False Pretenses (Episode Eight). By Peju Amadi

He knew she’d been up to something when she’d called offering him everything so easily. What had he gotten himself into here? Would he ever be free of this girl? He would talk sense to her, did she think he was a doll or puppet whose strings could be pulled anyhow she wanted to? She really had the gall to call
him out for this? She was going to get it from him.

“Hi, Mr Williams .” She came up smiling really brightly “ I knew you’d come.”

“ You knew I would come! Because I’m some kind of fool you can lead around, right? You told me to come take my things which you ‘stole’ from me when all you really wanted from me was to come bail you out of a situation you knowingly got yourself into, again!” He crossed his arms across his chest, giving her one of those his withering stares meant to make the other person feel small “What do you take me for? As in really, you think I’m foolish or what? That I’ll jump to your rescue just because you’re pretty or what? If you have guys falling over themselves for you, count me out of that list, please.

“Now where are my stuff? You can sort yourself out with the security, just give me my things.” He held out his hand expectantly but she looked from his hand up at him.

“Are you done?” She asked him, now with a serious expression on her face, the smiles of before had disappeared.

He raised a brow and she continued. “Well If you’re done now, I can speak. You have to settle my bill with these guys first before you can have your ‘stuff’!” She demanded.

“Weren’t you listening to all I said just now? I am done settling your bills!”

“Then you don’t want your ‘stuff’!”

Ise didn’t know whether to scream or laugh “You are making demands from me, on top my own  property? You’re not even repentant or anything! Your mouth is still so sharp. Do I look like a money bag to you?”

“it's just about six thousand I owe them, it's nothing to you since you’re a billionaire or did Forbes exaggerate when they said you were a billionaire?”

“That I’m a billionaire doesn’t mean I should jump to pay your bills all the time. Besides I had way more than that in the wallet, why didn’t you pay from that?”

She looked away “ I’ve spent most of what was in there.”

“What?” He screeched “ In barely twenty four hours you spent close to twenty thousand naira? I might be a billionaire but I still know the value of money, while you who doesn’t have any of it obviously doesn’t. So you spent my money you stole from me and now want me to pay for the rest?” Was he  dreaming or what? “What in the world did you blow it on?”

“I had some pressing needs, outstanding debts, my hair and some other stuff. Look, are you settling my bill or not? I could drop your phone as collateral with them.”

“Why bother settling the bill? Why not leave the items behind and just go?”

“Because I was caught for attempted stealing, they won’t just let me go if I leave the items but they will let me go with a warning if I pay for it.”

“You’re something else, you know that?” he said as he put his hand into the right front pocket of his jeans and brought out his wallet, fishing for his Master card.

She shrugged. “whatever.” She said with a defiant look on her face.

He shook his head, what in the world had he gotten himself into? He just wanted to be done with this girl once and for all. Turning to the security guy who’d given them a little space to talk, he asked “Where do I pay?” He pointed at a cashier. Ise approached the cashier’s desk determining that he was keeping everything
he paid for. After payments, it was handed over to him and he held the bag tight. Thanking the guard for his help. He didn’t even turn to acknowledge her, already knowing she would follow him since he had her goods.

“Hey,” She called from behind him but he didn’t reply, he just kept on walking briskly to where he’d parked the X6. It was time the table turned around a bit, let her feel what it was like to have one’s things taken away from them although technically it wasn’t exactly hers since he’d paid for them.

“Hey,” she tried again but he still didn’t reply. Unlocking the car doors with the security lock, the headlights flashed, he opened the back door and threw her ‘stuff’ in.

“Hey!” she yelled and he finally turned on her.

“What?” He asked

“My things!”

“Your things for my things,” he told her “ I want to be sure you’re not going to run away once I give it to
you.”

She pushed her lips “I was going to give you your stuff, you didn’t have to throw my things that way!”

“I’ve been swindled one too many times by you so you can’t blame me for not taking you at your word.”

She rolled her eyes and opened that large tote, he was sure was her bag of tricks, he wondered what in the world she had in that bag.

“Here,” she brought out his Monte Blanc wallet and phone and handed them over. “Can I get my things  back?”

He frowned “I don’t see the diamond set.” He said as he flipped through his wallet checking all his cards were in there, they were. He looked back at her and said again “The diamond set?”

“I don’t have it on me at the moment.” She replied.

“That wasn’t what I was made to believe, you said …“ The sound of the phone ringing stopped him half way. He brought out the phone and picked the call. It was Olamide.

“Yeah?” He asked

“Guy where you dey? I see your sis here, You’re not planning on ditching, are you?”

“Chill now, it's just a few minutes past seven.” He told his friend “You want me to open the party?”

“The party started since six nao, and there seem to be more chicks than guys here so abeg bring yourself over ASAP, there’s this fine chic I’m keeping on hold for you but with the way Kenny is looking at her, I’m not sure she will still be available by the time you’re here. So you better hurry up.”

Ise smiled “Alright I’ll be there right away. Twenty minutes tops.”

“Okay” Ola replied hanging up. Ise turned back to the pesky lady staring at him defiantly, hands akimbo. She wanted to play a fast one on him again, she hadn’t planned on returning the set, he was sure.

“You didn’t plan on returning it, did you?” He asked her.

She shrugged “Just give me my stuff, will you?”

“No!” He said flatly “Infact…“ He grabbed her tote handbag off her as she’d not been holding it tight.

“Hey,” she rushed at him “My bag!” But he was way taller than she was, he comfortably held it up, away from her reach. “You won’t get this until you give it back-“

“Hey! I have all my stuff in there! How do you expect me to get home? My phone, my keys…”

“Did you think about that when you left me stranded at Cubana?”

“But you’re you, you wouldn’t have a problem getting out of any situation.”

“Well, you’re certainly creative enough too, so you can get yourself out of this.” He said as he opened the door and got in, but before he could start the ignition, she was in the passenger seat. ‘Shit’ He’d forgotten to lock the doors.

“There’s no way you’re leaving with my bag.” She told him as she settled into the seat.

“trust me you’re not getting it back until you give me back what's mine.”

“We’ll see about that.” She told him.

A dare, really? She’d dared him? “We’ll see!” He replied as he started the ignition and drove.

***********

To be continued…


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