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“What are you saying Lina?” Prisca flew up. “I know my husband very well and he is hale and hearty”
“Calm down Pric”
“How can you tell me to calm down?” Prisca yelled. “You tell me that my husband is sick and you expect me to calm down?”
Belina exhaled. “Ok, fine, I won’t tell you again” Belina crossed over to her seat and sat down. The tense atmosphere stiffened and started to subside until Prisca finally sat down.
“Ok, tell me. Since he is sick, we should be able to fly him abroad for treatment if Richard can’t handle it right? He can’t be that sick, I still saw him less than a month ago and he was fine” she said in a hurry. “I am sure you are just exaggerating.”
Belina exhaled. “Richard told me this yesterday Pric. Tony’s sickness has…” she took a deep breath. “It has no cure”
Prisca blanched and tears started flowing down her cheeks. “He has AIDS?”
Belina shook her head. “He has CHD” she declared. “Congenital Heart Disease”
“Oh no!” Prisca cried and Belina rushed towards her
Patricia sat down in Marcel’s apartment after she had given the large sitting room a onceover look. “I guess this is your apartment and not Michael’s right?” She asked, trying to put herself under control. Being in this apartment with only Marc was proving more terrifying by the minute and the demeaning thing was that Marc did not seem to notice.
“Is it your detective instinct at work here or you already know and you are merely confirming your suspicions?” Marcel asked as he went towards the bar.
Pat smiled softly. “Just a mere observation. This place is too warm and welcoming for a man as mean and evil as your twin has proved to be” Pat said and instantly got Michael’s undivided attention. “You couldn’t have built this within the span of one year, right?”
Marcel noticed the diversion but said nothing. “It is rented” he murmured as he left the bar with a fruit wine and two wine glasses.
“You must have great taste and also a desire for freedom” Pat noted.
“I don’t want people getting in my way, I have advanced from living in the orphanage, to living anywhere I can find. I worked my hands sore in order to get some money to start up a small selling business. I had attended primary school to a certain extent at the orphanage so I enrolled in a government secondary school. It was not easy but I pioneered myself to the position I am now, with the continuous help of God because my story surprises me, so yes; I love freedom. My company is large in Germany and I have gotten used to a luxurious life, never forgetting my years of struggle though.”
Patricia was fascinated because she never imagined that someone who went through all those struggles would end up this way. He must have gone through quite an ordeal and Pat could not even begin to imagine the level of difficulty that Marcel would have had to go through in order to sustain himself on his own. “It must have been tough to leave your life in Germany behind just because you want to help Michael” Pat commented as she picked up her glass of wine for a sip.
“It was a very tough decision but I had to do it. It was so tough when I had no relatives growing up. Some people accommodated me along the way out of pity when I was young but it was mainly for their personal benefits and I was used in a very horrible way. Seeing someone who shares the same blood with me made me desire to do something for him” Marcel said.
Pat smiled softly. “It would have been better if he felt the same way”
“Are you going to tell me what you found out about Michael or are you going to keep throwing in parables?” Marcel asked, definitely anxious even though he had been showing off his usual indifferent façade.
Pat’s face turned serious immediately. It was obvious that she won’t know more about Marcel until he had heard the news she brought. “Michael is in Nigeria already” Marc’s face registered his surprise immediately. “I guess you didn’t know that”
“We spoke two days ago and he never mentioned a thing like that. I didn’t know he was strong enough to travel” Marc said thoughtfully but he had so many questions on his head.
“Oh, I think he is strong enough for anything Marc. He definitely won’t tell you that he would be arriving Nigeria because he is a snake. I am really sorry to say this Marc, you have walked directly into a trap” she got Marcel’s full attention now. She removed her laptop from her bag and removed it from standby. “the spy I planted in Germany planted a recorder in Michael’s apartment. It was through the recorder that I got the information that you were actually Marcel and not Michael. Before he came to Nigeria, this is the last recording we were able to get.” Patricia pressed ‘Play’ and voices filled the air.
Marcel identified his voice and noted that that was the last conversation he had with Michael, when he was telling him that he could not continue the charade of lies. Marcel remembered the conversation very well because it was short and he had distinctively heard how that Michael’s voice sounded very healthy. “This was our last conversation less than 48hours ago but even though I talked about him coming over to Nigeria, he never said he would and I didn’t ask him, in fact, I just decided that I would go over to Germany on my own in order to face my business”.
Pat nodded. Marc definitely did not look like someone to seek approval from someone before carrying out his plans. “I don’t doubt that but I also don’t think that Michael is ready to let you go just like that” she commented and forwarded the recording to a place where there was a conversation. Michael had obviously gone out and arrived with someone. ‘Why are you going back now’ the other voice said. ‘My stay here is over and my mission is accomplished. There is no reason for me to continue my stay here.’ Michael’s voice responded. ‘But I am going to miss you, how am I going to cope without you? I am already in love with you’ the other man said. Marc took in a sharp breathe. Michael hadn’t told him much about himself and it had been a surprise to Marc when he found out after few months that Michael was gay. Michael said he was already stopping the act and Marc let the matter slide. Marc glanced at Pat then back at the laptop. The recording continued. ‘I know Denis and I love you too but I need to get my brother out of the way. It would only be a temporary distance, probably a few weeks and when I am sure that my brother is out of the way and my inheritance is very secure, I would come for you. We would be together, I assure you’
“I don’t understand this nonsense” Marcel boomed. “The inheritance has already been willed to Michael so why does he think that I pose a threat to his legally owned properties?”
“Maybe because he does not really own the properties. The only way to find out is to get the lawyer that read the will; your dad’s lawyer” Pat said, stopping the recording because the larger part of the recording was filled with sounds and grunts of sex. It was irritating just thinking that two men were involved in such an act.
“I am not interested in a will or some inherited property, I am doing just great on my own, why does he think that he needs to get me out of the way?”
“I don’t know Marc”
“I knew it.” Marc stood up as he started a slow pace; not giving on the aura that he was terribly shaken by the news. “I shouldn’t have trusted someone I knew before, despite the blood relation but I did not trust my instincts. I should learn that from you” he murmured. There was silence for some seconds. “So, if I am thinking correctly, I am forced to assume that our meeting was not a coincidence but an arrangement”
“That is my thought precisely” Pat responded softly.
Marcel shook his head remembering the words of Mr. Richard Branson. He had mentioned this possibility. Marc wondered now if Michael was really sick.
“I have one fear now” Pat spoke and Marc turned towards her. “If Michael has arrived Nigeria since yesterday and has not contacted you yet, do you think he is carrying out plans against you?”
Marcel sat in his office, or rather in Michael’s office and went about signing some documents. This was the last day he planned to spend in the company because he would be leaving for Germany the next day. The last thing he had imagined was that Michael would pay evil for good. What threat did he pose to Michael? Marc wondered. As much as Marc wanted to get answers, he was forced to think of his safety first. Patricia had pointed out vividly that if he was able to pour acid on Felicia for doing little or nothing wrong, he could do worse to Marc. Marcel was not one to run away from his battles and he had wanted to watch Michael do his worst but Patricia had been terribly insistent and did not leave until Marcel had called an airline to book a flight to Germany.
Marcel dropped his pen and started thinking about what it would be like if he did not go back to Germany now. It won’t be worse than the battles that he had faced in the past. After thinking for some minutes, Marc decided that he would flunk his trip and wait for Michael. He was not ready to be a coward. The intercom rang and Marc placed it against his ear. “Yes?” he murmured.
“Someone is here to see you sir, she does not have an appointment but she insisted on seeing you?” Marc’s secretary said.
“What is her name?” Marcel asked.
“Miss Felicia sir”
Marcel dropped his pen. “Let her in?”
After a few seconds, the door to the office opened and Felicia entered, looking beautiful and elegant, despite her days in the police’s custody. “Hello” she said.
Marcel busied himself with arranging the files on the table and vaguely waved at a seat. Felicia sat down and waited while Marc arranged. When he was done, he relaxed fully on the chair with his back pressing lazily into the backrest of the chair. “What may I do for you?” Marc asked.
“For someone who was close to death in my arms, you surely are too calm” Felicia commented.
Marcel smiled drily. “I am not the easiest person to kill, if it were so, I would be dead long before now”
She nodded. “But why did you ask for our release? You had every right to charge us for attempted murder”
Marc linked his fingers together. “Michael moved you to do what you did. He offended you and you felt it right to take revenge, the only thing you failed to see is the fact that revenge cannot erase what has already been done. That is what I wanted to show you when I asked for your release. Forgiveness is key. I know it is hard to forgive someone who cost you a lot but it is better to forgive.” He paused. “I did what I did because you did not deserve to be in jail. It is true that you did so many things but I chose to forgive you, besides, I can’t imagine the pain you had to go through with Michael. All I ask is that you don’t harm Alexa”
“I promise not to hurt her. But why are you here? I never knew Michael was a twin, where is Michael?” she was confused.
Marcel explained everything that happened, how he met a sick Michael and the request that Michael made to take his place in Nigeria and help him make amends because of his fear that he would die soon.
Felicia smiled and shook her head sadly. “If the Michael I know said all that and made this request, I can bet with my life that he is planning something. Michael is the most evil person on the planet. I was naïve enough to marry him at a very tender age. He showed me to his family but he never had sex with me. When I forced him out of frustration, the only thing he could give was anal sex. I discovered several pictures of him in his belongings which I made Sophia or Anita post on your Facebook wall. When I realized years back that Michael was gay, I confronted him with it and he threatened to kill me if I opened my mouth. I was stubborn and promised to tell the world, thinking that he was bluffing. He went out and came back in the evening with acid. He sprayed it on me and it affected some parts of my body especially my face” she paused and dragged in a quick breath. “Sophia saved me that day and carried me to the hospital. I would have died, if not for her.” She breathed. “The rest is history”
She looked at Marc. “I suffered a lot and trust me, I know how wicked Michael is, he does not have a soft heart. He can’t want people’s forgiveness even if he is dying so trust me, you are just a victim of his schemes.”
“I am just realizing that now” Marc confided, thinking it better to let Felicia know. He might get some information from her since she obviously knew Michael’s schemes. “I discovered that he has actually arrived Nigeria since yesterday. I was not expecting that because I thought he was very sick” he told her of his last call to Michael and of the recording.
“Felicia thought for some minutes. “I won’t be surprised if he knew all this while that I was alive. I am very sure he was never sick and if he is in Nigeria without your knowledge, you should be expecting a surprise from him”
Felicia left Marcel’s office some minutes later and entered the elevator that would take her to the ground floor. She dialed Sophia’s number as the elevator descended. Sophia picked up and Felicia heard her ‘hello’
“Hello Sophia” Felicia said. “Are you at home?”
“Yes babe” Sophia said.
“Ok babe, I am coming over. There is a new development”