ISAAC SEGUN ANUBI
On getting to her place, she waited for the electronic gate to open, then drove in and parked her car in the garage. She saw her friend’s BMW X10 already parked inside and wondered what might have caused her to come home early that day.
She picked up her purse, locked her door and walked hurriedly into the house. On getting to the living room, she saw her friend coming out of the bar area with a drink in her hand.
Betty had been Lucy’s friend since childhood. Their parents had been friends for long. They went to the same primary, secondary and tertiary institution. They both studied management in school since they always wanted to own their own business and they both have lived up to that dream.
Betty owned one of the best bars you can find in Abuja, ‘Betty’s Place’ while Lucy had a beauty salon called ‘Lucious Beauty.’
Due to spending almost all their life together, they decided to get a place together until they get married.
“What’s up, babes? You don’t look good at all, rough day, han?” Betty asked on approaching her.
“You don’t want to know about it,” Lucy replied, slumping into a couch.
“Tell me about it. But first, let me get you something to drink. What would you like?”
“Water would do, don’t feel like having any other thing for now.”
“Ok, no probs.”
Betty was back in no time with a bottle of water and a glass cup for her friend and helped her fill the glass.
Lucy gulped down the contents of the glass at the go.
“Wow, you really thirsty, tiger,” Betty joked, “Whatever happened must have really drained you.”
“It’s actually about a guy, you won’t believe it,” Lucy told her friend sounding remorseful.
“Ok, didn’t see that coming but why do you look remorseful don’t tell me you’ve done it again?”
And Betty saw her friend’s shoulders drop and sadness filling her face. Then she knew she had done it again. She wondered how long she was going to continue like that. It’s been three years, for God’s sake.
“You know Lucy, you can’t keep doing this to yourself and hurting innocent people all the time, you need to get over it.”
“I’m trying Betty, I really am.”
“It doesn’t look like you are from what I’m seeing.”
“What do you want me to do? It hit me where it hurts the most, Betty!”
Betty couldn’t bear to see her best friend crying again. It’s been three years now but she can’t stop crying anytime the matter comes up. She drew closer to her and saw tears dropping from her friend’s eyes. She drew her into her arms and cuddled her.
“Tell me what happened. Is he cute though?” Betty teased.
“Crazy you, you had to ask that, yea he’s actually cute. In short, never seen anyone as cute as he is. The guy was drop-dead handsome,” Lucy replied relishing the memory of his face when she looked up at him at the supermarket and a smile crossed her face.
“I can see someone blushing?”
“Get out, just saying the guy is cute nothing more. I don’t have time for your ranting,” Lucy replied feigning anger but deep down inside she knew she couldn’t get the picture of the handsome guy from her mind and that troubled her very much. The thing was she had never felt like that before.
“I guess it’s because I’ve hurt him and I need to apologize to him that’s all,” she thought to herself as if that will make her feel better.
“Do you want me to tell you what happened or not?” Lucy asked her friend, knowing if she didn’t move away from the topic about him, Betty will probe even more.
“Of course, you know I want to know everything.”
Lucy narrated everything that happened, from when she went to the first supermarket to what happened between her and the strange guy and following him to the second supermarket, watching him talking to a security guard and her talking to the security too and getting to know that he owns the supermarket.
“Oh my God, don’t tell me you bumped into Michel Cole,” Betty exclaimed, not believing her ears that her friend must have ignorantly had an altercation with the hottest bachelor on-demand in Abuja.
“Who is Michel Cole?” Lucy asked surprised by her friend’s reaction.
“Jesus, you really don’t know him, are you the only one in abj that doesn’t know the hot Michel Cole?”
“Can you stop rumbling and tell me who the f*** Michel Cole is for Christ sake? I don’t have time for all this,” Lucy almost shouted at her friend. She knew she could be annoying sometimes and likes to exaggerate things a bit too.
“Easy tiger, don’t eat me raw,” Betty snapped.
She knew Lucy had reached her limit, and any other provocation would bring down the house on them.
Lucy was always sweet but had the tendency to go crazy sometimes especially since the incident of three years ago.
“Then, tell me what I need to know,” Lucy replied, trying to calm herself.
“Fine. I hate this person you’ve become, you know. Well, Michel Cole is one of the cutest bachelors in Abuja and the hottest no doubt. I’ve been dying to meet that guy face-to-face. He is the owner of God’s Own Enterprise and God’s Own Supermarket is part of the businesses under his Enterprise.”
“Are you for real?” Lucy asked shocked at the revelation she just heard. She had heard about God’s Own Enterprise and its numerous businesses but she had never bothered to know the face behind it. To now realize that she had just met its owner and cost him to have a bad day affected her in a way she has never felt before.
“Don’t tell me he’s the owner of ‘D’Genius Enterprise too,” Lucy asked because she has heard about it one time before.
“Sure, he owns that too. It’s the sister to God’s Own Enterprise.”
“He doesn’t look that rich or sophisticated when I saw him today.”
“Yeah, I heard he is like that. He doesn’t like people to know who he really is, even most of his employees don’t know him.”
“That’s true, his security told me that. But what is he trying to claim, if he’s rich why hide it?” Lucy asked not sure why she did and wondered why she was getting affected like this all of a sudden.
“Well, I don’t know the whole story, only he can tell. But from what I heard, he grew up in the street and was never this rich in the first place. Heard he was helped by a good samaritan who saw how industrious he was and gave him some capital. He built everything he has now from the capital he got from the good Samaritan and the rest is history.”
Lucy couldn’t help but be proud of the Michel guy.
“You can say that again. I’m still shocked to know that you know nothing about him. Seems like you the only lady in Abuja that doesn’t know Michel Cole. Every lady wants to wife that guy, sis.”
And Lucy felt a bit jealous at what her friend just said, but she pushed it out of her head immediately.
“I know I offended him real bad and I would love to apologize to him but I don’t know how to get him because his security said he hardly comes to the supermarket,” Lucy said with remorse.
“I thought you saw him going into the supermarket when you went to speak to his security, why didn’t you wait for him to come out and then apologize?”
“I needed to cool off and I felt showing up to him immediately wouldn’t be a good idea, cos he might still be angry at me and giving him the impression that I stalked him to his place won’t be nice.”
“Good points,” thought Betty, “So what do you plan on doing?” she asked.
“I don’t even know if only I can meet him again. But I don’t even know when or where. “
Before she could complete her sentence, Betty jumped off the couch and headed for her bag.
“What has gotten into you now?” Lucy screamed at her, shocked at how she jumped suddenly like that. “My body almost jumped out of my skin, you know?”
“I’m sorry”, Betty apologized, “I just remembered that there is an entrepreneurship conference that will be held this Saturday at Sharon Hotel and he’s the main speaker.”
“Are you serious?” Lucy asked, getting excited.
“Sure, this is the program,” Betty showed her the info on her phone, “It’s holding this Saturday and he wants to use it as an opportunity to raise funds for his Charity Foundation too. This Saturday happens to be the first year anniversary of the foundation.
“He owns a charity too?” Lucy asked, surprised.
“Of course, he does and he’s been helping a lot of upcoming entrepreneurs to start up their own business.”
“Wow, that’s fantastic. What else does this guy have?” Lucy asked amazed at how ignorant she was about this strange guy that owns almost all of Abuja.
“My dear, you’ll be amazed, this guy owns almost all of Abuja and beyond,” Betty replied as if she had read Lucy’s mind.
“Well, I guess this is the perfect place to meet him and apologize, at least it’s a public place and he won’t want to disgrace me or see me as being desperate.”
“Since when did you start worrying about someone’s opinion of you, especially strangers?” Betty asked, surprised to hear Lucy talk like that. Everyone that knew Lucy knew her as someone who did not give a damn about anyone. Saying she wanted to apologize in the first place came as a shock to her because she had never been the one to apologize even when she’s the one at fault ever since the incident three years ago and to hear her talk about not wanting to be disgraced or called desperate really surprised her.
“I just felt he didn’t deserve everything I did to him, he was just living his life and I came in out of nowhere and ruined it.”
And those words really shocked Betty this time around and she just looked at her friend and shook her head.
“Whatever this Michel guy did to you should please never leave you, is this really you, Lucy?”
“You’ve started with your gimmicks again, huh. Look, I’m tired and I need to freshen up and sleep,” saying that Lucy headed to her room upstairs.
“Wait, how do you intend to get his attention in that crowded place?” reasoned Betty.
“That’s true, but you know me Bets, I always have a way around things.”
“I know right, but to be sincere, what has he really done to you, Lus?”
And not even Lucy had an answer to that question.
She convinced herself that she was only going to look for him to apologize and life will go back to how it was before. But deep down, she knew that wasn’t how it is going to be. She felt like it was the beginning of things to come and she dreaded what will happen after their next meeting.
“Who are you Michel Cole and why can’t I get you out of my head?” Lucy asked herself and sighed.
Anubi Segun Isaac is a student at National Open University, Nigeria, studying Computer Science. He is single. He loves reading, listening to music and travelling. LOVE CHANGES is his first story on Guest Writer after he completed The Klever Magg’s REWA Creative Writing Course.