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
Jason was nervous about meeting Fiona’s family on this Sunday afternoon. It would be their first meeting, and he didn’t know what to expect. She came from a Catholic home, and well, he was not one and was still quite young in his Faith walk. What if they thought he wasn’t good enough for their daughter?
Fiona couldn’t help feeling nervous too. She’d prayed about this meeting since the day he had proposed to her, and had determined that it was now time she faced the music and come clean to her family too. She really hoped they would be understanding and grant their blessing to their marriage.
Fiona met Jason outside and squeezed his hand affectionately, as they walked into her family home in Dolphin Estate together, holding hands. The Kingsleys owned the two duplexes that were joined together at the top of their street. They had renovated the grounds, maximising the space to include a swimming pool at the back, and a rooftop tennis court, in addition to their lovely garden and tiled driveway. Jason was impressed when he entered their home to see that it was much bigger inside than in looked on the outside, and it was also richly and tastefully furnished.
Fiona’s mother rose up excitedly, when they entered the living room, to greet her future son-in-law. Her daughter had sent her some pictures she had taken with him, but Mrs Kingsley thought Jason looked much more handsome in person. Compared to his rugged brothers, Jason was a pretty boy, though he also sported their trademark broad shoulders. He was the lankiest and the fairest of them, looking almost fully Caucasian. His full head of shiny, black curls was all he had to prove his multiple race and Indian heritage, gained from his mother.
“How was Mass?” she asked him, after she’d hugged them both.
Fiona turned to Jason, and bit her lower lip, as she hadn’t yet told her parents that he wasn’t Catholic. They didn’t even know that she was no longer Catholic herself. Though she still attended the Church with her family in Nigeria, she attended a Non-Denominational Fellowship in the States. All her parents knew was that they attended the same Church, and shared the same passion for Christ.
“It was a lovely service, thank you Ma,” Jason said, giving a brilliant smile, despite his nerves.
He didn’t think that was the best time or way to address the differences in their religious practice. Fiona had clued him up about the Faith she had been born into, so that he wasn’t so unprepared to deal with their questions, but he knew sooner or later, the elephant in the room would have to be addressed. It was going to be an interesting meal.
Sola Olatunji was devastated. The opportunity he had been waiting on had fallen through, and now he didn’t know what he was going to do. He’d really had high hopes about it, because they had been talking about the contract for the last six months. Though there was a lot of interest and praise about his talents, at the last minute, the Executive Producer had changed his mind about him. He’d said he was “too small time”. Oh, that hurt!
And he had a baby on the way. And a wedding too. How was he going to deal with it all? Dami didn’t know just how broke he was. He had been borrowing money to get by for months, because he couldn’t stand to disappoint her. He had really put all his eggs in one basket, hoping to land this opportunity of a lifetime to host a new Nigerian TV show.
Sola sat with his face in his hands, grieved. Maybe it was time he got a proper paying job. A man with a wife and child did not have the privilege of chasing dreams, when he had the responsibility to feed and care for his family, he thought.
His phone buzzed with an alert. It was a text message from one of his family members, asking for support to pay for a school examination. Sola just shook his head and cried. Since they saw him posing on Instagram with nice clothes and flashy cars he didn’t even own - because he had to pose to look the part of a successful comedian - they thought he had money! And his story would have been different too, if luck was on his side.
On the night he had learnt of Richard’s past abuse and recent intimidation of his wife, Ope had been able to plan a perfect way to have him killed. By the morning, he had figured out how to cover his tracts. By the afternoon of the following day, he was certain he had a fail proof plan, that would bring maximum pain to Richard, and leave no evidences of his involvement in Richard’s demise.
But that same evening, he’d realised and accepted that the short-lived pleasure of enacting his judgement on Richard would never change what had happened…and could never leave him in peace. No matter how sweet, he knew and had to admit that “the wrath of man never fulfilled the righteous will of God”, as the Bible taught. The morning after, Ope prayed for grace and wisdom again. However, his anger was still blinding him to see and know the way of God in this matter.
He’d received the report from his Assistant and Accountant on Richard’s proposal. They were happy to proceed with it. All they needed was his clearance. Promise had said “no” to working with Richard, and he definitely understood her opposition now. Every time he thought of Richard, he felt his hands itch to strangle him and rid him of his breath. But maybe there was another way…
Ope had invited Richard to see him this afternoon to agree and finalise on their partnership. He had just been informed by his Receptionist that Richard had arrived. He took in a deep breath before saying, “Let him in.”
Richard sensed Ope’s tension when he walked into the room. He really didn’t know what to expect, now that he knew Ope knew about his previous relationship with Promise. But he still didn’t know how much he knew, and he wasn’t willing to volunteer nor confess to anything. So, he held his tongue about it.
Ope gestured for him to take a seat across from him, and he did.
“So, my team have gone through your proposal… Everything seems good and promising. But, why should I trust you?” Ope asked, staring hard at Richard.
“Ummm… I thought you’ve gone through the proposal. It’s all in there…” Richard swallowed. “And I’m no stranger to you… We go way back.”
“Ummm… So, at which point were you going to mention that you have…been with my wife?”
“Mehn… How do you tell a man something like that? I was just trying to suss her out… I was honestly shocked that you could have married someone like that.”
“Someone like what?”
“You know…? A whore.”
Ope ground his teeth together, and clenched his hands into fists on the table. “Call my wife that again, and I’ll kill you!” His eyes didn’t leave Richard’s.
Richard put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just calling a spade a spade…”
“You were what?”
“Look, I don’t know anything about your relationship. But I know women. And women lie. And I just didn’t know how much you knew…”
“So, you thought I was a fool…who married someone I didn’t know and who doesn’t love me…?”
“There’s no way to tell a man you fucked his wife. Pardon my French. It was her call and decision to make. And honestly, I’m glad she said something…”
“What about punching her in the face? Is that what you do? To your wife?”
Richard looked away and shook his head. “No. Never. And for that, I am sorry…”
“For that?” Ope closed his eyes, to control his anger. He took in deep breaths. If he were not a Christian, he would have returned the favour on Richard’s face!
He eventually opened his eyes, and said, “Richard, I do not know who you are or what you are capable of. I’ve had to deal with some hard facts and realities about my wife, but I love her to death. I will never not give someone a chance to change or to prove themselves, but you must know if I ever see you looking at or talking to my wife ever again, you are finished!”
“I hope you understand what I am saying to you. I don’t like to repeat myself. But if you ever lay one finger on my wife again, you will know what I am capable of!”
Richard nodded his understanding.
Ope pulled out a document and pushed it across to Richard. “Here are the terms of our agreement, drawn up by my legal team. If they are acceptable to you as is, we may proceed.”
Richard looked over the document, his eyes opening wide at the changes he noted. Ope’s firm was retaining a greater share of the partnership, they had changed the company name and Richard was to be employed as the Executive Director. If this was Chess, Richard knew he had been checkmated. He was desperate, and didn’t have an alternative. Reluctantly, he signed on the dotted line.
Nomnso was at home, preparing for a date with his new girlfriend, Kemi Odedina. Since their special connection watching the sunset together, under the oak tree at the Iyana Ipaja NYSC camp, they had been inseparable. They were even in the same Community Development Group, which made everything easier.
She was just the kind of girl he was looking for and had been praying for for years. She was beautiful, spiritual and ambitious. It was a perfect combination for a powerful woman, who exhibited both confidence and humility.
Tonight, he would be taking her out to a Comedy show. They both loved comedy. It was one of many things that had sealed the deal for him. He couldn’t wait to introduce her to his family, especially his brother, Ifeanyi. But he was still away on holiday with his wife, Mary, and they were not due back until the weekend.
Just as he was about leaving, his phone rang. Speak of the devil, he thought.
“Hey, bro…” he answered.
“Hi, Nomnso. How are you?” Ifeanyi replied.
“I’m great! How’s the wifey?”
“Awesome!” Ifeanyi beamed at Mary, who laid in his arms. “How’s everything back home?”
“We’re all good here… You still coming back this weekend?”
“Yeah… Mary wants to sort a few things out before the twin’s birthday. How are they?”
“They’re okay. They’re watching TV actually…” Nomnso said, observing the boys who were engrossed watching an episode of PJ Masks as though they were watching the popular series “24”. “Do you want to talk to them?”
“Yes, please… Mary wants to.”
Ifeanyi handed the phone to Mary, and Nomnso offered the phone to Chukwudi. He didn’t seem interested, so he offered to Uche. Uche collected the phone. “Hello?”
“Mommy!!!” Uche beamed on hearing his mother’s voice.
“How are you doing?”
“I’m fine! Chukwudi broke my truck!”
“Awww… I’m sorry. We’ll bring you back something better. Can I speak to your brother?”
“Chukwudi! Speak to Mommy,” Uche handed the phone over, and resumed watching his favourite show.
“Hello…” Chukwudi spoke into the phone.
“Hey, sweetheart! How are you?”
“Fine. How are you?”
“We’re fine. Are you looking after your brother and sister?”
“Is Abi there?”
“Okay. Give the phone back to Uncle. Be a good boy, okay?”
Chukwudi handed the phone back to Nomnso. Mary asked to speak with the nanny, Sandra, and they spoke briefly about the children and the plans that had been made for their party, before Mary handed the phone back to Ifeanyi.
“Alright… Enjoy your night!” Ifeanyi said, when Nomnso had told him that he was on his way to pick up Kemi for their date.
After he got off the phone with Ifeanyi, Nomnso called Kemi to let her know he was on his way. He’d lost some time with the brief call from Ifeanyi, so he made up for it by driving a little faster. He didn’t want to miss any part of the show.
To be continued…
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com
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