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HER MOTHER'S DAUGHTER Episode 1


In a flight from Canada to Nigeria, Olivia King woke up from a nightmare at the first-class section in the plane.
She began to cough. Olivia had to hit her chest softly. After being able to get a hold of herself, she took a deep long breath, grasped her handkerchief and wiped the sweat off her neck. Even the suited man opposite her noticed her sweating under the cold and pleasant atmosphere. He appeared to be in his late sixties, and good looking for his age.

“Are you okay?” He asked her. 

She turned away from his stare without a reply. She wasn’t in the mood to chitchat. Olivia rose and left to the bathroom, and returned. The man still stared at her, concerned. Olivia sighed and requested for a glass of champagne from a hostess. 

Her order came and Olivia sipped from her wine gently. Olivia had an attractive body, bright eyes, lovely lips, and beautiful long legs. Whenever she stepped out, especially with a body-hugging dress, admiring eyes fell on her. It made her feel sexy at the age of thirty-five. She was a divorcee, no kids, but the CEO of a successful company in Canada. She did it with the help of her ex-husband and returning to Nigeria after many years reminded her of the past and the reason for going back to her country. She had a mission to achieve. She left for another man’s land at the age of twenty and she has achieved a lot despite tears, setbacks, and betrayal from the people she loved and trusted. 

Olivia drank the remaining wine and heaved another sigh. Now, she was bored as fuck. She looked directly at the man; he was already reading a nonfiction book. She saw his wedding ring around his finger. It made her feel assured not to feel attracted to him and he looked responsible. Even at that, she would never judge a book by its cover. Married men were definitely off her list.

“I’m Olivia King.” She said in a softened tone. 

The man remained in his position. He didn’t say a word or move. Olivia rolled her eyes and adjusted well on her seat. She wanted to sleep again but scared the nightmare might return. She needed someone to speak with at that time. Before she decided to travel to Nigeria, she desired to speak with a therapist but reconsidered when she arrived at the doorstep. Olivia turned back and went home.

She gazed at the man again. “Hey, Mr., are you cheating on your wife?”
Her question caught his attention. He dropped the book and glanced at her.
“Are you talking to me?” 
 “Yes.” She wore a straight face. “I told you my name and you refused to answer me.”
“I asked about your wellbeing and you refused to respond. I didn’t ask you if you were cheating on your spouse to get a reply from you. I simply minded my business.”
She showed him her hand. “I am not married or in a relationship. I don’t have a husband or boyfriend to cheat on.”
“Well, I am not cheating on my wife.”
“Then why are you travelling alone?”
He gave her a look. She knew he would answer her. She was getting what she wanted, a long conversation. It made her smile through her heart and not from her lips. She didn’t want it obvious.
“For your information, I am travelling to be with my wife.” He told her.
“Really? Where are you based?”
“Canada.”
“What about your wife?”
“Canada, but she relocated to Nigeria six months ago. I retired and I am going to be with her.”
Olivia smiled faintly and placed her hand on her chest. “Awww….The things we do for love. I wished I was loved.”
“Is it by a man or your family?” 
Olivia took a deep breath again. She never expected that question. The man seemed interested and concerned with the look on his face. It made Olivia wonder.
“Both, especially family.” She managed to reply to him.
“Is that why you are travelling to Nigeria?”
She frowned and shrugged. The man gave a pale smile.
“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked her.
Olivia stayed silent, battling to answer. She stopped looking at his direction. He took note of her changed behaviour. 
Something is wrong. He thought.                                           
“Miss King, if you don’t want to talk about it now, it’s okay. I am not supposed to do this because I am retired, but I will. I will give you my card, if you are ready to talk, call me, I will create time for you. I was a therapist.”
Olivia peered into his eyes, not surprised. “No wonder.”
“No wonder I seem to show concern to a woman I am meeting for the first time? I am inquisitive.” He said with a faint smile.

Olivia stayed quiet for a moment, thinking, and trying to figure out what she would say to him. She finally spoke. 
“You are good and that is the reason I need to talk to you. I want to talk to you about it, about my life.” She was fighting so hard not to cry. She had to appear strong and unshakable.
He glanced around and back at her. “I can tell from your demeanour that what you feel in your heart is deep. What you want to talk about is deep.”
She nodded. “It is. It is very deep.”
“Here is not the right place for such a deep conversation. You need privacy. Just both of us.”
She inquired instantly. “What do you suggest?”
“We can meet next week.”
Olivia widened her eyes. “Next week is far. What about tomorrow? I just need a few days to speak with you.”
He heaved a long sigh with his eyes closed, he thought briefly and looked at her. “I need to rest, spend some time with my wife and …”
“Please. I rarely say that word. Please. I know I can’t reveal everything in one day. I just need a few days to speak with you. Please.”
He didn’t say a word for a while until he gave a nod. “My wife is an empathetic woman. She will understand. We will meet tomorrow.”
“Thank you.” She placed her hand on her chest. She felt quite relieved. 
“2 pm, okay?”
“Yes! Thanks…” She wore a smile that showed appreciation. “You haven’t told me your name.”
“I was waiting for you to ask.” This time, he smiled brightly. “I’m Dr. Marcus Dotun. It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too. Do you have kids?” 
“Yes, I have two children and five grandchildren.”
“You are a grandpa. You don’t behave like one.”
He laughed. “How do grandpas behave?”
“Old.”
Marcus laughed infectiously and Olivia laughed too. 
He said cheerfully. “Whatever you have passed through in the past, don’t let it change you.”
The cheeriness in her face vanished immediately. “It changed me. It changed me a lot.”
“Do you like who you are right now?” Marcus questioned.
Olivia heaved a sigh. “I don’t know the answer to that question, Dr. Marcus Dotun.”
He gave a nod. “You will know the answer to that question at the right time.”
“I hope I will.”

******
I slept back and woke up when I heard the announcement of our arrival in Lagos, Nigeria. I felt a sting. If you want to know why you will get to know when I speak with Dr. Marcus. On our way out of the plane, he gave me his card and I promised to call him the following day. I met his lovely wife. She was already waiting for her husband for over one hour ago. He introduced me as his new friend and she couldn’t stop thanking me for keeping him company, I guess she trusted the man in her life. I want to trust someone. I bid them goodbye after they made sure I boarded a cab. 

I went straight to a five-star hotel at 4:45 pm and booked a room for a week. A neatly and presentable young man I presumed to be in his early 20s greeted me respectfully and grabbed my luggage, but the manager ordered him to drop them and instructed a female to do it. I looked at the young man and I almost saw tears. I guessed he was embarrassed by the way his superior spoke to him rudely. I glimpsed at his name ‘Andy Akunna’ on his shirt before I followed the lady. She kept smiling at me as we entered the elevator. I didn’t smile back. 

I reached my room and gave her a tip in dollars. I didn’t have naira, just dollars, and pounds. Probably that was what they saw when I paid my bills at the reception. I stared at the female and noticed she had a fat behind. The manager could be sleeping with her.
She thanked me and left. I looked around the suite and felt comfortable in it. It was exactly what I wanted. I had my bath and ordered for an African meal; Amala and Ogbono soup with cow leg and stockfish. It used to be my favourite during my childhood days. I knew it was what I would eat when I arrived. I took a bottle of red wine with it.

After I emptied my salivating dish, I called the reception and requested for Andy Akunna. He didn’t waste time. He knocked mildly, I opened the door to welcome him and he bowed his head.
“Good evening ma,” he said politely. “You sent for me.”
“Yes, I did.” I sat down. “Call me Miss King when you want to address me.”
“Okay Miss King.”
“Good. Are you not bold?”
“I am bold Miss King.” 
“Then why are you not looking at me? Why are you staring at the floor?”
Andy looked at me. “I am sorry Miss King.”
“You don’t have to call my name when you have to reply to me.”
“Okay, ma.”
I gave him a hard look. 
“Sorry.”
I sipped from my remaining wine. “I saw the way you were eager to take my bags. Were you planning to steal from me?”
I saw the shock on his face.
“No. Never. I can never steal. I will never steal. I wanted to carry your bags because I thought I would get a tip from you. I also wanted to use the opportunity to tell you, you can send me on any errands and I will deliver. That’s all.”
“It seems you need money. Why?”
He kept quiet.
“If you don’t have a response, you can go.”
He spoke instantly. “I am the one taking care of myself and my sick mother. I am an only child.”
What he said weakened me. I felt for him. 
“Is that why they bully you here?” 
He looked away.
“Andy for me to take you as a serious person, you have to be bold and answer my questions with the right answers. I don’t want lies. I detest dishonesty.”
I value honesty and Loyalty. I can go at any length to prove my allegiance to anyone that deserves it. That is who I am.
Andy gazed at me. “Yes, they bully me here. I am the youngest and poorest.”
“Are you saying you are not paid well here?”
“The salary is good. I negotiated my salary with the person that helped me secure this job.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I have been working here for the past three months. I have to give my salary of six months to that person.”
I was shocked. “Are you saying you have given your three months’ salary to the person that secured the job for you?”
“Yes, Miss King.”
“No wonder you were desperate to carry my bags to get a tip. Why can’t people help without getting something in return? It’s quite unfortunate.”
I looked at him from head to toe and thought for a moment. I spoke to him.
“I will need you to change some money for me tomorrow. I need the cash before noon. Can you do that?”
“Yes, Miss King.”
“You will come back tomorrow morning. I will give you the money.”
“Okay. Anything else?”
“I have a new phone but I need a Nigerian sim. Can you buy one for me tomorrow?”
“Yes ma, but you have to register it.”
“Register it in your name. It doesn’t matter. I can get another number later. I need this number urgently.”
“Okay, Miss King.”
“See you at 9 am.”
He smiled. “Okay Miss King.”
He opened the door and walked out. I purposely didn’t tip him. I planned to test him of his trustworthiness. I had another bath, finished the wine and climbed my bed not to sleep but think about my life, my past, and my sweet and sour childhood memories.

***
You can hate me. You can also love me. It doesn’t bother me anymore. You know why? I have been through hell. I have been accused of the most hated crime in the world. Murder. Yes, murder. It crushed my heart. It broke it and it has been difficult to use that same heart to love. I can never love any man. I can never trust anyone, but meeting Dr. Marcus I can try to trust him a bit. He seems genuine. It’s hard to find honest men. Honesty means so much to me. It’s been a stormy journey for me, but I sailed through. I am a survivor. 

When I was born and started to understand the things happening around me, I knew I was born with a silver spoon. My mother, Elena Badmus was fucking wealthy and influential! She had money, a company, businesses, and properties. I was the last-born. I had two brothers and a sister.

I loved my family with every depth of my heart. Our mother showered my siblings and me with anything we desired. She was a single mother. We travelled in or outside the country during our holidays. My siblings’ names are Naomi, Nelly, and Nelson. Naomi and Nelly are twins, male and female, followed by Nelson and then me. Nelson happened to be my favourite. 

***
On a chilled afternoon at two, Olivia arrived at the doorstep of Marcus Dotun. His wife Mrs. Oge offered her a cup of tea, which she accepted out of respect for her husband. Olivia waited for a few minutes before Oge led her into a warm and spacious office. Marcus welcomed and shook her hand with a smile on his lips. 
“Thank you for creating the time to see me,” Olivia spoke.
“You are welcome.” He pointed at a single sofa opposite his desk. “Please sit down.”
Olivia sat and Marcus did too. He picked a pen and a note close to the recorder on his table. He gazed at her in her eyes.
“Are you ready?”
“Ready for me to tell you why I am back in Nigeria? My mission?”
“Yes, but you must start from the beginning. What happened?”
She gave a frail smile and shook her head mildly. “It’s a long story.”
“I am sure you can break it down,” he said. “You don’t need to finish it today if you can’t. I want you to know, whatever you say is confidential. No third party shall know what you discussed with me.” He turned on the recorder.
She smiled at him and bowed her head. “My mother is the cause of everything.”
“Your mother?” Marcus asked in a puzzled tone.
Olivia raised her head and gazed at him directly. “Yes. I loved her and she loved me too, but…” She hushed and let out a sigh.
“But what?”
She cleared her throat. “My mother was a very wealthy woman. She had four kids. I believed she loved us equally and despite her busy schedules, she created time for us. Whenever she wasn’t around, she left me in the care of my elder ones. They were quite older than me.”
“When you mean quite older, like how many years?”
“The twins Nelly and Naomi were eight years older while Nelson, six years.”
He appeared surprised. “They are far older than you. Is there a reason for that?”
“Of course there is. I got to know at the right time.”
“Go on. I am listening.” He jotted as she proceeded to speak.
“My mom gave us all the love we needed but whenever she wasn’t around, things change.”
“How?”
“I see a different side of my siblings except for Nelson. He displayed affection toward me. He was always trying to protect me whenever our eldest brother Nelly wanted to scold me. As for Naomi his twin, she never saw anything good in me.”
“When your mom returns, things change back to normal?”
“Yes. They become loving as if they never showed another side of them. It was strange.”
“Did you ever report to your mom?”
“No. I was always glad whenever she returned. She made me very happy. I think they felt I was her favourite but I doubted. Like I said before, she loved us equally.”
He paused before he enquired. “I don’t mean to push further. What about your father?”
“I don’t have a father. We never did.”
The therapist gazed at her stunned. How is it possible? He wondered.
********* 
To be continued.

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