Youth service, Farida and Monica were posted to Abuja just as they desired. Monica’s father’s company had a guest house in Abuja so they lived there for the one year mandatory youth service. Farida was posted to Ministry of Budget and Planning while Monica was posted to CBN.
Both girls decided to start their business in Abuja. Monica travelled to buy clothes and accessories. Farida sold out everything in her office. The next month Monica went again. She sold some before she arrived Nigeria, it sold out again. The next time, Farida went with Monica during a long break. They bought much more. It sold again. Monica couldn’t believe how well they were doing. Someone introduced them to a factory where they could buy fashion pieces for sale at a very reduced price. They could order via email and make payment and the goods will be shipped down to them. They sat down together and prepared a business plan. They called their business ‘Sisterz boutique’. They invested all they had into getting a shop and setting up. Armed with the proposal, they went to Monica’s father who agreed to invest in the business in terms of giving them a loan to be repaid in two years. They signed the agreement with them. They registered the business and used the bank to transfer money to the factory. Their goods arrived in two weeks. They set up the boutique. Sales started. They referred all their customers to boutique. After work, they spent at least five hours in the boutique daily and the weekends were spent there. The boutique was time consuming which affected them. They decided to get external help. They hired someone to manage the boutique while they were away. They also went back to the old-fashioned way they sold before. Sales picked up and before long, profit began to flow.
Wale walked into the boutique one Sunday with a lady who was carrying a toddler. He was surprised to see Monica and Farida there. He was impressed when he discovered they owned it. He introduced the lady he was with as his sister who just came in from America. Her sister-in-law’s birthday was that day and she wanted to get her something unique. Farida asked her to buy either a pair of earrings or a waist belt. They were unique and will be appreciated. She went with both of them.
“Let’s hang out sometime soon. I am here managing the filling station. Let me know so we could have a nice time. All work and no pay makes Jack a dull boy”
‘That will be nice. We don’t have a social life here. We just work round the clock” Monica replied.
“Who will run the boutique when we are away?” Farida asked.
“Madam, live life. Guys run after you but you refuse to even acknowledge them. Ok, Wale you know wants to take us out you are complaining. Sunday evening is fine. Pick us from here. Where are you taking us? Let us paint the town red. I haven’t had mad fun since we graduated; everything about Farida is making money”
“She used to be fun. Maybe we can bring out that aspect of her. This is my card, can I have yours? Sunday evening is fine. I will be here by 5pm. Let me run, my sister is waiting in the car”
It was good seeing Wale again. He looked well. Going out with him wasn’t a problem as long as Monica was there. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to go on dates but most of the guys that asked her out were either married or just after something else. The guys on camp were the worse. They came after her like vultures. Some of them were children of wealthy parents but their disregard for the female gender was glaring. The man she wanted shouldn’t see her as a sex toy but as a precious gem. Abuja had so much fake life she couldn’t wait to leave back to Lagos. Monica went on a few dates. She came home after every date. She knew soon she would be serious with someone. Farida dreaded it but knew it was a huge possibility.
The Sunday came around. Monica was on Farida’s case to change her outfit to something befitting. Farida wasn’t putting in any effort to look good which Monica felt was wrong. Monica wore a cream colored long sleeves mini gown which she paired with metallic brown stiletto calf boots. She looked hot. Farida insisted on wearing a pair of jeans and tshirt.
“You want to kill my vibes? Dress well now. If they approach you, you will say no as usual. Or you as scared you will fall for Wale?”
“Fall how? I don’t think of him like that. Not at all”
“But he thinks of you like that. The way he looks at you is as though there is no other person in the room. Farida, this guy likes you. Give him a chance”
“I know him better than you. I am not interested in him. We can remain friends but nothing more”
“But at least dress up so you look good and feel awesome. Farida, what you are wearing is awful. Wear this dress, the shimmery blue will bring out your colour. You can wear these low shoes with them so you don’t dwarf us further. These chandelier earrings will sit well on your oblong face. You will rub eye pencil today. Please now’
“Do I have too? I am comfortable like this”
“You will make me look overdressed. By the way, if I see any guy showing me red light, I will dump your ship and leave with him. Let me just warn you”
‘You will leave me alone with Wale?”
“You don’t have feelings for him so there is nothing to worry about. Go and change”
When Farida came out, the customers in the shop had to whistle. She looked lovely. The blue dress hugged her figure effortlessly. She had become comfortable wearing clothes that showed her figure because of her line of business. They were never skin tight but her shape was something she just couldn’t hide and the new vogue were focused on figure showing. Three customers picked the dress. Monica’s thoughts went into overdrive. From now on, once the shops were full, Farida would wear one of two dresses to let them see how good they look.
At 5pm, Wale parked in front of the boutique. He had been in thoughts from the moment he left the house. From the Sunday he saw her again until that moment, she had been in his thoughts. Farida was smart. She had made an alliance with a good person and both of them were profiting from it. Imagine running a boutique at such a young age. Farida was still rigid after all these years. Her guard was always up. Was it just for him or for everyone? He would find out if she had a man in her life. If that guy was still in the picture.
He walked into the boutique. His fragrance enveloped the entire place. Farida quickly sprayed on some perfume. His perfume was intoxicating and she didn’t want to go out with him smelling like new clothes. When she came out, Wale was taken aback. The Farida he knew wouldn’t dress like this. This was Monica. Monica stepped out too looking gorgeous. She wore make-up while Farida just had on powder and lip gloss.
“Hello ladies” Wale said to all the ladies in the shop. He had on denim shirt with a pair of jeans. He tucked in the shirt and had on boots. He looked nice. All the ladies stared.
Monica and Farida left with him in his vehicle. Farida wanted to sit at the back but Monica pushed her to the front. They drove to a park where they could have fish and chips. He ordered beer for himself and asked what they would have. Farida asked for natural pineapple juice while Monica asked for stout. They had their drinks with the spicy croaker fish and chips. It was nice.
“So, a place like this exist in Abuja? I thought they had only fancy hotels and restaurants” Farida pointed out.
“Do you prefer fancy restaurants?” Wale asked.
“Not at all. This is cool. Natural air and lovely ambience. I like it”
“I’m glad you do. So, what has been happening? How is service?”
They began to talk about their places of primary assignment. Wale had been posted to a primary school to teach just as he wanted so he could spend time at the filling station. So, he paid a graduate without a job to take his place. The guy collects his monthly allowee. The school is happy to have an experienced hand while he was happy to have time for the filling station. He wants to build another mega filling station at Maitama area. His father has land over there. They were working on the plans.
“My father wants me to attend London Business School for an MBA so I can take over the business at age 25. I told him the masters’ was a good idea but I wanted to have a better grip of the business before I leave. He declined”
Farida was surprised. She asked him, “You built a mega filling station. You are building another one, why then are you saying you don’t have a grip of the business?”
“My father’s words exactly. But I will be taking over at such a young age. Younger than my brothers. I am the first person with a first class in my family. The celebration was huge. I think it’s his motivation. My father has also gone into importation of petroleum products. He has done it twice now and he made huge profits. The filling station will have products from our tank farm. My father’s business mind is not like mine. I need him around to direct me. He told me not to count on that. He is already 70 so his time is short. I am understudying him. If you think I should go, then I will”
‘I think you should. You have done well for yourself so far. You should be proud of all you have achieved. I am sure you are your father’s favourite right now”
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“Yes I am. He calls me every morning. When he calls, he would ask, “I hope I am not disturbing anything” or he will say “can we talk?” I keep wondering why he would ask that”
Monica laughed at how naïve he was pretending to be. “He is just asking if you are with someone so he can call back”
“If I am with someone? Early in the morning? Someone like who?”
“Someone like your girlfriend who spent the night”
‘But I don’t have a girlfriend and he knows”
“Are you impotent?”
“So, you would have some flings. Do you discuss business in front of flings?” Monica asked.
“Can we drop this discussion please?” Farida appealed.
“What’s your problem. It is a natural human reaction. Same way we have urge for food, for water that’s how we have urge for sex. But you won’t agree with me”
“You know I don’t. And it is not something you should even discuss openly” Farida replied Monica.
“Let’s deviate from that, how is your boyfriend? Wale asked Farida.
“I don’t have a boyfriend”
“What of the guy that won’t let me talk to you during the convocation? The guy with the gift?” Wale emphasized.
Monica was confused. “What guy was that?” she asked Farida.
“It was Sam” Farida replied.
“Sam gave you a gift? What gift was that? What for?”
“Graduation gift. It was a bracelet. I must have forgotten to mention it. I left it with maami for safekeeping”
“Sam gave you a gift? Why would he give you a gift? Is there something going on I don’t know about?” Monica was obviously troubled.
“Monica, it escaped me that day. I gave it to maami and left it with her. Didn’t remember it until Wale mentioned it now. We have been together so you know after that incident, I have been careful with Sam. Nothing is going on”
“I hope so. Sam is not someone you should get involved with. He is a heartbreaker. Don’t make that mistake”
“I have heard you. Thanks Wale” Farida sarcastically said.
“I thought both of you were an item. I apologise. How do I make this up to you?” Wale asked Farida.
Monica replied, “Forget about it. Do you have any friends in Abuja I can hang with? Abuja has been boring for me. What we have here are married men claiming to be single. Although I can’t live here; I prefer Lagos but business here is also good”
“I prefer Lagos too. The babes here are only after money. I’ve tried dating but if money is not involved then you are wasting your time. I seek companionship the girls have other ideas. I’m back to being a loner”
“So, what do you do after work?” Monica asked.
“Nothing. I just go out with some colleagues. One of them showed me this joint. I visit family and just basically create my own fun”
“You haven’t explored this town? Since three of us are in the same boat why don’t we explore the town together? Let’s go clubbing, attend parties, go to joints. Let’s have a wild time. This is NYSC for god’s sake” Monica suggested.
“That will be nice. I am in. What about you Farida?”
“You both know I am not cut out for this your idea of fun. I will like to be exempted” Farida replied.
“Suit yourself” Monica told her. She turned to Wale, “where can we go tonight? I feel like drinking and dancing. I need to let loose”
Farida wondered what was wrong with Monica. Was she throwing herself at Wale? Why would she do that? She had seen Monica with guys while in school but she felt they were just friends. In final year, she was very focused and the guys reduced. Farida had heard from a grapevine of her sexual escapades under Wura’s influence. She believed Monica had gotten over that phase. Why was she graving that lifestyle now? What was the fun in it?
They resolved to drop Farida at home while both of them paint the town red. Farida felt betrayed by Monica. Why would she drop her and head out with Wale? She prepared for bed but found it difficult to sleep. She watched television for some time but sleep eluded her. She decided to do some reading. When she checked the time again while reading, it was almost midnight and Monica wasn’t back. She called her number but she didn’t pick up. She called severally but there was no answer. Then she dug out Wale’s complimentary card and called him. He didn’t pick up too. More interesting stories from TOPSTER STORIES App. She hoped Monica was safe. After a while she went back to bed. She tossed and turned on the bed but couldn’t sleep. Her mind was wondering. What could have happened? She turned on the television to get
distracted but it didn’t hold her attention for long. After a long struggle, she drifted into sleep.
Monica came in at 2am in the morning. She had gone clubbing with Wale and they had some fun together. The fun was shortlived when all he wanted to talk about was Farida. Why did all the guys want Farida? Even her brother was hiding to give Farida gifts. She never thought she would be jealous of Farida but hearing she got a bracelet from Sam and she didn’t get anything ticked her off. Farida betrayed her by not telling her immediately. Now, she was with a cute guy and he is talking about someone who didn’t want him. She left Wale and went to have fun. He was not good company after all. When she told him. He tried to make adjustments. She got drunk and guys tried to take advantage of her which didn’t go down well with Wale. He took her to the car to sleep off the intoxication. She woke up with a banging headache and he brought her home. He was such a gentleman. He didn’t take advantage of her.
She saw Farida had called her severally and not too long before she came back. Farida was the cause of her drunkenness. When she called Wale, Monica stopped him from answering the call.
“You are upset with Farida”
‘Yes, I am”
“Because of your brother?”
“Yeah. She should have told me. What type of story did she spin about forgetting? How can you forget something as important as that?”
“The Farida I know doesn’t lie. Why not give her the benefit of the doubt?”
“You like Farida. After all these years, you still look out for her”
“In all honesty, I do. I have been caught in her web. Do you know you are the only other girl I struck a good conversation with while on campus? You sounded like Farida that was why”
“Are you sure you are not obsessed with her?”
“Not in a bad way. I like her. I enjoy her company especially when she loosens up. She is someone people will just fall for. Most times they are attracted to her mind without knowing it”
“So, there is no sexual undertone to your likeness?”
“Are you asking if I am attracted to her? Of course, but if I was to choose between sex and friendship? I will choose friendship because it will last longer”
“You are weird. Anyway, Farida hates guys. All of you are just wasting your time”
“Why would you say that?”
“She’s a virgin. She has never been with a guy. I think she’s saving it for the wedding night so it will be a gift to her husband. She will serve it to him on a platter of gold” she laughed hysterically as she envisioned it.
“I know she has never had a boyfriend. I think she is too focused on building herself up than having a relationship. You are a good friend to her; she trusts you. Stand by her the way she would stand by you.”
“You are still looking out for her. You must feel something special for her”
“I will always look for her. She is special. I owe my transformation to her. And she must not know anything. Remember”
Monica pondered on his words as she came down from his car. She still felt bitter but she wondered at such loyalty Wale displayed to someone who couldn’t stand being with him. It was as though he understood her. He knew her well and he liked everything about her. Imagine him saying Farida does not lie. That’s blind trust. She has never had that from anyone before. Farida gets that all the time.Kindly share out stories from generalloaded.com using the floating social media icon buttons on the bottom of the screen