Zahra stole my heart but my parents are against her (4)

Our relationship took a new turn from that day. Zahra and I grew closer. And I grew to love her more if that was possible.

She was like an obsession. There was only one problem. She constantly worried about my parents reaction whenever they found out about us.
I reassured her all would be well, that she should not let the matter bother her.

"Remember that they took you like their own daughter," I said one evening at Flo's apartment. We had been watching a movie until a power outage occurred.

I lit the rechargeable lamp and placing it on the dinning table, returned to sit besides her.
"But that was before my pregnancy," she pointed out. She cuddled up to me, placing her head on my shoulder.

"I know. But I'll tell them the truth about what really happened when the time comes. And they will learn to love you again."
"Are you sure?" she asked anxiously.

"Don't worry, baby. Everything will be fine," I said reassuringly as I drew her closer to me. I caressed her smooth face, lingering on her lips that were invitingly open. I kissed them murmuring:
"Your lips are so soft, I could kiss them all night."

As I raised her top to unhook her bra, she whispered:

"The light's back."
"Good. Though we won't need it for what I have in mind."
"And what's that?" she asked softly.

"Be patient, babe and you'll soon find out," I said huskily, burying my face in her warm body. The taste and feel of her was like sweet wine that was making my senses reel.
But she kept twisting and turning, trying to slip from my embrace.
"Aunty Flo might come back anytime," she said.

"Flo is an adult. She won't have a heart attack if she sees us making love in her living room. So, relax, my sweet baby," I said, my hand on her breast, stroking her nipple in a way that made her start twisting again, but this time in ecstasy...

"Archie," she moaned softly, arching her back, offering herself fully to me...

Vicious attack
Zahra and I saw regularly for the next couple of months. Then I had to travel to the United States on a business trip. I had been away for about two weeks and was rounding up the business when I received a frantic phone call from home.

It was Flo.

Zahra had been an accident, she said and I had to return home quickly.
"She's in the hospital right now. But you need to come home. She's asking for you," she said. My heart froze at the news.

As I made arrangements to return to Nigeria, I prayed she would be alright.
On my arrival home, I went straight to the hospital. I was shocked when I saw Zahra. She looked like someone that had been run over by a drunken driver.

Her face was swollen, her hand was broken and in a POP, there were bruises all over her body; a deep cut on her leg had been bandaged.
I stared speechless at her sleeping form for a few seconds, then turned to Tina.

"What happened?" I asked in a shocked tone.
She said someone had called her at work with Zahra, stating he had found her by the roadside, wounded, very weak and unable to walk. He had taken her to a clinic nearby and Zahra had told him to call her.

"I brought her here as I didn't like that clinic."
"Did she tell you what really happened? Was she hit by a hit and run driver?" I asked.

Flo shook her head, stating she had not spoken much except to say she was beaten by some men.

"What?" I exclaimed. What men? Who would dare do that to her?"
"I don't know," she stated glumly. "We just have to wait until she's stronger."

It was a long wait.
I sat by her bedside watching her sleep. It broke my heart to see her in this state. I
also felt guilty. Perhaps, if I had not left her alone, this wouldn't have happened. I vowed to get the men who dared lay their filthy hands on my girl.

On getting home later in the evening, my parents were curious about my whereabouts all day since my arrival in the country. I was not in the mood for any small talk so I gave a vague answer and went to my room.

The following days were very tense ones as Zahra battled for her life. She drifted in and out of consciousness and was delirious most of the time.

We feared for her life and I prayed as I had never done in my life.
I had not informed my parents about Zahra's situation. But the strain and stress I was going through because of her situation must have shown on me, for my father asked one evening if I was having any problems.

I was on my way to the hospital to see Zahra and I was in a hurry.

"Nothing, Dad. I'm fine," I said and went out.

At the hospital, I was lad to see Zahra had recovered a bit. She was even sitting up and was being fed by her stepmother.

Her eyes brightened when she saw me.

She looked much better too. The bruises were healing and her face was not so swollen anymore. Later, after the mother had left, I asked the question that had been burning in my mind all this while.

Did she know the men that had attacked her?

"I've never seen them before," she said. "There were three of them; big, heavily built men with bulging muscles. They came to the restaurant and dragged me away into their car parked outside. Everything happened so quickly. They sped away before my Madam and the others around then could do anything."

"They took me to an empty warehouse where they beat and tortured me for a long time. They finally let me go with the threat: "Stay away from Archie or the next time we come, you'll be having a sweet reunion with your ancestors!"

I was shocked at her words; I held her gingerly and consoled her, mindful of her injuries.

"Don't worry, my Sweet. I'm here now. Nobody would dare hurt you again," I vowed.
That night, I lay on my bed mulling over Zahra's words. Whoever had sent those thugs to beat her up obviously wanted to separate us.

Who could that be, I wondered. Ronnie? I had broken up with her after Zahra and I started dating. She had been begging me to take her back but I was not keen.

My heart belonged to Zahra and I didn't want anyone else. Ronnie did not look the type to engage in such an act. But who could tell what was on a lady's mind especially one that had been dumped? She could do anything out of anger and desperation...

To be continued.

Whodunit? Who sent the goons after Zahra? The mystery will be revealed soon so watch out!


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