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Stats: 2,565,897 members, 5,934,188 topics. Date: Thursday, 22 October 2020 at 06:16 PM
|Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 7:06pm On Oct 17|
8 times out of 10, the glamorous lifestyles put on display by the rich and powerful serves the function of an efficient smokescreen for the real muck and grit that constitutes the life of those enshrouded in lucre and opulence. I need to let it be known that i wasn't born into affluence. I wasn't born into agonizing penury either. My family was on the middle of the spectrum. In summary, we we're comfortable to an extent. I was twenty one years of age when i fell into the employ of chief uzodinma, that was four years ago. It was a jarring experience really.There i was, fresh out of the university wondering what next the world had in store for me and then i meet this pot bellied, greying and flat out drunk looking 50
something year old looking man in the bar i had come to celebrate my graduation. Long story short, i end up dropping off this old man via tricycle in his villa. The smell of the vomit that was deposited on my fanciest clothes (as at then) remains with me till date....
|Re: Behind The Glamour by sochey(f): 5:15pm On Oct 18|
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 8:33pm On Oct 18|
Sorry for the lateness. Glo sabi frustrate person
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 8:58pm On Oct 18|
Despite the fact that drinks flowed like water, i kept myself in control and refrained from taking as much as a sip. I weaved and bobbed between the throngs of house guests that milled about the villa, a rising lump of distress beginning to beat with a steady rhythm in the back of my head as the awareness of the fact that the diesel engine had been running for the past twelve hours filled me with distress. It was time to switch generators, from diesel to fuel, but thomas wasn't back with the fuel yet. My mind conjured varying manners in which chief would react (none of them good) if the generator where to exhaust its gas supply and go off, serving no other function than to amplify my anxiety. I paused mid stride, worries temporarily shoved aside as a familiar voice wafted into my ears. My anxiety metamorphosed into annoyance as i saw Effiong, obviously drunk, with a bottle of beer in hand standing before an equally inebriated audience telling tales that i was at least 80% certain had no business with reality.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:21pm On Oct 18|
"wetin you dey find for here?" My tone was deceptively calm, hiding the vitriol being churned about by my rapidly souring mood. Regardless i had enough experience in handling the staff, losing my temper would be counter-productive. The driver froze mid-story, an expression showing that he knew that he was caught plastered on his face. He fumbled over his words, before shambling off in a drunken run all the way back to his living quarters. A barrage of displeased shouts and complaints from the audience were thrown behind my retreating form, but a hoard of complaining house guests were the least of my problems at the moment. With the imminent threat of a drunken (and likely comatose) staff already averted, my attention was already back to the most pressing matter at hand. The electronic ding of the gate alarm interrupted me from my routine check ups around the house, my phone was already ringing even before i fished it out of my pocket. "oga, na Tom dey gate oh" "him carry fuel?" i still kept my tone flat...
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:56pm On Oct 18|
... The basic rudiments of handling the staff in the villa ringing like a broken record in the dark recesses of my mind.
Keep it detached, emotion makes humans understand you, and once they understood you, they viewed you as an easy person, and more likely to test your authority. The gateman went silent for a few seconds, no doubt confirming from Thomas at the gate, before responding "him carry fuel oga" "how many gallons him carry?" "five sir". I nodded to myself in satisfaction (and slight relief), "open gate for am, then you give am phone". Over the speaker (and the room i stood in to recieve the call), i heard the metal bolt slide against the plates of the iron gate as Akeem let Thomas into the compound. A beat passed and Thomas' bass voice came through my cellphones speaker, "hello?" "take one gallon of fuel, fill the bigger petrol engine with it and switch engines..." "okay sir!" he replied hastily, giving me pause as suspicion washed over me. "you smoked" it wasn't a question, "no sir!" he shot back.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 6:40pm On Oct 19|
His hasty response was confirmation enough for me. With an annoyed exhale, i interrupted his incoherrent defense, "that one concern you. Switch the generators, take another gallon of fuel, split it in two and pour one into the hilux and the other one into the sienna. Keep the remaining gallons inside the store." "Okay sir" "and Thomas..." "yes sir?" "if you make me call you back to repeat myself, you might not like my reaction." His timid affirmation was the last from him as i ended the call. The switch from diesel engine to fuel engine took place five minutes later, and served as a signal of sorts as chief came down from his study, thanking everyone from coming and bading them subtle goodbyes. I took a stationary position at the entrance, waving each leaving guest goodbye with an artificial smile (one that i had years to master) etched on my face, till the last guest had driven through the iron gates and Akeem gave me a thumbs up for confirmation that the last of them was well out of sight... It was showtime
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 7:28pm On Oct 19|
I fished out my phone once more, and opened my phonebook, searching for an all too familiar contact when the smell hit my nose. The smell of burning pawpaw permeated my nostrils like a subtle perfume making me halt my contact sourcing. There was only one person on the premises that had a taste for smoking arizona, and i felt my distress levels climb substantially at the thought of confronting her. The maid, christina, walked into the living room a half filled waste disposal bag in hand and a tipsy gait in her step. I guess even she couldn't resist the allure of nigh limitless alcohol. "christina?" i called as she went about picking up haphazardly thrown liquor bottles and cans, she looked up with a half lidded smile (no doubt already under the influence) "Sir?". Even her tone was slurred. "Can you tell me where i can find Ifeoma?" Her smile became tight and she began to shift from foot to foot, obviously uncomfortable with the question i asked. "I saw her at the tank side sir" she mumbled semi audibly.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 8:06pm On Oct 19|
I gave her a half smile in thanks (her tight smile became a shy one) before stalking of in search of chiefs daughter....... As i approached the water tanks in the backyard, the carbonized pungent smell of burning pawpaw increased in density and intensity making mentally brace myself for the ensuing confrontation. True to the info Christina gave me, Ifeoma was there, but she wasn't alone. I approached the smoking quartet that was Ifeoma and her friends (or smoke buddies) with my trademark silent, stalking footsteps. Stopping a respectable distance away from the quartet, i cleared my throat, drawing the attention of the only boy in the group, who shot me a half lidded stare. "Any problem?" he asked brusquely. I was not impressed at his arizona induced bravado. "The party is over. You need to vacate the premises. Now". He gave me a once over (the girls had halted their conversation), before going back to his blunt. My stress levels were already high and i was in no mood to banter with a macho man feeling addict.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 8:41pm On Oct 19|
With an aggresive exhale, i pulled out my phone and dialled the gateman's phone. "Akeem, lock that gate" i kept my voice cool, a behavioural prelude to what was going to be a brutal response. Sensing my mood shift, ifeoma stood up, "It's alright guys, we'll see tomorrow. No need for all this gra gra". The girls nodded simultaneously, quenching their blunts and standing up to leave. The guy gave me a hard glance, before relenting and getting up to leave as well. "Bros, no be like that oh!" he shot at me before leaving in a huff, the two girls in tow (they both shot me cursory glances before giggling to themselves as an unspoken joke was passed between them). Another communication with akeem confirmed that they had left the villa. A chilling breeze sent my skin bubbling with gooseflesh... And reminded me of the fact that i was alone with an intoxicated ifeoma. I took stock of her state of dress, a sports bra and a low cut bum short that emphasized her rounded hips. It was hard not to notice. She gave me a smile
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:45pm On Oct 19|
"Hmm. You and your coded threats sef" she hailed lightly. Her sclera had taken a bloodshot appearance, and that was the only sign that she was high. Her eyes remained wide open, grey eyes contrasting nicely with her fair complexion. Her posture remained upright with no signs of slouching. I struggled to find the right words (she was on the very short list of people that could make me do such) before settling on stating the obvious. "You should be going inside. I need to put the security arrangements in place". She nodded slightly, "Would it be too much to ask for a good night kiss?". I wish i could say that i was already desensitized to her brazeness, i would be lying if i said said so though. I blinked slowly at her proposition (feeling as stupid as i undoubtedly looked), even after all this time, she still managed to catch me flat footed with how direct her propositioning was. Rolling her eyes, she strolled up to me, pulling my head down and planting a peck on my cheek.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:07pm On Oct 19|
She topped off her little display with an affectionate bite on my temple. Too stunned to speak or react, i watched her wordlessy slink away like a predatory cat, pausing briefly at the back door to throw me a scandalous wink before shutting the door behind her. I shook off my stupor, praying to God that there were no witnesses to this fiasco, and then made my way down to the staff living quarters. I stopped at the last building, rapping lightly on the door. Only to be bathed in marijuana fumes as Chukwuka opened the door, fully dressed and with a mostly burnt out stub of a blunt hanging off the corner of his lip. I turned around and he, with six other combat dressed men, stepped out of the building, locked it and wordlessly followed. We arrived at the smallest building in the villa (a single, stand alone room) that stood apart from the other buildings and they waited outside while i went in to retrieve their 'work implements'.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:26pm On Oct 19|
Meticulously, i went through the inventory. Till i found the tools that would be suitable for the night's job. Mind made up, i took inventory, seven Mulberry Pump Action Shotguns, seven shells each. I stuffed it all in an old, 100kg sugar sack bag and stepped out, locking the door behind me. I handed over the tools to Chukwuka and everyone geared, with chukwuka doling out patrol instructions, routes, rotations and all that. The security team dispersed, carrying the last order (given by me, through Chukwuka) in mind. Shoot to kill. I stepped back into the room (it was one of my offices after all), sat on my spinning chair and checked the drawer for my already loaded Berreta. It was still there. Shutting the drawer, poured myself a glass of Jack Daniel's from a half gone bottle and for the first time since today, allowed myself a moment of rest. Not sleep (still to early for such a luxury), but at least a moment to sip my whiskey and relax.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:28pm On Oct 19|
Chapter one is done and dusted folks, any and all feedback will be appreciated. Good night and stay safe!
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Deo7(m): 1:26am On Oct 20|
well ,I like the use of English here ,and this sincerely looks like something to watch out for ,i will bookmark this and see where it leads us
|Re: Behind The Glamour by crossfm: 8:43am On Oct 20|
Altair25:You are doing great at the moment.
The problem I have with guys in literature section is their penchant to abandon their work.Once you fall in love with their work,boom they strike.
I will be observing you from a stoic angle.
Wish you all the best.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 8:49am On Oct 20|
CHAPTER TWO: The shrill ringing of my phone snapped me out of my state of semi-slumber. A bleary glance at the screen provided me with two tidbits of info. First, it was daybreak (6:00 AM to be exact), and secondly, the caller was chukwuka, which meant that their job was done for the time being. With a reluctant grunt, i was up from the chair and out the door. The security team stood a respectable distance from the door. A few faint embers were in the process of being extinguished beneath their combat boots, and i just knew that they must have had a field day keeping their lungs preoccupied last night. Wordlessly, the 'tools' were returned to my waiting hands without ceremony, they were returned to their respective positions on the weapons rack within the building. I stepped out once more, chukwuka stood alone this time. He gave me a once over.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:31am On Oct 20|
He cracked a sardonic smile at my disheveled appearance, before wordlessly handing me a flask and a pack of Dunhill cigarettes. Okay, call me a hypocrite if you want, but one did not remain in the employ of chief uzodinma for long without latching on to one or two coping mechanisms. Mine was caffeine and tobbaco. We strolled on, away from my 'office' and towards the garden. I took a swig from the flask, the coffee was black but sweet, just how i liked it. Replacing the cap on the flask, we took seats on both ends of a stone bench in the garden. I lit a cigarette, filling my lungs with the nicotine tinged air, and then expressed my gratitude, "thank you". His response was a half hearted nod as he pulled out a pellet of rolling paper enclosed cannabis from one of his many pockets. "Check and report" i went straight to business. He began tapping on his phone screen in earnest and i instinctively opened my WhatsApp messenger and my phone pinged with the alert of a new message. "Notin much. Las night bam"
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 12:16pm On Oct 20|
“Any problems?” I pressed further hoping for a little more insight.
I was not disappointed.
My phone pinged with another message, “D new guy, Ferguson, him no go fit work for here”
“Why do you say so?”
“Him comot for him patrol territory go buy cigar last night”
I raised a single brow at the message, turning to give him a flat stare, “Go on”
Unperturbed, he took a drag from his cannabis roll, expelling the smoke from his lungs before responding.
“I go him territory last night, I no see am, I wait till him come back. I ask am where him go, him no answer me. Na this morning wey Akeem tell me say him been comot go buy cigar”
I nodded in satisfaction at the fact that he didn’t make an issue of it, it was professional of him and was a testament to why he had been in Chief’s employ for so long.
His speaking disability (or rather inability) aside, Chukwuka had a professional trait that set him apart from the rest of the staff and that was his inability to flout an order on security matters in the villa.
One the first day that security matters were included in my ever growing list of responsibilities, I gave him a standing order. No one, was to disturb the villa (and by extension Chief) with any unwarranted noises for any reason whatsoever.
He had kept that order till date.
“What time was this?” I asked.
He paused in thought, “Around, 2 for early mor mor”
I nodded in satisfaction, taking another swig from my flask and discarding the spent stub of my cigarette.
Pulling another stick from my pack, I borrowed Chukwuka’s lighter (mine was spent) and lit it, “Anything else?”
He shook his head, and pocketed his phone and I knew that that our conversation had died (at least for the moment) a natural death.
We smoked in silence, putting our thoughts together, me planning my day and him stepping down after a long nights work.
Expending my seventh cigarette, I flicked the stub away it landed at the base of a particularly dense Bougainvillea bush, and gulped down the last dregs of my caffeinated beverage.
I handed the flask back to the owner, “Thank you” I expressed my gratitude.
He replied with an exaggerated double thumbs up.
With a half smile, we parted ways.
He to catch some well deserved rest and I to begin the day in earnest.
It was going to be a busy one after all.
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:44am On Oct 21|
CHAPTER THREE: I threw a half hearted greeting at christina and thomas as they went about the task of cleaning up any mess that they might have missed the previous night. As i ascended the spiral staircase, i fished out a few tabs of of clorets from one of my numerous pockets, popping them in my mouth to rid them of their tobacco stench. My measured steps came to an abrupt halt in front of chief's study. I knocked once, twice, thrice and then the permission to enter came in the form of a muffled 'come in'. "good morning chief" i greeted as i came face to face with chief uzodinma as he hunched over his desk, short straw in hand and a whitish powder, neatly arranged in a straight line atop a polished ceramic tray. He waved at me half heartedly, before dragging a snort from the hyper powder in front of him. I maintained my silence for a few seconds, allowing his high to set in. He broke the silence before i had the chance. "You're due to be paid today right?" i blinked in slight confusion at the question...
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:03am On Oct 21|
"Not quite sir, i'm due next week" he stared at me for a bit before cracking a wide grin, "Fred, fred. You still never change... That's good. I appreciate the honesty". I beared the praise in silence, i was already used to his paranoia influenced character assessments. Giving me one last smile, he opened a drawer and fished out a bundle of 1,000 naira notes which he handed over to me. Wordlessly, i took the notes and began to count as chief began to set up another line of cocaine for himself... "a hundred thousand naira sir" i announced, after counting twice to be sure. He nodded in approval, wiping stray powder of his nostrils as he put his snorting kit away, "that's the errand allowance for the day" he intoned, a hint of hyperactivity leaking into his voice as he dusted himself off and retrieved a bottle of rum from another drawer. I nodded, mentally drawing a potential spending pattern for the cash as i divided it into bundles of 10k and shoved them in different pockets. I threw one last question at chief
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:26am On Oct 21|
"What are the assignments for the day sir?" He paused, putting the bottle down and replacing thd cap, before picking up his half filled glass, "You'll see to it that ifeoma is dropped off in school this morning, after that, head down to the plantation and supervise the harvesting and packaging going on today..." i was already mentally check listing the instructions, burying it deep in my subconcious word for word to avoid mistakes. "... We'll be finalizing our transaction with the director of DSS by 6pm today, see to it that the deal is cleared smoothly. Meet with the enforcers in charge of the tax collecting for the border highway. Finally, you'll have to meet Ebiakpor, when your done, and get me some more of his powder. That guy has good stock". I nodded in understanding, and beginning to take my leave so as to take my bath and begin the tasks presented by the day...
|Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 11:22am|
The silence between us in the car was thick and palpable. If there was a task that made me uncomfortable, it would be anything that involve me being alone with chief's daughter for extended periods of time. My attempts at nobility aside, i was attracted to her and rightfully so. She had a figure to die for, was the calm and collected type, every movement she made was measured and and flawlessly executed. She even managed to make her bad habits look copuettish, you have no idea how it feels to watch this girl make smoking look sexy. The tense silence between us remained even as i came to a halt in front of the university main gate. "we're here" my voice was a pitch higher than usual at the announcement. She gave me a dry look, "i noticed..." she made to exit the vehicle, before slowing down as her slender fingers made contact with the plastic covered handles, "You'll be free on tuesday right?" the question was sudden and took a bit of time on my part to process, "Yes, why do you ask?"
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