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Two days before the fashion show, mom pleaded with me to attend a meeting with the team
“What Team mom? I am lost.” I said.
“The team, your former team at Aurevah.” mom replied.
“Mom I won’t, I can’t. I have no business with Aurevah. I wish the organizing team the best. I hope the fashion show rocks but all these will happen in my absence.”
“Someday when I am gone, who will assume the mantle of leadership?”
“I know mom, Jayde. I am not interested because I can still remember vividly the accusations you and your staff threw at my face. I was so surprised that you believed and I had a rethink. I am adopted, the evidence was so baseless. You betrayed the respect I had for you that instance. I will never go for that meeting.”
“Are you done?” she asked
I did not answer, mom slapped me hard.
“Learn to select your words around me. You ungrateful child.”
“Fine, sell off my shares to another person or better still give them to my sister Jayde because they are useless to me.”
Tare had been eavesdropping, when I left the kitchen I saw her.
“Tell your aunt not to pressure me.” I said before going to my room.
Tare went into the kitchen to comfort her aunt, my mom. She didn’t say much.
“I’ll call Jayde to talk some sense into her. Aunt you were so wrong to have doubted her.”
Mom didn’t say a word, she only nodded. Tare hugged her and left mom alone. My phone beeped and I was hoping it was Mason but I was wrong, it was Jayde.
“Talk to me.” I said
“Are you mad? What made you mad?”
“I am fine, I had a horrible dream.” I lied.
“I really need to see you Jessa.”
“No problem you will see me when you get back home.” I replied.
“It can’t wait, there is trouble and I need you to help, this could mar the fashion show.”
“If you do not give me an insight I’ll just stay put at home.”
“Mr. Maleek.” Jayde replied and hung up immediately.
I jumped out of bed immediately and dressed up. Mr Maleek was fired and I didn’t understand how he could get company’s property. I was about leaving my room when I found out I had no jewelry on except my charm bracelet. When I left my room, I headed straight for the garage. I went back on a second thought I didn’t want to use any of the cars. I ended up taking a cab
I arrived the office a little late because of traffic. I went straight to Jayde’s office, I knocked and I was given the green light.
“I am here Jayde what did Maleek do?”
“Hello Jessa.” Jayde replied.
“Spill it out!” I snapped.
“He stole my designs, the bridal collection.”
“What? How? When?”
“Too many questions, I do not know but I got a call from him saying that he had stolen the designs and we will be publicly disgraced on the day of the fashion show.” replied Jayde.
“He has an ally in this company and we have to fish out the culprit before the fashion show.”
“Thanks Jessa but how?” She asked.
“Leave that to me. How many people are left on the fashion show team?”
“Same one we didn’t reshuffle the team.”
I was furious and I could only grimace.
“What is going on between you and mom?”
“Nothing Jayde. I am here because of you not her. You took over from me, this is your project, and it must not fail. If it were mom in charge I’ll gladly call Mr. Maleek to sell the designs to the highest bidder.”
“She is our mother Jessa, she loves us dearly.”
I asked Jayde how many people had access to the designs”
“Mom and Mr. Dafe.”
“Are you really sure?” I asked
Jayde nodded, “that bastard Mr. Dafe He is the culprit. I will try to get evidence.” I replied. I left Jayde’s office for Mr. Dafe’s. He was elated to see me. I went straight to the point.
“I know you sold some designs to Mr. Maleek, I’ll pay you double the amount he paid you off so you can help recover them: you could steal them back.”
“This is crap! Miss Jessa. I do not know what you are talking about.”
“You were the only one that saw the designs; you are the stylist so why are you denying it?”
Mr. Dafe was so angry but I did not care. My sister’s reputation was at stake.
“I want to search your office.”
“Feel free Miss Jessa if it would make you stop casting aspersions.”
“This is a confidential matter. This should be between us.”
He nodded; he looked so sad and hurt. “Miss Jessa I would never sabotage the fashion show. My reputation is on the line too.”
I sat down, “so tell me Mr. Dafe who stole the collection? Did the devil in a very dashing tuxedo come to your office to steal the designs?” I asked, grimacing.
“The designs were not here. They were in your mom’s office.” he said.
“You have not seen the last of me.” I said, storming out of the office.
When I got to my mom’s office entrance, the secretary barred me from entering.
“Miss Jessa you can’t enter besides you are no longer a staff. You quit remember?”
“Are you mad? Who are you to question me? You piece of rag!”
I ignored her and walked forward and she came to obstruct my way. I pushed her hard. She fell and she started crying.
“You are fired.” I snapped
I did not wait for any apology. I went into my mom’s office and I sat down for a long time. I was regretting why I spoke harshly to my mother. I stood up to leave; on my way out I decided to take a selfie. I was amazed that I still had time for a selfie. I went back to Jayde’s office to cool off. Jayde told me that she was so worried.
“What if they had stolen the others?” Jayde asked, she was pensive.
“I am sorry that I could not be of any help. Mr. Dafe is as stunned as you are, I believe him. He is not lying; you’ll have to take the bridal collections out of the list of collections.”
“But we have already designed the dresses.” Jayde said.
“It doesn’t matter, we are talking about your reputation here.” I replied.
I paced around and became confused, I brought out my phone, I wanted to edit my selfie so I zoomed it first and I saw something, I saw an unknown number written on mom’s office wall, I immediately ran to her office and I saw the same number, I was so surprised, I actually wanted to dial the number but I thought it was a client’s or a colleague’s number.
“Oh mom, scribbling things on the wall like a toddler.” I said to myself.
As I was about leaving the office, mom’s office line began to ring, not her normal line but her private line. It rang for a while because I didn’t want to pick it, on a second thought, I picked the call.
“Hey I already sold the designs to an Angolan designer. I have received the payment, your share is ready but I don’t know why you need this money, you are already a rich woman. Well, just send me your account number.”
After some seconds, the caller spoke again. “Hello, Hello, anybody on the line?” I tried to fake mom’s voice.
“Just a minute please.” I said.
“Yeah I know you must be really busy.”
I immediately searched through my phone and sent Jayde’s account number to him.
“I want you to pay into this account- Jayde Ajiri-Scott 0129505926, Equity bank.”
“But why?” asked the unknown caller.
“Don’t ask questions.”
“Alright, I will do that right away. Bye ma.”
“Wait! If you double cross me I’ll make your life a living hell.”
“I know ma’am trust me.”
“Do not call this number again it is not safe. I will call if the need arises.”
I was so sad that mom was the one behind the stolen designs. I didn’t know how to tell Jayde, I asked the caller to transfer mom’s share to her account, it was the least I could do. I erased the number from the recent call list. I picked an eraser from mom’s desk and wiped the number off. I disconnected the phone to avoid any hitch. I left mom’s office looking so sad and dejected. I went to Mr Dafe’s office; he was worried when he saw me.
“What is it again Miss Jessa? I have nothing to do with the stolen designs.”
“I have come to apologize; I should not have accused you without evidence. Please do not tell my mom of this. She would be angry with me.”
“Ok Miss Jessa.”
I went back to Jayde’s office and she wasn’t there. I decided to steal her phone. I kept it on silent mode and I waited for her to come back.
“Jessa, I just cancelled the bridal collection. Thanks for helping me.”
“I love you; you are my sister and your problem is my problem.”
“Jessa, I want you to come back tomorrow for the final rehearsals. Please it would mean the whole world to me.”
When I went home, I went straight to my room and I locked the door, I brought out Jayde’s phone. I was expecting an alert. I paced about; I did not know how I was going to break this to my sister that her mom stole her designs. Jayde’s phone was ringing, I didn’t bother to pick.
Around 4:07pm, the alert came in, Jayde came back home around 6pm looking sad
“What’s wrong?” I asked
“I misplaced my phone.” she replied
“I need to talk to you and it is really urgent. Let’s go to my room.”
Jayde was curious to find out so I decided not to tell her again.
“It’s nothing serious though, I wanted to tell you I found your phone. It was inside my hand bag.”
I had previously forwarded the bank alert message to my phone. I deleted the original message because I did not want Jayde to find out until after the fashion show. I gave her the phone and went out for a stroll. I was unhappy that my mom had assumed the role of Judas Iscariot. Mom betrayed us, I could not walk again so I turned back and started going back home.
I stopped and tears flowed down my cheeks “Mason hates me because of the stupid mistake I made and you Dubem are no more. You guys have left me all alone, life is so meaningless now. In life we all live for something and that is what makes life precious but when there is nothing to live for, life becomes meaningless and death becomes precious.”
“I am here Jessa, I did not leave.” a familiar voice said.
Written by Kezi Angela Patrick