The kiss was gentle coming from such a strong man. She held him close, her emotions erupting like a pot of boiling water. This time she shut her eyes and allowed the feeling to linger, savouring it, drinking it in. This time she didn’t want to let go.
Segun finally pulled away and took a long breath.
“I must tell you something,” he began. “Something very important.”
“What is it?” the maid asked, her eyes partly shut in pleasure.
“I want to…”
She kissed him again, this time he sighed deeply with pleasure and succumbed to her.
“What did you want to tell me?” The maid asked him.
He blinked a couple of times like a man coming out of a hypnotic trance. He held her hands and looked into her eyes. “I want you in my life. Since this morning when I rescued you from the hands of that animal, it has been you on my mind.”
Yemi’s mind was fishing for what to tell him but she came up blank. He was still talking, pouring out his heart to her but she wasn’t listening to him. She had unfinished business with some people. She liked him and would want to be with him, but she couldn’t, not now.
“I want you to be mine. I don’t care who owns your pregnancy, I want you in my life the way you are.”
This guy didn’t understand what was going on. If he knew who owned the baby she carried in her womb he wouldn’t be so excited about wanting her.
“Hmm,” the maid sighed. “Segun, I live a very complicated life, always in one situation or another. I like you and I don’t want to pull you into my world, you may not like what you see.”
Segun held her hands and pulled her close. “Yemi, we all have secrets in our lives. Everyone has a dark past. I won’t hold your past against you.”
The maid listened to the love struck engineer as he negotiated with her.
She had a lot of them. If this man knew half of what she had done with her life, he would run away from her in fear. If he knew what she had done to unsuspecting men like her, he would give up this infatuation that was certain to lead him into big trouble.
“Segun, things are not the way they seem,” she pleaded with him.
“I don’t care how things are in your life. I will handle whatever comes up in our relationship.”
The maid shook her head with some sadness. These were the last words of a man blinded by love, an epitaph written by his own hands on his own grave.
A tall woman dressed in jeans and a red blouse entered the restroom and looked around. Her eyes settled on Shade and she moved in her direction. She opened the tap and washed her hands.
“You are Shade Phillips.” She spoke in a whisper. It sounded like an accusation.
“Who are you? How do you know my name?” Shade asked with trepidation.
“You have a daughter, right?”
“What have you done to my daughter?”
“Nothing yet. If you don’t follow me peacefully out of this mall, you may put your daughter’s life in danger.”
“What do you want from me? I am not rich. I don’t have any money to pay a ransom.”
The woman finished washing her hands and walked over to the dryer. Shade followed her.
The woman took her time drying her hands.
“Please don’t hurt my daughter. What do you want me to do?”
“If you call for help we shall hurt your daughter. If you try to run away, we shall hurt her. The men who sat with you at the coffee zone are packed outside the mall in a black Range Rover. They will take you to the person who wants to talk with you. I am leaving now. Don’t try to draw attention to me in any way because you won’t like what will happen to your daughter.”
Shade watched as the woman walked out of the restroom. Minutes later, she followed her.
Shade looked at her friend and wondered if she was the same person doing these things to her. Michael and his friend had brought her to Ngozi’s house on the island. They took her into the house and waited outside.
Ngozi sat behind a huge table and Shade sat before her looking tired.
“Shade, walk away from this marriage now. I have tried to be patient with you but you are stupid and stubborn at the same time.”
“Ngozi, what have I done to you to deserve this?” Shade asked.
“Nothing. Gbenga is mine. You don’t deserve him. While you were busy pursuing your career, he reached out to me and I comforted him.”
“You comforted him?” Shade asked, shaking her head in total disbelief.
“Yes, I did,” Ngozi answered. “The truth is that he no longer wants you in his life. You are of no real value to him.”
Shade began crying. “I love my husband very much and I know he loves me. He won’t abandon me because of my mistakes. He won’t.”
Ngozi got up from her chair and walked around the table. “You are wrong about him. Very wrong. In a few weeks I will be Mrs Philips.”
“You have a marriage planned already?”
Ngozi brought out some papers and gave them to Shade. “These are divorce papers that were processed seven months ago.”
Shade read the papers. The tears kept pouring down her face. “Ngozi, you went as far as preparing me for divorce? God forbid!” Shade said with vehemence.
“I don’t know about your God, but there is a judge who is ready to grant this divorce. He has been promised a huge reward for his efforts.”
“I will never sign those papers!” Shade shouted.
“Luckily for me and unfortunately for you, I may not need you to sign anything. With enough money you can buy a lady who is willing to swear that she is Mrs Philips and she is tired of the marriage.”
“That is a lie! I am not tired of my marriage. I love my husband.”
“You do? Tell me Shade, when last did you go out on a date with your husband? When last did you spend a complete weekend with him which wasn’t interrupted by business meetings?”
Shade thought about what Ngozi said. This evil woman was right. But how did she allow her marriage to degenerate to this point? ‘Oh God deliver me from this wicked woman’ she prayed silently.
“Why do you want Gbenga?” Shade asked.
“Why do I want him? Let me show you.” She shove another set of papers in Shade’s face.
Shade read them and raised her head.”You are doing this because of money? Don’t you have enough money already?”
Ngozi ignored her question. “Last year I stumbled on these papers in the chambers of an old lawyer I was dating. It is amazing what a man will tell you when he is under the influence of sex.” She collected the papers from Shade.”Gbenga’s dad left him an inheritance. He wrote two wills. The first one was read a few months after his burial. He asked the lawyer to wait for two years after his burial to read this one. Gbenga is going to be rich and I will be Mrs Philips.”
Shade no longer felt afraid. All she felt for Ngozi was sympathy.
“Ngozi, do you realise that you are not well? You need help.”
Ngozi threw the papers in the air, screamed and hit the table with both hands. “Gbam!” Her eyes gleamed with lunacy. “I am not well? How dare you tell me that? Is it because I didn’t leave you with my boys to do whatever they pleased with you that is why you talk back at me? Don’t take my kindness for weakness. I can set them on you any time I please.”
Shade tried to reach her former friend. “What you are doing is criminal. You could go to jail for a very long time. If you let me go now, and promise to stop this fake divorce proceedings, I will forget everything that happened.”
“Shut up!” Ngozi screamed. “You are in no position to tell me what to do. You will walk away from Gbenga and from your marriage. When next I see you, I won’t be so kind.”
Shade had to say something, but the words that came out of her mouth shocked her. “Neither will I.”
Ngozi walked past her to the door. “Chuks, come and get this woman out of my sight!”
To be continued.