Three months had passed and I didn’t hear anything about my friend Nora. I knew she was chilling out in police custody and the thought of her being locked away forever gave me joy. I could finally walk through the streets without looking back and without the hairs on my neck rising up. Nora was a devil and she deserved everything that she got in the cell.
When my thoughts quieted, I opened my eyes and glared at the ceiling. My life felt different without having her around, but it also felt better. My relationship with Yinka had just begun and I was getting to know him more and more. Yinka was a very busy man, and I had to understand the reason he wouldn’t call frequently or visit as much as I’d wanted him to. I still didn’t have a job, and I didn’t want Yinka to get me one with to his influence. Nah, I didn’t want that type of relationship.
Although I was dating one of the wealthiest men in Nigeria, I didn’t want it to look like I was using him.
“Another day, I have to make another dollar,” I rolled my eyes and climbed out of bed. I had some perfume deliveries to make and I needed to be fast about it. Later, I would be meeting with Yinka at a beautiful garden for a date. I noticed that he was an outdoor person, he loved to hang out more when he had the time, whereas, I loved staying inside my house!
I smiled as I stared at my reflection. I was fine now. My wounds were healing fine. I was back in shape and I got my life back. I was about heading towards the bathroom for a quick shower when my phone rang. Certainly, it would be one of my clients. Most of my perfume customers had fallen in love with this new scent that I’d gotten and were ordering for more.
I moved back to the bed and jumped in. I grabbed my phone and ran my eyes over the screen. I didn’t recognize the number. It was definitely a new client.
“Hello, good morning. You’re speaking to Ego Ude, your favorite perfume dealer. Would you like to place your order now or after a sample?” I asked sweetly. In return, I got a shrill bout of annoying and somewhat mocking laughter from the caller. Why did she have to laugh so much?
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“Um, I am still waiting for your answer.” I whispered, in a move to get her attention.
The caller dropped the laughter and inhaled very deeply, it was so deep and it felt like she was sitting next to me.
“Egodiamaka, when will you change? So you’re still selling perfumes since we left school? Nawa for you o! With all the connections that you have, you should’ve gotten a job by now.”
As she rambled on like a broken record, I tried to place the voice. Who was she? Had I met her before?
“I am really disappointed at you. You were one of the brightest in class, and look at where you are. I am working in a human resource development firm; you should get a regular job, Ego.”
It was her last sentence that gave e a clue of who I was really speaking with. I sighed. My cousin, Omalicha, was the caller. We never really got along, although we were the same age. Omalicha reminded me a lot about Nora. And you know the funny thing? These two clicked from the first day I introduced them. Not that I cared, I just noticed that they really liked each other until Nora had accused Omalicha of seducing one of her rich boyfriends back then.
Omalicha was extremely attractive; her light brown eyes had a streak of ash in them making her more appealing. She was plump and light in complexion. She was very intelligent as well. And she had an American accent. Omalicha was everything that I was not, and I lived in her shadow while we were growing up. The only reason that people loved and noticed me was my good heart and intelligence.
“Omalicha,” I called her name. I felt sick as I remembered the comparisons that my mother always made between us. She wanted me to be outspoken and outgoing like my cousin, and it always made me feel bad. I wasn’t an attention loving person. I didn’t yearn for the spotlight. I loved living a quiet life and my mother saw this as dullness. Perhaps, this was the reason that we never got along.
“Oh, so you’ve finally recognized me abi? How have you been girl?” She began to laugh again, this time happily.
“Um, I am good. Remind me why you’re calling again, considering the fact that you haven’t called in many years?” I asked in a sarcastic tone, though I really meant it.
“Come on Ego, you are not good at keeping grudges. You’re a goody-goody remember? I am really sorry for not keeping in touch and this is the reason I called you. It’s really been a long time and we have to fix our relationship.” She sounded very enthusiastic about, “fixing our relationship,” considering that there wasn’t anything concrete between us.
My eyes were on the clock as I waited for her explanation. I couldn’t miss today’s deliveries. I had already done that last week and some clients weren’t happy about that. What ruined a good business was lack of consistency. Omalicha was right. I didn’t have a regular job, but this one right here? This one was keeping my table going with meals. I couldn’t lose my clients.
“Can I call you back?” I asked.
“Nope, that was a lie people told when they wanted to avoid a particular conversation. Well, I have been given a month leave at my office. I am a very hard working person and my superiors have noticed it. They feel it is my time to relax. What better way to chill out than with my cousin who is living in the big city of Lagos?”
My heart raced. I hoped I wasn’t going deaf, because I didn’t hear her well.
“Ego? Hello?” Omalicha called.
“I don’t understand. You want to stay with me for a month?” I chuckled.
“Yes. Is there a problem with that? Or don’t you want me at your house? It’s perfectly fine if you don’t. I just wanted to bond with my cousin that’s all.”
I felt guilty when she said this. She must have sensed that I didn’t want her around me. I quickly reminded myself that Omalicha was my cousin and it was important to have a good relationship with family.
“I didn’t mean it that way. What I meant to say came out wrong.”
“I bet it did,” she replied.
“You are free to come and stay as long as you want.”
“Really?” She asked excitedly.
“Yes, just hurry.”
While Omalicha stayed in Port Harcourt, I had moved to Lagos and we didn’t get to see each other that much.
“I will take a flight first thing in the morning. Just text me your address, it has been a long time.”
“I will do this, but I have to go now. I got some perfumes to deliver.” I expected her to laugh like she did the other time, but she didn’t. Instead she surprised me.
“Well done dear. Have a blessed day ahead!”
“Phew!” I sighed and fell across the bed. This visit was going to be epic. I knew the first thing that Omalicha would notice was Nora’s absence. Well, I was going to tell her everything about that Mother Devil. For now, I had to take a quick shower and hurry to the perfume shop.
Normally, I didn’t give too much attention to my appearance, but since my relationship with Yinka, I took time to look good. I loved that guy. It was rare to meet someone as wealthy as he was and still very humble and down to earth. His cousin, Charles, was an arrogant idiot. Charles wasn’t and would never be half of the man that Yinka Adediran was.
I slipped on the beautiful yellow dress. It showed a little cleavage. I slipped on a pair of golden sandals to go with it and a flowery hat. I grabbed my bag where the perfumes were safely kept and rushed out of the house. Once I returned, I would prepare for my date with the newest boyfriend in town.
To be continued…