Sat. Feb 10th, 2024




I can’t believe that John Johes is my uncle, why didn’t I know about this? That means Harvey is my cousin.


“How can I clear my mom’s name off it?” I asked.


“You can’t unless she testifies against him and that she was under duress when she signed this” Scott explained.


“She was obviously under duress” I blared.


I need to see my mom, maybe I could help her” I concluded and planned for a trip to Brooks, it was also a perfect opportunity to see Aaliyah, I miss her so much.




The flight was tiring but was so worth it because I get to see Aaliyah and my mom, I arrived late in Brooks and went straight to Aaliyah’s house.


I pressed on the door bell and she opened the door, our eyes met and she quickly looked away


-this is going to be harder than I thought-“Hi”


“Hi” we both said at the same time breaking the odd silence. “I-”


“You-” we said again.


“It’s been a while” she finally said.


“Yes and can I come in?” I asked sarcastically.


“Yea- yea- sure, my bad. I’m sorry” she opened the door and I walked in.


“It smells like burned toast in here, the fire really caused a mess” I looked around.


“Yea, oh-” she ran towards the kitchen.


“what?” I ran after her.


I went into the kitchen as she brought the burned bread out of the toaster.


“Literally burned toast” she raised it up and laughed.


“Yea” I smiled at her shyly.


“So what brings you here?” She asked


“I came to see my mom, long story” I sighed.


“Toast bread?” She inquired showing me the bread.


“No thanks” I laughed.


We walked out of the kitchen and headed to the living room “Where is Harvey?” I looked around.


“He just left and your mom is over there” she pointed to one of the guest room.


“Okay, thanks for doing this. I know it is hard but thanks” I thanked her.


“You are welcome but I’m happy I get to do this for you” she beamed with smile. -how lovely and intriguing-


I walked into the room and met my mom sitting staring at the wall, she looked lost and sick.


I walked closer and called out to her “mom, I’m here. It’s your baby boy”


She was blinking and I knew she could hear me but still no response came from her. “I miss you mom, truly I thought I lost you but why didn’t you tell me you were a Johes? Lala died because you didn’t tell us the truth. Mom please if you can hear me come back to me and help me bring dad to justice” I blared but I got nothing from her.


“Nothing?” I heard Aaliyah’s voice from behind as I sat close to my mom.


“I just wish she’d go back to normal” I sighed and she moved closer. “The doctor said it would take a few weeks, let’s just be patient and put our trust in God” she advised. God? Aaliyah just said God, what happened? “God?” I arched my brow.


“Oh that, a lot has happened Ryan and I’ve found Jesus, I’m a Christian now” she smiled happily.


“I’m happy for you, well your newly found faith is intriguing, I don’t believe in God anyways” I replied with a shrug.


“You should, my experience so far have been amazing, although they’ve some temptations with me losing my grandparents and still having cancer but it only gets



better and better by the day. That’s Jesus for you!” She said obviously engrossed in her own description but I don’t think Christianity is it for me. “Okay” I tried ending the conversation.


“Does that mean you’d go to church with me?” She beamed happily.


“No, no! Hold your horses and you suck at evangelism by the way” I commented and I saw the sadness on her face.


“Noted” she walked away but I couldn’t help but to feel guilty but you can’t blame right? Lord if you are real, show yourself to me.


After spending a few minutes with my mom, I went back to the living room only to see Aaliyah eating.


“Enjoying your burnt toast?” I asked.


“No, threw that away, I’m having bacon”


“Did I just hear bacon?” My eyes glowed happily.


“It’s awful. I give up on playing chef, I can’t do this without my grandma” she raised her hands in a surrendering manner and I couldn’t help it but I laughed hard. “True. I even tried making raspberry sauce like my grandma use to but it was worse, I had to order Chinese food so your mom and I would eat” she continued and I laughed.


“I love bacon, very much. Can I have some?” I requested.


“I told you it’s awful” she warned me.


“It wouldn’t be if you made it” I tell her but she gave me a slight shrug.


“You are crazy Ryan but have at it, I warned you” she pushed her plate of Bacon and eggs to me.


“So the idea was toast bread, Bacon and eggs?” I tried to understand because the food I was seeing was completely different from the way I remembered.


“Yes,I’m hungry” she yawned. Thinking of this, I remembered Lala, this was what she gave me before the mission and before she left me. “Ryan, are you okay?” I heard Aaliyah’s voice.


“I’m fine and how about I make us something to eat” I suggested and she agreed. I entered the kitchen and decided to make my mom’s favourite ‘lamb with artichokes, broad beans and dill’. My mom use to love this, she said it has this summer flavour she loves and I learned to make them from my rommie; Fred. “Aaliyah where is the black pepper?” I asked.


“It’s in the fifth cabinet, just check the one with the silver handle” she explained and I checked and saw it there.



I cooked for over an hour and after preheating the oven and seasoning the meat, I realised I’m actually a good cook because it came out alright. I served the food with crusty bread.


“Wow, this looks good” Aaliyah commented as she dived right in eating like she’d


been on a hunger strike.


“And it taste good too”


“Thanks but excuse me” I dished out my mom’s food and took it to the room and dropped the tray on the mini table.


“Hey mom I brought your favourite food and I added a lot of dill, just the way you like it” I moved closer and attempted to feed her but she rejected, I’m sure she is not yet hungry. I covered the food and took it back to the microwave as I sat and joined Aaliyah as she was eating.


“She’s not hungry Ryan, she already had my amazing food” Aaliyah sarcastic words were really funny.


I quietly started eating and stole glances from Aaliyah severally.


I was about taking another spoon when a call came in.


“Hello, Michael?” I inquired.


“Yes man and I’ve got bad news. Your father was found dead in his office and John Johes too was murdered and found dead this morning” Michael announced. Well that’s good news. Right?


“Oh my God! Who killed them?” I asked.


“We don’t know man” he replied and for a man like my father, I didn’t know his


death would hurt this much.


“What happened?” Aaliyah asked.


“I know what happened” I heard a familiar voice.


“Tasha? How the hell did you get in here?” Aaliyah yelled. “Oh shut up Aaliyah, die already” Tasha fired at Aaliyah. “What do you mean?”


“I killed your father and John Johes for you Ryan because I love you so much and I’d do anything just to be with you” she explained.


“You are a psychopath!” I yelled although my father was a monster, his death still affected me in ways I can’t explain.


“I love you, can’t you see? I’m in love with you and because of that. I’m here to finish what I’ve started” she brought at a gun and pointed at Aaliyah


“Tasha please, don’t do this. If you truly love me as you claim you do, you’d let her go. Please Tasha” I begged knowing full well that a girl that can kill the mighty John Johes and my dad can kill anyone including me if given the chance.


“I love you that’s why I’m doing this so we could be together forever Ryan. Can’t


you see?” She said with full






“Oh shut up already, who am I kidding you don’t love me right? You love her? I’d kill both of you and kill myself too because if I can’t have you Ryan, no one will” she threatened.


“Kill me! I’d soon die anyways, I’ve got just a week to live. My cancer is eating me


up” Aaliyah said boldly.


“Aaliyah!” I exclaimed.


“No let the bitch talk, because you’ve been escaping ever since and you think you’d escape this one? Who do you think killed Lala?” Tasha boastfully said.


“It was you” I said dumbfounded.


“I thought you said you love me and you killed my only sister” I shouted angrily.


“I did you a favour, she was working with your dad” Tasha shouted.


“I knew that! It was an undercover mission and you killed her” I broke down in tears as Tasha was confused and dropped the gun holding her head like a crazy person.


“I’m sorry Ryan, I’m sorry, I hurt you” she dabbed towards me but I moved away from her as Aaliyah held on to me tightly.


“Freeze!” I heard as I looked back and saw Scott and his team holding guns and pointing them at Tasha.


“No! No! This can’t be happening! Ryan, don’t let them take me away, I love you!” She yelled as they cuffed her and took her away.


“I’m sorry but I investigated and found out she killed Lala” Scott said sadly. “I know and it’s my fault”


“it’s not your fault Ryan” Aaliyah reassured me but I wasn’t having any of it.


“If I hadn’t talked to Tasha or dated her. Lala and your grandparents would be alive now. Gramps would be seating there on that chair” I pointed to a rocking chair. “And grandma esthy would be there laughing and Lala would try to match make us and make us kiss and cuddle in her presence. I threw all of that away” I yelled angrily and sadly.


“It’s not your fault Ryan. Look at the bright side, you’ve got me. You have me Ryan and I’m going no where. I promise” she held my hands.


“It’s not your fault but I assure you Tasha is going to spend the rest of her life in jail. I promise” Scott said.


“See” Aaliyah beckoned with s smile.


“I’ve go now, I’d be in touch” Scott headed for the door and left. We spent the rest


of our day in each other arms.



It was a windy evening and I felt really free, it’s been six days since dad died, the funeral wasn’t the hard part but sitting there and watching how people said nice things about my dad, some even called him the perfect man; trust me that was the hardest part. But I had to send my mom to a nice facility so she’d recover and I’m back in Paris with Aaliyah and we’ve spent this past few days together touring round Paris and as they say; Paris is indeed the best place for romance. Today felt nice as I planned on surprising Aaliyah because her result would be out tomorrow after three months of waiting, she’d finally know if she’d survive or die and I wanted to make this night special for her. I took her out to a fancy Italian restaurant and she ate to her fill as we giggled and discussed silly things.


“I know right?” I giggled as she teased my neatly combed hair saying I looked like Leonardo Di Caprio when he didn’t have money.


“But I like it, it’s perfect” she leaned closer and gave me a kiss from across the table and this drew people’s attention but we didn’t care.


“So the doctor’s report would be out tomorrow?” I asked and her countenance changed a bit.


“Yea but I believe in God” she smiled. God? If You are listening Please save her


and me so we could be together forever.


“How about we get out of here?” I asked.


“I like that look in your eyes, sure” she smiled as I paid for our meals.


“You are ready?” I stretched my hands towards her.


“Ready” she took my hands as I led her out and had the limo pick us up and


dropped us by the effiel tower.


“Wow!” She exclaimed.


“I’ve always dreamt of coming here with the person I love” she sighed as we stood in front of the tower. Love? Does that mean she loves me? “Me too and nothing is like that effiel tower kiss” I said.


“So every girl you’ve dated you brought them here because you sound like this isn’t your first time” she had that jealous look on.


“Maybe one or two or three” I laughed but she wasn’t finding it funny.


“I’m sorry, you are the second girl I’ve brought here” I quickly said to lighten the mood. More interesting stories available “So who was the first girl?” She asked.


“Nadia, I loved her so much but I think she is married now in Italy” I tried smiling.


“It’s okay, I wouldn’t go to Italy” she held my hands.


“I love you” I said and I noticed her breath hitched and her face hit up.


“You do?” She asked surprised, I’m surprised too because I never thought I’d be able to fall for a girl who matches Gucci with Nike, that’s fashion blunder but here I am, in front of the Effiel tower confessing my love to this amazing girl who’ve been through a whole lot of crap because of me.


“Yes, very much. I’m in love with you Aaliyah and I can’t shake this kind of feeling off” I said and waited for she to say it back but she seemed quiet. “Is okay if you don’t feel the same way, I’m so-”


“I love you too and even more” she brushed her lips against mine and it was true, very true. True love kiss awakens you because as her lips were on mine and I drunk from her mouth and she bite sweetly on mine, I felt myself awoken and that I’ve found the one and the effiel tower kiss is surely the best. .




Ryan just told me he loves me. He loves me. He loves me very much. And truthfully I love him too, although this three months was hectic but yes! I fell in love as we kissed the way I’ve always imagined, my heart fluttered and my cheeks hit up. This moment, I wish could last forever. “I love you” he whispered as we broke the kiss.


“Me too” I said smiling.


“Say it, I want to hear you say you love me” he half-yelled sweetly.


“I love you Ryan Pierce!” I screamed as he took my hands and we walked a little


before heading home.



My result just came in through the mail, it didn’t come at the time I expected but a


day after. I was munching on my fruit salad and giggling with Ryan when the mail


came in through the post officer.


“Please sign here” he directed and I did.


“Thanks” I closed the door and held the file to my chest.


“Don’t worry, I have faith, you’d be cured” Ryan held my hands and squeezed them softly.


“Thanks for being here”


“Always” he kissed my cheeks.


“Now open it and tell me the good news” he beamed with smile.


I opened the paper and read through and I screamed as the papers fell of my hands.


“What is it?” Ryan asked scared.


“I’m cured!” I announced.












[Broken vows]


by berlie












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