Samson always felt lucky. His life had been quite eventful, having experienced both good and bad days. No matter how bad things got for him, opportunities always emerged amidst the settling smoke of the chaos.
Samson was born shortly after his father started working for Chief Johnson. His birth marked a new era for his parents who had previously lived from hand to mouth since Paul, Samson’s father lost his job a year earlier. Paul was working as an Accountant in a reputed business firm but lost his job when his name found its way into a misappropriation probing. Paul was later found out to be innocent only after he got the boot.
Paul got recommended by his Pastor to become Chief Johnson’s personal assistant as things changed for him and his family. Growing up, Samson saw very little of his dad who only came home on weekends. Chief Johnson always wanted Paul around, as he found him very industrious, so he gave him a private flat to stay in his residential compound, but Paul’s family weren’t allowed to stay there with him.
Despite not being readily available, Paul provided for his family and ensured they lacked nothing since he was being generously paid by his boss. Samson was enrolled in one of the nicest schools in town, and he grew to be quite the brains, just like his dad.
Paul passed away when Samson was just 10 years old, and Joyce, his wife became very worried for the future. A trained accountant just like her husband, Joyce never worked for anyone since she got married. Paul didn’t let her. He always went on about how female workers are undermined, seduced and exploited at work, and always argued that both of them working with a tight schedule wasn’t the best thing for a young marriage. In the end, one of them had to make a sacrifice.
Back then, Paul was being well paid in the business firm where he worked, and believed he could cater for the needs of his young family quite comfortably. He set up a shop for his wife who was also a trained makeup artist, in order to keep her from being absolutely idle. After Paul lost his job, Joyce’s makeup business sustained the family for several months.
When Paul started working for Chief Johnson, Samson was already around, and Joyce had to finally put down her dreams of pursuing a professional career. This time around, she made the sacrifice for her son.
Following Paul’s passing, Joyce knew that certain adjustments needed to be made if she was going to depend on her makeup business to cater for her family. Samson was disenrolled from the school went and got registered in a less expensive one. Joyce also made arrangements to relocate once the lease of her current apartment expired. Even though things weren’t as rosy as they once were, Joyce was confident of ensuring a good life for her family.
On a fateful day, Joyce received a visitor who introduced himself as Chief Jim Johnson; Paul’s former boss. He explained how one of his daughters, Jannice, told him that Samson got disenrolled from school. Jannice, Samson’s friend and former classmate told her dad about his absence from school. Soon after revealing his identity, Chief Johnson disclosed his intentions of sponsoring Samson’s education, among other needs.
With Chief Johnson in the picture, things got better for Joyce and Samson. Samson got re-enrolled into his former school, while Joyce got appointed as a Manager in one of Chief Johnson’s newly established hotels.
Over the next couple of years, Joyce got entrusted with more and more duties, that she barely spent time with her son. Samson was 13, and was doing just fine. He was growing up to become an independent young man by taking care of himself. His mother knew this, but was worried all the same about his lack of parental attention. As a result, she readily welcomed the idea when Chief Johnson suggested that Samson should stay with him and his family.
Samson wasn’t sure of how to feel about living with the Johnsons at the time. He knew that his mum was always busy with work, but he never complained as he spent his free time frolicking with his neighbourhood friends. Samson knew he would miss them, but not nearly as much as they would miss him. Samson was the brain and life of the bunch. He always came up with exciting and adventurous activities to keep them engaged. Even though he was an atypical ‘good boy’ Samson always had the tendency of being mischievous when he wanted to.
At the Johnsons’, Samson became strongly acquainted with Jannice and Josephine; Chief Johnson’s twin daughters, and only children. The sisters were quite unlike each other; while Josephine was quit reserved and tactical in making decisions, Jannice was extroverted and quite impulsive. The trio of the twin and Samson looked after each other, and as the years passed, their bond became stronger.
Chief Johnson took good care of Samson, treating him as his own child. But for some reason, Stella, Chief Johnson’s wife never liked him. She often treated him harshly and would punish him at the slightest offence. At first, Samson thought she was bitter and treated him harshly because she had no male child of her own. Instead of hating her, all Samson felt was pity. He tried to get closer to her and accepted the maltreatment without qualms. He even tried calling her ‘Mum’, but she was quick to rebuke him, warning him against ever regarding her in such a way.
Despite the animosity he had to endure in the house, Samson had the twins to provide him some sort of respite. Samson soon learnt that Mrs. Johnson might have disliked him for a different reason from what he thought when he found out that she treated his dad the same way. Even though he didn’t know what his dad did to have made her hostile to him, he determined to cope through it, just as his dad did for 10 years.
Between the sisters, Samson fancied Josephine more, even though he found Jannice more interesting, since she was just as adventurous as himself. During their freshman year in the university, Samson had a secret romantic relationship with Josephine. They kept their affair hidden, even from Jannice. However, the relationship was short lived as Josephine got expelled from school after being caught with illegal items on campus. Outraged, Chief Johnson got her enrolled in Canadian University, while she was not to return home until after she had obtained her Bachelor’s degree. Josephine pleaded and wept, but there was no going back as her dad had already made up his mind. She travelled to Canada, and would not return home until after 6 years.
Years passed and Samson got his undergraduate and Masters degrees. Chief Johnson made him his personal assistant and he proved to be even more efficient than his dad.
By the time Samson was 25, he had already become financially independent and was in a five-year relationship with Jannice. Chief Johnson declared his approval once he learned of their relationship, and so did his wife, even though her hostility towards Samson remained the same.
Samson felt he was ready to settle down, so he decided to pop the question. Samson knew that Jannice had a hunch that he was going to propose soon, so he decided to do something rather unconventional.
It was on a Friday. Jannice was getting ready to meet up with Samson for a pre-arranged photoshoot when her friends, Susan and Esther came in to her apartment and confiscated her phones. Jannice was quite puzzled as to what her friends were up to. As soon as they had her phones kept in a bag, Susan handed her a note which was the first of many clues in a scavenger hunt that would end with a proposal.
The note said:
“Dear Jannice, I have a confession to make; there won’t be a photo-shoot today. Instead, today is dedicated entirely to you, LOML. I’ve been thinking about how I would ask you to marry me for quite some time, since I realized that you’ve had hunches that it was on my mind. So, instead of popping the question out of the blue, I’m opting to let you embrace the fun and excitement of getting engaged, and have planned a scavenger hunt for you today.
*You are not to use your cell phone or borrow any other cell phone to make calls, text, or make posts on your social media accounts.
*Follow the clues you will be getting strictly, and above all, have fun! Today is all about you.
PS: When you complete the scavenger hunt, then I will reward you by asking you a very important, life-changing question.
The first clue led Jannice and the girls to the city mall. When walking to find her next clue, Jannice was filled with a compound of emotions. Even though she knew the final destination of the plan, she was clueless on how the journey would be.
As they approached a curb, Jannice saw James standing in front of a limo, with a very expressive smile on his face. James, Samson’s best friend handed her the next clue that read:
“You can’t go on such a scavenger hunt without a limo. This chariot will take you wherever you need to go and comes with margaritas and a personally made mixtape of some of your favourite songs to set the mood. Your next clue is waiting for you at 15B, Stargate Complex in Movida.”
Jannice was overwhelmed. She knew what was happening, but as the day went on, tears started trickling down her cheeks. This was one of the first times it really started to sink in that she was about to be engaged to her dream man.
The ladies rode the chariot to the next clue…a nail salon. Not only was the surprise destination a nail salon, but two more of her friends from university were waiting for her.
Jannice was shocked. She hadn’t seen Sharon and Zainab in a while, but only kept in touch over the phone. In fact, she had a lengthy conversation with Zainab two days earlier, while no word about the surprise scavenger hunt slipped out of her mouth. Jannice was surprised.
The friends handed her another clue that read:
“Can you imagine getting engaged and having substandard nails? Me neither! Use the cash in the envelope given to you to get everyone’s fingernails done.
Tip: Go for that colour that I think makes you look like the goddess of love herself
Your next clue will be given when you’re done”
Once they all had their nails done, Sharon gave her the next clue:
“Do you remember the first time we kissed? Sharing a cone ice cream has never been as fun as that was! Your next clue is waiting for you at that very spot.”
The girls all jumped into the chariot, heading for the cafe in her former school, where Jannice and Samson had their first kiss. During the trip, Jannice declared she didn’t think Samson would be there, but she definitely was getting nervous. So far, the drive up to the school had been the best part of her day. She remembered the events leading up to the kiss and how she felt about it afterwards. She couldn’t help but let out a soft smile. Even though she wasn’t expecting Samson to be at the spot, she hoped for it. She longed to see him.
As the group arrived at the spot, waiting for her, sitting in the same place they had their first kiss was Jannice’s friend and university roommate, Princess!
Princess handed her the next clue:
“Going on our first date was no easy ordeal. I remember it like it was yesterday – You wanted to attend a musical concert, and I wanted to go to the cinema to see a movie. In the end, we both made a compromise and agreed to go have lunch in a new restaurant off campus. As chance would have it, we ended up seeing the movie I wanted to see at the private lounge where your next clue is waiting”
Onward to Mers’ Mall they went! They walked in to find Joyce, Samson’s mum sitting at the table, waiting for them. This was when the tears really started flowing. The group had a lovely lunch together, as Jannice swore to give Samson a taste of her fist for making her deal with such unexpected yet delightful surprises.
After the lunch, Joyce gave Jannice the next clue.
“I hope you enjoyed the lunch! For your next clue, you don’t have to go far…it is waiting for you at Victoria’s boutique in the mall
Before you are given the next clue, you must first buy a nice dress and a pair of shoes for tonight. Happy Shopping!”
After doing some damage at the boutique, Jannice was given her next clue.
“Fun fact – did you know that i have owned the domain name; ‘jannicejohnson.com’ since last April? Let’s just say I’ve had ideas for a while. Your next clue is waiting for you on www.jannicejohnson.com”
On the website was a picture of Samson and Jannice together and a note that read:”Grab your dress and shoes and head up to the suite that I have prepared for you. Take a shower and get yourself ready for tonight. But be quick – you have one and a half hours.”
The group found their chariot and James drove them over to Moon-View Hotel. Jannice arrived at the hotel, expecting to find Samson in the assigned room. Instead, she found another important visitor…her mum!
The excitement was getting too much for poor Jannice to handle. With the help of her mum, Jannice dressed up and whimpered when her mum handed another clue to her.
“Your next clue is waiting for you at the place where I met the love of my life for the very first time”
The ladies got into the limo and headed for the Johnsons’ home. Jannice remembered when she first saw Samson – his dad brought him over to the house for the twin’s birthday, and they were quite surprised when he handed to them, a pair of silver necklaces.
As they pulled over into the Johnsons’ compound, Susan pulled out Samson’s tie to blindfold her. Jannice was very nervous. Susan walked her up to the front of her where she heard the last and final clue being read to her. She felt someone grab her hand and heard a familiar voice…her dad.
“Congratulations Jannice! You have reached your final destination. We are standing at the very spot where we met 12 years ago. I remember waving at you shyly and thinking to myself what a beautiful young woman you were. I had no idea that I had just met the love f my life. As promised, the time has come to ask you a very important question, and there is no better place to ask than here at the place where we first met”
As her dad removed her blindfold, she walked around back to find her Prince Charming alone in the backyard. Samson was down on one knee, holding a ring under luminous chandeliers hanging from the trees.
10 hours after the scavenger hunt started, Jannice walked through the backyard and said “Yes” to the man of her dreams.
Wedding plans began shortly afterwards, and the event was everything she dreamed of and even more. The new wedded couple had an exquisite honeymoon trip planned to Seychelles, and they both looked forward to it.
Samson and Jannice were meant to travel for their honeymoon the day after the wedding, and they spent the night in a hotel. Jannice was the first to wake, following a quite eventful night when they both had a little scare. As she woke, Jannice showered her new husband with kisses, not noticing traces of blood down his mouth. She screamed out her lungs when realized her husband was lifeless.
He had been poisoned!!!
To be continued…
Click to read CHAPTER 2