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Monday, 11 July 2016

THE PHOTOGRAPHER 20 (Final Part) --by Rose

(Image source: gettyimages.com)

Something wasn’t right and she knew this, maybe Bode had changed his mind about loving her, maybe his mother had gotten to him.
She shrugged as she peered out the window. The clouds were gathering and darkness and rain were coming soon. She missed him so much. She still loved him, still cared, but his mother had already told her to stay off.
Her phone rang. Maybe it was him! She quickly rushed to answer. “Hello Dee,” it was Duncan. Her euphoria died immediately. “Udeme have you heard or seen your friend Nadine?” He was worried, he had called her ten times and she wasn’t picking. “No, is something wrong?” Udeme felt the panic in his voice. “No I’m fine. How’re you doing? You don’t sound too happy yourself,” he observed. Her cheerful voice was replaced with a dampened one. His Udeme was gone and he blamed Bode for it. From day one, he knew that guy was bad luck but Udeme had been carried away and couldn’t think straight.
“I’m coming over, I’m not busy at the moment and I have lots to discuss with you.” He blew her a kiss and made for his car.
“Where are these keys?” He searched his pockets and drawers but he couldn’t find them. This was quite frustrating. Maybe he’d placed them in Nadine’s room.
“Here you are?” He was right, the bunch of keys sat majestically on her dressing table. Just then, something else caught his eyes.
A portrait of a very pretty girl, he smiled as he fingered the picture, splendid indeed! Where had she gotten this from? He didn’t remember getting this for her or her getting it by herself. He picked it up and examined it then he paused, filled with wonder by the words that embraced the frame.
“From The Artmaster, With Love’
“Artmaster,” he mused. Who was The Artmaster? He tried to recall where he’d heard that name. Maybe Udeme knew about it so he picked it up and left for her place.


“Get down from the car!” the men in uniform shouted. Nadie closed her eyes and prayed. Thankfully, the bullets hadn’t touched her, she only wished it had touched the driver who was obviously an assassin.
She took a closer look at him as the men bundled him out of the car. He looked very familiar.
“Sorry madam, please step out gently.” One of the men helped her from the car.
“What’s going on here?” She whispered to the man.
“This man here is a high profile assassin, you’re lucky we trailed this car. We’ve searched for him for years and finally he is in our net.”
Yakubu grunted angrily as he was dragged towards the van by the Secret Service Agency. He knew his game was up! He knew he would never be free again. Above all, he’d failed to deliver and Adenike was going to be in serious trouble. He had to do something.
“I want to speak to my lawyer!” He thundered to the agent who stood beside Nadine.
“Shut your bloody mouth. You have many things to tell us. For instance, who sent you after this innocent lady?”
Yakubu sneered. Innocent? She was far from innocent; his only wish was to warn Nike. Trouble was coming.
“It’s okay, allow him to call his lawyer. With all the evidences we have, he can’t escape prison or death this time,” the chief agent advised.
“Madam, you may be on your way now. Be very careful and we shall get back to you when we begin thorough investigations bothering on this criminal.”
Nadie nodded and thanked the man and left. She was in serious trouble as it dawned on her. That man was a thug.  She had seen his face somewhere and she feared he was the one that she sent to eliminate Adenike.
This only meant one thing, Nike knew of all her plans and she was prepared to revenge.
“I cannot lose this war,” she spat as she hurried. If by any chance Nike got to Bode before her, then she was finished.
She paused. She needed to re-strategize. She needed another plan. She didn’t foresee this turn out of events.
Quickly she brought out her phone: ten missed calls? Her heart raced. Had he discovered she had been cheating on him? She reasoned Nike must have arranged for her elimination. Somehow, she knew she was heading to Bode’s house and she got wind of that and sent that assassin.
Even if Nike would tell Bode about her relationship with Duncan, that couldn’t stop anything. His parents were already taken with her. All she had to do was play her cards well. She had to see Udeme, she had to change her approach.


“I don’t believe you, all these,” his voice broke at the realization brought to his table by Nike. For the first time, he saw in her eyes honesty. She wasn’t lying.
Maybe he didn’t want to believe it, but how could a friend betray another like that?
“It’s true Bode. You have to do something quick to get her back,” Nike frowned as she saw the strange number caller. “Excuse me,” she left the room to take the call somewhere else.
“I’m so sorry Udeme,” Bode cried. He had rejected her and thought the worst of her. He should have listened to his heart. Udeme was a swan, a dove, pure and beautiful, and he had hurt her. He had to see her immediately.
“Madam, I wasn’t able to deliver the goods because the police arrested me and accused me wrongly, the goods are in the boot.”  Yakubu lied. He had to speak that way as the men stared at him suspiciously. He hoped Nike understood.
“Okay, I have heard.” She was careful. Surely people were listening to the call.
Her heart sank as she quickly ran to the room. She hoped she was with a gun because Nadine was coming after her. Yakubu had been arrested and sooner or later, she would be implicated in his trial. She had to leave the country as soon as possible, but first, somebody had to kiss the earth.
“Are you still thinking about what to do?” She asked a confused Bode.
“I think I should go to her house,” he replied as he carefully packed all the documents Nike had brought. He was going to expose Nadie for who she really was, against his wish. Adenike had advised him not to involve the police.
He had to listen to her, she had her reasons which he didn’t care to know but first things first: Udeme had to know the truth.


“How do you feel right now?” Duncan pressed his fingers on her forehead and she smiled. It reminded her of her mum when she was a child.
“I’m fine Dee, just lonely. Bode has refused to pick my calls. I thought of going to meet him.”
“About what? I think you should stay far from that guy. Just forget him and move on. He’s the cause of your problem,” Dee advised. He was sure of it.
“You make it look so easy, he loves me very much and I love him too,” she returned. “He loves you very much? Listen to yourself, you sound quite unsure.” She looked away. “Why does he ignore your calls? Wake up Ud. I’m saying this because I care,” and he meant ever word. “No, you can’t ruin my life Duncan…I’m over you, over the past and Bode is my future. I will not listen to you any longer’.
What was she saying? He wondered. “Udeme, I don’t understand you.”
She swallowed. What was she to lose anyway? She no longer had feelings for him, so she may as well let him in on the truth.
“I have always loved you Dee but you were too blind or maybe I wasn’t too beautiful and you fell for my friend. I felt very hurt but Bode had repaired my damaged heart. He has lifted my burdens,” she smiled as she spoke of him. Duncan was stunned. She had been in love with him all this while?
As he was about to respond, the door flung wide open. It was his angel! His Nadine.
Then he remembered the portrait he’d intended showing to Ud. “What happened to you?” Udeme rushed forward to meet her friend. She looked distressed.
Nadie swallowed and closed her eyes. She had to play this well.
“Adenike—she told me of her plans to ruin us both for attempting to snatch Bode from her.” “What?” Duncan relayed his surprise.
“She sent a thug after me and she told me she sent one to Udeme and they raped her. I don’t know if she was lying but I almost lost my life.”
Duncan and Udeme exchanged glares. Nadine hadn’t known about the rape. Maybe she was right.  After all, Adenike had never liked her.
“God! What have I done to deserve this?”
Udeme broke down while Dee and Nadine tried to pull her together.
“I’m so sorry Ud, I’m going to deal with her. Just trust me on this.” Nadie comforted her. But then, a vehicle had just pulled in. They all rose and followed the sound of the vehicle.
Nadie froze where she stood. What was he doing here?
“Bode! I missed you so much!” Ud cried as she flung her hands over him. He returned the gesture and kissed her hair.
“I love you so much. You’re my world.” He kissed her forehead and ignored Duncan.
“Hello Bode,” Nadie managed a smile but his angry glare shut her up. Was it cold in there? Or was it just him?  Duncan instantly felt foolish as he watched the silent war between Nadie and Bode. Something was definitely wrong. “Darling don’t you think we should go now?” Nadie winked at Duncan.
“We should give the lovers time to bond,” she continued but Duncan ignored her. Gently, she pulled him closer to herself in a bid to leave but the loud bang of the door separated them. It was Nike!

God no, this is not right. Her heart raced. They had conspired against her.
“What are you doing in my house you witch?” Udeme flared but Bode held her still. Nike ignored her rants and smiled calmly. She had everything under control.
“I don’t know what your traitor friend told you about me. I apologize for my behavior towards you in the past but the only enemy you have is your friend here.” She pointed at Nadine who felt stuck. She had to do something. She had to leave.
“What’s going on here?” Duncan asked, tired of hanging in the dark.
“It’s simple, everyone should take a seat. Let’s begin the narration.” Adenike motioned everyone to take seats.
“I need to use the bathroom,” Nadie rose but Nike blocked her.
“Let me go bitch!” She fired back. But Nike wouldn’t budge.
“Sweetheart, Nadie is a devil. She almost ruined our relationship by feeding me with lies about you. I have failed you. We had an affair before I started dating you. Forgive me.” Bode knelt and begged but Udeme was lost. She didn’t understand it.
“Lies! All lies. Bode…” she stuttered as she met Duncan’s pained gaze.
He closed his eyes and leaned on the wall. He had suspected but he wasn’t sure Nadine could cheat on him.
“Is that true Nadie?” Duncan faced her but she looked away. “I guess it is,” he continued. “I now see why you wanted our wedding postponed and I think I know who the Artmaster is.” He thundered angrily. He was too hurt to say more. She had made a fool of him and would pay dearly.
“That’s not all,” Bode began as he handed him the documents explaining Nadine’s involvement in Udeme’s assault.
“I can’t believe this,” Duncan threw them on the floor and walked out. God had really saved him from the devil but he swore on his life, Nadine was going to pay for what she’d done to Udeme.
“I guess you’re happy now? I trusted you. I loved you with all my heart and you chose to betray me. What did I do wrong’? Udeme asked amidst sobs.
Nadine couldn’t fight the anger that grew inside her. She had lost everything but this fight wasn’t over. In one swift motion, she pushed Nike to the floor and ran towards the door.
“It’s okay, all that matters is my love for you,” Bode kissed her and her happy smiled touched her eyes.
“I love you too,” she whispered as his love washed all her pain away and she knew from then on, that he would be her only friend.
“But what of your mother?” She continued. Mrs. Thomas scared her.
“Nadine fed the woman with numerous lies,” Nike answered as she regained composure. Nadine had escaped. She wasn’t safe either.

“It’ll be fine, I promise.” he held her like his only possession in the whole wide world.

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