Stef is the first child of her beloved parents, you see her dad actually prayed for a baby girl before her conception so to her dad, she is an answer to his prayer, she was pampered and loved by her parents who left no stone untouched to provide all she needed in life. Like every small girl, Stef had dreams to grow up, finish school, become independent and someday find love.
One thing about being a good child is keeping the rules set by parents so in return for the unconditional love and affection poured on her, she spoilt her parents with obedience and became a role model to her siblings. She wanted to make her parents proud so she took her studies very serious. Then the crown of her effort came when she finished college and saw herself over the nile to further her studies.
As years passed, she turned out to be a lady with class, she was smart and always came top at anything she do that is why Nicole her best friend calls her golden hand because whatever she lay hands on turns out successful. Somehow, she met a guy called Chris and like every young lady, she let him in but it didn't take her time to see that Chris is a leopard under sheep's clothing and that experience forced her to jam the doors of her heart.
There is always a smooth criminal who comes like the star and before you know what's happening, he won't be shinning anymore and Mike is that kind of criminal but Stef was smart enough to differentiate the difference between ship and chip so when Mike tried to smooth talk her; this is what she told him...
-My expectation in a man is not high but if you want to have me, let me know your future plan.
Mike hanged around for a while but Stef wasn't ready to compromise but Mike isn't the type that give up easily so he deviced a way to get into her head and not her heart.
Mike is a big fan of Bob Marley...
...he is very creative and like every hard-core, he decided to win Stef over by all means so he did what most guys in his shoes would always do because what every woman wants is attention and it is not always being beside her physically rather smooth criminals create a situation that leaves ladies thinking about them even when they are taking their bath and that was what Mike did.
He called her one evening after two months of silence and although Stef was reluctant to take his call but she did. Mike told her how much he had missed her and how he saw her in his dream a night before so felt compelled to call to know how she was ferrying, he told her how miserable his life has been without her and before Stef could say a word, he had said over one hundred words. Mike believes that being the talker instead of the listener pushes a woman to be defensive and to win Stef, he needed to be offensive.
- Stef darling, he said... I've been knocking at your door for years and I don't want to wait in vain for your love.
Stef listened to every word he said but as much as he talked, she relented because the only man she trusted with her life; 'her daddy' has also told her times without number that she is beautiful so hearing it from a chaser and not a potential husband wasn't a form of compliment to her but before she could respond to Mike when he invited her for dinner, he asked for her bank account number which she called out immediately.
And not quite long after dropping the call, her cell phone beeped and it was a credit alert. Mike's main formular is 'If you want to draw a woman's attention, just credit her bank account with about five zero digits, the first digit before the zeros depends on the class of girl'
Stef jugs every morning but the morning after that phone conversation with Mike was different because she kept on thinking about him and about the dinner invitation.
Everybody has a breakpoint and one's breakpoint might turn out to be another person's breakthrough so after much deliberation and the fact that Nicole saw Mike as a gentleman, Stef decided to let him in and to Mike, that was his breakthrough because he bragged about it with two of his friends, Emeka and Morris.
-I told you guys that I will get her by all means, no woman is hard for me because I know what women want.
Although Stef accepted Mike but it wasn't because of the money though it seems strange for a guy to give a lady that amount of money without asking for a return in kind. However, Mike actually came into her life when she truly needed someone to share her feelings with and Mike blocked every angle because he knew what he wanted. Pure love they say has no conditions or boundaries, it doesn't restrain itself and doesn't hold back but as much as Stef was ready to give her all to Mike, she had one condition.
Mike told her that he wasn't seeing any other woman, that his ex girlfriend dumped him for another guy, Stef pitied him but was eager to know his true plans for her because she was looking at a big picture...
- Mike, if truly you love me, what is your plans? Am I your rebound because I want a man that I will settle with, I don't have time for boyfriend and girlfriend headache
- Baby, it took me seven months to get you so do you think that I am crazy? I am not stupid Stef, I love you, you are endowed with all the qualities I need in a woman. Sweetie, i want to settle down next year and you are going to be my Queen.
- In that case, no sex until we get married.
Mike actually accepted the condition because to him, it won't take time for her to forget what she just said. No sex before marriage he questioned. Two days after that conversation, Mike went partying with Emeka and Morris then someone close to Stef called her and when she got to the venue, her heart broke.
If it was just that Billy goat called Mike, I would have understood she cried but my own friend Nicole with my so called bobo. Wonders shall never end.
Life has a way of knocking us three hundred and sixty degrees off balance but how we react after the knock measures our core valor and Stef although broken was able to put herself together without wasting time because to her; she never trusted Mike, she was still skeptical about his desires, she knew that he wasn't being one hundred percent honest so when Nicole came to apologise, she simply thanked her for exposing Mike because he would have beaten them both ways and the worst was taking her innocence along.
- You mean that you are not mad at me? She questioned Stef.
- No babe, we are good, it wasn't your fault, I understand what he did though somehow you failed but it was him the devil.
- I am truly sorry Stef, honestly I didn't know what happened that night
- He played it well but I was at my guard so don't worry okay.
That was it. This is typical Stef for you and this is the reason why so many people misjudge her, she looks tough outside, her appearance is intimidating and the way she carry herself leaves people with the belief that she is mean but she is the kindest soul and the kind of friend everyone needs; you know the 'I got your back' kind of friend. She forgave Nicole but drew a thick line between herself and Mike. Mike tried several times to win her back but although Stef is the understanding type and ever forgiven, she is also a hard nut to crack and she meant it when she told Mike that he chewed more than he could swallow.
Mike gave up and moved on after all, there are so many fishes in the ocean; you loose here and you gain there. Stef gradually built a wall in her heart and also called it off with guys. But something happened sometime although this particular guy is quite different from Mike but he found his way into her heart. And before Stef knew what was happening, they were both fond of each other, they spent hours texting each other and reading his texts became one of the things that made Stef's day. Loving someone could be either way he told Stef and she was like; are you for real?
- Yes my darling sister, I am for real, I actually liked you from day one but all I want is for you to be a sister to me. I am an only child and never felt the love of a sister.
Stef believed him but somehow he realized one thing about Stef and that would change everything because he assured her one time that he was looking forward to her 70th birthday.
When a guy project the future then there is something to hold on to but determining a genuine projection is like an elephant passing through the niddle hole.
The people we meet in life matters a lot, some people come into our lives to break us, some make us, some come to stay while some come then leave but no matter which category of friend we meet, one thing is certain; they all leave us with memories and the best of all memories is evergreen. The friends that leaves us with this kind of memory are always around, they don't change when we change and they don't nod when we nod and that is what Chiedu found in Stef.
As years passed, they both became so close that some people including Chiedu's wife suspected that they were having a secret affair but there was nothing like that between them. Stef is a big jazz fan, she loves country music and hard rock, one thing she shared in common with her best friend Chiedu. Who says that a man and a girl can't be best friends? You see, one of Stef's dreams was to get married to a man that would cherish and spoil her with true affection and Chiedu had a friend who was also in dare need of the same thing.
When two people who need the same thing meet, they tango. Who says that there are no good guys out there, that men are cheaters? You don't have to condemn all because of one stupid entity that doesn't deserve you. Stef once felt this way till she met Mark. You see, Mark is Chiedu's best friend and business partner, he fell in love with Stef the very moment he set his eyes on her and Heaven alone knew how he broke the walls of her heart. If you still doubt about love at first sight then Stef is here to prove you wrong.
Mark had always wanted to have his wedding reception in a beach and Stef made it possible because to love and be loved in return is what every soul yearns for.
When Mark was asked why he married Stef; this was what he said...
-I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. Stef is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have. She is crowned with my love.
Dedicated to Stephanie Oge