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Two Worlds - Season 1 - Episode 6
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Source: olaxali
The microphone did not pick properly. Richard strained ears to hear the words of the man on the podium, the CEO of Cherlet Bans. The man spoke on how the establishment of his quarry industry was a blessing to Nigeria and he would do anything to attain the zenith. The assembly listened as he spoke, offering him their smiling faces. Richard sipped some of his Vino Rosso and looked back to the man. He sipped a second when the man left the podium. Jide refilled his wineglass and began tapping his fingers on the table.

A young, white girl ambled towards them, blonde to the hair, walking as though the floor was the catwalk in those fashion shows Ezinne sometimes watched. The girl most likely was the daughter of the COO of Cherlet Bans, the only white man present. She stopped at their table and stretched her red lips into a smile, smelling of expensive perfume. Richard didn’t smile back.
“Hi.” She lengthened her smile, showing a set of well-arranged teeth. What would make a white teen stop at them? Jide gave her a polite smile.

“You’re the daughter of Mr Brett?” Richard asked. It would be bad manners to keep mute to a foreigner.

She leaned on the table and pinned it with her hands, her blonde hair almost dropping down her face. No child leaned on the table of two adults. At least, no well-trained child.
“I believe you’re the Chief Operating Officer of Erneto,” she said to Jide with a bold American accent, slow and nasal, the r in every word showing forth itself, and announcing that she was from one of those North America countries. “We met earlier, remember? You met my dad and I at the onset of the ceremony.”

“Of course, I remember. White people aren’t that easy to forget”
“Obviously. Especially when you are the only white in the midst of blacks.” She did a faint chuckle and removed her hands from the table, straightening herself. “First, I apologize for intruding on you two. The crowd is too much. I might not see you any other time. I only came to ask a simple question.” She angled her head to Jide. “Are COOs in Nigeria’s quarry companies workaholics? I just thought you’d know that since you’re a COO.”

What concerned her and the operating officers being workaholics? Richard mused.
A long fold arched Jide’s forehead. “What makes you ask that?”
“My dad was too much a workaholic in Canada. I want to know what to expect here.”
“It depends on what you define as workaholism, and it’s something contingent on the individual.”
“Are you one?”

“I wouldn’t say I am.”
“What’s the name?” Richard asked in a bid to end her gall questions.
“Lauren Jones.”
“I’m Richa—”
“Richard, Jide-o-for. CEO and COO of Erneto Aives. You two were introduced.”
“It’s Jideofor,” Jide corrected. “Jide should be simpler.”
“Better. Jide.”
“You love openings?” Richard asked, as teens did not attend openings. Then say white teens.
“If openings had a haters list, I would rank in first. My dad insisted I come with him.”
“Hope you’re a bit entertained.”
She chuckled and folded her hands. Something resembling a bangle or a wristwatch clasped her left wrist. It was so tiny like a bangle, and yet, had the shine of an expensive wristwatch that had its watch hidden in the tucked side of her wrist. “You call this entertained? I’d lend you a dictionary to find another word.” Lifting the wine bottle from the table, she eyed its label. “Vino Rosso. Spanish. Can I have a taste?” Her hands were already held out for Jide’s wineglass, and that confirmed she wore a wristwatch, one with a very tiny watch Richard wondered how she read the time.

“You’re of age?” Richard held the glass and drew it away from her.
“Almost. A year remaining.”
“Then you shouldn’t.”
“I only want to try a taste.”
“You’re underage.”
She rolled eyes to Jide as though asking him to intervene, and then returned them to Richard on Jide’s uncooperativeness. “I’m sorry. I never knew people here still waited till eighteen.” She set down the bottle with faded smiles. Her faded smile was better than the former.
Richard turned his head to the white man sitting at an edge of the rotunda. He had many resemblances with his daughter: same blonde hair, small curved nose, and tiny lips for their ages.

Slow music started. Couples rose and began dancing. They moved slowly with the music. Richard’s feet itched. He would have doubled his efforts in persuading Ezinne to come to the opening.

“You two didn’t bring dates?” Lauren asked with a tilted head.
“We came alone,” Jide said.
She stretched her hands to them. “Can I steal one of you for a dance? If that’s the only entertainment I get. I mean, look, everyone here is old enough for me to call dad. I don’t want to just sit alone and watch the daddies and mommies dance.”
Richard gave a look at her dad. He wasn’t dancing, only talking with another suited colleague. Why couldn’t she go dance with him instead of wanting to pick from men she just met and knew nothing about? Canada needed to give her teens some education.
“Would you receive my hand?” she asked Jide.

Jide did a weak chuckle. “If that will keep you entertained.” He stood and held her hand.
“I’ve never danced with a black man.”
“Me, white.”
“So we’re even.”
Richard sipped and watched them follow the music’s pace. A dancing Jide had always been worth admiring, from the onset of secondary school.

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