Thursday, 14 December 2017

FALSE PRETENSES Episode 20

“Goodnight Sir.” Sal greeted as Ise got off the SUV at his front door.
“Yeah goodnight Sal, I’m not to be disturbed until noon tomorrow by anything short of the world coming to an end, okay?.” Ise instructed his driver and personal security.
“Yes Sir.” Sal clipped.
Idris , who was in charge of his housekeeping came out from the house “Good evening, Sir.” He greeted
“Evening.” Ise replied him as he went into his house. Idris always brought in his things from the car every evening when he returned. His laptop bag and whatever else he might have in the car.
Ise was tired. What he needed was rest, he’d not really had any reasonable sleep since he’d returned from his last trip. He was so tired he’d not bothered with wearing his suit jacket, the darn things felt just too heavy even when they really were not, maybe it was of a mind thing or something. Most of the time he liked to take it off, roll up his shirt sleeves and get down to work. He was more of a casual person but the importance of his work had him dressing sharply all the time.
He’d had a hectic day, the toughest of which had been the first one in the morning with the VILDE Group. He couldn’t help the smile as he recalled the events, they’d spent so much time going back and forth until Kite had come to the rescue. She had shocked the hell out of him when she’d come up with that magnificent idea, but being the boss he’d had to get over that shock as quickly as possible. With just a few words she’d solved an issue that had seriously been disturbing them for a while now not only with VILDE but with a few other customers who had offices in remote locations.
Who was the girl? There was definitely more to her than met the eye, she just kept surprising him and he was sure she would continue to, what he didn’t get was what had really gone down between her and Princess later when everyone had left the conference room. Princess had accused her of downing the contents of her teacup on her while Kite had denied the allegation saying she hadn’t seen princess coming and had poured it on her by mistake.
He hadn’t known who to believe, he knew Kite to be a liar but he was sure she’d only do something like that when seriously pushed and knowing Princess, he wouldn’t be surprised if she’d said something annoying to her. She’d been known to insult staff before but it was no excuse though, Kite needed to curb that temper of hers or it was bound to put her in serious trouble one of these days.
He’d still been reeling with gratitude at her input that morning and had kind of taken her side against Princess saying no one had been in the room to corroborate either one’s story so he didn’t know who to believe but he’d turned on Kite and warned her that if she did indeed do it, she was lucky this was going away really easily for her.
Princess had been so visibly angry that he’d not dared to show even the tiniest amusement at her appearance. She hadn’t found it funny and knowing Princess prided herself on her looks, he’d had to seriously hold back the laugh that wanted to break out from the look of her wet weave which sort or resembled a mop after being drenched in tea. Now that he thought about it really well, he was sure Kite had done it. The girl just acted without thinking when she was angry.
Princess had declined attending the two other meetings and had a secretary take her pace instead. Kite had been there but whenever his eyes had wandered to her corner, she was always seriously engrossed in her typing. So beauty and brains she was. He should have known, she couldn’t be a good trickster without being smart to pull her tricks off.
He missed her already, seeing her always got his heart fluttering. He really did like her but he wasn’t one to dwell on someone who didn’t return his feelings and had preferred her undependable boyfriend to him. He really did hope she knew what she was doing and she didn’t get hurt in the end.
Bringing his thoughts back to the present, he decided he needed a shower for his tired body before he had a light dinner. Thoughts of Kite, her issues and work would just have to wait till later.
Twenty minutes later he was done and feeling better actually. He made his way down the stairs to the dining to see his sister Jeje already helping herself to the dinner which had been laid out for him.
“Hey brother mine, welcome back.” She said as she forked off a portion of the baked tilapia that had been set for him.
“Hi Jeje.” He replied “Whats up?”
“Not much, was here to see you and then I stumbled upon this wonderful meal, how was your day?”
He shook his head as he picked up a dish “Don’t ask.” He replied.
“That bad?” She asked as she helped herself to some vegetable stir fry, picking one thinly sliced carrot and popping in her mouth.
“Yeah meetings and all that. Besides how are preparations for your party coming along?”
She nodded “Great. Have you gotten my gift yet?” She asked and he smiled.
“Maybe.” He replied.
She narrowed her eyes “Forming elusive now, are we?” She asked and he shrugged. She shook her head “What did you get me?” She asked.
“You already know I’m not telling.”
“You’re such a spoil sport.” She told him
“And you’re so impatient. Will Ice be here?” he asked after her boyfriend that is if they were still together at that moment. He saw her face fall and got his answer. “You guys going through a rough patch?”
She shrugged “If you could call it that.” Her words brought back his memory on when he’d asked Kite same and she’d replied with that same answer. He smiled a bit,maybe these women were kind of alike after all?
“Care to spill?” He asked.
“Ice can really be pushy.” She replied.
“How do you mean?”
“He’s practically outlined how he wants my life to progress, as in what I should be looking to do next and then the next thing and then the next and then we’ll get married and have so-so number of kids, and this and that.”
“Hmmmm” Ise hummed, he’d been guilty of that with Izy. He’d planned their entire future together without caring to hear her view.
“I’m still young Ise, I just want to take it a step at a time and when I tell him that, he’s like I’m not focused and begins advising on the need for focus.”
“Hmmmm. So I take it you two are off for now?” he said
“Yeah, but he’s been calling, I know if I give him a sign we’ll get back together but I’m….” She stopped.
He turned “You’re what?”
“I’m….kinda… seeing someone else.” She told him not looking at him.
“There’s nothing wrong in seeing someone else.” He said trying to allay her obvious discomfort at telling him.
“Yeah… I know. But he’s kinda like …..” her voice trailed
“Like what?” He urged
“Seven years older.”
Ise raised a brow “Do I know him?”
“Ummm…no, I don’t think so.” She shook her head vehemently.
Good! As long as it was none of his friends he was okay.
“Jeje, just follow your heart and then use your head a bit too, you’re an intelligent young lady, I’m sure you can make good decisions.” He told her.
She smiled “Thanks Ise,” then she raised a brow “So what are you forming like now?” She asked deepening her voice next
“You’re an intelligent young lady,” she imitated him “In your mind; you’re like an adult advising a kid or what?”
Ise smiled as he looked at her “Yes nao, you don’t know before?”
“Yeah right, keep deceiving yourself.”
“I’m twelve years older than you, Jeje, Twelve years is not beans, don’t forget that. I can still spank you if I wanted.” He warned moving into the living room, she following behind.
She laughed. “I’ll just report to my new boyfriend.”
“ Oh yeah? Then we’ll settle it out man to man in a duel.” He joked “when will we meet this mystery guy?”
“Ummmm…when the time is right, besides we just started I don’t want to spook you or him or mom, you know?”
Ise narrowed his eyes getting suspicious, this one she was keeping him away from them, he could bet there was a problem somewhere. “He’s not like an outlaw or anything, is he?”
She laughed again “No! I just want to see where this is heading first before introducing him, you know?”
“Okay o,” he conceded “does mom know?”
“Hell no and please don’t tell her, you know how she can be, abeg Ise I really don’t need her pressuring me into bringing him over. Besides, she really did like Ice and she’d also planned our future together so I don’t want to burst her bubble just yet.”
He knew first hand how his mom could be. She’d all but panned he and Izy’s wedding too. “I get it, my lips are sealed.” He said taking a forkful of vegetables.
“But Ise, what exactly happened between you and Izy?” Jeje asked.
Ise who’d been about swallowing his food hesitated and got pepper in the wrong part of his throat. He began coughing.
“Sorry.” Jeje was by his side patting his back while he took a gulp of water which help clear his throat.
“Wrong timing, Jeje. Can you ask questions like that when I don’t have a mouthful of food I’m trying to gulp down?”
“Sorry, but it’s a simple question, I’m not sure why you’ve never answered it.”
“I’ve never answered it because Izy is your good friend and it might damage your friendship.”
Jeje’s eyes widened “That bad?”
“Yes, that bad.”
“Tell me.” She said.
Ise wasn’t sure. “You have to promise me it won’t affect your relationship with her, Izy is a lovely lady and I don’t want this coming between you two. Besides it happened a long time ago and we’ve both moved past it.”
“Yeah, yeah, I promise.” She waved her hand “Just get on with it.”
Ise took a deep breath “She cheated.”
“What?!” Jeje screeched and then clamped a hand over her mouth.
“Shhh!” Ise shushed.
“I’m sorry” she said “But why? Why would she have done that?”
Ise shrugged “she said I’d neglected her, someone else paid her some attention and she’d fallen for him until she’d realised he hadn’t even been serious with her. He’d just wanted a fling.”
“Did she tell you who he was, is it someone you know?”
“She never said.” He replied but he had a strong suspicion it was someone whom he knew.
“but do you think its someone you know?”
Ise shrugged “I really don’t know, Jeje but I do hope not because that would piss the hell out of me.”
“Wow,” she said “Wow, Izy cheated?” she said more to herself.
“Hey”, Ise cautioned .“ You do remember your promise, don’t you?”
“Yeah, but it might be hard seeing her like I used to. How bout that chick you came to Ola’s party with that other time?”
Ise stiffened “What about her?”
“Well, I’ve been meaning to ask you who she was. You just turned up at the party with her just like that, no explanations so I have a right to be curious don’t I? Mom was even like she spent the night.”
He shrugged “So?”.”
“So…you spent the night together and you guys were having breakfast the next day, sounds quite cozy to me.”
“Nothing happened, she’s ….” A friend? Not exactly, an employee? Why would an employee spend the night at his house.
“She wasn’t doing too well that night so I brought her over.”
“That still doesn’t explain what she is to you, friend…girlfriend…lover…one night stand?”
“Who she is to me is not exactly your business, infact you ask too many questions Jeje, Can I just eat my supper in peace, please?”
She rolled her eyes “Okay, okay. Eat your supper, but this one you’re being so evasive sef, do you have something going on ‘codedly’ with her?”
“Jeje!” He warned.
“what?” She asked him “Its true. Any way lets leave that one for a while. Has mom told you about Vicki?”
He frowned, pausing as he was about taking another bite of food “Victoria?”
“Yeah, Vicki Sholanke, the Sholanke’s daughter. She was here last weekend while you were away, she just resigned from
her job at John Hopkins University, she’s starting her practice here in Abuja, her own hospital.”
“Okay…..so how does that concern me, or has mom initiated you into setting me up with daughters of her friends’?”
“Oh please, like I don’t have work to do? I mentioned her because the chick seems to be quite intelligent and pretty too. Mom invited her over to dinner with us again this Sunday.”
“So I heard.” He replied. He didn’t plan on being there, he had other things to do.
“You should meet her.” She told him
He smiled and shook his head “You’re sure mom didn’t put you up to this?”
“At all, I just thought the two of you might hit it off, she’s hot, as in hot!”
“ Whatever Jeje, I’ve heard you. You should come by the office sometime, Since you still have like six months before you resume business school, you probably spend time there, let Kenny start showing you the ropes.”
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it but not Kenny please, that your friend hits on anything female.”
Jeje and Kenny had never gotten along. “Kenny would never hit on you, you’re my sister.”
Jeje raised a brow “You obviously don’t know your friend well enough, I just want to be out of his range before he starts getting ideas.”
“Okay, if you say so, I’ll have someone else show you around.”
“Fine, but Ise you really need to start dating soon,” She went back to the dating thing again. “you’re not getting any younger, you know?”
“ah ahn, what’s with the sudden interest in my love life, jeje?”
“I’m just saying.” She shrugged.
“Don’t worry yourself, when I find the perfect girl, I’ll announce her to you and mom. Are you happy now?”
She smiled “Okay o, I hope you find her in this lifetime.” She said cheekily and he raised a brow at her.
She turned and picked up the TV remote which was next to her “Wonder whats on TV sef.”
**************
Kite knew Izu was keeping something from her, she knew him like the back of her hand and wondered why he even bothered hiding things from her. From the corners of her eyes, she could feel him watching her when he thought she didn’t notice. He watched her like that when he wanted to tell her something but couldn’t muster up the courage.
Back then in the university, hundred level before they’d become friends, he’d always watched her. Kind of creepy but she’d liked it, it had been obvious he’d wanted to talk to her but hadn’t been able to muster the courage to approach her. Like her, he could be shy sometimes and she liked the quality about him. Big Izu that got shy when he wanted to talk to her. In the end, she’d approached him and she still recalled how he’d stammered as he’d tried answering her questions. They’d become friends and he’d overcome his shyness of her after a while and then they’d fallen for each other.
She loved him, sincerely but it seemed he doubted it or didn’t know just how much she did. He didn’t need to hide anything from her. Whatever the problem was she would be glad to hear it and even offer help if he needed it.
It was her turn to watch him as he drove her back to the office. They’d been spending quite a lot of time together, he’d picked her up last night after work and they’d had dinner. Afterwhich she’d gone with him to his new apartment in Wuye, she’d asked how he’d been able to afford such a place. Abuja houses were really expensive and this apartment looked like it would have cost a lot to rent.
He was presently dealing in supplying and installing security equipment like biometric doors, CCTV cameras and others in private residences and corporate organisations. Business was doing really well and she was happy for him, for them, they could finally leave their former way of living behind and focus on legitimate things. She was currently making a sizable income from this job and with his earnings she was sure they would be fine, maybe get married? She smiled, well he had to propose first but before all that she had to know what exactly he was keeping from her.
“Izu?” She called.
“Yes hon?” He replied not taking his eyes off the road.
“Are you okay?” She asked and he glanced at her.
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve been somehow pre occupied lately, you’re not exactly yourself. Are you in any trouble again?”
“No , I’m not in any trouble.” He snapped at her.
Jeez! She’d asked an innocent question, there was no reason for him to take that tone with her. “Hey, I just asked a simple question, why are you getting worked up?”
“I’m getting worked up because you seem think I love getting into trouble, why would you even think I was in trouble again? Do you think I can’t stay away from trouble? That I miss trouble?”
“Hey, I’m just asking a question because I care about you Izu, stop putting words in my mouth and reading things I did not even insinuate.”
“You need to have more faith in me Kite.” He told her taking another glance at her.
“I want to, Izu, you cant blame me, not after what happened last –“
“Are we back to that Kite, really? Haven’t we moved past that already? I did it for your protection remember?”
“I know but I don’t want a repeat and that’s why I’m asking now.”
“Really Kite, sometimes you annoy the crap out of me. I’m not in trouble, okay? Infact I’m doing really well so all I need is for you to be happy that we’ve found each other again and revel in that fact, okay?” He said condescendingly.
“Don’t talk to me like I’m a kid, Izuoma . I know you’ve been preoccupied lately and you know I know you like the back of my palm, you can keep it from me, fine! But don’t you dare put me in a position like you did the last time because I tell you, no amount of begging would make me forgive you.” She told him matter of factly.
He drove through the gates of the company and parked in the parking lot, both of them fuming.
‘what in the world had just happened? Kite had asked her boyfriend whom she loved with all her heart a simple question and it had blown up this way.
Still sulking she opened the door and made a move to get down when he held her hand back. She looked at his hand holding hers then up at his face. He looked repentant but she didn’t care, he’d over reacted and he needed to apologise.
“What?” she asked him
“I’m sorry.”
“Sorry about what?”
“the way I talked to you. I’m sorry. You know I’m not proud about the way I left you the last time? I promise you I’m doing all I can so that doesn’t repeat itself. I just need you to have some faith in me.”
“Alright”, she nodded accepting his apology.
He squeezed her hand he was still holding in his and then let it go. “Till this evening then?”
“Sure “ she replied with a slight smile as she suddenly sat forward, put her hand around his neck and pull him forward to meet her. She kissed him, softly and lightly on the lips. Nothing too much, just a small kiss reassuring him that she was here for him whenever he needed her.
Pulling away, she saw the smile on his face. She was also smiling when she looked and saw Ise standing in front of their car, eyes behind dark police shades. He paused for all of two seconds which seemed like a lifetime to her, his mouth set in stone before moving on.
‘Damnit!’ She thought, Now he would dress her down for kissing her boyfriend in his parking lot or whatever.
“Wasn’t that your boss?” Izu asked.
“Yes it was, I have to go.” She began getting out when he held her back again.
“I’ve missed you Kite.” He told her “as in missed you.”
“Izu…” she knew the kind of miss he was talking about, it had to do with sex “One step at a time remember?”
He sighed and nodded. “But please don’t make me wait for too long.”
“It all depends on your own good behaviour, I really have to run now Izu, we’ll see tonight?”
“yeah.” He released her hand.
She got down and hurriedly made her way into the building not sure what awaited her in there.
******
Tbc

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