The show was coming to an end, awards for different categories had been presented to various recipients and acceptance speeches had been delivered. The only category left was the best new fashion designer and the criterion for that award was for the nominees to display their designs which they have already done. Everyone was waiting anxiously for the judges to announce the winner. The entire hall, a buzz of murmuring from anticipated guest at the event wondering and guessing who the winner would be. Excitement mixed with uncertainty filled the air with fingers crossed by the designers, who were divided in two camps corresponding to the two designers that they felt stood the chance of clinching the award, HOUSE OF GOLD or TOUCH COUTURE.
Titi, now seated with her friends felt relieved that all had went well and that TOUCH COUTURE had not been humiliated by the incident caused by Mary. She hurriedly explained what had happened and why she took the luggage and its content and why she allowed Mary to model for the label and how she's forgiven her. They told her that they had already put two and two together. They praised her for her ingenuity and the quick thinking but more especially for her kind nature. They expressed their belief that she was going home with the award and no one could take it from her. She was overwhelmed by the unwavering support and belief they have in her ability to win the award. Indeed she's blessed to have them as not just friends, but true friends.
She took a seat beside Charles, she'd rehearsed what she wanted to say to him and how she was going to say it. Looking at him now, he looked so handsome in his black tux and white bow tie. She felt lost in his dreamy eyes and hoped never to be found again. In him she had found love that she thought never existed and she desperately wished that he felt same about her.
Charles caught her staring at him and he turned to face her. "Hey, don't you know it's not polite to stare?" He asked with a slight grin. Titi smiled and ignored his question. "I have something to tell you" she said, looking straight in his eyes and adjusting her seat so they both sat facing each other. She didn't mind that her friends turned to look at her with curious glances. "Well I have something to tell you too" replied Charles. Titi already knew what he wanted to say, or so she thought. "You wanna talk about the designs right, I know i didn't tell you earlier but….." Charles cut her off by placing his index finger on her lips to stop her from speaking further "Shhh, that's not what I wanna say" he told her. Titi gave him a puzzled look. "If it's not then what?" She asked, she rolled her eyes and pouted her lips. "Never mind. Lemme go ahead with what I want to say before I forget" She told him. He shook his head in disapproval and was quick to object with a nervous smile. "No no no, please I want to go first before I lose my nerve" Titi was startled by what he said, "Why would he lose his nerve?" She asked herself. "This is something serious" She said, she looked closely at his hands and realised that they were shaking. His hands shake whenever he is nervous. "Yes it's pretty serious" He said. Just then the entire hall came alive with resounding applause.
They have been oblivious of the happenings in the hall and didn't notice when the host of the event announced TOUCH COUTURE as the winner of the Best New Fashion Designer. The judges had chosen Titi's designs over the other three designers, the designs were simply marvelous. Chioma and Oreva screamed as they stood, they quickly broke the conversation between Titi and Charles and hurried Titi up the podium to receive her award.
A surprised Titi walked up the stage gracefully amid cheers and applause from the audience. She was presented with the award and was motioned to the stand to give her acceptance speech She couldn't believe she won. She had to pinch herself to know that she was not dreaming. She looked at her friends, all smiling at her, Oreva clutched Jide by the arm, Chioma was moving her lips while still keeping a smiling face and Titi knew all too well what she was doing, Praying. Chike was filled with smiles and of course Charles, Charles was gone.