Step Back, Dad! (7)
Please click here for last episode 6. Enjoy!
Why am I over-excited? The last time I felt this way was the night Segun proposed to me. We had gone out on a romantic, candle-lit dinner at Raddison Blu and I had never looked more beautiful in my blue gown with matching silver accessories. I had bought that dress immediately he told me he was taking me somewhere special that night and my best friend, Mercy, had helped to pick the colour.
“Tonight is the D-Night, Chinwe. You must look your best. He’s gonna propose and you will say ‘yes’..OMG!!!” She had chipped over and over and I had to pinch her to be calm. I had looked at myself at the mirror and was amazed at what I saw. Segun had looked very handsome that night in his grey suit with a matching red tie and when he popped the word, I felt Heaven come down. The ring was priceless, a symbol of our commitment to each other.
It is still priceless. I picked it up from the dressing table as I prepare for today’s work. This evening, I shall be hanging out with Steve and while I feel a little guilty, there is this sinful excitement within me. Is this wrong? I mean, I should only feel this for my fiancé, right? I placed the ring on my middle finger. It had been a while I wore it and that had begun giving people the wrong impression, starting with Steve.
My phone rang. It was Segun doing his morning checkup.
Smiling, I picked the call. “Good morning, Love.”
“Morning, baby. Had a good night?”
“Yes, I did and almost ready for work. Did you sleep well?”
He yawned loudly. “Well, for only three hours. Spent the night strategizing. We want to expand our business and meeting with a couple of consultants today.”
“That’s great! Good luck. Too bad, I would have wanted to come along, but for an important appointment today. You know I’m good at negotiating.”
“Yes, baby. You should be my PA.”
I chuckled. “Well, that would be an additional role I would love to take on.”
“Hahaha… that’s only a matter of time. How’s your dad?”
“He’s fine.” My answer was curt. I knew he was heading somewhere.
“Well, I would love to have a private meeting with him tomorrow. Can you arrange that for me?”
“Why not? He will be your father-in-law and you should start getting used to each other.”
“I hope he thinks so. Get early to work, baby. Will call you later. Love you. Muah!”
“Love you too. Bye!” Smiling, I put my phone in my bag and I looked at myself in the mirror. Now, wasn’t that what love was all about? Loving and being loved in return…
Today’s outing with my boss’ son was just an informal thing with no strings attached. I must keep my head focused as a young Christian lady. No flings!
Work went beautifully well than expected. I prepared Steve’s report and left it with his secretary as he did not arrive early. I even got a call from Mercy, who is now running her Masters Program in the UK. She mentioned she just met a man she felt God was leading her too. I wished her all the happiness in the world, but that she should be careful and not rush into things. Men could be funny at times. Thank God for my fiancé.
Steve came in later in the day and I silently prayed he would not remember his plan and did much to avoid him, but I was disappointed. During my lunch hour, I bumped into him at the lobby.
“Hello, Miss Chinwe. Hope you still have our appointment in mind.” He looked taller today. Perhaps it was because he wore a tie.
“Of course. I am most excited.” Well, that was technically true.
“Good. Meet me at the Park at exactly 5pm. Enjoy your break.” He left me standing without waiting for a response. The nerve!
At exactly 5pm, I was waiting beside his Range Rover and it took him 20 minutes to join me. My patience wore thin and it took all my willpower not to say something nasty. God help me! But that gave me enough time to make up. I needed to look good. No, not for Steve. Definitely not for him.
I sat beside him in front and when he started the car, he adjusted the front mirror. “Too much powder.”
“I said you have too much powder on. One side of your face is lighter than the other. You might want to use the mirror again.”
I was embarrassed. Who did he think he was to correct me? I was not ready to allow him win. “Well, that is what’s in vogue.” I refused to touch my face.
He cleared his throat. “I see.” He waved to the gatemen as he drove out of the premises. “You are using a ring today.”
“Yes. I am engaged. Thought you knew.” I was a little confident now and raised it up for him to see. Now, he would know there was no ‘show’ for him.
“I didn’t. You may want to hide it. I do not want my friends to think I am poaching.”
I swallowed hard. “Poaching?”
He glanced at me briefly. “Just remove it, and that’s an order.”
“A ‘please’ would have sufficed.” I wrung the ring out of my hand and into my bag. This would be the last outing we would have together. Never would I allow this to happen again.
I shrank deeper into the seat and wondered where he was taking me to. “Where are we heading to?”
“You’ll see when we get there. Just relax. It’s just you and I and some friends I would like you to meet.”
He drove to Victoria Island and into Raddison Blu. Sweet memories flooded back in a rush and I smiled. As we were led into the restaurant, my eyes went straight to where Segun and I officially began. It was occupied by some Chinese men. The waiter led us to the table just right next to it. There were three persons in suits sitting and backing us and I wondered what kind of boring meeting this would be.
Steve drew a seat for me and as I sat down, my eyes met those opposite and I froze.
Steve started the introductions. “Chinwe, meet my friend, Segun and his friends I met at your church…”
Segun was with Tayo and a brother I barely talked to in church. My body went cold all of a sudden and I felt like using the restroom. Segun’s throat throbbed visibly and his hands appeared to shake a bit. Tayo, on the other hand, had this ‘I got you’ look on her face.
Steve sat beside me. “I am sure you know them. I wanted to surprise you.” He smiled gently.
What a surprise! “Of course, I know them quite well, especially Segun.”
Segun managed a fake smile. “Steve, you should have told us. Never knew Sister Chinwe was the financial advisor you said you would come along with.” Oh! Now, I’m ‘sister’.
“Well, I wanted to make it a surprise for everyone. Isn’t it a small world after all?” Steve beckoned on the waiter.
I looked at Segun, who clearly avoided my eyes. What was he doing with Tayo again? Did he call her immediately I declined his offer? Was I even his first choice? What was going on between them? Tayo seemed pleased with the whole setting. Things were obviously working her way. Brother Tunde seemed oblivious to the fire about to brew at the table. I turned to Steve. He was relaxed on his seat and had a secret look on his face. How much did he know?
If this was all a game, I was not leaving there the loser. I adjusted to a more comfortable position. Let the show begin.