For once Trish was correct because once the media caught wind of the relationship with Mannah it brought so much attention to Ehi. He was the typical American sweetheart who were just gorgeous and behaved properly when they were on camera. He has built his image on being a philanthropist but once Ehi got to know him she realized it was all an act like everything other thing about him.
He liked seeing his face on magazines or his name being mentioned in the media but he always act like his he didn’t like fame and a lot of people thought he was media shy and that even made the media love him more .
Every week he dragged her to one charity or the other and smiled for the cameras and made compelling speeches and as always the crowd cheered and ate up all the bullshit he fed them.
They were in a rented limo heading to an event where Mannah was being awarded for his humanitarian efforts. She sat at the edge while Carl his assistant and boyfriend sat next to him.
“I’m about to spend an entire evening hugging and shaking hands with fools. ” he complained.
“I know right but don’t worry I have made plans for this weekend. The only problem is we have to take her along. ” Carl replied. It was an open secret that Carl didn’t like her. It wasn’t as if he liked anyone but with Ehi it seem to be more of hate and she had no idea why but since the feelings were mutual she didn’t even make an effort to get to the root of the issue. He always found ways to disrespect her. At first she had kept it cool but once she realized Mannah wasnt going to step up and correct him she decided to take matters into her own hands and they have been like cat and dogs ever since.
“This her you are referring to would rather spend her weekend in a cage with hungry lions than with both of you but I have a contract that states that I must so Mr you are going to have to deal with me. ” She moved forward on purpose and the glass in his hands slipped and the contents spilling on his trousers.
“M do you see what this b---h has done. Do you expensive this suit is? ” He demanded angrily.
“I don’t know and truth is I don’t care but one thing I do know is you can’t afford it. We both know who pays for everything. ” she replied.
He turned to Mannah “Are you going to sit there while she disrespects me? ”
“Look I’m not going to be dragged into your childish games. Both of you always act like babies and frankly speaking I am tired. It’s bad enough I have to go to that godforsaken event and now this. You either both respect yourself or go back home. ” At that moment the car stopped and Carl quickly moved to another seat before the chauffeur opened the door and Mannah stepped out like the happiest man in the world. He helped her out of the car and kissed her making the crowd outside go wild. He led the way as they head for the red-carpet.
In September Ehi and Mani were part of New York Fashion Week. They both walked numerous shows including Tom Ford, Michael Kors,Jeremy Scott,Tury Burch amongst others. While Mani had opened the show for Parabal Gurung,she had closed the show for Matty Bovan.
The shows she walked in caught a lot of media attention because Mannah always had a front row seat. Of course he was there with Carl but since the public saw him as his personal assistant they all clapped for him for being a supportive boyfriend.
From New York they went for London Fashion Week and Milan and Paris also where they walked numerous shows. Mannah was not at the other fashion shows because he was promoting a movie.
In the following weeks she appeared in advertising campaigns for Jimmy Choo,Ralph Lauren, Gaps, Yves Saint Laurent, Elie Saab, Dolce & Gabbana,Dior and Balmain. She was also on the covers of
i-D and Harper’s Bazaar with editorials and accompanying interview. She and Mani were amongst the models chosen to be on the cover of Vanity Fair and they were termed “the new school”. Mani was selected to be a part of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show and she had attended the show with Christian to cheer for her. Anytime Mani came out they had their thumps up with smiles on their faces like proud parents. Those moments were captured on camera and the media called them friendship goals.
Like everyone had predicted Mannah’s movie was nominated for numerous awards including an academy award for an actor in the leading role. With the nominations out,it meant campaigns had to be in full swing. Before she used to think awards were given out based on merit but she was shocked at the politics involved. She attended numerous occasions with him and anytime he appeared on TV he gushed about their relationship.
It was exhausting and most times she wished she could run away. Since he wanted to be perceived as a family man it meant they had to do photo-ops with his children from time to time. Other times they had photo-ops just because he wanted his face splashed everywhere in the media. There were days when they were to the same store twice but with different outfits. There were other days his team would inform the paparazzi about their plans before time and when they arrive at the place finding the paps he acts like they are invading his privacy. She used to think Zeke craved attention but since knowing Mannah she knew no one on earth could rival him in being an attention LovePeddler.
Usually his team informs her team about his plans ahead of time so they could be incorporated in her own schedule but on Christmas day when she was having dinner with the family at home,he had sent his driver to come pick her up. She didn’t want to go but Trish told her to.
When she had been taken to his house,he made her change clothes because according to him the gown she was wearing didn’t fit where there were headed. He gave her a pair of skinny jeans with a merino wool shirt and lethal patent leather spike heels. When she asked where they were headed he had ignored her and pretended to be reading something on his phone. It turned out to be a basketball game between the LA Falcons and New York Knicks.
They were seating court side and Ehi had never been more uncomfortable in her life. When Cicero had walked out from the locker room and their eyes had met she wished the ground would open and swallow her. He kept throwing glances at her from time to time and that even made her more uncomfortable. It didn’t help that Mannah was trying to act like a loving boyfriend. First he couldn’t keep his hands to himself and he kept bringing up boring and stupid stories. It was obvious he didn’t care if his stories interested her or not he just wanted to be photographed talking to her. She used every strength in her not to roll her eyes at him. She couldn’t even concentrate on the game because he was disturbing her and her eyes were also interested in one person on the court.
When the game was finally over she nearly leaped out of her chair in celebration. She had no idea who won and frankly speaking it didn’t matter to her at that point.
Instead of heading out,Mannah insisted on going to the locker room to speak with some guys on the team who were friends with him. She refused to go inside rather she stood outside waiting for him.
Someone tapped her on her shoulder from behind and when she turned around it was Sarah the manicurist in Ms Smalls salon. Seeing a familiar face that wasn’t angry at her was a big relief at that moment and she didn’t know when she jumped and hugged her. “It’s so nice seeing you again. I’m so sorry for my behavior last year I really wasn’t feeling to well that day. ”
“Nahhh,its no biggie that’s old news.”
“Where is your fiance or is he your husband now? ”
“He is my husband now but he is away for work and since I didn’t want to spend the evening alone I came to the game. ”
“Awww,Sarah is missing her husband. ” she teased.
“Girl if you don’t stop. So you are really out here living the life huh? ”
“What life? ”
“The one you always talked about. Being a supermodel and traveling around the world. ”
Ehi laughed at that “Girl please, I’m not a supermodel yet. That’s like Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks you know. I’m still a baby in the business.” she replied modestly.
“A baby you say? Girl everywhere I turn I see your face. Whether in a magazine or a commercial or a billboard. I am so proud of you. And anytime I tell my home girls I knew you from back in the day they always think I am lying because they can’t believe I knew you. I’m really happy for you.”
“Thank you. It means a lot hearing that from you. ”
“Yeah, you are welcome. Oh and by the way I just opened up my own salon. It’s nothing fancy like the ones you are used to in Hollywood but you know I’m good and my girls and I will have you looking like a million bucks. I know you are worth more than that but you get what I mean. ”
“Aye aye, Captain. Let me have your number so we could communicate. She handed her phone over to Sarah to type in her number. When she was done, she passed the one back. “Alright thanks. I will keep in touch dear. ”
“Yeah, you better and how —” she stopped talking and began to smile and gestured at someone “Would you get your arse over here now. ”
Ehi didn’t have to wait for long to find out who it was because he came over and hugged Sarah. Her heart was breaking into pieces as she watched him.
“It was nice seeing you in action. Congratulations on the win. ”
“Yeah thank you. ” he replied.
“You and Ehi are just out here living your dreams.”
He turned to look at her. “Yes you can say that. ” he replied.
At that moment Mannah chose to return. “Hey babe. ” He placed a kiss on her cheek. “Who are your friends?”
“This is Sarah and Cicero. My friends. We used to be neighbors.”
“It’s nice to meet you. Congratulations on your win. You played a nice game today.” He stretched out his hands and shook them.
“Thank you. I should be on my way.
The rest of the team is waiting for me. It was nice seeing y’all. Some other time then. ”
“Sure.” they answered in unison as he left. They bade Sarah farewell and went
their way. The drive home wasn’t fast enough for Ehi. As soon as he pulled up in front of the building, she jumped out of the car and ran upstairs and straight to her bed where she let down all the tears she had been holding.