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"Jordan! Do you expect me to believe you?" George Michael glared at him.

"Dad. I've said it severally. I don't know where he is". He would never expose his whereabout. He promised not to and would never go back on his promise.

"And I ask again! Do you expect me to believe you?". He suspected Jordan knew Sean's whereabout. He was the closest person to Sean from childhood.

"Believe me dad. I have no idea. He didn't tell me. I'm as worried as everyone else". Though the man before him wasn't his biological father, he addressed him as such since he was the father to his best friend.

George Michael hissed heavily. Three days to the engagement ceremony, Sean suddenly disappeared. No one knew his whereabout.

He had used his abilities to search for him to no avail. It was as if he'd disappeared from the world.

The engagement ceremony had been made public and several guests invited but his sudden disappearance halted everything.

It's been five months and no news on him.

"I'll be on my way dad. If you need my assistance please don't hesitate to call me. I'll keep searching". Jordan strode out of the room.

George Michael stared at his back meaningful. He doesn't believe him.

* * * *

" You should be happy. You've successfully chased my cousin away". Ava stared at Victoria with eyes filled with hatred.

If not for her, her cousin wouldn't have been missing for months.

"Be gentle Ava! You should consider her feelings before you speak". Bella gave her a warning look. Since Sean's disappearance, Victoria had lost lots of weight. Her mood had always been gloomy.

" Why should I be gentle? It's her fault. She knew he doesn't love her and had been persistent in getting engaged to him. She would have left him alone!". Her angry voice rang in the room.

Victoria who had been quiet ever since Ava arrived suddenly stood up and walked to Ava.

"Would you leave the man you love just like that?". Her eyes were red from anger.

"If he doesn't want me I would leave rather than being a bitch". She snorted.

Did she indirectly called her a bitch? She laughed wickedly and locked eyes with her.

" So why are you being a bitch? Do you think we don't know your feelings for him? Do you think we didn't see you the day you forcefully kissed him while pretending to be drunk?" Victoria's face was covered with lines of hatred.

Hearing her words, Ava stiffened and her eye lids flustered. Did they know?

That day they've all gone out for dinner. After dinner, she had pretended to be drunk and Sean took her home. She had held him tightly and tried kissing his lips, though Sean pushed her away timely, her lips still brushed his.

" Why are you quiet? Or have you gone dumb bitch? Why are you pestering him when you are aware he doesn't love you?" Victoria pointed her finger at her.

Bella didn't utter a word. She watched with keen interest the bickering between the two.

Ava was dumbstruck, but she wouldn't allow Victoria win. She sneered.

"I'm better than you. I can get close to him, hold him and even attempt to kiss him. You are a plague he repels"

A loud slap landed on her face and the finger print appeared immediately on the reddened face.

Ava didn't expect the slap. She staggered from the slap.

"You slapped me?"

"And I would do that again if you ever use such words on me! Leave my house now!". Victoria whose anger had reached its breaking point pushed her angrily out of the house.

Outside the house, Ava stared at the closed door and hatred filled her heart.

"We shall see". She held her painful, swollen face and drove away.

* * * *

Three days later.

"Babe! Finally, we're leaving college! No more uniform! I'm so excited!". Evelyn chattered non stop.

She ran slowly, turned to face Elina while keeping a short distance from her.

She raised her two hands and screamed.

"Free! Free! Free!"

Elina giggled seeing her friend chattering like a child. Evelyn was her best friend. She was indeed loyal, lovely and supportive.

She attracted attention wherever she went. She was one of the hottest girl in college always dressed in skimpy and tight uniform.

As the cheerleader of the blue bird basketball team, she was popular. She was dating the hottest boy in school, Nick Walter.

Though Elina doesn't like Nick because he was a play boy, she wouldn't show it since her friend liked him.

"Girl. What are your plans after college? She held her hand and swung it as they walked.

" The usual plan" I replied non challantly

"Fashion designing?" She asked and halted.

"Yes". Elina shrugged. Her dream had been to become a famous fashion designer. She had drawn excellent designs and couldn't wait to see them on human body. She'd been saving up money to purchase the basic equipment needed to start up.

On weekends, she attended fashion designing classes to cultivate her ability more

" But I will study management in the university"

" Great! To the wood!" Evelyn ran off leaving her behind. She stood at the spot, not taking a step further. She watched as Jumped to catch a butterfly playfully.

Evelyn suddenly turned. Her eyes widened and she frowned. She strode towards Elina, giving her a questioning look.

" What's wrong babe?" She pushed her hair back from her forehead. Lines of worry were drawn on her face.

" Let's go home please. I ain't going to the wood". Elina walked away from her, heading home.

" You don't seem alright". Evelyn rushed to her and pulled her arm forcing her to stop.

How could she tell her the encounter in the wood. She wouldn't believe her even if she does.

She had decided to stay off the wood because the thought of that incident gave her chill.

Forcing a smile, she turned to face her friend.

"I'm fine Eve. I just want to go home.

"Fine! But first, accompany me to the wood. Nick is waiting there. Friends should help friends". Her hands were akimbo.

Friends should help friends? She understood her friend's words. Evelyn would always follow her to meet Sean in the wood.

Sean was her good friend. Evelyn would always insist he was her boyfriend but he wasn't. They weren't dating and he had never asked her out. Being a cool and charming guy, she liked him a lot.

She calls him "Shield" because would always provide a refreshing comfort to her anytime she was depressed.

They became friends six months ago after he left his home in Seattle to avoid a forced engagement. Tho protect him from her over protective brothers, she would meet him in the wood or the public library.

Her family would always let their guard down whenever she was with Evelyn, thus the reason why she would follow her to the wood each time she wanted to meet Sean.

So truly, friends should help friends.

"I see. Let's go". Elina took her hand and off they went to the wood.

When they approached the wood, Evelyn jogged towards Nick who was waiting, while Elina gently sat on the exposed root of a tree.

She got up after a while, stretched her body and arms and strode around.

She found herself staring at a narrow path created by lines of trees packed closely together with strange plants growing in it which she had seen severally. The path was inconspicuous and dark probably because of the tree branches blocking the sunlight.

The darkness made the path scary which was why she had never thought of getting closer to the path.

Suddenly it seemed a force pushed her and she squeezed her body through the path making use of the little sunlight to see.

When she reached where the strange plants were, she realized they were interwoven, creating a tunnel below which extended to a great distance.

She forced her body into the tunnel and kept crawling until she got to the end. She stood up, glanced around and realized she was standing on an untarred road.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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