Good day, dear reader❤️ How are you doing? We thank God for the weekend. I hope you are having a peaceful one. A new episode is ready and I hope you enjoy reading it. The Circle episode four…?
Episode 4 – New Beginnings
Valerie ended the call and just broke down in tears. Her mother went to her and comforted her. Kendra sat next to her and took her hand as she cried in her mother’s arms
Their father came to find them when all the shouting had died down.
“ What’s the problem, Valerie? What happened?”
Valerie wiped her eyes.
“ I just lost my job, Dad. I was getting overwhelmed at work so I spoke to my boss, the CEO that I needed help with some of the work that was assigned to me. I didn’t mean it in any bad way. So, a lady was employed barely a month ago and I was asked to train her because the HR manager made me understand that she was there to assist me based on what I had mentioned to the CEO.
Last night I got an email for the HR manager, she was terminating my contract, but it was late to call the HR manager so I waited until this morning to call and she said she doesn’t owe me an explanation. The CEO wants me gone because I made it clear to him that the work was too much for me and he doesn’t want to put me through any stress. They would pay my salary for three months and send anything I have in the office to me tomorrow”
“ So just like that?!” Charles asked
“ Just like that Dad. I am so scattered, I struggled to get this job”
“ Don’t worry about it. The same way, you got this job, you will get a much better one. Trust God and his timing”
“ I am so sorry Valerie. This is so unfair” Kendra said
Charles took Valerie by the hand and took her to her room to calm her down. He has always been good at calming her daughters down.
Kendra thought about Valerie all day she wished she could help her land a job as quickly as possible.
She was scared that the deep depression Valerie fell into when she was jobless the previous year might return.
Shirley was getting ready for a class when Femi texted her. She smiled and quickly replied. She was very happy that she was back together with Femi and from Femi’s efforts she knew he too was very happy.
She was going down the stairs to get to class when she run into Kwadwo
“ Good morning Shirley,” Kwadwo said
“ Good morning Sir”
“ Are you heading to class?
“ Umm…can I have your number? I will love to call you sometime” Kwadwo said
Shirley was surprised her boss wanted her number, she noticed some of her colleagues were looking at them in the lobby as they walk past. She hoped nobody heard Kwadwo asking for her number.
“ It’s okay if you don’t want to. I was hoping we could be friends”
Shirley smiled shyly.
“ I have to get going now Sir” Shirley said and run off.
She wondered in class what had just happened with Kwadwo. She was beginning to feel very uncomfortable. She wanted to ask a few of her colleagues if they knew something about Kwadwo but she also didn’t want to draw attention to herself.
Alex started to talk less at home and kept to himself more. Brigitte noticed for weeks and decided to ask him about it when he got home from the hospital.
He was dressing up after taking a quick shower when his mother knocked.
“ Alex, can we talk ?”
“ Sure mom. Give me a minute”
He wore a T-shirt over his boxer shorts and opened the door
“Mom? What’s up?” he said
Brigitte walked to his bed and sat down
“ Close the door, love,” she said
Alex did and pulled his swivel chair from his study table and sat in front of his mom
“ I am all ears mom”
“ how have you been? You have been awfully quiet. Are you in some kind of trouble at the hospital?”
“ Oh no, Mom. I get very tired lately that’s all. Nothing is wrong ”
“ Are you sure?”
“ Yes, mom. Nothing is wrong”
“ Okay. If you say so. I only wanted to help if you were in some trouble”
“ There is no trouble. I am very fine”
“ Okay!” Brigitte said and stood up to leave.
“Would you be studying this evening?” she asked
“I am tired. I want to take a nap now and then at dawn study for a while “
“ Okay. Get some rest love” she said
Just when she was about to leave Alex asked her if she has been hearing from Hazel’s mother. That question threw Brigitte off.
“ Yes. I do Alex, she is my best friend. But why are you suddenly asking about Stella? That’s random”
“ No reason. It’s just a while since I saw her, been meaning to ask you about her”
“ Has this got anything to do with Hazel?” Brigitte asked
“ Hazel? No…?”
“ Are you sure?”
“ Mom, what are you trying to insinuate?”
“I have eyes you know and I have seen how you look at her. Do you like Hazel?”
“Oh, no Mom. I am not doing this with you. I have no idea what you talking about. You know she is like a little sister to me. Come on”
“ Well, anytime you are ready to talk about this. I will be here. I sure do hope she likes you too at least” Brigitte said.
Alex laughed at himself when his mother left and wondered why he managed to forget about how very observant his mother is.
Hazel and Derek spent every moment together since they became a couple. They spend most of their time at his church because he was a youth leader. At the office, he sends her cute compliments about her outfit every day whenever he sees her.
Hazel was taking it all in. His love, his attention everything. She was certain that she was happy but she just didn’t feel whole. Sometimes she is drawn to give Alex a call just to hear his voice. What they shared, however short, meant a lot and she was tired of lying to herself that it didn’t.
Derek decided to cook for Hazel one weekend so he invited her to his home in the afternoon.
It was her second time coming over to his home, they almost always met outside because Derek didn’t like the idea of them being alone so Hazel absolutely loved it when Derek invited her over.
As she waited for Derek to finish cooking, Hazel explored his room.
It was a little messy, so she decided to put certain things together. She tidied his desk first and arranged the documents neatly.
She then went to his wardrobe and folded his clothes and placed the dirty clothes into his laundry basket.
She laid his bed and fixed his room up the best way she could. She went back to the kitchen to see if she could give him a helping hand.
In about an hour and a half, the food was ready and they eat together.
He decided to make her his famous vegetable rice and chicken curry sauce. It tasted amazing and Hazel was so happy she gets to date a man that could cook so well.
In the middle of dinner, Derek got a call from his boss he wanted some information.
He excused himself from the dinner table and rushed to his room to get the information but because Hazel cleaned up his desk early on he couldn’t find the documents he needed.
He dropped his phone and frantically search the table. He became anxious because he was keeping his boss waiting.
He had to disappoint him and plead with him to ask another colleague he knew also had the information. When the call ended, he got out of the room furious.
“ Did you tidy up my room Hazel?”
“ Oh yeah. I wanted to surprise you. Do you like it? ” Hazel said and smiled
“ Moving forward, please do not touch my things without my permission, Hazel. My room is a mess like that because of a reason. I like it that way, now because of you, I couldn’t come through with the information for my boss. ”
“ I only wanted to do something nice for you. I am sorry”
“ It’s fine. Just don’t touch my things next time”
“ Wait, Derek. What do you mean by I shouldn’t touch your things though. That’s a little harsh. Like, I said, I wanted to do something nice for you”
“ Did I ask you? What were you doing in my room anyway?”
“ I am confused right now. Are you really upset about this?”
“ Yes Hazel. I am. You made me look like a fool. My boss specifically told me to prepare in detail everything yesterday before I left the office and I told him I would get it done. He calls and the document is nowhere to be found, because my girlfriend decided to clean”
Hazel stayed quiet because he didn’t want them to fight but she was utterly shocked at Derek’s reaction.
They ate the food in silence and Derek didn’t even try to break the ice by talking to her. He stayed quiet, leaving a big elephant in the room.
When they were done eating. Hazel offered to help him wash the dishes, but Derek asked her not to.
She hasn’t seen that side of Derek before and she so much hated that side of him.
As he washed the dishes, Hazel decided to apologize so they could at least try and fix the issue. She wrapped her hand around his waist from behind
“ Don’t touch me right now Hazel. I am not in a very good mood”
“ Come on babe. I am sorry and I promise not to – “
“ – which part of I am not in a good mood right now do you not get Hazel? Let go of me” Derek said angrily and removed Hazel’s hands from his waist.
“ You just didn’t do that Derek. I guess I also can’t touch your body either. What has gotten over you? Why are you so angry? This is not a big deal, and I am sure your boss isn’t going to fire you because you couldn’t give him the information. Calm down. You are overreacting. It’s not cool”
“ Did you say I am overreacting?”
“Yes, Derek. You really are overreacting. You just ruined the mood”
“ If I have ruined the mood then I guess you should leave,” Derek said harshly and turned to continue washing the dishes.
Hazel was shocked, she stared at his back hoping he would turn and take what he just said back but he didn’t.
Hazel stormed out of the kitchen.
She picked up her phone from the dining table, picked up her bag from the couch, and angrily walked out of the house. She was so angry she started to cry.
She called Shirley, she wanted to vent but she was fast asleep. She ordered an Uber and cried some more in the car making the driver very uncomfortable.
When she got home, she went to her bathroom to wash her face. She couldn’t believe how badly things had turned out.
She heard the phone ringing she checked and it was Derek. She didn’t want him to know she was crying and that what he did had hurt her so she ignored all his calls.
She was changing into something easygoing for the house when she heard a knock on her door.
“ I don’t want to talk to you right now Derek!” she said angrily before opening her door
It was Alex. She was very startled.
“ No. Not you” Hazel said
Alex immediately noticed that she had been crying
“ What is wrong Hazel?” he asked
His question made her more upset.
“ What are you doing here?”
“ What do you mean Hazel? I came to see you. Why are you crying? What is happening?
Alex walked inside but Hazel tried to hide her face.
“ I don’t want you to see me crying,” she said sadly.
“ I already have. Come here” Alex said and pulled her close to him.
He hugged her tightly as she cried some more in his arms, it broke Alex’s heart.
He sat her down when she was all cried out and Hazel told him everything.
“ You two are official now? How long has it been?” Alex asked
“ Almost a month now,” she said
“ And he is already making you cry”
“I am sure he was in a bad mood”
“ Don’t make excuses for him. That’s the wrong way to go about it. Let him be responsible for his actions. I think you should tell him how his actions made you feel. And maybe you stop doing things for him without his permission. There are people who hate surprises and that’s okay”
Hazel’s phone kept ringing
“ Is that him?” Alex asked
“ Okay. I would leave you to fix it” Alex said and got up
Hazel held his hand.
“ Please stay longer. I don’t want to be alone” Hazel said sadly.
Alex sighed and nodded.
Hazel went to her bedroom to talk to Derek. He seemed remorseful about everything. He wanted to come over to see her but Hazel wanted to spend time with Alex instead.
“ I don’t want to see you right now Derek,” she said and ended the call
Alex was trying to get a movie for them to watch when Hazel got back. She seemed a lot better
Alex smiled when he saw her
“ Are you two good?
“ We will be,” she said
“ what movie have you decided on?” she added and sat next to him
Shirley woke up in the early hours of the morning. She wanted to study.
She checked her phone and saw that Femi had sent her a song. She really missed that part of him. He has always had amazing taste in music.
Shirley listened to the song over and over as she studied.
Femi was still up working, he smiled when Shirley texted him.
“ Beautiful song baby. I love you. Good morning”
He called her on FaceTime after reading her text message. He laughed when Shirley answered and covered her face with a book.
“ Why is this one covering her face now?“ Femi said and they both laughed.
“I don’t want you to see my morning face Babe. I look horrible”
“ You can never look horrible even if you tried my love”
Shirley blushed and let down the book.
Femi pretended to be horrified when he saw her and moved backward from his seat
“ You are the worst,” she said and chuckled
“ There she is. You look beautiful Shirley. And please don’t ever feel the need to hide any part of you from me. I love you, all of you very much. I mean it”
“ I love you too Femi and thank you”
She blew him a kiss and Femi caught it
“ What are you doing up late? “ she asked
“I have been working. I want to have a meeting with Dad later in the day and discuss our way forward with the South Africans”
“ Oh, I see. I pray this new deal with the South Africans works out well baby”
“ Amen. It will. Thank you. What are you doing up so early too?”
“ So we write random quizzes a lot. I try to study a lot so that I am always at the top of my game. You know how it is”
“ I forgot how very competitive you can get but take it easy okay? Take care of yourself. Don’t tire yourself up. You are smart and I know you would do amazing things there”
“ Thanks, baby”
“ Have you made some friends yet? I think when you study with someone, it could help too. You can bounce ideas off each other, that way, you learn faster. The constant discussion will bring a lot of understanding”
“ Spoken like a true CEO,” she said and Femi blushed
“I will think about it and consciously try to make some friends” she added
“ I miss you Baby and I can’t wait to see you,” Femi said
“ When have you decided to come?”
“ I would want to come to Dubai a week before Christmas and leave on the 23rd to the states to see Didi”
“ Aww, Didi. I miss her. How is she doing?”
“ Apart from medical school kicking her butt, she is very fine”
“ I can’t wait to see you and I miss you more my love. I would start counting the days”
“ Let me leave you to study now. I would check in on you later in the day. I am getting tired now”
“ Sure love. Get some rest. I love you “
“ I love you more. Good morning” Femi said and blew her a kiss.
When the call ended Shirley wondered if she should have told Femi about Kwadwo
“ Kwadwo means nothing. Telling Femi would make it seem like he does” she thought
A couple of months went by and Derek’s temper got worse. Hazel began hiding and lying about her bruises.
She got into a heated argument one morning with Alex because she kept making excuses for Derek.
They stopped being friends after that. Alex tried reaching out to her because he knew she was confused and he needed to help her but Hazel blocked him everywhere and in the two months she has never opened the door for him when he visited her at home.
Kendra managed to convince Femi to help Valerie with a job.
After weeks of thinking and having long discussions with Shirley, he decided to help, Kendra.
There wasn’t a spot available in his company, but he decided to let Valerie fill in for his personal assistant Reagan when she took a long study leave.
Since Valerie has assisted a CEO in her previous office she fitted perfectly in her new role and Femi was quite impressed.
Kwadwo and Shirley became fast friends, at first Shirley hated the idea of being close to her boss but because they were a little close in age she saw past it quickly.
Kwadwo managed to get her number from human resources and texted her out of the blue.
It was a shaky and awkward start to a friendship but in a couple of months, Kwadwo has been nothing but amazing with her, and the way he didn’t care what other people thought about their friendship baffled Shirley.
After a long class, Kwadwo invited Shirley over to his room to take a load off. It was the first time he has ever done that, but surprisingly Shirley wasn’t skeptical about it because of how Kwadwo has respected her boundaries and her relationship in the months she has known him.
“Okay let me drop my books and come over” she texted back
But she took a shower and changed her clothes to feel more comfortable.
She was stunned to see how very exquisite the executive floor was. She texted when she got to the floor and Kwadwo told her his room number.
Her eyes widened when she saw his room.
“Whoa! Kwadwo. I love your room. I guess this is how the rich and mighty live around here” she said and chuckled
“Rich and mighty where? Do you see a butler and maids at my beck and call?”
“You are crazy,” she said
“Anyway, you are welcome to the executive floor and the best room on the floor. But don’t tell the other directors I said that” he said and chuckled
“Oh, I am definitely going to tell,” Shirley said and sat on the couch
Kwadwo laughed and went to get them a drink. He sat next to her, and they talked
“From a scale of one to ten tell me how bad the day was?” Kwadwo asked
“Really? that bad huh?”
“Yep. I can’t wait for this to be over”
Kwadwo smiled and went to pick up his guitar for his bedroom
“What did I do to deserve a serenade from you?”
“I am not doing this for you. I only want to play my guitar and you happen to be here”
“Oh wow. Rude much?” Shirley said and they both laughed
Kwadwo then sighed and started to play a couple of slow melodies. Shirley closed her eyes as she took everything in.
When he finished playing Shirley had drifted off to sleep. Kwadwo looked at her as she slept, he found her to be very beautiful. He gently tapped her arm to wake her up.
“Oh no. I can’t believe I dozed off” Shirley said and yawned.
“It’s fine. Come on. I will walk you to your room”
When they got to her door, Kwadwo told her that night was his last night, he was set to leave with the other directors the next morning to the UK for a conference and then back to Ghana.
“Aww no. I thought you would be here with us all through”
“No. We have a lot of work to do” Kwadwo said
“I guess, I will see you in Ghana then”
“Definitely Shirley. Make the most of this training. I know you would do great. I am rooting for you, okay?”
Shirley smiled and nodded
Kwadwo hugged Shirley tightly
“You are amazing Shirley. I hope Femi knows what he’s got” Kwadwo said and smiled
“He sure does. Have a safe flight Kwadwo and thank you for everything”
“Take care,” he said
Shirley watched him for a short while as he walked back to his room
She checked her phone when she got to her room. Femi and Alex had called her a lot of times. She forgot her phone was on silent.
Hazel was in critical condition after she tried to stand up for herself against her boyfriend.
Derek visited her at home, she had been ill and missed work. Hazel went to use the bathroom and Derek used that as an opportunity to read some messages between her and Alex.
Alex was telling Hazel to leave the relationship.
She tried to collect her phone, but Derek kept pushing her away. She angrily slapped him and that enraged Derek. He angrily hit her severally on her face and left her to die.
She called Alex when she got some strength and Alex rushed to her with an ambulance and took her to his hospital. He said a prayer and held her hand as they went to the hospital.
Shirley called Alex back but he was too distraught to talk so she called Femi.
“Babe. How is she doing?”
“It doesn’t look good Shirley”
“We need to find that guy. He has to be arrested”
“Apparently he has gone into hiding, we contacted a few of his work people who knew where he lives and he wasn’t home, it looked like he had packed a few of his clothes”
“Oh, God! He is a criminal. But when did it get this bad? Hazel described him to be an angel. He is a good Christian boy were her words and he likes going to church she even said that because of him she has even gotten much closer to God. I honestly thought she was in good hands”
“A good Christian boy? You should see Hazel now Shirley, there is definitely nothing Christian about that boy. I must do my best to get this boy arrested. Hazel could have died”
Alex was asked not to get involved in Hazel’s treatment because he is emotionally involved but he watched as the other doctors bandaged Hazel’s head and face. He had tears in his eyes he was so upset.
“You could have avoided this Hazel if only you listened to me,” Alex thought
He couldn’t take it anymore he stopped watching and went to his cubicle and cried his eyes out.
“God please don’t let Hazel die. Please help her through this” he prayed
After her call with Femi, Shirley remembered Kwadwo told her one time that he knew the Inspector General of Police. She hurriedly went knocking on his door, Kwadwo was about to sleep
“What’s wrong Shirley? Are you okay?”
Shirley walked into his room and as she explained what had happened, she began to cry but continued speaking through her tears
“Please Kwadwo. I really need your help. The boy mustn’t get away with this”
“Hey. Stop crying Shirley”
He took her into his arms and consoled her. He wiped his eyes with his finger, and they locked eyes for a minute. Kwadwo was leaning in to kiss her and Shirley wasn’t stopping him. Their lips touched and Shirley moved away.
“What are you doing?” she asked and touched her lips
Thanks for coming this far? I hope you liked reading this episode. Enjoy your weekend. See you soon?