Fri. Jun 7th, 2024

EPISODE 22

 

Ryan

 

I just found a key which my mom gave to me a day before our trip to the resort, a day before her murder and seeing the key now it all makes sense now, that means I’m not crazy that my mother death wasn’t an accident but a first class murder.

 

“Ryan, you have to focus on your health not some crazy dead end, all you’ve got is just a key and a note which says ‘find it'” Tasha advised saying the ‘find it’ sarcastically.

 

“C’mon Tasha be happy for me because this is a major breakthrough for me, I’ve been looking for my mom’s killer for years and now I know I’m not crazy” I tell her and she shrugged.

 

“Babe you’ve cancer! You could die any moment from now. Aaliyah back me up on this, you know alot about cancer” Tasha faced Aaliyah who froze.

 

“Why- I mean- okay why will I know a lot about cancer?” Aaliyah stuttered and Tasha gave her an eye roll.

 

“I don’t know, you look like a cancer patient no offence but it’s not my fault you out here looking like a cancer patient” Tasha teased and I loved the reaction on Aaliyah’s face, it was priceless. She sure looks like a cancer patient. “Good one babe” I laughed.

 

“Seriously Ryan? You too…” She was interrupted by a phone call.

 

“Okay I got to take this or not” Aaliyah trailed off.

 

“Seriously babe, you need to give this finding your mom’s killer a rest and focus on you for a change” Tasha came closer to me and I turned to look at her. “You don’t get it do you?” I said deeply in pain.

 

“Get what?” She asked.

 

“Get the fact that I can’t let my mom’s killer go free. Ever since my mom died, I’ve had series of breakdowns and loneliness has been my best friend, Lala tried to redemn me but she couldn’t and that drove us apart. I can’t let this go babe and I think this last days of my life is a test to find out if I’m strong enough, I’ve to find my mom’s killer even if it’s the last thing I do” I held her hands as she released one of them touching my face with her palm.

 

“I love you Ryan and I don’t want to lose you” she tugged her arms in mine and rested on my chest.

 

“You won’t lose me, I promise” I played with her hair.

 

“And your chest is really hard by the way” Tasha teased.

 

“No way! It’s like a fluffy pillow” I defended and she laughed.

 

“Cmon don’t play yourself, it’s like Pinocchio body made of wood.” She laughed

 

some more and I did too.

 

“Pinocchio!” I exclaimed.

 

“Okay, why are you sounding like that okay I’m sorry” Tasha apologized.

 

“No no, Pinocchio, my mom use to always talk about Pinocchio and how he lied and his nose got longer and how liars nose get longer, she use to tell Lala and I the story all the time” I explained.

 

“Okay, I’m not following, what does that have to do with anything” Tasha arched her brow.

 

“That’s what I thought too when my mom always tell us the story but it’s clear now, maybe my dad is the Pinocchio and every time he lies, its visible just we are too blind to see it and there is this wooden vase my mom ordered from Brooks town and she told us Pinocchio was carved out of it and my dad is from Brooks town, maybe if I can find the wooden vase I can find my answer” I said really excited because this is a major breakthrough for me. “Babe you are a genius” I kissed her lips.

 

“Great! So where is the wooden vase?” Tasha asked and I sighed.

 

“Yea great! Lala has it and she is mad at me” I slapped my forehead with my palm.

 

“Hello people!” Michael announced as he walked into the room.

 

“Michael, good thing you are here, I just had a breakthrough with the case” I said excitedly as I dragged Michael to seat down and I explained everything to him. “Okay i won’t lie but shit is crazy, I mean Pinocchio and would Lala ever give you that vase because you know Lala she hates lies and hate liars” Michael said and I understood him because Lala is something else, she is sweet but when she gets mad she could be creative in a bad way.

 

“I’ll get the vase” I heard Aaliyah voice cut in.

 

“What? How do you plan to do that?” I asked.

 

“Well I broke her trust so if I find a way to regain it, she could help you” Aaliyah explained and I chuckled. She doesn’t know Lala at all, if she meets up with Lala she’d be lucky to come back with her face intact or maybe a broken leg would be fine.

 

“I’m not putting you in danger miss, I’d do it instead, I’ll find a way to convince

 

Lala that our dad is the biggest liar of all time and I pray he doesn’t have a hand in

 

mom’s death too” I scoffed

 

while Tasha patted my back.

 

“That won’t work either, you know how Lala looks up to your dad, he is some sort of hero to her” Michael shifted his hands to his head. And he is right also, Lala doesn’t just look up to my dad, she wants to be like him, run a company like him and be boss. He is the perfect father figure to her. She has always been close to dad and when mom died, that gave them more time to have their father-daughter bonding and their relationship got stronger after her breakup with Michael. “Have you heard from Harvey?” I asked.

 

“Yea, he is actually the reason I’m here, he says he got something and he should be here in…” Michael said checking his watch as Harvey barged. “Hello people!” He shouted.

 

“Cmon why does everyone who go through that door have to yell ‘hello people” Tasha said emphasizing on the ‘hello people’

 

“It’s swag, it comes natural, when you don’t have it, you don’t have it” Michael chipped in.

 

“Nice one bro” Harvey gave Michael a knuckle.

 

“Since when do you guys become best friends?” Aaliyah asked looking back and forth between both of them and I wondered too.

 

“And even giving each other knuckle punch” Tasha added.

 

“Wait is that what it’s called?” Aaliyah looked in Tasha’s direction.

 

“I’ve no idea” Tasha responded.

 

“We are not friends” Michael said.

 

“Ouch bro, that stings” Harvey held his chest while Aaliyah giggled.

 

“Enough okay, what do you have for us?” I went straight to business, enough of their happy conversation, we need to get real. “Are ladies allowed here?” Harvey looked at me.

 

“Excuse you, I’m part of this squad okay?” Tasha said raising her hands up.

 

“Way to go babe” I smiled.

 

“You know I’m always part of your squad” she leaned forward for a kiss.

 

“Okay that’s enough, are you guys trying to go make me hug my pillow all night?” Michael rolled his eyes and we all laughed.

 

“But seriously Harvey, we are part of this now” Aaliyah added smiling towards my direction and I flashed a smile too.

 

“Okay then, I found some files from my dad’s locker, it had to do with some transactions with your dad” Harvey brought out some files and handed it over to me.

 

“From my observation now my dad transferred a huge sum of money to Johes Enterprise” I flipped through the file and Harvey nods.

 

“Not just that, my dad and your dad are not really enemies, in fact they do business together, they only pretend to be enemies to distract the outside world so they wouldn’t know what’s going on” Harvey explained further as I transferred the files to Michael.

 

“Maybe your mom found out, that’s why they murdered her” Michael said.

 

“Or maybe she knew and she got fed up and wanted to expose them so they killed her, my dad killed my mom” a drop of tear rolled down my eyes.

 

“Ryan, Ryan don’t jump into conclusions, these are just facts, we don’t know for sure” Michael tried calming me down but I had mixed feelings, pain, anger, sadness and guilt washed over me because I couldn’t protect my mom, but how could I was just a little boy, a little scared boy who loves his mother dearly and my dad took her away from me.

 

“I need to get Lala away from that dangerous man” I muttered as Tasha squeezed my hands with love.

 

“Wait my mom, maybe she got evidence that would bring them down, that’s what this key is for” I alerted.

 

“And the vase too, maybe there is something in it that could bring down your father” Michael added.

 

“But we a need a plan to get the vase because Lala wouldn’t give it to us just like

 

that” I said and Michael agreed.

 

“So what’s the plan?” Harvey asked.

 

*

 

TWO DAYS LATER

 

I stood in the middle of our large living room in Australia, I flew in to try to convince Lala to give me the wooden vase or maybe I had a plan B in case she didn’t willingly give me which I know she wouldn’t, I’d distract her while Michael sneak into her room to steal the vase.

 

“Look who we’ve got here, oh I’m surprised you are here. Last time you came here,

 

it was a little bit welcoming but now can’t you feel your lie burning this place up

 

because now I think I need to turn on the AC” Lala blurted out. I knew she was

 

hurt.

 

“Lala…”

 

“Don’t Lala me, you lying dweeb” she insulted and I understood her pain because I’m feeling the same thing right now, the pain of being left in the dark. Shit hurts badly.

 

“We need to talk Lala” I pressed on.

 

“Talk about what? Your lying and cheating ass, by the way where’s Aaliyah, that deceiver” Lala scoffed angrily.

 

“It’s not Aaliyah’s fault okay? I told her not to tell you” I explained.

 

“Still doesn’t change a thing” she folded her arms.

 

“What do you want?” She took a seat and crossed her legs.

 

“Mom’s wooden vase” I requested and she burst out in laughter.

 

“Oh Ryan you are so full of yourself, ain’t you? You have the guts to come in here to request for mom’s wooden vase” she laughed some more.

 

“Well psycho, never in your wildest dream would I ever give you the only thing I have left of mom” she turned to a serious and angry face.

 

“What if I told you it would help to find mom’s killer?” I asked and she smirked “Well I don’t care, that’s your problem, you are the only one worried about finding mom’s killer not me” she looked me in the eye and in that moment I felt like I’ve lost my sister.

 

“Lala you need to help me find mom’s killer, I’ll soon- I’ll soon die lala, I’ve got cancer” I tell her and she covered her mouth with her palm.

 

“Oh my God Ryan” she gasped and later started laughing dramatically.

 

“Well deserved, could I add HIV to it so it would be faster to kill you because I just bought a sΒ£xy black gown and I’d love to rock it next month, your funeral wouldn’t be a bad event to wear it to. Don’t worry I promise I’d attend and it wouldn’t be boring either, Beyonce is going to take the opening song and maybe Rihanna could end it with ‘Man down’ or ‘bitch better have my money’ which ever suits my mood and…” As Lala blabbed on I couldn’t help but think my dad did a really good job on her brain washing and turning her to this heartless person.

 

“Dad has a hand in mom’s death and that wooden vase would reveal the truth” I announced.

 

“Nice one, you sure did a good thing coming up with that lie, you are not going to play me anymore” she said snapping her fingers.

 

“Its true!” I blared.

 

“So what’s if it’s true? Lose another parent to justify another, mom isn’t here anymore Ryan, move on. And a little advise, do not come here saying shit about dad I’d always be on his side” Lala huffed and moved away about going inside. “Why?” I asked and she stop on her track.

 

“Because he was the only one there for me when you and Michael abandoned me chasing mom’s killer. You selfish thing” she turned and walked away. I let her go because I got a text from Michael saying he is out of her room. *

 

I walked wearily to Michael’s car and was totally depressed because of Lala’s words, it really injured me.

 

“You good bro, I heard some of the things she said as I walked out” Michael asked

 

as I sat in the passenger seat at the front.

 

“We made a monster out of her” I sighed.

 

“We didn’t. She made her choice, you know Lala, she is stubborn, not want to be

 

told what to do but she is sweet though and nice when she loves you; obviously”

 

Michael said sadly.

 

“You regret it?” I asked.

 

“Regret what?” He returned the question.

 

“Regret helping me instead of supporting your girl” I looked him in the eye .

 

“I don’t know man, I wouldn’t lie, I don’t know” he replied with a shrug.

 

“You okay because it’s obvious you still love her” I said and he flinched.

 

“I respect her, I don’t know about the love part” he shrugged showing me the wooden vase and I nod taking it from him.

 

“Well just know there wouldn’t be any other person I’d recommend for my sister than you” I patted his shoulder.

 

“Thanks man but I don’t wanna end up with four fingers” he laughed and I do too.

 

“Or maybe one leg” I added and we laughed some more.

 

“C’mon man, Lala isn’t that bad” I added and he gave me that ‘seriously’ look.

 

“So what’s up with you and Aaliyah, you guys are friends now? Because I saw you guys smiling at each other” he asked as he started the engine and the car roar to life.

 

“Let just say there have been some emotional growth” I nod and he gave me a side look.

 

“Like what? You catching feelings for her?” He asked.

 

“Keep your eyes on the road man” I faced the other side. What the hell is he saying, catching feelings for Aaliyah? Till hell freezes over. I remained quiet till

 

 

Michael turned on the car stereo and we listened to some music before we got to the hotel we booked.

 

We got into the room and met Aaliyah and Tasha eating, yes they came with us they forced their way here.

 

“Okay we got the vase” I announced.

 

“Good because I don’t plan on staying here one more minute. Welcome babe” Tasha kissed me and I could see Aaliyah looking at us and it felt uncomfortable, I didn’t know why.

 

“So let’s see what we’ve got in it” Michael gave me the vase and I looked inside.

 

“No” I said.

 

“No what?” Tasha added.

 

“No, this isn’t the vase, my mom vase has a Chinese writing inside, she said it’s something common to the people of the Brooks town” I explained.

 

“Yes, it means ‘love, light and life’ and they write it on all their products” Aaliyah added.

 

“Yes true and how do you know that?” I asked surprised and also thrilled.

 

“My grandparents are from Brooks and they live there too, long story short, I’m from Brooks town” she explained and I nod.

 

“So this is a replica, why would Lala make a replica?” Michael asked.

 

“Unless someone told her we are after the vase before I did today and she knew we

 

would want to steal it” I suggested.

 

“Someone but who? Harvey?” Michael said.

 

“Or maybe its someone who is trying to regain someone’s trust” Tasha said glancing at Aaliyah’s direction.

 

“Oh hell no, you can’t accuse me like that and if it was me, you didn’t think I’d tell Lala to write the Chinese writing inside” Aaliyah defended herself.

 

“Maybe you did that so all hands wouldn’t point to you and that’s why you lied that

 

you’re from Brooks town earlier so we wouldn’t suspect you” Tasha accused and I

 

was fed up with this their little quarrel.

 

“You are so messed up” Aaliyah sighed.

 

“Coming from a cancer patient, well I think I’m perfectly alright” Tasha said and the cancer part drew my attention.

 

“Wait Aaliyah has cancer?” Michael asked as Aaliyah stood like a frozen doll…

 

.

 

TBC

 

MARRIED AND STILL SINGLE

 

 

[Broken vows]

 

by berlie

 

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