“Can you go through the test result again, sir?”
Lade observed the doctor before her. The man sat, eyes on a piece of paper in his hands. Just few seconds ago, he told her she was pregnant.
It was not good news.
“You are pregnant Mrs. Ogunfuwa,” he repeated. “Both the blood test and ultrasound confirm it. Congratulations. I’m sure Mr. Ogunfuwa would be elated.”
“How many weeks, sir?”
“Roughly six weeks.”
“But I don’t have any symptoms.”
“They may or may not come. Not every pregnancy is alike. All the same, you should start taking your vitamins. I will have you on Pregnacare Plus, given your history, and we will monitor you closely. And until your next visit, which would be in three weeks, please take care of yourself. You already know the drill.”
She watched as he wrote down unreadable things in her file and also filled out a prescription paper for her.
“There you go.”
She took the prescription paper and her copy of the pregnancy test, alongside a snapshot of the scan. Lade squinted. The baby looked non-existent.
“Please, can you not tell my husband yet? I want to tell him myself.”
The doctor smiled. “It’s not in my place to tell your husband anything.”
Lade rose up and left the office.
She didn’t want this baby. She was traumatized over the idea of carrying another child just to have it either die in the womb or later on in her care. History had made it clear that she was not a good mother. Why then was God still making her fertile?
She stopped at the chemist in the hospital’s reception and paid for her first set of vitamins. Then she took a chair in the waiting corner after she dialed Sule.
It was a long wait before he showed up. Lade sat in the back of the cab, her face to the window. Sule tried to make small talk, but she pretended not to hear. Ultimately he played some music for her.
They arrived at her destination, which was Manny’s office. He was the head of a budding entertainment company. He hadn’t hit the big millions yet, but Lade was certain he was almost there. Just the right movie or musician will land him a place among the stars.
A secretary led her to his office. Manny closed the door and gave his attention to Lade, sweeping towards her with arms spread open.
“You’re too beautiful for me to leave you standing,” he said before he picked her up in a hug. He tried for a kiss, but met her cheek. Lade masked her moodiness with a smile.
“So guess what.” He helped her into a chair.
“You’re going to audition for a huge role in a mega blockbuster.”
Manny wasn’t fazed by her reaction. He went on in excitement, lowering to a stoop to take her hands.
“If you impress the director, you might just get the lead. He’s looking for a fresh, beautiful face and when I read the script I knew the part was for you.”
“I know you so badly want to do it but you’re scared of your husband. I know that. And I am not going to let you throw this opportunity away, Lade. I don’t care if I have to fight that ass of a man to do it but I’ll make sure I see that your dreams come true. And guess what!”
“It’s my movie, baby. I’m one of the executive producers.”
“Are you serious?” Lade smiled genuinely.
“I’m so happy for you, Manny.”
“No, be happy for us because this is our big break. Your big break.”
“Manny, I can’t…”
He shook his head. “You have to, Omolade. Think of yourself ten, twenty years from now. Will you forgive you for what you are doing to you right now? You’re allowing a man totally ruin your future and present happiness. What if he gets tired of you tomorrow and dumps you and marries someone else? Who would be at the losing end?”
Lade let go of his hands. She scratched her forehead in frustration. Her thoughts were not in harmony. Part of her was clinging to the baby and Tayo at all cost while the other, which held her emotions, simply wanted to go with Manny.
“When is this audition?”
“It’s been on all day. I would have taken you there in the morning, but I think this would be the best time because they’ll be tired, so when you walk in there and wow them with your badass acting skills, you’ll be the first thought on their minds when they start screening.”
Lade showed more signs of indecision.
“I know this is hard for you, so let’s do it this way. Just get in there, do your thing and go home and not think about it. If they pick you—which I am counting on them to—we’ll know how to handle your husband.”
“Okay.” The reply was without excitement.
Manny pulled her up to her feet.
Raji watched Salma with quiet eyes. Her anger at him was finally at its peak. She was doing the next best thing to a divorce. She was leaving – and the kids were going with her.
Raji had retained his right not to engage her in argument. She could take the kids to wherever. She would bring them back herself. He didn’t have time for more or her drama. He was yet to forgive her for the episode he endured in his office the day before.
One of his twin daughters poked her head into the bedroom.
“Yes, Leelah? Come here.”
The girl stayed by the door. “Fahad said that he will beat me when everybody is sleeping.”
Salma glanced at the four-year-old briefly and continued packing her clothes.
“What did you do to Fahad?” Raji faced his daughter. She went on to explain how her six-year-old brother had slid down the bannister and she told on him, and their mother hit him and he was sore about it, promising to get his revenge late at night.
“Don’t worry. He won’t touch you. Come here.”
Khaleelah walked in and snuggled in Raji’s arms. Her eyes fixed themselves on Salma for a long time before she blurted, “Mommy, I don’t want to go to Grandma’s house.”
“You’re not going to Grandma’s,” Salma replied.
“Where are we going?”
Salma gave no reply.
“Yeah, Mommy, where are we going?” Raji threw in. Salma pretended he did not exist.
“Go and tell Fahad to take your bags downstairs,” she ordered Leelah. The girl hopped out of the room.
“So you’re not going to at least tell me where you’re taking my kids?”
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
“Fine.” Raji stretched out on the bed. “Lock the door when you’re leaving and take your keys.”
Salma lifted her bag and a purse, which she slung across her shoulder.
“And do me a favor, will you?” he added.
“Lose this nastiness before you come back because if you return this way, there will be no ‘us’. There’s just so much one can take.”
“You seem to forget that I was the one who came up with the divorce papers.”
Salma walked out and slammed the door. She found the children downstairs. Fahad was making good on his promise to get his revenge on Leelah. He had a full crop of her hair in his hand and was in the process of tugging it when Salma appeared. She wasted no time in smacking his arm. A stubborn frown met her from his little face.
“Carry the bags before I scatter your mouth with slap now!”
“I’ll carry my own,” Deejah, the calmer of the twins, came forward. She lifted a pink suitcase from the floor and dragged it to the front door.
“Mommy, where are we going?” Fahad asked.
“Be going, my friend.” Salma pushed him forward and waited for them to leave before she took out her key from the lock. She set her eyes on the house as overwhelming sadness cloaked her. She had been here in her head many times but had been unable to put the moment into reality. Now that she was doing it, she realized it was better imagined than carried out.
She stepped out and locked the door. The kids were already waiting by the car. She let them in, forcing a whining Fahad to the backseat with his sisters. Being that the twins still used their car seats, Fahad had to be sandwiched between them. Salma had a hard time getting him to settle in. His fussiness drained her. When she finally sat behind the steering, she took almost a minute to ward off impending tears.
“Mommy, start the car nau!” Fahad shouted. “It’s hot!”
“Stop shouting on Mommy!” Leelah scolded. “She’s crying.”
“Mommy, ya crying?” Deejah tried to lean forward.
“I’m not.” Salma turned and gave them a smile.
“Let’s go!” Fahad hit the headrest of her chair.
Salma fired up the engine.
Comfort had endured a chaotic day. One of those that made her wonder why she chose to work as a features editor for one of the top online lifestyle magazines in the country. The job always left her exhausted. Today at the office, it seemed like all the writers under her planned to give her a migraine. No one did anything right. At some point, she locked herself in the restroom to get a clear head to pen down an article. But that was just the beginning of her problems.
Upon returning to her office, she was told by the editor-in-chief that the photo shoot she oversaw a week before had not been what he asked her to do. He instructed her to schedule a second one.
Comfort felt the need at that moment to just turn around and run away. She would run far and fast until her problems not only disappeared from her life, but from her memory as well. She needed a break. Maybe she would travel during the Easter holidays to some African country where they had azure beaches and white sands and camels frolicking by the seashore.
She wondered if camels frolicked. Or if they even walked by seashores.
She would have to Google that. Until then, she would allow the frolicking ones in her head as she got lost, escaping her momentary troubles.
Comfort stretched out her legs on her center table. She wiggled beautiful toes and fell in love with her feet as Raji had done some six years ago. The silly man had been all about how beautiful they looked on that wet day when they both stood out in the rain waiting for a bus. She had known, upon staring at his clothes, that he was a man of means, hence it was strange that he was out with the poor populace waiting to use a public bus. But she had said nothing to him to that effect, only smiling to his comments about her feet.
“Oga, I can leave the legs behind for you and you can do whatever with them so I can be on my way.”
“I’d rather do something with you.”
Her smile disappeared in an instant. She didn’t take kindly to married men hitting on her.
“Mommy?” her son, Raheem, annoyingly broke into her reminisce. It was a habit of his, but it was hard to be mad at him when he had the eyes of a man she once loved.
“There’s somebody at the door.”
Comfort pulled out her earphones. Kanye West’s voice faded away as she dumped the pair on the floor. She hopped over her laptop, a few papers and spilled contents of her makeup bag before making it to the door. She flung it open and almost lost her breath when she saw Raji’s wife standing before her.
Her hand gripped the door handle protectively. The woman towered over her. She was almost as tall as her husband.
“Sorry to disturb you. Um…how is your nanny situation?”
“You still have that nanny that cares for Raheem when you’re at work, right?”
“Great. I’ll be going away for a week and I want to drop my kids here.”
Comfort frowned. She wasn’t sure she heard Salma well. Did she just ask if she could leave her kids with her? Hadn’t she threatened to cut off her breasts the last time they met?
Comfort sighed. That had not been a ‘please’. That had been a ‘you stole my husband from me, so you owe me one’.
“All they need is their three-square meals, night showers and vitamins. Deejah doesn’t like the AC too high, so cover her up with a blanket at night. Leelah will talk herself till morning so you have to force her to sleep. They go to bed at 7pm sharp. Fahad likes to bully both of them, so watch him all the time and put away all your creams and lotions off his reach. He’s developed a terrible habit of mixing them and rubbing them all over his sisters. Please, watch him at all times. Em…what else…?”
“Wait, Salma… I’m too occupied to have my attention on four children.”
“You’d rather have it on their father, right?”
Comfort held back a retort.
“Forget I said that. Just…please, help. I’ll be back in a week.”
Comfort showed further signs of hesitation.
“Do it for the kids, please. Raheem is their brother and they like you too. They’ll be happy to be here. Plus it reduces stress for the driver who will just bring them here from school instead of going to two different places as he usually does.”
“Okay, Salma. Just this once.”
“The driver will be at your beck and call. Use him as you will. Call Raji and ask for money for foodstuff and whatever else.”
Salma disappeared and returned with the children tailing her. The moment they sighted Comfort, they burst into cheer. The excitement grew when they walked into the house and met their half-brother.
“You guys, be good o! Don’t give Aunty Comfort stress.”
Comfort thought she saw sadness cloud Salma’s eyes briefly.
“Where is Raji?” she asked.
“You have his number. Call him.”
Salma turned away.
She did a swivel.
“You’re forgetting something.”
“What?” Her face was blank. Comfort made a facial expression that was similar to mutely scolding a child.
“Oh, sorry. Thank you, Comfort.”
Comfort retreated into the house. The duo of Deejah and Leelah were already playing with her makeup set. She knew the rest of her week would be draining.
Christie, like Comfort, had stomached a sore day. Hers, however, had not been plagued with work, but with a headache from stress-related reasons. Yet she had borne it smiling, returned home and made love to Folarin. All that was left was a good night’s rest.
Folarin was watching a movie. She didn’t know what the title was and didn’t particularly care about the story. She was more interested in studying the intricate tattoo patterns on his biceps and on his chest. She could never get tired of them. Her fingertips traced light lines and circles that came to a stop on his nipple.
His brows drew together and he looked at her.
“You’re not satisfied?”
“Go to sleep, Chris. Your eyes are tired. You actually looked like you cried today. Did you?”
Folarin pressed the pause button on his PVR decoder and turned to Christie, leaning on an elbow. “Babe, you can talk to me about anything. You know that.”
Christie still held her smile as she looked up at him. “Where is this coming from?”
“A lot of things are going on with you and you’re keeping it all away from me as usual. I think after eleven years, I have earned the right to hear your deepest worries. Even if it’s work-related, you can tell me.”
Christie kissed his lips. “There’s nothing to tell other than the usual.”
“You want to talk about the usual?”
She went for a deeper kiss. She desired his body again just to silence her conscience. The more of her she gave to him, the less of Raji in her.
A knock on their door broke their kiss.
It was her nine-year-old daughter. The only child she had for Folarin.
“Aunty Salma is in the parlor.”
Christie sprang into an upright posture without meaning to.
“Yes. She wants to see you.”
“Um…okay, tell her I’ll be out,” Christie replied, even though she would rather be anywhere else than her house at that moment.
“Tell me they’re fighting again,” Folarin pressed the pause button. The movie continued.
“Let me go and see why she’s here.”
Christie threw on a silky bathrobe over her body and made it out to the living room. Salma flashed an apology on her face when she saw her.
“I should have called before coming. I’m sorry, dear.”
Cyrus Junior was sprawled on the floor with his phone in his face. Christie kicked him and he gave both women their privacy.
“Can I get you anything? There’s eba and okra soup I made yesterday.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“A glass of juice, then?”
She followed Christie to the kitchen. It was a large space with modern kitchen equipment and fine lighting. Christie was mercurial. Despite her résumé as an ad entrepreneur, she still found time to make Folarin’s meals. She loved her kitchen. It always reminded her that she was an everyday woman. Working with men in the industry often left her with an unusual dose of testosterone. The heat of the kitchen calmed her.
She served Salma a glass of ice tea as they sat.
“I just left Raji,” Salma let out.
“Left, as in?”
“I packed my things and left. Only for a while, though.”
“I can’t. I just can’t. Not with this new woman he’s sleeping with.”
Christie pulled the flaps of her robe together. She felt the need to pour herself some ice tea as well.
“Who is she?” She held Salma’s eyes. “You know her?”
“All I know is that she’s somebody’s wife.”
“I have this new neighbor. They moved into the duplex opposite ours, the one that the old man used to live in?”
“So the woman there, she’s talkative and nosy and I used to hate having her around but I didn’t know God was bringing her into my life for a reason. Well, last two weeks she casually mentioned that she saw Raji leaving a restaurant with a woman. And I was like how does that info concern me? I was a bit upset but I didn’t say anything, either to her or Raji. So, getting to last week, she told me again that she saw Raji with the same woman on two separate occasions and that the woman had a ring on her fourth finger.”
Christie subconsciously covered her wedding band.
“Did she see her face?”
“That’s the most painful part, Christie! She didn’t. All she knows is that she has natural hair.”
Christie needed the ice tea badly now. She went for a glass cup from one of the cabinets.
“Maybe your neighbor saw me with Raji.” Her back was to Salma. “We had a few business meetings…”
“It’s not you, Christie. Raji is cheating again, just believe me. I know. He’s trying to make me out to be the bad person here, but I know he is sleeping with someone else. The signs are clear.”
Christie returned to her seat, shoulders stiff. “But Salma, you sef…is that why you’ll go and disturb him in the office and get divorce papers?”
“Abeg, I’m tired. I’ve endured this marriage for the sake of the kids but I’m killing myself in the process. I just want to stay away from him for a week to clear my head.”
“And then you’ll go back?”
“Christie, I am tired. I can’t continue. After one week, I’ll know what to do with myself.”
Christie found comfort in her drink.
“And that’s why I’m here.” Salma pulled forward. “Can I stay here for the week? Please?”
“I won’t be a bother at all. All I want is food and privacy for my routine prayers.”
Christie knew she couldn’t say no. Salma was not that type of friend you turned down.
“Where are the kids?”
“They’re safe. Don’t worry about them. Worry about me.”
“You can stay, dear. It’s no question. The only issue is that I have to travel to Beijing for business.”
“Awww. Who will now keep me company?”
“No offense but your husband is weird.”
Christie laughed. “We all know that.”
“But we love him. We love him.” She forced out a smile. “Thank you, Christie.”
“For what again?”
“You’re the only one I can come to and you won’t judge me. I could have gone to my mom’s or sisters’ or any of our friends, but everybody will insist that I stay with Raji and tell me I’m accusing him wrongly. But you didn’t. You understood. You always do.”
“Stop it, Salma.”
Christie tapped her hand. Her friend was a softie beneath her tough, troublesome shell.
“Forgive me for the things I said earlier.”
“I have, Sal. Let it go.”
Salma squeezed her hand and Christie died a little inside. The Beijing trip was all made up on the spot. She couldn’t imagine herself being in the same space with Salma without confessing her betrayal against her. She needed to escape for a while too. It wasn’t hard to see that her sins were running fast enough to catch up with her.
Dear High Mistress,
I broke up with my boyfriend a while ago and I’m lonely. Or rather horny. Lol. I’m thinking of buying a vibrator. Can you recommend something?
“Oh the idiots!” Toni tossed her phone over a red couch in her sitting room. “I’ve told them over and over to stop asking for help with masturbation but they won’t listen!”
She picked something off the floor on her way to the kitchen.
“Go ahead and screw yourself with a cucumber if it’s worrying you like that!”
“You know masturbation is a good thing, right?”
A nude Leticia walked past her and plumped down on the red couch. In her hand was a small bowl containing some liquid, which she spread generously over her nipples.
“No, it’s not. And please let’s not get into that argument this evening.”
Toni trashed the item she had picked from the floor and came back with a bottle of water.
“But seriously, Toni, what did masturbation ever do to you? Up till today you haven’t told me.”
“Then stop asking.”
“I want to know!”
“Were you mastur-raped?”
“Maybe a dildo misbehaved badly? You said no but it wouldn’t stop. Or maybe you were sleeping and your fingers decided they wanted to rape you. You struggled but couldn’t stop them and they had their way with you and now you’re traumatized?”
Toni was dead silent. She didn’t have words for her friend.
“E dey happen.”
Toni shook out of the haze. “For traumatizing me with that sick narrative, I’ll confess.”
Leticia sat up in excitement.
“I love dicks only. No fingers. No dildos. No lesbian action. Dicks only.”
Leticia was disappointed in the explanation, so she jumped onto another topic.
“You seem antsy about your date.”
“Me, antsy about what date?”
“About Mark aka sexy-as-fuck ex, aka love of your life.”
“I am not antsy about meeting Mark.”
“Is that why your room is littered with all the different clothes you’ve been trying?”
Toni took a swig of freezing water. She ignored Leticia’s insinuations, but Leticia badgered on.
“Antonia Braithwaite, I beg of you, stay away from Mark Ebute. Act like you’ve been doing for years, like he doesn’t exist. Then start falling hard for Andre. That’s my advice to you, aunty, but I know I’m wasting my time. So, go ahead and meet Mark and let him kiss you and allow him enter your head and in-between your legs…”
“Isn’t that what you want? Why you’re forgetting all the wickedness he did to you and you’re wanting to ‘have dinner’ with him?”
“Tish, I am doing this for Covet. Not for me. And I don’t still have feelings for him. My God, it’s been nine years! If I still loved him, I would have slept with him by now, but I haven’t…”
Leticia raised a hand. “Don’t bother explaining. Just go there and be a fool for the man that almost killed you. Don’t forget that I was there when you tried to take your life twice! I was there!”
Toni understood Leticia’s frustration and she wished she could assure her that the dinner with Mark was leading nowhere. In fact, the dinner was just a first step into a series of actions that would launch her into her nine-year long plan of getting back her man from Nkechi only to ruin him for her. She wanted to finish them both individually, destroy their marriage and ultimately ruin their company.
“Go ahead and fuck him. Your business. Don’t just come back here crying to me when he deals with you again. I’ve cried enough for you already.”
“Aww, baby…” Toni leaned over and hugged her. “I love you too.”
“Shit!” Leticia pushed her away. “You poured my nipple lotion!”
“Bleaching concoction you mean.”
Leticia pinched her.
“Now, I have to start mixing a new one.”
Leticia’s nipples were probably her most-prized assets and she took care of them with an obsession. They boasted of a shade of deep red over a dark chocolate skin. Following a fortnightly tradition of lightening them, she had succeeded in giving them a luscious appearance that drove all her men wild. Legend had it that a guy once climaxed just looking at them.
“Come and clean this mess up!” she ordered Toni who was presently making her way to her bedroom.
Toni snubbed her and spent another hour picking the right outfit. An extra thirty minutes was dedicated to makeup and ten minutes rehearsing her first lines to Mark.
She hadn’t been alone with him since they broke up. Of course, they had come across each other on many occasions, but nothing transpired between them. Finally, she was going to have the chance to express all her emotions. Then she would seduce him.
Leticia walked in with a baby in her arms. Toni looked at the child through her dressing mirror and hissed.
“Where’s this one’s mother?”
“She has a date.”
Leticia placed the child on the floor.
Toni turned. “Come, if that girl pees on my floor, like her brother peed in my handbag, I won’t find it funny. I don’t know why a mother will be giving birth to children everywhere and cannot take care of them.”
“Just two, Toni. Two kids.”
“With two different fathers. She’s not responsible to give birth to even one. Something that cannot close her legs.”
“Stop judging. Me and you are not different from her.”
Toni rose up, clutching her bag. “I will ignore that blasphemy.”
“Na wa o!” Leticia sat straight, admiring Toni’s outfit. “All of this for Mark?”
Toni twirled round. “You like?”
“No. The skirt is too short.”
“And when was that ever a problem? You know I love short things.”
“Toni, don’t go and see him nau. Please…”
“I’m going, Tish.”
Leticia conjured a sad face.
“That won’t work either.”
The neighbor’s baby looked up at Toni and gurgled. She found the act cute, but didn’t respond.
“Carry that child to your room.”
“Look at her. Isn’t she cute? Don’t you want one?”
Toni slipped into a pair of heeled sandals.
“Well, me I want. Twin girls like Mr. Raji’s daughters. Those girls are so adorable.”
“Whatever. I’m going.”
“Using your car?”
Leticia lifted the little girl up and followed Toni to the sitting room.
“You know you can change your mind right now, ba?”
Toni blew her a kiss on her way out. Leticia shut the door and settled on another couch. She looked at the baby.
“Aunty Toni’s making a big mistake. Big, big mistake. You think we should stop her?”
The baby cooed.
“Yeah, we should.”
Leticia let her down. Her phone was resting on a glass stool nearby. She picked it and dialed Andre.
He sounded like he was asleep.
“Am I calling at a wrong time?”
“Who is this?”
“Oh, sorry. It’s Leticia.”
“Oh, Leticia! Hi. How are you? Happy new year.”
“Happy new year too. You abandoned us.”
“Toni, I mean. You abandoned my friend.”
Andre laughed and Leticia thought she heard him say something in French.
“I did not abandon Antonia. It was she who did all the abandonment.”
“She’s just fronting. You know how we girls can be.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Well, she’s playing hard to get.”
“In this century?”
“I thought you were old-fashioned.”
“Well, I wish you were…” Leticia went after the baby who was heading towards the kitchen. “…so that you won’t give up on Toni. She likes you. She really does, but there’s a little problem.”
“Um…I don’t think I should be telling you because if Toni finds out that I did…”
“Just tell me. I’ll keep it a secret.”
Leticia gave a pretend sigh.
“Trust me, Leticia. Just go on.”
“Okay. Please don’t tell her o.”
“Has she ever mentioned the name Mark to you?”
“No. Who is he?”
Another pretend sigh and Leticia revealed to him who Mark was to Toni and how he had hurt her and how she was breezing back into his life, unguarded.
“I’m so worried for her. I just wish there some other guy to show her the love she thinks only Mark can give.”
“Me too. I hope she finds that person.”
Leticia took the phone off her ear and glared at it in a manner of wanting to punch it. She left it on speaker.
“You know what I’m insinuating, Dre.”
Andre laughed. “She called me Dre.”
“Don’t people call you that?”
“Nope. Just Andre and Nigerians mostly, call me Andy.”
“Rolling my eyes to that.”
“But em, yeah, I get you Leticia. You want me to swoop in and save your excruciating friend from going back to her married ex.”
“I didn’t put it that way, but yes, something like that. I know you guys like each other. I just want you to go a little extra to help her. She’s damaged and doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
“So she’s with him right now.”
Leticia held down the baby and swathed her cheek with kisses.
“They’re at Frendz Bar.”
“Frendz Bar? Wow. Em…okay, thanks for the info, but seriously, I’m not going to save her from him. In fact, this phone call, if it did anything, it made me realize I’ve been wasting my emotions on her…”
“No!” Leticia sprang up. “Toni likes you.”
“No, she doesn’t. She likes rich, married men. And I am neither.”
“She likes you,” Leticia insisted.
“No she doesn’t, because if you like somebody, you go after them.”
“Glad you said that. Now, can you go after her before she makes a huge mistake with Mark?”
“No. And thanks for calling, Leticia. I have something to do right now.”
She got a dead tone.
The baby echoed her grunt. Despite being annoyed, she smiled. “Adults can be so annoying. Don’t ever grow up, baby.”
Andre was pissed over all he just heard.
Toni’s insistence on being a pain in his ass was getting too much to bear. So she was going after Mark now? The same guy that almost destroyed her life and was responsible for the person she had become today?
What was she, brain dead? Did she enjoy pain and heartbreak so much that she couldn’t live a clean life?
Andre left his bed and walked out to his sitting room. The place was untidy with work documents and empty cups of coffee. He had been awake for three days straight, finding only a couple of hours of sleep each night. Suddenly his startup delivery company was on everyone’s lips and he was beginning to get the attention he had worked hard for over the years. A popular eatery that had a chain of restaurants wanted to do business with him. An upcoming online store needed his services and a boutique also needed him. He was considering buying a second car for the new office he opened on the mainland. Funds were tight, but he was certain that by the end of the week, he would come up with the cash to make up for the one he saved up already.
He needed an assistant. The workload was heavy. But first…
Andre picked a t-shirt off the floor. Toni was getting on his last nerves, although not as much as he was himself. He was angry that he cared about what she did with her vagina. At this point, after her attitude towards him and what he had suffered in her hands in the past, even without her knowing, he shouldn’t give a rat’s ass. But he did. And it pushed him to leave his house in search of her.
He won’t let her get back with Mark. The bastard won’t have his way with her a second time.
Andre knew their history even before Leticia told him. He knew all about what Mark had done to Toni, how he had hurt and almost destroyed her. He knew everything about that and the other things she wouldn’t tell him. Yet he was crazy about her.
He stepped out into the night and inhaled.
“Time to get your heart broken, ami.”
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