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, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Eighteen
The next morning, Diana wakes up before everyone, she goes to the kitchen, opening and closing the fridge and cabinet.. bringing out pasta, raw meat and condiments.
The perks of staying in a rich man’s house, it is always stocked.
She set about making breakfast, she wants to do it before everyone woke up, she wanted to leave them no choice other than to eat what she made, she was a good cook, that she could pride herself in at least.
By the time she was done, she heard the door opening and closing, she covers the pot and exits the kitchen and heads back to her room.
Mama Tito didn’t see her leave the kitchen as she began to tidy the main parlour.
She quickly showers , arranges her room, adorns one of the new cloths he got her, she wears her ring, then she pauses staring at it for a long time, a bittersweet smile on her face. Sighing she leaves the room, she meets Emeka coming down the stairs.
”Morning Dee” he reaches her, pulling her to him, instead of kissing her he dips her and places a kiss to her forehead and raises her up, she smiles
”I didn’t know you were taking dance lessons..”
”Oh well, I need to be able to dance for our wedding now abi?”
She looks up to see Olive coming down, her face changes, she looks at Emeka, he see’s the reflection of Olive in her eyes, he read her mind ”Nothing happ-”
”I trust you, but still” she cuts him
”I know, I asked you to come with me last night you said no”‘
”Because I trust you and I know you wouldn’t do anything you shouldn’t”
”And what do you think he did?” Olive leans forward “You going somewhere this early Dee?” she mocks
Diana ignores her, she raises her hand and brushes Emeka’s shirt ”Can I tag along, I need to go see a friend, my car isn’t here yet so..” she trails off
”Sure Dee, anything for you, let me grab my briefcase”‘
While he goes upstairs Olive takes the remaining steps down ” Doesn’t it bother you, that I spent the whole night with him… maybe even helped him shower?”
Diana’s jaw flexes, ”No!!”
”Because men like Emeka are rare and they won’t fall for you even if you are standing naked, his little boy wouldn’t even stand” Diana stated matter-of-factly folding her arms.
Olive stares at her, her lips curls into a smile, and then she laughs a slow-too-loud laugh
”Why are you laughing?” Dee frowns
”Oh no reason just that..” she steps closer ”Who told you it’s a little boy, for a woman who is territorial about her man, you know nothing” with a wink Olive walks away
Diana turns to watch her leave sharply…
Does that mean.. does that mean Emeka and her are… are…
She was going to follow her and demand to know what she meant when the stairs cricks, she turns, it was Mercy coming down, she was dressed, she was probably going to her shop. Another time Olive.
“Mama, good morning. I am going out, I want to go see my friend, but, I have made breakfast, please come eat”
Mercy doesn’t answer her.
Diana turns and walks away, at least she wasn’t shouting at her. She enters the kitchen “Mama Tito, I have already cooked breakfast, so you don’t need to stress yourself, let me help you set the table”
Mama Tito opens the pot to look into it, she frowns ”You would have left it for me, you don’t know what they like to eat”
”If they taste it they would like it, my fiancé wants to head to work so he has to eat first, come, let us set the table ”
She walks away lifting trays and plate..
Mama Tito sighs following her.
Emeka comes down to meet them ”Hmm something smells nice, what did you cook Mama Tito?”
She looks at Diana, ”I wasn’t the one who prepared it”‘
”Baby, please come eat before we leave, Mama , please ”
Mercy was reluctant and she showed it.
”Mama?” Emeka turns to her ”At least appreciate her effort, hmm”‘
Mercy goes after a few minutes to the table, Diana dishes and places the food before, she places Emeka’s own toO, she dishes another plate… instead of giving it to Olive she seats down facing Emeka.
Olive smiles, she gets up and makes her way round the table ”You must realise that this is Emeka’s house, not yours… you may be wearing that ring but you aren’t his wife..” She dishes herself a plate, taking a seat and putting food into her mouth
‘Yet!!” Diana cuts stiffly
”Please ladies,” Emeka steps in “by the way Olive when is your trip back” that was pleasant news for Diana, Emeka could see the smile spreading across her face, His mother’s was one of sadness
”Oh in a few days” Olive says between mouthfuls
”Okay, remind me so I book you your ticket”‘
Diana looks up smiling at him, finally, she would leave, thank God
Mercy reluctantly puts the food in her mouth, it was nice, she could cook, doesn’t mean anything though.
An hour later Emeka is driving out with Diana in the car, but she is frowning, “You seemed happy to see me this morning, now you are frowning with us alone, speak to me Dee”
”Are you sleeping with her, Olive?”
”Why would you think that”‘
”Because, because she said your..your..erm, she insinuated that..” she trails off blushing
He laughs ”Olive was just pulling your legs”
”What sort of joke is that, what do you both do in that room at night?”
”If you are so bothered why didn’t you come to me last night as I requested, I was going to send her to the guest room but you refused, why are you acting jealous right now!”
”I am not jealous I just don’t like the fact that a woman who claims to be your friend is insinuating that she wants you all to herself and she is sleeping on the same bed with you and knows the size of… you know”
”You wanted me to send her out of the room? You know it was my mother who asked her to stay there”
”Yes I know and yes in fact I do know it was your mother and yes I want you to start tonight”
”Happier when she leaves”
”She is leaving, answered prayers!”
“‘You have no idea!”
”So where are you going to now?”
”To see my friend, Grace, I don’t think you would remember her, she used to be my best friend in school, she is-”
”I remember her” he states making a turn into her streets, he looks at his side mirror, no matter how many times he tells his securities not to follow him when he is driving alone, they don’t listen, he could make out their cars a few cars behind him, he sighs, perks of a rich man. He shakes his head, Diana is talking
”Okay, wow that’s nice, well she is my great friend, I am sure she would want to see you too, she would be my chief bride’s maid and all” she claps her hands together smiling from ear to ear
”Whatever makes you happy!”
When he finally stops the car, she turns on her seat ”You have a good day in the office okay?”
”Okay, you too!!”
She stares at him for a few moments, then she leans and kisses him lightly on his lips and steps down, Emeka turns away, a frown replacing his smile as he zooms off, he wipes his lips.
”Come in Diana, but sorry I am a little busy” Grace opens the door for her and steps away, Diana is looking around, she drops her bags
”What is going on here, why are your things packed into boxes? Don’t tell me your landlord asked you to leave? Damn, your rent expired a month ago…oh dear!!” Diana grabs her to hug ”Where is Jnr?… look you don’t have to worry I will –”
”No silly, well yes my rent had expired but that is not the reasons I am parking into my new place, already moved some things, Jnr is with the babysitter at the new house, I needed time and space to move my things without him disturbing me, the truck would soon be here to take them”‘
”I don’t get’ ‘Diana seats down “Did the asshole of a father finally take responsibility? Oh wait he proposed, has he left his sluts and finally want to settle down, take care of his kid?”
”Nope!! And he has a name”
”I don’t care, he is an asshole, an asshole he is”‘
Grace smiles shaking her head, typical Diana, see everyone’s fault spot on but not hers ”I got a job, accommodation and an officially car, good pay… the whole shebang!!!”
”oh weeeeeeehhh that is nice” she stands up and hugs her friend ”See, you aren’t entirely poverty stricken, check you out now… so where is this place, how much is the pay, where is your address so we can celebrated the new house”
Grace pulls away frowning , “Did you see Emeka Yesterday and today”
Diana knocks her brow ”Yes, why? What does he have to do with anything?”
”A lot! Emeka gave me a job yesterday and made all of this happen, I got my life back because of him and I am no longer at the mercy of Tobi, junior gets a better bright future”‘
Diana is shocked then she seats down slowly ”For real?”
”Yes!! We ran into each other yesterday, one talk led to another, and viola!! This morning I got the call, they said I should move in immediately, I got the keys, I got the car… and a full months pay alert… isn’t God.. God? Isn’t Emeka a blessing? oh I am so happy I wanted to call and tell you but figured he must have told you”
She shakes her head ”He didn’t, he was the one who dropped me off, he didn’t mention it even when I mentioned I was going to see my friend and called your name” she fingers the ring staring into space, her mind troubled, her heart filled with a different sensation she hasn’t been used to.
Grace stares at her, looking at the big diamond ring, then her mouth drops open ”It’s a lie, he proposed with this?… oh my God!” Grace squeals as she held Diana’s hand and gushes over the beautiful ring , after a few minutes she pauses ”Shouldn’t you be jumping all over the place Diana?”
”What is it Diana?” Grace is worried
Diana stares down at her hands, ”That is what I want to talk to you about, I and his mother had a talk, no more like, a talk down. His mother said some bitter things to me, really bitter, so many awful things to me, about me, about him”
”Were they the truth?”
”And how did it make you feel?”
”Shame!! Guilt! Remorseful, maybe disgusted about the person she described me to be”
”Maybe you do have a heart in there after all”‘ Grace says more to herself than to Diana
”And now, everything I do or think weighs down on me, she told me how Emeka suffered a lot, both of them, him especially having double pain of his father and me, the way she spoke, from a place of pain and anguish to have watched her son go through so much and I wasn’t there to give him a shoulder when he needed me Grace, I wasn’t there..” she sniffs, her heart pulls, her eyes tears up, she sniffs again, she wipes at it.. why the hell was she crying? She sniffs again and wipes her tears.
Grace is shocked staring at her, was she crying, was Diana really actually crying? Wanda!!! What did his mother say? What words of her that had caused Diana to cry, Diana never cries about the pains she causes another, not even about a man.
”Are you crying?”
She shakes her head and wipes her eyes ”Tell me, am I a bad person Grace? Was I everything she said, was I? I was young and stupid and did everything I did for fun, for money for material satisfaction and it was great. I didn’t think twice when I left him, didn’t regret when I said all those things to him ten years ago, I didn’t think of him ever for those ten years. I jumped from one man to another chasing the money and yet where did it leave me? Alone, sad, miserable without one sticking it out to love me for me, and after ten years I am still that stupid girl, who chases men for their money and not for love and… I may remain so because I have no love in my heart, not even for the one who loved me then, not even for Emeka who still loves me now. This ring, it’s beautiful. It’s expensive, same as everything he got for me yesterday, treating me like a lady, his woman, his queen and ..and ” she lets the tears flow..
”And what Diana ”
”I feel nothing, nothing. Other than shame and guilt, and it all started when his mother told me who I was to my face and I couldn’t say anything to defend myself because it’s the truth. Everything I touch hurt and breaks, I broke him Grace, I broke the boy that loved me, and I will break again this man who loves me still and I… I feel shame and guilt for what I am about to do to him” she cries
Something had changed with Diana, she never feels remorse, she never felt nothing for this men she ruined and used and takes what she can from and leaves, she was heartless and she didn’t care. But could it be, could it be she is already falling for the man Emeka and she has no idea…?
”How about you don’t do it Diana?”
”I can’t , I already started, I want to marry him, I want to enjoy all that he has, I want to bask in his splendor and his wealth, I… I deserve it”‘
Grace shakes her head ”Does he deserve you Dee? Does he deserve someone who wouldn’t love him for him, his heart, his body, his entirety? Does he deserve someone who would only stick it out with him when the going gets good and not until forever and for worse, does it feel good knowing you are lying to him? Ask yourself, if truly his mother’s words touched you in places no one could, don’t you think your guilt and shame means anything?”
”That you have started developing feelings for Emeka?”
She shakes her head ”I don’t love him?”
”Does this Olive… when you see him close to her, does it make you jealous?”
”Yes, it does! I even have nightmares of them together!!”
”That’s a first sign of having feelings for someone when another is trying to take your place” She stares hard at Diana “Do want to hurt him the way you did before? Ten years ago?”’
The tears roll out ”I wanted to, I wanted to take it all, gather as much as I could as his wife, and leave him, because I don’t stay with one for long, I wanted to…but…right now I don’t want, I don’t want to hurt him the way his mother told me I did. I wasn’t there, I dint see his pain, I only wonder what went through his mind then, how he managed to pick himself up. I don’t want to anymore, I don’t want to marry him when I am lying to him..I… I ” She cries ” I don’t know anymore grace, I feel shame and guilt, that is why I don’t want to push him with this Olive, because maybe she was his friend when I wasn’t… I am tolerating her, she even insinuated they slept together ”
”Did he deny it?”
”Maybe he is telling the truth, even if he isn’t, you left me for so long, you can’t crucify him one woman from his past who was there for him , you cheated on him countless times, I am not justifying his actions I am just saying, trust is better”
”But I felt this certain pain in my chest thinking if they are together, every time I hurt, I feel this pain and his mother’s words, as though her prayers were pricking my conscience. I don’t want to hurt him I don’t, but I also don’t want to leave him, he treats me like a lady, cares for me, shows me love, he even stood up to his mother for me and made her accept me even though it’s a long journey, now, he gives you a job and a better life, without being boastful about it. The maid in the house? He takes care of her and her son and God knows what other good deeds he does.
Emeka… Emeka deserves all the love and happiness and genuine-ness and perfect in the world… and I am far from it, I am. He wants to get married to me but how do I remove this ring that he bought and I love but yet, it weighs me down with guilt?”
”Your materialistic nature and your new self is at war! You are used to this life of material desires doing things that are untoward of a lady, and now..now.. you don’t want to anymore. Something is changing in you Diana and I suggest you embrace it. If you truly you don’t want to hurt him? then break line and go , break it off, tell him you are sorry, tell him the truth, it would hurt but now he wouldn’t have to go through that pain as he did before… he would be free, do it Diana!!!”
”I can’t! I can’t see him with another woman ” she cries ”I don’t know what is wrong with me, I don’t even know why I am crying, it just won’t stop, I don’t know what I am feeling and why I am feeling what I am feeling” she cries more
”You have feelings for him Diana, and if you want to be true to yourself, if you want to truly give this a chance you have to let go of the intention that you came with into this with. That bad intentions, that material atitude? Love for money? All this bad let it go. Love his mother for real, care about his life, love the man and not his money because when a man loves you and the woman he loves gets his heart, he would give her his world and all of his would be yours, but first you need to let go of you Diana, that bad side, let go, seat him down, tell him how you feel, be honest”
”I don’t know how I feel!”‘ she sobs
”Well, neither do I, but all I see is a different Diana than what I used to know, and that is a good thing, I am thankful for his mother, she would have no idea what her words had done to you because you needed to see and hear the damaged you had caused another before you begin to reach out to them again, think about it Diana. if I were you, I would leave, forget about him, give him closure and let him start his life a new even with this Olive girl, but if you have started having feelings for him, then you need to let your bad intentions go and love the man for him, strip him mentally of his riches and wealth and just these and love the man Emeka, trust me, everything else you want and never even asked he would give you.”
Diana cleans her eyes, but the tears doesn’t stop, Grace pulls her into a hug ”Whatever you do, do the right thing Dee, do it right for once!!”
”I don’t know what is wrong with me why the hell am I crying?” Diana repeats
”Sssshh, there there Dee, there there!”
There really was a God in heaven, she didn’t think she would ever see Diana change.
”’Sir, Mr Ambross is on line one” Agnes knocks on the door and puts in her head ”And Mr Tayo is here”
”Let him in”
He clicks on the blinking light ”Yes Ambross”‘
”Good afternoon Mr Odinaka, how are you today? I sent in some reports, have you taken a look at it, our sales are shooting high, just two weeks we are counting profits, its very exciting Sir” he laughs
Emeka looks up as Tayo walks in ”Yes I saw it, I think you all are doing a marvellous job, and the Anex project?”
”That is underway, we released about NGN10 million for it, construction is on track, shipments arrived yesterday, the company paid in the full this morning, that is why I am calling you Sir Odinaka, I also want to thank you, this morning I saw our work and then seeing our bank accounts, it is amazing, in just two weeks? It’s really overwhelming, never made so much in years” he laughs
Tayo seats down listening,
Ambross continuous ‘ And to crown it all, all those investors that left us because we were down, they are back, old and new wanting to do business with us, especially knowing that you Mr Odinaka Uchendu are our new investor, we are getting calls from them wanting to be part of the company especially for this Anex project that we would be doing with the Chinese Government. Ha Sir, you won’t understand. I will send you the reports of accounts by this week too, it’s amazing, I haven’t made this much money in my few years of working but with you and everyone else coming, in two weeks? No there is a God somewhere, I am, back to my stand, I am rich” he laughs
”Hold your horses Mr Chikurdi, you forget that my profits would be made from there too?”
”Of course sir”
”I hope you aren’t planning to run with my own money?”
A long laugh ‘No of course not Sir, but erm…”
”What is it?”
”You know, I sold my house and erm..”‘
”I thought you said you weren’t going to sell it?”
”Well, we were indebted to the bank and other things, so I sold it to pay off some debts and I wonder if I can borrow some amounts of money from the company’s account, I will pay back”
”You just took some amount of money according to the reports to pay salaries, outstandings for the past 8 months and miscellaneous ”
”Yes sir, it was necessary”’
”That’s a given. Okay how much money are we talking about?”
”About NGN30 million naira, I will pay it back Sir”
Tayo was about to say something but Emeka shakes his head ”I invested some huge amounts of money back into your company Mr Chikurdi, which was nothing… barely scarps I got it out of the gutter, you had nothing, nothing like not even a kobo, in two weeks my money made it what it is now, you haven’t even begun to make money from your end, nor invested any naira, now, a few millions are coming in, thanks to me and the first thing you want to do is to take a loan? For what if I may ask? It is your company yes, but it is my money, can you be able to repay the millions I have invested in a week?”
”Can you even dream to make that amount of money in all your years put together?”
”You said it, you haven’t ever made such amount of money even when the company was in its glory, now, barely two weeks, instead of allowing the money to accrue much, and you keep putting in back and make more, you want to take out!!” Emeka raised his voice ”I wonder, is this what you were doing to the company right from the moment you took the company? No wonder it ran into the ground, no wonder no one wanted to help you, why? because you are more concerned in taking and taking and not given into investments. what the hell do you want to do with NGN30 million for from a company that was nothing two weeks ago, don’t you have any sense Chikurdi, are you planning to ruin it again with my investments in it?”
”No sir, I am so very sorry”
”You said you sold your house, how much did you sell it for?”
‘Ábout er..NGN15 million, but I have other debts I have to cover, and a new house would cost over that amount and car and..”
”Then you go to the bridge and stay if you don’t want to get a house as low as your mentality!!”
Tayo tries not to laugh,
”Sir, I erm,.. you know I am a married man and my wife, she woman has needs..”
”Then you have no knowledge on how to run a business, I will pull out my resources, because it is apparent that this would end up from where I picked you up from, the gutter”
”No sir, please sir Odinaka, I am so sorry, in fact I do not want the money anymore, in fact, I have seen a house that is okay, I will in fact invite you for dinner soon, in fact sir I-”
Emeka cuts the calls,
Tayo whistles ”He is greedy, a shameless thief and a miserable father, forgive me for ever having pity on him”
”Yeah? You are forgiven!”
”So you bought his house NGN70 million, you put agents and listed a house for sale the same day he goes out looking for a house, he gets that house for NGN30 million, he goes to buy a car for him and his wife, that’s about another NGN15million gone, he got for her parents and paid their rents .. another NGN20 million gone. Soon, basically the fool spends all his money and is left with NGN5 million if I calculate it right, tell me, how the hell did you plan all these people to know who he is going to contact and you end up taking NGN65 million of your money back.?”
Emeka is smiling ”I am a business man Tayo, and I put a lot of planning into this, I have affiliates with some banks, I own shares in some companies and I have bought some companies off people without changing the name, so you may walk into a place and have no idea that I own it, dealers come to me to buy and import cars for them, and I own fleets off cars in garages where it is sold, they buy from me. The houses listed is from my real estate management I began two years ago, the company builds houses and sells it, the company is mine, so you see, he just bought back one of my houses, and my cars, so I wasn’t a fool when I okay-ed you and Tammy to sign off on the NGN70 million because I knew it was coming back to me”
”Hmm, but something doesn’t make sense, the house and the cars are his?”
”No!! For a few days yes, but no they are not his. There are always clauses in the files and agreements and release forms, written in full, but someone as impatient as my father and as incompetent as his lawyers always miss”
”You were lucky the first time, how did you know they would miss it the second, third and fourth time”
”Easy, we give them an offer too good to be true; You see a house that should go for more than the price it’s been offered for, but it goes for less, you don’t want to lose it and they give you a limited time, you get to decide or you lose a chance of it being yours, what do you do? You quickly flip through the documents, check for the okay necessary things, it suits you, you don’t bother with the clause written in view, you pass it, it’s unnecessary. Tell me brother, when you want to read some things or sign up for things online, do you ever, ever read through the terms and conditions or you just click on i agree?”‘
Tayo smiles nodding his head, understanding ”I don’t bother, too long, too much mumbo jumbos, I click I agree without reading”
”Exactly, I bet you 90 percent of people do that, and he is one and apparently his lawyer is thinking of how much he gets to make so he doesn’t bother, I mean half a million for that deal, he would click the agree to it and that is what they did”
”You are smart. So what next, what is the clause exactly?”
”You know what happens when you keep yam in front of an hungry goat?”
”It eats it?!”
”Exactly! I will use his weakness against him, and that is when the clause would kick in, and it won’t be long, I checked him out, found out how he lost everything in the first place, he did everything a man of greed does, spending on frivolous nonsense and not looking to invest in his company, borrowing and spending and the circle goes on, I want him to do the same and seeing him and this call? He will do something worse” he smiles ”The clause would take effect by month end with or without if he takes the bait, those investors he is happy about were sent by me. But by the end of the month, that is when I plan to uproot Chikurdi and I would do it on the same day with Diana’s “‘
”And about that, how is it going?”
”Better than I expected, I think she has been bitten by the love bug, I see it in her eyes”
”Wow!! I didn’t think you could pull it off”
”Well..” Emeka laughs ”So, Tayo, how would you like to see Diana Nkenchior, the woman who shattered the boy and birthed the man who wants nothing other than to shatter her to pieces like she did him once before?”‘
”I would love to”
”I didn’t think otherwise, how about on the engagement day, epic yes? Wear your best suit!!”
”Really thought out!! I would have it starched for the occasion” Tayo replies, they laugh.
TO BE CONTINUED