Amara is a beautiful, smart, young woman. Being highly sought-after, she enjoys a life she tags deluxe. When pregnancy knocks on her door at thirty-two years of age, her horizon widens, and she realises love has multiple definitions. What is it to love? What is it to be loved? What definition of love is true? Find out in this inspiring book, LOVED.
There was no month as beautiful as the month of March. At least not in Nigeria. And not to the best of my knowledge.
The best day in the month of March was the twelfth—the day I was born. A day I celebrated every year since I smelt freedom. And of all the ones I’d experienced, this was the best. My thirty-first birthday.
The previous year, I had been down with malaria, depriving me of enjoying my thirtieth birthday. My thirtieth birthday party had been a small one organized by my best friend in my apartment. All I could do was reassure myself the following year would be special. And indeed, it was beginning to be.
My thirty-first birthday party was taking place in Lá Visca, the very heart of Lagos Island. Thanks to Ejike—my heart—I could afford the exorbitant bill of Lá Visca. My brain—Ebuka—paid for all that would make my chameleon parade a dream come true. And he stuffed my account with sufficient money just in case of an emergency.
Some other parts of me also contributed their quota, which enabled me to place each of them where each belonged, in order of importance.
Richard would have been my eyes if he hadn’t disappointed me and made me search for someone else to pay for the DJ I wanted for my party. John stepped into that shoe. Of course, Richard’s place belonged to John now.
I gave other tasks to the rest and the ones who still craved to become part of me.
I tittered as my MUA—short for make-up artist—transformed my face. I had never looked this good, or so I thought. I muttered a word of prayer for Adaora, my best friend who paid the MUA’s bill. She was the best friend anyone could have.
The MUA nodded. “I’m done. You look amazing. Look at the mirror and tell me what you think,” she said, smiling.
I knew she had done a perfect job. I had been stealing glances at the mirror every now and then. She never dissuaded me. She was adept and patient.
I stared at my reflection in the mirror, simpering. “I love it.” I nodded. “So much,” I quickly added. It was true. I loved what I saw in the mirror.
“I’m glad you do. Now let’s get you dressed up,” she said. She stepped aside as I stood from the chair. Her work was done. It was left for my costumier to do hers.
Within an hour, I was out in my first wear of the day—a shirt tucked into a mini skirt with a fitting bolero, and a flowered silk sash tied around my neck in a way that called attention to the tiny gold jewellery on my neck. I intended changing wear four times, at least, if time wouldn’t permit more. It was my day. I had to shine.
I strutted out of the room. A round of applause welcomed me. I smiled, waving like a model at the people who came to celebrate me.
The party started. Teniola—my left hand—had the order of program well organized. She was adept at event planning and had no choice than to showcase her skills for me. What were friends for after all?
I went into the changing room the second time. A flowing red dress ordered from the United States and Christian Louboutin Stilettos was up next. It seemed I was born with the dress. It was a perfect fit. My MUA did her wonders on my face for a few minutes to ensure my looks suit the dress. She quickly rearranged my hair before letting go of me.
I walked out. A few people were just arriving. I took some time to greet them and ostentatiously showcase my dress, shoes, and Proenza Schouler’s Satchel.
I glanced in the left direction and noticed two strange ladies smiling sheepishly at me. I almost frowned and squeezed my lips but for the poke Ada gave me. I knew what she meant. Caution, it’s your day!
I smiled and waved at them instead. Excitement was written on their faces. It tickled my ego. It felt good being the centre of attention. That was how much they wanted me as a friend.
Another lady in the company of a man approached me. Her face was familiar but I couldn’t figure out where I had met her before now. I didn’t invite her to my birthday party. I was sure of that at least.
“Hello, Amy,” she said, smiling.
I forced a smile. “Hi.”
“Meet my fiancé, Raymond,” she said.
I didn’t even know her. And here she was, introducing me to her fiancé as if we were friends.
“Oh! Hello,” I said and shook the man’s outstretched hand.
“This is Amy, my friend,” she said to her fiancé, “and the celebrant,” she quickly added.
My friend? I didn’t even know her name. Wonders would never end. “And your name is?” I said, trying to burst her bubbles.
“Angela,” she said, still smiling.
I wondered how she could still smile. “I must go now. Thanks for coming to my party.”
She wanted to be on my list of friends. I would enlist her later if she met my standard.
“You’re welcome. And you’re gorgeous,” Angela’s fiancé said, gaping at me.
I recognized that kind of look. I smiled, satisfied, or was it excited? No life could be better than mine.
The MC called me to the stage to dance. And the DJ did what he knew to do best.
People came out one after the other to dance. I danced and relished the attention showered on me. It was all I needed to feel loved.
What a beautiful day!