Seeing the train brought tears to Ada’s eyes. She swallowed several times. And at some point, Iyke squeezed her hand. She wasn’t the only one being so emotional on this fateful day. Clarence had tears run down his face throughout the ceremony. Especially when the vows were taken. Several times the priest stopped him so he could get his breath back.
Her twins marched by in their tuxedos and Iyke’s two boys. Her daughter was the flower girl, so pretty in her burgundy dress. At just eleven years old, she looked eighteen.
Only Ada’s kids made up the train.
The bride Sofi, smiled as much as her new husband cried. They were a beautiful couple and Ada was truly pleased for her brother.
He stopped by the pew where she sat with her husband, and held both their hands. The hymn, “There shall be showers of blessings” had been sung to the end but the choir raised the first stanza again.
“I owe everything to you, Ada. Thank you,” Clarence mumbled.
Ada smiled and nodded. Tears pooled in her eyes once more. Her brother never called her “Ada.” It was his pleasure to call her Ursula, or more annoying Urs. It was her given name, but she always preferred the “home” name, Ada.
She understood where he came from. Despite all the hatred they’d traded in the last two decades, this marriage between Sofi and Clarence wiped all the bitter years away, and she had been instrumental to it. Clarence told her Sofi agreed to marry him, mainly because she gave him confidence to do so.
“I’m happy for them,” Iyke whispered.
Ada sighed. “They may never have kids.”
Iyke chuckled. “But we have enough for both families.”
Ada giggled. “Don’t let Sofi hear that. She told me Clarence has agreed to go through some complicated medical procedures.”
Iyke winked. “Good for him.”
Kade Eiba’s exciting love story…Available now!
I want your feedback too. Thank you!
Kade Eiba’s exciting love story…
Kade Eiba is the successful MD of Decoy Holdings. To crown his business success was his engagement to Joyce King, a model who had won the most coveted world beauty title, Miss World. The duo had everything going for them.
Then one day, a lady called Joy walked into the plush grounds of Decoy Holdings and nothing remained the same for anyone.
In a tale of fantasy and faith, retribution and reality, Kade’s once organized life is thrown into confusion; his toughest principles put to the hardest tests and his deepest convictions forced to answer the oddest of questions.
I want your feedback too. Thank you!
I can only say a prayer. A prophecy. A proclamation.
God bless America under President Trump.
Congratulations to all of America on this great day. You have done it again. The system in place has worked again. It is such a joy to witness process in place.
So like I always like to do, I thank God for what He is doing in America, and what He will still do.
I pray this dispensation will favour all Americans.
I pray the Trump government will favour me, my family, and my country.
God bless Donald Trump. God bless America.
Joe felt stupid for the first time during the course of the night. He called the townhouse owned by Buki in Banana Island, and asked if his boss cum partner cum friend had returned. He hadn’t. The night had worn on long enough but the food, the drinks, and the music continued to flow. The Eibas danced several times with friends and family, seeming to be ready to stay all night with their guests.
As guests left, guests came, even at one o’clock in the early hours of the day. Lagosians were such party-freaks, Joe thought. He would have enjoyed it as well, if not that Joyce King had spoilt his appetite for anything but her company. He’d seen the smirk on Kade’s face as he led her away, and his stomach had sunk. He really needed to see her again.
He took another glass of champagne and warned his lust that it was the last. The last thing he wanted was to get drunk on Buki. His friend hardly ever took alcohol, and definitely not socially…though Buki had taken a glass of champagne tonight. Perhaps for the nerve.
Joe went back to table 10. Most of the occupants were either dancing, or had gone. A sly-looking man walked over and sat with him. He wore a shiny red jacket over black leather trousers and a black bodysuit. Gauging his age, he would be in his twenties. He was rather good-looking and had a disarming smile. A long gold chain hung around his neck reached close to his navel, drawing attention to just how tight the bodysuit was. A pendant, the head of some animal dangled at the end of the chain.
He shot out his hand to Joe’s face. “Hey, hi.”
“I’m not a fag,” Joe said dryly, ignoring the hand.
The stranger laughed and rubbed his rejected hand against the other. He took the seat next to Joe, uninvited. Joe had to give it to him, he had the sweetest smile on earth. Widened lips and a nice set of even teeth lingered as an aftermath of his laughter.
“I saw you earlier with Buki George, and thought we may need to be acquainted.”
“Really.” He did look like a fag, despite the smile. His hair was newly retouched with the sporting waves…Joe hated the name, sporting waves like though it was meant for sports men and women or something.
“…rather do know that the proposal would catch…”
“You forgot your name.”
“MacJones Junior. Buki and my sister are good friends and …”
“Yes, the same.” He smiled again, this time with a tinge of pride and self-achievement. “They come a long way.” No wonder, Joe mused.
“She’s in on the sports panorama. In fact, she came up…”
Joe turned away from him, and fiddled with his handset. Where was Buki George? He wasn’t picking his calls. He began to dial the number for the umpteenth time. Joe wanted to go home. The party had ended for him the moment Joyce King left.
“Hello! Can I have your attention?”
MacJones Junior was still talking. “We can make a million bucks…”
Joe looked up. Kade Eiba was on the microphone the compere had used earlier.
“We have an announcement to make…Two announcements.”
“All Buki George needs to do right now to give me a call…”
“Shut up, will you.” Joe snapped at MacJones Junior who was oblivious to all around him, and pressing a small calculator furiously.
He jolted at Joe’s reprimand, and frowned. “No offence meant.”
Joe flew to his feet when Kade stretched out his hand and Joyce King walked graciously to him and stood in his arms.
Kade smirked. “Miss World and I are going to be married.”
There was a resounding applause. It took several minutes before it died down.
“And that’s not all. My sister, Modele, is going to have her Christmas-day wedding!” Another round of applause went up. “Thank you very much.”
Joe hissed. What a cold, flat, arrogant…
Buki took the microphone from his brother-in-law-to-be. “Thank you very much!”
Joe’s head shot up. “Son of a gun!”
He looked at the couple beside Kade, and with a continuous clapping, made his way forward as people came round and saluted them.
The compere took his mic back. “Dance, drinks, and food all continue please!”
The other Eibas were all over the two, hugging, crying, laughing… Kade gripped Joyce’s hand, and after murmuring a soft excuse, walked away just as Joe reached the circle. He stared longingly after the duo.
Buki nudged him and he laughed. He shoved his friend and got introduced to Modele.
“How I have longed to meet you, Princess,” Joe said lavishly and stretched his hand to Modele, who smiled weakly and took the handshake.
“Now if you’ll excuse us.” Buki stepped close to Modele and wrapped his arms round her. “I haven’t had even a dance with my woman.”
“Hmm, ur I’m…” MacJones Junior put out his hand to Buki from an awkward angle and had it brushed aside as the couple moved to the dance floor, to the jazz rendition of Lara George’s “Ijoba Orun.”
“Please do.” Joe gave a mock bow, and stepped aside for them to pass. “Don’t lose me again, you! I’m on table 10,” he called after them. He looked at MacJones Junior with disgust. “Go get a life, you!”
Joe trudged back to the table and sat gloomily, watching as guests continued to party.
Buki held Modele back in the small coffee room. They couldn’t leave yet, despite that they didn’t want to continue staying. She rested her head on his chest, and held him at the waist, he placed his chin on the crown of her head, and idly massaged her shoulder.
“I’ve never seen my mother so happy,” she murmured.
“She’s a blessed woman.”
“Kade should marry before second quarter of next year. They seem so happy together too.”
“My friend has a crush on Joyce.”
She raised her head. He replaced it on his chest. “I pity him.” They both laughed and sighed, and then laughed simultaneously.
Buki squeezed his eyes shut. “It will be a devil of a week.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Final plans for the wedding.”
She shifted to look at him. “I thought you were joking, darling. It will still hold?”
“Yes.” He treated the tip of her nose to a nuzzling. “I never cancelled anything.”
I want your feedback too. Thank you!
He stood in the shadows and watched, his fingers clammy. Ada spoke with Sofi for a brief moment and he couldn’t bring himself to watch them. He badly needed a marijuana fix.
He didn’t want to witness his own end. If he could judge by Sofi’s reaction to Ada’s comment on his inability to have kids, the relationship he nourished and cherished was over. Sofi was only twenty-eight years old, fourteen years younger than him, and she had spoken fondly about raising a family.
If Ada had anything to do with it, the beautiful Argentine would be on her way back home now. He opened his room and slammed the door behind him. Only five days earlier, he discarded his stock of alcohol, and drugs. Sofi had such an effect on him. He loved her with his life. If she left him, what would he do?
He found a vase on the mantel and flung it at the floor to ceiling mirror. The crashing noise drowned the click of the door opening, but he had a seventh sense and he turned toward his entrance.
Sofi stood staring at the smashed glass.
“I’m not leaving you, Clarence. We have a problem and we must find solution for it.”
If it was a dream, then may he never awaken from it. He dropped to his knees and wept at her feet.
I want your feedback too. Thank you!
Modele did not expect to see anyone. Her mother had come in and tried to encourage her to join in the party, but she couldn’t. She ached for Buki. How had she fallen so deeply in love with him in such a short time? She hadn’t been sick over Jude. Upset, angry, and embarrassed, yes. But sick, no. Definitely.
In the past one month plus, she had not been interested in anything or anyone. Coming to the Waldorf had just been as a sign of respect for Kade. That’s why she had pleaded to be left alone in one of the smaller coffee rooms.
She turned to Toro who had seemed a bit nervous since they arrived and sighed. This lady had been patient. If an award could be given for that virtue, Toro deserved to receive it.
“I want to go home now. It’s past midnight, isn’t it?”
Toro checked her watch. “It is but Madam requested that we stay till after the…announcement.”
She felt weak from within, and tired, but not sleepy. She had taken only a glass of juice in the evening. “What announcement?”
“Mr. Kade’s engagement!”
Her eyes brightened up. Some good news at last. “Oh.”
“Would you like to eat now? The engagement should be announced in the next room in a few minutes. Mr. Kade said he’d send someone to…” There was a loud knock on the door and both ladies turned toward it. “That should be the person…”
The door opened without invitation and Buki walked in. Toro’s mouth dropped when he fixed his gaze on her.
“I called you repeatedly, you refused to take my calls.” His voice was harsh, stilted.
She looked nervously at Modele for help but the latter looked drained. Her breath was held so tight, her vocal veins bulged from her neck. Her mouth drooped and her eyes widened.
Buki turned to her. “My love,” he said softly.
He walked slowly to where she sat on a chaise longue. She wore a flowing floral gown, which ran to the floor before her. Her feet, strapped in high-heeled silver and gold sandals dangled gracefully just above the marble floor. Her hair was flattened and folded into a stiff bun at her nape, with a centre patting. The style took almost ten years off her age. She looked adorable with her face bare of make-up except lip gloss.
She swallowed hard, and found her voice. “Go away,” she said hoarsely.
Buki turned to Toro, as though the order was meant for her but neither left. He saw a high-backed chair just about a foot away from Modele and drew it up, sat facing her and reached for her. She flinched when he touched her head, and smoothed back her hair. His hand found the catch holding her hair in place and he released it, gently scratching the hairs free, the way she liked it. Modele gasped and glared at him.
His eyes fluttered to a close. He was so close now. His forehead almost touched hers. “Good God, I missed you.”
Modele took hold of his hand and tried to remove it from her hair but he would not let go. “Go away,” she whispered.
He angled his head to the side. “I’m going to fire Toro. She refused to pick my calls.”
“You can’t fire her.” Modele shifted away from him to the corner of the chaise, planting her feet solidly on the floor, and cutting all physical contact. “She works for me!”
He turned to face her and slid to the space she had just vacated on the chaise, cornering her. “And you belong to me.” He didn’t give her a chance to respond. He grabbed her chin and drew her into a passionate kiss.
Modele remembered what kissing him was like. She flattened her hand on his chest and gave a slight push. His arm circled her waist drawing her into him instead and soon, she was responding to him as urgently as his kiss was.
For a moment, they forgot everything and everyone. He discovered there were tears on her face and he kissed them away.
“Ah Lord, Mo. Ah good Lord.”
“You cheated me, you lied…”
“And I said I was sorry. I am so sorry, my love!” His lips found hers again and for several moments only the synchrony of their breathing and motion existed.
They came up for air at the same time. Buki traced the lines on her face with ten fingers, smearing tears that refused to cease.
“I couldn’t sleep at night, Mo…”
“I couldn’t stop thinkin…”
There was a knock on the door but neither stopped looking at each other. She traced his face, and he traced hers, like they just knew themselves for the first time. The seconds lapsed into minutes.
Toro cleared her throat. “Please. The announcement. Mr. Kade…”
“We’re coming,” Buki murmured.
There was a soft click on the door and Buki turned toward it. They were alone.
“Will you follow me…?”
She was shaking her head before he could complete his question. “I can’t, Buki. I…”
“I saw Ms. MacJones.” He cupped her face and looked into her eyes. She grimaced and he laughed. “I emptied my Chapman on her blouse.”
She covered her gaping mouth and giggled. “You did not.”
He nodded. “It earned me a prize.” Her eyes widened with uncertainty. “Your brother told me where to find you.”
She leaned forward and bowed her head. Kade and revenge.
He lifted up her face and searched her beautiful eyes. They were like an endless pool of twin liquid pearls. “Come with me to the altar, next week. To Kade’s announcement, now.”
A soft knock on the door ushered Kade and Joyce into the room uninvited. They came to a stop at the sight of the two.
“Kade won’t announce till you two join us.” It was Joyce, with her detached, refined voice and British accent.
Buki and Modele ignored them at first. Buki rested his forehead on hers and took deep gulps of her scent.
“Modele?” Joyce said.
Buki turned to them. “We have an announcement to make, as well.”
I want your feedback too. Thank you!
Joe finally got a dance with Joyce King. He had danced with three other ladies before she was free. Even then, she’d politely told him she was tired. Kade had gone away for as long as anyone who cared that much would. The attitude disgusted Joe yet, he found it was to his favour. He’d told her he could wait a little while she rested and then as he waited, the Lagos State governor had requested a dance and she had obliged him, irritating Joe infinitely.
The Joe Obikelu he knew would have called her bluff, instead, he excused her. Could she have told the governor no? To finally win his heart, she had looked in his direction, on table 2 where he was perching, and smiled with a nod, when the governor led her back to their table. He had jumped to his feet like a teenage in love and taken her to the floor. To his befuddlement, Kade Eiba had chosen that moment to appear. He stared at his fiancée with a hard glare and she shrugged with a look of regret on her face.
Joe was determined to have this dance. The jazz band playing had turned the music to a rendition of Eben’s “Imaram mma.” Joe felt blessed. He moved to the other end of the dance floor, as far away from the table and Kade Eiba as possible. Joyce smiled at him as he pulled her tight into his arms. He had never been to heaven before but this felt close.
She was as tall as he was. Elegant, gorgeous, beautiful, heaven. He felt every part of her plastered to him. He had dreamt of holding her like this since she walked in hours earlier. She smelt of some fragrance that was uniquely hers like some exotic flower. For the first few seconds of the dance, he simply pressed her to him, relishing every feel of her. She was not uncomfortable in his arms. He probably thought she was so relaxed as well, which made him feel elated.
“My fiancé will not expect the dance to end before I return,” she said softly with a heavily accented husky voice. British accent. Hmm. Probably she was born and bred British.
He lowered his head, nearly resting it on her shoulder. “I understand,” he murmured into the hollow of her shoulder.
They danced quietly for another moment and then she leaned back. He took the cue and stepped back.
“Thank you for the dance.”
He led her back to the table where Kade Eiba sat, making small talk. He stood as they approached. Joe felt he needed to say something…was this the end? Would it just…
He didn’t know when he did it, or why or how! He pulled her to a standstill right in front of the table and turned her to face him.
“I’ll call you…I’ll find you!”
She released her wrist from his grip and stepped toward Kade. “Thank you for the dance, Mr…”
Kade turned her to him and gave her a peck on her cheek. “You should leave now.”
It all took a few moments. They said their goodbyes round the table. The pageant officials stood as they left. Joe wasn’t sure, but as he stood there feeling foolish and angry, watching the arrogant Eiba whisk her away, he thought she turned to look at him, or did he imagine it. The next moment, people were milling around him.
Where was Buki George, he thought wearily.
The room was full of people to Buki’s surprise. Another party was going on inside here. It looked like the room might have been an exclusive tearoom. Altogether, there were not less than twenty people in clusters. Food was being served on tables and waiters moved round with trays of champagne and Chapman. For want of what to do, Buki picked one tall glass of Chapman. He looked round frustrated, she wasn’t here.
Kade entered the room with Joyce and there was a loud applause. They wove through the small crowd, greeting people and exchanging pleasantries.
“Well, well, who do we have here?” A familiar voice said behind him. He turned and saw Titi MacJones.
Someone passed behind him. No contact was made but he tripped forward and emptied his glass on Titi’s cheap taffeta blouse. The chilled, rich red liquid spread through the thin white fabric and she let out a heart-rending shriek, which made everyone turn to look at her with gasps of disgust.
“That was for Modele,” Buki said in a hoarse whisper and walked off.
Titi whimpered and looked round, real tears fell down her cheeks unbidden. Two waitresses walked up to her with hankies but she shoved them away, and ran from the room.
Buki turned with a chuckle and bumped into Kade. “Excuse me.”
“Not so fast, Mr. George!”
“You brought me here to frustrate me?”
Kade laughed a soft low sound many had probably never heard. “You poured your drink on purpose. You seem to have a thing for treating ladies with contempt.”
“Your guy was coming on to my fiancée. Warn him,” Kade said with a snicker.
Buki stepped aside. “I will.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t want a taste of my wrath.”
Buki walked toward the entrance and paused at Kade’s low statement. It uttered like a breeze just past his ears. He hadn’t known Kade followed him. “She’s in the next room.”
Buki turned to him with rigid precision, but Kade was already walking away. “Thanks,” he muttered, though he wasn’t sure he was heard.
Next room. God, thanks.
I want your feedback too. Thank you!
Sofi looked to her right and there Clarence stood in the shadows. Ada spoke to her husband and children to the far left. They seemed to be about to leave. The party for Refiner the new cub lion, which started on a high note had turned sour.
She struggled to decide what to do. She could walk back to Ada and have a woman-to-woman chat. Or walk to Clarence in the shadows and challenge him about Ada’s saucy comment, “Hope he told you he can never give you a child.”
She knew Clarence had serious issues based on all the nightmares he had but that they impressed on his fertility made her shudder. Never give her a child? She lived for the day she could have her own kids.
She wanted to leave, right now. Go back home and forget she ever met Clarence. He hadn’t challenged Ada. And she was his sister, she would know. Instead he’d excused them both and stalked away as far and fast as he could.
“My husband wanted me to speak to you.”
Sofi swung around and bumped into Ada. “Urm, I’m sorry.”
Ada squinted. She still didn’t seem friendly. “We are leaving and we wanted to say goodbye. I didn’t think it was necessary but Iyke insisted.”
Sofi put on her best smile. After all, she wasn’t a part of this family. “Thanks for coming.”
Ada turned to leave but paused and turned back. “My brother is a mean idiot, and you seem like a pleasant person. He doesn’t deserve you. But then I don’t know much about you.”
“Thanks for—for being open.”
“What country are you from?”
Ada sighed. “Well, I wish you the best with Clarence, but keep your eyes and heart open wide.” She turned to leave.
“Please, wait.” Sofi walked to stand in front of her. “I—he and I pray. I think he’s had a rough past but he wants to change.”
Ada’s face lit up for a moment but she quickly hid her delight. “Are you a believer?”
Sofi heaved. “Yes. We pray and study the word every evening before he goes to sleep.”
“I am a believer too, with my husband. But—Clarence has hurt our family so long—I wish you the best,” Ada said. She gave Sofi a quick hug and walked off.
Sofi knew what to do now. She swiped at the tears threatening to spill. Ada’s husky last comment had given her emotions away too.
I want your feedback too. Thank you!