Twice a woman

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CHAPTER TWELVE

Dave was in his hotel room wondering what became of Susan because he had not heard from her since their last telephone conversation on Tuesday morning and when he called her phone later that Tuesday evening, she wasn't picking up her calls and he sent her series of messages but she didn't reply to any of them or return the calls so he decided to give her some time off while he went about his own activities.

Dave had developed an attraction towards a certain female employee of the hotel where he was lodged and several times he had ordered for room service thinking maybe this girl would be the one to attend to him but it was against the hotel policy for a female waitress to attend to the room of a male guest and vice versa and so it was quite difficult for Dave to actually make his intentions known to the girl. He had come down that morning for an early breakfast at the hotel restaurant hoping to see the girl.

As Dave got into the hotel restaurant, he saw the girl and beckoned to her and as she came to the table where he was seated, she greeted him " Good morning sir " she said. " Goodmorning " Dave replied. " What will you like to have this morning? " The girl said while handing him the hotel breakfast menu and as the girl was doing that Dave grabbed a hold of her hand and as the girl in a totally confused state looked at Dave, he looked into her eyes and gave her a sensual smile and he said to her. " What is your name my dear" the girl looked at him and said " my name is Belema Hart ". " That is a beautiful name for a beautiful lady like you " and Belema smiled and said " can I take your order now? ". Dave finally let go of her hand and focused on the menu after which he placed his order for breakfast. Belema returned a few minutes later with some sandwiches and sausages along with a cup of coffee which Dave had ordered.

For the duration of time Dave had his breakfast, he couldn't take his eyes off Belema and she noticed his constant stare and that made her quite uncomfortable. When he was done, he asked for his bill and when she came over to take payment for his food, he slipped a piece of paper in her hand along with the payment and a very generous tip and left the restaurant. When she counted the money, she discovered it was almost three times the amount for the food he had ordered and she decided to look at the piece of paper and when she unfolded it she saw that he had mentioned that the rest of the change was for her along with a number which she should call. Belema was a very reserved and shy girl who was a part time student and also worked part time at the hotel to support her education and she wasn't the type of girl who would quickly jump at the opportunity to earn money from being with a man but she decided all the same to call him as he requested just to be polite. After making sure there were no more orders to take in the restaurant, she excused herself and went into the dressing room to make the call to Dave considering that it would be an opportunity to adequately thank him for the tip he gave her. She pulled out her phone from her handbag in the dressing room and pulled the piece of paper Dave had given her from the pocket in her apron and dialed the number.

" Hello sir, this is Belema " she said as Dave picked the call. " Hi Belema, how are you doing?" Dave asked. " I'm very well thank you sir " she replied. " I want to thank you for the tips you gave me this morning. " she continued. " Don't mention it my dear, there are still more goodies coming your way from me " Dave said. " I don't understand sir " Belema interrupted. " What I am trying to tell you is that I like you very much and I want to be the one to always make you happy " Dave said. " I understand sir, but I don't think I'm ready for that now sir " Belema told him. " You see my dear, this is not the ideal forum to discuss this, can we meet face to face?" Dave asked. " That'll have to be when I get off work. " Belema said. " What time will that be?" Dave asked. " I should be off work by five but I can't meet with you anywhere within the hotel premises " Belema told Dave. " In that case, let's meet at the shopping mall down the road ". Dave said.

By 5:30 pm, Belema was already getting ready to leave the hotel and after signing out her name in the register at the security post, she left the hotel. She had to wait for a bus that would take her to the shopping mall down the road where she had scheduled to meet with Dave. It wasn't long before a bus came along and she got in and paid the fare.

When Belema was walking into the shopping mall, she met Dave at the parking lot and she walked towards his direction. Dave got out of his car and stretched his hands out to give her a warm handshake. " Glad you could make it " he said and asked her if you would like a cup of coldstone ice cream which she said she would and they both walked towards the ice cream stall. It had been a warm and sunny day and the evening was still warm and the ice cream did a lot to make Belema feel better. After they had ice cream, Dave ordered some popcorn and they began to chew away and Belema asked Dave the reason why he wanted to see her. " Well, I told you over the phone that I like you and I want to have a very serious relationship with you " Dave said. " How can you like me and want a relationship with me when you don't even know me? Besides, I don't even know you besides the fact that you lodge at the hotel where I work ". Belema asked. " I agree with you on that " Dave responded. " But I guess that's the reason why we are here, to know more about each other " Dave added. " Then I guess you have to start by introducing yourself so that I can know a little about you " Belema said. " My name is Dave Dike and I am an indigene of this state even though I have been away in Europe for some years on a program to acquire a skill funded by the government. I only just got back after my program and I'm yet to decide whether to stay back or go back to Europe." Dave said. " And after a little more detail about himself, Dave said to Belema, " I guess it's your turn to talk about yourself ". " Like you already know, my name is Belema Hart, I am also an indigene of this state, I lost my parents several years ago when the military invaded our community and right now, I live with my grandmother. I am a part time student of the University of Port-harcourt and I am in my finals. My grandmother is old and poor and that's why I am working part-time at the hotel to raise some money to pay my fees and also take care of my grandmother. " Belema said. " I am really very sorry to hear of your parents demise and I understand what it is you are going through and that's why I want to be there for you to be able to take care of your every need." Dave said. " But what exactly do you want from me? Do you just want to take advantage of me because of my vulnerability? For your information, I am not like those other girls that go after men for their money…..I mean I'm different and that's why I'd rather work to earn a living rather than running after men or jumping from one man to another " Belema said. " Why would I want to do something like that? You make it seem as if I am a demon." Dave said. " The truth is that I love you and I've loved you from the first time I laid my eyes on you and as a matter of fact, I want to get married to you because you are the type of girl I need and you need not tell me that you are different because I already saw it in you the first time I saw you." Dave said.

Belema was shocked at what Dave said about being in love with her and wanting to marry her and the whole thing was too much for her to process all at once and she was dumbfounded. " You really do not need to say anything now, just go home and think about it and I will see you tomorrow at work ". Dave said and after he had paid for the ice cream and popcorn, he took Belema into the mall and bought some provisions and toiletries for her and drove her to her home. " This is where I live " Belema said as Dave drove up to her house. Dave brought out his wallet from the back pocket of his jeans and offered Belema some more money. " I'm sorry sir, but I can't accept this, you have done a lot for me already " she said. " There's nothing I do for you that is ever enough " Dave said. " Please just hold on to this and use it for your upkeep, it's the least I can do." He said. Belema reluctantly accepted the money and got down from the car. Dave stayed and watched as she walked into her house before he drove away.

Frederick had just finished having supper with Susan and as Susan was clearing the dishes from the dining room, Frederick's phone rang and as he picked up his phone he discovered that it was Dr. Idowu calling him. " Hello Mr. Frederick. " Dr. Idowu said. " Hello doctor " Frederick replied. " I was calling to find out if you have arrived at Port-harcourt " Dr. Idowu said. " Yes I have " Frederick replied. " Okay that's very good. " said Dr. Idowu. " Please remember to take your drugs as prescribed and make sure you get a lot of rest " Dr. Idowu said. " I sure will, doctor " Frederick responded. " " I will be calling you from time to time to monitor your recovery and if you are experiencing any problems, do not hesitate to call on me " said Dr. Idowu. " I will doctor and thank you for the call " Frederick said and ended the call.

After Frederick went to sleep, Susan stayed back in the living room watching a late night soap opera and by the time the soap opera ended, she started going through her phone and seeing the missed calls, voicemail and text messages from Dave. She resolved within herself that she wasn't going to return his calls, reply to his text messages or have anything to do with him ever again. She switched off the television set, switched off the lights and went to join Frederick in the bedroom.

As Dave lay on the bed in his hotel room that night, he started thinking about the events of the day and his meeting with Belema. At that moment, he knew he had fallen in love with her and he decided that he was going to do everything within him to make her his woman. He also thought about Susan and why she hadn't returned his calls or replied to his messages and then he also decided that he was going to give Susan a break so she doesn't jeopardize the chances he has with Belema and then he decided to go to sleep.

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