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The meal prepared by Marcel was surprisingly delicious, quenching the fears in Alexander’s heart that the meal might not sit well with her. The lunch was lively and Alexa was not as nervous as she initially was. It was filled with laughter, small talks, comfortable silence and clattering of utensils against plates. After the meal, Alexander was so filled up that she wondered if she would be able to walk to her car. Marcel did not have to even convince her twice to stay some more when she agreed.
As they sat on the couch in the sitting room, Marcel looked directly at Alexa. “Are you now going to tell me what is troubling you?” he asked.
Alexander frowned. “I never told you that I was troubled, besides, Michael’s drama is enough worry”.
“You don’t have to worry about Michael; I would take care of it. Something else is the problem and I can feel it in you. You were terribly tense and probably shaken. Did something happen?” Marcel asked and knew something was amiss when Alexa’s eyes darkened and cleared again. “Tell me the truth” he ordered authoritatively.
She started playing with her fingers again. “It is Uncle Tony; Pat’s dad” she blurted out. “I really shouldn’t you this”.
Marcel felt his blood run cold. He had felt the same tension with Patricia but the woman had been too locked up in helping him, forgoing her own problems. “What is wrong with him?”
Alexa stood up. “He has CHD” she blurted out.
“And what the hell is that?” Marcel asked in frustrated anguish.
“Coronary Heart Disease. It has degenerated to a terrible state which has no medical remedy” her hands shook. It had been a terrible bomb when she had heard the news the previous day. “I don’t want him to…”
Marcel reached her side and pulled her into his arms. Several thoughts went through his mind as he held Alexa. He wanted to wipe away the pain she was feeling. But even as he thought of this, he knew that Pat was going through something much more terrible. Pat Williams definitely had to be the strongest woman he had ever met. She had such heavy burden and still was concerned about other people’s predicaments. Marcel felt as guilty as hell for inflicting more burden on her, he only wish he had found out sooner. He wished there was really something he could do about the current situation. He ran his fingers through Alexander’s hair and kissed her forehead. “It would be fine”.
No matter how hard Pat tried to keep herself busy, she always found herself going deep in thoughts. Patricia had never had a cause to go knee deep into Heart Disease medical researches but she had found herself doing that more often than not. Pat had read so much about CHD during the last few days that she could easily be termed a specialist in the bizarre field. Pat had done all she could to persuade her mum into disclosing her dad’s whereabouts but Prisca would not just bulge. She argued that their dad was not away that Pat already knew because he was not ready to tell the children yet. It had been devastating, not being able to see her dad and know how he was faring but Pat had to live with that for now.
When Pat had tried unsuccessfully to concentrate on other things, she continued her research. She went on net and found something. A heart transplant! That is it! She jumped up. “Of course” she said out loud.” Why hadn’t the idea popped up sooner? And why hadn’t her dad and Mr. Richard thought of this? She wondered. Anyways, she hoped that they hadn’t thought of it because she did not want to conceive the idea that that also was a dead end.
The thought that she could do something for her dad even before she met him propelled her to her feet. She took her bag without even changing her clothes, ready to go and see her uncle – Mr. Branson at Best Results. As she walked towards the door, she heard a knock. She frowned. God knows I am not ready for any visitor now’ she said to herself, ready to tell off whoever it was at the door. Immediately she opened the door, she saw Marcel… or…. She took a closer look. Marcel had never been to her house before and Pat assumed that he would have the courtesy of calling first. Only Michael would come to her house unannounced. Looking at the way he stood also, it matched Alexa’s descriptions perfectly.
“Michael”, she murmured, showing off no emotions at all.
“I see you recognized me faster” he responded with a wolfish grin.
“What are you doing here?” she asked. “I am on my way out.”
He smiled. “I want is to have a little chat” he said
“As you can see, I don’t have time for little chats”
“Then perhaps you should make time” he slipped past her into the house. Pat hadn’t tried stopping him because a part of her wanted to know what brings the devil to her domain. Anger threatened to surface but she wisely shoved it away, knowing that emotional displays was the last thing she needed right now.
Michael went ahead to appreciate the interior décor, intentionally wasting time to get on Pat’s bad side but she pasted a practiced pleasant smile on her face. Finally, he sat down and Pat did likewise. “Now that you are done with all the blabbing, what may I do for you?” Pat asked half-sweetly.
“No refreshments?” he asked annoyingly.
Pat’s smile only spread. “I serve visitors, not pests”. Anger etched Michael’s brow but Pat’s smile did not falter for a second.
“Since you are bent on being hostile despite my efforts, I would get down to business” he began. “I noticed that you have been meddling in my affairs and it is beginning to get on my nerves. I want you off Marcel’s back” be declared. He waited for Pat’s response but received none. “You have been surfacing in matters that least concerns you and it is irritating. What is between Marcel and I is strictly a family matter, you are clearly an outsider so stay out of it” he landed again.
Patricia smiled. “Ok, let’s see… To start with, I have no idea what family matter I am involved in here. Marcel is an official assignment and the person in question has agreed to help me carry out my assignment. Whatever I do for him is just to make sure that my end is not affected.” She stated.
“You had no right to bail him out” he declared in anger.
“The law does not hold me back from bailing out whomever I so please, so legally, I have the right. As I stated before, he is helping me with my official assignment, how is he supposed to do that when he is locked up uhn? I just did the logical thing” she said and smiled. “Tell me Michael, why do you want him out of your hair uhn? I thought twins protect each other and not the other way round”
“He deserves to be locked up because he impersonated me by taking over my company and my woman. I know he would have fed you with enough lies and I don’t give a damn what you think but I would certainly make sure he pays for everything he has done. I would do everything in my power to make that happen”
“Really? Not if I can help it”
Michael stood up with an evil smile. He suddenly seemed relaxed and Pat got a fair warning even before he opened his mouth. “How would you love your family members to pay for your nosiness?” he grinned. “Your mum? You love her very much don’t you? Hmmm… what is her routine like? She goes to her massive boutique every week day and comes back home 6 o’clock except days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays when she attends midweek services at ‘The Light’. She visits your aunt mostly on Saturdays when she can spend most of her time with her best friend or step sister; whichever one you call it” he laughed. “Her routine is the simplest, I wonder how she does not get bored with life”
“What are you driving at” Patricia was trying hard to remain passive and unaffected.
He laughed and formed a sympathetic look. “Oh Pat Williams, you are smart enough to know what I am talking about. If you won’t steer clear of Marcel and I, I would make sure you regret it. I would torture you through the people you love. What of your sister uhn? I am sure she is in class right now taking lectures. What would she be having now?” he pretended to think. “Yes, it should be 401. That wicked lecturer of hers would always put his class at this time. I am sure you would not want to do anything to stop her from finally graduating as a law student next year from the very famous UNILAG.” He smiled. “Oh, your dad; your dad is free” he laughed hard. “Because even without my help, he would die anyways” Pat’s eyes sparked and beamed fire.
Michael laughed and made for the exit. “A word is enough”
Tony lifted his arm painfully as he tried to grab a glass of water. It seemed as though all his organs were beginning to fail. Pain racked through him, causing him to drop his hand without picking the cup of water. His eyes blurred and he closed his eyes tightly. He concentrated on drawing breath into his system and even though it seemed like a very simple task, he had to fully concentrate in order to be able to carry this out successfully.
His phone rang and he stared at it as he strained to check the caller but stopped when the song registered. He picked up the phone. “Prisca” he forced out.
“Tony, are you OK?” Prisca asked immediately, noticing the strained sound of his voice.
“Yes, I’m fine”
“I am coming over” Prisca’s voice shook. “I am taking you to the hospital today even if I have to drag you by the hair. You are locking up yourself so you would have an excuse when something bad happens right? Well, sorry, I am not giving you an excuse. You would have to fight to live for those who loves you” she ranted on. Tony could hear the sound of movements at the other end. “Don’t move an inch. It is an order” she ordered
Tony chuckled softly and gasped as pain took over him. “Be… Be careful”. He managed but Prisca had already hung up.
For once, Tony remained obedient because he could not even do otherwise. Prisca had tried all she could ever since she found out about his health some days back to get Tony to go home with her but he had vehemently refused. She was right, Tony was not fighting. Maybe because he had been fighting it for a long time. He had discovered this heart disease a long time ago but kept it secret. Everything he had tried had failed and not it had failed terribly. A heart transplant was the only solution that he and Richard had arrived at but due to the rare size and type of Tony’s heart, they hadn’t found any, and there was practically no hope at finding one.
Tony swallowed when he heard the sound of Prisca’s car some minutes later. She jumped into the apartment like a woman at war. “You are the most stubborn man I have ever come across, I sometimes wonder why I married you” she blabbed immediately she entered, moving towards him.
He smiled softly. “Like you had a choice. I would have kidnapped you if you refused to marry me”
“Just shut up and relax” she said, checking his temperature. Tony was definitely relaxing, he loved it when Prisca was fusing over him like this, though he wished he was healthy in order to be able to take advantage of the mellow drama. She picked the glass of water and placed it against his lips. He drank some of it and was a bit relieved. She helped him up softly and he winced slightly. “What is wrong? Did I hurt ypi? Would you sit first?” She ranted, tears coming to her eyes. Tony smiled weakly.
“I am fine honey”
She nodded, blinking several times. She moved him very slowly to her car and made him sit at the front where she could easily look at him. When he was seated, she got behind the wheels and headed towards Best Results.
Patricia replayed what had just happened in her head. Unlike before, the instinct to record had deserted her, just when she needed it the most. Michael had just gambled with her family, the one thing that she treasured the most. Everyone had a weak spot and Pat knew that her family was her weak spot; something Michael had definitely figured out. She could not put her family in danger, Pat knew that; at the same time, she could not abandon Marcel at a time like this. If Michael thought he had had Pat Williams figured out and curtailed, he should better think again. Pat not only knew how to act, she could also act under cover. Although now, she had to be terribly careful.
“All these cant stop me from going to Best Results”, she said to herself. As for Michael, he would pay for messing with my family, or my name is not Patricia Williams.
She carried her bag and surveyed the chair Michael sat on to be certain that he did not deposit something there. After checking the house, she exited the house, locking up the doors behind her. Pat entered her car and drove out. She instantly took note of the cars behind her because if her instincts were correct, Michael would have planted someone to trail her. Pat saw two black cars and one red car. She nodded and drove on. Pat drove at steady rates, turning everywhere she saw a turning, stalling her visit to Best Results. At first, two of the cars turned with her; the black and the red. After several diversions, only the black was behind her. She moved at a steady rate, making it seem as though she was not taking note of the car behind her. She smiled vaguely. How vain!
She took out her phone and called the only person who seemed as much as a schemer as she was. “Hello Felicia” she said.
“Hey journalist; is everything moving smoothly over there” Felicia responded.
Pat smiled dryly. “It would have been if Michael did not pay me a visit”
“He did?” she asked with almost no surprise at all.
“He has figured that I helped Marcel and he is seemingly furious, threatening to hurt my family if I move an inch towards his direction” she said with a smile, terribly downplaying Michael’s visit.
“Oh… I wish I could just end this guy once and for all” she breathed in anger.
Pat smiled. “I assume that he does not know that you are out of jail. He came to Nigeria when he heard that you were already in police custody, so I think he did not know that Marcel secured your release. We are going to play on that ignorance while I operate on a low key. Since I have noticed that we reason alike, we won’t have problems” Pat said.
“Aye aye captain”