I drove away from the supermarket flabbergasted by the little cute angel. At first when I approached the shop, I sighted her walking very fast inside. I wondered what could be the reason for that. I entered to check for my chocolate first before approaching her. I saw her dashed to get the only remaining Kitty creamy but I had no other choice than to grab it first. I had to walk away to pay for it when someone tapped me lightly on my back and I turned to look and saw the most beautiful girl I have ever seen but I could not give her a smile. I was certain she might use that opportunity to ask for it back but she shocked me with her words. No woman has ever question or talk to me like that especially when I have nothing intimate with her. How could she say people like me can never make the country progress? I had to give her the chocolate to escape the lousy eyes peering at us.
I purposely waited outside for her, it was not because of the chocolate but to start a conversation and hear her voice one more time. The most infuriating thing was her confidence to talk back at me with no hint of fear despite my big frame and her small stature. The girl’s eyes sparkled and she had a full kissable lips.
If we meet again, it was destiny for me to have a moment with her and I was not going to teach her a lesson as I said to her. I was going to use that moment just to know her a little, just to hear her talk again. I was a bit harsh when I told her to get out of my sight, I only wanted to spite her and see her reaction.
A smile flashed on my lips as I recalled her face one more time. I was an ass for not asking her name. She was smart enough to get mine but why did she? She could not have required for it if she did not have her own motive. Could she have found me attractive?
What was I thinking?! I needed to turn back and check for her again even if it was for a quick glimpse. My heartbeat raced faster. If I could see her again, I will be very happy.
I thoroughly checked around the vicinity where the super market was located. I searched… the beautiful one was nowhere in sight! Maybe we were never destined to see each other again. I drove away and diverted to the road leading to Felix’s house. I had questions to ask him about the word 'love'. I was not all right at all, I felt sick to the stomach.
Felix is the only one I could talk to about this. He is the only one that can keep a secret and never break a friend’s trust. I cannot swallow away these feelings. I have to talk to someone to let it out from my system.
I saw his face has he looked into mine and for the first time in my life an overcoming sensation penetrated through me. I have never felt like that for no man, not even my ex-boyfriend. I felt relaxed when I checked his hand and saw no ring. He was not a married man. What I could not take was his beast of an attitude, indirectly calling me a short person. He did not only frown at me but had the boldness of waiting for me outside just because he wanted the chocolate back. I would have kindly given it to him but I was also scared of being eaten alive by my employer’s son. Not only did Miss Hilary warn me about her brother, Mrs. Henshaw did too. I have never met him before and I did not want to him to have a wrong impression about me, this was my second day at work.
I admit I was a bit rude but I said the truth to him. He could not even ask me for my name, maybe he thought I was disrespectful or maybe I was ugly. I had to go back to see if I could see him and apologize and explained why I said those things.
I told the taxi man taking me home to turn back to the location of the supermarket. I promised him I would add to his money he billed me. We went back but I did not see him again. Maybe I was right, maybe we will never see again.
I arrived home to see Miss Hillary back and she and her mother sat at the balcony talking. I greeted them and gave the items to Mrs. Henshaw.
“Did you get the chocolate?” Miss Hillary asked.
“Yes ma. It’s inside the bag with the other items.”
“Very good, my brother will be grateful. How many did you buy?”
“I bought the last one remaining.” i gave my boss her change.
“God saved you and I will let my brother know when he comes back. I ate from the garden egg sauce you helped your mother cook. It was delicious and my bro would love it.”
“Thank you ma.”
“You can go inside and check on my father, your mother helped you give him his drugs.”
“Okay ma.” I left there to check on Mr. Henshaw, he sat on his bed reading newspaper.
“Good evening sir.”
“Good evening my daughter. How are you?”
“I am fine sir. Please don’t be angry I did not give your drugs to you this evening.”
He smiled. “I am not angry with you, Hillary explained to me the reason you left. You can go home and resume tomorrow morning.”
I thanked him and left to meet my mother in the kitchen, she rose and informed me she was through for the day and we should go home.
We boarded a bus home and we reached after twenty minutes. My mother did not allow me to sit and rest when began asking questions.
“Why were you quiet all through we came home?”
“Nothing mum.” I sat on the chair in our small sitting room.
She sat beside me. “I will not take that. What happened?”
“That is unacceptable. Renee what is it? Don’t you want to work there anymore?”
“Mom this is not about working for the Henshaw’s, I am happy there.”
“Please tell me what is it?” she asked in a worried tone.
I sighed and looked at her. “I saw someone today.”
“Someone?” she asked.
I explained to her.
“Is that why you are sober?”
“I like him mom.”
She widened her eyes. “You liked him and yet you sharpened your tongue to say all those things to him?”
“What did you expect me to say? He was also rude to me.”
“Then why are you complaining.”
“I am not complaining is just that I might have fallen in love with him.”
She boomed into laughter. “Fallen in love ke? Maybe you are infatuated and not fallen in love with a stranger."
“This is not infatuation mami, I know what I felt. The most annoying thing is that he did not ask for my name.”
“Did you ask for his name?” she asked.
“Then go to all radio stations to report. They can help you announce that you are looking for him.”
“Mum I am serious about this, I really do love him.”
She looked into my eyes and saw them misty. “Renee, do you want to cry?”
She drew me closer and held me tight. “I never knew you were serious about this man.”
I sniffed my nose. “What if I don’t see him again?”
“Then you two were never meant to be together. If really he was not interested in you, then destiny will not bring you two together.”
“What if we meet again and he has no feelings for me? What will I do?”
She sighed and thought for a while. “I really do not know but love can happen between you too. You might be lucky he falls for you.”
I smiled at her. “I will be the happiest girl on earth mom and if he falls for me, I will do anything for him."
“That’s my girl,” she said. “You will fight for the one you love.”
I sat on Felix's long sofa in his living room when I arrived.
“Are you okay?” he asked and gave me a glass of whisky mixed with coke.
I took it from him and took a sip. “I’m tensed up.”
He sat down opposite my direction. “I have never seen you tensed up.”
“That’s the problem. Do you believe in love at first sight?”
“My parents fell in love at first sight. I told you their story few years ago.”
“I have forgotten but how did they know they were in love for the first time with each other?”
“I don’t really know what to say but it has to do with feelings, how they felt towards each other. Why are you asking?”
“I closed my eyes and took a deep breath down my lungs. I opened them to look at Felix. “I think am in love.”
“What! Hector Ebuka Henshaw in love?” he asked shocked. “Is this a dream?” He tapped his left hand.
“Stop it Felix, I am serious.”
He rose to stand in front of me with his hands on his waist. “Are you sure of what you are saying? Who is the unlucky girl?”
I laughed. “You are not alright at all.”
Felix dropped his hands down. “You won’t take her serious nah. You are getting married soon”
I got up on my feet. “This is not about getting married soon, I don’t know the whereabouts of this particular girl!”
He gave a questionable face. “How?’
I gave him the details.
“Why didn’t you ask her for her name or phone number?”
“I wasn’t thinking straight and the most bizarre thing is, she’s not my type.”
“Did you fall in love with someone like Ndidi?”
“If I had falling in love with a buffalo like that, I would have killed myself.” We laughed at my joke. “But seriously she’s not my type.”
“Not fair enough?”
“Chocolate in color.” I replied.
“Wow! Remember you love chocolate.”
“Be serious for once. She also not a tall person and I could use only one hand to carry her.”
“You are a rib-tickling character.” Felix said. “You have ways with words and I respect you for that. My chairman, you have fucked up for the first time in your life. What do you do now to find this girl?”
”I don’t know.”
“Maybe you should go back to the supermarket and ask if they knew her.”
“That is the first time seeing her there. I will look like a fool for doing that.”
“That means you don’t love her but lustfully trying to get into her pants.”
“Do you know I have not thought about sex with her? I just want to see her again.”
“And do what?" he asked.
“Talk to her!” I growled. He was pissing me off with his questions.
“Relax Hector,” he said. “I understand how you feel but you made a mistake for not collecting her contact. The next thing to do is what should be on your mind.”
I sat down. “I need to find that girl.”
“But how?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” I said glumly.
Felix sat beside me. “I don’t know what you will do to find her but if she is the one for you, destiny will bring the both of you together.”
I went into deep thoughts and I remembered her conversation with me. I gave a wide grin.
“What is that smile on your face?” he asked.
I looked to him. “Nothing to worry about.”
“I don’t want you to tell anyone about this.” I said to him.
“You don’t have to be ashamed of her and being in love.”
“I need to find her first before I can tell the world how I feel about her. If I see her again, I will never let her go.”
I arrived home at 8:30pm in the evening and I was ready to pounce on Hillary when I see her. I entered into the living room and Ebube ran to collect my office's bag from me. She greeted me and left to keep it in my room.
“Hey bro.” Hillary said coming out from the kitchen with a glass of orange juice. She looked at my angry eyes. “I can explain.”
“Why did you switch off all your phones?” I said walking towards her.
“My phones were down and I quickly charged one of them to call mum.”
“What does that have to do with what I sent you to buy?”
“But I bought it.”
I came very close to her. “You bought my chocolate?”
“Yes but I wasn’t the one. I called mom to speak with Renee to help meet me buy it for you.”
“And she was able to buy one?”
“Yes, you can check inside your fridge in your room.”
“God bless Renee.” I said softly. “Where is she?”
“She has gone home.” My mother said. I turned my back to face her.
“Good evening mom.”
“Evening.” she answered me. “You need to stop licking this chocolate. Can you not use your common sense to stop? Your father has diabetics yet you don’t want to learn from it.”
“That cannot make me have diabetics and remember it’s not hereditary.”
She shook her head and walked away.
“What am I eating for dinner?” I asked Hillary.
“Semovita and Oha soup but I kept garden egg sauce for you. Renee prepared it and it was delicious.”
I ordered Ebube to boil yam and plantain to eat the sauce. I went to the bathroom to have my bath and dressed simple. I went to the dinning to eat and truthfully, the sauce was appetizing and tasty.
“Inform me when Renee comes tomorrow morning. She did well today.”
“Ok bro but what if you leave very early before she comes?”
“You are right.” I said to her. “I will be leaving very early for a quick meeting. If I don’t see her, tell her to wait for me until I return.”
“If you say so,” she rose up from the dining chair. “Good night Hector.”
She went and left me all alone and I thought about the girl I might never see again.
“Good morning ma.” Ebube greeted Mrs. Alice after she opened the door for her and Renee the following day at 6am.
“Good morning Ebube.” Renee said.
“Good morning Renee,” she said and turned to the cook. “Madam says you should prepare fried plantain and scrambled egg with sausage roll.”
“No problem.” She left to the kitchen. Renee waited in the kitchen for the Henshaw’s to wake and come out from their room.
At 6:45am, Hector was dressed in a stylish suit, ready to leave when Hillary knocked on his door and entered.
“Good morning Hector, mom says I should ask if you will eat breakfast.”
“No. I am in a hurry. I schedule a meeting by seven and I am almost late.”
“You are their boss, they will wait for you.” she told him.
“The meeting is more important than the food.”
“Okay. Renee is around but she’s in dad’s room.”
“I’m in no mood to see her.” he said and carried his bag and walked out of his room hastily. He boycotted his parents’ room and dashed outside the house. He walked up to his car and opened the door.
“Shit.” he muttered. Hector placed his bag on top of his car to check for a particular file he might have forgotten inside his room. He alerted the gate man to help him tell Hillary to check on top of his bed if a file was there. He ran and informed her and came back.
Hillary went to his bedroom and saw the file on the floor.
“Renee!” she called her name.
“Please give this file to my brother outside.”
“Okay ma.” Renee said and took the file outside. She saw him facing his car and walked closer to him.
“Good morning sir.”
Hector was reading a document. “Put the file on the bonnet.” he instructed without looking at her.
His voice sounded very familiar to her. Renee looked closer to see his face and she froze. She was entirely taken aback by him. She widened her eyes. “Oh my God!!”
He heard her voice clearly and gaze at her in total amazement. “What are you doing… wait a minute, are you Renee?”
Tremor seized the both of them as they stared at each other!
He stared at her dumbstruck!!!
The shock robbed her of speaking. She was at loss for words. Her heartbeat ran faster! Renee swiftly turned and raced towards the house without looking back!
It came as a complete surprise to see the girl he thought about throughout the night. It was because of her he woke up late. He stood speechless and at the same time excited!
He walked inside the house and met Hillary in the living room.
“Where is Renee?” he asked.
“She’s in the kitchen. What are you still doing at home?”
“I want Renee to bring my breakfast to my room.”
“What about your meeting?”
“Cancelled.” he said walking away.
“When did you start eating in your room?”
He refused to answer.
Hillary went to the kitchen and spoke to the cook. “Serve my brother his breakfast and put it on the tray and give it to your daughter to take to his room.”
“Okay ma.” Mrs. Alice turned to dish out the food.
“Where is Renee?" Hillary asked. "I thought she was in the kitchen.”
“No ma, I think she went to the visitor’s toilet.”
Renee entered the kitchen. Her eyes were red and puffy. She had been crying, afraid that her mother might lose her job.
“Are you okay?” Mrs. Alice asked her daughter after she gave her the tray.
“No mum.” she said fidgeting. Her hands were shaking as panic engulfed her.
“Do you want to fall the food down?! Hillary asked angrily.
“What’s your problem? Why are you shaking?”
“I am not shaking ma.” Renee said with her hands trembling but she managed to walk out of the kitchen.
Mrs. Alice was surprised and confused of her daughter’s behavior.
Hillary directed her to Hector’s room.
Renee knocked on his door three times without getting a reply. Frightening thoughts jogged through her mind.
Hector sat comfortably on his chair. He had removed his jacket and laid it on the bed. “If you like come inside, if you don’t like stay behind. I don’t have respect for women.”
Renee took a deep breath and opened the door. She entered with her hands still trembling. Her eyes were on the floor, avoiding Hector’s examining eyes. She dropped the tray on top of the small stool in front of him. The feeling and emotions he felt for her gripped him hard. He could not take his eyes off her and a smile caressed his lips.
Renee turned towards the door to open it.
“If you open that door,” he said. “In fact don’t you dare put your shaky hands on my door!”
She quickly turned to his direction and fell on her knees. A wave of fear rushed inside her.
“I am sorry for yesterday. I never knew you were the one. Please forgive me, don’t sack my mother and I. I will do…”
“Hold it!” he halted her. “Calm down with your pleas. Why is your head down? Why can't you look at me?”
“Don’t sir me.”
Hector gave a low, soft laugh. “You must be stubborn,” he said. “Why won’t you look at me?”
She scratched her fore head. “Nothing sir.”
“Then look at me.” he said gently.
Renee could not. The look in his sensual eyes could make her melt.
“Renee look at me.” he said in a commanding tone.
She swallowed and raised her head to look into his eyes.
“Stand up.” Hector said. “I am not going to sack you or your mother. I want you to sit by my side and eat with me.
Renee stared at him tongue-tied and a sudden chill ran down her spine. Tremendous shock engulfed her. Staring at him once again, made Renee knew Hector was truly her prince charming.
To be continued….on Monday.