Click 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, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Eight, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Nine, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Ten, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Eleven, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Twelve, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Thirteen, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Fourteen, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Fifteen, Featherlight Heart -Chp Sixteen, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Seventeen
Diana goes out to see Olive and Mercy seated in the parlour, they ignore her, she leaves them and goes to the kitchen, Mama Tito didn’t turn when she entered..
”Can I help you Miss Diana?”
Diana cleans her eyes, clears her throat ”Mama Tito, where is Mama’s food?”
”I want to serve her”‘
”Can you please give me her food so I serve her?” she sniffs
”Why Miss Diana, you know she wouldn’t like that?”
”And I know you also wouldn’t like that but please, let me, I have to do this”‘
”Who are you trying to impress, Oga Emeka?”
Diana sighs, too much obstacle ”No one, at this moment no one”‘
”I am sorry Miss Diana but I will serve her food, as well as Miss Olive’s, I will also serve you your food so if you would just go back, I will do it all, thank you. ”
Diana stares at her, sighing she turns away leaving the kitchen.
Mama Tito shakes her head, murmuring under her breath, after setting up the food in deep fancy plates, she pauses..
”Mama Tito, Mama said I should ask you if you saw her bangle, she left it on the dinning?” a staff walks in asking her from the door
”Yes, I do, it is erm…okay, tell her I kept it in the room, I will go get it”‘
The staff nods leaving, Mama Tito leaves soon after.
Diana comes into the kitchen, she places a tray and the food in the bowls on it, she carries it out, going to the dinning and sets it there, she does the run two to three times..
She smiles when she is done.
Mama Tito pulls out the drawer and takes out the bangle, handing it to her.. as Mercy and olive comes upstairs with her.
”Oh thank you Mama Tito, you know it is a very nice gift that Olive bought for me, I was sad to know i lost it”
”Ha Mama, I would have bought another one for you, more than one, different shapes and sizes..” Olive laughs
”No, this one is precious too, thank you Mama Tito”‘ Mercy smiles at her
”You are welcome Ma”
”Is the table set, I think Emeka would be home soon”‘
”No but food is ready, I was about setting the table before you asked for me… let me go and do it”
”Okay, Olive lets go to the dinning while she sets the table, I am so hungry”
They leave the room going downstairs, heading to the dinning when they meet her there,
Diana looks up with a smile on her face, “Mama, I have already set the table, please come and eat, everyone please”‘
”Welcome Sir, trust you had a good day”‘
”Yes Benga, I did..” Emeka alights from the car giving the key to another who enters and drives it to the garage, the head of his security is still standing there
”You said you wanted to speak to us, I hope there isn’t any issue sir, we do our jobs well and makes sure your family is well protected.”
”Í do know that… but I want to discuss another matter with you and I expect that you be discreet, you need to be on top of things when it does happen”
”What will happen sir?”
”Let me explain to you”‘
”I will not eat food set by her, clear the table, prepare something else” Mercy says
”But Mama, I didn’t cook the food I just served what was already prepared by Mama Tito, if you would just sit down and i would serve you please”
”I said No, prepare something else, we would wait Mama Tito”
”I told you not to touch it did I not, I told you she wouldn’t like it did I not? See now you are giving me extra work!!” Mama Tito snaps
”I just wanted to help around the house!!”‘ Diana sniffs
”Well no one asked you to” Olive says shaking her head ”Mama, if you don’t want to eat it its fine, we don’t have to, we can order out, I will order out, let me go my phone, I hear there is this nice Chinese restaurant around here and they deliver, I am sure Emeka would not mind eating out”
”No need for that, Mama Tito would prepare something else” she tells her
”That’s fine Miss Olive, I can prepare something else, Sir Emeka likes homemade food either from me or his mother, I will go prepare it” Mama Tito nods to her
”But I just set the table, it’s not as if i poisoned the food” Diana blinks back
”Well you never know” Olive throws at her blowing her newly coated nails
Diana eyes her ”Please, I am trying to..to..” she trails off
”To do what, kill us all really? So you can be all by yourself with Emeka?” she laughs
”Olive, I don’t like you, you know that, and you don’t like me, that well I know but this isn’t about you nor me, this is about me and Mama so if you would please take a chill pill that would be fine, it’s just a harmless gesture, its food, food you all were going to eat anyways, I just want to do something around the house instead of sitting down and doing nothing, I want to be useful, I want to be… someone other than what you think I am Mama, so this is me trying to help around the house and nothing more, I want to do something more”
”How about you do this really nice gesture Diana, how about you take your things and leave, that would be the nicest thing you would do for me” Mercy spat
Diana blinks again, Olive smiles ”I think that would work for me too”
”I can’t!!” Diana shakes her head
”Exactly, your desire for material things runs so deep it blinds you to sense!!” Mercy throws at her
Diana struggles to blink again, she sniffs ”Please, come sit” she pulls out the chair, one, two, three…
”Please the food is getting cold!” she opens the food and carries a plate, a tear slips from her eyes..
”What would you have mama, chicken soup, stew or sauce for your rice?”
Mama walks up to her and flings the plate away, it shatters to the ground… Diana gasps, another tear drops ”I said I do not want it, do not annoy me Diana, I don’t want it, anything you touch gets broken, gets hurt… I don’t want it so do something nice and leave” she points to the door
A few more tears drops, her heart constricts as Mercy continuous to shout on her and tell her what she thinks she is.
Emeka had entered the house, no one noticed, he had been standing there for a few minutes..
He watches the scene, he says nothing.
”I just want to…to …” Diana blinks again as she cleans her eyes, she carries another plate, mercy slaps it down
”Drop it, get out!!!” she points to the door
”Please!!” Diana chokes
”Maybe you should leave Diana” Olive joins in, ”Maybe till Mama is less upset”
She turns away covering her mouth, she bursts out in tears running out, the tears blurring her eyes and she didn’t see until she runs into hard chest..
”Hey Dee, why are you crying?” Emeka says stiffly, clearing his throat, shushing her
Diana raises up her head seeing him, she covers her face in his chest and cries, mumbling unintelligently between hiccups as she tries to explain,
”Ssshh Sshhh!!” he tells her, don’t think Emeka, don’t feel, don’t see, don’t let it get to you.., he says to himself, he had never ever liked to see her cry, whenever she was sad he felt pained, but not anymore Diana, not now, not ever. Cry, cry as much as you want, this is not even close to how you made me feel then.. So cry, it suits you well..
”Mama, what is going on here?”
”Emeka, what do you think, i don’t want her serving food, God knows what she has put in it, I don’t know… I told her not to and she insisted”
”Mama, it’s just food, no harm in it, you don’t have to make her cry”‘
”I did nothing to her other than tell her the truth Emeka, I think she is crying out of a guilty conscience or it is just crocodile tears because she saw you!!”
Diana cries increases as he held her,
Emeka sighs, his eyes meets Olive, she smiles at him..he nods..he sighs again raising Diana’s face away from his shoulders ”Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay Dee, I am here, I won’t let anyone hurt you anymore okay, okay”‘
”I told her, I was sorry, I really am sorry for, everything, for everything, I just want to do something nice.. serve food, try and make amends..I just..just” she sobs holding unto him
”Sssshh shhh its okay Dee, it’s okay” he kisses her forehead…”Come, ” he pulls her with him, dropping his briefcase and going to the dining table, he pulls her down to sit..
He turns to his mother, going to her ”Mama, it is just food, it is harmless, let her.”‘
”But Emeka, I do not want it, not from her, you know my stand in this your union, why do you insist on going against me?’ she flares up
He takes her hand and places it on his heart ”You see that Mama, you feel that? My heart hurts when she hurts, and when you hurt her like that you hurt me”‘
She raises her hands to his face ”And when you are left and broken and abandoned, I am also like that my son, she isn’t good for you, she isn’t, look..here” she pulls his hand going to Olive “See her” she takes Olive’s hand “She is a nice girl,. She is nice, she cares about you, she is understanding and I like her, don’t you like her? You call her your special friend right? You must like her a lot somewhat. What is wrong with Olive, why go back to a girl who spat you out, what is it Emeka, did she charm you or what?”
”Mama” he tries to pull his hand away, she doesn’t let him, her eyes pulls, she takes Olive’s hand and places it in his ”Marry her, I will give my blessing, but I won’t for Diana. I have watched you break over and over again, I have watched you melt like a candle, I have seen you in your lowest and darkest hours…Emeka, when no one was I have been there so is it a crime to want to protect you from the same pain you took years to come out from?”
”No Mama, then you will understand if I also protect you from the pain that broke your heart” he says to her looking into her eyes
”What do you mean Emeka?”
He collects himself, damnit ”Nothing Mama, I am just saying that I know you want to protect me and you mean well, but I want her, I found her again and I do not want to let go, don’t you understand? She is my life Mama, Diana is, she is everything and yes she has wronged me, wounded me, casted me away and broke me into pieces when I needed her the most and you have been the one there to pick me up” he says looking at Diana, she looks up at him, hearing him, listening to him, hearing his pain, her heart constricts, he continues to speak
”But I love her, loved her for so long that loving another is impossible…”‘ he stares at Diana, their eyes meet, he turns away looking at his mother ”She is the one I want to marry, the one I want to spend my life with, no one else mama…”
Olive stares at him, then at Diana, and then back at him, she has a look on her face, her smile wanes out.. was it just her or that felt like it had so much emotion in it.
Mercy sniffs, ”You won’t listen to me, how do I protect you when you do not listen to me”
”I do, I do Mama, but do you want me to be unhappy forever?”
”I want you to be happy my son!!” she sniffs, wiping away tears
”Then accept her, accept her as my love, my life, my wife, I beg you!!” he pleads, they could hear Diana sniffing
She is silent ”Mama! Please!!” he repeats
She stares at Diana ”And if she hurts you again, if she leaves you ruined again, broken, bruised?”
”She won’t, She loves me!!”
Mercy shakes her head as tears fall, she wipes it ”I cannot, I am sorry!!” she pulls away from him, Emeka sighs ”Okay, at least let her serve you, if you don’t like her because you don’t trust her, give her a chance to proof herself, do that for me, please, that is all I ask here Mama”
”I don’t want her to..”‘
”What if I serve you!!” he cleans his mother’s eyes
”You have tons of staffs for that..”
”Doesn’t mean, no matter how rich a man is, he should be able to bend his head and bow to his mother, bend his knee to knee for her and use his hands to carry her when she cannot move, and I am able, rich or not, and I will serve you, I will serve the most important women in my life, starting with you my Queen, come seat and no more tears, not while I am alive, so promise me Mama, you will give her a chance to redeem herself, whatever she wants to do to help around the house, let her, scold her if she is wrong, correct her too, but don’t chase her away from me, I will go with her”
”No don’t say that!!”‘ she shakes her head
”Okay then, then allow me be happy with whomever, please, come seat” he pulls her down.
”Mama Tito, please ask them to clear off that mess on the ground” he tells her as he folds his shirt and rolls it up, he takes off his tie and drops it across the chair, he takes out an handkerchief and wipes his mother’s face, I am sorry Mama, I hope when all this is done you will forgive me, understand why I did this and I let this happen. I am sorry mama, seeing you cry almost made me to quit it, I am so so sorry Mama , he tells himself, he bends and kisses her forehead and her cheeks and places his forehead against hers ”I love you Mama”‘
”I love you too my son, but you don’t need to serve, you just got back from work. Mama Tito go and..”
He shakes his head smiling ”Mama Tito, you to seat down, everyone sit, oya!!” he tells Mama Tito pulling out a seat for her, then he goes to Olive,
”You are playing with fire Emeka” she whispers looking into his eyes ”I pray you don’t get burnt, this… feels too.. too”‘ she lets it trail off
”I won’t, I promise ” whispering back
”What you said, just now..I felt, no it felt real”
”Are you jealous?”
She smiles “No, you know why?” she touches his shirt, touching his face, smiling into his eyes ”Because I know the truth at least a few measure of it, if I didn’t know better I would have believed this whole thing was real…, you would make a very good actor Emeka, I would put money on you any day, I only wish..”‘ she steps closer, lowering her voice more ”I only wish that… you could tell me those things too, even if it’s a lie… sometimes, a girl wants to feel special, even for a moment, and trust me, you just scored a few points in her book, look at her, look at the way her eyes glowed when you said that, a man who defends his woman is gold in her eyes, maybe it made me a little jealous and it is understandable, why? Because I have the hots for you babe and you know that, but like I said, I know the truth..” she kisses his jaw and walks away..
He smiles cynically, turning.. ”Okay so, I am your waiter for this evening” he goes to the table and begin to dish and serve ”Okay Mama, this is for you, you better finish your food, I am watching you, and you too Olive, you too Mama Tito” done with them, he dishes a plate for Dee who was sniffing, he seats down beside her, he wipes her tears with his hands, shaking his head ”Hey Dee, you know I hate to see you cry, here, come here” he says pulling her up, he lets her seat on his legs, he takes the spoon, scoops food and takes it to her mouth ”Eat!”‘
She shakes her head ”No, I am no longer hungry” she says,
”Please, see I had to stand up to my mother for you, won’t you eat for me?”
She stares at him ”Did you really mean that, all that you said?”
”I will never lie” he lied
”I didn’t realise, what your mother said to me, I didn’t realise that was how much I hurt you, I am sorry Emeka, I really am,..all this realizations is weighing me down, Ifeel shame and I am guilty, I am sorry, but you forgave me, without a moment’s thought, you forgave me, what manner of man are you. I am so sorry!!”
The man that would give you tit for tat ”the man that didn’t stop loving you. So enough of that, eat, I have a surprise for you”‘
He feeds her, and then he eats.
”I know you must have had a stressful day, let me let you” Diana says getting up, she begins to clear the plates
”No, I will do it!!” Mama Tito gets up
”Please let me”‘
”Let her, if she wants to be the maid for us, let her ” Olive says smiling
Diana looks up at her, Emeka follows her eyes “‘Olive, please”‘
”Hey, I was just stating the obvious sweetheart”‘
”Mama Tito, allow her, just help her with it”’
As they leave, His mother turns to him ”this is hard for me to accept”
He turns to her, ”I know, but accept it”
Diana walks back to the dinning to gather more used plates, he sees her ”And please” he adds, ”Stop trying to pull me towards Olive, she is my friend, Diana is the one I want to marry, please Mama”‘
Mercy and Olive turn as she carries another plate and leaves, Olive smiles, Mercy turns to him ”You see her but you don’t see Olive, you don’t give her a chance, you never know what you feel for her if you don’t give her a chance, all I am just saying is that before you jump finally to the boat that Diana is paddling, how about letting yourself bask in the bliss of what Olive is”‘
He turn to Olive ”She doesn’t even like me Mama, she is my friend”
”Then you are blind!!”
”Yes i Ithink he is mama” Olive tells his mother, when Emeka and her eyes meets, they smile, a message passing between them.
”Well, whenever that happens, I would be glad to bless it, until then, you say give Diana a chance, fine, but I do not have to be nice to her”
”Fine Mama, that’s okay, as long as you have agreed, that is great.”
Diana walks back into the parlour ”Okay, it is late, I just want to say goodnight to everyone before I go to bed”
Mercy looks at her, now she isn’t fighting to go sleep in Emeka’s room now huh? Wanda!!
Well let’s see how this all plays out, pretence written all over her, Mercy sighs.
Mama Tito answers the telecom and goes to open the door, she comes back baring a small box and a bouquet of flowers ”Sir?”
Emeka jumps up smiling, he takes it from her ”I got you a surprise Dee, see” he gives her the box and then the flowers..
”A surprise? What is in it?”
”Open it and see”‘
She does so, it’s a diamond ring, and she gasps.
”So that you don’t have any doubt. Diana Nkenchior”‘ he takes the ring and goes on his knees ”Will you marry me?”
Mercy’s mouth drops to the floor, Olive is indifferent.
Diana stares at him, and then at them, speechless, a moment ago she would have jumped at this, but now, something was different, she looks at his mother.
”If Mama would accept me I will, if she wouldn’t then I won’t”
Emeka turns to his mother “Mama, don’t let your son remain on his knee forever, see what you have caused? So please give your blessings Mama”
Mercy shakes her head [leading with her eyes ”Emeka?”
”Olive?” she points to her
”Mama please don’t ruin this mama, don’t ruin this, give you consent”‘
She blinks back tears. if she says no, Diana, will she really back away? That is all that she wants, for her to back away from her son, but then again, would her son ever forgive her if truly he loves her?
Torn, she stares at him.. God, please, help my son, change his heart if she is all wrong for him, please, ..
”Mama, whatever you decision is, I will stand by it, I promise!!” Diana states, Emeka looks at her, okay, he didn’t expect this at all.
”I do not give me consent Diana.., but, if this is what my son wants, I will only do what a mother would do, let him, but like a watch dog I will protect him.” She pauses and continuous painfully “‘my son has asked you a question”‘ she turns away
Diana looks at him, a smile breaking out ”Yes I will marry you!!”
With a the most fake smile he could muster he slips the ring into her finger and gets up hugging her, avoiding the kiss she wanted to give him… he kisses her forehead instead.
”Mama, I think we have an engagement to plan, yes?” he laughs.
Diana is looking at her diamond ring, she is smiling…
Now, she was even stupid to think she would leave Emeka, look at those diamonds..
He was thinking really hard, staring away when she calls his name..
”Goodnight Emeka, goodnight Mama,” she says walking a way.
Does he ask her to come to the room or let her, would it matter?
Mercy watches her walk away, she looks at Emeka and wondering why he isn’t stopping her… she says nothing, she turns to Olive, who is watching Emeka too. She gets up..
”Goodnight my son!!” she kisses his face and leaves, tomorrow, she would makes sense of what is going on, something didn’t seem right.
When she was out of ear reach, Olive comes to him ”Are you okay?”
”Yes!!” he says breaking away from his thoughts
”What happened in there, in your room, before you left this morning?”
”You are lying!!”
”You know me well”‘
”Not enough but a bit,. You don’t want to talk to me?”
”I do, I just, it was a momentary guards down, I won’t let it happen again, ”
She nods ”You really don’t have any feelings for her right?”
”Cust making sure! Come, let’s go sleep!!” she pulls him up and they go to the room
”You want me to help you relax?” she says touching him, he shakes his head ”No!!”
”You not pushing me away are you?”
He stares at her ”’No!! I just want to… sleep that’s all”
”Okay!!” she pulls away.. he grabs her, pulls her back ”Thank you Olive, you didn’t have to help but you did, thank you”
”For you, any time”‘ she leans in on tiptoe and kisses him full on his lips, he kisses her back, but his mind wasn’t in it, she notices
”Maybe when you are well rested, I am just a arm stretch away, get into bed champ, you have to rest your mind for what’s to come”‘
She pulls him to the bed, and climbs in beside him; he lies there, with her in his arms.
Soon she drifts to sleep; he doesn’t, not for a very long time.
TO BE CONTINUED.