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“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.