Story: Caught In the Moment Season 2

Written by: “Onyeneke Abel”

    Episode 1

    My dear readers, it will be a surprise if I tell you that all you’ve
    been reading was just a an intro to my story..David coming
    back into the picture was where my real story began..
    As he moved towards us, I noticed a feminine figure with him,
    who was that? Was he married already?
    Till he got real close now..my God David had grown
    astonishingly handsome..he wore single-breasted suit with a
    black Oxford wingtip shoe..his dimple was just as cute, brown
    eyes was way more sexier, he had grown more beards now,
    was nicely cut..hmm, it seems he had been working out self,
    his arms were muscular now..oh my God..is this David?..I was
    lost, forgetting that there was one aunty tailing him from
    behind..
    Jeremy hurried to meet him up and hugged him, I remained
    where I stood, and tried so hard to hide my face..Jeremy was
    now leading him to meet me..God this Jeremy self..my legs
    were shaking, I couldn’t comport myself
    “Dave this is bukky”
    I kept my head down so he wouldn’t see my face, but when I
    noticed he wasn’t saying anything i raised my head to spy a
    little.. And then my eyes met his gaze..I stuttered and missed
    a step, before Jeremy could reach me, David was quick to
    hold my hands and drew me to himself..i met his chest and
    his eyes, and his scent, God I have missed this guy..
    “Hello bukky, I’m David”
    What? He let me go and extended his hand for an handshake,
    was he acting or he didn’t recognize me..I shook his hand, oh
    his soft hands
    “Bukky compose yourself, stupid girl”
    My mind warned me again..I cleared my throat
    “Pl..Please..ple..ased to meet you Da..David”
    I knew I was actually making a fool of myself when everyone
    kept quiet for a while till Jeremy saved me had changed the
    topic
    “And who is the lucky one”
    He was now referring to that aunty behind him..
    “Oh, she is my fiancee”
    God! I was deeply hurt..I felt my chest would rip out..so David
    couldn’t even wait for just 2yrs..just 2yrs!..how could he?..he
    just forgot me like that..
    On our way to the hospital, I was strangely quiet, I spied on
    David as he played with his fiancee who introduced herself as
    Joanne, with my cornered eyes,he didn’t even stare at me for
    a sec..well she was pretty sha, David always had big eyes..
    I knew Jeremy noticed me, so I had to lie again..when we got
    to the hospital..he rushed to meet madam Clara and hugged
    her, introducing his fiancee once again..I just stood outside
    and watched them..so was David just acting or he really
    forgot about me?

    Episode 2

    Have you ever felt hurt? That your heart has a pain you can’t
    reach, so hurt that you can’t explain how you feel, that you would
    prefer physical pain to what you feel..how can one person have
    the power to melt my ego and reduce me to nothing..it was all I
    thought when I watched David introducing his fiancee, it was
    what I felt each time he passed by me like I didn’t exist, what I
    felt each time I see Joanne around him..
    Jeremy had been trying to reach me but I just kept lying that I
    wasn’t feeling well..he caught many times starring at David but I
    just waved it off with flaunting excuses, I knew he had began to
    suspect something was up..but I couldn’t help myself.. David was
    my first, I was his first, it was like we were bonded in some ways
    that each time I see him my whole body system changes..I still
    couldn’t believe he didn’t feel the same way.
    Madam Clara chemotherapy had kicked off, I prayed so hard..I
    had to be there for Jeremy, and kept reminding him that all would
    be well..well David had Joanne so he doesn’t really need me..
    Good news!..the Doctor assured us that it was successful, we
    could only now pray for the best..
    We weren’t allowed to see her till after a week..I was the first to
    go in.
    “My child, come”
    She opened her arms and hugged me..it felt residing..I didn’t
    know when I started crying, like I had been looking for how to let
    it all out since..
    “My daughter, why are you crying?”
    She cupped my cheek and used her finger to wipe my tears..I
    wanted to tell her it was David, I wanted to tell her he was
    hurting me..but I couldn’t, I just hugged her again..she let me cry
    till I was tired and slept off in her arms..
    I felt someone lifting me up, but I didn’t want to open my eyes..
    “Gently please”
    I heard madam Clara’s voice in a low tone, she was still weak, I
    was now regretting why I slept in her arms, imagine the stress I
    had put her through.. I figured it would be Jeremy..so I just rest
    my head on his shoulders..but then, I felt this arms was way too
    muscular than Jeremy’s.. So while we were outside the hospital I
    opened my eyes..
    “David?”
    He put me gently inside his car and didn’t say a word as he
    drove..
    “David?”
    What’s this..he remembers me now? Or what?..
    “David if you would not answer me then stop the car”
    I said and I meant it..surprisingly he stopped the car and turned
    to look at me..
    “My Bukky”
    My heart melted, that’s what he had always called me..so he
    remembers me?

    Episode 3

    Have you ever experienced that awkward moment when you have
    alot to say but just one word renders you blank..
    That was me at that moment, like I was caught in a web..the
    moment I heard
    “My bukky”..I lost focus, and I could only open my mouth but I
    didn’t even know what to ask..or say.
    I was expecting David to say something else, about leaving him
    stranded at the altar, grip me for betraying our love..but he
    started the car again and drove.
    What? Just like that..no any other word? Just ” my bukky?”
    “Da..David?”
    He didn’t reply, he didn’t say anything..this guy is driving me
    crazy, just a moment ago he made me feel he had that emotion,
    now he just went blank..
    He parked the car, I didn’t realize we went in the fashion house
    already..
    “David? I know I hurt you but…
    I didn’t have to finish, that Joanne approached and he got out of
    the car to hug her..
    What is this? Is this David or an imposter..I got out of the car
    and waved at Joanne, not because I want to, but because I just
    had to..
    ” where are you both coming from?”
    I was startled when Jeremy asked from behind me..
    “The hospital, where else would we be coming from”
    Was this jealousy or anger?
    “Jeremy for Christ sake David is your brother, he would do
    anything to hurt you”
    I was speaking for David, cos I didn’t trust myself..wait but I did
    not even say yes to this guy and he just assumes we are
    dating?..lemme just wait till madam Clara gets better..
    The next stage of the competition drew near..we were to present
    a couple portrait, the best three proceeds to the final stage..
    I was divided..the competition didn’t really matter much to me
    now..it was David and his attitude, I didn’t understand the guy
    and it was driving me crazy..
    Do I approach him? How can I when that Joanne follows him
    around like a fly..and there was now another problem, vodka was
    now all over him now.. That vodka !
    She noticed I had a soft spot for David, so anytime she saw me
    around she is like
    “Oh David that, David this”
    You know what? I am tired of this, David has to spit it out..why
    this torture..I made up my mind, d--n the consequences.. It was
    nice he got a office, so one evening I stole in to meet him.
    “David?”
    he turned to look at me and as usual kept quiet..
    In anger I marched towards him and grabbed his arm, he was
    quick, he released his arm drew me like a piece of paper and
    held me against the wall, I struggled..he was a breathe
    away..coming closer, God he wants to Kiss me..

    Episode 4

    As a normal lady with heightened feelings, my defenses were
    growing weak, and so my struggle, he was in control and when
    he touched my nose with his, I went overboard..I tightened my
    eyes shut and waited for it, I waited for our lips to meet..but
    then, he backed away and let me go..
    “Go home bukky”
    He left me in the office..I wasn’t just hurt, I felt foolish..I felt
    cheap..this wasn’t the David I knew, he had changed..I couldn’t
    read him and I could now see that he had decided to keep
    torturing me..
    Well, if that’s what he wants, I will give it him! Enough of this
    nonsense..I was gonna hit him back whatever way I can..first
    lemme deal with that vodka..
    I met her in the canteen ordering for lunch, so I patiently sat till
    she was thru ordering and had a seat for herself..I marched
    towards her and before she said anything I drew the chair she
    sat, she fell with her a-s on the floor, the glass of juice she had
    bought splashed on her, a little on me unfortunately..
    “Ouch! Why not call David?!”
    I suggested, when I noticed her mouth was opened but nothing
    came out..
    I went straight to my room to prepare for the next competition.. I
    would have Jeremy take the couple portrait with me, of course
    there is no way he would refuse me..
    But first, I need to see madam Clara, she had been discharged
    and she was safely in her flat..the fashion house was indeed a
    castle..on getting there I had a thud..it wasn’t my flat so I
    knocked for a while, when no one answered I gently pushed the
    door, it opened..
    “Madam Clara?”
    No one answered, my heart missed, I was certain I heard
    something fall..God please..
    I went to her room, I noticed the comb she had used to comb
    her hair..it had lots of her hair on it. God..it seems her hair had
    began to pull off..I was extremely scared..I heard the shower in
    her bathroom still running, so I hurried there to see madam Clara
    unconscious on the bare tiles, with blood dripping from her nose..
    “Jesus!”
    I shouted in shock.! What do I do? I was confused.. I ran to
    her..OK wait i needed to cover her up first, I ran to her room to
    look for a cloth..I called Jeremy immediately.. He appeared within
    minutes and she was rushed back to the hospital..
    David appeared minutes later with Joanne the fly tailing him from
    behind as usual..he got to where I sat, Jeremy had rushed in to
    see if the Doctor was in his office already
    “Where is Jeremy?”
    David asked, oh so he could actually talk to me..I ignored him completely..

    Episode 5

    He rushed in as well when he realised I wasn’t ready to answer
    him..Joanne sat beside me..she was quiet for a while before she
    asked..
    “Why didn’t you answer David?”
    See this one o..I looked at her with one evil eyes eh that she had
    to get up and find another place to sit
    “Stupid girl”
    I said in my mind..madam Clara was who I really had in mind..I
    was beyond scared..when I pictured how I saw her again, my
    heart missed and beats heavily against my chest..
    I couldn’t sit again, I had to stand up and pace round, Joanne
    joined me..I stopped to look at her
    “You are not the only one worried nah”
    She said..I had to laugh, hmm she is not that bad..so we ended
    up talking to keep our minds busy..
    Hours later Jeremy came out..he stood for a while with his hands
    on his waist..we both rushed to him..I could see he was trying
    really hard to fight the tears..
    “Jeremy its OK, its ok..you can tell us what happened..”
    He opened his mouth..I didn’t know he could actually stammer
    until now
    “M..My Mo..Mother has 3months to live..the .the chemotherapy
    failed”
    My mind went bizarre..I couldn’t believe what I heard. Jeremy
    couldn’t hold it any longer, he burst out crying..I hugged him and
    tried to fight my own tears, I should be strong for him now..as I
    hugged him I saw David come out..Joanne rushed to him..he
    was equally broken.. He clenched his teeth in pain and
    anguish..he couldn’t even hold in it for long like Jeremy, he burst
    out crying like a baby. Joanne was really trying her best to
    console him..he was unconsolable.. I felt his pain, I remembered
    back then in Ibadan, when his father had health issues, I would
    steal out at night to see him because I knew he wouldn’t sleep
    till dawn..
    “You are my peace”
    He often tells me then..
    “If anything happens to us never forget that..please”..
    He would hold me tight and sleep in my arms..
    I waved the memory off, as I watched him cry, I didnt realise I
    was actually consoling Jeremy, I saw David raise his head to look
    at me in tears, I felt him call out to me..but I couldn’t go.. I just
    took Jeremy with me and we left to the house..
    Although he had refused to go but I was able to persuade
    him..he laid on my thigh
    “when I was young, my mum allows me lie on her thigh till I sleep
    off” he said smiling, but then the smile disappeared just as quick
    as it came..I placed my hand on his forehead..he held it
    ” Bukky, please don’t ever leave me”
    And here is were I made my biggest mistake.

    Episode 6

    I was quiet for a long time, I have to think about this, no I can’t
    even promise such a thing, its heavy..
    “Bukky,please promise me”
    I didn’t mean to but I pecked his lips, maybe to buy more time..
    “Jeremy, I can’t promise such..We must all die one day”
    I protested a little although I knew another reason was David..
    “Is that your reason?..or its David?”
    His question was direct, it struck my heart like lightning, I held
    my breathe and tried to compose my speech first..
    He got up to face me..
    “So its true, you both have an history..right!”
    He was becoming violent now..I bit my lips and breathe down..an
    idea came to my mind..
    “Jeremy, with mummy’s condition, this is the best you can do?
    Are we dating?..and even if we are, this is what you would result
    to?..accuse me based on your instincts”
    He became calm instantly..oh God thank you..
    “I’m sorry, I..I didn’t know what came over me.”
    “Come here”
    I extended my arms and embraced him..
    Thank you Jesus.. I just couldn’t stop thanking God..but for how
    long can I keep this up?..how long would i lie about my feelings?
    David on the other hand had disappeared, for days I didn’t see
    him..what happened..to my greatest surprise Joanne still couldnt
    tell where he ran off too..
    Madam Clara was my utmost priority.. She had been discharged
    to live her last life on earth with her family..the competition was
    put on hold for the space of 4months..nobody except madam
    clarise, myself, Joanne and both her sons knew the reason why..
    I went to see her as soon as she was discharged.. She was
    extremely pale, she now tied a scarf to cover the hair breakage.. I
    couldn’t help but cry when I saw her lying helplessly on her bed..
    She opened her eyes when she heard my voice.
    “Bukky, Bukky my child come here”
    She still smiled, how could she smile? With this predicament?
    What is she even thinking?..
    “Mum?”
    Did I just call her mum?..yes! She is, she is my mum.. And I love
    her, so much..
    I hurried to her and sat beside her..
    “Come here, come on I can still carry you”
    Really? Of course she can’t, but I didn’t want to make her feel
    infidel, so I laid beside her and relaxed a bit, i was extremely
    careful and made sure I didn’t put all of my weight.
    “Where is David?”
    A question that made me think far..where could he be..
    “You are my peace..always remember that”
    He always says that..
    “I am here, where we will always be”
    He said on the day of our wedding..
    Oh my God..I know where David is..

    Episode 7

    This was it, I would be facing David all alone, I had to prepare all
    my defenses..physical, mental, spiritual and most importantly
    emotional defenses..
    I had my driver.. Oh wait! You didn’t know I have a car? Well I do
    now..big girl things nah..just that I am still learning to drive, so
    driving while traveling was out of the picture..
    I was going to Ibadan.. Although I wasn’t ready to face my family
    yet..but I couldn’t resist the urge to pass thru and at least see the
    compound.
    I saw my dad coming out of the compound, my younger sister
    tailed him from behind..unfortu
    nately I didn’t see my mum..God I have missed them so much
    but I still had this feeling that my father would still want me to
    marry David.. So I instructed my driver to drive to the church,
    where David would be..
    And I was right, he was there, his car was parked outside..and
    for strange reasons, my heart began to beat fast the moment I
    stepped into the church..nawa o..I thought I had built my
    defenses already. I had not even seen him and my defenses
    were falling apart already..
    “David?”
    I called out when I saw him sitting at front, starring into the
    unforseen
    “How did you find me?
    I started towards him
    ” of course I would find you, remember you always come here
    when your Dad was sick..”
    I got to where he sat and with all the courage I had, I sat with
    him, but I observed a reasonable distance..
    “Well you’ve seen me, you can go back now”
    I felt like slapping that his mouth..I breathe down, suppressed
    that initial anger and tried to think of something nice to say,
    instead of shouting
    “You are an idiot” to his face..
    “David, mummy needs you by her side now, she has never
    stopped asking about you.. David..
    He turned to look at me with that fierce look that I heard to keep
    shut..
    ” Didn’t you hear me..I said leave”
    He spoke thru his clenched teeth as he tightened his jaw, maybe
    to scare me, I really don’t know
    You know that feeling when I felt like slapping him? It became
    intense..
    “No..I am not going anywhere until you come with me”
    And I meant it..an uncomfortable silence stood in between us
    before he spoke out..
    “Bukky just quit the pretense and go..thats what you are good at”
    Oh so this was really about us..
    “David, is this about us”
    I asked.
    “There is no us..remember that”
    He corrected and stood up to pace around..I knew he was just
    trying to control his emotions, and I was ready to make him pour
    it out whatever means possible..

    Episode 8

    I stood up and walked up to him..and with confidence i held his
    arm..I didn’t know if I just wanted him to touch me or spit it out,
    or I wanted both..I just wanted to feel our passion..even if its just
    for a minute..
    “David..I know I hurt you, I..
    He turned in rage..
    ” no you didn’t just hurt me!..you broke me!”
    I took a step backwards in shock
    “Where were you when my father died..I though you promised we
    were in this together..you left me! For what? For fame? Money?!
    Huh?! What?!”
    I was quiet..I didn’t know what to say to him..
    “And now you’ve gotten super ambitious, you went after my
    brother!..right?! No what are you doing here?..you want Jeremy to
    see you with me?”
    A tear fell from my eyes..it touched him and I could see it, he
    quickly backed away
    “Stop crying, stop it”
    I sniffed and wipe my tears..how do I even explain that I left him
    because I felt our lives still had alot to accomplish?.. Does that
    even make sense..
    “David I am sorry..”
    It was all I could say..it was all my brain could tell me..
    “Bukky don’t tell me that..”
    He voice had become soft..
    “Within months my mother is gone, again!..I refused to live out
    my childhood with her, I never gave her that opportunity to know
    her son, now I feel so guilty, I can’t even face her..how could i be
    so stupid?..I can’t even..”
    His words got stuck as he broke down crying..I just couldn’t
    stand there, I rushed to him and hugged him from behind..I cried
    with him, I understood his pain, I knew why he couldn’t face
    madam Clara..
    “David, why not make her remaining time with you a blessing,
    why not give her the son she always wished she had..?”
    I raised my hand to his neck..I loved the body I was touching..I
    loved the scent I was inhaling.. I felt we were bonded that
    moment..like I was caught in that moment but I wasn’t planning
    to escape..
    “Bukky, please let me be..please dont come back to my live like
    this.. I have lived my life this two years trying go on without you..
    And yet here you are..why are you doing this to me?”
    I felt hurt, was I the reason for his hurt? Did I hurt him that
    bad?..did he love me just as much..can I even let him go?..
    “David?”
    I made him face me.
    “I really don’t know what to say..”
    And I really didn’t..so I drew him near and made our lips
    meet..the passion, like our hearts had been yearning for this for
    so long..we kissed hungrily, I held him tight..let the world be still,
    and for now, I love this man..d--n the consequences..

    Episode 9

     “Are you both married?”
    A man interrupted both of us, we broke free, breathlessly..starring
    at him with no word to express ourselves.
    “Please this is the house of the Lord, keep it holy”
    oops, is he the pastor the church?..
    “Let’s go David”
    He followed me..we were both quiet as he drove back to
    Ibadan..I followed back in his car to lagos..I let my driver take my
    car back..I didn’t even know what to say, he just faced the
    road..without turning to look at me..
    Did I just do something wrong?..what was I thinking?.. I thought I
    had prepared all my so called defenses..What was he thinking?
    Oh God, what if he tells Joanne?
    We got to the house.. I didn’t want anyone to see me come
    down from his car..but how am I supposed to do that..
    “David, please go and see mummy”
    I said, the only word I was able to say..
    He nodded and stepped out of the car, I sighed..I couldn’t get
    my head to think straight now..what do I really do? Would David
    even consider leaving Joanne for me?
    ‘Where have you been?”
    Jeremy asked when he saw me, I wanted to lie, but of what use
    “I went to look for David”
    He was quiet and starred at me with that suspicious eyes
    “And you found him?”
    I nodded in response
    “How’s mummy? Have you seen her today?”
    I changed the topic immediately, he nodded in response..and
    was about to ask another question again..this Jeremy self
    “Jeremy i am tired please, I need to rest”
    I walked out on him, he wasn’t making sense abeg..
    Later that night I met David in the hall way..I attempted to walk
    past him but he held me back..God, my heart missed a
    beat..instant cold crept from my legs to my head..
    “David please, someone could see us”
    He walked closer to me..
    “I don’t care, why are you scared? Didn’t you kiss me?”
    I forced my hand free and stepped backwards
    “It was a just a casual Moment, we were both vulnerable”
    He was hurt, I didnt mean that but I just had to say it to get Free
    “Bukky.. Tell it to my face..you dont love me?”
    I swallowed hard..
    “Huh” he was too close God..
    “I do David! Is that what you wanna hear? I do”
    He was broken because of madam Clara’s ailment, I could see
    that, he rested his head on my shoulder
    “Then please don’t leave me again..I need you”
    I melted in his arms, I couldn’t stop him when he kissed me, I
    couldn’t stop myself from kissing him back..
    “Bukky?” We broke free in shock, It was Jeremy..!
    Now you know why my story was named “caught in the moment”
    because Jeremy caught us in that moment..

    Episode 10

    “Jeremy?”
    He backed away slowly..and surprisingly left..God, it would have
    been so much better if he had shouted, bicker, or at least say
    something..
    “Don’t touch me..please just go”
    I couldn’t believe I said that to David..but it was his fault Jeremy
    caught us..I earlier warned that someone could see us but he
    wouldn’t listen..he left as well, without saying a word..I stood
    there for a long time, do you know that moment when you don’t
    even know what to think first..was I too harsh on David? Why did
    Jeremy walk away without saying anything? What was he
    thinking? Would he tell madam Clara? Or Joanne??
    You can imagine the struggle..I was not at peace..
    I made a decision to stay with madam Clara and avoid both of
    them, I packed my stuffs and started towards madam Clara’s
    flat, only for me to meet Joanne on my way..when I saw her
    approaching it felt like my heart jumped out of my chest and ran
    for its dear life..has Jeremy told her already? A sudden rush of
    guilt filled me..I had been smooching another woman’s property..
    “Bukkkyyy..hiiii”
    She hurried to hug me, I couldn’t hug her back because my hands
    were occupied with my bags..
    “Hi..hi.”
    I nervously answered, still trying to figure out if she was just
    acting or she wasn’t aware yet..
    “Where have you been? I have been searching all over for you?”
    I was trying really hard to control my stupid emotions that were
    trying so hard to betray me..
    “I have been around”
    She hugged me again..
    “ah,which kind sudden friendship be dis one nah” I thought..and
    kept forcing that smile..
    “I need your help with this guy that’s always been disturbing me
    o..I don’t want David to find out”
    I couldn’t bear another moment standing with her, the guilt I felt
    was consuming me..I just gave a flaunting excuse and promised
    to see her later to have the ladies gist..
    I got to madam Clara’s flat and got a room for myself, before I
    went to her room..she didn’t look like she was breathing.. My
    heart missed..
    “Mum?”
    She opened her eyes..oh what a relief..
    “Bukky?”
    God! Jeremy..
    He came from behind me..I froze..
    “Jeremy”
    I was trying hard so madam Clara wouldn’t sense something was
    up
    He took me aside..
    “It’s OK dear..David explained everything?”
    Huh? David?
    “What did he say?”
    I had to ask..
    “Well he said you were both drunk and there is no way he would
    leave Joanne for you..they are getting married next month”
    I couldnt still believe what I heard..my heart was ripped into
    two..David has broken me..

    Episode 11

    “What is it?”
    Jeremy asked..it seems he noticed my expression..I waved it off
    immediately and tried my possible best to act normal..he hugged
    me and breathe down..
    “I was so happy he explained everything, I couldn’t bear the
    thought of him having you”
    You know that awkward situation when you don’t even know how
    that person assumes you both are dating..and you yourself can’t
    do anything about it..
    I couldn’t sleep that night, I stood up and went to madam Clara..I
    sat by her side, I didn’t know when a tear escaped from my
    eyes..I quickly cleaned it off..I couldn’t tell if she was sleeping or
    not, I moved closer to check her pause countless times till
    morning..
    I barely slept..what’s wrong with me self, how can I deny myself
    this pleasant gift called sleep for someone that is not even
    bothered if I was hurt, or in pain..
    I decided to take a stroll, after I made sure madam Clara had
    eaten something and had her bath..the maid assigned to take
    care of her was most grateful, but me I just felt she wouldn’t
    take better care of madam Clara like I would..
    Oh, I met vodka, its really been a while..but I was not in the
    mood to just have our normal elephant tackles..I attempted to
    walk past her..but you know vodka nah
    “I hope you are prepared for the competition, it starts next week”
    Huh? Next week? I thought it was on hold for now..
    “I can’t wait to see that look on your face..when you find out you
    lost”
    I just ignored abeg..I am not in the mood, I was getting cold, but
    not the weather’s fault though..my heart was cold..
    “Jeremy, the competition continues next week?”
    I asked Jeremy when I got back to madam Clara’s flat, he was
    there already with flowers..
    He nodded, and whispered in my ears
    “Mum insisted it continues.. I couldnt stop her”
    David entered with Joanne, he ignored me and went straight to
    madam Clara..
    Joanne hugged me as usual..I was too hurt to offer a genuine
    smile tho..but I feigned one..
    “Bukky, our promised ladies gist”
    I made that flaunting excuse again
    I was spying at David to see if he would at least give me a
    glance..he didn’t.. I couldn’t bear this anymore..later that night I
    went to him..he was closing for the day when I met him in his
    office
    “You are getting married next month?”
    Was I supposed to greet first?..but that was the first thought that
    came to my mind
    “He nodded his head”
    A tear dropped from my eyes
    “So what am I to you? A puppet?..huh David?.
    ” bukky..I love you”
    He got me yet again

    Episode 12

    I was trying to figure out what to feel..should I be happy he still
    loves me? Does it matter?
    “But we can’t be together because….”
    I held up my hands to interrupt him..I have heard enough..I
    couldn’t fight the tears from dropping..
    “Alright David, I’ve heard you..I wish you the very best”
    I counted my steps towards the door, expecting him to at least
    call me back..he didn’t..
    I bumped into Joanne as she made her way in..
    “Bukky..are you OK?”
    I tried to hide my face and quickly wiped my tears
    “Yes, yes..I am..I just went to pass a message to David”
    I had to explain since she saw me coming out of David’s office
    “I just have this strong cold..catarrh and cough”
    God I knew my lies were not convincing her, she kept nodding
    her head to my lies like one agama lizard..
    “Ok”
    She said, smiling at me..I excused myself..I felt her eyes on me
    till I was safely out of sight..I sighed in relief..
    I went in to madam Clara..she was asleep..I drew a stool close
    to her bed and sat, within minutes I was lost..
    “Hey”
    It was Jeremy, he handed me a white handkerchief to wipe my
    tears..he didn’t ask why I was crying, I guess he didn’t care to
    know
    “Come here”
    He pulled me into his arms and hugged me..and for the first time,
    it felt comforting
    “It’s going to OK bukky, it will”
    I believed him..
    “You’ve had something to eat?”
    I shook my head to his question, he insisted on cooking me
    something, it was funny actually, to imagine Jeremy cooking..for
    me? I remembered David again..back then he had to buy a cook
    guide to prepare a meal for me..it was ridiculous but he tried
    sha..there I go again, thinking about David..I waved it off..
    Madam Clara touched my hands..I turned to her immediately..
    “What’s wrong my child?..you don’t look happy”
    She asked..maybe I should tell her about it, but I should not
    include the fact that it’s her son David.
    “Let him go, if he is meant for you, one way or the other you
    would both end up together”
    Her words made me realise David was not worth my tears..
    “Dinner is served..”
    I laughed, hmm..it was really delicious..
    The next day I prepared for the competition, I wore a backless
    light blue gown with an ankle strap heels..i was to take the
    portrait with Jeremy..
    We got to the studio, he wore a zoot suit and laced up leather
    shoe..
    “You are beautiful”
    I smiled and held him for the photographer but he kissed me
    instead..
    I heard a thud, it was David..the glass of wine he was holding
    was spilled on the floor..

    Episode 13

    “Oh Dave”
    Jeremy called out and attempted to go meet him but I held him
    back
    “Jeremy we are not true yet”
    I pointed out and signalled at the photographer to continue..oh
    yes! He burned in jealousy..I could clearly see that..but who
    cares?
    I stayed awake all night trying to make my portrait..I couldn’t help
    but remember the look on David’s face.. I laughed..he has not
    even seen anything and he is like that?..I was true with my
    portrait design..But this time I was wise enough to take it with
    me..vodka can’t be trusted..I made two just in case..
    “Bukky”
    It was David..I was really expecting this..
    “David”
    I called his name too..seems fair
    “Nice portrait”
    He commented, although I knew he wasn’t pleased with it
    “Thanks..”
    I attempted to gently walk away since he was not saying anything
    else..
    He drew me back and snatched the portrait..what is even wrong
    with this guy
    “Give it back!” I demanded..i was burning up now..
    “So you kissed Jeremy?”
    “Yes, you got a problem with that?!”
    He took a step towards me..his eyes were not friendly at all..
    “Jeremy is my brother”
    You can imagine the guts..I folded my hands to look at him, a
    sudden rush of hate filled me
    “And so? What is wrong with you David? What do you take me
    for..”
    He attempted to say something
    “No..David you had your chance and you blew it.now I don’t want
    to ever see your face..you want to hurt me..yes! You got it..but
    don’t come after me..I am not pleading..I am telling you..now
    give it back!”
    I snatched the portrait from him and tried again to walk away..
    “Bukky please listen to me”
    He held me back again..oh my God
    “Let me go!!”
    Jeremy spotted us
    “Bukky?”
    He ran towards us, without hesitating he landed his fist on
    David..and pushed him away from me..oh my God, I didnt want
    that..
    “Don’t you ever get close to her again!”
    Jeremy warned..I could see rage in his eyes..David went mad
    now..he got up and pushed him to the ground as well
    “She is not your property!”
    He shouted back..
    Lord of Mercy, what do I do..i rushed to Jeremy but he was quick
    to get up and bounced back to David..I couldn’t stop them as
    they raged at each other..
    Who do I call, David? Jeremy?
    “Stoooopppp”
    I shouted on top of my voice and maneuvered myself to the
    middle..
    They were both wounded..God what have I done
    “Bukky tell Jeremy, that you would never stop loving me, that we
    love each other!”
    David requested breathlessly.
    “David, there is no us..remember?
    Maybe I need to remind him..

    Episode 14

    “Bukky what is he talking about?”
    It was Jeremy’s turn to ask now..I felt like running to David but
    No..instead I did something he didn’t expect
    “Jeremy let’s go, I need to take care of that”
    I took Jeremy with me..David couldn’t move from where he
    stood, he remained there till I was out of sight..I felt bad, I knew
    he must be hurt but hey! I was hurt too, he should know how it
    feels
    “Yes we both have an history”
    I had to explain to Jeremy who never stopped asking..but I left
    out the Part where we kissed in the church..I didn’t want to make
    him feel insecure
    “Bukky..do you love me?”
    My heart was beating fast, it always does that when I am thinking
    of a perfect lie to use
    “A love like ours takes some time right?”
    He smiled and held my hand as I tried to massage his
    cheek..that uncomfortable Moment as he starred deep into my
    eyes and made an attempt to Kiss me again..what is it nah? Na
    food?..I hit him a little where I knew it would hurt
    “Behave yourself”
    We both laughed..funny right..it wasn’t to me sha, but trust me..I
    am very good at laughing even if I dont want to..
    Joanne had travelled, I didn’t know when, she didn’t even tell
    me..where did she even travel to?. Well we were not that close
    sha, so she wouldn’t tell me..
    The day came where I had to present my portrait..I had
    successfully avoided David for a week, I missed him tho but
    Jeremy was there to make sure there was no dull moment..I
    wouldn’t deny..I began to like the guy..David was there to, he had
    his eyes on me, Jeremy never left my side. I felt bad, so I am the
    cause for their enmity. Madam Clara must not even find out. So I
    planned to bring them back together before the issue goes
    overboard..
    I spied at vodka’s portrait, hmm..she took the shot with David, a
    sudden rush of jealousy filled me and I knew fully well that she
    noticed when she had that her devilish smile..
    “Bukky bring your portrait forward”
    This was it, I prayed so hard in my heart that I made it to the
    next stage..it was the picture where myself and Jeremy kissed..
    And I got there
    “Bukky comes first..vodka second..
    That was all vodka needed to hear as she bounced out of the
    hall..wetin concern me?
    But it will soon, because later on as I went to visit madam Clara,
    to my greatest shock ever..vodka sat with her..I took my steps
    slowly to make sure it was really vodka..how did she get here?
    Oh no, what as she done? Madam Clara had tears in her eyes..
    ” bukky? What have you done to my sons?”

    Episode 15

    Vodka stood up to face me, with that smile again..oh God she hit
    me so hard..she didn’t even realise what she has done..
    “Vodka if you would excuse me”
    She made a gesture pecked madam Clara before she followed
    me out..
    “Vodka you have no idea..you are so ignorant..how could you…
    She didn’t even let me finish
    ” Bukky just accept the fact that you’re out of the competition ”
    “What?”
    No she didn’t just say that..
    “Yeah, madam Clara said that herself judging for the fact that
    Jeremy has been hospitalize because he fought with his brother
    over you”
    “What? Hospitalized?”
    What is this girl saying. I was still trying to re-think if she was
    bluffing. I am out of the competition, Jeremy was hospitalized?
    How?..how could she?.and she couldn’t tell madam Clara was
    sick?..
    “Bukky..
    I didn’t need to hear more..I landed a slap on her face that her
    wig fell off..she staggered back and almost fell..
    ” if anything happens to madam Clara..I will hunt you..you b-----
    d”
    She charged back at me, but then that saviour showed
    up..Jeremy.
    David came next, i left them both with her when I explained all
    she did..if they tear her apart, that wasn’t my headache
    “Mum?!..madam Clara?!”
    She was on the floor, oh my God she wasn’t breathing..I meant to
    call Jeremy but David was the first that came to my mind..
    “Daviddddd!!!”
    They both rushed in
    “Mum??..Mum??”
    They rushed to her..
    “No no no”
    It was David now, lamenting in pain
    Jeremy picked her up and turned to me.
    “Get my car keys quickly”
    Unfortunately vodka was still outside, trying to peep and see
    what was going on when David charged at her and grabbed her
    by her neck, held her against the wall with that muscular
    force..his eyes was filled with rage
    “If anything happens to my mother, you are dead..you hear
    me?..dead!!”
    I rushed to him, at this rate he could kill this girl
    “David, David..let her go, we have to go”
    I held his hand..he let her go as soon as my hands touch him..
    Vodka coughed repeatedly and gasped for air..i could see fear in
    her eyes..I think she now realised the gravity of what she really
    did..
    I didn’t know who to be with, they were both restless..but it had
    to be Jeremy since David was out of reach..he starred at me as I
    comforted Jeremy.. I felt the longing in his soul..I felt like running
    to him, but all I could do was steal glances ..and pray so hard
    that madam Clara didn’t really say that I was out of the
    competition.. That would break me..that would end my career..

    Episode 16

    “David?”
    I approached David when Jeremy was already asleep, safe on a
    couch..David was still wide awake, he couldn’t sleep, neither
    could I..I kept stealing glances to see if he would eventually fall
    asleep but he didn’t..so I muster the courage and walked up to
    him..
    “Sit with me, please”
    I stood starring at him for a while, should I really sit with
    him?..but I wanted to sit with him, so I did..
    “David its gonna be okay”
    He drew me close, my breathe went unstable..he gently laid on
    my thigh..I waited for another five minutes before I caressed his
    hair and made him sleep..
    I rested my head backwards and tried hard to sleep to but I
    couldn’t get that thought of my mind..madam Clara wants me
    out?..God it shouldn’t be true
    “Bukky?”
    Although I didn’t mean to let Jeremy find us like that but he did..
    “So you came to David behind my back?”
    He raged further
    “Jeremy when will you ever behave mature?”
    David fired back
    “Why can’t you accept the fact that she can never be yours”
    Jeremy grabbed David by his neck immediately and made him
    stand up.
    “You b-----d”
    ..he said thru is clenched teeth”
    No this wasn’t happening.. Not now for Christ sake
    “David?! Jeremy?! Stop this?!”
    I tried to fight my way in and push Jeremy aside..but Jeremy was
    quick to try and slap David..just that he slapped me instead..
    “Oh my God, bukky am sorry”
    He rushed to me
    “Bukky are you OK?”
    David tried to reach me too
    “Back off!”
    Jeremy barked at him
    “Would you both stop this! What is wrong with both of you?! With
    mummy’s present situation you both can still fight? Why are you
    behaving like kids?!”
    I touched my lips and discovered I was bleeding where Jeremy
    had slapped me
    “Bukky am sorry”
    He tried to touch me
    “Don’t touch me”
    I was getting angry now
    “Bukky…”
    David tried to reach me as well
    “You too..neither of you!!”
    What kind of situation is this oluwa..
    Fortunately the doctor came out..we all rushed to him
    “I thought I warned that on no occasion must she be subjected to
    any form of emotional trauma?”
    The doctor asked..no one could answer him..that was not what
    we wanted to hear..
    “She will be fine, just let her rest”
    I was the first to rush in to see her. I had gotten to the door
    before I remembered what vodka had said..well there is only one
    way to confirm..I gently counted my steps and sat with her. She
    was still asleep but i couldnt conserve my curiosity so I touched
    her a little..
    “Bukky, what are you still doing here, please leave”

    Episode 17

    Oh God maybe I didnt hear well..
    “Mum…
    She didn’t even let me finish
    “Please go..you want to ruin my sons?..go!”
    I had to get up..hot tears dropped from my eyes
    “Mum you mean I should leave the fashion house?”
    It took her another minute to answer..a tear dropped from her
    eyes.. As much as it pained her, she nodded to it
    “Yes”
    I gasped, but I held my mouth with my hands..I couldn’t fight the
    tears..what this the end of the road for me? My career?
    Everything? So vodka won afterall?
    I gently walked out.
    “Bukky?”
    I didn’t just respond to both David and Jeremy..I drove to the
    house and entered the flat..it took me another one full hour to
    get myself together and began to park my stuffs..where do I go
    now? Foolish me, I didn’t even get an apartment for myself all
    this while..or do I go back to Ibadan..maybe just for a week or
    two..then I would come back to Lagos and try and look for
    another fashion house..if I can’t find any i might just go into any
    business that I can handle..I broke down in tears again..the
    though alone scared me..
    Well, its not like I got any choice left
    Vodka and myself were the last contestant who got to the final
    stage of the competition.. We were to choose a crew to
    ourselves and produced different type of stylish clothes..they
    would eventually march out in the grand finale in a fashion
    parade..both our fashion crew..I had chosen jovita and three
    other ladies with same four guys.. Vodka had done the
    same..just that now she has made sure I wouldn’t participate..
    Well it’s of no use now..
    I got my stuffs together and started towards my car
    “Well well well..what do we have here?..the great Bukky, kicked
    out of the house..back to being a pig”
    It was vodka the devil, with here new crew, they all burst out
    laughing..I had stopped, but there was nothing left to say
    “Hey my friend would stop there!..I would need you to clean my
    shoes before you go”
    In unison they laughed again..i was hurt and angry..but I
    continued
    “Hurry up before I ask the security to throw you out!”
    Shesaid and followed me to the gate to make sure I was out..she
    ordered the security never to let me in..
    I entered my car..it took me another five minutes to compose
    myself before I zoomed off..
    Oh wait!..my phone rang..it was Jeremy
    I heard madam Clara’s voice from the background
    “Give me the phone”
    She requested
    “Bukky my child..I am sorry, please don’t go anywhere”
    Haha..did I just hear well..vodka I swear I will finish you!!

    Episode 18

    I drove back to the house.. You need to see all these security
    who needs proper lecture on how to run their job
    “I am sorry but madam vodka has left specific instructions to
    never let you into the house”
    I stood and starred at the man for a while..should I make him
    lose his job?..he was polite sha, so it’s better I ask him first..
    “You have a family?..a wife and children?”
    I asked him..to know if he really needs the job..
    “Yes madam”
    Hmm, he needs it..so I asked
    “Do you wanna lose your job?..I can help you if you want to..all I
    need is to just make one call”
    He paused and was trying to figure if I was indeed bluffing
    “Na mouth she dey eee”
    The other security man bounced out. It was clearly written that
    this one was an illiterate
    “Please madam, I am sorry..open the gate!”
    The man with better reasoning quickly respond when he noticed I
    brought out my phone..
    But you see that illiterate, he will learn..
    I went to the flat first and dropped my bags..before I went to the
    training hall..I over heard vodka..I couldn’t help but smile to
    myself..
    “To all those that ran after that peasant, I would be pleased to
    announce to you that she has been kicked out like a piece of rag”
    I stopped and waited for her to land
    “So for all those that left me to join her, I would give you just one
    more chance, to come back to your maker..me”
    I was pleased when Jovita didn’t move an inch..
    Well it’s time..I cleared my throat to announce my presence,
    vodka glass of wine fell.. I cat-walked to meet up with them as I
    watched vodka mouth gasped in shock..
    “Close your mouth vodka, yes it’s me..it isn’t bad to take a stroll
    now is it?”
    I said and sat on her favourite chair..I could see she was still
    trying to figure out the word to say
    “Save your breathe you peasant..”
    I walked up to her and stood face to face that I could feel her
    breathe on my face
    “Vodka,I never knew you would be this scared to the extent you
    stooped so low to rat like that..you want a shortcut?”
    She opened her mouth again but then I hushed her..its time she
    realised that I was out for her..and by all means i would put her
    to nothing
    “This doesn’t mean you would win the competition..you peasant!”
    She finally blurted out..
    I laughed, maybe she didn’t realise the position she put herself
    “my poor little girl madam clara has discovered your lies, now
    am beginning to think your stay here is on probation..and I am
    not just a model, you b-----d..I am the house of Earl!”

    Episode 19

    “Bukky?”
    It was Jeremy, it seems they were back from the hospital already
    “Mum wants to see you”
    This Jeremy self, why now?..
    As moved towards him, I looked back to see my crew still
    standing
    “What are you girls doing there?..come on”
    Jovita led the way and left vodka in the hall, she was
    devastated.. I could see the fear in her eyes when she saw
    Jeremy..
    “Vodka, madam Clara wants to see you”
    Hmm, she couldn’t walk well, God help her o..
    I met David seated with madam Clara while she laid on her
    back..
    “Bukky my child, come here”
    She opened her arms, I hugged her and was extremely careful
    not to weigh too much on her..
    “Vodka is here mum”
    Her mood changed instantly
    “Vodka come here..”
    She instructed.. I stood up so she could see vodka as she timidly
    stepped into the flat
    “Pack your stuffs and..
    It would have been over for her, her career, everything.. But hey, I
    can help
    ” mum please, just try and understand the poor girl..”
    Haha, poor girl? So I am saying that to vodka and she accepted
    for the first time.. Whoa, feels so good..
    “She was just rather too desperate and ignorant, but she is still
    human, with feelings..no one is perfect, she did what she thought
    would help her..but mum you have to understand that fashion is
    her life. It is her career, please don’t take that away from her”
    Madam Clara was quiet for a while, I could see vodka was
    surprised i spoke out for her..David simply smiled at me..well
    Jeremy was equally surprised
    “My child, sometimes I think the world is too dangerous for you,
    you have a big heart my dear”
    She turned to vodka
    “Get out”
    Without hesitation she hurried off..I insisted on staying with
    madam Clara, I had to tell her the truth, I had to tell her
    everything..
    When I was sure both David and Jeremy excused us, I opened up
    to her..I told her about my feelings, about me and David and how
    Jeremy got caught up in the mess
    She was quiet all thru
    “Bukky, I trust you..do whatever you want, but Bukky..bring my
    boys back together”
    A tear fell from my eyes..
    “Thank you mum”
    I sat with her till she fell asleep
    Now Jeremy asked why I spoke out for vodka..well I am not thru
    with that Devil..there is no way I would just let her escape like
    that nah..I want to let her watch as I reduce her to nothing..
    The competition starts within a week..I got my girls together
    “Alright girls, the biggest time of our lives has arrived, Just
    remember that we are not just models..we are the House Of Earl”

    Episode 20

    “Jovita?..alright fill me in?”
    I asked..i needed to know how the competition has been always
    been conducted..I planned to introduce something new
    “Ok, what we do is, the lead model which is you supervise the
    gowns and suits to be worn..On the day we March out and show
    case..the best team wins”
    I thought for a while
    “Is just gowns and suit?..nothing else?”
    They all nodded to my question..
    “Jovita, you would put on a strap jacket, a Jean and white
    canvas”
    They had that look on their faces..I was guessing this was
    something new to them
    “Listen, what gives us a edge in this competition is if we do
    something different.. This is a fashion house..and we sell lots of
    clothes and shoes.. We don’t base on gowns alone, or do we?”
    Nobody objected so I assumed they understood
    “You Viktor..”
    I was referring to one of the male model
    “You would put on a Jean as well with a fleet dark jacket, a gold
    wrist watch and a brown timberland”
    I was getting their attention now..i made sure the selection was
    mixed..I reduced the models wearing gowns and suits to just
    three each..
    The House of Earl was about to experience something different
    “Alright double time girls..we got this”
    We were sewing out our styles now..I sang when I noticed they
    were getting tired
    “Wow, you’ve gat a pretty voice bukky”
    Diana one of the black ebony lady commented.. She was a
    beauty to behold, black indeed is beautiful..
    I wondered what vodka was up to now, I made sure all my
    trainings and clothes were kept confidential, there is no way I
    would let that Devil know of my plans..
    For that week I didnt focus on both Jeremy and David, I didn’t
    even have the time to..though Jeremy do come around to cheer
    me up..I still longed for David to at least show up and tell me
    what I was doing was right..he did a day to the finale..
    “I know you would make me proud”
    He said when I met him in the hallway”
    There was no word to say..his words really boost my courage..I
    just hugged him and sighed in relief
    “Thanks David”
    And the day arrived.. I won’t deny I was extremely timid..I wore a
    stilettos gown with a strap up heels..I made sure I visited madam
    Clara before the competition started..Vodka’s team was
    exquisite tho, they marched out with their gowns..the soft music
    that played was good..until it got to my turn now..
    “What’s wrong?”
    I asked the DJ why he hasn’t played our music. “I can’t find the
    plate, its gone and my media player’s wire has been damaged”
    Oh no..vodka!

    Episode 21

    What do I do?..we would be called up in 5minutes..
    “Bukky think think think”
    I thought pacing around..the rest of the models were looking at
    me for ideas, no one could even say something
    “Without the music, there is nothing”
    Jovita spoke out and sighed in disappointment..
    Yes! That’s it, music..
    I hurried to the DJ..
    “How many minutes have we got left?”
    “Less then 3minutes”
    I turned to my models..
    “Girls gather around..guys take the next line”
    They all starred at me like ‘what’s she doing’ they obeyed
    anyway..
    “I need that keyboard on stage, attach a good mic with it”
    I ordered the DJ..he quickly arranged a keyboard for me on
    stage..
    “Now attach the keyboard to these speakers..and once I am
    about to go up on stage..switch off the main light. When am
    seated with the keyboard..open the spot light centered on me
    first..another one centered on every model who would walk in”
    The camera man and every other machinery got my message
    “Up next, Bisola Oluwatoke”
    The stage went dark immediately.. Perfect!..I could hear
    everyone murmur, like what was going on? The power went off?
    Seconds later when I was on stage, the spot light shone on me
    The Audience roared with applause..I cleared my throat, and
    started the keyboard with C-sharp..I started a song by Emeli
    Sande “clown”
    As planned the next spotlight shone on every model who walked
    in..I made sure the models with gowns and suits walked in first,
    that’s what suits the song i was singing..I signalled the DJ if he
    had gotten another media player..he nodded in affirmation..
    Good, he took my phone and played “love is wicked” by brick and
    lace..before he played that, the stage went dark again..and
    brightened up fully now with the remaining models marching in
    with their jeans, canvas, timberlands and jackets of different type
    and colors, to match..with the music playing in rhythm..
    When they were thru the hall was strangely quiet, no one moved
    a muscle..oh God, did I do this all wrong?..but then one of the
    judges stood up and started applauding
    “This is unbelievable!”
    He kept saying..the whole audience stood up with him and
    roared with shouts and applaud..God my eyes brimmed..even if I
    didn’t win this competition, I never failed to leave them amazed
    We were called out, both teams
    “Vodka and her team scored 74 points..”
    The applause was rather low..my legs were shaking now..
    “And bukky scored 120points!”
    I went mad with Joy!! But then clarise drew me aside
    “Madam Clara is dead”

    Episode 22

    You know that moment when you don’t know if you should be
    happy or burst out crying..I was caught up in a web
    “Clarise, stop this joke I have an Award to collect”
    I attempted to walk back to the stage and collect the best model
    of the year award..maybe clarise just wanted to pull my legs, this
    clarise self
    “Bukky”
    She drew me back..
    “What nah?”
    What else does this lady want, I am trying so hard not to believe
    what she said, ah! What is her own na
    “Madam Clara is gone, David and Jeremy dont know yet”
    Now my brain accepted the painful fact
    “No..”
    I broke down in tears, I felt my heart would rip out..
    “No not now for Christ sake”
    My legs became weak that I sat on the bare tiles..
    “Not now”
    I knew it was more than three months as the Doctor presumed
    she would live, but she seemed fine, that I was starting to think it
    was a miracle
    “Bisola oluwatoke, please your trophy awaits”
    The host called out to me..I couldn’t get up from where I
    sat..clarise quickly help me get up
    “Go on bukky, please don’t cry up there, I don’t want any of the
    boys to find out OK”
    I wiped my tears and sniffed in before I marched out, vodka
    stood with her team on the other end with the trophy in her
    hands, she was to crown me..she was crying as she approached
    me, for what?
    “This one never even see life she they cry?”
    I thought..she crowned me, and hurried off, I was supposed to
    take a photograph alone which would be the new face of “The
    House Of Earl” but I insisted me and my crew take the photo
    together, we all worked for it..
    It was time to give my speech..my hands were shaking..I am not
    supposed to cry, yes I should be happy right now. As I collected
    the mic, I looked sideways to clarise.. She beckoned with her
    eyes..i should fight this
    I cleared my throat
    “I started as nothing in the house, and today I proudly lift this
    trophy..i am here today because of one woman..”
    Oh God, its madam Clara, she made me who I am, that was I
    planned to say, but she is gone now..
    I swear I tried so hard to hold it in but I burst out crying
    profusely.. I couldn’t hold the pain..I could hear the audience
    murmur for a while before the roared with applause..they would
    be thinking its tears of Joy..only one person understood..i bit my
    lips, I tried so hard to control myself, but the moment I met his
    eyes with tears dropping uncontrollably,he asked with his eyes
    “What’s wrong bukky?
    I said in my mind
    “Mum is gone David”
    And he understood.

    Episode 23

    “Thank you”
    That’s was the word I could finally say before I dropped the mic
    and followed clarise down to madam Clara’s flat
    She laid on her bed..it seemed she was smiling..
    “Clarise she is smiling”
    I said and sat with her
    “She is not dead”
    David walked in, Jeremy followed from behind..
    “Mum? Mum?”
    Jeremy hurried to her, clarise had called the ambulance
    already..Jeremy was crying profusely..well David..he was just
    quiet, starring..he just walked to her and held her hands..I knew
    he was hurting, I could tell..
    And so it happened, madam Clara, the woman who changed my
    life forever, a woman I could boldly call my mother, was gone..
    I never knew they had lots of family members until now..you
    need to see how the flocked the fashion house..madam Clara
    had insisted she be buried in the fashion house, it was were she
    built her life..it was her home..and so David made sure her wish
    was granted..despite the complains of family members who
    insisted she must be brought to her hometown..
    “None of you were here when my mother struggled all her life,
    none of you were here when she built this fashion house! Now
    you all want a share in her money?! Impossible!! She would be
    buried here, our pastor would supervise everything! Not a dime
    would be spent for any of you! If don’t like it that way, please use
    the door!”
    Within minutes their bickering tongues seized to just distant
    murmurs..
    Madam Clara’s death brought the boys back together, they had
    to be strong for each other..although David had not shared a tear
    since, and it bothers me..
    Madam Clara was laid to rest a week later, there was no time to
    waste, it was all just as she had requested..the House Of Earl
    built her statue and placed it in the centre on the big
    compound..an icon to always remember..the house went cold for
    weeks, even vodka was strangely calm..No Fashion, no
    sales..everyone were all on black attire..I instructed that, for the
    next one week..Fashion should just wait for a while first..or so we
    thought before Joanne resurfaced..
    I didn’t even know she was back..Jovita brought the gossip..well
    it should be good news right? Joanne is my buddy..is she? She is
    the only stumbling block to reach David! But that’s not the
    problem
    “She is saying she came back to take what’s rightfully hers”
    Jovita said
    “Take what? I don’t understand” I had to ask..
    “She wants to own the House Of Earl”
    My head sparked fire..
    “Over my dead body”

    Episode 24

    This was simply ridiculous! There was no way I would let this
    happen..I had not been out of madam Clara’s flat for a while..I
    just felt I wasn’t ready to face the world yet..But now, well I went
    to my wardrobe, picked a trench jacket, a blue jean and an
    Oxford white canvas..
    “Where is she?”
    Jovita smiled when I came out, she had been convincing me
    over the weeks to shake it off and step out, but she failed, seeing
    me all dressed up now felt like she actually achieved something..
    “Addressing the models as we speak, in the Hall room”
    You can imagine the guts, who does she think she is..I followed
    to the hall room and bounced in, interrupting Joanne
    “Joanne, you didn’t inform me of your unexpected visit”
    I said as I approached her
    “I appreciate the informality but I would soon be your boss so I
    would love it if you show some respect”
    Her words sent fire to my brain..keep calm bukky, keep calm
    bukky
    I met her now, putting my hands in back pocket and with a
    gesture I smiled and answered
    “Soon, not yet..”
    She made an attempt to walk out but I held her back
    “And one more thing Joanne, make no mistake, I bow to no one”
    She shook of my hands..
    “Well we shall see about that, wouldn’t we bukky”
    As I watched her walk out my spirit boiled within me..what was
    really going on? David has alot of explanation to give..I turned to
    the models starring and murmuring among themselves
    “Look around people, without you and I, there is no House Of
    Earl..So we bow to know one, remember that!”
    Well they were all well behind me on this one..I went straight to
    David..he was in his office as expected..starring out the glass
    windscreen
    “David what’s going on here?”
    He was quiet for a while, before he turned to me
    “Don’t worry I’ll handle it”
    His answer was not satisfactory, and for some silly reasons it
    annoyed me
    “Handle what?! Your so called fiance is flaunting about
    threatening to take charge of this house and you’re like I will
    handle it!”
    He was still calm..
    “Bukky sit down, and hear the whole story”
    When he was thru I gently walked out of his office..don’t worry I
    would tell you what he said but for now I need someone
    Vodka happened to walk by..just the person I was looking for
    “Bukky, I am sorry for everything, I’ll change..”
    I didn’t let her finish, I hugged her
    “It’s OK, vodka I don’t need you to change, there is a battle we
    need to handle together, what do you say?”
    Without hesitation she replied
    “Count me in”

    Episode 25

    Ok here it goes..David explained..
    “My mom had her problems in raising this fashion house, there
    was a time she gave up and decided to sell it off to an interested
    buyer..Joanne’s father..but just as she sold it..sales bubbled up,
    she regretted selling it off, despite her plea to buy it back, he
    refused.. But later on had a deal that I would marry his daughter
    to keep the family in business”
    Oh so that was why he wants to marry Joanne?
    “So so, you don’t love her?”
    I know that’s not the question i was supposed to ask but it came
    out anyway..
    “Of course not..I was able to make her sign a contract, if we can
    raise 10million dollars in 1month..she would sell it back to us”
    My eyes widened, there is no way we could raise that in one
    month nah..
    “I know that, but there is a competition that holds in Europe, the
    winning is 15million dollars”
    I stood up and gasped in shock
    “I5million what?!”
    Was I supposed to ask again? Ok I am supposed to ask..the
    money is way too huge!
    “We would participate in the competition David, we would win”
    Of course I had high hopes, there is no way we wouldnt win, I
    would make sure of that
    “That’s the problem bukky, we participated in that competition
    every year, and we’ve never won bukky”
    My hopes died down immediately, he killed it..
    “So you’re giving up, just like that?”
    “No bukky I am trying to think here”
    He fired back and stood up to pace round..
    “There is nothing else we can do, we have to participate and win”
    “Bukky that competition consists of different fashion house from
    different countries all over the world, what makes you think
    Nigeria would even win, what makes you think we would even
    stand a chance?!”
    I was a little disappointed, he didn’t even have a single faith in us
    “Because I believe in myself, I believe in every model in this
    house, and I know that when they are aware that they are
    participating in this competition to save the House Of Earl, they
    would fight with everything they have got”
    He went quiet again, so I gently walked out, and then I met
    vodka, we need to work together here and save this house
    “How much to love this house vodka?”
    I asked her as we walked to the hall room to address the
    models”
    “It’s my life”
    I smiled, that’s the spirit
    “Well before we go in to business, there is just a name we should
    crush too”
    She smiled that her devilish smile
    “Just say the name”
    “Joanne”
    Hmm, vodka seemed so ready..and yes! Let the fashion begin!

    Episode 26

    I decided to confront Joanne, I knew her to be this sweet
    clinging friend back then, what happened? I was curious
    “Joanne, what happened to you, you were…”
    She didn’t even let me finish
    “David happened, he thinks he can just shove me aside right?”
    I was quiet for a while..but I really thought she didn’t really love
    him like that
    “But I was thinking you really didn’t like him that much, you were
    telling me of one guy like that back then”
    She smiled at stared at me till I had to wondered if I had a bug
    on my face
    “Oh so you could have him to yourself”
    I stood up immediately
    “What? You think I do not see the way you look at him..you think
    I didn’t see you both when he kissed you in the hallway!”
    I attempted to say something but she interrupted me
    “If I can’t get him, you won’t either, leave now!”
    I stepped out and sighed in relief when I was safely metres
    away..OK I get it if she has an issue with me, but that doesn’t
    mean I would let her have the house
    “Bukky”
    It was Jeremy..oh he travelled, he claimed he needed to clear his
    head out, I’m guessing he really didn’t know the issue at hand
    “You didn’t even call”
    He complained..how could I explain what had kept me occupied?
    “I get it, you were broken too, I just wished you were there for
    me too”
    Before I could mutter something he hugged me
    “I’ve missed you”
    Well as for me, I had peace when he was away, no struggle, no
    guilt..now he is back and I have to deal with that all over again..
    I met with vodka
    “How about our plan”
    She smiled and whispered
    “Don’t worry, its all done”
    Ok I would explain later, for now something else came up..David.
    He called me up so I met him in his office
    “I heard you would still push thru with the competition”
    I nodded in affirmation, he wanted to say something else but I
    interrupted him
    “David you’ve not shared a tear since we lost mom”
    His word got stuck, and just like I broke free a dam, his eyes
    brimmed up as tears flowed down..I hurried to him and hugged
    him..
    “It’s OK David, let it out”
    Jeremy had to walk in, God after all these weeks of peace
    “Dave I..” His words got stuck..he drew me out like I was a
    puppet to him..
    “What are you doing you s--t!”
    What? Did I just here that?! My head sparked..I gave him a piece
    of my angry mind, just that I shouldn’t have added
    “I would never love you!”
    He hurried off, broken, I realised I had said too much because
    minutes later we received a call, Jeremy had an accident..

    Episode 28

    Oh my God! We just lost madam Clara..this is not happening..Not
    now..David drove to the hospital, vodka tagged along, seems she
    really cares for Jeremy..no one said a word, till we got to
    hospital
    “He is in the emergency Ward”
    The nurse who hurried out with blood in her hands. My heart
    missed..God I caused this, I went too far, I should have known
    he was still depressed because of madam Clara’s death, he just
    wanted comfort, and not only did I push him away, I made him
    feel neglected.. Oh God, if anything happens to him I don’t know
    if I would be able to forgive myself..Vodka was quiet all thru, an
    hour later she drew me near..I observed she wanted to say
    something else to keep her mind off the pending issue
    “I got the files”
    Ok that was our plan, but I didn’t know she would get it that fast
    and easy
    “What? How?”
    I asked in a whisper, and spied at David if he was listening..he
    was lost in thoughts
    “Drugged her, she slept, collected her fingerprint and opened the
    safe where she kept the documents, it seemed her father bought
    the house in her name.. She wouldn’t know it is gone for a while”
    This Vodka is indeed a devil
    “But she must surely find out nah”
    She nodded
    “Well, I’m guessing she would have to travel back to get another
    copy if there is, that would buy us enough time and this is our
    plan B, just in case the competition doesn’t work out..the
    competition is this month end”
    I didn’t know when I hugged her..
    She smiled and talked about other things, I knew she was just
    trying to get her mind off Jeremy
    “Vodka..”
    I touched her hands and made her quiet for a minute
    “It’s OK to worry about Jeremy, we all are”
    She looked at David, he was far off, standing starring out the
    window as usual, he had been there for hours..and then looked at
    me..it was hard for her but she said it anyway
    “Yes bukky, i’m i’m worried..I am”
    I brought her head to my shoulder.. You know that quote that
    says enemies could actually become best of friends? I was
    beginning to believe it
    I walked up to meet David, I couldn’t tell if he heard me when I
    bickered at Jeremy, I had been scared to approach him since,
    would he blame me?
    Before I got to him, the doctor came out..
    “He is stable for now, but a shattered glass pierced very close to
    his pupils, there is every possibility that he would wake up blind..if
    he doesn’t, then it’s a miracle”
    God, my heart sank..I caused this, I couldn’t shake that thought
    off my mind..

    Episode 27

    Oh my God! We just lost madam Clara..this is not happening..Not
    now..David drove to the hospital, vodka tagged along, seems she
    really cares for Jeremy..no one said a word, till we got to
    hospital
    “He is in the emergency Ward”
    The nurse who hurried out with blood in her hands. My heart
    missed..God I caused this, I went too far, I should have known
    he was still depressed because of madam Clara’s death, he just
    wanted comfort, and not only did I push him away, I made him
    feel neglected.. Oh God, if anything happens to him I don’t know
    if I would be able to forgive myself..Vodka was quiet all thru, an
    hour later she drew me near..I observed she wanted to say
    something else to keep her mind off the pending issue
    “I got the files”
    Ok that was our plan, but I didn’t know she would get it that fast
    and easy
    “What? How?”
    I asked in a whisper, and spied at David if he was listening..he
    was lost in thoughts
    “Drugged her, she slept, collected her fingerprint and opened the
    safe where she kept the documents, it seemed her father bought
    the house in her name.. She wouldn’t know it is gone for a while”
    This Vodka is indeed a devil
    “But she must surely find out nah”
    She nodded
    “Well, I’m guessing she would have to travel back to get another
    copy if there is, that would buy us enough time and this is our
    plan B, just in case the competition doesn’t work out..the
    competition is this month end”
    I didn’t know when I hugged her..
    She smiled and talked about other things, I knew she was just
    trying to get her mind off Jeremy
    “Vodka..”
    I touched her hands and made her quiet for a minute
    “It’s OK to worry about Jeremy, we all are”
    She looked at David, he was far off, standing starring out the
    window as usual, he had been there for hours..and then looked at
    me..it was hard for her but she said it anyway
    “Yes bukky, i’m i’m worried..I am”
    I brought her head to my shoulder.. You know that quote that
    says enemies could actually become best of friends? I was
    beginning to believe it
    I walked up to meet David, I couldn’t tell if he heard me when I
    bickered at Jeremy, I had been scared to approach him since,
    would he blame me?
    Before I got to him, the doctor came out..
    “He is stable for now, but a shattered glass pierced very close to
    his pupils, there is every possibility that he would wake up blind..if
    he doesn’t, then it’s a miracle”
    God, my heart sank..I caused this, I couldn’t shake that thought
    off my mind..

    Episode 28

    Jeremy was still unconscious, it was like I became torn up, my
    thoughts were not with me.. David had not said a word to me,
    what was he thinking?..
    Myself and vodka went in to see Jeremy, his face was wrapped
    up and his hands as well..David stood against wall and just
    stared..he has always been like that, he had his thoughts to
    himself, he barely say a thing.. Although I knew him like the back
    of my hand..
    I received a call from Jovita, she whispered
    “Joanne is at it again”
    I couldn’t just leave David there so I told him about it
    “go on, I would watch him”
    Well of course vodka followed..
    “what happened?”
    I questioned when we got there..
    “She is cancelling sales because the sales rep refused to
    increase the prize for the stilletto gown”
    In unison myself and vodka looked at each other, yes we where
    thinking the same thing here
    “Where is she?”
    We questioned in unison, you see..we were indeed having the
    same thought
    “The shopping mall”
    We hurried there, she wasn’t there..till we traced and met her in
    the hall..
    “Get off my chair..its my favourite”
    Vodka attacked her first, with that her devilish smile..
    She got up and attempted to say something, but vodka took
    charge
    “No you listen, you have no right to act like a queen were you are
    yet to serve as a maid..”
    She opened her mouth again but vodka continued
    “You see ignorant one”
    She walked over to her..
    “This house remains madam Clara Philip’s property until after one
    month, if we cannot meet up to your demand”
    Joanne laughed now
    “And do you think this house can pay me such an amount in one
    month”
    I wanted to at least say something, vodka hushed me
    “Ignorant one, I just wonder how you couldn’t figure where I
    added IF..until then, never interrupt any of our activities, else you
    would scare away from this face”
    Joanne was speechless here, well..that’s vodka for you, my mind
    was actually somewhere else..Jeremy
    She walked up to me and attempted to make that face and
    probably say something mean
    “This isn’t you Joanne, I miss Joanne”
    David called, Jeremy was awake..
    “He is blind Bukky”
    My phone fell from my hands..
    “Vodka, he his awake”
    I informed vodka..We rushed to the hospital
    “He wants to speak to you”
    David said when I got there..I timidly walked in..he laid on the
    bed..he now had that scar below his eyes, his head was still
    wrapped up..
    “Jeremy i am so sorry, what do I do to make it up to..
    He didn’t let me finish
    ” marry me Bukky”

    Episode 29

    Cold crept from my legs to my whole system..maybe he didn’t
    mean that, or maybe I didn’t hear well
    “What?”
    I asked again.. Was I supposed to?
    “Bukky, look at me!..I am blind!..I can’t see a thing..its all dark..all
    because you pushed me away, you made me feel like I didn’t
    exist”
    I was quiet..I couldn’t breathe a word
    “Tell me..who would marry a blind man!..who?!”
    I stood up and started towards the door
    “Bukky?”
    He forced himself up, using his hands to figure where I could be..
    God he was indeed blind..I left, I need to think this thru
    We had to register for the competition, it cost a million, you can
    imagine the money they would make, which each Fashion house
    registering with a million naira..well, I just hope we win..
    I was torn apart..I couldn’t bring myself to concentrate
    anymore..I made my designs, vodka made hers..later we just put
    heads together and made series of designs..it was fabulous..both
    of us walking together was indeed profitable, it made the work
    much easier and creative..we started sewing immediately..
    “Jeremy wants you to marry him”
    Vodka said and startled me when we were both walking on a
    gown together
    I stammered because I had nothing reasonable to say
    “Go ahead, myself and Jeremy ended before we even started”
    She said with a smile..
    “I can see he really loves you, or you don’t want to because he is
    blind?”
    Her question crushed my resistance again..its my fault..I made
    him like that..maybe God wants me to pay for my mistake this
    way.
    “Bukky come here!”
    It was Joanne..
    “Mtcheeeww, this girl no just get sense”
    I thought and ignored till she walked to meet us..I hushed vodka
    this time and let Joanne finished her ranting
    “Don’t ever interrupt my judgement in this house, I made
    adjustments to the sales of my house and you…
    I didn’t let her finish I hushed her as well
    ” you are bitter because David doesn’t love you, and yet here you
    are ranting for what would never be yours, when you are suppose
    to be there for the man you claim you are fighting for, you need
    to find yourself, you are lost”
    My words came from my heart and it broke her, she was
    speechless and couldn’t move a muscle till I used my discretion
    to leave her there..I drove to the hospital, I made my decision
    now..lemme face the punishment for what I did, I made a
    promise to madam Clara to keep the boys together..David was
    unfortunately there when I gave my answer..
    “Yes Jeremy, I will marry you”

    Episode 31

    My heart was beating fast, we remained there till the rain
    stopped..I was shivering but couldn’t bring myself to leave him
    there..he turned to me with pain in his eyes
    “Bukky is this what you want for us? What did I ever do to you?”
    I felt guilty, I left him stranded at the altar, now am going to
    marry his brother..I attempted to say something but he
    interrupted me
    “If you’ve made your decision, so be it..thank you for every
    moment we shared”
    He stood up and walked away..
    “David?”
    I called him with a tearful voice..he didn’t respond, he left his suit
    jacket..I picked it and held it so close to my chest..does this
    mean I lost David? Was I really keeping the boys together or I
    was actually tearing them apart?
    I couldn’t contribute to the competition at hand, I had not even
    set eyes on Joanne until one evening when I saw her with David,
    he didn’t look at my direction..I was extremely jealous and
    hurt..were they back together? Although I knew David, he wasn’t
    happy, we noticed each other as we stole glances..he was
    broken, I did that to him just because I didn’t want to hurt
    Jeremy..does that mean David, the man I love was in a better
    position to get hurt? Ok I solemnly agree..I AM CONFUSED!
    Vodka approached me while we practiced for the competition, I
    sat watching them, my eyes where pale and dimmed..I had cried
    way too much..I couldn’t even contribute a thing, it was obvious
    things were falling apart, vodka alone can’t do this, she needs
    help but I was just too broken to be of help
    “Bukky, I want to let you be giving what you’re going thru but we
    need you, else we would lose this competition”
    She said and sat with me, she had that concern expression..I
    sighed, there was nothing in my brain to reply her so I remained
    quiet
    “Is it Jeremy?”
    Her question made my eyes brimmed with tears again, she just
    made me remember that the wedding is just tomorrow..
    “What if I tell you that you’ve been led to believe a lie, I know
    Jeremy like the back of my hands”
    My tears seized immediately, right from the source..
    “What do you mean?”
    “When the time is right I would text you to come over to the
    hospital”
    My mind was telling me just one thing, Jeremy is not really blind.
    And it was confirmed, she texted me
    “Come now”
    I hurried down and met Jeremy, on his feet, pacing round the
    room..shock crept from my legs as I entered the ward..he turned
    back in shock..
    “Bukky I can explain”
    Wait, Jeremy can see?

    Episode 32

    Put yourself in my shoes my dear readers..what will you do?
    Have you ever felt that rush of adrenaline burning thru your veins
    but you don’t even know how to express yourself, you don’t even
    know how to pour it out..
    As Jeremy made his way to touch me, I was still wondering how
    he did it, how he fooled me..can he really see?..I waved my hand
    at his face
    “Jeremy you can see”
    Ok now I really understood.. He attempted to convince me a
    little, now my brain replayed all the hurt I felt, the tears I shed,
    the wet pillows..headaches, sleepless nights, lost appetite and
    what hurt the most, I pushed David away..
    I landed a slap on his face, he staggered backwards, i
    approached him and slapped him again as tears dropped from
    my eyes..I hurt him and he yelp in pain..his wounds had not fully
    healed..I rushed to him
    “Am sorry, are you ok?”
    “Am fine, am fine”
    Ok he was fine so I slapped him again
    “Aaaarrgh!”
    There was no way I could express myself..
    “You were ready to trap me in penury for the rest of life Jeremy,
    you are heartless..you are..”
    Was I making sense?..i attempted to slap him again but he held
    my hand
    “Am sorry Bukky, I did this because I love you”
    “No, you love yourself, because your wants come first, it has
    always been like that for you..you never care about what I
    want..its just all about you, you self centered b-----d!”
    He attempted to hold me again but David rushed in..I guess he
    had the latest as well
    “Jeremy let her go”
    This time he couldn’t protest
    “Jeremy how could you?”
    David asked and drew me behind him..Jeremy couldn’t spit a
    word..
    I gently drew David out, he shouldn’t go further
    “David I am deeply sorry..I didn’t.”
    He didn’t let me finish, he released my hands
    “No Bukky, sorry won’t cut it..I was ready to fight for you, for our
    love..but you cower away at every little trail..you don’t stand for
    us..you dont stand for me. I can’t be with a woman who doesn’t
    know what she wants”
    Lord of heaven, two bullets in one day..I attempted to cry as I
    watched him walk away but vodka touched me from behind
    “A trophy awaits, why not give yourself a break from all these
    love escapades”
    She was right, thanks to her I won’t be walking into an eternal
    prison..i wiped my tears, drove home and freshened up..let’s get
    this battle done
    “Alright people, the battle of our lives has arrived, now I want you
    to stand proud, we got this handled, cos we are not just models,
    we are THE HOUSE OF EARL!”

    Episode 33

     “Alright Jovita double time, Vicky keep that up”
    I was back full time, the competition was just a 3days away, our
    flights had been booked.. I acted strong but I was a little shaky,
    what if it all goes wrong, and we don’t win..i shook the thought of
    my mind..it would be the first time I travel out of the country,
    wow..cant wait!
    I kept reaching out to David, call me crazy or not but I came to
    realize that I would stop at nothing till I get my David back..i
    knew he was deliberately giving me an hard time but I didn’t
    care. I had hurt him too much, now I am gonna prove that I
    would do anything to stand by him, he must forgive me by force.
    As for Jeremy, well I don’t hate the guy, since the day at the
    hospital I felt free..I understood why he did what he did, tho it
    was wrong, he is a human with feelings..I continued visiting him
    till he was discharged
    “Am sorry Bukky”
    He said one evening when I went to see him..
    “It’s OK Jeremy, I just hope you take time to see the one that
    really loves you, and is ready to do just anything for you”
    He smiled, but I guessed he didn’t know I was talking about
    “And who could that be?”
    He asked
    “Vodka”
    A food for thought so i left him to think about it..
    My dear readers, if you started this story with me, you would
    remember back then when I made a promise to someone..her
    name was lizzy..she framed me and made sure i was pushed out
    of the plaza i was working..I made a promise to her that day..that
    she would clean my shoes..
    Well as God would have it, someone brought her as a cleaner.. I
    was shocked when I saw her
    “Lizzy?”
    The shock I saw on her face was unexplainable..no vex o, but I
    need to keep my promise..
    “Quickly pass me those shoes”
    I ordered her..she brought them nah ..feels soo good..
    “Oya clean till it shines”
    I extended the one i was putting on
    “Clean this one too”
    When she was done, I felt fulfilled now
    “Ok, emmm, get her good clothes and proper shoes, drop the
    mop.”
    She wanted to thank me but I didn’t give her the chance to
    You know the best revenge you could ever give your enemies is
    your success
    And so the day came..we got ready..David secured our plane a
    day before the competition.. So small Bisola would see Europe
    today..
    “David I would never give up on you”
    I told him when we got into the plane
    He smiled, I was d--n serious o..infact any girl reading this and is
    eyeing my David silently is even in big trouble!
    So yeah! Europe here I come!

    Episode 34

    This is Europe?
    “Mehn when naija go better?”
    I thought..we Lodge in an hotel..but the country is cold sha, no
    argument in that..I didn’t come prepared, I had no thick
    sweater..David noticed as I was stylishly shivering when we got
    to the hotel..we booked a 4bedroom top flat..
    “Bukky”
    He called me, removed his suit jacket and wore it on me..
    “I’ve always told you, wear thick cloths”
    I smiled
    “Dave, in Nigeria we got heat..this is Europe”
    Maybe he forgot that, he laughed..for a long time now that was
    the first time he really sincerely laughed with me..I guessed he
    noticed and fell back to his Stern form
    “I’ll get you a good sweater tomorrow, get some sleep”
    He disappeared into his room.. Well sleep was far from me.. I
    stood up and went thru the threshold to get a better view..mehn
    the city was beautiful, lights brightened everywere..In Nigeria all
    you hear is Generator sounds..tho we had constant light in the
    Fashion house because we paid NEPA a huge sum of money
    “Can’t sleep too?”
    Vodka joined me..I sighed
    “I’m scared”
    She laughed
    “I am too”
    We both laughed
    I was surprisingly so free with her that I couldn’t believe we were
    once rivals
    “First position gets 15million dollars?”
    I asked like I forgot..she nodded
    “And second position?”
    “10million dollars”
    Hmm, not bad
    “3rd?”
    “5million dollars”
    She touched my shoulders
    “Bukky we’ve never gotten close so I don’t even have any word of
    encouragement”
    I brought out the Gold necklace madam Clara had given me for
    good luck and gave it to her
    “We got this”
    And so the day came, I almost felt oppressed when I saw the
    different fashion houses, with their models on different stylish
    clothes..
    The first stage of the competition kicked off..
    “Alright people, the time has come..as I’ve always said, we got
    this handled cos we are not just models but what?”
    They thundered back
    “THE HOUSE OF EARL!”
    Exactly, thats the spirit I need
    “Alright jovita, take front, javies take back, Vicky follow..we going
    in with gowns and suits first..when we get to the last stage we
    come out with our sport wears which I guess has never been
    used in this competition before”
    We marched out and progressed to the next stage..
    “Alright double time people, quickly change up”
    Yes! We progressed to another stage!
    One model from a Spanish Fashion house approached me
    “What are you fleas still doing here, pack up and go home as
    usual”
    You can imagine the guts, who does she think she is?

    Episode 35

    “Oh Vodka this is a new face, you’ve not informed the brat?”
    My head went overboard
    “You said?”
    I moved closer to her but vodka drew back
    “Bukky, come with me”
    She drew me aside..I really couldn’t believe Vodka of all people
    would let that go, just like that
    “Bukky, its best if you stay out her way”
    What? Is this really vodka saying this
    “Why?”
    “Bukky, they always come first every year, not because they are
    too good, but because they got people in high places”
    I made a gesture like it didn’t matter
    “So?”
    “Bukky, she is dangerous, that Fashion house comes first no
    matter what, please let’s just stay out of their way please”
    I could see fear in her eyes, I had never seen vodka scared of
    anything..
    “Wait, so what is the purpose of enrolling in this competition in
    the first place, if we only came here to trade our victory to some
    a-s?”
    I asked, I was getting angry at the whole thing, it made no sense..
    “No, its never going to happen on my watch”
    I protested
    “Bukky..”
    She attempted to persuade me otherwise but I interrupted her
    “I’ve got a plan”
    Before she asked me what my plan was I bounced out to meet
    the supposed model..
    She had that smile that made want to slap her teeth off
    “So vodka has filled you on who rules here?”
    I cleared my throat and acted calm
    “Yeah, I am sorry..I didn’t know you always get the trophy no
    matter who gets hurt”
    My models all had that surprised look on their faces, maybe it
    wasn’t me that protested minutes back..or was it?
    “You should know little one, I get want I want, no matter who
    dies”
    She replied
    “So you’ve killed to get that position?”
    I asked, acting really scared
    “Alot, you should try and pack up your stuffs and head home, if
    you don’t want to be on the list”
    I nodded in agreement and watched her till she was out of sight..
    “Alright people, change up..we would be called up in 3minutes,
    we are marching out in our Native attires..
    Sandra put this on with that mixed red and white bag, and a strap
    red heels”
    I went back to business
    Vodka approached me
    “I thought you had a plan?”
    I played the record on my phone, all the conversation we had, I
    recorded it. If she tries anything stupid, it goes straight to the
    authorities.
    And yes! Of course we got to the last stage of the competition..
    Spanish lady marched back to us, this time with two hefty men,
    before I could make a protest they pushed me and Jovita, Jovita
    passed out immediately, I twisted my ankle..

    Episode 36

    “Let me go!”
    I struggled as they reach for me, thank goodness David showed
    up..he swiftly pushed his way thru them and landed his fist on
    one of them..he staggered back and attempted to react but a
    security passed by
    “Quickly, let them go”
    The Spanish witch said and hurried off with her hoodlums
    “Are you OK?”
    David rushed to me and picked me up in his arms..
    “I’m OK, I’m OK..put me down”
    Well I was really thinking I could make use of my right leg..
    “Ouch!”
    I screamed in pain, I couldn’t stand on my feet..oh no!
    David caught me before I lost balance..vodka had been trying to
    revive Jovita..
    “Bukky the last stage of the competition starts with 30minutes,
    Jovita can’t March In this state”
    David held his forehead and paced round the room
    “You should never have got yourself into this mess..simply stay
    out of this woman’s way, she is dangerous, Vodka didn’t you tell
    her?!”
    I couldn’t believe David would say that..
    “Please get me a first aid”
    I pleaded with vodka, within minutes she came with a health
    practitioner to check me..
    “You’re done lady, you can’t walk with this”
    David remained quiet but I knew he was burning inside
    “Bukky, this last stage requires 5 sets of models to March
    out..myself and Jovita would complete the set, but Jovita can’t
    March In this state”
    An uncomfortable silence stood in the room till Viktor spoke out
    “So its over? This where is the end for us, like always?”
    It dawn to me now..but then I wouldn’t just let this go, it isn’t
    over
    “No, we would March out there?”
    “How? We are not a complete set”
    Vodka questioned back..
    “Everyone changed to your sport wears, I will complete the set..”
    David stopped pacing and turned to me
    “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that”
    I ignored him and turned to the health practitioner
    “Please rap this up..”
    He attempted to protest but I wasn’t ready to hear the rubbish
    “Now!”
    He went to work..no one moved..when he was done I tried and
    got up and faced them
    ” I am not giving up, we must win this because I am not marching
    out for just myself, but for madam clara, and the house of Earl.. I
    would give my all to save the house!! Cos it’s my home..and I
    believe you all to do the same, because we are not just models
    but the what?!”
    “HOUSE OF EARL!” I stood at the back and wore a canvas..God
    please help me out..I marched out but then I took my step
    carefully till I was safely behind curtains..the pains I felt was
    unbearable that I shed tears..

    Episode 37

    “The House Of Earl would March out again”
    What? I cleaned my tears, did I just hear well? There is no way I
    can March out again..
    “Can you?”
    Vodka asked, although she clearly knew I really can’t
    “Yes, she can”
    It was David..a sudden rush of courage filled me..he was the
    strength I needed..he bent down, unwrapped my leg and gently
    used his hand to figure where the bone had dislocated..he was
    going to far with it that I winched in pain
    “Close your eyes”
    I did but as soon as he touched the leg again my eyes went wide
    open
    “Aahhhh”.
    “Bukky, remember the first day I kissed you?.you didn’t even
    know how to kiss self”
    What?.what an insult..I laughed
    “What about you? Did you? You that were..”
    He didn’t let me finish, he snapped the bones back in place
    “Ouch!”
    He laughed, got up and extended his hand to me..
    “Wego out there together, let’s get this done once and for all..it
    would just be like marching out on our wedding day”
    My whole system brimmed with enthusiasm.. I took his hands
    and he led me out, we took the front as I marched out..I made
    sure everyone marched out in different attire, some wore our
    Nigerian native attire, some gowns, others sport wears..David
    wore a slit Gold jacket, an Italian Gold canvas with a black
    Jean..he supported me with those muscular arms..I was leaning
    on them but no one hardly noticed..
    And then we were done, but that Spanish witch would not go like
    that
    “Vodka, pass this record to the judges please..”
    We were called out, the last Five Fashion houses..
    “Spiral Fashion house scored 75 points”
    They took third position.. I was sweating all over and held David
    hands so tight
    “House Of Earl Fashion house 130 points, comes second”
    I shut my eyes, I didn’t know what to feel..
    “And..”
    The MC stopped at the signal of one of the judges..
    Spanish lady and her house made faces at us..well I smiled when
    I could read what was actually going on now..the MC walked to
    the DJ with my phone in his hands..and within minutes Spanish
    lady voice played, should I say miraculously..
    She and her house were arrested immediately..Well as God would
    have it
    The House Of Earl took the position!
    I forgot for a minute that I had a sprained ankle..if not David
    maybe I wouldnt be walking for a month or two..he caught me
    when I jumped in joy..
    I couldn’t believe it, before David could say another word I kissed
    him..hugged Vodka, hugged Jovita! Pecked Viktor! I fulfilled my
    promise to madam Clara..

    Episode 38

    Finally its my wedding day! I am gonna wear something different
    from a normal white wedding gown..mine would be blue..
    Oh wait..seems I went too far..sorry, was too excited..let’s travel
    back to after we won the competition..
    So yeah! We won and brought our trophy back home..
    As soon as Joanne sighted us she hurried to David and hugged
    him, even when he didn’t hug her back
    “I missed you”
    He wanted to say something but I couldnt stand the sight
    “Emm, Joanne he has heard you, we got your money now so
    you’ve got no leverage against this house..it has been paid into
    your account and just in case you want to do anything stupid,
    don’t forget we have a document where you signed to our
    agreement..as for David, he is mine and I am not ready to trade
    him with anyone..”
    I left her speechless, left vodka and my models laughing as I
    took David with me
    “Wait, I’ll pretend you didn’t just say that”
    David said when we were metres away
    “I did, and it’s best you get used to it”
    “And Joanne?”
    Who Joanne help?
    “I don’t care”
    He smiled and hugged me
    “Welcome back Bukky”
    I went to see Jeremy immediately, but it seemed I was actually
    interrupting a romantic scene when I bounced in to meet him
    kissing Vodka
    “Oh sorry sorry..Uhmm..Jeremy, wanted to say hi”
    He laughed and waved at me..
    “Hi”
    And they went back to business..nobody told me to fine my level,
    I gently walked out and closed the door behind me..at last, I was
    indeed happy for them..
    This David self, he is wasting too much time, me I want to get
    married before someone steals him from me..he called me..just
    the person I was thinking of..well it was a Date, my mind kept
    telling me he wants to propose but I didn’t want to expect too
    much just in case he decides to break my kidney..
    “Do you remember what happened on this date?”
    I acted like I thought about it for a while
    “Emmm..not quite”
    He laughed, I was becoming impatient, I knew my David..he
    wants to propose because his eyebrows kept twitching, it
    happens like that when he has something important to say
    “I first kissed you on this day”
    Oh, now I remember
    “David please just put the ring on this finger, am growing
    impatient”
    He laughed heartily and brought it out
    “Bukky”
    I hushed him, collected the ring and knelt down
    “David Phillips, please marry me” he laughed till tears fell from
    his eyes..he accepted anyway,this is the my man, now I have to
    go back to Ibadan and face my father..so Ibadan, here I come!

    Episode 39(final)

    Continues..
    I was now thinking how my father would react when he sees
    me..as for my mum, well we’ve been communicating and I even
    informed her of my visit.. She was more than happy..And so I
    drove into the compound, David drove in as well..
    My mother sat outside with few brethren from the church that I
    could still remember..it took few minutes to tie her wrapper, put
    on her glasses and drew closer before she could really confirm
    that it was me..you know women now, the dancing and all the
    admiration of the car I brought
    “Wait..David?”
    David smiled and hugged her
    “It’s me mom”
    My younger sister came out, she had helped me escaped from
    home back then so without hesitation, I gave her the smart
    phone I bought for her, two sets of jewelries, fashioned clothes,
    shoes that her eyes brimmed with grateful tears..finally my dad
    showed up, I was extremely scared when he called my name
    “Daddy I am sorry I..”
    He hugged me
    “I am sorry my daughter, welcome home”
    Well David wasn’t an issue, there was no need for a second
    introduction nah..my father wanted David from the on set and
    yes he has got David..
    My wedding was just as I wanted, on a beach.. With family and
    friends from the Fashion house, Nah I don’t want much crowd,
    lights everywhere, pearls around my feet..
    Clarise drew me aside and handed a letter to me..
    “Madam Clara’s final Gift”
    I quickly tore it open
    “My child, if you are reading this it means you married the man
    that would make you happy, you married David, I am proud of
    you sweetie, please take care of my boy”
    My eyes brimmed with tears, I laughed and cried alike..I still
    wondered if there was a letter if I had married Jeremy
    My story didnt end but got to a checkpoint, my life with David is
    another chapter of my life..in my course I learnt and grew..If
    beauty was everything It would be Jeremy, i worked hard to get
    to were I was and I kept working to keep myself there..at my
    darkest Moment I didn’t give up, I had to stand up for the one I
    love..
    And so within 4years, one small 3years old girl asked
    “Mummy, how do i become a model?”
    Awwnn, I pecked my baby girl
    “All you do is stand proud when needed”
    David signalled me so I followed to the bedroom..
    “You know there is just one reason I called you” he said and bit
    my lips
    I laughed and kissed him
    “Unzip me”
    Of course he hurriedly did and we travelled to a world only we
    could reach..what are you still reading? Abi you wan follow us??
    The End

    Post a Comment

    0 Comments