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Behind The Glamour - Literature (3) - Nairaland

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 4:30pm On Jan 04, 2021
A bar maid approached our table with two wooden bowls filled to the brim with steaming hot Nkwobi. A previously forgotten hunger resurfaced as i took note of the thick pasty broth that ran down the sides of the bowls in thin, slow moving rivulets and i felt saliva pool in my mouth and stopped myself from openly salivating at the prospect of consuming that quantity of meat as the bar maid set the bowls down. Ifeoma gave the bowls a disdainful look before stopping the already leaving bar maid with a hand gesture, "Get two more bowls" she stated blandly. The bar maid blinked, obviously befuddled, before mumbling a barely decipherable 'okay' and beating a hasty retreat.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 4:28pm On Jan 07, 2021
How una dey?

Had to borrow a friend's android phone to make this longer... enjoy.
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 4:29pm On Jan 07, 2021
I raised a brow at the unexpected request before giving her a wry look.
“I take it that the Arizona induced hunger has kicked in?”
She shot me a dirty look.
I sipped my Monster energy drink in return.
We chatted idly and dug into our meal as we waited for the second batch of Nkwobi to arrive, with Ifeoma regaling me with stories of funny/interesting things that happened on her campus and I listening and chipping in a comment or two in reaction to her narrations.
Most of her experiences were nothing new to me (I had passed through a higher institution after all) and as such, I had a lot to interject/add to keep the narrative going.
But it wasn’t a common occurrence for Ifeoma to open up and vibe freely. Sure, she was an unrepentant flirt eight times out of ten whenever I was around, but she did so suggestively, with one liner innuendos and such.
Her opening up like this gave me the opportunity to figure her out and as such, despite my experience in tertiary level shenanigans, I fought down the human instinct to butt in with a relatable story of my own and listened, saying just enough to keep her engaged in the conversation.
I was half way done with the pot of my Nkwobi when Ifeoma polished off the last of hers. She licked her fingers in a way that didn’t seem all that innocent and I (figuring that another set of Nkwobi was on the way) pushed my pot to her to get her to quit slurping on the broth that ran down her fingers.
She took the offer with a bubbly ‘Thank you’ and began to make quick work of it while I guzzled down the last of my energy drink and lit another Oris to pass time.
.
.
.
Time went by fast and before I knew it, it was a few minutes to midnight.
I had partaken in the consumption of the additional two plates of Nkwobi as Ifeoma had underestimated her own hunger and as such I didn’t mind her clearing the two pots.
I figured it was time to get her home, so I called for the bar maid to get the bill.
“How much?” my voice came out parched and I considered buying a canned drink for the road, before quickly perishing the thought.
If I knew Ifeoma well enough, she could capitalize on that to make us stay longer… did I forget to mention that the bush bar had an affiliated guest house a stone throw away?
The bar maid responded once she was done typing away on her phones calculator.
“Nine thousand, eight fifty sir”
Before I had the chance to reach for my pocket, Ifeoma was already going through her purse and thrust out some notes at the bar maid.
I pursed my lips.
“Give me change” Ifeoma added with a slight slur in her voice.
Here’s to hoping that Chief would be asleep when I got back to the villa.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by michael123pelemo(m): 12:19am On Jan 15, 2021
Nice, going great. Waiting for update here o
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:47pm On Jan 23, 2021
When you spend a certain portion of your life dipping and marinating your fingers in not so wholesome activities, you develop an additional sense of sorts.

I wouldn’t go as far as referring to it as a sixth sense… no, nothing as outlandish as that.

You just tend to develop the ability to sense when the metaphorical shit is about to hit the metaphorical fan.

Ifeoma was shit faced drunk, but (somehow) still conscious… okay maybe calling her conscious would be a bit of an exaggeration. Her eyes were open no doubt, but I highly doubted that her mental faculties were functioning beyond their baseline capabilities.

It had taken a great deal of will power to avoid taking a peek at the daringly low neck line of her polo shirt and keep my focus on the fairly idle road.

Chief’s daughter spent a great deal of the journey mumbling semi-coherent, half formed sentences of which I paid no mind as I mentally berated myself for letting us stay out so late and letting her get shit faced.

My mental alarm bells had begun ringing just before I was within viewing range of the villa, and my sense of dread was amplified by the brightness emanating from the villa once I was within viewing range.

Now, Chief pumped a lot of funds into powering up the villa on a daily basis (I should know, I was the one that saw to it that the money was used for what it was meant to be used for after all), and as such, it wasn’t an usual occurrence for the villa to be so bright at night.

No.

My unease stemmed from the memory that the last time an incandescent bulb had been used in the villa was three years ago and even then, those were in the smaller buildings well beyond the villa fence.

My rapidly growing unease metamorphosed into full-grown horror as the thick plumes of smoke billowing into the night sky from the blazing inferno that rapidly ascended the walls of the buildings in the villa in a swarm of fiery all-consuming tongues of flame.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 6:34pm On Feb 07, 2021
To say that I was stunned would be akin to saying water was wet, after spending as long as I had with chief, it would be naive of me to expect that a person like him wouldn`t have enemies. Chief had been immersing his fingers in more than a few illegal pies long before I was born and I had been in his world long enough to know that the longer one spent swimming in illegality, the more enemies one amassed.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 6:39pm On Feb 07, 2021
Chief had amassed a considerable amount of enemies over the years, and more than a few had had a cold war with him...
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 7:03pm On Feb 07, 2021
However, none had been bold enough to outrightly attack his place of abode. I was stunned out of my sense of shock my the repeating booming retort of a semi-automatic weapon of sorts. I forced Ifeoma's head down just in time to bring mine down as well to avoid the reckless spray of bullets that reduced the vehicle windows to an uneven cutting spray of crystalline glass shards
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 11:44pm On Mar 29, 2021
I had a very basic idea of what today was going to entail.

Nothing very fancy, just a simple affair of consuming disgusting amounts of junk food whilst binge watching from the vast storage of movies I had been saving for whenever I got a day off.

That idea was pretty much buried already with the way things had gone already.

First, my plans for a quiet movie watching day had been rudely terminated by Ifeoma coming to remind me that I had promised to spend time with her today.

Normally this wouldn't be an issue as I had promised to actually spend time with today.

We sat out, and despite my reservations, we actually had fun today.

Now in my infinitesmally small world, I never imagined that we would come back to meet Chief's Villa consumed in orange flames.

Talk more of being sprayed with bullets of all things.
.
.
.
With an aggressive tug, I felt the vehicle skid across the asphalt in a manner that guaranteed that certain portions of the tire would melt off from the friction.

Amidst the hail of gunfire, a plume of white smoke partially engulfed the car as the tires furiously skidded across the coal tar as I speedily sought to turn the vehicle.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 12:02am On Mar 30, 2021
Vaguely, I heard Ifeoma mumble something about Coconut water, but my mind automatically tuned it out as background noise. As I successfully executed my vehicle spinning manoeuvre and sped off in the opposite direction.

With the wind whipping past my head from the shattered window, frustrated shouts filtered into my ears, and the aggressive sound of a motor coming to life made my heart skip a beat.

I pushed the vehicle into fifth gear and and floored the accelerator, with no care for clanking sounds coming from the bonnet (no doubt, the bullet barrage had damaged something vital)

Amid the rapid thumping of my heart, my eardrums rumbled as the sound of a rapidly accelerating motorcycle came closer and closer.

Without putting much thought into it, I hit the brakes, allowing the pursuer to get close enough that we were side by side.

I took note of the bikers features, a shaved scalp, a slender frame and multiple facial piercings.

Without much care for the look of confusion that his face melded into, I rammed into the bald idiot.

3 Likes

Re: Behind The Glamour by cassbeat(m): 5:30pm On Mar 30, 2021
Been a while[color=#990000][/color]
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 7:19pm On Mar 30, 2021
cassbeat:
Been a while[color=#990000][/color]

Sorry, na acada cause am
Re: Behind The Glamour by cassbeat(m): 7:33pm On Mar 30, 2021
Altair25:


Sorry, na acada cause am
:[color=#990000][/color]ok man
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:03pm On Apr 14, 2021
In all my time working for chief this far, I had never taken a life.

Sure, I had seen more than a few lives snuffed out, even ordered quite a few of these executions myself (under Chief's instructions), but I had never actively taken a life myself.

Given my inexperience in the matter, the squelching sound the bikers brain being flattened by the rear wheel of the vehicle made me wince slightly, but that was all.

There was no time to come to terms with it as all my thoughts focused on the pressing need to get Ifeoma out of there and to the nearest safehouse where we could hole up and plan our next steps.

From all indications, it was obvious that the villa was attacked, and from the fact that I met it in flames, then the only logical conclusion to arrive at, was that the casualty rate was high.

An unexpected wave of nausea washed over me at the thought.

With an uneasy squirm, I clamped down on my rapidly growing sense of unease.

Casualties aside, I needed to get Ifeoma to the safehouse, and that singular task (as if on auto-mode) took over every fibre of my thought process as I steadily accelerated the vehicle along the highway.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by whalesbanks(m): 3:24am On Apr 23, 2021
@Altair25
Boss WHR u @
Don't let this story be pushed way further d background
Come continue the work
Hope you are doing Good
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 9:59pm On May 05, 2021
whalesbanks:
@Altair25
Boss WHR u @
Don't let this story be pushed way further d background
Come continue the work
Hope you are doing Good

Doing good boss
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:00pm On May 05, 2021
From that point, the biggest challenge was getting Ifeoma out of the car and into the compound, everything else was somewhat easier after that point.

We had ridden at speeds over a hundred kilometres per hour for the past three hours and the sheer strain that the day had brought was enough to make me struggle with keeping my eyes open.

Putting Ifeoma to bed had been a fairly simple affair, she was already passed out drunk after all, the main issue was in changing her out of her alcohol/smoke scented clothes and into an ill fitting night gown.

This particular safehouse hadn't been used in a while so I guess I was fortunate to even find something for Chief's daughter to wear.

The next issue, was my combating with sleep, as I struggled to stay awake and dial Chief's listed emergency numbers.

With less than stellar dexterity, I dialled number after number, only to be met with the less than encouraging robotic caller prompt...

"The number your calling is switched off, please try again later"

At some point, in a moment of frustration and with, once again, less than stellar aim, I attempted to chuck the phone across the room.

Thankfully, it just slipped out of my hand and landed on the bare cushion beside me.

I held back a yawn as I put down the phone, not bothering to listen to the annoying monotone voice telling me that the number I dialled was switched off.

In other words, with no way to confirm if Chief was dead or alive, we were stuck and could do no more than lay low for the time being.

My brain was on the verge of shutting down on me as the need for sleep gnawed on the edges of my sanity.

I struggled to my feet and began to head out the building, need for sleep aside, there was one last thing to do.

As I shut the front door behind me, a chilly gust of wind washed over my face and the cold helped refocus me.

With a breathy exhale, I began to make my way to the backyard, keeping my eyes busy by looking at the building with a careful eye.

This safehouse in particular was an older one, but remained my favourite because of its inconspicuousness.

It wasn't exactly the closest safehouse from the villa, but considering the fact that said villa had been torched and Ifeoma and I had been pursued by unknown gunmen had me feeling paranoid enough to take the longer trip.

The safehouse was a standard bungalow surrounded by a seven feet tall fence and, was the smallest of Chief's safe houses.

It was inconspicuous, in part due to it's bland colour painting scheme and in part because of it's being situated in a middle class neighborhood... a particularly boring neighborhood, the perfect place to lay low.

When I first came into Chief's employ, its renovation was the first major project Chief had given me full reign over.

It had been built in the early nineties but had fallen into disrepair as Chief erected more safehouse's over the years.

Chief's attention had been drawn to the deteriorating building but he was too busy to personally oversee it's renovation.

So what better ways to test my management skills as his P.A than to see how well I could manage a renovation project?

Considering the fact that the idea behind a safehouse was it's inability to be easily tracked by unwanted persons, I had paid a lot of attention to the detail of making the compound look as common as possible... at least externally.

The bungalow was painted a deep grey with pitch black accents, with florescent bulbs around surrounding the building.

I had discarded the idea of an electric fence in favour of chalking broken bottles and nails stop the fence, a security measure of sorts but nothing that would draw attention for being too over the top.

A five thousand litre capacity water tank atop a tank stand obscured the view of the compound backyard from unwanted eyes from the nearby storey buildings.

Despite the small size of the compound, there was a small gate behind the compound that burst out on a small track road that led to the highway.

After checking the the locks on the gate, I retrieved the magnum revolver from the vehicle.

In the panic of being shot at, I had actually forgotten that it was standard procedure for at loaded gun with extra ammunition to be in all of Chief's vehicles at all times.

Not like I could actually stand up to a dozen gunmen if they were to storm the compound right now, but there was a sense of comfort in being armed regardless.

The yawn I had been struggling to hold back finally escaped my lips as I stepped back into the house, Magnum in hand, extra ammo in pocket and with an increased need to find the nearest bed or sofa.

1 Like

Re: Behind The Glamour by abubakarbabang7(m): 11:04pm On May 05, 2021
Oya come continue na
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 1:09pm On May 28, 2021
I woke up to the smell of frying onions.
With a less than glamorous yawn and a drawn out stretch, I got to my feet and rubbed the crusted sleep motes off my eyelids. I was far from being adequately rested, but at the moment, further sleep would do nothing to help with the current situation.

I tucked the Magnum in-between the cushions of the arm chair and made for the wash room to relieve
myself.

With my bladder empty, and a splash of cold water from the sink, I felt a blanket of clarity was over me
and I began to mentally map out my next steps.

A furtive glance at the burner phone in my pocket showed that I was yet to get any feedback from Chief.

With a grimace, I powered the phone off, I would try again this night, but for now it was best to go ghost mode.

With deliberate steps, I made my way to the kitchen, the aroma of frying becoming thicker as I came
closer and closer. As I stepped into the kitchen, I was greeted to the sight of Ifeoma flipping eggs in a frying pan over the
stove, wearing an oversized shirt that came down to the middle of her bare thighs… and once again, I
was reminded of how smooth and supple my boss’ daughters thighs actually were.

In my bid to regain my focus, another smell became apparent in the cramped kitchen… the signature burning pawpaw smell I had come to associate with chief’s daughter.

With my head cleared of amorous thoughts, a snide comment escaped my lips before I could stop myself.

"Don't Tell me you had spare weed in your purse"


Barely acknowledging my presence, she took another puff of her half spent blunt before putting it aside on the marble kitchen counter, "Yes... Yes I did, is that a problem?"

Considering the fact that I was getting used to her flirty persona over the past few days, to say that I was thrown off by her stand-offish tone would be an understatement.

Beyond the slight raising off my eyebrows, I managed to keep my expression neutral, just because she had been casual with me over the past few days didn't change the fact that she was my boss's daughter.

Seeking to diffuse the awkward tension in the air, I asked the next question that came to mind, "Where did you get eggs from?” my voice cracked mid sentence and with a grimace, I realized that the only fluid I
had consumed within the last twenty four hours had been energy drinks and the occasional sip of alcohol.

"I went out to get some earlier" came the flat reply. I felt my blood pressure rise a few levels but refrained from making an exclamation that would undoubtedly thicken the tension between us.

"You know that, that's the last thing you should be doing considering the circumstances right?"

She took her eyes of her cooking (she was done cooking and was on the verge of turning off the gas) and shot me a dirty look, "What's with the patronizing tone?" she asked, with a tone that promised violence.

Seeing things going downhill, I decided to. backtrack and prevent the situation from escalating beyond reasonable levels.

"Sorry if I sounded patronizing, I'm only suggesting that it would be better if I were to run the errands that require leaving the compound until we have a way out of this mess."

The glare did not leave her face.

I tried again, "Until I can get an update of Chief's... condition"

" He's not dead"

"Well..."

"I know my father, he's not dead"

I modified my statement once more, "Fine, until I can make contact with chief, we have to lay low and my primary aim is to make sure you come out of this fiasco unscathed"

Ifeoma rolled her eyes at me, "I couldn't buy much, there's bread on the dining table, I remained egg for you"

With further conversation dead in the water, she took her plate of fried eggs and exited the kitchen.

I looked at the semi circle shaped fried egg in the already cooling frying pan before shifting my focus to the half spent blunt on the marble counter.

... I sincerely hoped that things would soon start looking up.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:33am On May 31, 2021
CHAPTER EIGHT

I stared at the ancient looking Nokia 3310 in my palm, trying and (slowly but surely) resisting the urge to smash the Java legend to irreparable bits.

With a relaxing exhale, I returned the phone to the drawer at the head of my bed and got up from bed. I haphazardly put on a shirt and
mindlessly shambled to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth.

It had been eight days since the villa had been burnt to the ground and there was still no word from Chief.

As expected, the incident made for sensational news that the media houses gobbled up and sought to milk the story for everything that it was worth.

As expected, the question on everyone's lips was, "Where is Chief Uzodinma?"

Considering that I didn't know how long we would remain under the radar, I figured it was time to go on a supply run.

With a final gargle, I spat out the slimy mixture of water, saliva and remnant globs of toothpaste into the porcelain wash bowl and exited the bathroom.

I had disposed off the vehicle with which we had arrived at the safehouse a few days ago the previous day and as such the first order of business was to get a new vehicle... preferably something practical, like a van.

I checked my wallet once more to see if the ATM card to Chief's emergency fund account was still in place, it was, with nary a sound, I exited my room to check on Ifeoma.

.
.
.

In hindsight, I should've knocked before barging into Ifeoma's room, so I guess one could say that I deserved the bedside lamp that was thrown at my head.

I dodged the missile and managed to catch a glimpse of Ifeoma's furious visage as she hastily covered her unclothedness with her bed sheets before I made a speedy dash out the building.


I refrained from expelling a frustrated sigh, the day was barely getting started and yet the drama levels were already exceeding safe parameters for me.

I shut the pedestrian gate behind me and padlocked it for good measure, I wasn't taking chances with Ifeoma, she was the kind of person to step out in this high risk situation for something as asinine as a "breath of fresh air".

I hailed an empty tricycle and began to make my way to the nearest car dealership.

2 Likes

Re: Behind The Glamour by JustCruise(m): 1:22am On Jun 03, 2021
Seriously following.
Re: Behind The Glamour by Horlarhem(m): 9:35pm On Jun 05, 2021
Please continue this interesting story
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 12:10pm On Jun 28, 2021
Sorry about the extended silence guys, gals (and those who don't fall into these categories), I was putting finishing touches on a novel which I published on Okada books sometime ago but took down.

Now it's not free, but I was hoping you guys would hop over there and give it a look, it would definitely make my head swell more than necessary, but I'd really appreciate it.

It should be published any day from now so I'll keep you guys posted.

Expect a chapter for this story sometime this week, probably later in the week, (I should be done with chapter three of my project by then).

Stay safe.

2 Likes

Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 11:56pm On Jul 11, 2021
As I browsed through the canned food section, with a handkerchief pressed tightly against my nose to stem the flow of runny mucous, a single thought ran rampant on the periphery of my consciousness.

Why in God's name did I not bring a coat with me?

With another strenuous inhale, I forced the catarrh back into my nose and tossed a few cans of sweet corn into my already bulging cart.

Needless to say, my body did not agree with the blasting air conditioning in the supermarket and the never ending stream of mucous hell bent on dripping out of my nose served as a testament to that.

With a nagging sense of urgency, I backed up from the shelf, internally debating the possibility of pushing two shopping carts at once to the check out area without crashing into any of the shelves...

...

... only to collide into someone with enough force to send us crashing to the tiled floors with a less than graceful tangle of limbs


To be honest, my day so far had been less than stellar, from having to deal with Ifeoma’s shitty mood this morning to going through the haggle of buying a new vehicle, a Sienna to be precise, and having to pay extra to bypass the usual documentation that went with owning a new car, to checking up on a few of Chief’s assets to see if they were running smoothly (crisis or not, Chief had practically drilled the mantra “the cash must keep flowing” into my head during my early years) and now having to go through the mundane yet dull tasks of buying groceries all with less than eight hours of sleep over the course of the past three days on my plate.

Truth be told, I was on the verge of losing my cool and when I say losing my cool, I don’t mean in the way of an emotional outburst, more likely losing it in a way that would see my fists (or any available form of weaponry really) flying with the intent to do lasting damage.

And so, as I sat on the cool tiled supermarket floor, with a runny nose and the vestiges of one hell of a migraine coming up (courtesy of the unfortunate soul I had just bumped into), I slammed the lid on my imminent emotional outburst and began to massage my temples, less for the headache and more as a mentally soothing habit.

That is until a flash of red drew my attention to the scene beside me.A girl… more specifically a girl in a hijab, fair skinned, from what I could see from her exposed hands, hands that were tightly pressed against her nose to stem the steadily trickling flow of blood that oozed from her nostrils.

A part of me wanted to care less and get on with my day, but I fought it down and got up. With an unwilling sigh, I offered the sitting lady a hand.She gave me a curious look seemingly unbothered by the pain that came with a busted nose, a detail that unsettled my slightly, before accepting the offered extremity.

Her hands were soft, baby soft, and I hurriedly retracted my hand before I went through the awkward motion of holding on to a strangers hand longer than necessary.

Hastily putting the awkwardness behind me, I offered my handkerchief, a gesture which she responded with little more than a raised brow and folded hands.

I suppressed the urge to roll my eyes, settling for an explosive sigh instead and made to return my handkerchief since the gesture wasn’t appreciated before pausing as I took stock of the damage to her nasal cavity.Her nose wasn’t broken (thank God for that) but the spurts of blood from her nostrils had painted a macabre crimson façade all over her face and the upper area of her hijab and quite frankly she looked like a freshly fed Arabian vampire.

Air was sucked in sharply between my teeth and I held back a grimace. It wasn’t a pretty sight.I approached the motionless lady and lightly pressed the hanky against her nose to stem the flow of blood. “Sorry about this” I offered in the way of an apology.

She stared at me blankly and with an intensity that unnerved me.

"Hold this for me would you..." I muttered lightly.

She complied.

With my eyes firmly fixed on the toiletries section, I power walked over to the neatly arranged rows of household cleaning supplies and picked up a pack of wet wipes before making a 180 and returning to the unmoving hijab clad girl.

I waved a concerned mart attendant away as I unsealed the pack of wipes and began the grim task of wiping away the already caking flecks and spatters of blood on her face and torso.

The silence was thick and she neither winced nor flinched even as she kept up the pressure on her nose with my handkerchief.

With my bloody task of wiping her clean done (and a fistful of bloody wipes) I made a final attempt at an apology.

"Look, I'm really..."

"You look familiar"

Her voice caught me off guard (seemed to be happening more often than I was comfortable with today), it was low toned and dare I say... aristocratic?

So an Alhaji's daughter then?

Neat.

"Is that so?" I responded smoothly, projecting a calm image that completely covered up my less than usual thoughts.

She gave me an appraising once over, "Yes, I've definitely seen you somewhere before, I just can't seem to remember where... " she tapered off and that blank look returned to her eyes.

I gave her an odd stare, "hello?" and waved a hand before her face... an action she responded to by slapping said appendage away.

"Stop that, I'm not that high yet, I can still hear you"

... yet?

I took a closer look at her eyes, they were half shut and blood red tinged veins formed a crisscross patch on her scleras giving her eyes the classy stoned, bloodshot look.

Well, she was definitely high on something, that much was a give.

Her vision refocused and she fixed a steady look on my second shopping cart.

"Need some help?" she asked lightly.

I mulled over the thought...

"Yes... yes I do"

I got the impression that she was smiling under the hijab.

"I never got your name..."

She hummed, slender fingers wrapping around the bar of the shopping cart in slow but purposeful motions, "You can call me Hadiza"
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 12:28am On Jul 13, 2021
Hadiza was an odd one, whilst she made good conversation, she was soft spoken, as in there were moments when I had to strain my ears and still my own breathing just to hear her that and she gave off the impression that she wasn’t one to talk much despite how chatty she was at the, moment.

With my groceries paid for and packaged, she offered still to escort me to the car whilst carrying a fair amount of shopping bags in assistance.

“Can I get your number?”

I felt the corner of my lip twitch inordinately at the low toned request, and I felt my brows furrow as I shut the trunk (which I had stocked with the purchased groceries) to the newly acquired automobile before turning to face Hadiza.

Her arms were folded and she had settled into a waiting pose with one side of her hip jutting out in a manner that made me realize that her hips were a whole lot wider than her obstructing hijab would allow me to see.

I cracked a half smile, “I’m pretty sure that I’m supposed to be the one making the request” I jested.

Kohl lined eyes in a manner that was eerily similar to a certain Chiefs ‘ daughter, “I suppose, but I’ve lost the necessary patience required to wait for you to make such a proposition, I figured I might as well take the initiative” the words rolled of her tongue smoothly and with a tone that brokered a hundred percent seriousness.

I mulled over the thought in less than thirty seconds, “Well, you don’t mince words do you?” I muttered rhetorically as I hastily scribbled down my gmail address on a piece of paper.

It would be dumb of me to go about handing out something as sensitive as my number during a period as tense as this after all.

Hadiza stared at the sheet of paper for a tense few seconds before shooting me a coy look, “I never took you for a man of secrets”

I gave her a wan smile, “Appearances are a fickle thing…”

She barely repressed a snort, “I bid you adieu then, I’ll keep in touch” she finished her statement with a sly wink and sauntered off, the sway in her hips a tad more noticeable now that my eyes weren’t solely focused on her face.

Strange lass.

I figured I had wasted enough time flirting, best to get back to Ifeoma before she became bored enough to do something as asinine as actually leaving the safehouse.

One could never be too sure with that one.

2 Likes

Re: Behind The Glamour by JustCruise(m): 6:28am On Jul 13, 2021
Thanks Op, keep it up. I like this Hadiza girl and to read more about her.
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 10:45pm On Jul 18, 2021
Truth be told, despite all my hope, I fully expected Ifeoma to break protocol from the moment I stepped out of the safe house, I just didn’t anticipate the scale at which she do it.

The black gates were open when I arrived and despite my already rising stress levels I refrained from opening the floodgates of swears and cuss words that had bubbled up and raged on the tip of my tongue and opened the gate myself, drove in and promptly shut said gates.

I killed the engine and exited the vehicle, and promptly grimaced as the sounds of loud music permeated the air accompanied by an all too familiar smell of burning pawpaw.

With the vestiges of a throbbing headache coming on and made my way to the backyard , praying to whatever deity would bother to listen to me that at the very least she was alone there.

...



I shouldn’t have bothered praying.

I counted six people four guys and two girls (Ifeoma included), Arizona blunts in one hand and disposable cups in another sitting in a loose semi circle around two bottles of cheap Rum and an intricate red and black designed mp3 player that was blaring a gyration of sorts at full volume.

If the, interjections of “aromate” from the mp3 player were anything to go by, then my hunch on where Chief’s daughter aligned in school was correct.

Five pairs of eyes fixed me with stares that hid a myriad of emotions: surprise, suspicion, hostility… the usual spectrum one would associate with this sort of crowd.

Ifeoma didn’t deign it fit to shoot a glance my way, apparently more interested in the blunt she was currently rolling.

I felt my ears burn hot as my head throbbed more intensely and a sensation of molten lead being poured down my spine forced my fingers to spasm.

Simply put, I was pissed, not frustrated, not angry, flat out pissed and I could count the number of times I had experienced this level of rage on one hand.

I inhaled.

If there was one thing Chief had drilled into my head when I first came to work for him, it was the need to do away with emotions when carrying out tasks of vital importance.

Right now, my job was to keep Ifeoma safe until this mess (whatever it was) could blow over.

I would be the last one to claim to understand how her mind worked and currently I couldn’t understand her motives to compromise my job which currently was to her benefit so I discarded such thoughts and shifted my focus on how to diffuse this mess in a manner that wouldn’t lead to one of two situations.The first being a confrontation between me and whoever these strangers were (baggers if the blasting gyrations were anything to go by) and the second being a confrontation between me and Ifeoma whom, reckless or not, was still my boss (in a sense).

I exhaled.

My rage was gone, replaced instead with mild annoyance. “You left the gate open” I stated flatly, putting extra effort to make sure my irritation didn’t show. “Who be this?” one of the guys whispered in askance.The bland look on my face shifted to an unimpressed stare at the inquirer.

Bold talk for someone who was smoking in a stranger’s backyard.

Ifeoma finally looked up, blunt fully rolled, and gave me her usual half smile.

There was a mischievous glint in her cat like eyes, and I already knew that whatever she said next would be something that would throw me in for a loop.“Na the treasure I wan loot be this…” she drawled and I decided that it was best I excused this bunch.“

I’ll be inside, lock the gate when they leave”A sarcastic “Yes sir” reached my ears as I began to make my way to the front yard.And yes, annoyed or not, I couldn’t keep the small smile off my face

...

...

It took two more hours before ifeoma bid her new… friends goodbye and shut the gate. I had busied myself with the mind numbingly dull task of stocking up the fridge and pantry with groceries and filling up the industrial grade diesel generator with diesel just to get rid of my irritation at my boss’ daughters antics and (thankfully) the utterly mundane repertoire of tasks had served their purpose as my will had reasserted their firm grip on my volatile impulses.

As I sat on the futon in the living room, I briefly considered the pros and cons of indulging myself in a drink at least this once, considering the kind of day I had just had, before the loud slamming of the iron protectors on the veranda forced me out of my musings.Ifeoma waltzed in the parlour, literally oozing intoxication, and made a beeline for the bar.

I had bought a few spirits during my supply run, that coupled with the fact that the safe house hadn’t been used in a while meant that the key to the bar had remained slotted in the lock (which I was too tired to even consider removing) and by implication Ifeoma had no restriction to halt her advance to the liquor, an advantage she had no qualms exploiting as she flung the door to said bar open and began perusing the contents.

I stifled a groan as all incentives of me having a drinks or two promptly went up in smoke.

It just wouldn’t do for the two of us to get flat out drunk at the same time.

With all plans for a somewhat hedonistic evening gone down the drain, I was left to watch Ifeoma making faces at the variety of drinks in the bar.

She had a pensive look on her face as she stared at the bottle of The Famous Grouse, before shaking her head and moving to the next bottle, a bottle of well aged Johnnie Walker, she made a face at that one before moving to the next.

A litany of expressions cycled through her face as she went about the ‘arduous’ task of making a choice in liquor, before she (with an exaggerated sigh) settled on a bottle of GIN MG.

Took her long enough.

She grabbed a glass from the shelf and made her way to the couch were she poured herself a cup of gin which she unceremoniously guzzled down before calmly pouring herself another and proceed to keep herself busy by scrolling through her phone.

I refrained from snorting in amusement; this girl was a whole new level of cruise.

With the silence stretching on, and my brain beginning to slowly but surely starting to shut down, I stood up and made my way to the kitchen where I filled the electric kettle with water and promptly switched it on.

I opened the pantry ignoring the imported coffee beans and going straight for the jar of ground coffee beans in its corner.

I hadn’t had a shot of caffeine in a while and I wasn’t feeling particularly patient to go through the dreadfully delicate process of brewing a unique cup of coffee, that I could do later preferably when I wasn’t incessantly craving it like I was now.

The whistling of the kettle reawakened my already drifting mind and with clear cut efficiency I brewed three mugs of instant black coffee all of which I transferred into my already waiting flask, which had three spoonfuls of sugar sitting at the bottom.

My flask of coffee successfully brewed, I made my way back to the living room and retook my seat.

Ifeoma took another sip of her glass, paying me no mind and I got the uncomfortable feeling that for her to be so quiet, then there was a storm brewing in her mind.

I took a long sip from my flask feeling my brain jolt with renewed vigour as my synapses fired up like booted up computers coming to life with negligible strain on their processing capacity.

I couldn’t help the relieved sigh that escaped my lips and with my mind refocused, I fished out my newly acquired custom cigarette pouch, already loaded with Dunhill cigarettes, from my right pocket and my trusty lighter from my left.

I lit the cancer stick and took in a gratuitously long puff, feeling the nicotine hit all the right spots and the tussle between caffeine and nicotine to both keep me alert and relax me create a chaotic sort of equilibrium in my psyche.

Now, I could enjoy the peace and quiet.

Too bad it didn’t last.

“What the Bleep is your problem?”

I raised a brow at the outburst, shooting Ifeoma a curious look as I took another hit from my cigarette.

She was on her feet, hands akimbo and for the first time since today I took note of what she was wearing.

A half top that showed of a temptingly large portion of her well toned midriff and her signature bum short that showed of her smooth long legs.

A tempting sight for sure, but her current visage of blood shot eyes, angry eyes and a cruel sneer made her look downright murderous at the moment.

"Excuse me?”

Cat like eyes rolled in what I guessed to be exasperation, “Cut the crap! How e dey do you? What is actually your problem?”

Considering the fact that she looked ready to attack me at a moment’s notice, I took that as my cue to get to my feet as well.

“Ifeoma what is it now?” I asked cautiously.

Her brows furrowed, “Is that a joke?”

I stared.

Her rage seemed to double and she practically exploded, “I used to think that the reason you wouldn’t at least throw a look my way was because of the fact that you were steadily working under Dad’s watchful eye. But dad isn’t here, neither is my mother and yet you won’t even touch me…” a contemplative look washed over her face, “…Were you castrated as a child or something?” her mood did a complete 180 and switched back to aggressive, “… Or is there some other LovePeddler that has your attention?”

I blinked at her for a few seconds before biting my tongue in restraint, for a girl whose family was MIA she certainly had her mind fixated on off point priorities

.“I’m too tired for whatever drama this is Ifeoma, I’ll see you tomorrow morning” I managed to bite out before making to exit...
...
...
...
...only to bite back a yell of surprise as a projectile slammed into my the back of my head with cold liquor and shards of glass washing over me.

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Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 7:06pm On Aug 18, 2021
Testing... Testing... 1... 2...
Re: Behind The Glamour by abubakarbabang7(m): 12:11pm On Aug 19, 2021
Altair25:
Testing... Testing... 1... 2...
This man please continue na
Re: Behind The Glamour by bigbauer(m): 1:19pm On Aug 31, 2021
Altair25:
Testing... Testing... 1... 2...

Oga, why you dey do us like dis? Dis Tori don too tey. Give us better updates.
Re: Behind The Glamour by Altair25(m): 2:23am On Sep 02, 2021
Truth be told, I had seen Ifeoma have violent outbursts before, if there was anything I was sure of, it was the fact that she was truly Chief’s kin. There wasn’t really much of a difference between her dad and her. It was as if they both had a mental default setting to react with aggression when things weren’t going their way.

I had once had to be a mediator between she and a roommate of hers when Ifeoma had put the heel of a stiletto shoe through the poor girls skull… she hadn’t even bothered to apologize to the girl and I had to fork over that month’s pay to placate the girl from taking the issue to the student affairs division.

I subsequently brought the suggestion to Chief that perhaps it would be for the best if Ifeoma left the hostel and went to school from home.

Chief was happy to oblige, not bothering to question the rationale behind the suggestion. Perhaps he thought that it was merely a security tip from my part.

From the burning sensation on the base of my skull, I knew that the glass had broke skin and I felt an all too familiar boiling rise up in my chest as my previous irritation evolved into red hot rage. A faint thump reached my ears as I felt my flask slip from my grasp and land on the plush, wine coloured rug as I felt my limbs shake in barely restrained infuriation.

Deep Breaths

My lit stick had long joined my flask on the rug send bright orange sparks sprinkling all over and singeing the furry hairs of said rug on the spot it landed. I brushed some stray shards of glass from my hair and – with shaky hands – lit another tobacco stick with no care for the slowly expanding circle of charred rug brought on by the dropped cigarette.

Ifeoma had gone quiet, her former heat and bluster of a few moments ago vanishing in the wind, but I paid her no mind. Patting my pockets, a light metallic shingle let me know that the car key was still in my right pocket.

Dragging a long whiff from my cigarette I left the parlour and headed straight for the Sienna, leaving the numbing silence and Chief’s silent daughter behind me like a bad memory that was better left forgotten.
...
...
...
I extinguished the stub of my seventh cigar on the dashboard and lit an eighth without missing a bit. I figured that I would go for ride around the neighbourhood to cool my nerves, but had long discarded the idea sometime back during my fourth stick of tobacco.

Pissed as I was at Ifeoma, I still had a job to do and even if I decided to rage quit said job now (of all times) and harm was to come to Ifeoma then I would likely be painting a nice wide target on my back as well as on every part of my body to boot, especially if Chief was still alive and just laying low for the time being.

With such cheery thoughts in mind, I settled into the vehicle, locked the doors and decided to assault my lungs and nerves with smoke and nicotine respectively till whenever my brain would let me pass out.

Watching the wisps of smoke press against the wound up windows and roll up in slow unbothered patterns made for a calming effect in mind and with my elevated heart beat and blood pressure long brought down by the steady stream of nicotine into my system, I felt my mind drift off, bouncing about random topics before ultimately landing on the topic that had taken root in my head a few months ago and which I had taken care to avoid by throwing myself fully into work... until now that is.

To be frank, the seeds had been sown some time back when I was first exposed to the shadier aspects of Chief’s enterprise but I hadn’t given it too much thought. I was fresh out of school and thrust into an unforgiveable labour market with no innovation of my own and no apparent luck in securing a position in the way of being hired, I was all too happy to work for a man like Chief.

Putting his psychotic streak aside, he paid me well, too well actually and there was also the added benefits of incentives and allowances which ran into hundreds of thousands with each well executed task and the added benefit of free housing. It was too juicy too pass up and even if it meant immersing myself that were anything but legal, my younger desperate self didn’t mind.
But now, here I was probing the topic with a chest full of smoke and already drooping eyelids. At the moment I wasn’t too sure that I wanted to live this life for the rest of my days on earth, I had amassed considering savings, what with my numerous payments that left me unsure of what to spend them on, and with less than half of said savings, I could set up an enterprise that if properly executed would probably see to it that my lineage would find it to nigh impossible to grapple with poverty for generations to come.

It was a tempting thought to ponder and the longer I thought on it the more ‘buts...’ kept popping off. In my time with Chief I had seen a considerable portion of what contributed to Chiefs wealth, most of which were outright illegal, what were the chances of Chief letting me off with that kind of knowledge of his affairs?

With what I had seen him do over the course of the past five years, the odds of that happening slimmed down and kept getting slimmer.

I felt my vision fade in and out of focus and I knew that finally sleep had come. Stowing away my retirement thoughts, I snuffed out the butt of my lit cigarette and adjusted the seat backwards to a lying position, shuffling over and over again till I found a comfortable position to sleep and then shutting my eyes...

... only to feel my slowly receding consciousness slam back into me with full force at the sound of insistent rapping against the window.

The soothing veil of sleep was wiped from my eyes and I instinctively went for the snub nosed revolver in the pigeon hole, halting only as familiar catlike eyes peered at me from the other side of the window. I felt the bubbling annoyance resume its frothing in my chest, albeit a bit more tempered unlike before and I pursed my lips, levelling her with my trademark flat stare.

The rapping increased in tempo.

Biting back an exasperated groan, I vaguely gestured to the passenger’s seat, she seemed to have got the signal, fixing me with a half smile that looked more like a grimace than anything and taking the roundabout journey to the passengers seat.

I unlocked the door and Ifeoma let herself in, a rush of cool night flooding the vehicle in rapid streams as she entered, streams that were cut off as she shut the door.

Surprise, surprise, she still had a blunt between her perfectly manicured fingers.

Silence. Awkward silence.

In the course of being jolted out of the lull of sleep, I had dropped my cigarette and with the suffocating silence brought upon by Ifeoma’s unwanted arrival, I weighed the pros and cons of picking up my stick and resuming my puffing in silence.

A mentally taxing few seconds later, I discarded the thought and proceeded to light another cancer stick, sulking at the scant few cigarettes left in my pack.

The silence stretched on and on, eventually crossing the threshold of awkward well into the stage where it became more annoying than uncomfortable.

I suppressed a sigh of relief as Ifeoma cleared her throat, finally putting an end to the unpleasant silence.

“You didn’t bandage your cut”

There it was, the one statement to break the ice and it was a dry, clear cut statement of fact. The sheer ridiculousness of the whole thing gave me pause and it took a bright ball of red hot tobacco ash dropping on my lap to make me shake off the dumb look on my face.

Funny as it was, I wasn’t laughing.

“Is there something you needed?” I kept my tone impersonal, clamping down on the previous annoyance I had managed to suppress earlier.
Ifeoma pursed her lip and annoyance flashed in her eyes, “I wanted to check if you were okay” she grumbled and needless to say my nerves had had enough ludicrousness for the night and I was feeling more than a little petty.

I burst into laughter, my voice harsh to my own ears.

“I don’t remember signing up to work for Chief as his daughters pet”

Ifeoma’s brows furrowed and I felt a jolt of satisfaction at the confusion that made its way to her features.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” her tone was cautious and dare I say a bit scared.

I rolled my eyes, “I am Chief Uzodinma’s personal assistant, not a babysitter cum stress toy to his brat. I have a healthy amount of respect for Chief, but you don’t get to use me as a tool to relieve your frustrations. I’ll take today as an off day, but what happened some time ago will never happen again. Period”

Her look of confusion shifted into one of outrage and I felt my sense of satisfaction intensify.

A tense silence ensued and whilst I maintained the aura of nonchalance outwardly, a small part of me wondered whether my statements had gone a little too far.

Ifeoma maintained her glare, taking one final puff of her Arizona blunt before leaving me to my devices, shutting the door a bit harder than necessary on her way out.

Finally, I had my silence and the warm clutches of sleep wrapped around my consciousness in a tight embrace.

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