“What do I do? What do I do?” Ben muttered under his breath with both hands on either side of his head. At that moment he could hear the lovely laughter of Clara three cubicles away from his. It was a slow day at the office that afternoon, and some of his colleagues were hurdled up at Tami’s cubicle. Of course they would be at Tami’s corner she always has one story or the other to share. Ben thought to himself, it took a few seconds for him to realize that Clara was now staring at him. He quickly straightens himself and smiled at her. Clara said something to the others and started walking towards Ben. His heart started pounding real hard. Was it because he loved her so much, that sometimes it was hard to breathe? Or was it because he has a terrible secret he was keeping from her.

“Hi Ben! Are you OK?” Clara asked and without waiting for a response she probed further “why are you holding your head like that?”

“I have a headache. But I’ll be fine” Ben managed to reply even though it was a lie.

“Oh! You poor baby.” Clara exclaimed, “Let me pray for you” and she places her hand on his forehead and muttered a short prayer for him.

“You’ll be fine!” Clara said with a smile.

“Thank you sweetie!” Ben replied and leaned forward to kiss her. Clara stopped him “I’ve told you none of that in the office.”

“But you’re my girl and I don’t care who knows.” Ben said with his hand moving to rub her upper arm.

“About that.” Clara cut him “I’ve had this uneasy feeling every time I pray about us. I can’t explain it” Clara said in a low tone to ensure the others didn’t hear their conversation. “Plus you have seemed really distracted lately. And I don’t like it.” So I am just going to ask you straight up, so please don’t lie to me.” Clara took a deep breath then said “Ben, is there anyone else? Please don’t lie to me.”

“Oh my goodness she knows!” Ben thought to himself “But how?” “Dupe and I have been very discreet; even though I don’t know why I have continued with her. Clara is the one woman in the whole world I really want. With Dupe it’s just fun.”Ben chuckled nervously “C’mon Clara!” He said “why would you ask that kind of question?” Ben placed his hands on Clara’s hands “I can’t lose her, I won’t lose her” Ben thought to himself. “Clara!” He said in a steady voice “there is no one else; you are the only woman for me.” He said smiling at her “I don’t know why you would think…” the sound of Ben’s phone ringing filled the room. Ben looked at the caller ID, it was Dupe.

“Okay Ben! I hear you. Clara said “Take your call.” With that Clara left his cubicle,

Ben picked up his phone and starred angrily at it for a few seconds. Then he accepted the call. “Hi Dupe! What is it?”

“Ben! Ben!!” Dupe sobbed, “don’t treat me like this, I love you Ben!

“Dupe! Please stop!” Ben said angrily under his breath “Last night was the very last time. We can’t keep having sex; I am in a serious relationship now.”

“Well you should have thought of that before making me break up with my boyfriend for your sake.” I swear if you leave me I will kill myself and put the blame on you.”

Ben stopped playing with his fountain pen at that moment shocked at what he had just heard. “Dupe, what kind of talk is that? Dupe! Hello!!” The line was disconnected.

Will Dupe carry out her threat?

Should Ben tell Clara the truth?

Will Clara leave Ben if the truth comes out?

Stay tuned for PART 2.

#RealLife issues blog here on #The1Habitat

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