• Magic Romance

    A Slice Of Heaven – 30

    Without Maxwell Isichei’s word on the matter, he wasn’t going to call for a family meeting. That was Nnamdi Nwadialor’s stand.

    “He’s as uninterested in the fact that a little boy is suffering when he doesn’t have to as Maxwell Isichei is. They don’t care, both of them. That boy could drop dead and they still wouldn’t care.”

    “You need to take this calmly, Saz.”

    The quiet-toned counsel only served to infuriate Saz further. “What I need to do is find a way to get that boy out of that house, and you can count on it that I will.”

    “Here.” Eze shoved a bottle of drink into his hand and gave his shoulder a rub before taking a seat beside him. “You have to understand that this is the way of things here. You can’t take over a child’s care without the consent of his family. Unless we’re talking about a child already abandoned by the family.

    “But, even in such a case, if something goes wrong, the family can still show you they alone have all the right over their child. In the case of your family, you’ve been dealing with each other some sort of wariness over the years. So, you can’t quite blame Nnamdi Nwadialor for refusing to do anything when it’s clear your uncle isn’t willing to get involved.”

    “This playing it safe and minding our business is what is wrong with our world today. Do you know how many children suffer because someone who should speak up for them is minding their business?” Saz demanded. “Do you?”

    “I know you suffered because no one spoke up for you.”

    “This is not about me,” he snapped, refusing to make this about his own past. “Yes, I went through hell under my step-mother’s care, and with my father and no one else doing anything about it. And yes, that experience pushes me to want to protect Okey.

    “But this is not about me, Eze. This is about this boy, and about the fact that it should be our responsibility to protect children, even when they are not ours. Okey doesn’t have to live like an unwanted extra in a family that’s already complete without him. I refuse to let him live that way.”

    “I agree, you shouldn’t. Not when you can, are willing to, do something about it,” Eze said. “But the question now is what are you going to do as the situation is right now?”

    “Go back to Maxwell Isichei and try to convince him to intervene. Or,” Saz shrugged and took a pull of the beer. “Face Iloba again, and this time talk to him in a way that can soften him enough to hand the boy over to me.”

    “Can you do it, act all humble and cajoling to get him to change his mind? Because, believe me, you really have to be almost grovelling to get him to hand over that boy.”

    Saz met Eze’s half-amused gaze and shrugged again. “So I can’t grovel. I definitely won’t, not before Iloba Nwadialor. But if that turns out to be the only option I’m left with, I will bargain with the man. I’ve made a promise to Okey, and I mean to keep it.”

    “Maybe you shouldn’t have made a promise to him until you are certain how this will turn out. It’s not always nice to raise a child’s hope and then disappoint him.”

    “I won’t disappoint him. Not in the promise that I will take him into my home and care for him.”

    Eze stared at him a moment, and then nodded. “In that case, I will suggest you give it a few days and then go back to your uncle. Talk calmly with him, and get him to see that you, and him, need to do something to help that boy.”

    He considered the advice and decided it was wise. “I’ll wait a few days, then.”

    “Good. Now, about you and Anya rushing across the street to save Okey…”

    “I’m going to stop you there,” Saz cut in. “My relationship with Anya is really none of your business, your wife’s cousin or not.”

    “So it’s a relationship now,” Eze remarked, his tone faintly amused. “Is that like the casual-thing kind of relationship you were after? Or are you serious about her?”

    “What part of it’s none of your business don’t you understand?”

    “The part where I am your friend and really more concerned than curious.”

    Saz glared at him. But he only smiled affably, so he sighed and took another swig from his bottle. “I like her. I really like her…”

    “Really like, like in love?” Eze asked before he could finish.

    The possibility made Saz uncomfortable. He wasn’t ready for such a commitment. Besides, he wasn’t even sure that was what he felt.

    One can like without being in love, can’t they?

    “If you have to frown so darkly over the question, then maybe you should hold off on the answer until you’re certain what it really is,” Eze commented, his tone totally amused now.

    “I’m not frowning darkly.” He couldn’t be.

    “You are frowning, and I can tell it’s because my question unnerved you. So, we’ll leave it. But I still like to remind you she’s the kind of woman a man wants to be serious about.”

    “Thanks for the reminder,” Saz said dryly, and put away the worry on the true nature of his feelings. “How are Tochukwu and the your son? I’m going to have to come over on a day they will both be home. I need to see them.”

    “Yeah, you have to. Maybe you can come with Anya on such a day.” At his scowl, Eze chuckled. “Lest I forget, I’ve got news from my man at Asaba. He’s found a man in Onitsha who looks like he’s interested enough to buy your business.”

    “Oh, really?”

    “Yes. But he needs to confirm how serious this man is. Hopefully, he will call me tomorrow with a confirmation.”

    “That is good.” Where was his excitement? Saz searched for it inside him, and decided it was missing because nothing was certain yet. “We’ll wait tomorrow and see if we have cause to celebrate.”

    “I’m sure we will. That is, if selling off the business is still what you want.”

    Saz frowned. “Why shouldn’t it be what I want?”

    “Probably because the building materials store is doing well, and you’re finding your feet in this town.”

    “The store doing well is a plus to bring me more money on its own and from a buyer, and not to tie me to this town. I told you, Eze. This is not home for me.”

    “Well, I thought with…” For his own reasons, Eze cut off whatever he was going to say. “All right, we will wait until tomorrow and see how it goes. But if you can empty that bottle of yours, I’d like to show you the building I’m working on at Isah Road. You’re going to love the design.”

    Saz quickly finished his drink and handed over the bottle. “Let’s go. I’m not in a good enough mood to hang around the store anyway.”

    But he was in a better mood when he came to pick Anya at the shop. Of course, she’d asked him not to bother, but Saz didn’t consider it a bother at all.

    “Want something today other than to stare lustfully at her?”

    Saz turned his gaze from where he was indeed staring lustfully at Anya as she served the last customer, and shot Nkechi a grin. “What’s left in that show glass?”

    “A sausage roll and an egg roll.”

    “I’ll take them.”

    She quickly bagged the snacks and handed to him. “That’s three hundred.”

    “If I let you keep my change, will you stop scowling at me?” Saz asked, handing over a five hundred naira note.


    “Darn, you’re a tough woman. Still, keep the change, as I’m terrified if I ask for it after bargaining with it, you will snarl curses at me.”

    Nkechi actually laughed. “There, Anya’s coming. Go confuse her with your charming ways, I’ve got work to do.”

    And with that, she grabbed a set of trays and marched off into the kitchen.

    “Well, since I have your permission,” Saz murmured, and turned to aim what he considered his most charming smile at Anya, “Nkechi recommended I confuse with my charming ways.”

    Anya chuckled. “I doubt it was a recommendation.”

    “She said so, that’s for sure.” He followed her around the counter, leaned on it as he watched her pick a cloth to begin wiping the Formica surface. “If that customer wasn’t lounging around on that chair, and sneaking glances at us, I’d kiss you.”

    She threw him a smile. “If he wasn’t, I’d let you.”

    Desire fluttered to life, and Saz sighed. “It takes only your mouth stretching with a smile and I find myself forgetting what I should be doing.”

    “Maybe what you should do is sit and eat your snacks,” Anya suggested, her dimples showing as her smile broadened.

    “No. The snacks are for when I get home.” He could resist kissing her, but Saz couldn’t resist curling a hand around hers. “I don’t want to drive you home when we get back to the house. I wish you would stay.”

    “I told you this morning, Saz. I’m going home today. You should have let me take my bag with me, that way it won’t be as hard watching me go. Now let go of my hand. I have to use both if we want to get out of here on time.”

    Reluctantly, Saz released her hand. “Whether you did this morning, or will do so now, watching you pick your bag to leave is going to be hard.”

    He hadn’t thought it would be. Christ, he’d usually felt a measure of relief the few times Grace slept over and wanted to leave. He didn’t get how Anya could make him feel things he’d never before felt, and in so short a time.

    “What are you thinking? You’ve got a baffled frown on your face.” The small frown gave him an edgier look, which sort of made him more handsome, Anya thought, and warned herself to watch it.

    He gave a couple of blinks before focusing again his gaze on her. “I seem to be getting this a lot today, frowning and having someone comment on it.”

    “Oh. Who else commented on it?”

    “Eze. I saw him after leaving Maxwell Isichei’s house greatly disappointed. Well, I didn’t go from my dear uncle’s house to Eze’s actually. I first stopped to see another relative. But it was still a wasted effort.”

    “Your uncle doesn’t want to get involved,” Anya guessed, amused by the sarcasm in spite of her disappointment.

    “No. He likes minding his business. Except, of course, when it’s my private life, then he wants to interfere there.”


    He only shook his head. “Nothing. Let’s get on with this. I have a mind to talk you into staying for dinner before I drive you home.”

    Anya made herself put aside the small worry on what his uncle might have said, and leaned a little into him. “I might let you talk me into dinner, if you lend a helping hand,” she said in a low voice, giving him a sensuous smile.

    Saz groaned. “Oh God, the things you make me do just so I can enjoy a piece of you.”

    Anya laughed, wishing she can forget propriety and kiss him. “But you like doing them, just so you can enjoy a piece of me.”

    “I’ll be darned if I don’t like that rolling, raspy sound. And the woman who lets it out.” He let out a sigh that sounded like another groan. “Let’s hurry. I have a mind to make love to you before I let you go.”

    Desire buzzed, and satisfied with it, Anya tossed him a grin. “You seem to have a mind for a lot of things this evening.”

    “I do. Which might be to my peril,” he grumbled, taking out of her hands the plates she’d stacked.

    If it was to his peril, then it will be to hers, Anya thought, and sighed at the clench of fear in her stomach.

    But she refused to let fear stop her from enjoying dinner time with him, or the kisses he rained on her after dinner.

    “You make me horny as only a teenage boy should be,” he muttered against her lips, kissing her over and over again. “You’re like a potent drug in my blood, Anya. I can’t have enough of you.”

    “Good. For I hate to think you’ve had your fill of me after spending the weekend, and a day, with you.” Or that he would ever have his fill of her, she thought, looping her arms around his neck to deepen the kiss.

    Her blood fired up at once, and she was already thinking she could stay the night, just one more night, and go the next morning, when the persistent ringing of his phone jerked her out of her sexual haze.

    “You need to get that. It’s distracting,” she said, pushing out of his arms.

    “Forget it. It will stop ringing soon.” He reached to tug her closer.

    Laughing, Anya evaded his hand. “It did, and started again, and for the third time. Go on, get it. I’m still here.”

    “You’d better be,” he growled before diving for the phone on the bedside table.

    “Yes?” Saz growled into the mouthpiece. And then hissed when he heard the voice at the other end. “Eze, why the heck are you calling me at this hour?”

    Eze said something, but he didn’t quite hear it as the line seemed to be breaking up. “What? Repeat that, I didn’t get you.”

    “It’s been confirmed,” Eze said. “You have a buyer for your business. Well, that is if both of you can arrive at a satisfying deal.”

    “Oh, I see.” Again, he searched for the buzz of excitement. And this time, Saz excused its absence for lack of concentration. “Good news. Let’s talk about it tomorrow, I’m kind of busy right now.”

    “Busy doing what?” Eze wanted to know.

    “None of your business. But thanks, man,” he added and hung up.

    “So, what’s the good news? Although, you don’t quite look like someone’s who’s received good news.” A smile around her mouth, she took the phone out of his hand before stretching her curvy length against him. “You have a frown flickering across your face, instead of a smile.”

    “It’s my bad habit today, then.” Slipping his arms around her, he cupped her butt. “How about you kiss me, and I promise to stop frowning?”

    “If that’s all it will take.” She covered his mouth with hers, and gave him a slow, lingering kiss. “So tell me the good news. That was Eze, wasn’t it?”

    “As you clearly heard, it was.” He knew he was frowning again, because Saz could feel the tightening around his brows.

    And along his stomach walls. But that was because he was suddenly wary. She was asking him a direct question, and he couldn’t lie to her. Not that he’d been lying to her before, just avoiding making the truth clear.

    “Saz?” Anya had her head cocked to the side as she prodded, “What’s wrong? Is it, after all, not good news?”

    “It is. It should be.” Breathing a long sigh, Saz dropped his hands from her body. “He’s found a buyer for the store. Eze, I mean.”

    “A buyer for what store?” Because she sensed his withdrawal was out of guilt, Anya shifted off her knees to sit.

    “The building materials store. I wanted a buyer for it.”

    “For the building materials store. But why?”

    He exhaled before replying, “Because I want to sell off the business. I’ve always wanted to. That’s why I came here, to find a buyer for the business, sell it off and go back to Benin to reopen my own shop.”

    “I see.” She was beginning to, and Anya didn’t like the realisation that was coming to her. “You came here only to sell off the business, not to stay.”

    “Yes. That was my intention. It still is, I guess.” Saz breathed out again and reached for her hand, stroking the back as he said, “I should have told you. I’m sorry I didn’t. But I want you to know it wasn’t because I was thinking to deceive you, or anything like that. I just find it hard discussing my business, and then it seemed to hold no importance anymore.”

    “It didn’t hold importance to you that we were building a relationship when you planned to go back to Benin, while I’m based here?”


    “But we weren’t building a relationship, were we?” That wasn’t how it started out, and obviously still wasn’t the case for him, Anya realised, and shut her eyes briefly against the stab of pain.

    “Anya, I’m sorry. I should have told you.” He raised his hands to hold her face. “But it changes nothing…”

    “Of course, it changes everything.” Because she wanted to lean into him, hold him, and wish away this moment, Anya pushed back and rolled off the bed. “And you shouldn’t apologise. Well, maybe you should because you really should have told me.

    “But you didn’t entirely lie to me, did you? You were looking for a female companion, and made that clear from the beginning.”

    “I also made it clear it wasn’t just about a female companion. I wanted you. I want you, Anya. I like you.”

    “Yes, you do.” He said that often, and she believed him. Only now she loved him, while he only liked her. And he was leaving. “Yet, like me or not, you’re leaving and going back to Benin. That is the plan, right?”

    “I can’t stay here.” He climbed off the bed, and stood in front of her without touching her. “This is not home for me, Anya.”

    “But it is home for me, Saz. I’m not going anywhere. I don’t want to, which about sums this up.” Telling herself she can accept this, Anya gave him a smile. “I just want you to know that in the one month you’ve had that store open, you did better than your father did all the years he had it.

    “That said, I hope you make a satisfying deal with your buyer. Now I have to head home. If you’re not up to dropping me off, I’m sure I can get Okada even at this hour.”

    “I care about you, Anya. This was in no way all about sex. You should know that.”

    “And I know it, which probably is why I’m not slapping that handsome face of yours.” To please herself, she leaned close and kissed him. “Am I going to find my ride, or are you taking me home?”

    “I’m taking you.” He framed her face and kissed her. “I am so sorry. I really should have told you.”

    “If you had, will it have made a difference, I wonder,” Anya murmured before stepping back to go grab her bag.

    “I think it would have. And probably that was what I was afraid of.”

    Anya couldn’t stop the chuckle. “You may have omitted telling me the whole truth, but I still think you’re quite honest.”

    Saz gave her a faint smile. “Not as much as I should be, obviously.”

    “You’ve said that before, and I see now it’s true. Come on, let’s go.”

    “Anya.” He grabbed her hand. “This is not the end, is it?”

    “It might as well be, as I’m sure your father’s business is as good as sold.”

    “It’s the first time you’re calling it my father’s business.”

    Anya looked into his sad eyes, and realised that wishing she could banish that sadness didn’t mean she did. Or that she could.

    “I guess I finally see things the way you see them,” she said, and turned to the door, leaving her hand in his. “Let’s go.”

    She would feel his touch one last time, and then teach herself to let go. She had done it before anyway, hadn’t she?


    We will read one more chapter of A Slice Of Heaven, which is next week Tuesday and Saturday episodes, and then stop until the story is published. Which, by God’s grace, will be on 15 August 2020.

    I am announcing this now, so we’re not entirely taken by surprise next week. Thank you.

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  • Reply FavouriteShades July 25, 2020 at 6:13 am

    Looking forward to August 15 , well done ma’am

  • Reply Shawty July 25, 2020 at 7:57 am


  • Reply Pacesetter July 25, 2020 at 9:42 am

    On my birthday, that’s a good birthday gift

  • Reply Joan July 25, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Well done ma’am

  • Reply Datoks July 25, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Wow, i knew something will happen with this their love soon, Sarz should better think well. Waiting patiently for August 15. Thanks TM

  • Reply Roselyn July 29, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks TM. Woke! I feel sad. Pls nothing should go wrong with their relationship.

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