AMARACHI THE BEAUTIFUL POOR CHILD (And Her Journey to Destiny-Discovery) By Erasmus Ugochukwu Okafor
Ego Oyibo was confused at this time. For sure, she knew that Amarachi wasn’t her child but she wished she was. It was almost compulsory for her to go back to her real family after two decades of her life in misery on exile. Even though she married a rich hubby, she was stripped of the wealth and everything before being exiled. Aside from her two grownup guys who were successful in their different areas of endeavours, she had a girl child too, making them three children. She was so eager to meet with Efetobo her daughter being her only and last child whom she fondly calls Efe. Amidst all these unquenchable cravings, leaving Amy was an uphill task she couldn’t find easy to embark on because it was like being buried alive. She was even more attached to Amarachi than to her biological children because the maternal love she’d have given them was transferred to Amy (the girl that grew right before her eye)
Amarachi found it painful knowing that she had no Dad, Mom, or siblings. Even if her father was a vagabond, at least she could make him a good man or even tolerate him the way he was. But this time, she had no one to call a family.
Notwithstanding that she tried so much to be identified with Ego Oyibo as her family; she couldn’t just feel like one of them because they were of Urhobo ethnicity and not Ibos. She felt that leaving Onitsha to Urhobo with Ego Oyibo would make her be like a butterfly thinking of itself to be a bird. She’d established her life in Onitsha; even her love life with Dave who already was at the finishing point of the Duplex he promised her as a gift; even her education she had to complete. Then her akara-dika-akwa business, she couldn’t stop due to her passion for it. She couldn’t leave; instead, she’d prefer visiting Ego Oyibo periodically in Delta state than leaving with her to stay permanently with them.
Erhimeyoma and Ogbeneruno left after two days back to Delta, leaving Akpenvwe Oghene, their mom to sort herself out and meet them later. At least Ego was free to choose between going back to her kinsmen or not to go since the same injustice that got her banished had been abolished, making her a freeborn once again.
After seeing the kind of fate that kept befalling on Amy from one ill-fate to the other, Amarachi decided to live her life free of worries.
She and Dave went back to school together to go on with life.
Amarachi got a house rented for her in Udoka housing estate based on her demand so that she’d be in the same estate with Osisioma who played a key role in her life when she was in sufferings and pains.
Osisioma, as usual, had been talking with Amarachi on the phone but never knew that Amy was already back to school, let alone staying in the same estate with her.
On that dewy Monday, the clemency of the weather smiled on people of Awka as if Amarachi was having a school welcome song from nature. She decided to make her resumption with school a huge surprise for everyone.
She left with an old truck but came back with an e-Vogue.
As Amy drove to school, she got to the school gate and remembered the day when she cried out her eyes before dropping out fully from school. She parked the car at the exact location where her truck occupied, took her phone and dialled Osisioma’s phone line. It took a while before Osisioma took the call because she was busy with her makeover for the school that very day.
“Wow, baby,” Osisioma wailed out of untold happiness, “how have you been? Aren’t you back to school yet?”
“I’m currently at the same location where you begged me to reconsider dropping out…”
“Oh jeez! In front of the school gate?” Osisioma shouted with great hilarity, “are you heading to the department now? Can I see you today?”
She threw a superfluity of questions to Amarachi which wasn’t what she expected that very time.
“You’re killing some time already because I’m waiting for you to come and still beg me to return to school,” Amy said gleefully as the chilly AC of her tinted four-wheeled machine kept giving her a cold massage, “be fast, please. I know you must be busy with lots of painting by now,”
“You’ll see me very soon, bae,” she hollered and hung up.
Osisioma rushed her preparation and entered the road with her exotic motorbike and left horridly with a loud screech. She sped on the road to ensure she met Amy at the same location before she leaves. If she knew Amy well, she is a girl that is timely with whatever she does; hence her favourite slogan (Tempus Figit Non Regamus) ‘Any time wasted can never be regained’.
As Amy was there waiting, Osisioma pulled over in her classy all-black Electric Motorbike Shadow-R3-Strong-Power fast-speed; popularly known as ‘power bike’. She was well dressed in her all-black figure-hugging glossy cat-suit. Her knee-level high-heeled black boots got her looking charming, matched with the sweet human hair partially hidden in that cute Vega Crux Flip-up helmet. The tail end of her hair was resting casually on her shoulder. Her appearance got her enough audience at the school gate that caused serious heavy traffic just for her sake.
Amy was wowed seeing her girl look so ravishing and sporty. She never knew the daughter of the rich industrialist was seriously upgrading and commanding more attention.
Flipping up the lens of the helmet, she looked searchingly around but didn’t see Amy. She was a bit frowned and didn’t want to have more admirers looking at her, so she wanted to speed off because she didn’t even know that it was Amy that was parked by the side with the exotic car. Osisioma thought it was one of the numerous rich guys that had their eyes on her that was at the gate.
Amy kept using the horns to get her attention but she thought it was another wooer who wanted to have access to a pretty rich girl.
Osisioma steamed the engine harder and about to zoom off when Amarachi wind down the tinted glass.
It was a shock to Osisioma to see such a lovely lady with the face of Amarachi, though more polished and cuter. She wasn’t sure if she was seeing clearly, so she removed the helmet and placed on the bike, and then went closer to be sure she was the one.
“Hey, can you now beg me to come back to school?” Amy shocked her further with her sweet voice, making Osisioma shout like she never did.
Osisioma wobbled on her high-heeled boots just to pull Amy out of the car for the friendliest embrace. She was super happy and so surprised.
Getting to the driver’s side, she opened the door quickly and pulled Amy out of the car and into a warm hug.
Uncontrollable tears of admiration, love, and happiness filled her eyes. She couldn’t utter a word but tears took possession of the moment.
Amarachi’s emotions heightened and tears ensued. She knew that a couple of months, she left being a poor girl and back as a rich girl. It was just uncontrollable joyful tears that they couldn’t stop even if they tried.
People gathered due to the heavy traffic the two voluptuous ladies caused but no one was bothered about it or complained except for emotional feelings that took them over as they watched the moment of bliss between the two girls. Even the lecturers couldn’t complain about the blockade but all started clapping for them while more others joined.
Amarachi was one popular girl in school; not because of being a fashionista or a socialite but because of her academic achievements. She’d always believed in the principle of ‘work in silence and let your achievements be your noise’. Most of her stories were heard around as a rumour even when she was arrested by the fake police. So anything about her would always make a headline in the school’s broadcasting service (a radio station exclusive for updating the students on events and gossips)
Notwithstanding her dazzlingly beautiful dressing, Osisioma knelt on the road, raised her eyes to heaven and said: “God, I know I’m nothing but a common girl and a notorious sinner but you’ve finally answered my prayers. I tried to help financially but my friend didn’t accept, so you made me realise that prayer is the key; that is the weapon I used, and finally, she is back in style. May you remain praised both now and forever,”
It was surprising how the entire crowd chorused “Amen” and started clapping for Amarachi.
The drama lasted to the point that the Unizik Broadcasting Service (UBS) gathered with cameras and phones to take the coverage of the union that turned to a noteworthy event.
Amarachi suddenly became a celebrity. People who never knew about her jostled in the crowd to see her but the crowd were much.
The more time the girls spent in that ecstatic moment, the more people that gathered.
Amarachi was so shy at this point that she had to rush into the car out of shame and embarrassment.
As she drove away, many gather around her car that her leaving wasn’t easy until the school security came and creating a driving space by dispersing the crowd for her to pass.
Osisioma who was a show-off par excellence created more attention and caused public admiration by using her Motorbike to run circularly, screeching with the tyres and steaming the engine to produce that deafening sound that attracted applause. After the show, she zoomed off behind Amarachi like an escort for them to continue the rest of the welcome show at the faculty of the social sciences.
Words and news had moved ahead of the girls to the faculty making people get ready with the newest dance steps. People were happy and celebrating as if a new princess is crowned in the school. All were happy except the Slay queens who were filled with mixed feelings of defeat and indifference.
The entire day was spent on celebrating the Genius that returned back to school.
Amid the celebratory mood, Amy wasn’t too happy because she felt so concerned about Uremma who was nowhere to be found. Even when the celebration dwindled, she went to her department to know if she’d meet her but her efforts hit the rocks. Asking around, she realised that Uremma didn’t resume like others. She was even nowhere to be found around the school.
Amarachi seemed to be the only person that knew about Uremma’s current life-threatening situation because there was no one to really explain what happened that made her absent in school. Her friends expected her to be the newly made Queen mother but no one could get a glimpse of her. This aroused much suspicion in Amy’s mind because the circumstance surrounding Uremma’s situation was so dicey that she couldn’t help but think that Ozo Odenjinji could have hurt the girl, confined her or forced her to remain in the frat she already denounced.
Uremma, even though she was so boastful, she was economical with the way she reveals information about her family; thereby, making it difficult for her family’s house to be easily located.
As Amarachi kept contemplating on how to locate Uremma’s parents, she was still being secretive about it because Osisioma never knew that she (Amy) could still go back to the same girl that subjected her life to serious jeopardy and malady.
The thoughts in her head became riotous but she still had to find a way to help Uremma, if possible. It was just strange that Amarachi suddenly became so worried about Uremma’s situation due to her sympathetic and humane nature.
After school hour of the day, Amarachi finally revealed to Osisioma they lived in the same estate. Osisioma was so happy about this and her happiness knew no bounds.
They went home together because they had lots to talk about; especially how Amarachi became the famous girl from grass to grace.
Getting to the spacious compound, Osisioma followed Amarachi to her apartment. She was wowed seeing such a beautiful house. It was an awesome sight to behold but she never uttered a word but remained in that speechlessness and observatory mood as she wondered what could have made Amy blossom financially out of the blue.
“Feel at home and be comfortable,” Amarachi said and went into the bedroom while Osisioma who was supposed to remain in the sitting room as instructed followed her.
“I’d like to take a look around this beautiful apartment,” Osisioma said and held her by the shoulders, “God who sees in secret knows how to exalt the lowly. Now the blessed call you blessed,”
“I love that last part, bae,” Amy said gratefully, “Thank you,”
“But wait; was it Akara business that did all these?” Osisoma asked as her eyes rolled into her head.
“Keep guessing, amebo (gossip girl)” Amy said smilingly and unlocked her bedroom’s door.
“I know you can’t be the bad girl I’m being forced to imagine. But what could be the reason?”
Osisioma queried and smiled but observing Amy’s mood to be sure that she wasn’t daunted by the question.
“Hey, you know what I can do,” Amarachi defended, “Instead of depending on a man, I’d rather remain poor until I die,”
“That’s my girl,” Osisioma said as they entered into the all-pink beautiful room, “wow; this is paradise, babe,”
Amy was just smiling as she undressed, then slipped her legs into the fleecy bedroom slippers and started heading to the bathroom for a shower. “It was Dave,” she clued and entered the bathroom but the door remained opened, creating a see-through for Osisioma so that the discussion would continue.
“Dave? Which Dave?” Osisioma asked thoughtfully, “I hope it’s not the one I’m thinking about; that player…hey no…no,”
“Stop insinuating and concluding,” Amarachi said as she switched on the shower and began to bath, “Dave met me and changed totally from bad to…”
Osisioma was a bit furious because she strongly believed that Amy whom she believed wasn’t gullible had finally fallen into the trap of the ne’er-do-well; according to her opinion.
Amarachi allowed her to mingle with her thoughts until she completed her showering, then she’d meet her for more talks. When she was done showering, she met Osisioma still sitting thoughtfully and looking absently.
“But Amy girl,” Osisioma called bewilderedly, “I never knew that you could ever fall for wealth or…”
“Shhhhh,” Amarachi shushed her and went closer to her as she continuing towelling, “this guy called Dave is still with a dubious record and I won’t deny it but since I came into his life, I’d suppressed that…”
“So he’s finally slept with you, Amy,” Osisioma said and shook her head in dismay.
Amarachi didn’t refute the insinuation but kept smiling at her ignorance of the real situation.
“Only the wearer of the shoes knows where it pinches but…” she said and swallowed the rest of detailed explanation.
Amarachi isn’t the woman of many words except when she’s being inquisitive.
She put on her top and shorts, and then entered the kitchen to fix lunch while Osisioma followed with mixed feelings.
Looking at Amy’s shapely body and curves, Osisioma kept feeling so sad that the guy she turned down his dating advances some years back down when he came for her was the one enjoying the beautiful girl that deserved a better man in her life.
Amy who didn’t want to reply or defend that accusative statement turned and saw that Osisioma was already shedding tears on the sly and went to her.
“I know you’re like a twin sister to me,” She said and held Osisoma to give her an ample solace, “I haven’t slept with any man, not even Ikenna my former guy,”
Osisioma was shocked at hearing that. She looked intently at Amarachi and winced. She was so doubtful but she knew Amy wasn’t the girl that allows puerile jokes in serious matters.
“But wait, hope it’s not what I’m thinking,” Osisioma said with smiles on her face, “Are you still a virg…”
“Hey, don’t complete that statement, please,” Amarachi broke in shyly and veiled her face with her palm, “I was too busy with my books that I hardly have the chance for men,”
“Hmmm, and now the person you a chance for is…” Osisioma hung the statement to avoid over dwelling on it, “But the matter of serious concern is how Uremma would take it. You already know that the all mouth girl could devour you into shreds or get you dismembered if she hears about this romance. Even that so-called Dave won’t stop her. Have you forgotten what happened to this gossip girl ee..eh… what’s here name ….erhhh..”
“Chi-Chi,” Amy reminded her.
“Thank you!” Yes, Chinenye, Onye mmacha (the bragger),” Osisioma voiced and laughed scornfully as if the said Chichi was there with them, “she got it hot with Uremma, even though she wanted to show the power of a woman and get back at Dave but that Capone couldn’t help it but allow the girl go and apologise to Uremma. Are sure you can separate these two?”
Amy didn’t know what to reply but finally said: “I didn’t come for separation…”
“Then what did you come for?” Osisioma asked confrontationally, “They have the same kind of lifestyle but you are too different from them. They are bad and you’re good. Think about it before he preys on your financial insecurity,”
Amarachi took a deep breath and smiled. She wanted to go ahead talking about Uremma’s current situation but she wasn’t sure if the girl was still remorseful as she was the last time they met or had succumbed to her dad’s persuasion.
“The truth is that I don’t know what to say about that case but my fingers remain crossed,” Amara muttered and smiled feeling unsure of her stands in the entire issue; either as Dave’s girl, his second fiddle aside Uremma or just someone who was just being confused with wealth. Even though she wasn’t too sure of her fate, she was still sure of Dave’s feelings for her.
“Just be careful, please,” Osisioma advised.
“I will dear. Thank you. You’re always wonderful, and a sister I never had,”
Osisioma felt so proud at this time and grinned.
After looking admirably at Amy’s unblemished face, she said: “What are friends for?”
“If not for inconveniences,” Amy replied with chuckles; borrowing a leaf from Dave and Chike.
“Ha-ah,” So funny but seriously true,” Osisioma said.
Amarachi concluded the cooking as the ladies chin-wagging lasted, dished out the sumptuous meal and they had a luxurious breakfast.
Days passed but Uremma wasn’t found or seen yet. Amarachi was tempted to let Osisioma know but her natural secretive nature wouldn’t allow her to talk to either Dave or Osisioma. She wasn’t planning to be too reserved or miserly with words but wanted to be careful so that spilling the beans wouldn’t hamper her investigation and quest for a solution to the distressed girl’s situation.
The truth is that Amy was always developing cold feet to ask Dave about his relationship with Uremma because the far she’d gone in love with him wouldn’t allow her to imagine how she’d just slump or collapse if Dave ever mentioned that he was still in love with Uremma.
On that fateful evening, the sun was reddish and setting gradually towards the west, Amarachi was at home sleeping and having a good rest; therefore feeling so relaxed like a newly hatched bird in the nest.
Dave was really eager to meet with her since he’d informed a few of his good friends to come and witness his marriage proposal to Amarachi at Love Garden by Okpuno Road. He tried as much as possible to avoid Ndi Obodo frat guys just to ensure he got a peaceful engagement party. Even though Amarachi couldn’t dissuade him from the group that almost got his life snuffed out, he was being careful to avoid losing the same girl that he’d fallen deeply in love with.
Having her siesta dressed in that hot lingerie and tossing on the bed restlessly as she kept thinking about Uremma, Amarachi cozied up to her pillow and having disturbed sleep.
Dave had called her on the phone severally but being that Amy’s phone was in a silent mode she didn’t notice the incoming call. Because she had a long day in school and didn’t need a disturbance she left the phone in a silent mode.
Dave was already abreast of the fact that Amarachi wasn’t the kind of girl that is addicted to social media, so he knew that she must have dropped her phone somewhere and busy with something.
Coming to Amarachi’s apartment after many unreturned calls to her phone, Dave knocked twice and waited but Amarachi was still sleeping and couldn’t get up immediately.
Amy thought it was one of her friends who could have come for some lectures so she remained stuck to her bed and didn’t want to get up. Still wallowing between being asleep and awake, she suddenly remembered that her phone should have beeped but didn’t.
Reflexively she sprang up from the bed and grabbed the phone. It was surprising that she missed ten calls and two messages. Quickly without delay, she glimpsed and saw that three among the five calls were from David while two were from Osisioma, others from an unsaved contact. It was the same unsaved cell number that called her five times that sent her the two messages. Even though she was concerned about the strange number, she was more interested in the call from Dave because she knew that the unknown contact could be among the numerous guys that call or sends messages to him anonymously.
She simply sighed and dialled Dave’s number quickly.
“Hi, dear,” Dave sounded gently from the other side of the telephone, “I knocked at your door but it seems you were…”
“Please, baby, come back,” Amy said and started rushing to the convenience, “I’m sorry, Okay,”
Dave was so surprised that Amy vividly addressed him with a pet name. He didn’t hesitate to reverse his car to the compound since he was already driving out.
Amy was surprised that Dave was already at her door when she was still about to have her shower.
This time, Dave used the doorbell and waited. He made sure that the perfume he wore still smelt good as if he was just coming from the perfumery. Taking a look at his newly purchased Prada sneakers, matched with the cute top and denim, he smiled knowing full well that he was cute enough. His smooth bodybuild was really evident, with the coffee-coloured figure-hugging top revealing his tick abs and broad chest. He was simply well dressed. He kept observing himself at an interval to be sure that he was cute enough to catch Amy’s eyes when she finally opens the door.
Amy couldn’t keep him waiting so she just used the unsullied white towel and covered herself, with her fluffy slippers, and then came to the door to open the for his guy.
When she opened the door, she was so surprised to see new wears on Dave and how cute he looked. She felt like jumping on him but a smile was okay for the moment, so she just touched his cheek gently and said: “Hmm, some people really shopped for goodies,”
Dave simply smiled and shook his head because he knew that Amy just said her best in scanty words but that didn’t mean he didn’t impress her enough. He was even happy that she complimented him at all.
He was lost in gaze as he admired the flawless skin and cute curves and edges.
Amy knew that Dave was already having amorous thoughts, so she quickly left his presence and went back to the bathroom while Dave after standing and looking absently, smiled and entered. He jammed the door behind him and made himself comfortable on the couch. He took the DSTV remote control and began to browse the channels for Big Brother Naija’s live show, even though it was the channel that Amy hates to set her eyes on.
As he was busy enjoying the show, Amarachi appeared on her simple shirt and blue jeans.
Everything fits Amy. Even though she just had a light makeup, she was still dashing and outstanding.
Dave quickly changed the DSTV to sports channel but Amarachi laughed at him and said: “One day, you’d go for that BBN so that I’d know if I’d have the interest to see where you would be busy enjoying with your woman on the reality show,”
Dave knew she caught him in the act as he was seeing BBN show, he then smiled. He imagined two of them being husband and wife. It was a moment that he couldn’t just take his mind off it because he was almost obsessed with the wild imagination.
“You look so …so…so…”
“Stop, biko,” she said to avoid being flattered into shyness.
“I hate two words,” Dave said smilingly and beckoned her to come and sit next to him, “I hate the word ‘DON’T’ and I hate the word ‘STOP’, but if you put the two hated words together then I’ll love them,”
Amy tried to understand him by thinking through the words. She then thought the conclusion aloud: “DON’T STOP,” she burst into laughter and pushed him down from the seat, “you’re so crazy eh. Don’t stop for what? You must stop ooo,”
“Anything at all,” he said still rolling on the tiles, “Anyhow you put the words but don’t separate them, please,”
As Dave was about to stand from the floor, he didn’t know when the gold engagement ring he hid fell off his pocket and dropped before Amarachi, clanking on the tile. He felt so embarrassed because he wanted to make it a secret and a surprise. He quickly took it and hid it but it was already an open secret. He neither knew what to do nor say; whether to kneel and propose or take her to the Love Garden he planned; where his friends were already eagerly waiting.
Silence flared between them. Amy who was even meant to be excited was shocked and didn’t even know what to say or do. She was speechless, confused, and bereft of words as numbness got her swallowed up.
After a while of the hush of the moment, Dave wanted to talk but he couldn’t find the words, except for the silent movement of the lips without uttering a single word. As he kept his eyes fixed on Amarachi’s tearful eyes, his phone kept buzzing but he couldn’t attend to it or even check to know if his friends that were calling were still waiting or gone their separate ways.
As Amarachi waited in an untold numbness for Dave to talk, she became restive and couldn’t even push him to words. She was just tapping absently on her phone until she suddenly unlocked the phone and realised that she had a strange call from some strange number. As she was about to scroll down on her call log, the same unsaved number that sent her some messages that she never checked out sent another message. At this time, she was forced to know who the message came from. When she perused through it, she was surprised that it came from Uremma.
At this point, she became optimistic and eager to read.
Dave noticed that there was something about the phone that got Amy’s interest captured, so he tried to peep but couldn’t see anything.
After going through the messages, Amarachi stood up immediately and dashed into her room, picked her car keys and said to Dave: “Honey, let the engagement wait, let me save a friend,”
Dave was surprised that Amarachi left him like a shot right there in his sitting position. He tried to stop her but he couldn’t.
He hastily rushed out to meet her but she was already driving out. He bolted to his car to follow her but remembered that his car keys dropped too when the engagement ring fell off. In that tensed state of the mind, he rushed back into the sitting room, picked the keys and dashed straight to his car.
Screeching through the streets, he sped as fast as he could but discovered that he just lost the girl. As he drove searchingly as he scouted on the streets, he kept calling her phone but she never took the call because she forgot to change the phone to a ringing mode but left it in silence mode. Aside from that, she was avoiding Dave’s company that very moment as she rushed to save a friend.
Dave was so worried and kept calling but his efforts weren’t fruition. He searched arduously on the roads and streets until he became tired. Even his friends that kept calling him got no pick-up or call back from him except for voicemail replies.
As Amarachi was close to the location that Uremma provided for her, she realised that she could be rushing into a trap. It was then that she began to slow down. She read the last message again that says: “help now! I’m by the Kwata Bridge alone but don’t come with Dave because he knows everything about my disappearance,”
Reading the message the second time threw her into confusion. She wasn’t sure if she should involve Dave, the police, or go alone and face whatever the situation demanded. That dilemma made her pause to think it over. She pulled over but left the engine still steaming.
After a while, she remembered that she could go with another car since her e-Vogue could have been public enough for her presence or whereabouts to be easily noticed. She turned and started going back to Udoka Housing Estate to meet Osisioma. This time, she’d no choice other than to meet with Osisioma and tell her everything if she could get her attention and involvement in it. As she drove, she still felt that involving no man may not be the best. She thought of who to involve but since she wasn’t the kind of girl that mingle much with men due to their incessant demand for intimacy, she continued with her laid down plan.
Getting to Osisioma’s compound, she parked and started going straight into her apartment. When she got to the door, she knocked hard and impatiently as she fidgeted until Osisioma opened the door.
“We need to go now!” Amy said hurriedly and dragged her out from the sitting room. “I’ll explain later but I need you to escort me to a rescue mission!”
“I think you need to calm down,” Osisioma said to ease the tension but Amy remained so disturbed and restless as she panted while waiting impatiently, “talk to me, please,” Osisioma urged her.
“It’s about Uremma,” Amarachi voiced, “she’s in trouble and…”
Osisioma, on hearing the name, hissed and began to go back into the house but Amarachi pulled her back that she staggered and almost stumbled. This got Osisioma filled with fury. She pushed Amy away forcefully that her dog even thought that there was a fight and rushed at Amy but Osisioma stopped him.
“Anything concerning that girl is none of my business and I’m surprised that you’re worried about that…”
“Uremma isn’t the same girl you used to know,” Amy yelled and knelt to beg to have her attention.
Osisioma couldn’t withstand seeing Amarachi kneeling before her, so she rushed to her and pulled her up.
“Babe, what’s going on as if you’ve been enchanted?” she asked and dragged her to a corner.
Amarachi didn’t know how to start talking because it would take much time to narrate it all. She was just flapping her hands and waving in the air with impatience.
“Do you trust me?” she asked and held Osisioma closely, “have you doubted me before?”
Osisioma then realised that Amy could be right because most of her decisions in the past were always justified and prudent.
“Fine, let me change,” She said and started rushing into her room while her dog followed.
“Please, come with the keys to your Range Rover Sport,” she droned to her hearing, “I have my reasons,”
Osisioma wanted to question that but since she’d accepted to lend her support. She didn’t ask questions but got prepared. She hastily wore her jumpsuit and followed her, wearing just flat slippers.
“I hope I’m okay like this,” Osisioma asked as they rushed to the SUV.
“You’re even overdressed,” Amarachi said as she caught the car keys Osisioma threw to her in the air.
“You drive,” Osisioma said and waited impatiently for Amy to unlock the car.
Amarachi unlocked and they went into the exotic car and she drove out of the compound like a shot.
“I’m sorry that I’d kept you in the dark for a while now,” Amy apologised to Osisioma who kept listening to even get the details of their adventure.
“Uremma denounced the fraternity and her house sold, even her dad has disowned her because…”
“Hey, this is a trap ooo!” Osisioma hinted, “let’s go back, please,” she jammed her palms as she said that to let Amy know how serious she was but Amy kept driving, “the Uremma I know can do anything to remain in that group. How did she get you this gullible that you believed her?”
“As I said, there is no time to start explaining but you need to believe me when I said that she’s changed,” Amy reiterated but she wasn’t sure and wasn’t bold with her words as she thought through the fact that Osisioma could be right.
“You didn’t even sound convinced about this,” Osisioma pointed out, “how then will you expect me to believe you?”
“My instinct never failed me, and I’ve started having sleepless nights because of that girl’s problems,” Amy said and continued heading to Kwata Bridge.
Being that the distance wasn’t much, it didn’t take her much time to get to the location. But there was no sign of Uremma there. They remained parked at a corner but no one could see through the tinted glasses. The movement around the place was normal and there was no one to know that they were monitoring the entire environment. They remained incognito and maintained absolute muteness.
Osisioma was still confused because nothing that Amarachi said made sense to her especially having stayed about an hour without seeing anyone at the location. As she was still considering telling Amarachi that they should go back, they saw about four black Landcruiser SUVs without a vehicle plate number. Osisioma became afraid forthwith but Amy calmed her down as they waited.
After a few minutes, some policemen were seen patrolling around, making three of the SUVs to leave except one that stayed back. The patrol van of the Nigerian Police blocked the last vehicle and asked the driver to wind down.
Amarachi knew that something wasn’t right but expected the police to act but they were surprised when the glass wound down and the police ended up saluting the man at the rear seat.
Even though Amy didn’t hear what was going on, she suspected it was a politician that was in the car.
In a jiffy, as the two curious girls kept observing, the politician brought out a full wrap of money and gave to the policemen. Gunshots were fired in jubilation as he drove away.
“I think this is Ozo Odenjinji,” Amy whispered but got her gaze on the car as it navigated into the expressway, “let’s follow them,” she hinted and entered the road but maintained some distances to ensure they were furtive enough not to be noticed.
Osisioma at this point began to entertain so much fear. She was worked up and feeling uneasy about the entire situation and decision to follow the government official vehicle.
“Are you sure of what we’re getting ourselves into?” Osisioma asked shiveringly.
“Let me just give you a hint,” Amy said as she followed the car towards the government house, “Uremma confided in me. As I’m talking to you, she’d lost her dad’s favours because she denounced the sisterhood,”
“You’ve said this before and I didn’t believe you,” Osisioma averred, “why reiterating it?”
The statement miffed Amarachi, making her a bit angry but she still kept her emotions in check and continued driving.
Osisioma knew that Amy was already pissed; hence, the muteness, so she touched her back gently to make her feel better, and then, remained calm.
“Ozo Odenjinji has been forcing Uremma to take the mantle of the leadership of the Slay Queens since Akunna had been sacrificed…”
“Wait!” Osisioma said observantly, “This rumour about Akunna that I heard. Was it true?”
“Yes, it was, and she was still the one that blackmailed me and gave me the strange tattoo,” Amy shocked her the more.
Osisioma shouted and immediately restrained herself but remained teary knowing that Akunna who championed the search to rescue Amy was the one that even engineered it all.
“But why haven’t you told me this since?” Osisioma asked meditatively, “I could swear on her behalf that she was innocent…chai!”
The Landcruiser entered the government quarters and Amy followed, still maintaining her distance.
When the girls got to the checkpoint that usually poses problems for visitors, she met the same security group that was mass-seduced by her appearance the first time she came. Just her flash of alluring smile was sufficient for a gate-pass. She even got a salute as ‘jara’ and passed.
Looking straight ahead, Amy saw that Ozo Odenjinji pulled over by the gate of the same house that she thought that Uremma had given up to the mortgagers. She parked some yards away but kept the engine steaming as they observed from their position.
After a few minutes, the rear door opened and Uremma alighted looking famished and exhausted. She was an immaculate white gown; the dress-code of the Slay Queens. As she was going back into her house crying, the door jammed and the car zoomed off at a high speed.
Amy didn’t go immediately but remained in the car and observing. After a while, as she was about to drive towards the gate, she was surprised that Dave suddenly blocked her car, came down and knocked at the glass.
Amarachi was stormed by this as if she was ambushed. Winding down, she noticed that Dave was armed. She became shocked by this as if there was a battle.
“Leave this place immediately because this fight is greater than you think!” Dave warned, entered his car and zoomed off.
Out of fear, Amarachi followed immediately, driving on high speed to avoid losing her sight of his car.
Amarachi explained every detail of her mission to Osisioma so that she’d understand that Uremma was in trouble. It wasn’t easy for Osisioma to forgive her rival unconditionally but out of sympathy and seeing what the girl was passing through, she developed a soft spot and agreed to join in the fight to rescue her.
Amarachi felt that she’d offended Dave by keeping him in the dark for long. She knew that Dave was angry with her but still had to save her while he could.
She went straight to Dave’s hotel in Awka after checking at his house without any luck. When she entered the beautiful hotel, she was wowed seeing the structures. This was her first time of visiting the hotel since Dave had been inviting her to come.
She is the kind of girl that dreaded the rich due to her experience with her uncle. Even though everybody thought she was raped, she wasn’t because she fought her way through. Amy maintained she was molested so that the Uncle would suffer but nothing happened because he was a man of influence.
Getting to the reception, she saw the receptionist smiling with a beautiful face. Her inviting smile caught Amy’s attention.
“Your smile can turn a visitor to a customer,” Amy complimented with cheerfulness.
“Oh, thanks, pretty ma’am,” she said and looked at Amarachi thoughtfully as if she’d met her somewhere.
Amarachi noticed the look. She checked her wears to be sure that nothing was wrong with them.
“Why the familiar looks?” Amarachi asked looking surprised.
“Don’t mind me but when you go up, you’d understand,” the receptionist said with smiles and admiration, “This is our little secret but something is going on upstairs,” she added with a whisper and winked at her.
The statement sounded like a hint and gossip, making Amarachi so eager to understand what she was talking about. She knew that probably Dave was at it again with his professional womanising skills but what got her confused was that she never met the receptionist before, and she might have thought that she was just a customer, so why giving her hints about what was happening upstairs. She wanted to learn what the young girl knew. She felt she just met another tongue-itchy girl.
“Can you explain further,” Amy asked curiously.
Amy was surprised that the gossip mood of the girl suddenly turned to a professional sales rep and promoter.
“You’re welcome to the Davis Hotel, and we have the menu and…”
“Sorry, I want to see Mr. Dave,” she cut in so that the receptionist would waste her energy with the marketing.
“Oh, you came to see the boss?” she asked and looked at her observantly and smiled, “well, ma’am, the CEO isn’t available for now and …” As she was still talking, a call came to the intercom. “Excuse me, ma’am, I’ve to take this, you can have a sit,” she said and took the call while Amy remained standing and waiting. After listening without a reply to the caller, she smiled and said: “Apologies, ma. The boss is in room 202. Sorry, I was simply following instructions,” she apologised again.
“I understand,” Amarachi said and turned to leave, then looked back to the beautiful girl with a cute gap in her teeth, “what’s your name again?”
“I’m Olamide,” she said with an inviting smile.
“You’re beautiful, Miss Ola,” Amy complimented, “you’re Yoruba, I guess,”
“Yes, I am, ma’am. From Ogun State,” she replied with her tribal curtsy. “Ma’am, you can use the elevator, right there,” she clued and pointed towards the direction of it.
“Thanks, dear,” she appreciated and began to move majestically towards the elevator, “Room what again?”
“202, ma,” Ola replied admiring such a beautifully endowed girl.
Amarachi went straight and about to use the lift. She was surprised to hear the beep and the door opened. She saw Dave coming out of the elevator.
“I thought you asked me to come up?” Amy asked looking directly at his eyes in search of his current mood. She felt bad for what she’d done in keeping him uninformed about Uremma’s issue; for that, she was cocooned in guilt.
“I thought we could use the bar,” Dave said and started walking west of his position but Amy remained still and didn’t follow.
When he turned and saw that he’d maintained some distances from her, he said: “Aren’t you coming?”
Amarachi heaved a sigh and remained there.
Dave then came closer and held her by the shoulder. Looking over Amy’s shoulder he saw the receptionist taking a sly look but the young girl swerved her gaze immediately and pretended to be seeing a program on the TV.
“Why don’t you want me to come to room 202?” she asked feeling as if Dave had something fishy going on. She then realised that the receptionist could be right after all.
“Oh, I thought you wouldn’t want to visit me there because it’s too private and you may not feel too secure,” Dave said and turned towards the elevator and jabbed the button.
The lift beeped and they both entered but Amy remained calm and quieted as they were elevated to their destination.
As the elevator took them to the selected flat, none talked to each other. Amy was fervently praying not to meet any girl because of the heartbreak she’d been avoiding. She was eager to know the truth but afraid of what she’d find.
Getting to their destination, the beep of the elevator bid them adieu as they left to room 202.
Amarachi was flabbergasted when she saw lots of sculptured portrait of her image scattered on the wall. She never knew that Dave went as far as using her pictures to decorate the walls. She couldn’t remember taking any snapshots of the pictures but seemed the artist knew his or her onions to have done such wonderful painting to look as perfect as a real 3D image.
She was just moping with her mouth agape as they walked through the hallway.
A monotonous echo took over the flat while calmness got it covered. The flowery hallway adorned with beautiful painting and portraits of Amarachi gave the flat a beautiful finishing.
Amarachi was overtaken by amazement. It was then she realised what Olamide was trying to say and why she looked at her as if she knew her in the past. She was hinting about the portraits but couldn’t make her understand to the end of the gossip.
Dave opened the room and they entered the exotic en-suite room, fully air-conditioned and well decorated to an international standard.
Amy kept imagining the amount that must have been spent to build the hotel. The TV was still on BBN, so Dave wanted to change the channel but Amarachi took the remote control and threw it on the bed, and then pushed Dave to fall on it, bouncing many times as if he just fell on a pendulum.
“I could develop a liking for the BBN show if it would make you happy,” Amy said, finally breaking her long silence and speechlessness.
“And I could do otherwise just to make you happy too,” Dave said and grabbed her by the waist. “I have told you to stop keeping me in the dark in things you do because I could only be of help and…”
“I’m sorry, please,” she replied and shut his mouth with an unexpected kiss that lasted for a while between them.
Dave never knew how good a kisser Amy was until that moment they were alone in the hotel. Fondling and caresses accompanied the kiss as his hands began to take a tour around her edges.
When Dave’s sense of reasoning began to leave his upper head to the lower head, Amy stopped him and got the situation under her control.
“Oh, I’m sorry for that,” Dave apologised but still licking his lips and parting it with his tongue.
“I didn’t mean to go far,”
“I started it. I’m sorry,”
Amy said and took a deep breath and then lay on her back and focused on the mirror on the roof that reflected the full image of the two lovers in the bed, “this place is so nice and wonderful,”
“You can say that again,” Dave said and lay on her chest.
“Hey, I hope we won’t be carried away one more time,” Amy warned ahead of time to invite caution between them.
Taking a deep breath as if the statement was a hit below the belt, he smiled and said: “Remember the two words that I hate and remember to put them together for me,”
Amarachi grinned and hit his curly hair gently, and then poked his long nose and nibbled his ear. “I remember all but you won’t get the combination from me except in separate ways; either STOP or DON’T,”
Amarachi kept thinking of the beautiful paintings and her portraits stationed sporadically all over the flat. She couldn’t stop thinking of how obsessed Dave would have been with her to have gone to the extent of using her pictures all over the place.
“Can I ask you?” She said and brushed his goatee gently while he remained laying on her chest.
“Go on,” he said and stroked her hair with care, “even though I’m always afraid of your intelligent questions,” he added with chuckles.
She smiled and slapped his chin gently. “You’re so naughty and you know it, right?”
Dave giggled to that as his eyes kept fixed to hers as if they were exchanging a battle of looks.
“Oya, tell me. I don’t know,” he said cunningly, even though he knew he was even naughtier than she envisaged.
“Why and when did you get all these paintings done even without my knowledge?” she asked and planted a kiss on his red lips, “I’ve never been this seduced with such romance and gesture,” she confessed admittedly.
Dave was speechless because everything worked as he planned. Coming down to meet Amy was a strategy because he knew that Amarachi is the curious girl and would always want to know why he chose the bar as a meeting location. Amy thought she was smart but Dave proved he was smarter.
“Well, it may interest you to know that this floor is my exhibition floor or you call it a showroom,” Dave said, giving her the second shock.
“It means that you have a sculptor that gets the work finished into these beautiful sculptures while you exhibit them here, right?”
“No, I have no one doing that,” he said, getting her so amazed and dazzled.
“Wait! Did you know that you’re a genius?” Amarachi expressed looking so overtaken by surprise. How did you paint all these? I never knew you have such talent, not even to have one at home in Onitsha?”
“I’d been drawing since I was a kid and that talent had never left me; instead it improves over time,” Dave said and pulled her up from the bed, “Come, let me show you,”
Amarachi was just dumbfounded as she followed while he dragged him along through the door to the hallway. Getting to the exhibitive hallway, she started admiring the powerful finishing of the job that got her thinking that she may not have known the real Dave well.
“I’ll simply say that you keep amazing me every day,” Amy confessed as she began to feel the texture of each painting, “this is superb and mind-blowing,”
Dave took her to room 203 and showed her more of her pictures drawn; both in books and in drawing boards. He got her mind blown to see the picture of her when she was weeping inside her truck the day she left the University. Even the pictures of where she was frying Akara and working with Oji Isi ebu mgbo and Obinna at the motor park were all there in beautiful paintings.
Amarachi was so seduced that she didn’t know when she dragged him to a corner and began to undress but Dave held her back and said: “I may have been a bad guy in the past, and may still be the bad guy, but once the rabid lion meets the kind of owner that gets him tamed, he becomes just a home pet like an ordinary domesticated cat,”
Amarachi was enshrouded in a passion that she couldn’t just help it or restrain that urge. She was ready to be his slave if Dave ever mentioned it. She’d never felt so loved and cherished as she did that moment. She left like turning herself into a juice in his mouth for Dave to gulp her down in a wink.
“Can I have the ring?” She asked impatiently and checked his breast pocket but it wasn’t there. “My love, I think I’m done being afraid,” she said pouring her heart out with emotional tears in her eyes, “I‘ve been in doubt all these while, and that was why I was reluctant and shocked when I saw the ring as it fell on the floor. But now, I think I’m ready for you, and I…”
Dave kept the speech short with a deep kiss while fondling ensued. But as the passionate moment went on, they had a knock on the door and stopped abruptly, though reluctantly. They were almost crossing the forbidden line when this happened.
Opening the door, they were both shocked to see Akunna whom they all thought was dead some months ago.
They were surprised that she looked so hungered, unlike Dave that came back looking healthy and well-fed.
Amarachi was so afraid because she thought she just saw a ghost but Dave, being a man, rushed and held her before she collapsed in his arms; with tears all over her cheek and getting her tattered dress wetted.
Akunna couldn’t talk but with her last breath, she whispered.
“If not for the ju…ju…juggernaut,” she managed to say indistinctly with the heavy throbbing of her heart, “I…I… I’d have been dead long along,”
She passed out immediately while Dave sudden checked for a means to revive her.
Amy was shocked and shivering as the moment lasted.
To be continued…