By Peju Amadi
FALSE PRETENSES 1
Kite watched from the corner, the good looking guy in the perfectly tailored suit. Expensive and expertly coiffed from the way his short black wavy hair was styled, all the way down to his shined to the hilt expensive black Italian shoes.There was not a thing out of place, not the shirt, suit, wristwatch, she could bet herself a million bucks which she didn’t have, that he carried a Monte Blanc wallet. He reeked of big bucks; she came across these ones really rarely. He was begging to be a mark, her mark she thought to herself as she watched him move through the high end store perusing the items on display but seeming to have no interest in them. He could easily afford anything in this high end jewellery store, that much was obvious but the look on his face was as if nothing of interest or value was in the store, when in fact Essenza carried high end designer jewellery items which were really expensive.
Her eyes continued to linger on him as she continued to take in every detail of his physical profile. He wasn’t the most handsome guy she’d ever met but he could hold his own especially as he was perfectly groomed and looked so good in that suit. He was tall, about Six feet three or thereabout, dark, with a lean body, in summary he was hot enough. She was almost sure he would be a classic snob, she didn’t like his type and it would make her feel better playing him. It wasn’t like it would make a dent in his account anyway, this one had more than enough to blow.
She wondered for a moment who he was shopping for, his girlfriend probably since there was no ring on his finger, another snooty bitch, she was sure. She tried to guess his profession, looking at him you would think banker or accountant but Kite knew better. This one didn’t have a boss, his suit said so. Probably owned his own company, he had the confidence and air of someone who wasn’t hired but did the hiring, too confident, she didn’t want to know what his personality would be like. Definitely bossy and a perfectionist, he would want everything done his way, no compromises.
She didn’t feel remorse in the least at what she was about to do to him although she’d promised the girls, her two closest friends in the world that she wouldn’t do this anymore but then, this guy was asking for it, besides he looked like he had the money, so it’s not like it would really have much of an effect on him. She was dead broke at the moment and the house rent was coming in the next week, she had to do something fast, the last of her savings had gone that afternoon when she’d transferred it to her brothers back home. She desperately needed the cash now.
She’d come into the store hoping to relieve her depression by window shopping and checking out beautiful pieces of Jewellery but that hadn’t helped, instead she’d spotted this Mr. Perfect and was starting to feel really pissed because some people had it all while others had to scrape all their life and still barely make ends meet. A typical example was her mother who’d broken her back to send her through university only for her to come out and not been able to secure a job. Messed up country this was. Sometimes she asked God why He hadn’t made it so that everyone possessed the same amount of wealth, nothing like the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer but God had probably sent him her way understanding her urgent need for money.
He seemed to have stopped his uninterested browsing and was admiring a set of diamond bracelets, earrings and wrist watch. Wow, she raised a brow. That set had a price tag that went into the range of six figures. That was too much, it just might make her plan harder to pull off and she wondered if she could manage it. She decided to make her move as she saw he was about calling the attention of an attendant.
“Hello,” She swooped in from behind him smiling slightly, his eyes took her in, registering her looks, she knew the effect her looks would have on him, she was an exotic beauty and she had the same effect on every red blooded male. It would leave him stunned for a few seconds and she planned on capitalising on those few seconds when his brain was mesmerised by her beauty and sent into limbo.
“I see you are interested in my set.” She said looking from the jewellery, up into his eyes. He looked even better up close possessing a pink lower lip sometimes seen on dark skinned men. Hmmm, but he did look quite familiar, had she met him before? “I hope you’re not considering buying it? I actually had it reserved a little earlier.”
“Oh?” He said finding his voice but still looking at her. “really? I didn’t know.”
“ Its beautiful, isn’t it?” She asked as she smiled at him before taking her eyes over to the marvellous jewelry set. If she carried out this con out successfully, she would be atleast five hundred thousand naira richer. That would be enough to pay off her debts, complete her younger brother’s university fees, take care of rent and feeding for that month and get some new outfits for her wardrobe. She desperately needed some new things, it had been ages since she’d shopped for herself, things having been tight for a while now.
“Yeah, it is.” He said still staring at her wonderingly, still amazed at her looks but seeming to be returning from limbo and realising he was staring at her strangely, he seemed to get a hold of himself because his next words were said seriously “But I really want it, is it possible you could give it up and pick something else?”
“No way.” She told him “This is mine.”
“Its for someone really close to me.” He tried again.
“I’m sure it is, Mr……?” She let her voice trail as she looked him in the eyes, he had one of those discerning eyes. She hoped he wouldn’t catch on to what she was about doing to him.
“Williams. Ise Williams.” He replied.
The name rang a faint bell but she still couldn’t place it. “Well Mr. Williams, I’m really sorry, its also for someone important to me.” She smiled as she said it and signalled an attendant who came up immediately.
“Really important.” She repeated again as if trying to convey how important the person was.
He shrugged “Okay then.” He gave up and turned to the attendant who had just come up “Let her have it.” He said.
This made her smile more as she said her thanks to him, he had played into her hands even better than she’d expected. She turned to the attendant, her expression turning serious “You heard him, go and pack it up.”
The girl jumped to the task.
She turned back to him. “Thanks, you’re such a dear. There are some lovely sets just over there, I thought they looked really good.”
“Okay, you’re not leaving, are you? .” He asked.
She shrugged “I was but…..”
He smiled suddenly, a bit shyly and she had an idea what was coming next, it was inevitable.
“I was hoping you’d help me pick something nice since you obviously have an eye for beautiful pieces.” He told her.
“ Sure,” She replied with another dazzling smile not missing the obvious flattery “I’ll be right back after settling with the clerk.” If only he knew she was about to skedaddle.
“Okay.” He replied and then turned to where she’d pointed.
‘Sucker’ she said under her breath as she followed behind the sales clerk. When she was done, she accepted the bag.
“Mr Williams will make the payments when he’s done.” She said briskly, with a clipped no nonsense tone.
The girl looked liked she wanted to protest but she obviously didn’t want to annoy a client so she just replied
“Okay.” Afterall she’d heard him say she could have it.
Kite took the bag, struggled to maintain her composure as her heels clicked out of the store with over half a million naira’s worth of diamond jewelry.
‘Piece of cake.’ She thought to herself now at least half a million richer. She would definitely treat to girls to a wonderful dinner that evening.
Ise was absolutely hopeless at shopping. Of his many talents, this was definitely not one of them. To compound matters he was shopping for a female who was the queen of all shoppers, his sister. It was her birthday in a few weeks time and he’d finally gotten a free window in between his busy schedule and had decided to spend it shopping for the perfect birthday gift. What to get her was a huge issue, what did you get a girl that could have anything in the world, that had almost everything money could buy?
He never shopped, hated shopping for stuff even for himself, why bother when it was some peoples jobs to do it and the money for their services wasn’t a problem. So far the stylist whom he’d never met since his P.A was in charge of it, had always done a great job of picking his clothes, for which he paid heftily but since money wasn’t a problem for him, it was a necessary expense since he was hopeless at shopping.
He’d hit essenza because he’d overheard his sis telling a girlfriend of hers sometime ago that their jewellery was to die for. So far he’d not seen anything that caught his eye and the only thing he’d liked had been grabbed by that wonderfully crafted beauty he’d seen earlier. She had indeed been something to look at, a skin tone so creamy light in complexion, a perfectly symmetric oval shaped face with large almond shaped eyes slightly tipped up ever so gently at the sides. A perfectly straight pert nose and then crowned with full luscious lips, not overly large, just perfect. She reminded him of that model, Rosie Huntington with the way her long blond coloured weave had framed her face. He was sure he’d been stunned for a good minute before his brain had began functioning again. She was definitely one of the most stunning beauties he’d seen in a while.
He wasn’t the type that fell over himself for a woman, he had more self control than that but he had seen himself asking her to stay a while with him and hadn’t been able to help himself. What had come over him?
He’d had some strange desire for her presence if only to keep looking into those beautiful eyes of hers and he’d not even been able to hold himself back from studying her retreating silhouette. She’d been dressed quite simply in a three quarter sleeved cream buttoned down shirt tucked into a Grey high waist knee length skirt that hugged her curvy derriere. She was probably five feet seven or eight if one took out the six inch heels that had almost brought her up to his six feet three. The girl was hot and he wondered why she was taking so long in getting back to him. She obviously had to come from money or have a high paying business to be able to afford jewellery like that. Maybe he’d finally found his match, he wondered but mentally shook his head. What was wrong with him? He was already seeing rainbows with a girl he’d just met how many minutes back? Was he that needy? It had been a while since he’d had serious relations with a female but he’d never for once thought he would be this needy when he saw a lady he was a bit attracted to.
He decided to concentrate instead on the work at hand for now, he had to get Jejelola something great this year. He’d come prepared to really splurge, his sister was turning twenty one and had just been through with her degree program where she’d come top of her class in an ivy league college in the united states. He was so proud of her and felt she deserved the best this birthday. Although spoilt rotten by their parents, Jeje was a wonderful girl, a caring and selfless sister whom he loved to the death. She had them all wound around her finger and there was nothing anyone could deny her whenever she asked for it.
Finally something else caught his eye. He stopped at the display of a set of four diamond tennis bracelets, diamond earrings, a diamond bracelet and a diamond encrusted wrist watch by a high end designer. It looked fit for a queen. He glanced at the price tag and was surprised that it was cheaper than he’d expected. He could go for something much more expensive but this set looked really pretty to pass up and just as good as the set he’d seen earlier. He continued to admire it, he guessed he wasn’t as bad at shopping as he’d thought.
He signalled for the attendant who came up immediately.
“Put this together for me.” He instructed. “How about the lady I was talking with earlier.”
“She left already.”
Ise frowned, feeling his heart fall ever so lightly, so she’d run. Well that was a first, he’d never met a female who ran in a different direction from the most eligible bachelor in Abuja, or so his sister always said.
The attendant continued “She left instructions that you would settle the bill.”
“Bill? What bill?” Ise asked frowning, not sure he’d heard right.
“The bill for the item she…..”
“What!” Ise exclaimed not letting her finish as understanding began to dawn on him, his high baritone voice drawing the attention of other shoppers. This had to be some joke someone was playing on him. “Why would I want to settle her bill?”
The attendant was beginning to panic now as she began to understand too “But she said…You said…I thought you two were together?”
“And what gave you that impression?” He asked her. ‘Damn it’! He cursed silently. He’d just been had, she’d been playing him and he’d walked right into it without seeing anything but her beauty. He was suddenly tempted to smile, so she was a con artist? He didn’t like to be played for a fool but he had to hand it out to her, she deserved an oscar for her performance.
The sales clerk was all over the place now, calling for security to find the girl but he knew it was too late, they would never find her, she was long gone by now.
To be continued tomorrow…….