Chapter 4
                    Amelia P. O. V
   After giving myself a good cry I finally settled down on the couch with Mabel beside me. β€œ so tell me, what really happened back there? Why did you get fired” she asked.
 I glanced at her. β€œ isn’t it your stupid man crush that caused all of this” I spat.
  β€œwho? Ryan Oswald? I heard he was at the party”
 β€œyeah, he was at the party. And I spilled drinks on him”
 Mabel gasped. I looked at her and scoffed.
 β€œ  I was right about him being rude. You should see his expression, he looked as if he wanted to lock me up. I apologised and tried to clean the mess I made but he just treated me like trash and yanked my hand off him” I recounted still angry at the incident.
 Mabel sighed. β€œ I’m pretty sure you hated that, didn’t you?” She asked.
β€œ of course I do,that’s why I didn’t want to have anything to do with rich people or even men for that matter” Iexplained.
  Mabel held my hands. I looked into her eyes and it held compassion and empathy. Only her knew the story and my pure hatred for rude men in whatever way they tried to show it, especially those without compassion.
 β€œ it’s okay Amy. Don’t think so much about it. And maybe one day you’ll find out that not everyone isn’t like that man that made you this way” she said. She too didn’t like saying his name.
 I smiled at her, she hugged me instead β€œ thank you Mabel, thank you for always being there for me” I whispered to her ears.
 β€œ I’ll always be here for you Amy, don’t you ever forget that” she muttered.
  β€œ I’ll never forget ” I promised.
 She then disengaged from the hug and looked at him with that mischief eyes of hers
 β€œwhat? ” I asked chuckling.
  β€œbut seriously Amy, I think you should fill that form. You can’t continue like this forever “
  I sighed. β€œ Mabel come on, not that topic again” I stressed.
  β€œyou are a talented girl Amy,and it pains to see you suffering this way. But if you go for this contest, I’m pretty sure there is a great chance of you winning ” she explained.
   Somehow, she was right. If I went for this contest there was a good chance I could win. Besides the money would do a good thing for me in the long run.
I turned to look at Mabel. She was staring at me with those adorable puppy eyes of hers.
 β€œ so… What do you want me to do now?” I drawled.
 β€œ easy, you fill the form,submit it and go for the auditions this Saturday” she explained.
  β€œok..I’ll do it, if that what makes you happy” I said.
    β€œyes!!” Mabel exclaimed, punching the air.
β€œI’m so proud of you Amy, she said hugging me” I giggled.
  Satisfied with my answer, Mabel stood up and began walking to her room. β€œ go get some rest now. You really need some beauty sleep” she said.
 β€œ I will” I yelled back. She turned β€œ go get some rest, I’m serious “
  β€œ I said I will” I answered giggling.
 I really will get some rest my body needs to sleep anyways, but first I need to call my mom.
                    Ryan’s P. O. V
  Recalling the incident that happened in the party,  I balled my hands into a fist. I really didn’t mean anything that happened back there but I was already in a bad mood already and she just worsened everything. It was a good thing she spilled the drinks on me anyway, I used that as an excuse to leave that annoying party. I was already back at my apartment and was changing my clothes into fresh ones. I really needed a break.
  I walked to the fridge and picked up a can of beer. I was about opening it when my phone buzzed. I checked it. It was a message.
 I heard you arrived safely in New York. Well good luck on your project. Miss you.
                          Yours sincerely
   Vivian, she is my fiancee. Am pretty sure this was designed by my mom for her to send me this text message. It’s one of the reasons I left my hometown and came to New York. All she wrote in the message was a lie and I know it. Too bad I can’t do anything about the relationship because it’s been scheduled that I’ll be married to her in the next three months. I just hate my life.
  I took a swig from my beer and dropped it. Remembering the evening incident I sighed. I just hope the waitress is okay.
            Amelia’s P. O. V
     I picked up my phone to dial up my mom. She picked up at the first ring.
πŸ“ž hi Mom.
πŸ“ž hi honey, how’s my favourite daughter doing?
πŸ“ž I’m your only daughter mom. I laughed while saying that.
πŸ“ž I know. Just wanted to tease you. How are you doing?
πŸ“ž I’m fine mom. Just missing you. Too bad you can’t be here with me.
πŸ“ž  I miss you too, but you’ve got to work hard for your dreams. If am there with you, I’ll make it harder with my condition.
    I sighed, my mom can’t walk. No thanks to my evil dad. My mom noticed I wasn’t talking anymore so she spoke up.
πŸ“ž don’t worry honey, we will pull through just keep working hard, okay? And don’t loose sight of your dreams. Remember the story I told you. You weren’t born like other children. I had to prick a needle on your wrist before you cried.
  I chuckled remembering the story. My mom really pricked a needle on my finger when I was born. She said I wasn’t crying and that was the thing available since I wasn’t born in the hospital. The mark is still there.
πŸ“ž yes mom
πŸ“ž that’s my girl.
πŸ“ž  that reminds me, mom I’ll be going for a contest.
πŸ“ž  what contest is that?
πŸ“ž it’s a fashion contest mom. With some training attached to it.
πŸ“ž. You should go anyway,you’ve always loved  sewing by the way.
πŸ“ž you think I should do it?
πŸ“ž I know you can do it. Besides it’s a good thing. You will finally get what you’ve always dreamed of. A super large boutique where you can sell all the dresses you singlehandedly designed.
   I laughed hearing my mom’s words
 πŸ“žif you say so then I’ll do it.
 πŸ“ž that’s my girl.
πŸ“ž goodnight mom.
 πŸ“ž good night honey. Sweet dreams.
 πŸ“ž same to you
      I hung up. Satisfied with my conversation with my mom, I walked over to my bed. I dropped on my bed and looked out the window. There wasn’t any moon and tonight but the stars made it beautiful. That was how my life was, it wasn’t perfect but yet it was still beautiful. I smiled to myself before finally drifting off to sleep.
To be continued


                        Chapter 5
Audition day

Amelia’s P. O. V

    It was a Hall, with a stage with lots of people in it, and they were staring at my direction. I looked around and saw there were other contestants with me. I saw my best friend Mabel at the audience and Terrance. Then there was Ryan, he looked worried and a bit scared and for some reason, it seemed to scare me. I had a pretty dress with me and it seemed the judges were pleased with it. They asked me to come with my dress to exchange it for a award and cash prize. I was feeling really excited. I began walking to get my prize and a handshake when something stopped me.
     Actually it was someone. And she was dragging my dress with me. She kept screaming β€œ give me that! Give me that! You can’t win, you musn’t” we kept dragging the dress, and even though I couldn’t see her face clearly I knew she was dangerous. Everyone had stood up and was watching our little drama. I was almost succeeding in taking the dress from her when someone spoke up.
  β€œ STOP!! And give the dress to her you little skunk”. I froze, I would recognize that voice  anywhere. It was my dad! But what was he doing here? And why did he ask me to give the dress to this unknown person. I looked at the unknown person dragging the dress with me and even though I couldn’t see her face I knew she was smiling. Something gnawed at my stomach and I felt like throwing up. He walked up to me and snatched the dress from me.
  β€œ no, don’t do this” my voice came out in a croaky whisper. I was already crying and from the corner I saw Ryan too.
  β€œ you will never win. I’ll make sure you don’t. You won’t ever win. EVER!!” He yelled. It was the last thing I heard before I felt myself falling. I lost…… Everything.
   I woke up. So it was all a dream, it some how felt real. Sitting up on my bed, I thought of the dream I had, who was that unknown person dragging my dress with me and why was my dad there? Besides why did I even see Ryan in it? This was just a few of all the questions I had but I couldn’t answer any. Maybe because I’ve been thinking of the auditions a lot that’s why, I reasoned.
   Speaking of which, the auditions is today. Oh my gosh am so excited, but first I have to visit madam Truffaut store. She called me last night saying she had work for me to do. I checked my bedside clock. It was 6.32 am. Great, I better hurry up before madam Truffaut deducts from my pay again. I got out of my bed and began my morning duties..
          Ryan’s P. O. V
  It was morning and I was getting ready for the auditions. I was wearing my jacket when my phone rang. I picked it up and saw it was my childhood friend Carl.
πŸ“ž hey man what’s up.
πŸ“ž I’m cool man. How are you doing?
πŸ“ž  Fine everything good.
πŸ“ž Preparing for the auditions?
πŸ“ž yeah. I’m part of the judges remember?
πŸ“ž. You should be. By the way I heard what happened to you at the party. Did a waitress really Pour drink on you?
πŸ“ž yeah. It was crazy though. But a good thing however. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would never have left the party and then they would have begun really annoying questions.
πŸ“ž thats true.
    Carl became quiet at the other side so i spoke up
πŸ“ž hey Carl, whats wrong? You suddenly became really quiet.
πŸ“ž Ryan you know you dont have to do this if you dont want to. Why putting yourself into so much heartache when you know it can avoid  easily?
   I sighed. It was this talk again.
πŸ“ž you know I don’t have a choice
πŸ“ž of course you do. You can end this if you don’t want to
πŸ“ž I’ll call you later Carl. Need to go.
πŸ“ž I know you’re trying to evade this topic but I’ll let you go anyway.
πŸ“ž sorry man
πŸ“ž its fine. Really.
    Carl hung up. I sighed. I know he’s trying to help me but he doesn’t seem to understand that my hands are tied already. He was even the one who suggested this contest so I could get my head off things. Wearing my wristwatch, I was fully ready. I took my phone and car keys and got out of my apartment. Time to fish some young fashion designer.
                  Amelia’s P. O. V
   I rushed out of my room as I was already late for work and I couldn’t wait any longer. I met Mabel applying stuffs on her face. It was Saturday so she doesn’t have anything doing, that doesn’t apply to me however.
  β€œ oh… Good morning Amy. Going to work?” She asked in between application of clay.
  β€œ yeah…. Mrs Truffaut called. Said I should meet her at work today”.
  She turned to look at me. β€œ what about the auditions? ” she asked impulsively. I was already at the kitchen gobbling up some bread. β€œ I’ll go when am done with Mrs Truffaut ” I replied between bites.
  β€œ yeah , whatever ” she muttered.
    Gulping down a glass of water, I got out of the kitchen. β€œ bye Mabel, see you later” I said as I bent to pick up my files.
  β€œ bye Amy”
   I got out of the house and started walking down the street. I had better hurry. On my way to the bus stop I saw Terrance coming towards me. He seemed as if he was coming to see me or something. I waved my hands. Chat MartinMartino on zero eight one eighty thirty fourteen twenty one to be added to his WhatsApp group.
 He saw it and began walking towards me. When he got to me he smiled that cute smile of his.
    β€œ hey, ” I greeted.
β€œ Hi “
    β€œ what are you doing here?” I asked. He scratched his hair. β€œ I…. uhmm… Wanted to see you at home, but it seems you’re on your way to somewhere” he concluded.
  β€œ yeah…. Am actually going to miss Truffaut store… You know it right?”  I told him.
  β€œ yeah I do…. Can I tag along?” He asked.
 β€œ actually you can… I might need an helping hand, besides Mrs Truffaut won’t refuse anyway as long as she doesn’t have to pay ” I informed. That actually got Terrance laughing and I joined in too.
   β€œ we had better hurry then…. Cause we’re already late ”  I said and we started walking really fast.
    We got to the bus stop when the bus was just arriving. I got in first, then Terrance followed.
  β€œlet me help you with that” he said, gesturing for the files on my hand as I searched for where we both sit.
   β€œ oh.. Thanks”
 β€œ whats this?” He asked later on when we already sat down and the bus moving.
 β€œ actually, it’s a form. I’ll be going for auditions later on today” I explained.
 β€œ wow.. Seems like you got today all planned out” he muttered. I just smiled.
                 .   .   .   .   .    .   .  . . .

     Arriving at the bus stop. We got down and  began walking to Mrs Truffaut store. We arrived there soon and we both walked in. We both coughed at the scent of new fabric. True there were lots of new fabric and materials that needed sorting. It was in a vast amount. I sighed and glanced at Terrance. This was why Mrs Truffaut called me.
     Mrs Truffaut appeared later on and we greeted her.
  β€œ who is this?” She asked after hearing at Terrance who bent his head a little.
  β€œ he is a friend ma’am. He wants to help me out” I quickly explained.
   β€œ that’s true” Terrance added.
 β€œ I see… But am not sharing any money” she quickly grunted.
  β€œ he isn’t here for the pay” I put in.
  β€œ whatever, get to work already” she said before disappearing to her office again.
     When she left, Terrance turned to look at me. β€œ is this what you go through everyday?” He asked in disbelief.
  β€œ yeah.. And we better hurry. Mrs Truffaut doesn’t like delay” I explained and began shifting to one batch of the clothes.
  Terrance just shrugged. I chuckled. Time to get to work.
   After very long hours of work, we were finally done sorting out the fabrics. Me and Terrance both sat on the customer chairs trying to get some rest.
  β€œ to be honest Terrance…. Thanks for coming along with me.. I would still be here if it wasn’t for you”
  β€œ no biggie, I was glad to help anyways” he replied.
   I hit him playfully in his arms. β€œawwn.. Thanks. You’re a great friend” I said.
 β€œ yeah..  Whatever ” he muttered back.
 I chuckled. I stayed there a bit longer until Terrance spoke up. β€œ aren’t you going somewhere later today ” he asked.
  β€œ no I don’t have any…….. OH MY GOSH! I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE AUDITIONS!! ” I exclaimed standing up.
  β€œwhats the time?” I asked hurrying to take my bag.
 β€œ it’s quite late… If I were you I would hurry”  he said.
  I quickly picked the form and tied up my hair.
 β€œ when Mrs Truffaut comes out, please tell her I already left” I quickly said.
 β€œok” he muttered confused.
 β€œthanks” I said as I ran out of Mrs Truffaut to the bus stop. I was running really fast and people around me thought I was crazy.
  Oh God.. I just hope I’ll get there on time. Else Mabel will kill me.
                        Chapter 6
                          Author’s P. O. V
   The moment Amy ran out of Mrs Truffaut store, Mrs Truffaut came out of her office meeting Terrance still seating there dazed and confused.
      β€œ hey!  Where did Amy go to ” she asked scornfully.
   β€œ uhmm….she just went out” Terrance answered.
  β€œ I asked where? You Numbskull! ” Mrs Truffaut spat.
  Terrance looked at her surprised and with anger creeping up his face he replied.
  β€œ to an Audition ma’am, she went for an audition “
  β€œ and what auditions is that?” Mrs Truffaut asked not quite clear.
 β€œ its a fashion audition ma’am. Excuse me but I’ll like to go now” he said as he stood up. Mrs Truffaut saw him walk out.
   Fashion auditions, isn’t it? Mrs Truffaut thought to herself. β€œI need to let him know about it” she said aloud before walking into her office.
   She needed to let β€œhim” know about it, but who was this β€œhim”?
    The man was quite aged, but not old yet, probably in his early fifties. There were pictures of his beloved family hanged all over his room  and his precious daughter picture placed on his bedside table as he relaxed on his bed reading a newspaper. He wasn’t alone in the house however, his daughter was in too and once in a while he could here music playing out of her room which meant she was busy and didn’t want to be disturbed.
    Soon his phone rang and he picked it up to check who the caller was. It was Mrs Truffaut.
 Knowing that she only called when there was something important to say he picked it up
πŸ“ž yes, what is it?
πŸ“ž it’s about Amy.
πŸ“ž what about her?
πŸ“ž she’s going for a fashion contest, the one designed by Ryan Oswald.
     Hearing that, he shot up from the bed.
πŸ“ž what!! And you didn’t stop her.
πŸ“ž I didn’t know. Anyways that’s your job not mine. I already told you what she’s up to.
πŸ“ž OK thanks.
πŸ“ž bye.
    He hung up. He was surprised and worried. After all he had done she still had the guts to chase her dreams. He had to do something about it before everything goes out of hand.
   He got out from his bed and walked to his daughter room. He could the loud sound of music blaring from her room.
  Without knocking, he opened the door and walked in.
    His daughter, his precious daughter was busy painting and was startled when she heard the door open. Seeing it was her dad, she rolled her eyes.
   β€œdaad…” She drawled β€œ what did I tell you about walking in without knocking? I could be naked in here!!?” She stressed.
  β€œ sorry for disobeying you honey, but this is quite important ” he apologised.
  Turning of the music she turned to her dad.
 β€œ what is it?” She asked.
 He cleared his throat. β€œ I’m sure you must have heard of the fashion contest Ryan is holding? ” he asked
 β€œ yeah I did. How does that concern me?”
β€œ honey, I’d like for you to go for that contest”
 β€œme!!?” She gawped. β€œ why would they look for someone like me?”
 He leaned forward. β€œ you’re really talented dear, look at you. I met you drawing in your room. You know you can do it. Just use a few designs that you stacked up in your drawer and you are good to go” he explained.
  β€œ but I’m not really interested in fashion, why should I do it?” She asked staring at her dad.
 β€œ because I know you can. And besides if you win, that’s an added bonus. Remember… I’ll be with you every step of the way” he promised.
 She sighed. β€œOK… Of that’s what gonna make you happy, I’ll do it” she finally said.
 He smiled. Phase one of his plan complete.
β€œ you should hurry now the auditions is almost ending… And don’t worry about the form, I’ll do it online ” he said.
  His daughter smiled at her dad. β€œ thanks dad. Now leave please. I need to get ready” she said, shooing her dad out of her room.
 Once he was out she closed the door. He smiled again. It was a mischievous one this time around. He wasn’t going to make it easy for Amelia. Not ever.

                        Amelia’s P. O. V
   Out of breath, I finally arrived at the location where the auditions were taking place. It was a huge building, really expensive too. Through the directions I found out we were using the ground floor. I dashed in startling a few people who were around there. I saw some people, probably young fashion designers who had already been checked and some of them even brought clothes. I only had my had my design book which I held in my hands.
    Getting to the hall way, I was about turning when I bumped into someone. Due to the impact, my design book removed from my hand and sent my form and design book flying into the air. It landed face open in front of person.
   β€œ I’m sorry, I didn’t see you” I said as I bent to pick up the books and the form.
  β€œ I’m sorry too, I didn’t look at where I was going either” I heard a voice say.
   I looked up to catch a proper look at the person I bumped into. It was a male. This days I just keep bumping into men. He had a healthy look and he seemed very fit, as if he hit the gym once or twice a week. But this particular man gave a different vibe from Ryan. This one seemed nice.
   β€œlet me help you with that” he said as he bent down to pick my design book but stopped when he saw my designs.
  β€œwow,great work. You’re really talented” he commended. I smiled, a lot of people say that to me.
    β€œ thanks sir” I appreciated. I picked up the rest of the papers and stood up. He stood up too.
   β€œ oh,call me Carl. I really don’t like the sir title”
   β€œoh” I gasped. β€œthen Carl it is then” I put in.
 He chuckled.
   β€œ your name?” He asked.
  β€œ my name’s Amelia Kurt, Amy for short” I answered.
    Raising his brows as if confused, he looked at me closely.
  β€œ is everything okay, Carl?” I asked a bit unsure.  β€œoh nothing’s wrong, that’s a pretty name. Just wanted to know if you had a sister in the auditions with you”he said.
     Sister!!? Is there someone with the name Kurt here too? I wondered.
  β€œ no… I don’t have a sister here in the auditions with me” I confirmed, my voice tight.
   He seemed more confused than before but he quickly waved it off.
  β€œ never mind, something just crossed my mind that’s all. Good luck in there” he said and waved. I waved back and kept walking down the hall. I finally arrived at the audition room and at that instant a lady walked out.
    I probably haven’t seen her before but the moment we shared eye contact, I felt a sudden connection with her, kind of eerie and I felt some upturn in my tummy. It seemed as if I’ve known her for a long time.
 I guess she must have felt it too because she shifted her gaze and spoke up.
   β€œhey you,why are you staring at me like that? Aren’t you supposed to get in?” She asked
  Her voice woke me up from my trance. That voice…. That voice too was familiar but I don’t know where I heard it from. I tried remembering but my mind was blank. I don’t know but I have a bad feeling about this lady. It’s like she’s going to be a threat to me something.
   β€œ I’m sorry.. But I’ll go in now” I said,hoping it’ll calm her down.
  β€œwhatever,” she hissed as she walked away,I watched her go. I stayed there for a few more moments wondering what the hell happened and why I reacted that way when I saw her.
  Someone came out from the auditions room and saw me standing.
   β€œ are you part of the people auditioning? ” she asked her voice stiff.
  β€œ ye…ye..yes ma’am ” I stammered
  β€œthen come in” she gestured in and walked inside. Holding my design book and form tightly to my chest, I said a quick prayer and took a deep breath before walking in.
                    Ryan’s P. O. V
    I yawned as the last contestant walked out. It’s been a long day and really tiring as well. The contestants who came in especially the last one had really good designs but not the type I was actually look for
     β€œ are there no longer any contestants? ” I asked the lady beside me.
  β€œ I don’t think there is any sir” she replied.
β€œbut I’ll go check” she said afterwards.
    β€œ please do ” I motioned.
She stood of from the table and started walking out the door when my phone rang. I picked it up. It was my dad. I tried hard not hiss right there so I excused myself and went to a corner in the room, out of earshot.
   Someone walked in but I couldn’t see the person because I was backing the stage.
 I took a deep breath before picking up the phone.
πŸ“ž hi Dad.
πŸ“ž Ryan, what is this I hear about you holding a fashion contest?
πŸ“ž it’s for the meantime dad. Once am done I’ll come back home.
πŸ“ž I disagree. You should be here focusing on the family business and Vivian.
  All the time family, family, family. He never talked about me once.
πŸ“ž I said I’ll come back. It’s just for the meantime. Once my time lapses I’ll go back to Florida.
πŸ“ž I don’t believe you.
    Tightening the grip on my phone, I tried calming myself down. This is why I hate picking up my parents call.
πŸ“ž you’ve never believed me dad. And I honestly don’t know how to prove it to you anymore. I have to go now.
πŸ“ž Don’t hang up on me you arrogant boy…. I’m your father and I have authority over…..
      That’s it. Always controlling. I hung up and sagged against the wall. Why won’t he just leave me alone? I’m not a kid anymore. I need to go back,the rest of the judges would probably be waiting for me. I walked back and when I got there, I heard the contestant saying her name.
   β€œ I’m Amelia Kurt and I’ll like to take part in the competition ma’am” she said.
    Kurt!?,  did she have a sister or in the competition. By the way her voice sounds familiar. I walked faster to catch a glimpse of the person.
                      Amelia’s P. O. V
    I was already sited in front of the judges, with my designs and form with me. I noticed one of the chairs was empty and wondered who it was. Probably the person went to ease his or herself.
   The judges asked for my name and I said it. Like the person I met earlier, the judges seemed surprised hearing my name.
   β€œ do you have a sister in the competitions with you?” The lady who called me in asked. I was already getting confused. Why do they keep asking if I have a sister?
   β€œ no ma’am, is there another Kurt in the competitions? ” I asked in return.
  β€œ actually there is, she’s actually the last contestant who left before you came in. The lady you saw before you walked in” the lady confirmed.
  That woman!? Have never seen her before. But if she was the contestant I saw before I got in then I admit there’s something strange about her. Just don’t know what.
   β€œ no ma’am ” I replied shaking my head.
  β€œ she’s not my sister” I confirmed.
 β€œOK, if you say so. Lets continue with the auditions ” the woman continued.
       I noticed the person occupying the empty seat had already sat down but due to my initial confusion of who the lady that has the same surname as mine I didn’t take a proper look at the person.
   β€œ please submit your form and design to that man sitted over there.” One of the judges said.
   β€œ OK ” I took my design book and form and stood up to go and submit it to the person mentioned. I already walked some distance but I stopped dead on my tracks when I finally recognized the person.
    β€œ yo… You!” I spat in a strangled voice.
 β€œ you! ” he replied, but he was more calm.
  I couldn’t believe my eyes. Oh God, why didn’t I think of this before? Of course this was his contest, but why was he here.
   This was Ryan Oswald… My worst nightmare!!?
   To be continued


By penhouse

Jaja Godspower is a creative thinker and business strategist. He an award winning writer, blogger, author and a film maker from Nigeria. He is motivated with the desire to grow brands and businesses through adequate branding and visibility with his writing expertise. He is the founder of Penhouse Initiative, one of the largest growing writing hub in Africa.

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