The restaurant was very plush. I will never forget how I felt, seated next to Daniel in that over-the-top setting with the table waiters, and the impeccable service. I winced to think how much the food here would cost but since I was determined to enjoy this one day with him, I decided to ignore the niggling feeling that it probably costs a month’s rent at my two bedroom apartment. The food was heavenly and just melted on my mouth. I’m sure my taste buds will never recover from this pampering. In fact, they might protest the next time I try to shuffle a bland meal into my mouth. Oh well, we can’t all be sinfully rich now, can we? The ambience in the restaurant was great; soft music streamed out of invisible speakers, I was literarily in heaven, or was it my heightened senses that made everything seem so glorious?
The next assault on my senses occurred about three hours later. We were in about two hours traffic jam as we drove from VGC to Lekki Phase 1 but I didn’t feel it at all. I was cool, calm and collected, sometimes exchanging small talk with Daniel, and other times just sitting in companionable silence, listening to the music that crooned out of his sick speakers in his sick car. This was what I was never able to do with my two ex-husbands, just sit around, not needing to fill the silence with unreasonable chatter or stony silence. I felt such peace with Daniel.
Nothing could have prepared me for what came next. He drove right to the water front, parked his millions of naira car, and led me to the most beautiful boat I have ever seen. My mouth dropped open once more as he took my hand in his, led me through the gang plank, and we went directly inside a sleek white boat. The crew were on board, and I could only think that he had informed them he’ll be using the boat today.
“Welcome on board, Mr. Omalu.” A distinguished looking man in white suit approached us.
“Thank you, Ikechukwu.” Daniel answered, giving the man a firm handshake.
“Welcome, madam.” The man turned to me, and bowed slightly. Are we in the movies? I answered the crew’s greetings absentmindedly, as I was still trying to process this in my head. Is the boat his? Or is it one of the chattered ones? I wondered as I looked around the shiny deck.
Daniel took my hand once more and led me below deck to a small room to the far right of the boat. We must be in front of the boat because I could see the curve reflected in the room. The room was tastefully furnished with essentials; a bed, one settee, and a small fridge.
“Are you having fun?” Daniel asked as soon as we were alone.
“Hmm hmm” I murmured, looking around.
He laughed. “I’m glad to hear that.”
I narrowed my eyes at him.
He just winked, then indicated a small bag on the bed. “You can change into that if you want, but do whatever makes you comfortable. You come back on deck when you’re done, so you can enjoy the view as we go.”
I stared at the bag and looked back at him. “Where exactly are we going?”
He smiled. “Come back on deck when you’re done.” He said and left me there.
I looked after him until he went out and then approached the bed. I dumped out the contents in the bag and saw a one-piece swim suit with a cover up wrap. The swim suit was pretty conservative as swim suits went, and the wrap can cover up whatever is let uncovered. Are we going to the beach then?
I decided to be daring and I went ahead and changed into the swim suit. It fits perfectly, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much Adelaide knew about this trip. How did he know my size, otherwise?
“I see it fits perfectly.” He said as I wandered back on deck. His eyes travelled over me and I could see appreciation in his gaze. He was relaxed on a lounge facing the water, and had changed into shorts and a t-shirt. He looked very sumptuous sitting there, more relaxed than I had ever seen him, and I wondered for the umpteenth time what I was doing here.
“Yes, thank you.” I went ahead to sit beside him. “How did you know it would?”
“Lucky guess.” He grinned and looked me over once more. There was nothing overly sexual in his gaze but I felt it in my heart all the same.
“Did Adelaide know about all this? She told you my size, didn’t she?”
“Adelaide knows nothing about this. It’s just you and I.”
I liked the way he said that. I relaxed a little more. “I’m having the time of my life; as you promised.”
“There’s more to come.” He toyed with the air at my nape, moving closer.
“More than these? How will my heart take it?” I laid my hand over said heart, as it thumped rhythmically in response to his nearness.
He laughed, and the tension diffused. “I’m sure it will manage.” He said and settled companionably to watch the scenery as the boat purred to life.
I sighed and relaxed too. I could swear he would have kissed me just then. I wonder how I’m going to survive this day.
A short while later, we got to our destination and docked the boat at a beautiful resort. I saw people milling about from afar, some swimming, young men and women strolling hand in hand. It was a bustling resort.
“Where are we?” I asked, still looking around.
“This is Ilashe Private Beach Resort.” Daniel said as he helped me to my feet.
“Oh, wow! You really know how to make a girl feel special, don’t you?”
He winked. “I try my best.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “You sure do.”
Before I knew what was happening, we were seated at a table in an alcove facing the sea. We were close to the water, so we could hear the sounds of the crashing of the waves. The environment felt so peaceful despite the people milling about and having fun.
Daniel signaled a waiter. “Yes, Mr. Omalu. What can I offer you?”
I raised my brows. He’s obviously well known here.
“I’ll have a bottle of water, please.” He turned to me. “What would you have?”
“Water is fine, please.”
“A bottle of water for her too.” Daniel told the waiter and dismissed him.
“I like this place.” I smiled, looking around.
“I’m glad you do. I like it too but I don’t get to come here as often as I would like.”
“Why not?” I inclined my head to study him better.
He shrugged. “Time.”
“Oh, I see what you mean. You busy business moguls barely have time for the simple things of life.”
He laughed. “However cocky this may sound, it’s true.”
I nodded. “I can see why you like it though. It’s peaceful and serene, despite the crowd and many activities.”
“You’re right on point.” He studied me with a very serious expression on his face.
I smiled and looked away, self-conscious.
“You know,” he began, “you keep surprising me with your depth. Many beautiful ladies you see around and especially in Lagos here are all about the outward appearance, they don’t have any substance.”
That surprised me. “You shouldn’t make that kind of conclusion. There are many beautiful women out there with plenty to offer apart from their beauty.”
“Well, I’m not saying there aren’t. You’re a good example. I’m just saying you get disappointed most of the time by how shallow these women turn out to be.”
“Maybe the women you hang around with. Daniel, I’m new in Lagos and I must say I have met some incredible women in this city.”
“You’re right. I should probably change the people I hang with.”
“Good thing.” I smiled.
“Would you mind if I start with you?”
I took a sip of water. “Start what with me?”
“Start changing the people I hang around with by hanging more with you. Maybe your intelligence will rub off on me.”
“For you to be as successful as you seem to be, you must have plenty of intelligence.”
He laughed. “Right again.” And he kept studying me. “So, how about my question.”
I shrugged. “That will depend on how much you’re able to impress me today. After all, you promised me a day of fun.”
“That I did. That I did, and I’m going to deliver.” He looked around, “would you like to play a round of billiard?”
“I’m sure I can whoop your ass in that one round. Why don’t we make it three rounds?”
He lifted his brow in surprise. “You play billiard?”
“You asked, didn’t you? Why don’t I show you?”
“I can’t believe this.” He said under his breath as he stood up.
“Better believe it, pal.” I murmured as I followed him to the corner where the table was.
There were two guys at the table when we got there. Daniel drew one aside and spoke softly in his ear. I didn’t hear what he said, but the guy signaled to his partner and they left together.
“Do people always do what you ask?” I asked, incredulous.
He grinned. “For the most part, when I ask nicely.”
I snorted and picked up the triangle so I could arrange the balls in it, making sure the 8-ball was in the middle. I could feel his eyes boring into my back as I carefully placed the cue ball in the proper place. I then picked up my cue stick and proceeded to break up the fifteen pool balls. I immediately sank two balls into the pockets and grinned as his eyes almost popped out of his face.
I was enjoying wiping that smirk off his face. I missed the next shot, and looked at him. “Your turn, ace.”
He rubbed some chalk on the end of his cue stick and bent to take aim. Good posture, I was still thinking when he shot four balls in with rapid succession. I dragged my mind back to the game immediately. I think we’ve got a pro here. I took charge of my cue stick and went to work. At the end of three rounds, I emerged the winner.
“You’re just a sore loser.” I laughed at Daniel as he complained that I cheated during the last round.
Three hours and three games later, we settled for a sumptuous lunch of fries and grilled fish. The fish literarily melted on my tongue. I devoured it heartily as I had worked up a healthy appetite swimming.
After lunch, we lounged around for about an hour more before we decided to call it a day. All through the ride back to the city, we were both quiet. I guess we both had a lot to think about. We enjoyed each other’s company so much, we needed to think about where all this was going.
I smiled at him as he packed his very sexy car in front of my apartment complex. My neighbors must be green with envy wondering who owns the very expensive car.
“Thank you for a very lovely day, Daniel. I really had fun despite the fact that I was kidnapped initially.” I turned to him in the car and grinned.
I was not disappointed as he let out a very hearty laugh. “I’m glad you had fun. That was what I promised you after all.”
“Yeah, yeah. And this sexy Boyd of yours didn’t hurt either.”
“Oh, Boyd loves satisfying the ladies, you know?”
I snorted. “I bet.”
He laughed again. “Although, you’re the only lady he has ever had the pleasure to satisfy.” He winked.
“Really?” I narrowed my eyes. “How fortunate of me.”
“Yeah, I wanted to impress you, so out came Boyd.”
“Are you telling me I’m the only woman ever to have ridden in this baby?” I raised my brows as I patted the soft leather seat.
“That is exactly what I am saying.”
“No other woman? Ever?”
“I’m not saying I’m a saint, Ella. I used other cars, never this one.” He looked at me earnestly.
“That’s a lot of responsibility for me, isn’t it?” I stared at his face.
“He took my left hand, raised it, and gave a soft brush of his lips on the palm. “No pressure, Ella.”
I sighed and shook my head. I needed some time away from his all-encompassing presence. “Thank you for a lovely day, Daniel. Really, I won’t forget it anytime soon.”
“It was a pleasure for me too.” He smiled into my eyes.
I nodded and withdrew my hand from his.
“I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay.” I said and stepped out of the car.
I waved at him and watched him drive off. No pressure, uh? After the day I had, and all the confessions he bombarded my heart with, he just told me no pressure? Yeah, right.