For episode 6 click here
I arrived at a Chinese restaurant and parked my car. I noticed the latest brand new Toyota Camry, which made me knew Melissa had arrived and was already waiting for me. I came out and motioned towards the entrance of the eatery. I visualized inside and saw her by the right, sitting down patiently for me. Melissa is slim, fair in complexion, tall with long beautiful legs. She had brown eyes, pointed nose and full pink lips. She was putting on a fitted brown trouser suit. She is the CEO of her multimillion modeling agency. Her father is Chief Samuel Nnaji, a powerful politician. Melissa’s mother died two years ago of an illness.
I went to her and she uplifted herself from the chair and gave me a tight hug. I kissed her lightly on the lips and we sat down close to each other. Melissa is a very pretty woman even though I did not love her. I am happy she is the one I am getting married to because the both of us will produce beautiful and adorable children. A male waiter came for our order. I wanted chicken and chips, champagne and Melissa required Chinese fried rice, salad and chicken soup. He left us after that.
“So how are you doing?” she asked me. “How was your weekend?”
I touched her by the hand. “Boring without you.” I lied.
She smiled widely and stared into my eyes. “I have missed you so much.”
“Me too dear.”
She unzipped her handbag, brought out big packet of my favorite chocolate, and gave it to me. “On my way here, I stopped by to get you this. I passed the road leading to the supermarket”
I gave a sincere smile. “Thanks a lot. You are amazing for doing this.” I checked the price tag and the number inside the pack. “These people are robbers.” I said to her in a bothered tone. “They have increased the price and the number of the chocolate inside the pack yet they don’t want to share the recipe.”
“You won’t blame them. It is one of their sources of income. I heard the supermarket wants to open a chocolate shop.”
“That’s good business especially when they are very good at what they do.”
“Even with the price increase you won’t stop buying it, right?” she asked.
“Of course I won’t stop, I love it!”
She smiled at me. “I guess when you love something you will never give up on it.”
“Never and I will guard it jealously.”
She looked away. “Do you love me?”
I held her tightly by her left hand. “I do.”
Melissa’s eyes quickly shot into my face. “But you are still cheating on me.”
“With only one woman, I broke up with her few days ago.”
She stared at me in utmost amazement. “Are you being truthful?”
She began to sob quietly and covered her face. I was embarrassed with her attitude. “You have to stop this. We are in a public place.”
She wiped her face with her palm and looked my way. “I am sorry Hector, I was only angry at you. I did something irresponsible on Saturday.”
“What did you do?” I asked her curiously.
“She sniffed her nose. “I cheated on you.”
I felt nothing but resentment. “Did you use condom?”
Her left eyebrow rose in an awkward way. “Yes.”
“Did you sleep with someone I know?”
She shook her head repeatedly. “He is an ex-boyfriend,” she said. “He left the country this morning to Germany. That’s his base.”
I signed and frowned. I knew I have cheated on her countless times but never have I thought she would retaliate back. Even when we get married, I was never going to stop cheating on her but in secrecy. I wanted to give her a slap on the face for doing it but it made no sense. This was an opportunity to inform my mother about her unfaithfulness and leave the relationship but I felt Melissa was the right woman to tolerate me. I do not want to make a mistake and choose another woman that would pretend and at the end of everything disfigure my face with acid or even hire killers to assassinate me. The waiter came, served us, and went away.
“Hector please say something.” she said in a brittle voice.
I cleared my throat. “I forgive you.”
“For real?” she asked in a worried tone.
She inhaled and gave my hand a squeeze. “Thank you my love.”
I nodded and we began to eat without talking. She broke the silence between us after I was almost done with my food.
“What is it you wanted to discuss with me?” she asked.
I dropped down my fork on the plate. “I want us to fix a date for our wedding.”
Melissa widened her eyes. “Are you serious about it?”
“Yes. I have informed my mother to start preparing because we are going to be husband and wife soon. We have to get married before three months’ time. Pick a date.”
“If this is a dream I don’t want to wake up.” she said.
“Reality baby, this is real life.”
She hugged and kissed me on the lips. “You have made me the happiest woman on earth. I cannot wait to tell my father about it. I am going to have an elaborate wedding, invite a lot of dignitaries, friends, and celebrities.”
I did not bother to oppose her decision because it was going to be her day, the best day of her life and I would not want to spoil it.
“Can we get married next month?” she asked. ‘Let’s say month end.”
“Anything you want.”
She clapped her hands, checked her phone for the date. “It’s on the 28th, the last Saturday of the month. I will have time to prepare before then. I will see your mother this week to talk more about it. I will also talk to my father about it today at home. You know that after our introduction he has been asking when you will properly marry me. He will be delighted about this good news.”
I only gave a smile. Inside of me, I was cheerless. I was going to be married and glued to a woman I do not love. A woman I absolutely knew I was never going to adore.
After lunch, I called my secretary to buy the forms for the house cleaner. I went back to the office and dialed the phone number of the daughter of the finance minister but a woman picked informing me she was out of the country with her husband. I didn’t want to waste time so I called the personal assistant of the minister. He was surprised to receive my call. We planned to meet the next day at lunch to discuss of an important deal I told him. In the evening, my father and I drove home and met my mother at her best spot. The expression of her face was very sad. My father led her to the bedroom for some talk. I gave Ebube her forms and past question papers to go through. She fell on the floor rolling like a lunatic, crying, thanking me and praying for me too. I only told her to make her parents proud and get up to microwave my food and set it on the dining. She zoomed off in joyfulness. Hillary continued to avoid me and I refused to care about her immaturity.
The next morning, immediately I arrived at the office, I sent Weyinmi’s cheque to him and after that, an idea crawled into my head. In the past, I sometimes give my rich friends a special business card to show Michael if they wanted to buy a car or more in credit and pay later. No one has ever disappointed in the payment at the actual date agreed on. Michael does not need to confirm if they were from me because it was very difficult to get that particular card from me and all he would do was sign at the back of the card so that another person cannot use it. I called an old pal of mine who was into 419 businesses. I informed him to organize someone to impersonate a rich man and collect three expensive cars from Michael. Before lunchtime my pal and another man dressed richly came to my office, I gave them a card, and they left. I was waiting for Terry, the minister’s P.A at a restaurant when a call came into my phone and informing the dubious deal has taken place. I told them to leave town for a while and I wished them good luck with the free cars.
"You want me to try and help cancel the deal of Michael Ike?” Terry asked me after I gave him the download of what I intend to do immediately he joined me. “That’s not possible.”
I poured some red wine into two glass cups and gave him one. “If you put more effort it will be possible. Set a meeting with the minister.”
“Over what?” he asked and drank some wine.
“I will offer him a better deal.” I said in a serious tone.
“Let me hear the better deal and by the way the cars transaction was not meant to go out in the open. How did you find out about this?”
“That should tell you Michael Ike is not trustworthy any longer.”
Terry looked at me for some time before he spoke. “If you tell me a better deal I will try and set up the meeting.”
“Try?” I asked giving him an irritation gaze. ”Just a phone call from my father I will have that meeting.”
“But I doubt if you want your father to know about this deal. What do you want to discuss with the minister? Remember he is a very busy man.”
“You don’t need to tell me because I know. I will give you the cars and deduct five percent of the actual money you want to buy from Michael.”
He touched his chin. “Five percent is not good enough.”
I gave a self-confident beam. “Fifteen percent.”
“It’s a good deal. You take it or you leave it. I will find a way to talk to the minister myself.”
He hastily spoke. “Done deal! I will let the minister know about this and inform you of his reply.”
I took a sip from my wine. “He won’t reject my offer. I am his friend’s son and he won’t say no to me.” I said confidently to him.
“But I don’t remember you as a car dealer.”
I laughed. “I just became one and the minister is my first customer. I will treat him specially.”
A smile ran across Terry’s lips.
I purposely tightened my face. “I need a written contract. It will be signed and sealed and I will allow the minister pay after I give him the cars.”
“That won’t be a problem if the minister agrees.” he said.
“I’m certain he will.”
After my conversation with Terry, I went back to the office for some work left on my table to be completed. My father left the office before me and on my way home in the evening I briefly went to see Felix. I informed him about my upcoming wedding. He was thrilled, excited to hear the good news. He begged me to be my best man but I jokingly told him to work harder, that he had an opponent, which I refused to tell him who the actual person was. He guessed Michael but I did not say a word. We talked for a short period and I went home. Hillary was not at home when I checked for her. My mother informed me she had gone to spend the night at one of her friends place.
“Does this particular friend live with her parents?” I asked her in the mini living room.
“Yes.” she replied me. “Why do you ask?”
“You allowed Hillary to leave this house to another when she can’t do anything?”
“She can take care of herself.”
“Mother, I am not talking about taking care of herself but to show some character there. She won’t be able to assist in the house chores mom.”
“Is my daughter their house help?”
I shook my head. “Charity begins at home.”
She cleared her throat. “It seems you left the office to look for my trouble. Please go and shower and come have dinner.”
I grinned. “I have good news.”
She hopped up in anticipation. “What is it my son? Have you spoken to Melissa?”
“Yes.” I answered. “We will get married next month, on the 28th. Melissa will see you this week. You can call her to fix a date when to meet.”
My mother jumped on her feet to dance. I saw the joy, blissfulness in her. If only I was in her kind of mood. If only I knew, what love is. If only I loved the woman that was going to be my better half. I know ‘love’ to me does not exit and what if true love really exited? Will I grow old and pale never to experience it? My mother’s tap on my shoulder brought me to reality.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked me and sat down.
I scratched my fore head. “Nothing to worry about,” I said. “Have you heard anything from Mrs. Bola? I have been very busy. I will find time tomorrow to see her.”
“The driver drove me to the hospital today. His condition is deteriorating. Your father will sponsor his expenses to India for the transplant if they are able to find a donor.”
I could not imagine the pain the man is going through. I have tried to live a healthy life. I peered at my mother. “Can’t I donate one of my kidneys, I will….”
My mother covered my mouth quickly. “Shut up Hector, don’t ever mention that again!” She released her hand from me. “How can you think of donating your kidney? I will never forgive you if you mention or go ahead with it.
“I won’t.” I said to please her.
“Good. Sometimes you can be too kind.” she said gently.
“And sometimes I can be opposite.” What I had done to Michael came into my thought. I began to feel bad but I will make sure to continue with my plan.
I rose on my feet to have my bath when Ebube ran to give my mother her buzzing phone. She answered the call but her facial look turned cold after she ended the call.
“Yes mom.” I answered.
“Mrs. Bola husband is dead.”
To be continued…..