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
“Ma’am, where do we put this?” one of the men delivering Cindy’s deep freezer asked.
“Over by that wall please,” she replied.
She moved aside for them to manoeuvre the appliance and watched as they also installed the oven too. One of them was very attractive, and Cindy had to focus her attention on something else to keep from ogling him. When they were done, he brought a form for her to sign, to acknowledge receipt of her goods.
“Thanks,” she mumbled as she signed it. She looked at him just as she handed the pen back. The look in his eyes made her step back. He’d clearly noticed that she too was a beauty.
The delivery man smiled at the pretty woman blushing before him. From how she obstinately set her shoulders, he could tell that she was one of those proud, ‘independent women’. She probably thought she was too good for him. Not his type at all.
“You’re welcome, ma’am. Have a good day!” he greeted, turning to join his colleague who had already strapped himself in the driver seat of their truck.
Cindy watched the delivery man enter his truck before shutting the door to her kitchen/office. She turned and looked at her new place. It was now fully equipped for her to open for business. And her first order was for the baby shower on Sunday.
She smiled, marvelling at all God had done to enable her to stand on her own two feet. Even the order of a freezer and oven had arrived a day earlier than expected. She was definitely blessed and highly favoured by the Father.
Cindy began to worship God in song and praise.
Lola parked her car in the driveway outside Da-Vyne Interiors. It had been about a year since she’d submitted her resignation and, thankfully, Ms Shittu had been both understanding and supportive of her move to independence. Lola hoped that she could leverage on their friendship today, as she was pretty stuck on how to move her business forward.
She walked into the showroom and was suddenly nostalgic. Ronke now managed the floor and eagerly greeted Lola when she saw her. Lola hugged her former receptionist, who was now heavy set.
“Wow! You’re expecting! Congratulations!” Lola beamed.
“Thanks, ma,” Ronke replied. “It’s really good to see you. How are your husband and baby?”
“They are both very fine, thanks. Is Ms Shittu in?”
“Yes, ma. She’s expecting you.”
“Thanks!” Lola said, and proceeded towards the MD’s office. When she got to the door, she knocked and waited for Ms Shittu to call her in.
“Come in,” came her instantaneous response. “Lola! Wow, you’re looking good.”
The women hugged. “Thanks, ma! You’re looking good too. How’s business?”
“We’re doing fine, by God’s grace. How are you?”
“I’m good. Business has been slow, though… I was hoping you could give me some advice.”
Ms Shittu smiled. “It’s slow here too. You know how it is, Lola.”
Lola smiled. She remembered that they had some really poor seasons, and then some random up seasons. It seemed making sales and profit in this industry were really about who you knew… “I know… But I’ve had no business in six months! Well, apart from a wedding I co-planned in July.”
“Oh, that’s good. You’ve even branched out. That’s the way to do it. And you have to count that as business. So, it hasn’t been as quiet as you let on. You really need to take advantage of opportunities where ever they arise and leverage relationships,” Ms Shittu said.
“Hmmm… I guess.”
“Have you been to any events lately? There are a few for women in business happening next quarter.”
“No, I haven’t really. I have to confess, I let myself get carried away with motherhood. Became a bit of a home buddy…”
“I understand. But you have to put on your business shoes again and begin to think strategically. Events are a good place to meet new clients, partners or friends. Even if you just network for contacts, they are sure to come in handy one day. And all you do is nurture your relationships.”
Lola nodded. Ms Shittu always had so much wisdom. “But ma, I was wondering… In case you find yourself overwhelmed or you have a clash of clients, I’d be so happy to take someone off your hands.”
“That’s no problem. Are you working for men too?” Ms Shittu asked, cheekily.
Lola smiled, knowing her implication. “Well, it’s all on an individual basis. Being independent just means that I’m not obliged to work with someone I don’t feel comfortable with.”
Ms Shittu nodded. “Sure, we’ll keep you in mind.” She looked through some documents on her desk and brought out a flyer. “Here… You should come for this event next month. I am one of the speakers.”
Lola took the flyer and read it. It was about “Marketing in the Modern World”. One of the speakers would be talking about social media marketing, while Ms Shittu’s subject was on “Women and the Marketplace”. It all sounded so interesting. She was glad she’d decided to come by. “This looks great! I’d love to come. Thanks.”
Amaka was back at Crowne Legal, a week later, for an appointment with Dele. He’d invited her to come in, saying that he’d gotten some feedback from the production company. She was quite surprised at how fast the response had come in. She hadn’t heard from Andi since their ‘date’ and she’d decided not to poke the bear after she’d chosen to get a litigator involved.
“How are you today, Amaka?” Dele asked, as he took her hand to shake it. He directed her to take her seat across from him.
“I’m fine thanks. So, what’s the update?”
Wow... Straight to business. He smiled. “Well, you’re a lucky woman… They said the part is already yours, but you need to drop the case.”
“Is that it? No apology?!”
Dele had to stop himself from raising his brow. “That would be tough. We’re lucky they agreed to settle like this and so quickly. Clearly, they are not interested in a scandal. But you will be hard pressed to get an apology…”
“Well, that’s what I deserve.”
“Okay… We’ll put it to them and let you know what their feedback is on that.”
“Thanks,” Amaka said, standing up to leave.
Dele stood up too. “Let me escort you out.” It was really unnecessary, but if that was the only way he could stay close to her a little longer…
“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”
“It’s okay. I’m heading down for lunch anyway…” he replied. Feeling brave, he asked, “Would you like to join me?”
Amaka stopped and turned to him. For a lawyer, he was too easy to read. “I’m sorry. I try not to mix business with pleasure. It’s never worked out well.”
Dele shrugged, and they continued towards the elevator. He pressed the button and, moments later, the doors parted. “Okay, well. I’ll get back to you,” he said, changing his mind about following her downstairs. He would have to exercise more patience.
“Thanks,” she replied before the elevator doors shut.
Jamie was at the office when he got the unexpected call. He’d actually stared at the caller ID for a minute, wondering why she would be calling and if it would be wise to answer. He eventually did.
“Hey…” he said, cautiously.
“Hi, Jamie,” Adania replied.
He swallowed. “What’s up?”
“I was wondering if we could meet…”
“I don’t know. Tonight?”
“No problem… I’ll come over after work. Is everything okay?”
“Yes… I just think we need to talk.”
Jamie smiled. Were his prayers being answered? “Yeah, that would be great. I’ll be there about six thirty, sevenish.”
“Okay, thanks,” Adania said before cutting the call.
Jamie leaned back on his executive seat, closed his eyes and glorified God for what looked like a breakthrough.
“Hey, Temi… How’s your day going?”
Temi looked at the new message from Michael. Since Monday, when he’d called her with an unknown number, they’d been back in communication. He’d resent his number and reached out to her on WhatsApp, and she’d unblocked him. They were only talking, and he needed her now, she told herself.
Among the first messages he’d sent had been an update on Linda. It had made her feel bad because she hadn’t even asked after his daughter when they’d spoken on the phone. Most of his updates continued to be about Linda, with pictures of both of them. He never sent any picture with Lisa, though, and she only asked after her flippantly.
Linda was in remission and was scheduled to be discharged on Sunday. She would be continuing with treatment from home. Temi was really happy to hear that.
“I’m fine. How are you? How’s Linda?”
“We’re both fine… So, I’ll coming back next week. Linda is stable now.”
“You don’t sound happy 😦”
“I am… I am really happy for Linda! Have a safe journey, okay?”
“Thanks, I will. I’ll call you before I leave…”
Temi didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just left it at that. Her phone beeped with another notification. She saw that it was Oyinda. She let out a sigh. He’d been sending her messages every day, as if they just got married.
“Hey babe… How’s work?”
She didn’t bother to open the chat. She wasn’t ready to encourage his efforts to reconcile.
Jamie pressed the bell to Adania’s apartment. He heard Tommy crying in the background, as he heard footsteps heading towards the door. Adania opened the door in a house robe and stepped aside for Jamie to enter.
“Thanks for coming,” she said.
Jamie was surprised by her pleasantness and formality. “No problem,” he said.
He walked into the living room and took in the scene. The house was very untidy. Baby clothes and toys were everywhere. There was a strange smell in the kitchen, mingled with the smell of old, soiled diapers. He couldn’t help wrinkling his face out of displeasure.
“Are you okay, Adania?” he chose to ask. He wondered where Tommy was.
She gave him a small smile. “I’m fine. I’m sorry for the mess. I had to let go of my nanny yesterday.”
That name still irked Adania, but she would have to let it go, she reasoned. “I put him down to sleep.”
“But… But he’s crying!” Jamie said, angry but trying to keep it from his voice.
He went in the direction of the baby’s cries, which grew louder and louder. The boy’s cheeks were flushed red as he cried hysterically in his crib. Jamie snatched him out of it and held him close. He took a sneak peek at his diaper, which was soiled with urine. He took him to the changing table, where he proceeded to change his son’s diaper. Thereafter, he carried and petted him. The child’s frantic cries died down, until he was just muttering. Soon, he was groaning and then snoring softly, as he slept off.
After Jamie put him down to sleep, Adania showed up at the door, staring in wonder at what Jamie had done. She swallowed and returned to the lounge.
“What’s the matter with you, Adania? Why did you just let our boy cry like that?!” Jamie asked, concerned and furious all at once.
Adania sat down and put her head in her hands. “I don’t know, Jamie. I don’t know. I’m so tired.”
Adania looked up at him. “From everything. Everything is making me tired. I can’t continue like this…”
Jamie sat down beside her. He’d never seen Adania look so despondent. She was thoroughly depressed, and he feared that if he did what he wanted to do, which was to take his child with him tonight, it would be the last time he would see Adania alive.
“It doesn’t have to be this way, Adania. I know you’re angry and upset about everything that has happened. I was absolutely terrible to you, and I completely understand that you feel cheated in all this. But you are cheating yourself out of peace and happiness by choosing to stay angry… Please, forgive me… You don’t have to do it alone, when we can do it together…”
Adania held on to his hand and leaned into him. “Stay with me,” she pleaded.
Jamie held Adania until she fell asleep in his arms. He felt so terrible. He was the cause of this. Adania used to be so spirited and, now, here she was looking so ragged and miserable. He really had to make things right.
He started by cleaning up the apartment while she slept, laid down on the sofa. It was while tidying up her bedroom that he noticed the empty pack of sleeping pills by the bin. He looked at it for a long minute, wondering what it meant. How many pills had Adania taken tonight?!
To be continued...
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