This is the part 2 in the Obsessed series. If you missed the first part you can read it here.
Allan drove the BMW X5 into the parking spot the security guy directed him to and killed the engine. His was one of several other cars parked in the large car park of his sister’s home. The buffy security guy who had, until a few minutes ago been giving him directions, was now busy directing another guy that just drove in.
He removed his jacket and tossed it on the passenger’s seat, then loosened his tie and threw it to join the jacket. It was 7:30pm and he was fagged out from the hard day at the office. If this party was being given by anyone but his sister- his twin- he would have pleaded tiredness and skipped.
His twin, Alicia, was celebrating their thirty-third birthday and had insisted Allan turn up for the party. They might have shared the same womb for nine months, but they were as different as night from day. Alicia was carefree, happy-go-lucky, and spirited, Allan was his own person; a little reserved and conservative. Parties were not his scene and a birthday was like any other day to him. He would much rather have preferred a phonecall wishing him a happy birthday and certainly didn’t understand why Alicia had to drag him and all these busy people from their lives and schedule to come party. But then again, it was Alicia and nothing was new to her.
Knowing him and his tendencies to avoid loud gatherings, Alicia put a call through every hour, reminding him of the partly and subtly hinting at the consequences if he failed to show up. He was already two hours late and knew she would be pissed already.
He uncurled his long frame from the car, picking up the present his assistant had picked up just that morning. Shirley- bless her soul- doubled as his assistant and close friend. She had given him a birthday gift for his birthday that morning and handed him one for Alicia, who she knew and was fond of.
“You are a life saver, Shirley”, he breathed gratefully as she handed him the presents. “I completely forgot to get Alicia a present. She’d have had me for toast!”
Shirley chuckled. “I know, which is why I got one for her too.” she replied. “And it’s something she’ll like, a hustle bag in premium leather. Cost me an arm and a leg too. Just don’t let her know it wasn’t picked by you.”
Allan gave her a grateful hug, before dashing out of the office. He and Shirley had been friends for four years running, from the first day she stepped into his office, responding to an ad he’d had his secretary put out. He usually didn’t cross the line with his employees and let his working relationship be separate from personal ones, but a friendship had grown slowly between them and he was powerless to stop it as she turned out to be one of the most amazing women he’d met.
She was intelligent and perfectly suited for the job he employed her for. But beyond that, she was this thoughtful, caring person that had slowly grown on him. She was also a professional and knew how to compartmentalize the different aspects of her life, which just seemed to earn her more respect in his eyes.
The fact that he saw her as a friend first and a woman next had also seemed to help their friendship. It was weird though, that he felt no attraction towards her in that sense. She was a stunning woman of twenty-eight, and at five feet nine inches, was one of the tall women he knew besides Alicia who was five inches shorter than his six foot two.
She had a slim build, but was well-proportioned. Her face was her best feature; she had the whitest set of teeth he had seen on a woman, which made her smile dazzling and remarkable and he was glad she smiled often.
He knew a number of employees that were smitten with her, but his well-horned habit of never mixing business with pleasure had put paid to that for him from the start and things had just flown platonically from there. She was a great employee and an amazing friend and that was that.
His thoughts came back to the present as he strode towards Alicia’s palatial two-story residence. Bobby, her husband, had built the house under a year after they were married and the currently lived there with their three small children.
He got to the door and peeled the bell and few seconds later, it got thrown open by Mrs. Ejike, their elderly housekeeper who had been in the Meyer’s employ for as long as Allan could remember.
He gave her a polite smile which she returned and she pointed to where his sister was. As though by telepathy, Alicia turned and their eyes met. Allan sighed. He had hoped he would get a few moments to rest his tired bones before speaking to his sister.
She excused herself from a group she’d been talking to and made her way towards him. From the stiffness of her stance and the way her eyes fixed unblinkingly at him, he knew he’d guessed right; she was pissed.
“You are late!” she hissed under her breath when she got to him.
He sighed again. “Happy birthday to you too. ” He replied handing her the present.
Alicia glanced down at the present and became a little mollified. “I expected you two hours ago”, she continued, a little softly this time.
“Traffic”, Allan lied smoothly. Thirty-three years being siblings with Alicia had made him fast on his feet. She may be sweet and a dear, but she could also be a pain when she put her mind to it.
Alicia stared at him suspiciously for a while, and then decided to let it slid. He couldn’t tell if she believed him, but he was glad he was off the hook.
“Come, there’s someone I want you to meet”, she said sweetly, holding unto his arm and directing him. “She’s been here for three hours and has been itching to leave. I had to employ every trick in my hat to get her to remain.”
And it was definitely a large hat, if he knew Alicia well. He should have known today’s party would include yet another match-making attempt. She had been at it for the past seven years since she herself settled down. And the fact that each of her attempts to fix him up with one ‘charming’ friend or the other always fell through never seemed to deter her.
“Her name is Karen and she’s the Creative Director for DARM, an advertising firm here in Lagos. She just got transferred from Port Harcourt and has settled down nicely. She is exactly your spec and you will love her.”
Allan had to smile inspite of himself. Alicia definitely took this match-making thing serious. “Trust you to know my spec”, he said, then got serious. “But I’m really not in the mood to meet anyone right now. I’m bone tired and practically asleep on my feet and I’m not in the mood to put myself out trying to make a good first impression.”
“She’s not high maintenance and I’m sure being yourself would suffice. You don’t have to go overboard making an impression.” Alicia insisted. “Just spend a little time with her to judge for yourself.”
Allan realized he didn’t have much of a choice. Alicia would hound him round the party if he failed to meet this her mystery guest. Besides, he felt it would be rude to keep the lady waiting if she’d had to wait to meet him. He didn’t have to argue with Alicia. He would meet this Karen lady briefly, spend a respectable ten to fifteen minutes in her company and then make his polite excuse to leave. No one would say he’d been rude.
“Karen, dear”, Alicia cued to the back of a lady’s head as she stood chatting and laughing with a man and a lady. “There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
She turned, the smile still on her lips and Allan was aware the moment his heart literarily dropped to his feet; a first for him. Women seldom made such a strong impact on him at fist meet. The feelings always grew later. But this lady was……different. She was stunning!