SEVERAL WEEKS LATER
"Daniel!. I've been waiting for you. What took you so long?" Mr. Clinton dropped the file in his hands on his desk as the young ebony entered into his office.
"I was uhm....I was occupied with some issues." He lied. Back to the morning,he was sleeping lazily on his rickety bed when his boss's call came in. Idris had gone for his daily business,he had to clean the whole room,take a bath and face a bit of traffic before arriving at his boss's.
Mr. Clinton pinched the area between his eyebrow before resigning to his swivel chair, beckoning Daniel to have a seat too.
"First of,I would like to say a big thank you for the care you showed me during my recovery. It means a lot to me."
"Oh no sir." Daniel chuckled lightly. "It's no big deal. I believe you would have done same for me too."
Mr. Clinton raised an eyebrow. "I'm not quite sure." He grinned,forcing a nervous chuckle out of Daniel.
"But I have to thank you cause it's means a lot for me. I can't believe none of my workers came to check up on me. It was only you,even when I fired suspended you."
Daniel moved his eyes to the desk coughing up a bit;Everyone knew Clinton,he was such a strict boss with a very high placement of money over anything else. That's why his statement didn't bother him much.
"Anyways,I'll be straight to talks. I called you here for two things...." Daniel played with his fingers beneath the desk. He was clearly hoping his boss is going to rehire him and perhaps give him a meagre Job to handle.
"I know for sure you don't have any job at the moment. Hence,I'm rehiring you..."
"My goodness!,thank you so much Mr. Clinton!" Daniel cut the man short with his exciting countenance. "Thank you so much!"
"Will you let me finish!" Clinton cleared his throat. "I have an important job for you. It's a really big one,I do hope you can handle it."
Daniel scrunched up his face in confusion. Nevertheless,he instantly gave his answer.
"I can assure you"
"Your assurance is not enough!, I need you to put effort. I'm giving you this job because I've got a handful of contracts to work on and I find you and your work trustworthy and satisfying." Mr. Clinton sighed while Daniel waited patiently for his boss's next order.
"I've recommended you to be the Photographer for an upcoming entertainment magazine going to be shot in Paris. It's a huge one,Daniel. I know you have a bit of experience in such but this is your first big project, Don't mess it up!." Clinton popped his face closer with a narrowed gaze and an overly strict voice. But Daniel froze!. This is the biggest of his career!. He's never handled such a job that requires countless stress,work,and efforts in his life!. How then was he going to walk his way around this job without disappointing his boss?!.
"I know what you're thinking,young man." Mr. Clinton cut his thoughts midway. "Luckily,I have a friend of mine in Paris. He's going to show you the ropes. Don't worry."
"Thank you so much Mr. Clinton. I'll make sure I don't disappoint you."
His boss let out a short laugh.
"If you fail,just be ready to kiss your job goodbye. All expenses would be handled by the company. Your ticket is ready and you'll be joining the team in two days time. So make sure you pack your necessities. Do check your mail also,the editor in chief and some other formalities have also been in your inbox.
That will be all for now."
Daniel simply nodded. He was about to exit when his boss's voice pitched out again.
"Don't mess it up.."
On a normal day,he would spend his time visiting new places in the city and then take pictures alongside a note of small intriguing facts about the place,thing or whatever it was he took photo of. And then when he arrives his small home,he would assemble the photos in form of a photo album or make his own partial magazine. Call him old fashioned,he loved doing it anyways.
But today was different,rather than tour places in the beautiful city of New York he trotted swiftly with astonishing speed to his home. He barged into the building,turned up music to an appropriate level,dancing in tune with his Naija Jazz whilst packing his stuffs into his brown skinned leather luggage box.
"Hold up!, Hold up!, Hold up!" Idris suddenly appeared from Goodness knows where,tuning the home theatre to a barely noticeable volume. Daniel grunted as he glared at his friend. Idris shot a cunning smile in return.
"Dis one wey you dey play music and dancing like masquerade. Wetin sup?!" Idris approached him,turning the small metal chair backwards so his elbows rested on the chair's head.
Daniel's frown easily morphed into a face full of excitement. He dropped to the bed while his friend's eyes danced in curiosity. He held his words back while Idris cocked his head waiting for him to spill the beans.
"I'm going to Paris...." He spat out sharply. There was a brief moment of silence between the two before Idris's eyes lit up and his jaw dropped accompanied with a smile that revealed his brown teeth.
"It's a lie!" Idris roared jumping off his seat.
"I'm serious man!...I'm going to Paris." Daniel burst into laughter too.
"How,when,where?!!" Idris gestured. Daniel beckoned him to sit before he recapped the whole morning incident to his friend.
"Congratulations man. Just don't screw it up." Idris patted his shoulders before returning to the theater. Increasing the music to his accustomed taste;ear deafening.
Daniel shot him a grimaced look but he simply shrugged.
"What,music doesn't kill. Besides,this good news of yours calls for celebration."
Daniel laughed wriggling his head at Idris's words.
"Gray..." Zoey called as she entered his bedroom where he was busy with his magazine. She stood by the door step waiting for him to answer but he didn't bother at all.
"I have something to tell you." She mentioned. Only then did he drop his magazine giving an icy stare. She let out a brief sigh before speaking again.
"I'll be moving to Paris for some months. I have a magazine to to feature in."
He simply hissed. "I don't give a shit about wherever you go." He straightened his magazine.
She nodded and was about to leave when he spoke up again.
"I have something to tell you too." Said Gray. He shot a piercing look. "I want you to leave this house."
"What?!" She retorted with a surprising look. Did she just hear him well? Or didn't he know what he just said?.
"You heard me right. I'm tired of your presence in this house. Besides,we're not married yet so I see no reason why we should live together." He answered nonchalantly. Was he so cold that he doesn't realize how aching his words were to her.
"You're tired of my presence...." She mumbled trying hard enough to hold her tears.
"Are you breaking up with me?" She asked with a burdened countenance. She could feel the tension building up around her.
She wasn't even sure if her heart was ready to hear the ugly truth. She loves him,too much that it would certainly break her emotionally if he ended their bittersweet relationship.
"I've broken up with you a long time ago Zoey. It is you that have failed to realize that." He retorted in an harshly tone. Never minding the fact how much weight his words carried or that she was so broken after hearing his heart wrenching words.
Zoey didn't know when her legs failed to hold her. All she was conscious of was that she fell to her knees with tears streaming down her face. The burning sensation of pain that surfaced in her chest made her slip to the marble floor while she cried silently. But none of this bothered Gray. Instead he stepped outside the room slamming the door shut behind her.
Dressed in a casual cream shirt designed with orbital floral patterns and a brown pair of fitting trousers,he drove his Porsche with an astonishing speed on the streets of New York. He had a sweet smile on his face in tune with the music he played. He was finally free from Zoey Johansson,all that is left is for her to break the stupid alliance her family shared with his. Although a part of him felt greatly disturbed about Zoey's condition, a part that still loves her but he didn't want to bother. There are many more issues,tough times ahead of him to deal with. He's found love somewhere else,even though it's forbidden.
And after several minutes of driving he finally reached his destination. A coffee shop where he would be meeting his fiance,Lizzy Watson. Zoey's best friend.
DANIEL"Ehhh Daniel!....." Said the cheerful voice of the man most probably in his late forties as he welcomed his partner to join him on his coffee table with a wide grin."Comment allez-vous?" He asked once Daniel had resigned to the seat opposite his.Daniel lifted an eyebrow before letting out a light sigh."I think I'm doing great Charles,thank you." He answered. It's been basically two months now that he's arrived Paris. He's first week was a tough one for him,he missed New York, it's people,his African friends at the quarter and most especially,Idris. Talk about the mode of dressing,their language which he found hard to understand yet intriguing, or the wonderful delicacies his taste buds struggled to adapt to. The rest of the weeks he spent them meeting with Charles Louis,his co-worker whom Mr. Clinton had promised, in preparation for this magazine they were going to shoot in the coming months. At first
DANIEL"Oh,I see both of you know each other already. Very good!" Louis chirped,interjecting their moment with a graceful smile as his eyes wandered between the two.Daniel cleared his throat in response while his eyes stayed glued to her face. One could tell he was just as shocked as she was. He never really thought of the possibility of meeting her again considering their last encounter ended on a bad note but here she is,glowing in her ever graceful beauty and also the lead model of this magazine.Curse fate!."Hmmm,tell me,how,where,did you guys meet?" Louis shot a mischievous smile at both of them,rubbing his palm slowly as he mumbled. Daniel rolled his eyes."Louis if you'll please excus
ZOEYIt just can't be sheer coincidence that Daniel was staying in the same hotel,Hôtel Britannique,with her. It was fate!. As she closed the door behind her,hopping to the bed with a sweet smile written all over her face she thought of the evening's walk she shared with him; The brief visit to the El Louvre Grand Cafe,walking hand in hand across the street of Rue de Rivoli amongst the hustling crowd,the jovial conversation they shared and most especially,the way he took photos of every beautiful thing that came across his way,talking lengthy about the beauty Paris beholds.She lay on her king-size bed staring at the beautiful lights that hung from the ceiling with only one scene replaying in her head; The moment when he asked to make tomorrow special for her. She bit her lower lip excitedly,just thinking about his soothing tone and the kindness in those brown irises of his made her anticipate.
ZOEYZoey wasn't expecting much from Daniel, to be precise; She's toured most parts of Paris and was certain no matter where Daniel took her to,it would be one of those places she's visited. But as they rode past the first arrondissement on his powerful bike that gave a commanding roaring sound at every increase in pace,her mind was completely blown away just at the sight of scenery she was viewing on the open roads. She enjoyed the warm air that swarm across her body especially her hair,the sweet scent of his cologne,the occasional sight of hustling tourist craze obsessed with tourist centers and of course the Parisian women that walked the street,adhering to their simple yet exquisite style of clothing. One thing she knew about Paris for sure was that less is more!. They see beauty in the most simplest things. She closed her eyes again exchanging calm breaths with the fast pacing wind that swoop past them. She grunted in silence when she
DANIEL"Good work everyone,good work!" Daniel watched in admiration as Director Louis cheered. He walked about showing appreciations and showering praises on the crew and Models for their efforts. It was quite a reliever for Daniel too as today marks shooting an end of a major scene. It's been several months they've been preparing this project owned under Elle magazines and he was at least glad he achieved two things;he didn't disappoint his boss and he made a friend. Zoey. As her thoughts crossed his mind he took a glimpse of the beauty smiling happily amidst her fellow casts obviously commending each other's efforts. Ever since that day which occurred months ago, they've grown to become fond of each other. A smile played on his face when he remembered Zoey's consistent promise to return his cardigan she borrowed a night out for coffee which she failed at horribly. He'd insisted on her keeping it but she was persistent too yet this cardigan
ZOEYApart from the sweet aroma that filled the air in the kitchen,her phone's constant vibration and pitching ringtone kept disturbing their little moments together. Though Daniel might not have shown it but she was certain he was getting really uncomfortable with her phone buzzing,hence she switched it off. Deciding on answering complementary greetings later. She watched in admiration as he hummed to the classic music that blared from the parlour while he handled the Jollof rice. Passionately turning the elegant delicacy garnished with fine carrots and peas uniquely displaying their bright colours with that of the food's redness. He danced stylishly to the other cooker. There was a sleek black frying pan on the gentle blue fire brimming from the cooker. She watched in wonder as he flipped the plantains with his large sleek spoon frying amidst the hot oil to it's other side in order to stop it from burning."You just wan
ZOEY As they walked hand in hand on the street of Champs Élysées avenue in the starry night filled with people and cars touring the road,Daniel was layered with a black coat buttoned to the top complementing his stylish light green sneakers on his fitting blue jeans. Likewise her,a stylish white coat,a small red bag decorated with orbital white spots on a pair of black trouser and a pair of light green ankle boots as the finishing touch.Maybe Daniel is not so perfect after all. Although he's always jovial and has this warming aura around him,he too has a dark side. In fact everyone has a dark side but the fact that he chose to share his innermost pains with her was because he considered her a friend,a true one. But what does she think of him?,a friend or something more. Either ways she thirsted to know. He's been the only person that put a true smile on her face during these months in Paris a
GRAYDressed finely in his black tux complemented with a bow tie. He looked at the ballroom twin door in front of him alongside his fiance,his right palm intertwined with hers. He took a quick glance at her again;just to ascertain himself. She was adorned in long red tight fitting gown,backless and with a slit that runs up from the tip to her mid-thigh. Her short blonde hair curly and with light make up to finish it all.He nodded to the men servant that stood side by side by the twin door,both dressed in fine black suit jacket. They bowed their head slightly before pushing the door open gently revealing an astonishing light radiating throughout the thrilling golden coloured ballroom of the great Robertson's filled with various high profiles dressed finely in formal clothes. The classic tune of fine music orchestrated by t