Your Brief Bio:
Maggie Smart is a passionate storyteller, and her unassuming personality has made her writing systematic. She has the uncanny ability to keep her readers on their toes, creating an unusual sense of suspense. Her stories are fictional, yet real enough to help every readers. Her degree in Chemistry would not even deter her from the assignment of writing to influence her world.
She is presently working on her new novel, Beyond Now.
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
When Dinma met Buchi, she wasn't so into him until another woman came into the picture. Suddenly, she felt Chloe was infringing on her territory and will do all she can to make Buchi love her again. Did she succeed?
It was an answer to a long voiced prayer when Dima met Buchi that fateful Tuesday in Abuja. Dima is an upcoming artist with a voice like that of an angel. Her voice is so unique with a throaty quality to it that attracts the attention of anyone that is close enough to hear when she sings. Her voice sounds a lot like Chidinma’s, the popular Nigerian singer/songwriter. After so many trials and errors, Dima finally produced a single she is proud of with the help of her longtime friend turned disc jockey (DJ Chimzy) and she was determined to push and market that single to her satisfaction hence her trip to Abuja from the coal city, Enugu.
Dima got to Abuja on a rainy and dreary Sunday afternoon. Mind you, she does not know a soul in Abuja, she figured she’ll get a cheap hotel room and start moving from one radio station to another with the hope that one Good Samaritan will agree to hear her song and decide to air it on the radio. This was after careful months of planning, strategizing and saving any extra cash that came her way. Little did she know that her dreams will be as far from her as the heavens is from the earth; it will not be as easy to achieve as she had initially thought.
After two weeks of running around with no show, her soul weary from the constant rejections, her body tired from the grappling and touching of men who wants her body before they commit to listening to her demo, her shoes worn almost to the soles of her feet, her money almost running out; Dima finally accepted defeat. She finally came to terms with the fact that there was no Good Samaritan anywhere to help her; everyone wants to know what’s in it for them. It’s a tit-for-tat world out there and it was time to accept defeat and go home.
It was out of this deep despair and hopelessness that a ray of light shone her way. A ray of light in the form of a man. A ray of light in the form of Buchi.
She was in a taxi on her way back to her hotel, counting the meager amount remaining in her purse when a program came on the radio. She started listening with half an ear but there was something in the presenter’s voice that tugged at her heart and she found herself drawn into the story he was weaving in his listener’s minds.
She decided to call him and pitch her song to him; maybe this will be the breakthrough she’d been searching for.
She was happy to have one final prospect to try but she didn’t want to be too excited hence she jinx it.
The next day, Dima woke early, took a warm shower and dressed in the best dress she came to Abuja with. She was filled with a renewed resolve to go slay the dragons in her way to success. Early that morning, she had called the hotline to schedule an appointment with the presenter.
Dima got to the radio station right on time. The radio station is located in the better part of Abuja; Nyanya precisely. Dima looked up to the building as the taxi dropped her directly in front of it. She was impressed by the architectural design of it; she never expected a big station like this. She decided not to get ahead of herself and enter before she forms her opinions.
On getting to the office foyer, she saw a young guy leaning on the front desk with his arms crossed in front of him. He was tall, and on closer inspection, she discovered he was not classically handsome but he has an interesting face, a face that is full of character and mischief, a face you will want to know.
“Hi, pleasure to meet you.” He said
Dima stretched her hand to clasp his. She felt a tiny frisson up her arm as their palms came in contact. She ignored it. Oh no, you are not doing this to me. This is strictly business. I’m not going to allow you ruin everything. She admonished her body.
“Hello. The pleasure is mine.” She replied Buchi with a straight face, none of what she was feeling showed on her face.
He led her to a chair and offered her a sit. Dima sat tentatively, on the edge of her chair. She was so nervous; she wanted everything to go perfectly.
“So, can I hear the song?”
“Yes, of course.”
Lord, let this be it. She prayed. Buchi was engrossed and nodding as the song played and this encouraged Dima. It means he likes it, she thought.
The song ended and he looked up at her. “Can you play that again?” he requested
Dima quickly hit the repeat button on her phone. The music crooned out once again and she tried to listen to it as if she was hearing it for the first time. If she must say so herself, the song is really good. At the end of the song, Buchi looked up and smiled. Dima’s heart almost leaped into her throat. That smile is everything.
“This is a really good song and it has a resounding message. I’m going to break one of my cardinal rules and help you. I don’t usually get involved in artists’ palaver but I’m going to make your case an exception. Where are the places you’ve been to?”
Dima told him all the places she’s been to and has been rejected. She told him of her experiences and how she almost gave up.
“So I decided to call you yesterday and try my luck.” She concluded
“Well, I’m not surprised you had that experience. A beautiful girl such as yourself in a city such as Abuja is a match made in heaven. I’m glad you called though and I like your personality which doesn’t usually happen. I’ll use every resource in my power to help push this song. I just need your commitment.” He raised his eyebrows, looking at her.
Dima almost kissed his feet. She was thrilled by his words. Why won’t I be committed? In fact, commitment is now my middle name sef. “I promise I’ll not disappoint you.” She replied earnestly.
And so it began; from station to station, from on-air personalities to on-air personalities, from disc jockeys to disc jockeys, Buchi introduced Dima to everyone who was anyone in Abuja. His influence and input alone unlocked doors that were previously closed and opened a whole new world for Dima; a world she didn’t know existed. Buchi took care of her, bought lunch for her every day and was a perfect gentleman, never demanding anything from her but her total commitment.
After another week of moving all over Abuja, Dima’s money had depleted to the point that she couldn’t afford to stay another night at her hotel. She broached this topic with Buchi and he offered her the use of his apartment till the time she would leave Abuja. Dima was shocked by his generosity and she hoped she could one day pay him back.
The day for pay-back came sooner than she expected. It so happened on that fateful day, Dima was in Buchi’s house in the evening having done the usual rounds all day.
Buchi came in a while later looking flustered and nervous. Dima wondered what the problem was. I hope he’s not having second thoughts about helping me, she thought. His help has been invaluable and she does not take it for granted.
Buchi came to sit on the sofa and Dima had to abandon her prostrate form to accommodate him. He looked at her strangely and she wondered for the umpteenth time what the problem was.
“Dima, I need to talk to you about something.” He began
Uh uh, here it comes. “What is the problem?”
“Oh, there’s no problem. It’s just that I don’t know how you will take this and I want to assure you I mean no disrespect, please.”
Just spit it out and save me from the misery. “Okay, shoot.”
“I like you Dima. Since the first time I saw you something in you drew me. I’ve been fighting it because I don’t want to seem like I’m taking advantage of you but I don’t want to fight it anymore. I want you to be mine.” He said earnestly
Dima was speechless. She wouldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams that this would come from him. But he has been such a gentleman and never indicated any of these feelings, she thought. Although, if I could read between the lines, I would have seen the reading on the wall; the solicitousness and help without asking for payment in cash or kind should have been warning enough. All these thoughts whirled in her mind as she looked at him fidgeting on the sofa beside her.
“I don’t know what to say.” She finally answered
Buchi looked up. “Say you’ll be mine.” He entreated her.
He looks so lost, his feelings must be real. But do I want this? The attraction is there but isn’t it better to focus on my career for now? “I really want to focus on my career for now.” Don’t alienate him, better reassure him.
“Don’t get me wrong, I like you but I think it’s better if we don’t mix business with pleasure for now.”
“Really? That’s your answer? How do you propose I turn off my feelings?”
Dima took his hand in hers. “I understand but can you please try? For me?”
He looked deep into her eyes and Dima was lost for a moment. She averted her gaze when it seems like they’ve been staring at one another for ages. Why am I fighting this?
He squeezed her hand. “I can’t do that Dima. I’d rather you change your mind. But I’ll not pressure you nevertheless.”
It was at that moment that Dima knew she was in danger of falling in love with Buchi. A lesser man would have exerted pressure and collected his pound of flesh regardless of her feelings.
Over the course of six months, she shuffled between Abuja and Enugu, went for concerts and music shows and gradually gained acclaim. Buchi was ever persistent with his invaluable help and each time she came around he accommodated her.
He continually made his feelings known and Dima continually denied him and herself. Little did she know that a major game changer will soon manifest.
Late July, Dima got an invite to sing in a concert in Maitama, Abuja.
Shortly after her performance, Buchi walked in with a beautiful lady by his side. Dima looked expectantly at him and waited for him to make introductions. He cleared his throat nervously.
“Ehm Dima this is Cleo. She’s your new assistant.”
“Oh.” Dima said relieved. She stood up and offered her hand to Cleo for a handshake. “Welcome. It’s good to have you with us.” She had discussed with Buchi earlier about getting an assistant that could do all the ground-work and be responsible for bookings and any other engagement, now that she is making some money and can afford studio sessions, it automatically means less time for leg-work. She needs to record more songs. She was glad Buchi came through once again but why had he hired such a beautiful lady?
“Thank you.” Cleo answered. “It’s good to be here working for you. I like your song.”
“Hmm thank you. I’m happy to hear the person who will work for me at least appreciates what I do. Sit down, please.” She gestured to Cleo.
That was how Cleo came into the fold.
It soon dawned on Dima that she couldn’t really trust Cleo. Not with her business or career but with Buchi. It happened that whenever she called Buchi, he was with Cleo and whenever she called Cleo, she was with Buchi. This made her suspect they spent all their time together. It was more than a coincidence, it happened too often to be ruled as one.
She decided to pay Buchi a surprise visit very early one morning.
“Dima.” He beamed. “What a lovely surprise.” He gave her a hug. “I was not expecting you until next week.”
“Yes, yes I know. I just wanted to surprise you. I decided to come a week early to have some fun with you. We’ve been working so hard, we’ve barely had time to enjoy some of the benefits and I want to take you out, as a small token of appreciation.”
“Oh, that’s so cool and thoughtful of you.” By then, they were comfortably seated.
“No work today?” Dima enquired of his schedule.
“No. Fortunately, I have today to myself. You came at the right time, so, you can spoil me as much as you want. I’m all yours.” He replied, his eyes radiating warmth.
Dima felt warm all over from the look in his eyes. I think I still have him. She thought happily. It never even occurred to her that she had rejected his advances when he asked her out, which in turn does not give her any right to him. The moment it seemed like he wanted to move on, she became obsessed with having him to herself.
“Good. Let’s go out then. Where would you like to go?”
“Let’s go see a movie. There’s this new James Bond movie I’ll like to see.”
“Oh no, not an action movie! Can’t we see another one? Romance perhaps?” she batted her lashes playfully.
Buchi feigned horror. “A chick flick?! Kill me now!”
Dima laughed. “Please now.”
“Now, wait a minute. I thought this was my treat?”
“Yes.” She pouted
“So, I get to make the choice?”
“Yes.” She replied, rolling her eyes.
“Then James Bond it is.” He said as he flicked her chin.
“Alright, alright. Next time, I won’t be merciful.” She pouted again
“Yeah, right. Just give me a minute to change into something presentable.”
“Are we going right now?” Dima asked surprised.
“Yes babe. Aren’t you glad I’m eager to go?”
“You are just eager to spend my money.” She rolled her eyes.
He laughed and walked towards his bedroom. He stopped suddenly at the threshold. “One thing though, can I invite Cleo? She’s been working so hard she deserves a treat too.” He said trying so hard to sound casual.
Dima’s face fell but she rallied quickly. I think it’s more serious than I thought. So, he’ll like to have her around even with me here physically? Better check out the competition then. This helped her make her decision. “Sure, the more the merrier.” She replied even though her heart was far from being merry.
They got to the cinema and Dima paid for their tickets. They ordered popcorn and drinks which Dima also paid for. She was pissed that she had to pay for Cleo too but she chucked it up as a means to an end. Luckily, the movie they were about to see was just starting so they followed all the other movie goers and trooped into the hall. The light was already dimmed when they entered so Dima reached for Buchi’s hand as support and to guide her through. Cleo saw the action, looked Dima right in the eyes and deliberately took Buchi’s other hand too. It was at that point Dima realized she was not fighting against physical but emotional principalities.
She sat stiffly all through the movie and watched as Buchi and Cleo held hands, more focused on each other than the movie, whispering and giggling. It was as if Buchi wanted her aware of their relationship, to rub it in her face so to speak.
Dima was glad when the movie finally wrapped. She hadn’t enjoyed herself or the movie as all her attention was focused on the couple beside her. She was consumed with jealousy but there was nothing she could do about it.
“Thanks for the treat, Dima.” Buchi hugged her when they got out.
She returned his hug stiffly. All the previous playfulness wiped out when she finally witnessed with her eyes what she had only suspected
“You are welcome.” She replied. “Can we go back home now?”
“What’s wrong? I thought you wanted us to have fun for the day?”
“Yes I did, but I’m tired. You know I just flew in this morning.” And maybe we can go back out when your side-chick leaves. “We can maybe do something tonight?” she shrugged
“Sure. Let’s take you home then.”
They went to the car-park and Dima went ahead to sit at the front seat of the car. Cleo moved as if to sit there too but Buchi shook his head and directed her to the back seat. Dima saw her pout and reluctantly moved to sit where Buchi directed. She smiled a small smile of victory. But her mood plunged again when she discovered what it meant.
“She’s going with us?” she asked, surprised and looked to Buchi to deny it.
He stared at her with a resolved look on his face. “Yes Dima. I thought you would have figured it out by now; she’s my girl.”
Cleo smirked and it was all Dima could do not to reach back and smack that smirk right off her face. She resolved then and there to terminate her appointment.
They got back to Buchi’s house and Dima went straight to her room. She couldn’t stand to spend one more minute in their company.
She came back out after some three hours of sulking in the room. She found Buchi alone in the sitting room watching TV. This gladdened her heart. The side-chick is finally gone. She thought
She leaned on the door and folded her arms around her middle. “So, you and Cleo, huh?”
Buchi looked towards her in surprise. He had not noticed her standing there. “Yes.” He answered and looked away. He was uncomfortable.
“How long have you been together?”
He scratched his head. “Ehm, just before she started working for you.”
So, he brought his girlfriend to work for me? This information disappointed Dima. She didn’t expect that from him. “Oh really? And you didn’t deem it fit to tell me?”
“Why should I have told you? There’s nothing between us remember? You wanted to focus on your career.”
So that was it. He was still hurt. Maybe there’s still hope. “What has that got to do with anything?” she asked with false bravado.
“Dima, leave it alone, would you? I don’t want to fight with you and I don’t have to explain myself to you.”
Dima backed off. His look said it all. She didn’t want to risk losing his invaluable help. She can’t afford to lose him and then lose her career too.
“So, where does that leave us?”
“There was never a ‘us’. You didn’t want it. Now, I’m with Cleo. Let’s just keep it business related. You still have my full support because I believe in your talent.” He smiled.
Dima couldn’t bring herself to return his smile. It was all she could do to keep from crying. Those words broke her heart but they also made Dima realize there was no moving forward for them both. Now that she was loved up, Cleo came in between them and shattered her illusions. Unfortunately for Dima, they still have to work together and she hoped to God she can make it work. She had worked too hard on her career to lose everything because she couldn’t suck it up. She decided to do her best to make it happen.
Three months go by and all Dima and Buchi did was work together. Dima was forced to get a small self-contain room she can stay whenever she was in Abuja because she just couldn’t bear to be in the same house with Buchi and Cleo and she was spending more time in Abuja than in Enugu. It was hell for her to see them together and it broke her heart.
Buchi was still the ever caring guy and it just made it harder for Dima to let him go. It seemed the more he was out of reach, the more she wanted him. When she’s awake, she’s thinking of him and he’s in her subconscious so much that it reflects in her dreams. Everywhere she turned, it seemed she could never avoid him and the feelings he evoked in her. She decided to let those feelings loose in her music. Every of the songs she wrote that period were about unrequited love.
Every night, she called Michelle. Michelle’s advice was that she fire Cleo and tell Buchi how she felt but Dima couldn’t do that. However she hates to see them together, she couldn’t fire Cleo just because of that. The girl was very good at her job.
Dima then decided to go out with Jide, a guy that had been on her neck for a while. She figured maybe if she dates other guys, she can forget about Buchi and move on. It happened that Jide came to the studio where she was recording that fateful day and gave her the usual spiel. Although Dima was not attracted to him in anyway, she decided to try it out. She just needed something/someone that will help her forget her feelings for Buchi.
As she was preparing for her night out, she heard a knock on the door of her tiny apartment. She rushed to the door and opened while trying to fix her earrings in her ear.
“Hello Dima.” She heard Buchi’s voice.
She quickly looked up and saw it was really him. He had never been to her room since she moved in and Dima wondered what he was doing there. “Hi.” She managed to reply and contain her surprise.
“Surprised to see me?”
“That’s an understatement. You’ve never braved the door of my apartment before, so what’s the occasion?” Dima allowed him into the house and gestured for him to seat.
“Yeah I know.” He followed her in, taking in the whole room.
“No occasion. I just wanted to come see your place and catch up.”
“Catch up? Really? And you didn’t call first? What if I was not home?”
“Well, we didn’t discuss any engagement tonight and I figured since I’m your only friend in Abuja, you’ll be in.”
Dima rolled her eyes. “My only friend indeed. As you can see, I’m on my way out so you figured wrong.” How dare he waltz into my house and expect me to drop everything? But he looks so good though. She thought, trying not to stare at him.
He looked up sharply. “Out?”
“Yes, Buchi.” Dima replied impatiently. “Will I be dressed like this if I’m just staying indoors?”
He looked at her closely. “No, I guess not. You look beautiful though.” His gaze lingered too long on her mouth.
Dima shifted uneasily. What do you want Buchi? She thought. I’m trying to get over you and you pull this stunt?
He kept staring at her and Dima had to clear her throat to attract his attention. “So, Buchi we’ll have to do this some other time.”
He didn’t appear as if he heard her. He just kept looking at her and Dima was getting uncomfortable.
“So, where are you off to?” he finally asked.
Dima shrugged. “Dinner.”
“Oh? With who?” he asked, trying so hard to sound casual.
“I don’t think you know him.”
“Jide.” Dima shrugged again.
“Oh please Buchi, why the third degree? I have to go. I’m running late.”
“Dima, really you don’t expect me to let you go out with a stranger in a strange land? I’m just looking out for you.”
That just annoyed Dima. Looking out for me, are you? “Don’t worry about me Buchi. I’m a big girl and can take care of myself.”
“Dima please.” He took hold of her hand as she was about to pick her purse, halting her. “I can’t let you go in good conscience. I’ll be worried all night.”
Dima saw his sincerity in his eyes. Her heart lurched. He still cares, she thought with elation. “Buchi, I’ll be fine.” She said softly. “You don’t have to worry about me.”
He still didn’t let her go. “Is he at least coming to pick you?”
“No, I’ll get a cab.”
“What? The least he could have done was come pick you. You are not going Dima.”
Dima saw red. She was so angry she could hit something. All the mushy feelings she had a moment ago disappeared. “He offered but I refused, I don’t want him coming here. Besides, who are you to tell me what I can or cannot do? I don’t have to explain myself to you.” she hissed.
“I’m your friend. I care about you.”
Dima relaxed a bit. “That’s right, my friend. And that’s all you are. I already told you I’ll be fine.”
“Do you want me to be more?”
Dima was thrown off track. She can barely follow what he’s saying. “What?”
“I asked if you want me to be more.”
“More?” she asked dumbly, her mind frantically trying to process his words.” More what?”
He moved closer until the space between them was little more than an inch. “More than friends.” He answered quietly.
Dima was speechless. She could barely form thoughts in her head not to talk of speaking out. Her knees gave way and she sat down unceremoniously on her couch. Buchi sat beside her, took her hand and looked deep into her eyes. “Answer me Dima.”
“I…I….I…” she started, looking into his eyes as her voice tapered off, but before she could go on, he kissed her. The kiss started off softly before deepening into something more. Dima found herself returning his kiss with everything in her. A few moments later, she came up for air, and in those moments came to her senses.
“Oh God, Oh my God.” She whispered and jumped up. “I have to go Buchi.” Before he could stop her, she grabbed her purse and ran out of the apartment.
Well, that went well. Buchi thought, staring at the closed door. He lay back on the sofa and thought about what just happened. He had purposely let Dima go because he knew she might be confused and needed time to sort out things. After all, he had some time to think about his decision before coming. He knew what he wanted and he knew it wasn’t Cleo, which was why he broke up with her last week. He just hoped Dima felt the same way because he’s not ready to do all that dance again.
Dima couldn’t go for her date anymore. She was too flustered. She called Jide to cancel, took a cab and just drove around the city, thinking on the next action to take. After a few minutes of driving around aimlessly, she finally decided to go back home.
Dima got to the door to her room before she remembered she had left Buchi in a hurry earlier neglecting to lock her door. Is he still here or did he lock it and keep the key somewhere? She looked at her wrist-watch, it was a little past eleven, so, he had probably left. She decided to call him but turned the knob first and found the door was open. She went in, looked around and saw him on the couch, looking through his phone.
He looked up as she came in and sat up quickly. “Hi Dima.” He said
“You’re still here?” she was still at the door looking at him warily.
“Yes I am.”
“Why? Shouldn’t you be at home with Cleo? Won’t she be worried?”
He didn’t answer her. “Come sit, will you?”
He took her arm and guided her to the couch while he sat beside her. Dima wondered why she was acting like a guest in her own home.
“How was your date?”
“Fine.” She answered curtly. “How is Cleo?” she demanded
He just looked at her, touched her cheek briefly and smiled. “Did you enjoy your dinner? Where did you guys go to?”
“I did. Dunes restaurant.” She lied, spitefully.
“Wow, that guy must be loaded.”
Dima shrugged again. “I guess.”
“That’s like one of the most expensive restaurants in town. The guy must be really into you.”
“He is. He really likes me.” she smiled, although the smile didn’t reach her eyes.
Buchi looked at her. “I like you too. In fact, I think I’m still in love with you.” He said quietly, still staring into her eyes.
Dima’s knees turned to water. If she had not been sitting, she would have fallen to the ground. She was speechless. Buchi caressed her cheek again and she found her voice.
“What about Cleo?”
“Cleo is no longer in the picture. I broke up with her last week.”
“Oh.” That explains a lot then. Cleo’s anger and impatience all through the week. Dima had wondered at the cause. Now, she knows.
“Yes. It’s you I want. I want to be with you.” He said earnestly
Dima’s heart soared with joy. She had been thinking and praying for this day for so long. It seems God finally answered her prayers.
“What do you say? Would you like to be my woman?”
“Yes, yes.” Dima answered enthusiastically, flinging herself into his arms. He hugged her tightly to him and started kissing her. Dima returned his kiss gladly, happy at last to be in his arms which were where she wanted to be, always.