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Saturday, December 02, 2017

When Bruno Met Dakore. Episode 1...



Dakore was on her way home, crying inside her Toyota Venza. She had received bad news concerning her goods she ordered and expected to arrive the next day. It sank into the ocean. She also lost her savings she used for Ponzi scheme. She didn’t know how she was going to break the news to her family, especially her fragile mom, a retired nurse.

The tears in her eyes seized as she sighted a truck and some people outside the house. The house was the only inheritance from her late father. She lost her dad three years ago to diabetes. She parked her car behind the truck, wiped her face and came down.

She was not a tall woman. Dakore had firm breasts, the right curves and beautiful skin. She had long natural hair she styled as a ponytail. One thing people admired about her was the dimple on her right cheek whenever she smiled or laughed. She had catchy smile and it was infectious. Dakore, 28, walked to the gate and a very fat man stepped in front of her.

“Yes, can I help you?” He asked her in a stern tone.

She pointed at the four bedroom duplex painted white and grey, the second most beautiful house in the street.

“What are you doing in my house and who are you?”

He jagged a finger at her. “Your house?”

“Yes!’ Dakore dropped her hand angrily. “Why are people taking things inside? I don’t know you and I will call the police right now if you don’t tell me what is going on.”

The man turned to his right and alerted a younger man to bring some documents. The guy gave them to him and he raised the documents to show her. She recognized the documents and tried to take them from him, but he stepped a bit away from her.

He asked her, “What do you think this is?”

“These are the documents of the house. How did you get them?” She looked around and glanced back at him. Her heartbeat raced rapidly.

“This house is mine and it has been sold to me.”

“What!!”

“I want you off my property.  I will be the one to call the police if you don’t get into your car and get the hell out of this place!”

“But this house belongs to me and my family!”

“It is mine now!”

“I am sure this is a mistake! Maybe it’s another house that was sold to you. It is not possible. This house can’t be sold!”

“Who said so? Does the name Silas Roberts ring a bell to you?”

Dakore’s heart sank. Her world had crashed before her eyes. Why didn’t she take him serious when Silas threatened to sell the house if he didn’t get his job back after he was sacked for syphoning money from his employer’s company account. She begged him two weeks ago to join her line of business, but he refused. Even if he did, they would have eventually lost the goods together and there was no way Silas would not blame her for the loss.

“Please, in the name of Almighty God, give me back the house and I will refund your money. I will tell Silas to transfer the money back to your account.”

“That means you know him.”

“He is my younger brother!”

“Very good,” he said. “Did your brother tell you he would leave the country today?”

“What!!!” Dakore placed her hands on her head with her mouth opened.

“Leave now! I have no business with you except you need the phone number of my lawyer!” The man left and walked into the compound.

Dakore ran to her car, took her phone from the passenger’s seat and dialed Silas’s numbers. They were unreachable. She saw him two days ago at the house and he told her he would visit their mother and travel to see a friend in Cross River and return after a week.

He lied to me. I am finished. She thought to herself as she continued to try his numbers over and over again. She turned when someone tapped her on the back. It was a woman, her customer that sold provisions not far from the house. Dakore considered her as a friend.

“Nneka, have you seen my brother?”

“He came to my shop few hours ago and dropped some bags.”

“Bags?”

“Yes. He said they belonged to you and your mother.”

Dakore wasn’t strong anymore to take more news, she burst into loud sobs. Her neighbors stared at her. She could not stop crying as she neglected the eyes poking at her way. Nneka took her away to her shop and tried all her best to console her.

“How can my brother do this to us? Has he forgotten our mother is at the hospital battling for her life? She has a heart condition for Christ’s sake! What was he thinking?”

“Please, stay strong and calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down! If only you know what I am currently passing through, you would pity me. I don’t have money anymore. I am broke! I have sold my cars and the only one I have left is of no use to me again. I need money!” She cleaned her face and dialed the number of a car dealer. She spoke through the phone. “Oga Pascal, good afternoon. I will be at the hospital in one-hour time. Come and collect the Venza, I want to sell it.”

Nneka seemed shocked, but refused to say anything.

“But Miss Roberts,” the car dealer said. “That is the only car you have left. Are you ready to start jumping into buses in this Lagos?”

“I did it when I was young and I will do it now. Come and meet me at the hospital.”

“No problem.”

She ended the call and sniffed her nose. She looked at Nneka. “Can I get water to drink?”

“Of course.” Nneka left in a hurry and came back with bottled water. She gave it to Dakore and she drank everything and dropped the empty container beside her.

“I don’t know why I am still here, alive and strong. I am supposed to have fainted or be at the hospital by now.”

“You are strong because you know what your mother is passing through. If anything bad happens to you, how will your mom survive?”

“I came home to rest and go to the hospital in the evening. I can’t rest anymore. How will I break the news to my mother? She will just die from there and I have no idea what I will do without her. Silas knows how much I love him and he did this to me. He did this to our mother and me. Oh my God! What am I going to do? Who will help me? People are just complaining of the recession, nobody is ready to give out money. I am finished! God, save me!”

She began to cry again. Nneka continued to console her and rub her back at the same time.

“I am very sorry. If I had known what he did, I would have stopped him from leaving. He told me you were travelling because your mother was transferred to another hospital for another treatment. When I saw those people in front of your house, I knew something was wrong. Remember my phone was stolen last week and when I got another one, I didn’t have your number anymore. What about your fiancĂ©? You should call him and let him know this is happening.”

“Which fiancĂ©?” She wiped her face thoroughly. “I called off the affair a week ago. He is no longer supportive. He told me I should forget spending my money on my mother. He said it was a waste of time.”

“He said that?”

“He asked how I will support him when we get married. He told me my money would have finished by then.”

“For real?”

“I no longer want to talk about him. He is not relevant to me anymore.”

Dakore rose and brought out money from the pocket of her black pants and stretched it to Nneka. She refused payment and assisted Dakore to carry the bags into the car.

“This is not even all my belongings.” Dakore said as she closed the boot of her car. “I wonder what he did with the rest. They are expensive.” She thanked Nneka and entered her car.

“Please, wait.” Nneka ran back to her shop and came with some provisions. She kept them inside the backseat and shut the door.

“I didn’t ask for that.” Dakore said.

“I know. It’s a gift from me to your mother.”

“Nneka, you don’t have to do that. Do you want to close down your shop because of the Robert’s family?”

“Nothing like that can happen. I know how much you have given me as a gift. Your family has been nice to me so I should repay your generosity with kindness. You are the only rich friend I have and you have never looked down on me.”

“Nneka, I am no longer rich.”

“Money will come by the special grace of God.”

“Amen. Thank you very much.”

“You are welcome. I will continue to pray for your mom.”

Thanks.”

“God bless you.”

Dakore managed to offer her a smile. 

“God bless you too.” She turned on the ignition, waived at her and drove away.

***
After lunch at the office, knocking on her boss’s door was of no use. He won’t answer. He would probably be banging one of his girlfriend’s inside or playing video games with his Samsung tablet.

Uchenna, the senior office assistant at Kingston Petroleum Enterprise went to confirm from the male secretary if their employer had a guest inside. He shook his head and told her she could go in. The boss had given him the order to allow anyone into his office between 2pm to 3:30pm.

In her yellow heels, Uchenna, 28, a pretty lady with slender body, black in complexion, dressed in a shirt and a knee length skirt entered into a well-organized, exquisite and furnished office of the latest CEO of the Company, the first son of Adebanjo Kingston.
The very handsome man in his early thirties, light skinned, with lovely eyes and muscular body dropped his tablet on his crystal desk, stared at Uchenna and positioned his left hand under his well-shaved chin. He was wearing a very expensive suit, and his nine thousand dollars wristwatch glittered on his slightly hairy wrist.

Bruno never liked Uchenna and if given the chance, he would have sacked her the moment the company belonged to him a year ago. When his father handed over the company to him, he wasn’t allowed to sack anyone who had been working there for the past five years. It was after he had signed all the necessary documents, he read the conditions of his father. He was always in a hurry to sign whatever document placed on his table before reading it. Sometimes, he doesn’t read it if he knew the purpose of it. A behavior he was working hard to change. His father once told him he hoped he would not sell manhood by signing a wrong document.

Bruno never hid the fact that being in Uchenna’s presence irritated him. He mentioned his instinct told him she was not a trustworthy person and when he told Uchenna how he felt and called her a green snake under the green grass, she cried and promised to be loyal and submissive and he could trust her with anything. Bruno’s family, friends, employees knew him to be outspoken. He didn’t know how to keep things to himself or lie except the outcome benefited him.

“What do you want?” Bruno asked her.

The expression on her face wasn’t a good one. “I don’t have good news sir.”

He removed his hand from his jaw and sat upright. “Should I be worried?”

“It’s about Gabriel.”

He frowned. “Don’t tell me Gabby wants to spend more days in that village otherwise I will not pay him his salary for this month.”

“That is not what happened sir.”

“Open your mouth and talk.”

“He was on his way to Lagos when he got involved in an accident. I am sorry sir, Gabriel is dead.”

Bruno didn’t move, but fixed his eyes into hers. She got uncomfortable and looked away.

“He died in an accident?”

“Yes sir.”

He shrugged and shook his head repeatedly. “I warned him not to go to that meeting in his village. I wonder why he could not sort the problem he had between himself and his wife. When I told him not to get married six months ago, he thought I didn’t wish him well. Is a twenty-nine years old person not very young to get married?”

The place was quiet.

“Uchenna, I am asking you a question and I demand an answer.”

She cleared her throat. “I don’t think age matters. Age is nothing, but a number.”

“Oh I see. That means anyone can get married including a fifteen years old boy.”

“That was not what I meant sir.”

“Kindly keep quiet and allow me to express myself.”

“Yes sir.” She put her hands behind her.

“You said age doesn’t matter, how come you haven’t gotten married. I knew you were sleeping with my younger brother before he left to only God knows where. Why didn’t he marry you?”

“I don’t know sir.”

“You don’t know or you were just a commodity to him. I saw how you were following him about like a horse, and at the end of everything, he left. If I had warned you to leave him that time, you would have called me an enemy. You were very young and probably had a fish brain. I hope you are wiser now.”

When he wasn’t looking at her, she gave him an evil eye look.

He sighed and looked at her. “During that time, you were not the senior office assistant, is that correct?”

“Yes sir.”

A faint smile appeared at the corner of his lips and flew away instantly. “Where is the junior office assistant?”

“Mr. Ejike is in the office sir.”

“I hope you don’t intimidate him because you share an office together.”

“No sir.”

“Tell him to get me a bottle of my favorite scotch and a clean glass cup.”

Uchenna widened her eyes. “Sir, Gabriel is dead.”

“And you think I don’t know? Is Gabby not the one that is supposed to get me a bottle of scotch? He left me and now he is dead! What should I do? There is nothing I can do to bring him back from the dead. Right now, I have to take a drink, relax and think of the next thing to do. Is that a problem?”

“No… No sir.”

“Get out from my office. I will call you when I need you.”

“Sir, I have a place to…”

“I said get out of my office!”

Uchenna rushed out and closed the door behind her. In less than few seconds, she and the secretary heard noises. It was coming from Bruno’s office. He had scattered the files and items on his desk in rage. He threw one of his phones at the wall clock. He kicked his leg on the wall twice and punched his left palm.

Before the Company became his own, he was the director. Gabriel was a cleaner when he started working for the Company. Bruno nicknamed him Gabby after he noticed how hardworking, respectful and neat he was. He made sure they increased his salary from thirty-five thousand naira to fifty. When Gabby told him he was through with his English degree at a polytechnic, Bruno was pleased and didn’t hesitate to employ him as his personal assistant and tripled his salary. Gabby remained loyal, did everything to please Bruno. He did everything for him including cleaning his shoes. When Bruno moved out from his father’s mansion to his new abode, most times, Gabby resumed work at his house very early in the morning, inspected the place and even the food prepared by the chef. No matter how late it was, whenever Bruno needed him to do something, Gabby was always there without giving any excuses. Bruno funded Gabby’s wedding and promised to send his first child abroad to study there. He would not be able to fulfill such wish; Gabby’s wife was not yet pregnant.

Bruno sat down on his chair miserably. He was already used to Gabby and employing his kind of person would be very difficult to get. Gabby never stole or disrespected him. He agreed for Gabby to travel for a week. Something he has never done for his other staffs. Two or three days were more than enough for them. Gabby always followed him to travel anywhere, even outside the country, except he planned to stay for only three days.

Despite his blissful moments, he wasn’t a happy man. His father, 69 years, had one kidney due to heavy smoking and it was the main reason he stepped down and gave everything to Bruno. Adebanjo Kingston’s was half-Nigerian and half British. It was part of the reason for Bruno’s radiant skin color. People meeting him for the first time would think his own father was a white man. Sometimes, he would have to explain. His beautiful mother, Mosun Kingston, in her early sixties was a wedding planner with many employees. Adebanjo still smoked behind Bruno’s back and no one dared reported him to his son, not even his wife.

Bruno hated smoking because of his father’s condition. He loved playing games, drinking, dated models, beauty queens and independent women who had their own money through legitimate ways. He hated prostitutes, and housewives. He did not believe a woman should be doing nothing and only be opening legs for men and give birth to babies.

One day, he was hanging out with an old friend who brought a woman who wasn’t his wife. Her outfit was flashy and costly. Bruno asked her what she did for a living and she revealed she was unemployed.

“For how long?” Bruno enquired.

“It’s been a while.”

“So how have you been surviving? How do you keep up looking this good?”

She glared at her man.

“I hope I didn’t offend you?” Bruno asked. “I just wanted to know because staying idle will tempt you to start sleeping around and…”

“Bruno Kingston!” His friend uttered his name angrily. “What is the meaning of this?”

“I am only trying to advise her to get a job. There is a vacancy at…”

“Who told you I need a job?” The woman stood up, grabbed her purse and eyed Bruno before walking away. The man she came with ran after her. Bruno laughed, paid the bills, went into his car and zoomed off.

Gabby behaved like a brother unlike his own blood that left without saying goodbye. He was close to Bayomi until two years ago when he changed towards him and started keeping his distance. Bayomi quit the job as the manager of the company and collected his inheritance by force. His father gave him two houses in Nigeria, one in UK and Ghana. He also got a supermarket, two filling stations to manage and a large amount of money. No one knew his whereabouts.

Bruno thought of Gabby one more time. The pain of losing him crumpled his heart. He did not know how to express himself emotionally especially in front of people. He knew his workers gossiped about him and nicknamed all kind of cruel names. That didn’t bother him. He did not care what they thought about him. He was handsome, had money, cars; he could afford anything he wanted including any woman he desired. He didn’t need to beg or talk for long to woo women. Most of them ask him out first.

Gabby wasn’t his blood relation, but he acted like one. He always supported him in any decision he made. He never questioned Bruno even if his arrogance got him angry. Even if Bruno insulted or raised his voice at Gabby, he always asked for forgiveness despite he was not the one at fault. If only he treated Gabby better than he did. Bruno closed his eyes tightly and erupted into a silent cry.

2 comments:

  1. This is sure going to be lit!
    The character Bruno,is an interesting one.lol!
    More grace dear.

    ReplyDelete

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Series coming up on my blog later.....

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Blast from the past!

A couple still trying to conceive relocated back to their old neighborhood. They reconnected with relatives, friends and ex-lovers. Soon, one of them began to die one after the other. Who is killing them? Who will die next? Will anyone survive and can anybody catch the killer?

Redemption!

When Christopher Falana finds out that his father he never met might not have committed suicide but was likely murdered, he would do everything to find evidence and dig out things about him from the people he trusted. Christopher never knew he was dining with the enemy.

Illegitimate!

Her large heart was shattered! The people she adored betrayed her when she lost a loved one. Everything she owned was taken from her. She would have to pick out the pieces of her broken heart, place them together and lock it with a key. She was prepared to plot for vengeance, fight back and get what rightfully belongs to her. Revenge was her only mission. Would she be able to love a man?

Ultimate Betrayal!

Samantha will have to go back and reconcile with her family to save her new boyfriend from the hands of her powerful father and ambitious brothers. She had no idea she would have to save herself first.

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Stories on www.ckjacob.com are work of fiction. Names, characters and events described are the imagination of the writer. Resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead, is entirely coincidental.