He slides into another picture and smile, expressing his fine set of dentals.
“I like this one.. very lovely, machine. Look at it Keji, isn’t it cute… What do you think?
He asked looking up at me
“Yea…is super cute but is a big luxury… and it will be super expensive too…
“Very true but it makes life easy. I don’t want anything that will stress my wife. After we get married, I want you to have only the best of life… Wardrobe allowance, cars, travel and everything good that life got to offer. All I’m praying for is the mercy and providence of God. Just check through the pictures and point out any one you desire… Don’t worry over the amount of the car. Is All on me and if I can’t afford it now I will definitely afford it later… But I want only the best for you my love. I need to enrol you into a driving school. You will have to know how to drive before our wedding preparations begins…
I smiled and hugged him tight for transforming my every being, giving me new class unlike my old wannabe level that I was struggling to maintain in the past before I met him.
Is over a three months now we have been engaged and I have never stopped staring at my ring finger.
Is so beautiful to behold. A man like Philip is hard to come by, more reason I’m holding him with tight fist. Nothing and no one will take him away from me.
I decided to keep whatever happened between Lukemon and I a secret. Although no real sex happen, just some careless romance.
Phil doesn’t have to know of it, I don’t want anything that will gets him angry.
Although he hardly gets angry with me, no matter what I do he still find away to let it go but I still wouldn’t dare tell him of my escapades with Luke.
I don’t know how he will react, it won’t be a good one so is better to let the sleeping dog lie.
He is happy and I am very happy, nothing should come in between our happiness.
I have asked Lukemon to stop texting, calling or coming over.
He obviously listened because ever since then I haven’t heard from him.
We all moved on with our lives.
My friends are all happy for me, they were already asking me color of the day.
Dammi, Uzo are calling for update but I told them to calm down. I will update them on every new development concerning the wedding plans.
Phil informed his parents of our engagement and they were happy for us and sent their congrats from London.
I’m done with my catering school, learnt all I need to learn. Passed my every given practical and was awarded a well recognized certificate which I can use to open my own cooking class or restaurant if I desires to.
After getting married to Phil, I won’t just be a housewife, I will have something of my own and not depending on my husband’s money.
We will have cute babies, Phil’s replica. I can’t wait to be fully married and start a family immediately.
God I’m not asking for much, two or three children is okay for me. Don’t allow anything to delay me in getting pregnant immediately.
I will take every pregnancy supplement, do everything needed just to conceive and make Phil a father.
Everything is just looking like a fairy tale. I don’t want this love story to end.
I remember the first day Phil took me to his house after getting engaged to him.
Stella came to hug and congratulate me.
I was waving and flashing my ring to Ijeoma’s annoying face but she refused ranting as usual.
It was when I was about leaving the kitchen that she said.
“I have seen your ring, is fine. Now can you stop waving it to my face like a roadside beggar. He gave you ring doesn’t gurantee you as Mrs. Please calm down… there are a whole lot of other ladies that got ring from men but still didn’t get married at the end. Biko, hapum aka oo (please, leave me alone o) I was seriously doing my job until you stepped in and start flashing ring to my face. You think is by ring…mtcheeeewww!
She gave a heavy sigh and continued with what she was doing.
I moved closer to her and said.
“Remember the promise I made to you in the past. Look, is finally taking shape and just a matter of time it will become reality. You should be scared because I won’t delay in getting you fired once I assume my rightful seat as junior Mrs Kanu Philip. Be very scared because your clock is ticking, tiktok…
She laughed sarcastically before saying.
“Do you know how long I have worked here? I have been here for eleven years. It was the real Mrs Kanu that hired me when I just finished my secondary school. She sent me to a caterer school around and I have been working and making lots of money here. If she doesn’t fire me then you can’t. Only she and her son has that authority. Her husband doesn’t have time for domestic staffs. And you Keji have no right whether I stay or leave. Just be the Mrs that has been hungering you first, after then you can come and talk to me but as for now you are still nothing, just one desperate Yoruba kitchen colleague. Onye ofe mmanu for sure. You think is by forcing the boss with all your juju to give you ring? Your second name is sorry if you think that you can threaten me.
I hissed outlouldly and replied.
“Your eyes will soon clear, by then I will ask you to run your mouth and you will be searching for words…
Stella came and took me away from the kitchen. As we stood outside she said
“Keji, I will advise you to stop exchanging words with Ijeoma. She does not worth all the time you are giving her. You are not even in the same level by any standard, don’t belittle your self in her presence. She enjoys taunting you and you are giving her more room and reasons whenever you reply her rant. Do you know you can choose to fire her if you wish now, the boss loves you and will do anything you ask of him. Maybe Ijeoma have not realize that yet. You are even patient to have tolerated her excesses, many ladies will not think twice before letting her go. The Kanu’s only have soft spot for her because she has been here for a very long time…but it doesn’t mean she can’t be removed. Ijeoma has always created this fanciful love affair with the boss in her head. She sometimes imagine him doing all kinds of crazy affairs with her…the funny thing is he does not even notice her existence. She just hate the fact that everyone loves and adores your personality and sweet spirit. Is hard for her to deal. I’m Igbo from the same state with Ijeoma but I don’t support any of her hostility towards you. You are more like a sister to me than she is. I dislike bitter and jealous people. I’m married and have my own family but this place feels like home for me. Please, avoid Ijeoma’s trouble until you decide on what exactly you want to do with her. She obviously can’t continue to disrespect you this way, I won’t tolerate it if I was in your shoes. I have talked to her severally but she chose not to listen rather she became more hostile and arrogant to me because I wasn’t taking side with her to throw jabs at you. So do as you please but respect yourself enough not to reply her next time. I’m advising you like I will do to my own blood sister because you are just like one to me.
Stella spoke candidly with me and I look every of her advice.
The Second and third time I visted Ijeoma was dropping side comments and saying her usual trash but I paid no heed until the fourth time.
I went straight to Phil and complained.
He asked me what I wanted him to do.
I thought of firing her but it will be very cruel if she is not around to watch me get married.
I told Phil to suspend her for two weeks.
He summoned Ijeoma and asked her why she was being hostile towards me but she tries to deny the obvious truth.
Phil asked her to apologise to me which she struggled before she did.
After the apologies, he gave her two weeks suspension without pay.
She was shocked to the bone and try to defend herself of how I always come to the kitchen to look for her trouble.
Phil did not want to hear of it.
“I have warned you more than twice to respect Keji. The last bloody kitchen fight between you and her was due to the disrespect she couldn’t take anymore and she had to react. I don’t know what exactly is your problem or why you chose to behave this way but this suspension is a big warning. I won’t warn you again after this, I will relieve you of your job, in other words fire you. Keji have never come to complain to me about you before and for her to do that now means she is fed up. No one disrespect my wife to be. Get it clear. Nobody…
Ijeoma tries to plead. I even begin to feel bad inwardly but she needs to be thought a lesson.
Phil called security and they took her away.
Another kitchen assistance was later employed. I met Seun during my caterer classes, a Yoruba, same tribe with me.
Whenever Ijeoma resume, she will get to meet another ofe mmanu sister in the kitchen.
After two weeks she resumed back and has been very calm ever since.
She and Seun are getting along just fine and a loving Stella remains the kitchen coordinator just as always.
Stella was happy for the action I took towards Ijeoma, and applaud me for speaking up instead of exchanging words with her all the time.
Phil does everything I ask of him, he has never denied me anything except in the area of getting down in bede but I’m patiently waiting until when he will be ready.
The wait is almost over. I’m looking forward to that day.
Phil came visiting me one Friday.
we were together in my apartment that day, he said I should get dressed so that we can chill out.
My phone was ringing but I silent it immediately. I changed the settings to silent.
It was Lukemon that was calling.
I don’t know why he was calling me since yesterday. I have no business with him except in the past and I have asked him not to call again.
Phil looked up at me but he didn’t asked who the constant caller was.
One good thing about him is that he hardly mingle in my personal life except I chose to let him into it.
He respects my space and only question me when it bothers him.
He trust me and I will not give him any room to start doubting me.
I quickly freshened up, got dressed and wore the necklace and fancy silvere bracelet that Lukemon gave me during my birthday.
“They’re lovely. I can get you more stuffs like this if you like. Where did you buy it from…?
Phill asked as he was helping me put the necklace on my neck.
“I have a friend who deals in jewelries. I got it from him…
I try to be careful with my words in other not to say more than I supposed to say.
“Wow, is a he? Anyway, they’re nice. Maybe we can visit his jewelry shop so that you can get more stuffs.
Phil said cupping my face into his hand and kissing the bridge of my nose.
“No… no. I’m not ready for more jeweleries now. I don’t have needs for it. I have lots of it and there are some I haven’t even used before…
Phil nooded with a smile.
I was putting on my fine bead sandals, one of the gifts from Phil when there was a knock on the door.
Phil said I should continue with my sandals while he gets the door for me.
He went to the door, I can hear him speaking to someone and a man voice replying him.
I looked up from what I was doing and saw Phil coming in with a man.
“Keji… you have a visitor. He said.
What is Lukemon doing in my house again and why today that Phil was around?
I try to wear a smile as I looked at Lukemon who was grinning from ear to ear.
“Oh ..hiii… Luke?
That was all I could say with a questioning look in my eyes.
He turned to Phil, who was already seated and said.
“My name is Lukeman, I’m into jewelries. Keji and I are from way back… great friends though. You must be Phil…? Keji said so many nice things about you. I’m happy for you two… you are indeed taking care of her. I guess is your car that is parked close to Keji’s entrance gate, that is the latest Lexus Jeep you got there, you are a correct man. Wow…Weldon sir…is a pleasure to finally meet you sir.
I was giving Lukemon sign to shut up his running mouth but he wasn’t even looking at me.
He stretched out his hand towards Phil who took it gladly.
Lukemon sat in the next seat close to Phil.
“Wow…are you the one she bought the necklace and bracelet that she is putting on from…?
Lukemon turned and looked at me. I was trying my possible best to give him sign but guy man was more interested in a weathy looking Phil.
“Yes… those are from me sir. Is more like a gift. We have been friends for long and I just thought of a worthy birthday gift for a beautiful queen like her and decided on those jewelry. Back in the days she loves jewelries alot.
“That’s interesting to know. Maybe you will give me your business card, we will come around sometimes. What kind of jewelries do you deals in?….I have little ideas on that…
“Hmm, a lot… I have the zyconia, celebrity best choice. The sunbelle also celebrity choice. I deal in real veinos, Brazilian, Italian gold, Stainless steel, Xuping, Bohemia, Layinka, Fashion, Milan, Bridal…
Phil waved a hand, asking him to stop.
My heart was already racing the way Lukemon was getting all comfortable with Phil.
“Okay… enough said. I think I only know five out of the ones you mentioned. The one Keji is putting on is Layinka… right?
“No sir, that’s correct Xuping original chain that she is wearing. Please, try and come around…I need people like you in my business sir. Hahahaha…so happy to meet you sir.
Phil nooded with a smile before turning to me.
“Keji, you seem so quiet. Are you alright? Maybe you should ask your friend what he will like to take…we will cancel our outing. Maybe till tomorrow…is that okay?
I cleared my voice loudly, turned to Lukemon and stylishly asked him.
“Yea…yeah. Luke… what brought you down to my area today…?
He laughed out like goat before replying.
“Mmmmh…I brought an expensive paid zyconia gold jewelries, Worth over four hundred thousand to one big madam in the second estate before yours. She will be going for a party tomorrow, which is Saturday and asked that they be delivered today. on my way home, I decided to drive down and say hello to the beautiful queen Keji herself… hahahaha. You don’t have to cancel your outing because of me please, I will be on my way now. I only wanted to check up on you because is really being a while. I will be on my way now. Sir… this is my complimentary card. Please, call me anytime, any day… I’m always at your service. Is a pleasure to meet you sir…
He stood to leave and another handshake was exchanged from him to Phil.
I told Phil that I will walk Lukemon to the gate and he nodded calmly.
As we got outside I turned to him angrily and said.
“What in hell is wrong with you? I asked you never to come over to my house again. You didn’t bring any zyconia whatever to any woman… like you lied. You can deceive Phil but not me. I’m engaged to be married soon, I told you all of that and asked you to stay. Why will you still come around…
Lukemon tries to touch me but I stepped away from him.
“Relax, calm down Keji… I meant no harm. I did took some gold to a client in the morning but it wasn’t around here. I was calling you to let you know that I will be coming around but you didn’t pick up. You don’t reply my messages, don’t return my calls or when I use another number once you notice is me you will end it. I stopped disturbing you but is almost three months I saw you last and thought of checking up on you. I never knew that your man will be around. Ever since our last meeting, I can’t get you off my mind Keji. I struggled to respect your wishes but you are making it seem we’re enemies. We shared a great bond the last time and the whole memory is still lingering in my head. I’m not asking you to come back to me because is obvious you will never do that and looking at your man… he is wealthy. You wouldn’t leave a rich fine boy like him for somebody like me. I mentioned about the crisis my business suffered which almost bankrupt me… I told you everything Keji. I’m bouncing back and things are begining to fall into shape again. Sometimes I just need a friend… someone like you to talk to. But I respect if you don’t want me close anymore. I won’t bother nor disturb you again…but please do me a favor, your fine rich boyfriend is interested in doing business with me, encourage him to do so and i will never ever disturb you again. I promise Keji. But just know that I still have feeling for you and I wish to have another quality, sweet time with you but is only a wish. Nothin to be worried about… congratulations on your engagement. You really caught a big fish my queen. Have he started making love to you yet or he is still sex starving you? Which is very cruel and unfair. But I guess money covers all his faults. just look at his car. The latest version of Lexus Jeep. Wow… I’m happy for you my queen…
He stroke my buttocks gently.
“Don’t touch me or call me your Queen Luke and don’t come looking for me again. I will encourage Phil to come and buy some stuffs from you but that ends it all. It will be the last time you will contact me. I don’t know you to be this stupid and mischievous…
“I’m not mischievous or whatever you may think. Anything that happens between us stays between us. Look at my trouser, swollen up just with your closeness and looking at those your cleavage, damn! I don’t know how that your guy manage to resist or stay without touching you. Is not even a question of self control, Keji you know that you are hard to resist. no correct man will overcome your sexy body. That was why I said your man is probably impotent. You know all this Igbo guys can do anything for money…what if he used his manhood for money rituals. You may never know Keji. Before getting married to him ask questions to avoid “hard i know” later. Is not by being handsome, the question is can he perform? I only cares about you that is all and if you don’t want it that way then is fine, I will stop…I promise you that.
As I turned to walk back inside, Lukemon slapped my buttocks again.. Phil was just coming out of the house and probably saw him do that.
I walked up to him and he said.
“Why did he do that… what is the meaning of that??
He asked with a folded fist. He was angry.
“Did what?? I replied pretending like I don’t understand.
Phil quickly rushed outside probably to meet Lukemon but he has driven off.
“Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Why did your friend hit your back side like that…?
“, Phil, is nothing. He was only playing. That’s the way we used to play in the past. I have already warned him not to do that because I’m engaged to be married. Don’t get so agitated…is really nothing.
He looked at me for a long time, gasped out and said.
“,I don’t like such expensive play Keji. No, don’t ever condol such nonsense and then say to my face that is really nothing. That’s sexual harassment Keji. You make me look stupid with your calmness towards it. I didn’t see you warning him… you have to send him a message or call and sound the warning clear to him. I don’t tolerate rubbish and will not watch another man touch my woman carelessly. Play or no play I just don’t want it.
I moved closer to him and held him, trying to pacify his rising temper.
“, I’m sorry Phil, Lukemon is a stubborn he-goat always getting on my nerves. I will warn him again. Please calm down…it won’t happen again.
“I don’t like that your so called friend. I was getting impatient waiting for you and decided to come outside to check if you were still there. Walking your friend to the gate was almost taking forever and You didn’t look happy seeing him. Only to come outside and saw him stroking your buttocks. that’s a very expensive play…really. pure sexual harassment from the opposite sex and you are cool with it. Such act shouldn’t be swept under the carpet. Please Keji, be careful of the kind of friends you keep, especially male friends like your Lukeman. Be mindful of the things you tag as play. Don’t disrespect me carelessly. I told you before what you do doesn’t affect you alone but me too. I hate what I just saw… please let it not repeat itself.
I was getting irritated with him sounding so worked up over a minor thing. Why is he over jealous over things that doesn’t supposed to bother him much
That means if I had told him of my hot romance with Lukemon he will want to have my head or crucify me.
Somethings are indeed left unsaid.
“,It won’t happen again Phil. I’m sorry that it even happen at all. Luke also took me unaware. I didn’t see it coming. Can we go inside now?
He lowered his eyes and looked at me suspiciously before walking back inside.
I quietly followed him behind.
I went to sit on his lap just to still calm him down.
I bent over and kissed him gently, he didn’t respond but later did before straightening.
“, Keji, you just get me worked up. You should know things I dislike by now…
“,I know. You are overreacting Phil…it was all a mistake which won’t happen again.
He breathed in deeply and then out.
“Are you ready, let’s go. Your friend interrupted our outing earlier…
We went out and his mood was back to normal.
He was cool again. on our way back from our outing I decided to look for ways to tell him about doing business with Luke so that he will leave me alone.
” I need to get more jewelries, mostly for my bridal train and my personal use. I know you are not cool with Luke but he has everything we maybe needing and even more…
I was surprised when he said.
“Okay my love but I thought you said you don’t need jewelry earlier today? But is cool…I will do anything for you. Maybe I will get to tell him not to try harassing you ever again…. in a nice way, even though I would have love to break his nose for touching you inappropriate. By next month we will go jewelry shopping at Lukemon shop…are you happy now?
I smiled and nooded. He smiled back in return.
Phil said I should stay over at his place that night, I can go back to my apartment the following day.
I believe after the shopping Lukemon will never bother me again.
Phil must never know of what happened. Just a little tap on my buttocks got him vibrating like cell phone.
Who knows what he will do if he has caught me and Lukemon in a romantic act or even learnt of it.
Please, let the sleeping dog lie. I love the life I’m enjoying.
Everything is beginning to be to my favor. Even the law of Ijeoma that said I won’t be happy has become humble.
I will not let anyone or anything add sand in my fine bow of rice.