Hello beautiful people…♥️ So in the previous episode, Ademola took his new friend Astrid to Nigeria to meet his very curious family then a surprise guest shows up. Let’s see how the new episode plays out… Opulence episode 3..?
We started eating minutes after Ayomide arrived. It was quiet at first until my father started asking Astrid some questions. He found it difficult pronouncing her name, he mentioned it as if there was an “n” in there somewhere. I wondered if Astrid found it offensive.
“ So Astrid, what is the meaning of your name?”
“ I know it means Divine Beauty your excellency”
“ that’s nice. So how long have you known Ademola?”
“ For a short time, I think under a year your excellency.”
“ I can see he has taken a lot of likeness to you to ask the dean of students to pair you for your final project work”
“I hope you two are really studying” he added.
Astrid had no idea I practically begged to be paired with her, she thought it was normal to be paired with someone else for project work at our school.
I almost choked on my food, I wasn’t expecting my dad to rat me out. I could see Astrid’s surprised look and in that moment I wanted the earth to just swallow me whole.
She smiled and assured my father that we are really working hard on our project work.
She turned and looked at me briefly after she answered.
“ So Astrid are your parents employed?” my mother asked.
“ yes they are. My father is an Architect and my mother is a Lawyer please”
“ Are they still married?” my father asked
“ Yes please. They have been married for twenty eight years your excellency”
I didn’t like the line of questioning.
Ayomide chuckled and sipped on her wine.
Astrid started to get nervous again, her hand shivered while she used her cutlery.
My father noticed it.
“ don’t be nervous my dear. I just want to know you better. I am only curious about the lady my son wanted so badly to work on his final project with. He doesn’t joke at all with his studies so for him to choose you, you must be very special”
Astrid smiled without saying a word.
“ do you have any plans after graduation?”
“ Not really your excellency. For now, the only plan is to return to Angola and work with my father”
“Angola…for a moment I forgot you are from Angola. I know my son is Nigerian and is studying in Ghana but that’s only because he wanted to.
I had wanted him to go to the United States to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology they have an excellent School of Architecture and Planning but he insisted on going to Ghana. Till this day, I still can’t wrap my head around that decision.
Tell me my dear, why did you also want to study in Ghana ? Angola to Ghana is pretty far from home”
I knew the reason why Astrid left Angola, it was because she needed to be far from her ex- fiancé whom I believe hurt her badly. I didn’t want Astrid talking about something she didn’t want to talk about so I interrupted by asking Ayomide what she was doing in our house. I knew it was going to cause a little misunderstanding. It was better to argue with Ayomide than make Astrid air out her dirty laundry to my nosy family.
“ Ademola,I invited her for the weekend” my mother said.
“ the whole weekend? mom but why?”
“ Why not Ade? I have missed you sweetheart. I haven’t seen a lot of you after your accident you know” Ayomide said and picked off my plate.
After dinner, I decided to show Astrid around my house and also apologize for not telling her what I did to get us paired together. I didn’t know my father would bring it up the way that he did at dinner.
She was very nervous than upset. She asked me why I went through all that trouble to get her to work on the final project. I was embarrassed by the question but I didn’t want to lie to her.
“ I love being around you Astrid”
I wanted to take my words back as soon as I said them. I haven’t said this to any girl before.
Astrid smiled, then I felt maybe it wasn’t so cheesy.
“Why Ademola? We haven’t known each other for very long. Why do you love being around me?”
That question, I didn’t have an answer to. I didn’t know why I love being around her, all I knew was that, being around her really made sense. I cleared my throat to buy me some seconds to think whether or not to open up but I felt she needed to know. She looked right into my eyes searching for my truth. I smiled shyly.
“ I just love how calm and grounded you are. I have been around a lot of loud and crazy people but ever since I met you, I feel different and very peaceful. I didn’t want to lose it, I didn’t want to lose you, that’s why I asked to be paired with you, so I could learn from you and also enjoy this peace and calmness you have”
She stared at me then hugged me. Longer and tighter, I hugged her back.
I noticed that she was shaking.
“ are you cold?” I asked
“ I am very nervous. I think your parents don’t like me and I don’t know what I have done”
She suddenly let go of me.
“ is it even okay for me to hug you? she asked.
“I think the lady that joined us later for dinner would not like it” she added.
I sighed deeply and held her by the hand.
My parents have gotten to her, she was losing her confidence and I didn’t want her to.
“ Astrid please don’t worry your pretty head over that, don’t let my family get to you. I know this is a bit much and intimidating but don’t read too much into it. I am here, I would protect you okay, just like in school. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. The weekend would be over soon and we would go back to our normal lives”
She nodded and I led her to her room. I stayed up thinking about her all night.
The next morning, my sisters woke me up. They were very excited and I didn’t know why.
“ what is it ?” I asked
“ your girl is in the kitchen, helping the chef”
“ what? Oh no!! Has mom or dad seen her? ”
They shook their heads.
“Luckily for her, they are still asleep” Kemi said.
I groaned and went to get her.
She was washing some vegetables when I got there.
I took her by the hand and dragged her out of the kitchen.
“ Ademola what’s wrong?”
“ Astrid, please don’t ever go into the kitchen. You are not here for that”
“ I know. I only wanted to help”
“ they are paid good money to do whatever they do. You are my guest so please just relax” I said and walked her to her room.
She was still in her pyjamas and her head scarf. Good thing my mother didn’t see her, she would have been extremely upset.
I went back to the kitchen to scold the chef, he should have known better. He has been working for my family for as long as I could remember.
“ she insisted sir. I asked her to stop but I couldn’t force her. I am very sorry sir. It wouldn’t happen again”
“ it better not!”
I went back to my room to find Ayomide, in my bed.
“ what are you doing here? I asked.
“ I should be the one asking you that Ade. What do you think you are doing? Does your girlfriend know what she getting herself into? A girl from Angola? Even Igbo girls who are Nigerians, can’t get their hands on you”
“ First of all Ayo, she is just my friend. You guys are blowing it out of proportion. Is that why mummy asked you to come here? To pose as my girlfriend or something?”
“Of course na.. what again? Every time I am just posing. “The precious future bride to be”
We laughed hysterically.
Ayomide is my childhood friend, we share the same birthday but I am a year older. Our fathers are best friends. Her father is a very rich and famous business mogul.
Our parents have been trying to get us married ever since we were very little, it’s all they talk about. She has been groomed all her life on how to be my wife.
We know each other inside and out. She is me in a girl’s body and we both know we would never work out. But we have never gotten the courage to tell our families.
During the start of the year, Ayomide told me about a Doctor she has fallen in love with. I was happy for her but I knew the sort of families we came from and how it was going to end. Our only hope and prayer now is to find the strength to face our families.
My mother walked in on Ayomide and I talking.
“ oh Ayo…How are you my dear?”
“Very fine ma. I just came to check on Ade”
“ that’s alright dear. I just need to talk to him for a bit”
“Oh okay Ma” she said and left my room.
My mother sat on my bed and looked at me.
“ so you brought a girl from Angola to our house. I hope you haven’t given her any hope for marriage or anything”
“ Habah! Mama! She is only my friend o. Nothing is happening between us. Is that why you and daddy wanted to meet her? That is why you asked Ayomide to come? So she could intimidate her?”
“ well not entirely. Ayomide is not here to intimidate her, Ayomide is only here to visit her future husband. And there is nothing wrong with that”
I wasn’t going to continue with the conversation. It was too early to argue with my mother anyway . I went to my bathroom to freshen up, leaving her on my bed.
I saw her walking out of my room through my bathroom mirror when I was washing my face.
Sometimes I wondered if my parents knew how crazy they drove me. That’s why I decided to study in Ghana, to be a little closer to them because I love them yet far away from all their drama.
Everyone was seated when I got to the dining room for breakfast, they were waiting on me. I went to greet my father and sat next to him. I noticed Astrid was seated further away from my father this time. I smiled at her and she smiled back.
My parents stayed off Astrid, there weren’t any more questions for her. I spoke to my father about businesses and things I have planned after school. After breakfast, I asked Astrid to go for a drive with me alone, the drivers insisted on driving us because they feared they might lose their jobs but I assured them that everything was going to fine.
My sisters wanted to tag along but I wanted to be alone with Astrid, I wanted to know if she was okay after what happened with the chef in the morning.
She was very quiet in the car, I turned to look at her.
“ Astrid,what’s going on?”
“ Nothing Ademola. I just can’t wait to go back to school, I guess. I don’t fit in well here. Your parents and sisters scrutinise my every move. Am I the first girl you have brought home?”
“ What about the lady that picked off your plate at dinner last night?” she asked
I sensed a little jealousy in her voice when she said that.
“ she is a friend of the family and also my best friend. We grew up together” I said.
“Your father requested for my presence in his home yet it feels as if I forced myself in here”
That made me laugh even though I knew she was being serious. I took her hand while I drove.
“please hold on Astrid, the weekend would be over soon. I am sorry for putting you in this position. My family, they can be very hard at times, but they are very nice people. You wouldn’t have to worry your head about them anymore after this weekend. So please, please just bear with me till the weekend is over. Okay?”
Astrid smiled and nodded. She let go of my hand,I guess I made her feel uncomfortable.
It got pretty awkward in the car after that, so I asked her to continue her story about her ex fiancé, I asked her if she was in a mood to speak about it. She shrugged and asked me if I remembered where she had gotten to.
“ Umm…. when you gave him your number I think”
“ oh right. So we started talking a lot on the phone and I started sneaking out of my house to see him. My parents found out about us when I was really, really in love with him so I didn’t pay them any mind when they asked me to leave him. He was a completely different person outside my home.
At home he put on a show, but when he left our house, he drank, smoked and did drugs. My silly self thought I would be the one to change him but he was the one that changed me. I ended up drinking and smoking but I made sure never to try his drugs. He sometimes used cocaine. I went back to the UK and I was a mess. I sneaked in alcohol and a cigarette. My big sister saw it and tried to stop me but we got into a huge fight. When she graduated, I wasn’t even speaking to her. I was so angry, I thought I was angry with her but the truth is, I was angry with myself and so ashamed.
I was addicted and I needed help but I lost all my friends in school so I was on my own. I was good at hiding my struggles at school but I got worse whenever I came home for vacations and saw André. I started using his drugs and I was a complete mess. I wasn’t listening to my parents and my sisters , I was almost always at his place. Eventually my father fired him and got my sister a new tutor but we didn’t care. One time, we were both high on some substance and we got into a fight and I hit my head on a table, I was bleeding and he left me in the pool of my blood.
It was his neighbor who found me and took me to a hospital. We didn’t see eachother for a week or two, I thought I was over him until I started missing the drugs and the alcohol. I sneaked out from the house to see him when I was discharged from the hospital and he apologised . I thought he was really sorry, he cried and told me he wouldn’t hit me anymore. I was convinced and we had sex for the first time that night.
Now I had more addictions,and sex was top of the list. During my second year of high school, my little sister had joined me, she tried to help me stop. I was sober for like a month and studied for my final exams.
Luckily, I passed and gained admission to study Architecture in a University in Angola. My parents wanted me to stay in UK but I wanted to be close to André. In my second year at the University, André asked me to marry him I was excited because I thought he was the love of my life.
I told my parents and they totally hated the idea. I felt I was grown enough so I moved out of my home and into André house. And we did all sort of crazy things.
One night, I had a dream. I was falling in an abyss and I was crying for my family but they couldn’t hear me.
A couple of days after the dream, André came home so drank and he beat me up again. I don’t know why he was so angry that night, I only recall him accusing me of cheating on him with a particular neighbour, the one who took me to the hospital the first time André hit me. We argued all night at the top of our lungs waking up some neighbours. I was only trying to tell him that his neighbour and I were only friends. After he helped me to the hospital, he came to check on me sometimes when I moved in with André and I think some other neighbours told André about it. He angrily reached into a drawer then pulled out a gun and threatened to kill me because I raised my voice at him.
I never knew he kept a gun,I was terrified for my life, I screamed and asked for help but our neighbours were also very terrified because he had a gun. He hit my head with the gun and the next thing I know I was in a hospital with my parents sitting next to me.
We didn’t hear from him again people said he had fled the country other said he has killed himself. I thought I was completely done with André until my fourth year, I had recovered and stayed away from the drugs and alcohol. After the incident with him in my second year, I made a conscious effort to quit that sort of life.
First semester of my fourth year he kept popping up at my school, I hadn’t heard from him in a long while then suddenly he just showed up, he started stalking me especially on social media, it was terrible.
I was scared all the time. My mother worked on a restraining order for him but he wasn’t adhering to it so when the semester ended, I begged my parents to help me leave the country and I chose Ghana, it’s far enough and it’s the last place he would ever think of looking for me. That’s why I don’t use social media anymore, I didn’t want to make it easy for him to fine me”
I was shocked by her story, looking at her now I would never have guessed she went through all that.
“ Wow.. Astrid. I am so sorry”
“ it is actually very fine Ademola. I am very fine now. He has been arrested, my parents told me about it last month. He found another helpless victim but he wasn’t very lucky this time around. She died after he physically abused her and he has been sentenced to life in prison so I am good now. I just don’t want to ever be that person anymore. I have gotten closer to God, He is everything to me now. I don’t do anything without Him. I even asked Him before I came here to see your family”
“ and what did He say?” I asked.
“ I am here now, aren’t I?”
She laughed, she seemed a bit more lively. I showed her a few places in Abuja then we went to get ice cream.
We both liked coffee flavoured ice cream, that’s one thing I thought I would never have in common with anyone and especially not with her.
On our drive back home she played some songs from her phone. She had quite a taste in music.
“ see this girl o. I thought you were a christian somebody. What is Wizkid and Burna boy doing in your playlist?” I teased.
She laughed hysterically.
“ I didn’t say I was perfect. Sometimes it’s not necessarily about the music you listen to. It’s about what’s in your heart. And the relationship you have with Him. I love God with everything I am. But I love to dance and most of the time these folks have some good beat. I don’t listen to songs necessarily for the lyrics, most of the time it’s for the beat. I can listen to anything as long as the beat is fire” she said then started playing Burna Boy and Jorja Smith’s song Gum Body.
“ this beat ain’t normal” she said, and laughed when the song started.
It was actually one of my favourite songs and I couldn’t believe she liked it too, she even knew some of the lyrics. I watched her while she sang and danced, I was glad she was having some fun.
When we got home, everyone was headed to the cinema room.
“Daddy has discovered a new movie and want us to watch it with him” Kemi said, when I met her at the door.
We quickly went to change, Astrid and I. At home, I really like to wear a thobe. It feels free and I relax easily in them. Astrid changed into a floral playsuit dress, her thighs and legs looked amazing.
I sat next to her at the back, she couldn’t believe we had a cinema room at home. She sat crossed-legged on the seat as if she was about to meditate.
She looked cute, I smiled then asked her what she wanted to munch on while she watched the movie.
“buttered popcorn I guess and a Diet Coke”
I nodded and called the kitchen to order.
I have seen almost all the movies my father likes, most of the time I come to watch with him just to keep him company and enjoy the togetherness of family.
The movie we gathered to watch that afternoon was titled Extraction.
It was my first time hearing it and it didn’t seem like a bad movie. I have been very busy at school and haven’t had time to Netflix and chill. I was very proud of my father, he made a pretty great choice this time around.
The house staff brought our order, and Astrid munched on her popcorn with her eyes fixed on the screen. She seemed to love action movies.
She held my hand anytime she got scared from a shooting scene and I enjoyed holding her hand very much. She held on to me when Tyler Rake got shot.
“ I don’t want him die” she whispered.
I looked at her, she looked really adorable.
I held her in my arms “ He is not going to die” I replied, and pulled her closer. Now I wasn’t concentrating on the movie anymore. I was concentrated on her.
I noticed she was very comfortable in my arms.
She placed her head on my chest when the movie ended and I saw her wipe her eyes. The movie had moved her to tears.
We watched another movie which was a romantic comedy my little sisters chose titled The High Note. I checked on Astrid few minutes in the movie but she was asleep in my arms.
I gently picked the popcorn bowl and Diet Coke from her lap and carried her out of the cinema to her room. I tucked her in and went back to finish the movie.
My family was so engrossed in the movie they didn’t see anything that happened, I couldn’t stop thinking about Astrid at this point.
I was falling in love with her.
I knew I wasn’t supposed to even think about it because it was never going to happen but it seemed my heart didn’t get the memo. My heart was falling for her with every beat.
All I wanted to do now was to sneak back to her room and kiss her or just watch her while she slept.
I didn’t know what it was with Astrid but she made me do things I usually wouldn’t do.
She took a long nap and she missed lunch.
She looked so precious while she slept and I didn’t want to wake her.
I left her to sleep some more and spent time with Ayomide and my sisters.
Tiwa called me later that day to check on me.
She left our home early that morning to spend some time with her family.
“ How’s Astrid?”
“ she is fine. She is sleeping now” I replied.
“ just checking, tomorrow’s flight is at 6pm right?” she asked.
“ okay I would meet you at the Airport lover boy”
After the call I went to check on Astrid again, this time she was awake. She smiled when she saw me standing by her door.
“ Hey you” she said
“ hey there sleepy head” I said and sat next to her on the bed.
“ how did I get in bed? I remember us watching a movie”
“ I carried you here Astrid ”
“You? you carried me here?”
She laughed, she thought I was kidding.
“And you are still alive? Where were your family?”
“ they were watching the movie and they didn’t see”
“ Are you serious Ademola?”
“ I am so serious. But wait, who do you think would have brought you here Astrid? You fell asleep in my arms”
“ I know but I thought maybe you would instruct one of the house staff to bring me here”
“ Come on Astrid. I wouldn’t allow any man to hold you that way”
“What way?” She asked and chuckled.
“ you know, like to hold all of you in their arms”
Astrid smiled shyly and nodded.
“ I am glad it was you who brought me. I guess I was pretty tired. I had little sleep last night because I was nervous”
“ that’s fine. You must be very hungry. It’s almost time for supper. You should freshen up”
I left her room and went to change for dinner.
I managed to sit next to her at the table. She smelled very nice.
She had gotten her confidence back, she asked my little sisters Kemi and Damilola some questions since she hadn’t gotten the time to get to know them.
Kemi the youngest was going to Harvard University to study Business the coming year.
Damilola is a Medical student in Canada but came down to Nigeria for the weekend because she heard I was bringing a girl home. Ayomide, without Astrid asking told her what she did for a living.
“ I am the Managing Director of Falcon Transports it’s one of the many Transport companies my family owns”
Astrid looked at her and nodded
“That’s pretty impressive” she said and continued eating. She didn’t say another word.
After dinner, I went swimming with Ayomide. It was one of our favourite things to do together. My sisters and Astrid joined us later. Damilola gave Astrid one of her bikinis. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her, she caught me staring and I quickly looked away when our eyes met. She wasn’t a very good swimmer so she relaxed on the pool chair and watched the rest of us. Ayomide and I played in the pool like we have always done. She climbed on my back while we chased the rubber pool balls my sisters brought along for us to play with. She was touching and playfully hitting me like she has always done, I was used to her but it seemed Astrid was a little uncomfortable seeing the two of us in that position. She asked to be excused and run inside the house. Ayomide and my sisters knew right away that Astrid had gotten jealous. A part of me was excited, she being jealous meant she had some feelings for me but I acted as if I didn’t know what my sisters and Ayomide were talking about. We hanged out in the pool for a few more hours and I dried myself up. I put on my T-shirt and went to Astrid’s room. She had changed into her pyjamas and was reading a novel. I asked her if she was okay. She only nodded and continued reading but I could sense that she was a little mad at me. I sat on her bed and smiled, she also smiled shyly.
“ what?!” she said still smiling.
“ Nothing. You just look cute when you are mad”
“I am not mad Ade. I only remembered that I had to read this novel. You were having fun so I didn’t want to disturb you” she said and looked away.
I nodded and decided to leave her to read.
“ Goodnight Astrid. I enjoyed my day with you today”
“ Me too. I had fun. Thank you”
I nodded again and got off the bed.
“ Goodnight Ade. I would see you in the morning” she said and smiled.
“ okay, enjoy your novel” I said and chuckled.
Sunday arrived and we left early to church, after church service we had brunch in one of my father’s favourite restaurants in Abuja. Whenever my family visited that restaurant, it is closed to the public and reserved just for us. After eating we spent the day catching up, my father had a lot to say.
I used the gym when we got back to the house that afternoon, I needed to burn some calories.
I saw Astrid spying on me from her bedroom window so I needed to impress her. I asked the trainer to do a lot of cardio workouts with me but I regretted the decision immediately. I haven’t used the gym in a while, the body pains I experienced were indescribable. I rushed out of the gym and into the shower when I saw that Astrid wasn’t spying anymore. I took a long nap after my shower, a call from Tiwa woke me up. She was headed for the airport.
I woke up and packed my stuff, Astrid was done packing when I went to check on her. We said goodbye to my family and soon we were on board a plane to Ghana.
Tiwa and Astrid slept through out the trip, I listened to a Podcast and also drifted to sleep.
When we got to Ghana, Astrid and Tiwa shared an Uber and went straight to their hostel to continue their sleep.
I sent a message to my father making him aware that we had arrived safely.
I didn’t wait for a reply, I went straight to bed.
This episode is dedicated to you Jake. On you birthday today, I wish you nothing but the best ♥️
Have a good one.