Olivia&Gerald’s Story: Chapter One

This is one of those books I wrote when I was in high school. I have unearthed it from my archives and decided to type it and post it here. Olivia is a twenty three year old fashion designer whose dream has been to make it in the fashion industry. When she is called for an interview with one of the largest fashion houses in Nairobi, she sees her dream within reach. But in her way is the boss’ son who is soon the boss and who is blessed with good looks and a charm to march. Theirs is a tumultuous relationship that has a very unconventional beginning.

Chapter One

“You’ve been online for hours. Do you know how much data bundles cost? At this rate we won’t even have money for tomatoes let alone rent,” Charles said as he let himself into the double roomed apartment he shared with his elder sister Olivia.

“Am looking for a job and being online as often as possible increases my chances. So far I have sent three applications and am only hoping that I get shortlisted for at least one of them.”  Said. She was glued on the lone plastic chair with their desktop computer on the little study table. The rest of the room was taken up by a two sitter couch on one corner and they had fashioned a kitchenette near the door. At night, Charles got the spare mattress from the bedroom and dropped it on the floor and slept. Olivia slept on the small bed that occupied the bedroom.

Olivia was the breadwinner of the family since they left the children’s home they had grown up in when Charles finished high school and turned eighteen. At the time, Melissa was in her final year in campus where she was getting her degree in fashion and design. She had thought that with her outstanding grades and amazing talent, the world was her oyster. However, things had not gone as they expected. She was yet to get a job and had to rely on promotion gigs that were also hard to come by. Charles was studying clinical medicine. Though he had a sponsor who paid his school fees, he always needed money for term papers and other material that he needed for school. They were lucky that their landlord wasn’t hard on them in regards to rent or they would be out in the streets by then. Since Charles’ studies occupied almost all his time, he didn’t have time for part-time jobs as Olivia had had when she was in campus. Melissa had graduated from campus about eighteen months ago and she was still struggling to get work. She had been focusing all her effort in the fashion industry but right now, she was willing to take anything she got.

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be ok and I have a little saved up for anything that I might need for now.” Charles said. Melissa felt a pang of jealousy, Charles was managing to save up but she had to spend every penny she got on rent, food, Charles, internet bundles and it was never enough. There was always something that got neglected. This time, it was rent, even though it was almost the end of the month.

“We can’t continue like this, I need stable job and soon. We can’t live like free loaders. Although Mrs. Ondiek isn’t hustling us for rent, we need to pay her. Not to mention the million other things that we need.

“Sis I know how hard things are on you, nut soon, you will get that job you’ve been dreaming of and everything will be ok.”

“As long as I have you, I can be able to handle everything that’s thrown my way.” Olivia said. She stood up and pulled her brother into a hug. When their dad, who was their single parent, died when she was thirteen, she felt like her life would end. Their mother had run off with another man when she and Charles were six and three years old respectively. Their dad had taken care of them until a hit and run accident took his life five years later. Their mother hadn’t resurfaced and since they had no other relatives they knew of, they had been taken to a children’s home. Having someone who relied on her had made life worth living for Olivia. She had worked hard and still did because she knew that she was all her brother had.

Two days later, Olivia’s phone rang. The only people who called her were her brother and Mrs. Ondiek who was some sort of surrogate mother for them. However, this was a strange number. She quickly identified herself and held her breath as the person on the other end spoke.

“Hello, am calling from M&G to inform you that you have been shortlisted for the job that you applied for. You have an interview on Wednesday at 9.00 am. Please bring the relevant documents. We have written you an email to that effect as well. Lateness will result in losing the opportunity.” The female voice on the other end said, Melissa confirmed that she understood the instructions and hung up. She slumped on the couch at a loss. This was the first interview that she had been called for that wasn’t for a promotion gig. M&G was a clothes company that doubled as a fashion house. Their headquarter offices occupied three floors of a building in Mombasa Road. It was owned by Mrs. Mary Mwaura, she was at the helm of the field. She had started the company as a little tailoring shop after apprenticing with an aunt. It hadn’t taken long for investors to discover her and invest in her. She was one of the wealthiest women in the country. She was a widow with a twenty eight year old son. Olivia felt like a crazy person for knowing all this but Mary Mwaura was an icon. If you were interested in fashion and had any hope of making it in the industry, M&G was your safest bet.

When the shock of the call wore off, she ran to Mrs. Ondiek’s house and gave her the news.

“This is great news; we have to start making plans for the interview. I hope you know where all your documents are. You should also look for something nice to wear, pick two outfits just in case. I will give you money for a taxi so that you aren’t late, I will also wake you up really early on the day of the interview. Mombasa Road traffic is no joke and you can’t risk being late.”

“Thank you for taking such good care of us, we lucked out the minute we knocked on your gate looking for a place to live.”

“Don’t mention it, I like having you kids to take care of. All my children are older and they have their own lives. They say a mother’s job is never done but they hardly ever need me anymore.”

The day of the interview turned out to be freezing cold. It was mid-July and the weather was expected. Melissa was up at 5.00 am. She ended up ditching the outfits she had selected and chose something new entirely. A pair of beige pants, a black blouse and a long black trench coat that went up to her knees. She wore black pumps and no jewelery aside from her small gold earrings. She checked her bag again to make sure that her portfolio and her documents were all there. She had packed it the night before but didn’t want to risk forgetting anything. The taxi Mrs. Ondiek called collected her at 6.45 am and she was on her way. She arrived at fifteen minutes past eight and had forty five minutes to kill. She spent that time getting even more nervous than she already was. She was the first to arrive and was at the reception area alone for thirty minutes before the next person arrived. She watched people arrive for work. In order to kill time, she watched them and judged their jobs depending on what they wore. There were models, secretaries, executives and the tea girls.

Since she was the first to arrive, she was the first to be called in. The panel was made up of four ladies and two gentlemen. She recognized one of the ladies as a revered fashion icon and one of the gentlemen was Mrs. Mwaura’s son. She had hoped that Mrs. Mwaura would be there so that she could get to meet her but she wasn’t. The questions were not as hard as she thought they would be. They seemed to be impressed by her portfolio and the fashion icon lady said as much. The only one who retained his hard intimidating was Mrs. Mwaura’s son, who was introduced as Gerald Mwaura. He was also the best looking man that Olivia had ever seen. He wore a dark suit that was just the right fit, the jacket was unbuttoned and there was a hint of muscle covered by his white shirt which meant that he wasn’t a stranger to the gym. He had a chocolate complexion and a killer smile that he had so far aimed at everyone in the room but her. How she managed not to stare was unknown to her.

“According to your CV, Miss Gitau, you graduated a year and a half ago, yet the last time you worked in the fashion industry was during your internship. Are you sure that you haven’t forgotten what it’s all about?” Gerald asked.

“Although I haven’t been working exclusively in fashion, I designed several dresses for this year’s Miss Universe Kenya pageant. I have arranged my portfolio chronologically so you will see that I have been designing the entire time.” Olivia answered looking at Gerald. However as soon as she was done answering him, she averted her eyes. Something had passed between them since the start. Something primal that she had never felt with anyone. Something that she wasn’t going to even acknowledge if she had any hope of getting this job and doing it.

“I’ll admit that your portfolio is impressive. Do you guys have any other questions for her?” he asked and everyone shook their heads. “That will be all, we you’ll get a call in a few days if you get the job.”

“Thank you,” she said. As she stood to leave, Gerald stood with her and shook her hand. He looked into her eyes and the undercharge was palpable. It was clear that he also recognized the chemistry between them.

P.S Featured photo has been gotten from the internet

 

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One thought on “Olivia&Gerald’s Story: Chapter One

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