MYSTERIES OF BELLA EPISODE 9: Jeremiah's Pre-dinner Visit
Saturday morning. Home alone with my cat.
Tonight, I would be meeting with Gregory after so long. I had mixed feelings.
As I sipped my tea, I wondered what to expect with Gregory. In fact, I wondered what had become
of him. He had appeared in Forbes Africa a couple of times. He was no doubt now a top shot.
Curiosity filled me up. This was a man I gave four years of my heart to. So, with my laptop in
front of me and my eyes fixed on Google, my right hand scrolled up and down through countless
stories and achievements of Gregory Banwo. His divorce had hit the tabloids then. I could still
remember vividly Ego calling me up to ask if I had heard the news.
Toju, now married to an entertainment mogul who is a lot older than she was, took with her their
4-year- old daughter who by the way has a striking resemblance with Gregory. It was the news of
the daughter that tore us apart when Toju appeared from the blues to say she was pregnant and
would be keeping the child.
His father and Toju’s father expected him to 'man up' and take responsibility for his actions.
Now divorced, in charge of his late father’s business and gunning for the head of Jeremiah Young,
he wanted to have dinner with me. Should I be having dinner with Banwo Daniels, really?
Cold feet alert!
By now, I was beginning to sweat. Was it the tea or was it my own anxieties?
I stood to turn on the air conditioner, half-wondering where Missy was and half-pretending like I
didn’t care. I just hoped she wasn’t ransacking the jewelry box I put on my bed while trying to
prepare for what to wear for dinner. Then it hit me, she definitely is there! Missy was never this
peaceful especially when I was having tea and she hadn’t even had her milk.
I rushed to my bedroom to behold Missy fiddling desperately with my long white pearl.
“Missy!” I screamed.
I put her down from the bed and she started pretending to sulk, rubbing her eyes with her left paw.
“That won’t work with me this time” I said, putting my pearl back into the box I had opened
earlier. I opened my wardrobe and placed the box on the topmost shelf.
“Let’s see how you get here” I eyed her and walked out of the room. I had completely forgotten
about the jewelry box on my bed. I had once worn her that necklace and let her pose for a picture
in it. Now she felt entitled to it.
Going to the fridge, I brought out Missy’s breakfast. She was already looking for a new distraction
and found my slippers.
“Now, you are going to wear them, good luck with those.” I rolled my eyes as I poured milk into
her plate. Bored with the slippers, she ran to her plate and started lapping her milk with
enthusiasm while I shook my head.
Going back to my room to sort what to wear, I remembered Jeremiah’s face yesterday. He was so
passionate about me not going to dinner with Gregory. Did he know about my past with Gregory?
By now, I was already on the bed with clothes scattered all over it. If mother were here, she would
have given me the ‘look’ and I probably have rolled my eyes which would frustrate her the more.
I just didn’t feel like doing anything today. I would probably watch movies all day with my cat
and go to dinner with Jeremiah’s enemy by night.
Ego had called earlier to ask if I really wanted to go ahead with it. I knew she was going to call
again in the afternoon, and probably by evening. She was in Dubai to see the tallest building in the
world, the Burj Khalifa, with her sister.
“Do you honestly think you can handle this, Babe? This may get messy, you know,” she had said
when I told her of my dinner date with Gregory and Jeremiah’s mini-drama yesterday.
I had snapped at her, reminding her that I was an adult. I was beginning to get on the edge. I was
under my own pressure; caught in-between the strife of my ex and my boss (who I happen to be in
Why was everybody forgetting Edgewood was being sued and if there was a possibility to settle
amicably and out of court, I’d need to know? It was my responsibility to make sure we don’t lose
money to Pentagon House. It was my responsibility to keep the peace.
I knew my emotions were on the line. Gregory broke my heart. I was going to see him face to face
today after so long. I had no idea what to expect; it had been four long years. I didn’t know what
he wanted with me. Did he want us to get back together? Did he want to use me to spite Jeremiah?
Did he want me to work with him against Jeremiah?
What did Jeremiah know about my date with Gregory that I did not? What were his fears? Why
wasn’t anybody telling me anything? Well, I intended to find out tonight.
My thoughts were interrupted by the doorbell. My breakfast had arrived. My kitchen was on break
today though silently screaming to be saved from the dirty dishes of last night.
As I walked through the door, I tried to justify my laziness by remembering how hard I worked
through the week. Well, I guess spinsterhood has its own rewards too. I winked at Missy who was
already at the door waiting for who was at the other side to surface.
“Young lady, is this my house or yours?” I asked her as I turned the door knob and opened the
door only to regret not checking the peep-hole.
Jeremiah stood in a green Ralph Lauren t-shirt which hugged his body, his dark-blue jeans
complementing snickers of same colour. Hands in both pocket with eyes fixed on me, a sly smile
hung on both corner of his lips while the scent of his cologne filled my nostrils.
Having not bathed and in my pyjamas with hair messed up like I had just left the zoo, I stared at
my boss hoping my eyes won’t fall off.
Never had I wished that the ground would open up and welcome me in its embrace like I did right
“Well, are you going to let me in or are you just going to stand there and stare all day. You have a
dinner to catch, remember?”
“Well, good morning to you too” I returned with equal measure of sarcasm. “And thanks for
coming unannounced” I was tempted to add.
I moved away from the door. His cologne filled my nose further as he entered into my apartment.
“I was expecting breakfast delivery, you were the last person I expected to see” I said trying to
pick up the slipper Missy had brought to the sitting room amongst other things littering the floor.
I almost swore underneath my breath.
My house was in a total mess and this was exactly the same time Jeremiah chose to visit.
“Sorry my house is a mess. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting anybody” I said as I bent to take my
other slipper which was sticking out of my sofa.
“You are not much of a housekeeper… I understand.” It was his turn to eye me from head to toe.
“It’s nothing to worry about. You are good at a lot of other things, including flouting your own
Walking around, he stopped to look at Missy who by now was curling her tail. She did that when
she liked someone she was meeting for the first time.
I shot a glance at him. With his eyes not leaving Missy, he continued “You could sue the food
company you ordered from if they are taking too long, you know. At least you can learn to be
more professional at something that trivial as opposed to frolicking with Edgewood’s number one
enemy over a romantic dinner” came his embittered words.
By now, he was winking and waving at Missy who threw all caution to the wind and shamelessly
went behind him to poke her head between his legs. Reaching below to her, he carried her up and
she meowed melodiously, curling her tail ever so gleefully.
“By the way, I hope you ordered lunch and dinner as well and I sincerely hope you love to share
your meals because you and I are spending the whole day together. If I can’t trust you to keep my
orders when I am not with you. I'd rather see to it that you keep it while I am.”
By now, he had put Missy down who decided to follow his trail as he moved around admiring the
work of art hung on the wall beside the TV.
Before I could utter a word, the door bell rang and I went to the door, Missy didn’t bother coming
with me this time. Instead, she chose to keep romancing her mistress’s accuser.
I carefully checked who it was this time through the peep-hole confirming it was my long-awaited
God forbid that Gregory was standing outside my door at this time. I definitely didn’t know how
to referee two grown-up babies when they decide to personify Mike Tyson and Holyfield in my
After the delivery man had left, I went to the kitchen with food in hand to catch my breath. By
now, I knew I couldn’t eat anything anymore. In fact, I was too nervous. I was angry at the same
Why should he show up like this? What were his fears? What was really the deal between these
Well, I would just leave him in the sitting room. He would take the cue and leave. I leaned against
the cabinet with arms folded across my chest, my left foot tapping the kitchen tiling restlessly.
Ego was right, this was getting messy. Really messy!
As I contemplated what to do next, Jeremiah walked into my kitchen with Missy.
“You seem to have a work of art everywhere,” he said as he stared adoringly at the painting which
hung on the kitchen wall just above the cabinet I was leaning on.
“I love art too,” he said, coming closer. “In fact, I appreciate those who love art.” By now he was
too close. “I find them quite….appealing.”
Why did he always do this? What did he want from me? What was he doing here? Was he here to
seduce me so I wouldn’t go for this dinner?
Finally, I found my voice.
“Jeremiah, what exactly are you doing here?” He didn’t reply, instead, he pierced deeply into my
“You look good in pyjamas, you seem so real. I like the you that I see. I like the messy you, your
messy living room, your messy kitchen, damn… I like your cat.”
Words eluded me. I prayed for Missy to rescue me; get his attention somehow but she just kept
starting at us and licking her paws at the same time.
Trust Missy to choose her moment.
There was no need to wonder if Jeremiah was going to kiss me this time. By now, he had his
fingers rubbing my cheek, his other hand clutched my tiny waist. Now, he was bending low and
looking into my eyes as he locked his lips with mine.
He closed his eyes just before I closed mine .
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