Chantal was weeping  over her sister’s death and she needed company. The only person she could  think off at that moment was Paul

                   Never Love a Stranger – Episode 8

On a normal day, Paul would have jumped at the an invitation without thinking twice. It was a dream that had only resided in the realms of his hope but was now being thrown his way. However having now known that Chantal wasn’t safe around him, he was quite apprehensive of making the visit. Suddenly the life of ill gotten wealth and plenty he had gotten used to seemed empty. He wished he could turn back the clock and throw everything away. 

Paul suddenly was filled with massive regret. This wasn’t what he thought of when he signed up. 

He never thought his actions were capable of putting his mother in such pain or  sacrificing innocent people’s lives. The lives of Dattar, Phoebe and other ladies he barely could recall. Now he  wanted to make amends and come clean, perhaps change his way of and manner of life. 

So much flashed through his mind at that moment. He suddenly came to the realization that he really had more wealth than he needed. He could settle down with what he had. He could clean up and make money legitimately. 

There and then Paul decided he wanted out. No more white handkerchieves, no more sleeping with random girls. He decided to make a clean break and live a clean life faithful and devoted? 

All these thoughts and conclusion ran through and settled in Paul’s  mind just after he received the call from Chantal. Suddenly he got up from where he was, brushed himself and left Sule’s apartment with the steps of a determined man on a mission. 

He truly was on a mission. He knew that to keep his determined course of action, there were a couple of things he needed to urgently do.

Paul went straight into his apartment from Sule’s house and headed straight to the secret room that  housed the black pot having picked up a piece of hard wood from somewhere within the house.

     You Are Reading: Never Love a Stranger – Episode 8

On opening the door and seeing all the white handkerchieves, Paul was filled with rage. He couldn’t reconcile within himself how prior to this moment the site of the pot and the handkerchieves had given him so much joy.

Coming close to the pot, he raised the wood and started to hit the pot. He smashed the wood severally on the pot in heavy rage. He kept on smashing the pot as if it was an animate object or like something fighting back at him. His rage seemed uncontrollable but soon, the pot was no more. He stood back panting and totally covered in sweat. 

He gathered the pieces with all the handkerchieves he could find and headed to his kitchen. There he set fire to the pieces of the pot and the handkerchieves as if to purify himself through the fire. 

Eventually he calmed down enough and got a hold of himself. He took a bathe, dressed up and drove to Chantal’s house. 

 On seeing Chantal, he noticed that she she had been crying heavily. She likely had been crying since he had dropped her off at church. Her eyes were all puffy and swollen.  She held one of Phoebe’s pictures in her arms as she weep. The picture frame was all covered with her tears. 

Paul truly felt guilty for putting Chantal through such pain and agony. He wanted to come out clean and confess. 

He felt that the only redeemable thing for him to do was to let Chantal know his side of the story and how much he was an actor in her sister’s death. He believed that one day, she would find out and it was better she heard from him than from anyone else. 

As he opened his mouth to speak, Chantal broke the silence  

“Ever since our parents died, I have been the one taking care of her. She is so innocent and dear. She took after our mother and looked like her carbon copy.  Just last month she graduated from the university with a first class degree. Her life had just began Paul. She didn’t even want to go on the errand but I insisted. And the last words she  said to me was how I was getting on her nerves, that’s the last thing she said to me. It’s all my fault. I …I ..” Chantal cried the more, she couldn’t hold back her tears. 

“It’s not your fault” Paul said. He almost blew his cover but was interrupted when Chantal asked him to come closer to her. 

Paul went and sat beside her and to his surprise Chantal rested her head on his chest with her tears dripping on his shirt.  Paul felt the warm of her skin as she laid her head on him, at that moment, all he wanted to do was comfort her and take away her pain. He reached out and wanted to pass his hand through her hair or any physical activity to let her know he cared but he stopped himself.  

“I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people” she said.  

Paul was as she spoke, he was lost in thought. If only she knew who he was, he would likely be the last person she would  think of inviting him to her house not to talk of having her head on his shoulder. 

“Do you pray, Paul” Chantal suddenly popped up that question. 

  You Are Reading: Never Love a Stranger – Episode 8

Paul was surprised at the question, it came out  unexpectedly, from nowhere.  Chantal however asked him over again. 

“Do you take time to pray to God, I do see you at church and I must say, you are very well known but I don’t see you as the praying type that’s why I am asking” Chantal asked. 

Paul was a bit startled. He and prayer had since parted company. He somehow had learnt how to block out the prayer times in church from his mind or to arrive when prayers were conclude. He knew enough to appear prayerful but apparently he hadn’t deceived Chantal. It had been a long time anyone had asked him this question.  The last person to have been on his case on prayer was his mum. However as they had drifted apart, it had become impossible to keep him in prayers. 

“Prayers? He muttered? Do I even deserve to pray to God? Paul said.  

“Why do you say that? Chantal asked him. She was eager to hear what he had to say. 

“I have done some bad things in the past, that I don’t see myself worthy enough to come before the Lord until i make amends for the sins I have committed. The lives that have been lost….” He said. 

“What, Paul did you kill someone! Chantal interrupted his rumination.  

Paul didn’t realize that he was speaking that much; he had almost said it all without  realizing . Just as Chantal made the exclamation, his  phone started to ring.  

Picking up the handset to see who the caller was, Paul’s was shocked to see that it was from his mother. His mother stopped speaking to him when he became rich overnight. He quickly picked up the call without wasting anytime only to hear her mother screaming and crying on top of her voice.   

“Paul you did it, why didn’t you take me instead? Paul why, why? She lamented over the phone. 

“Mom, what are you talking about, what is going on? Paul asked.

“Are you asking me Paul, why didn’t you take me instead, what else do I have to live for. Tell me” She said. 

“Mum what is it? What are you saying? Paul desperately asked. 

“Don’t ask me anything, may God forgive you Paul, may God forgive you and I pray your sister will also find peace in heaven.” She said. 

“Mum what are you saying, where is Rosie” Paul asked. 

“She is gone Paul, you have succeeded in taking her away from me. Now you are happy right. Your sister is now lying lifeless at the hospital ” She revealed. 

… To Be Continued.

You Have Been Reading: Never Love a Stranger – Episode 8

Click Here to read Never Love a Stranger – Episode 7

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