“So, what’s new with everyone?” Brenda asked as she walked into the living room with a bottle of wine and three glasses.
“Frank and I are moving in together!” Yvonne said with glee.
“Ouuuu, I hear wedding bells ringing,” Janet replied.
“Let’s not jinx it, please,” Yvonne said.
“Okay, okay, well, as for me, I got a promotion last week!” Janet said as she clapped her hands in excitement.
“Congratulations!” Brenda and Yvonne responded simultaneously.
“Thank you, my loves!” Janet responded as she poured herself some wine.
“Anything new with our wonderful host?” Yvonne asked as she grabbed a glass to pour herself some wine.
“Mark got me a new MacBook and an iPhone 13 pro max last week!” Brenda responded with excitement.
“Wow! He must be earning well,” Yvonne said.
“That’s all you have to say?” Brenda asked in a disappointed tone.
“Well, you have never told us what he does, Bree. Do you even know where his money comes from?” Yvonne said.
“He works for a prominent person; I’ve told you this countless times!” Brenda snapped.
“Yes, but what’s his actual job description?” Yvonne asked.
“What exactly are you trying to insinuate here, Yvonne?” Brenda asked.
“I just want you to be careful, that’s all; it’s good to know what your boyfriend does for a living,” Yvonne responded.
“You don’t even know what Frank does, and you’re here judging me!” Brenda yelled.
“Frank works at a tech company; I’ve been to his workplace. Besides, Frank doesn’t get me expensive gifts almost every month.” Yvonne said.
“Ohh, all this is because you’re jealous of the life I live,” Brenda said.
“You know what? Do what you want; at the end of the day, it’s your life,” Yvonne said as she picked up her bag, stood up and left.
“Okay, guys, this isn’t how our girl’s night was supposed to turn out,” Janet said.
“Ohh, so now you speak up,” Brenda said.
“Brenda, Yvonne was just trying to be a caring friend; maybe you should apologize to her,” Janet said.
“If you’re also planning to judge me, maybe you should leave,” Brenda said.
Janet silently grabbed her bag and walked out the door. Brenda sat on the sofa and tried to process what had happened. Yvonne was always one to think of the worst possible scenario of any situation, which led Brenda to believe there was nothing wrong with not knowing what her boyfriend does for a living. Ever since she met Mark, his routine was always the same; he would leave in the morning and return by evening.
On weekends, they would go on dates or stay home and watch movies. Mark was an average guy, except that he was well off financially. He always spoiled Brenda with gifts and would send her money from time to time, especially when he would get a huge bonus. Brenda had never been with a man that loved her and was more romantic than Mark.
As she was deep in thought, the front door was opened, and Mark walked in.
“Hey babe, how come the door was unlocked, and where are your friends?” He asked as he locked the door.
Brenda knew that if she told him the truth, it would lead to a fight, and she wasn’t ready to argue with him based on her friend’s doubts. The relationship, after all, was hers, and she would be the one to bear the consequences.
“I think I forgot to lock it after they left,” Brenda lied with a smile.
“You need to be careful; what if someone else walked in, and it wasn’t me?” He asked.
“Then my strong boyfriend would come a fight him off,” She replied.
“This isn’t a joke, Brenda,” He said as he lay on the sofa.
“Okay, I’ll be more careful next time,” She said.
In the following weeks, Brenda didn’t speak to Yvonne or Janet. The two also didn’t attempt to talk to her. She spent her weekends either with Mark or with her family members. Whenever Mark asked her about her friends, she would change the topic. She knew he was suspicious, but he wasn’t the kind to reach out to her friends, so she didn’t think much about it.
Months went by, and it was time to celebrate Brenda’s birthday. Mark woke her up with breakfast in bed and gifts from her favourite makeup stores and boutiques. Her birthdays were always special, Janet and Yvonne would throw her a party, and each year there was a different theme. However, this year she knew that because of their fight and silent treatment, that wouldn’t happen.
“What are we doing today?” Brenda asked Mark as she ate her breakfast.
“Unfortunately, I have to head out of town for some work,” He said.
“Ohh,” Brenda said as she tried to hide her disappointment.
“I’ll make it up to you when I get back, I promise,” He said.
“Can I at least take your V8 out for a spin?” She asked.
“No, you’re still learning to drive, and I can’t risk you getting hurt,” He replied.
“Me or the car?” She asked disappointedly.
“I’ll get you a car when you’re ready,” He said.
“Okay,” She replied.
Mark finished getting ready, packed his bag and left. Brenda scrolled through her phone as she finished her breakfast. Since it was the only day the world revolved around her, she hoped to find posts on Instagram wishing her happy birthday. Sadly, all she saw were news posts about a billionaire who had been missing for four days. Frustrated, she threw her phone on the bed and went back to sleep.
Hours later, she woke up and decided to go out. She knew that if she stayed home, it would be too depressing, so she got up, picked up an outfit from Mark’s presents, and got all dolled up. As she stepped out of the house, she saw Mark’s car in the parking.
“What he doesn’t know wouldn’t hurt him,” Brenda thought as she rushed into the house and grabbed the keys.
She ran back out, got into the car and headed to one of her favourite clubs. It was the first time she was going to a club alone, but she decided to make the best out of it. Five shots later, Brenda was on the table dancing as people in the club cheered for her. It had been a long time since she had been this wild.
By 11 pm, she was already tired and decided to head home. Knowing she was driving Mark’s car, she cruised through the road at high speed. The adrenaline and goosebumps had her smiling throughout the ride. Unfortunately, she had picked the wrong night since the cops were on high alert as they checked through each vehicle passing by.
One of the police officers signalled at her to pull over by the side of the road. She knew her overspeeding had already given them the impression that she was drinking. However, it was nothing a little money couldn’t fix. The last thing she wanted was to end up at the police station on her birthday.
“Is there a problem, officer?” She asked, trying to remain calm.
“I would like to search your car; kindly come out,” He responded.
He didn’t look friendly, and since she was a bit drunk, she didn’t want to risk getting in trouble. She stepped out of the car and stood a few steps away. Mark was not much of a drinker, and he didn’t smoke, so she knew the car was clean.
The police officer checked inside the car and then proceeded to the trunk. All was well until she heard him call for backup.
“What could it be?” Brenda thought to herself.
She approached the back of the car and saw a big black bag half open. She knew from all the movies she had watched that it wasn’t just Mark’s gym bag. As she got nearer, she realized it was Mr Patel, the billionaire who had been missing for days. Staring at his lifeless body sobered her up but left her speechless.
The ride to the police station was silent; Brenda couldn’t believe her boyfriend was a hitman. Yvonne was right all along, and her desire for the lavish life had caused her to be ignorant, and now she was going to pay for it heavily. If only she had listened to her friend, she wouldn’t have gotten into this predicament.
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