She felt good to be at the CEOs’ Awards dinner. Her boyfriend was Regional Manager at one of the top banks in the country and she felt so happy to be privileged to be a part of the event. There were a lot of distinguished personalities from 12 different countries around the world. It was a dinner that admitted people strictly by invitation. She knew she looked stunning. Why wouldn’t she be? She had been preparing for weeks. Kunle had told her a month ago about the very huge dinner and award night and that she would be going as his partner. She had carefully searched the internet and viewed catalogue after catalogue of dinner gowns. She saw a design she liked on a show on Dstv and had her designer make something gorgeous for her. From the moment she walked into the hall in Oriental Hotels Lekki, she felt all eyes on her. Kunle beamed a wide smile. He looked handsome in his Tuxedo as he strolled to his designated seat, hand in hand with his adorable girlfriend. He knew she was stunning. This could get him a raise, a recommendation or best of all a promotion.
She was dark skinned and very beautiful. She measured 5ft. 7inches without the heels. Now donning a 3-inch heeled shoe, she was almost the same height as Kunle. They had been dating for almost 7 months and already looked the couple. She was busty and a little chubby with an as5 that made heads turn, both male and female alike. Kunle was in his mid30’s. Already climbing the ladder of successful banking business, he had very little worries. He saw this as an opportunity to invest, market, show his class and get to meet his superiors whose only contact with him had been via emails. He also hoped he would have the courage to proceed with his plan. He wanted to propose. For her it was a night of pictures for updates on instagram and BBM. It was a night to flaunt her beauty and her body. It was a night to make her boyfriend very proud. She knew it was a long shot, but she did not mind being whisked away by one of the money bags present. She was amazed at the caliber of people she saw. She knew it was a big night. She did not envisage that it would be this big. He followed her to her seat, pushed back her chair, waited for her to settle in and helped her tuck in before going to his seat opposite her. The table already decorated with assorted wines and drinks had his name and designation already written boldly on a fancy looking cardboard: MR KUNLE BALOGUN – REGIONAL MANAGER SOUTH WEST NIGERIA. They were seated in the middle of the hall, close enough to see the activities happening on stage. She smiled at him. He smiled back and held her hand across the table. She was so happy to mean this much to him to be brought here. He wanted so much to pop the question to her right there and then. He felt the ring casing in his pant pocket.
“Soon,” he said to himself tapping the pocket with his free hand.
Outside Oriental Hotel, the venue of the party was a parked dark Nissan Armanda jeep. Shina was in front in the passenger seat. There was a white earphone in his left ear which he held in place with his left hand. Iyke and Francis were at the back smoking white London. Francis wound down his side of the glass and threw away the butt of his finished cigarette. He wound up and closed his eyes. Iyke hit him playfully with his elbow. He dipped his hand into the insides of his faded brown leather jacket and brought out a silenced .45 revolver. He smiled wickedly as he brandished it before Francis.
“Baba, relax. As long as this baby they here, no shaking.” Iyke boasted.
“Shhhh!!!!” Shina said from the front suddenly looking sharp and continued. “Brenda is going in.” he finished.
All three men were suddenly very sharp and alert. The two at the back were looking at Shina and watching his facial reaction. If he felt or heard anything he did not show it. He was the best at masking how he felt, no matter how good or bad. That was why The Ghosts hired him.
Inside, an announcement was made for everyone to order appetizers. Kunle and his girlfriend picked up the menu in front of them and chose their appetizers. There was an attendant for every table. When they had made their decision, Kunle signaled the waitress. When she was close to them, he looked at her name tag. BRENDA
“Brenda, could you please get item 17 for my beautiful princess and item 3 for me?” Kunle asked smiling.
“Fantastic choice sir” she said scribbling on her pad. “I’ll be just a minute please.” She finished and left.
She got into the kitchen area and presented the piece of paper where she had written the couple’s order to the chef. She quickly went to the side of the room and whispered into the collar of her suit.
“I’m going in.”
Three minutes later Brenda came back with a tray containing the ordered meal. She placed Kunle’s in front of him and then the girl’s. She opened the red wine and poured two wine glasses half full. She straightened up.
“Is there anything else you may need sir?” she asked smiling at both Kunle and his girlfriend.
“No, thank you Brenda.” Kunle replied.
“Your fiancée is really beautiful sir. Lovely gown too.” Brenda said smiling wider.
“Oh yes she is. Eva is the queen of my heart.” Kunle said.
“Have a good evening sir and ma’am. And please feel free to call me if there is anything I can get you.” Brenda finished.
“Thank you Brenda.” Eva said.
As Brenda made to turn around, she deliberately used the tray to hit the wine bottle such that it spilled on Eva’s dress. She made it look like an accident. She had rehearsed this move for days. She was a pro. A few eyes turned to look at their direction. But the gazes did not last for long.
“Oh my God! I am so sorry. Please forgive me. Please, let me get u a napkin.” Brenda said begging and apologizing as the liquid made a little stain on her dress.
Eva looked horrified. Kunle was worried but calm. She quickly composed herself and accessed the damage. It was not much. Nothing a little dab could not clean up. She asked for the rest room. Brenda pointed at the ladies, apologizing as she directed. As Eva got up, Kunle tried to get up too but she gave him the “I’ll be fine my love” look.
“Please excuse me baby, I will be right back.” She said to Kunle smiling.
Brenda led the way as they took a door to their left, went behind the hall and entered a corridor to the rest room. Just about the same time, a fair skinned lady with glasses got up from her chair in the hall, kissed her boyfriend lightly on the cheeks and headed in the same direction as Eva. As she stepped out of the hall, she tapped her collar and spoke softly into the collar,
“I’m making my move.” She walked towards the ladies.
Brenda was still begging Eva. Eva was getting irritated and asked her to leave, saying that it was okay. She could handle herself, she told Brenda. Brenda apologized again and left the bathroom. As she left she passed by the fair skinned lady in glasses and winked at her. The lady in glasses just nodded. She did not smile back.
The bathroom was deserted, just Eva.
The lady in glasses took out a glass container and sprayed the contents on her handkerchief.
She opened the bathroom door and went in.
TO BE CONTINUED tomorrow.