Coco spent years building a reputation as a serious, career-driven radio personality and it was paying off. She had got the recognition she deserved and was awarded The Presenter Of The Year. During the award gala, she bumped into Charlie, an old flame, and ended up spending hours catching up with him. He asked her out on a date hoping to rekindle their old flame or simply forge a friendship with her. But there were rumours that there was something going on between her and Greg, the owner and director of the company where they both worked. Read part 1 here – Picture Perfect Part 1 – The Girl With The World At Her Feet
Coco picked her clothes that were neatly folded and placed next to the bed. She dressed hurriedly, called an Uber, and sneaked out of the hotel room without as much as a goodbye or hello to anyone. She got to her apartment and started preparing for her date. As soon as she got out of the shower, her phone rang. It was Greg.
“Hello,” she answered.
“Hi. What are you doing?”
“I am just in my apartment. Why?”
“Nothing. I just want to know where you are. The hotel told me you didn’t check out.”
“Oh, I forgot.”
“Okay. I’ll call you later.”
She stood at the entrance of her apartment building waiting for Charlie. Her white dress blew flimsily in the gentle wind clenching onto her body and showing off her killer figure. She kept glancing at her watch then in both directions of the road waiting for Charlie to show up. The more he delayed, the more she got nervous. She couldn’t handle the humiliation of being stood up by him. But more importantly, she needed his company more than ever.
Finally, Charlie rolled up in a sleek, black Mercedes he had borrowed from one of his friends in an effort to impress his date. He parked it right in front of Coco then came out to open the door for her.
“You kept me waiting.” She said while they embraced.
“Not too much though.” He said.
She checked her watch. “10 minutes.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll be on time next time.”
“Who said there will be a next time?” she answered and smiled.
“Just wait and see.”
They drove through the busy roads of Nairobi then turned into a quieter neighbourhood. After a short drive, Charlie stopped in front of an exquisite black gate. The security guard quickly came out to enquire about the visitors then opened the gate for them. The short driveway led to a huge mansion tucked away behind some palm trees. He parked the car in the driveway then got out to open the door for Coco.
“Here we are.”
“Where are we?” she asked looking around.
“A little hidden gem I hope you’ll enjoy.”
“I’m sold already.”
He smiled knowing he had made a good impression.
“We have the entire house to ourselves. So, if you want anything, just say the word.”
They were greeted by a sharply dressed man who ushered them into a cosy living room.
“Brunch will be served in an hour. Would you like a massage while you wait?” The man asked.
The house came with a personal concierge and a private chef who were all at Charlie and Coco’s service. Charlie had his friend to thank for all of it. His friend who worked abroad had booked the house on Airbnb for 2 weeks but he had to leave after one week leaving the house unoccupied. He asked Charlie to find someone who would stay there so he could recover his money. A white couple was checking in the next day so he decided to make use of the house for that day. He had hired some private masseuses to make Coco’s experience memorable.
“It’s like you’ve read my mind,” Coco remarked.
As they walked in, her phone rang for the fifth time since Charlie picked her up. She silenced it then put it back in her bag. The man then led them to a massage room in the house where they changed into robes and laid on the massage tables. Two ladies then walked in, introduced themselves, and began the massage. They were both quiet for a while as they relaxed and enjoyed the massage.
“This is very different.” She said.
“That’s what I was going for. An experience that you’ll never forget. Besides, I figured we could both use a day of pampering.”
“Well, thank you. I don’t know how much all of it costs but it’s very generous of you.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He replied casually. “Anything for a perfect girl like you.”
She laughed. “Perfect? I’m far from perfect. That’s for sure.”
“You’re literally the most perfect person I’ve ever seen. It’s not even fair for the rest of us mere mortals.”
“Don’t let the exterior fool you. I have deep, dark secrets.”
“Let’s hear it.”
She was quiet before their intimate moment was interrupted by another phone call. She instructed the massage lady to hand her the phone which she silenced. Before she locked it though, Charlie was able to see who had been calling her. His heart almost sunk to his stomach after seeing Greg’s name and number.
“Why does he keep calling you?” he asked thinking he had found out that he was with Coco. There had been rumours in the office that she was the boss’s mistress and Charlie was worried that if he found out he was with her, he would fire him. This was one of the reasons he ended things the first time.
“I’m not sure. Maybe work.”
He noticed that the phone call and the conversation made her uneasy so he changed the topic. They talked throughout their massage most about their dating life. Coco disclosed that it had been a while since she was on a proper date. He found it hard to believe but Coco blamed it on her work.
After their massage, they settled by the poolside where the chef welcomed them with a chef’s special cocktail. The pair sat in silence as they both thought about what they would say. The conversation in the massage room had brought back memories both of them hoped to erase completely. Coco took a deep breath then turned to face Charlie.
“Are you sure you want to know about me? I won’t be the perfect girl you think I am.”
“Nothing can make you less perfect than you are.”
It took a while for her to open up. Coco was cautious about who she let in her life. However, she felt comfortable with Charlie. He seemed to bring out a gentler side of her that many did not see that often.
“Well…” she began. “You know those rumours about me that I’m sleeping with Greg? Actually, it’s not true. There’s another reason Greg and I are close.”
Charlie was relieved. At least he didn’t have to worry about the CEO, or so he thought.
“I’m close to the CEO of Clear Publication because his son is my baby daddy. Just after I joined the company, I met him and I got pregnant shortly after. Nobody knew that we were dating since it was very brief and our relationship only got worse after the pregnancy. He hasn’t been active in my life since my son was born and his father, Greg, has been trying to mend our relationship. This is why he’s always calling me and talking to me. He’s trying to have us meet and talk but each time his son doesn’t show up. Like last night, we ended up waiting for him at the hotel until his dad booked hotel rooms for us just to see if he would show up in the middle of the night.”
“Oh, that’s so crazy. I always thought TJ was from a past relationship with somebody before you joined the company.”
“Nope. He’s the CEO’s grandson. But I’ve come to accept that his father doesn’t want to be part of our life and I’m ready to move on.”
“I would never have guessed anything like that.”
“I’m not so perfect now, huh?”
“You still are. I just have a different view of you now. You’re stronger than I thought. Keeping that kind of secret and dealing with all that drama without dragging it to your work is not easy.”
“Well, just don’t tell anybody because I want it to remain private.”
“You can be sure I won’t tell anyone. Besides, I wouldn’t want to mess with the CEO’s family life.”
They both laughed. Coco felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulder after talking to Charlie. Now, she had someone to confide in.
“Let’s enjoy the day. I want to spoil you because you deserve it. Then maybe I can convince you to agree to a second date.” Charles winked and reached across the table to hold her hand.
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