Brian and Ikena walk into the five star restaurant his mother is booked in.
”Hello Goodevening, a reservation has been made under Mrs Damilolo Andrews?”
A pretty lady looks up at him and then smiles ”Hold on please sir let me confirm” she clicks on her screen ”Yes, table fifteen, the VIP, to your left and take your straight right” she smiles at him. ”Goodevening Sir, Sir” she nods at Ikena who nods back.
Brian and Ikena thank her and make their way there.
”You know, I remember my mother saying she wants to see me, I don’t see why you should follow me. You should just say you want to eat free food sha, instead of tagging along acting all bodyguard and stuff’ Brian nudges him, Ikena shakes his head.
”I am just going to greet Ma’am, that is all”
”Just say you want to eat chicken and fish…I won’t tell any body!!” Brian nudges him again.
”Hey stop it!! ” Ikena knocks his brows together.
”That thing you do with your brows doesn’t scare me…you want to eat free food right..right ..right?” He nudges him again, laughing.
Ikena nudges him back, Brian staggers hitting a chair and almost falling, Ikena reaches for him and then pulls him back..
”Christ!! Trying to kill me, good thing my mother is around, I will report you to her”
Ikena laughs adjusting Brian’s Shirt, something he used to do for his twin brother..
”Sometimes, I wonder if you are a kid in an old man’s body.”
”I know right, carefree. It’s a good thing!” Brian smiles adjusting his shirt ”But…if I give you chicken and fish…will you eat it?” His face breaks into a huge smile.
”Dear lord, let my time soon be over with this one. Amen” Ikena prays.
”Hey, you will miss me, I would be the best dude you have ever did bodyguard stroke everything so show a little appreciation man..give us a hug!” Brain opens his arms wide to hug Ikena who moves away.
”Come close to me and I would break your arm”
”Come here, don’t be shy, don’t worry I will tell the men here that you are straight, straighter than a pole and I can get the ladies to come give you a few hugs..but give us a hug first yes yes…come Ikenaaaaa”’ Brian winks
”This is not the Brian I know, what is Ma’am Adora giving you anyways?”
Brian is all smiles
”Oh well…..i have no idea but I like it a lot” They are at the table fifteen. Brian seats, ”Are you going to stand all night?”
”Right!!” Brian brings out his phone, his mind going to Adora.
They had spoken this morning. Good thing he remembered to take her number before she left to meet the delegates. She is supposed to come back tomorrow, he wished it would have been today so she meets his mother, he really wanted to introduce her to his mother. He had actually never introduced anyone to her..at all. This would be his first and for some reason he wanted to.
He really liked Adora a lot, and..for the life of him, he doesn’t see himself not being around her.
Infact, when she comes back, since she missed his birthday..well he didn’t tell her, he would take her to a proper dinner. Hopefully, pay day is this weekend, and then from the client house he designed…and then after the project x payment, for the first time, the money he would have in his account is from his hands. He worked for it and it gave him a certain thrill.
His father would be proud, his mother would be too. He was. It felt good not having to be dependent on his father for anything.
He would..thank the old man for trying to do right by him, if he hadn’t put his foot down, maybe till now he would have just been as immature, ignorant and a child who gets joy spending his father’s money.
Now, he was this new person, taking responsibility, doing right..working..being himself..
This was a good feeling. It was.
And a better feeling was meeting Adora, one way or the other she contributed to this change..and it was a good thing.
It was…and he wished she was here..with him.
He wonders what his mother would say about her? He hopes she likes her, when they do eventually meet.
Sighing he turns away, remembering the incident at Emeka’s office.
”You know Ikena, I am still trying to understand what happened today you know, I mean, I sent you to get the designs, and you well..obviously picked the wrong one. So what I don’t get is that…where is the wrong design you gave to Mr Emek? He shows the client another design which wasn’t mine..like..everyone who have seen my sessions aired knows that is not the design I had made but….the confusion did not make sense. The client was angry, so mad he threatened to sue us, and Mr Emeka was just blowing hot steam my way and for a few seconds I was dumbfounded trying to understand what was going on, trying to calm him but both of them firing my way was just too much. When I got around to make sense what they were saying, good thing I picked up the real one, I handed it to him and the client suddenly calmed down like you poured him a glass of chilled water and he is all praises and congratulates me. But Mr Emeka didn’t look happy about it, not one bit and that got me really really curious. So, since that isn’t mine, where is mine..the mistake design you carried to him?.
I have even gone to his office to ask him for it but he snaps and tells me he doesn’t have it. well that whole scene doesn’t make sense. But I am glad that that the client is happy, the work for his house has begun. I just get to supervise it and stuff. ”
”But I handed it to him” Ikena stated it.
”He says he doesn’t have it”
”That design, someone’s?”
”No, it was something I did back in school..well..guess it’s gone. It is all good”
”Do you think he is trying to sabotage your work?”
”I doubt that, Mr Emeka can be annoying and stuff but..why would he want to do that?”
Ikena shrugs ”Just a thought Brian. Just a thought!”
Brian’s eyes lights up when he sees her approaching, he gets up and opens his arms wide.
”Here is my queen, here is my queeennn!!!” he says laughing , his mother walks into his arms and they hug.
”Oh my darling boy…look how slim you have gotten…oh Brian” she says hugging and kissing his a face.
”Mother, I am fine, fit now, lost all those belly baby fat” he hugs her and kisses her forehead.
”Still..no!” she beckons to a waitress ”Please, I need you to get me today’s menu..the special menu for today okay?”
The waitress nods walking away.
”Come sit, tell me how you have been son” she pulls him to the table.
”Good evening Ma’am” Ikena says
Damilolo turns to to look at who is greetng her ”Ikena!!” She smiles
”You too Ma?” he chuckles
She laughs ”I call you how my son calls you. How are you, i hope he didn’t cause you so many troubles?”
”Mother really?” Brian says drapping a hand over her shoulders.
”Well, a few..but i manage” Ikena says as he looks around ”You came alone?”
”Mr Kenekan coudn’t make it, work!”
”He had no intention of seeing his son, old fart” Brian rolls his eyes mockingly
”hey, be nice” his mother nudges him, Brain laughs
”No i mean, you came alone?” Ikena repeats the question.
She frowns…then realizing what he actually means ”’oh ofcourse not,Kenekan wouldn’t hear of it even when I told him not to bother. So I had no choice than to have them tag along. I just told them not to crowd me, they are around here, blending into the crowd, i hate the unnecessary attention it gives me and i am not even the president’s wife.”
”Oh, being Mr Grumpy’s wife is royalty enough mother, speaking off..i still didn’t get a call or a text!” Brian looks at his phone again, his brows knots into a frown,
”Don’t worry, you know your father. In his own time”
The table is been set..
”Okay Ma’am, I will leave you both to it, Sir, I would be in the car”
”Ikena, aren’t you staying for dinner? I am sure my son haven’t treated you a decent meal since he doesn’t know how to cook?”
”Well that part is true” Brian rubs his jaw ”Chicken and fish Ikena..want some? Now mother is the one offering, don’t worry we wont tell the grumpy old fart. Ouch Mother!!” She pulls his ears ”I am a grown man woman” he laughs moving away from her and rubbing his ears.
”A grown aas man who his mother can and will still whoop!” He laughs pulling her into another hug and kissing her head again ”God!! I missed you…I did I really did!!”
”I am here now!’
”For what a few days?”
”Two, I have to go back to Abuja”
He pouts .
”Sit, Ikena , Brian, let’s eat and you tell me all about Port Harcourt, work..everything”
”No Ma’am, that wouldn’t be appropriate” Ikena refuses.
”Me too. Man sit your butt down!!”
”No Ma’am. If you insist I would rather have mine in the car, I have to make some important calls anyways. My regards , Sir, Ma’am” He walks away leaving them alone looking around, watching faces in the restaurant to see if he can see them..
One.. two, four. He could make them out now, they were all suited up, like every other person who came into the hotel to have dinner, but what gave them away was their alertness.. the way they folded their hands or kept it by their side, always ready to reach for something ..their guns perhaps and their eyes, watching faces coming and going. He nods to one or two of them who caught his eyes. He had seen them in Abuja when he had been called for duty. He walks out of the restaurant and goes to the car.
A few minutes later the waitress comes out with packed food and gives it to him.
”Thank you!” He tells her.
”He says to tell you that there is chicken and fish in there, and he wouldn’t tell Mr Grumpy you were eating on duty!” she has a puzzled look.
Ikena tries not to laugh, he nods ”Okay” he shakes his head opening the food to eat ”Crazy kid!!” he mutters referring to Brian ”Crazy kid!” He repeats.
”He is always serious that one” Lolo says to her son
”Yes, he is, but he is okay, a nice chap”
”Since when what?”
”You never used to like the guy, you hated him being around you and found a way to always want to get rid of him, made your father drop one of the guards assigned to you and you always picked a fight. Now..he is a nice chap?”
He smiles ”Oh well, I was silly then”
”You aren’t anymore?”
”Nope” he says popping nuts into his mouth ”So, tell me how are you mum, dad…your business, everything. How are things in the capital?”
”Good actually, we thank God. Your dad had some issues with some investors for the community oil project”
”Really, how so?”
”There was some oil spillage in the community, so he wanted to compensate them and make sure that the land was cleaned but ..some stiff necks was making issues especially from the party that made the fault. ”
”So, has it been resolved?”
”Yes it has. ”
”Oh Good. How is he?”
”Then don’t ask me!” she leans away from him.
”You have been spoilt by your husband”
They laugh. She dips her hand into her bag and brings out a case ”So, I know I am not supposed to give you money or anything..but..i decided to get you something small enough that your father wouldn’t frown. Then she brings out a small bag ”And this two. ”
He chuckles opening the box ”Oh…damn!!” he smiles ”’Really, mother this isn’t something small..it’s swatch-worth…”
”Hey be quiet before they go back and tell your father I spent a tiny fortune on it. put it on baby, let me see you sparkle” she winks..
He takes the watch out and does so..
”Here see what is in the other one too” She is excited. Brian is shaking his head as he takes the bag and peeps into it, he looks at her sharply…
”Oh no you did not!!!”
She is nodding her head really fast and laughing. ”You like?”
He pulls out a compiled picture frame of his baby pictures, he pouts ”Aww mother, you actually looked for all of them and remade it for me?”
”Yes! I knew how much you cried as a child when you misplaced the one I made for you there and we couldn’t get all your pictures. So anyways, I was going through some old things and I came across negative films, and I was going to throw it out but I thought against it. I checked it out and viola!! All your baby pictures and I said..this would be the best birthday gift so I had it printed out, customized it and made it into this. You can open it and spread it on your wall or hang it like horizontally. And oh..i got a few from your school days, pre-nursery, high school, college, your awards and honorees, freshman year..everything. so your life in a frame. And ofcourse I couldn’t resist, I threw in a few of you and us in your most happiest moments”
”Really Mum..this is really overwhelming.. thank you so much” He gets up and the pulls his mother into a hug and the plasters her face with kisses which got her laughing as she hugs him..
”Oh darlyn, I would have gotten you the world but your father is Lord commander now!!” they laugh.
”This is much more than that mother, The Lord Commander can keep it and fight the white walkers” he chuckles as he gives his mother a full hug again.
”I love you momma”
She smiles ”You used to call me Momma when you were a kid”
”I am still yours. So I love you Momma today, tomorrow and always.” He kisses her.
”You too my boy, I love you too!”
”Yes Ma’am” Ikena picks his call. The caller ID said Adora.
”Nope” He replied
”No, he isn’t at the club, he is having Dinner, at a restaurant ” He continued.
”Yes..okay. Wait are you back?” He speaks into the phone, he looks back at the restaurant.
Ikena is thinking. She had returned from her trip, Brian would be happy to see her. Maybe he should just do as she says, bring her here.
”Okay Ma’am, be with you in five” He tells her.
He drops the call and then looks at his watch, with no traffic he should be back here in a few if he cuts across the backend.
Then he looks at his other hand where he wore another band-like watch. It is blinking a bright red, pinpointing Brian’s location to a map and narrowing down to coordinates.
The tracker he put on Brian’s belt pining it to it while he bent down to look at Brian working back at the IT Company was working. He would know wherever Brian is as long as he had that belt on.
Right now, he was in safe hands.
He turns the ignition on and pulls out.
”Brian?” I call his name. He is holding and plastering kisses over the face of a woman old enough to be my mother.
Brian turns to me in shock.. ”Adora!!” he chokes.
Oh, he didn’t think I would ever see him with another woman, a much older woman for that matter.
Really Brian? Maybe I should just leave.
But my legs don’t turn, instead they step closer while my mind is curious. One minute we are dating and the next he is with another woman. I wanted to know why..
The shock leaves Brian’s face and then it replaces itself with a hug smile that reaches his eyes. It confuses me.
Does he look happy to see me? Or this was what…for show?
”Adora!!!” he exclaims leaving her and then enveloping me into a hug I couldn’t stop.
But I am stiff. He is all smiles and the woman is staring at me.
”Brian?” I repeat ”What’s going on here?” I stare at him and then at her, disappointment filling my eyes.
He follows my eyes and then it lands on his mother, then he chuckles letting me go from wrapping me into a hug, but he holds onto my hand and then pulls me closer, pushing me infront of him and places both hands on my shoulders resting his chin there too.
”Brian, what are you doing – Brian?” I protest, frowning, wondering why he is pushing me before the woman who might very well be his sugar mummy.
”Relax Princess” he whispers
”Mum..meet Adora, Adora, meet my mother”
Then he smiles, I could feel him smile close to my ears.
His mother? Wait, his mother?
Oh..i swallow. No I swallow my stupidity. And in another minute I was going to ask her what an older woman was doing with my man.
Good thing I didn’t…
I suddenly became nervous.
What do I say. Do I hug her, kiss her too, or shake her hand or…do I knee down and greet her or what..
I bite my lips.
Oh..what I was wearing, was it too revealing, too sexy, too hot? Too red? Erm..
I pull my dress down slowly.
”Breathe Babe’!! he whispers ”Just breathe!!” rubbing my shoulders.
I swear I could see him smiling behind my head.
I did, exhaling and inhaling ”Good evening Ma” I greet her.
She stares at me for a minute, saying nothing.
She doesn’t like me. she doesn’t like me. She doesn’t like me. what do I do? She doesn’t like me. She might just tell her son to never talk to me ever again…
Oh dear, what do I do.
Should I start talking about myself, to let her know I am a nice person, I have my degree, went to a good school, trained in a good home. Or that I am not a bad Boss, I treat him nice. Well, aside the first time we met and I hated his guts.
But I like his guts now. Okay not his guts but you know what I mean I mean?
I bite my lips again.
”Adora Chime is it?”
Oh crap! She knows my full name. I am in trouble.
Wait, how come she knows my full name, when did i..no I didn’t tell her my name, we haven’t gotten to that part of the conversation yet.
Or..were they talking about me? Wait is that it?”
”Yes Ma! It is Ma”
She nods breaking into smile ”Relax Adora, I don’t bite.” She tells me ushering me to sit down. Brian seats beside me, still leaving me to sit infront of his mother.
I throw him a look, he is popping nuts into his mouth without a care in the world while I am here…fidgeting and the dodo was eating nuts.
I stare at Brian again, our eyes meet, he smiles that innocent smile of his and then gives me a thumbs up.
”Adora ?” I think she must have called my name twice or so, I can’t tell.
”Yes Ma” I bite my lips again. I hear Brian groan. I ignore him.
His mother was talking to me.
God help me that I don’t flop for the tiniest of reasons.
Mothers I hear are like a gatemen to their sons. They don’t like you, there is no way you get to cross the gate to the house.
Like you won’t even get to see what the building looks like.
God!! What if she hates me. What if she locks the gate and throws away the key?
What if she….
”I really don’t bite so relax a little. I am not the big bad wolf” her words breaks into my thoughts.
”She is right, Mr Grumpy is the big bad wolf but thankful he isn’t around ” He chuckles rubbing my arm slightly.
”Stop it Brian, don’t scare her.” She cautions Brian who is laughing.
”Hey..don’t mind him. My husband is..well, what word will I use in describing him now, he is–”
”Mr Grumpy na, I already gave him one, don’t ruin my thunder woman!!”
She picks a peanut and tosses it to his face, it bounces off his nose.. he rubs it laughing, so did she.
I smile at the picture it created in my head. She really didn’t look like someone that would bite. She looked calm, loving and she dotes on her son and Brian seems to love his mother a lot. That special bond between mother and son was a beauty.
Maybe Brian was the last son that’s why. Maybe. But still..it was a beautiful picture. I wonder why he calls his father Mr Grumpy? Was he always stuck up? Or it was just a random name. But he did call it affectionately.. He probably loves his father even more. The way his eyes lights up when he says “Grumpy!”
This bond between parents and children was something that is still a wonder to me. It was…overwhelming.
It made me miss my parents.
”So Adora, my son ”Doesn’t” tell me that he likes you” she says to me. I shake my thoughts away from my head. I am confused
”Sorry Ma, ”Doesn’t’?”’ I look at Brian who is still munching on the peanuts, he is smiling. I wish I could take it away and stuff it all into my bag so he doesn’t eat anymore. He should help me here, not munch away. As though reading my mind, he pushes the plate away
”Yes, ”Doesn’t” , kinda like a code with Ma and I, don’t worry your pretty head, Just know I told her about you and wanted you to meet her and I didn’t know you were coming back today but here you are and here is mother and…me.” He smiles.
”So Adora..tell me about you” She says
”Erm, okay . I am Adora Chime, an only child ..”
”Excuse me Ma’am, I need to use the ladies” I tell her excusing myself and walking towards the convenience .
”I see why you like her” Damilolo says
”You do? Because I don’t see it” He says honestly rubbing his chest. Damilolo watches him intently.
”I do see it. I haven’t exactly met any of your other lady friends but ..from what I hear about them..you never really cared to ..want to commit to anything, which always made them look easy ..which is your fault. I wonder whoever taught you never to appreciate a woman. But..that was then, right now, I am impressed with how you have turned out. The Brian I know wouldn’t have given her a thought, not with what I hear about you both from your father and what he heard from Emeka. You both were always at loggerheads, causing a roar. But suddenly, you both are dating, it is a thing of surprise..and I see why you like her. I know there is a thin line between love and hate and I think you both simmered that line into nothingness. Which is good. You are hot I know that already, she is hot as well, no pun intended; I meant in temperaments and yet you both found a common ground to this feelings, which is also good. She challenges your person, she doesn’t just take it as she is given, she questions it, she questions you..she makes you want to be better even if you don’t know it yet. That is a good thing, because without asking you or pressuring you to fit into her world, you want to do so. I am assuming you still a haven’t told her who you are?”
He shakes his head.
”Why is that?”
”Told you before, I like this feeling I get being my own person and that she likes this me..the guy who is trying to make ends meet, struggling…this Brian is who she hated and who she cares a lot for now. I don’t know how she would see it when I eventually tell her that she technically works for me.. well my father but..technically me”
”You think she would have a problem with that?”
‘Well, like you said, she is a strong –willed person and she is the kind of person who have been told over time that she cannot be what she wants or rise up to a certain level just because she is a woman and from our talks I realize that she had to work hard, to beat that system to get the recognition she has now. Now imagine if she gets to know..won’t she assume I was playing her all along, don’t you think so. To get something from her? Hmm? I mean…she would say I lied to her and everything and maybe she was just a conquest.”
”Is she..a conquest..one of your many hobbies you would soon grow tired off?”
”Would you believe me if I told you since I starting liking her…I haven’t been with someone else, much less think about another woman”
”Eww..i don’t need to know about your sexual life son..that is inappropriate !”
”Okay fine but mum, I am trying to tell you why this confuses me, I have been with women, a few.. a handful, maybe more and I have had relationships albeit it didn’t last and I believe because I didn’t exactly care or didn’t give it a chance and maybe because I didn’t feel a connection and stuff and I know I was wrong to be all that with all those women and I feel truly ashamed of myself. But with Adora, I had no idea how it happened but it did. I don’t know why I like her, a whole lot and care for her even much more but I do. I don’t understand it Momma..i don’t. I think about her in a daily, I always want to be with her and when we almost broke up..no when she broke it off because Emeka almost finding out…I could not literally think momma and I had to damn it all to hell. I wanted her in my life and whatever comes we are in it together and now that we are back together I want us to stick like glue. I just…don’t know why I feel this way about her but I just do. It is crazy and don’t make any sense…and to top it up…I haven’t even been intimate with her…well..technically haven’t been intimate in a sense and yet I feel intoxicated with her”
”Oh..no more son. This is…call your father and talk girls please” she closes her ears, Brian laughs pulling her hands away ”I want to understand what I feel mama.”
His eyes are desperate , he drops his hands ”I haven’t ever felt this way for any lady..ever. I know this because it has always been easy with others girls with me because I felt nothing. but with her, it threw me off course, it made me speechless..it knocked me off my feet and left me paralyzed . she fills my thoughts like drugs momma, and the more I think about it the more I see just how her presence affects me greatly. I like her a lot …a whole lot than I have ever done before”
”Does she know this?”
He nods .
She stares at him long and hard, a silent smile on her lips
”Love can come in the most strangest of places and the most unlikest of hearts and with the most opposites or same-ness of people, it just depends on who is shooting the arrow”
”Now you sound like Ikena”
”Oh you guys talk about this?”
She smiles. ”That is good. You need a friend, you don’t have much friends around..other than the ones who flock around because of money. You have a few good ones who are outer state”
”Yes.. do miss the few ones who are rare, like gems” he smiles.
She reaches for his hand and then sqeezes it ”Those feelings you have, those thoughts and that unexplainable emotion ticking within? Making you feel as though you want to explode especially when you are in the same room with her and can’t get enough?’ All those things you say can only mean one thing”
”Which is?” He raises an eyebrow.
”Love! You love her”
He snorts ”You really sound like Ikena, I don’t love her , it’s impossible!”
”You say so why?”
”Well..i don’t know!”
”Exactly. When you can explain the reason why you like someone, care for that person, why you love that person…it means you really do not like, care or love the person”
”I do not understand”
”Let me explain .. if for instance, you like her because of the way she dresses, talks, composes herself or how she looks naked, it means that you are only more inlove with the attributes not the person. If she was a size 12 suddenly goes to a size 23. Your love and likeness diminishes . if her voice suddenly becomes hoarse , it goes down a notch too, and then she begins to wear baggy and looking unkempt. It becomes zero likeness and you walk away because all those things you love and like about that person is gone so to you there is no need to stay.
But when a person has no idea why he cares, likes or love another. You cannot be able to pinpoint what it is that makes you drawn to that person. You don’t know if it is her smile, you don’t know if it is the sound of her laughter or the way she hugs you from behind or kiss you. You simply cannot tell if it is when she slips and falls and the face she makes when she pouts and pretend cry. You simply cannot tell if it is because she added weigh or lost it. it is because you fell inlove with her heart. Not her face, her body, her dress sense or the way she talks. You fell inlove with the beauty within covered with layers of skin and whatnot. You fell inlove with solid foundation that cannot be wavered because physical beauty fades my sweet son, but if you have beauty within, it would glow. That is what you feel inlove with, her heart…beneath her beautiful and that is the most beautiful kind of love ever.” She smiles at him.
He is speechless ”So it means I am inlove with Adora?”
”I think so..i mean, considering what you have told me, I just..well translated it for you into what you can understand. But you cannot take my word for it ..you need to find out for yourself”
She takes his hand and places it to his chest ”Your heart would tell you..only you know how, and when and where..”
”Is that how you knew for dad?”
She smile leaning back ”I think, when you eventually find the one who completes you, even when things don’t makes sense, everything else does. When I meet Kenekan, I was a broken mess and I did not want to have anything with any man . I was done, tired and I had had enough. But when he showed up, I didn’t realize he would be the most important person to me two years later. And when I finally realize …even my life and everything I have gone through became clear. That I needed to be able to feel hurt and be broken to appreciate the good stuff when it came and your father is the good stuff..hmmhummhumm. he was. He is and he still is. Everytime I see him I realize how blessed I am to have said yes and we were not without our problems but we had to understand each other, love and care, complement, help one another and we did the work not just the talk and here we are…stronger than ever, still very much inlove with one another. All I know is..when that person comes…your heart will tell you, in subtle ways, in thunderclaps or maybe in tides of featherlight kiss..i don’t know but you would know, all you have to do is listen…listen to your heart and if your heart tells you she is the one and then…the ball is in your court.’”
He sighs shaking his head ‘That is profound, who knew momma could be so deep?”
”Who knew Brian could change!”
They smile at each other..”For what it’s worth..i like her, not because of you…I like her because she seems nice” she tells him.
”Yeah, she is!”
”About your father and Emeka..?”
”I will handle it. just don’t say anything to him.Please”
”Okay” He stands up as he sees her walking towards them.
“So sorry Ma”am”” I say to her sitting down, Brian smiles at me.
“No its fine Adora. There was no rush. I was just talking to my son about…personal things before you came back”
“Oh, what kind of personal things ?” I was curious.
“Ohh, never mind that dear.” She says putting food in her mouth.”
We got back to talking about anything worth anything for a while.
My mind drifts for a second. . Especially when they are both laughing and talking to themselves.
That bond. .that sweetness she has over her son..
It was infectious.
I missed my parents. I did.
I frown slightly at Brian.
He didn’t let me know about his birthday today. I would have gotten him a present of some sort or…I don’t know.. just done something for him for his big day.
Now…here I am and I had nothing to give to my boyfriend for his birthday. That sucked.
I bite my lips.
“You know you shouldn’t do that, before you give my mother something to look at and talk about ”
“What is that? ” I whisper to him. His mother is on the phone .
He reaches forward and then brushes his thumb against my lips briefly. ..
“That. Biting those succulent full lips. You know what it does to me don’t you?”
I smile , understanding “No, I don’t. What does it do?” I ask innocently.
“Cunning now aren’t we princess? ” he plays with a strand of my hair.
I bat innocent eyes at him.. then I bite my lips again. .
“Hmm..” he closes his eyes briefly. ” Babe, don’t, or else..” he opens them to stare at me.
“Or else what?” I look into those eyes that all too suddenly pulls me in.
“Or else I won’t be responsible for my next action and probably my mother would scream Jesus!!”
I giggle .. “you wouldn’t dare ”
“Help me…don’t. .” He stares at me..
But you see…maybe I didn’t care.
I bite my lips again, staring at him.
Yes, Sometimes maybe ..just maybe I wanted to be naughty.
He smiles, closing his eyes briefly and then leans away, he curses under his breath and then turns away from me. He reaches for the glass of wine he had infront of him and drinks it.
I laugh..and bite my lips again.
“Dammit! ! ” he gets up and then excuses himself from the table, but before he leaves he bends to whisper into my ears… “You are one hell of a tempter but I refuse to be tempted. I serve a mighty God!!”
I burst out laughing as he walks away chuckling. His mother who is still on the phone has a puzzled expression on her face when she stares at me. Trying to hold down laughter I play innocence when she raises her hands in question. ..
“I don’t know ” I mouthed to her.
I turn to see where he went.. he was just standing across the room watching me intently…
My throat closes, my heart begin to beat fast.. There.. that man, makes me grow weak. Brian does things to my heart. Lord knows. She drops her call.
“Sorry dear, work related.”
“What do you do Ma, you and your husband”
Brian sinks back into his chair again, dropping the empty glass on the table. I notice she looks at him briefly before she answers.
“I am a business woman and my husband is er..”
“A different kind of business man” Brian cuts in.
“Well…he is-” Brian began, she cuts him
“My husband’s line of business is a little tasking to explain but I am sure Brian would be able to tell you all about it soon enough. About him, his family, why he is in PH, all that. So why don’t we talk about other things yes?”
I notice she changed the topic. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe, Brian would explain better what she meant.
“Tell me Adora, would you like me to tell you stories of Brian in his wee years and how he had the famous bump to his head?”
I laugh “yes please ”
“Oh mother…you won’t just help my ministry grow right? Whatever she tells you Adora, let me confess I was five years old at that time and I wasn’t able to tell the difference between the-”
“No no I will tell her the story. Don’t ruin it. I have a better version” she laughs closing his mouth… “You see, Brian was-”
She began to talk and Brian covers his eyes ..
I laughed throughout. I had so many stories of Brian told to me that I didn’t realise when I began to tease him with his mother.
“So you are ganging up with my mother against me?”
“Oh yes!!” I cheer happily. His mother. ..Lolo claps in excitement.
“You always gang up with your father right, now.. I have a partner in crime..don’t I Adora dear?”
“Yes Ma, you do!!”
We talked deep into the evening. Then I realised that, I did like his mother and there was nothing to be scared off. After another hour,Brian gets up pulling his mother into a hug,she hugs him back.
“It’s late mum, you should go rest. ”
She smiles touching his face “I know son. See you tomorrow okay?:
“Yes mother, after work you would be my date ” They smile at each other before she turns to me.
“It was nice meeting you Adora.” She reaches for my hand. I take it and squeeze gently.
“The pleasure is all mine Mrs Lola-”
“Just call me Lolo Adora, we aren’t old fashioned these days”
“Well, I think I would feel more comfortable calling you “Ma” . My mother would knock my head if she ever knew that I disrespected an elder by calling her her name. ”
She smiles “Goodnight then. I hope to see you again.”
“Me too” i say honestly.
“Be safe baby. Don’t make mama worry” she turns to her son.
“Course not my lady. Come let me walk you back to your room”
He winks at me before taking his mother away. I wait for him.
“Your mother, she is sweet woman” I tell him as we walk hand in hand to the car Ikena just started.
“Yes, she is everything .” He smiles “And she likes you”
“I didn’t ask that” I chuckle shaking my head.
“I know. I am happy about that… I was kinda scared she might not”
“Her opinion matters a lot to you don’t it?”
“It does but still..I have my own mind to make my decisions myself but….I am happy that she liked you. I was nervous though. ”
“Because you are the first girl I ever introduced to her”
He smiles “honestly ”
“Liar ” I repeat. He is lying right? I wonder to myself.
“I don’t think you do realise that I really have no reason to lie. It’s not like I am chasing you or anything. You are already my girl. It’s not like I am trying to impress you. Because you saw me..my all annoying self and what not and you still liked me. So I am not trying to impress you by saying this either or to make you care for me or like me even more. You already do….even though I like you more”
I smile. .
“It’s the truth. And I think this means a lot to me to see that she likes you and she does. Not because of me but…you. she liked you for you and didn’t need any influence from me.”
“That is a good thing?” I slip into the car, he slides in beside me.
“It’s a great thing ?”
Ikena puts the car on drive and pulls us out of the hotel.
I lay on his shoulders as he pulls me close to him.
“You should have told me about your birthday today, now I don’t have anything to give to you. Not a gift..nothing. that is not fair. ”
“I am sorry. I was actually thinking of doing dinner with you today with mum but Uncle Emeka had to send you out to some delegates.” He pouts .
I laugh “Uncle Emeka? For real?”
“Yes Na. He ruined my plans. ”
“It’s okay. But I can still, plus I almost got jealous of you with another woman”
He snorts “Na. I am stuck on you like glue princess. No other woman can take your place sha.. unless she uses bottombelle for me!”
“What is that?”
“Er..how is it pronounced? Kunoimi. Er… jazz. ?”
“Oh.. love portion you mean?”
“Yes babe! Even at that I am sure that wouldn’t work?”
“Why?” I look up at him as I rest on his shoulders.
“Because I can’t explain what you do to me on a daily and how intoxicated I am of you . You think some love portion can just sniff it away? Nah. You will have to get used to me being in your face and in your life. This boy likes the hell out of you baby, best believe that”
“Still..i want to get you a present. Or do anything. What do you want?”
“Leave it babe” he rubs my shoulders.
“No. Tell me, anything. What do you want ?”
“Yes anything ”
“I want you” he is staring into my eyes.
“But you got me…”
“No babe, I want you tonight ”
He-He wants to make love to me?
“But you got work and-”
“I want you there when I come home. I want to kiss your forehead and climb in bed beside you. I want to wake up beside you even if it’s for an hour. I want you to tonight babe. In my arms…that is all the present I need today ”
“And ….nothing else.? How do I get to work tomorrow. No change of cloths.”
“You can pick it up now after you both drop me off”
I bite my lips unconsciously. .. he curses “Dammit babe. Help a brother here..you are killing me” he leans in and then kisses me.
We kiss for awhile..holding unto each other, savouring our lips.
“You quicken my heart in ways I have never felt before Adora. ..you do. And I hate it when you are away from me. Stay tonight.. let me hold on to you and kiss your lips till I am filled. ”
“You make me shudder with….yearnings when you talk like that” I brush my lips against his.
You make me want to give it all up to you tonight.
And I want to so bad…
Would you stop yourself tonight Brian? Would I even stop you?
He smiles into my mouth kissing me again “This is my best birthday gift from your princess”
We kiss again.
Teca yawns turning to his side and picks the phone ringing nonstop.
“It had better be good to have you disturbing my sleep. What is it officer?”
“Sir, about what you asked me to do.”
“Go ahead. Because if nothing concrete can be found. The boss is not going to have my batch alone but everyone else. So what have you got?”
“As you know already. There was no finger print found in koko’s case. Whoever killed him already knew how to mask fingerprints or he had protective gloves. But… the scribblings points us to Vampire as the murderer or the masterminder”
“Yes,but no proof yet because we have no idea where he is or who he is identified as now. All his former Base camps have been deserted and not one clue was gotten because everything was cleaned and the ones who weren’t were burnt to the ground leaving us with nothing ”
“That I know get to it officer”
“Yes sir. So,the police station. Same thing with the garage that the car exploded it. Everything is gone. But we do believe that even if it was Vampire that came in here he wouldn’t have been able to do it alone without some inside help. This was done in broad day light. He definitely got inside information to know how to be able to get to Koko’s cell without issue.”
“Get to it officer” Teca is impatient.
“Okay so, with the investigations carried out. We also made to look through the register of comings and goings into the station. We checked out officers, high levels and low levels and had to find out where they were before ,during and after. Then we checked out visitors as well. Then we did a sweep for works in the station. Now everyone checked out except one”
“No, cleaner. Name Victor Nedum”
“I don’t know any cleaner by that name. I know all the cleaners especially the one sent to homicide department where I head”
“Well, according to the front desk. Mr Nedum claimed to be from Chinelo Cleaning services and he was standing in for a colleague named Chinedu who was sick”
“yes. . I know Chinedu”
“Well,we took a drive to his place like we did others. ”
“Chinedu is dead. ”
“Dead? How? Natural?” Teca sits up.
“No sir. He was murdered and stuffed into a cupboard. The house smelt of decaying flesh. Must have been dead three days max. The neighbours said the last time they saw him he had two visitors. A policeman and some other dude who had a face cap on and glasses. They didn’t see either of their faces clearly just side views. But they figured Chinedu left his house and hasn’t been back. Well, he was killed and that’s it.”
“You think it’s the same person ?”
“It checks out. Someone comes to the police station saying he was standing in for someone who is sick. Albeit three days prior He has been dead. Who told his service agency he is sick? And check this…the cleaning service did not send a representative nor does it know about Victor Nedum or that Chinedu was ill. They never got word from him since three days ago. So this was a calculated mission. This Victor person kills Chinedu, and uses his guise as a cleaner to get in to the station. Now..problem here was that how come he wasn’t asked for an identity card for verification or called the agency to be sure?”
Teca sighs “we let the killer in. Dammit. Now…Christ I remember seeing someone ..a new cleaner and I stopped him briefly and….Dammit! !” Teca recollects the cleaner her stopped briefly.
“See his face? “”
“He had on a cap and glasses.. I wanted to see his face because I asked him to take it off before Boss called me. Dammit! !” He swears again. “Get me an artist. He should go to that Chinedu’s neighbourhood and let him talk to the few who saw that police and the stranger. . Whatever description he can get he should draw it and bring. I will also tell him what I remember the person I saw look like even with glasses and a face cap. Hopefully we can get something. ”
“Yes sir. And for the 50 boys, they never turned up. Our team are out there. Pictures of the boys have been posted on the streets. All corners everywhere and the bus the boy saw. Hopefully something might turn up.”
“Okay. Keep me posted.”
“Yes sir! !”
Teca lays on his bed, closing his eyes..
What the hell did he look like …he tries to remember.
“All set Sir” Mikel turns to Alex who is watching him.
“I hope the border guards won’t be an issue?”
“No Sir. The girls would be smuggled out with the drugs. They wouldn’t know jack till they have passed but just in case, we have settlement cash with us. And if that doesn’t work?there are enough ammunition in each bus to take them out.”
“Good. Those drugs should meet my clients outer state if not someone would be sorry ”
“Yes sir. Should I tell them to start moving ?”
Chike comes to him wiping sweat “I got some new girls as you requested. ”
“Good. Have the boys rape them. You know the initiation. If they don’t feel pain and understand it. They would go and start fighting with the clients . And I need money to rebuild the bases I have lost..I can’t only work from one Base. Get them ready. Let them go two round or more if possible . Then you break them Mikel, make them submissive and scared. I don’t want another Juliet to be here again”
“Okay Sir ” Chike nods to a few dozens of boys who are standing by thread trunk. .
“I hope you guys are horny?”
They all smile…”lead the way boss, we love to be of service.”
“Good… you can have two each. Greg, go to the house , check the cupboard and get some vaigra pills. You lot are going to pop some and tear some pussies”
“Fxxk yeah!!” They chanted.
Alex turns away entering into his house.
The girl who is lying naked on the bed is still asleep.
He strips, waking her up by pulling her waist to him. She winces in pain trying to stop him.
He hits her hand away,reaching for the lubricant he rubs himself to it and then with a quick trust pulling both her hands behind her doggy style to stop her from trying to stop him.. he plunges into her. Her screaming didn’t stop him,neither did her bleeding.
It excited him,even more as he moaned and groaned his release.
“You wanna come with me?”
“In there ?”
“But you will be working ?”
Brian nods caressing my face “I want you to see what I am doing in there. I want to tell you everything Adora. About me..who I am really. What I am doing here and why. The reason why I began acting out… how I changed. I want to tell you everything I just hope it doesn’t change anything between us”
“I know you already ”
“Not enough. I wouldn’t want you to ever peg me a liar..”
“I wouldn’t !!” I rub his jaw.
He kisses my fingers… “but still, I want to tell you all about me baby. My highs. My lows. My weakness. My strengths. My father. My mother. Me.. my life before all this.. I want you to know everything ”
I smile “and I want to. But..today,let’s celebrate your birthday and then all that can come later…okay”
“Babe,I want to-”
“I am here,will be till you are done from work okay. So..today, let’s leave everything else..okay?”
He nods.. “later then. ”
Ikena pulls the car to a stop. He leans in and kisses me …”see you at home. ”
I liked the sound of that. “See you at home” I blush.
He walks away leaving me to stare after him. Soon he disappears into the building as Ikena pulls away.
I get home,pick out my cloths for work and then head out.
“Would any supermarket be open?”
“By this time…i guess. Why?” Ikena looks at his watch. Then at the tracker. .. the red light is still blinking. At least Brian was still in the night club.
“Just make a quick stop. He won’t sleep on an empty stomach ”
“He just had dinner with..the madam and you”
“Okay.. this would be for tomorrow then. But I know they sell cakes and stuff. At least he gets to have one doesn’t he?”
Ikena smiles. “Ofcourse Ma’am”
“Good. Let’s go!!”
Brian’s phone rings an hour later.
“Oh, look who remembered he has a son and birthdays are special ”
Kenekan’s deep voice resounds in his ear as he laughs richly. .
“Yes I missed you too. Happy birthday son.”
‘”I didn’t miss you but thanks. But you are a couple of hours almost 12 midnight late”
“I know..busy. work”
“You whine like a woman Brian”
Brian chuckles …”I whine like a son who his father forgot today all because he was trying to be mean and woke”
Kenekan laughs again “mean and woke? I guess port Harcourt is giving you some new words to add to the dictionary?”
“When you are in Rome, you speak and act like the Romans”
“True. .how are you. How is everything. You coping ?”
He wonders if he should tell his father about generation X project and the new client with the shopping mall.
Maybe he should wait till he is done. His father would he super proud.
“It’s going okay pops”
“I normally would get you a new car or some fancy yatch or spoilt you rotten during your birthdays. ..sorry about this one. You are still under going classes.”
“Yeah…I guess so. Thank you for tolerating me all this while.”
‘”You are my son. There is no two ways about that”
“Still. Maybe…soon, you would see how it has turned out. ”
Brian smiles “soon father ”
“Okay. So.. You having any issues with anyone. Emeka,that John guy? Adora? ”
“Er….no father. None. I am good”
“You looking for gossip father?”
He laughs ” No son..just curious . ”
“Okay. Curiosity kills the cat hope you know.?”
“Sadly, that is what we were told. We never saw the grave.”
“Happy birthday my son. For what is worth, you know I love you even in my mean state and grumpy-ness”
“I know you mean well father. Trust me I do. That is why I am saying thank you. Now I realise that all you want for me is for me to learn and be better and more refined than the past version of me and believe me father..I want that too. I do. So thank you. ..for everything ”
“You sound so different that I can hardly believe it’s you Brian ”
“Yeah” Brian rubs his head “i surprise myself too. Thank you for the wishes even if it’s late.”
“Better late than ever”
“Kiss my wife for me when you see her tomorrow. ”
“Eww but okay ”
His father’s laughter warms his heart.
Wait till you see how I make you proud father. Doing what you always wanted me to do…
Make use of my hands. .
You will be proud of me.
“Goodnight father ”
The line cuts. Brian had a smile on throughout the rest of the night. He even whistled lightly as he worked.
I fell asleep on the couch waiting up for him.
The cake was on the table, a march stick with a sweet-stick dipped into the cake. A bowl of chicken sauce and plantain chips waited for him too.
I must have woken up like a few times to check the time. How can it run so slow I cannot tell.
I kept drifting out and in until finally my lids closed and didn’t open for the next few hours until I felt as though I was been lifted up.
I open my eyes to see his face smiling down on me as he carries me into the room.
“You are home?”
“Yes baby,i am” he lays me on the bed. ” sleep” he kisses me.
I shake my head rubbing my eyes open. “Cake, chicken ….” I yawn
“No…no…” I drag myself out of the bed before he could stop me.. “go shower and then come let’s sing you a birthday song:”
I disappear out of the room, rubbing my eyes open again.
I leave the chicken and then get only the cake and the match stick. I get saucers and then a bottle of wine I also picked from the supermarket. .
I delay a bit hoping he would be done in a few minutes.
I make it 20 minutes perching on the chair and watching mutted screen.
Carrying the lighted sweet-candle cake, I push the door open to find him wearing his shirt.
“Happy birthday to you.. happy birthday happy birthday happy birthday to you. And he is a jolly good fellowwwwwww. And nobody can deny. Hip hip hip. Hurrayyyy!!!…. make a wish baby ” I say standing infront of him “make a wish”
He has a sparkle to his eyes. ..he is staring long and hard at me.. a smile at the corner of his lips..
I wish that this moment …you and I , you Adora be mine always,now and always. I wish you to be the mother of my children and the love of my life now and always. I wish that right now…this feeling I have for you whatever it is…remains so. I wish that the sparkle in my eyes always lights up when I see you Adora…i wish for everything good above all…i wish for you.
Yes.. you are the only one I wish for Adora and I know what I am saying doesn’t make sense… but…. my wish is you.
I love you Adora Chime.
Right this moment. This very moment it is clear what I feel for you. It is not just likeness. It is not just care. This feeling that is threatening to fill me up is love.
I love you.
I love you…
Dammit !!! I am inlove with you Adora.
“Make a wish baby” I repeat. “Blow out your candle” I chuckle.
He smiles and then blows
“What did you wish for ?”
“You” he says. He leans in and kisses me.
I pull away… “eat some cake?”
“Yes” he nods as we go to the bed.
After a few slices I take the remains to the fridge and come back to find him close to the stereo..
“Dance with me?” He pulls me into his arms and begins to sway to the music of backstreet boys..
We dance for few minutes..
This right here was peace.
This right here.. this feeling within was overwhelming.
This Brian. .. God!!!
I look up at him .. he stares down at me.
“I have so much to tell you that I don’t know where to begin.”
“Start from the top or just summarize” he says
“You complete in the most strangest of ways” I tell him
“You are the center of it all, my essence. ” Brian whispers.
“What happened to us… how come..when?” I keep asking myself.
“I think the beauty is not ever realizing when it hit you,but knowing that it did and it is beautiful. Just like you. I care about you so much Adora. .i like you so damn much. But what I want to say is…. I think I have fallen inlove with you. My heart literally stops everytime I think of you and nothing else makes sense. I want you today; tomorrow. Always. I love you. And the more I think about it the more I realize how insanely inlove with you I have fallen. My wish has your name on it and I think this is the best gift to me…finding you. .falling inlove with you and having you in my arms…these beautiful moments is my joy and I think I am blessed already.”
My throat closes.. I can’t breathe.
“I…i” I stutter
“You don’t have to say it back baby.
This is what I feel…and I just wanted to tell you because. …it hit me, and this moment was the best time to tell you how much I was swept off and hit the ground. I love you. I am in love with you babe and that is a fact. Anything else na jara” he adds in pidgin .
I smile and then I laugh. ..”you amaze me every single time Brian… I. .”
“Sssshhhh say nothing, say nothing else.”
“What are you scared off. That you don’t want me to say,like I wouldn’t say it back?” I ask him.
“Say it back if and when you mean it not because I say it to you. This is my feelings and i don’t regret it. I don’t. I am happy because for the first time in my life…. this is actually happening and I love the feeling and I love you”
He places kisses to my forehead and face…
“I love you Adora Chime. My little first witch. My princess. My baby. My woman…my everything. ”
He does each with kisses..soon I am clinging to him..he is clinging to me.
He lifts me up wrapping my legs around him as he takes me to the bed.
Kisses me until we are both short of breathes.
Then he pulls away…
“No…please dont” I beg him.
“Not until you are ready, I told you” he breathes into my mouth.
“I am.. I want to…i want you so bad” I hold him to me.
“Are you sure ?” He repeats.
“Yes..” I tell him..
He leans in kissing me so passionately my heart threatened to explode..
‘”I want to make love to you so much Adora. I do. ” he whispers against my lips.. going to kiss between my chest as my nightie adorned my body..
“Then do it!”
“I can wait !!” His voice is quiet. I feel him shaking with desire. I feel him hard against my thighs. I get tingling. I bite my lips in yearning.
“I can’t …not when I am burning. Not when you are burning. . I want to. Make love to me Brian” I kiss him
“Make sweet love to me” I kiss him again.
Taking my hands over my head he pins it down there…letting lips be against lips. Clothed chest over clothed breast. But the heat radiating between my legs brought warmth to his as my legs are wrapped about him. Grinding into him as he does the same. He releases one of his hand and roams over my body, grabbing, squeezing,teasing as he made his way to my thighs,going below and caressing my core over my panties..
I moan into his mouth.
He lets me go, trailing kisses down to my novel. He raises up my nightie and then takes away my panties..
Before I can blink he has his tongue there and he took me to heaven.
“Oh dear God!!” I moan
After a few long minutes , breathing hard and coming back to normalcy I squeeze my toes. I feel his lips over mine again. Rolling away he pulls me over his chest..
“I am not in a hurry to be with you my love. I can wait. ”
“Let me please you at least like you did me?”
He stops my hands. ..” if you do that… I would make love to you”
“I can want you too..”
He smiles into my mouth and kisses me again.
“I can wait..a little longer. Come here baby. Sleep. ” he pulls me over him.
“You know it is hard for me to do that when you are poking me” I tell him, he understood what I meant.
He chuckles “I know. Imagine how I am able to be in control. Don’t mind the little guy. He would sleep…soon”
“You amaze me Brian ”
“I surprise me too. Hey… I love you. Sleep ”
I lay on his chest listening to his heart beat fast and slow, fast and slow. I listen as my heart sync with his..
And I wondered how to explain my own feelings to this man who has blown me away and made me into this….girl with butterflies in my tummy. This man weakens me.
This man makes me feel lightheaded and giddy like a little child. This man….My waking and sleeping moments are of him.
This man…. what I feel, is this love?
God knows. ..there is no one I rather be with than with him..right here. Right now..this moment.
The man who knocked me off my feet, how it happened. .I don’t know but I am thankful it did. He loves me. Brian Andrews loves me.. Dear Lord, is this how heaven feels like?.. Because I am in the clouds ..and I want to stay there forever. I kiss his chin and then I close my eyes to sleep.
Brian doesn’t sleep..Instead he runs his hands over her back caressing her…smiling .Dang!! Mother was right. You would know when you eventually realize. Ikena too.
He loves her. He loves Adora and he would be a better man for him, for her,for his parents. ..but ultimately for him.
“I will love you always Adora. Keep you safe..protect you..care for you. Always princess. Always ” he kisses her forehead. Then later on he drifts to sleep.
To Be Cont