Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

EPISODE 34

 

Opening my eyes, I saw her, I saw her smile, she winked at me and even twirled around and I sheepishly smiled at her too. “Aaliyah” I called out softy.

 

“Seriously? Day dreaming of Aaliyah, I thought you didn’t really love her” I heard Lala’s voice as she was working on something that I can’t really explain.

 

“Lala?” I realised and tried getting up but the rope tied on my arms and legs said otherwise.

 

“Hello brother, nice to see you are awake” she smiled and continued with what she was doing.

 

“Lala. What’s the meaning of this?” I struggled to free myself from the chair I was tied to. I looked around and found out we were at the basement of the house. “Relax Ryan, I’m trying to keep you safe” she gave me one of those her cranky eye roll.

 

“Keep me safe? By kidnapping me?” I yelled.

 

“Bring your voice down and I’m not kidnapping you, I can’t let you involve yourself in pursuing dad, you’d only get yourself killed” she angrily hit her hands on the table.

 

“And you? You want to pursue dad?” I yelled louder.

 

“You are only going to get yourself killed if you keep yelling” she sighed.

 

“Lala, what’s going on?” I said lowly and she breathed in then out.

 

 

“I found that note on my sixteenth birthday, someone sent mom’s wooden vase to me as my birthday gift and I’ve been trying to put the puzzle together” she explained and I saw the sadness in her eyes.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me ever since?” I barked at her.

 

“Oh please Ryan, don’t act so high and mighty, how would I have told you, when you were in Paris or when you weren’t taking my calls?” She arched her brows and I couldn’t help it but to feel guilty.

 

“Lala…”

 

“I didn’t just lose a mother Ryan, I lost a brother too” she cuts in and I sighed.

 

“But at least…”

 

“Dad is dangerous and I can’t lose you, I’m sorry” she cuts in again.

 

“You can’t do this Lala, you could use my help” I yelled.

 

“You need not help me” she half-yelled.

 

“Lala!”

 

“I saw dad murder an innocent person, I shot a person too all because I’m trying to save mom, this mission turned me into a monster and I can’t let that happen to you, never” she shouted.

 

“I’m sorry you had to do all that but you’ve been chasing after this for years, maybe you need help and two heads they say is better than one” I raised my brow at her.

 

“Maybe three if you count your ugly friend” she said lowly with a smile.

 

“Yea, wait what? Where’s Michael?” I finally remembered.

 

“Oh, yea, I tied him to my bed and gagged him too” she folded her arms.

 

“Is that right?”

 

“That’s punishment for abandoning me” she smirked and I did too.

 

“So, are you going to fill me in on your discoveries at least now I know why you’ve been so close to dad, you wanted to find mom and I’m sorry I wasn’t the perfect big brother to you, I let you down when you needed me the most” I apologized and she smiled.

 

“Thanks, I needed that but I’m still not going to free you, I’d just hold you there for a little while and punish you a little” she giggled and I laughed. But she moved to the other side gathering up some documents. Wait, she is dead serious, she is not going to free me.

 

“So fill me in a little bit” I shouted so she could hear me because the basement was wide.

 

“No way” she gasped.

 

“Yes way” I sighed.

 

“No, no I mean, mom was transferred yesterday according to this transaction she is being held by the Johes in a new facility in graven city” she walked towards me with holding her iPad.

 

“What? Are they going to hurt her?” I asked.

 

“How am I suppose to know that genius and i tried hacking into the facility database but the firewall is strong, it’s going to take a few minutes but I’ll see what I can do” she cracked her neck. Look at her, it’s like I don’t even know her.

 

“Hacking? I didn’t know you were a hacker? Or you were into computer stuff” I said totally unaware.

 

“Yea, you’d have known if you didn’t spend all your life in Paris” she said. “Noted” I muttered and stayed quiet.

 

“Got it!” She exclaimed.

 

“Got what?”

 

“I just hacked the database and dad just transferred half a million to the facility two hours ago” she read out the statistics.

 

“What’s the name of this facility?” I asked as Lala ate some gummy bear.

 

“Mercy and peace and it’s run by nuns in Gaven. Gaven is located twenty kilometers from Brooks town” Lala chewed on her gummy bear as she scrolled though the computer.

 

“Okay, let’s check it out” I suggested.

 

“I see genius, we just can’t waltz in there and say ‘hi I’m Ryan and this is Lala, my sister and we want our mother’ it’s going to be stupid” Lala said sarcastically and this made me smile.

 

“Not like that but-” I stopped thinking about it.

 

“Fine, it’s stupid” I agreed and Lala stood up to go to the other table to grab some files.

 

“How’s your girlfriend?” She asked facing the computer.

 

“We broke up and she almost killed Aaliyah, twice” I say.

 

“Really, that’s cool” Lala added.

 

“Lala!” I exclaimed.

 

“What? I think it’s a good thing you guys broke up because Tasha is working for dad and before you say why I didn’t tell you it was because I didn’t know till you came after the vase and I had to make two replica, one without the Chinese words and the other with the Chinese word and the original is with me” Lala explained

 

 

and I was totally confused. Why would dad do such a thing? Who am I kidding, it’s my Dad! The author of evil.

 

“So the vase you gave me was a replica?”

 

“Yes, but Tasha didn’t know that, at first I was going ahead with dad’s plan which was keeping you away from the truth but while you were busy discussing with Aaliyah outside. Tasha pleaded with me to give you the original so you’d find out the truth because she fell in love with you and saw how passionate you were about finding mom’s killer so I slipped the note into the replica and told her to give it to you which I kind of regret now because I can see how dangerous dad can be and I don’t want him to kill you or lock you up” she explained.

 

“He wouldn’t, trust me. If dad knows about the vase, how come he doesn’t know you know about mom being alive?” I asked.

 

“Because he thought I burned the note and just kept the vase to keep mom’s memories. Dad filled my head with a lot of lies about mom, he said she was running shady business in his company and that’s what got her killed” Lala blinked back tears.

 

“I’m sorry you’d to keep all this to yourself, no wonder you were being extra cranky” I teased and she laughed

 

“Extra cranky? sorry that’s your tag Mr Fierce” she chuckled.

 

“But Tasha, She, she helped me” I stuttered.

 

“Her mission was to keep you away from the truth but apparently she fell in love with you and lost sight of the mission. Dad is hunting her down right now to kill her so she wouldn’t tell you anything” Lala kept working on her computer.

 

“I don’t believe this” I groaned.

 

“Really? Wasn’t it surprising when she started working in jerks? Like the one place you always hang out” Lala opened my eyes to a lot of things.

 

“That’s right”

 

“Of course I’m right and dad doesn’t know I know that mom is alive so he still allows me go through his files and documents because he trust me and think I’m on his side, Tasha helped me frame Aaliyah, you thought Aaliyah was the one who tipped me about you guys coming after the vase but it was Tasha and dad told me to handle it and I thought why not kill two birds with one stone” Lala continued.

 

“So that was dad’s plan? Framing Aaliyah?” I asked.

 

“No that’s was me, I just wanted to hurt Aaliyah a little bit for lying to me but still I needed to keep her far away from all this but it was too late because her grandparents had lost their lives and it’s your fault, always so clingy” she kept typing.

 

“Wait, I’m clingy? Then what are you, you literary tied your ex to your bed because you can’t forgive him for choosing to help me find mom’s killer and you tied me to a chair too, if I’m clingy then you are super clingy” I grunted and she gave me a squeaky eye roll.

 

“Yea right, I get it” she pulled out some files and walked up to me.

 

“Here are the conversations mom and I had over the years, go through it and look for clues” she stretched the files towards me.

 

“I’d take it but-” I moved my head to the rope position.

 

“Yea, right!” She released me and I took the files going through them as she worked on a plan.

 

Going through the conversations Lala kept, I saw how my mom asked about me and Lala would tell her I abandoned her and mom would say she can’t wait for the day I’ll find her. I couldn’t help but cry reading this, I was busy chasing the killer when all I would have just done was be there for my little sister and protect her.

 

“Stop being sappy” I heard Lala’s voice as I sniffed.

 

 

“I’m just so sorry Lala, I can see how lonely you were, I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you” I apologized again.

 

“Let’s just focus on saving mom and taking down dad” she smiled and I did too.

 

.

 

Aaliyah

 

Waking up the next day, I was light headed and I felt dizzy, I quickly ran to my bags and took my medicine before entering the bathroom to wash up.

 

“Good morning baby, are you packed? Or you want breakfast first?” My mom came into the room asking me those questions.

 

“Mom, I don’t want to leave Brooks yet, there is a reason why God led me here. Brooks is a religious town and there is no other place in the world that can build my spiritual life than this town so I’m staying and besides Louise hasn’t recovered fully” I sighed taking a seat, the room still smells like burnt toast but my dad did a little renovation and I’m coping.

 

“That’s nice dear, the fact that you want to know God” she touched my cheeks and I smiled.

 

“Thanks mom for understanding” I stood up and unpacked my bags, I honestly wanted to leave with them but where else could I live my last few weeks than my grandparents house? No where apparently because Brooks is my home and I’d love to spend my last days here.

 

“I’d love to stay with you but work…”

 

“I know mom, we need the money” I cut in.

 

“I promise, I’d be here next week with your dad so we can spend…”

 

“My last three weeks” I said and tears rolled down my mom’s cheeks. It’s sad if I think of it, I remember a time when I had three months and I said this was going to be the best times of my life but apparently it turned out to be, I don’t know, not the way I planned; I guess but it was crazy because I married Ryan Pierce and I made friends for the very first time in my life, I had a wedding and I was the bride although I lost my grandparents but still I found God. I lived bitch! But I’m still learning this new found life but I wished I had more time.

 

.

 

Ryan

 

We worked all night trying to create a perfect plan, Lala seemed so engrossed in what she was doing and it is noon and I’m hungry.

 

“I’m hungry” I yawned.

 

“You are seriously thinking about food?” She glanced at me.

 

“What? I’ve got cancer and I need to take my drugs” I played the cancer card.

 

“About that, I’m sorry but to skip the pity party, I know thousands of people who’ve beat cancer so you can do it too” she winked at me and smiled.

 

“I’d go get your breakfast” she walked away.

 

“And my best friend too” I yelled after her as she raised her middle fingers up.

 

I waited for a few minutes as Lala walked in with a plate of scotched eggs and toast bread and some bacon too. Man, I love bacon; a lot.

 

“I’m not seeing the other thing I ordered” I joked.

 

“Well coffee is not good for you” she dropped the two plate and pushed one to me

 

“Not coffee, my best friend” I quickly tasted the Bacon, they are scrumptious I must confess.

 

“Oh that excuse of a human is cleaning up unlike some people who is squeezing bacon into an unwashed mouth” she rolled her eyes working on her laptop.

 

“But you didn’t give me a brush or a toothpaste so joke is on you” I fist punched the air.

 

“Oh really? There is perfectly arranged brush over there” she pointed at the brush for sweeping.

 

“I meant a toothbrush” I corrected

 

 

“Oh I see” she ate her toast bread. I munched on my breakfast happily Lala worked on her laptop.

 

“I’ve got a plan!” She announced.

 

“Really? Shoot” I rubbed my two hands together.

 

“After going through lists of people who are allowed into the facility and their personal lives, I’ve decided to go undercover as one them” she beamed with smile.

 

“That’s stupid, no way I’m letting you do that” I grabbed my toast and took a bite.

 

“Yes way I’m doing it and I don’t need your permission, I’m a grown ass woman” she says.

 

“Okay, how is this even possible, who are you going to pretend to be?”

 

“Allow me to introduce you to Yara Sanders, a Russian intern at the facility, she serves food to their patients so if I pretend to be her, I can get into mom’s room and then my FBI friends can swoop in and save the day” she smiled.

 

“Worst plan ever” I heard Michael shrugged as he walked into the room.

 

“I liked you better when you were tied to the bed and gagged so trash wouldn’t escape that hole of yours you call a mouth” Lala fired at Michael.

 

“I liked you better when you were on top me while I was tied to the bed, remember old times?” Michael disgustingly said.

 

“Eeww man, that’s my sister” I tapped his arms.

 

“Sorry” he apologized.

 

“I hate you!” Lala screamed at his face.

 

“Okay back to the plan, who’s your FBI friend?” I asked.

 

 

“Just my new boyfriend named Scott and he is helping me with the case” Lala said facing Michael.

 

“So, when did you plan on telling me you had a boyfriend?” I asked her.

 

“The same damn time you were probably going to tell me Aaliyah wasn’t your wife” she fired back. Savage, very savage.

 

“Fine but the plan is dangerous” I shrugged.

 

“The plan isn’t and I didn’t remember asking for your opinion” she rolled her eyes.

 

“Okay so if this your plan is authentic, how are we going to get this Yara Sanders so she doesn’t get into facility while you are there?” I wondered.

 

“Errm-”

 

***

 

We just arrived Gaven city, everything is set and I’m sitting with Michael and Scott; Lala’s new boyfriend in a vehicle parked not too far from the facility, he got his team on patrol as Lala’s plan is on a full swing. Although we had to wait for a few hours due to the time difference but we are here now and it’s morning.

 

“So Yara leaves the cafΓ© by six thirty every morning and baths her grandma dog for the next thirty minutes” Scott said into the cams fixed on Lala’s ear so we could communicate with her.

 

“I see her, she just walked into the house” Lala announced and Scott nods.

 

“Good, just wait there a little bit, she’d be out soon and then she would head to her father’s store to grab some few things, on her way back you are going to ambush her, copy?” He asked.

 

“Copy” she replied.

 

“So Scott? Are you Scottish?” I asked and he gave me a ‘hey dude, you are weird’ face.

 

“No I’m British” he replied.

 

“I see, hope you ain’t going to break my sister’s heart”

 

“Ryan, I’ve been with your sister for three years and I’m so into her” he smiled as Michael adjusted himself in his seat, I knew he was uncomfortable.

 

“Funny, my sister didn’t mention you” I tried stepping on his toes figuratively not literally.

 

“She didn’t mention you either” he said.

 

“I’m on to her, she is just heading to her father’s store” Lala said before I could say another word.

 

“Good, just follow her and know the patrol team are around in case it goes sideways ” Scott breathed in and out.

 

“It wouldn’t” Lala reassured.

 

“Okay, be safe”

 

We remained silent as Michael kept making sounds with the food he was eating and it was annoying and if he wasn’t my best friend, I’d have chopped his head off by now.

 

“I got her, she is coming back from her father’s store” Lala said.

 

“Okay approach her now” Scott said.

 

“Hello Yara” I heard Lala’s voice.

 

“Hi, do I know you?” The girl asked with obvious innocence in her Russian accent.

 

“No, not really but let me introduce myself. I’m Yara Sanders” Lala’s voice could

 

be heard as she said those words.

 

“What?”

 

“Goodnight” Lala sedated her and drew her into woods.

 

“Perfect!” Scott commended.

 

“The patrol team would help with your make over, just let us know when you are done” Scott said.

 

 

“Thanks babe” Lala said and Michael coughed. Man, he is hurting, he never expected this, to be seated with Lala’s boyfriend in the same truck.

 

We waited a few minutes and Lala’s voice was heard but with a Russian accent, damn! She is good.

 

“I’m going into the facility” she said and I flinched, I tried to stay calm and put all my trust in her but that brother in me wouldn’t budge.

 

“Stay safe” I yelled into the cams.

 

“I would” her Russian accent was intriguing.

 

“Hello, sorry I’m late, I had to do some extra chores” Lala apologized as Yara. “It’s fine, start feeding them now and also don’t forget their drugs especially that of Mrs Pierce. She is special” I heard a woman’s voice and I’m guessing it was a nun.

 

“Yes ma” she replied and a sigh of relief escaped me.

 

“Okay I’m in and I’m walking through the hallway, the people seems weird and they keep looking at me” Lala filled us in. “Do you think they are on to her?” I panicked.

 

“Ryan, trust” Michael finally spoke.

 

“I never thought I’d say this but thanks Michael” Lala said.

 

“Oh I just got into the kitchen, I’m seeing weird food here” she continued.

 

“Ms Sanders” we heard a voice call her name.

 

“Yes sir” I guess she turned to him.

 

“Hmm, you look different and who were you talking to?” The voice asked.

 

“No one Mr John Johes” I heard Lala’s voice break, I knew she was scared. Who wouldn’t she was standing in front of John Johes.

 

“Mr John Johes? no one calls me that here, who are you exactly?” I heard the voice blare hard.

 

“Sir, please your attention is needed, Senator Pierce just arrived” I heard another feminine voice say.

 

“Tell him I’d be with him shortly” he replied.

 

“John Johes” I heard dad’s voice in the cams.

 

“Guys dad is here!” Lala whispered scared.

 

“Would dad recognize her?” I asked but no one answered me, we just glanced at each other.

 

I think we just got busted.

 

.

 

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TBC

 

MARRIED AND STILL SINGLE

 

[Broken vows]

 

by berlie

 

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