Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 13

This entry is part 14 of 24 in the series Dawn to Dusk

Last Updated on May 29, 2018 by Memorila

When his arranged marriage went haywire, James has to juggle from being a father to his eleven months old son, keeping his job, finding love in the strangest place, maintaining a balance and peace between his family and that of his in-laws, who are lost in the battle of power and authority.


“What!” Queen exclaimed. The shock set her free and she staggered. Her legs shivered in heightened blow. Despite the cool breeze cheerfully supplied by the air conditioner, hot sweat dripped down her face and back, surfing its way down her spine. Her eyes were closing. Her head spun and grew excessively massive. She felt her blood froze, her bones crushed, her heart stopped beating and she could feel her lungs repel the little air her nose and agape mouth could muster. She was overwhelmed, feeling dead. Her father made a pronouncement she never expected; a pronouncement that would make her a tramp. She has no hope of returning to James, that idea was ruled out the moment her father made the promise of sending her to Germany. Her going back to James would require huge apology, and she wasn’t given to apologise. How could she even do that; something she has never done in her entire life? She was always on the receiving end, as James would apologise to her even when she was wrong. But the James she knew was now gone. There was no place for her again except her father’s house, which suddenly ran out of rooms for her.

“You can’t do this to me, Dad. James will not take me again, no matter how hard I try,” she managed to say with her lips trembling. “What about Germany? You promised to send me…”

“Forget about it,” Nnadi paused his clambering to reply. “Go back to your husband, ask for his forgiveness. With these same emotions you are wasting here, I believe he will forgive you.”

“He has a new girl, dad!” Queen shouted.

Nnadi was stunned by what he heard, but he was even more stunned when he saw Smith lurking behind a pillar at the gallery. His worry shifted from Queen to whether Smith heard all that was said, for that would hatch even a bigger problem. He peered at him curiously in fear.

“Don’t bother asking dad,” Smith interrupted his thoughts. “I heard everything. I have always known something was wrong, but now I understand.”

“It’s not what you think, Smith,” Nnadi tried to diffuse the trouble that was building up. “Yes I lied about the proposal, but she was never going to get married. She was thirty-two, what I did was what any father would have done. I used what we have to get what she wants.”

“Thirty-two is not old!” Smith said, obviously not buying his father’s explanation. He could not understand why he forced his daughter into marriage, regardless of her age. “And coming from one who hides everything from me, I don’t see why I should believe you. I am your son, dad, your first and only son; it is only wise you tell me things like this, so I can know where to stand and how to protect our family. Oh! I forgot, I am just a boy. I will not understand. The same reason why I’m yet to be briefed on the family’s business.”

Nnadi was going to explain further when Smith interrupted with the words he feared most.

“This is not ending here, dad! You just brought in ant-infested firewood; I hope you are ready for the rapid and enthusiastic condolence visit of lizards. That’s an African adage, right?” He was sarcastic, but mean.

“I am only protecting you, Smith,” Nnadi defended.

His family was on the verge of falling apart and it would take the expertise that he did not have to fix it before things escalate.

“I didn’t want you to meddle in any of these. You are young and I want a better and brighter future for you.”


Smith had insisted his father formally pronounce him the heir to the family business since his return from the UK, where he obtained his Master’s degree in Business Management. But Nnadi discarded the idea and also prevented him from having anything to do with the business. Smith was truly the heir and would take over the business someday, but Nnadi did not want that to happen yet. He wanted to set a smooth sail for him, by erasing his name from bad records in his business division.

He was the wealthiest man in his division, a status which earned him the prestigious post of the Divisional President. However, he got so power drunk that he became domineering and intimidating; a tyrant, dreaded by all. During his regime, new entrants to the division were subjected to very exorbitant and cruel terms and conditions. Those who complied were given free and supportive entrance, while those who fell short were publicly dealt with. Some were blatantly rejected while others withdrew of their own accord. This continued till he fell out of favour with the government, which had hitherto showered a questionable immunity on him. A new president was then elected after his two-term regime – wealthy, yet very kind and considerate. Afterwards, the entire division developed a conspired hatred for him, with every man always conniving with whoever was handy to plot evil against him.

A friend informed him of the brewing conspiracy to hurt and ruin him. He began a restorative mission in a bid to use his influence and finances to mend the hearts he had broken and crushed. It worked in some, failed in others, while a great number didn’t bother granting him audience. So he was still much hunted. He regretted his evil deeds and selfishness. His ignorance of the fact that tomorrow always comes with a different package. Hence his blunt refusal when Smith asked to join him upon his return from the UK, fearing the African adage which says that when a hen misses a trap, the person who set the trap waits for its chicks. He however advised him to make use of his certificates, get a white collar job and make a meaningful and responsible living. He even promised to help get him a good job in the civil service through his politician friends, but Smith’s interest was solely in the family business. And since Nnadi could not tell him why he couldn’t join, replying him with the belittling sentence of ‘you will not understand because you are still a small boy’, he then became much interested in the mystery. He was curious to know what was at stake, and despite his father’s pleas to exercise some patience, and warnings to never visit the company on any occasion, he still dropped by sometimes, telling whoever cared to listen his relationship with Nnadi.

“Unless there is an illegal business you are into, I do not see any harm for you to protect me from. And as for Queen…” Smith paused, looked around for her but she was gone. “Where is she?” he asked.

“Who?” Nnadi asked confused.

“Queen! Where is she?” Smith asked as he impatiently rushed down the stairs, brushing his father with his shoulder.

“She is…” Nnadi halted as he turned and found no trace of his prodigal daughter.

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Series Navigation<< Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 12Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 14 >>

E.C Micheals

E.C Michael, a graduate of Theater Arts, is a passionate writer who believes that stories should blend with education so as to help correct social vices in the world. His watchword is edutainment. He writes screenplays, novels, short stories and essays. When not writing, he is blogging or watching Game of Thrones and Designated Survivor.

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