eventually got the best of her, probably threatening her. Since then we could no longer reach each
other. ‘Isabella are you ok, why are you crying?’ ‘I’m at the Police station dad’ ‘Police what?!’ I barked. ‘Where are your mother and Nnamdi?’
‘They have been arrested dad, they were caught with drugs and guns in the car……..’ as she was about to give me further information about the
whole incidence, an adult male, probably a white guy(based on his phonetics and accent) took the phone from her and continued ‘hello, am I
speaking with Mr. Benjamin Onwubulu?’ ‘yes you are’ I replied, ‘ are you acquainted with Isabella Onwubulu and Caleb Onwubulu?’ hearing this
strange man call out those names shocked me to my bone marrows. All the while I thought Andral and her new husband would have since
changed those children’s names to suit their new biological father. I was wrong. Without hesitation I responded ‘yes, they are my children’ ‘Ok
good, we understand that you live in far away Africa sir?’ no sir you are wrong I don’t live in Africa, I live in Nigeria which is a country in Africa’ I
fired. I was tired of Americans and Europeans alike marginalizing Africa as if we all live in one small place and even speaks the same language. ’Oh
ok, thanks for clearing that up sir but I have to say that your attention is needed here in the USA as soon as possible otherwise these children
will be taken to foster homes for better parenting’ he was sounding like he was enjoying this and I was getting really irritated at his audacity.
‘Listen to me and listen good, if anything happens to those children before I arrive the US I will find you and I will do bad things to you, do you
hear me?! I shout so loud and angrily that Abigail had to rush out of the bathroom without wrapping a towel around her waist. ‘Ben what the
problem’ she inquired, I simply held out my index finger as if telling her to pause her reaction. I needed to hear the response of the man from the
other end. ‘sir, sir, I’m sorry if you found this offensive but in case you are not aware, the supposed parents of these children have been arrested
for some serious crime that may fetch them some jail time and it is in the best interest of these kids that we sought to get them to a place as
comfortable as possible, this necessitated why we agreed for her to call someone she knows well, so like I said earlier, we will be needing your
attention here as soon as possible…….’ all along I was just nodding and saying ‘ok’ where necessary, the man continued ‘…..and sir, I understand
you have been to the US before sir, I replied yes and he asked ‘do you still have a valid Visa sir?’ ‘Yes I do, I am on a 5years Visa which won’t be
expiring any time soon’ ‘all good then sir, can I confirm your arrival date sir in order for us to put every paper works in place? By now I was pacing
up and down my bedroom, mentally going through my previous schedule, I really couldn’t see anything holding me back from traveling so I just
replied the man ‘I’ll be in the US by Tuesday’ alright sir, we will be awaiting your arrival, but until then, Mrs. Andral Onwubulu will be placed on
house arrest to allow her look after the children’. I couldn’t care less as to what happens to Andral or even her husband, so for me that last piece
of information was like a waste of saliva ‘whatever man, please pass the phone to my daughter’ I felt like I needed to assure her that I was
coming so she could be at ease ‘hello daddy’ her voice sounding just a little bit relieved ‘Isabella I will be with you by Tuesday ok? Until then look
after your brother very well and stay out of trouble’ I was getting emotional and Abigail couldn’t wait for me to fill her in so I just said my byes
and hung up.
‘What’s the issue? What is going on in the US?’ Abigail finally let out her inquisition. I narrated the whole story to her and I was surprised at her reaction. She wanted us to book a flight almost immediately and head for the airport ‘I knew those two were bad for each other, they absolutely lack self control whenever they are around each other, drinking excessively, doing drugs, bar fighting, and a whole lot of irresponsible behaviors, that is why our dad couldn’t bear to live with the thought of the two of them together’ Abigail was venting, she doesn’t seem to be taking the news lightly. I on the other hand was just happy I could get to be with those children again.
Prior to the call, I had tried to put my life back together. I moved back to my house, yes! The one I used to live with my now defunct family. Andral didn’t want any fight anymore, so she just called me up herself telling me she is relinquishing the house to me. Not that she could have won the fight though, I bought the house myself and in my own name, just that she knew I may never come back to ask for the keys mainly for the sake of the kids I once called mine. As a matter of fact, the house my father in law bought for me in Gbagada is still uninhabited so why fight?
I had also resigned from my job at my father in law’s firm. I still somehow blame him for this whole hiatus and I couldn’t bear working with or for him anymore. I started a Human Resource Center of my own which within 2 years had grown into a multi-million naira outfit with the help of a few friends, Abigail and the contacts I had while working for my father in-law.
Abigail had taken over the firm I left and every other firm owned by her father, the man could no longer run those firms due to the partial stroke he has been battling with since he disowned Andral.
My relationship with Abigail has been kept on the low so far, we couldn’t bring ourselves to tell anyone. At least not my father in-law who we fear may just die from the news, or his wife who has had to battle with the sorrow of losing a daughter due to the stubbornness of her husband and still had to take care of a dying husband, she has too much on her plate and we couldn’t afford to add another to it. I, on my part, am scared to my bones just imagining how my mother would react. In fact she had warned me to stay far away from this family; she was part of the reasons I had to resign my position at the firm. Telling her about me and Abigail is the last thing I want to do right now.
Other than the secrecy of our relationship, life generally has been good, I make more money than I was making before, I finally get to be with the girl who has loved me right from her teenage years, I get to travel round the world, meet new people and establishing more business grounds. Life has really been good! Only the likes of Mr. Patrick and Jide could not say the same thing about life. After their case dragged on for almost a year in court, the judge finally gave his verdict: 25years imprisonment each for both of them for fraud and other crimes related to what they did. I doubt if they could echo my sentiment about life, I seriously doubt it.
By mid night Tuesday we (I and Abigail) were already at the JFK airport, New York City and by Tuesday morning we were already at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 3675 E Harmon Avenue. By Thursday, I was granted the full custody of both Isabella and Caleb and without wasting much time I flew them back to Nigeria just 3days later.
This recent twist of event reassured me that the only way to live is the way of God. I’m not trying to sound like a preacher. There are events that may cause one to ask questions about life, make you wonder why mankind was created. You ask yourself: what is the purpose of life? Why are we here? And sometimes, you ask: is there really a God who cares about man? If yes; why does he allows so much injustice, violence, immorality and hatred?. This story is one of those.
I was on the edge. If anything else had gone wrong in my life, I could have lost it; my sanity, religion and believe. I could have lost them all. I guess God knows my strength and limit, he didn’t allow my trials go beyond what I can bear.
Looking at those kids, I promised myself, I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe, I will never let them out of my sight and like Abigail told me on the day I signed those custody papers, I may not be their biological father, but I am their real father, the one ordained by God himself.
I, Abigail and the kids settled in seamlessly. You need to see the joy on Isabella’s face when she got home; she made me swear to her that I will not let Nnamdi and her mother take them away ever again. I did. We had so much fun together, we became so happy together that nothing could have made us all sad as long as we are together, not even the news that both Andral and Nnamdi were eventually given some years behind bars. Nnamdi was given 5years for illegal possession of firearms, and 3years for possession of illegal drugs. Both sentences were to run simultaneously while Andral got just a year for being an accomplice after Nnamdi claimed that both illegal items found on them belonged to him. It was said though that Andral did try to help Nnamdi escape arrest.
When the news got to us, I looked at Isabella’s face, she couldn’t have cared less, and you will think the news was about the price of male boxers short. She just continued sipping her juice while swinging from front to back on the swing we have in the garden at the back. She had told me earlier about the severe molestation she received from her new father and her mother’s i-don’t-care attitude towards it. She even told me how Caleb was left with her alone at home for nights on several occasions. I felt for the girl.
See how the tables have turned. Who would have thought from the onset that I am actually the victim when I was presumed by family members and friends to be the real Enemy Within and who would have guessed that my wife lived with me for over five years based on the hope that someday soon I will be no more and she would have been the murderer and the poor widow?
It’s true what they say: one ENEMY WITHIN your house is worse than a hundred enemies outside.
The Enemy Within Episode 12
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