Emeka; the president of one of the largest conglomerates in Africa, the father of three beautiful children, and the husband to a caring wife lounged on Miami Beach. He observed as his two sons James and Michael led their baby sister Phoebe to the edge of the ocean where she squealed in amazement at the luxury yachts that were docked at sea.
They were enjoying the last few days of their vacation before going back home to endure the daily grind of working life, but the time they had spent together and with their extended family had been priceless. He was finally able to hold his daughter without her crying and the easy speech between him and his sons had returned once again.
He looked to his left and caught himself staring at a woman with what he considered a perfect body; long legs, beautiful thighs, flat stomach, voluptuous breasts, flawless skin bronzed by the Miami sun, and a warm smile that invited him to do more than look. It was his wife, Hadija. More than that, she had an amazing mind, it was her mind and personality that made him fall in love with and eventually marry her.
The turmoil and distance they had been experiencing in their marriage had evaporated as soon as they had been able to spend some real quality time together. In addition to remembering why he had fallen in love with her, he made love to her over and over and over again during the course of their short vacation.
“We go back home tomorrow.” Emeka said taking her hand in his and kissing it.
“I know, I wish we could stay here forever.” She sighed wistfully.
“Ha, I’m sure my family would not relish the idea of supporting us when our money runs out.”
“We could get jobs; I would work at McDonalds and you could work at Walmart.”
“It seems you have given this a lot of thought.” He replied with a smirk.
“Oh, just a little.” She smiled.
“Sounds like fun.”
“Thank you dear.” Hadija whispered earnestly.
“For this, all of this.” She answered waving her hand to take in their surroundings. “I know that you work so hard for us and I have no right to complain but sometimes I wish we could go back to the old days when it was just you and me in our one bedroom apartment.”
“Yea, everything was so much easier then huh?”
“Yes, we did not have a care in the world. Now, every morning when we wake up we are consumed with the realities of this harsh world.”
“I know it baby, but I can’t say that I would change anything because then we may not have those three beautiful children you see over there.” Emeka replied pointing at the laughing children on the beach.
“You are right, nothing can replace that gift.”
“Michael, pick up your sister, we need to go to the hotel and prepare for our flight tomorrow.” Emeka called out as he stood and helped his wife do the same.
The vacation was over and it was back to business as usual. Emeka looked up at his magnificent office building for the first time in two weeks and was filled with a sense of foreboding, as if he was slowly walking into a trap that would change his life in ways he could not imagine.
I am equal to any task that can be thrown my way.
As he stepped away from his car, the first and last person he wanted to see was sauntering towards him. Cassie wore a blue form fitting dress and black heels that added to her already prodigious height. Emeka thought that he had gotten over the attraction he had developed for this beautiful young woman but when he saw her he knew that he had only been fooling himself. If anything, she had gotten more alluring over the last fourteen days.
“Hey boss, how was your family vacation?”
“It was wonderful Cassie, makes me wonder why I don’t go on them more often.”
“That’s good to hear, you look good by the way.”
“How have you guys held up on this end?” He said changing the subject and ignoring her last statement.
“Oh you know, we put out a few fires, nothing to write home about.”
“Capable as always, shall we?” Emeka said, leading her into the building that they called home more often than not.
“Are you excited about your trip to Spain with the chairman this evening?” Cassie asked conversationally as they stepped onto the elevator.
“To be honest, I’m not in the mood to travel again so soon but duty calls, what choice do I have.”
“You could quit.” She quipped
“So you can become the top dog, not likely.” He returned with a smile.
“This is my stop, see you before you go?” Cassie asked at the elevator came to a rest at her floor. “To get you caught up on what’s been going on in your absence.” She added when she saw that Emeka hesitated.
“Sure Cassie, that will be fine.”
He stepped out of the elevator on the top floor and cut a direct path to his office, Emeka knew the paperwork there would be daunting.
“Mr. Jones, here is a catalogued list of everything on your desk arranged in order of priority, welcome back.” Janet said as soon as he came within range.
“Thank you Janet, I do not know what I would do without you!”
“Probably nothing, I’m a superwoman.” She replied with a smile.
“That you are.” Emeka agreed with a fond smile.
The man slipped over the threshold of his office and a short gripe escaped his lips. The mountain on his desk would take just as long to clear as it took to produce.
Nothing to it but to get to work then.
After working for a few hours and making considerable progress, Emeka checked his watch and decided that it was time to meet the chairman and get going on their trip. He strolled out of his office and into Mr. Vincent’s without a second thought.
“Good morning sir, are you ready for our journey?” He said to the seated man without preamble.
“Ah Emeka, I think I’m as ready as I will ever be.”
“Sounds good, shall we?”
“We shall.” The old man said standing up with some difficulty.
This was the first time Emeka had been in Spain and he had the privilege of landing in the capital itself. Madrid was the most stunning city he had ever been in and home to one of his favorite football clubs, Real Madrid.
“Enjoying yourself?” Mr. Vincent asked as he noticed the excited way Emeka looked out of the window of their car.
“Thoroughly, as soon as we finish the deal to buy La Casa Groupo I will explore this city and buy my family souvenirs.”
“Your family is lucky to have a man such as you.”
“It is I who am lucky to have them sir.”
“Good point, well-made Mr. Jones.” Mr. Vincent said with a smile.
They arrived at the offices of La Casa Groupo where a few of their team members that had flown down in advance were waiting for them. As Dante and Emeka arrived, the entire party was quickly ushered into the company boardroom where they sat for hours, hashing out the finer points of the acquisition.
When they were finally able to come up for air, La Casa Groupo was firmly in the possession of Constellation Industries; they now had a strong presence in Europe and a promising alternative energy program; everything was falling into place just as the president had planned.
“You did well in there Emeka.”
“Thank you Dante.”
“Shall we go and get an early dinner?”
“We shall, I have always liked Spanish cuisine.” Emeka replied amicably.
As they settled down at the magnificently appointed restaurant, Emeka found himself staring at decadence that surrounded him. Dante let out a friendly guffaw when he noticed how unaccustomed his young companion was to their surroundings.
“Don’t worry, the company is paying.” The old man said with a wink.
“I came from very humble beginnings and to be dining here with you is truly amazing. I am just happy that I can give my family what they truly deserve.”
“You have earned it so enjoy it my young friend. Your family is truly amazing; cherish them as I failed to do my own.”
“But you work with your family every day and I have seen you all interact.”
“That is our public face, my children hold no deep love for me and I have been estranged from their mother for decades. When I was young, about your age, I allowed temptation to overpower me. I committed the ultimate sin in marriage; adultery. It may have been different if it only occurred once but I carried on multiple affairs over the course of decades.”
This man is hitting the nail on the head, this is a warning about Cassie and I.
“So what finally happened, what ended them all?”
“Well, my former wife was aware of a few but she had no idea about the true scope. It was not until Dante, my son, was in his early twenties that he found out the depth of my betrayal and reported me to the rest of the family. It tore us apart and the mother of my children could not take the shame, disgrace, and other feelings that come with being betrayed. She left me and poisoned the minds of my children against me.”
“No, Emeka, do not pity me, it was the natural course of events for my actions; I know that now. That is why it makes me so happy when I see you together with your family but you must understand that one moment of unmitigated lust, passion and desire can destroy it all. So please, do not do anything to jeopardize what you now have. Once the love and trust they have for you is gone then it is almost impossible to get it back.”
This man is deep.
“Sorry, I launched into a soliloquy that is too dreary for this fine repast that has been placed in front of us. Let’s eat.”
“With pleasure Dante.” Emeka said, still trying to absorb the gravity of what the old man had just confided in him.
As Emeka eats his food, he makes a silent vow to never allow the temptations of the flesh to destroy the life he has built with is family.