Cherry walked home that evening after work feeling tired and
spent, she had spent most of her day at work thinking of her life and what new
excuses she could make. She had weighed the options and she couldn’t possibly
give up any of the men in her life. The revelation about Sean and his ways had
made her recoil in fear and while her mind decided to drop him and chose Mitch,
she realised that she couldn’t. Sean would never let her go especially now that
she knew all about his sources of income. Mitch was too sweet to let go of and
deep down, she knew she had made a decision but couldn’t go through with it.  She was ready to leave Sean and all his money
to be with Mitch but now, it was next to impossible.

She walked into her house and slumped on the sofa, her
sister walked into the sitting room holding up a bowl of cornflakes and eating
with relish.
“Hey…Sean called…” Diamond said with a small smile.
Cherry looked at Diamond with an unreadable facial expression.
It’s been a thing with the both of them as twins being as different as night
and day to gloat over the other’s misfortune. Diamond was the straight-forward
type, she hated corruption, lying, deceit and many other vices while Cherry was
the complete opposite. As children, Cherry would do things that their mother
had warned them not to do while Diamond made sure she obeyed all their mother’s
instructions. As adults, Diamond thought of the consequences of her actions
while Cherry didn’t bother with that.
“Why the smile? Is there anything to be happy for?” Cherry
asked drily.
“Well…ofcourse there is, darling sister….you are getting
married.” Diamond said. “And to two men…” 
She burst into laughter sending
some of the cornflakes in her mouth flying around.
“Will you stop it? You eat so dirty.” Cherry spat.
“Well, atleast I can clean up my mess but we both know that
your mess is this big…” Diamond said holding her hands wide to emphasize.
“Mtcchewwww….” Cherry hissed.
“And guess what? The introduction is happening on the exact
same day. Sean called mom’s phone this afternoon to tell her that his uncle is
coming over and that they intend to set the date for the
fifteenth….hahahahaha.”
“Well, mommy will have to tell them to choose another date.”
Cherry hissed.
“Well, as it happens, mommy is travelling two days after the
fifteenth and she’ll be back at the end of the month.”
Cherry seethed, she remembered that Sean had also given
reasons as to why his uncle won’t be able to make it before and after the
fifteenth.
“There’s always a way out of all messes.” Cherry said.
“Good luck with this one babe, I must commend you, you’re
such a serial fiancée…wow!” Diamond laughed.
“Diamond, I’m warning you…” Cherry said hotly.
“Abeg ooo free me jare…or are you spoiling for a fight?
Please ooo…I don’t want to be dragged into a fight with you lest I beat you
up before the introduction and you’ll use my beatings as an excuse for not
being able to have your double introduction on the fifteenth.” Diamond said.
“But wait ooo…you can do a kind of double introduction sha…just tell the
both guys to come and place their families on opposite sides of each other
while you stand at the middle…hahahahaha…”
Cherry stood up from the sofa and headed into her bedroom.
“Cherry come ooo..what colour are we wearing for that day?
Blue? Yellow? Pink? Hahahahaha…” 
Diamond laughed till she fell on the sofa
and continued laughing.
************
Stella couldn’t believe that Madu had left the house they
shared less than twenty four hours after she’d left him. Anyway, perhaps it was
for the best, he could go away for all she cared but she didn’t want her
daughter dragged into his movement from place to place. She was so sure that he
was running away from paying the house rent and maybe his boss had offered him
a boys quarters of some sort and also the job of being her gigolo. She felt so
disgusted.
She was in the car with Duncan and the driver was driving
them to the lawyer’s.
“Babe…” Duncan started.
“Yea…” She answered.

“You weren’t listening to me…” Duncan said.

“I was…I was errr…listening…” She lied, not knowing
that he’d spoken to her earlier.

“Really? If you were listening, then, what did I say to
you?” He asked.

“Me? You said…err….I think you said errr…” She
stuttered.

“So you mean you weren’t listening?” He said hotly.

Stella was taken aback, where was the anger coming from? She
wondered.

“Yes, I was but it just skipped my mind…” She said.

“Am I a fool?” Duncan spat.

Stella didn’t expect his outburst.

“No…ofcourse not baby.”

“You’re treating me as though I’m a fool.” Duncan said as
his nose flared in anger.

“Ha! Me ke?”

“Are you asking me that question?” Duncan fired.

“No…I’m sorry, I just….my mind was somewhere else for a
split second and I’m sorry.” She said apologetically.

“You are with me and whenever we are together, you are
supposed to think of me and only of me.” He said possessively.

“Yes, I…I am thinking of you…I mean, that was what I was
thinking of before you…” She started not knowing what else to say.

Duncan smiled at her.

“I’m glad you were thinking of me.” He said, brushing the
hair from her face. “We’ll be at the lawyer’s soon and I want you to tell him
everything you told me about your husband. I want you to bare your soul to him
so that he can hasten the divorce process.”

Stella nodded wondering if getting a divorce was the best idea
but since she didn’t want to upset Duncan she kept mum.

“You know you need to cut yourself loose from that man so
that we can both be together forever.” He said.

“Yes…I do…” She smiled at him.

“Good! I don’t want to share you with anyone my
love…you’re mine, all mine.” Duncan said as he drew her closer to him.

Stella leaned her cheek on Duncan’s chest, she was moved by
his show of possessiveness and she told herself that she’d never felt more
loved.

**********
Kamsi sat at the kitchen with her father, Anita’s cook was
happily filling Madu in with recipe for the spaghetti that he had made for
them. Kamsi loved spaghetti and the cook’s spaghetti tasted so nice but she
wasn’t happy, she wanted to go back home and she wanted her mommy to be there
too.

“I see you’ve hardly eaten your spaghetti…” The cook said
to her with a smile.

“I’m not hungry…” Kamsi said with a frown.

“Awwww…why?” He asked.

“Don’t mind her, she’s just getting used to the
environment.” Madu said quickly.

Kamsi looked at her father and gave him a scowl for lying.
At that moment, Anita walked into the kitchen looking every inch the lady of
the manor.

“I see you guys are getting acquainted with my staff.” She
smiled at Madu.

“Yes, the cook is excellent…his dishes are superb.” Madu
said with a smile.

The cook bowed his head, flattered at Madu’s praises.

“You know I always love the best services and my cooks don’t
come cheap.” She said.

Kamsi didn’t even look up to acknowledge her.

“Hey baby, I haven’t properly welcomed you to my home.”
Anita said. “This house is yours too and you can do whatever you want here.”

Kamsi still didn’t look up.

“Is everything okay?” Anita asked her.

When Kamsi didn’t respond, she said.

“C’mon, I have something to show you.” Anita said taking the
little girl’s hand.

Madu followed Anita and Kamsi out of the kitchen and soon
they were heading up the stairs.
Madu had been stunned by Anita’s house from the first moment
he stepped into the place. It was like a palace, a place fit for royalty and he
felt so out of place. How did she get all this money? He thought. Obviously
from some kind of business, he concluded, reminding himself of the substance
he’d seen in her warehouse.

They walked up to first floor where there was a large space
leading to different rooms.

“I have not shown you into your rooms because I’ve been busy
getting them ready so…voila!” She said as she opened the door to a room.

Kamsi gasped, it was as though she was in a fairytale land,
the room that Anita showed her was so beautiful and it was filled with toys
ranging from dolls to stuffed animals. The walls had her name written in bold
letters and the room was so cool.

“Oh my God!” Kamsi said in surprise.

Madu could only stare with eyes wide open.

“This is fit for…a princess…” He said.

“Yes, it’s fit for none other than my princess, Kamsi.”
Anita said with a smile.

“My room?” Kamsi said in confusion.

“Yes darling, this is all yours.”

Kamsi looked at her father as though seeking his approval
and when he nodded, she walked into the room, taking one shaky step at a time.
She turned back to Madu and said.

“It has a TV! Daddy my room has a TV!”

“Yes, a television with kiddies channels and lots of other
amazing channels for children.” Anita said in glee.

Kamsi looked to her left and saw a fridge, she opened it to
see lots of ice cream and goodies.
“These are all mine too?”

Anita nodded.

“Am I in heaven?” Kamsi asked in disbelief.

“Anita, this is too much…” Madu said bewildered at her
show of munificence. “We’re just here for a little while and I don’t want Kamsi
to find it difficult fitting back into our normal lives.”

“C’mon, this is nothing besides, when you guys are going back,
she can take all this stuff with her and who says she can’t come to spend
weekends. I’ve really taken to the little angel and I love her as I’d love my
own.” Anita said with a smile.

Madu looked at Anita puzzled.

“Are you ready to see your room?” Anita said and not waiting
for a response, she held on to his hand and dragged him towards another door.
She opened it and Madu gasped in surprise at his room. Anita knew his taste,
she knew his colours and knew what he loved, the room was all he’d ever dreamed
of and more.

“The sofa is in Zebra stripes…” Madu said in a whisper referring
to the large sofa in his soon-to-be bedroom.

“Yes, I remember that you love the Zebra so much and you
always said that the stripes of the Zebra will be your muse when decorating
your bedroom.” Anita informed.

“Anita, this is too much…”

She placed her finger against his lips.

“Shhhh…” She said.

Madu walked into his room utterly speechless, he didn’t know
what to say.
***********
Aunty Scholastica was dreaming, she saw herself in a large
forest with nothing but dead leaves, there was no sign of life. She walked a
bit further and saw someone lying on the ground, on a closer look it was Madu,
her nephew and the man she called ‘son’. She inched towards him and just as she
walked up to meet him, something large caught her eyes, it was a very big snake
and it made its way to Madu’s side and curled up beside him.

“Madu! A snake!” She shouted in her dream.

Madu looked up at her drowsily and drew the snake closer to
himself for comfort and hugging the slimy creature he dozed off.

 She shot out of bed
and looked at the clock on her bedroom wall, it was ten pm.

“Madu! My God! Not my son…not my son! What is happening?”
She asked aloud as she groped about for her bible to pray.

Her heart beat frantically in her chest and she was so
scared, she looked for her phone as she wanted to call him but felt that it was
too late to call her nephew. She looked around her room and said aloud.

“Chei! Chineke! They want to destroy my son! I must…I must
go to Lagos!” She said in panic.
***********

2 WEEKS
LATER


It was two weeks after his family had gone to visit Cherry’s
and Mitch was walking on air. He was getting along well with his sisters and
none of them was spewing trash about his fiancé and life was so good. It was a
Saturday morning and Mitch had an idea to spend the day at the beach with his
beau after which they’d end the day eating at a nice seafood restaurant. Mitch
placed a call to Cherry.

“Hey baby…” She greeted.

“You sound good, how are you?” He asked.

“I’m great, how are you?” She asked.

“I can hear music and it seems as though you’re driving.”
Mitch said quickly.

“Yes, I’m on my way to work.” Cherry said breezily.

“Really? Work? But it’s a Saturday.”

“My boss needs me to tidy up some stuff.”

“And here I was, thinking that you’ll be down for a day out
at the beach…just you and I, you know…” He said.

“Awww baby….I wish we could hang out too but I am so
swamped with work.” Cherry said.

“I really feel bummed that we had to postpone our
introduction till the end of the month or by tomorrow, you’ll officially be my
wife.” He said.

“Officially ke? It’s just introduction na…” Cherry
informed.

“I know but I’d be happy to know that we have taken such
steps to show the world how much we love each other.” Mitch said.

“Yes…I know…it’s just that I want my dad to be around
but he has an ear infection and he’s at the hospital. I’m so sorry boo…”

“Okay…maybe we could do our beach outing tomorrow.”

“No!” Cherry said with such intensity.

“What do you mean by no? We hardly spend quality time with
each other and we’re a couple.”

“I meant no because unfortunately, I’m also going to be
working tomorrow…it’s going to be a very busy weekend for me.” Cherry said.

“It’s okay dear, you’re such a hard worker and I wish I am
as dedicated as you are to your job.”

“Thank you sweets.”

“I hope you’re not spending any time with that client of
your dad’s. I won’t like it!” He warned.

“Ofcourse not baby, I broke up things with him.” Cherry
said.

“Are you sure?” Mitch asked.

“Positive.”

“That’s good to hear, I’ll speak to you later….” He said.

When he hung up, he felt so low, he hissed, annoyed that he
hardly found anytime to spend with his fiancée. There was a knock at his door
and Angel popped her head into his room.

“Hey bro…”

“Hey…”

“Mommy said you wanted to take my car out…are you still
interested?” She asked.

“Never mind.” He said.

“Somebody looks sad, is anything the matter bruv?” She asked
sounding concerned.

“It’s nothing really! It’s just that I hardly spend quality
time with Cherry and I don’t want to complain so as not to sound as though I’m
nagging.”

Angel smiled and walked into his room to sit on his bed.

“Hey bro, c’mon…you know how jobs in Nigeria are. Bosses
love to overwork their staff and I’m sure she’s working so hard to meet one
deadline or the other…”

Mitch looked at her sourly.

“But, the good news is, that you can still meet up with her…you
know…” Angel suggested.

“How? Didn’t you hear when I said she’s working?”

“No one says you should stop her from working, I mean…but
you can do something romantic.” 

Angel said with a smile.

Mitch looked at his sister and smiled.

“What do you have in mind, you this romantic chick?” He
asked her playfully.

“Why don’t you…” Angel started and leaned over to whisper
the words into Mitch’s ears.

Mitch listened to his sister and his eyes widened and when
she was done, he punched her playfully at the side.

“Ohh…you’re so silly!” He said with a goofy smile.
*********

Cherry was at the market buying things for the introduction
tomorrow. Her mother wasn’t enthusiastic and neither were her siblings but she
refused to be bothered, Sean’s people were coming tomorrow for the introduction
and she had to get a lot of things ready. She had paid the caterer to make
something nice for an intimate gathering and was just wrapping up her buys.
She recalled the events of the past weeks; her lies to Mitch’s
family to postpone the introduction, her mother’s refusal to lie on her behalf
to Mitch’s family and how she had had to do all the cover-ups by herself. She
had sent a text with her mother’s phone to Mitch’s parents informing them that
her non-existent father had an ear infection and that he wouldn’t be available
on the fifteenth when in actual sense, she had not spoken or heard from her
father since he left them years ago to be with his mistress. When Mitch’s
father had called her mother to confirm the text message, her mother had
refused to take the call so she had answered the call, making up excuses for
her mother’s inability to take the call as she was tied up. Cherry had told
Mitch’s father the cock and bull story of her father’s illness and they had both
agreed to move the date to the end of the month.
Cherry was exhausted, living two lives was definitely hell
on earth, she concluded.

*********
Madu had stopped his aunt from her quest to pay his family a
visit. When she had called him weeks ago to tell him of her journey, he had
told her that it wasn’t necessary.

“Madu, you need to let me see you with my two eyes ehn, what
is wrong with you children of nowadays? I hardly sleep, eat or even gist with
friends because every time I think of you, I see the snake in the dream.”

“I have told you several times to stop this rubbish! I do
not believe in dreams and I think that you’re just imagining things.” He had
chided.

“Mba! I am not imagining anything, you are in serious danger
and I can feel it in my bones.”

“I am fine…and nothing is going to happen to me.”

“Remember that you are only one, the only fruit of my sister
and I have an obligation to take good care of you.”

“I am not a child auntie…please…stop saying this…” He
had said to her.

It had taken him some time allaying her fears and finally,
he had been able to end her thoughts of taking trip to Lagos. Madu knew he couldn’t
risk having his auntie over in Lagos while he wasn’t living in his matrimonial
home with his wife. Stella had not called him to check up on their daughter
since the last time she’d called to find out that they’d moved, he sometimes
wondered if she had really loved him at all or had been faking it all the
while.

Kamsi was trying to adjust to the new life, she missed her
mother so much and sometimes, spent the night curled up by his side, abandoning
the beautiful room Anita had set up for her with the toys in it. He didn’t know
what Anita was getting at as she didn’t look as one threatened by anyone as she’d
made him believe. The security system in her house was top notch and according
to the cook, he had never seen anyone come to threaten his madam before, Madu
was beginning to think that it was all a ploy by Anita to have him in her home.

He was tidying his desk when the door to her office swung
open and she leaned at the door watching him with sultry eyes.

“Hey busy bee…” She said to him.

“It’s almost one pm and we agreed that alternate Saturdays
will be half-days so…” He said.

“Hmmm…I have other plans though…” She said suggestively.

“Plans? What plans?” He asked as his mind went to the substance
he’d seen at her warehouse weeks ago and had not been able to confront her with
it.

“Yea….I have plans for us…it’s Saturday and err…I want
us to go somewhere and have fun.” She said.

“With Kamsi?” He asked.

“No, she’s at home…why do you want her to hang out with
us?”

“Because she’s lonely and I promised that I’ll be home early
to play with her.”

“You spoil her too much, you know…” She said.

“She’s my daughter, and I love her.”

“I can’t help to think of the kids we would have had
together, you know…if we got married.”

“Well, we never did.” He said curtly.

“It’s not too late…” She said.

“It is, I’m married.” He said firmly.

“She’s not called you since she left, has she?” Anita asked,
referring to his wife.

When Madu didn’t answer, she said.

“I’m your boss and I demand that you spend this Saturday
with me. Besides, it’s just one Saturday and I’ve never asked you to spend time
with me before.” Anita said.

Madu looked at her and took a deep breath, he knew it was a
bad idea but said.

“Okay, just for today.”

Anita rewarded him with a smile.
***********
Stella sat still before the mirror and stared at her
reflection, she was glowing, her skin was so clear and as soft as satin. Duncan
had given her a brand new car and a driver, he had made her his number one
priority as her needs came before anything else but today, she wasn’t happy.
Rhoda had just called her to tell her that someone else had been given her role
at the company.

Stella had been going to work on a daily basis with Duncan
and so far, everything was going well, only for Duncan to tell her to stay home
on Friday without giving her any explanations.

Stella was still staring at her reflection when the door
opened and Duncan walked into the bedroom they shared.

“Duncan…” She called out.

“Baby…” He answered as he walked up to her and gave her a
kiss on her hair.

“I just found out that I have been demoted.”

Duncan stared at her through the mirror and they both stared
at each other for a while.

“Yes…so?” He asked.

“What? How can you roll this off your shoulders as though it
means nothing! Duncan, I’ve worked for that organization for six years and for
each milestone I’ve achieved, it’s been hard work. How could the board demote
me like that?” She asked.

“Who told you this?”

“Does it matter?” She spat.

“I wanted to tell you by myself.” He said.

“When? When did you intend to tell me and besides, what was
the reason for my demotion?”

“Well, because I gave the order.”

“What? You gave the order to have me replaced?” Stella asked
in shock.

“Yes…and for a good reason.”

“What reason?”

“You’re too busy being my woman to be tied up with anything
else. I mean, I hardly get you all to myself so I did a scale of preference on
your behalf and…..”

“Are you crazy? Are you mad? What has gotten into you? My
work has nothing to do with us, nothing at all!” She screamed.

“It has everything to do with us! You wake up as early as I
do and we both leave for the office where you spend so much time at your desk,
with other staff in your department and I don’t like it! You are supposed to be
at my beck and call, you’re supposed to be here at home waiting by the phone
for my call.”

“What are you saying? That’s insane.”

“Look, Stella, with time you’d adjust…”

“Adjust? That’s ridiculous! I can’t adjust! I was demoted
without even being informed of it.”

“I have your letter…” He said.

“Are you serious? Duncan! Are you kidding me?”

“Look dear, you can’t serve two masters at the same time. It’s
either me or the job!”

“Two masters? What are you talking about?”

“I had you fired…” He said seriously. “You work for me
now, as my woman and companion.”

Stella stood up from the chair she sat on to look at him.

“What did you just say?” She spat.

“I had you relieved of your duties. I provide for you, I
give you all you want so…there’s really no need for the job.”

Stella raised her hand and gave him a loud slap on the
cheek. Duncan touched his face lightly and stared at her, she saw an
unrecognisable look of anger in his gaze. He yanked her by her braids and
shoved her to the ground. Stella screamed in shock. Duncan picked up her large
trinket box and threw it at her, it fell on her face. He scanned the room for
an object and when he saw none, he stormed over to his wardrobe, opened it and
took a clothes hanger, he took three hangers and walked up to Stella.

“No…no…Duncan…no…” Stella screamed as she stared at
the demon in his gaze.

Duncan’s mouth thinned into a firm line as he began to beat
her mercilessly with the hangers. Stella screamed till she thought she’d die.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Stella, didn't your mama teach you that all that glitters is not gold? Adaeze you just had to add master for husband there abi? I saw what you did, wink wink.

  2. This episode is hot! I feel sorry for Stella in spite of all she has done. I just hope she survives Duncan's torture.
    I won't be surprised to read that Anita is into witchcraft or that she has a connection of sorts with Duncan.

    I am reminded of Blackmail by this episode.
    I love your blog!

    • Same thing I'm thinking. Anita and Duncan might be working together to take revenge or something….Chai stella, everyone is not like Madu that you will slap and talk to anyhow. I wish Rhonda can see all these you are going through. Shebi she was the one saying Madu is no good and pushed you to Duncan and now jealous you re with him. Now no job and getting abused….. Cherry, the thunders (yes thunders) that will fire you will be more than the one that strucked stella.

  3. Ehehehehen! Stella! from frying pan to fire. Madu have never dreamt of even beating her..see what your greed has gotten u into. That's what happens when your not contented with what you have, I hope Duncan wouldn't kill her.

  4. Its only Madu i pity here, cos he has such a good heart and loves his wife dearly.
    DO girls like Cherry truly exist? 2 men in the same town?? I have a sneaky feeling she's gonna lose her life cos that Sean isn't playing. As for Stella, its good for her.

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