Grace by Ibiyemi Marvellous

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  • #2997 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    GRACE*

    CHAPTER 1

    “Miss Adeyemi?”

    Grace looked up at the woman, observing her forced smile and strained act of friendliness. She was trying her best, but moving to and fro and calling out random names was taking a toll on her. Though she tried to hide it, Grace sensed she was annoyed. Almost pissed in fact. Apparently, she was new to the job, or she would have gotten the hang of it by now.

    “Yes?”

    She gestured towards the door behind her.”You’re up.”

    Grace picked up her purse and stood. Taking a deep breath, she walked towards the door. Clutching her purse tightly, she strove to steady her heartbeat. Grace sucked in a breath, relaxing her hold on the purse when her palms began to feel sweaty.

    Come on, Grace, she thought, in a desperate attempt to reassure herself.You got this.

    She had been working towards this all her life. This was what she had always wanted, wasn’t it? A chance to prove herself? A pointer to the right path?

    Grace took in another deep breath. She resisted the urge to turn around,afraid of the eyes that would be on her. What would they think? That she was a nervous teenager who hadn’t come fully prepared? If only they knew.

    Grace reached out to place a hand on the handle. The sight of her shaking hands stopped her. She knew she was nervous, but she had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. She clenched her fist, then released them. She repeated the exercise a few times, taking deep breaths during the process.

    “Ma’am?”

    Grace turned abruptly to face the woman from earlier. The look on her face made Grace look down in embarrassment. The woman probably thought her an idiot, standing in front of the door without opening it.

    “Are you alright?” Her tone expressed no concern, just sheer curiosity. And a hint of suppressed amusement. Unlike before, when she had observed every single detail about her expression, Grace couldn’t muster up the courage to look her in the face.

    “I-I’m okay,” she mumbled, still looking at her feet.

    “If you say so.” Grace nodded. “They’re waiting. You don’t want to waste their time, trust me.”

    She swallowed, watching as the woman turned to return to whatever she had been doing before the sight of her performing weird exercises before the door caught her attention. Grace sighed.

    She finally summoned enough courage to look around, and, contrary to her belief, no one was looking in her direction. They were probably too busy doing some last-minute mental adjustments to have noticed her staring at the door. She let out a breath. That was a good sign, at least.

    Grace turned back to the door but this time, she made no move to walk towards it.Its dark colour and design looked foreboding. If looking at the door terrified her this much,what would happen when she faced what’s on the other side?

    There was no way she could do it. No way at all. She turned back to face the woman.

    “Excuse me, can you show me where the restroom is?” When she saw the odd look on the woman’s face, she quickly added, “I need to pee.”

    The woman nodded and pointed the other way.”First room on the left.”
    Grace mumbled a “Thank you” before making her way towards the place. She located it without stress.

    Once she was inside, she stood with her back to the door, forcing air into her lungs. She had to do this. Staying here would only buy her time. She would have to face what’s lying beyond the door sooner or later. Hopefully it would be sooner rather than later, but with the way she was feeling, she couldn’t be so sure.

    Grace placed a hand over a racing heart and closed her eyes. Would she be able to pull it off? Was she prepared enough,or had she been trusting too much in her own abilities?

    Stop it, Grace, she thought,shaking her head. Don’t think like them.

    They thought she couldn’t do it. That it was all rubbish and she’d come running to them when she failed. They had laughed at her when she’d shared her dreams with them, telling her it was impossible. She had been told to snap out of it, that dreaming would cause her to lose hold of reality and drive her insane. She hadn’t believed them then and she w

    ouldn’t do that now.

    She opened her eyes, determination strengthening her resolve. She would not fail at this, not after everything she had put into it. Not after the hard work and rejections. She had sacrificed so much to get this chance and she would do anything to hold on to it.

    She tilted her chin upwards, her resolve strengthened. She could do this. It didn’t matter whether or not they thought so. All that mattered was that she knew she could it. That was enough reassurance.

    Taking another deep breath, Grace opened the door. This was what she had been waiting-and working- for. She would not lose sight of it now. She would put in her very best, nothing less. She stepped out. This was it. She was near.

    She was about to take another step into her future.
    *
    *Ibiyemi Marvellous*🖊

     

    chapter 2 coming soon

    what do you think about this story? please leave a comment below

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  • #3026 Reply

    Matthew Temitayo
    Participant

    Keep doing what you know how to do best. The sky is your starting point.

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  • #3028 Reply

    Damilola Daniel
    Participant

    Can’t wait for the next chapter,keep up the good work!

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  • #3030 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    Grace

     

    *GRACE*

    Chapter 2

    Five more minutes.”

    Grace nodded at the director and turned to the lunch table. She grabbed a bottle of water and sipped it.

    “You seem to have it all under control. Wish I could say the same for myself,” one of the actors, Victor, said.

    Grace looked at him from the corner of her eye. Victor was one of the protagonists of the movie they were shooting, her character’s husband to be precise. He was tall and dark-skinned, and he smiled a lot. Grace thought him a pleasant person to work with, when he wasn’t flirting with her, that is.

    “Don’t tell me Mr. Charismatic is nervous. I’d be very disillusioned,” she teased.

    “Okay. I won’t tell you,” Victor replied, reaching for his own bottle of water.

    Grace took another sip. Victor was wrong. She was nervous. Despite the fact that she’d been in the movie industry for five years, she still suffered from what she termed ‘pre-shoot nervousness’. It was pointless, really, since she was usually prepared. But she couldn’t help it. It was harmless, though. Immediately she heard “Action” she became another person entirely.

    “Take your positions, actors,” the director said.

    “I’m sorry for what I’ll do to you, Wife.” Victor winked and walked away, leaving Grace wondering why actors always thought it wise to hit on their leading ladies. Male ego, she mused as she positioned herself.

    “Action!”

    As expected, her nervousness disappeared in a flash as she got into character.

    “Look here, Sophia. I’m getting tired of your shenanigans. I married you to take care of my home and child, and you’re failing at both,” Kola- Victor’s character- said, incensed.

    Sophia reeled back, hurt. “I’m sorry, Kola, but-”

    “No buts, Sophia. What’s this?” Kola gestured to the living room. There were clothes strewn on the settees, and a few books on the table.

    “I went out to gather the clothes, then I heard Nifemi crying so I threw the clothes on the chair so I could pacify her. Then-”

    “Excuses, excuses, excuses!” Kola yelled. “I’m tired of your excuses, Sophia.”

    Sophia reached out to pacify her husband. “I was only trying to-”

    “Stop trying to do anything! Just do what you’re supposed to do without messing things up!”

    “Stop yelling at me!”

    “Stop being such a liability and do something right, for God’s sake!”

    Sophia stared, hurt. She swallowed, as tears brimmed in her eyes. “I’m a liability?”

    “Yes!” Kola threw up his hands, too angry to care about the effects of his words.

    “What? I thought you loved me,” Sophia whispered, weakened by his words.

    “I thought so, too. But not anymore,” Kola said as he walked out of the house.

    Sophia’s legs buckled, and she sat. She held her head in her hands as Kola’s words echoed in her mind.

    “He doesn’t love me,” she whispered, tears dropping from her tired eyes. She’d given him everything- she had even chosen him over her own family. She worked hard to keep the house and take care of his three-year old daughter. Yet, it wasn’t enough.

    She wasn’t enough.

    Sophia looked up, determination hardening her features. She was a liability to him, but she wouldn’t be anymore. She would become a woman worth his love.

    “I would make something of myself. I’m tired of living like this,” she soliloquized.

    The camera zoomed in, capturing every emotion and gesture.

    “Cut! Good work, everyone. Now for the second take.”

    Grace sighed. They would have to do it all over again. Hopefully, the director would be satisfied after the fourth take. The director gave her a thumbs up, and she nodded, returning to her position.

    “Just stop it already. I don’t date actors. Ever.”

    Victor raised a brow, one hand on Grace’s car.
    “Really? Why?”

    Grace shrugged. “Confidential,” she said.

    “You can tell me.”

    Grace groaned inwardly. What’s with this guy? She’d decided to be civil with him because of the movie, Finding her way. They needed to have chemistry, and Grace was professional enough to set aside her personal inhibitions for that. But she was starting to get tired of his shameless flirting. She’d laughed it off at first, but not anymore.

    “I don’t want to,” Grace said.

    “Why not?”

    Grace rolled her eyes. “Let it go, Victor. I don’t date actors. Period.”

    Victor folded his arms, assessing her. Grace almost cringed. Thank God the shooting would soon wrap up, she was starting to get tired of the guy.

    “What’s with you anyways? You’re not that much of a looker, so you should be grateful I gave you my attention,” Victor said, puffing out his chest.

    Grace laughed without humour. “I’m flattered by your praise.”

    Victor scowled. “You’re arrogant.”

    Grace smiled. “Now, that’s a compliment.” She turned to go. Talking to any other person was better than talking to an egotistical maniac.

    “Jerk,” she mumbled. Victor was just like most of the other actors she had worked with -cocky and too flirtatious for their own good. They always thought it was “manly” to hit on their leading ladies. Grace had made the mistake of falling for their lies in her early years, but she’d learned the hard way.

    Rule number .1 Never date actors.

    Sure, she needed to have chemistry with them, and she went out of her comfort zone- going on casual dates and trying to get comfortable with them. Most of them took it as a sign that she had a thing for them, but they quickly learned that she wasn’t. She only showed interest because she wanted to turn in an excellent performance. Nothing more, nothing less. They had learned that the hard way.

    Rule number 2, Be unpredictable.

    “Miss Adeyemi?”

    “What?” Grace snapped.

    Teni approached her cautiously. “The Producer wants to speak with you.”

    “What for?”

    Teni shrugged.

    “Is it important?”

    “How am I supposed to know?” Teni said, annoyed by her incessant questions.

    “Yeah, how are you supposed to know?” Grace sneered.

    Teni bit his tongue. He heard the unspoken words, you’re just a common cameraman.
    He kept his cool, though. He didn’t like his feelings controlling him. That was why he hadn’t snapped when Grace had called him Cameraman on the first day of the shooting. She was a good actress, but was lacking in the social department, he thought. He didn’t like her at all, and he knew other people that shared his sentiment.

    “Tell him I’m on my way,” Grace said, searching her purse for her phone.

    Teni did just that, but he wasn’t happy about it. What was wrong with her? Treating him like an errand boy! Teni fumed as he looked for Kenny, the producer. He saw the man among a few other people, engrossed in a discussion.

    “Excuse me sir.”

    Kenny looked up. He was a middle aged man with a slim frame and an easy smile, very easygoing as well. He treated everyone equally, not allowing sentiments to cloud his judgement. Unlike some people, Teni grumbled.

    “She says she’s on her way.”

    Kenny nodded. “Thank you, Teni.”

    Teni approached his crew, still upset about the way Grace had scoffed at his job. He was as important as she was, if not more. If he wasn’t there to capture her acting on film, how would the world know of her?

    Teni shook his head and settled to work. He wouldn’t worry about that woman. She wasn’t worth it.

    It was only a matter of time before she fell anyway.

    *Ibiyemi Marvellous*🖊

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  • #3057 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    *GRACE*

    CHAPTER 3

    People cheered loudly as the DJ played another familiar pop song, dancing wildly to the beat emanating from the loud speakers in the massive club. The place was a cacophony of sounds -loud music, laughter, talking and a few angry brawls here and there. Luckily the bouncers were always ready to defuse any fight before it got out of hand.

    The barman passed a glass of scotch to her and Grace smiled politely. He knew her well enough to have mastered her taste – scotch on weekends, classic Martini on special occasions (like after the release of a new movie she featured in). The barman- fondly called “Baldie” because of his hairless head- was very efficient. Most people thought so.

    Grace sipped her drink, watching the spectacle before her. People were dancing themselves to a frenzy. Most of them were dead drunk, and she grimaced as a girl threw up all over her partner. The boy stared, wide eyed,as the girl giggled and took another swig of her drink. He looked at her in disgust before walking away, obviously displeased.

     

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  • #3058 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

     

    “That girl isn’t gonna get far, drinking like that,” Baldie said. He was busy fixing a drink for another customer. “She comes here all the time, that girl- Sade or so. Calls herself ‘Shady’, whatever that means,” he continued, gesturing with his free hand dramatically. Grace listened,amused at his mannerism. The guy could gossip.

    “She hasn’t landed herself a good role in months. It’s telling on her.” Grace looked back at the girl. Sade was hunched in a corner, staring into nothingness as she took generous swigs of her drink. She looked like a girl trying to drown her sorrows with alcohol,as young as she was. She appeared to not be more than twenty two,three years younger than Grace.

    Grace pitied her. She’d been like that too- young and unhappy, unsure of where life was taking her, angry at the sort of life she’d been given. She hadn’t liked her family, had detested their demeaning words and actions. She’d hated it when she’d flunked in school and her teachers had said she’d never amount to anything. See me now, Mr. Ogunniyi, she thought, referring to one of her teachers. I’m now a Nollywood star. How’s that for someone that could supposedly never amount to anything?

    Grace wished she could see all of them and gloat. But she couldn’t. Ever since she’d stepped into the world of film, she’d never looked back. She hadn’t seen any member of her family in five years, but she derived some satisfaction knowing that they’d seen her; on TV, in movies. She hoped they regretted all the horrible things they’d said to her while she was still young and naïve. She wasn’t anymore.

    Grace looked away from Sade and gulped down the rest of her scotch. She signalled Baldie for another.

    “Another glass, Grace?” He asked, eyebrow raised in question. She nodded. She didn’t care about her two-glass limit right now. Thinking of her past always upset her.

    “Here you go,” he said, refilling her glass.

    “Thanks.”

    Grace watched absentmindedly at the unfolding events in the club. There were people in dark corners, some sitting on bar stools, like her, sipping their drinks contentedly -or at least they appeared to. It was hard to tell. How many people actually came to a club-albeit a celebrity club- without the purpose of getting temporary relief from their problems?

     

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  • #3059 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    Suddenly there was a commotion at the entrance, and Grace stared as someone walked in. Clad in a skintight black halter dress that contrasted with her fair skin and stiletto heels, a woman appeared at the entrance.

    Cassandra Onyechukwu.

    Famous Nollywood actress. The one every producer wished to have in their films, the one nicknamed “Queen of Divas” by her male fans. The attention seeker. Her name was always appearing on newspapers -rumours of her next big film, or the fact that she was dating so and so. Many a time she’d been accused of engaging in illicit affairs with actors, directors and the likes. Cassandra had barely been affected by the rumours, and Grace had an inkling that she loved the attention. It didn’t matter what generated it, as long as she was in the spotlight, she was fine.
    Cassandra was known for her conspicuous acts and dressing. Her real name wasn’t Cassandra, Grace knew that much. The woman had entered the entertainment industry, changed her name(and maybe her personality) and adopted the vanity mentality that was so popular.

    Cassandra paused at the doorway, making sure that everyone had seen her, then sashayed to the bar on Grace’s right. She crossed her long legs and flashed the barman a dazzling smile.

     

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  • #3060 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    “You know my favourite.”

    The barman nodded, then proceeded to grant her request. When Cassandra’s back was turned, he placed a hand on his heart and pretending to swoon, getting a laugh from some people. Grace rolled her eyes.

    “It’s not as if she’s that pretty,”she muttered, glaring at her half-empty glass.

    “Is someone jealous of our sexy Cassandra?” Someone slurred beside her.
    Grace turned. Richard. The celebrity drunk. He was tagged ‘life of the party’ and Mr. Promiscuity, especially because of his insatiable fondness for women of all shapes and sizes. Grace wondered why a brilliant mind was tainted with such an ignoble character.

    Richard leaned in to get Baldie’s attention, and Grace wrinkled her nostrils. He stank of ale and sweat. A horrible mixture. Finally he got his drink and sat. Grace breathed in relief, grateful that he had distanced himself from her. He didn’t look too good. His shirt was smudged with dirt and unbuttoned, and Grace recoiled at the sight of his protruding belly. He had aged considerably in the last few months, but luckily for him, his pretty face hadn’t been ruined by his horrible drinking habits.

    “Jealous, hm?” Richard asked, bringing his glass to his lips.

    Grace scoffed. “Of course not.” Why would she be jealous of Cassandra? Grace was a star, though she wasn’t as famous as Cassandra. At five foot eight, she was quite tall, though Cassandra was two inches taller. She’d checked that online, since they weren’t acquainted. Grace considered herself good looking, though she didn’t have Cassandra’s angelic features(strictly external!) and fair skin…

     

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  • #3061 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    Grace almost gasped as the realisation hit her. She was jealous of Cassandra!

    “She’s a rare one,that Cassie,” Richard mused, staring at Cassandra with a glint in his eye. Grace rolled her eyes. Richard was after this one too? What was so unique about her anyway? She dressed to kill, simple. It’s not as if her acting is that good…

    “You’re not- not bad, you know,” Richard said, eyeing her up and down. “Just a little too…..” He gulped down his drink and belched. “Excuse me.”

    Grace squeezed her face in disgust. Richard blinked at her, as if he couldn’t quite remember who she was. “What are you doing here, Eunice?”

    Grace hissed in annoyance, before heading towards the other side of the room. Someone bumped into her,spilling a drink that stained her peach blouse. Grace growled.

    “So-sorrry,” then the girl giggled. It was the same girl Baldie had talked about earlier. Sade. Her hair was scattered, and her dress was soiled. Her make-up was wearing off horrendously- smudged lipstick, running mascara.. In short, she was a mess.

    Grace sighed and made a beeline to the bathroom, taking care to avoid going through the throng of people on the dance floor. Instead she made her way around them. It was longer, yes, but at least it saved her from getting infected with sticky sweat and germs. A few ladies were touching up on their makeup in the bathroom, laughing and gossiping as they added extra coats of mascara to their eyelashes. Grace ignored them, choosing to stay focused on the task at hand. She cleaned her blouse as much as she could and left the bathroom. The women had started reapplying their lipsticks then.

    Grace shook her head. Vanity mentality.

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  • #3062 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    She was about to return to her seat when she sighted someone she knew. Feyikemi. As if on cue, Feyikemi turned and saw her. She smiled and waved, before signalling to the person beside her that she wanted to see someone.

    “Grace! How have you been?” Feyikemi asked, embracing Grace.

    “I should ask you that. Where have you been?” Grace admired her multicoloured jump suit and marvelled. “Nice outfit.”

    “I know, right?” Feyikemi beamed, doing a brief twirl.

    “Where have you been?” Grace asked again. “You haven’t been around for weeks.”

    Feyikemi smiled secretively. She was as mischievous as she was lively, but Grace suspected there was a story she was dying to tell. A few months spent with her during the shooting of a movie had formed a sort of friendship between them. Feyikemi was very garrulous, always going out of her way to meet people. Grace’s exact opposite. She only ever went out of her way to meet people if she knew it was going to benefit her in some ways. She’d had to suck up to some directors to bag some roles. After all networking was key in that world.

    “I really want to-” Feyikemi started, then a loud noise prevented her from completing her sentence. The Disc Jockey was at it again.

    “It’s too loud in here!” Feyikemi yelled, placing her hands on her ears.

    “I know!”

    “Let’s go out for a bit. I need some fresh air,” Feyikemi said,heading towards the exit. Grace followed Feyikemi out of the noisy club and towards the far end of the compound,away from the habitual smokers that hung in groups. Grace had never liked smoking anyway. She’d never been tempted to try it.

    When they’d finally gotten far enough to avoid the risk of getting their ears injured by the ever-increasing noise, Feyikemi spilled.

    “I was in Paris.”

    “Really?”

    “With Adekunle.”

    Grace blinked. “Who?”

    “Adekunle.” Feyikemi smiled wistfully. “It was wonderful, just me and him, on our little vacation,” she sighed dreamily. “It was so…beautiful.”

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  • #3063 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    “No kidding.” Grace tried to inject some enthusiasm into her voice, but she was still shocked. Adekunle?
    The man with the clean record? He was a good director and he had an eye for selecting the best people for particular roles. The man could milk something out of a talentless person, that was how good he was! Plus, he was morally..well, saintly. There had never been news of his sleeping with his actresses or engaging in some sort of shady deal. But now…

    He was dating his brother’s ex-wife!

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  • #3064 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    From Feyikemi’s story, Grace gathered that Adekunle had had a thing for her since before her divorce, but had kept mute, silently rejoicing at how the odds had turned in his favour. Then, barely six months after, he’d made his move on her, at the risk of ruining the relationship he had with his brother! No, at the risk of severing family ties and tarnishing his own reputation!

    Just because of his “love” for his brother’s ex-wife!

    As Feyikemi babbled on, something occurred to Grace.

    How far can a person go to get what he wants?

    Ibiyemi Marvellous

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  • #3066 Reply

    Raskidon Iykestar
    Participant

    *GRACE*

    CHAPTER 4

    Grace stirred her coffee absentmindedly, a million and one thoughts going through her mind, wrapping their feeble hands around her head and making it impossible for her to grasp the entirety of one thought before being bombarded by another.

    They had completed the shooting of Finding her way a few weeks before and she had heaved a sigh of relief.The job had tasked her. So much that she had had to forcefully shake herself out of the dark mood she sometimes found herself in after the shooting of a scene. Especially one that was emotionally tasking. Teni had, on a few occasions,been at the receiving end of her foul mood. She shrugged. His fault, not hers.

    It had been a huge relief when it had wrapped up. She hadn’t hated her role, but it had been too…well, tasking. She had been excited to finally rewind – or refuel, in a fellow actor’s words – but had been awfully disappointed after discovering that all she had to look forward to during her days of solitude were;

    Boredom.

    And boredom.

    And boredom, yet again.

    Grace blinked the room into focus and stared at the dark pool of her beverage. She liked it black, had always done so, but now it looked so dismal that she was tempted to throw it out. Nevertheless, she raised the mug to her lips and grimaced when the cold liquid attacked her taste buds. Abandoning her attempt at prudence, she poured it into the kitchen sink, before heading into the living room to look for something to occupy her time.

    Grace’s house was a luxurious bungalow located in the Southwestern part of her country, Nigeria. She had thought of moving a few times, but had never gotten around to it yet. She had the money and the resources, but something kept her in that tropical part of the world, testifying to the originality of her African heritage.

    Like most Africans, Grace was dark, with a heart shaped face and full lips plus a partially pointed nose – something she had inherited from her great grandmother who was supposedly a white woman that had defied her father’s instructions and eloped with an African to his own country – and thick wooly hair that she had managed to tame with the intervention of state-of-the-art hair stylists across the country. She was of average height, and she waged a never ending war with her ‘fat’ genes with the help of the mini-gym in her house.

    Grace wasn’t beautiful in a exotic, but she was what you call a handsome woman. Her seemingly nonexistent fragility and intimidating ways added to the impression people had of her; that she was a cold, arrogant woman who never hesitated to darken their mood with her sharp wit.

    Pah.

    Who cares what people think, anyway?

    Grace trailed her fingers along the length of her bookcase. Her hand touched the familiar cover of a book, and she smiled, reminiscing the times she had spent curled on a sofa, the book on her laps. She took it out and the words Take One, by Karen Kingsbury beckoned to her. Grace plopped on a couch, hoping that the book would cure her of this seemingly incurable plague of boredom.

    Another thing to note about Grace Aderonke Adeyemi: She hated boredom.

    She had always loved variety. To her, homogeneity was a sure way to rid her of the desire to spend a few more decades on this oblate spheroid called earth.

    She flipped through the pages of the book and almost lost herself in the words, before she remembered that she hadn’t gone through her mail and social media accounts. She sighed, placing the book on the couch as she got to her feet.

    As expected, there were thousands of messages – compliments from well wishers and fans and a host of invitations she would have to turn down. And criticism, too. Who doesn’t get criticized?

    She glanced through the mails, not bothering to reply most of them. She ran her hand through her braids and groaned. She really needed to hire someone to do this, but she didn’t want to risk it. Whoever deals with managing her account would have access to parts of her life that she didn’t

    intend to share with anyone. She loved her privacy, it was all she had to feel human.

    Grace typed away for what felt like ages, before the sound of her phone interrupted her. She reached for it, gave the screen a cursory glance to make sure it was a line she recognized, before picking the call.

    “Hello?”

    A few words later, Grace felt as if her world had tipped over. She gripped the phone tightly.

    “WHAT?”

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  • #3095 Reply

    arthur peace
    Keymaster

    *GRACE*

    CHAPTER 5

    “I knew you’d be surprised.”

    Grace listened, unblinking, as the Producer reeled off words that made her want to swoon. Figuratively speaking, of course.

    “Are you… you sure ’bout this?”

    The sound of Kenny’s low guttural laugh reached her ears. Grace frowned.

    “It’s not funny, Kenny.”

    “Sorry.” He cleared his throat. “You sounded so flustered that I couldn’t help myself,” he chuckled.

    “Well, show’s over.”

    “Sorry.”

    Grace could almost see him placing his palms up in a gesture of peace. Despite that, she ingested some seriousness into her voice to mask the excitement she was feeling.

    “I was surprised as well. I mean, Mr Daniel Daniels? At our premiere?”

    Grace felt that familiar tingle in her belly – portraying her bubbling excitement. Mr Daniels? The owner of the most flourishing movie making production in that part of Africa? At the premiere of _Finding her way?_ Grace immediately chastised herself for every unwarranted thought she had had towards the movie. It had, apparently, brought her luck. Lots of luck.

    “So… You coming?”

    “What actor misses her movie premiere?”

    “Well,” he said, half-teasing,”contrary to the general belief, opportunities do come more than once.”

    Grace wanted to smack him. How could he joke about something so important? This was what would propel her to another height of her career!

    “I’ll see you on the fifteenth of March.”

    “I’ll take that as my cue to get off your phone.”

    “You’re smart.”

    Kenny laughed lightly.
    “Don’t I at least get a thank you for being a deliverer of such good news?”

    Grace shrugged. “I would have found out.”

    “Ah!”

    “I’m hanging up.”

    Grace stared at the phone for minutes after the call had ended, ruminating over Kenny’s words.

    Mr.Daniels: renowned film maker and owner of the best film institute in Nigeria, was going to be at the premiere?

    Grace felt her heart thud in her chest. Excitement flowed in her veins, energizing her and stirring the desire to scream for joy. She wanted to laugh loudly; to jump till her head hit the ceiling, shouting at the top of her lungs that she had finally got close to catching the big fish. She wanted to dart outside and announce to her usually tranquil neighborhood that she was about to become a _real_ star.

    But of course, she didn’t.

    Instead, she headed out of the house, into her compound, and took a deep breath. She stared at the green of the ground, the purples of a few weeds, and smiled.

    Grace knelt, heeding the call of the carpet grass, and caressed the surface. Her smile was so big that her face almost split into two.

    She stared into the distance, her mind quieting long enough to think clearly.

    Gifted.

    That was the name of the production that would turn her life around. The name that would mark the turn of things and propel her to the society of the internationally renowned. The name that would turn her shelf of awards into a roomful of Oscars.The awards would be so many, she would have to assign a whole room to arrange them. She would call it _The exotic room of awards, proof of my exemplary stardom_. She shook her head. Maybe the name was a bit too long, but it was fitting.

    She would invite people to admire her roomful of awards and boast when she sees them gaping in undisguised astonishment.

    Her awards.

    They’ll be proofs of her success. Her glory. Her stardom. The whole world would know of her!

    Grace gradually stood. She had lots to plan, lots to think about. She headed towards the house. First things first.

    She’d create her scheme, then see what March 15 brings.

    She almost couldn’t wait.

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