The fight between Adanna and Becca continued, with Adanna telling her about the plans she had with Alex, meanwhile she is getting an awful surprise.
“No” I hadn’t even meant to say it but it was true. I had no idea what it was like to be stood up as I had never had a date that I might be stood up in.
“Did he tell you that we talked about a ring? Where we would honeymoon? Did he tell you that?… he told me he loved me? Just three months ago!!! Once we have talked things through, he will come around. He will come back to me” She said and with that she burst into tears.
It was awful, seeing this confident, gorgeous, world-wise woman breaking down, all her ‘supermodeldom’ falling apart into a sobbing nose-blowing mess.
“I’m really sorry” I said awkwardly. I was. I was sorry she had suffered even though I wasn’t sorry he was mine. And I didn’t want to do this anymore. He was mine, that’s all there is to it. I wasn’t sharing and I wasn’t giving him up. “maybe I should just be going”
“No” Adanna stood up from the seat Halimah had led her to, regaining her composure abruptly and checking her face in her silver compact pulled from her designer bag.
“I’m going” She turned to Halimah after eyeing me.
“They’re probably here anyway and I am in no state to talk about the column now, not with her here” She strode elegantly towards the door, like she was on a catwalk and I couldn’t help but admire her straight back.
Before she opened it, she turned and uttered a scalding hiss.
“This is not over. I haven’t made it where I am by being a quitter. Just you wait and see”. Then she slammed the door behind her, leaving an empty echo in her wake. I exhaled slowly wishing things could be easy, for once but they never were.
Halimah was surprisingly sympathetic
“Honey, she’s a supermodel. It’s all drama with them. I love her to death but I’ve said it before and I will say it again: you’ve got the ring. Believe you me, she worked it with everything she had even after…” She paused for a bit as if there was something she wasn’t sure she should be saying. That didn’t stop her before.
”Alexander doesn’t just fly in a rock like that from Tiffany’s without wanting it right where it is. Plenty of girls have tried, trust me on that”
I exhaled, thinking the day couldn’t get any worse. I left Halimah’s office without another word seriously doubting her sincerity only to come face to face with a crowd of Alexander’s staff cooing over two of the most beautiful little toddlers. They were being one each by a member of Staff, one of whom was Juwon Ajanaku, Adanna didn’t acknowledge my presence so I tried to slide by but something caught my ears.
“Mommy, where’s daddy?” One of the toddlers said in a voice that showed he was just taught the words.
“In his office office my darling. He is in a very important meeting” came Adanna’s voice and I froze.
My brother was sitting in my office. As per his usual insolence, he’d chosen to wear a black denim jacket over a shirt and tie, at least to the meeting with the lawyers. Now the top two buttons were undone and the tie was loosened.
We were alone after a grueling three-hour session with our legal team that had cemented the fact that JayJay would go to jail. Even with the payout which was significant, the most they could do was to plead to settle out of court for a one-year sentence or three months with exemplary behavior.
This seemed to them like the best deal but not at all to me. That was the absolute best scenario and they would give it all they had which happened to be a shitload of money, but whatever.
JayJay knew where I kept my scotch and he helped himself to a generous helping, then poured me a glass. It wasn’t my style to drink during the day especially at work but considering the day I was having, I’d make an exception. He could be put away as soon as the following week, when I looked at my watch, it was later than I thought: 5:30. One of those days that flies by and feels like it’s lasted a week.
“It was a stupid fucking thing to do” I told him, he’d tried to bribe some guy for some drugs he’d bought not knowing the guy was a disguised NDLEA official who had been sniffing around. The bribe amount was what got the EFCC involved.
“No shit, professor. Thanks for the tip”
“I could’ve paid you. Given you whatever you wanted, what did you need the drugs for? Now I have to hand my money over to lawyers who may or may not be able to save you from going to jail” I growled.
“Next time, I will ask you first” JayJay muttered
His complete lack of remorse pissed me off, but it was nothing new. Jayjay had been idiot since our parents died and he showed no signs of reforming. Lecturing him, I knew too well, would only make things worse. I could tell by his slouch that he was already moving on from the topic. “So. She said yes, abi?” I watched him take a swig of his drink, wishing there was more I could do to shield him. “Yeah she did” I said after a deep sigh.
“You lucky bastard” he said smiling
I couldn’t help almost smiling at that, even though I probably should have punched him instead. We’d already fought over Becca once. He’d proven himself that night. I knew I could trust him because he’d saved her and he’d saved us.
“Yeah, I only hope I am worthy” it sounded pathetic but I meant every word. I’d worked my entire life without consideration of other people’s feelings or emotions, with only my interests and my brother’s in mind. until I met Adanna and now Becca, I had already made so many mistakes with Becca and Adanna herself was a mistake.
Mistakes only an asshole would make. I wasn’t used to caring about anyone like I cared for Becca. I wasn’t used to wanting and lusting and loving to this degree. Why didn’t I feel this way with Adanna, she had always wanted way more than I could ever give until those babies were born and my heart just about melted in my chest/ the whole fucking thing was a minefield and I was still trying to get my bearings.
“Trust me, you’re not worthy” Jayjay generously informed me.
“Fuck you” I retorted
He laughed and took another sip.
“Seriously though, congrats o. Looks like I might miss the wedding. When is the big day?”
“Maybe we could do it this weekend. Before you – “I stopped
“Before I get thrown under lock and key? Sure, a happy family get-together” He mumbled
“it might be good for you to get out of Lagos, for a night or two”
“Yeah” we were quiet for a minute, savouring the rich burn of scotch. “When did you propose?”
“A couple of weeks ago” I said
“You don’t even fuck around big bro. but I can’t blame you man. She’s a catch! A real catch” I am sure that emphasis was on what happened with Adanna.
There were only four people on this planet that could make me feel like I wasn’t made of the stone I usually forced myself to be, through fuck-you- business takeovers, king-if-the-fucking world executive meetings and do-it-my-way investment decisions.
Jayjay was one of them and knowing that my brother shared a connection with Becca made me love her more, just because he did too.
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