Anike woke up the day after her wedding and immediately realized she was in bed alone. She felt the panic rising somewhere in the pit of her stomach. Where is my husband? She wondered. Maybe he already hates being married to me and has bolted. She clumsily jumped out of bed and pulled her nightgown around her. She tied the belt while her feet found her fluffy slippers. Just then, the bedroom door opened and Stephan walked in bearing a tray. Anike almost collapsed with relief when she saw him.
‘Good morning, iyawo.’ Stephan said with a boyish grin. ‘Were you planning on escape?’
Anike threw her head back and laughed. ‘I thought you bolted.’
‘What? Not in a million years.’ He gave her a peck on the forehead before dropping his tray on the bedside stool. ‘Breakfast in bed for Mrs. Rossi.’
She beamed and went back to the bed. She sat upright with her back to the headboard and her legs stretched out in front of her. Stephan handed his wife a plate of freshly made pancakes from the tray. He sat down on the edge of the bed and watched her take the first bite. He sat down on the edge of the bed, lifted her legs and placed them gently on his thigh.
‘This is divine, il mio amore.’
‘Oh, it’s nothing.’ Stephan replied, waving his hand in false modesty. He picked up the teacup and teaspoon left on the tray and passed them to Anike. She stirred the tea and took a sip before dropping it back on the tray.
‘Very milky. Just the way I like it.’ Anike commented.
Stephan smiled and picked a pancake from her plate. He was about to take a bite when Anike’s phone rang. He got up and got it from the dresser.
‘Who could be calling so early?’ She asked.
‘Dunno, it’s a number.’
She collected the phone and glanced at the screen. It was a number she didn’t recognize.
‘Hello?’ she said tentatively into the phone. She waited for the caller’s response before asking who it was.
‘This is Mosun Ayeni.’ The voice replied.
Anike’s jaw dropped. Chief Dr. (Mrs) Mosunmola Ayeni was the most revered woman in the country. The latest publication by Forbes had named her second only to Oprah Winfrey on the list of the world’s richest women. Mosunmola Ayeni was into every sector of the economy, a billionaire and a philanthropist who gave away hundreds of millions of naira every year. Although she was still in her forties, she had been awarded one of the highest National Merit Awards of the country and Anike had a deep admiration for her. She simply could not understand why such an important person was calling her.
‘I just want to congratulate you on your latest award. I think you’re an inspiration to women everywhere.’
‘Thank you, ma.’ Anike replied, flustered. ‘It means a lot coming from you.’
‘I have one little proposal for you, Anike.’ The older woman said, cutting right to the chase. ‘You see, my husband has been bugging me to write an autobiography for the past couple of years but I’ve managed to resist until now. Yesterday when I saw your wedding on TV however, a brilliant idea occurred to me. I read Behind Every Cloud and I just love your style of writing; so forthright and honest. So here’s my proposal, I’m ready to write my autobiography and i want you to help me. You’ll get credit of course and you’ll also be paid handsomely for your trouble’
Anike was dumbfounded. She was been given the chance to write the biography of one of the most powerful women in the world. It felt more like a dream than reality and she was tempted to pinch herself. She didn’t need to however as Stephan chose that particular moment to tickle her feet. She snapped to and stammered what she hoped was a positive response into the phone.
‘That’s great.’ Mosun Ayeni squealed. She was obviously excited about the project. ‘You’ll easily come up with another bestseller and be even more famous.’
Anike didn’t know how to reply but she didn’t need to as her caller soon gave her directions to fly to Abuja the next week so they could iron out the details of their arrangement. That was when Mosun Ayeni told her how much she would be paid for the project and Anike was blown away. She was shocked at the amount she would be paid for something she would enjoy doing. They soon concluded their chat and hung up.
Anike turned to face Stephan. ‘That was Mosunmola Ayeni and she wants to hire me to write her autobiography.’