False Pretenses (Episode Two). By Peju Amadi

The name rang a faint bell but she couldn’t place it. “Well Mr. Williams, that’s just too bad as it's also for
someone important to me.” She smiled brightly as she said it signaling an attendant who came up immediately. “Really important.” She repeated again as if trying to convey how important the person  was.

His mouth suddenly quirked in amusement “Like boyfriend important?”

The suddenness and absurdity of the question had her throwing her head back as laughter bubbled up from her, genuine laughter. Was he stylishly asking if she had a boyfriend? After all he knew the jewelry was definitely feminine. Sparing him a glance, he was still staring at her, appraisingly. “No, my sister,”. She had no sister, just two brothers but he didn’t need to know that.

Shrugging, he gave in, mouth still quirked slightly in amusement “Okay then,” he turned to the attendant who had just come up “Let her have it.” He said. This made her smile more as she said her thanks to him, he had played into her hands even better than she’d expected. She turned to the attendant, her expression turning serious “You heard him, go and pack it up.” The girl jumped to the task. She turned back to him. “Thanks for understanding. There are some lovely sets just over there, I thought they looked really good.”

“Okay…..you’re not leaving, are you? .” He asked.

“I’m done here, so ….”

“Errr… I was hoping you’d help me pick something nice since you obviously have an eye for beautiful pieces.” He told her, his gaze holding hers, she thought she saw something in their depths. She brought up a faked shy smile of her own not missing the obvious flattery, even if she wasn’t trying to defraud him, she would never have accepted his request to remain behind. He wasn’t exactly her type plus she hadn’t gotten over her last relationship and was still kind of hating on the male folk at the
moment.

“ Sure,” She replied silkily “I’ll be right back after settling with the clerk.” If only he knew she was about
to skedaddle.

“Okay.” He replied, a relieved look passing over his features, she guessed he hardly did this sort of thing, asking strangers to remain behind to help choose a gift for his overly snooty girlfriend. ‘Sucker’ she said under her breath as she turned, following behind the sales clerk.

It didn’t take long for the lady to pack it up. Kite accepted it when she was done, this was the moment of truth. “Mr. Williams will make the payments when he’s done.” She said briskly, with a clipped no nonsense tone.

The girl looked liked she wanted to protest but she obviously didn’t want to annoy a client so she just replied “Okay.” After all she’d heard him say she could have it.

Kite took the bag, maintaining her composure as her heels clicked out of the store. ‘Piece of cake,’ she thought to herself now at least half a million richer, she would definitely treat the girls to a wonderful
dinner that evening.

********

Ise was absolutely hopeless at shopping. Of his many talents, this was definitely not one of them. To compound matters he was shopping for a female who was the queen of all shoppers, his sister. It was her birthday in a few weeks time and he’d finally gotten a free window in between his busy schedule and had decided to spend it shopping for the perfect birthday gift. What to get her was a huge issue, what did one get a girl that could have anything in the world, that had almost everything money could buy? He never shopped, hated shopping for stuff even for himself, why bother when it was some people’s job to do it and he could easily afford to pay for their services. Almost everything was outsourced these days, even shopping for his clothes. So far the stylist whom his PA had employed a few years back had been doing a great job of choosing his wardrobe. He paid heftily for their services but that wasn’t a problem as he got good value for the service and as he was hopeless at doing it himself.

He was here in ‘Essenza’ because he’d overheard his sister telling a girlfriend of hers sometime ago that
their jewelry was to die for. So far he’d not seen anything that caught his eye and the only thing he’d liked had been grabbed by that wonderfully crafted beauty he’d seen earlier. She had indeed been something to look at, a skin tone so creamy light in complexion, a perfectly symmetric oval shaped face with large almond shaped eyes slightly tipped up ever so gently at the sides. A perfectly straight pert  nose and then crowned with full luscious lips, not overly large, just perfect. Long blonde weave framing her face, she had been a sight to behold. He was sure he’d been stunned for a good minute before his brain had began functioning again. She was definitely one of the most stunning beauties he’d seen in a while.

He wasn’t the type that fell over himself for a woman, he had more self control than that but he had seen himself asking her to stay a while with him and hadn’t been able to help himself. What had come over him? Had she put a spell on him, he’d had some strange desire for her presence if only to keep looking into those beautiful eyes and that smile of hers. She had to be aware how she affected the opposite sex. He’d been encaptured and not even been able to hold himself back from studying her
retreating silhouette.

She’d been dressed quite simply in a sleeveless camel chiffon blouse tucked into a black high waist knee
length skirt that hugged her curvy derriere. She was probably five feet seven or eight if one took out the
five inch heels that had almost brought her up to his six feet five. The girl was hot and now he wondered why she was taking so long in getting back to him. She obviously had to come from money or had to have a high paying business to be able to afford jewelry like that. Maybe he’d finally found his match, he wondered but mentally shook his head. What was wrong with him? He was already seeing rainbows with a girl he’d just met how many minutes back? Was he that needy? It had been a while since he’d had serious relations with a female but he’d never for once thought he would be this needy when he saw a lady he was a bit attracted to.

He decided to concentrate instead on the work at hand for now, he had to get Jejelola something great this year. He’d come prepared to splurge a bit, his sister was turning twenty one and had just been through with her degree program where she’d come top of her class in an Ivy league college in the United states. He was so proud of her and felt she deserved the best this birthday. Although spoilt rotten by their parents, Jeje was a wonderful girl, a caring and selfless sister whom he loved to the death. She had them all wound around her finger and there was nothing anyone could deny her whenever she asked for it. Their father was planning on getting her a car more expensive than any Ise owned but he didn’t mind, Jeje had been crying for the latest Land rover Range rover Autobiography. She had earned it, so it was only fair she got it.

Finally something caught his eye. He stopped at the display of a set of pink diamond tennis bracelets, earrings and a necklace by a high end designer, it looked fit for a queen. Glancing at the price tag, he was surprised that it was cheaper than he’d expected. He could go for something much more expensive but this set looked really pretty to pass up and much more expensive than the one he’d wanted earlier. He liked it and decided he probably wasn’t as bad at shopping as he’d thought.
He signaled for the attendant who came up immediately.

“Put this together for me.” He instructed. “How about the lady I was talking with earlier.”

“She left already.”

Ise frowned, feeling his heart fall ever so lightly, so she’d run. Well that was a first, he’d never met a female who ran in a different direction from the most eligible bachelor in Abuja, or so his sister always said.

The attendant continued “She left instructions that you would settle the bill.”

“Bill? What bill?” Ise asked not sure he’d heard right.

“The bill for the item she…..” her voice faltered as she looked up to see the obvious confusion on his face. Was this some joke someone was playing on him, he asked quietly, too quietly “Why would I want to settle her bill?”

The attendant was beginning to panic now as she began to understand too “But she said…You said…I
thought you two were together?”

“And what gave you that impression?” He asked, raising his voice now in exasperation “Just because I
had a short conversation with her, you lumped us together?” He cursed silently at the thought that he’d just been had, she’d been playing him and he’d walked right into it without seeing anything but her beauty. She’d been a con artist? He didn’t like to be played for a fool but he had to hand it out to her, she deserved an oscar for her performance, he was even tempted to smile. She definitely was aware how her looks affected the opposite sex and used it to it's fullest. The sales clerk was all over the place now, calling for security to find the girl but he knew it was too late, they would never find her, she was long gone by now.

To be continued...


Comments