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
Chidinma had finally been able to join Emmanuel Atiyota in Chicago at the end of August. By then, he’d already moved into the home they’d chosen, though it lacked furnishings. He’d said he was waiting for his queen to come and take dominion of her residence. Chidinma had her work cut out for her, but threw herself into the job of decorating their home with gusto. It had been her passion and focus for the last three weeks, and now, she was almost done.
She stood now and looked around at her home, wondering what was missing. Every room looked picture-perfect to be photographed for Elle Decor. She had initially started on the garden, but decided that she’d rather have a professional gardener attend to it. And now it was also completed and a wonderful sight to behold.
Chidinma sighed. She couldn’t put her finger on what was missing. She went to the room she’d designated as her office, and it dawned on her. This was it. She’d hardly done much to this room. It had a simple, dark blue wallpaper and a desk and chair, with a small filing cabinet. But she knew that wasn’t it.
It was the stack of boxes on the desk that she still needed to sort through, and the business she’d put on hold. She was nervous, because now that everything else was done, it was time to face the music. It was time to get back to business… But there seemed to be a block in her mind. The fear of the unknown was hindering her from moving forward with plans to set up Maarvelous in Chicago.
She left the office and went over to the L-shaped, cream, leather sofa in the living room, where she sat looking out into the garden, through the ceiling to floor glass windows that ran from one end to another of their grand living area. At just after two in the afternoon, the sun was brilliant and filled the whole room with light. Chidinma closed her eyes, feeling tired, bored and in need of a nap. She’d get to work on her business tomorrow, she thought.
Her phone began to ring. Chidinma picked it up from where it laid on the coffee table. She was happy to see that it was her sister-in-law. Eagerly, she slid her finger across the screen to answer the call.
Mary had just gotten off the phone with Samson and Samuel. Samson had said he’d reported to the station every day since his release on Saturday, but they hadn’t been informed of a court date yet. Mary hadn’t quite known what to say to her brother over the phone. She would save her words for when they would see over the weekend, as Ifeanyi had arranged.
Still, she was feeling emotional and in need of someone to talk to. Ifeanyi had called earlier to say he’d be home a little late tonight. It was now after 8 pm. She thought of Chidinma, her sister-in-law. They hadn’t spoken much since she moved to the States, partly due to the time difference. Now was a good time to catch up on each other.
“Hey, sis! What’s up?” Chidinma answered, jovially.
“Hey, big sis!” Mary replied, feeling a little better already. “Hmmm… A lot, oh… But, how are you?”
Chidinma sighed deeply. “I’m good, oh… Missing Lagos! Never thought I’d say that…”
Mary giggled. “It’s because you are still settling in. It’s still all new to you. Soon, we will be begging you to come and visit us!”
Chidinma laughed. “Yeah, right… Anyway, what’s up? What am I missing?”
“Can’t say you’re missing much… But there is something. It’s my brother, Samson. He’s got himself in a bit of trouble.”
“Oh yeah? What happened?”
“One girl accused him of rape.”
“Jesus! You’re kidding!”
“Why will I kid about something like that…?”
“I’m sorry, Mary. I just can’t believe it. My goodness! It must be so hard for you…”
“Hmmm…” Mary muttered. “I don’t want to believe he did it, but you know, with my life, I can never put anything past anyone. Nobody! I mean, when I thought all was well, I got the shock of my life with Ifeanyi… God has just taught me never to put confidence in the flesh.”
“Hmmm… You’re right. So, do you think...or does it look like he did it?”
“Honestly, I don’t know enough. He said he didn’t. We’re meeting this weekend to talk about everything and really get some sense into him. I mean, whether he says he did it or not, when will he learn to control himself?! His philandering is really getting out of control. Who knows when someone will come and say they are carrying his baby, God forbid!”
“God forbid, oh! I know you and Ifeanyi don’t need that stress now. God knows he can’t look after himself yet, talkless of another person and a baby! Chai! This life sef.”
Mary sighed. “I just feel so… Disappointed. I’m angry, but mostly disappointed. I just don’t know what I’d do if he’s convicted!” Mary broke down and sobbed. She wiped her tears and tried to calm down. “I really want to believe he’s innocent, so I can fight for him… But if he’s guilty, I would hate to be on the wrong side of the law… I can just imagine how the girl must be feeling.”
Chidinma nodded, understanding perfectly. “It’s a tough position to be in. But no one will blame you for standing by your brother and believing in his innocence until proven guilty. In fact, Mary, that’s the only thing you can do. If you don’t believe him, who will? So, please… Just don’t take it personal and try to be there for Samson. Pray and let God hold your hand through this. It will all work out. It always does.”
Mary nodded, feeling encouraged and a little relieved. It was good to know that it was okay for her to stand with her brother and choose to believe the best in him. Whatever happened, God would bring the truth to light. “Thank you, sis. I needed that assurance.”
“It’s okay, sis. We’re all standing with you. And we’re standing with you on your prayer point for Samson too. May God save his soul and bring him into the knowledge of His sweetness!”
“God, please encourage my sister, Mary. Please remind her that You are with her and her family through this ordeal, and that You are still in control. Help her to rest in You and never doubt in Your ability to bring justice. Please save Samson from this path of fornication and wilfulness. Deliver him from every bondage of the enemy! We know You love him so much, and we pray that he will soon know it for himself. Thank You for Your amazing grace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, amen!”
“Amen! Thanks, Chidinma. God bless you,” Mary smiled.
“God bless you too, Mary. It will all work out, in Jesus’ name!”
Mary relaxed and put away her burden. She would trust in God. It was the only way to stay sane in this crazy world.
The rest of the conversation saw them catching up and talking about home decor and maintenance. Chidinma talked about her anxiety about starting her business in Chicago and, this time, Mary encouraged her to just go for it, reminding her how brilliant she was and also how much happiness planning events brought to her. Chidinma, too, left the conversation feeling refreshed and energised.
Amaka managed to pull herself away from her phone in order to get ready for her dinner appointment with Andikan. She’d decided that she would go and act the part, like he wanted. She would just make sure she brings her best game so that, even though they won’t end up in bed together, she’d get the evidence needed to fight him in court.
She smiled as she looked at her reflection. It has been a long time since she wore something so revealing. God, she was hot! She swallowed. That pride was sneaking up on her already. She’d have to remember that she was playing a part, and this wasn’t real. She was doing this for women everywhere! She beamed at her reflection in the mirror.
Amaka parked at the hotel parking lot and was shown the way to the restaurant from the lobby. She saw Andikan at a table by the tall windows and walked sensually over to him. He stood up to appreciate her, a big smile on his face and his arms extended.
“Wow, you look amazing!” he said, when she got within ear-shot.
Amaka blushed, “Thanks.” He looked good too, she thought. If only he wasn’t an asshole!
“What are you drinking?” Andikan asked as soon as they were seated.
“Of course, only the best bottle for the most beautiful lady,” he drawled.
She smiled adoringly. “I just want to say I’m sorry for how I reacted earlier. It’s just been long since I found myself in this position. Y’know, in need of a job. I know that the industry is very competitive and sacrifices must be made. Thanks for considering me for the lead role in your new hit show.”
Andikan put a hand on the table and slid it over hers… He observed her for signs of pretence. She had really undergone a transformation since this afternoon. Or maybe she finally got some sense and decided to play the game to her benefit.
“I like it when women show some character. Believe me, I wasn’t turned off. I know you’re special. You will go far. You just need someone like me to open the doors for you. I’m glad you came.”
Amaka smiled brilliantly. She looked around the restaurant to hide her irritation before looking back at him. “So, is it okay if I ask a few questions…?” she returned her gaze to him and fluttered her lashes.
Andikan raised a brow and smiled thinly. “Shoot.”
“How long have you been in this business?”
He relaxed. “It’s a family business. I was practically born on screen!”
“It’s a lie!”
“No joke! My mother went into labour in the middle of a film shoot,” he laughed.
Amaka laughed as well. Hmmm… Interesting.
Ifeanyi stole another glance at his wristwatch. The night was getting long. He swallowed and returned his attention to his date.
“Am I keeping you?” the older woman asked.
“Sssshhh. I’ve told you to call me Florence. Will you do that? For me?”
Ifeanyi took in a deep breath and forced a smile. “Ms Florence. Actually, I was hoping we’d get to discuss the partnership we already proposed to your executive team. We have…”
“Ifeanyi… All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy. We will get to that,” Ms Florence smiled, taking another bite of her chicken wing. “Hmmm… This is delicious. You really have to try this, dear.”
It was all he could do to keep from rolling his eyes. Why had he agreed to this charade? Well, her bank, where she sat as the head of the board, was one of the leading banks in South Africa and their foot into the global market. Securing their partnership in his company’s programme was a strategic move, which they couldn’t afford to lose.
Ms Florence extended her fork so that Ifeanyi could nibble on her wing. He took in a deep breath as he did, biting off a bit of the skin and licking his mouth. “You’re right. It’s very tasty.”
“I knew you’d like it,” she beamed. “I have great taste, you know? That’s the thing about partnerships, Ifeanyi. It’s not so much about assets as it’s about minds. It would help us to know more about those we are seeking to enter business relationships with. The right connection can be explosive!”
Ifeanyi watched as she chuckled. He gulped. My God! This woman is deluded!
Victoria laid in bed wide awake. She stole a glance at the man lying in her bed, his leg and arm wrapped around her as he pulled her close. What had she done?!
When he’d come to her that evening to comfort her over her break-up, she’d been touched. She’d offered him a drink and they’d ended up chatting into the night. They got along so well. They usually did, when emotions weren’t involved.
And now, they were back where they’d started. In bed together. For no apparent reason but that they were both lonely, miserable souls in pursuit of love. She swallowed.
Was she so desperate that she’d return to her vomit?! Was he really serious about reigniting their passion, or was this a one-time “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am”? She didn’t know what to think, especially with the way he was cuddled against her…
She closed her eyes and decided she wouldn’t overthink it. They’d been there before. It’s been tried and tested, and it didn’t work. In the morning, she’d just have to let him know it wasn’t going to happen again.
To be continued...
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