AMANDA

She woke up to a familiar tone from her phone – Beep!  With one eye open and the other half shut, she checked the alarm close to her bedside – 2:25am. She wondered who would send her a text at such a weird hour of the day; hoping it would be confirmation of the paycheck she had earned from her employer. It was the end of the month.

However, she found herself hurrying for a handkerchief, after she had held her phone close to her face for close to a minute. Tears flowed uncontrollably from her face ;It wasn’t a paycheck but a payback for everything she had said and done. The phone giving a few flashes, highlighted the unknown number anytime she took a glance at the message. Looking askance, she wondered what she would have done if she was back in France.

Reporting to work the next day, was a figure with scuffled hair and pulsating eyes. Her pupils were dilated with fear and the fine tremors of her hands made her usual neat work clumsy. She kept turning her head left and right, looking for hidden cameras. Her colleague brought her back to her senses, when she was reminded she was not acting a reality show. But the serial messages did not make sense.

The phone beeped again- What followed was a shallow breath which made her lose the pager in her hand- to fright. She wanted to pay heed to the advice of ignoring the messages, but she was scared! It was just like she had her twin in custody, and that she had to follow command within her means, to ensure her sister was bailed out.

The message read “You are not forgiven, I know what you did and I am telling everyone”. Screenshots of conversations she had engaged in, followed like a thread. This threw her into a frenzy and drove her nuts. She had been tagged with an explosive, patiently waiting for detonation in the hands of her predator. She was scared stiff and did not know what to do, and who to trust. So, she took a cab home.

She is Amanda, A Christian career woman who had gained a lot of fame in the business market recently. She had just began working in a reputable firm, and had the skills and guts required to progress the corporate ladder very easily. She was willing to go above and beyond the sky, for what she stood for, and boy! She climbed the ranks- hitting the position of Chief Finance Officer in the next 3 months. There she worked overtime, making all her field goals attempted and filling any voids in her work. It appeared she was loved by all because she was hardworking, friendly and eager to learn. She was a firm believer of good will, and the fact that hard work paid in huge amounts at the right time. Unfortunately, she had made quite a number of false friends and true enemies.

Inadvertently, she had raised the eyebrows of quite a number of suitors from every mansion and den. She wouldn’t pass by without necks being turned and glasses dropping. Ceramics in restaurants were even knocking their heads anytime she passed. Her hair was silk stranded, long and dark, flying with any slight breeze of wind. Her glasses were state of the art- designed to conceal her beautiful features. Her eyebrows and lips? Darn!! Enough of the imagination, Reality beckoned.

It was a cold, blustery night so she didn’t expect anyone to be out in the car park but then, she found a note plastered on the windscreen of her car. She was thrilled at how the person could have evaded the parking lot cameras and sent her the blackmailing message. This sent chills down her spine; so she left her car behind, and took a cab to her best friend’s place, to narrate everything that had happened over the past few days and seek a safe haven for the night.

Chris, her childhood friend, sensed the terror in her eyes when he opened the door on her arrival. She was soothed with a cup of coffee and slow dazzling music- soft spot. When she had calmed down, they tried to narrow down the suspects but tallying the people she had met recently with the contact she had, just to find the missing link.

Not surprising, Chris dialed the number. phone off. He then tried to access the number from the phonebook directory on his phone.the number was registered, however such classified information warranted the nod of a number of signatories. She spent the night at Chris’s, hoping to unravel the identity of the mystery man the next day.

6:00 am the next day, she awoke to a welcoming breakfast in bed with a ‘best of luck’ note from Chris. She showered down and set off, ready for the day.

Then, the phone beeped! With a message from Chris this time. “Meet me at the parking lot, I have something to tell you. We have found our person. It is Esi Akoto!”

Right afterwards, the phone beeped again, she hurriedly swiped the screen, like her life depended on it, hoping the message would be from Chris but then, it was another blackmail message. “Send 5000 Ghana cedis to the stated account number or everyone would know what you did”. She would have brushed the message off, had it not been for the numerous intimidating photos that followed.

An hour after meeting Chris, she had no time to waste; she picked up her phone and dialed the ‘known’ digits of her former best friend.

Esi was her classmate, throughout primary school to the world of work where she was her colleague. They basically did everything together which included exchanging phones for a week or two, to sharing the same desk at work. Their friendship, however grew sour, when Esi’s boyfriend dumped her and went after Amanda, some months ago. What killed her was that fact that Amanda had a new office of her own with her name written boldy on the door while she still worked at the front desk.

Amanda had asked of her help a countless times, anytime she got to work distressed, but Esi always had a cool head; feigning signs of concern and love.

“Can I come and spend a few days with you? I’m so scared!” Amanda said, over the phone, when she had already packed her things for a week. “You know my house is always your house” Esi replied, smirking on the other side of the phone.

The next 2 hours, Amanda found herself at the doorstep of her friend’s house. Esi’s welcoming smile made her swallow a gulp and clench the backpack she had brought along. ‘Friends!!’  She thought, as she entered the house.

Amanda took a seat, and examined the room; it looked like recent renovations had been done. The internal décor looked fresh and brand new. ‘The girl must be making a lot of money out of me’ she thought, as Esi returned from the kitchen.

Lodging her seat right beside her, she listened attentively to Amanda’s ordeal, shedding tears a number of times, until the message got to the point- “I have found who she is”

Esi stole a glance at her friend, whose demeanor had changed now. Guilt fell on her face when she attempted to ask who the blackmailer was. However, what mirrored her face was a 3mm gun in the hands of her ‘best friend’

“Why me? Esi? Why me?? After all these years. Why?” Amanda cried, holding the gun up close. Esi was dumbfounded.

Then she leapt, in an attempt to seize the gun from her hands. In shock, Amanda pulled the trigger, landing a bullet on her chest with a resounding blast.

Esi let out a scream, and landed on her own carpet in a thud, covered in blood. Realizing the harm caused, the gunwoman attempted to stop bleeding but then, how do you stop bleeding from a ruptured vena cava, when you are not a cardiothoracic surgeon? Her last words were “I did it out of jealously and envy” and she kicked the bucket. Like a staged play, Amanda fainted.

9:00am, Amanda found herself in her bed, with a towering figure over her. Surprised, she wondered how she got to her room and why she was still in a night gown. It took a minute before she made out Esi; in her executive dress. “Amanda!! I’m quitting my job if you aren’t fired today. I called your phone a couple of times, so I had to come over to see if you were okay”

Amanda shook her head a couple of times, wondering if this was real. It was then she realized it had had a nightmare she could not wake up from.

“Thank God it was all a dream” she said as she hugged Esi, hurriedly showered, and got ready with breakfast, as her best friend ironed her clothes.

The End!!

PhotoCredit: Google Images

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim.