Twenty nine year old Adesuwa Eremu adjusted her eyes to the sunlight that invaded the room. This was the dawning of a new day, today she’d announce her engagement to sixty five year old Chief Xavier. She was never going to have an ordinary day again. She turned over drawing the duvet over her head. She wished she could disappear. As a matter of fact, she had many wishes. Most essential among them, was that she had shut her mouth. She couldn’t believe the widowed millionaire was holding her to a wager she made six months ago.
There was a knock on the door; she picked up her phone by the bedside, it told her it was 8:00 am.
“What in the world…” she muttered under her breath.
She made the sign of the cross blessing the Lord for another day, and then searched for her robe. With her sash tightly secured, she swung her legs across the bed. The knock came again, more impatient.
“I’m coming.” Adesuwa slowly made her way to the door. She quickly took off her head wrap, freeing her light brown mane to fall to her shoulders. Her 5feet 4inches frame swayed with the motion of the ocean. That was another thing; why on this green earth did they have to have such an elaborate engagement party on a cruise ship? The Princess Cruise Liner took them thousands of miles away from Nigeria. Although she really couldn’t complain about being able to see the beautiful city of Dakar, Senegal. Adesuwa opened the door to an elderly woman. Two younger women flanked her on each side. They carried clothes and cases of what Adesuwa assumed to be cosmetics.
“Good Morning, we have been instructed to get you ready for your interview this morning,” the older woman said. She brushed past Adesuwa without an invitation; the other two ladies followed and began setting up their equipment. Adesuwa had no idea what the old lady’s problem was but she had bigger ones at the moment, so couldn’t be bothered.
Three hours later, Adesuwa was fed and dressed like a princess. Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined wearing clothes designed by names she couldn’t pronounce. She looked at herself in the mirror. The number of creases on her forehead seemed to be multiplying by the day. What had she gotten herself into? She promised her father on his deathbed that she’d ensure their telecommunications company—Divine Communications—not only survived but became best in class. Her desire to prove that she could do anything a male child would have done, had literally driven her to sell her soul. As much as she tried, for the last two years she couldn’t turn the company around. She had paid many of the company’s creditors or made deals with them but Xavier Holdings proved difficult. Her father had devoted his life to her and her late mother. She couldn’t let him down. Not even in death. In one last desperate plea, she placed a wager.
“If I don’t pay you what I owe in six months, I’ll marry you,” she had bragged to the Chief when he barged into her Somolu office.
Her pride had taken over that day. Marriage was a sacred thing. How could she be so conceited? Now he won’t let her out of their agreement. Chief Nathaniel Xavier wasn’t bad on the eyes, he just wasn’t her type. They weren’t in love or anything; maybe she could learn to love him. After all her mother always told her tales of how she learned to love her father. Her heart ached. There was only one person who had taken her breath away.
Adesuwa plopped down on the chair as her mind travelled back to her best friend’s wedding three years ago. She saw him, their gazes locked; the atmosphere was electric. There was something sweet about his slightly crooked smile. A group of people separated them but they moved towards each other. She was almost there, until one of the groomsmen grabbed her arm, the bride needed her help. She looked away and in an instant he was gone. He looked like one of those underwear models. His dark chocolate skin, neatly locked hair and muscular frame took over her dreams and recently her thoughts. Not knowing his name she nicknamed him Molasses.
She let out an exaggerated sigh. “Well, no use crying over spilt milk.”
With sometime time to kill before her interview, Adesuwa decided to take in the sights of the cruise liner. She stood and straightened her multi-colored, V neck dress, to rid it of any creases. Then eased her feet into the black pumps she was given. She had never worn shoes with red bottoms but this was her life now and she better get used to it. She put on her game face—Emelia Kaden of ‘Naija Happenings’ was on board to conduct the exclusive interview. She applied a dash of lip gloss and headed out.
As she made her way down the deserted corridor, the smell of the fresh ocean breeze assaulted her nostrils. She inhaled deeply taking in the smell but her surroundings. The ship was actually a city floating on water—magnificent. She settled for a quiet spot near the mini aquarium to people-watch. In the crowd she saw a dark figure approaching, she shook her head in an effort to clear any residual memory that was playing with her mind. No it couldn’t be, she thought.
“We have to stop meeting like this,” Molasses said, sporting his signature smile.
Little prickly goose bumps took over Adesuwa’s skin, her mouth fell open. Her eyes bulged threatening to roll out of their sockets, her heart began to palpitate. She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. He extended his hand to her; she calmly placed her hand in his. She found her voice but couldn’t use it because Chief Xavier walked up behind Molasses and gave him a pat on his back. Her soon to be fiancé knew… Molasses? Her thoughts went into overdrive. Molasses obviously remembered her. What was he doing here? How did he know Chief? Ha! See me see wahala, just my luck; Molasses will be this man’s son.
Chief Nathaniel Xavier rubbed his pot belly and grinned like a Cheshire cat. “I see you two have met.”
“Excuse me?” Adesuwa and Molasses asked in unison
“Young lady, I’ve watched you since your father died. Your devotion and tenacity is one that I admire, so when the opportunity presented itself. I called your bluff, but not for me, for my godson here.” Chief Xavier said.
Adesuwa’s eyes travelled from Molasses to Chief Xavier. This man was obviously impressed with himself. Did Molasses know about this? She wanted to be angry but the emotion escaped her. Relief took its place.
“What about the reporter?” Adesuwa asked cautiously.
“Emelia is a guest on the ship, so I asked her to cover an announcement—my new investment in Divine Communications,” Chief Xavier replied.
“Nosakhare Osaige met Adesuwa Eremu,” Chief Xavier made the introductions.
“Call me Nosa,” he smiled.
Nosakhare, meaning, What God has said. She smiled. God was surely watching over her.
(c) 2014 Unoma Nwankwor