Her eyes scanned the bar, darting here and there as she walked towards the bartender. Coming out this late had it’s benefits, the bar was emptying itself and the fewer people she ran into the better.
Just then she saw her prey, he already looked tipsy and stared morbidly into his glass of brandy. A black man that looked to be in his mid thirties. His head was cleanly shaved and looked like a workaholic sitting out to blow off some steam.
She quickly glided towards him and took the high stool next to him.
“Hi will you buy me a drink?”
His eyes travelled over her body and lingered on her fake ample bosom as he said.
“Sure, what are you having Hon.”
“Oh whatever you are having.”
He gestured to the bartender for another glass.
Minutes later, they were chatting away like long lost friends when the bartender interrupted reluctantly.
“Sorry Fam, I gotta lock up now.”
They both stood simultaneously and drained their glasses, as the man peeled some bills from his wallet and dropped them on the bar counter.
He then grabbed her affectionately and exited the bar.
Outside, the breeze was cool on their skin and insects danced around street lights. Her phone rang and startled them both, she smiled as she picked the call, It was Junior.
“Hello Mum, I couldn’t go to Femi’s. He came over instead, and we are playing video game.”
She mentally cringed at the fact that she won’t be taking this beast home, nothing beats doing what must be done; in familiar territory, but she could still snare him to do her bidding. “Hello Mum are you there?”
“Yes Junior, go to bed early. I’m with a friend, love you, bye.”
She turned to her companion.
“Sorry that was my little brother.”
He laughed gently.
“You know even if he’s your son, I don’t mind.”
She mentally cringed again. Smart ass, condescending beast.
But her face was coated in a sweet mesmerizing smile.
“Yeah, hmm you got me. He’s my son but he’s only eleven years.”
He laughed and hugged her.
“I’m guessing that the friend you are with is me then.”
“Very presumptuous, ain’t you? But yes the friend could be you… Well! I just don’t wanna spend the night alone again tonight.”
He held her hand again and led her to the car park as the set of knives in her handbag dug into her side..
She was like a more mature version of me, same oval face, and same tiny waist and round hips. She came from behind her desk and walked towards me.
“Mummy I then allowed the tears to flow.”
There was not going to be any introduction, explanation. Blood they say is thicker than water. We rushed into each other’s arms.
Her voice was painfully familiar as she spoke reassuringly to me and rubbed my back at the same time. I felt like all the lost pieces of my life finally were coming together. She led me to one of the sofas in her office and we sat down. She smiled amid her own tears and said matter of factly.
“You are Cassandra.”
“Yes, and you are Nse; my mother.”
She smiled again.
“Yes I am your mother. When… How did you find me?”
Even as I answered her curious questions, I felt like I was in an alternate reality. Was I finally with my birth mother? I felt like no force on earth will ever keep us apart again. We went upstairs to her living quarters, she showed me around and then we sat down a have brunch. My mother was everything I imagined her to be and more, she was classy, beautiful and with a husky voice that suggested poise and satin sheets.
We went back to the hotel to move my luggage to my mother’s house, she wouldn’t hear of me staying at the hotel for another minute. At the hotel reception, a note was waiting for me from Muna and something stirred in my heart. He simply stated that he was checking up on me and attached to the note was his business card. Wow! We had forgotten to exchange contact information the previous day due to the much heightened sexual chemistry that sizzled between us.
The day had passed pleasantly with me helping Mum in “sales’ behind the counter of her ‘Beauty Essence shop’, we talked earlier in the day and Mum told me that she had been deported from the US.
I was dazed as she narrated what happened, their student Visas had expired. My father had gone and secretly married Amanda who he was having an affair with and both of them had called the immigration on my mother. My father had heartlessly set my mother up to be deported so that he could marry his whore. No wonder I had always felt like damaged goods, my father was evil. I secretly vowed to disown him, he was no longer my family; he was lost to me forever. All I had now was my mother.
I finished with my manicure and strolled into her room where she was also dressing up; we were going for the birthday party of the wife of the Ghanaian Ambassador.
An hour later we were in the glamorously furnished hall with elegantly dressed men and women smiling and posing on the red carpet. My mother went off to greet her numerous friends and I was left alone to wander on my own. I took a flute of Champagne that a smartly dressed waiter carried on a tray and passed around.
Just then my eyes fell on Muna, he was escorting a middle aged, very beautiful, slim woman. The way she hung on his arm was past friendly, it was territorial. My heart did a back flip. What? Was he married? To an older woman? Muna had not seemed to me like a guy who would marry old money. Just then my Mother took my elbow and guided me towards the couple.
“Cassandra come and meet my most cherished client.”
As we moved towards them, Muna turned and our eyes locked. He looked about to jump out of his skin. He quickly let go of the woman’s hand and frowned in confusion as we came to stand in front of them. Mum hugged and pecked the dainty woman.
“Hello Mirabel, long time no see, meet my daughter Cassandra! Long story I assure you. Cassandra meet my friend Mirabel.”
“Hi Nse. Really? This beauty, is your daughter?”
I forced myself to look and act normal even as my heart seemed about to explode with 50 shades of emotions.
50 shades of emotions that filled me with rage and more. ‘Son of a bitch’ had taken me for a ride. I mumbled a half hearted reply and moved away as my Mum engaged in a lengthy discussion with Mirabel. I walked to the balcony and leaned over the rail to catch my breath.
His syrupy voice washed over me like rain and he came to stand very close behind me.
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