Story: Emily

    Episode 1

    He walked inside the house with a worried on his face. He was immaculately dressed in a dark suit and tie, the white of his shirt enhancing his attractive tan. Dropping his keys onto a a table, he took off his jacket and tossed it over the back of a chair. She watched him as he loosened his tie and unbuttoned the top of his shirt.
    "Bad day at work?"
    He nodded taking a seat.
    "I guess that's a Yes. Dinner will be ready in just a minute," she said heading to the kitchen.
    "Emily!" he called out
    She stopped walking and turned to face him.
    "We need to talk."
    The tone of his voice was warm and soft. She walked and sat beside him.
    "What is it Andrew?" she asked worriedly holding his hand.
    He didn't know how she was going to react after telling her the bad news . Already things were hard. It had been two months since they last paid the rent. The landlord had been on their neck. She had threatened so many times to kick them out or sell their property if they don't pay on time. The kids had not paid their school fees and worst part they had been chased out of school. Well he didn't know about that yet since she had planned to tell him after dinner. He inhaled deeply. He had to tell her what was going on.
    "I quit my job," he finally spoke.
    "What!" she exclaimed raising her brows. "Wh wh wh...," she stammered.
    She shook her head, a look of disappointment crossing her face as she stood up. What the hell was this man saying to her? He bit down hard on the sudden urge to go to her and tell her everything was going to be alright. But he couldn't. Things were bad enough and soon will sell his car and move out to a one roomed house with the kids. She stood tall for a few seconds, her gaze fixed to his, then she left and headed to her room. He didn't have the strength to call out her name. He didn't bother following her and opted to sleep on the couch. He tried sleeping, kept tossing and turning on the sofa and counting sheep but he didn't seem to get any shut eye.
    It was morning when Chloe poured drop of water on his face. He woke up with a start.
    "Hey, princess."
    "Daddy!" she said sitting on his lap. "I waited up for you in my room last night. You didn't show up to read me one of my favourite stories. Beauty and the Beast. Why were you sleeping on the couch? Did you fight with mummy?"
    "Lady! What's with the 21 questions?"
    "I was just asking daddy."
    "Morning, dad!" he greeted.
    "Morning, Calvin!"
    She looked at him and rolled her eyes. A useless man, she thought.
    "Calvin! Chloe! Let's go," she called out the kids.
    "Aren't we going with daddy?" asked Chloe.
    "Calvin. Take your sister and go wait for mummy at the verandah. I need to talk to her," said Andrew.
    "Okay, sir!"
    The kids walked out of the house and closed the door. She sat opposite him but he stood up and went to sit beside her. Looking into her face, staring at her beauty. Hers was the sort that would not fade or grow jaded with time any years. Hers was a beauty that no other possessed.
    He remembered how he used to be shy around her at high school. How he just constantly stared at her gorgeous face? Unable to speak as he gazed at her.
    "Are you okay?" she asked as they sat by the mango tree back at the rural areas. "It seems you not with me here. Your mind is somewhere else. Tossing on the ocean where your argosies will portly sail," she said to him with the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.
    "You are beautiful Emily. I would really love to date you," he finally said it with lot of confidence.
    It was by then that he started dating the most beautiful girl at school. After finishing school she was already pregnant with his baby. He paid bride price and went to look for a job in town. After getting one. He went back to take his wife to live with him. After she gave birth, he paid for her course at a Poly where she did her Diploma in Accounting.
    "Andrew," she snapped fingers in his face.
    He was taken aback.
    "I need to get going. What's that you want from me?"
    He cleared his throat. He placed his hand on her cheek.
    "If only you knew what you mean to me. If only my heart could sped then it could tell you how much I love you. If only I could give you gold or diamond, but oh, my dear wife. I have only my heart," he said softly.
    "Is that all you wanted to say?" she spoke rudely.
    "I know you angry at me that I quit my job, but you know very well that I had not been paid for six months now. I had to quit. I will find another job I promise."
    "When will that be? You know very well that I had been the only one supporting this family for far too long. Now the kids were chased out of school yesterday," she said furiously.
    "I will make a plan Emily."
    "Oh please! I will make a plan..For how long are you going to say the same thing," she said getting up.
    He quite kept for a while facing down.
    "You see? Useless of a man. You should go back and beg your boss. I am done with you," she walked out slamming the door in his face.


    Episode 2

    "I am going to sleep. Not feeling well today," said Emily late that night.
    After she came back from the market with the kids. She spent the whole day locked up in her room and didn't talk to her husband.
    "Emily, I need to talk to you."
    "Whats there to talk about? That you had been sitting in this house the whole day, not job hunting. I am tired of being the man of this house. You should be the one working extra hard to support the family but No instead you decide to quit your job," she said angrily.
    "You don't need to shout at me. It's not easy to find a job," he said calmly.
    "Listen to yourself speaking right now. Why then did you decide to quit your job? If you knew perfectly well that it will be hard to find another one. You good for nothing of a man. I don't even know why I got married to you," she said bumping into him in the process as she walked out on him.
    He pulled a chair in the kitchen and sat, hands on his head. Thinking about his wife and if he was going to survive another day in the house. He rose from the chair and as usual went to sleep on the sofa, since Emily had locked the door. Everytime they fought she would lock the door and made him sleep on the sofa.
    "Dad!" said Calvin tapping his shoulder
    "Ohh it's you. You gave me a fright. Why are you still awake?"
    He sat beside his dad.
    "I was just thinking about my life. What would I be in the next five years to come? Am I gonna finish school? Take care of you, mum and Chloe," said Calvin with a sad look on his face.
    Andrew just stared at him.
    "Calvin. You only 15 years old and I will make sure you go to University."
    "We both know that is not going to happen. Dad, you can pretend as if everything is okay in this house but I know it's not. You can try to fool me but you can't maybe Chloe. She is just eight years old and maybe a little too young to understand," he said. "I am a man dad not a boy that is why I have decided to stop going to school and be a conductor."
    "What!" he exclaimed raising his brows. "No child of mine will do such thing. And you are not a man. You will finish school and go to University, end of story."
    "Says who? You, dad. Mum always calls you a failure and a useless man. I don't want my wife to also call me the same thing. You my role model but from the way things are. I need to step in and help you also. Mum hasnt found a permanent job yet. How are we going to survive?"
    Unable to talk, he just stared at him. Looking at how young he was, he already knew about life. Maybe his wife was right after all. He was a useless man, he thought. He wiped the tears that had escaped from his eyes before facing his son. He sniffed and put his hand on his shoulder.
    "I am proud of you Calvin. You have grown up so fast but I won't let you be a conductor. If it means selling my car so that you can write your final exams and go to University, I will. I am responsible for taking care of you, your sister and mother. I am the man of the house," he went on. "Tomorrow morning I will go and look for a job."
    "I love you dad. All those things I said is because I care. I always want to help you. I will finish school. Every thing is going to be alright."
    They hugged each other. Calvin got up.
    "I am going to bed now. You can come and sleep with me in my room."
    "No it's okay I will sleep here."
    "Okay if you say so. Goodnight dad!"
    "Goodnight son!"
    Andrew said a prayer before he fell asleep on the couch.
    Early in the morning he woke up and took a bath. His family was still asleep when he walked out of the house. Prayer was his key of the morning and the bolt of his evening. Everytime he rose in the morning. He gave thanks for the light, for the life and strength unlike his wife. He was about to start the car when he realised there was no fuel. He walked to the taxi rank and got into a taxi that dropped him off to town.
    "I am sorry but the position was already filled. You should try sometime, next year," said the manager of the company.
    He walked again and got into another company.
    "The position of Assistant Manager available. You don't qualify with a Diploma in hand. We need a degree. Close the door on your way out," she said.
    It was around 7 pm when he started walking heading back home. He was very exhausted and had bad day. More than ever he had so many things to worry about. His kids and wife. He knocked on the door.
    "Come in!" she responded.
    They had lighten the candles and was cooking on a primus stove.
    "What happened with the electricity?" asked Andrew as he sat down on the chair.
    "It's the landlord. She said we must move out tomorrow or else she will kick us out by force," said Emily. "I am starting to think maybe we were cursed so that we can be poor for the rest of our lives," she said with tears in her eyes.
    He stood up and held her tightly in his arms.
    "Shhhh, don't cry. It's going to be alright," he patted her back thinking of a job offer he had received from his friend to sell drugs at a club in town.

    Episode 3

    He was playing chess when Andrew walked inside the club around 11pm. While his host was puffing out tobacco smoke in curly clouds.
    "Andrew, my man," he said his eyes fixed on the chess board. "This is a very special night," he said before making his next move. "You know what I feel like being in Bulawayo this week? A killer."
    He paused there, puffed his cigar and let the laughter settle a little. "People see me like a fool," the crowd erupts.
    He turned to face him and gestured him to sit, the muscles of his arm rippling beneath his white shirt snagging his attention. He sat down beside him.
    "Can you excuse us gentlemen," he said to his guest and body guards.
    He stood up and led Andrew at his office. He closed the door and sat on his chair.
    "What can I do for you?" he asked with a hint of curiousity in his voice.
    "Kuda, I need your help."
    "Don't use that name. We not at high school anymore. Rather call me Buffalo," he raised his eyebrows.
    He took a deep breath, pulled in his stomach and puffed out his chest waiting for Andrew to continue. Andrew was thinking twice if he could ask help from his former classmate who was a bully and now a gangster, loan shark. He swallowed hard trying to calm his nerves. Kuda took out the gun from his pocket and placed it on the table. He sat comfortable on the chair with hands clasped behind head.
    "Are you going to talk?" he asked his voice sounding dangerous.
    A cruel man that had killed many people. Andrew thought about his kids and wife what will happen to them if he gets involved with Kuda. He broke into a sweat when he rose from the chair. His pulse raced.
    "I can kill you right now because of your silence," he said with a serious look on his face.
    His heart started pounding at a increasingly rapid race.
    "That was a joke. Relax," he said with a laugh tapping his shoulder. "Champagne?"
    "No, I am fine," he said avoiding eye contact with him.
    "Finally you spoke. You and I are best friends since high school, Andrew."
    "Except that you are a killer," he muttered under his breath.
    "What was that?"
    "Nothing just agreeing to what you were saying."
    He poured the champagne in a glass and went back to sit on his chair. He took a sip and placed the glass on the glass table.
    "So tell me. What have you been up to?"
    "Nothing just home. You know I think I should get going. Looking at the time, my wife would soon be worried of my whereabouts," he said sitting up.
    "Sit down!" he ordered raising his voice. "I know you want something from me. What is it?"
    "It's nothing really."
    He couldn't do it. Yes, he was broke and had no money. He just didn't want to get involved with Kuda, a dangerous criminal.
    "I was just passing by so I thought I would pay you a visit. I should be going now," he said walking to the door.
    "Andy! If you ever need anything. I am here hommie. Pass my greetings to your wife."
    "I will," he said opening the door and walked out.
    He took a taxi back home.
    She looked great in her black suit and heels. She had been called for an interview.
    "How do I look?" she asked her husband in the kitchen while he prepared breakfast for her.
    "Beautiful!" he responded kissing her on the cheek.
    "I better get going. I am so nervous."
    He held her hand.
    "You can do this I trust in you. Good luck!"
    "I really need it. Pray to God that I get employed. At least the landlord felt pity for us and gave us a week. As for the kids. They should be going back to school tomorrow," she said zipping her bag. "I better get going. Bye!"
    She walked out of the house and took a taxi to the office. There were so many people.
    "Is it your first time to be here?" asked a lady as they stood outside the board room.
    "Yes!" she responded.
    "It's my second. I hope I get it this time. I heard the manager's son is the one interviewing us."
    "Emily Moyo!"
    "I am here," she said raising her hand.
    "You next!"
    She felt nervous as she walked inside the room. Her every step scrutinised by a man who was revered and feared by businessmen and women alike. She studied his face. It looked familiar to her. His mouth was set in a firm line that highlighted the harsh angles of his cheekbones. His jaw was cleanshaven.
    "You may take a sit,"  he said with his deep voice.
    He leant against his desk, arms folded across his broad chest, as if he had already decided that he wanted her to be his secretary. His black hair gleamed, but the intensity in his eyes nearly robbed her of the ability to speak.
    "Hey!" he banged his fist on the table making her come back to reality. "It seems your mind is somewhere else."
    She just couldn't stop staring at his handsome face. He too couldn't stop smiling at her. He knew her but it was not the right time to reveal himself.
    "Do you think you the best candidate for this job?" he began asking.
    As he raised his brows in question a flutter of nerves took flight in her stomach.
    "Yes, I am the best candidate. I have self confidence in myself."
    "Impressive!" he smiled at her.

    Episode 4

    "I think that's all for today," he said sitting up. "I will give you a call."
    She rose from the chair and shook hands with him.
    "Thank you very much, sir!"
    He watched her as she walked  to the door, her glorious body. She felt she was being watched by him. She stopped at the door and turned to face him. She smiled at him, opened the door and walked out of the office.
    "How was it?" asked the lady outside.
    "Good!" she replied with confidence.
    She took a taxi back at the house. It was around two in the afternoon when her phone rang. Checking her phone, it was a private number. She quickly responded.
    "And you still got your sweet voice. It was nice seeing you Emily. I hope we will see each other more often. You got the job."
    "What!" she exclaimed.
    "You got the job. I will see you tomorrow."
    "Thank you, sir!"
    "Please call me Max like you used to. Back in the days."
    "I can't believe you still remember me. It's been like 5 years."
    "How can I forget a beautiful lady like you?"
    "Oh please! I am no longer beautiful."
    "I will be the judge of that. Anyway let me get back to work. I will see you tomorrow," he said.
    "Thank you, Max!"
    He hanged up. Few minutes later the driver dropped her off at the market . She had to walk to her house. She opened the door and Andrew was busy cleaning the house.
    "Ohhh you back," he said and took her bag, placed it on the sofa.
    She sat on the chair.
    "How was your day?" he asked placing the plate on the table.
    "It was okay!"
    "You can eat your food. I am going to take a bath," he said heading outside where the shower was.
    She finished eating and was about to wash the dishes when he walked inside the house with a bucket and a bathing soup.
    "Don't worry. I will wash the dishes. Go take a bath and rest. You must be tired," he said politely.
    "Okay. Thank you," she said. "And I have some good news to tell you. I got the job. I will be starting tomorrow."
    "That's great I am happy for you. I will just stay here and look after the kids maybe something might come up my side. But anyways we thank the Lord."
    Andrew loved his wife and didn't care less what his friends used to say to him.
    "How can you pay for her fees? Allow her to do a course. You are a fool man. Women are meant to stay at home, cook for us men and look after the kids," said one of them.
    "I will never send my wife to school. What for?" said the other.
    He didn't listen to them because he knew from high school that Emily was an intelligent lady. He wanted her to continue with her education. He trusted and cared about her.
    "Dad! Is mummy back?" asked Chloe as she walked in the kitchen where Andrew was cleaning the stove.
    "Yes, she is taking a bath. Where is your brother?"
    "Studying in his room as usual. He is obsessed with books," said Chloe.
    Andrew just smiled.
    "I heard you," said Calvin pouring glass of water. "You should be studying also instead of playing with your dolls."
    "Daddy! Are we going to school tomorrow?"
    Andrew didn't know how to answer the question, since there was no money to pay for their fees.
    "Yes, my sweetheart," said Emily closing the door.
    The house was not big enough but had three bed rooms. Andrew always wished to have his own house. Since he started working he had to send Emily to school first. Being an orphan and the only child. He really wished his parents were still alive.
    "I will go and prepare dinner," he said.
    At around eight they had their dinner and the children went to sleep with their mother. While Andrew stayed behind washing dishes.
    The air was very clear and the long morning shadows distinct when Emily walked in the office. Her heels tapped rhythmically as she walked heading to his office. She knocked on the door and he responded with a soft voice.
    "I hope I am not late," she said closing the door.
    She stood before him. Their eyes met and for a moment it was as if everything in the balance. Bodly she held his gaze. Did she have any idea how magnificent she looked? A glacial beauty with barely concealed simmering passion. He broke the contact.
    "No! It's seven-thirty. You right on time. Please, take a sit," he offered.
    She placed her bag on the table and sat on the chair legs crossed.
    "I hope you know how to use the computer."
    "Yes, I do. I did a course."
    "Good! I am the Boss but don't hesitate to talk to me. I am a good listener and willing to help you. Let's go I will introduce you to the team," he said getting up.
    They walked out of the office and she was introduced.
    "Make her feel at welcome. She is part of the family. You may get back to work," he said and turned to face Emily. "You may go and start working."
    "Thank you!"
    He went back to his office. There wasn't much to do at the office. She was packing her things when he walked to her.
    "Do you want to go and bite something to eat with me? I know it's late but I can drive you at your house," he said.
    "I can spare few minutes. Let's go," she said smilingly and got in the car with him.

    Episode 5

    They walked out of the restaurant at around eight-thirty at night.
    "Thank you for taking me out," she said as they headed where he had parked the car.
    "It's okay it was nice hanging out with you."
    "So you not married?"
    "Me? Yes, still single. Well I am a divorcee. My wife cheated on me with my cousin brother."
    "Ohh I am sorry."
    "It's okay. I have moved on. Your husband is very lucky to have married such a beautiful lady," he said smilingly.
    They stood by the car and he looked deeply into her eyes. He stroked his fingers down her cheek, lifting her chin. Her heart pounded erratically and a tingle of excitement raced around her. His lips almost brushing hers. She pulled back from him a little, shyness making her look up from under her lashes as heat infused her cheeks.
    "Aaaa we should get going. My husband will soon worry," she said avoiding eye contact with him.
    "Okay," he said biting his lip.
    He opened the car door for her. She watched, anticipation throbbing in her blood, as he shut the car door and strode around the front to the driver's side. He looked at her as the engine growled to life, his gaze so hot. She sat silently contemplating what had just just happened between them as Max drove. The car sped along the road to Northend. Tyres stretched as he came to a dust road. She wasn't sure if she felt relieved or disappointed that he had parked the car in front of her gate. She wanted to be with him, his muscular body, handsome face. Is all she ever wanted in a man but she was married and had never cheated on her husband. He opened the car door for her.
    "Thank you for dropping me off," she said standing by the car.
    "No problem. I guess I will see you tomorrow," he said and kissed her on the cheek.
    Excitement fizzed in her veins, only to be replaced by disappointment as he walked straight to his car. He got inside and drove off. She stood there watching the car as he drove off. She took a deep breath and opened the gate. The lights were still on meaning Andrew was waiting for her. She had switched off her phone the moment he walked in the hotel with Max. She opened the door and Andrew immediately stood up and rushed to her. He held her tightly in his arms.
    "Thank goodness! I was worried about you," he said before taking a deep breath.
    She rolled her eyes.
    "Can you let me go now!" she spoke rudely. "Why were you worried? I was at work."
    "I know it's just that I expected you to come early. I understand since it was your first time at work. There was a lot to do at the office," he said as he sat beside her. "You hungry? I cooked some rice."
    "No! I just want to go and sleep. Where are the kids?"
    "There are asleep. They tried waiting for you but I told them to go and take some rest since tomorrow they are going to school. Should I go and pour your water in the bucket?"
    "Yes, please. I need to take a bath. I am so exhausted."
    He stood up and took the bucket. He poured the hot water which was in the kettle in it. He took the bathing soup and her towel and went to put in the bathroom.
    "You can go and bath," he said with a smile.
    While she was bathing, he was washing her clothes. He finished and started polishing her shoes. She had gone to sleep when he switched off the lights after washing the dishes. He layed on the bed beside her.
    He woke up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for her and the kids.
    "Good morning!" he greeted as she walked in the sitting room. "Breakfast is ready."
    "I am late I will buy something on my way."
    "It's seven. I am sure your boss won't mind. If you arrive at work around seven-thirty."
    "Do you go to work?" she asked.
    He kept quite.
    "Exactly! I don't want to get fired," she said grabbing her bag.
    "Have a nice day!"
    She ignored him and slammed the door in his face. She took a taxi at the office. Upon arrival she watched her park his car. He noticed her and waited for her by the car. She put on a smile that he could see it from a distance. She was dressed in a mini black dress. She stumbled and broke her heel. He ran to her and helped her.
    "Oh my heel! How am I going to work today?" she said holding it.
    "It's my fault. I couldn't stop staring at you. Your wonderful body. Anyway," he lifted her up. "Lets go shopping."
    "Put me down!" she said laughingly.
    "As if you want me to."
    He put her in the car and drove off.
    "Pick what ever you want. I own this place," he said.
    "Are you serious? These stuff are expensive. What are you trying to do?"
    "Nothing I have no intentions or whatsoever," he said getting close to her. "Since you...."
    He was so close now she could smell his perfume.
    "Since what?" her voice was little more than a husky whisper.
    "You became my secretary. Never mind."
    She trembled as he looked down at her, his eyes as dark as the depths of the ocean. Nervousness suddenly washed over her.
    "You can pick what you want," he moved away from her confusing her even more.
    Was she attracted to him? He just stared at her and smiled.

    Episode 6

    After shopping they passed by the saloon. She had her hair done and he paid for it. It was around two-thirty in the afternoon when he drove with her at his house.
    "We didn't go at the office today," she said licking her ice cream.
    "I am the Boss and by the way it's a holiday today. I just want to show you my house. I hope you don't mind," he said with a smile, his eyes focused on the road.
    "It's too late to say NO since we driving there."
    "I promise to drive you home early today. I don't want to get you in trouble with your husband," he said.
    "You won't."
    In few minutes he parked his car at a green gate. The gateman opened the gate. He drove in and parked the car at the garage. He got off first to open the car door for her.
    "Welcome to Sauerstown. This is my house."
    "Wow! So big," she said looking around.
    "Let's go inside please," he said leading the way.
    He opened the door and she got inside first. The house was well decorated.
    "This is beautiful. It looks neat."
    "Take a sit," he offered. "Champagne?"
    "Yes, please."
    She walked around the house.
    "I can't believe I am in your house."
    He placed the glasses on the table and came close to where she was standing. Too close. Her first reaction was to step back, but she stood her ground and met his gaze head on, despite the pounding of her heart and the race of her pulse. Something in his expression had changed. He really wanted to kiss her. She on the other side couldn't help but look into his dark eyes. He stepped closer and the air seemed alive with something she had never experienced before. Yes, she felt attracted to him. His gaze dropped from her eyes and lingered on her lips and she realised she was biting her bottom lip. The tension of waiting to hear what he really wanted was too much. Her stomach fluttered wildly and she had to concentrate hard just to breath. Her attraction to him was becoming stronger. If he turned on the charm as he had last night she would be lost. Worse still, if he tried kissing her again she didn't think she'd be able to resist.
    "You look beautiful," he said softly."Shall we drink?" He moved backwards
    "Yes, sure."
    They sat beside each other. As she took a sip, she felt his gaze. In a bid to rein in her rising and very mixed emotions she all but downed her drink in one go.
    "Steady," he smiled. A mocking smile. "That drink is pretty content."
    She looked at the almost empty glass. The remains of the liquid looked more like a soft drink, but it's effect on her head was already clear. Whatever was she trying to do to herself? She put the glass down and turned to look at him.
    "So," she cleared her throat. "Where are your parents?"
    "My mother died. Dad married another woman."
    She looked at his throat as he took the drink in one go. He looked at her.
    "The toilet?"
    Nerves made her voice quiver as she finally acknowledged the attraction she felt for him
    "This way," he said sitting up.
    He led the way and showed her the toilet. She took a deep breath and looked herself in the mirror. Thinking about her husband and kids. Knowing how much Andrew loved her. She didn't want to mess it up by falling for Max. She washed her hands and opened the door.
    "Are you okay?" he asked. "I heard you talking to yourself in there."
    "I am fine. We can go back," she said walking but her grabbed her hand and pushed her against the wall.
    He kissed her fingers and before she knew how she was in his arms, her body pressed close to his. Fire tore through her as she kissed him, giving way to all the new emotions she was battling with. She wanted him with a fierceness that shocked her. He deepened the kiss, his arms pressing her close against him, leaving her in no doubt that she needed to stop things now. She pulled back from him, her heart racing, and her breathing fast.
    "I can't Max."
    "Can't what?" his voice was hoarse and he tried to kiss her again.
    "This," she said, moving back from him. "We shouldn't be doing this. I am married."
    "I know I am sorry. Let me drive you home," he said and she followed behind him.
    The drive to her house was quite. She didn't say anything to him and neither did he. He parked the car at her house. She didn't wait for him to open the car door. She was about to walk to the gate when he called out her name.
    "You left your things. I brought for you," he said handing it to her.
    "Thank you!" she said avoiding eye contact.
    She went  inside leaving him standing by the car. She opened the door and peeped by the window. He was still there.
    "You back!"
    She jumped on her feet.
    "Andrew what is wrong with you?! You scared me up!" she yelled.
    "I am sorry I didn't me.."
    "Whatever," she cut him short and sat on the sofa.
    "I am so sorry. I didn't mean to make you angry or piss you off. Bad day at work?"
    She nodded.
    "You bought new clothes?"
    "Whats with the questions?" she spoke rudely.
    "I am sorry. I won't ask again, so sorry," he said politely. " Let me bring you, your food," he said and walked to the kitchen.

    Episode 7

    She tried sleeping but couldn't. Thinking about Max and the kiss. She slowly walked out of the room trying not to wake up Andrew. She headed to the kitchen and closed the door. She sat on the chair and dialled Max's number. It didn't take long for him to answer the call since he was watching soccer.
    "Emily, It's ten. Aren't you supposed to be sleeping beside your husband?"
    "I couldn't sleep so I thought I could give you a call."
    "You were thinking about me?" said Max with a laugh.
    "Me? No!"
    She kept quite for a while after hearing the door being opened. She quickly cut the call and rose from the chair, pretending as if she was drinking water.
    "Hey! Are you okay?" asked Andrew.
    "I have a terrible headache. I had come to fetch some water," she lied.
    "You could have wake me up," he said holding her hand. "How are you feeling now?"
    "Yes. I am fine."
    "If it's gets serious. I will take you to the hospital," said Max. "You shouldn't be stressing Emily."
    He took her hand and walked with her to their room.
    The next following day he opened the curtains opening way for the sun's rays to come flooding into the room. She was greeted with a cup of coffee.
    "Morning!" he greeted her placing the tray on the chair. "I bought you some coffee. How are you feeling today?"
    "I am well thanks. The kids?"
    "Gone to school," he said sitting on the bed beside her.
    "Damn! What time is it?"
    She quickly got off the bed.
    "Why didn't you wake me up? I am late for work," she said putting on her slippers.
    "Calm down. I told your Boss that you not feeling well so you won't be coming in."
    She looked at him.
    "You did what?!" she shouted.
    "He called a few minutes ago and I t..."
    "Shut up! Are you the one who applied for the job. If I get fired because of you. You will see."
    "I am sorry I did answer your call but I was worried about you and needed you to rest that is why I told him you were not feeling well. I am sure he won't fire you because of that."
    She clicked her tongue and walked out of the room slamming the door in his face. Andrew wondered why Emily freaked out that way. He thought maybe it was stress. He needed to apologise to her. He made the bed and cleaned the room. He sat on the bed waiting for her. She walked in with towel wrapped around her body. He cleared his throat.
    "I am sorry for what I did earlier."
    "You should be. Let it be the last time you touch my phone," she said applying some lotion on her body.
    He stood up silently and walked out of the room. She finished and walked out of the house ignoring him. He just looked at her.
    "Have a nice day!" he said.
    She took a taxi at the office.
    "I thought you were not feeling well," said Max as she walked in his office.
    "I am feeling much better now," she said smilingly.
    "I am glad. I will be meeting the investors later. Hmmm guess I will see you around six," he said grabbing his briefcase.
    "No problem Boss."
    "It's Max," he said walking out of the office.
    Hours passed. She was about to knock off when her phone rang.
    "Hello! I am back and parked outside the office. I am waiting for you."
    "I am coming."
    She took her bag.
    "James. Don't forget to lock."
    "Okay madam. See you tomorrow."
    He stood by the car and watched her as she walked towards him.
    "Stop looking at me like that."
    "I can't it's just you too beautiful. I want to take you to my favourite restaurant. Will I?"
    "Yes. Why n..," she stopped at midsentence when her phone rang. It was Andrew. She immediately cut the call and switched off her phone.
    "Your husband?"
    "No, some friend. Let's go."
    "Okay. You ready?"
    She got out of the car and walked with him towards the busy street lined with restaurants. They got inside one of the restaurant. A waiter came out to greet and hugged Max.
    "Emily, this is my cousin Billy, owner of this restaurant and at our bidding for this evening."
    She felt suddenly shy beneath the man's gaze. He took her hand and with the same charm Max possessed kissed it.
    "Beautiful woman you are."
    To her horror she blushed, but managed to smile back at him.
    "Thank you!" she raised her brows, made her voice light and meliduous, even a little flirty.
    Billy laughed and after a brief look of shock Max did too. Then he smiled at Emily.
    "Billy, do you have the table I requested?"
    "Yes, this way please."
    Max put his arms around her shoulders, pulling her close as he followed his cousin to their table. It was private and candles fluttered in the everning breeze. They sat on the table.
    "I will send my new waiter to come and serve you. Enjoy," said Billy.
    Max looked at Emily and smiled.
    "You looking beautiful to night Lilly."
    "Don't call me that," she said shyly. "This place is so beautiful"
    "Ohh here is the waiter," said Max.
    He walked to their table and she was facing down.
    "Good everning sir and madam!" he greeted. "Can I take your order please?"
    Max was about to order when she lifted up her head and faced him.
    "Emily!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"

    Episode 8

    As he sat on the sofa thinking how his life had been for the past few years. He had struggled getting a job in the first place. He quit his job without thinking twice thus he regretted his decision more than ever now that his wife always threw insults on him. When she hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate. Instead he had to apologise to her and promised to look for a job. He needed to find a job. His phone rang. He grabbed it from the table and it had no caller ID. He answered it.
    "Hello!" he responded after answering the call.
    "Andrew, my man. It's Tinashe."
    "Long time Tina. How can I help you?"
    "I got this friend of mine who owns a restaurant. He needs a waiter like as soon as possible. I heard you were looking for a job."
    "Yes yes yes I was," he said excitedly.
    "Good! You should be ready at around twelve. I will come and pick you up. I better get back to work."
    "Thank you very much, Tina!"
    "No, that's what friends are for."
    He hanged up the call. Tina and Andrew they used to work together at a mining company. When one of them died inside after it collapsed they had to quit the job since it was now dangerous. It was a coincidence that one of Tinashe's friends had met Andrew when he was looking for a job. He told Tinashe about it.
    He took a bath and at around eleven the kids had come back from school. Tinashe came to pick up Andrew. They drove at the restaurant. Before he started working he called his wife wanting to tell her about the job but she didn't pick up. He was worried about the kids since they were home alone. Instead he called one of the landlord's daughter to watch over them until he gets in touch with his wife. Luckily she agreed.
    "Andrew!" called out the manager. "My cousin brother is here on a date. I need you to go and serve them," he said softly. "Can you do it?"
    "Yes, boss," he said nodding his head.
    He walked to the table with a small book and the menu. He was nervous since it was his first time but took a deep breath before getting close to the table.
    "Good everning, sir and madam!" he greeted. "Can I take your order please?"
    The lady was facing down. As he waited for them to order, hands clasped behind back. She looked up and their eyes met.
    "Emily!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"
    Seeing his wife on a date as the manager had said it made him weak. Was she cheating on him? Who was the man? Refusing to explore the answer to the question, he stared at the man.
    "May I ask you. What are you doing here with my wife? Didn't she tell you that she was married?" he said calmy not wanting to cause a scene.
    Waiting for one of them to answer his question. He pulled a chair and sat on the same table with them, sitting with legs crossed. Emily could not hide the shame. Right there she just wanted to run away or hide her face with a mask. Max took the glass of water on the table and downed it on one go.
    "I think I should leave you two," he said sitting up but couldn't make a step.
    Andrew had grabbed his hand. He looked at him and smiled.
    "Sit down, sir. I should be the one sitting up," he said sitting up and pulled the chair for him. "My apologies for disturbing you. Can I take your order now?"
    Max couldn't even sit on the chair. Emily on the other side could not look at Andrew in his eyes.
    "Emily, let's go," said Max.
    She sat up and gazed at his husband.
    "I will see you at home Emily," said Andrew and walked to his manager who just stared at the three.
    Max got out of the restaurant with Emily.
    "What happened?" asked Billy with curiousity written all over his face.
    "Nothing. Can I go home sir?"
    "Yes yes. It's okay. You can come back tomorrow."
    "Thank you, sir," said Andrew looking down.
    Billy didn't want to ask more. He immediately sent him home. Upon arrival, he opened the door hoping to see his wife but she was not home yet. The kids had slept. He sat on the sofa with so many questions only his wife could answer. He waited for her. Hours passed and around eleven-thirty. She opened the door. She didn't say a word to him but headed to their room.
    "Emily!" he called out. "May I please talk to you?"
    She went back and sat on the sofa opposite him.
    "Are you cheating on me?"
    His first question shocked her. Was she or maybe not? But she was in love with Max.  And when she went with him at his house after the restaurant scene. She had sex with him. Was she going to tell him? She cleared her throat.
    "What kind of question is that?"
    "Easy Emily. Yes or No."
    "Fine!" she banged her fist on the table. "He is my boss. I have got feelings for him and yes we in love."
    "What! Do you still love me?"
    She rolled her eyes.
    "Did you sleep with him? It happens but I am willing to forgive you. I love you Emily and I dont want to lose you. I de..."
    "I no longer want to be with you," she cut him short. "Don't you get it. I am in love with another man. He treats me well. He is got money. I want a divorce," she said.
    Her last words hit him like a sledge hammer.

    Episode 9

    "No no no, Emily don't say that. You and I are in love. I am sorry, I am so sorry I didn't mean to act that way," he said sitting up. "I love you Emily with all of my heart," he said beside her. "Look me in the eye and tell me you don't love me. Think of what we have been through together. I know you mad at me but don't make such decisions."
    "No!" she said loudly getting up. "I don't love you anymore Andrew ."
    "Why Emily? Did I do something wrong to you? Tell me, I promise I will fix it. I will be a better man, father and husband. Just don't leave me. I beg you."
    "It's too late for that now because I already slept with him."
    "Wha wh wh wh.." he stammered.
    He put his heads on the head.  He didn't want his family  to split up. He didn't want his kids to suffer the distress of their parents divorce.
    "Emily think about our kids. Chloe, she needs you and still young to understand the situation."
    She ignored him and walked out on him. She went to pack all her clothes.
    "Emily! Where are you going?" he asked as she came in the sitting room with her suitcases.  
    "Getting out of this house I am leaving you Andrew."
    "Mummy!" called out Chloe. " Where are you going?"
    "Chloe, go back to sleep," said Emily.
    Calvin walked in.
    "No, mummy. Are you going to leave me?"
    Emily knelt down and wiped her tears.
    "Listen baby. Mummy is going somewhere and she is not coming back. You going to stay with daddy and your brother," she wiped away the tears that had escaped.
    "Did daddy hurt you? Mummy, don't go please. Please, mummy," cried Chloe holding her mother's hand.
    "I can't I need to go," she said grabbing her bags.
    "Mum!" called out Calvin. "Why are you doing this?"
    She turned back to face him.
    "Emily, don't go. We can make this work. How are we going to survive without you?" spoke Andrew.
    "You will make a plan," she said and walked to the door.
    Chloe could not stop crying, screaming and shouting. Emily didn't care less. All she wanted was to get away from them and be with Max. Max was waiting for her outside. She got into the car and looked at her house. Andrew was watching her from the window.
    "Are you sure you want to do this?" asked Max starting his car.
    "Let's go," said Emily.
    Tears of sadness and hurt ran down on his cheeks. How could she just leave him like that? His heart was broken looking at her daughter who lay on the bed. Love had broke him down into tears. Love had hurt him deeply. It didn't make sense to him that Emily had left him just like that. He was confused. He felt anger, betrayed, worthless and couldn't cry no more. He loved her very much more than anything. He sacrificed a lot for her. Only to make her happy. He treated her like a queen.
    "Dad," said Calvin tapping his shoulder. "She is asleep. You can go and rest."
    "Calvin I..."
    He couldn't say no more. He wanted to stay strong but this hurt him. He wiped his tears before facing him.
    "It's okay dad. We are going to be fine. I will take care of you and my sister," said Calvin.
    He gave his father a hug. Andrew cried hysterically in his arms. That night he tried to sleep but couldn't. He kept tossing and turning on the bed counting sheep but he didn't seem to get any eye shut. Early in the morning he thought he was going to see Emily but reality hit him hard. She was never going to come back.
    "Dad!" shouted Calvin.
    He quickly got off the bed and yanked the door open.
    "What is it?" he asked.
    "Chloe has locked the door. She doesn't want to open and we already late for school," said Calvin.
    "Let me try to talk to her. You go to school. I will follow."
    "Okay, dad," said Calvin.
    He knocked on the door and she did not respond
    "Chloe, daddy here. Open the door my princess."
    "I don't want daddy. I want my mummy," said Chloe with a low voice.
    "Daddy is sad. You want to see daddy crying. Open the door please. I will buy you ice cream."
    She opened the door slowly and ran into his father's arms.
    "Mummy doesn't love me, daddy."
    "No no don't say that. Mummy loves you. It's just that she had to go."
    "No, daddy. Candice's mother ran away and she never came back. Mummy isn't coming back and I know it," she sniffed. "I hate mummy!"
    "Chloe. You don't mean that," said Andrew
    "I mean it. I don't want to see her. How can she leave us daddy?"
    "Shhhhh my princess," he said patting her back. "Its going to be alright."
    He managed to calm her down but she was in no state to go to school. She kept crying the whole day. The only thing that made her laugh was platting her dolls with him. But for only few minutes. Emily did not call or come to the house since she had left some of her stuff. Andrew had to call Billy to tell him that he was not coming to work. Luckily Billy understood his situation. Late that night Chloe was very unsettled overnight waking up most every two hours asking about her mother. After reading her book she would go back to sleep cuddling her teddy. Andrew needed to call Emily the following day to beg her to come back home.

    Episode 10

    Andrew watched as his wife walked in the restaurant. She had called him the previous night. Thinking that she had decided to come back home. He was in a good mood. He quickly rose from the chair.
    "Hie!" he greeted pulling the chair for her to sit.
    She didn't respond but sat on the chair. He went back on his chair and sat opposite her.
    "I am glad you decided to come back home. You belong with us," he said.
    "I am not coming back home. Listen very careful. Max never forced me into his bed or to leave you. I am the one who chose to be with him."
    Her words rang loud and clear in his head' as if she were at top of a bell tower. Andrew gritted his teeth against those words.
    "So you marrying him for money?"
    He maintained his angry defence anything other than accept what the raging pain inside him might mean.
    "Yes, I am!" she flung the words at him. "And I love him."
    He didn't want to hear it, yet at the same time he did.
    "I have known him for years. We met at poly. He takes good care of me."
    Andrew was consumed with jealousy. He couldn't hear anything else other than she had loved Max. She didn't stop but continued.
    "I love him in a compassionate way. It is a comfortable love. A safe love. Not the way I loved you."
    Silence stretched between them. A lump gathered in his throat, almost choking him.
    "Do you really expect me to believe that when we have been together for 16 years?" his words were sharp, heightening the tension between them.
    "So what? All these years you have been nothing but a useless man. I always regretted marrying you. I was not happy. Marrying you was the worst decision of my life. You are incapable of love. Not even good in bed. You were not my type. It was a mistake that I fell pregnant with your baby in the first place. I never wanted to marry you."
    Each word was like a bullet in his heart, each one wounding  him further.
    "Don't do this Emily, please. Don't hurt me like this. I can't stop thinking about you. You the air that I breath. Come back home with me," he pleaded.
    She took in a long, shuddering breath. She couldnt take it with him anymore and gave vent to her frustration.
    "You so damn stubborn. It was a mistake coming here."
    She rose from the chair and pulled her jacket tighter about her body. For a moment his gaze lowered, caught by the movement. He got up from the chair and took a step closer to her, his eyes meeting hers once. She stepped back.
    "So why did you come, Emily? Tell me. Why?"
    His accent became heavy and to her dismay he moved closer, still rendering thought almost impossible. She whirled round and grabbed the envelope from the table, knocking her bag to the floor in the process.
    "To sign these," she waved the papers at him furiously. "To put an end to something that should never have been started."
    "Sign the damn divorce papers!"
    He said nothing, as if he was trying to take in what she said. Andrew watched her sign the papers, listened as the pen crashed to the table. Each breath was hard to take, as if he was being suffocated. He hurt. Pain raced through him. Even when she looked at him he couldn't say a word, couldn't move, as if he had been frozen in time. What the hell was the matter with him? Something snapped, as if chains had broken. He inhaled deeply. The noise caught her attention and she turned to look at him.
    "I know I was a fool," she threw the words at him as if he was nothing more than dirt at the edge of the road. "To have married you."
    He tried to make sense of her words. Purposefully he moved towards her, and when she turned again panic tore through him. If she left now he would never see her again. He couldn't let her go. Not yet. He loved her.
    "I love you Emily!"
    The words hurried out and he clenched his hands, trying to keep himself from reaching for her, from preventing her leaving. She spun around and faced him again.
    "I don't love you."
    "Don't Andrew. I don't want to hear what you going to say. I am sorry I made you believe that I was in love with you but I wasn't. It  was just lies of the heart."
    The words hit him really hard and he knew he was losing. All he wanted to do was stop her from leaving, from walking out of his life for good. A life that wouldn't be the same once she'd gone. He reached out and took hold of her arm. She looked up at him, her brown eyes wide, her breathing hard and fast. He didn't want her to go. He loved her. This woman had healed his wounds and shown him how love could be. Emily stepped back as he let her go, watching the show of emotions across his handsome face. His pain and confusion.
    "I have never met a woman like you. From the moment I set my eyes on you I knew you were mine. I love you Emily and will always will. I am sorry I couldn't give you money," he said and signed the papers.
    "I will let you go. Goodbye Emily!" he said heading to the door.
    "Andrew!" she called out. "I won't be fighting for custody. Take care of your kids."
    "I will!" he said softly.

    Episode 11

    All the love he gave yet his heart got broken. Cracks embedded and the pain went deeper. Like a coin the stories got flipped with the blame on him. He beat himself up standing in a corner calling himself a fool. Where was the light in this darkness from the heartbreak now branded like villains. But what could he do the lustful beauty had him knocked blind. Now he layed on a bed of pain with a matress covered in tears of pillows which even he didn't understand why she couldn't stand him. Stabbed in the back by the one closest made  even her blunt daggers tear open his fragile heart. He got played like cards and came out being a joker while she had an ace in her hands.  
    He felt lifeless as a grave and everything else unreal like dreams. How could the red lipstick on her lips turn to poison? A flood was evident into the breeze their memories blew with the whistle wind. She left him wondering.
    He stared at her picture tears streaming down on his cheeks.
    "You didn't love me, Emily. You chose to lie to me and played with my feelings," he said staring at the picture. "I made you happy. Guess I was a dog to be because I would never go back to my vomit like others would say. Seeking attention, you went to date your boss," he went on. "What if the world got numb? After tossing and turning the sun wouldn't come out. Imagine pain being loud bet my tears would cry like dark times ahead I see a moon less sky. What if the things around you  turned to a circle of pain," he said and sipped beer. "Men wanna be women and women wanna be men. Is it the sweetest thing in life like melodies from boys to men. What if success was clear like a cloudless key?" he spoke with a laugh.
    Calvin walked in the room and saw his dad lying on the floor holding his mother's picture.
    "Dad!" he called out.
    "Son. What are you doing here? Your mom is gone. I can't be strong for you and your sister. I don't know what to do."
    "Dad, please. Don't do this. Drinking will not make mum come back but makes matters worse. Chloe needs you and so do I," said Calvin.
    "I am sorry, Calvin. I didn't mean to drink. I am mad at your mother. How can she leave us for a man whom she has just known for days. I am so heart broken right now," he sniffed.
    "It's okay dad. Let me help you to lay on the bed."
    He helped his father to lay on the bed and cleaned the house. It was late at night. He finished doing so and went to sleep. Calvin couldn't sleep. The thought of his father drinking stressed him a lot. He had never drank before.
    Early in the morning he woke up and did the household chores. He headed to Chloe's room and found her sleeping. He needed to wake her up so she can go to school but she didn't wake up. He panicked and ran to call his father.
    "Dad!" he shouted
    Andrew quickly got up with a headache. He ran towards the room.
    "What is it?" he asked while in the room.
    "It's Chloe. She isn't responding," said Calvin holding her hand
    Andrew got close to her. He shook her and she opened her eyes.
    "Chloe! Wake up! You late for school."
    "I can't daddy," she said with a low voice. "My chest hurts."
    "Young lady this is no time to play games. This will be not your excuse. Get up," said Andrew.
    "But daddy I am n.."
    "Chloe, just wake up," said Calvin cutting her short.
    Chloe got up from the bed. She took two steps to the door and collapsed.
    "Chlooooe!" shouted Andrew. "Chloe wake up. Oh my goodness!"
    "Dad! Whats wrong with her?" asked Calvin with a hint of confusion in his voice.
    "I I don't know. Quickly let's take her to the hospital," said Andrew as he carried Chloe on his back.
    Luckily they managed to get a taxi which drove them to the hospital. Upon arrival the nurses immediately took Chloe from Andrew.
    "Sir! Go sit in the waiting room," said one of the nurses as they put Chloe on the stretch.
    "I need to go with her. Is she going to be alright?"
    "Yes, sir. Take a deep breath. Young man, come and take your daddy. You seem too strong than him," said the nurse her eyes on Calvin.
    Calvin took his dad and they went to sit on the bench in the waiting room. Andrew kept pacing up and down the room. At one stage he could not take much more sitting in the room.
    "Its been two hours now Calvin," he said.
    It was a nervous wait. The doctor walked in a few minutes later. Andew's heart started pounding really fast.
    "What took you so long? What is wrong with my daughter?" he asked.
    "Dad. Calm down. Let him speak," said Calvin.
    "You mind sitting down, sir," said the doctor.
    Andrew sat down.
    "Hmmmm. I am sorry I have got bad news for you. She is at the end stage of a heart failure," said the doctor.
    "A condition in which her heart is severely damaged or weakened that she may need a heart transplant."
    "Oh my goodness! Is she going to wake up?"
    "Unfortunately that is a No."
    "What are you trying to say?"
    "Her pulse is weak. We don't know if she is going to survive. She is still young. She needs a heart transplant," said the Doctor.

    Episode 12

    Gently he placed her on the bed. She leant back on her arms as he stood like a magnificent bullfighter at the side. She trembled as he looked down at her, his eyes as dark as the depths of the ocean. Nervousness suddenly washed over her. It had been a long time since she had been in a situation like this, with a man openly desiring her, his intentions clear. She watched him undo his tie and dropped it to the floor, his jacket soon following. Hungry for him, she let her gaze devour the strength in his arms as his white shirt pulled tight across his biceps. She bit her lip as he undid the top buttons, exposing dark chest hair. All the while he watched her with such intensity she knew she would be powerless to resist him. When his lips pressed briefly against her shoulder she gasped softly in pleasure. Her phone rang.
    "You didn't switch off your phone?"
    "Yes, I am sorry," she said grabbing her phone on the table.
    She quickly cut the call when she saw Andrew's name on the caller ID.
    "Who is it?" he asked.
    "My ex husband."
    "Why are you still talking to him?"
    "I I I j..," she stammered.
    "Listen to me careful Emily. You chose me over him. Meaning you mine and mine alone. I don't share but if you still want to go back to him. Now is the time because once we get married. I won't let you treat me the way you treated Andrew," he said with a serious look on his face.
    The phone rang again. It was Andrew. Max grabbed the phone from Emily and threw it on the floor breaking into pieces.
    "What did you do that for?!" shouted Emily.
    "You don't raise your voice at me. Never talk to Andrew again. Let it be the last time. I will buy you another phone tomorrow," he said as he kissed her on the cheek, her forehead, her nose. " I love you Emily. Never doubt that. I won't let you cheat on me with another man. I am obsessed with you. Your scent, your body. I want you, Emily," he husked out between each kiss. "I want to make you mine."
    "I want that too," she did. Nothing seemed to matter to her except being with Max.
    Max woke up in the early hours of dawn, his body heavy and relaxed in a way he had never felt before. Emily's scent lingered on the pillow next to him, reawakening the desire that had coursed like an overflowing river through him last night. From the other side of the room he heard movement and he propped himself up on his elbow. With amusement he watched as Emily, sexily naked, appeared to be looking for something to put on. He took in her slender waist, shapely hips and long legs as she stood, her back to him, looking around the room.
    "My future wife."
    She turned to face him and despite her nakedness looked in.
    "Morning," she replied huskily, a smile playing about her kissable lips. "I was looking for something to put on."
    "Your bag is in the wardrobe, but you will also find everything else you need in there too."
    She put on her dress and walked out of the room. He grabbed his phone on the table and dialled his number.
    "Max!" he responded on the other line.
    "Billy, we need to talk," he said with a low voice. He didn't want her to hear him. "I will be at your restaurant in two hours."
    He hanged up the call and headed to the bathroom.
    It was around ten in the morning when Andrew decided to go to work. After calling Emily the previous night to tell her about Chloe, he gave up.
    "You going to work?" asked Calvin.
    "Yes, we might sleep at the hospital today. I may need to find another part time job. Maybe they will find a donor for Chloe."
    "I miss her, dad."
    "Don't worry son. She is going to be alright."
    "Did you call mum? Ohh guess she is busy with her man," said Calvin.
    "I did but she didn't pick up. I think it's best we let her be. We will save Chloe. You and I," he said grabbing his bag which was on the chair. "I better get going. I will see you later."
    "Okay, dad."
    He walked out of the room and took a taxi. He was worried about his daughter. He didn't want to lose her. He didn't know how he was going to find the money to pay for the operation but sooner than later he needed to find another extra part time job. If it meant working all night he was willing to do so. As he walked at the restaurant after the driver dropped him off a few distance to the restaurant. He saw Max getting into his car and drove off. He got into the restaurant and walked to the manager.
    "Morning, sir," he greeted.
    "Morning!" he responded without looking at him.
    "My shift is yet to start. So I am going to put on my uniform," he said.
    "That won't be necessary," he said facing him.
    "Pardon, sir."
    "You are fired!"
    "But what did I do?" he asked with a hint of confusion in his voice.
    "You not good for this job. Customers are always complaining about you. Here is your money," he said handing him the envelope.
    "But sir..," he stopped at midsentence when his manager walked out on him ignoring his presence.
    Andrew didn't take the envelope but followed his manager needing an explanation.
    "Sir!" he called out.

    Episode 13

    Dressed in a black suit. He entered the restaurant. He pulled a chair and sat down waiting for his cousin brother.
    "Sir! Can I take your order please?" attended the waiter.
    "No, thanks. Where is Billy? Ohh here is."
    He walked to him and sat opposite.
    "You know I am a very busy man," he said placing his phone on the table. "What so important that you couldn't tell me over the phone."
    "I want you to fire that man. Whats his name..Andrew."
    "Fire him! Why would I do that? He is a very hard working man and the customers love him unlike my other stuff."
    He looked at his cousin brother.
    "Are we not cousins?" asked Max.
    "Of cause we are but I can't fire him. Could you care to explain why you want me to fire him? Because I have never had problems with him. I wouldn't want to let him go."
    "Listen Billy. Remember that I  am also the owner of this restaurant. I helped you with the capital. You will do as I say. Fire him or else this restaurant will be put under my name." His deep voice, with a hint of accent, was firm and commanding. "I don't think I need to tell you again."
    "But come on man. Why do you have to be this cruel? Andrew never hurt you. Did he? You took his wife away from him. He is a saint but you..a disgrace to manhood. You couldn't keep your thing inside your pants."
    "Watch your mouth Billy!"
    "Or what? I feel pity for that woman. I wish she knew what kind of person you are," said Billy with confidence.
    Billy studied his cousin brother's face, looking for a hint of compassion, but there was nothing. He didn't want to fight with him. Neither did he want to fire Andrew. Max unfolded his arms and rose from the chair.
    "Fire him today. Are we clear?" he whispered squeezing his hand.
    "Let me go Max!"
    "Calm down. Chill. No need to get mad. We in public, obviously I wouldn't want to blow your brains out. You fire him then I won't hurt your wife," he threatened. "Ciao ciao."
    He walked out of the restaurant leaving Billy with his heart pounding really fast. Did he just get threatened by his cousin brother? Yes, Billy was much afraid of Max. After he witnessed the murder of Max's friend when he shot him. After he found him in his bed with his wife. He stood up from the chair and noticed Andrew. He watched him getting into the restaurant. He looked down not wanting to make an eye contact.
    "Morning, sir," greeted Andrew.
    "Morning!" he responded without looking at him.
    "My shift is yet to start. So I am going to put on my uniform."
    "That won't be necessary," he faced him.
    "Pardon, sir."
    "You are fired!"
    He didn't want to say it but he just did.
    "But what did I do?" asked Andrew with a hint of confusion in his voice.
    "You not good for this job. Customers are always complaining about you," he had to lie. "Here is your money," he placed the envelope on the table.
    "But sir...,"
    He couldn't hear no more. He grabbed his car keys and intended to walk out of the restaurant. Andrew's first reaction was to swift he wanted some explanation. He reached out and took hold of his arm. He knelt down on the floor.
    "Please, sir. Don't chase me out. Don't fire me. Don't let me go," he wiped the tears. "My daughter is in the hospital. I am broke and need money. If I did something wrong, forgive me. I will apologise to the customers," he sniffed. "You are a very good person."
    Billy dropped a tear. First time to see someone kneeling in front of him, begging. But he had no choice. He needed to let him go. He cleared his throat.
    "I don't care about your daughter." He didn't mean it but needed to hurt him so he can go. "Now leave my restaurant and don't bother coming back," he spoke rudely but deep down regretting his actions.
    He pushed Andrew out of the restaurant while he couldn't stop begging. Even have been thrown out of the restaurant. He stood by the door banging it. Billy ignored him.
    "Oh God! What have I done? Forgive me Andrew," he said to himself.
    Andrew got up and started walking heading back home. After getting fired, he was jobless again. It was back to square one. All hope lost. He remembered how happy he was, thinking he had everything a man could wish for..a beautiful wife, a daughter and a son and a well paid job. Now he had lost everything. Deep in his thoughts, his phone rang.
    "Dad! It's Calvin."
    "Whose phone did you use?"
    "A friend. Mrs Stick is removing things from the house. She is throwing us out dad. I don't know what to do."
    "Okay okay I will be there."
    He hanged up the call and took a taxi at his house. Upon arrival all the things had been put outside and Mrs Stick was nowhere to be found.
    "Where is she?" asked Andrew.
    "Gone!" responded Calvin. "She came with some men and threw our things out. She locked the house and took her keys. What are we going to do dad?"
    "I am so sorry son. It's all my fault. I couldn't pay the full rent. I guess we will need to sell all of these things and look for a one roomed house," said Andrew sitting on the ground, hands on the head.

    Episode 14

    They managed to sell some of the furnitures and looked for a house to rent. It was one roomed. There was no furniture just a matress to sleep on. They now used a prim stove to cook. It had been two days since they left Mrs Stick's house. Chloe's condition hadn't changed.
    "There is no improvement. She is getting worse like everyday," said the doctor when Andrew had visited her.
    "Are you saying my daughter is going to die?"
    "All I can say is pray that we find a donor."
    Everyday he visited her. Since he had no job and used a bicycle to go to the hospital. He tried finding a job but couldn't get one.
    Early in the morning he woke up and prepared breakfast for his son.
    "Your breakfast is ready son. Why are you dressed as if you going to herd cattle?" he said teasingly.
    "Dad, seriously. How can you say such thing? It's so funny you taught me how to fix a tie but still I struggle a lot. Mum us..," he stopped at mid sentence.
    "Your mum used to fix it for you. I know I miss her too. I miss her food, smile and the way she laughed. She was one big hell of a person."
    "You can say that again dad. Remember that day when we slept late watching soccer with her," said Calvin smilingly trying to fix his tie.
    "Oh yes I remember. She got mad at us when her team lost. She had to switch off the television for us not to finish our game," said Andrew polishing his son's shoes sitting on a bucket. "A drama queen she was."
    "Indeed she was. I can't believe we talking about her. But dad. Is love always like that? After what happened between you and mum. I am scared to get married. Gosh this tie."
    "Let me help you with that. Seems we need to go back to those lessons again," he took the tie. "You see son. Your mum and I might have divorced but that doesn't mean it will happen to you."
    He looked great in his white button down shirt, tucked into a navy blue trousers with black shoes.
    "You know I can almost pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming," he said to his father after he fixed his tie for him.
    He nearly broke down and cried, that's how happy he was. His father had bought him a new uniform.
    "Thank you, dad. You sold your laptop just to buy me a uniform. I promise to work hard," he said and hugged him.
    "I am grown up please. Don't make me cry. You my son and I can do anything for you. It's such a pity Chloe isn't here. By the way," he took his wallet from his pocket. "Money for taxi and lunch. You don't have to walk today."
    "No, dad. Use that to take a taxi to the hospital."
    "No no remember I have got a bicycle. You take it. Mr Headmaster."
    They both laughed.
    "It's good to see you smile dad. You got me worried that time I saw you drinking," he grabbed his bag from the chair. "I hope you won't drink again. Anyway let me go to school. I will see you later big man," he walked to the door.
    "Say hie to my daughter-in law."
    He smiled at him. It made him very happy seeing his son in a good mood. He cleaned the room and later cycled to the hospital. At first it was not easy but he got used to it. It was around eleven when he arrived at the hospital. The doctor allowed him to see Chloe. Thinking that he could hold his tears. He started crying seeing his daughter lying on the bed. He sat on the chair and held her hand.
    He remembered the times he used to rock her to sleep while a lullaby toy would be playing quietly. He would wait until she was in a deep sleep before putting her down. By the time she was 13 months, not only could she sleep comfortably out of his arms and without feeding through her naps.
    "You would have a quick feed when we got into the bedroom. Then roll away and explore, play, roll and climb," he went on. "After a while you would lay down and go to sleep. One of us would always lay down next to you. Sometimes you would come and cuddle up to us," he wiped the tears. "I miss you my princess. Daddy miss you and guess what. I bought you another dolly. Her name is Sofia the first. Hang in there my princess," he kissed her on the cheek.
    He said a prayer and got out of the room. He passed by the market and bought some tomatoes and onions. He headed back home. He sat in the house, waiting for his son. It was five and he hadn't shown up. He quickly called his class teacher.
    "Mr Kasonde. My son hasn't shown up home. Is he still at school?" asked Andrew worriedly.
    "No, sir. We dismissed them around one so they can have time to study," responded Mr Kasonde
    "Ohhh. Thank you!"
    He hanged up the call.
    "Where is he?"
    He waited for him. Hours passed. He kept pacing up and down the room hoping that he would show up. His phone rang deep in his thoughts making him jump on his feet. It was around 10pm.
    "Hello!" he quickly responded.
    "Is this Mr Andrew?"
    "Yes yes it is. Who is this?"
    "Officer Mildred Ncube from, Sauerstown Police station."
    "What can I do for you?"
    "It is about your son."
    "What about him?" asked Andrew nervously
    "You better come to the station," she said and hanged up.

    Episode 15

    "Drugs?!" he shouted throwing the keys on the matress. "What were you thinking?"
    After he was found in possession of drugs. Calvin was arrested. It was early in the morning when they let him out.
    "I am sorry, dad," he apologised facing down.
    "You are sorry? I had to sleep outside the police station when they refused to let you out because I had no money to pay them," he spoke hands on his waist. "I had to beg them to let you go. Do you know what I did so they can let you out?"
    "I had to clean their toilets, clean the offices. I couldn't let them beat you up. You still writing your exams. Instead of studying. You busy selling drugs," he spoke loudly and angrily.
    Never in his life had he been so angry with his son. He was even shocked being told that he was found in possessions of drugs.
    "No no officer. My son doesn't do drugs."
    "He is going to spend long time in jail," said the officer.
    "Please, I beg you. I will take his place. He is still writing his final exams."
    "When he was selling drugs. He didn't think about exams. Did he?"
    "It was a mistake. I promise you if you let him go. He won't repeat the same thing again. I will do anything, just let my son go."
    After pleading with the officer on duty. He decided to release Calvin early in the morning . Conditions that Andrew cleans the toilet at the station.
    "Where did you get those drugs?" he asked
    "I I I...."
    "You what? Don't even dare try to lie to me."
    "Uncle Kuda, gave it to me."
    "Kuda! What the hell were you doing with him? How long have you been doing this?"
    "It was just yesterday. It was my first time. I wanted to give you something. Only I was happy that you bought me a new uniform. Words were not enough so I wanted to buy a gift. I was very desperate and I needed the money," he wiped the tears.
    Andrew didn't say anything and hugged his son.
    "My poor boy. You don't need to buy me gifts sonny. Make me happy and proud by passing. I want you to be a good man. Never get involved with bad people. Selling drugs and taking alcohol," he kissed him on the forehead. "I forgive you but you grounded. After school come straight home and study. Are we together?"
    He smiled at him.
    "Yes, sir. I was scared that you were going to beat me up."
    "No no I know you are a very good kid. I will never lay hands on my children. I talk to them nicely with no violence. Anyway I need to go somewhere. Money for bread Its in my wallet," he took his hat. "I will see you later."
    "Okay, dad."
    He walked out of the house, took his bicycle. He needed to go and see him. After two hours cycling. He reached his house. He barged in without knocking. He was sitting on the sofa puffing up smoke.
    "What the h...!" he stopped at mid-sentence after Andrew pulled him to his feet, almost tearing his collar.
    He punched him on the face.
    "What the hell man? Are you crazy?"
    "Yes I am," he clenched his fist. "I am so mad at you right now Kuda. What is wrong with you? Calvin is 16 years old and you giving him drugs to sell."
    Kuda burst out laughing. This made Andrew angry even more. He made step close to him and hit him in the stomach.
     Later they had sat down together. Andrew handed the ice to Kuda.
    "Thanks! When did you learn boxing?"
    "Movies!" responded Andrew. "I am sorry man for punching you."
    "I deserved it. I don't know what got into me. I wish I had a son also. You are a good father Andrew. I am proud of you and salute you," said Kuda.
    "You can be a good father as well. It doesn't suit you to be a drug dealer. There is so much you can do out there without having the police on your back."
    "I guess you right but this is my way of making money. You know I didn't do well at school."
    "You can do something else. Anyway man I have to get going. I am so tired. I slept at the station and now I have to go and visit my daughter at the hospital," he sat up.
    "I am sorry about your daughter. I will come and visit her," he said walking him to the door. "A bicycle!"
    "What about it?"
    "Hmmm nothing. Nice car you got."
    They both laughed.
    "Crazy you. Let me drive I mean cycle," said Andrew.
    "Close the windows," said Kuda laughingly.
    "I will get you one day Kuda aka Buffaro or is it Buffalo."
    He later cycled heading back home. Even though Kuda was a gangster. Andrew still saw him as his friend. He just wanted his friend to leave the criminal life. He knew it would end up bad for him. He was cycling when he noticed a woman on the other side of  the road standing by her car. He passed by her but later went back.
    "Are you okay madam?" he asked getting close to her.
    "No! It's this car!" she kicked the tyre.
    "Be careful not to break your leg. What happened?"
    "I am having problems starting the engine. I parked so I could answer a phone call and now it does not want to start. I am late for a meeting. I have investors coming from Canada and if I lose this deal. My dad will kill me," she said with a worried look on his face.
    "Let me see what is wrong," he said opening the car hood.

    Episode 16

    "The vehicle is completely fine other than a battery that's acting up," he said closing the car hood.
    "Yes! Car batteries are probably the most volatile component in the car and it doesn't take much for them to go bad. They only have a shelf life of few years and they will die quicker because of things like disuse, corrosion and faulty connections," he picked his bicycle. "Just make sure you get a good quality battery and make sure you keep your ports clean from corrosion and firmly connected. You can go and start the car now."
    "Okay!" she responded
    She got inside the car and started it.
    "Oh my goodness!" she exclaimed getting out. "Thank you very much. It worked. I don't know how you did it. You sure are a good mechanic. I will think about buying a new battery or another car," she said smilingly.
    "You better get going."
    "Oh yes. Wait," she took her purse. "Thank you," she handed him the money.
    "Oh no no no madam. You don't need to pay me."
    "Please take it."
    "No, I can't take it."
    His phone rang and it was Kuda.
    "What is it again?"
    "Geez man. I have a friend of mine who is a manager at a hotel. He needs a security guard," said Kuda.
    "Today. I will come and pick you up at your house around five."
    "Okay, no problem. See you later then," he hanged up. "Sorry, a friend," his eyes on her.
    "No, it's okay."
    "I better get going madam. So long," he got on his bike and left the lady.
    She watched him as he cycled. She got inside the car and drove off . She parked the car at the garage, entered the office running.
    "Miss Shania!" called out the secretary.
    "Not now Faith. I am late. Are they in?"
    "They called, meeting postponed," she said trailing behind.
    "After my hard work," she opened the door. "What was the reason?" she sat on the chair.
    "Well Mr Aaron isn't feeling well."
    "That old man, aways sick."
    Faith laughed.
    "What are you laughing at?"
    "Sorry, Miss."
    "Could you bring me a cup of coffee please. I need to call my dad if you will excuse me," she said grabbing her phone on the table.
    She dialled his number.
    "My princess!"
    "The old man is sick again. They had to postpone the meeting."
    "Well. I have some good news for you," he said.
    "Whats that?"
    "The Minister's son. I have invited him for dinner at our hotel. He is coming. So I was ho..."
    "Hoping that I will come and meet him," he cut him short. "No problem and just as you know Mr Steve Johnson. That dude is not my type."
    "I know but get to know him first."
    "Okay. I will come even though I don't like him. He is so not my type. Far from being the perfect guy"
    "Okay, bye. I love you."
    "Me too dad!"
    It was around 7pm when the driver parked the limo at the hotel. She walked inside dressed in a black mini dress. She looked divine. He looked at her and smiled.
    "If it isn't Miss Shania," he said getting up and gave her a hug.
    He pulled the chair for her and she sat down. Sitting on the table was her father, step mother, the minister and his wife and son. A waiter stepped forward, offering a glass of champagne and Shania took it. They ate and their parents left leaving the two all alone.
    "Your hotel is beautiful," he said as they entered one of the rooms.
    "Thanks. I usually sleep here," she said sitting on the bed.
    She sat next to him but could feel her watching him.
    "You sleep here and I will go and sleep in another room," she said grabbing her bag.
    She was about to walk to the door when he grabbed her hand and pulled her close to his chest.
    "What are you doing?" she asked.
    "Where are you going? Are we not going to share the bed?"
    "Come on Shania. Stop pretending. I know you want me."
    Shania burst out laughing.
    "Want you? What makes you think that? Listen Roy. We might have attended the same University. Our dads are like best friends but you not my type. I know you being a player. You think you deserve me," she said.
    He inhaled deeply.
    "I have changed now and sooner or later. You going to be my wife," he pushed her against the wall.
    "Stop! You hurting me."
    "If you think our parents went home leaving us alone to talk. You going to wish you had gone with daddy. Daddy's little girl."
    "You are drunk!"
    "I had cocaine."
    He looked at her lips, full and kissable. Fire leapt to life deep within him, a ferocious burning need to take to take her straight to his bed. He pushed her on the bed and forgot to lock the door. He removed his belt.
    "I want you Shani. Damn girl I have always wanted you. Your drive me insane," he started kissing her holding her hands tightly.
    "Stop it!" she shouted.
    She tried fighting but he had more power than her. He ripped his dress off leaving her in a lingerie.
    "Please, don't do this," she pleaded
    "I can't. I want you."
    He strong armed her in a real way. He physically wanted to force himself on her, when he barged in the room.
    "Hey!" he shouted knocking him down with a punch. He lay on the floor unconscious. "Are you okay?" he asked Shania, who lay on the bed.

    Episode 17

    "Take me home please," said the terrified Shania tears streaming down on her face.
    He took his jacket and gave it to her. He walked out of the room, his hands on her shoulders.
    "Ohhh wait for me here," said Andy.
    "Where are you going?"
    "I don't have a car so I am going to take the gentleman's car keys. I am sure he won't mind if I take his car."
    "Let's go back together."
    "Okay if you say so," he held her hand.
    They went back to the room and Roy was still lying on the floor.
    "Is he not dead?" asked Shania wiping the tears.
    "No, he is taking a nap. He had too much to drink. He will be fine," he searched his pocket trousers and took the keys. "Let's go."
    Shania kicked Roy on the stomach.
    "Idiot! Fool!"
    Andrew just smiled.
    "That was a good kick," he said as they headed to the exit door.
    The car was parked at the front of the hotel. He opened the car door for her.
    "Thank you for saving my life in there."
    "You welcome madam," his eyes fixed on the road.
    "How did you know I was in there? Ohh sorry. You wearing a uniform."
    "Yes, security guard. Manager advised me to check the rooms. That is when I heard screams. I wanted to go back and call him but then I thought. What if it's a killer? I took a deep breath and yanked the door open. That is when I f...," he stopped at midsentence and looked at her. "Some men are dogs. He deserve to be thrown in jail."
    She smiled.
    "Me calling men dogs. It sure made you smile right."
    "Not exactly," she said laughingly.
    They talked and laughed until they reached Shania's house. He drove the car inside, parked it. He opened the car door for her. They walked inside the house.
    "What happened to you?" asked her father.
    "That idiot son of a Minister tried to rape me," she sat down.
    "Young man. Take a sit," he offered.
    "Thank you, sir."
    He sat beside his daughter.
    "Tell me what happened?"
    Shania explained everything that had transpired to her father.
    "Damn him!" he shouted banging his fist on the table. "I should have known that's what he was up to. I am very sorry, my princess. He will pay for what he did to you."
    "No, just let it go. I need to go and take a bath," she said getting up leaving Andrew with his father.
    He stood up and walked to the bar area. He poured a glass of wine.
    "No, sir. Thank you."
    "So. You my daughter's superman?" He raised a brow, and a slight smile teased at the corner of his lips. "No need to feel nervous. Thank you very much for what you did. It's all my fault," he looked steadily at him. "Trying to hook up my daughter with someone I, myself hardly know," he took a sip. "What a bad father I am. Look now I left my daughter with a criminal. I will surely win an award of being the worst or bad father of the year."
    "You don't have to blame yourself, sir. You didn't know things were going to turn out this way. We all want whats best for our children. Miss is a grown up woman now. I think it will be best if you let her make her own decisions. In that way you won't blame yourself for her mistakes. She is a good woman," said Andrew.
    "I guess you right. Wise words young man. I should take your advise, let her be. Shania can be stubborn sometimes. But what you said it really make sense," he took a sip and placed the glass on the table.
    "I better get going. My son will soon worry of my whereabouts. I have to go back with the gentleman's car."
    "No need for that. I will ask my driver to drive it back. He will take you home. Thank you once again. I didn't get your name."
    "It's Andrew, sir."
    "I see.You work at my hotel," he said walking him to the door. "Have a safe drive."
    The driver took him at his house. Upon arrival Calvin was still awake studying.
    The next following day Andrew spent the day washing his clothes and his son's. He cleaned the house and since he was on night duty. He spent the day at his house. Calvin came back from school
    "I am going to work," said Andrew at around 7pm. "Lock the door before you go to sleep."
    "Okay, dad."
    He was about to open the door when his phone rang.
    "Hello!" he responded.
    "It's doctor Susan. You need to come to the hospital. It's about your daughter."
    "What happened to her?"
    "It's best you come, sir."
    She hanged up.
    "Calvin. Take your jacket now. We going to the hospital. Something is wrong with your sister. They couldn't tell  me what it is."
    They got out of the house and took a taxi to the hospital. It dropped them off. He ran inside the hospital with his son trailing behind.
    "What happened to my princess?"
    "We found a donor," said the doctor in her office.
    "You need to pay the money for the operation so it can be carried out tomorrow."
    "I have half of it. Can't you do the operation then I will pay later."
    "We cannot do that sir. Please excuse me. I have a patient to attend to. "
    He walked out of the office. Hours passed as he sat on the bench with his son waiting to talk to the door, beg her.
    "What are you doing here?" she asked
    He looked at her surprised to see her.

    Episode 18

    Gazing at her now, she stood before him in a white dress.
    "I came to see my daughter. May I ask the same question?"
    "No need to," she smiled. "I was...," her eyes on Calvin.
    "Where my manners? This is my son, Calvin."
    Calvin stood up.
    "Nice to meet you ma'am."
    "Oh please. Call me Shania. You look alike with your dad."
    "My dad is ugly and I am more handsome," said Calvin.
    "Calvin. I will beat you up."
    "He is so funny. Can I sit with you two?"
    "Yes. Why not?" replied Calvin.
    Shania sat beside Andrew.
    "Well my dad had invited you to join us for dinner tonight. I had come to pick you up at the hotel. Mario told me you didn't show up. You had an emergency to attend to. He mentioned the name of hospital that is why I came here. I thought maybe you were not feeling well but I can see you fit," she explained.
    "It's my daughter. Calvin can you excuse us. I need to talk to Miss Shania alone. Don't go outside it's dark."
    "Okay, dad."
    He waited for his son to leave before continuing with his story.
    "As I was saying, my daughter is in this hospital. Admitted, heart failure. They found the donor but will not do the operation if I don't pay the full amount. I want to try to beg the doctor. I can't lose my daughter. I love her more than anything in this world. I would even die for her," he pressed. "I don't know what to do."
    She looked up at him, her eyes shining with tears. She swallowed past the tightness in her throat.
    "You know I would just put a bullet through to my head so they can give her my heart. She is too young to die. If she leaves me now I will never be able to live with myself. I would blame myself forever for not trying to save her life," he paused.
    "Let me help you," she spoke holding her hand. "I will pay for the operation. I owe you with my life. You saved me twice and I will be a bad person if I let you suffer when I am here."
    "No, Miss. You don't have to. This is my problem but not yours. You really don't need to do this. Me telling you this it's because I have seen that you a good person. I really needed someone to talk to but not help me."
    "Come on Andrew. I want to help you. I don't have kids but I have seen how much you love your daughter. I will help you as a friend. Let me help you. Okay?"
    "I promise to pay you back. I promise to pay every cent," he knelt down.
    "No no no don't please," she helped him sit.
    "Let me kneel. You are a very kind person. One in a zillion. I didn't know whom I was going to call to help me. It's like I was stranded. Thank you very much."
    "It's okay. You don't have to thank me that much. I will talk to the doctor. I have my uncle who is a surgeon. I will ask him to come over here."
    "Thank you once again."
    Later Shania talked to the doctor. She agreed that her uncle can come and do the operation on Chloe.
    "Since the operation is being carried out tomorrow. Why don't I drive you to my house with your son. So that we will come back together tomorrow. It's already late and all taxi are gone," she said walking out of the doctor's office.
    "A very good idea," jumped in Calvin.
    "Dad! Really? Maybe you want us to take her at our one roomed house. Where would she sleep. Let's go to her house," he said holding Shania's hand.
    "Okay, fine."
    "Yes! Auntie Shania. Thank you!" said Calvin
    "You welcome," she said smilingly.
    They got into the car and drove off at her house. It was a big house. She cooked for them and they ate. Calvin helped Shania with the dishes while Andrew took a bath.
    Early in the morning they had breakfast and prepared to go at the hospital.
    "We need to pray first," said Andrew as they were about to walk out of the house.
    They prayed for about thirty minutes and later drove to the hospital. They sat in the waiting room. The nurses running up and down made Andrew nervous. It was nervous wait. Hours passed but no surgeon or doctor came out. Andrew kept pacing up and down in the waiting room.
    "She will be alright," said Shania holding his hand.
    "I am very nervous. Why can't one of them come out?"
    "They will."
    Shania tried talking to him but it was for a few minutes. Seconds, minutes and hours passed but they hadn't come out. Finally the surgeon came out. He put on a sad look on his face. It was Shania's uncle.
    "It went well," and he smiled.
    Andrew got excited that she lifted up Shania and his son.
    "Thank you God! Can I see her?"
    "Later. But there is nothing to worry about. She is in good hands. We thank the Lord," said the surgeon.
    The nurses and doctor decided to medicate her to calm down as she had woken up way too quickly from her anaesthetic. She was still heavily medicated and was sleeping on and off for most of the day and everning. Two nights passed and Shania took her to his house and found a doctor for her. Chloe used to wake up most every two hours making sure that Shania was there. Shania would sleep beside her. While Chloe would go back to sleep cuddling her teddy bear. Shania became fond of her.

    Episode 19

    "Chloe!" called out Shania. "Your dad is here and Calvin."
    It had been a week since Chloe was discharged from hospital. She had been staying with Shania all along. She walked down the stairs with a sad look on her face folding her arms.
    "Auntie Shania. I don't want to go with dad. It's so boring living with both of them. Can't I stay here with you," she held her hand. "Please. Daddy?"
    "I also don't want you to go my princess. Can she stay another week Andrew? Seriously I will be bored if she leaves.."
    Andrew looked at Calvin and he nodded.
    "Okay. You will stay here with Auntie Shania," said Andrew.
    "Thank you daddy," she hugged him.
    "Well, we better get going Calvin. It seems Miss Chloe is not coming with us."
    "Actually, my dad is coming over for dinner. I was hoping you two will join us. I hope you don't mind," said Shania.
    "Thank goodness! What a relief. I didn't want to leave this place. If dad is not staying he can leave. As for me I would really love to join you for dinner," spoke Calvin.
    "Ohh Calvin. You really know how to make my day. You very funny. The Kelvin Hart type," laughed Shania.
    "We will join you," responded Andrew
    They sat in the loudge watching television. It was around 6pm when Shania started preparing for dinner. She was alone in the kitchen when Andrew walked in.
    "I thought I could come in and give you a hand," he said
    "Ohh it's you. You scared me up. My mind is in the pot," she said smilingly. "You can wash your hands, peel the potatoes and make the salad. Is that okay?"
    Andrew washed his hands and started peeling the tomatoes.
    "You never talk about your wife," she said her eyes on the pot.
    "She left me for another man. We got divorced."
    "I am sorry."
    "No, it's okay. Should I cut the potatoes into pieces?"
    "Yes, but not too big. I still need to roast this chicken."
    "I can roast it for you," said Andrew.
    "You know how to?"
    "Yes," he smiled. "I am a man  of so many talents."
    After boiling the chicken pieces for 8-10 minutes. He dried it and dipped in a beaten egg. He coast chicken pieces well with Robertson Gold 'n' Crispy coating. He fried until it was a golden brown.
    "Wow!" exclaimed Shania. "It taste delicious. You did it better than I. Actually this is good. How did you learn all of this?"
    "You so funny!"
    They stared for a while.
    "Aaaah," he cleared his throat. "Grandpa is here," said Calvin
    "Okay, coming," replied Shania
    They walked to the lounge and greeted her father. Later on she set the dinner table with the help of Chloe and her step mother. They sat on the table and said grace.
    "Divine! Shania didn't cook this," said her father. "This is delicious."
    "Dad. Thanks to Andrew."
    "Even I would never roast a chicken like this. This is good," said her step mother.
    They finished eating and sat in the Lodge. Chloe and Calvin made them all laugh with their jokes.
    We often wonder, where happiness starts. The journey usually begins, in our individual hearts. Each one of us possesses happiness ownview. We must stick to our values. In the mirror we must be true. Spending time with others, who we love and  deeply care. It's these simple moments in time, everyday we would love to share. All the fortunes in this world, shall not make our spirits sing. It's amazing how much joy, a baby's laughter seems to bring.
    Andrew wiped a tear seeing how happy Chloe was with Shania. He watched them as they washed dishes in the kitchen. Shania's father had already left with his wife. He never thought he was going to spend another day with his daughter. But there she was having the time of her life.
    "Happiness comes now and then, we cannot be sure just when, but when it's there, enjoy each hour," he went on. "Because happiness has such power, joy to you it will bring. Even mak.."
    "Make someone else sing. What peace of mind happiness can show, he cut him short and continued. "Making you and others glow, nurture it makes it last. Forget the troubles of the past. Never fear that it will go for it could always grow and then tomorrow you will be happy," he paused. "I wouldn't mind if she becomes my mother. She is a good woman dad," said Calvin.
    "Did you really had to cut me short?"
    "I thought you needed some help to finish the sentence. See you were disturbing me. I am watching my movie and you busy watching Auntie Shania and Chloe, while talking to yourself at the same time."
    "Its called meditating, sonny."
    "Oh please, dad," said Calvin with a laugh.
    "What are you two talking about?" asked Shania as she walked in with dessert. "I have got dessert with me here. Ice cream, strawberry and chocolate flavours."
    "I am eating with Auntie Shania," said Chloe.
    "Me too," said Calvin. "Dad you on your own."
    "Me three. Guess will have to eat together as a f..," stopped Andrew.
    "As a family," said Shania smilingly. "Come sit next to me, my princess."
    "But Auntie Come on. You should be feeding me," said Calvin.
    They all laughed at him.

    Episode 20

    After two months.
    "Florence, I am going home."
    "Okay, madam. Boss is still in  Bostwana?"
    "Yes, but he is coming back today," replied Emily. "I will see you tomorrow."
    Things had been going on well between her and Max. He had gone to Botswana on a business trip. She walked to the garage and was about to open the door.
    "Are you Emily?" she asked wearing a long black dress and a black veil covering her hair.
    Emily stared at her, heart pounding really fast.
    "Ye ye yes," she stammered moving backwards. "Who are you?"
    "Don't marry him. He is not what you think he is. He will soon show you his true colours. Leave him or you will die," she said trembling. "You will die."
    "You are crazy."
    "No, I am not crazy. Run Emily, never look back," she warned and ran.
    "Wait! Stop!" shouted Emily following but she couldn't catch up with her.
    "Madam! Are you okay?" asked the security guard.
    "Did you see a woman wearing a black dress, covered her hair with a black veil?" asked Emily.
    "No, madam. It's just you and me."
    "You didn't see her?"
    She was confused and even thought she was hallucinating. She went back to her car and opened the door. She got inside and locked the doors. She kept looking through the window hoping to see the woman. She started her car and drove home since Max was coming back. She parked the car and got inside the house. She headed to the bathroom and took a breath before starting to prepare for dinner. She was about to roast her chicken when her phone rang. She just  answered without checking who it was.
    "Hello!" she responded.
    "Run Emily. Never look back. Run for your life. He will hurt you Emily."
    The voice sounded scary.
    "Who is this? Hello! Hello!."
    She sat on the chair in the kitchen biting her nails. She couldn't call back because it was a private number. A knock on the door disrupted her thoughts, afraid to go and open. She ran upstairs and locked herself in her room. She waited for a few minutes and heard Max's voice calling out her name. She took a deep breath and opened the door. She ran in his arms.
    "Okay. I guess you missed me right?"
    "Yes, I did. I am glad you home. This house is so big. I was scared," said Emily.
    "Let me go and take a bath. We will talk later," said Max heading to the bathroom.
    Emily set the dinner table. They had dinner together and later went to their room. She tried sleeping but could not thinking about the woman she had met at the garage. She got off the bed and went to sit in the loudge. She was watching a movie, 'War Room'. When her phone rang again, it was around 10pm. She jumped on her feet and moved distance away from the phone. It didn't stop ringing. Max walked downstairs and took the phone.
    "Whats wrong Emily?" he asked getting close to her.
    "Who was calling?"
    "It's an alarm. It wasn't a call. Are you okay?"
    "I am fine. Let's go to sleep," she said holding his hand.
    There was a bang at the door and she screamed in terror. Max looked at her. Wondering why his fiancee was acting weird. He was about to walk to the door when she stopped him.
    "No! Don't go!"
    "What is happening to you Emily? You acting weird," he said and went to open the door. "It's the dog. See, there is nothing."
    She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. They went back to sleep but still Emily didn't seem to get any eye shut.
    Early in the morning, she woke up feeling dizzy. She kept running up and down to the bathroom. It was for the fifth time when Max noticed her.
    "Are you okay?" he asked concerned.
    "No, I feel sick," she lay on the bed.
    "Do you want me to take you at the hospital?"
    "No, you go to work. I will go later at the hospital," she said covering herself with a sheet.
    "Okay. Call me if it gets worse."
    He grabbed his car keys and walked out of the room. At around 10am. She got up from the bed and took a bath. She had booked an appointment with her doctor. She needed to found out what was wrong with her. Walked out of the house and got into her car. Drove it to the hospital, parked it outside. Walked in and went straight to the doctor's office. Knocked on the door and he responded. Got inside and offered her a sit. He took her blood and she sat in the waiting room waiting for the results. Hours passed and was called back in the office.
    "You are pregnant! Congratulations!" said the doctor.
    "What?!" she exclaimed.
    She remembered that she had stopped taking her pills. It was not good news to her since Max had told her that he didn't want a baby. He didn't want to be a father. She walked out of the hospital feeling weak. She had no idea how she was going to explain the pregnancy thing to Max.
    "Take your pills everyday. I don't want you to fall pregnant," she remembered him seeing.
    She opened her car door and sat.
    "Drive!" she commanded . "Don't look back, drive the car."
    "Who are you? Are you the one who have been calling me? What do you want from me?"
    "Dammit Emily! Drive the car. I will tell you when to stop. Now!"
    She started the car trembling.

    Episode 21

    "We going to the graveyard?" asked Emily, as she took a turn to West Park cemetery.
    "Just drive. Park the car under that tree," she ordered.
    Emily did as per told. She parked the car under the tree.  They stepped out of the vehicle. The woman was still wearing her black dress and a black veil covering her hair.
    "Follow me," she instructed.
    Emily trailled behind. She broke into a sweat and her pulse raced. She was shaking like a leaf, her stomach churning. She stopped and placed the flowers on a tombstone.
    "Here, lay my older brother, Craig. It was just the two of us. Our parents died in a car accident," she went on. "I was very rich when I married Max. I put everything that my parents left for me in his name, including the company and the mansion. I trusted him with my life and everything I had," she wiped the tears.
    "I thought you were dead and you cheated on him with his best friend," said Emily.
    "What?! Is that what he told you? He tried to kill me, Yes. But I managed to dodge the bullet. I didn't cheat on him. He used to abuse me. When my brother found out he killed his parents. He wanted me to leave Max but I ignored him," she paused. "I was blinded by love and for once I thought my brother hated Max but No. He was trying to protect me from him. I didn't believe it that Max killed his parents. When I confronted him together with my brother. He confessed on killing his parents and burning them inside the house. After telling the truth he shot Craig. His cousin brother, Billy arrived later. When he walked inside the house  my brother was already dead. Max lied to him and said I was cheating with my brother, since Billy didn't know Craig. I was shocked and at the same time confused. I managed to escape and I went to Canada."
    "No no Max is not a killer."
    "I used to say that Emily. I saw his true colours when he killed my brother right in front of me. But before that like I said it before. He used to beat me up every night and locking me in the garage. When he found out that I was pregnant. He made sure I had a miscarriage. He put poison in my food. I was admitted for a month. He paid the doctor to fake the results of my miscarriage," she got close to her and held her hand. "Listen to me very carefully. Leave that man. He is a psychopath, a maniac, he is mad and crazy. He is a serial killer. He is handsome on the outside but inside he is the devil's twin."
    It was hard for Emily to believe what the woman had said to her.
    "What is your name? How did you find me? How did you know I was the woman Max was going to marry?" asked Emily with a hint of confusion in her voice.
    "I am still talking to Billy's wife. My name is Selena. Helena, Billy's wife is the one who told me about you. She got your phone number from her husband's phone."
    Emily almost collapsed when Selena held her hand.
    "Are you okay? Wait! You are pregnant?"
    Emily didn't answer the question. She needed space. Time to think, she wanted to be alone. It was too much for her. Max had never laid his hands on her. Was this woman, standing beside her lying? Did she love Max? Was she jealous of Emily? The thoughts raced into her head. She dragged in a deep breath and looked at her. Her heart beat was rising. She looked directly into her eyes. The dark depths of her eyes seeming to search hers as if looking into her soul. She needed to go home and think. Once she was away from her she could think of other options, but she couldnt do any of that. She didn't believe all that Selena had told her.
    "I have to go home," she finally spoke.
    "Okay, but please don't tell him that we met. Whatever I told you keep it to yourself," said Selena.
    Emily started heading towards the car.
    "Emily!" called out Selena. "Be care f...," she stopped at midsentence and fell down on the ground.
    Emily looked around and saw a black car driving off. When you nervous your body is on high alert. Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises. Selena was still quivering when Emily got close to her.
    "Selena! Don't leave me please," said Emily in between sobs holding Selena's hand.
    "Yo you sh......," she looked at Emily and smiled.
    Emily saw the light go out of her eyes. The level of horror at the situation seemed to directly increase her ability to act outside of her feelings.
    "I am sorry, Selena," she said and called the cops using a private number.
    She got into the car and drove off at home. Tears streaming down on her face. She parked the car and went straight to bed. Late that night Max sent a message saying, he wasn't coming back home. That night a blacklog of deferred emotion fell on Emily. She went to bed shivering, crying and fearing for her life. Selena had died and what if Max was behind the hit. She tried sleeping but could not. She wanted to run away from Max. She immediately got up from the bed and started packing her clothes. Suddenly someone opened the door.
    "Where are you going sweetheart? Are you running away from me?" he asked.

    Episode 22

    "No! I was bored and couldn't sleep. I decided to put some of my clothes in the suitcase," she lied.
    He smiled and sat on the bed. He removed his gun and placed it on the suitcase. He lighten up his cigar and started smoking in the room.
    Puffing up smoke while staring at her.
    "I have just received some bad news. Do you want to know what happened?"
    She nodded.
    "My ex wife was killed today. The last person who was seen with her is other than Emily, my wife to be," he put the cigar in his mouth.
    She froze in place as the feeling of terror ran through her body. Emotional brain had already begun to respond along paths. She looked at the door which was opened.
    "Don't even think about it," his voice deep and harsh.
    The slower but more thoughtful path caused her to feel afraid. She began analysing her situation, creating alternative responses.
    "You need to tell me everything. How you met Selena?" he got up from the bed and made a step close to her. "Look, I know she came to you. I understand why you agreed to meet her. You didn't really have a choice. If I was in your shoes, I would probably have done the same thing, going to meet my fiancee's ex wife," he paid attention to the eye contact that Emily maintained with him.
    She jumped in and corrected.
    "No. I saw her in my car and she had been calling me for days..
    "I see," he looked directly into his eyes. He put his hands on her shoulders. "You know I never liked Craig but I loved my wife, Selena."
    "You hurting me," she mattered under her breath.
    "This is just a little massage," he said strangling her with such force. "Dammit Emily!" he slapped her hard on the cheek. "I hate being betrayed. I knew something was wrong with you since yesterday. The minute you drove out from the house I followed you. You went to the hospital and found out that you were pregnant. I followed you as well when you drove at the cemetery," he said angrily.
    She coughed lying on the floor.
    "I should have killed her when I had the chance. Why did she come back in our lives? You see now she has complicated things between us. May her soul rest in peace," he took a knife under the bed. "This is the knife that I used to murder my parents. I never liked my step mother. She treated me badly after my mother died. Dad started ignoring me. To him I wasn't a son but a demon. You wanna know why I was a demon?" he gazed at her. "Let me help you sit on the bed. You bleeding? You will be fine," he helped her to sit on the bed. "Where was I? Okay. You see I never had friends at school even at home. I was always locked up in my room and I could hear many voices talking to me. When I killed my parents I was angry. I realised what I had done when the house was in flames. That is when I knew something was wrong with me. They took me at a Mental Hospital because I had a mentall illness. I killed the nurse on duty and ran away," he laughed. "It was easy. I still remember when she tried running away from me. She was fat. Poor thing she couldn't run a long distance. May her soul rest in peace," he stood up from the bed.
    "My baby," she muttered touching her stomach.
    "You will not die but the baby will," he walked out of the room and locked the door.
    She lay on the floor bleeding. She screamed in pain but Max had raised the radio volume. He ignored her. He called the doctor early in the morning and went to unlock the door before he arrived. The doctor arrived later.
    "My wife. I found her early this morning covered in blood. Please save her."
    "Her pulse is weak. She have lost a lot of blood from the bleeding. We need to take her to the hospital," said the doctor after checking Emily's pulse.
    Max carried her to his car and drove to the hospital. Upon arrival, she was put on the stretch. He waited for hours sitting on the bench.
    "I am sorry but she had a miscarriage," said the doctor later.
    "Oh no. Can I see her?"
    "Yes, this way please," he led the way.
    Emily was still unconcious when he walked in the room. He sat on the bed and held her hand.
    "I am glad you lost the baby. I am so happy right now. I told you never to fall pregnant  Emily. I am coming back. I need to go and get you something to eat," he got up and walked out of the room.
    Emily quickly opened her eyes. She needed to run away.
    "Wait! What are you doing?!" exclaimed the nurse who just walked inside the room.
    "Discharging my self. Please, help me. I need to get away from him. He killed my baby. He will ki..," she stopped at midsentence when she saw Max standing at the door.
    He walked inside the room and locked the door.
    "Going somewhere ladies? Did you try to run away from me, Emily?"
    He got close to the nurse and grabbed her hand. He strangled her to death with so much force that he lifted her off the ground and Emily watched the nurse die from suffocation.
    "That was easy," said Max.
    "You you you just killed her," cried Emily.
    "I let her sleep. It's a pity she won't wake up. Let's go," he grabbed her hand by force.

    Episode 23

    Months had passed.
    Deep down inside, she regretted leaving her husband. Alone in her head, she felt so low. Her eyes are so tired, she can't sleep at night. His face haunts her dream when she turn out the lights. She felt ashamed getting up from his bed. She held her head high, as she walked by his side. Tears welling up, she was dying inside.
    Bound against a swirling, aching black mass, starving for the light of redemption, begging for a drop of grace. When will she ever be free from the guilt. It reaches into her soul, covering what was once bautiful and bright with shame and regret. It covered her eyes and hid her from the light. She cried,
    "Oh, dear God, when will I ever be rid of this guilt?!"
    It snarl and clings to her. Her personal hell raging inside her body, unseen and unheard by others. But all she can see and hear. She will never be able to be rid of the guilt of leaving her husband.
    "Is my breakfast ready?" he asked fixing his tie.
    She quickly wiped the tears before facing him.
    "Good. I need it now," he sat on the chair in the kitchen.
    After they had their private wedding, Max soon banned Emily from going to work. He used to lock her inside the house every time he left for work. He didn't want her to go outside now that they were married. He was obsessed with her and jealous.
    "I told you I don't eat fried eggs Emily. How many times must I tell you?"
    "I am sorry I forgot," she apologised.
    He glared at her and didn't say a word.
    "We going out today. One of the richest man in the Country that I know. His daughter got engaged. They are throwing a party at his house. He is also a shareholder at my company," he spoke putting on his jacket. "I will come and pick you up around 7pm. I will send the hairstyle, make up artist and the dressmaker over here. Are we together?"
    She nodded.
    "Good. I am going now. Bye," he kissed her on the cheek. "Remember I installed cameras in this house. Don't even try to run away. You know I always find you," he walked out of the house and closed the door.
    Emily sat on the sofa. In the house of misery, all doors are locked. Trapped inside her memories, her bliss burns, her lungs embrace the smoke from the flames, she chokes. She fell into the hands of a monster, imprisoned her in his residence. She needs to find a lead, but her pain is the only evidence. She can feel it lurking in the dark, a pure soul out of luck waiting to be victimised. She ran from it's shadow for too long, her only escape is running towards the shadow and being strong. Today, the end is where she will start. To escape this house, she needed to pierce a blade through this monster's heart. Lost in the confusion of her mind. Looking for a way out help by own fears. Caught up in her emotions of love and pain.
    She got up and started cleaning the house.
    At around 6pm she headed to the bathroom after the hair dresser fixed her hair. She sat on the bed in her long sleevless dress waiting for Max. He opened the door.
    "I see you were waiting for me. You looking gorgeous my wife. Can you stand up? I need to see those curves," he smiled, a smile that pissed her off.
    She stood up and walked to him. She faked a smile when he kissed her on the cheek. They later left the house. Parked their car at the mansion. They were many cars parked and people who attended the party. As they got inside the house. Max greeted some of the people. They all paid attention to him as he walked inside the room.  A rich man who had everything, cars and houses. He took the microphone and began.
    "I am so nervous right now. I don't even know what to say but here I am saying something," he paused and let the laughter settle a little. "Today, I am very happy. I had sleepless night for few years, wondering what kind of a man is going to marry my one and only daughter," he went on. "I have never met a man who is so humble, kind and honest. Honestly speaking I am a very lucky man. I can go on and on talking how lucky I am to have to meet the man that is my son-in law today. He is not just my son-in law but a son I never had."
    He kept quiet for a while and sipped his wine. He cleared his throat and continued.
    "It's such a pity that my wife and my two grandchildren are not here to join us. They went on a trip to Dubai. Talking about my grandchildren. I wish my grand daughter was here. Anyway I will be stepping down as the President at my Company. My son-in law will be taking over. Without wasting much time. I present to you my son-in law and my only daughter. Couple of the moment. They got engaged recently."
    They walked into the crowd hand in hand. Applause erupted around them. Emily looked at him and dropped the water glass she was holding on the floor, breaking  into pieces. She needed to make sure it wasn't a dream. She closed her eyes and opened them again. He was immaculately dressed in a dark suit and tie. Somewhere deep inside her something stirred, an emotion long since locked away.

    Episode 24

    'When you really want something sometimes you have to swim little deeper. You can't give up just because things don't come out easy. You have to over come your obstacles and face your fears. But in the end, it's all worth life is full of ups and downs. But if you believe in your self you will always come through with flying colors.'
    When Emily left Andrew it took two months for him to forget about her. He used to think about her every time he went to bed.
    He looked happy with Shania. Andrew took the microphone from Shania's father after giving him a hug. He held Shania's hand and cleared his throat.
    "Aaaa, I don't know what to say. I am really touched by your words father-in law and really I am also very happy right now. All the months I spent in Dubai with my wife to be and kids. Each day was a blessing," he went on. "I was very poor and had nothing when I met Shania. Looking at how beautiful she is, I never thought she could love someone like me. I was far from being a gentleman to her. She said to me, 'Andrew I don't care if you poor. All I was is you, your heart. I want to be the mother of your kids'. I was surprised, actually shocked," he paused. "Today here I am holding her hand. I had never met such a good woman. She took good care of my kids as if there were hers."
    Andrew knelt down in front of her and took her hand.
    "What are you doing?" asked Shania shocked.
    "I know I asked you to marry me but I would love to repeat every word I said to you in front of family, relatives and friends," he smiled and pressed on. "Shania, I give you my heart and ask nothing more and nothing less than that you don't break it. My love and trust are all I have to give to you sealed with honesty. As our bodies, minds and souls combine so do our hearts become one. I love you, Shania," he kissed her hand.
    Every one clapped their hands.
    "Oh my goodness! I can't even stop the tears from falling," said Shania. "I love you too, Andrew. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. I love you Andrew until I die and if there's a life after that, I will love then," they hugged each other. "I left something, I love the way you look at me from head to toes. And when the way your voice sound when you sing for me. When you not by my side, the loss is unimaginable," she said with a laugh.
    "A round of applause for the couple please," said Shania's father, sending laughter in the room. "Enjoy the everning, food and drinks."
    Tears streaming down on her cheeks as she stood by the corner. In all those years she had spent with Andrew. He showed her nothing but love and loyalty, as well as being a wonderful father to the kids. It broke her heart to see how happy he was with Shania. It could have been her with Andrew but she left him for a man whom she didn't love any more. She had realised what was important in her life but she had lost it. She stood at the corner, thinking she had everything any woman could wish for- a good man and two children. If someone had told her then that she was about to risk it all for the sake of money and an affair. She would never had believed them but now she realised thats exactly what she had done. Worse than that was her constant awareness of the terrible hurt she had caused to those whom she loved the most in the world. She regretted her actions with all her heart. It was already too late for her to repair the damages.
    "Any husband or wife who cheats on their spouse at some point takes a concious decision to do so. If you don't want to risk destroying your marriage you walk away from temptation," she remembered the pastor preaching.
    She now knew she should had done that the moment she first realised she was falling for Max. She behaved like a reckless teenager than a middle aged mother of two.
    "Emily!" called out Andrew disrupting her thoughts. "I am surprised to see you here."
    "And And hi hi...," she couldn't utter a word, surprised to see him.
    "Shania as you know, this is my ex-wife, Emily and Emily this is my wife-to be, Shania," he introduced.
    "I am so happy to finally meet you," said Shania smilingly hugging Emily.
    "Me too," said Emily and hugged Shania tightly as if her life depended on her. "How are the kids?" asked Emily after breaking the hug.
    "They are okay. We left them in Dubai with mom but they will be back tomorrow. You should come over and see them. I am sure they will be happy to see you," said Shania.
    "I will!"
    "It was nice seeing you Emily," said Andrew , passing by to meet other guest.
    Emily just looked at them. Max came to her and grabbed her hand.
    "Show is over. Let's go home Emily," he spoke rudely
    They walked out of the room and headed towards where they had parked their car. They got inside the car and he drove off.
    "Max! I want a divorce," she said and Max stopped the car.
    He laughed.
    "You must be joking, Emily."

    Episode 25

    "We will finish this at home," he started the car.
    His eyes on the road. She didn't want to be with him anymore. She regretted ever leaving Andrew. The drive along the busy roads was fast  and painfully silent. Each time she looked at him his stern profile hinted at the anger he held in check. Each passing second became tenser than the last, the air more laden and heavy, and she breathed a sigh of relief as their house came into view. Max parked the car at the garage. Within seconds of them stopping he was out of the car and at her door.  He opened the car door for her. He took her hand and led her. He walked inside the house and pushed her on the sofa. Dropping his keys onto the table, he took off his jacket and tossed it over the back of a large black leather sofa. Unable to keep her eyes off him, she watched as she loosened his tie. He poured himself a glass of wine and downed it all in one go. Emily resigned herself to the situation and sat down silently.
    "You were saying?" he placed the water glass on the table.
    "I said I want a divorce."
    "This is a game to you, isn't it?" He wasn't in the mood for jokes. "You left your husband and came to me, now you want a divorce."
    Emily didn't answer. In her chest her heart was pounding, and a whole stream of butterflies had taken flight in her stomach.
    "I want to go, Max," she fired at him, her heart thudding so loudly she thought he might hear it. "We should never have married. I was stupid to think it could work."
    "Stupid to try and deceive me, that's what you mean, is it not Emily?" His words were slow and very deliberate.
    He inhaled deeply, his handsome face becoming sharper than she had ever seen.
    "I am not going to divorce you, Emily. Never. This conversation is over," he stood up. "You are stuck with me, trapped, stranded. Any word you can use. I am not Andrew. You will never treat me like some kind of a dog."
    "Just admit it's time we went our separate ways, Max. Things haven't worked out," she hesitated for a moment. "We have both been deceived, let's leave it at that," she sounded tired, as if struggling with defeat.
    "You are my wife, Emily and as such I want you with me until death do us apart."
    "I don't love you Max. I never did."
    "So you openly admit you  married me for money?"
    He maintained his angry defence anything other than accept what the raging pain inside him might mean.
    "Yes, I did!" she flung the words at him. " You are different from Andew. It was a comfortable love. Not the way I love you."
    "So you have been lying to me. How you felt about me?"
    "There were times...," she paused, feeling heat spread across her cheeks as she remembered their first night together, the passion they had shared. That night there hadn't been any pretence, any acting on her part. She swallowed hard and continued. "There were times when it was real."
    "Let me tell you something. You don't just come in and out of my life as you please," he twisted her arms forcefully behind her back. "I am not Andrew but Max. You will never leave this house or get any divorce. We didn't have this conversation. Did We?"
    She kept quiet for a while.
    "I said did we?!" he shouted.
    "Nooo No!"
    "Good! Let's go to sleep," he walked with her to their room.
    They got inside and slept. She tried sleeping but could not. Images of Andrew and Shania had haunted her sleep.
    The next following day Max locked the door when he left for work. She sat on the sofa crying all day. She was not happy anymore. She had no friends since she was always locked in the room. Late at night as they sat on the table having dinner with Max.
    "What the hell is this Emily?" asked Max angrily.
    "There is so much salt in this food. What kind of cooking is this?"
    "Max. If you don't love what I cooked. Get up from the chair, take your car keys and drive to your cousin brother's restaurant," she spoke rudely.
    Did she just talk back at him? He stood up from the chair and walked to her. He slapped her really hard on the check with the back of his hand.
    "You disrespecting me, woman. Andrew didn't teach you any manners. Did he?"
    He took his belt and flogged her.
    "Max! Stop!" she pleaded.
    ""You disrespecting me, Emily. You need to be taught how to respect a man," he said to her.
    He repeatedly beat her until she no longer made a sound. That night she slept on the floor in their room. The next following day he made breakfast for her and apologised for beating her up.
    "I was hoping today we will go out for lunch," he said early that morning.
    "Sure!" she agreed and faked a smile.
    At around 1pm, he drove the car at the restaurant. He had to go to work for an emergency. He left Emily in the restaurant. She had her eyes fixed on the phone. When she walked up to her.
    "Hey, Emily. We meet again," she said smilingly.
    "Hey, Shania. Is it?"
    "What are you doing here?" asked Emily
    "I am here with Andrew and the kids. They are sitting over there. Would you like to see them?"
    "Yes, I would."

    Episode 26

    They walked together at the table.
    "Guys! Guess who I have here," said Shania smilingly.
    None of the kids looked at Emily.
    "Chloe, greet your mother," said Andrew.
    Chloe rolled her eyes.
    "She is not my mother," said Chloe. "Auntie Shania is my mother not her. I don't even know her."
    "Chloe I am....."
    "Don't even utter a word Emily," she cut her short. "We moved on with our lives. You are never going to be my mother. You left us long time ago. You are dead to me," said Chloe angrily.
    "Chloe, my princess. You don't mean that. She left you, Yes but she is still your mother," said Shania patting her back.
    "Auntie Shania, I don't even knoe why you defending her. Chloe is right. She is dead to us. You don't need to defend her. As for me I don't want her in my life. I am so doing good without her," said Calvin with a serious look on his face.
    Emily dropped a tear and knelt down in front of Chloe.
    "I am sorry, my princess," she put her hand on her cheek.
    Chloe immediately stood up
    "Don't touch me!" she yelled. "I am not your princess. Let it be the last time you call me that," she ran out of the restaurant in tears.
    "Chloe! Chloe!" called out Shania. "Let me go after her."
    Shania followed Chloe outside. Emily sat on the chair with Calvin and Andrew. Calvin was about to stand up when his father held his hand.
    "What?! Dad, you really want me to sit here with her. I have even lost my appetite because of her," she glared at Emily.
    "I know you don't want to talk to her but she is still your mother, son."
    "Dad, incase you forgetting something, this woman left us. She didn't even come to see Chloe at the hospital. I so wish she wasn't my mother. The thought of her being my mother it makes me sick."
    "Calvin!" said Andrew.
    "Dad. If you willing to forgive her for what she did to you then I don't know what to call you. I will never ever forgive her for what she did," he wiped the tears. "You have no idea what we went through when you left us. Having sleepless nights. We hardly slept because Chloe kept crying all night, asking about her. I need you to stay away from my young sister. Don't ever come back to us. Don't even think of it. Go and be with your husband. To us you are dead. You don't exist. I would rather call a DOG my mother than you. We are done here," stood up Calvin. "And one more thing. I will never take you back as my mother. Goodbye Emily!" said Calvin.
    Emily watched him walking out of the restaurant. She couldn't stop the tears from falling. She couldn't believe that her children hated her so much.
    "I am sorry about that. They are still angry at what you did," said Andrew softly.
    "And you?" she sniffed.
    "I am not. I am a happy man now and I forgot about you."
    "I am sorry Andrew. I didn't me..,"
    "Save it Emily," he cut her short. "I may be sitting here talking to you but that doesn't mean. I will forgive you for what you did. Calvin was right, you have no idea what you put us through."
    "I made a mistake and now I regret what I did. I am not asking you to take me back. I need you to forgive me. I miss my children, Andrew," she said in between sobs.
    "Only time will tell," he stood up.
    Emily got up and grabbed his hand. She knelt down.
    "Please!" she begged.
    "You know my entire world fell apart. My mind overflowed with memories of you of all that we had shared, all that we knew. I longed for your touch and your warm embrace, the look in your eyes, the smile on your face," he went on. "Our moments together were precious and few but I cherished them all more than you knew," he sighed. "IF ONLY YOU KNEW how much I loved you Emily. If only you knew how much I cared about you. How much I tried to make you happy? You wouldn't have left me for another man. Your respect and love is all that I needed. You never appreciated everything I did for you Emily. You didn't know how to say, THANK YOU. I was a useless man to you. I loved you and respected you. Never talked back at you but you did. Everytime I was at work I didn't have lunch because I wanted to save the money. I didn't want you and the kids to suffer," he stopped.
    "I am so sorry Andrew. Forgive me please."
    "I thought I could never love again but Shania did make me fall in love again. She is the best thing that ever happened to us, me and the kids. She love those kids very much. She does everything for them. Something that you failed to do as their real mother. Shania is a very good woman and with a good heart. She wants the kids to forgive you. She feels pity for you. But I want you to  stay away from my kids. You made it clear to me that they were my kids not yours. Isn't it? Goodbye, Emily," he said and walked out on her.
    She sat on the floor and cried hysterically not minding the people in the restaurant. Billy's wife came and took her at her car. She managed to calm her down and took her at her house. Upon arrival she went straight to bed and cried more. She was hurt, heart broken. She started packing her clothes and run away.

    Episode 27

    Cracks are now embedded like the break of dawn yet this path I chose is moonless like a cloudy night. If only I knew and my eyes could speak they would reveal sorrow and not love. Every tear drop resurrected from the hate I received from my own children for my grave mistake from water bodies and I the source drowning in pain. If only my heart could speak and tell that I now pray the Lord save me from my mistaken past.
    Perhaps I blame my body but now at it's mercy I feel deprived for a better present I would have but instead chose the idle pleasures I wanted. The scars I left you with now a sign of victory. A victory as the Lord has resurrected you from your torment and problems like a burning phoenix with you being blessed abundantly by him.
    At a crucial stage in life I now know I should have waited and listened. Listened, cause I now cry and longer smile and left wishing for our tomorrow. A tomorrow that would have been better than my present as I now go through abuse and torment from the man I sought solace in. My love for things has left me in broken dream behind now I explore hoping that I went back in time and chose to grow with you and not just in love but even in times of despair.
    She put the photo in her bag, got up the bed and wiped the tears. She needed to get out of the house before Max comes back. She heard the car sound and looked through the window. It was Max. She didn't care less what he was going to say. She was ready to face him and had nothing to lose. She walked out of the room and waited for him in the loudge. She sat on the sofa folding her arms, legs crossed. He opened the door and walked inside the house.
    "Hie!" he greeted her and she ignored him. "Is something wrong?" he walked to her and sat beside her. He took her hand. "I am sorry about what I did the other day. I didn't mean to beat you up. I was mad at you. I am sorry I want to make it up to you," he said softly.
    "What are you saying?" she asked with a hint of curiosity in her voice.
    "We moving to London."
    "What?!" she exclaimed getting up.
    She didn't expect him to say that. Moving to London with him, meant she was never going to be able to see her kids. She missed them and needed to try to ask for their forgiveness.
    "Why are we moving to London?"
    "I figure out with Andrew working at my company it will be hard on you. Listen Emily I may have killed my ex-wife and beat you up but what I feel for you is real. I love you with all of my heart. I am addicted to you," he walked to her.
    She didn't believe him. He was up to something.
    "Please! Love me? You have been treating me badly for the past few months.  You incapable of love. You are a killer, psychopath. You are crazy. I know I was a fool to have married you," she threw the words at him as if he was no human being.
    He tried to make sense of her words. What was she trying to tell him. He tried to form the words, tried to tell her he wasn't a killer. He grabbed her by her waist and kissed her.
    "This is what you do to me," his voice was hoarse with emotion. "I can't think around you. I can't sleep without you by myside. I can't let you go. For once in my life I have never loved anyone the way I love you. You drive me insane," he sniffed. "Your scent."
    He placed his palm on the wall above her shoulder, his face coming closer to hers, bringing him irresistibly close. Too close.
    "I want you, Emily," he said huskily as he lowered his head to kiss her.
    She moved sideways, away from him, but instantly he placed his other hand abover her shoulder. Trapping her.
    "I want you with a passion so raw it almost hurts. Infact it does."
    She looked up into his red eyes, so close. She pushed him and he almost fell on the floor.
    "What are you doing Emily?" he asked. He grinned.
    He moved away from her and went to lock the door.
    "Now you not going anywhere. Come here my baby, Emy. Emy, my sweetheart, Daddy Max is here," he said getting close to her.
    "Don't you dare come close to me Max. You are crazy."
    "Yes yes yes. I am crazy in love with you. Oh my goodness!" he shouted hands on his head. "I am crazily in love with you. I don't know why I am so in live with you," he burst out laughing. "This is so funny. You know what I want us to have a baby. I need a baby. Come here Emily," he ran to her and knocked her down on the floor. "I will make love to you."
    "Let go of me!" she shouted beating him with her hands.
    She gave him a punch. He got up and she kicked him on his genitals.
    "Aaaaaargh!" he let out a scream. "What the hell is wrong with you? Damn you!"
    He got up and slapped her on the cheek. He pushed her against the wall. He was about to strangle her when she kicked him again on his genitals. She ran to the kitchen and took the knife from the drawer. He got up and the moment he looked behind. She stabbed him on the chest. He screamed in pain and balanced by the wall. She didn't stop but stabbed him again, again and again, countless times.

    Episode 28

    After she realised what she had done. She dropped the knife on the floor. Max was lying in pool of blood.
    "Max! Wake up!" she said shaking him but he didn't respond. "What I have I done? Max, wake up please," she cried.
    She sat on the floor and burst into tears. She had turned into a murderer. She grabbed her phone trying to call the cops but she couldn't. She got up and took a large amount of money, put it in her suitcase. She took her passport grabbed the car keys.
    "I am sorry, Max," she wiped away the tears and walked out of the house.
    She was about to get inside the car but had one more thing to do. She took the gasoline from the garage and walked back inside the house. She spilled gasoline on the floor besides his body and sat down on the chair. She took his cigar and lighten it.
    "I don't know how I managed to kill you but I so feel great after doing it," she puffed. "You made my life a living hell. It is your fault that I lost my family. My kids they now hate me all because of you. I don't know why I was so weak and fell in love with you. I should have never left my husband. He treated me like a queen but I treated him badly. And now I regret but you, I don't regret stabbing you," she looked at the corpse. "He is now happy with another woman. What about me? I will end up in jail because of you Max. What did I get myself into? I should have never left Andrew, none of this would have never happened," she rose from the chair. "Goodbye Max. I will meet you in hell."
    She threw the lit cigarette on the floor and ignited it. She quickly ran out of the house as the body of Max burn in flames. The house was on fire when she drove off. She kept her eyes on the road. She stopped in front of his house and slept in her car. She woke up early in the morning and watched every movement they made in the house. She dropped a tear and clenched her fist.
    "This has to end!"
    "Mum, your eggs are so delicious," said Chloe.
    "Did she just call me mum. It's the first time I heard you calling me that."
    Chloe smiled.
    "You deserve to be called that," walked Calvin in the kitchen. "I can't seem to fix this tie again."
    "Let me help you with that," got up Shania. "Nice suit you wearing," she said fixing his tie. "There you are."
    "Thank you mum," he sat on the chair. "Last night I had a lot to think about. I don't expect to see Emily again. When I saw her yesterday I remembered the day she left us. I don't know if I am going to be able to forgive her. May the Lord have mercy on her that she will not do the same thing on her husband," said Calvin. "Chloe!" called out Calvin disrupting her from her thoughts. "Whats wrong?"
    "I don't know I feel weird. I feel like something bad is going to happen today," she said.
    "You now a prophet?"
    "I am just asking. Eat your breakfast, nothing is going to happen. Dad, you have been quiet," said Calvin his eyes on Andew.
    "I somehow have the same feeling. I even had a weird dream last night. There was just blood everywhere and I was crying holding Chloe in my arms. She had been stabbed," said Andrew worriedly.
    "Did you pray about it honey?"
    "No, I quickly got up from the bed and went to Chloe's room. She was crying in her sleep," he looked at Chloe.
    Chloe dropped the fork she was holding on the floor.
    "What is it Chloe?" asked Calvin.
    "I I I had the same dream," she trembled. "I was crying and dad was in a coffin," said Chloe.
    They all looked at her. Andrew began to worry.
    "We need to pray before leaving the house. Nothing is going to happen. Let's go to the sitting room," said Shania and they all stood up.
    They sat down. She began,
     "Whenever you have a dream, first pray before you say. As Jesus said that he won't leave us but would send us the Spirit who will teach us all things. All things include help us decipher and understand dreams. You will need to cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Talk with him and the more you do, he will start communicating back. Now let's pray."
    They prayed for about thirty minutes. They walked out of the house and got into the car.
    "Chloe. Did you take your lunch box?" asked Shania.
    "Yes, mum."
    "Seat belt, madam," said Andrew.
    He drove the car and first dropped Chloe at her school. Since Calvin was going for an interview at his father's company. They got out of the car and walked in the office. Shania now owned a boutique. She spent her time at her shop. Hours passed and it was around 5 pm when Shania drove to Chloe's school. Since she was doing ballet at St Dominican Convert. They were supposed to pick her up around four. She was late with an hour. Calvin and Andrew were still at the office. Shania found Chloe's class teacher standing outside.
    "I am so sorry I am late," she said stepping out of the car. "Where is Chloe?"
    "Chloe? There is a woman who came to take her. She said something about being your sister," said the teacher.
    "What?!" exclaimed Shania. "I have no sister. Have she been kidnapped?!

    Episode 29

    She woke up tied on the chair with a headache.
    "You awake!" she exclaimed puffing up smoke. "You have been sleeping for about three hours. I must have banged you really hard on the head."
    She sat on the chair afraid and tears streaming down on her cheeks. Afraid to look her in the eye, she looked aside.
    "Look me in the eye, dammit!" she shouted slapping her hard on the cheek. "I am sorry my princess. I didn't mean to hurt you. Mummy, loves you.  She loves you," she wiped her tears and kissed her on the cheek. "We are going to be happy, you and I. All we need is your passport," she stood up. "I need your passport, yes, yes."
    "I am thirsty," she muttered under her breath.
    "Thirsty? Let me pour some water for you," she took the wine.
    "That's not water, it's wine."
    "Yes, you are right. Water, water," she kept looking around the room. "There is no water here. Let me go and buy you some water. In this shack there are no taps. I am running away from the cops. Can you believe it? I killed that man, Max. Your step father. Damn, what's wrong with me today," she dropped the water glass on the floor.
    "Untie me please. It hurts," she begged.
    Emily burst out laughing.
    "So you can run away from me? You and I are leaving the country tomorrow morning. I am going to buy the suitcase. If I put you in the suitcase, you will be safe," she said and walked out of the shack.
    She came back after five minutes.
    "I am sorry, my princess. Let me untie you," she said. She untied her. "Don't try to run away or I will kill you. I am going out now, I will lock the door. If you behave well I won't put you in the suitcase."
    She walked out and locked.
    Andrew kept pacing up and down in the house. It had been fours hours since Chloe had been reported missing.
    'CHILD MISSING'- It sounds like something you would hear on the news or see in a TV movie. But that headline became his reality last spring when endured the longest four hours of his life waiting, hoping and praying for his 10 year old daughter, Chloe's return. He had seen played up kidnappers on TV a late night home invasion, followed by a ransom note and a frantic family gathered around their coffee table with FBI officers and high teck equipment. They were afraid to involve the police since it could led to a much longer negotiation and less willingness to co-operate.
    In the room there was Shania, her parents, Chloe's teacher, her best friend and Calvin.
    "The kidnappers should have called by now. I don't want anything bad to happen to my princess, mother," said Shania in tears.
    "Shhhh. She is going to be alright," assured her mother, patting her back. "Calm down. You know it's not good for the baby."
    "Baby?" said Andrew.
    "You didn't tell him. Did you?"
    "No, mother. You have spoilt the surprise," she said her eyes on Andrew.
    "I am going to be a father!" shouted Andrew in excitement.
    His happiness was cut short when Calvin's phone rang.
    "It's Chloe!" exclaimed Calvin.
    He quickly answered the call and put the phone on loud speaker.
    "Calvin, help me. I am scared. She she got a gun with her and a and..," she stammered.
    "Chloe, calm down. Where are you? Who took you?" asked Andrew.
    "Em..," she stopped at midsentence.
    "You little brat. You had a phone. I am going to beat you to death today!" shouted Emily from the back ground. "Give me that phone!"
    "I am sorry," Chloe could be heard apologising.
    "You are sorry? Who were you talking to. Your brother?"
    "Emily, let the child go please," pleaded Andrew.
    "She is my child and she is not going anywhere. She is coming with me, Andrew. Goodbye."
    "Emily, wait wait. Please I beg you. I know deep down there you still care about your children. Why don't we meet so that we can talk?"
    "You want to hand me to the cops. You know that I killed Max right. The police are after me."
    "No! I will never do that. I want us to talk so that I can forgive you. I want to be with you and the kids. I love you Emily. I really do," he said as he looked at the paper Shania had given it to him.
    It was written:' tell her you love her'.
    "You do? After everything I did to you."
    "Yes, my love. I need you in my life."
    "You lying to me Andrew. You don't love me, anymore. I hate being lied to. Goodbye," she hanged up the call.
    "Dammit!" shouted Andrew throwing the phone on the sofa. "She got her and now I won't be able to see my daughter."
    "Yes!" exclaimed Calvin who was busy with his computer. "I got her. I know where she is. She is near by, at Mahatshula. I think it's 5km from here."
    "How did you?"
    "Dad, remember I did a course. While you were busy talking to her. I was tracing the call. All we need to do is pick two police officers on our way there. In case she is armed. We better do it quickly," said Calvin. "Next time don't throw my phone like that."
    "I am sorry. Lets go!"
    "I am going with you," said Shania.
    "No!" shouted Calvin and Andrew at the same time.
    "Okay, fine. I will stay. Bring her safe," shouted Shania.

    Episode 30 (Final)

    'Love is something, we all cherish dearly. When we lose it, our hearts ache severely. Trust is something we share with a few. It requires honesty and a heart that is true. Love without trust, is foolishly blind. It's easy to lose and easy to find.'
    Emily kept pacing up and down the room after talking to Andrew.
    "I am sorry I called Calvin. I was scared that you were going to kill me," said Chloe softly tied on the chair.
    "Shut up!" she banged her first on the table. I thought we were on the same page, Chloe but you betrayed me. I should have killed you with Max. I hate you Chloe," she spat on the floor.
    Chloe just looked at her mother.
    "Mum!" she called out.
    Emily stopped and looked at her.
    "What did you just call me?" she got close to her.
    "Mum, I am sorry for hurting you that day at the restaurant. I was made at you because you left us. I never stopped thinking about you. I always prayed to God to take good care of you."
    "Shhh, don't say no more. I should be the one apologising to you. I didn't mean to hurt you or your brother. I didn't want to leave you guys. Now I regret what I did. I love you Chloe. You are the best thing that ever happened to me," said Emily in between sobs. "Always know that I loved you. My little princess."
    "I know mum. Are you sick?"
    "No, I am fit. I will let you go. Go and be with your dad. Always listen to Shania. She is now your mother," she untied her and held her tightly in her arms. "I am sorry, my princess. Mummy will not be able to take care of you. Mummy is mentally ill. Now go, run and never look back."
    "What about you? Let's go to the hospital."
    "No! I can't. Go Chloe."
    She walked to the door.
    "I love you mum," she said with tears in her eyes.
    "I love you too my princess."
    Chloe opened the door and walked out bumping into her father and Calvin on the door.
    "Dad!" she hugged him.
    "Are you okay?"
    "Where is your mum?"
    "Ins..," she stopped at midsentence when they heard Emily screaming.
    Andrew opened the door and Emily sat at the corner screaming while closing her ears with her hand.
    "Andrew! Save my life. Max is here to kill me. Get away from me, Max. Don't you dare touch me," she shouted.
    "Emily, there is no one here," said Andrew.
    "Max is here with me. He wants to kill me. Get him away from me Andrew. Please, I am scared. Max, I am sorry. He is coming. He is coming. Nooooo!"
    She kept screaming and shouting Max's name. The police officers had to hand cuff her.
    After Emily was taken to a mental hospital. The children used to visit her but she couldn't recognise them anymore. She always asked who they were everytime they visited. She called herself, Max.
    Later on Shania gave birth to a baby girl.
    "Claudia is making lot of noise," said Andrew late that night.
    "And you here with me instead of helping mum," said Calvin his eyes on the television.
    "Dude! You should go also and make her keep quiet."
    "No, thanks I will pass."
    Chloe walked in the room.
    "Claudia is making lot of noise," she sat beside Calvin
    Andrew laughed. Shania walked in with Claudia in her arms.
    "Can someone help me with the baby please?"
    "Me I have to go and iron my suit. Work tomorrow," said Calvin sitting up.
    "I forgot I have to go and wash the dishes," said Chloe sitting up as well.
    Shania looked at Andrew.
    "I have to..," Shania glared at him. "Okay, fine. Come Claudia."
    She kept quiet when Andrew held her in his arms.
    "Thank goodness!" said Shania throwing herself on the couch. "She was driving me crazy. We should write a timetable. Tomorrow it's Calvin."
    Chloe and Calvin came back.
    "I thought you guys had something to do," spoke Shania.
    "I changed my mind about ironing."
    "I will wash the dishes later," said Chloe.
    "These two children of mine are crazy," laughed Shania. "I am going to sleep Andrew. Come with the baby later. I am tired."
    "No, wifey. Sit down. We watch television as a family. Isn't it Claudia?" he tickled her.
    "Don't do that Andrew," warned Shania.
    "You want me to tickle you also?". He smiled at her.
    They all sat in the dining room watching my wife and kids.

    One of the most difficult things to think about in life is one's regrets. Something will happen to you, and you will do the wrong thing and for years afterward you will wish you had done something different. We don't have to be defined by the things we did or didn't do in our past. Some  people allow themselves to be controlled by regret. Maybe it's a regret, maybe it's not. It's merely something that happened. Something you need most might be something you turn away from, something you turn away from might be something you regret, and something you regret, in the end, might cost you the one chance you ever had.
                      *THE END*

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