“What is this thing I am hearing that you are both not speaking to your mom? ” Mani asked the twins who were both staring at the floor instead of looking at her. “Yes… I’m waiting. So let me get this straight you both want to disrespect your mom because you now know your father.”
“Well she had no right keeping us a secret from him. ” Malik said.
“Really, that’s what your block head think. How about the fact that your father dumped your mom when she was nineteen and pregnant. Your mom has always protected y’all from the truth is but the fact is all her friends including myself told her to have an abortion because it was the best thing to do… ”
“Damn Mani. ” Ehi screamed from the couch she was sitting on.
“Don’t damn Mani anything. I say it’s time we burst the bubble these kids have been riding on. You want to act like adults then be prepared to take the tea like adults. Your mom was pregnant at nineteen, homeless and didn’t have a cent to her name but she kept y’all. Because according to her she couldn’t live with herself if she had an abortion. She didn’t even have time to nurse probably because she had to get back to the gym and get fit because that was the only way to provide for you. When we were buying designer clothes and shoes, your mom won’t join us because she was saving up so y’all will have money to take y’all to college. And you are going to stand there and disrespect her. Where was your daddy when me,Christian and your mom took turns to watch the both of you. How about when we needed to travel for work and one of you decide to be sick. How about the sacrifices your mom had to make over and over so she could be a mom to both of you and at the same time have a career that can put food on the table. If you were wondering where your father was all this time I was talking about, he was busy playing house with his other woman and their kids. And you have the nerve to be disrespectful. Damn… You little goats have no idea how close you are to getting your ass whopped by me. Now would the both of you go over to your mom now and apologize before I lose my temper. ”
Theodora who was already crying ran over to Ehi and hugged her while Malik reluctantly walked over too. At that moment Cicero walked in with his other two children. A five year old girl name Olivia and a three year old boy name Samuel.
When Mani saw him, she hisssed “I will see y’all later. ” she said and left.
Cicero took a deep breath before he began “I’m sorry for coming unannounced but Rebecca let me have the kids for the day and I thought it would be nice if we all bonded together. We could go have lunch, or the park or go see a movie or even go to the mall. Anything y’all will comfortable doing. ”
Ehi wanted more than anything to turn down the invitation but all the kids in the room were looking at her with pleading eyes that she had no choice but to accept “Yes sure, let’s just freshen up and then we can all go out. ”
They had lunch in a restaurant close-by before going to the mall. Even though the adults were tensed around themselves, the children were doing just fine. The twins were so happy to have younger ones.
It was a fun filled day that all the kids were sleeping by the time they pulled up in her driveway. In other not to risk waking them up,they decided to take them upstairs so they will spend the night at her place.
When they had tucked the children in. They went to the sitting room and she brought a bottle of wine and handed a glass to him.
“Thank you. ” he said as he received it.
“It’s no biggie. ” she replied and sat beside him.
“Thanks for today, I really had fun and the kids had a blast. ” he said and she laughed. “I mean it’s next to impossible to get to sleep and here they are snoring upstairs. I’m yet to see children that have that much energy it’s scary atimes.” he paused and stared at her before continuing
“I’m sorry I wasn’t here to help you raise Malik and Theodora. I should have been—”
She cut him short “Hey it’s not your fault. You didn’t know they existed and I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark.”
“That’s not an excuse. I have told myself that but the truth is even though we broke up I was supposed to check on you. You probably wouldn’t believe me but I have been beating myself ever since I got to know. I just want you to know that even if I wasn’t around then I promise to be here from this day forward. I know us living on different coasts would make it difficult but I believe we can make it work if we really put our mind to it.
“I guess we could… ” her sentence was cut shut by the buzzing of her phone. She picked up “Yo Christian. ”
“Girl you need to come online asap. Cicero’s baby mama is dragging you for filth.” She cut the call and hurriedly checked her mentions on social media.
Apparently someone had taken a picture of them at the mall and Rebecca made a video which she posted on social media saying Ehi after breaking her relationship was trying to play mum to her children. She went on to call Ehi derogatory names and ended the video calling her disrespectful.
So many people online were adding their own two cents and calling her every name in the book.
She was about replying Rebecca when Cicero who had also watch the video with her snatched the phone from her hands. “Don’t fall for her antics. My lawyer told me she just signed a contract to appear on a reality show. All she is doing is creating drama so people would tune in. If you reply her, it would only prolong this madness. I know it’s difficult to do but just ignore her. She already did two interviews this week making me look like a bad person and I chose to ignore her and then she moved on to you and I am willing to bet that if you also ignore her, she will move on to someone else. ”
“Are you sure? ” she asked.
“I’m positive. Now let’s go back to our happy discussion. ”
Ehi was driving out of her house when she locked gaze with someone and she hit the brakes in her car like she just saw a ghost.
The ghost was walking towards her nervously and tapped on her window. With shaking fingers she pushed the button and brought her head outside.
“Do I know you? ” she asked.
“Not really. My name is Ochi and I have been told that you are my sister. ” the stranger replied.
Ehi’s mouth dropped open as she heard the stranger speak. She couldn’t say a word because the young lady standing before her was a replica of her mother, just a taller version of her.
chi it turned out, was a short form of the name Ochanya which meant queen I’m idoma language. The past few days has been strange for Ehi. Ochi seem to have a good relationship with everyone but her. Anytime they were around each other they both just froze and nobody says anything until one of them goes away.
Ehi spoke to Mani about the strained relationship and was advised to have a one on one with her sister.
She decided to give Mani’s advice a try and invited Ochi to attend a fashion show with her.
The car ride to the show was as silent as a monastery . None of them spoke and Ehi didn’t want to force it so she remained quiet.
Once they stepped out of the vehicle the paparazzi started taking pictures and asking numerous questions.
No one knew Ochi so nobody really paid any attention to her. All the questions were directed at Ehi, who did her best to ignore them.
Ehi grabbed Ochi by the hand and forced her towards the red carpet. They both posed for pictures and even though you could see on the faces of the photographers that they would rather have a picture of Ehi alone, they had no choice but to take pictures of the both of them.
After some minutes posing for the cameras, a reporter for one of the top entertainment TV station walked up to them.
“You look gorgeous as always Ehi. ” the reporter said, ignoring Ochi that was standing there.
“Thank you. You look good yourself. ” Ehi replied.
“Thank you. So what are your expectations for tonight? ” The reporter asked all the while blushing.
“Nothing but greatness. Clarisse has always been one of my favorite designers so I’m pretty sure she is going to blow everyone’s mind away with this collection. I’m here to support my friend and also because my baby sister Ochi wanted to see some of the celebrities that will come. She is acting all nice but we leave me the minute she sees one of these pop stars but hey what can I say right? ” she said and grabbing Ochi’s hand once again led her into the hall, while the reporter looked at them with her mouth agape.
Once they were seated on their front row seats, she turned to Ochi “I’m sorry I announced you to the world like that but believe me when I say it’s better to announce you thank for the media to find out about you themselves. ”
“It’s okay I understand. ” Ochi replied.
Before Ehi could say something more, a loud music just started playing and the show began.
As they watched the models walk down the runway, Ehi was stealing glances at her younger sister who was in awe. She wondered if she wanted to be a model like her. At 5’11 Ochi was more than perfect to become a super model. Tho she will have to wait a year if she wanted to model professionally seeing as she was just fifteen years old. They had a slight resemble which they got from their mother and while Ehi had wavy hair, Ochi had her Afro at full display.
After the show, they spent a little time chitchatting with some of Who’s friends in the industry. Ehi refused speaking to the press especially since the news has broke about her sister and everyone was trying to get a shot or an interview. They went home after having lunch with some friends.
Once they got home, Ochi quickly went upstairs and locked her door. So much for having a one on one time thought Ehi. She walked around the house trying to locate the twins. She found them at the back playing basketball with their dad and
their siblings. Apparently Rebecca let him have the kids for a week.
She leaned against the wall and watched them. She stood there for some minutes before she had to shake herself up. It was wrong for her to get used to this she thought. The only relationship she had with Cicero was as a co parent and nothing more. It would be crazy to think any different. She moved from the wall and turned around and went back into the house. She pulled out a beer from the fridge before heading to the sitting room.
When she entered,she found Ochi sitting with her back towards her. She couldn’t see what she was doing so she tiptoed. When she got behind her, she was amazed to see her little sister sketching a dress. “Oh my goodness this is beautiful. ” she heard herself say. Ochi who hadn’t been expecting her dropped her sketchbook. “I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention to scare you. You are really talented. Can I see your work? ” she asked but had already picked up the book before she got an answer. She flipped through the pages and was amazed at how talented her little sister was. “This is wonderful. You should start a line or something. ”
Ochi grabbed the book from her and stood up “It’s really nothing.” she said and started moving away stylishly.
“I’m not going to let you run away this time so just seat your ass down so that you and I are going to sit down and talk about those sketches of yours. ” Ehi said laughing.
Ochi reluctantly sat down and handed the sketchbook back to Ehi.
“So when did it all begin? ” Ehi asked pointing at the book.
Ochi took her time before responding “I think was nine when I made my first sketch. It was horrible by the way… ”
“What made you think it was horrible? ” Ehi asked cutting her short.
“Mom said so. ”
“I thought as much. Nothing made sense to her if it wasn’t money or drugs. ” Ehi discovered bitterly.
“Well I stopped and focused on something that will bring in money like she instructed and that was doing menial jobs in the brothel and others around… ” she stopped talking but continued when Ehi nodded at her to continue “You know I didn’t mind doing the chores. I got paid and I was saving up and it made me feel independent. ” she bit her lower lip ” People always talked about how I had a famous sister and the girls in my school used to wanna be friends with me because they wanted to see you when ever you came around but you never did. The only thing mum ever did was drink her self to stupor or get high on drugs. It got worse as she advanced in age because the men who visited the brothel preferred younger women. She poured all her frustrations on me whenever I was not fast enough to dodge her. My dad used to come around once in a while. He is black you know.” she chuckled. “Mum had this thing for white and Hispanic men, so for mum to be with a black man and have his kid was a miracle on its on. My dad was messed up. He had gotten a full ride to college to play football but got his scholarship withdrawn when a white woman said he raped her. It later turned out to be a lie that they had dated for a while and the woman wanted to get back at him for dumping her. By the time they truth was discovered, the damage was already done. He abused drugs worse than mum did. He insulted me and her and every woman he saw. He said we were worse than the serpent who deceived Adam in the garden. He and mum used to fight a lot. They break things and scream at the top of their voices and I usually hid under the bed. I used to wish that you will come and take me away with you but you never did. Evey year I used to tell myself that this was the year you will come for me but it never happened. I wanted to be a model just like you, it funny right. I used all my money to buy magazines that had you on them because I wanted to show them to you whenever you came home. The girls in school got tired of all my excuses I used to make as the reason why you didn’t come home for the holidays. They started insulting me in school and was calling me a fraud. Some girl in class even started a rumour that we weren’t real sisters that you only stayed in mum’s brothel because you used to be a prostitute. At that stage I started growing and they nicknamed me Pole in school. Life was terrible. I couldn’t stay at home cos my parents were always fighting or were too high to give a poo about me. I couldn’t go to school because I was being bullied and I couldn’t go to Nessa because she started working with some bad men. And she told me not to come around if not someone might hurt me when trying to get to her. At this period I hated you so much because I saw you on TV with your beautiful clothes and famous friends having the time of your life while I was stuck in hell. Somehow I channelled my hate into making sketches of clothes. I used to insult you in my head and say your clothes weren’t good and I could make better ones. And that’s how I just started again. I wanted to start my own clothing line but I can’t really afford what I have in mind. And when I decided to start small, my dad get shot and then next thing you know Nessa is dead and not long after that mom dies from an overdose. I wouldn’t have come to you but it was either you or social services.” Ochi was crying by the time she was done.
Ehi wrapped her arms around Ochi and brought her closer all the while crying with her “I’m so sorry, you had to go through all that on your own. I swear I had no idea you existed tho now that I think of it some years back at the twins birthday Nessa made reference to you but she didn’t call your full name and I didn’t ask. While I may not have been there for you growing up. I promise to be here for u now . You are not alone, you don’t have to be scared anymore. I got you. Okay? ” she asked and Ochi nodded and they hugged each other and cried more.
Mani walked in and started clapping “Y’all are here being all sisterly meanwhile social media is on fire. ” she laughed and then continued “Girl why do you keep breaking the internet. Now I can’t log on and post some thirsty traps because everyone in my comment section trying to know more about your sister. They say we are friendship goals for keeping it sealed within us. Oh… before I forget Christian said both of you are going to pay for almost giving him a heart attack. ” She walked over and hugged both sisters. “How about we really break the internet now and I post a picture of the three of us? ”
“Sure. ” Ochi replied.
Just as Mani was taking the picture Cicero and the kids walked in and photo bombed them. Mani uploaded the picture like that and if breaking the internet was what she had in mind well she did more than that because the picture was the number trending topic on all social media platforms.
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Re: Fierce by paulaspearz (f): 12:16am On Feb 20
Ehi sat down by the window thinking about everything that had happened in the past two weeks. She was still in denial and prayed every day that she would wake up and it was just a dream.
At the funeral last week, she couldn’t hold back the tears, she has tried her best to look strong for the kids but she couldn’t control herself. Even though it had been a private ceremony, somehow the media had gotten their hands of photos and the one being shared the most was when she and Christian were crying in each others arms.
She still found it hard to believe Mani was gone. She kept thinking about their last conversation they had. She still remember the proud look on Mani’s face as she went on stage. She kept remembering on how they met. All their trails, all the hurts and celebrations they had shared.
She wished she had stayed back after the show that day. Maybe she would have been the one driving, maybe she could have talked some sense into her head and she wouldn’t have been so high. If only she had just stayed back for a few more minutes then her best friend would still be alive.
After the show that night, Mani and Christian had gone to a nightclub to celebrate. Mystery joined them at the club later. Christian left them early because he had a morning shoot the next day. According to eye witness, Mani and Mystery started snorting cocaine and drinking alcohol and partying with strangers. At some point Mani used the restroom and when she returned, she found Mystery making out with some random girl at the club. And all hell broke, because she started trashing the place and was fighting the girl. She even broke a bottle on the girl’s head and it was at that point that security intervened and chased them all out. Mani and Mystery had gotten into his car and from videos that were gotten from that day, you could still see them arguing as they drove away. No one knows for sure what happened but they had a head on collision with a truck being driven by some drunk underage high school kids and they all died on the spot.
They had been five high school students consisting of three boys and two girls in the truck and they were all seventeen years old. Apparently they had been returning from a party that was thrown by another of their classmate who’s parents was out of town.
On one hand, people were mourning the kids and on the other was Mani and Mystery.
Even the twins took it hard when they heard about Mani’s death. As twelve years old now, they had tried to play it off that they weren’t that much affected but Ehi found them at odd times of the day holding either toys or gifts Mani had bought for them over the years. She had been the only aunt they had known all their life.
Ochi’s case was worse. It had taking her a while to actually believe that this new family she had found will be here forever but with Mani’s demise, she had gone back into her shell. When she had turned sixteen sorry months earlier, Mani had gotten a Range Rover even when Ehi had kicked against it because she felt Ochi was too young for such an expensive car. Mani and Ochi had a weird bond that no one could understand. Maybe because they share similar backgrounds or something.
Ever since her death, Ochi used any of Ehi’s cars to school instead of the Range Rover. Ehi was scared of her behind the wheels especially at the state she was in but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything because she didn’t want to frighten the poor girl anymore.
Cicero had stepped in during this trying period. Over the past few months their relationship has grown and he was even living with her. He had earlier asked to traded to a team in New York. They were back to how they used to be as teenagers. He currently watched over the affairs of the children because frankly speaking Ehi wasn’t in the right space of mind to care for anyone.
She knew she had to snap out of it and move on with her life because she knew if Mani was here, she wouldn’t want to see her like this.
She lost interest for everything and most times just wanted to be left alone.
She noticed that the people around her were walking on tip toes around her and we’re all trying to put on a brave face for her.
After much consideration, she decided to quit modelling because she knew there was no way she would ever walk on a runway the same. She knew it was a rash decision but she knew it was for the best.
She invited Trish for dinner that night and shared the news to her and the family as they ate. They all told her to take more time to think about it but she insisted that she had made up her mind and nothing could change it.
Just as she thought, the world kept moving on even after she retired.
She and Ochi started a clothing line. She was the financial part while Ochi did the rest.
With all the time in the world now, she became the annoying mother. She attended all the kids activities in school and even brought snacks. Even though their class mates saw her as a cool mom, her kids on the other hand felt she was embarrassing them and also ruining their social life. They always made her promise not to attend the next activity in school but she always broke the promise.
When she wasn’t being an annoying mom, she was sitting court side and watching Cicero play.
After a few more weeks of terrorizing everyone, Ehi gave in and returned to modelling. Tho she refused to do anything runway and also insisted on things close by since she didn’t want to spend much time away from her family.
It was Ehi’s thirty fifth birthday and she was at her wedding reception in the backyard of her house.
Cicero had retired at the end of last season and they were finally able to plan their wedding.
Their close friends were around.
Christian had walked Ehi down the aisle. Malik and Samuel were Cicero’s best men. Ochi was her maid of honour while Theodora, Olivia and little Mani made up her bridal train.
When they were exchanging vows, little Mani threw up a tantrum because she didn’t understand why daddy and mummy were gifting each other rings without her having any. It wasn’t until Christian gave her his ring that she kept quiet. The ceremony had gone smoothly after that.
During the reception ,while everybody was dancing or cheering , little Mani was busy destroying the cake. By the time they discovered what she was up her entire body was covered with cake. Celeste had taking her upstairs to clean her up.
“Am I the only one who feels like anyone with the name Mani is always up to no good. “Christian said beside her.
“Bro, you are not the only one. And to think that she is just sixteen months old is crazy. Like I’m scared of what she is going to do as she grows up. ” Ehi replied laughing. “So have the both of you picked a name yet? ” she said pointing at Christian’s pregnant girlfriend who was standing beside his parents.
“Not a name point of correction. We are expecting triplets and truth is I can’t come up with that much names so I will just live it to her. But instead of her looking for names, auntie is nagging around the house telling me I need to wife her up because she doesn’t want to be a baby mama. Can you imagine? ”
“Hold on, but she is knocked up so technically she is already a baby mama. ”
“Thank you. My point exactly. And truth is even if Tasha is the last woman on earth I’m not going to marry her… Don’t be looking at me like that. Believe me when I say that lady is crazy plus she can drive a man nuts from nagging. ”
“How are you just noticing the crazy part? Well Sorry Chris because you and that crazy woman are now stuck together for the next eighteen years. That’s a long time bro. ” Ehi said laughing at him as he rolled his eyes. “Who is that man Trish brought as her date? ”
“That man is bad news girl. He is a billionaire but somebody’s husband. Like Trish is a wonderful manager but she can’t seem to leave other women’s husbands alone. If she gets beaten up again like she did last time I swear I won’t intervene.”
“Wait, when did she get beat up and why am I just finding out now? ” she asked but before Christian could reply, Cicero came over.
“Please may I borrow my wife from you? ” he asked politely.
“By all means, take this Gossip Girl from my side. ” was Christian’s response as he walked away.
“You really had to interrupt me Mr Smalls ” she said as he led her to the dance floor.
“Yep Mrs Smalls. You can always continue your gossip another time. For now I need all your attention. ”
She laughed before responding “The same way your daughter Mani loves everyone’s attention on her. ”
“Don’t blame me. She got that from you. ”
“I would believe you but you see I used to be really good friends with your mum and I know all those pranks you pulled as a child. ” she said with a knowing look.
“She was just saying things to make you feel good about yourself. Believe me I was the perfect child. ”
“I wish she was here you know. ”
“She is right here with us, in our hearts same way Mani and Nessa are. Now enough of talking about other people let’s get this dance up the notch. ”
“I love you Mr Smalls. ”
“I love you too Mrs Smalls. ”
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