DANIEL: Humiliation of the highest order! After risking my full life to get to her, she slammed the door at me. Gosh! But I still managed to hang the rose I bought to her door post, with a little piece of paper.
I know most people would question how I got to know about Joyce's identity. It was Brenda; she was falling for my future wealth already. Although we kept it a secret from the rest of the house, she was all over me. And there was no information she withheld from me, although I knew she had hidden agendas, which I was yet to figure out. What's my business anyway... Since Nadia is proving a little difficult to get, I would have to dock my ship at Brenda’s harbour first.
NADIA: “Brenda is the president's daughter!?”
My mouth went wide for shock.
"You must be joking, right?"
She scoffed and dropped her phone on the bed before turning to face me, "I’m not!"
"How did you find out? How did you know she is the president's daughter?"
The look she gave me made me examine my question thoroughly to see if it was truly dumb.
"Really…? Are you that daft? Cos I’m his daughter too… My mother is the president’s first wife."
I had to look for where to sit first before I proceeded, "OK! What is going on!? Are you all trying to drag me into your family issues?"
She opened her mouth to respond, but it seemed she remembered something, so she digressed.
"Who was at the door few minutes ago... I mean the person you slammed the door on?" she asked.
Oh, I remembered. It was Daniel. I was angry nah, it wasn’t my fault. I hurried back to open up with expectations that he would still be standing there.
I swear, I never meant to blush; but I did when a rose fell on my feet with a paper that contained the words, "I just wanted to say hi, pretty!"
But then, I had to catch myself.
"Nadia, remember the rules sha," Joyce startled me.
"What's that? We are talking about you, not this!" I struck almost immediately.
She picked her phone and continued to chat.
"Abeg, later. If you want to stop the training, you can go ahead and stop. It’s your loss, anyway!" She hit back.
There’s some truth in that; it’s my loss. Initially, my reasons of becoming a cook was to have vengeance; now, I just enjoyed cooking.
That night, Wilson called me over five times; I ignored his calls. “Who has he helped?” I brushed his thoughts off my mind.
The next morning, I received a WhatsApp message;
"Hi pretty, hope you got my flower? Sorry for disturbing you girls last night?"
Without seeking for spiritual revelation, I knew it was Daniel.
I had some questions to ask;
“How did he get my number?”
“Should I reply him?”
I ignored my first question, and payed a closer attention to the second; “Good morning, I got your flower,” I replied.
DANIEL: You might be wondering where I got Nadia’s number from. Brenda of course! As the supervisor, she had all our academy required information. It wasn’t easy though; I had to construct lies I knew she didn't buy into, but she eventually gave it to me without objecting. She didn't even ask why.
“Wetin concern me?”
NADIA: Brenda taught us how to prepare pepper chicken for the second time running. Like seriously? I know that stuff already.
"Nadia, you didn't disgrace us last week. Nice one. Pay closer attention today, because after I’m done with the theory of this dish, you’ll prepare it in front of the whole class. I expect you to cook this confidently, unless you cheated in your test," Brenda said as she approached me.
I had already discussed this with my crew; the lesson was stale to me. You can't imagine the challenge she threw at me; I was going to prove her wrong anyway.
I got a text message seconds later, "Don't prepare that dish, Nadia!"
It was Joyce.
I looked in her direction, her head was bowed. It seemed she didn't want Brenda to know she was communicating with me.
"Nadia..! Oh, so your glory is short lived? I understand." Brenda teased.
This was too much embarrassment.
"I'll prepare it!" I said without thinking twice.
I could see the shock on everyone’s face. I turned around to look at Joyce, he head still bowed.
"Hmm... OK! Take the stage," Brenda said.
Trust me, within few minutes, the marinated chicken was nearly and skillfully prepared. The applauds made my head flutter and the winks Daniel threw were obvious.
"Never underestimate me Brenda," I whispered to her ear when I got a bit closer.
I could feel the burn in her skin. Yes! Let her burn.
After the lesson, Joyce went out. I knew she was angry.
Just meters away from my room, Brenda held me back. She appeared from nowhere. She spoke from her clenched teeth, her eyes were unexplainably red.
"So it's confirmed! Serena has been teaching you, hasn’t she? She alone can prepare a dish like that. You fool! You want to be a part of a war you can't win? Nadia, mark my words: ‘You will be crushed!’"
Continued on next page...
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