Dirin couldn’t forgive himself after Yoma fell into Eva’s trap. She wasn’t supposed to get hurt. It was the whole essence of protecting her, keeping her away from Eva and her brother. He felt useless again. Jaya was used before and he found out a bit late, now it was Evan’s wife. He couldn’t let it just slide by. If he didn’t take any action, it would happen itself, especially with haters around. But would she truly be protected with haters around?
He didn’t give up, he would do anything for Yoma to have and live the life she deserves. He leaned his head back on his seat. Deep down, he was scared his actions might trigger a big chunk of reactions that would drown him and harm lots of people. Eva’s gang was a big threat. He felt a headache coming, he massaged his forehead.
All of a sudden, his Venza car door was flung open. Before he could yelp at the person, he was dragged out by an exaggerating force and crashed into warm chocolate goodness. He felt something wet on his neck that was tightly wrapped by surprisingly strong arms.
“I’m fine Nuella” Dirin muttered. He recognized her scent when she hugged him. Judging by her actions, someone snitched on him. He won’t let the person off so easily. She just had a baby, what did the person have in mind, rattling him to her?
“It’s okay, I am fine” he wrapped his arms around her, bringing her closer, not allowing air pass through them.
It took some time before she calmed down and released him. She hit his chest continuously, questioning his rather stupid move.
“Ouch!” He cried out. “You’re surprisingly strong for a new mother” He chuckled, wiping her tear-streaked face
“I told you not to allow me to find another godfather with a shady hotel for your godson”
“I did no such thing”
Nuella stepped away from him. “But you will.” She spoke in a doleful voice, her face gloomy.
“What are you talking about? I am here, aren’t I? I am fine, you don’t have-”
She interrupted him. “Evan told me everything”
Dirin cursed him in his mind. Why did he have to involve her? Aren’t there enough people involved already? What will he gain? Is he trying to redeem himself?
“Allow the authorities to do their job. It’s not worth it Dirin, don’t do this, please” she pleaded.
“She shouldn’t have been hurt again, I should have protected her”
“You did Dirin. You protected her and kept her safe, she knows that and if she doesn’t pull through, it’s on her. She is probably too tired to continue but I know she won’t give up because there are a lot of us here, waiting on her. She will wake up, you should trust her” she said, her hands cupping his face.
“I can’t allow them to walk freely, they hurt her”
Nuella nodded. “I know. They hurt us too, so let the authorities do their job. We need you here” she told him. “Evan needs you” she added.
He raised a brow. “Evan? Which Evan?”
Nuella burst out laughing. “Seriously?!”
“Your friend and your godson,” she said, pulled him along, approaching Dirin’s shady hotel.
“Evan Nna is not a friend”
Nuella threw her hands in the air. “Fine. I give up”
Dirin smiled. He wrapped his arms around her, keeping her close. She reciprocated his action.
“Since I am here now, what do I do?” She questioned. She had planned on staying at Yoma’s foundation but with the chaotic situation, Dirin needs her more. She wasn’t worried about her safety as he would always keep her safe. Besides, it was over and they lost.
“What you have always done, gossip”
She playful hit his chest. “How about a makeover for your hotel?”
Dirin halted in his tracks. He tilted his head to her. “Why?”
Nuella was confused. “Why what?”
“You don’t have to change a thing about my hotel,” he said, resuming his tracks. He added before she could speak. “I told Yoma when it was over, she would choose a different path, starting from her makeover of my hotel. I promised to help her do it, to help find the right track again”
“I’m sorry” Nuella quickly apologized. “You don’t have to-”
“Jaya?” Dirin cut her off. “Wait for inside,” he said, not taking his eyes off of Jaya.
She tugged his arm. “Dirin please”
Dirin looked at her briefly before he approached Jaya. He threw a punch at him.
Jaya winced in pain, wiping his lips, in case he bled. “I deserved it”
“You have no idea” Dirin spat coldly.
“Sure you are” he sarcastically replied.
“Not for Yoma but what I did to you. Yoma is guilty in the eyes of the law, you can’t change it”
“I can defend her from the law, society and narrow-minded people like you” Dirin asserted.
“I didn’t come here to pick a fight with you”
Dirin tugged his hands in his pocket, a face locked in a scowl. “Of course, you didn’t.”
“For the sake of our friendship-”
“We can’t be friends anymore. You’re a lawyer and I am a murderer, parallel path. I defended myself to live but you won’t hesitate to throw me in prison as you had in mind when you worked for Eva”
Dirin turned around and walked towards his hotel. He didn’t care about Jaya anymore. He thought he knew his friend, turned out, he didn’t. Yoma was right about him, he was one of them.
Two years later.
“Are you okay?” Nuella asked.
Evan gave her a toothy smile. “I have been waiting for this”
“Don’t guard your walls too high for me to reach you. It has been a tough time for you and everybody-”
“Be right back” Evan interrupted when he spotted a familiar face.
Evan approached Kessina and her family. “Hi, glad you came”
“I have goosebumps,” Kessina said. “I had to bring my support system” she gestured towards her family and boyfriend Garen.
“I know right? I am so excited”
“You don’t look excited,” Her father remarked.
“People come and go in life, but the best ones remain in the story, no matter whether they stay till the end or leave after a few pages,” Evan told them, feeling so proud to be a part of Yoma’s life.
“You did that for her”
He winked and excused himself. He was about to step unto the stage set for him when Dirin pulled him aside.
“Why doesn’t your book have an ending?”
Evan rolled his eyes at him, releasing his arm from his grip. “Not every story has a happy ending, besides, the story is not over yet” a knowing smile plastered on his face.
Dirin narrowed his eyes at him. “Evan?” He growled.
“We had a deal. I give you a copy of my book, I use your rebranded hotel for my launch” Evan said, completely enjoying his reaction. It was nice having to be the one getting under his skin, being dramatic at every opportunity.
“I can cancel it” Dirin flaunted his authority.
“And tell her you canceled it because?” His cockiness irritated him.
“Evan its time,” Nuella said, handing over her son to Dirin. “Here’s your godson,” he told him with a sweet smile.
“Don’t forget both kids will walk up the stage to hand over the bouquets of flower and a small note. Where is my daughter Dirin? Didn’t you volunteer to babysit? How could you lose a child? How irresponsible” Evan taunted.
Nuella pulled Evan away before Dirin could respond, their bickering could last all day long. They climbed the stage.
“You can back out and no one will question you” Nuella reminded him for the umpteenth time.
“I just need a minute and we will begin”
She nodded and stepped down to meet Dirin.
“I feel bad for him, his wife might not be allowed to leave prison until she serves her full term. He needs all our support.”
“Is he backing out?”
“He just doesn’t want to struggle, so he’s going with the flow,” Nuella answered him.
“He didn’t have to write their story all over again, Yoma did that already and it didn’t end well”
“The stage play never saw the light of day, it doesn’t count”
Dirin shifted the child in his arms to a comfortable spot before he picked up Evan’s daughter, who was tugging his pants. “Why did I agree to this again?”
“Let me think” Nuella didn’t try to hide her amused face. “I got it” she snapped her fingers. “Evan Nna is a friend. Friends don’t abandon friends, they help out”
“He is not a friend, I came here for the book in Yoma’s name”
“The book named after Yoma would have been nicer to say,” Nuella said.
Evan stood in front of the thick curtain, his hands in his pants. He simply stared at the curtain. He finally fulfilled one of his dreams but he couldn’t say he was overly excited. He was just happy for the achievement, nothing more.
It wasn’t how he had envisioned his first book. But lots of things happened to him and around him. At a point, he stopped deciding and allow fate to take its course, it would anyway.
Soon it was time to start the event and was asked to unveil the book cover. Evan’s eyes wandered in the sea of people, searching. He found Yoma’s family, Kessina’s family, His wife’s family and Oyim. A smile played on his lips.
He gladly pulled the curtain, to reveal a stunning picture of Yoma’s side profile face smiling, with bold letters beside it.
Dirin snorted in his seat. “Eva doesn’t deserve to be in the title. She’s not even supposed to be in Yoma’s story”
“Yoma Eva is a fine title” Nuella teased.
“You heard of Eva, I witnessed her havoc. I can say what I want” Dirin scowled.
Thank you,” Nuella said.
“What you did for Eva. I know you can’t readily forgive or accept her but handing her over to the authorities took a lot from you”
Dirin hadn’t responded when she squealed, attracting attention. “OMG!”
“Look” she pointed to the door.
Dirin followed the direction of her finger from his spot beside the stage and saw her. A red polo shirt tucked in a black pencil skirt, paired with a red peep-toe heel. There was something different about her from mere looking at her.
Maybe he wasn’t supposed to see the old her or perhaps, he was expecting a completely different person. But she simply had to be present while her story was being told to the world.
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. – Norman Cousins
A heartfelt thank you for all your audience and interaction. I appreciate you all.
Adekoya Oluwatobi thank you for the beautiful picture you permitted me to use for this story.
In other news,
My ebook will be out next month, more details will be posted on the blog 😁