Hey y’all!! How have you been? It’s been several whiles, but the story is finally here! Yayyy!
Like I said, it’s a continuation of a past series; Motive and you can read up on it from the archives, while I also give a quick synopsis.
Deola Lasisi was dating Senator Tom Briggs; there were plans for them to get married when the senator goes missing. No one knows if he’s been kidnapped and held for ransom, or if he’s alive. Deola was the first suspect; Senator Briggs’ wife wanted her arrested. Deola is vilified in the press, she lost her pregnancy, and when the senator was finally rescued alive she decided to walk away. Her career as a designer was in crisis, she was the poster girl for home wrecking, but all through her family and friends stood by her, most especially; her PR rep Kunle Phillips.
He professed his love for her, but based on her recent experience, she was wary of another relationship, most especially, on how society and Kunle’s family will view the relationship.
Second Chances is Kunle and Deola’s story. It’s a story of love, forgiveness, and second chances for all.
Enjoy, share, and comment. XX
Deola straightened up from her sketches, stretching her back to ease the ache. She glanced at the wall clock; past four? Which meant she had been sketching for over three hours! Whew!!! She looked around her office; design sketches all over the desk, discarded balled up papers littered the floor all around her. A once cold half-filled bottle of water lay on the floor beside her chair. She picked up the bottle and emptied its contents. That wasn’t so bad, although she would have preferred something cold.
Her stomach rumbled. She was hungry, breakfast was light years away, and she didn’t have lunch either. She sank into her chair and thought on what to eat. She wasn’t on a starvation drive, she just ate when she needed to, which was when the hunger pangs were overwhelming. She had a collection to turn out in less than a week, and she wasn’t satisfied with any of her designs.
She hadn’t concluded on what sketches she wanted to work with, and decided the designs was just the beginning. She would have to select fabric, models, etc. all in a few days. This was what was procrastination did to a person, she thought to herself ruefully. She had put off preparations till the last minute, and when she had begun; it was as though her creative juices dried up. She exhaled loudly, almost blowing some of the sketches away, and just on cue, her phone rang. That must be Chima; her bff, and soon to be her sister in-law, they had plans to meet up this evening to conclude on Chima’s wedding dress designs. Chima was marrying Deola’s brother Dayo in five weeks, and she couldn’t decide on what style of wedding dress she wanted. She couldn’t decide between a princess gown and a mermaid gown, and Deola had this sneaky suspicion Chima might be the first bride to change clothes during the church service.
Chima was already decided on her reception dress, but couldn’t decide for the church wedding. Deola smiled fondly as she followed the sound of the ringing phone to find it. On finding it, she was reminded that she hadn’t set that ringtone for Chima alone, Kunle also shared the same ringtone. Kunle was a business acquaintance turn friend. They met back when she had opened her business and contracted his PR firm as her publicist.
They became fast friends beyond business, and he had been a rock when she had been engulfed in the kidnapping-mistress scandal about a year ago. Deola had been surprised to find that Kunle along with two of his friends owned the PR firm. Kunle wasn’t big on titles, or ceremony. His friend had the responsibility of the management and financial part of the business, while Kunle oversaw business development and off course their raison d’etre; Client PR.
Kunle and his partner were good at their business, and the PR firm, in less than five years of its existence was one of the leading PR firms in the country.
“Hey Kunle” She answered the phone happily. “How are you?” She asked, sounding like she said; how you?
“I’m good.” He replied in his rich velvety baritone voice. “And you, how has your day been?”
She sighed. “So so. Don’t know if I’ve achieved anything, I have some sketches but don’t know if I’ll like them tomorrow. You know me.” She laughed, perching on her desk.
“You’re overthinking it. Why don’t you break for the day, come out with me, let’s go somewhere nice.”
“Ok, I’m liking what you’re saying. Where are we going?”
“Somewhere nice, somewhere dressy.”
“I’m in shorts!” she protested, glancing at her shorts and fingering her cotton top.
He laughed richly. “How did I know?” he asked rhetorically. ‘For a cloth designer, you have no personal sense of style.”
“Oh! I do, and you know I do. I just choose not to wear haute couture every day. I’m working.” She reminded him good naturedly.
“I know, I know. Well, I’m sure you can find something nice to wear. I should be with you in thirty minutes and we are going somewhere classy.”
“Ok. I will. Got to go, need to go search for something to wear. Later!”
She ended the call and called to her shop manager; Helen to help her select something to wear, while she tidied her office. Kunle was very punctual, even traffic obeyed his sense of timing. If he said he was picking her up in thirty minutes, he would be there in thirty minutes.
“Yikes! She remembered Chimamani was supposed to come around that evening. She placed a call to her immediately, to find out where she was and if it was possible to cancel. Chima was happy to cancel as she was still some distance away and would appreciate going home to rest. Or, surprising Dayo and taking him out for dinner.
Helen brought a dress into Deola’s office, and seeing it, Deola refused, shaking her head in negation. Helen disagreed, mouthing a yes. The dress was a very deep blue lace bodycon dress; the dress was a show stopper, sure to flatter the wearer. Deola and China referred to the dress as ‘the dream dress’ as Deola got the inspiration for the design in a dream. She had refused to sell it, content to just display it, Chima and Helen had been trying to get her to wear it, but Deola had refused. She ended the call, and turned to Helen and in a voice that invited no argument asked Helen to bring her something else, something understated, as had been her style in the recent past.
Kunle took her to the newest restaurant in town which had just opened the day before. It was an ocean-front restaurant, and Kunle’s firm handled publicity for the event. She had read nothing but good reviews for the restaurant.
There were ushered into a private dining room with a view of the lagoon. Everything from the décor to the ambience spoke of elegance, and Deola was immediately at ease. Her fear of being seen in public and being fodder for the gossip blogs forgotten.
Kunle asked her the details of her day and she launched into an excited tale while they ate. When she got to the part about Chima happily forgoing the dress fitting for a chance to surprise Dayo with a dinner date, she paused and looked up to find Kunle watching her wistfully.
“What?” She asked suddenly self-conscious.
“You are beautiful.” He murmured.
She blushed beneath her dark skin and took a nervous sip of water.
She cleared her throat, and made to continue, but he stopped her by speaking first.
“I want you to be this passionate when you talk about me. I want to be more than just a business associate, I want more.”
“You are already more than a business associate, we are friends.” She replied, increasingly getting uncomfortable at the line of discussion.
“Yes, but I want to be more than friends. I love you Deola, and I want to be with you, I want us to get married, it’s been months now since you asked for time and everyday it’s been torture. I……”
“Are you okay?” Deola snapped at Kunle, suddenly angry, why was Kunle putting her on the spot like this? “Like, really Kunle can’t you see what a relationship with me would do to you?”