“Ugonna, I don’t understand, what do you mean you will make her loose everything, is she not your sister again?” Vincent asked, stopping him from moving further
On realising that he shouldn’t have said what he said in front of him, Ugonna then tried explaining everything to him. After the long narration, Vincent still didn’t believe that Dimma could steal.
“Guy, I heard all you said, but I’m sorry to say this, I don’t quite agree with you. Dimma is a lovely and hardworking girl, she can’t be living that kind of life. Don’t tell me you believe the fat lies those people fed you with. Come on guy!”
“Vincent, you are free to believe what ever you want, but as for Dimma, she is going to get it from me. We have been doing this business together for a very long time, we had so many dreams for this business. I left everything in her care, now she wants to show me that I’m nothing without her. You know what, Vincent? I accept. This restaurant really needs her, she has to come back, but since she has made up her mind to leave and establish her own, so that she will draw all my customers, that I won’t allow. Never!
“But you were the cause of everything, you just told me now how you got her arrested and stopped her from writing her JAMB exam, so do you expect her to remain at home doing nothing? She is a hardworking girl, staying at home won’t go well for her”
“Then let her run this place with me”
“Fine. Then, let me talk to her.”
“No Vincent, she is stubborn, she won’t listen to you and I don’t have time for all that either. I will meet with the owner of the place”
“And tell him what?”
“No Vincent, I won’t tell you this, I will have to do it alone. I will tell him that Dimma wants to use the place to run a brothel, that the restaurant is just a camouflage. I will do this through his wife” he said in his heart..
“Guy, I’m asking you, what are you going to tell the Landlord of the place?” Vincent repeated
“Nothing yet, but I will know how to convince him. The man used to come here for drinks sometimes.. I will try and convince him somehow” He said, and began leaving.
Dimma was happy that she got a good space for her new business. The man who owned the place was her customer when she was still with her brother.
After getting it cleaned with the help of her friends, she then went to the market to buy plastic chairs, tables, pots and all the things she will need to run the business.
When their mother heard about the new place, she frowned at it.
“If I knew that you will be getting into competition with your brother, I wouldn’t have gotten the money for you. Didn’t you look for another place, why the same avenue with your brother?”
“Mama, see how you are raking as if I did it intentionally. You knew how much I suffered in searching for a place. Luckily for me, I met the owner of the place who happens to be a friend, and he told me about his warehouse that is vacant, and the rent is also good. So that is it, that was how I got the place, not that I intentionally went to that place to look for a space”
“But you know that your brother won’t approve of it, he won’t like this at all”
“Mama, that is his own problem and not mine. I will be opening the place next week, I really just can’t wait” Cheerful looking Dimma said.
The warehouse was situated under the three storey building that was owned by Mr Jide Offor. He loved helping young ladies who wanted to do something meaningful with their lives. That was why he gave Dimma the space, turning down the person whom he already promised to rent the place to.
When Ugonna met with Jide’s wife and lied to her about what Dimma was planning to do with the place, she got infuriated.
“And Madam, I have been suspecting that your husband has eyes for her, but I never knew that it was this serious, that was why he gave her the place at a very cheap price. Because, my sister doesn’t have that kind of money to rent such a place.”
“Are you sure of this things you are telling me?” Mrs Edith asked
“She is my sister, I have been trying all my best to make her change her bad ways, but she doesn’t want to listen to me. Hope you knew that, she was working with me before?”
And Edith, who was seriously listening to what Ugonna was saying, nodded, asking him to go on.
“Good.., so for you to know, I was the one who stopped her from coming to my restaurant, not minding that she is my sister. She was trying to use my restaurant for her immoral means, connecting my male customers to her prostitute friends. I was mad in anger when I found out, and then, I didn’t hesitate in sacking her… And sorry to say this, I’m suspecting that your husband was gaining something from her then, that was why he gave her the place just like that, so that they will continue from where they stopped”
Then, Edith was already burning hot in anger. She felt like grabbing Dimma and strangle her.
“Hmm, that explains it!” She blurted
“Explains what?” Ugonna asked, enjoying the reaction on Edith’s face
“Why he disappointed the first man he already promised to rent the place to… I was even wondering why he did that, now the reason is right here in front of me”
“That is it!” Ugonna nodded in affirmation and continued: “So Ma, I want you to help me stop my sister from treading this dangerous part. I want her to change. I rea….”
“See, I have heard all you said” she interrupted him and continued:
“Thank you for telling me this… I don’t even need his permission to throw her out of that place. I’m going there right now with my workers to destroy anything I see there. All these young girls, they won’t leave somebody’s husband alone in peace.”
Watching her determining on ruining Dimma, Ugonna smiled in his heart and said: “the job is done.”
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My Sugar Baby by Ngozi Lovelyn
To be continued
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