Hey beautiful people! First, please accept my apologies for being AWOL for weeks. I have been unavoidably busy, too busy to do one of the things I love which is writing. As a writer I appreciate every reader, even more so everyone who comments, because I know it takes a lot of mental focus to just be still and write something halfway decent. And for anyone to consistently invest their time and contribute their thoughts to another’s work…. Well, that is dedication. I acknowledge it, I appreciate it, and I say “thank you.”
So, here goes Ada’s story; orphan, mother, widow, business woman. Ada wears all these hats and has been through a lot in her twenty-nine years on earth. The story is set in the present with a lot of flashback to the past.
Newly widowed Ada struggles to hold together the business empire left behind by her late husband. She is up against her husbands first son and his wife (her former best friend), and all other threats on the business front.
This is a tale of friendship gone sour, intriguing family drama, treachery and offcourse love.
Ada George Okeke heard the gate outside open and a car drive in as she got out of the bathroom. She sighed and rolled her eyes, there goes her morning spent lazing around. Mornings like today, when she wasn’t woken up by her five year old twins were rare; truth was she couldn’t remember the last time she’d had such luxury, probably six years ago.
Toweling her body dry, she sat at her dresser to cream her body singing along to a track from Asa’s ‘Beautiful imperfection’ album.
A maid knocked discreetly on her bedroom door.
“Come in.” Ada called to her.
The housekeeper; Abigail entered. “Ada, Madam Ify is here to see you.”
“Madam Ify? Which Ify?” Ada searched her memory and couldn’t come up with an ‘Ify’.
“Master Senator’s wife.”
Ada smiled. It still amazed her how Abigail merged both the ‘master’ and the ‘senator’ title. Abigail had served in this household for close to forty years and refused to quit. She had joined the George Okeke household as a maid in her early teens when the late Chief George Okeke had married the first and late Mrs Okeke, and had remained ever since. She nursed all four children from the first marriage as well as Ada’s twins. Her late husband had tried severally to retire Abigail, but she refused to go; saying she had no life outside of the George Okeke household. Ada was however grateful for Ada’s presence when her husband had died two years ago as she had leaned heavily on Abigail since her marriage to her late husband seven years ago and especially during and after the birth of her twins; George and Ngozi. Abigail had taken the place of the mother Ada never knew, for her birth mother had abandoned her at birth in the hospital where she had been born twenty-nine years ago.
Ada’s smile turned to a frown, Abigail coming up herself to announce the guest rather than sending a younger maid should have been the first giveaway that this was no ordinary guest and no ordinary visit.
Ify, her childhood best-friend who turned her adult nightmare. Ify was here to see her? The last time she’d seen Ify was about a year ago at the reading of her husband’s will (her husband and Ify’s father in-law; Ify was married to Mark, George Okeke’s first son from his first marriage, a serving senator of the federal republic). Ify and her husband had been strongly against the late Chief George marrying Ada and had dedicated themselves to making Ada’s life difficult since the marriage seven years ago. It was still a miracle that they hadn’t contested the terms of the will; for to the greedy, no share is big enough.
Now Ify was here, in her house? And judging by the fact that Ada heard only a single car drive in, she came alone. For if the distinguished senator was with her; he would have come sirens blazing and with a full entourage.
“Ify? Lady Ifeoma Okeke?” Ada asked to confirm, Mark and Ifeoma are a knight and lady of the church.
Abigail smiled sadly. “Yes.”
“I don’t know?”
Ada laughed without mirth. “What have I done recently?” She asked rhetorically, not really expecting a response.
Abigail laughed with her, not responding.
“Did she say what this visit is about?” Ada probed further.
“No, she didn’t. But she came alone, drove herself, looks…….”
Ada waved her hands to urge Abigail on.
Abigail smiled and said; “Get dressed and come and see her.”
Ada considered it for some seconds and shrugged. “Okay.” She had to admit she was curious as to why Ify was here to see her.
“I’ll be in the kitchen should you need me.” Abigail said leaving the room.
Ada dressed in a tank top and shorts. She ran a comb through her short spiky hair(she had cut her hair as required by custom while mourning her husband and had found herself loving the short hair look), spraying on her favorite scent, she examined herself in the full length mirror. Satisfied she looked presentable she grabbed her phones and went downstairs to see her ‘august’ guest.
She could smell Ify the moment she descended the stairs. The perfume was so strong it caused her to sneeze. Dragging a lungful of air, she stepped into the sitting room. Ify was typing furiously on her phone and didn’t hear her enter. Ada stood a moment and observed her; from her lace wig to the slight frown marring her beautiful and perfectly made up face. Ify had put on some weight recently, for the ankara skirt and blouse she had on seemed a bit too tight, judging by the ample cleavage struggling to spill out from the low-cut blouse. Or perhaps that was the style.
“Hello Ify.” Ada greeted as she moved into the room. Ify stood, but Ada not wanting to pretend with niceties didn’t go to her for a hug, but chose to sit in the sofa farthest from Ify. She sat and tucked her feet under her, facing ify, her poker face in place.
Unnerved, Ify returned to her seat clearly uncomfortable.
“You haven’t been offered refreshments.” Ada observed. “Mabel” she called out.
“No, no, I’m fine.” Ify protested. “I’ve been offered, I don’t want anything.”
“Scared we’ll poison you?” Ada asked sarcastically. “Nevermind.” She dismissed the maid who responded to her call. The maid curtsied and left.
“How are your kids?” Ify asked lightly.
“They’re good. How are yours?” Ada replied, Ify had three children; two girls and a boy.
“They are fine, they are at home. The house is really quiet, are they asleep?”
“They’re at sister Adaobi’s.” Ada replied referring to her step-daughter, who was so much more older than her that she couldn’t help but attach the ‘sister’ prefix.
“Oh ok.” Ify sighed. “I came here for us to talk.” She said.
“I…… I don’t want anyone else to hear us, may I come closer?”
Ada nodded her affirmation, curious to hear what had brought Ify to her house in this manner. Ify moved to the chair closest to Ada.
“I need your help.”
“How can I possibly be of help to you?” Ada asked suspiciously.
“My husband is having an affair!” Ify blurted out.