A SMALL WORLD – SEASON ONE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
Emmanuel is the best. We’ve been married for almost two and a half years now, and they have been the best years of my life… I’m so glad I decided to give him a chance, and fell in love with him. You see, he’s not the type I usually go for. I’ve always found myself attracted to the handsome, bad boy types, like my brother used to be. Who knows, maybe it was observing Ifeanyi change and appreciating how he honoured God, that made me find someone like Emmanuel so attractive?
Emmanuel is what you might call a Church Boy, to the core. He grew up Churched, and he stayed Churched due to his own passionate belief in God. But he wasn’t boring, as I feared all Church boys would be. He was just a man who loved God above all else, and I found security in that. I found that I could trust him easily and follow him. And everyday, I just thank God for him…
Chidinma was happy, enjoying a peaceful, near perfect marriage. At Christmas, she had been delivered of her first child, a handsome baby boy, Jonathan. He was a cross between his mother and his father and was such a cute baby. He now laid in his crib sleeping, as Chidinma and Emmanuel entertained friends and family.
Every Saturday since they returned home from the hospital, they had open house for friends to come, bestow gifts and sight the precious little one. Today, Chidinma’s old friend, Lola, had come, even though she too had just had a baby. In fact, they had delivered in the same hospital on Boxing Day, and they hadn’t even noticed until they were checking out. Being from a privileged home, Chidinma had travelled abroad to continue with her secondary schooling, and so, they had lost touch after Junior Secondary Level Three. It was nice to meet again after all these years.
“So how’s your husband? Bolu, right?”
“Yes. He’s fine. He’s at work… He’s working on a big case!” Lola smiled. Every case was a big case, she thought.
“Alright, he’s a lawyer… What about you?”
“I’m an Interior Decorator. I do freelance consulting at the moment, mainly for hotels and spas. I used to work with Da-Vyne Interiors. Do you know them?”
“Yeah, I’ve heard of them. They are quite high-end. We couldn’t even afford their services… Why did you leave?”
“I just wanted more control over my time and my choice of clients… Freelance work gives me that.”
“How’s it been? Have you got many jobs since leaving?”
“A couple actually. They were both pretty big jobs too. A former client referred me to a married couple he had sold his hotel to, and I was given the job of furnishing it. I had a lot of fun with that. They later referred me to someone else, in October, and I completed that job before I delivered at Christmas. So, it’s growing by referrals for now, so if you know anybody…give me a shout! I think I’m pretty affordable too,” Lola giggled.
“Cool. I’ll remember that,” Chidinma smiled.
“So, how about you? What do you do?”
“Well, I used to work in my Dad’s company… But now, I’m trying to set up my own Event Management business. I just love organising events, and have been doing it freely for friends and family. I decided last year that I would go pro with it, you know…”
“That’s awesome! Have you decided on a name?”
“Maarvelous,” Chidinma grinned.
“Marvelous? Just that?”
“Yes… Maarvelous. Doesn’t it sound marvelous? Regal? I was thinking “Splendid” initially, but, I prefer the way marvelous rolls off my tongue. I feel posh,” she giggled.
Lola giggled. “I like it… It’s easy to remember, and you do get the feeling that your event is going to be marvelous! Nice one…”
“Thanks! I’m working on the business cards and website, and doing some research on the industry. I just need one person to give me a chance to plan their event, and I know Maarvelous will be the biggest name in the Event Management industry in Nigeria!”
“You’re not modest, are you?”
“Have I ever been?” The women giggled.
Lola remembered why they had been friends. She had missed Chidinma. And she found their lives had ended up quite similar, even though they started out from completely different backgrounds.
They were both in young marriages, and had waited a while to have their first child, which they had birthed on the same day, so now, they had that special connection also. They were both working for themselves, and in creative industries. There was also much correlation between Lola’s passion for interior decorating and Chidinma’s for event planning. Lola could see them partnering together on a big event, where she would be the decorator.
She suggested this to Chidinma, and she said she had just been thinking the same thing! They laughed, and they talked about their experiences with motherhood and marriage. They decided they should get their husbands together, that they could probably be best of friends too. Lola smiled to herself. It seemed too good to be true.
Emmanuel Atiyota had been out in the backyard with a couple of friends from Church, who had come for the open house. Being so active at his Fellowship, he had many friends there, and was on a first name basis with many of the Pastors. They had all been taking turns to come to his home to fellowship with him and his wife and say prayers for their baby.
He escorted his last two guests to their cars, and then returned to the house. Chidinma was still chatting with her old friend, Lola. He had met Lola, when she had arrived about two hours ago. He always wanted to suss out Chidinma’s friends, because he knew that the type of friends women kept could affect their expectations and happiness in marriage. Lola seemed like a good, Christian woman.
He went to his wife and gave her a kiss. He smiled at Lola. “Are you women alright?”
Chidinma nodded, and Lola smiled. “Yes, thanks,” she said. “You have a lovely home.”
“Thank you,” Emmanuel said. “Your baby is darling!”
“When do we get to meet your husband?”
“We were just discussing that… He’s always so busy, but maybe next time, we can pay you a visit at home, Lola,” Chidinma said.
“Cool, I’ll arrange a time with him.” Lola sighed.
She was slightly envious of the intimacy between Chidinma and Emmanuel. She had hoped Bolu would have been able to accompany her on her visit today. But she knew he was trying his best to be available and provide for them as well.
Things were not as they had been this time last year. They were both making more effort to keep the romance alive in their marriage. Their marriage was sweet, but she knew it could be sweeter.
“Okay, Lola… We’ll be waiting to hear back from you,” Emmanuel said. He robbed his wife’s arm. “Do you need anything, dear?”
“I’m good, darling. Thanks!” They kissed, and Emmanuel slipped away.
He had something on his mind to discuss with Chidinma. He had learnt of it earlier in the week, but hadn’t found the right time to bring it up. Hopefully, after her friend, Lola, had finished her visit.
Chidinma and Lola hugged at the door.
“Thanks so much for coming over dear… It was lovely catching up!” Chidinma said.
“Oh, it is was my pleasure. I hardly get out much. I hope we’ll be seeing more of ourselves…” Lola replied.
“Definitely! And that collabo you talked about, we’ve got to do it.”
“Yes, we must! Bye…”
Lola strapped Tinuke in her car seat, and waved at Chidinma, before entering her car.
Chidinma returned to her home, which was now quiet. Lola was the last visitor, although they could still receive more later on. The nanny was feeding Jonathan his bottle of expressed milk, so Chidinma went to find her husband.
He was in his study, reading a book. He turned when she opened the door. They smiled at each other. Chidinma joined him on the sofa.
“What’s up?” Chidinma asked. “I can tell there’s something on your mind…”
“Yup… Been bothering you all week… Okay, tell me… I’m listening.”
Emmanuel smiled. He didn’t know he was that transparent. He pulled her into him, and kissed her temple.
“I love you…” he said.
“And I love you…” she smiled.
“You know that my company recently got taken over by an International company based in the U.S?” Emmanuel started.
“They’ve retrenched some people, and moved a few others around…”
Chidinma turned to look at him, alarmed. Had he been fired too? “Are we good?” she asked instead.
Emmanuel smiled. “We are… We could be very good actually.”
“So, this is good news…”
“Yeah, sort of. Depends on how you feel…”
“Okay, I’m getting nervous now… What is it?”
“They have offered me a managerial position in their Chicago office… They want me to start next month…”
“You’re kidding me? So we have to move?”
Emmanuel looked in her eyes. “You don’t have to, if you don’t want to… I was thinking, I would try it out for six months…and if it’s a good fit, you could come and join me…”
“What about my business? What about Jonathan…? I’ll be raising him alone for six months?”
“I know it’s a lot to take in… I want you to be happy with what we decide… But, I’m really keen on the job. We could have a good life in the States. And you haven’t started your business yet. I’m sure there’s a market for Event Management in Chicago…”
Chidinma was quiet. She would miss her family. She would miss her friends, especially Mary and Lola. She was really excited about setting up Maarvelous in Nigeria. She was familiar with the way things were done here… But she couldn’t deny her husband the opportunity to get ahead in his business.
“Okay hon… I think we can try for six months, and see how that goes, as you said.” Emmanuel hugged her tightly. “I’ll try and register my company in the US as well, so that it’s easier to set up, if I have to move. But I’m thinking, I may not really be able to start with it here until we know for sure.”
“Yeah… But it’s good the opportunity came now, before you were already set up and committed to one or more clients,” Emmanuel said. “I think you should focus on Jonathan, and getting well rested, and just doing the little you can now to get your company registered and your brand image sorted. I’m sure I’ll be able to link you with potential clients, when you do finally join me in the States…”
“You’re talking as if it’s a done deal…” Chidinma snapped her head to face him, and raised an eye-brow. Had he already made up his mind?
“I’m being optimistic, honey. I’m sure you would love for me to prosper in my career… Change is hard, but it’s good. I think this is a good change for us… ” he robbed her arms soothingly.
“You’re right… I’m just a bit scared,” Chidinma said. “Thank God for the promotion! I’m really proud of you, honey!”
Emmanuel grinned. That was his wife! He shouldn’t have been worried. He pulled her into him for a sweet kiss. They made out for a little while.
“So, what would you like to do tomorrow?” Emmanuel asked, after they had finally come up for a breather.
“What’s happening tomorrow?”
“It’s Valentine’s Day…”
“Eh, so why are you asking me..?” Chidinma said, cheekily. “I suppose I will be doing something romantic with my husband. Unless, he’s busy or he’s forgotten. Then I’m sure my secret admirer will show up…”
Emmanuel laughed out loud. “You’re funny! Alright, don’t worry. I know I’m on my own with this one…”
Chidinma grinned. “Yup. You are. Surprise me!”
To be continued…
Photo credit: http://www.beyondblackwhite.com
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