Read Chapter 27 here.
It’s sorted. Call me.
She waited as it rang. He picked up at the third ring.
“Hey. So what’s sorted exactly?”
“The reservations my bosses had. Now, ask your guy to call to ask for another meet.”
“Yep. So, about my meetup with Dante?”
“You sound like you’re really looking forward to it.”
“I am. I messed up a good friendship over something that didn’t even matter to me anymore. I need to make things right.”
“I see. So when the deal is closed, I’ll see what I can do.”
“Thanks. Really appreciate this, Jackie.”
Julius looked up when he heard a slight knock. He gestured for her to come in.
“Tell me you have some good news; God knows I need it.”
“I do have some good news,” Jackie said, clasping her hands together as she tried to control her excitement. “Our deal with GHL can still be closed. All you have to do is request for another meet.”
“Yep; my former schoolmate said they are cool. Of course, we have to make sure all our documents are kosher.”
“That’s great. Thank you, Jackie.”
“Don’t mention it, sir.”
“Call me Julius, please.”
Jackie made a turn to leave the office when he asked, “You’d be coming with me to the next one, right?”
“I don’t think I can. I have some work to finish as soon as possible.”
She left the office.
Debrah was excited to see Julius thinking that Jackie would be with him but was disappointed to see another lady following him instead. He decided not to even be part of the meeting this time.
Was hoping to see you again.
Sorry. My presence is of limited edition.
Jackie put the phone down with a smirk on her face and continued working.
She looked up when she heard Julius enter with Elsie. He met her curious look with a beaming smile.
“We have a deal!”
“All thanks to you, milady!”
He took something from Elsie behind him.
“And to express my immense appreciation, I got you a refreshing snack,” he said, placing a cup of smoothie and a chicken wrap on her desk.
“Oh wow, thank you!”
“My pleasure. Enjoy.”
“I will. Thanks.”
“Elsie, you know what you have to do, right?”
“Great. Let’s get to it.”
Dante sat at his usual spot at AM & PM, checking out articles on Flipboard on his phone.
“Hey,” he heard a familiar voice say behind him. He turned.
“Is this seat taken?” Debrah asked.
“No. Feel free.”
Debrah ordered for a drink.
“I wonder how you managed to get Jackie to owe you a favor,” Dante said. Debrah chuckled.
“Our paths crossed in the conference room. Her boss kind of messed up a presentation and I told her I could give him another chance if she could get you to sit down with me. How did she get you to agree to meet me?”
“It’s Jackie. All she had to do was ask.”
“Wow…still rules your heart, huh?” He asked and took a sip after the bartender gave him his drink.
“Always. So what’s up?”
“Just want to apologize for the last time and everything that led to it. It was immature of me to handle the situation the way I did and disregarding our friendship like that.”
“I appreciate that, Debrah. It’s all forgiven. I’m so glad we can put that behind us.”
“Yeah me too.”
They shook hands on it. They both took their glasses and gulped.
“So how’s GHL?”
“Not bad. Working hard as ever. How’s life as CEO?”
“Stressful, man. And my father-in-law as my boss can get quite demanding.”
“I see…why do I have the feeling that Cece brought up this whole chick business from back in the day so things would tense up between us for you to leave GHL and work for her dad?”
“What do you mean? Cece told you those lies?”
“Yeah, who do you think did?”
“I don’t know. I suspected her but…I was wondering why you’d even dig up that matter. Seriously?”
“Yep. Cece is one crazy woman. I’m sure she has her tentacles on you so deep that you can’t even think of leaving her.”
“Oh yeah, she made sure of that.”
“You’re kidding. For real?”
“She has a sonogram to prove it.”
“And you’re sure it’s yours?”
“She says it is.”
“And you’re taking her word for it?”
“For some reason, I don’t think she’s lying about this one.”
“I see. So what, congratulations?”
“I think good luck is more appropriate,” Dante replied and they clinked glasses.
“There you are! Was beginning to get worried,” Cece said, coming out of the kitchen.
“It’s okay. Where have you been?”
“Hanging out with Debrah.”
Cece raised a brow.
“Kind of. The last time you met, he gave you a swollen lip, I remember.”
“And I’m sure you know why since you instigated it.”
“Huh? What have I got to do with two dudes knocking heads?”
“Wow…are you losing your memory now? Is it the hormones?”
“Don’t be silly, Ekow.”
“But seriously, why would you tell Debrah those lies so we would turn against each other?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Alright. If that makes you sleep at night. It doesn’t matter anymore anyway. What’s for dinner?”
“Great. Going to change and will be right back. I’m really hungry.”
She watched him enter the room and sighed. Wow, Debrah told on her, huh. There was no way she was going to admit she had a hand in this. Thank God he was not mad at her. Even if he was, there was nothing he could do. Thank God for pregnancies, she said and rubbed her tummy.
“Where are you going?” Cece asked when he came out of the bathroom, wrapped in a towel one Saturday morning.
“Meeting a couple of guys for golf. Why?”
“We have a photoshoot today, honey.”
“Photoshoot? For what?”
“Our first anniversary is next week and it is only right that we show our friends and well-wishers that God has been good to us and our haters that we are going strong together as a couple.”
“Well, I had no idea about it and I’ve already made plans.”
“Come on, I’m sure you can sacrifice this one for me…”
“Cece, this hangout is really important for me. There are some deals I want to propose…”
“If it is for business purposes, then don’t worry about it. My dad will take care of it…”
“No, no, Cece; I’m not going to sit on my behind and wait for your dad to do my job for me. I’m not a bum, Cece.”
“Of course you’re not, honey. I wasn’t implying that at all. But this photoshoot is really important to me so why not come to a compromise?”
“I told the photographer, makeup artist and hair stylist to show up at 11. What time will your golf hangout end?”
“Should be done by 11.”
“So could you come home right after? By the time you get back, I’ll be done with my makeup and hair and I can help you get ready for the shoot. What do you say?”
“I don’t like having photos of myself on social media for people to create content out of them. I love my privacy, Cece.”
“I know but as much as you’re the CEO of Noble Realty and want to preserve your corporate identity, I think it’s equally important that people get to see you as a family man and be able to relate to you as such.”
Dante thought about it for a moment. It wasn’t such a bad idea. He just didn’t want to rub it in Jackie’s face of being all that without her. But she would understand. She was moving on. She wanted the best for him.
“Okay; I’ll try and be here on time.”
“Yes! Thank you, sweetheart!”
She hugged him and kissed him on the cheek.
“And on that note, I think you need to see your barber.”
“Yeah?” He asked as he rubbed his palm on his hair.
“Yep. Just a little trim will be perfect.”
Kwame was sitting by himself having lunch and scrolling through his Instagram page when a photo caught his attention. He scrolled up a few photos and paused on one. It was a sponsored post.
A year ago today, God brought us together through mysterious ways and has kept us closer and stronger through the ups and downs of marriage so far. Several times the enemy tried to break us up using past entanglements but God has been faithful. A year on, not only are we happy, we have been blessed with a mini us on the way.
Kwame couldn’t help but chuckle at the last hashtag. This lady was definitely the queen of petty. He wondered how Jackie would be feeling if she saw it. He was sure she had seen it by now. She would be okay with it. He called her.
“Hey Kwame, what’s up?”
“I’m good. Just checking up on you.”
“Aww…isn’t that sweet of you? I’m very well, thank you.”
“Are you free after work?”
“Not today. Heading to the gym from here.”
“Alright; don’t overexert yourself, okay?”
“I won’t. Thanks for checking in, Kwame.”
“My pleasure. Take care, dear.”
“You too. Bye.”
“Did you see Cece’s anniversary photos on IG today?” AJ asked as they worked out.
“How could I missed them? For a moment, I felt she had set me as the target as all her sponsored posts appeared on my timeline. For crying out loud, who boosts anniversary photos on social media?”
“Someone with an agenda to show off for ‘shege’ reasons.”
They both laughed.
“But come to think of it, Cece can be very petty. The hashtags reveal her true motive for posting those photos. I’m not surprised Dante hasn’t posted them on his page.”
“Dante hasn’t been really active on social media for quite a while. Who would have thought?” Jackie said.
“So it’s been a year since…wow.”
“Yep. A whole year since my world turned upside down.”
“It is well, dear.”
“Happy anniversary to us, honey,” Cece said as she gave him a wrapped cute box.
“Thank you. May I?”
“Sure, it’s yours.”
Dante opened it to find a customized pair of cufflinks.
“Wow…this is really cool. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. What did you get me?” Cece asked excitedly. He gave her a box. She opened it and gasped.
“I know you love your diamonds,” Dante said as she picked up the necklace to look at it.
“This is beautiful, Dante. Thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome. It seems you had a blast on IG today.”
“Yeah, I had to. Staying married for one year is no joke.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Before I forget, why didn’t you post the anniversary photos on your IG? I Airdropped it to you this morning,” Cece said.
“Sorry, not a big fan of sharing my private life with thousands of unknown people.”
“Come on but this is our anniversary! If you were not feeling up to it, you could have simply re-posted mine on your page.”
“Cece, I don’t live my life on social media. The many viewers don’t owe me anything.”
“Is this because you’re not proud to show me off as your wife in public?”
“Of course not. You know I compromised to get myself to take part in the photoshoot the other day. You should be thanking me instead of complaining.”
“How do you expect my followers to think when they check your page and find no photo of us there?”
“Since when do you concern yourself with what other people are thinking or saying?”
“People’s perceptions can either make or break you. I have to make sure I’m always being portrayed the right way.”
“You need to find something doing just so you don’t have to waste your time checking out what people on social media think of you.”
“I am…taking care of our baby,” she said, rubbing her tummy. He got up and started towards their bedroom.
She waited for him to turn.
“What do you love about me?”
“Your passion and big heart.”
Cece smiled. “I love everything about you; starting with your name.”
Dante couldn’t help but smile.
“Happy anniversary,” he said.
Dante rushed into the hospital and found the doctor.
“What is wrong? I came here as soon I saw the messages. Sorry, was caught up in a meeting.”
“That’s okay. Mr. Mends, I’m afraid we may have a problem.”
“With the baby or the mother?”
“With the former and if we don’t do something about it, it might affect the latter as well.”
© Josephine Amoako 2018
Read Chapter 29 here.