It was a beautiful day, with bright skies and birds chirping, Clara loved the way the sun rays filtered through the Windows at the office, at that moment she tried to hide a smile as memories of Ken flooded her mind. She remembered the first time she saw him and couldn’t believe it when he smiled at her, and then came over to talk *with* her. He was a smooth talker. “I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since I agreed to start dating him,” Clara thought to herself.
But these days, she couldn’t shake off an uneasy feeling about him. Clara didn’t know exactly what it was but, she knew she couldn’t ignore it.
“Is it because these days he comes up with lots of excuses why he wouldn’t attend church services?” She asked herself and, immediately *dismissed* the idea.
“I think he’s hiding something from me.” Clara muttered under her breath and exhaled deeply.
She raised her head to look at his cubicle and was surprised that he wasn’t there. “That’s odd,” she thought to herself. “I just left him at his desk a minute ago.” “Where would he go to without telling me”, she muttered?
“Hey, Clara! Are you Okay?” Stella asked, her eyes wide open with concern.
“I’m fine Stella, why did you ask?” “Well, you’ve been talking to yourself for one and gazing into thin air.” Stella said.
“Oh dear! Have I been speaking out loud?” Clara muttered without thinking.
“Yes dear! You have.” Stella promptly replied, getting up from her seat and moved closer to Clara. “Hope it’s not the Ken issue again?” Stella asked, concerned about her friend and has been since Clara opened up about her uncertain feelings towards Ken. Clara wasn’t the type to be uncertain about any thought and not do anything about it.
“Hey Clara! You’ll be fine.” Stella said putting her hand on Clara’s shoulder as a lost expression came back to her face. “Did you call that organization I told you about? The One that helps people?” Stella asked?
“The1Habitat? Yes I did, thank you for the connect dear. They were really helpful. In fact, I told them I was open for a follow up,” Clara said.
“The way you’re looking, I think you’re due for one now.” Stella said and smiled at her friend but immediately stopped when Clara did not smile back. “Look Clara, I’ve found out that talking with someone really helps and is therapeutic. If you won’t share your private concerns with me, do try and reach out to them, please? Stella said in a very soft tone.
Clara knew Stella won’t let up so she caved in. “Alright! Alright!! I’ll call right now, Clara said. She rolled her eyes and smiled at her friend, who now looked somewhat satisfied. She smiled back and promptly returned to her desk.
Clara picked up her phone and made her way to the restroom hoping she could get some privacy for a heart to heart phone conversation.  She had barely gotten to the restroom when her phone started to ring.
It was Dupe. “That’s odd, she never calls me.” Clara said to herself, and *picked the call,*   cautiously bringing the phone to her ear. She asked, “what’s wrong Dupe? Are you Okay? Because you never call….”
“Look Clara I’m  sorry but, I have something to tell you.” Dupe said abruptly and, without waiting for a response from Clara, she went on. “Ken and I have been having sex, as recent as last night!
Dupe started to sob. “He’s been lying to you and me too. And I cant take it anymore…. I can’t!
Dupe, now choking on her tears could barely be heard.
Clara was frozen to a spot, she couldn’t believe what she just heard. She struggled to breathe. After a few seconds of gathering herself, she found her voice and spoke. “Dupe tell me everything!”
How will Clara handle things?
Does this spell the end for Clara and Ken?
Stay clued to our #RealLife issues blog here on #The1Habitat


“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