To Fan an Old Flame IV

Sorry femmes, I know it’s been a while but here’s the next edition of To Fan an Old Flame. I know you’re eager to know what happened next. How did Christie treat Frank in the past? Did Frank recognize Christie and did they become friends again? Find out in this next part. Meanwhile, if you missed the first 3 parts then click to read Part I, Part II and Part III.

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Continued from last edition…..

She laughed softly under her breath and Frank asked her what amused her so. “Nothing much, I just remembered something that happened last night.” Christie shook her head slightly and giggled again. Then she realized that they were approaching the hall for the event. She knew she had to say something quickly and get rid of him. She was grateful for his help but she was already tired of his silence.

“This is where we’re holding the dinner tonight.”

She expected him to walk away but he stood there nervously, like he had something he really wanted to say.

“My name is Frank Daniel Kenechukwu. I’m a 300 Level student of Statistics.” He said.

Christie rolled her eyes. Did he really have to pronounce his full name like that. He was obviously a boring guy and Christie was seconds away from yawning. She checked herself in time. Her friend, Muna had told her the day before that she was too rude to guys. “I’m Cristabel Eze. 2nd year Marketing. Everybody calls me Christie.” She decided to toe his bee line.

Frank was silent for a while. Christie decided to break the silence again. “F.D.K,” She said.

“What did you say?” Frank asked.

“I said, F.D.K. Those are your initials, right?”

“Yes.” Frank laughed silently. He seemed to be thinking. “I’ve never thought about it that way.”

“Well, that’s a new thing then.” Christie shrugged. There was something cute about his bashfulness. Maybe she could be friends with him. After all, there were so many more assignments left to be done before they graduated. She smiled to herself at that mischievous thought.

They were in front of Abubakar Hall when Christie said, “Do you want to attend the dinner? Actually the IV is sold for N100 and N150 for two persons. It is for a complete meal.”

“Really? It is very cheap. What kind of meal is that?” Frank looked suspicious.

Christie laughed casually. She had had to answer that question a number of times. “It is for a whole meal and you have two options of; rice with moi moi and chicken, including fruit salad and a drink or eba and egusi soup with fish. It has been subsidized by my fellowship. The idea is to get people to attend the dinner and also deliver the word of God to them. You gain both ways.” For some reason, Christie hoped he would turn down the invitation.

“In that case, I would love to attend. Do I need to dress formally? Do you have any date or can I get tickets for both of us?”

Christie was surprised. She hadn’t expected him to be interested and she hadn’t thought about being anybody’s date to the dinner. “Yes, the dress code is formal. A shirt and trouser would do for you. I don’t think I’ll be needing a date since I’m part of the organizers.”

His face fell. “It wouldn’t be fun for me to go there alone.”

For some reason, Christie felt like cheering him up. She didn’t know how to turn someone who had been of much help to her that night down. “Okay, I’ll try as much as I can to squeeze out time to sit with you if you attend.”

Frank smiled like a toddler, “Thank you, Christie, let me go and get ready.” He walked away quickly.

Christie walked into the hall. Satisfied that everything had been prepared the way she wanted, she went to her hostel, quickly changed into a formal purple dress with sequined detail on the neckline. She admired her look of simplicity with a touch of class. Then she went back to the hall.

The hall was already quite full. She had expected a large turn up but she never imagined it that way. She soon spotted Frank in a tuxedo. Christie was surprised. She hadn’t expected him to take it so seriously. She walked over to him. He looked as if he was ready to bolt from the room any minute. Christie smiled warmly at him, “You’re welcome. I didn’t know you would make it.”

“Am I okay in this?” Frank adjusted his slightly over-sized jacket.

Christie had always be known to be blunt, “You shouldn’t have bothered dressing up so much. A shirt and trouser would have been just fine.”

Frank blushed so much that his pimples even looked purple.

Christie laughed and bumped his shoulders playfully to ease the tension “Relax, you look okay.” He seemed to relax a bit and even smiled.

The rest of the evening went smoothly. Everything went according to plan. Well, everything except for one of the guest artistes who didn’t show up. The story was that her car had broken down on the way so she and her crew were unable to make it to the dinner. It wasn’t much of a setback. The rest of the event went so well that the Head Pastor even called Christie and commended her for a job well done. She beamed with smiles as she walked back to meet Frank who was waiting patiently for her. She had managed to shuttle effectively between Frank’s table and organizing the event.

After that night, Frank became a regular figure by her side. He visited her so often that he was often referred to as one of her roommates. He helped her out with class work as much as he could even though they weren’t even course mates. Christie heard from a reliable source in his class that he was a candidate for a first class degree in Statistics. Frank eventually asked Christie to be his girlfriend a couple of months after they started seeing each other. She turned down his offer. He just wasn’t her type. Muna had told her to give Frank a chance. He seemed like a nice guy. Christie couldn’t get past the pimples on his face or his tall, gangly frame.

That was seven years ago. The Frank standing behind that powerful desk wasn’t the same Frank she used to know. This Frank wasn’t skinny and had no single pimple or spot on his face. He didn’t stutter when he spoke. He wasn’t wearing ridiculous white-rimmed glasses, instead he had on a very cute pair of black Chanel glasses. He didn’t look nervous or unsure of himself. He was well built and was wearing a starched sky-blue shirt with a patterned navy blue tie over well cut trousers.

“Oh my God! Frank, what a surprise!’ Christie said and walked closer to the table.

He extended his hand and smiled coolly. “Hello Christie, what a pleasant surprise too. What are you doing in my office?”

To be continued….

Femmetotale

Watch out for the next part of To Fan an Old Flame. You’re sure going to love it! 🙂

To Fan an Old Flame III

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Sorry femmes, I know this part has taken quite a while. I hope you’ll forgive me though after you read the end **winks*.

….continued from last edition

“Are you having problems with your computer?” someone beside her said. His voice had a soft, boyish tone and he was peeking at her from behind white-rimmed eye glasses. Christie nodded reluctantly, wondering what this boy with a face covered with reddish acne could do to help her.

“Try restarting the system. It is probably frozen,” he said.

Christie wondered why she hadn’t thought about that earlier. She thanked him and reached down to find the power off button. She almost felt embarrassed when she couldn’t find it and was about to tell him that when Frank reached across her legs and switched off the system manually.

Shortly after that he restarted the computer and within moments it was working properly. Christie said a very grateful thank you to him and started browsing the internet. She wondered if that slight smile on his face was him blushing or if he was just happy he could fix the problem. She ran into another hitch within a few minutes. She couldn’t find any document on Google search related to the topic she was doing the assignment on. Frank quickly came to her rescue again, even drawing up his chair closer to her screen. He assured her that he was very good at finding stuff on the internet and got right to it. Within a few minutes he had found five documents that were closely related to her assignment and she did the assignment quickly. Christie was all smiles as she thanked him. Again, there was that shy smile on his face.

Having found what she came for, Christie pulled her seat back and made to leave. Frank nearly fell off his seat as he stood up at the same time. He blushed, “Are you ready to leave?” Christie would have wanted to roll her eyes and say something sarcastic but she held her tongue and said yes. She had to be nice to someone that just saved her from spending a whole day at the computer centre. “Okay, I’m done too,” He said.

Christie walked out of the hall silently and he walked beside her, saying nothing. Occasionally Christie would glance at him and catch him watching her. He would look away quickly, the pimples on his face seeming more reddish each time he blushed. She decided to break the ice. “Which way are you going?”

He scratched his head and laughed nervously, “I’m not even sure. I just wanted to walk you back to your hostel.”

“I’m not even going to my hostel. I’m on my way to Abubakar Hall. I’m organizing a programme there tonight.”

“Then I’ll walk you there.”

Christie would have protested but she saw no harm in it so she let him walk her. The only problem she had with him was that he didn’t talk much. Christie had been called ‘radio-without-battery’ a good number of times and was yet to find someone who could match her in the number of words she spoke per minute. She had been told countless times that she would end up marrying someone quiet or else there would be trouble yet she just couldn’t stand dating a quiet guy talk less of marrying one. Thinking about dating, Christie knew she had to dismiss Frank soon. She didn’t like the way he was tailing her and something told her he was minutes away from gathering courage to ask her out.

Christie chuckled slightly as she remembered the last episode she had endured the night before. She had been walking to her hostel when she heard someone calling out to her, “Excuse me…excuse me,” the voice said. She had stopped abruptly and a short, stocky guy who had been hot on her heels bumped into her. “Yes?” Christie said, flippantly.

“Erm…erm…” He stammered.

“How can I help you?” Christie was about to walk away.

He suddenly grabbed her arm and said, “Shakespeare said, if music be the food of love, play on.”

Christie was too shocked to respond immediately and he took the cue to give a second one, “Aristotle said….” Christie burst into raucous laughter and quickly walked away. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends about the guy who must have rehearsed those ridiculous lines for hours, waiting for the girl that would fall for it.

She laughed softly under her breath and Frank asked her what amused her so. “Nothing much, I just remembered something that happened last night.” Christie shook her head slightly and giggled again. Then she realised that they were approaching the hall for the event. She knew she had to say something quickly and get rid of him. She was grateful for his help but she was already tired of his silence.

To be continued…

To Fan an Old Flame II

The second part you’ve been waiting for is finally here. If you missed the beginning part of To Fan an Old Flame then click here to read it.

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Continued from last edition.

Christie gasped in surprise as recognition flooded his face while her mind flashed back to that day 7 years ago when she had first met Frank.

It was on the first of October. Christie could still remember that day vividly. Firstly, because she had been appointed (it was more like she had volunteered) to organize an Independence Day celebration dinner for her fellowship that evening. The day had started with a flurry of activities and her to-do list still had thousands of un-ticked items awaiting her attention. Christie was good at organizing events and she in fact lived for it. It was one of the reasons why she had suggested that they should hold an event to commemorate the Independence Day in church wearing different shades of green and white. She had planned a grand event with notable guest speakers from other churches and popular music artistes. Perspiration beaded her forehead as she remembered yet another task she was yet to perfect in preparation for that evening. The flowers for the decoration were yet to be delivered. She dabbed at her forehead with her white handkerchief as she barked orders to her assistant to call the lady who was to deliver the flowers. Anybody watching her would think that Christie was under enormous pressure but on the contrary she was enjoying every bit of it. She was born to be in the limelight and being in charge of people gave her an extra burst of joy no one could understand.

The second reason why Christie would not forget that day in a hurry was what brought her in contact with Frank in the first place. She had been in the middle of supervising the seating arrangement when she suddenly remembered that she had an assignment to turn in the next day. The course was an elective course in computer application and the lecturer involved was very strict. The papers were to be submitted at 8 am the next day and it had been rumoured that the lecturer was known to use his assignments as tests so she knew she had to act fast. Christie quickly called Juliana, her immediate assistant for the purpose of organizing the dinner and asked her to hold forth while she rushed out to get something done.

Stopping by at her room in the three-storey hostel building, Christie picked up the notebook where she had written the questions and rushed to the University Cyber Cafe. It was in those days when computers were still novelty. Computer centres were few and people who had some form of expertise in the use of computers were even fewer. The big hall which housed about thirty computers was quite full and Christie was still contemplating whether to leave the place and find an alternative when someone stood up from his seat and she quickly took his place.

Christie looked behind her and saw the number of people that were still waiting for a chance to use a free system and felt very favoured. She smiled to herself and moved her cursor to click on the internet browser. At first, when the cursor didn’t move, she wiped her sweaty palms on her skirt, wondering why she felt that it would help in any way. Within the next few minutes of trying to move the mouse she realised that she may not have been very lucky to have gotten that free computer after all.

“Are you having problems with your computer?” Someone beside her asked. His voice had a soft, boyish tone and he was peeking at her from behind white-rimmed eye glasses. Christie nodded reluctantly, wondering what this boy with a face covered with reddish acne could do to help her.

To be continued…

Watch out for the next part of To Fan an Old Flame. You’re sure going to love it! 🙂

To fan an old flame

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As Christie walked briskly down the street that bright Monday morning, hurrying to her new office, she couldn’t help wondering if it was just her or if everybody was staring at her like they knew she was new in town. It didn’t help matters that she had to ask for direction each time she took a couple of steps. It was her first day at her new job and she didn’t want to miss a single turn and have to retrace her steps. That would cause a setback in her plans to arrive very early at the office.

Christie stood in front of the high rise building that housed the company she would soon call hers and took a deep breath. She wasn’t nervous, rather she was excited but taking a deep breath seemed like the natural thing to do before starting the first step into the rest of her working life. She took the elevator to the sixth floor as she had been told. When she came out of the elevator, she plastered a smile on her face and walked up to the security man at the door.

“Good morning, my name is Christie. I was asked to resume duties here as a Brand Marketing Associate. Can you please point me in the direction of the Human Resources Office? Thank you.” In three quick sentences she had introduced herself and what she was there for. Christie had often been told that she spoke as briskly as she walked but she couldn’t understand why people were slow to understand her and frankly couldn’t even think about slowing down her speech for anybody. The security man looked stunned as though the effort he had expended on trying to understand her articulate speech had completely worn him out. He simply motioned to her to walk in and pointed at a lady sitting behind the counter in the centre of the reception hall.

“Good morning,” Christie still had that cool, self-assured smile on her face.

“How may I help you?” The lady behind the counter adjusted the collar of her black suit and propped the receiver of an intercom between her right ear and shoulder and spoke into the mouth piece as she typed, still staring at the monitor of her computer.

“My name is Christie Eze, I was asked to resume duties today as….” Christie broke off her sentence as the lady pointed towards her right. Christie’s first instinct was to ask if there was a no-speaking policy in the firm. First it was the security man and now the receptionist. She wondered what the reaction of the next person she was to meet would be. “Excuse me, where did you say…” The lady pointed in the same direction again, more forcefully this time as if someone had just stepped on her toes and she continued speaking to the person on the other end of the line.

Christie hissed softly. She wasn’t about to let her good mood get dampened by any old lady with a bad work attitude. She walked in the direction the lady had pointed at and took a turn until the end of the corridor. Then she saw two doors on one side and one on the other side. On closer look, she saw that the two doors led to the elevators while the second door seemed like the door to an office. There was no need asking any further questions. Christie had already asked enough questions to last her a life time. She simply rapped twice on the door and stepped into the impressive office. There was a man standing behind the mahogany desk near the large windows overlooking a magnificent view of the city. The man was talking on the phone and looking down through the window.

Deciding it would be rude to interrupt, Christie stood patiently in front of the large desk, wondering where it must have been imported from because there was no way she would believe that something that perfect could have been made in Nigeria. There was also a set of settees made from fine leather on both sides. Everything in the office reeked of class and good taste. The man behind the desk chose that moment to turn around, while he was still talking on the phone, to see who had just walked into his office. Christie gasped in surprise as recognition flooded his face while her mind flashed back to that day 7 years ago when she had first met Frank.

To be continued….

Click here to read the rest of the story…

Part II, Part III, Part IV Part V

To be a Side Chic IV

Couple walking together

What happens next? How does the story end? What choices will Tomi make? This is your chance to predict the end of To be a Side Chic before it is published. The person that gives the most accurate prediction will receive a complimentary copy of my next short story before it is posted here!! Cheers!!! 🙂

If you missed the first three parts of To be a Side Chic then follow these links to read Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3! You can also click on the image in the side bar to download a free pdf version of the ebook.

To be a side chic III

Couple walking together

Tomi pretended to be thinking for a while. She was actually thrilled. ‘Sounds interesting,’ she said.

Mak smile widely, ‘How do you feel about firsts?’

Continued…

If you missed the first two parts of To be a Side Chic then click here to read Page 1 and Page 2!

‘Firsts?’ Tomi was confused.

‘When last did you do something for the first time?’ Mak asked.

Tomi shrugged, ‘I don’t know.’

‘You know what, why don’t we take a cab, stop at my hotel, drop our boxes and then go do something completely out of plan, something unusual? ‘For me, this will be my first time of meeting a girl that picked up my bag by mistake and spending the evening with her instead of going to hang out with my buddies as planned.’’

Tomi liked the idea but she was a bit wary. With the stories of girls getting abducted by strange men and being led to their doom by friendly strangers on facebook, she knew she had to be cautious but Mak looked completely harmless.

‘Don’t worry, I don’t bite,’ Mike chuckled. ‘You need to see your face right now. We’re just dropping our boxes in my room so that we don’t have to slug them around. Besides, I’m famished. Don’t you want to get something to eat?’

‘Ok, I guess I should trust you,’ Tomi smiled. She was already excited at the prospect of spending time with him plus she was more than famished too.’

Mak took his time selecting cabs until he found a neat one with functional air-conditioner and a courteous driver. He gave the address of the hotel to the cab man and they both relaxed in the back seat. They arrived at the hotel in ten minutes. Mak had chosen a hotel close to the airport so that he could get to the airport on time the next day. Tomi walked up to the reception with him, admiring the tastefully furnished hotel. Having a keen interest in interior decoration herself, Tomi could always spot a good job. She also wondered how much the tariff for a night there would be. ‘Probably enough to settle the cab man’s bills for the month,’ She thought to herself.

In a few minutes, Mak was done. He went up to his room with the porter and after keeping their boxes in the room returned to meet Tomi who was waiting for him in the lobby. They went back into the taxi and Mak told him the name of the restaurant they were going to. The taxi man seemed to know the place. While Mak was answering a phone call, Tomi was reminiscing about the events of the past few hours. Mak seemed like the perfect gentleman. He held open the car door for her to get into the car, he listened to her whenever she had something to say, he made her feel safe around him, he was considerate and charming.

Mark ended the call and turned to smile at Tomi. ‘I’m really glad I met you today. My evening would have been perfectly boring.’

Tomi just smiled and shrugged. She didn’t want to seem too excited but she could hardly control those little butterflies fluttering in her insides.

They arrived at the restaurant in less than thirty minutes. Again, he held the door open for her and gently led her inside the posh place. It was owned and manned by Indians. Tomi had never been in a place that grand and hoped she wouldn’t do something improper and embarrass herself. Mak took charge of everything. Although he had never been to that particular restaurant, he had been to a similar place before so he had an idea of the best things to order. She ate something called ‘Fish Masala’ with ‘Basmati Rice Pulao’. The waiter explained that it was pearl white rice sautéed and flavoured with spices and boneless fish. It was quite a feast for Tomi who was eating her main meal for the day.

Tomi would later say that it was the best first date she’d ever had. The meals were so delicious and the glass of red wine she drank made her feel giddy. They talked like school children. Tomi discovered that Mak was very good natured and humble. Sometimes he would laugh so much that tears glistened his eyes. She was surprised to hear that he enjoyed horror movies just as much as she did.

‘My best scary movie is ‘Saw’. I know they say it’s not that scary but I thoroughly enjoyed it.’ Mak said.

Tomi nodded vigorously. ‘I haven’t seen any other movie that was as scary as ‘Saw.’ Most of the horror movies they make these days are so predictable.’

On and on the evening went until Tomi glanced at her watch and realized that it was almost 8pm. ‘Oh my God! I totally lost track of time. I should call my brother now so he can pick me up.’ Mak didn’t look happy but he simply shrugged. Obioha answered the call at the third ring. ‘Tomi, how are you doing?’

‘I’m fine, Obii. Guess what?’ Tomi said in excitement.

‘What?’

‘I’m in Lagos. I wanted to surprise you.’

There was a short pause before Obioha said, ‘Really? Oh, I wish you had called me earlier. We’re not at home right now. Maggie and I are at her parents’ place in Ibadan. She received a call from home earlier today that her sister had an accident. Her car was hit by a trailer on her way to work in the morning. Maggie was so anxious that we had to rush down here this evening.’

‘Ewo! I’m so sorry, Obii. Is she okay?’ Tomi was worried.

‘Well, she passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital. It’s really sad.’ Obioha sounded very low.

Tomi could only imagine how Maggie was feeling that moment. ‘Can I talk to Maggie?’ Tomi asked.

‘She’s still in shock. She’s been crying since we got here. I’ve had to watch William myself.’ Obioha said. Tomi wondered how the baby was faring. ‘Tomi, you’re going to have to find somewhere to stay tonight. You can call one of your friends or stay with Aunty Jenny. I’ll be back to Lagos in the morning because I have to work tomorrow. Maggie will be here with William for till the end of the week.’

‘Ok, I will. Please take care of yourself and extend my condolence to Maggie.’ After Tomi ended the call, her mind began to work like a clock. She had to figure out a place to stay that night. She wished she hadn’t come without informing her brother first. She wished…

‘Tomi are you alright?’ Mak was touching her hand slightly. In those few minutes of hearing about the tragedy that befell her sister-in-law, Tomi had forgotten about the chance encounter that had brought her in contact with Mak.

‘Yes, I’m fine. I’m just a bit shaken after the bad news I got from my brother.’ Tomi said.

‘I’m sorry about that. I could tell it was bad news from your reaction. What happened?’ Mak inquired.

Tomi told him about the accident and the fact that she had to find an alternative place to spend the night until her brother’s return the next morning.

Mak’s face seemed to light up at that. ‘That’s easy, you can stay with me tonight!’ He said.

To be continued…
Femmetotale

NB: Watch out for the concluding part of To be a Side Chic… ‘You don’t rush a delicious meal!’