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 TWO
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Promise closed work early that day, on account of her migraine. She also wanted to go to her prayer closet and pray. There were just too many distractions at the hotel.
As she rode home, she wondered what Richard thought he stood to gain from intimidating her. He should have been ashamed of himself, and here he was projecting shame unto her over her past. She was angry, but still a little afraid all the same.
His nerve frightened her. She really didn’t know him and what he was capable of, and remembering what she had done to him, he would no doubt be feeling vengeful. She swallowed.
She had told Ope about her past. He knew everything there was to know about her life before marriage. But she had spared him the details of her time with Tony. It was just too painful to talk about. Not only for her, but for him. No husband needed to know the details of abuse against his wife, when he was powerless to stop it or even do anything about it.
She was healed and their marriage was restored. They had moved on. There was no need digging into that time of her life…until now.
Promise knew she had to find a way to tell Ope about Richard. He had to know, before something else happened that would make the whole ordeal harder to bear or to discuss. Ope had promised to protect her as long as she stayed with him. If there was a time she needed him to keep his promise, it was now.
Changing her mind about going home, she asked the driver to take her to her husband’s office instead. She sent him a message telling him she was coming over, and he immediately replied with a wide grin smiley face. Promise smiled, encouraged.
Ope had just concluded a meeting when he got the text from Promise about coming over. He had just one more meeting for the day. Richard was supposed to come over with a detailed proposal and a contract for Ope to go through. They’d met previously, after their first meeting, and Ope had bought into the idea.
However, before he agreed to a partnership, he needed to be sure Richard knew exactly what he was doing, and had a sharp business mind. He had met too many people with great ideas, who had no business sense, and he really didn’t have the time to be heavily involved in that many businesses.
Moments after his last appointment left, his Secretary buzzed to inform him that Mr Richard Sawani was around. He told her he could come in.
Ope stood up to shake hands with him when he entered. He noticed a strange confidence about Richard today. It seemed almost like he had airs on. He signalled for him to take a seat.
“So, do you have the file?” Ope went straight to the point.
Richard brought out the file, and Ope took it from him. As he went through it, Richard picked up the photo of Ope and Promise on his desk and studied it. He saw what he wanted to see. A greedy, promiscuous woman who had her claws in Ope.
“Your wife’s beautiful. How did you meet?”
Ope looked up from his document and smiled. “University.”
Richard was shocked. So, she’d hidden her real self from him for that long? “Wow! You dated in University?”
“No. That’s where we met. We were just friends then…”
“Oh, okay.” That made more sense, Richard thought. “I hope you don’t mind me asking…?”
Ope smiled. “Not at all. I’m just trying to focus on this proposal document.”
Richard stood up, deciding to look about the room at the other pictures of the happy couple. He saw a picture of their White Wedding. They had written the date on the picture. That was after his encounter with Promise. She was really quite the deceiver, he thought to himself.
Then the thought occurred to him that maybe Ope was even one of her clients. Maybe he wasn’t as clean as he pretended to be. He smirked.
“So, you’ve been married for four years…”
Ope looked up from the document to observe what Richard was doing. “Oh, that was our renewal ceremony. We’ve been married six years.”
Now, Richard was confused. If Ope was right, that meant Promise was married when they… SHIT! He swallowed. She was more evil than he thought. Did Ope know???
Just then, Ope’s Secretary called to announce the arrival of Mrs Olamisan. “Okay… She can come in.”
Promise was beyond shocked to see Richard in Ope’s office. Richard hadn’t missed her surprised look, though he had had time to control his expression today, being also alerted of her presence. He took advantage of it.
He went to her, smiling warmly and extending a hand in greeting. “Mrs Olamisan! It’s so lovely to meet you again. I was just admiring your wedding photos.”
Promise quickly regained her composure and decided she wasn’t going to play his game. She ignored him and went to her husband. “Darling, we need to talk,” she said, leaning over his desk.
Ope was stunned by Promise’s rudeness towards his client and friend. “Babe, can’t it wait? We’ll be rounding up soon. You can just take a seat for a minute…” Ope nodded towards his lounge area.
Promise sighed. “I’m afraid it cannot. You can’t do business with this man.”
Ope looked at Promise squarely. He swallowed. Was it what he thought it was? “Why?” was all he could say.
Promise swallowed. She lowered her voice as she said, “He was a client of mine…”
Ope closed his eyes, pained. He had always been afraid of a day like this. The world was too small, and he knew one day he would be forced to make a decision about working with someone who had been with his wife before.
She had been popular, and he’d had to face such embarrassing situations with men who sat in meetings with him, who had at one point or another been serviced by his wife. It was always painful, but he had decided never to let it get in the way of his business. As long as he knew they were no longer involved, he made decisions with his head and not his heart.
He spoke slowly, so she knew he was serious. “Promise, I think we need to discuss this later.”
Promise just stood there, shocked beyond measure. Didn’t he care??? She saw a muscle tick on his temple, and knew not to push the issue further. They would discuss this at home. She stood up straight, and averted her eyes. Hurt and embarrassed, Promise turned around and left Ope’s office.
Ope tried to regain his composure. He wasn’t able to look at Richard right now. He didn’t know what his relationship was with his wife, and he didn’t know if he wanted to find out. There were just some things he didn’t need to know or think about.
Richard was amazed at how Ope had handled his wife. In a way, he respected him more, because he wasn’t a push over. But it also made him wonder how well Ope really knew his wife.
Ope rubbed his palm on his forehead, feeling the beginnings of a headache. The document was not making sense to him anymore. The words were blurry and he couldn’t make them out. He was too emotional to proceed with this meeting.
“I’m afraid we’re going to have to reschedule. Can you leave these with me to look over?”
“Sure,” Richard said, with a smile. He went and picked up his briefcase from beside the chair he had been sitting on. “I look forward to your feedback.”
It was all Ope could do to look at Richard and nod, with a half-smile. God, please, I need wisdom, he prayed.
“So, I heard you are dating Dwaine Reynolds!!! Is it serious?” Keisha asked her favourite cousin. She’d decided she would have to pay her a visit, when Gbenga had shared the gist with her last week.
Victoria giggled. “It’s too early to tell. But I really like him!”
“When did this all start? I’m really disappointed that I had to hear about it through the grapevine!”
“Well, you know he’s a celebrity… I had to respect myself. For a while, I didn’t even believe it either!” she chuckled.
Keisha nodded. Victoria was glowing. “So, spill! I want to hear all the exclusive gist!!!”
Victoria laughed out loud. She wanted so badly to talk to someone about it, but as much as she loved Keisha, she knew she wasn’t to be trusted with such gossip. She nodded towards her child, who was doing her homework on the rug in the living room, as her reason for not being able to talk now.
“Tomi, Mommy and Aunty want to talk. Be a good girl and take that to your room!” Keisha said, smartly. She didn’t come all this way not to get the full low down. Tomi arose without a fuss, and packed her things to go to her bedroom.
Victoria sighed. “Okay, well… If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this properly! What are you drinking? Red or White?”
“Red, baby!!!” Keisha laughed.
While Victoria went to prepare the drinks, she pulled out her phone to check for messages and notifications from social media. There was a message from Ifeanyi on WhatsApp. She opened it excitedly.
“Hey, how’s your day going? I haven’t heard back from you about our dinner“, it read.
She quickly typed and sent a response, just as Victoria was returning with their drinks.
Ifeanyi was still at work when Keisha sent her response. He heard the ping and checked his phone.
“Sorry, dear. Been busy with work. When’s good for you?” she’d written.
“How about tomorrow night?” he replied.
When he didn’t hear back from her, he decided to call. She picked on the fourth ring.
“Hey…” Keisha answered sweetly.
“Hi, Keisha… Are you free tomorrow night?”
“Ummm… Yeah, tomorrow’s okay. Where and when?”
“How about Rhapsody’s in VI? Say 7pm?”
Rhapsody’s was a new hangout. A restaurant and club. It was one of hers and Gbenga’s regular haunts. She wanted somewhere more discreet. “Ummm… How about Churrascos? I feel like something grilled.”
Ifeanyi smiled. Churrascos was probably a better bet for the type of discussion he hoped to have. He’d named Rhapsody’s, because he had figured she’d be more comfortable in that environment, and he had been right about her taste. “That works for me. So, I’ll meet you there, after work tomorrow.”
“Yeah… Thanks for following up.”
“No worries. Goodnight, Keisha.”
Ifeanyi sighed when he hung up the line. So, tomorrow it was. He really hoped that this meeting would bear the right fruit, mend bridges and bring the closure that was needed between him and Keisha.
“Mmm Hmmm!” Victoria coughed playfully, looking at a grinning Keisha. “Who was that???”
“The Ifeanyi Chukwueke? Your ex?”
Keisha swallowed. “Yup.”
“So, you guys still talk? I thought he was married and like living happily ever after?” Victoria giggled.
Keisha breathed in deeply. “You know what…? I don’t even know what’s going on with him. I bumped into him at Gbenga’s party, a day before Valentine’s Day…and he just looked so hawt! What can I say? I’m a sucker for a lost cause…” she giggled.
“What about Gbenga?” Victoria asked.
“It’s just dinner… Can’t a girl eat?” Keisha giggled. “And besides… It’s you we are talking about tonight! Stop trying to change the focus!”
Victoria laughed out loud. Keisha was so single-minded when it came to gossip. “Okay, well… Like I was saying, we met at Tomi’s school a few months ago. He actually has a daughter, who is in Tomi’s class. One day, we were both late picking them up…and we got to talking. He asked for my number, and that’s how it happened, girl!”
“But you know his reputation, right?”
Victoria rolled her eyes. Look who’s talking! “Yeah, I know his reputation. I’m just having a bit of fun…and taking it slow. Like, you said… A-girl’s-got-to-eat!”
Keisha laughed, and they clinked their glasses. Yup. A girl’s got to eat.
To be continued…
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com
REGISTER FREE to catch up with my Members and Patrons, who are eight episodes ahead.