Hester Douglas Tobechuckwu looked down the second
compartment of the stairs wearily. She paused momentarily and
then taking each step gracefully, she alighted the stairs. She
entered the exquisite sitting room, impeccably designed and
furnished, also depicting the status of its owner. ‘Good evening
‘What’s popping Beauty? ‘ Douglas Tobechukwu winked at her. He
was seated in his favorite sofa, he set his IPad on a side table.
‘Dad …’ She drawled sweetly, ‘ I wonder what your younger days
were like, I’m sure you must have ignited many hearts and took to
He chuckled. ‘You’re right dearest! It did earn me the love of a one
time beauty queen of the Universe.’ He head for the bar. ‘You know
dear, it is not easy then as it is now for you to marry a beauty
She nodded and watched as her Dad brought out two wine glass
‘You wouldn’t mind chilling with me?’ He poured the wine.
‘I don’t mind chilling with you but I do mind the wine.’
‘Oh …Agatha wouldn’t have. ‘ He shrugged, ‘I shouldn’t forget that
since that is one of the peculiarities of my Beauty. ‘ He settled
‘How is my country’s bank ?’ She sat back still retaining her smile.
‘Doing excellently well.’ He grinned before sipping his wine. ‘
‘That can be attributed to the guy in charge giving it his best
shots. ‘ Hester beamed.
‘You can say that again and again and again! ‘ He smiled warmly.
‘You shouldn’t have missed that party Hester, I actually believed I
had succeeded in convincing you until the last minute. I met old
friends, dignitaries and it would have been same for you. It was
the best have attended in a long time.’ Douglas place the glass on
the side table. ‘All you need do is to ask your sis, I am sure she
won’t stop talking. We all had fun darl.’
‘Daddy, there are something’s that don’t matter to me,’ She met
her father’s gaze,’Probably for now because I don’t need them. Her
voice was serene but emphatic.
‘All my friends who have met you couldn’t help but spread words …
they all wanted to meet the central bank governor’s younger
daughter. I would have loved to show you off and dance with you
for a change. ‘ He feigned sadness.
‘It’s Okay Dad. ‘ There was a sparkle in her eyes.
‘I wanted to talk time you last night but when we came back, you
were asleep. ‘Did you get my gift? ‘
She nodded in reply.
He searched her expression. ‘ I’m certain you’ve not opened it, it
contains a bouquet of flowers, balloons and your favorite
‘You never forget my childhood trend that is always in vogue with
me.’ Her smile was broad displaying her set of white teeth. ‘Thank
you daddy. ‘
‘You’re so welcome Beauty. ‘ He took a sip. ‘Some people are
supposed to taking turns treating you like the Princess you’re.’
‘What do you mean? ‘ She narrowed her brows.
‘Male friend, male friends. ‘
‘Aww! ‘ She chuckled. ‘Male friend, male friends, singular and
plural? Daddy! ‘ She chided before laughing.
‘Pardon me dear. ‘ He rubbed his forehead with his left fingers.
‘But you know you can have them.’
‘Never changing Dad, how hilarious! I do have a good mind of
dropping on my Knees and laughing long and hard.’ Her smile
returned. ‘When I left the shores of Nigeria, we never had this line
of conversation but now I am back after so many years, all grown,
he tells me I can have a male friend. I do have friends Dad, you
should have visited me in Hollywood. ‘
‘You can also have friends here ’cause your beauty radiates.’
‘Yeah right Dad! I understand that perfectly but no …don’t start. ‘
She waved her right index finger with a grim.
‘Hmmmm …’ He was thoughtful for a while. ‘ I remember the day
you tagged as “the highest joke day “. I said -Darling hold on and
listen to this and you were like – Daddy don’t start again Okay? ‘
He tried to micmick her demonstrating too.
She beamed remembering.
‘Then I dropped a bit of this and that, you chuckled. When I finally
dropped the joke like it’s hot, you laughed long and hard. Your
mum came in and asked you to Stop but you continued like she
was the object of your amusement. ‘
“Oh honey, I have told you to stop this your endless jokes, what
have you told her now? Oh my God! Hester would you stop
laughing and listen to me … I can’t believe this.” She panicked as
tears filled your eyes and came rolling down. “Stop this very
minute! ” She gave her me her – if look can kill gaze. I still shudder
when I remember her gaze ‘
Hester laugh more at his gestures
He continued. ”your sides will ache badly if you don’t stop. Why
are you staring at me like you don’t know you’ve done! call the
doctor. ” What do I tell him I asked afraid. Keep asking me, keep
asking me! Hester if you don’t Stop laughing, I will spank you! ”
‘She did just that and I try to refrain her. Eventually you started
crying and laughing. Your mum pulled you to your feet and then
you slumped, the laughter ending too. I carried you and you said –
Oh, my sides are aching me, my head hurt …Oh my body! Mummy
please carry me. ‘ He said with a high pitched voice.
Hester burst into laughter.
‘Mummy actually threatened me right on my recovery bed, if I see
you with your Dad, I will lock you in one of the store house for a
month and because she was so serious, I believed her. Anytime I
heard your voice, I fled. ‘ She laughed.
‘It’s my turn to say don’t start. ‘ Her Dad laughed.
‘I won’t, I promise. ‘ She ended her laughter and stood. She
covered the distance between them and took his hands. ‘ That was
like yesterday Dad. while I was away, you’re the one I miss the
most. ‘ She embraced him. ‘ I love you very much Dad. ‘ She
pecked him on both cheeks.
‘I love you too Princess. ‘ He whispered.
‘Goodnight Daddy, sleep well. ‘ She peck him once more.
‘That’s for sure Princess, dream of me. ‘ He watched her leave all
Hester eyes glisten as she head for the stairs. She love her Dad!
For goodness sakes! You know too well that this is the twentieth
century, the jet age. That doesn’t exist anymore!’Hester bobbed
her head from side to side.
Douglas regard her calmly. ‘You know Princess, I know what is
good for you. ‘
‘Truthfully Dad, I know what is best for me more than anyone
‘You need one to contribute to your moving on.’
She glared at him. ‘That’s pathetic! It’s simply pathetic for a
female to consider a male important to her moving on. It solely
depends on the person and the Big man above. ‘ She stood and her
arms went akimbo. ‘Dad when I told you about not needing
somethings the other day, an intimate male friend is one of such.
Right now, am done arguing with you.’ She grabbed a shawl from
her bed and turned to leave.
‘Don’t …don’t darling, that is disrespect and you know better. ‘
Douglas stated not offended.
Hester turn on a heel to face him. ‘How else do I explain the way I
feel? ‘ She opened both palms before her sad.
He exhaled. ‘Princess are you not interested in knowing who the
guy is? ‘
‘Daddy, I don’t care. ‘ She returned almost in a whisper.
‘Come on darling, how about his name? ‘
‘I – don’t -care.’ She repeated slowly and emphatically.
‘Aww darl! You have to learn how to start caring. ‘
She rolled her eyes and shifted her weight from one feet to the
other. ‘How more ridiculous can this get! ‘ She gave a short laugh.
‘I care about you, I care about mum, I care about Agatha, I care
‘Get interested Hester! ‘
‘Okay …okay. ‘She nodded slowly. ‘Fine.’ She exhaled. ‘Who is this
‘Oladimeji Adeniyi Gbolahan.’ He said carefully and singularly.
‘Wow! ‘ She beamed and began demonstrating. ‘Those names
sound like that of a machine gun …’ She used her fingers to pose as
guns. ‘Keke kekekeeke! They sound like the swerving of a mighty
sword -waawaww waawaawaaa! They sound like …’
He went wide eyed. ‘Darling! ‘ He chided softly.
She frowned. ‘How come you’re stopping me? ‘
It dawned on him that she might not know. ‘He is the president’s
‘Oh! Oh …’ She went to sit on the bed before laughing merrily. ‘I get
it. Wow Sir, the CBN Governor, Daddy, thank you so much for the
effort …’ She met his gaze. ‘It makes no difference. ‘ With that, she
dived on her bed, pulled up the duvet and closed her eyes, all done
in a swift motion.
Hester pressed the enter key and waited for feedback, her
anticipation was met after few seconds. She studied the
information and when she got to the diagram at the end, she
allowed it fill the screen of her laptop.
A knock on the door.
‘Come in.’ She said, eyes not leaving the screen.
The door opened and close afterwards.
Eventually, she looked in the direction of the door. ‘Make yourself
comfortable Mum. ‘ More often than not, she couldn’t resist saying
that . That she could attribute to her mother’s sophistication and
the grace of her steps as she head to a sofa. Even in her late
forties, she was stunning but her beauty was now pampered with
expensive cosmetics. She admire her mum but had no aspiration
to be like her, maybe it was because they didn’t agree most of the
time. She was more of Dad than Mum, she used to tell herself.
‘I know am a crasher honey, I only need few minutes. ‘ Empress
Tobechukwu smiled at her daughter ability to concentrate.
Hester sipped from the bottled water on the table before going to
sit opposite her.
‘Mum, your dress is lovely. I love the embroidery. ‘ Her gaze
lingered on the dress.
‘I’m glad you do honey. This is courtesy of my latest Nigerian
designer.’ Empress beamed.
‘My never changing momma! ‘ She laughed. ‘As a child, I had the
ability to guess real good.’
‘I can guess why you’re here.’
‘Tell me.’ Empress said gleefully and sat back.
‘You’re here to take turn on listening to what went down at the