It was Wednesday night already and the dinner party was in progress. Fred's Garments was full of life, light and music, as investors came in their numbers. They were accompanied either by their secretaries, business partners or wives.
Ushers were in place to escort the investors into the hall where the party was being held. The hall was beautifully decorated with purple and white satin. The tables and chairs were well dressed in white cloth. The stage was decorated with plain white, since it was going to be used as a runway.
Enjoying the party atmosphere, the investors relaxed instantly as waiters quickly attended to them with glasses of wine or champaign. They took their individual seat and instantly struck up conversation with whoever they found themselves seated with.
At exactly 8:00pm on the dot, Fred Ogberese climbed the stage to address and welcome everyone. He was really excited about the huge turn out. After reading the opening speech and reading the program for the event, he declared the party open.
Hands clapped as he got off the stage. He quickly walked up to where Oluchi was standing at the back of the hall. She was beautifully dressed in a long, fitted, dark blue gown. It had shiny spots on it which matched her jewelry of dangling earings and a choker necklace.
"Get behind stage and ensure our models are ready." Fred ordered. "We don't want to take too much time." He explained.
"Yes sir." Oluchi said and went behind stage. "Ok everyone." She clapped her hands. "We are trying not to waste time so within the next thirty minutes, you will be called on stage."
"But the hair stylist is not here yet." One of the girls complained.
"And there is just no way we are going to get dressed and and go on stage with our hair undone." Another model complained.
"Oh Christ Jesus!" Oluchi whispered. Her countenance was that of confusion. She had called the stylist earlier and he had promised to come early. Worried of what might have happened, Oluchi took out her phone and was already dialling the stylist's number when he came in with two other stylists. One man and one woman. He quickly apologized for late coming and blamed it on traffic.
"Ok just fix their hair quickly." Oluchi ordered. "Its almost time for the show."
Oluchi went back to the dinner room. She moved from table to table, ensuring that the guests were well served.
At about 45 minutes later, the models were ready and the show started. The models, both male and female, walked on the runway, showing off the beautiful designs of Fred's Garments new collection. Ajiri and Ohis chose that moment to arrive. They packed the car at the parking lot and went into the building. Ajiri was dressed in a knee level, white gown with the same shiny spots as Oluchi's. Her jewelry was a simple bracelet, pin earing and necklace. She carried a white bag and wore white shoes to match.
Ohis on the other hand was dressed in a black tux with white inner. He wore a black, bow tie and black shoes to match. Overall, his appearance was simple but expensive. Ajiri felt comfortable having him as her partner, especially since he wasn't poorly dressed.
I guess the show has started." Ajiri said, as they walked in.
"Yep." Ohis replied. "But I guess the food show will soon be over." He said with his eyes resting on the caterers who were resting after making sure everyone had been served. "I'm starving. I need to eat something."
"Me too." Ajiri confessed. "Please get two plates of something good for us. "
"Sure!" Ohis replied. While he went to the caterers, Ajiri sat at an empty table in the back. From there, she searched frantically, with her eyes, for Oluchi.
"There you are." She said at last, as her eyes rested on her bosom friend who was doing everything to ensure her guests were satisfied. She was about to wave at Oluchi, so as to register her presence but at the same moment, there was a distraction. The loud, crashing sound shocked everyone.
They looked at the direction the sound came from, only to see Ohis accusing two men of not looking at where they were going. Both men where dressed in the same outfit of white suit jacket with black stripes on black trouser and black shoes. Ohis was so angry with them. He accused them for causing his meal and Ajiri's to fall. However, one of them got irritated and gave him a hard blow on the face. Seeing that a fight will soon ensue, the ushers and security men ran forward to try to contain the situation. Oluchi on the other hand, did her best to calm the guests and urged the models to continue with the show.
Ajiri left her seat and walked over to Ohis. "What happened?" She asked.
"I was coming with our food and these two idiots simply walked in and pushed the plates from my hand." Ohis explained.
Surprised at the explanation, Ajiri turned to access both men but then, her mouth dropped open as she recognized Eze. What was more surprising was the fact that the second man was Eze's exact look alike. They were the exact carbon copy of each other.
"Eze?" She asked, bewildered.
On hearing his name, he turned to look at her. "Beautiful!" He exclaimed. "At least I see you. Where is your friend? He demanded, ignoring the security men who were politely asking them to go out.
"I won't tell you where she is. What are you doing here?" She queried.
"I came for a date." That said, he brought out a pistol, shot at the security men and then into the air.
Everyone screamed and bent low, covering their heads with their hands. Others hid under their tables as their heart beat tripled. While there, some of them placed S.O.S calls to the police station.
"Find her." Eze instructed his twin before grabbing Ajiri by the hair and forcing her to her feet with it. Ajiri screamed and begged for mercy but non was forth coming. "Show me where she is or I'll kill you first." Eze threatened.
"Please leave me alone." She cried while struggled to free herself.
"Leave her alone!" Ohis begged as he slowly got to his feet. "Please, I beg you."
"Guy stay away from this issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with you." Eze warned him.
"I know where she is." Ohis said.
Eze eyed him briefly. "You know. So where is she?" He asked, before forcefully pushing Ajiri aside. She crashed to the ground, on top the pieces of broken plates and sustained some hand injuries. She cried but quickly put her discomfort aside and looked up at Ohis. She wondered how he knew about Oluchi and why he was going to tell Eze where she was. She saw Eze not only as a player anymore, but as a dangerous person.
"Don't let him see her. Please Ohis." Ajiri begged from where she was on the ground. "Don't show him where my friend is."
"Don't bother." Eze's twin said from where he was at the front. "I've found her, hiding like a snail in it's shell. Come here!" He yelled as he pulled Oluchi from under one of the investor's table and dragged her to the exit.
"Good work" Eze said, before turning to Ajiri. "You will have to come with us too." He grabbed Ajiri again and pulled her toward the exit. Ohis seized the opportunity of Eze backing him. He walked up to him, quietly from behind and pushed him hard, causing him to hit his head against the wooden frame of the door. In the process, the pistol fell to the ground. Eze cried out in pain. He nursed his injured fore head with one hand while using his eyes to search for the gun. Ohis quickly grabbed Ajiri by the hand and together, they ran into one of the private office by the side.
The sound of the commotion caused Eze's twin to come back inside with Oluchi still in his grip.
"What happened?" He asked.
"That idiot helped her escape." Eze replied. He quickly found the gun and picked it up."I will find them. They're so finished, bothof them."
"No need." The twin said. "We have exactly who we came for. Besides, don't you hear the distant sound of sirens? The police are on their way. Lets go."
Together they exited the building with Oluchi screaming for help and at the same time, begging them to release her.
To be continued...
All Rights Reserved©Karo Oforofuo. June 2015