The The Betrothed By Martins Aniagboso.
She woke from her slumber to the world she declared nightmare. Rumors of her marriage had already spread around town like wild fire in a dry, woody forest. The thought of even getting out of her house only to be trailed by a bunch of maniacal paparazzis who wanted nothing but juicy gossip to accentuate their papers only terrified her.
But was even more terrifying was the idea of getting married to a man she has never met. She had heard stories about him. Alexander Rodriguez. An Italian American man whose reputation was well known around the world. The CEO of the leading company that her family’s only seconded.
She had recently learnt from her power hungry, egoistic and schizophrenic father that they had been betrothed from birth just before the Rodriguezs flew out of the country.
She didn’t even bother to ask the reason for this unthinkable act her father had committed, it was obvious, for money and power. He didn’t even for a second think about her wellbeing and safety when he carelessly gave her in to a family who’s name weren’t known for very good deeds. He just wanted to steal from their wealth and company and her betrothal was the perfect strategy.
Alexander had recently been named the successor of his family’s legacy, Tidal industries and was expected to get married and provide a successor for himself and suddenly, she had become important once more. Her father who never for once called to check on her unless about business calls was up on her neck everyday. Infact she had our woken up to the ringing of her phone and she didn’t even want to know who had called her. It was obvious either it was him or her best friend Clifford.
She got down from her bed and sauntered into her bathroom making sure not to fall from the dizziness she felt in her head. She lived in an apartment two an hour drive from her workplace. A simple life was all she desired even though her family was one of the wealthiest in town but she didn’t want to live off her family’s legacy she wanted one of her own but her father’s chain was holding her down more than she had realized.
She got out of her shower, wiped herself and got dressed her casual black and poker dotted dress. An apple would suffice for breakfast since she would eventually have lunch in less than three hours from now. Finally picking up her phone and her handbag, she glided through the array of missed call notifications and rolled her eyes at the obvious. It was her father just as she expected. He was probably calling to remind her of Alexander’s arrival later today and how she must be at her best but she couldn’t honestly care less.
She was dressed casually and if Alexander wasn’t going for that then he had better been prepared for an all out Marital war after their marriage because Alice Black wasn’t willing to bend to any man’s rules and her resolve was as hard as any rock around.
Read: Chapter Nine Of “The Elementals” By Martins Aniagbaoso
She booked her Uber and it would take at least ten minutes before it arrived and those ten minutes was the perfect time for her casual early morning gossip with her best friend Clifford Greenwood.
Clifford was gay and it was a well established fact he didn’t hide. His family a strict christian household had rejected him but he had succeeded even after all he had been through and that was what she admired most in him. His resilience was an admirable trait and his strong will was indeed an enviable gene. She took her phone out of her purse to place the call that could possibly kick her out of her moody morning but another call interrupted.
Her father. His persistence was more than annoying that sometimes she wished she had never been born. He was as annoying as a six year old child but always denied the fact that he was a man child. She ignored the constant ringing before finally resorting to airplane mode after three more calls.
Her Uber finally arrived and she knew things would not be normal once she stepped into her work building.
She worked for her father as the assistant manager of Black industries and she was very acquainted with her work. Her four years in business school was seriously paying off and she had already made a name for herself around the city. Closing deals with notable individuals where conditions almost proved otherwise. She was a business guru.
Her arrival was as she had expected caused an uproar. The media was already all over the place and the harassment had only began. For a moment she had almost wished she had taken the personal ride with bodyguards her father offered the night before but she squuezed her hands, the pain of her finger digging into her flesh reminding her not to give in to her father’s clutches.
She finally made it inside trying not to say a word to the ever pestering press. She knew better than to say anything unprepared to these gossip hungry maniacs. Your words could be twisted in an instant and next thing, you were on the front page with elderlies cursing as you passed by.
“Alice Black!” A masculine yet with a touch of feminity spoke from behind her.
“Clifford” she responded as she turned to meet him sashaying forward towards her. They wrapped themselves in a warm embrace before Clifford finally pulled away. His gaze on her speaking all that he had to say
“You don’t look presentable for marriage at all” He finally spoke.
“Neither do you” Alice rebuffed her comment which was followed by a quiet girlish giggle.
“Where’s the spirit? You’re about to meet the most gorgeous, and famous man in the country and you’re not looking it” Clifford said walking his best friend to her office.
“We’ve never seen him in person, the magazines and papers could be lies” she defended. “Besides I’m not even sure I want to get married”
“Nonsense! You are ready and you deserve the absolute best” Clifford said planting a kiss on her forehead as a departing gift. She had reached her office and she could already see through the glass, a figure she would recognize a mile away. He was already sitted, waiting for her.