Roses and Thorns is a series by QueenBee Aurora about a writer who meets and falls in love with a man she meet at a book exhibition. But she will find out that the man is not who he seems. She ends her relationship with him, just at the moment she finds out she is pregnant. The series will see through her journey with the pregnancy, her career, and finding a new man. But would she choose the man who is the father of her baby, or the man she truly loves?
The airport taxi cab honked in front of a bungalow, and then, a tall, fair skinned woman stepped out of it, dressed in a wide leg jumpsuit. She pushed her long Peruvian weave out of her face and proceeded to knock at the gate.
“Who is that?” she heard a woman’s voice inside in the compound. Minutes later, the gate opened,. And a dark skinned woman stared at her, ominously. “Who do you want?”
“Huh, who are you? I thought Wale lived here alone” the beautiful woman stuttered.
“How can you come to my house to ask me foolish questions? I am Wale’s wife” the dark skinned woman said bitingly.
No, it can’t be…not again.
Three Months Before
She bolted up from sleep, with wide eyes and a startled face.
Her eyes strayed to the clock on her bedside table and she almost screamed out of her mind.
“Mother! How could you allow me sleep this much?” she flung the bed cover and rushed into the bathroom.
While she had her bath, she berated herself for always being late, even on the most important day in her career. You had to be late also on this day? Oh my world, I am going to miss my flight
After bathing, she hurried into a pair of shredded denim trousers, with a graffiti top, and without putting on any makeup, she grabbed her suitcase and rushed out of her room. “Mother, I am leaving now, I’ll call you when I get to Lagos”
“Tehilah wait up” her mother, a regal looking lady in her fifties, hurried out of her room, with a plastic container in hand. “Tehilah my darling, I made your favorite shrimp rice. You can have it when you get to your hotel room”
“Oh mother, thank you”
“Now, you have not been to Lagos before, please be wise, and don’t fall prey to those swindlers” her mother cautioned sternly.
“Oh please mother, I am a grown woman, not a baby. Just pray for me, that this would be a success” Tehilah kissed her mother on the cheek, and hurried off into the waiting cab.
“My Daughter” Teilah’s mother held her chest, with a smile on her lips.
As much as she was scared that her daughter would be going to the city known for its fast life, she was still grateful that her daughter was taking her life back. By this time last year, her daughter had no will to live.
“Look at her now, fighting for her dreams. God be with you my daughter”
Lagos turned out to be just as she had heard. It was a beautiful city with skylights, a bustling nightlife, and oh the beach, it was something she didn’t get in Port-Harcourt. Tehilah loved the energy of Lagosians, because they looked like they were always in a hurry. The yellow and black stripped buses made Lagos feel more like a culture, rather than a place.
She booked a hotel on the mainland so it would save her time in getting to the national theatre the next day for the most important event of her career. For the first time, she would be participating in a book reading and exhibition. It was a needed boost for her debut novel, which had not seen as much sales as she would like, despite it being a noveau idea.
Finally, I am getting my life back.
Sighing sadly, Tehilah maneuvered her way through Apapa, looking for the boat restaurant she had read about on the internet. Top on her list of things to do in Lagos, was to treat herself to sea food, not just in any place, but the boat restaurant. As she sat down to her meal, a shadow settled in front of her table, and she looked up to see a hunk of a guy. He was tall, and muscular. His arms were beautifully sculpted, and Tehilah could tell that a ripped stomach lied beneath the shirt he was wearing.
“Hello, can I join you?” he asked, and Tehilah realized then, that he was carrying a tray of food.
“Sure, it is alright” she replied and went back to her meal. Concentrating on the sushi before her, she ignored the man that was sharing her table. However, the stranger was not fazed by her anti-social behaviour, but had a smile on his lips, as he engaged her in a conversation.
“Uhm…what is the name?” he asked in his husky voice, as he poured pepper sauce over his spaghetti.
“Tehilah” she replied curtly, without looking up from her food. However, she peeped at the man from under long eyelashes. Her heart fluttered, because she could not deny the fact that he was handsome. His brown eyes were smoking hot, and his lips were plum and begging for a kiss. Her eyes moved to his fingers wrapped around the cutlery like a caress, they were long and lean like that of a flute player.
“I am Wale, a telecommunications expert. You look like you are not from Lagos” he quipped, turning the side of his lips upward in a smirk.
“I am from Port-Harcourt” Tehilah replied with a reluctant smile.
Nevertheless, she began to warm up to Wale, even though she didn’t know the reason she did that. Perhaps, it was because of the huskiness of his voice, or the way his eyes danced with cheerfulness as he talked to her.
Not everyone is like Raji
Tehilah heaved a breath, and sat up straighter, as she watched Wale talk about his job. It was obvious to her, that he loved what he did for a living. He was the picture of a successful career man. If only, she was looking for a man, he would have fit into the right boxes, she thought.
“I knew there was something out-of-Lagos about you” Wale was saying. “Permit me to say this, but you are the most beautiful woman I ever met”
“Thanks for the compliment, but I have to go now” she pushed her seat backward and stood up abruptly, with her sushi half eaten. She was discomfited by the intense look in Wale’s eyes when he told her that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
It was not the compliment that bothered her, as she was used to getting those kinds of compliments from men. For a woman with the curviest hourglass figure, and well sculpted facial features, with the creamiest fair skin, it was a normal thing for her beauty to be complimented. It was the way he had flirted with her, and the fact that she was feeling giddy in his presence, that had made her uncomfortable.
“What do you do, why are you in Lagos?” Wale asked, standing up with her.
“I am a writer, and I am here because of the writers’ exhibition” Tehilah rushed towards the pier that would take her to land.
Wale did not relent, but walked beside her on the long pier that led outside the boat restaurant.
“I would like us to meet again. I don’t bite, so you don’t need to be afraid of me” Wale held her bare arm, and pulled her to a stop. “Give me your number, please”
Just to prove that she was not afraid of him, Tehilah opened her bag and gave her one of her simply designed cards. As she walked away, Wale stared after her, obviously stunned.
That same night when Wale hung out with his buddies, he couldn’t help but talk about the woman he met at the boat restaurant. They were all guys who had walked the halls of the Engineering department at the University of Benin, and since then they had formed a bond likened to that of brothers. Over beer and peppered snail, he told them about Tehilah.
“Her name is as exotic as she is. She looks like a woman I want in my life” he described Tehilah’s physical features, while his buddies swooned.
“Like seriously dude, she is not your spec. You have always liked dark skinned women” Osas, his closest friend in the group, quipped.
“She is just different, not like most fair skinned ladies I know. Her colour is like ice cream mixed with chocolate, you know that mix right?” he said and his buddies erupted into laughter.
Tehilah on the other hand soon forgot about the man she met at the boat restaurant, especially as he did not call as she had expected.
It is good anyway, why would I want his call?
She spent the evening laying out her clothes for the writers’ exhibition tomorrow, because it would be the most important event of her career, and she wanted everything to be on fleek.
Unknown to her, it was not the end of her encounter with Wale, and there was an unexpected turn up ahead.