Cherry was getting ready to go out, she was seated in front
of her mirror and was doing her make up when the door opened and her sister and
mother walked into the room.
“Hey mom…” Cherry greeted.
Her mother and sister sat on her bed, they glanced at the
dress that was strewn across the bed, it was a strapless mini gown.
“Going somewhere?” Her mother asked.

“Yes…I’m going to the club for a few drinks.” Cherry said.
“Really?” Her sister asked.
“Yea, Mitch wants us to hang out tonight.” Cherry said.
“I heard Mitch proposed to you.” Her mother said.
“As in, can you believe it? Many girls are looking for one
ring and I have two. I’m such a lucky girl.” Cherry said.
“You’re a stupid one.” Her sister said.
“Hey! C’mon…don’t insult me…” Cherry said to her sister.
“Cherry, listen to me. You have to return one of those rings
back.” Her mother said authoritatively.
“What? No way! No freaking way mom!” Cherry said.
“Yes you are. As long as you live under this roof, you must follow
my rules and I am telling you to give up one of those rings which means you
have to give up one of the men in your life because you accidentally have two.”
“Mom? What are you saying? It’s my life and I don’t know why
you suddenly feel you have a say in it.”
“Cherry, choose one man for yourself and tell the other to
go. It’s inappropriate to have the two men to yourself.”
Cherry stood up and placed her hands on her hips as she
regarded her mother and sister.
“I’ll do whatever I please. I am currently dating two men
and I even though I love Mitch, he’s broke and quite penniless. Sean, on the
other hand is every woman’s dream, I will give an arm and a leg to marry him
so…”
“Sum it up! Tell yourself the truth…you want Sean so drop
Mitch.” Diamond said.
Cherry started laughing.
“Diamond, don’t pretend, I know you’ve always loved Mitch, I
know you wish he was yours and not mine. I know you like him so much since I
introduced him to our family but get this into that silly brain of yours, he’ll
never be yours even if I don’t marry him.” Cherry said with spite.
Diamond had tears in her eyes as she stared at her sister,
she knew Cherry had spoken the truth and she hated her for it.
“He’s a good man, a better man than you’ll ever deserve.”
She flung at her sister with tears in her voice.
“Face it Diamond, you might be more brilliant than I am when
it comes to books, but when it comes to men, I’ve got it figured out. How many
years have you gone without a boyfriend? Two, three, five, seven?”
Diamond burst into tears.
“Don’t you dare insult me…don’t you dare…” She cried.
“Stop it Cherry…stop it!” Her mother warned.
“Well, let’s say you dated when you were twenty, but where
is he now Diamond? He’s gone…Emmanuel died from a small complication during
surgery and you mourned him for years, and you kept mourning him and I bet you’re
still mourning him. And instead of you to go out there and find a man to love,
you sit here and…”
“That’s enough Cherry! That’s enough!” Her mother spat.
The girls stared at their mother in silence, Cherry’s face
was filled with determination while her sister was teary-eyed.
“Listen to me Cherry, my rule still stands that you have to
return one ring.” Their mother said.
Cherry looked away, she wasn’t happy with her mother’s rule.
“If you don’t return it, I might have to tell you to leave
this house and get a place for yourself. I won’t house a daughter who has such attitude.”
“What? Are you sending me out of this house? Mom?”
“Yes, I really have no choice because you’ve planted two
heavy volcanoes in this house by accepting rings from two men. Do you know what
that means? It means that the two of them have the right to come to this house
and claim that you’re their fiance and when they find out that they’re being played, they’ll think
that I’m in on it too. I don’t want you to bring unnecessary troubles into this
household. You either return one ring or leave this house.”
“What?” Cherry asked in shock.
“Let’s go Diamond, or your sister might keep her date
waiting…” Her mother said to Diamond.
They both left the room while Cherry sat down before her
mirror and stared at her reflection in the mirror in confusion.
********
Madu watched his wife get ready for bed, she had returned
home with their daughter only a few minutes ago. He hadn’t had any dinner but
was quite full as the news of his dismissal from work was enough to make him
lose any appetite he had.
Stella sank beside him on the bed and closed her eyes to
sleep. Madu snaked his arm around her waist.
“Baby…” he said.
“What is it?” Stella spat.
“What do you mean, what is it? It’s been weeks…”
“Weeks since what? Since we had sex?” She spat.
“You don’t have to be all bitter…” He started.
“Yes I have to and I will. I just realized that I hardly
have any savings for myself because my husband can’t provide the basic things
for the house.”
“Let’s forget all that for now, things will get better.”
“Forget what? How dare you ask me to forget the fact that I’m
the breadwinner of the family?” She said turning to face him on the bed.
“I just needed to hold you and…maybe…”
“Oh come off it! Hold me? Kiss me? Cuddle me? In this state?
No way! I’m not in the mood.”
“When do you think you’ll be in the mood?”
“When my husband has a decent job and learns to provide for
me and his child.” She said in a strangled voice.
Stella’s phone chose that moment to ring and she got up from
the bed and went to take the phone from her bag. The number was an
international number and she wondered who it was.
“Hello…” She greeted.
“It’s me…asleep already?” He asked.
Stella smiled and quietly left the room and went to the
sitting room to take the call.
“How are you?” GM asked.
“I am well, how are you?”
“Well, aside the chilly weather, I’m fine.” He said. “I
called because I’ve gotten so used to being with you at work that a few days
off seems like torture.”
“Awww…that’s nice of you to say.”
“I’m not just saying it, I mean it Stella. You are the fire
behind that office and I can’t help but really admire you.”
“Thank you, you are also a hard worker and a damn good boss
too.” She smiled.
The door opened and Madu walked out of the room, he sat on
the sofa beside his wife. Stella looked at him in anger and walked over to unlock the door. She successfully opened it and left the house, heading over to the perch on a car in the compound.
“Hang on..” she had told GM as she made her way out of the
house.
“What’s up? You sounded a bit distracted.” He asked.
Madu watched his wife leave the sitting room and head
outside and he turned back towards the bedroom. He didn’t know who she was
talking to and he’d made up his mind to ask her who it was when she came back
into the room.
“No, my errr…” She started.
“Let’s not lie to each other, I know your husband might have distracted you a bit.”
“Yes.” She laughed nervously.
“It’s fine, he has a beautiful woman for a wife and it’s
right that he should try to know who’s 
speaking with her at such time.”
“Well…I should have my privacy too…” Stella said.
“Now that’s an independent woman, talking.” He said.
Stella giggled.” Is it bad to be independent?”
“Of course not. I like independence in women.” He said. “So
tell me, what do you want me to get you?”
“What? You bought me a lot already…”
“Come off it, that was just a birthday present.”
“It was very nice…the watch, the money…”
“Tell me, what do you want? I’ll get it for you.”
Stella smiled, she began to see herself like a fairy tale princess in one of the cartoons her daughter watched.
“Well, shoes will be nice…”
“Okay.”
“You don’t know my size. Why are you saying, okay?” She
giggled.
“You are a size thirty eight.”
‘What? How did you know that?”
“I’m very observant…” He said. “Would you like some lovely
dresses to boot?”
“What? Even my husband gets my size wrong…how did you?”
“When a man is pretty invested in a woman, he goes the extra
mile…” He said.
By the time Stella finished making the call, it was past
midnight. She made her way into the house and into the bedroom. As soon as she
lay her head on the pillow, Madu’s voice floated out to her in the darkness.
“You stayed out for quite a while. Who was that?”
“If you channeled the energy you used in wondering who I was
talking to over the phone in thinking of someway to better your life job-wise,
trust me, you’ll be a millionaire. Set your priorities straight, Madu, and
leave me the hell alone.” She said.

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