Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Temi rose early to pick up her kids from her sister’s place and dropped them at their nursery, before heading to work on Monday. Just as she arrived at the office, her phone began to ring. It was an unknown caller, and she loathed to answer those. She let the phone ring through. Maybe the person would send a text message.
However, when she got to her desk, the persistent caller dialled again. This time, she picked the call. She was not quite prepared for the emotions that hit her when she heard his voice. Especially after last night. After her new resolve to leave him, for his own sake. Suddenly, it seemed unbearable.
“Hey,” Temi answered back.
“What’s going on, Temi? You haven’t been picking any of my calls… Is everything okay? Did I do something wrong?” Michael rolled off one question after the other.
Temi swallowed. She wanted to blame Oyinda and absolve herself, but she knew such a response would only encourage him. She couldn’t encourage him to think they still had a future. How could she let him know that they were over? “Oyinda knows about us…”
“He wants to give us a second chance…” Temi said. The following words were harder to get out. “And I do too.”
“I don’t believe you, Temi. It’s because you are such a good person… You just want to do what is right, but it’s never that easy. You have to look after yourself. You have to live and do what makes you happy, Temi. I just want you to be happy.”
“Please, Michael… I can’t. I’m at work now… I have to go.”
“It’s okay, Temi. I told you I’d fight for you, and I will. I’ll call you later, babe.”
Silent tears ran down her cheeks as she laid her phone down. This was too hard. And it was made harder by her indecision. How could she run from someone she wanted and needed so badly, who was determined never to quit chasing her…?
The calls started pouring in from the moment the clock had struck midnight last night. It was the same thing each year. He was a very popular guy.
Nomnso woke up to many messages on his phone, all wishing him a happy birthday. Many friends and ex-girlfriends, he hadn’t heard from in a while, also sent their greetings. He even got a few calls with family and friends serenading him.
However, by 9 am, when he was at his office desk, he was yet to hear from his girlfriend, Kemi. He didn’t want to be the one to call her on his birthday. He knew she knew today was his special day, and they’d planned to meet for dinner. But was it too much to expect her to celebrate him a little before they met up?
He knew she didn’t do social media PDA and wasn’t expecting to be featured on her page today. He would have loved that though, as many of his friends had done so. But he understood that she was different. He decided he wouldn’t let it bother him and focused on the work at hand.
At lunchtime, her call finally came through.
“Hey, babe,” she greeted cheerfully. “How’s your day going?”
“Fine, thanks,” he said simply.
“Sorry, I didn’t call earlier… Been busy.”
“So, we’re still on for dinner?”
Nomnso swallowed. “Well, unless you’re too busy…”
“No, of course not! I can’t wait to see you…”
Nomnso couldn’t help the smile that broke on his face. “Okay, cool.”
“Have a great day, babe. I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you. Love you!”
“I love you too…” Nomnso said, as he dropped the call. Hmmm… She didn’t say “Happy Birthday”. He remembered how she’d said she didn’t celebrate birthdays, but he never knew it was to this extent.
But he didn’t have time to fret over that now. His friend and colleague, Jeremy, was at his desk.
“Free for lunch?”
“As a bird!” he beamed.
Ifeanyi had spent all of yesterday responding to and containing the scandal that broke on Sunday morning, with a few newspapers carrying Samson’s story. He didn’t know how the story had leaked, but it wasn’t totally unexpected. He was determined to shield Mary from the fall-out as much as possible, and he and Lanre answered all enquiries about the case.
Thankfully, he had already briefed his parents about what happened during the week, so they were not caught unaware. Samson and Samuel had returned to campus after their lunch on Saturday, and they already knew to keep a low profile. When they’d called him yesterday, disturbed by the news being carried in the media, he’d assured them that he was already on it, and they just needed to keep their cool and say nothing to anyone!
He’d seen Chuka’s missed calls yesterday, but he hadn’t been free nor been in the mindset to call him back. Today, however, the frenzy had died down somewhat, and he felt ready to talk to his friend, if for nothing but to appreciate his support.
“Hey, Chuka,” he said when he’d answered the call.
“Hi, Ifeanyi. Everything okay? I saw the news…”
“Yeah, we’re fine. We’re handling it…”
“Is it true? Samson?”
“No, he denies it. And we believe him… Just pray for him, though.”
“Sure, no problem. Do you need me for anything?”
“No, not yet. Just to know you’ve got our back. But I’ll let you know if anything changes. Thanks!”
“You’re welcome. My love to Mary and the kids.”
Ifeanyi smiled. “Thanks! Greet your madam and the boys! We need to resume our weekend dates.”
“Yes, we should. How’s this weekend? We can come to you.”
“Sounds great! Cool.” Then Ifeanyi remembered something. “Do you know any good Christian single ladies?”
Chuka was a little taken aback by the subject change. “Yeah… A few. Why?”
“I want to set up an old friend. He’s a lawyer…”
“Oh, cool. I’ll look through and get back to you, yeah?”
“Yes, please! Thanks, bro.”
“No problem, man! Take it easy. God bless.”
Ifeanyi said “Bye,” before he cut the call. He let out a sigh. There was just too much he was trying to keep together.
His attention was drawn to his phone again by a notification on his family WhatsApp group. Chidinma just sent her birthday greeting to Nomnso. The time difference between Nigeria and Chicago meant that she was only just getting up. He’d sent a greeting earlier, but would have to make time to call his brother too.
There was a knock on his door. His secretary opened it and walked in with a file. Before then, he really needed to get some work done.
Over at The Promise, Promise was supervising the staff during their Monday lunch rush. They’d employed two head caterers since they’d let go of Cindy, and the current chef was doing well. Their clients had certainly noticed the change in the kitchen, but they were finally growing their clientele and business again, as this new chef took over and established his presence.
Promise had also decided to employ a band, and they usually played in the evenings, except on special occasions and by special request. It had been one of the ideas that Cindy had suggested, which Promise felt they didn’t have the budget for. But she’d finally decided to take the risk, and it had certainly paid off. More of the hotel guests now chose to come down for their evening meals and, many more than before, ordered desserts, so as to enjoy the dining experience for longer. She also got a lot of positive feedback from the diners and guests.
She was now thinking of extending the restaurant, so that there would be an outdoor section, to meet the increase in demand and also to offer another experience for her guests. She always liked to take her meals by the poolside, whenever she dined at the hotel. That’s if she wasn’t too busy or had a lunch date.
Her phone beeped with a new notification. She checked it and saw that Ope had sent her a message.
“How’s your day going, darling?”
Promise beamed. “Great, thanks! Yours?”
“It’s good. Missing you! Are you free for lunch?”
“Hmmm… Not really.”
“I’m coming over to the restaurant. Let’s have lunch. Remember, you need to take it easy, babe.”
“Okay, dear… But I’m fine!”
“Yeah… I’ll be the judge of that. Love you x”
Promise laughed and sent her final text. “Love you too xxx”
“Keys please!” Kemi demanded, as they got to Nomnso’s car. He’d arrived a few minutes earlier to pick her up for their dinner date. As usual, she looked stunning in the short black dress she’d chosen for the occasion.
“I’m taking you out, aren’t I?”
“Yeah…” Nomnso smiled, but held back his car keys. “But, you sure you can drive a Jaguar? This is my baby, you know?”
“I thought I was your baby?” Kemi sulked, playfully.
“No… You’re my lady…”
“Abeg! Give me the keys, joor!”
Nomnso laughed and handed them over. He got in the passenger seat and watched as Kemi settled herself into the driver seat, adjusting the mirrors and the seat. She looked so sexy, especially with this “I’m in control” attitude she had going on. But she’d never driven him before, and he wondered if he was taking a huge gamble giving her control of his ride. He was in for a surprise as she pulled out of the driveway, with confidence and expertise.
“So, where we going?”
They engaged in some chit chat, as she drove. He soon figured out where she was going. He wondered why he hadn’t thought of it, as Kemi pulled into the driveway at The Promise. He honestly wasn’t that impressed. He was thinking they’d try something different, more exotic. He got out of the car, and she met him at his side.
Hmmm… He thought, as they walked towards the hotel. Don’t worry. It’s Sweet Kay, and you’re going to have a good time together. It doesn’t matter where you go, he told himself. He squeezed her hand and was rewarded with a brilliant smile.
They were shown to a special table reserved for them, near the window. Nomnso noticed the live band. They were obviously a new addition to the hotel… Or was there a special event?
It was when he settled in the seat opposite Kemi that he noticed that a couple of the other diners looked familiar. He was delighted when one of his close friends arose and strolled towards them. He was with his fiancée. Then Nomnso saw his brother and his wife. And that’s when it began to make sense. This wasn’t just any dinner. Kemi had planned a special dinner for him!
Kemi beamed when Nomnso’s eyes lit up at her. “You planned this?!”
She just nodded. “Happy Birthday, Nomnso! You are a very special boyfriend!”
Nomnso stood up to greet Ifeanyi, Mary and his friends that had honoured the invitation. The tables were brought together, and they had a long table for twelve.
“I’m so surprised! This is great. Thanks, Sweetie,” Nomnso said, looking into her eyes and wanting to steal a kiss. He let out a deep breath instead.
It was a lovely meal, punctuated by good conversation and lots of laughter. The band was a wonderful delight, and they even played a special birthday song for Nomnso. He was all smiles when, towards the end of the evening, the staff brought him a beautifully decorated birthday cake. His friends and family joined in the singing, and he happily blew out the 29 candles on his cake.
“I thought you didn’t celebrate birthdays?” Nomnso said to Kemi when there was just a few of them remaining at the table. Ifeanyi and Mary left soon after the cake was cut.
“Well, that’s a personal choice. But you do… So, I had to do something nice for my man!”
“Awww, that’s sweet,” Nomnso smiled. “But will you allow me to tempt you to the other side next year…?”
Kemi beamed. “Every day is a day to celebrate the people we love. If you treat me as good as you do all year round, believe me, I won’t miss it…”
“Hmmm… That’s a good challenge! I’ll like to give that a try…” he grinned.
Kemi laughed out loud.
To be continued...
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