Queen of Ice: Episode One
PART ONE: A HEART MADE OF ICE
Ademolawa opened her eyes in her large queen size bed covered in cold sweat even though the air-conditioner was on. One would have thought that after five years, she would have gotten used to the nightmare. The nightmare that was a constant reminder of her foolishness and the fact that she didn’t deserve the life she had.
She flung her huge duvet aside and got out of the bed that was big enough to consume her. Her alarm clock said 2.a.m. Although she did not need to check, she always had the dream and woke up at the same time every day. Using the little light her night lamp provided, she put on her hot pink robe that matched her night dress, careful not to wake her maid-in-waiting who slept in the adjoining room. She could feel cold sweat rolling down her back as she quietly made her way to the kitchen to brew herself some coffee. Her grandmother would disapprove her going to the kitchen.
“Princesses don’t do that sort of thing.” Grandma Nini would scold sternly and she would never listen. She was the only one in the world who never took Grandma Nini’s scolding to heart. Everybody else feared and respected Grandma Nini, including her father. It was an undisputed fact that she was a princess but, it was also undisputed that it was the 21st century. But, it was no use arguing with her grandmother. The mansion would not become a beehive until 5.a.m. but now, it was quieter than a graveyard. So, she quickly made herself a cup of coffee and as she did so, she made a mental note to get her own personal coffee maker in her chambers, the same way she did every morning. She loved her coffee dark without milk or sugar and her personal maid knew exactly how she loved it. Mo didn’t ask Helen to make it for her because of her silent curiosity. Helen never asked any questions but Mo always found herself explaining her actions to her maid and the last thing she needed that morning, was answering Helen’s unanswered questions of why she wasn’t in bed or why she was making coffee herself.
Back in her room, she placed her coffee on her bedside drawer just next to her alarm clock, which was set for 6.a.m. sometimes she wondered why she bothered to set the alarm since, she was always awake when the alarm rang. She got back under her duvet, with her tablet in hand, she had bought a book on amazon the previous day, and it was time to delve into it. She opened the book in her eBook library but, as much as she tried she couldn’t concentrate. Mo hated romance novels with a passion, there was a time she used to love them but to her, that was a childish era. She could get lost in well written fantasy, sci-fiction or inspirational books. And, if she came across a romance scene in a book she was reading, she would skip the pages. She believed there was no such thing as true love or true romance; it was all lies. It frustrated her that she could not concentrate on the book, it was a third book in a fantasy series and she had waited a year for it to be released and now, she couldn’t read it.
She was distracted and it was not because of the nightmare. What actually bothered her were the words of Adewale which had replayed itself in her head before she went to bed and even now that she was awake. She tried to ignore it and went back to reading but, she found herself reading a sentence over and over again.
“Your heart is truly made of Ice.” He had said to her.
Frustrated, she closed her tablet and placed it beside her on the bed. She could not understand why she was so bothered about what he had said. It was not as if she did not know that the servants and the workers of the company called her the Ice Queen and it was not in reference or comparison with her ancestor who was literally a Queen of ice. It was because they thought of her as cold and harsh simply because she wanted things to be done properly. Everyone could call her what they wanted but, she had not expected it to come from her childhood friend whom she was engaged to marry. And because they had been friends for a long time, she had told him the truth. She had told him that although they were engaged to be married, she could never love him. She felt it was her duty to let him know. But, he did not take it like she had expected him to. He had tried to convince her not to shut her heart to love. Love was a childish affair and she had stated further that if he was the last man on earth, she could not fall in love with him. She had not needed to say that, but she had to drive home her point. Men were selfish and only thought about themselves, so falling in love with him was like digging her own grave.
Adewale Oriade was from a royal family like hers. But, his family was not as rich as hers, but nonetheless, they were very wealthy and influential. After the death of his father, he had taken over and had become the C.E.O of Oriade Malls and affiliate businesses as well as the head of Oriade family. Oriade family owned the biggest malls in Africa and he was one of the most eligible billionaire bachelors in the whole on the continent. So, it had not come as a surprise to her when her father and her grandmother had arranged her marriage to him.
Molawa was the C.O.O of Kitan Group of Companies and would take over from her father completely when he retired. At twenty eight, she was long overdue for marriage and who better for her to marry than the man she had known since she was a child. The man whose name her grandmother had told her teasingly was the first word she ever spoke because, he had never left her side from the moment she was born.
They didn’t understand that she did not want to get married, but, she was a princess and it was natural for her to get married to another royal family to strengthen the bond between the two families. Her father had told that she would be safe with Adewale and that he would always protect her. But, he seemed to have forgotten that it was a man whom she trusted and had known all her life that had almost ruined her and the family. But, that incident of five years ago was never spoken of in the Adekitan family.
There was no way she was marrying Adewale now, not with all she had said to him last night. She felt bad that she had hurt him but at least now, he would leave her alone, break the engagement and she wouldn’t have to get married.
Her alarm clock rang bringing her back from reverie; her coffee long cold. Her petite middle-aged maid, Helen already dressed in her maid uniform, which was a black knee length, loose fitting straight gown with white lace around the collar and her hair packed into a tight neat bun at the back of her head opened the door to the adjoining room and entered Mo’s room, just as Mo got out of the deep covers of her duvet. Helen had been her personal maid for the five years. After the whole thing had happened, Mo had requested that her maid be changed, she did not like the way her former maid looked at her with a knowing condescending look. Helen was not a woman of many words, she did her duty efficiently and if she knew about Mo’s past she didn’t show it. Mo could tell that life had not really favoured Helen. She had no family and Mo suspected that she also had no place to call home because, in the years she had been working for the family, she never asked for a leave.
“Good morning, your highness. I’ll draw your bath now.” Helen said.
It wasn’t until Helen entered the bathroom, that Ademolawa realised that she had not answered her maid’s greeting. She was going to need another cup of coffee to help lighten her mood.
To be continued next week Sunday…