AUTHOR: OGECHI ALABI
Chidindu was getting married. Nkem had to travel to Nigeria to attend the wedding with Uloma. Demian refused to allow Dominic to travel with them. He promised to adjust his time to attend to him or call his mother to stay for a bit. Nkem didn’t want to be parted from her son. Demian also didn’t want to be parted from him. This caused a misunderstanding between them. Since Dominic was born Demian had no interest in coming back to Nigeria. He didn’t want Dominic in Nigeria too and gave flimsy reasons. It was only for ten days. Nkem finally gave up and left Dominic with Demian.
The lady Chidindu was marrying was the daughter of his boss. Their love story was interesting. The lady met Chidindu during her visit to her father’s office and fell in love at first sight. She made advances at him and declared from the onset she would marry him. It was like a joke but they became good friends. Chidindu’s last girlfriend left him to marry a man with means. Chidindu was doing well for his level. He was heartbroken when she left him for another who returned from abroad. Cecilia comforted Chidindu after the break and reminded him she was still available. She was serving in her father’s company at this time. They began a relationship and in less than a year, Chidindu proposed. Her father approved of their friendship and then relationship. To him, Cecilia couldn’t have made a better choice, because Chidindu was an exceptional employee.
The traditional wedding was held in the morning while the church wedding was held in the afternoon. It turned out to be a grand wedding because his father-in-law supported him. Nkem and Uloma were present to show their support. The wedding took place in Enugu. They were leaving after the wedding for France for their honeymoon. Nkem was happy for her brother. He deserved all the happiness.
At the wedding, Nkem and Uloma were the centres of attraction. Nkem had maintained her beautiful figure and the men didn’t believe she was married with a child until they saw her wedding rings. Uloma was not so lucky. They wanted her number. They were ready to spoil her. A guy found the hotel we were lodged in and came there after the wedding. They wanted to spoil Uloma with money but she was not interested. Nkem shared a hotel room with Uloma and it helped put her in check.
Uncle Tobi attended the wedding and was even on the high table. He was glad to see Nkem again after such a long time. He talked to her briefly. He asked about her husband and son. Then he asked about her plans for the future, especially her career. She assured him she would be coming back after the doctorate. He was satisfied. They didn’t have further communication after that. Uncle Tobi looked the same to Nkem, he hadn’t changed at all. He was blessed with youthfulness. Uncle Tobi admired Nkem. She hadn’t changed much. He liked the new her; she took better care of herself and dressed more sophisticatedly. He had Demian and his family to thank for that. She looked happy and he said a silent prayer it remained that way.
Iyke called Uloma several times during the wedding but she couldn’t attend to him because she was busy. So he called that night. Uloma excused herself from the room to talk to him. Nkem watched her from the window as she sat outside and facetiming him. She could see Uloma had fallen for him. He must have gotten the memoir on how to make Uloma fall from Demian. She was still worried about their mother. Everywhere had been calm but she knew she was loved as long as she didn’t overstep her boundary.
She had enjoyed her marriage so far. One of the reasons was that they were both workaholics. She and Demian hardly talked about anything that wasn’t work or Dominic. They hadn’t been intimate in almost two months. Demian had been busy and was travelling a lot. When they did manage to have sex, it wasn’t exciting. But it was not a problem. Seeing her sister talk to Iyke made her remember how much fun they used to have. She wondered if this was how marriage was for everyone. She didn’t mind but what if Demian meets an interesting girl and experiences a moment of weakness? It would hurt her badly. She called Demian and told him she was missing him. He found it strange but for the first time in a long while, they talked about themselves. He also missed their time together. One of his reasons for not initiating sex was the presence of others in the home. Nkem asked him to book a hotel for the day she was coming home so they could be together without anyone hearing them.
When Nkem went back to America, she left Uloma with Dominic and spent a night with Demian. They relaxed, had a spa treatment, had dinner and retired for the night. That night was explosive for them. They didn’t have any cares in the world. Nkem hadn’t felt this satisfied in a long time. Demian couldn’t have enough of her. They agreed to have this time out at least once a month. Before long, they fell back into the status quo.
### read – Vampire queen episode 55 – 56
Uloma and Iyke’s relationship had been serious for six months. He begged Uloma to visit him. Uloma couldn’t visit without telling Nkem and she didn’t want to. Nkem didn’t want her to get pregnant for Iyke and bring disgrace to them. She warned her several times not to have sex with him no matter what.
But, Uloma liked Iyke. They had developed a relationship which she appreciated. He respected her and was ever ready to teach her. He never requested her nudes or to see her half-naked. He was kind and caring towards her.
Iyke wanted to spend some days with Uloma so they could bond even more. When he took his leave from the office, he invited her to go away with him somewhere they could have fun. He asked her to cook up a story and tell Nkem. She thought of what to tell Nkem that would work but nothing came to mind. He wanted to buy a five days cruise ticket. He begged her to do something.
Demian observed that Uloma was very tense. He asked her if everything was ok and she nodded.
“Any problems with Iyke?” he asked and he watched her eyes swell. It had to do with Iyke, so he asked her what happened. She told him about the cruise and how afraid of Nkem she was. He asked her not to worry and trust him.
It was summer period so he sent Dominic to his mother for two weeks. He gave Uloma a ticket to go on a cruise for five days and then he and Nkem had the house to themselves. He did it so Uloma could go away with Iyke without Nkem knowing. She would think they ran into each other on the ship.
The trip was everything and more. They didn’t sleep in the same cabin but they spent time together. Iyke was all over her. He respected their boundaries and they both had the time of their lives. It was on the last day of the cruise that Iyke became serious. He told Uloma it was no longer likeness but love he felt for her. He wished she felt the same way about him. She said she liked him a lot but still needed time to accept what was to come. Iyke brought her back home in a hired vehicle. He parked a short distance from their apartment complex. They had their first kiss in the car. The kiss left Uloma breathless.
Iyke didn’t go back to his base. He stayed with Agnes and was seeing Uloma every day. Before he left for Dallas, he told Uloma to get ready he was going to marry her. Uloma wondered if it was for real. She ignored him until he called Nkem and told her the same thing. At this point, it was serious.
“Uloma, Iyke is serious about settling down with you. I don’t want to ask if you are in on it because you are; it is obvious. The problem I have is this, you can’t hide secrets from your husband. You have to tell Iyke about Elsie.”
“What? Why should I do that?”
“He is a doctor and when he sees you naked, he will know you have had a child before. This is the truth. So, don’t tell him where she is but let him know you gave her up for adoption.”
Uloma wasn’t happy about telling Iyke. Her past had caught up with her. She met a man who treated her kindly and with respect and now her past would ruin what they had. Once he knew, every member of his family would be aware. How would she show her face? She decided not to tell him about it but rather quietly end the relationship. Her Master’s degree was coming to an end and Nkem had advised she goes back to Nigeria at expiration and then apply for a visit visa until she gains admission again and then she can come back. Nkem does everything by the books. She couldn’t bring herself to end it.
Uloma mentioned to Iyke she would be going back to Nigeria. He asked her why and she explained. She didn’t want to stay beyond her visa expiration. He advised her to request an extension using a job offer. She didn’t have a job willing to do that for her. He promised to help her get a job and help her with her documentation. The downside, the job would be in Dallas where he resided. She wondered how she would help Nkem with Dominic if she went to Dallas. Iyke asked her not to disclose to anyone he was helping her get the job.
Two days later, she received an email for an aptitude test. She did the test online. She received another mail the next day stating she passed the test. Then she was invited for an online chat. She went through five stages of interviews. It was rigorous but she scaled through. She got a job as an accountant covering six stores in Texas. She couldn’t believe it.
She had informed Nkem about the job interview. She told her she had applied for so many jobs but she didn’t know which one of them this was. When she got the job offer, the store information was not disclosed. Nkem was worried about her venturing out on her own to Texas. The head office of the recruitment agency was in Houston.
Nkem discussed with Demian about the offer. Demian advised that Uloma should take it if they would help her with a resident and work permit. It made sense. Uloma had already informed them of her legal status in the country and when her visa would expire. She responded if they would sort out the immigration issues. They asked for her documents and that was it.
It took a month but eventually, she got a resident and work permit. She was to work for a top retail store which had a head office in Houston. She was to resume there and then she would be posted to where she would work. It was like a film. Nkem had no choice but to let her go. This was a big opportunity. Nkem was focused on Uloma’s safety and comfort. She was worried she had never lived away from family. Demian asked her to allow Uloma to find her way like many other young ladies. He assured Nkem of his support to make her comfortable.
Nkem insisted on going with Uloma to Houston but Demian declined. He asked her to stay back and attend to Dominic. Demian had an inkling Iyke was the reason for this move because Houston wasn’t far from Dallas. What they didn’t know was that Iyke had moved from Dallas to Houston. He gave Uloma money to cover three months of rent and utility bills. Nkem took her shopping for nice work clothes, shoes and bags. She was ready to start her life.
Uloma was scared of venturing out on her own. She wept when they saw her off to the airport. She was going to miss her family very much. There was a new life waiting for her in Texas and she intended to make the best of it. She was determined to make it in America. She saw this as a huge opportunity and she intended to make the best of it.
As soon as she boarded, she called Iyke to let him know. She was happy when she saw him at the airport welcoming her. He came with flowers and a box of chocolate. They hugged and kissed each other. He drove her to his residence.
“You will stay here until they assign you to a main branch you will work from so it will be close to your residence. It will save you on transportation. You can tell your sister you are in a motel for now until then.”
“I thought you were in Dallas, when did you move here?”
“I was offered a transfer here and I chose it so I will be close to you. I want to see you as often as I can. I missed you so much.”
“Nkem won’t like this at all.”
“Then don’t tell her. If it works, then it will be fine. If it doesn’t, nobody needs to know we were involved.”
“I don’t like hiding anything from her so I don’t make mistakes. I have made mistakes in the past and I don’t want to ever disappoint her.”
“You are scared of your sister? That’s strange. I like your bond as a family but your sister can’t decide for you who you will love and live with. You are old enough to decide that. Search your heart, if you feel anything for me, let’s give this a try. If you don’t, I will let you go. I promise.”
“While we are trying to see if this will work, I can’t have sex with you. I cannot afford to get pregnant when I am not ready. I must be married before I can get pregnant.”
Iyke found her comment very funny and laughed out loud. He called her a clown. “There are several ways to prevent pregnancy and I am a doctor. I know what to do to ensure you don’t get pregnant. We will have sex when we are ready. When our bodies can’t resist it. We need to know if we are sexually compatible because it is a big deal for me. I won’t marry a woman who doesn’t give me what I want in bed. I am ready to bring my A game.”
Uloma’s opened her eyes widely. She couldn’t believe what he just said. Iyke made her uncomfortable. She was scared of spending the night at his place. What if he raped her? “Please Iyke, can I stay in a hotel instead of your place? I can deny seeing you but I can’t lie about being in a hotel especially when she asks for evidence.”
“Evidence? Uloma we have passed the stage of you being scared of me. I would respect your wishes and let you spend a night or two in a hotel but subsequently, you will stay with me so I can watch and protect you.”