False Pretenses (Episode Seven). By Peju Amadi

Ise gave up, there was no point replying his mother, it was useless when she was like this. She continued to talk and rant until his phone rang. A new phone since the girl of the day before had stolen the last one. He jumped up, grateful for the call, it gave him the excuse to leave her presence. “I have to take this.” He said glancing at the screen and seeing a number he didn’t recognise.

“Ise Williams,” He simply said. The speaker on the other end was silent, “Hello?” He tried again.

“Yeah, hello, Mr Williams, it's me.”

He frowned, the voice was female “You, who?”

“The girl from yesterday? That took your wallet?”

"You! What do you want now, you got my wallet and phone, what do you want again?" Ise asked her, he was really pissed with the girl.

"I'm sorry about that, that's exactly why I'm calling, I want to return them. I was in a bad mood yesterday and wanted to prove a point but I've thought about it and I realize it wasn't a good move on my part."

"Really?" He didn't trust her. Thieves didn't just give things back that way, there had to be a catch.

"Yeah, a guy like you has got to have important clients and information on your phone. Please let me return it."

"Save the bullshit and tell me what you really want." He didn't trust this chick one bit, she was up to something.

"What do you mean?"

" We both know you want something else, just spill."

"Something else?" She asked, you could hear the confusion in her voice.

He had to hand it to her, she was good at playing dumb but she should know he knew she wasn't dumb. She was a con artist anyway, so she had to be good at acting. Every move she made was a calculated plot for something but he couldn't place what it was.

"You want to just give me the phone and wallet without anything in return?" He asked back

"Yes, is that so hard to believe?"

"My dear," he said sarcastic, “coming from you, it's very hard. "

"I guess I did a really harsh number on you for you to be this scared of me."

"Scared?" Ise scoffed "I'm not scared, I just don't want to be caught unawares when you pull another one of your stunts again, I really don't want to find myself being sold before knowing what's happening?"

She laughed, a light bubbly sound he found himself smiling to unknowingly. "I'm sure, our dear faithful Sal would never let that happen. I hope he's not too pissed that I gave him the slip."

"Even if he is, he's not as pissed as I am and although I do need my property back, I don't trust you. You could be laying an ambush of kidnappers for me for all I know. You can keep everything but there's no way I'm meeting with you to get them back. Good day."

"Wait!" She called hastily before he hung up.

"What?"

"I'm bad but not ‘ambush of kidnappers’ bad, haba! Please I need you to trust me for at least five minutes, I don't plan on kidnapping you. You are a very important person, I found that out last night at home, please believe me, I'm not lying, I really do need you to collect your stuff, come with the frigging cavalry if you like but please just come take these things off my hands."

Ise was silent for a while as he processed it all.

"Hello?" She called

"Yeah, yeah, I'm here. I could send someone down-"

"No please, I want to give you in person, I don't trust any other person especially as the diamond set is also involved."

He raised a brow, now this piqued his interest. The set, really? He had to be at Ola's party in about an hour, he was almost running late as it was. He had to squeeze this in somehow but he was going to be mega careful.

"Alright," he gave in "what's your location?"

He could hear the smile in her voice "Grand, central district."

"I'll be there in about fifteen minutes but you better not be up to one of your tricks or by Jove, you don't want to know what I'll do to you."

*****************

The second Ise stepped into Grand Stores in the Central business district area, he knew something was off. She wasn’t in the lounge section and he was about calling the number she’d called him with when a security guard approached him.

“Excuse me Sir, the lady over there called for you.” He pointed to where she was, obviously being held in custody. She waved with an unsure smile. He frowned, already having an idea of what was going on.

Why was he surprised? He should have expected it. Walking over to meet her, he told himself that if she expected him to get her out of this then she was seriously out of her mind, he didn’t even know her for crying out loud.

As he got closer, he found his resolve fading. She looked breath taking, her hair was a different colour today, it was dark and really long framing her beautiful features. The girl was fine but why did she have this penchant for getting into situations like this? Her outfit wasn’t helping his resolve either, she was in a red tanktop paired with a really short blue jean skirt. So short she should be arrested for exposing those creamy long legs that way. She was her original height today since she was in flat scandals instead of heels and that ever present tote of hers.

“What did she do this time?” He found himself asking the guard who was walking ahead of him leading him to where she was being detained, he really shouldn’t know because he really didn’t care but he couldn’t hold himself back.

“She shoplifted some things and was caught, we were about arresting her when she said you’d come settle her bill.”

Ise’s frown deepened, If she really thought he would settle her bill then she was in for a shocker. “Can I speak to her for a minute?”

“Yes Sir.” The guard went ahead to bring her over.

To be continued…


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