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ACRID
ACRID
Author: Psycho.E

CHAPTER ONE ‘Olad’

                    

I walked down the street in content as there were no reporters waiting to attack me with questions. I honestly could not deal with them right now.

It sucked to be followed around because I was a successful model and also the managing director of the best skincare product company but it definitely didn't suck to receive credit alerts for being beautiful, popular and all.

I arrived at the event where the best business men and women would be awarded tonight.

This event had been trending for two weeks on the internet and now, it was finally here and I was really looking forward to it.

“Ola Smith i knew you'd come, I was talking to your mother earlier and I asked about you” Kemi Abikoye, one of my mom's acquaintances approached me with a wide smile on her face.

She had always been this cheerful and friendly woman. Even after she lost her husband in an unfortunate car accident, she never for once lost her smile.

Mom told me she and Kemi met in high school and have kept in touch ever since.

“I had a quick meeting with my staff before coming here that's why I came here a bit late. How are you Kemi and your daughter? you mentioned to me a few months ago that she wanted to go into the music industry because of her passion for music” I asked Kemi.

I met Kemi once in my mom's birthday party last year and we talked a lot about her and her daughter. She told me about her passion for writing and helping people, and also about her daughter whose name was Monica, I think. She told me Monica loved to sing but had difficulty finding a sponsor.

“Oh she's alright just a bit obsessed with singing, anytime I see her she's either singing or writing down lyrics. It's driving me nuts, she couldn't even accompany me here because of a new music idea she had to pen down” Kemi said in exasperation.

I placed a hand on Kemi's shoulder to comfort her, then I gave her a smile.

“It will be alright Kemi, you should be proud of your daughter. She's working hard to fulfill her dreams, just keep supporting her and don't stress much because of her. She'll definitely come around” I say and Kemi nodded with a broad smile. 

“Yes yes, I think you're right”

“Excuse me Mrs Kemi, I have to attend to some other people” I said as there was nothing else to talk about and she nodded quickly.

“If you ever need to talk about anything, you should know my door is always open” she added, I briefly nodded before leaving.

Not far from the tables, I spotted mom speaking with an Indian man, I could tell he was Indian by his accent and crooked nose. I decided to join them.

“Hi Mom, good day sir” I greeted pecking my mom on the cheeks and stretching my hand towards the Indian man for an handshake. He was quite attractive. He shook my hand with a smile on his face.

“Hello there gorgeous, nice to meet you”

“Nice meeting you too Mister-” I replied honestly but cut myself short since I didn't know the man's name. He seemed nice and I would like to know him if I had the time..

“-Rahul” he offered and I forced another of my smiles.

“I have to get going now. See you later” I said with my eyes lingering on my mom. Hoping she would come to me after speaking with Mr Rahul. I was a bit nervous about what would later happen later today.

You see.. I was going to see my biological father today after twelve years.

My so called father abandoned me and Mom, he didn't cater for our needs when grandma and grandpa turned their backs on us. Just because he had a perfect family and he didn't want to ruin that.

He was selfish and I hated him for that but I wanted to show him that I was better off without him, that I had a company alongside with mom and it was better than his.

I wanted to show him that I was doing well without him.

Suddenly feeling emotionally exhausted from thinking too hard about Dad, I went to sit on an empty table. I grabbed a glass filled with red wine and gulped it quickly.

I rubbed my forehead and sighed.

I had a bad feeling about this. I was nervous.

I needed reassurance from Mom that everything was going to be okay but she was busy at the moment.

Realising that I was alone I drank more wine but felt anxiety when I felt eyes staring at my back. I wondered if people wondered why I was sitting alone.

“Hey” I heard a familiar voice said, accompanied with a confident smile. It was Sade Johnson.

We were acquaintances, we drank a couple of times and had fun together. But that was it. The attraction never led to us to being friends and I was fine with that. I didn't need unnecessary drama in my life.

“Sade Johnson” I acknowledged. Though she was much older than me, she was fun to be with.

“Why are you here sitting all by yourself?” She asked raising an eyebrow.

“Nothing” I replied honestly.

“Anyways” she started, taking a glass filled with expensive champagne. She took a sip from it while I stayed still, feeling almost annoyed by her action. It felt almost rehearsed.

Despite feeling annoyed at her I knew we were quite similar; Ambitious, confident, smart and pretty except for the fact that I wasn't controlling. She was. But I sure was manipulative when I needed to be.

“I need your help” she continued after having a taste of the champagne. I scoffed. I considered her a fool. Why did she think I would help her when we had no business together. We did have good times together though..

The look on her face sold her out. She needed my help urgently.

She knew me better than I thought and I had a feeling one of the reasons she was being overly-confident was that she knew I was going to be interested in whatever she wanted me to help her with. And I was curious to know whatever it was too..

Kemi brought out her purse and checkbook before writing something in it. Afterwards, she handed the piece of paper to me. To make her see that I was not easy, I ignored her stretched hand and leaned against my chair.

“What is that?” I asked with a smirk and I watched her pull her hand back, embarrassed.

“A check of five million naira. All you need to do is fill in your details” she said waiting for me to react but I didn't. Five million Naira was nothing compared to what I had. She could've done better.

“I'll pay you twenty million when you finish the job” she spoke and I was hooked now. I knew she would do as promised after all, we both knew and understood each other quite well.

“What do you need my help with?” I asked while staring at her face as she started talking. I was scanning her face for deceit, lies but I only found nervousness and anger?

“My son is being scammed by his fiancee. Her name is Lola Ogunnupebi, she wants to get pregnant for him so her child will get everything my son and I have ever worked for and I will not allow that to happen” she spoke slamming her fist on the table in anger.

“Quiet” I hissed when I noticed people were starting to look our way. She gave me an apologetic look before proceeding.

“I want to you distract him, do everything you can to break their relationship.. sleep with him if you have to” she said and I frowned at the last statement.

She was indeed desperate to tell me to sleep with her son if I had to, but that was not going to happen.

I'd seen him a couple times in business events and even parties but we never ran into each other not to talk of speaking to each other. This was going to be a tough one but I was going to do it for twenty five million Naira. What's the worst that could happen?

“Here” she said placing her business card and cheque on the table and I quickly slipped them in my bag.

“I expect to see changes starting next week” she said getting up from the table.

“Why me though?” I asked feeling slightly guilty for what she asked me to do for her.. to her son. Why would she want me to break her son's relationship?

I understood where she was coming from though. I couldn't picture some girl marry my son for everything we both worked so hard for.

Why couldn't she just tell him then?

'She doesn't want to hurt him.. directly' I state the obvious to myself.

Anywayy It was her choice. All I had to do was break a relationship just like mine was broken and I would relish in every single pain they feel and I'd also get paid twenty million naira.

“I trust you wouldn't do something as foolish as falling in love with my son” she said a bit sternly.

I nodded curtly, now having little time to assess her beautiful and sexy body. Despite having a grown up son she looked beautiful and young. Maybe it had to do with the fact that she gave birth as early as sixteen.

“Don't fall in love with my son, he can be quite a charmer” she said seriously before walking off while I just glared at her retreating figure.

Like hell.. I was not a careless person.

I shook the thought out of my head and decided to think about it later. Right now, I wanted to focus on this gathering.

I was waiting for my coward of a father to show up so mom and I can shock him.

I felt better now that Sade and I talked. Her words made me feel confident and good about myself.

“Honey” I heard my mother's voice behind me. I turned around and smiled when I saw it was indeed her.

“Mom” I sighed in relief before standing up to hug her.

She wrapped her hands around me, pulling me close to her. It instantly made me feel secure, I was glad I had her.

We pulled away shortly after and she smiled at me reassuredly, “It's okay. We're going to be okay”

I hugged her again but pulled away when I heard her say;

“He's here sweetie”

I let out the breath I was holding due to anxiety. I could do this.

I looked over to the direction mom was facing and saw him.

Anger surged through me as I watched him be happy.

There he was with his perfect little family. His wife was pretty, elegant and confident. He had two children too who looked good. A boy and a girl. They looked happy and it made me angry, how could he be happy despite what he did to me. to us.

“May I have your attention everyone?” I heard a man speak from the podium. He looked nervous as eyes turned to him, giving him their full attention.

He was probably new to this..

Everyone made themselves comfortable on the chairs where their names were written. Ours were in the front, the special seat. We sat anyway with pride. We deserved it.

“Normally my father would be the one making this announcement but he's a bit unwell so he asked me to do it” he said a little less nervous now after adjusting to the crowd's face.

Mr Gabriel was the one who should've been making this announcement, but it wasn't him so this was probably his son. They didn't look alike in anyway though. Mr Gabriel was courageous while his son was timid and looked nerdy.

The security finally opened the door letting the media in. One thing was certain now, we were live.

Mom grabbed my hand, pulling me closer to the front. We were going to be called up on stage soon. She gave me a soothing smile and I smiled back.

The media were just four thankfully. And they were just recording us, not really asking questions.

It was an order from Mr Bayo? I was not certain but he wasn't really a fan of cameras, plus he owned this place he might've ordered less questions and media.

“Over the years there's been no actual skincare products that were made without chemicals, Even the ones that were made with chemicals didn't work well for some skin types but OLAD company have managed to look aside every other company's idea and maintain every customer skin with their 'all in one' products..”he kept talking but I stopped listening.

Many people were now murmuring about OLAD company, judging it, but it didn't make me nervous. Not anymore. We deserved the best award.

“Ladies and gentlemen I present to you Mrs Claudia Smith and her daughter, Ola Smith” The moment those words were said. I held my mom's hand softly as we walked to the podium.

Everyone applauded except for some jealous people. I wanted to look at my so disgusting father's face but I didn't want him to see that I'd been paying attention to him so I stared at mom instead.

We finally reached the podium and mom held the mic with her other hand, still not letting go of my hand.

“Thanks to all of you who supported me and believed in me, without you I don't think I would've gotten this far. And to my beautiful and intelligent daughter, thank you for the ideas and for been there for me.. all the time” she said hugging me and I heard the crowd go craze with excitement.

We pulled away when Mr Gabriel came forth with an award.

Best company in skincare.

Mr Gabriel hugged and kissed my cheeks. He was like a father to me, he was a nice man, he'd invite us to parties or to eat with him sometimes. I was surprised he still came to present the award to us despite his health but I didn't get the chance to ask about it when he handed the trophy to us.

Mom and I held it together and the crowd went mad with applauses and the media were in front taking our pictures and also, our photographer. To take pictures of this day.

We took pictures with Mr Gabriel too. And I used the moment to stare at my stupid father, he looked surprised and hurt. His wife and children on the other hand were clapping, for us. They knew nothing.

I looked away from him and followed mom back to our table where we were bombarded by many people congratulating us. It was quite overwhelming.

Thankfully, mom decided it was time to leave since there was nothing else to do here.

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