Picture Perfect – 17

Victoria headed to Ronald’s office spurred by aggravation.  She had avoided facing Ronald for two months, even if they worked so close, it was surprisingly easy to go weeks without seeing him.  Entering his office without knocking, Victoria stopped before Ronald’s desk, annoyed by his nonchalant expression.  Fighting the urge to smack the knowing look off his face, Victoria stood her ground.

“What brings you to my office, Vicky?”

“Stop bullying Anita,” Victoria said.

“She’s not a good worker.”

“That’s crap talk,” Victoria sighed.  “You’re not being fair to her.  She did nothing wrong.”

“If I don’t fire her, will you come back to me?”

“No.” Victoria flashed him a smile.  “I will, however, start thinking of you as a human being.”

Ronald scoffed.

“I see you’re still deluded by the photographer.  What can he give you?”

“His time,” Victoria said.  “If nothing else, at least Eric is honest with me.”

“I was honest too,” Ronald said, cocking his head to the side.  “We had it good, Vicky.  Dump that rough boy and come back to me.”

“I’m not here to talk about us.”  Victoria placed her hands on her hips.  “You’re the manager here, I work for you and so does Anita.  Keep things professional, or I’ll be forced to go above you with this.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Ronald scoffed.

“Try me, Ronald,” Victoria snapped.

His expression dared her to try, and God help her, it worried her to tangle with her boss this way.  She didn’t want to lose her job.  After all, she needed to pay rent, there was her car payment, water, electricity, and future projects…her job was important to her.  Still…she would fight for Anita.

“Fine,” Ronald said, his tone cold.  “Anita can stay.  Don’t expect anything from me, Vicky.”

“I never did, Ronald.”

As she left Ronald’s office, Victoria realized that in truth, her attachment to Ronald was superficial.  The fear of being alone had kept her with him.  Clinging to a partner who cared nothing about her, she smiled as she entered the elevator.

That had changed now.  She wasn’t afraid.  There was nothing wrong with being single.  Despite her mother’s wishes or what everyone around her thought, it was pleasurable being by herself.  There was confidence in that knowledge.

On her way down to her office, her phone buzzed a message and she smiled when she saw a reminder from Eric.  Well, she reminded herself, there was now Eric.  They were visiting his house this weekend.

***

Saturday dawned sunny and beautiful, the light a golden yellow, turning the yard behind Eric’s house magical.

Eric, for once without a camera, carried two rose

Transplanting little flowers

plants, one white and the other pink.  They were in black bags, and ready to be transplanted into their new home.  He hurried to Victoria’s side where she was crouched in the flower garden, making sure the holes they’d made were deep enough.  He stopped beside her, placing the plants on each hole.

“How long until they bloom again?” Victoria asked.  “I’ve never known how long.”

“I don’t know either.  We can discover together,” Eric said, crouching beside her.  “What flowers do you like Victoria?”

“Lavender,” Victoria smiled.  “You can use lavender for a whole bunch of stuff, it’s a multipurpose flower.”

Eric chuckled.

“Typical.”

“What?”

“You always need to justify why you like something.  Say, you like lavender.  Leave it at that.”

“Fine, I like lavender flowers.”

Eric shook his head.

“What now?” Victoria bumped his shoulder with hers.

“Now you’re saying what I want to hear.”

“I’m going to throw dirt under your shirt.”

“I’ll stick earthworms in your hair.”

Eric lifted one out of the manure and Victoria fell back on her butt, with a strangled scream.  Eric laughed and brought the wiggling fat earthworm closer to her face.  Victoria screamed and scrambled away.

“Why are you freaking out?  You had your hands in the manure minutes ago.”

“Stop torturing tiny animals,” Victoria said getting to her feet.  “Eric, put the worm back in the soil.”

“Bribe me.”

“With what?”

“A kiss.”

“Fat chance I’m getting close to you right now.”  Victoria pointed at the squirming earthworm.  “That looks too disturbing.  Drop it in the soil, Eric.  Come on.”

“Say please,” Eric teased.

“Please?” Victoria begged, her eyes so wide and pleading, he dropped the earthworm in the hole they’d made for the roses.

“Babe, you beg prettily.”

Victoria scoffed and came at him.  She grabbed a handful of dirt and poured it down his shirt before he could react.  She ran off with a happy laugh and he stood still.

“Victoria!”

She giggled and raced toward the hose pipe fitted to the rain water tank by the house.

Eric ran after her, removing his t-shirt and throwing it on the grassy lawn.  He caught her just as she picked up the end of the hose.  She started to spray water at him, but he pulled her close and kissed her hard.  She dropped the hose and clung to his shoulders.

The compound was private, thanks to the live green fence he planted years ago.  The only gate was locked.  There was no one to interrupt them.  Eric smiled and kissed Victoria until she was breathless, her arms locked around his shoulders.

She broke the kiss first, burying her face into his shoulder.  He held her trembling body against his thinking his control was slipping.  Then, Victoria gasped her fingers digging into his skin.

Eric frowned.

“What’s wrong?”

Victoria tapped his shoulder, doing her best to step out of his embrace.  Eric turned to see what had her so panicked.  He gaped when he saw his four sisters standing a few feet away in a row.  All he needed was his mother behind them and the family would be complete.

How had they gotten in again?

“Eric?” his youngest sister said.  She had just finished high school.

Eric cleared his throat and took Victoria’s hand when she started to edge away.

“Mimo,” Eric said, pasting on a wide grin.  “Hi, this is Victoria.  I was removing an earthworm from her hair.”

Victoria groaned when his sisters burst into uncontrollable laughs.

“You couldn’t have come up with a better excuse?” Victoria whispered, she scowled at him and he smiled.

“This earthworm must have been tiny,” Waceke, the oldest sister, said.

“The size of wheat grain, he was searching so hard,” Njoki said.

Christine laughed the hardest at this comment.  She was the third born sister, always so amused, but the easiest to conquer.  Eric looked at her for support.  He gave her a pleading gaze and she giggled, hurrying to his side.

“Oh, look, you have soil on your back,” Christine said.  “You’re working hard, Eric.  Hi Victoria, I’m Christine.  Third sister on the line.  Hope you’re now free of earthworms.

Victoria scowled at Eric, and then smiled at Christine.

“Thoroughly free,” Victoria answered.

Mimo launched herself at Eric and he braced for impact as she hugged him hard.

“What are you ladies doing here?” he asked, not willing to give up the privacy he’d carved out this weekend.

“Mum bought veggies from the market for you.  She said to drop them off,” Njoki explained.  “Didn’t think you’d be home at this hour.”

It was only nine-thirty in the morning.  Eric had hassled Victoria out of her house at eight wanting to spend the day with her.  They had gone to buy the flowers along Ngong road, then come straight to his house.

“We started out early,” Eric said, locking his arm around Victoria’s waist.  “Want to share a late breakfast with us, since you’re here?”

“Yes,” Christine said, she moved fast, pulling Victoria out of Eric’s reach.  Christine led Victoria to the house.

“Why don’t you wash up,” Njoki said, giving him a small smile.  “We’ll get breakfast started.”

Before Eric could protest, his sisters were gone toward the house, and he was alone with the hosepipe.  He wondered if he should invest in a new better lock for his gate.  Staring at the blue sky, Eric groaned.

***

Thank you for reading….to be continued ^_^!

Special thanks to Ngatia Edwin for reading this story this year, and inspiring me to continue posting it on here!  I will work hard to post it all.

Picture Perfect 16

Life on the Fast Track – 13

Track 13 – There is nothing smooth about relationships…

cody-davis-259003
Photo by Cody Davis on Unsplash

For the first time since she’d moved into her house, Jasmine discovered she had a doorbell.  The ringing started when she was busy typing at her desktop.  She kept at her work thinking that someone who would ring her doorbell was not welcome at this time.  Ignoring the ring, might encourage them to leave.  So, she kept working.

The ringing didn’t stop.

Glancing at Min, her white cat, who was perched on her desk watching her as though in irritation at the noise, she sighed.

“Door’s open,” she called.

She kept typing not wanting to lose her thread.  The door opened and in a minute, strong arms pulled her out of her chair and wrapped her in a tight hug.

Staring at Danny’s white t-shirt, she started to talk but he stopped her when he covered her mouth with his, kissing her breathless.  She clung to his shoulders as he pulled her flash against him.  The kiss was hungry, almost brutal.  It ended as abruptly as it started.

“What’s gotten into you?” Jasmine asked, once she could breathe.  “Danny—

“I’ve asked you to stop leaving your door unlocked,” Danny cut her off.  “Lock it, Jasmine.  It’s almost ten o’clock at night.  There are psychos in this world.”

“Clearly, if a psycho was after me, a locked door would do nothing to stop him.  Will you calm down?”  Jasmine stepped away from him, pushing her chair under her desk.  She picked up Min and stared at Danny.

He looked frantic.  In black jeans and a white t-shirt, he looked deliciously wild, so handsome and annoying.

“Did you come here to yell?  Coz, the same way you just walked in, is the way out,” Jasmine said, lifting a brow at him.

“And leave you unprotected, hell no,” Danny snapped.  “How can you live alone like this?”

“I’m not in the mood,” Jasmine said, taking Min to lie on the couch.  The cat yawned and climbed up on to the arm of the couch promptly falling asleep.  Jasmine turned to look at Danny.

“What’s really bothering you?” she asked, folding her arms against her chest.  “You couldn’t have driven all the way from your house to come yelling about my door.”

Danny studied her, really taking in the picture she made.  She was in warm white sweat pants, fluffy pink bunny socks and a pink bunny t-shirt covered with a heavy white sweater.  Reading glasses perched on her nose; she looked too soft and defenseless.

“Cold much?” he asked with a chuckle.

She made a face at him and he smiled.

“I worry about you, living here alone.”

“I’m safe enough.  The neighborhood is quiet.  The compound secure,” Jasmine said.

“Your neighbors are not my worry,” Danny glared at her.  “Your ex-boyfriends are my main concern.”

“Ex-boyfriends…” Jasmine nodded, “and you want to have that talk now?”

“Yes,” Danny said, without a flinch.  He pulled out the computer chair, sat on it and swiveled to see what she’d been doing.  Jasmine moved faster and put her computer to sleep.  Gracing him with a glare, she went to the kitchen.

“Jazz, we’re going to have this talk, sooner or later.  Fast forward it all and tell me about Tyler.  He’s the one you were most serious with right?”

“Did Terry tell you that?” Jasmine asked.

“No.”  Danny swung the chair around to look at her in the kitchen.  “I have eyes of my own.  You nearly married that bastard.”

Jasmine stared into her fridge, taking his words in.  Had it been that obvious?  How desperate had she looked clinging to Tyler Anderson?

“Why do you want to know about him?” Jasmine asked, clearing her throat.

“Because of his brother,” Danny said, watching her.

Jasmine closed the fridge without taking anything and turned to look at him, her eyes narrowed.

“What about Adrian?”

“He’s dangerous,” Danny said.  “Adrian is a crook, trouble-making, breaking the law, kind of dangerous.”

“How do you know?”

“I just do.”

“Danny, don’t patronize me,” Jasmine said, holding his gaze.  “How do you know?”

Danny wanted to escape her gaze, but couldn’t.  He owed her the truth, needed her to understand his life, his choices.  So, he swallowed the urge to lie and gave in.

“Adrian is in the racing scene.  I only found out he was trouble a few weeks ago.  I’m trying to get him out of my business and the races.”

Jasmine stood so still for a moment; he thought she hadn’t understood what he was trying to say.  He frowned when she suddenly cursed and came to where he sat.  Taking his hand, she pulled him up and he followed her.

Puzzled, his frown deepened when she led him to her front door.

“See you, Danny.  It’s been great.”

“You’re kidding me,” Danny blinked.

“No.  Say hi to Terry for me,” Jasmine said, opening the door and holding it open.  The security light in the small porch outside her house spilled into the hallway.

“Jazz, you’re nuts if you think I’m walking away from you without an explanation.”

“I don’t think I have to give you one.”

“Oh yes, you do,” Danny insisted.

“I don’t want to discuss this.”

“We have no choice,” Danny said, raising his voice.

“Okay, tell me, Danny.  How straight is your business?” Jasmine asked.  “For you to have Adrian, that thug in your life, you can’t be doing good things.”

“Do you think doing business in Nairobi is easy?  You have no idea the amount of murk I have had to wade through to get the garage where it is.  To build the races to where they’ve reached.  Having you stand there, judging me—

Danny broke off, shaking his head, his gaze filled with anger.  He paced the length of her doorway, and then wiped a hand down his face.

“What makes you so darned defensive about my racing?  Isn’t that the problem?”

Jasmine’s grip on her door tightened and she started to turn away.

“Jazz.”

“I told you, I don’t want to talk about this.”

“Too bad,” Danny pulled the door out of her hand and slammed it closed.  “Stop being scared and tell me—

“Scared?” Jasmine scoffed.  “You think I’m scared.  Wouldn’t that make me stupid?  To be scared for someone who obviously doesn’t need my worry.  I’m indifferent, Danny.  Even more so, when I know nothing about your racing.  Stop this and leave now.”

“No.”

“What do you mean no?  This is my house.  I get to say when you leave.”

“We both know you don’t want me to leave,” Danny said.  “You care.  You pretend not to, but you do.  You want to stay indifferent, but you can’t, coz I worry you.”

Jasmine shook her head, hating the fact that he read her too well.  She turned to escape to the living room, bu7ft Danny reached for her left wrist and pulled her to the hallway wall.  He moved closer until she was leaning against the wall.

“Admit it, Jazz.”

“Danny, I don’t—

“Come on, Jasmine,” Danny cut her off, unable to hide his frustration.  He needed to break through the protective wall she had around her.  “Tell me, please.”

Jasmine refused to meet his gaze, and instead pressed her forehead on his shoulder.  Her heart squeezed tight, the tight knot in her stomach loosening when she took in Danny’s scent.  She closed her eyes as her heart gave in.  How could she explain that what she feared most was losing him?

“I can’t—,” she started, making Danny sigh in exasperation, so the next sentence burst out of her.  “I can’t stand to see you hurt, Danny.”

Danny wrapped his arms around her, in response.

“I don’t breathe easy when I hear you’re racing.  I make Terry take me out or drive out some place far away.”

“Why?” Danny asked, when she didn’t answer, he whispered into her ear.  “Why Jazz?”

She wrapped her arms around his waist.

I don’t think I could live if you crashed, Danny.”

Danny exhaled and held her tight.

“You must think I’m a nut.  Worrying about such useless—

“Your concerns are not useless,” Danny said, leaning back so that she was forced to raise her head.  When she looked up at him, he kissed her soundly.

When their kiss ended, Jasmine sighed and stared at his chest.

“Despite your marvelous kisses, I won’t change my mind, Danny.  Adrian scares me, Danny.  I don’t want to deal with him again.  I mean it.”

“What did he do to you?” Danny demanded, gripping her arms.  “Tell me, Jazz.”

Jasmine hated to remember the site of Adrian in her house, telling Tyler he could do better.  As though she were a worm crawling in the dirt, and Tyler was a thousand heights above her.

She never wanted to meet that bastard again in her life.

Meeting Danny’s gaze, she said, “He did nothing.”

Danny scowled.  “I swear if he touched you—

“He didn’t.  Let it go, Danny.”

“I can’t.  Can’t you see that it’s not possible for me to let this go?” Danny asked, but she moved away and headed back to the living room.

“I don’t want to talk about Adrian.  As long as you’re hanging out with him, I’ll stay away,” Jasmine said.  She pulled out her chair at her desk and shook her index finger at him.  “I was quite happy before you walked in.  I was content in my little world.  I’d like to get back to that now.  So please, leave.”

Danny stood watching her, then because she got him so mad, he turned and stalked out of her house, slamming the door hard behind him.  Going to his car, he got in the driver’s seat and sat staring at Jasmine’s house at a loss.

What was he supposed to do with such a stubborn woman?

Turning over the engine, he backed out of her short drive and headed out.  Jaw clenched, he made a decision at the first turn on to the main road.  He knew exactly what he was going to do.

***

Thank you for reading…to be continued ^_^

←Previous Track

Maureen Wakarindi – EAFF Profile

The EA Friday Feature is a circle of five writers who write 1,000 word flash fiction stories every Friday and post them on their blogs.  This week, we feature these authors, as we get to know them better, and learn what inspires them to write their stories.

Maureen Wakarindi from Nepenthe

Maureen joined the EA Friday Feature group in September, and she’s blog2added a great new set of stories to our little circle.  I have especially enjoyed reading her story, Some Kind of Love.  Here’s a short glimpse:

 ….As for technology, the villagers were a simple folk. They were used to relying on what they could see with their own eyes.

Last year, Waiguru, a daughter of the tribe, had gone out to the world in search of education and come back with many new things, including a mobile phone. As was customary, she had presented it to her father as a gift and showed him how to use it to call his brother who lived in another country. The whole village had gathered to witness this strange phenomenon.

When the brother’s voice came over the speaker, Mzee Ayubu having not known what to expect, had reacted with fear. He had declared that, as the spiritual leader of the community, Ngai had told him that they were evil spirits. He also declared that the devil had decided to pitch tent in his daughter and therefore, the only way to get him out was to beat the hell out of her. That said, the next hour was spent publicly flogging his daughter while the other villagers simultaneously prayed for their souls and encouraged him to beat her harder.  To get out the devil, of course.  As if that wasn’t enough she had to watch as her precious phone was thrown into the communal fire and burnt to a crisp. Henceforth, she was known as the girl who had brought the devil to the village to feast on everyone’s souls ( the gossipers had exaggerated the story a little bit to make it more interesting). It was no wonder that when she next left the village she did not return. Neither did development….”

Read more of this amazing story at her blog.

Author Profile:

I am Maureen Wambui, God fearing, intelligent and an observer of
people. I love cars, heights and sarcasm. I can be loud, opinionated
and stubborn, but you’ll love me anyway. I am a lover of words and
nothing gives me greater pleasure than being able to use those words
in my story. I have two blogs, and I also write for the Storymoja blog
using the name Maureen Wakarindi. Please feel free to stalk my work,
and tell me what you think.

1. What has it been like to write for the EA Friday Feature?
Writing for the EA Friday Feature has been a great experience. Apart from meeting and knowing other amazing writers, it has really pushed me to write something that my readers will love and can relate to.

2. What inspires you to write fiction?   Have you always written? Do you share your work elsewhere?
I have always written fiction. I find it easier to bring out my thoughts and feelings when it’s in a hypothetical situation. I share my work on my personal blog, wakarindimaureen.wordpress.com.

3. What type of characters inspire you?  When you read books, what kind of stories leave you feeling like you’ve really changed, or been inspired?
I love characters that are real,characters that have a certain human flaw or are endearing in their very nature.When I read a book, I am drawn to the stories within the story. That is why I mostly look for series.

4. Tell us what fun thing have you done this year?  Do you think you’ll do it again?
I was an intern and blogger at Storymoja Festival this year. It gave me the opportunity to learn from and interact with many well known literary personalities and they really helped me to be better. Given a chance I would definitely do it again.

From Maureen:

When I write I use my words to paint a picture of what I want to
say. My only wish is that the reader feels and can relate to the
emotion I portray.

Thank you, Maureen for agreeing to do this short interview. Look forward to the next interview from the Super Annemarie of Child of Destiny

Picture Perfect 12

Picture Perfect 12

Working with Ronald had turned into a trial.  Victoria carried a box full of name tags into her office.  She’d spent twoimages hours arguing with Ronald. She carried one thousand pieces in the box for a conference happening in the morning.  Ronald wanted them replaced because he didn’t want the guests wearing the tags around their necks, he wanted the name tags clipped.  Why it mattered she had no idea.  The business conference organizers didn’t have a preference.  So, Ronald was just being a douche bag. 

Letting a sigh escape, Victoria dumped the box of name tags on her desk. 

“Vicky,” Grace came in behind her.  “Two things, first, I wish you’d just curse out Ronald.  You shouldn’t have to take his crap.  Two, he’s just gone out with that Anita again.  They’re heading to lunch.”

Victoria walked around her desk and slid into her chair.

“I don’t want to think about that man,” Victoria said.

Victoria rubbed her eyes and removed her shoes under her desk.

“Grace, just say it, I’m an idiot.  I should never have dated my boss.”

Grace chuckled.  “I’m not playing that game with you, gal.  Ronald is not a good guy.  You shouldn’t have to carry the backlash of your relationship when he was at fault.  You concentrate on work.”

“I am,” Victoria said pointing at the box of name tags.  “I’ll get those replaced for sure.  I’ll fix all the problems Ronald makes crop up before that business conference tomorrow.  But, it’s annoying me, Grace.”

“You’re doing great, honey,” Grace said.  “You know what, forget work then.  Let’s talk about the cute Eric.  He looks so good walking around the Savon taking photographs.”

Victoria blushed.  “He’s still here?”

“You know he is,” Grace said.  “Do you want to head to the PR wing and see if he’s there?”

Grace winked and they both laughed.

“He’s working,” Victoria said.

“I’m not actually,” Eric said startling her and Grace.

Victoria stared at Eric.  He stood leaning on the doorjamb.  Her heart beat skipped when he smiled.

“Hi,” Eric said.

“Hi,” Victoria said with a shy smile.

“And that’s my cue…,” Grace said winking at Victoria as she left the office.  “Eric, nice to see you.”

“You too, Grace,” Eric said his gaze never leaving Victoria.

Victoria put on her shoes and stood.

“Want to go out for lunch?” Eric asked.

“Are you done with-“

“Forget work,” Eric waved his hand.  “I left my camera with Linda.”

Victoria chuckled.  “That’s huge, Eric.  You left your camera.”

She got her handbag from the cupboard in the corner.  Time away sounded like a good thing.  She needed a break from work too.  Ronald tired her.

“Lunch sounds wonderful,” Victoria said with a wide smile.

Eric lifted his hand and snapped a photo with a small handheld camera.

Victoria sighed.

“It’s a tiny camera,” Eric said closing the door after they left the office.

“Left your camera,” Victoria scoffed.

Eric laughed as they walked down the corridor to the front lobby.  He took her hand when they got out in the sunshine.

“Let’s walk,” Eric said when she started toward the parking lot.

Victoria was glad she’d chosen to wear flats today.  “Where do you want to go for lunch?”

“I don’t know.  Where do you go?” Eric asked looking up and down the street.

“I eat in the staff lounge,” Victoria said.  “Do you want to go back–?”

“Nope,” Eric tightened his hold on her hand.  “I’m getting you out of work.  Let’s go find fish.”

“Fish?” Victoria wrinkled her nose.

“You don’t like fish?”

“The smell of it,” Victoria shook her head.

“We’re going to restaurant with cooked fish,” Eric pointed out.  “You’ll love it, after you taste it of course.”

“Are you forcing me to eat fish?”

“No,” Eric said.  “I’m challenging you to push your boundaries.”

“Whoa, that sounds deep,” Victoria said as they crossed the street.

Eric held her hand tight as they navigated oncoming traffic.  The last time anyone had held her hand crossing the street…she couldn’t remember.

“What?” Eric asked when they were safely on the sidewalk.

“Nothing,” Victoria said amused.

Eric lifted their clasped hands.  “I”m holding on so you don’t run away.”

Victoria laughed and Eric snapped a picture.  She was starting to get used to that about him.

“I saw you earlier,” Eric said.

“Where?” Victoria hoped it wasn’t during her argument with her supervisor.

“In the hallway, angry woman, hands at her hips,” Eric said slowing their pace.  They turned left onto a less busy street.

Victoria dropped her gaze to the pavement.

“Guess you’ve seen my lows more than my highs,” she said.

“Why was she angry?”

“She’s my supervisor,” Victoria said.  “Thanks to office gossip, she found out I was dating Ronald and that we broke up.  Her opinion of me has lowered since then.”

“Didn’t she get the memo?”

“What memo?” Victoria asked meeting Eric’s gaze.

“The ‘your-ex-is-a-douche-bag’ memo,” Eric said.  “I sent them out to every office.  Should I paper the lobby?”

Victoria stared at him, hoping to God he was joking.  He looked so serious.  Her heart skipped and she caught the slight twitch of a smile.  Relief flooded her.

“Thanks for the enthusiasm but don’t paper the lobby.”

“I can drop off incriminating pictures then.  People love looking at pictures.”

“Eric,” Victoria chided.

“I don’t like that guy,” Eric said abruptly.  “He’s taking advantage of his position.”

Victoria squeezed his fingers.  “There have been many like him.  I can handle it.”

“You shouldn’t have to,” Eric said.  “I really hate that kind of guy.  Aish, it’s really bothering me.”

“Eric,” Victoria said, her tone cheerful.  “Forget Ronald.  You said you’d buy fish for me.”

“Changing the subject?” he asked.

“How am I changing the subject?  My stomach is rumbling.  I’m hungry.  You promised lunch.”

Eric pointed to a sign ahead of them.  It read ‘Chakula Tamu.’

“My favorite restaurant,” Eric said. “Best food in town.”

“So you say,” Victoria said as he led the way into the busy restaurant.

 There wasn’t a free table in sight.  Lunch hour in Nairobi city…she sighed.  She really hated sharing a table with strangers.

“Eric!”

Victoria frowned when a lady behind the counter came around, her face glowing with excitement.

“It’s really you!” the lady said.  “What a day.  I can’t believe you came.  Where have you been?”

“Away,” Eric said with a smile, his hold on Victoria’s hand tight.  He held on even when she tried to tug it out.

“Oh,” the lady’s gaze dropped to their clasped hands.  Her gaze already judging Victoria. 

“Who is this?” she asked.

Victoria glanced at Eric wondering how he’d introduce her.  This was the first time she was meeting any of Eric’s friends.

****

to be continued…thanks for reading.

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