Behind Her Smile
“Michael, please nah,” Miriam pleaded for the umpteenth time, praying he’d let go of her. “I have to go before someone sees me in your room.”
She’d been asked to take the Prince’s food to his room, but when she arrived, he’d insisted she eat with him. She’d caved in, but then he’d asked her to stay for a while. She’d agreed to this after much persuasion. Now, hours had slipped away and he still wasn’t ready to let her go.
“Mimi, I just miss you so much that I want to spend the whole day with you,” he said, flashing her a sinfully cute smile.
“Mikey, don’t look at me like that,” she said. “That smile won’t work on me today.”
Michael smirked and winked. “So you mean it has been working on you before, huh?”
“Mikey, please nah,” she pleaded, but he held her waist and whispered something that made her blush. “Mikey, what are you doing about your health?”
“Tony is coming back soon, so I think we will figure it out when he comes back,” Michael said, still holding her waist and kissing her neck.
“So you mean that there is a possibility that you will get a donor soon?” she asked excitedly.
“I’m not so sure about it,” he said. “But we still hope for the best.”
“Mikey, no matter what, you can’t leave me,” she pleaded, tears filling her eyes. “If you do, I don’t know what will become of me.”
“Shhh, don’t cry,” Michael said. “I won’t die. I’m not going anywhere.”
He dried her tears with his palm. He hated seeing her cry, especially when he was the reason behind her tears. What saddened him most was that he had no idea how to cope with his deteriorating health.
“But promise me you’re not going anywhere,” she pleaded.
“I promise,” he said.
Miriam smiled. “But I still have to go now.”
“Promise me first that we will be going out today,” he asked, bringing her closer.
“Where to?” she asked curiously.
“My surprise.” Winking at her, he let her go.
“Okay, we will see later.” She made to leave, but Michael dragged her to himself. Their closeness made her nervous. “What now?”
“I don’t like the fact that our relationship is a secret, ‘cause I really want the whole world to know how lucky I am to have you,” he said, a serious look on his face. He planted a kiss on her lips and loosened his hold on her. “I will go buy what you will wear for our date.”
Blushing, Miriam made her exit.
Heading out of the Prince’s room, Miriam felt nervous as she saw Chioma approaching. She hoped Chioma wouldn’t suspect anything. What if she noticed she’d been with the Prince for hours?
“Good afternoon Chioma,” Miriam greeted.
“Miriam, I have something I would like to ask you,” Chioma said.
“And what’s that?” Miriam asked.
“Tell me who you are and where you’re from,” Chioma said.
Miriam’s heart leapt. All her life, she’d hoped no one would inquire about her background.
As a teenager, she’d left the sea. Having nowhere to go, she’d loitered around the village until a car ran her over. She’d woken up in a hospital, where she met Michael, the boy who’d ran her over during a driving lesson.
When he’d inquired about her background, she had told him she’d been kicked out of her house. Driven by sympathy, he’d taken her with him to the palace, where she would become a maid. That was the start of a beautiful friendship between them.
“Miriam I asked you a question ” Chioma said, bringing her out her thoughts.
“What do you want to know?” she asked.
“How to help you,” Chioma replied, hoping Miriam would open up. “And to know if you can be of help to me too.”
“Chioma, daughter of Ulomma, and currently the daughter of Ezinne the great witch,” Miriam said. “I know you are a witch and I also know that you and your mother are looking for a way to stop this disaster from coming to this village.
I’m also looking for a way to stop it too, and I need the help that you’ve promised, because I don’t want Prince Michael to die.”
Startled, Chioma stared at her. How did she know a secret she and her mother had kept for years? “How did you know all this?”
“I will tell you everything,” Miriam said. “But not in this palace.”
“Okay, how about we meet outside the palace today?” Chioma suggested.
“That’s a good idea,” Miriam said. “We will meet at your mother’s place. I have some questions for her. I can’t afford to lose the Prince.”
“Are you two dating?” Chioma asked.
“Yes,” Miriam replied.
Looking down to her foot.
Chioma smiled proudly. “I knew you guys would eventually be an item. I’m so happy for you. I’ll send you out to buy something, then you will wait for me on the way.”
“Okay,” Miriam said. “I’m supposed to go somewhere with the Prince today, but it’s okay, ‘cause this is more important.”
“Okay, see you later,” Chioma said. She turned to leave, but then she saw a figure walk past. Miriam saw it too.
“I think someone heard us,” Miriam said, looking around to confirm her suspicion, but the person was already gone.
“Let’s just meet outside,” Chioma said. “As for the spy, I will figure out who he is.”
Chioma walked away, leaving Miriam hoping for the best. Taking a final glance around the passageway, Miriam headed for her room.
The maid who’d been eavesdropping stood a distance away, lost in thoughts. She had a hard time believing everything she’d just heard.
She wouldn’t believe if she’d heard such unbelievable news from someone else. But could she doubt her own ears?
“So Chioma is a witch and we didn’t know,” she thought. “But how come she is the daughter of Ulomma, when I heard that the witch was killed with her pregnancy? Hmm, so this is why she always asks us not to mention what goes on here to anyone? I can’t be a fool again.”
Thinking of a plan, she snapped her fingers and walked away.
Queen Jaja was sitting in the living room when one of the maids walked in.
Standing a few steps away from her, the maid curtsied. “My Queen, I greet you.”
“What are you doing here?” the Queen asked. “I didn’t send for you.”
“My Queen, I have something to tell you,” the maid said.
“And what is that? ” the Queen asked.
Taking a few steps toward the Queen, the maid swept her eyes around the living room to make sure there were no extra ears. She looked back at the Queen and whispered something to her.
“What?” the Queen exclaimed. “Are you sure about this?”
“Yes, my Queen,” the maid said.
“Okay,” the Queen said. “You can go now, and please call one of the guards for me when you go out.”
“Yes, my Queen.” The maid curtsied again, and then she walked away.
The Queen smirked. “So this is what has been going on in this palace. Well, I think a perfect pacifier has just appeared.”
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D A M B O I
Behind Her Smile