Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Some forty-five minutes after Amaka had left his office, Dele walked in.
Bolu had his back to his door, and quickly wiped his tears away. He composed himself before looking at his colleague.
“Is everything okay?” Dele asked.
“Hm hmm…” Bolu muttered, avoiding eye contact. “What’s up?”
“I just met with that woman that was waiting to see you…”
Bolu’s attention was grabbed. He looked up at Dele and swallowed. “You did?”
“Yeah… She was kind of emotional. Said you said you were too busy to take her on…?”
Bolu nodded. “Something like that…”
Hmmm… Dele suspected that there might be more to it, but he didn’t really care. He just wanted to share his news. “Well, unfortunate for you, but great for me. I’m free as a bird when it comes to her! She’s gorgeous!”
Bolu found himself getting irritated. How selfish of Dele. “She did mention that her case is of sexual harassment, right?!”
Dele nodded. “Yeah… And?”
“So, you can’t exactly be hitting on her too…?”
“Relax, man. Was I born yesterday?! I know what I’m doing, nau…” his eyes shone with excitement. “But seriously dude, thanks for saying ‘no’. I think my days of singleness are finally coming to an end…” Dele said and then laughed out loud.
Bolu tried to smile, but it hurt. He was jealous and he knew he shouldn’t be. She wasn’t his. She belonged to someone else. And who knows if she wasn’t meant for Dele. He swallowed. “I’m happy for you.”
“Thanks, man!” Dele said, stretching out his fist to bump against Bolu’s. He winked as he walked out of Bolu’s office. “I’ll keep you posted.”
Bolu just sat at his desk, not knowing how to feel. He wanted to scream, but couldn’t and knew he shouldn’t. The thought of seeing Amaka again, as would surely happen if Dele took on her case, was just too painful to think about. He didn’t want to see her if he couldn’t have her. And the thought of her with Dele or another man was driving him crazy.
He rose from his seat and paced. What the hell was this madness?! God, why is this happening to me?! Why had he gone to her that day at the mall?! What had possessed him?! And now, she was very much in his life…and he knew she wanted him. And he wanted her so badly, his teeth hurt from grinding them together in frustration.
He would have to flee. He just had to get the hell out of that office, until things began to make sense. He would request a transfer to work from home for a couple of months. Lawyers had that option at his firm, particularly during low periods. He had also been considering taking a sabbatical from work to study. Maybe now was the time to do so. He just needed to take time off to reassess things and also reduce his likelihood of meeting Amaka again.
Bolu sat down again and began to write a letter requesting approval to practice from home and a year’s sabbatical for the purpose of study and personal development. With his period of notice served at home, he may not need to return to the office for a long time.
“So, what’s this about?”
Victoria and Femi were out at lunch, near her office in Lekki, Lagos. Femi had come over to steal her away in his ride, and Victoria had reluctantly agreed to follow him. Victoria had chosen the Nigerian Bukka Spot to eat at, hoping that the casual environment would set the tone for their conversation.
Femi looked at her and smiled. He leaned towards her as he replied, “Do you remember when you said that I do not fight for what I want?”
Victoria swallowed. She remembered that day. The words had rung in her ears minutes after she’d said them. She was surprised that he had listened and taken it to heart. “Hm hmm…”
“Well, I’m done being that guy.”
“I don’t know what that’s got to do with me, Femi,” Victoria said, taking a sip of her drink to hide her nerves.
“A lot! At first, I thought you were talking about our marriage. How we…how I never fought for you… And you would be right. Vicky, I’ve let so many things happen to me in my life. But I’ve rarely taken control, taken ownership of my own decisions. And when I look at my life now, it’s a mess. The only thing I’m proud of is you and Tomi…”
“Yes, you, Vicky,” Femi stretched out his hand to hold hers on the table. He watched Victoria’s eyes focus in on their hands on the table and knew she wasn’t comfortable about it. Still he held on. “I didn’t expect to feel the way I felt when I heard about you and Dwayne. Not when I heard you were an item, nor that you’d broken up. I knew I had lost something precious and I’m really sorry that he broke your heart, but I’m not sorry that I’ve been given a second chance.”
Victoria shook her head, looking at Femi and feeling sad. How typical. “It’s all about you, isn’t it? You couldn’t just be there for me, could you, Femi?! You had to make it about you!”
Femi leaned back, taken aback. “I don’t understand…”
“No… I wouldn’t expect you to. I loved him, Femi! My heart is broken. And trying to get back with you in this state is not in my plans. I made that mistake with open eyes once; I won’t do it with a bruised heart! This is not your second chance, Femi. Please, get it right and try not to confuse our daughter with your selfish ambitions!”
And with that, Vicky arose from the table and made her way out of the restaurant, tears blurring her vision.
Timothy had been crying for the last 30 minutes straight, and Adania couldn’t go back to sleep. What was the nanny doing? Why was the baby still crying?
“For God’s sake, why is he still crying?” Adania yelled, finally deciding to get out of bed to investigate.
“I no know, ma! I don try everything. He no wan gree for me,” the house girl spoke in pidgin English.
Adania reached the girl’s side and snatched the baby from her hands. The girl gasped and the baby shrieked all the more. She threw the boy over her shoulder and began to heavily pat his back, while bobbing up and down, in an attempt to soothe him. But his cries persisted.
“What is it? For God’s sake! Timothy, stop crying!” Adania carried him with outstretched hands, shaking him. What was the matter with this baby? Had the house girl done something she shouldn’t have?
“What did you do to him?” Adania shouted at her instead.
“I no do anything ma…” the girl cowered. She couldn’t understand what the problem was. She’d offered him food, but he’s refused, his diaper was just changed and he wasn’t running a temperature.
“What is that thing you do that used to work?” Adania asked, feeling embarrassed but desperate. She had been jealous at the girl’s ability to sooth him that way, when it just didn’t work for her and had prevented her from doing it.
“But ma, you said…”
“Just do it, abeg! Let’s see if it will work.”
The girl collected Timothy from his mother and tied him to her back with a wrapper. She then began to sing a song to him, as she swayed.
“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. All things bright and wonderful, the Lord, God made them all. He made two eyes for Tommy and a nose that he might smell, how great is God almighty, who has made all things well…”
Adania only just noticed the change the girl had made to the popular song, but it seemed to be working. Timothy was settling down. “Where did you learn that song?” she asked after he’d stopped crying.
“My former aunty teach me song for baby,” she answered.
“But his name is Timothy!” Adania insisted.
“He no like when I sing Timothy oh…”
Adania frowned. She hadn’t noticed, because she had never once called him Tommy. He always cried whenever she rocked him and called him Tim or Timmy. Maybe she would try Tommy. Maybe.
The whisperings had started since Monday. The word was spreading through the campus about Samson’s arrest and the allegation of rape that had been the cause. Rumour was that he’d been at another party, making out with another unknown girl, when Antonia had come in with the police with the claim that he’d raped her. He’d then been escorted to the police station for ‘questioning’.
Some people speculated that he was guilty and others thought Antonia was just jealous because she wanted more from Samson. Samuel, the closest to Samson, didn’t know what to think nor make of all this. He really wanted to believe his brother would never do a thing like that, and that’s what he said to everyone who asked him. Still, he had doubts.
Samson was so bitter against Antonia and had even taken to calling her a ‘bitch’ and a ‘lying whore’. Samuel didn’t think he had the right attitude and, the way he was going, he could sway people into believing Antonia’s accusations.
“You don’t get it, mehn! She has ruined me! Now, everyone will always wonder if I did it! If I’m a rapist! Don’t you see?! Even if I’m declared innocent, she has tarnished my name! I hate her!!!” he’d shouted one night, when Samuel had tried to talk to him about his attitude.
Samuel thought it made sense, and felt bad for Samson. Even his reputation had been soiled by this accusation. A lot of his friends from the Christian Fellowship group now avoided him, as if he was the one that had been accused of rape. He just wished this whole thing would be concluded quickly, and they could get some semblance of their lives back.
He’d considered going to talk to Antonia to ask her what happened, and see if he could determine the truth. But he didn’t want to be accused of ‘intimidating the witness’. He rather chose to keep a low profile and watch Samson, to make sure that he, too, stayed out of trouble.
Ifeanyi looked at his phone screen unable to believe his eyes. What was happening?! He blinked and re-read the message:
“Ifeanyi, dear. I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut my trip short. I’ll be leaving for South Africa tomorrow morning. How about you come over tonight and we can finalise on plans before I leave? Be sure to bring the documents to the hotel. See you soon, dear x”
“Oh, God! This is nonsense!” he yelled. This woman must be on crack if she thinks I’ll be coming to see her at her hotel!
Ifeanyi called his father, and as soon as he picked up the phone, asked, “Father, what did you do?!”
“What are you talking about, Ifeanyi? I hope you know I’ve got a lot on my plate?”
“I’m sorry, dad. I didn’t mean to be rude. But Ms Nkosi just sent a text asking me to meet her at her hotel room to sign the papers tonight.”
“And, what’s the problem with that?!”
“Can’t you see?! She wants…”
“Ifeanyi, please, I’m busy. Handle this business.”
Ifeanyi gaped at the phone as his father’s voice was replaced with a busy signal. Dear Lord! I’m going to have to tell Mary.
Mary was just done with the okro soup she’d prepared for dinner when her phone buzzed. She went to wash and dry her hands, before going over to pick it up on the central kitchen counter. It was a WhatsApp message from Ifeanyi.
“Hey babe… I’m going to be at Eko Hotel tonight. I’m meeting a client who’s travelling tomorrow morning.”
“Okay, babe,” she replied. It seemed strange for him to notify her of his business arrangements.
“Do you mind waiting for me in the lobby?”
Mary frowned. She didn’t understand his request. She decided to call him.
“Hey, babe… What’s up?” she asked when he’d picked his call.
“Hey… So, can you come?”
“I already cooked dinner… Did you want to eat out?”
“No… Look, it’s this woman we’re trying to do business with. She’s been trying to get me alone with her all in the name of signing a contract deal. I’ve kinda run out of ideas of how to throw her off, and still keep her interest in our business.”
“Yeah… Well, she says she’s travelling tomorrow. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know. I just thought, I could go into her room, and if she delays me, you could like come knocking, cause a scene or something,” he giggled nervously.
“Why don’t you just insist that she meets you in the lobby or restaurant?”
“You don’t know this woman. She’s tricky. A trickster more like. I really want to get her to sign the document, and I think she will… But don’t worry. I’ll handle it.”
“Do you find her attractive?”
“Hell, no! She’s… Not my type. At all!”
“Hmmm… Okay. What time will you be there?”
“In about an hour. Is that enough time for you?”
“Yeah…” Mary said. “And thanks… I’m glad you decided to confide in me.”
To be continued...
Photo credit: www.unsplash.com
Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop your comments! Thanks for reading 🙂