“Okay, this is how it goes,” David explained.
"My mum had problems in raising this fashion house to the standard it is today. There was a time she gave up and decided to sell it off to an interested buyer – Joanne's father – but just as she sold it off, sales bubbled up. She later regretted selling it off. Despite her plea to buy it back, he refused. Later on, they reached an agreement that I should marry Joanne just to keep the family in business."
Oh! Is this why he wants to marry Joanne?
"So you don't love her?"
I shouldn’t have asked this question but it came out anyway.
"Of course not! I used her as a bait to insert a clause into the contract. If we can raise 10 million dollars in one month, she will sell it back to us.”
My eyes widened.
“There is no way we could raise such an amount in one month.”
"I know that. But there is a competition that holds in Europe annually; the winner goes home with 15 million dollars."
I stood up and gasped in shock, "15 million what?!"
Was I supposed to ask again? Yeah, I’m supposed to ask... the amount was way too much!
"David, we will participate in the competition. We will win."
Of course I had high hopes, there is no way we wouldn’t win. I would make sure this happens.
"That's the problem, Bukky. We have participated in this competition every year, and we've never won."
My hopes died almost immediately, he killed it.
"Are you giving up just like that?"
"No Bukky, I’m trying to think here," he fired back and stood up to pace round.
"There is nothing else we can do, we have to participate and win,” I said.
"Bukky, this competition consists of different fashion houses from different countries all over the world. What makes you think Nigeria would ever win? What makes you think we would even stand a chance!?"
I was a little disappointed because he didn't have a single drop of faith in us.
"I believe in myself, I believe in every model in this house, and I know that when they are aware that they are participating in this competition to save the House Of Earl, they would fight with everything they’ve got to make this happen."
He went quiet again, so I gently walked out. I met Vodka outside. We need to work together to save this house from running into extinction.
"Vodka, do you love this house?" I asked, as we walked to the hall to address the models.
"It's my life!"
I smiled, “That's the spirit!”
"Well, before we go into business, there is a name we need to crush under our feet."
She light up her face with that peculiar devilish smile of hers, "Just say the name."
She seemed more than ready at the mention of ‘Joanne’. Yes! Let the fashion begin!
Continued on next page...
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