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A Wish (Episode Nine)

Continued from the last part…

Two Months Later…

James’ Apartment

It was a Sunday evening. They had dinner around 6:30 PM. James, Ephyra and Gideon sat around the table stacked with job adverts from newspapers.

Ephyra was used to the human world, being a fast learner and desperate to know things about her new world, she was able to learn what normal humans could do with the help of James and Gideon. Even though she was happy and satisfied in the new world, the merworld had still popped into her thoughts time and again. She liked her new life and her new body, she was forced to ask James and Gideon if her body was the same as that of an eighteen year old human. Gideon had replied her in the negative, he said she did not look like any of his high school seniors. Then Ephyra realized that the eighteen year old mermaid was trapped in the body of a twenty six year old human woman. And she enjoyed the fact that she was not treated like a kid or the eighteen year old baby sister she was in the merworld. Instead, she was an adult in the human world. A woman of twenty six, old enough to make decisions on her own without any interference. She had no idea how to thank James and Gideon for making her a real and complete human.

“I don’t want you to work in a bar or a clubhouse,” James said and frowned at the paper in his hands.

“Why? Is there something wrong working in any of those places?” she asked.

James looked up at her. “You can’t understand,” he muttered.

“Oh! You don’t know?” Gideon asked.

“I don’t know the reason, but if the pay is good then I will go for it. I just want to earn money so I can help in paying the bills,” Ephyra said.

“Ephyra, I don’t have any problem paying the bills,” James interjected.

“Then I can take care of our feeding when I start work,” Ephyra replied.

“No… I’m not complaining—”

“But I don’t like the fact that you are the only one doing everything for us.”

James stared at her. “Gideon is there something wrong in wanting to help him?” Ephyra asked turning to Gideon.

“No…but—” He stopped and bit his lower lip.
“I won’t advice you to work in such places,”
Gideon completed.

“Why?”

“You look too innocent to work in a clubhouse or bar, or let me just say that you are too beautiful to work there and it is really dangerous for a woman like you.”

“Why? Is it that bad?” she questioned frantically.

He nodded. “Men won’t let you rest. They can harm you.”

“I am old enough to protect myself,” Ephyra replied. She balled her fists as if she wanted to throw punches at someone. They rolled in laughter. Too much watching of wrestling, boxing and American movie stunts had taught her a few fighting skills. Ephyra was sure she could take down any man with the help of her super strength. That was the only power she possessed in the human world. It seemed strange at first because she didn’t exhibit such ability in the merworld.

“Not in this world. Beautiful women are not safe in clubhouses and bars,” James said.

“Then I am not beautiful—”

“You are beautiful, Miss Ephyra Adams,” Gideon said. He leaned forward on the table and placed his hand on her shoulder. “And I suggest you try modelling. It would suit you better than working in those places. You have the qualities. Trust me, I see you becoming Miss Universe,” he said with a serious face.

Ephyra frowned and said, “Me? Miss Universe?” She shook her head. “No.” She wondered if it was possible for a mermaid like her to become a model let alone becoming Miss Universe. And she was not ready to ask them about it because they might think her crazy again.

“No, she can’t—” James objected before Ephyra could say anything. His voice stunned her out of her thoughts.

“What did you say?” she asked.

“You can’t become a model.”

“Why?” she asked.

“You can’t because—” his voice caught. He thought of what to say.

“I think my brother likes you,” Gideon blurted before James could come up with something to say. James glared at him.

“I like him…I mean I like you too. And we all like each other like a family,” Ephyra blurted.

Gideon exchanged glances with James. Ephyra didn’t understand Gideon’s statement and she couldn’t tell where he was driving at.

“I didn’t mean that…sort of likeness—” Gideon was interrupted by a growl from James.

“So what sort of likeness?” Ephyra asked.

“Never mind,” Gideon said and focused his attention on the paper in his hands.

“Well James, it seems you don’t want me to work. It really is boring staying at home alone all day. I want to work like a human,” Ephyra said to James.

“Ephyra, I’m not asking you not to work,” James replied.

“Then why do you keep saying I can’t do this and I can’t do that?”

“Well I suggest you go into tutoring.”

“Tutoring?” Ephyra asked surprised.

“Yes, Gideon can tell his friends to sign up for extra classes after school and during weekends. The classes can take place right here,” James suggested.

“No. I am not doing that. I don’t want to be with school kids,” Ephyra objected.

“And I object to the suggestion, bro. I can’t bring my naughty classmates to our home,” Gideon put in.

“Then let’s keep checking,” James said after he realized there was no way he could win against these two.

Seconds clicked by and Ephyra screamed, sending papers flying around the room and startling her family.

“I found it!”

“What?” James asked trying to regain his composure.

“A job.”

Gideon touched his chest. “You startled me.”

“Sorry,” she apologized in a low tone.

“Let me have it,” James said.

She gave him the sheet. “Here,” she tried to point.

“Got it. GOLDMYNES MODELLING AGENCY. AUDITION TO BE HELD AT THE AGENCY ON 29TH OCTOBER,” James read loudly.

“No, not that one. There’s a job vacancy on the left side,” she said.

“WORKERS NEEDED AT GOLDMYNES,” James read out again.

“They put up two adverts under the same company,” Gideon said.

“What is Goldmynes?” she asked.

“Never mind,” James answered her.

She picked her phone and went to Google. A tiny blue microphone appeared on the Google page. She tapped on it and said,
“Google give me details about Goldmynes company in USA.”

It answered with a beep and showed an article and series of pictures.

“Goldmynes is one of the most successful company in USA. It is owned by Late Mr. James Jones,” she read out loudly from the phone.

“Mrs. Isobel Jones took over the company after her husband’s death in a plane crash.”
She felt pity for Isobel and she looked at her family. “Have you guys read it before?” she asked when she noticed they weren’t paying attention to her.

James was lost in thought. “We know about it. Everyone know about Goldmynes,” Gideon replied.

“Well, I need to know about it too,” she said,
Gideon responded with a shrug.

“She is one of the most influential women in USA. And her only son, Harry Jones, next in line to take over Goldmynes company. He is currently the CEO of Goldmynes Modelling agency,” she scrolled down to see more images. She saw Isobel’s and Harry’s pictures, mostly Harry’s pictures.

“Wow! He’s so cute!” she exclaimed.

“You don’t remember him?” James asked.

“Huh?” She smiled broadly. “I haven’t met him before—” she replied and he nodded.
“Wow! He’s even a model, an international and topmost model in USA. Gideon, he looks like that guy’s picture in your room.”

“He’s the one,” Gideon replied. “I know those facts about him. Everyone knows him very well except you,” he said again.

“Yeah, I don’t know him,” she responded.

“So which one do you want to go for?” James asked.

“I will opt in for the workers vacancy. I don’t want to be a model.”

“Why?” Gideon asked.

“I don’t want to go around in tight dresses that will make me look like a grilled fish.”

They rolled into laughter.

“James, do you have any idea of the type of work I would do at this company? They didn’t specify it here.”

“Uhm, I don’t know but probably a secretary.”

“Secretary? I don’t have any qualification. No, I don’t remember anything about myself,” she said in a low tone.

“We already planned to work on it.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Then maybe a janitor or delivery girl or errand girl, they don’t require any qualification in some companies,” Gideon said.

“It’s better than working in a clubhouse or bar right?” she asked. They nodded in unison. “So what do I do now?”

“Call the advert agency. I’m sure they will link us up,” James answered.

“Okay.”

He picked up his phone and dialed the number attached to the advert. A man picked on the other end.

“Good evening, sir. I am James Albert,” James said.

“Good evening, Mr Albert,” came the voice on the other end.

“Actually, I saw this advert just now that Goldmynes needs workers.”

“Okay, are you the one applying for the job?” The man asked.

“No my friend,” he replied.

“Is your friend a female or a male?”

“Female.”

“Good. Exactly what they need.”

“Can I at least know what job she would be doing at the company?”

“Well, I can’t disclose that until you fill the application form.”

“And how do we get that done?”

“I will send a link to you now. You click on it and fill in her profile.”

“So what happens after that?”

“They might select her for an interview with the chairlady.”

“Okay, thanks.” He hung up.

“Ephyra—” He was interrupted by a beep on his phone. The man had forwarded the link to him.

“Did I get the job?” she asked with a broad smile.

“No, not yet.” Her smile dropped. “We have to do certain things before you can get the job.”

“Like what?”

“Going for an interview.”

“Interview?” She panicked.

“Don’t be scared miss, you will get the job,” Gideon said.

“How can you say that when I have no idea what to say?”

“You’re smart and I’m sure you will pass whatever test they will give you especially if it’s an IQ test.”

“Stop the flattery,” she said.

James yawned. “Keep quiet, Gideon, I need to concentrate please,” he said.

“Okay, bro. I guess we won’t be needing these papers anymore.”

***************

Goldmynes Company Isobel’s Office

Isobel couldn’t take her eyes off the document on her desk. She leaned forward to look at the résumé on it. No doubt Harry won’t object to this, and I’m sure he will convince her to work for him or even be a model at his agency.

Isobel thought deeply. She was stunned out of thought when she heard a sharp knock on the door.

“Come in,” Isobel said and her secretary walked in.

“Ma’am, a young woman is here to see you,” Tracy said.

“What’s her name?”

“She said Ephyra—”

“Ephyra Adams,” Isobel completed.

“Yes, ma’am.”

A smile formed on Isobel’s lips. She couldn’t wait to see Ephyra. “Please let her in.”

“Okay, ma’am,” Tracy said exited the room.

Ephyra stepped in. “Good morning, ma’am,” she greeted.

“Oh! Good morning,” Isobel greeted cheerfully.

“I am here for an interview,” Ephyra said.

“Please take a seat.” Isobel stared at Ephyra for seconds, different thoughts flooded her mind. She was extremely stunned by Ephyra’s beauty. “Ephyra Adams,” she said and picked the Resumé on her desk. “You are twenty-six.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Perhaps have you worked as a care giver before?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Maid?”

Ephyra raised her brows, “No.” Isobel dropped the file and looked at Ephyra with a serious face. Ephyra’s heartbeat accelerated.
“I…I don’t have too much work experience but trust me, I can do anything because I am a very hardworking woman,” Ephyra said.

Isobel relaxed. “Then let’s talk business. I mean let’s put the interview aside.”

“What do you mean, ma?”

“I will tell you what the work is all about.”

“Okay.”

“I want to hire you to work for my son.”

“Your son? That’s a great privilege,” Ephyra said with a half smile. She was still nervous because of the serious look on Isobel’s face.

“Yes, it is but most people I have hired don’t know that.”

“So do I have to work as his secretary?”

“No.”

“Driver or errand and delivery girl?”

“None of that, my dear.”

Ephyra shot her a confused look. “Then what?”

Isobel cleared her throat. “Eighteen years ago, I accused my husband of having an affair with an employee. Our argument led him to travel out of the country. My son and I awaited his return but we only heard the news of his death, I lost my dear husband in a plane crash. I felt guilty after I found out my husband was loyal. He didn’t have an affair with his secretary. And my son blamed me for his father’s death. We’ve been apart for years now and He doesn’t regard me as his mother,” she stopped. “My son stopped believing in love after his father’s death. He felt like if I could accuse the one I love unjustly, then love never existed between us. He said I never loved my husband dearly.”

“So what do you want me to do for you?” Ephyra asked.

“I need your help. I need someone who can change my son’s outlook and make him believe in love.”

“No, I don’t think I can help you.” Ephyra felt Isobel was asking her to make her son fall in love.

“No, from where I’m sitting, I am looking at someone with a brain and beauty. A woman who knows how to go for the kill, a woman who is definitely my son’s type. A tall, leggy, beautiful woman and I know you’ve got the extra something that can make the difference,”

Isobel studied her expression. She took in Ephyra’s features. She was beautiful. Her hair straight and long in a single braid that ended down her back. She wore no make up and her very sharp chin was cute. Ephyra tended to wear what she had, simple gray woollen dress, long sleeved and tight around her hips with sandals. Without warning, Isobel was out of her chair.

“Look, you’re what is going to make this happen.” Her hands rested on Ephyra’s shoulder. “I have hired so many women to work for him, they all tried everything but they got nowhere. He is like a cemented wall and he is tough. And I got to thinking that my son has to have a weakness. Something that will get him and make him change his mind and from everything I think his weakness must be an extremely beautiful woman like you with a good heart.”

“I am not sure about that. And I don’t think am the right person for the job,” Ephyra protested.

“You also know I’m right,” Isobel said right from behind her.

Ephyra never considered herself beautiful. Since she found herself in the human world, everything about her changed. No more blond hair but straight and long brown hair. She had a sharp chin, flat stomach, long legs, breasts that were big enough to make any man look twice, eyes with long thick lashes and full lips. One thing didn’t change which was her vibrant aquamarine eyes. She had seen beautiful humans, women that were pretty! So, no! She couldn’t be Harry’s type despite Isobel’s words, she thought.

Ephyra stood up from the chair. “I’m not the right person for your son,” she said meeting Isobel’s gaze with a frown. “No make up, no implants, no false lashes. I am too thin, too tall I guess and too pale and I’ve got strange eyes too.”

Isobel frowned at her. “You have to stop scowling like that and put on a bit make up with maybe your hair loose with those eyes. Even without makeup, you look terrific. Please help me, I can tell that my son’s hurting. Work for me and help Harry out of that lonely shell. ” She squeezed Ephyra’s hands gently.

“Please,” she pleaded.

Then the thought of her mother flooded Ephyra’s mind. Images of when Tethys was begging her to stay flashed through her mind, she saw the pain in Isobel’s expression.

“What do I have to do?” she asked in a low tone.

“You’ll be like his personal assistant but you have to move into his house.”

“What? Why…why do I have to live with him?”

“By so doing, you will be able to get close to him and talk to him.”

“Then it’s like I’m going to work as his maid too.”

“Not really—” She paused. “Yes, Harry lives alone by the beach and it worries me that he’s far away from home. I just want to know if he’s doing fine.”

“How old is he?”

“Twenty six.”

“He’s not a kid anymore.”

“I know, Ephyra. Please just accept the job and help me renew the bond between me and my son,” Isobel begged.

“I’m sorry. I can’t.” She knew James wouldn’t like the idea of moving into her boss’ house.

“Why not?”

“Nothing,” she replied with a shrug and began to walk towards the door.

“One thousand dollars if you last a week in his house.” Ephyra stopped at the door. “And I know you can do this, Ephyra.” She turned around to face Isobel. “Ephyra, it’s a challenge.”

Isobel was determined to convince Ephyra to work for her. A familiar tingle of excitement starting to grow in her at the challenge of getting Harry to talk when no one else could and even let him know about love.

“I’m not doing this for the money,” Ephyra said.

She had seen Isobel’s pain and she was also ready to do anything to have her old son back. And Ephyra felt that Harry needed to forgive his mother and learn to love.
She went back to Isobel’s desk.

“We can sign a contract,” Isobel said.

Oh! She was serous about the money. Isobel reached for a folder and held it out to her.
“Here,” she said.

Ephyra took it from her. It was a thick manila folder with “Goldmynes” in bold type in the right edge. She opened the cover and shuffled through the documents.

“This won’t be easy,” she muttered.

“Sorry, if it were that easy someone would have done the job for me.”

Ephyra nodded in agreement. “But there has to be a way to make him stick his head out of the bunker.”

“Getting him to talk and making him see that James death wasn’t my fault and intention is your main job.”

“Okay.”

“And you can as well use what you have to get what you want.”

Ephyra raised her brow, she couldn’t make sense of Isobel’s last statement.

“There’s a bonus attached to the job.”

“Bonus?”

“I will pay you if you survive one week with him. And I will pay double of it after two weeks and you also get the chance to shop at Gold Mall without paying for the items.”

“I get all of that?”

“Yes but under one condition.”

“What condition?”

“That’s if I see some changes. All I want is to be a mother to my son and see him smile again.” Ephyra nodded. Isobel was offering too much, she thought. She didn’t want to do the job because of the money but she remembered that she was indebted to James. She could use the money to repay James for saving her life and taking her in. That was the main reason she wanted to work.
“And you also get paid at the end of the month. Ephyra I will reward you greatly If things changes,” Isobel said.

Ephyra thought of what she would do with all the money. Gideon’s tuition, bills and probably go on a vacation with her family if she works for a month or two.

“Do you have family?” Isobel asked.

“Yes, perhaps can I go and see my family in the process of working with your son?” Ephyra asked.

“Yes, after I see changes and you don’t have to give in now. I can give you sometime to think about it.”

“What do I have to do?”

Are you accepting now?”

“Yes but you have to give me a day or two to talk to my family and spend time with them.”

“Okay.”

“So when should I start?”

“You have to move in with him.”

“Will he let me in?”

“That’s part of your job.”

“Okay, I’ll try my best.” She collected the pen from Isobel and signed the document. Isobel did the same. “Is that all?” Ephyra asked.

“For now, that’s all,” Isobel answered.

Ephyra stood up. “I’ll take my leave now.”

“Thank you,” Isobel said and shook hands with Ephyra. “It’s nice meeting you, Ephyra.”

“Likewise.”

Isobel gave her a card, “Call me whenever you are ready.”

“Okay,” Ephyra said and walked out of the office.

“It’s going to work this time and I can’t wait to have my son back” Isobel said.

She silently prayed over and over again that Ephyra would be able to move Harry’s heart.

Read Part Ten.

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Ebunoluwa Ademide
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