AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR - VOLUME ONE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
Having prayed the night before that God should grant him counsel in the night and clarity in the morning, Bolu woke up and tried to recollect his dreams. He couldn't glean anything substantial that was clearly relating to his situation. He didn't even think he had dreamt at all. He had another prayer time and a brief time of listening in the morning, where he hoped that God would direct his thoughts towards His will. What came to his mind and pressed upon him repeatedly was God's words to the Apostle, Paul - "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).
What did that mean? Was that a message from God about his situation? Was God saying that he can't do anything about it, and he should just trust Him? It wasn't a clear direction for whether or not he should allow Lola to go on the business trip, but the message gave him a certain amount of peace. He knew that whether or not Lola traveled away for business, that God was in control, and he didn't need to have everything under his own control. Bolu continued to pray for more clarity, and for God to grant wisdom to his wife, and keep her from the evil one.
Mama joined Bolu and Lola in their morning devotional before work. Bolu had brought her up to speed about the mysterious man and Lola's pending trip, last night. Mama was dead set against it, but Bolu said he would commit the decision to God, and decide in the morning. Mama didn't have any lessons from dreams in the night to share. However, the one about the shark was still on her heart and she shared it with Bolu and Lola again. Lola thought the dream was very interesting, and felt like a warning, but she didn't want to conclude that her new friend, Danny, was a shark.
Bolu asked if Lola had received anything from her time of prayer, when Mama had finished sharing her lesson and counsel. Lola said she hadn't, but drew on a lesson from yesterday's service about the Disciple's Cross. She recalled the lesson to submit to one another in love, and said that she would forsake the trip, if that was what Bolu wanted. It was very hard for her to share that lesson, but she knew that her marriage had to come first. God will just have to make another means of providing for them.
Mama was happy with Lola's lesson, and her mind was put to rest. It was over, she thought. However, Bolu saw Lola's lesson as a reason for grace. If she had forsaken the trip, then she certainly had the right attitude towards the job, so she could be trusted. He believed that God's message to him was to trust Him, and felt that if he tried to control the situation by not permitting his wife to go, he would not be exercising faith that God's grace is enough.
"Look, Lola, I don't want you to feel like I don't trust you. We don't have a marriage if we don't have trust, and I appreciate that you trust me too. I'm glad you can see that this man could be a threat to our marriage, and that you know that our marriage is more important than this job or commission. I want you to keep that in mind when you go on this business trip. I don't want any more secrets between us. You must be open to me about everything, otherwise I may not be able to trust you in future..." Bolu said, finally.
Lola nodded happily. She released her breath with relief, while Mama sat there stunned. "Thank you, Baby. I appreciate that."
"I need you to give me his business card, so that I have his direct contact. I want to do a little background check too, and make sure his business is not shady and there's nothing criminal on his file. The least I can do is protect you," Bolu said. "Promise you will tell me the moment he does anything fishy."
"I promise," Lola said.
"Ok, let's get to work. I'm late!" Bolu said, realising that they had ran 30 minutes over today.
Bolu dropped Lola at work at 8:30am, and hurried off to his office. It was going to be a busy week at the office, but he would make out regular time to call his wife everyday. He had also taken home the lesson from Church that their relationship was to be his priority. He would do more to ensure that Lola felt she was no 1 in his life.
Lola was relieved by Bolu's decision to let her go on the trip, pending his background check on Danny. She had promised to be open to Bolu about everything, but she still had a secret in her heart that she hadn't confessed to him. She hadn't told him of her attraction to Danny, nor their private conversations, nor the occasional longing she had to hear from him each day.
She half-hoped that if he hadn't permitted her to go, that she would be spared from acknowledging them as any real threat to her marriage. But now that she knew she would be going on the trip, the feelings were surfacing from the hiding places in her heart where she had lodged them. She was excited about the business trip for more than one reason, and she knew it.
She remembered Ms Shittu's words to her: "If you know it comes with the territory, you won’t be thrown off, and you certainly won’t fall for their advances". Could she have been so stupid as to fall for Danny's advances, knowing that she could just be another play thing that he would discard the moment he got bored..? Maybe going on the trip was not Bolu's decision to make. Maybe she should make that decision, based on this inside knowledge that Bolu was not privy to. Maybe...
There was a knock on the door. It was the receptionist, Ronke. "Come in," Lola said.
"A delivery for you, Madam," Ronke said, as she dropped a big bouquet of lilies on Lola's desk.
Lola looked at them stunned. Who were they from? She looked for a card. It read: "Love, from your secret admirer".
Secret admirer like hell! Who else would send her lilies? Lola thanked Ronke and shooed her away before calling Danny. "You sent me flowers?"
"What? What do you mean?" He asked, sounding confused.
"You mean they are not from you?"
"You got flowers??? So, you have a secret admirer... I'm not surprised, you're gorgeous!"
"It's not funny, Danny. I know it was you. It's a whole bouquet of lilies," Lola said, trying not to smile.
"Ummm... Must be beautiful. But why would I send you flowers?"
Lola was uncomfortable. She hadn't admitted to herself before that she knew he had feelings for her. "You know why..."
"Look, if I wanted to toast you, I'd buy you diamonds. They say they're a girl's best friend!" Danny joked. "So, you wanna go shopping?"
"For diamonds?" Lola played along.
"Yeah... how many carats do you want?" Danny teased.
Lola let out a deep breath. "Just admit you sent the flowers, will you?"
"It wasn't me. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."
"Fine. I'm not going on this trip tomorrow," Lola said boldly.
"Oh, oh oh! Hold on a minute. That's not fair," Danny said.
"I'm married, Danny. You can't do this. If I'm going on this trip, you have to promise no funny business!"
"Are you so sure I sent you the flowers, that you would risk good business?"
Lola was quiet for a moment. Why wouldn't he just come right out and admit it? "Yes, I am and I would. I think a field agent can do the job just as well. And if that's a problem for you, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about it."
Danny paused for a moment. "Ummm... So if I say I sent you the flowers, will you still come on the trip...with me?"
"No. If you come straight with me about why you want me to be the one to view your properties, then I will consider going on the trip," Lola said, feeling like she was in control.
"So, you've got all the cards, eh..? Can I think about it?"
"Take as long as you want. Bye, Mr Akunne." Lola dropped the phone.
She'd done it. She was relieved. He's just a joker, she thought! But what about the commission? What about your boss??? Oh my, she hadn't thought it through. My marriage is more important, Lola said to herself resolutely.
Thirty minutes later, Lola got a call from Ms Shittu to meet her at her office.
"What did you do?" Ms Shittu asked accusingly.
Lola wasn't sure what it was about. Surely, Danny wouldn't have called her boss... "I don't know what you are referring to, Ma."
"You told Mr Akunne to take his business elsewhere??? Have you lost your mind?"
Oh, wow! He had called her boss. She didn't see that coming. "Ma, he was behaving inappropriately..."
"What could he possibly have done to make you throw away good business?"
"He sent me flowers," Lola said. When that didn't raise an eyebrow, "And I think he has feelings for me."
"Lola, I thought we talked about this already. I told you not to read too much into their advances. Just ride it out, and complete the transaction. Or are you in love with him?"
"Eh, so what is the problem?" Ms Shittu asked.
"There's no problem, Ma. I'm sorry for not acting professionally."
"You have to call him back, and tell him you're going tomorrow as planned. I tried to arrange for someone else, but he is determined on you going. Please don't mess this one up!"
"Yes, Ma. Sorry, Ma," Lola shut the door on her way out.
Ms Shittu stared at Lola dumbfounded. How could she be so reckless with her business? Maybe she wasn't worthy of that promotion after all...
Lola got in her office and threw the bouquet in the garbage. What an arrogant man! How could he force her to go on this trip with him? Well, she was not under any more threat about falling for him now. He'd definitely poured ice cold water on whatever feelings she had been developing. She'd go on this trip and never have anything to do with him, once their business was concluded!
Instead of calling him, Lola sent Danny a formal text instead. "Good morning, Mr Akunne. This is to inform you that I will be in Abuja tomorrow morning as planned. Please accept my apologies for any offenses. Sincerely, Mrs Lola Adetayo."
Lola put away her phone, and focused on the work at hand. Fortunately, four enquirers visited the office, and one was promising, so she didn't have much time to think about Danny.
Danny got an alert from Lola about an hour after she had hung up on him. He had to give it to her, she had balls! He couldn't believe that she'd actually put him in that situation, and wondered how he would deal with her on the business trip.
He didn't want to call her boss, but she had left him no choice. He couldn't have her thinking she was in control. As far as he was concerned, he called the shots, and would always call the shots. And he would keep her in wonder of his true feelings as long as it took... He knew what he was doing, and he wouldn't be deterred by her or anyone.
Danny lifted a single lily to his nose and sniffed it. Such a sweet smelling flower... He couldn't wait to see Lily tomorrow.
To be continued...
Photo credit: www.eharmony.com