And Then Came Love
And Then Came Love
Author: LeemaLiyu
Chapter One

On some days Sabeerah couldn't recognize faces, faces she's known for years will morph into a stranger's, and only then will she begin to notice their features, how their lips was stretched to their cheeks, or how full it was. How large their nose were or so pointy, she didn't think they could breathe well... All these she noticed when she was tired and just wanted to travel to somewhere like Mauritius and spoil herself silly, it's been ages she'd travel for a vacation, maybe during her teenage days.

"So we told the owners of the property that we won't be able to buy it and they've refused to reduce the price..."

Her assistant's voice jolted her to the present where she was seated in her vast office and the girl droned about whatever she was droning about. She'd been staring at her intently as if she was listening meanwhile she was studying her face and wondering how she never noticed one of her eye was larger than the other.

Sabeerah cleared her throat and rubbed her eyes. "So what you're saying is that the owners of that drab building are requesting thirty million naira?"

The girl swallowed before nodding nervously.

"Thirty million for a property worth fourteen million highest, did you hear that Matt?" She asked turning to the construction manager who was also one of her closest friends, he was a tall, well built man.

Matt laughed, "they're lucky we're willing to pay twenty million." He reclined on his seat, "probably trying to enrich themselves from the Shar'ib firm, it's not everyday a big real estate company comes to offer them money to buy their property."

"It's in a good location though, location is all that matters in real estate." She said twirling her pencil around her fingers.

"Uhmm ma'am, what about forgetting that building? There's a building close to Fiddy estate that's up for..."

Sabeerah shut her up with a glare. "I want this one and we're going to get it."

"Yes, yes ma'am."

"How's the construction for the plaza going?" She turned to Matt.

"It's going well, the windows were brought in yesterday."

She smiled in satisfaction. Her father had started Shar'ib real estate company years ago and due to it's success, he'd expanded it and added Shar'ib construction firm.

Sabeerah was the first child among three, her brother Aakhil was two years her junior and three years older than their last born, Huda.

Sabeerah has always been a leader and a protector, she was the first born and it had always been drilled in her head that she had to be perfect, make no mistake because her younger ones will follow her footsteps.

Aakhil was highly favored by both parents, being the only boy, he'd grown up to the unending voice of his father reminding him that he'll one day inherit the companies and become the CEO, even though he wasn't half as smart as Sabeerah.

Huda was the only one spared, she was allowed to do whatever she wanted which was nothing. Soft spoken, smallish and quiet, she hated doing anything other than watching Bollywood movies the whole day with food ready whenever she called.

Sabeerah was the hard-worker, she'd noticed people didn't really appreciate her efforts enough because first, she was a woman, secondly, she was a woman from a rich family so everyone just attributed her success to the Shar'ib firm was based on it's pre existing success but those who worked closely with her knew how hard she worked and how her presence in the company was catalytic to it's higher success, that didn't mean she was a likeable person though... Very far from it actually.

•••• •••• •••• ••••

Sabeerah walked into the house, her arms ladened with files that she'd brought home to review.

"Habibty, how're you?"

She heard her mom's voice, turning to the kitchen, she smiled. Her mom was holding a ladle with an apron tied around her.

Sabeerah looked a lot like her mom, she'd taken her light skin complexion and her cute, small nose, her large eyeballs and curved, pouty lips. Her height was from her father, she was tall and gorgeous, she wore her more than average height proudly.

"I'm fine mom, just stressed." She sat on the couch and unstrapped her kitten heels.

"Habibty, you work too hard wallahi, take some rest or you're going to get sick."

Sabeerah rolled her eyes. "I'm going to be fine Umma, I just need to eat, take a shower and review these files."

Her mother frowned. "Stop bringing work home, that's why you..."

"Umma you whine too much and you're going to give yourself stroke, SubhanAllah."

Her mother shook her head, "if me getting a stroke will mean you get to take a rest, then I'll gladly work myself up to getting it."

"Suit yourself, I'm going to my room." She picked up her shoes, the files and her handbag before trudging her way upstairs.

"Dinner will be served soon, make sure you come down."

"Yes Umma, whatever you say." Sabeerah mumbled.

Dinner was almost the way it'd always been. Umma was chatty, Baba listened quietly, Huda looked bored, Sabeerah was indifferent. The only difference was that today Aakhil was grumpy.

"So Aakhil, how's work going?" Her father asked.

"Alhamdulilah." He didn't look up from his food.

"Has the supplies for the Badney Hotel been delivered?"

"Yes."

"And the deal with Mr Joseph?"

"Sealed."

Sabeerah saw her father beam, "MashAllah that's splendid."

"We just acquired the shops close to Lugbe market." Sabeerah chipped in.

"That's good." Her father said nodding, she smiled.

"How about the building behind Glaze plaza?"

Her smile dropped, "uhmm no, the owners are asking..."

"Sabeerah, we ought to have acquired that building by now so construction can start on it."

"I know, I know dad and I'm trying my best."

"Well then try harder." He said looking at her disappointedly.

"Haba don't stress her more, she's already tired as it is." Her mother intervened.

"Well I wouldn't if she just does the things she's supposed to do on time " He turned towards her, "you do know how important acquiring that building is to us right?"

She nodded.

"Then I trust you to get it done no matter the problem." He squeezed her left hand gently before going back to his food.

"Can I be excused?" Huda asked glancing at the big wall clock hanging on the dinning room wall.

"How's the fashion designing going?" Her father asked. Huda had always lied about being involved in different professions, the latest now was fashion designing, designing Sari for Bollywood actresses with her eyes perhaps.

She swallowed. "It's fine."

"Not tiring, making your back ache, your teacher doesn't talk to you with respect?" He asked teasingly and they all laughed except Aakhil of course.

"I'll be traveling to Lagos tomorrow, there's a minor problem with one of our branch there." Aakhil announced. Sabeerah smirked, preparing for her father's scolding which would be directed at Aakhil this time, she should've known better.

"Minor problem? I trust you won't let it escalate right?" Sabeerah eyed her father. If that had been her, he'd have given her a lecture about working harder, she didn't know how hard anymore because she was on the verge of dropping dead from fatigue but she couldn't stop, she wouldn't stop until her father saw she had more potentials than Aakhil and let her head the companies, yes! The both of them.

"Na gama- I'm done." She said pushing her half eaten plate of pasta away before standing up.

"Zakiyi bacci ne- are you going to bed?" Her mom asked in Hausa too, it was their local dialect but they spoke more of English in the house.

"Yes. Goodnight everyone." She said before going off to her room where she picked up the files and began working, her goal was one, just one.

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