Click here to read Featherlight Heart -Chapter One, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Two, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Three, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Four, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Five, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Six, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Seven
After Ambross had left, hours later Emeka is backing his door, staring at the window from his office overlooking the city, a force of habit when he is trying to think.
Someone is seated behind him, going through some files, in the main time Emeka is lost in thoughts.
Some days he feels so overwhelmed, standing here. Ten years ago he was nothing but a drop out, living on the streets, working so many menial drops to make sure he and his mother were alive to live another day, begging, hawking, fixing cars, selling… sleeping under the bridge and going on his knees with his mother when she had no other option than to fall on her knees and pray to God.
Sometimes it felt as though they were going to die and it got so bad that one day he had come back from pushing wheelbarrow to find his mother gone.
When he didn’t find her for over two hours and no one knew where she was or had seen her, he had gotten scared, wondering if she had fallen down somewhere and died because she had been sick going for six months, lost weight, barely able to work .
Someone told him they saw her boarding a bus and when they asked her where she was going to she had told them… home.
And when they probed further… she kept saying to her husband and her big house. They wondered if the sickness had affected her head.
As they walked away leaving Emeka, he knew where his mum had went.
Without thinking he had boarded a keke, ran most of the way, till he got to his father’s mansion standing like a giant in the suburb part of the city.
There… not so far from the entrance of the big house, far away from the gate but visible nonetheless was his mother seated on the ground, rolling on the it and crying. She must have been crying for hours and there were fresh bruises on her body.
“Mama, mama?” tears filling his eyes, he gathers her into his arms, pulling his shirt to clean the blood oozing out of the corner of her head.
“what happened to you?”‘
“‘Ambross, Ambross!!” she wailed pointing at the gate “‘Ambross, Ambross oh God!! My God will judge you,my God will judge you!!” she cried in his arms..
“‘Mama, who did this to you? Was it father,was it father? I will kill him, this time with my bare hands I will rip his head off his shoulders and I will give him pain that he has never felt before, for doing this to you, you are already broken, sick and yet he has no heart… “Why did you come here mama, why did you come, do you want me to die, do you want me to lose you forever mama, do you want me to be alone forever mama? Mama, forget him, forget him! he doesn’t want you but I want you mama, I want you alive; to be my mother as you have been but papa, papa I will show him, I will show him” he gets up but Mercy pulls him down
“‘No! Emeka your father’s blood shall not be on your hands, he fathered you, God forbid if you lay a hand on him, God forbid and I forbid you too Emeka to hurt your father”‘
“‘How can you feel pity for a man who sent you out of your matrimonial home? Who brought strange women to your bed and allowed them to use you like a slave while you watched them take over your home” He paused then continued
“How can you feel pity for a man who stopped caring for his only child, a man who tried to kill his own flesh and blood; a man who humiliated you after bending your knees and breaking your back for this family? Mama, it was because of the goodness of her heart, Mrs Ibekwe and that of her husband that is why we got the blessings he has today, it is because you were a good and loving woman and you worked yourself out that, that family, God rest their soul blessed you and because they took you in, they took him in because of you they gave him a job in that company because of your genuine goodness they took you and us as part of the family because of you, he was blessed. Other women would have elevated themselves but you elevated your husband instead and choose to serve as a nanny to Jessica and her family while your husband gets the office job. It was you mama, all you and how does he pay you? By beating you… constantly like you were some sort of his punching bag, he gave you sleepless night mama, he chased you out of your bed and your home and took away the life that happened because of you. Mama no! no, I will show him, with my hand I will end him” he struggles but she held him
Shaking her head “God is alive Emeka, one day, one day he would show Ambross his mistakes”‘
“I don’t’ need to bother God, I will show him myself, let me go mama, let me unleash this anger I have been holding within me please” Emeka cries
”Emeka please, I promise not to come here and search for him again, I promise to forget him, I promise. Will you take me away now? Take me away please”
“But mama. One time, one time let me show him that I can protect my mother”‘
”Show him by taking me away Emeka, we may have nothing or have any idea where our means of survival will come or if we would last another year on this streets but we have each other, we have God and as long as there is life there is hope and as long as there is a will, there is a way. God has blessed your hands Emeka and may it take you places. Let us go, help me up my son, let us go back to the bridge”‘
“let me carry you” he helps lift her up, struggling, staggering, he carries her, walking for hours until a good Samaritan stops his keke and helps them back to the slums of town.
From that day Eemka made another Vow, to do all he can to change their situation, their status, whatever it was, that was the day, in his anger and pain he had met that Alhaji with a broken down car… while he went to hawk bread and biscuits on the city.
The Man had been calling his mechanic but he was taking forever to get there.
Emeka had walked up to him seeing him frustrated hitting the car and asked him what the problem, was, he ignored him. Emeka persisted, he chased him away but he lingered, the mechanic had arrived, he worked on the car but it didn’t work. Emeka from the side tells them something else was wrong and if he could just be allowed under the hood of the car he would check it..
After much deliberation and the mechanic wasn’t making any headway, the Alhaji was deeply frustrated, he figured there was no harm, he was allowed Emeka, and it was just a touching wire which Emeka pulled out and reconnected to the engine, it stopped the heating of the car and the sparks.
The Alhaji had been so pleased that he had give him his first 50 thousand and his card, he fired his mechanic there and then, calling him an incompetent fool. Emeka became his mechanic from there on, he was the person who introduced Emeka to his rich friends. Fixing up the rich and expensive cars was all he needed to get change in his pocket. Fixing other cars off the road made his name known…and soon things began to change, things began to fall into pleasant places as though God was just working on him specially. Like a dream they left the bridge and began to live the life of a king and all this because God rewrote his destiny from what his father had written.
Today, he was the sole owner of “‘Odinaka Car industries” and other affiliate companies in his name, he has other companies under him that he had bought off people, plus the ones he sponsors and others he has large shares in. Going into the importing business and his big break in oil was all that he needed to be successful and today he had fulfilled one part of his dream..
Success they say is the best revenge.
But he was going to help karma visit his father and his mother wouldn’t have to know about it.
He smiles, his father should have read the whole of that file documents, he just read where he said Ambross retains ownership of his company, name and production, he didn’t see the rest..
And he wasn’t trying to be sneaky, his father was too concerned about his wealth, legacy and money to realize that the devil never gives you anything for free.
“You mean he agreed to these terms Mr Odinaka ?” his lawyer who had been quietly perusing the files asked him and shaking his head in disbelief.
“You can see his signatures can’t you?” Emeka doesn’t turn.
”I see, and you are sure you told him to read it?”
Emeka turns and seats, crossing his legs
“‘Yes I even insisted, if he had, he would have seen it and I already had what to say, I would have given him my conditions to help him or not, I was ready for his reaction but unfortunately he didn’t read all of it, his fault not mine”’
“Oh well, when do you want this to roll sir?”
“when the time comes, as stipulated. For now, we wait and enjoy it as it unfolds”
“When do you go to have a physical view of this place, or you intend to work by word of mouth?”
“I would be going there soon, I already notified him, he just left here so he should be expecting me.”
“Very well” he is staring at him
“I know that look Tam, spill it before it chokes you”
”Would you want to tell me who this man is, you seem to a have it out for him”
“‘No Tam, I don’t. Not now anyways, you are in an all you need to know basis, you don’t need to know for now. I asked you here because you were the one who drew up the papers and to make sure that it is legit, not criminal so in case he wants to fight it in court, you can attest that he was given to read and his signatures are there not signed under duress or whatnot, same as mine.. and I have a video coverage to prove that it wasn’t done under duress, I have had the footage sent to your email. You are just to come in when you are needed, that is all Mr Tam.”‘
His lawyer nods, getting up and shoving the files into the briefcase and closes it. “Very well sir”
“In the nearest future I would need you to draw up something else for me”
“Who do you want to take unaware this time Mr Odinaka?” There was a half smile
Emeka stares up at him, but his eyes looks past him “Someone whom I once lost myself to… but till then, you can leave”
Grace comes down from the cab with her son, heading into the mall when she ran into Diana, she sees her in the boutique, shopping for expensive cloths.
Grace is staring at her, last time she checked Diana was looking for a job and she didn’t have so much money and her last boyfriend had left her when he got tired of being her ATM, so how come she was in the Mango store shopping for cloths.
She should go meet her but she stops. The last time they saw, she had called Diana out on sheer sneakiness and told her to stay away from Emeka because she knew Diana didn’t have good intentions and Diana had insulted her for telling her the truth and seeing through her and it had hurt her.
Because she loved her as a sister she wanted her to do things right but Diana had always wanted to do what she wanted regardless of who gets hurt and all those years she knew Diana never taught about Emeka, they were best friends. Diana didn’t mention or think about him for a minute not even after that day years ago they saw him hawking water. She didn’t care even after they got home she had refused to listen to her as she told her let them go and find Emeka and help him anyway they could.
But Diana had been angry that she had dared to mention she knew Emeka in front of her boyfriend, she had cursed him for being the reason for not enjoying the way she wanted in school because he didn’t have money she had to pretend and lie to live a fake life but she was done and she would never come and pretend for nothing. That he should die for all she cares. Emeka was a bad past to her and she was glad she left him.
All these years she never mentioned, never cared and all of a sudden she wants him back claiming she loves him? Diana loves no one but herself and she wants nothing but his wealth, his status and his life of luxury, that was all and for a man who had been broken, left and abandoned, he deserved someone better, not someone like Diana and if she only she had the mind she would go and look for Emeka herself and tell him to not let Diana get close,..
But despite it all, she couldn’t. She just prays Emeka smells Diana’s gold-digger-ness from afar, only then can he protect himself from her selfish claws.
Sighing Grace turns away when she hears her name.
“‘Grace!!! Grace!!! come here my very good friend, come, come, I told you didn’t I? I told you, Emeka has forgiven me, we are having dinner today and I think we are back to dating… oh i’m so happy I forgive you for your stupid comments. Come! help me pick a dress” She says coming towards her and pulling her with her “hello junior, don’t worry your aunt will be so rich you can come spend holiday in my big house and leave that dump of a place you and your mother stays… okay?” she pinches the boy’s cheeks, he rubs her hands away.
“‘Diana look, I don’t-”
“‘Grace relax joh, come let me tell you all about our date that day, oh I am so happy, which do you think would be okay? This sexy black dress or this open back red gown… or this gold short dress? I want to look so hot that he can’t take his eyes off me and want me… just one night and he is gone.
I am not the young girl he used to know, I have mad skills now and I don’t care if he has been with other woman but when I handle him, he would remember how much he loves and missed me and I won’t be surprised before the year runs out, what am I saying sef, in a month or two I am sure he would ask me to marry him, I am made for life baby and I could help you with a good job my friend, and maybe slap that your baby daddy some sense for not sticking it with you. Oh which is better?” Diana says placing one cloth after the other on her chest facing the mirror, cocking her head from side to side.
“How about a sincere heart, that would look better”‘ Grace says
Diana rolls her eyes “Maybe I can get a sellotape for your mouth Grace. Look I am trying here, so stop it. I don’t care about whatever you want to say, whether you approve or not I don’t care, just be my friend not my fxxking conscience, just be happy for me,whatever happens is my head, not yours”‘
“But when it does happen, I will gloat, I will say I told you so and I will laugh when you cry,Ii will-”
“Dance the merengue on my death bed if you will, fart in my face, tell me Ntor in five languages and piss in my tea for good measure, do the makarina for my painment..whatever!!”
Grace couldn’t help but smile “‘I will do it, I will”‘
“Permitted and granted. Now can we get back to being friends now, I miss you and I wanna share my happiness with my best friend”‘
Grace sighs, you really can’t hate someone you care about despite their selfishness. Love was a fleeting trick-ish thing. you will always have a soft spot despite how much they hurt you. Sometimes she hates this thing called love.
“Fine! Diana, go with the red dress, it would make his eyes pop”‘
“I know right”‘ she says ”Give me that and that”
“How are you going to pay though, its expensive”‘
“Got a loan, but iIwill pay back. Emeka would be taking care of my needs after we seal the deal, don’t worry.”
Diana stares at her
“I didn’t say nothing”
”But you are thinking it” Diana tells her
”You know me too well”‘
”As long as you keep it in your mind, we are cool”
He had been sitting in the car for half an hour as they parked.
“Sir?” His driver turns to him worried “if you want we can go back if you feel unsettled about this meeting? This is unlike you Sir, is all okay?”
Emeka nods, “Yes, never been better, pick me up in a few hours” Emeka tells the driver as he comes down from his car, security detail opens the door for him, he buttons his suit and looks up at the building which used to have “The Ibekwe’s Construction Company and Ventures”‘ but now has ”Ambross Contruction and Ventures”‘
He remembers Jessica, his heart pulls.
Rest in peace Jessica, rest in peace the Ibekwes
“‘Ah, Mr Odinaka, welcome welcome! Allow me give you a tour, I know it’s a mess but a few years ago this was a beauty but I know now with the money you have sent in which I have confirmed with my accountant, it would bring it back to its glory… we have begun to offset bills, new construction materials are on the way and a lot of other works are commencing today but let me give you a tour of my company so you see that your money is being used appropriately as discussed” Mr Ambross had rushed out to greet him with a few staffs, introducing him as an investor and ordering them to greet him with both hands and with respect.
It takes two hours for Emeka to go round the company and truly see that things are well under way.
“I expect reports of your daily dealings every end of the month Mr Ambross and also to see how business is being conducted. I may come in unannounced as I deem fit, you got the mail from my PA this morning?”
“Yes but I don’t understand why you said the bank should be changed”
“I also need to make my profits Mr Ambross and I want your profits from what you start getting to be monitored, it is your money but I also want to be on a safe side that one day you don’t wake up and run away with all of it including my investment, break our contract and leave me hanging at a loss”
Mr Ambross laughs,s o did a few staffs “I won’t sir,never! You have saved us, now I can pay salaries, begin projects and I am back ontop… why would I bite the hands that feed me?”
“Exactly what I have been asking myself Mr Ambross”
“‘what was that sir?”
“Nothing, I am glad we understand ourselves, I will be coming from time to time.”
“Ÿou are welcome to Sir. May I invite you sir for dinner one of this days, my woman will prepare something nice”
Emeka’s jaw flexes, his eyes squints “Sure,why not” he would really love to see who his father picked over his mother.
“Good day Mr Ambross!”
“Thank you so much Sir, please everyone thank the good man, he is God sent! God sent!” they thank him
Emeka nods leaving.
His phone rings…
“‘Baby, when are you coming to pick me?”
He grimances “Now!!”
He sees her leaving her compound, a wide smile on her face as she slips into the car, she leans in to peck his cheeks, he leans away as though reaching for something to his side avoiding her kiss as he puts the car on drive.
“So which five star restaurant are we going to, oh there is Echelon heights , or that foreign one at erm… what’s the name again” She thinks to herself
“We are not going to any of those Dee”
She turns on her seat as they Car is moving, he doesn’t look at her.
“‘I thought we were going to have dinner?”‘
“‘Yes we still are but not at some fancy restaurant ”
She frowns, “Why not! ! And I got all dressed up thinking we were going to a really nice and expensive place, eat nice food … so many things to do afterwards, surely you can afford to treat me nice … you are rich”
You can’t even hide your gold-digging attributes Diana, you disgust me, he spares her a glance..
“Yes I can afford to treat you nice and yes I am rich, but where I am taking you to, it’s worth more than a few hours at a fancy restaurant and money thrown away..”
What’s more important that fancy restaurant, money and a good time eh Emeka, she frowns deeply, sighing..
“So where are we going to that beats all this”
She looks at her dress, angry at him. So this nice sexy outfit she was going to walk before him in and allow him have a good view of her sexy body would go to waste right? No Emeka, you will not ruin my plans tonight… Nope! !
“My house, we would be having dinner at my house , and I also want you to meet my mother” he says
She swallows “Your- your mother?”‘ Okay she wasn’t expecting that..
His mother, would she welcome her? She must hate her for leaving her son. But then again, it was ten years ago, women forget easily than men right. Besides, who cares about his mother. But if he wants her to meet his mother that means…. that means he is really serious about them.
Oh Diana, the stars are shinning bright for you, she smiles
“Yes, look Diana, I am no longer a young man, I need to settle down, now that I have found you, I don’t intend to let go. I want to show my mother who I intend to get married to, I want her blessings” he says rubbing her hands
God for real, this is happening faster than she thought, truly the gods were on her side, hey..!! “will your mother accept me, after all..it’s too soon?”‘
”Nonsense!! It’s my happiness Dee” he says ”She will”‘
Happily she relaxes in the car, “Thank you Jesus for making me run into Emeka” she mutters under her breath
“Did you say something ?”
“No, I said I would be glad to have dinner in your house and see your mother baby”
He nods, there it is Diana… You have no idea what awaits you there.
He concentrates on the road as they head to his house.
They had entered his house and Emeka had ushered her in..
“Mama, meet the girl I want to marry”
A moment of silence… Then a sudden outburst.
“Over my dead body” Mercy says staring at Emeka and the girl she remembers so well..”Over my dead body” she repeats
TO BE CONT.