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HIS MAKESHIFT FIANCEE by Unoma Nwankwor
A serendipitous encounter A relentless press A makeshift plan In anticipation of retirement, NBA point guard, Cheta "Nyce" Kalu is on a mission to clench an opportunity very few have been able to. For that to happen, he needs to clean up the rebellious reputation he's known for. All is going well until it isn’t. Just when Cheta thinks he’s on the right path, he’s thrown off course by an ironic twist of fate. In the eyes of her parents, nothing Reign Davis does can erase her teen mistakes. The opportunity to partner with Coleman Hospitality, a reputable Black brand might do the trick. That's until she gets caught in a scandal, she didn't see coming. A kismet mix-up merges their paths in a way neither of them expects. Now, they must agree on a makeshift arrangement to achieve what they both want. Will they be able to trust each other long enough to see it through?
This was not good. I wanted the ground to open and swallow me. They knew who I was because it was my Instagram account. I stumbled back against the wall. The airport seemed to spin as I struggled to steady my breathing.
My phone rang. Ebonie was calling back.
“Eb, this can’t be happening.” My voice shook as I willed back tears.
“Rei, where are you?”
“Eb, hold on…” I frowned at the freakishly tall, bulky man staring down at me. “Who wants to know?”
“My name is Izaak, Mr. Kalu sent me.”
I furrowed my brows. I put my phone back to my ear as anger seared through me. “Eb, I’m at the airport, but I got this guy that says Cheta sent him. I’m going to kill that man, I swear.”
“Rei, I know you’re shaken up, but openly admitting to wanting to commit murder isn’t a good look. Keep me on the phone and see what he wants.”
I looked up at him. “What?” He didn’t do anything to me, but everyone associated with Cheta could get this work.
His stance was like that of someone in the military. Both hands in front of him, legs apart. “I was instructed to take you to where you want to go.”
Before he left New York, Cheta and I chatted briefly about my return. So, he knew when I’d be landing and that I had Uber’ed. But I wanted no parts of him. Not now. “No, thank you.”
Izaak took out his phone and dialed. Seconds later, he handed me the phone. My gaze floated past him. I took in a breath, lifted my brow, and refocused. His expression remained aplomb at my hesitation. Rolling my eyes, I took the phone.
“What, Cheta?” I shouted.
“Bring it down a few, baby. I’m out of town, but I need you to go with Iz,” he said, calmly.
“No, thank you. Do you see what they’re saying? I just want to go home and continue with my normal life.”
“I know you do, but now, you can’t. I’ll be back tomorrow night. Until then, let him take you to my house.”
I furrowed my brows. “Wait. What? No. I’m going home, and then my shop.” I heard Ebonie say something, so I put my phone to my ear. “What?”
“The paparazzi are stationed outside the shop. I got a call from the landlord when he couldn’t reach you,” she said.
I let out a large sigh. I turned back to Izaak. “Cheta, I’m so angry with you.”
“I know. We can discuss whose fault it is and what to do when I see you. If you don’t go to my house, let him take you to yours. He’ll be on you until I get back.”
I remained silent.
“I hear you. Can I go now?”
There was nothing at all funny about this. My thoughts moved to my family. If my parents got wind of this, which they eventually would, a sermon about fornication was in my near future.
“I gotta go. Don’t give that man a hard time. His job is to do everything to keep you safe. Everything. Don’t try me, please.”
I hung up on him and handed the phone to the Izaak guy. “Eb, let me get my bags. I’ll be home in an hour.”
“I’ll meet you there.”
Copyright Unoma Nwankwor 2022