Valley Of Decisions (Story)

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    It is purely a work of fiction. Any similarities to persons (living or
    deceased) are coincidental and a product of the author’s imagination.

    Episode One

    It was a beautiful day in Baron and the weather smelled nice,
    engulfed in the bloom of flowers and the brightness of the shining
    sun. I had asked for a table outside but the café was full to the brim.
    There were people everywhere so we settled for a table in the middle
    of the café.
    I was staring at the couple sitting beside us with their baby; they
    looked so in love, giggling and holding hands. I smiled wishing I was
    that lucky lady. The smile I had quickly faded as I turned back to
    continue my conversation with my boyfriend. I had asked him a
    very important question but he refused to give me the answer.
    He looked up from his phone, stared at me for a few seconds and
    carried on with whatever he was doing on his phone. I wanted to
    grab the phone out of his hands and fling it as far away as possible.
    Instead, I banged my hands on the table and said, “I am getting so
    tired of you stringing me along Ben; enough of this. Do you want to
    marry me or not?”
    Taken aback, he looked at me like I was crazy but still managed to
    catch the bottle of lemonade that almost fell off the table.
    “Laila, look I have told you more than a thousand times that we will
    get married when the time is right,” he said. “Stop putting pressure
    on me, okay?”
    I stared at him blankly and began to think about my life. How did I
    get myself into this mess? This is not what I had in mind at all. I had
    done everything possible I knew to do. I had spoken up, poured out
    my heart, and even dragged Ben to every relationship seminar I
    heard of, just to get him to commit to me.
    Nothing seemed to work!
    In fact, we had just taken a one-day road trip out of town to
    Rockville, for yet another relationship seminar and decided to stop
    somewhere for a snack as we headed back home.
    We had already eaten but I told him I wanted us to talk about
    something very important before we left. I needed to get this over
    and done with.
    His voice and the snapping of his fingers brought me back to reality.
    “Laila! Hello! Did you hear me? I said are we good to go?”
    I was upset at his utter disregard for my feelings, and before I knew
    it, I was yelling, totally ignoring the stares I was getting from the
    people around.
    “I never put pressure on you! How many times do I have to remind
    you that you need to meet my parents? We have been in this thing
    you call a relationship for seven years and my parents don’t know
    anything about you.” I paused to catch my breath. “If they’d never
    spoken to you, I doubt that they’d believe you exist. Does that make
    any sense to you?”
    Ben looked around the cafe embarrassed as he removed his wallet
    from his pocket.
    He looked at me disapprovingly.
    “I think it’s time to leave,” he said and sighed loudly as he opened his
    wallet and brought out a few bills.
    “Look, I’ve told you I will meet them when I am ready to propose to
    you. You’re being a drama queen.” Ben folded his arms and leaned
    back in his chair. “If that’s not good enough for you, too bad!”
    I also leaned back as I let out a frustrated sigh, struggling to
    keep myself from slapping him hard, right across the face.
    “I’ve had it, Ben!” I blurted out. “You’re not going to keep playing me
    for a fool. What do you mean by when you’re ready to propose?
    Exactly how much longer do you need to make up your mind?”
    I didn’t wait for his response.
    I was close to tears and started talking loudly to myself as I placed
    both my hands on my head. “Laila, why are you doing this to
    yourself? Why would you allow anyone to treat you…?”
    Ben stood up abruptly before I could finish my sentence, and just as
    he was about to grab his jacket, I stood up and shoved him back into
    his chair.
    By this time, I could hear some murmuring and giggling around me,
    but I didn’t care.
    Not now.
    He looked at me shocked and said, “You need to get yourself together
    and stop making a scene. If I didn’t want to be with you, don’t you
    think I would have gotten lost a long time ago?”
    I sat down abruptly and picked up my fork, ready to throw it at him.
    I was too slow. He almost knocked the table over trying to dodge my
    “Stop asking me silly questions,” I yelled. “What about me? Are you
    thinking about how all this makes me feel?” I laughed. “No! Of
    course, you’re not. It’s all about Ben. It’s all about Benjamin Manda.
    As long as everything is working out for you, his royal highness, no
    one else matters. Not even me; the woman you claim to love,” I said
    as I rolled my eyes dramatically.
    I started to calm down as I noticed the puzzled stares from around
    the cafe. I admit I shouldn’t have been so dramatic but I had taken
    more than enough of this. I can be a drama queen sometimes but
    anyone who knows Ben won’t blame me. He hardly takes anything
    seriously. I could feel a migraine coming and my tears were getting
    closer to the surface but I was not going to let this man make me cry
    so I guess I felt yelling was a better option.
    The baby beside us suddenly burst out screaming. That was my cue
    to end this drama I was playing out in front of all these strangers. As
    much as I didn’t want to, I finally succumbed to the irritated and
    disapproving stares shot my way, so I lowered my voice.
    I leaned forward and began to whisper. “Don’t call me a drama
    queen, Ben. I just want to be sure of this path that we’ve been on
    since Noah started building the ark.”
    He suddenly burst out laughing like he had heard the joke of the
    century. His laughter was aggravating my migraine and I seriously
    reconsidered holding back that slap. He took a sip from his glass of
    lemonade and looked straight at me. “I am done talking about this,”
    he said. “Since you’re obviously not in a hurry to get back home, let’s
    talk about something else. How’s that employment discrimination
    case you’re handling?”
    I couldn’t believe him. He dismissed me just like that! I waved him
    off. “I don’t want to discuss that with you,” I said. “We are not done
    with this conversation. You think I don’t see that you are brushing
    me off again?”
    Ben knew I loved my job as a lawyer and I could talk about it even in
    my sleep. Anytime he wants to change the conversation – which is
    often, he begins with my cases at work. Many times, I fell for it but I
    made up my mind that not this time. I was done with him treating
    me like a little child he could wind around his little finger.
    I looked him straight in his eyes, channelling every emotion I felt in
    that moment to him, and said, “I am giving you this ultimatum for
    the final time, Ben. My parents will be here in 2 months and I expect
    you to do right by me or…”
    He slammed his glass on the table and pointed his finger at me. “I
    would advise you not to finish that statement, Laila Ocheng. I won’t
    take that from you.”
    I was about to respond when my eye caught a waitress storming
    towards our table. At that moment, Ben stood up, grabbed his jacket,
    flung the cash on the table and stormed out without saying a word to
    I called out to this man who had chosen to make a complete fool out
    of me.
    “Ben! Don’t walk out on me! Let’s end this conversation here. Ben!
    Ben Manda…”
    I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Excuse me, ma’am. It’s time for you to
    leave. You are being a nuisance to the customers here.” She stood
    there with a scowl on her face and her hands on her hips.
    I began to pack my things together. “Me? Leave? A nuisance? How?” I
    asked. “I was just trying to have a conversation with my boy…”
    She cut me off with the wave of her hand. “Yes, we all heard. You
    have spent seven years with him and you have nothing to show for
    it.” She said this while rolling her eyes and shaking her ring finger in
    my face. I didn’t miss the laughter that erupted from the two ladies
    on the other side of my table. I wanted to shrink.
    I stood up. “I won’t dignify that with a response; otherwise I may end
    up in jail tonight,” I said. “Excuse me,” I angrily muttered as I
    intentionally brushed past her, and scurried through the café,
    towards the door.
    I stepped outside and began to walk to where we had parked the car,
    Bay 7. I remember because that is how long I have wasted on Ben. 7
    years of my adult life; and just like the waitress said, I have nothing
    to show for it!
    I was fuming so much on the inside that I didn’t realize I was at bay
    13. I walked back to bay 7 and I was greeted by an empty parking
    bay. “Where is the car?” I screamed to no one in particular. I refused
    to believe that Ben left me here, over two hours away from home.
    I paced back and forth between the bays in disbelief and looked
    around, hoping the car would magically appear with Ben in it. There
    was no sign of him.
    I stood in the middle of the parking lot, looking helpless. I couldn’t
    hold back the tears anymore. I lowered myself to the ground, leaned
    on a car and let the tears flow.
    Every. Last. Drop.
    I don’t know how long I sobbed uncontrollably for but I didn’t stop
    until I was interrupted.
    “Excuse me. Are you alright?” I looked up and saw a gentleman
    standing in front of me, handing me some tissue.
    I stood up and began to dust myself off. “Uhm. Yes, I am just fine.
    Thank you for this,” I said as I reached for the tissue.
    I was too embarrassed to say anything more so I walked away from
    him as quickly as I could. He called out to me but I ignored him.
    I suddenly stopped and frantically searched through my handbag for
    my cell phone. I called Ben, and it rang for what seemed like an
    eternity before he bothered to pick up.
    “Hello!” he said hastily.
    “Ben! You have got to be kidding me,” I said in disbelief.
    He let out a frustrated sigh.”Laila, what do you want?” he asked.
    If I could grab his throat through the phone, I would have. “Are you
    serious?” I yelled. “Ben, you left me here in the middle of nowhere.
    Are you insane? How do you expect me to get home?” I asked.
    He had the nerve to laugh. “Okay, I will come back for you if you
    promise not to nag me over this again.”
    I dropped my shoulders. “Ben, I wasn’t nagging you. I only asked you
    the same question I’ve been asking for a long time. If you are no
    longer interested, just tell me and we can break up. Isn’t that part of
    what we learnt today?”
    He sighed. “I need more time, Laila. I don’t want to rush into
    More time, after 7 long years? I thought to myself. However, I didn’t
    have the energy to get into another pointless row with Ben. At this
    point, all I wanted was to get home. I just needed him to come back
    and pick me up. “I hear you, Ben. Can you please come and pick me
    up?” I dryly asked.
    He took his time to respond. “I need you to promise me that we won’t
    have this conversation again for some time, Laila.” Hesitantly, I said,
    “Whatever Ben, it’s a deal.”
    Ben’s black Nissan Altima appeared behind me in what seemed like
    less than a minute. He parked the car beside me and unlocked the
    car. I was still very upset and it showed in the way I opened the
    passenger door, jumped in and slammed the door shut.
    He had a wide grin on his face, which I found very irritating but he
    didn’t seem to care. He reached behind my seat and gave me a
    bouquet of red roses – my favourite! “I’m sorry for driving off. Please
    forgive me,” he said.
    I took the flowers, leaned back and closed my eyes. “It’s fine. Let’s go,”
    I said. Remember I have my dentist appointment and I need to make
    it to church in time for the service this evening.”
    I looked at him. “I promised Rachel that I’ll sit with her twin babies
    while she joins the choir.”
    His grin turned into a frown. “Yeah, yeah! I know you have to get to
    church,” he said as he reached for his sunglasses. “You do know that
    once we get married, you will have to slow down on all your church
    duties, right?”
    Oh no, I thought! We’re not about to start another round on this long
    journey home!
    I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I wouldn’t let him push my buttons
    for a second time today. With all the calmness I could muster, I said,
    “Look, Ben. As I have told you time and again, not even you can
    separate me from some things.”
    “We’ll see about that, Laila Ocheng,” he said.
    He put on his sunglasses, increased the volume of the song on the
    radio, and sped off before I could respond.

    #1243349 Reply
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    nice starting

    Link to Available Episodes
    Scroll down for episode 2

    Episode 3-5

    Episode 6-7

    Last Episode

    #1243367 Reply
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    nice start….

    #1243380 Reply
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    Please continue

    #1243382 Reply
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    Episode Two


    “I don’t know why you keep investing your time and energy into that
    waste of space, Laila. You deserve so much better.”
    “Kiki, I won’t take that from you. I know you don’t approve of this
    relationship, but please don’t talk about Ben that way.”
    My best friend, Kiki and I were spending some time together at her
    place before heading out to dinner. We were in her bedroom
    rearranging her closet, as I gave her an update on my journey back
    from the seminar with Ben. She didn’t like Ben, and she never could
    hide it, even when he was around her.
    She rolled her eyes. “Whatever! I hope that for your sake, this
    relationship is worth it in the end. You both are in completely different
    worlds. You are a Christian, he claims to be one. You are doing well as
    a lawyer; he is still playing games, claiming to be a media mogul. Both
    of you are just not on the same level.” She flung some clothes into her
    laundry basket. “You keep acting as though he is the last man on earth.
    You need to make the decision to kick him to the curb before he does it
    to you.”
    I chuckled. “I hear ya, Pastor Kiki,” I said. “I see no ring on your finger
    and you don’t have a man but you know how to dish out relationship
    advice like an expert.”
    Kiki dramatically held her stomach and bent over like she had just
    been punched. “Ouch. That was a low blow sis, but I’ll let it slide,” she
    I playfully blew her a kiss and laughed. “I didn’t mean it,” I said.
    “Anyway, what do you think I should do?”
    She rolled her eyes again. “You know what you should do Laila, I
    don’t need to tell you. At this point, you need to do what you need to
    do and make room for your heavenly baked hubby.”
    Kiki smiled sheepishly, which made me look at her strangely.
    “What’s with that smile, Kiki?” I asked.
    She giggled. “Can’t a girl smile sheepishly for the fun of it?” she
    asked, as she playfully shoved me.
    “Uhm, no you can’t,” I said. “And did I just hear you say heavenly
    baked hubby? Really, Kiki?”
    We stared at each other for a few seconds and burst into laughter.
    “You are something else,” I said as I sat down on her bed. “Anyway, I
    want to say you’re right but at the same time, I’ve put way too much
    into this relationship. Breaking it off is easier said than done.”
    Kiki walked into the bathroom, shaking her head like she had some
    kind of revelation. She popped her head out of the door and said, “It’s
    fear that’s stopping you, my friend.”
    I smirked. “Really Kiki, Fear? I am not afraid of anything.”
    She walked out of the bathroom, shaking a nail clipper in her hand.
    “You are afraid of being alone, Laila,” she said. “You have been with
    him since you were 23. You don’t want to be above 30 and single.
    You have also invested so much into him, and you want your
    dividends, girl.”
    I walked to her bedroom window and stared blankly. “Kiki, I have
    been with him for so long; I’ve given him so much, I’ve even
    graciously saved myself for him. Do you know how hard that has
    been? He has been good to wait for me.”
    Kiki walked over to her bed and sat down. “He has been good to
    wait? Laila, do you hear yourself?” She smirked. “Okay friend, if you
    say so.”
    Right from the day Kiki met Ben, she told me, “Sis, he’s not yours.” Of
    course, I didn’t appreciate that because I thought she was being
    judgmental. While we were in law school, all I heard from her was
    ‘let him go. He’ll only do you more harm than good’. And he really
    has, if I am being honest with myself. In the past 7 years, Ben has
    been no stranger to getting into some kind of trouble. Each time, he
    apologized and seemed remorseful but within weeks or months,
    something came up again. According to Kiki, being with him has
    made me age faster than I should; she says I look 10 years older than
    I am!
    “Hello! Earth to Laila Ocheng. Are you listening to me at all? You look
    lost in space,” Kiki called.
    I chuckled. “Oh, I’m sorry, Kiki. What did you say?”
    “I said enough about Ben,” Kiki said. “So, I met this guy a few days
    ago who asked me to go to lunch with him on Sunday. I agreed but I
    made him promise to attend the 9 am service with me, first.” My best
    friend suddenly jumped up began to dance in front of her mirror,
    grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t believe it!
    “A ha!” I said. That’s why that silly smile was on your face earlier.”
    She stopped dancing and chuckled. “Maybe,” she said.
    “Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you blush like this, Kiki,” I said
    excitedly. “This must be something serious. How come you’re just
    telling me about him?”
    She looked at me in disbelief. “Uhm let’s see Laila, maybe because
    you’re always going on and on about that loser… sorry, Ben. There
    was no way I could tell you about… drumroll, please… Timothy.”
    “Oh la la, Timothy,” I teased. “So, tell me all about him. I want to
    know what he looks like and what he does. Oh wait, how did you
    meet him?”
    Kiki laughed. “Okay, Miss Lawyer. Slow down. I didn’t hear you ask
    if he is born again. Shouldn’t that be one of your first concerns?” she
    I took a sip of my drink on her dresser and rolled my eyes. “Yeah,
    yeah, yeah. Men will always bring some kind of drama with them.”
    Her smile faded as she stared at herself in the mirror. “No. Not this
    one Laila,” she said. “I’ve been praying about him and watching him
    and this looking good. Very promising.”
    I walked over to her. “Praying about it? What for? That’s over the
    top. Start the relationship first, girl.”
    She kept her gaze in the mirror and said, “Oh no, missy. I would
    rather be sure before stepping into a relationship that could lead to
    I put my hands on my best friend’s shoulders. It was time to tell her
    the truth. “Look Kiki,” I said. “I’ve invested 7 years of my life into my
    relationship, hoping it’ll get somewhere. What makes you think that
    yours will be so straightforward?
    Kiki shoved me and walked back into the bathroom. “Where are all
    these low blows coming from, Laila?” she asked raising her voice.
    “I know you’re hurting but please give me a break. I made the
    decision not to jump into any relationship until I am fully ready and I
    shouldn’t be made to feel bad about that. Besides, I don’t need to be in
    a relationship for 7 long years just to be sure.” She sighed. “I didn’t
    say I was getting married to him tomorrow. It’s still the early stages
    and I want to be sure before every step. Please don’t take your pain
    out on me.”
    “You’re right, Kiki. I’m sorry,” I said as I sat down on the bed. “So…
    when do I get to meet him?”
    “I’d rather you wait,” she answered. “I want to spend a bit of time
    getting to know him better before I start introducing him to
    everyone.” Kiki walked out of the bathroom with some nail polish
    remover and cotton wool as she sat beside me.
    I was staring at her in confusion. “Everyone?” I asked. “I didn’t know
    I was in the category of ‘everyone’. That’s not right, Kiki. At least I
    should meet him and tell you what I think.”
    She took my right hand and began to clip my nails. “Laila, just relax.
    You will meet him when the time is right. Don’t pressure me, okay?”
    She looked at me. “Anyway, so where are we going for dinner? Can I
    choose the restaurant?”
    I stared at my hands. “Okay that’s fine; but what’s all this for? I didn’t
    ask for a manicure,” I said while wriggling my free fingers.
    Kiki released a hearty laugh. “First of all, because I’m a good friend,
    secondly, your nails look like claws and this nail polish is chipping
    off.” She grinned. “Thirdly, it’s time to change the subject, and
    fourthly, I recommend we go to that brand new expensive Italian
    restaurant downtown.”
    I furrowed my brows. “Okay, that still doesn’t make sense. Why
    exactly have you decided to give me a manicure, Kiki?”
    Kiki began to recoat my nails with the same beautiful bright pink
    colour already on them. “Well, because I also recommend that you
    foot the bill tonight and I’m hoping that my act of love and service to
    you will make it happen.”
    I laughed out loudly.
    Kiki picked up her cell phone and began to make a call. “I’ll take that
    as an ‘okay’. It’s a good thing I have their number on speed dial.”
    I shoved her lightly. “You, my friend are so sneaky,” I said as she
    made a reservation for two.

    #1243410 Reply
    Joshua John
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    #1243422 Reply
    Ireoluwa Emmanuel
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    good,,,, nice start

    #1243509 Reply
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    it gonna b interesting

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