A Christmas Party Ch. 05bylannasage©
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Donald 'Donny' Iliamson had always been self conscious. Since his childhood, he had never quite fit in with the crowd. While in elementary school, he had been one of the dullest students in class, and whatever he lacked in academics, he definitely didn't make up for in sports, he sucked at everything he tried his hands on so much so that he constantly felt the word 'SUCKER' was stamped on his forehead for all to see.
He had been taunted, bullied and damn near abused due to his then scrawny figure, somewhere between all of that psychological and emotional abuse, he had learned to shut everything out, he numbed himself to the taunts, thereby becoming an introvert. All through Junior high and High school he had barricaded himself from every form of socialization, despite the changes he went through during puberty from a scrawny little boy to a tall, broad-shouldered hunk of a man, he hadn't let it affect his attitude. He paid no mind to the many advances of horny teenage girls who viewed him as just another stud whose virility ought to go through rigorous testing and consequent approval or otherwise. It was quite amusing that the same girls who were drooling over him in High school had been part of the bane of his existence all through Elementary and Junior High, laughing at and mocking him at every chance they got. His being a defender in the school's soccer team- and an extremely reliable one at that, had made him more popular than he wished to be, and with steady grades, he had managed to extricate himself from the roll-call of the dumbest students in class.
He had graduated as the fifth best student of his class, a feat that not only excited, but shocked some of his many relatives who had always envisioned a miserable, wretched life for him, or at most, a life as a trader in the fish market.
A month after his graduation, his father came home with the news that the entire family would be immigrating to the U.S.A, after he won a visa lottery.
Suffice it to say, it was with a large grin and a glad heart that Donny waved goodbye to his homeland and the source of all his psychological torture for seventeen years of his life as he, his father, mother, and little sister boarded the plane to the land of the free.
When he had first set eyes on /Kachi at baggage claim in the airport, his breath had hitched in his throat, she was only fifteen at the time, but damn it if he didn't think her the most beautiful creature upon the earth. He had watched her intently, noting the fact that she was trudging behind a man he assumed to be her father, and two huge guys he later discovered were her brothers.
She had looked so cute with them, her small frame dwarfed by their much bigger ones. He had admired her nice ass which was accentuated in a pair of blue, form-fitting jeans, and had ogled at her perfect breasts, which as at then hadn't reached their present size, and he had gotten a 'stiff' reminder that he was a man.
He temporarily left his family and went to introduce himself, with every step he took toward her, he marveled at the confidence that seemed to pop out of nowhere, back in Monaco, he would never have even considered walking up to a girl, but here he was doing something he hadn't thought himself capable of. He had stopped in his tracks, a few feet away from where she was when she turned and her eyes fell on him, he had suddenly panicked, wondering if that dorky part of him that was a constant repellant as far as other humans were concerned had resurfaced, in a tumultuous fit, he had considered turning around and recoiling into his shell, his earlier confidence gone like smoke, but his doubts were cleared when she gave him one of her heart-warming smiles and looked away, her angelic face was a sight to behold, trumping all other females within a mile. From that moment on, it was a done deal- Donald Iliamson was head over heels in love with Karachi Iloh .
That night, for the first time ever, he had masturbated to thoughts of Kachi and promised himself that some day, she would bear his last name.
Fast forward nine years later and he was nowhere near fulfilling that promise, time and time again, he had considered asking her out on a formal date, but he had allowed fears and uncertainty deter him from doing so. All through college he had gone everywhere with her, he had dam near stalked her, making known to every potential suitor that she was taken in a non-verbal manner, only two guys had been able to infiltrate his fortress, and he hadn't had to bother himself concerning them, they were out the door once they realized that Kachi didn't plan on giving up the 'goods' anytime soon, and he was a phone call away from giving them the bruise if they dared to try anything funny with her.
He had been by her side those four years, protected her when she felt threatened, cared for her when she was ill, comforted her when she was sad, laughed with her when she was happy, sacrificed his time just to help her complete a report before the deadline for submission, but most importantly, he had loved her even when there were no assurances that she would reciprocate the feeling.
Even while he was dating Matilda, he had felt like he was cheating on Kachi, the fact that his best friend was happy he had found some girl to occupy his time with instead of hounding her every chance he got had annoyed him. He had expected a different reaction, he had WANTED her to be jealous, make several tantrums to carry that message, he had wanted her to fight for him...
But who was he to want such from her when he never made any attempts to fight for her? What other way was there to prove that one was a true man apart from fighting for what or who he loved?
For seventeen years of his life, he had been given the emotional beat down by others, but for the past nine years, he had been the reason for his heart-break, his inability to voice out his feelings to Kachi for fear of rejection had resulted in constant self-pity, and Phi's poking had done nothing to ease that feeling...despite being grown, he couldn't help but think that all the emotional abuse he had faced from his peers when he was younger had contributed to his lack of confidence and his fear of rejection. It didn't matter how much money he made, how buffed he was, how handsome he was, he just would never be able to take away that feeling of not being up to par.
He looked at his reflection from his side-view mirror once more, he knew he looked smashing, but for Kachi- smashing was never good enough. It was their usual Christmas day get-togther, and by get-together, he meant a time for just himself, Kachi and Phi to eat a nice meal, dance to good music, call loved ones, goof off, watch the funniest comedies they could lay their hands on, and bid each other goodbye- or stay over, depending on how intoxicated they were at the end of the day.
With the outfit of choice ranging from casual to formal, depending on the preference of the 'host' for that year, they made it seem like some high-end party of the year...with friends, even the smallest things were viewed in a larger perspective.
This year's gathering was at Kachi's place, and the agreed upon outfit was formal. Dressed up in a suit Kachi had gotten him for his birthday, a white shirt and a red, slim tie to celebrate the season.
Satisfied with his appearance and with a large bowl of Brandamincium, a traditional Monegasque dish, in hand, he walked up to Kachi's apartment and gave a slight knock. It was the highlight of their get-together that each person share a traditional dish with the others, not only did it help them reminisce about the good times of their home country, but it also educated them on the foods of their different nations, so far, Donny could mention at least five different Nigerian and South African dishes, and confidently cook two from each list, but he had promised himself he'd learn more of Nigerian dishes to surprise and please Kachi when they were married...oh, the many unfulfilled dreams of Donald Iliamson.
The door was opened by Phi who had on one of Kachi's shirts and a pair of shorts, there was an apron tied around her waist to signify that they were still preparing the meals for the day.
She looked him over, noting how nice he looked in his suit in contrast to her under-dressed self, "Na wa o, na you dress pass." she commented in Nigerian pidgin, hanging with Kachi had taught her more than a few things...Donny too.
"I thought the agreement was formal, it's already ten, you guys should be dressed by now"
"We're women, we have to cook and do a lot of things in the kitchen before getting dressed. My Valentino dress won't look good with tomato splashed all over it" she replied as she made her way to the kitchen, "Kachi he's here."
"Finally, give him an apron, we'll need an extra hand to get this finished in less than an hour." Kachi said from the kitchen.
"Apron? I don't think aprons and suits go together." Phi replied
"Suit? What su..." Kachi didn't finish her sentence as she came out to see Donny looking suave and every bit a heart-breaker in the suit she had bought him, but never thought he'd ever wear. Donny didn't exactly like suits- or ties, or anything that had to do with an office, but she had gotten him one for 'emergency' purposes, some day he was going to upgrade his father's business to a million dollar venture, and he needed to look the part on the way to the top.
"I'm sorry sir, we aren't holding auditions for the part of James Bond here, you sure you're in the right place?" she asked with a serious expression, which grew into a smile.
Donny grinned, genuinely happy that she found his appearance good enough for a James Bond role, he was flattered, ecstatic, over the freaking moon...funny what the right compliments from the right woman could do to a man's ego, "Hey" he greeted.
She walked up to him and gave him a small hug, "Merry Christmas bestie."
"Merry Christmas, love." he inhaled the scent of her perfume mixed with the aroma of the food she was cooking in the kitchen, having her so close did things to him, he would kiss her right here if Phi wasn't present- and if he didn't fear the repercussions, 'fear' being the operative word here. He held on to her much longer than normal, reveling in how good her small body felt in his, he could hold her like this forever.
Kachi left his embrace when it got a bit uncomfortable, "Let me not spoil your nice get up here, with all of this..." she indicated the various stains on her apron, she needn't give an explanation as to why she moved away, but it somehow appeased her feeling of guilt when she saw the disappointed expression on his face- Donny was no master in the arts of hiding one's feelings, "...you can sit out the whole cooking thing, I and Phi will finish up soon." she said, "thanks for this." she took the bowl from his hand and leaned up to him, placing a light peck on his cheek.
That small gesture returned the smile to Donny's face, "You're welcome."
She smiled and returned to the kitchen, "Smells lovely, what's it called?" she asked from the kitchen, apparently referring to Donny's dish.
"We'll save that for the show and tell." Phi replied, she walked up to Donny, "I hope this is the Christmas you tell her how you feel." she said to him, making sure to lower her voice so that Kachi wouldn't hear her. She didn't wait to hear his reply as she joined Kachi in the kitchen before the expression of shock left his face.
"Okay, Merry Christmas again. Love you"
Kachi got off the phone with her immediate elder brother, I.K and gave a deep sigh. She missed her family. Since she moved to Ohio for college, she only saw them six times each year, her father had tried talking her into moving back to New York to help in running the family's restaurant- one that offered the best of Nigerian cuisine, but living in the shadows of her men was not what she visualized herself doing for the rest of her life.
Being the only female of four kids, it was no surprise that Kachi received 'special' attention from her family, and her mother's death eleven years ago had only worsened matters for her, as the only female left of her family, her father and brothers rarely let her out of their sights, it was only by the grace of God- and the presence of Donny, that they let her go to college in a different state.
"So, that's the last call." Phi said.
"And what an earful it was." Donny added, I'K had read him the riot act on why he was giving in to Kachi's whims and hiding 'important' information from them, and by important information he meant Kachi's new job. So they hadn't called to break the news, but it was only because Kachi wanted to give it some time. He would admit to giving in to Kachi's whims, her brothers didn't know it yet, but he would literally move mountains for their baby sister.
"Don't be a sissy." Phi joked, "You shouldn't be hiding stuff if you don't want repercussions"
"So, what's next?" Donny asked.
"Show and tell." Phi replied, having already eaten some hours ago, it was time to bring out the traditional dishes. Kachi went into the kitchen to get the dishes just as there was a knock at the door.
"I'll get it." Phi shouted. She opened the door to see a deliveryman with two large bouquets, "ooh, flowers"
"Good afternoon ma'am, are you Miss Iloh?" he asked
"No, but this is her apartment" Phi replied, "Kachi, it's for you" she called as her eyes roamed the flowers, and her mind did a roll-call on who could be sending Kachi flowers. The first name that came to mind was Donny, maybe he had finally fished out his balls from the red sea and decided to make his move this year, what a way to start!
Kachi was at the door in minutes, "What is...?" she stared at the bouquets in the deliveryman's hands, they were a compilation of her favorite flowers, red roses, violets, and lilies. It was a beautiful sight.
"These are for you." he said as he handed her the bouquet.
Phi grabbed them.
"Sign here please." the deliveryman said, genuinely amused by Phi's action
Kachi signed, her thoughts racing on who could be responsible for this, it was definitely a nice gesture, "Thank you."
The deliveryman nodded in reply and turned around and walked off to his next destination. Kachi had barely closed the door when she heard Phi speaking
"There's a note."
She came into the sitting room to see Phi and Donny standing over the bouquets which were sitting on a table. Their postures reminded her of a scene from CSI when the officers found a dead body.
Donny was scowling, he looked deep in thought...well, that struck him off the list as a possible sender. As she moved closer, her thoughts suddenly fell on Jeremy, could he be the one? It gladdened her to no end that he had actually thought of her on Christmas day, it was a good sign, maybe they could actually go somewhere...assuming this was from him of course.
"Come over here and open the note already." Phi said, she was about to burst out of curiosity, she needed to know this mystery man.
Kachi picked up the note and opened it. Inside was a poem written calligraphically. It read:
" Jingle bells, Christmas cheers
Lovely flowers for a lovely girl
It's kinda cheesy sending a poem
But never so, if to a gem
Lilies, roses and violets I've sent
Hoping to my lady, I make a perfect gent".
Kachi's smile grew wider with every line she read, he was no Shakespeare, but considering the effort, she found it the best poem she had ever read, much better than whatever John Donne or Andrew Marvell could have ever come up with.
Phi snatched the note from her seeing that Kachi wasn't about to share the info, her eyes widened in disbelief at the name, of course in Phi style, she read the name of the sender before she did the poem, "Ooh, Mr. Vice President is a poet."
Donny's frown deepened. HIM. He sat on the couch, his eyes briefly caught the tray of food, there would be no eating for him, hell, his entire Christmas was ruined already. Here he was, trying to think up a way to make known his feelings to Kachi before the end of the day, and Mr. Smooth-talking, lover-boy, executive had more or less stolen the show before it even started. Why hadn't he thought of a poem and flowers? Whatever he couldn't utter with his lips, he could have written down, it would have saved him the humiliation- or at least made it a lot easier to deal with, if Kachi turned him down.
If Donny thought the flowers were a dent on his plans, the following hours proved that they were nothing but a mere scratch. First, it was five boxes of chocolate at the stroke of 1:00pm, then what had to be the most beautiful pair of platform shoes any of them had ever seen- Christian Louboutin, an hour later, came an emerald green dress that was nothing short of breath-taking- Vivienne Westwood, the next hour, a jewelry box arrived, containing a diamond bracelet, and then another came, inside lay an elegant, diamond necklace with the pendant being Kachi's birthstone- topaz.
The final gift was another bouquet of flowers, this time it was a monotonous affair- white roses, with another note attached to it.
"Open it, open it, open it!" Phi urged, jumping around like a hyperactive toddler. The entire scene that had played out for the past five hours felt to her like something ripped out of a romance novel, who knew romantic men still existed on this planet? The men she usually encountered were only interested in hitting it and quitting it, none was interested in the art of wooing a woman, none cared for the thrills that came with chasing a woman, those were just antics of a pussy-whipped man as far as they were concerned, 'real men don't beat around the bush, they zone in on what they want, and take it', those were their lines for defense, well right now, she was craving a 'fake' man, one who bothered to make her smile before making her scream, one who cared what she thought of him out of the sheets as well as between them, one who wanted to please her heart, before pleasing her pussy. Her definition of a real man. And it seemed to her that Kachi had snagged one out of a handful. Was she jealous? Hell yeah! What woman wouldn't envy the good luck of another for finding the perfect gentleman? But the happiness she felt far outweighed the feelings of jealousy she harbored.
Donny's eyes drifted from Kachi to Phi and back again, neither had acknowledged him since this festival of gifts began. He assumed Jeremy was wealthy, but to send this many gifts- whose combined worth could pay the salaries of everyone in his employ for at least four months, to someone he had met just over a week ago, had to be one of the most extravagant action Donny could think of, never in a million years could he have been able to get Kachi all of this in one day. His jaw ticked as he struggled to keep his temper on a leash, this was definitely not a level playing ground by any standards.
Kachi opened the note, it contained another poem:
" If milady finds my gifts pleasing. Let it be known, this gent means no teasing If willing you are, to simply take part A date with you, would gladden my heart."
This one seemed more like a really corny version of Shakespeare, but it was all the more heart-warming. Kachi felt so much like a teenager being asked out on a date by her crush- no, much better, she couldn't even think up a word to describe how she felt.
She bit her bottom lip as she thought of Jeremy, who knew he could be so sweet? He was so reserved and quiet, she never assumed he was a hopeless romantic...and he was asking her on a date? Oh, it was a Merry Christmas alright.