The other Side of love 2
She cut a piece of roast lamb and forced it into her mouth. It tasted like a piece of wood.
She reached for her glass and washed the bland taste out of her mouth with some freshly squeezed orange juice. As she smiled at Edward her father’s words reverberated in her head. She had wept herself to sleep last night because of their discussion. When she woke up, there were dark bags under her eyes. She cancelled all her appointments for the morning. Thanks to good make up she was able to drive out of the house at 1:30pm to make this lunch date with Edaward.
“How is the food?” He asked.
“Great. You know how I like lamb chops,” she hated the food. She wanted to throw the plate and cutlery into the waste bin carefully concealed as a flower pot standing to her right, but she restrained herself.
The Masuku hotel in Victoria island was always busy. Expatriates and the middle-class corporate types patronised it. Live piano music was always on when the restaurant was open for business. Anita looked at Edward as he ate. He was tall, dark and fit like an athlete in his dark grey suit. She was so in love with him. Earlier on, Edward had discretely slipped the pianist a note. She had no idea that it was about her favourite song. Edward could be so romantic. The pianist played ‘Endless love’ by Whitney Houston. Anita liked his jazz rendition of the song. They had one of the best tables in the house facing the Lagos lagoon. From the forth tenth floor of the building, the view was breathtaking. Edward really knew how to treat a woman right and make her feel good.
Anita pushed the plate aside. She was done pretending.
“How is business?” She watched him closely.
“Business is great. Right now we are talking to our Chinese partners to invest in our agricultural project in Benue state. Doors are opening for us in Europe and Asia.”
As he spoke, he kept eating and gesticulating with his fork. There was no trace in his voice or action that anything was going wrong in his business.
Edward had always been arrogant. She blamed it on his intelligence but now she could see clearly. He used his arrogance to cover the areas of weakness in his life. Even now as his business crashed all around him he was still talking big. Sometimes, he came across to her like a con man. That said a lot about her. ‘What on earth am I doing with a con man?’ She asked herself.
“Right now we have some federal government housing projects lined up for our company to pick up in Abuja,” he said. “We have to deliver 10,000 housing units in Abuja and its suburbs by November 2016.
“Baby, how much is this project going to cost?”
“We need about $3million to launch the project.”
“Who is financing these projects?” She asked.
“Our bankers of course,” He dropped the fork. “Why do you ask?”
“We haven’t spoken about business in a while and I just wanted to know how the business is doing.”
Edward laughed. “Everything is fine. Business couldn’t be better.”
‘Liar’, she thought to herself.
Anita looked at his eyes and tried to read what was going on in his mind. How could he sit there and tell her that everything was going on fine in his business? If he could lie to her about his business, what else in his life could he be lying to her about?
‘What other secrets are you hiding behind your handsome face Edward Osagie?’
“Mr Osagie, more drinks sir?” a pretty waitress stood beside Edward.
“Hello Shade. How are you today?” he asked.
“Fine sir,” Shade replied.
Anita was light skinned, a genetic inheritance from her late Ibo mother, but Shade looked like a mixed race lady who was also helping things along by ‘bleaching’. Her complexion looked too light to be natural. Anita decided then she didn’t like this Shade girl.
Edward smiled at her. “We won’t be needing anything.” As she turned to walk away he touched her hand. It made Anita squirm in her seat.
“Shade, could you bring us some chocolate ice cream for desert.”
“Your usual sir?”
He nodded. The fair skinned waitress whom Anita disliked very strongly swung her hips and walked away.
Anita wanted to confront him about the true state of his business but she loved him so much. How could he put her in such a situation?
“How is your mom?” She forced herself to ask.
He hesitated and drank some water. “I told you she has been out of town for a while. She just returned a few weeks ago.”
Her fiancé was going broke. Was she also going to have a lunatic for a mother in-law?
Edward reached over and touched her hand.
“Baby, we are meeting my parents this weekend. I want to introduce you to my family.”
“Are we ready for this?” She asked.
“Sure we are. My dad has invited us over for dinner at his house on Sunday.”
“And you are just telling me on Thursday?”
“My dad called me this morning and asked to see me and my future wife. We have two days to prepare.”
It was all too overwhelming for Anita.”Excuse me,” She stood up.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
Edward watched her go.
She emerged from the restroom minutes later to find Shade the fair skinned waitress laughing at something Edward said. There were two cups of ice cream on their table. Anita stood by the door to the restroom and watched them laugh with each other.and looked at them. Shade seemed so comfortable with him. Was something going on between them or was she just paranoid because of what her dad told her last night? As Shade turned to leave she smiled and touched Edward on his shoulder and he smiled back at her. Anita made a mental note that Shade would not serve their table when next they visit the restaurant.
“What was that all about?” Anita asked. She pushed the chocolate ice cream Shade brought aside. She didn’t want to seem petty but she had no choice.
“Oh, nothing. I said something funny to her.” As he spoke his eyes found Shade across the room.
Anita noticed that the seriousness of the situation was lost on him. She let it pass.
She had bigger issues to deal with.
Throughout lunch Edward never indicated that anything was wrong in his life. He looked so calm and smooth. These were the qualities that drew her to him when they met six months ago at a course for business owners at Lagos Business School. He looked good, intelligent and organised. But now, these same qualities made him look like he was hiding something from her. How could anyone be so clam under such circumstances? Anita had her doubts and they were growing by the minute.
“Baby I will pick you up on Sunday at 2pm. Is that okay with you?” Edward broke into her thoughts.
“Yes, it is. I would love so much to meet your parents,” she smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. Edward would have noticed it if he hadn’t been distracted by the full hips of a passing waitress.
Anita almost reached over and slapped him. Her fists were clenched under the table as the waitress swung past their table. Edward’s eyes were glued to her.
How dare he show such disrespect by staring at another woman in front of her?
Anita drank some water to calm her raging emotions.
Why was she so angry with Edward all of a sudden? Why was she reading meaning to everything he did? Was this because of what her dad told her last night? Was it because he has a wife and child in Germany? And none of these allegations had any real proofs.
She discovered the restaurant had become a bit warm. She dabbed her forehead with a white handkerchief. The people seemed to be cramming in on her. She felt claustrophobic.
Edward noticed this time. “Baby, are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she managed to say.
Edward’s phone rang. He listened for a few seconds and his face became covered by a dark cloud. “Yes dad. I will be right over.” He dropped the phone on the table and looked at Anita.
“My mom just fainted at home. My dad managed to revive her and called the family doctor who is on his way there.”
“Is she okay?”Anita forgot how she was feeling a few seconds ago.
“I don’t know how bad it is. I am going over to see her.”
“I am coming with you,” Anita stood up.
“Baby, you don’t have to. I have taken the whole of your day already. You should return to work.”
“I have very good people taking care of my business. We should go and see your mom.”
Shade the waitress walked towards Edward but when she saw the dangerous look in Anita’s eyes she walked past. Edward wanted to call after Shade but changed his mind. He saw Anita’s face and knew any mistake could result in a blow-out and he wasn’t prepared to handle that.
They left the restaurant.
To be continued….