False Pretenses (Episode One). By Peju Amadi

Kite watched from the corner, the good looking guy in the perfectly tailored suit. He was expensively and expertly coiffed from the way his closely cropped black hair was styled down to his shined to it's hilt expensive black Italian shoes. Not a thing was out of place, not the bespoke grey suit that had been tailored to fit his body and was very flattering on his lean muscled physique, the bluish checkered shirt thoughtfully picked out and then the Tag Heuer wristwatch around his wrist which she caught a glimpse of as he checked for the time, putting an ensemble like that together hinted at wealth. She bet herself a million bucks which she didn’t have, that he carried a Mont Blanc wallet. Being a professional at reading people, it was clear that he reeked of big bucks.

He was begging to be a mark- her mark, she thought to herself as she watched him move through the high end store perusing the items on display but seeming to have no interest in them. He could easily afford anything in this high end jewelry store, that much was obvious but the look on his face was as if nothing of interest or value was in the store, when in fact Essenza carried expensive high end designer jewelry items.

Her gaze lingered on him still, he wasn’t the most handsome guy she’d ever met but he could hold his
own especially as he was perfectly groomed and looked so good in that suit. He was tall, six feet five, dark skinned and lean muscled, his body in top shape, some might even call him ‘hot’.

He would be the classic snob and she didn’t like his type, the wealthy, pompous type. It would feel good playing him even though she was certain it wouldn’t make much of a dent in his account anyway, this one had more than enough to blow.

For a moment she wondered who he could be shopping for, his girlfriend probably, since there was no ring on his finger. Probably a snooty rich bitch like him, she decided before she could stop herself. She just had a thing against rich brats.

Next she tried to guess his profession, looking at him one might conclude he was a banker or an accountant but Kite knew better. This one didn’t have a boss, his suit said so. He most likely owned his company even though he looked quite young, she placed him in his early thirties. He exuded the air of confidence and of someone who wasn’t hired but did the hiring. He would be bossy and a perfectionist, he would want everything done his way with no compromise.

She knew what had to be done and didn’t feel remorse in the least bit about it. She recalled her promise to the girls, her two closest friends in the world that she wouldn’t do this anymore but then this guy was asking for it. He looked like he had the money, so it wasn’t like it would really have much of an effect on him. She was dead broke at the moment and the house rent was coming in the next week. She had to do something fast as the last of her savings had gone that afternoon when she’d transferred it to her brothers back home. She desperately needed cash now.

She’d come into the store hoping to relieve her depression by window shopping and checking out
beautiful pieces of jewelry but that hadn’t helped, instead she’d spotted this Mr. Perfect and was starting to feel really pissed because some people had it all while others had to scrape all their life and still barely make ends meet. An example was her mother who’d toiled and broken her back to send her through university only for her to graduate and unable to secure a job. Messed up system this was, it made her wonder sometimes why everyone didn’t just possess the same amount of wealth, no such thing as the rich getting richer while the poor got poorer but then Mr. Rich guy had probably been sent her way, as the universe understood her urgent need for money.

He seemed to have stopped his uninterested browsing and was admiring a set of diamond bracelets, earrings and wrist watch. She raised a brow, that set had a price tag that went into the range of six figures. Quite steep and for a second she wondered if she could pull it off.

“What the hell?” She muttered making her move as she saw he was about calling the attention of an attendant.

“Hello,” She swooped in from behind him flashing him one of her stunning smiles she had practiced in front of a mirror a zillion times.

He hesitated for a second as his gaze settled on her, registering her looks. She knew the effect her looks
would have on him as it had the same effect on every red blooded male. It would leave him stunned for a few seconds and that was all the time she needed to make her move.

“I see you are interested in my set.” She said looking from the jewelry, up into his deep set eyes, shaded by thick dark lashes, giving him a dark broody look. He was even better looking up close, possessing pink lips that contrasted sharply against dark skin and set on an angular jaw line.

He suddenly seemed quite familiar, had she met him before? She doubted it, she would remember if she had met someone like him before. She had probably seen him in passing somewhere.

“I hope you’re not considering buying it? I actually had it reserved a little earlier.”

“Oh?” He found his voice finally, it was a deep, warm baritone. “Really? I didn’t know.”

“ It's beautiful, isn’t it?” She asked trying to seem affected by the pieces of jewelry when she only really cared about how much she would make off it.

If the con went to plan, she would be at least five hundred thousand naira richer. That would be enough to pay off debts, complete her younger brother’s university fees, take care of rent and feeding for that month and get some new clothes. She was desperately in need some new things as it had been ages since she’d shopped for herself, things having been tight for a while now.

“Yeah, it is.” He agreed, gaze still on her but seeming to be returning from limbo. Probably realizing he’d
been staring for a while, he seemed to get a hold of himself “I really would love to have it….. is it possible you could give it up and pick something else?”

“No way.” She told him “This is mine.”

“it's for someone really close to me.” He tried again.

“I’m sure it is, Mr……?” She let her voice trail as she looked him in the eyes, discerning eyes that seemed to see through one, she hoped he wouldn’t catch on to what she was about doing to him.

“Williams. Ise Williams.” He replied.

To be continued....


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