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How fast can you run to save your own life?
Some might say as fast as the fastest man alive, some may say as fast as Flash, the comic superhero, some may say as fast as a bullet train.
You never really know how fast you can run in such a situation until you’re faced with it. Until there’s just you and that possibility staring face to face and you could either conquer it, or it conquers you. But let’s be real here, what are the possibilities of conquering death? What are the chances of an average human being against an angry mob?
Well, Patrick was about to find out, and hopefully, he would live to tell a tale on it.
Heavy feet hit the ground, packing dust as it lifted off like a tractor. Rivulets of sweat streamed down taut brown skin, occasionally entering fidgety brown eyes or hanging on to lashes that were enviably long. Harsh breaths escaped flared nostrils trying to grasp what it exerted from humid hair. Sharp ears had long ago blocked out the sound of an irate mob few metres away and replaced that sound with a hollow sound, only a thudding heart resounded within the chambers of both ears.
He had never done this before, it had been an emergency. His naiveté had been exposed before he could move far and now, he was running for his life as angry men and women, people who probably didn’t care for the shop owner on a normal day but were just looking for something to light up a slow and boring day , chased after him with various clubs, all looking to get his blood on their clubs. His blood.
What would happen if he died today? Would all the suffering end? Was there somewhere better on the other side? If there was, had he not ruined it all for himself by stealing? More importantly, what would happen to his only living relative? The person for whom he was now being chased by this mob. What would become of Veronica?
Sturdy feet seemed to move faster at that thought, he needed to stay alive, he needed to get her the loaf of bread in his hand, so she could get better. He wouldn’t die today and certainly not because of a measly loaf of bread.
His arms pumped, his body not giving up on him. working out had it’s advantages he guessed. The fact that he had long, built legs on a 6 ft. 3” frame also helped. Not that he ever envisioned using these attributes in such a situation.
He rounded a corner, hoping that would get a few people off his track, and then cut through another narrow space. He could still hear them, but they weren’t as loud anymore. Just a few more corners. He thought. He jumped over a low fence and found himself in the large parking lot of the newly renovated part of Karu market- the fancy area.
He moved to the many rows of cars, the parking lot was full today, lots of people were preparing for Sallah and had come shopping for foodstuff. He could use this to his advantage.
He moved through the cars, his heart still racing as his eyes constantly darted to the fence. Any moment now and someone would be jumping over that fence, he could feel it. He just had to find where to hide until the ruckus died down.
He tried pulling at the handles of random cars, hoping that someone had carelessly left a odor open, it certainly was not a likelihood in Nigeria, but considering how terribly his day had gone so far, something had to give. His feet moved faster along with his hands. He briefly considered abandoning this plan and just running to the roadside, but what were the chances he wouldn’t run into someone who had been part of the mob chasing him?
He felt nervous sweat run down his face, he would make it. he just needed to find an open car.
Just as the thought came to his head, the door of the backseat of a car suddenly clicked open. He stared at the partially opened door for a moment, stunned at his unreal luck. Had this car just opened? Seriously? Before he could wrap his head around the occurrence, he saw the first person with a stick jumping over the fence. He swiftly ducked and flew into the backseat of the car, closing the door behind him.
He managed to squeeze his large frame on the floor of the car and waited for the mob to disperse.
The loaf of bread he had gone through all this trouble for was now squeezed in his large hand. It was just a flimsy loaf of bread. Why did everyone have to make so much fuss over it? he hadn’t taken it from the shop of a poor man. He had watched that shop for a full ten minutes. It was a large one, fit to be a supermarket. There were goods worth five thousand naira and above in there, the measly fifty naira bread was an eyesore in such splendor.
It was nothing the owner would miss.
To think the same person had organized this mob to haunt him down and possibly kill him for something that insignificant shook him to the core….but he wasn’t a thief, he was just….unfortunate.
He had tried, he had tried hard and anyone no matter how stone-hearted would appreciate that. He had reached his breaking point today, he hadn’t had anything to eat in two days and that was just fine by him, but Veronica couldn’t starve and he couldn’t find something to do to get him the needed money on time.
It had killed him to watch his sister writhe and groan in her sleep all of last night having only ate barely a cup of garri, the last thing he could provide, earlier in the morning. She had ulcer, she couldn’t take her medications because she hadn’t had anything to eat. What he fed her was far from ideal for her condition and it was a miracle she was still alive after all of the abuse her system had been put through. He had tried to ask their neighbours for food or money, but no one would give him the time of day. He was a young and strong man, he could go out and find something to do, but none of them would volunteer to look after Veronica in his absence. They were all selfish people
Even this bread, this damned bread in his hand, was not what she needed, but it was all he could get.
He tried to even his breathing and enable his hearing. Some people were around, they were walking through the parking lot. They were looking for him.
He closed his eyes and muttered a prayer. God wouldn’t let him die today. He hadn’t seen twenty-seven years to die like this. He hadn’t been through eight hard years with Veronica to die like this. She still needed him, she had no one else but him. God couldn’t punish him like this and God wouldn’t punish Veronica like this either.
He waited for some more time, he didn’t know how long passed, but he soon stopped hearing the voices, and then there was silence. Sweet, beautiful, blissful silence.
Patrick closed his eyes and said a small prayer of thanks to God, he could leave now.
He suddenly heard another voice- no, two voices, and they were female. What was going on now? The voices were coming closer and another kind of fear seized Patrick’s heart. Could he run for it? they would see him before he could even open the door.
The boot of the car suddenly opened up and he ducked to hide himself, gritting his teeth at his large frame. Right now, he wished he was much smaller and inconspicuous.
The women were chattering with excitement as they loaded some items into the opened boot, unaware of the stranger in the car. Something about an upcoming birthday party, he was really not interested in their conversation, his mind was running a mile a minute, thinking up all the excuses he could make for being inside their car. He could only pray they wouldn’t scream too loud and attract unwanted attention. There had to be some understanding person in the world today.
He waited patiently as they closed the boot after loading it and made their way to the car doors, “Jesus, I can’t believe I forgot to lock this car.” The first woman spoke once she made the shocking discovery.
“Ha! Sister, why so careless? I hope you didn’t leave any valuables inside it o, you can never trust the people around here, even the so-called security people are very shady.” The other said as they opened the doors and entered the car.
“Hmm, I left nothing of value inside thankfully, don’t mind me and my forgetfulness.” She hissed and reached for her seatbelt.
Just as they moved to fasten the seatbelt, the lady in the passenger’s seat caught sight of the male form on the floor of the car, she peered down at the form inquisitively and let out a loud shriek once she confirmed it really was a man
Patrick suddenly sat up with raised arms, “Please don’t shout, please. I’m not armed, I won’t hurt you please.” He tried to calm the two hysterical women down as the one in the driver’s seat had joined her sister in their screaming match. He knew he probably didn’t look like someone whose words should be taken seriously, but…..for the love of God something had to go right for him today!
“Get out! Get out!” the one in the passenger’s seat said, hitting him repeatedly with her handbag.
He blocked the hits with one arm while he struggled to find the door handle with his other, “I’m going, please don’t scream, I didn’t steal anything.” He begged. Inwardly, he prayed no one else could hear their screams.
He finally managed to push the door open and stumbled out of the car rather haphazardly, still clutching the loaf of bread like his life depended on it. the two women simply ignored him and the one in the driver’s seat started her car.
He fell onto the gravel and watched the car zoom off without the back door closing properly.
He watched the dust it left behind for a while, rather dazed at what had just happened. Nervous eyes turned left and right to determine if anyone had witnessed the embarrassing incident, once he was sure the parking lot was fairly empty, he let out a small sigh of relief and stood up.
He wiped the gathering sweat off thick eyebrows and let out a deep sigh as he dusted the back of his trousers, but the sound of laughter halted his movements almost immediately. Was someone laughing at him?
He turned around swiftly to find a fairly old woman with a head full of salt and pepper hair, laughing boisterously. Her head was thrown back and she had wrinkling hands upon her chest as her opened mouth exposed gleaming white teeth. He furrowed his brows at her, wondering what this woman found so funny.
He noticed her appearance, she was dressed in a pair of plain, black trousers and a lemon green chiffon top, on her feet were simple, nude colored sandals that made the yellow polish on her toe nails pop. She looked regal, nothing like the kind of woman that should be around here. Small things stood out in her appearance, like the gleaming ring on her finger, he was no expert in jewels, but he was certain that had to be some authentic diamond. Even the simple, silver chain around her gazelle-like neck had a turquoise pendant that probably cost something.
He watched her continue to laugh for a while, unable to move, not just because he thought her laugh sounded beautiful, but he really was interested in knowing what had her laughing this hard.
She finally quelled the laughter to look at him with mirth-filled eyes, one hand came up to her left eye to wipe a tear that had escaped from it, “Oh my goodness….oh, heavens! I haven’t laughed like that in ages boy, you are a delight.” She said and then resumed her laughter in light chuckles.
Okay, so she had apparently been the sole audience in that brief scene, but why was she laughing? Why wasn’t she berating him or acting cautious around him like others would? Why was she openly laughing at him? He was easily twice her size and much younger ,so he was in a good position to hurt her if he really was a bad person. Her laughter intrigued him.
“That…..whatever just happened there, that was hilarious. What were you doing n a stranger’s car?” she asked
He wasn’t sure if that was a rhetorical question or if she truly expected a reply from him, what did she think he was doing there? Listening to the news on radio?
He shook his head at her and turned around to be on his way tired of being the unwilling source of some lady's amusement. Veronica would be waiting for him, he had no time to stand here staring at people whose mental condition couldn’t be determined.
“Wait, wait please. Why so much in a hurry?” the woman called after him as he began walking, but he ignored her choosing to move a bit faster, “Wait boy, I have something for you.” She spoke up.
Those words stopped him in his steps and he turned back once again to find her approaching him. This time, she was reaching into a small sling bag he hadn’t noticed. His brow cocked in interest, what was she reaching for?
She finally got to where he was standing and smiled at him, her smile was as beautiful as her laugh. She was a very pretty woman, no doubt about it, “I just want to thank you for that scene today, I honestly haven’t laughed that good in a while. Here, please take this for your troubles.”
He didn’t notice the money in her hand and didn’t look down to acknowledge whatever she was handing to him as his face remained on hers, until she took his free hand and put the paper in his larger palm.
He finally looked down at it and his eyes widened at the sight of five pieces of one thousand naira notes. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen this much money. For the first time since he saw the woman, he finally found a purpose for his vocal chords, he shook his head vehemently, “I’m sorry ma, I can’t accept this. I don’t need your free money, thank you.” It pained him greatly to speak those words especially as he did in fact need any form of money he was given at this stage, but he didn’t know this woman from wherever.
She shook her head at him, “Whoever said it was free money, you just provided me with priceless entertainment, this is a small token of my appreciation. Take it” she patted his arm and turned to leave, but he followed her.
“No, ma. Please, take it back, I really don’t need it.”
“Young man, use it to buy yourself something to eat. I don’t think that tiny bread you have in your hand can sustain someone as big as you are.”
Her mention of his bread took his eyes back to the item that nearly cost him his life less than an hour ago. It was now totally squeezed and barely resembled something fit for even a dog. He frowned, he would have to straighten out the bread somehow before he got home.
Her sudden stop made him pause in his words, she turned around and looked him up and down with a sudden gleam to her eyes. She walked up to him and gave him a thoughtful look, “How old are you young man?” she asked.
He furrowed his brows, what sort of question was that? Should he give her the correct answer? He briefly considered lying to her, but her elderly status and the fact that he most likely wouldn’t see her again after today, changed that thought, “Twenty- seven.” He replied cautiously.
“Perfect!” she beamed at him, “I’ll tell you what, Mr….?”
Her pause sought an answer, and he supplied her one without a thought, “Patrick.”
“Patrick, what a lovely name. I’ll tell you what Mr. Patrick, if after some days you still feel guilty about getting free money from an old lady, come by my house or call me and I guarantee you, I will give you a job worthy of this pay. Do we have a deal?” she asked
He watched her scribble something he assumed was her phone number and house address on a sheet of paper, his mind still in a haze as to what exactly was happening. Was she implying an actual job perhaps? This was almost surreal.
She finally finished writing whatever she put down and looked up at him, she handed him the paper, but he made no move to collect it from her, “Go on, take it.” she urged.
He slowly reached out and collected the paper from her, still giving her a wary look. He looked down at what was on the paper and sure enough it was a phone number and house address. She lived in Garki, how did she get here all the way from Garki?
“I look forward to your call or visit.” She said.
He took his eyes away from the paper long enough to watch her leave. She went to a small, but undoubtedly expensive car. From his vantage point, he could tell it was a Mercedes- Benz, he couldn’t say the model, but it looked new. She pressed a button on the key and the car unlocked.
She turned to him one last time to drop a final compliment, “And Patrick…”
“You’re a very good-looking young man, any woman should scream with joy if she finds you in her car.” She said, her head tossed back once again in laughter even as she ducked to enter her car.
Patrick just stood in the parking lot, staring until she started the car, gave him one last wave and drove off. He gave the events of the day one last thought before slipping the paper in his hand into his back pocket.
That act reminded him of the money in his hand, five thousand naira. He could actually use this to make some decent food for himself and Veronica for the first time in weeks. He grinned at the money, but his face fell when he remembered the bread in his hands.
A feeling of disdain passed through him at the sight of the bread, this damned loaf of flour had nearly cost him his life today…. And still, it led him to meet this woman. He frowned at the piece of bread and tossed it away in anger, today, Veronica deserved to be fed like a princess and the measly piece of bread simply wouldn’t cut it.
Thank God for Miracles
If a paper could obliterate simply by being stared at intensely, Patrick had no doubt in his mind that the one in his hand currently would’ve long been non-existent…and if he tugged at it any further, it would rip into two. He couldn’t afford that, not right now.
He had spent the past two days pondering over the woman’s offer, the woman, he remembered when he got home, whose name he never got. He hadn’t been able to sleep for two nights straight, getting off the thin mattress he shared with Veronica more than a few times to take out the paper and stare at it as if he would magically appear in front of her gate if he stared hard enough.
If this really was a job opportunity, he had to take advantage of it. he didn’t get many of these recently. He usually had to go job searching to find anything, and that had been made virtually impossible since Veronica’s condition deteriorated. If he had to go all the way to Garki, he reckoned he would take Veronica with him. luckily, the food he had been giving her had strengthened her considerably and she ought to be well enough to accompany him on Wednesday.
He still had a little under three thousand naira on him from the five thousand he had been given, he would have enough for transportation on Wednesday. Hopefully, the woman would be able to get him something to do that would be beneficial to himself and Veronica. She seemed well-to-do, well, someone who wasn’t wouldn’t be giving away five thousand naira to a complete stranger for something as fickle as being good amusement.
He wondered the nature of the job she would secure for him. it didn’t really matter though. Yes, he had a University degree and once upon a time he had fantasized about being a top-shot accountant in some fancy firm, but that was back when he was young and hadn’t been exposed to the hardships of the world. Now, he was content with just weeding someone’s farm or washing cars to get a little pay. Gone were the dreams of accountancy. It still gave him a thrill to calculate, but that was all he would be getting from it for a while. Reality was a far cry from dreams.
He had barely finished his Youth Service when he had been thrown headfirst into the role of guardian of his little sister after the death of their father. Their mother had died at Veronica’s birth and his father had lost it, he simply couldn’t handle the death of his wife in much the same manner as his mother had gone.
He always knew his father was haunted by the death of his mother while giving birth to him, the man had been so scared, his mother had only gotten pregnant with him three years after their marriage. After his birth, his father had vehemently refused another child, he was just glad his beloved wife had survived childbirth and the fear of losing her kept them from having another child until Patrick was fifteen years old. By the time their mother knew of her pregnancy, it was too late to abort the child and she had carried her full term.
Patrick was a hundred level student when his mother passed away in the labour room. His father had cared for Veronica, but he knew the man was dead inside even though he tried to care for the child his wife had died giving birth to. He saw how he would cry whenever he thought he wasn’t being watched, everytime he returned home from school, he saw how absent-minded his father was with Veronica, the man would get so lost in his thoughts, he would forget to feed the little girl. The result of all of that mistreatment was the ulcer they were still battling.
One day, he had returned home from a job search and found Veronica all alone inside the house. She had returned from school to find an empty house and their father nowhere in sight. Patrick had scoured the entire area later in the evening searching for their father. It was two days later that he got the message from a man he used to buy food stuff from in the market. A man had been found dead by their road side and he resembled his father.
He had poisoned himself and wandered off until the poison killed him.
It was a taboo in their village for a man to commit suicide and Nnaemeka Umeh would not be buried in his hometown. He didn’t even have family to plead on his behalf having died the only child of his parents.
Patrick was pulled out of his thoughts by the skinny little girl pulling at his arm. He looked down at her and smiled at his princess, “Ada’m, what is it?” he asked, focusing his attention on her.
Many people thought Veronica was his daughter whenever they met two of them and he always had to correct the mistake, sometimes he just let it slide. She didn’t look her true age of twelve, but looked more like an eight-year old due to poor nutrition. She was pretty despite how sickly she looked, and the food from the past two days had greatly improved her complexion to the light brown shade it originally was. Her eyes were bright and lively once again and the sight made him smile. She looked so much like their mother he had no doubt in his mind his father would have been tormented by the sight of her if he still lived.
“What is this paper in your hand? Did you get a job?” she asked with a hopeful smile.
He returned her smile with a rueful one, he wished he could tell her it was a job, he knew how she always prayed for her big brother to get a job whenever she thought he was asleep. He still couldn’t tell her that she was the reason he couldn’t get a normal job. She was a smart girl and had figured it out, but he never admitted it to her.
He ran his hand over her head of corn rows. He could proudly say that caring for a little girl had helped him learn many things about females and that included the art of weaving hair, “Not yet Vero, but hopefully soon.” He replied.
She placed two skinny hands upon his hard jaw and turned his head to meet her face, “So you could get a job soon, a real job?” she grinned at him
Her excitement caused a knot to tighten in his stomach. He could only pray that this woman was legit. He couldn’t bear to disappoint Veronica once again, he could face disappointment easily and had done so for many years, but what he couldn’t face was Veronica’s disappointment. He let out a sigh and re-positioned his body till he was fully facing his sister. He took her wrists in his hands, “Now, there’s no need for us to get our hopes up Veronica, you know how these things go. It’s just an opportunity and I may not get the job eventually.” He spoke softly
She stared at him as if he were speaking gibberish and then frowned, “Why are you talking like that? Don’t you want the job?”
“Veronica…” he sighed
“You’re very smart Brother Patrick, I don’t know anyone smarter than you. You should be working in Central bank.”
He smiled and shook his head at her, but she wasn’t smiling with him. her serious expression remained, “You’re going to get that job.” She said with finality.
He pinched her cheek with a smile, “And what will happen to you if I get an office job?” he questioned with his hair cocked to the side
She rolled her eyes at him as if exasperated by his question, “I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself.” She replied defiantly.
The look on her face made him fall back onto their bed in laughter, she really believed that about herself. She barely weighed thirty-five pounds and she thought she could take care of herself. His laughter increased when she jumped on him and began throwing light blows on whatever part of him her tiny hands could reach
“Stop laughing at me, I’m a big girl.” She shouted
“Okay, okay, you’re a big girl. I believe you.” He laughed his surrender
He was glad Veronica was in his life, he never wanted to imagine her being absent in his life
“Wow!” Veronica marveled as she stood in front of the most glamorous house she had ever seen in her life. Every house in this neighbourhood oozed glamour and wealth. The kind of wealth she hadn’t even seen in her dreams. To think such a place existed within the same state as their deplorable living quarters was amazing.
Patrick had called the mystery lady the morning of yesterday and she had been so excited to speak to him, she had been awaiting his call and was glad he established contact with her. The enthusiasm in her voice filled him with hope and life, if she was so eager to keep in contact with him, surely she must have something really good for him to do.
She suggested they met the next day much to his dismay, he had expected her to give him an appointment for the next week or at least three days after, instead she asked if he could make it the morning of the next day to her house. He agreed immediately, at his request that he bring along his little sister, she had told him she would love to meet Veronica.
The woman sounded too good to be true, but it was enough to get Patrick going, for all his streak of bad luck, this was a ray of sunlight and he didn’t intend to analyse it too much. They had picked out their best clothes- which weren’t all that good anyway, but at least they made them look decent. Patrick hadn’t been able to sleep a wink the entire night and the morning met him more invigorated than he had been in years, not a trace of fatigue was in him.
They had prepared extremely early to make the 10AM appointment they had secured, Veronica’s chatter of excitement the entire time they got prepared kept Patrick going, he even had a large grin on his face the entire time she spoke of how he was finally going to get a job and they could move out of the uncompleted building in which they currently resided. He had a pretty good feeling about the day.
It had been a little expensive getting here, but if all went as planned, the money spent would be all worth it. As soon as they entered the neighbourhood, Patrick had become a bit self-conscious, but he had learnt long ago to mask feelings of discomfort with an air of confidence, it helped him get by and ensured no one played him for a fool. Yes, he wasn’t dressed in anything to make anyone do a double-take, but what did that matter? He stepped put of the taxi he and Veronica had hired like he belonged here.
He had dressed in a good pair of dark blue jeans and a light pink button-down shirt that fit a little too tight, but that was the best he could find. He tucked in the shirt and left two of the top buttons undone more because the stretch along the expanse of his chest wouldn’t allow for them to be buttoned than anything else. On his feet were well polished, black leather shoes. He had Veronica wearing a pale yellow dress he had gotten her for her birthday last year and a simple pair of black sandals. She looked better than him, especially as she had a large smile on her face their entire drive here.
Most people had smiled at the sight of her smile, but even those who sneered on seeing them both didn’t seem to affect the girl, her brother was going to get a job like he deserved and she was glad for that.
“I know.” He concurred with her idea of the place. He knew the woman- Folashade Oche like she introduced herself, was wealthy, but he never thought she was this wealthy. He could only imagine what she had in store for him. his grip on the strap of the satchel in which he had his Curriculum Vitae along with other necessary documents tightened. The only dent in his CV was a lack of work experience, but save for that, he thought it was a pretty decent one. Hopefully, he would put it to proper use today.
“Let’s knock.” Veronica said pulling him out of his thoughts, she dragged him along before he could catch her words until they stood directly in front of the gate, “Look, there’s a bell.” She said, her voice filled with excitement. She pressed the switch so much he had to hold her hand to stop her when he felt she had exceeded the limit.
“Not so hard Vero, they only press it once.” He spoke softly.
She nodded and grinned at him in response.
The sound of the gate opening returned his eyes to the gate, he straightened and brushed off non-existent lint from his shirt. The gate was opened and an average-heighted man with dark skin stood at the entrance.
“Good morning sir.” Patrick began initially.
The man regarded him and then Veronica, who still had a large grin on her face, “Good morning. How can I help you?” the man asked, he sounded irritated by their mere presence and Patrick thought he must have been busy and their presence interrupted him.
“My name is Patrick Umeh, I’m here to see Mrs. Folashade Oche, I have a meeting with her for 10PM?” he replied
The man looked him over and then once again, looked at Veronica as if asking a silent question on the purpose for her presence. Patrick’s eyes followed his, he wondered if he should also explain Veronica’s presence as well, then again, it wasn’t in the place of the security man to know that. His job was to inform his employer that he was here.
“She was the one pressing the bell?” the man asked when Patrick wouldn’t take his bait and introduce Veronica.
“Yes, she’s….she’s excited.” He replied with an apologetic smile.
The man looked down at Veronica one more time and Patrick pulled her back till she was glued to him in response. If this man didn’t stop looking at his sister like she was some retarded street urchin, he would not be so nice anymore. He didn’t like it when anyone looked at Veronica funny, especially not on days he had put some extra effort into her overall appearance. He knew for sure she looked fine, so why did this man keep looking at her funny?
“Which kain meeting you say you get with madam sef?” the man asked, reverting to pidgin.
The use of pidgin English further annoyed Patrick, now he thought they weren’t worthy of being spoken to in proper English? He probably guessed they weren’t coming from anywhere fancy and he saved his ‘good English’ for the fancy folks, not for church rats looking to nibble into his cheese.
Patrick was all set to tell him to mind his own business in less than kind words when they were interrupted by a woman, “John.”
Three pairs of eyes went to the balcony that looked over the entire area and Patrick let out a sigh of relief when he saw the woman from the market- Mrs. Folashade, he refrained from smiling though so as not to give himself away, besides, he wasn’t guaranteed of any job yet.
The security man suddenly lost every air of arrogance he had used on Patrick and Veronica and wore a garb of humility, “Yes ma, good morning ma.”
“Good Morning, what’s going on?”
“Madam, there’s a man and a girl at the gate who say they have a meeting with you.” He replied.
She only eyed him briefly as if well aware of his antics before her gaze went to the entrance. Her eyes grew bright once they clashed with the people at the gate, “Patrick!” she gleamed
“Good morning ma.” Patrick replied with a grin and a wave, surely her excitement meant there was something big in store for him. this could well be his big brealthrough.
“Come on inside, I’m so glad you made it. I’ll be right down.” She said and then hurried away while Patrick and Veronica went in.
“You’re going to get the job brother.” Veronica almost screamed in excitement as they entered the large compound, ignoring the security man that seemed to be sneering at them, but Patrick paid him no mind. His mood would not be ruined by an inconsequential person
“Relax Vero, I haven’t gotten anything yet.” He replied her and gave her shoulder a light squeeze, partly to calm her and partly to ease his own nervousness. Hopefully, he wouldn’t do anything the woman would be put off by before he could secure whatever job she planned to give him. He had been trying to figure out what kind of job she had in store for him, but nothing came to his head.
He desperately wanted to assume it was an office work, but then, wouldn’t he have been given the address to an actual office and not her home? Besides, if he got one of those, would he be able to enroll Veronica in a school just to keep her busy before he resumed work? Where would he get the money for that?
He had even considered the ridiculous idea that she wanted to give him a comedy-related job, but he doubted he looked like a comedian. Like he said, ridiculous idea.
His eyes took a quick survey of the breath-taking area that was her front yard, especially the car park a few metres away, there were three cars parked, one of which was the Mercedes he had seen her with when they first met, the other two were a white Range Rover and a Ford Explorer. He didn’t even want to imagine the price range of the cars.
The compound was paved with inter-locking bricks and beautified by flowers at various strategic areas, it looked like one of those compounds used in TV ads
“Brother, this compound is beautiful.” Veronica voiced his opinion.
He nodded in agreement, “I know.”
They had barely gotten to the door when it was opened by Folashade, “Come in you two, come in.” she said, ushering them inside the house.
Veronica shivered slightly at the cold air that escaped from the inside and Patrick pulled her closer. The inside of the house was cool, a sharp contrast to the biting morning sun they had just left, there was an inviting blend of cinnamon and strawberry scents inside the house.
Patrick just stood by the door for a while even after Folashade invited them in, he was struck by the sheer beauty of the interior of the house, the exterior was simply no match for what he saw on the inside. He had no doubt in his mind that she must have gotten a professional to design the place for her. The walls were a blend of off-white and dark brown, the furniture was made up of two couches and a settee, they barely looked use as they had a pristine white colour, the sitting room didn’t looked lived in, from the glowing tiles to the blemish-free walls and the art works. There was a white furry rug in the middle of the room that looked like it had just been bought making Patrick wonder if she ever had guests over. It was obvious there were no kids living in this house- not that he expected a woman of her age to still have young kids.
He managed to move his feet when Veronica began dragging him deeper into the vast garden of opulence.
“And this must be your little sister you told me about?” Folashade asked.
Before Patrick could think to make any introductions, Veronica had left his side and approached the older woman, “Yes, my name is Veronica. It’s nice to meet you ma.” She said with a curtsy.
Folashade smiled at Veronica, the same beautiful smile she had given him almost a week ago, “Well, aren’t you adorable? It’s been a while since I’ve had a little girl in my house. It’s nice to meet you too Veronica, and how are you?”
“Fine, thank you. You?”
“Well, I’m very well, thank you. Would you like something to drink Veronica?”
Veronica opened her mouth to speak and then hesitated, she turned brown eyes to look up at her older brother obviously seeking his permission. They hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since they left home over an hour ago and she had to be thirsty, but Patrick was just a little proud that she had the sense to still seek his permission.
Folashade followed the little girl’s gaze and smiled, “I’m sure your brother won’t have any objections to a cold drink, right Patrick?”
Patrick shook his head, “No, a drink is okay. “
“Would you like something else to go with that? Like a slice of cake?”
Veronica grinned so wide he thought her lips would fall off her face. She hadn’t had cake in almost six months, the last time she ate cake, she had gotten a major attack that made Patrick place a total ban on cakes for her. It didn’t matter how many times she had tried to convince him that the cake wasn’t the core reason for the attack, he stuck to his belief that the cake had set it off and he wouldn’t have a repeat of it.
“No, no cake for her. She’s….” he paused as if looking for the right words to explain Veronica’s condition, he didn’t want to appear rude by blatantly refusing Folashade’s offer, especially when the woman had a job offer just waiting for him, “….she has ulcer and the last time she ate cake, it….”
The older woman nodded in understanding, “Oh…oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. That means she has to eat well, I hope you always keep her full.”
Patrick managed a tight smile and shrugged, “I try.” He replied simply
“I’ll tell you what…” she said as she stooped little lower and spoke to Veronica, “How about I get my cook to prepare some sandwich for you with a nice glass of fruit juice?”
Veronica smiled and nodded, “That would be good.”
“I’ll go do that, and when I come back, I’ll put on the tv so you can watch while I borrow big bro for a while, do we have a deal?”
She nodded enthusiastically, “We have a deal.” She replied and then stuck out her hand for a shake.
Fola took the girl’s tiny hand in hers, noticing how frail it looked, she shook it still and released her grip, “Take a seat and I’ll be right back.” On that note, she turned around and disappeared through another door.
There was a moment of silence between Patrick and Veronica until she broke it, “She’s such a nice woman brother, I think you’ll get the job.” She said with a large grin and bright eyes.
Patrick smiled just a little at her optimism, he had to admit, he was being influenced just a little by it now and was really starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Mrs. Oche was a really nice woman, he couldn’t even think of anything he had done since they met to be worthy of this show of kindness, nobody got this lucky simply by making someone else laugh unintentionally
“Hopefully.” He replied. He looked down at the settee they were to sit on, but remained standing while he lowered Veronica onto the plush seat. He didn’t quite feel comfortable even standing in this room, it made him feel so out of place.
It didn’t take long before Folashade emerged from wherever she had gone to and approached them once again, “I’ve told Martha to prepare your sandwich and she’s on it. she’ll bring it to you with your drink in a few minutes, okay?” she addressed Veronica.
A warm smile appeared on her face, “Good.” She went to the centre table and retrieved two remotes. She held up one and turned on the 64-inch television and used the other to change the channel to a Disney channel, “You can use this to change channels if you get bored with this.” She handed Veronica the smaller remote and the girl nodded her understanding, her eyes continually darting to the TV. It had been years since she last saw a television without looking through someone’s window, but even then, she had never seen any this large.
Once Veronica had been settled, Folashade turned to Patrick with a smile, “Patrick, if you would please join me at the balcony. We can discuss your job offer there.”
Patrick nodded enthusiastically, “Yes ma.” He replied, inwardly, he was glad they were now getting to the root of the matter. He clutched his CV bag just a little tighter as he followed Mrs. Oche after sharing a thumbs up with Veronica, something told him thought that there would be nothing normal about this job or CV-worthy- at least not the sort of CV he brought along. Whatever it was, he only hoped that it was at least legal.
He followed the older woman up a flight of stairs in a narrow stairwell, their footsteps echoing within the small space, even this area that usually smelt like dust in most houses, was perfumed with the same strawberry scent from the living room, but it was lighter here.
She opened a door at the top of the stairs and they stepped onto a large balcony, the one she had addressed them from some minutes ago. He felt relieved that they were once again out in the morning sun and some natural breeze, he got the feeling he wouldn’t have survived the cold in the sitting room.
There were two chairs set out in the middle of the balcony with a small table placed between them that was occupied with a jug of juice, two glasses and two plates of cakes. Patrick diverted his eyes from the inviting sight and studied the rest of the balcony. There was another door at the other side of the balcony and he briefly wondered where it led to- probably the master bedroom if he knew anything of how these houses were constructed, two large potted plants were placed by each door and a small chandelier hung from the ceiling. Even with the fairly simple decoration, this area of the house still intimidated him.
Folashade studied the young man she had invited to her home for a very unconventional reason. He cleaned up nicely even if she said so herself, she could only imaging what a little extra grooming could turn him into. It was a marvel that the man was unaware of how attractive he was, many men in his shoes would be exploiting ladies from every angle, but she could tell he wasn’t making full use of his assets from the incident through which they met. The fact that he kept staring at her house like one who was star-struck was also testament to that, he tried to be inconspicuous about it, but she had a keen eye and could notice little things…..like the frailness of the little girl in her sitting room.
“I hope you didn’t have too much trouble finding this place.”
His roving eyes finally fell on her and he schooled his features to hide his admiration of the space he occupied causing a smile to flit across her face, “No, no trouble at all.” He replied
She nodded, “That’s good. Your sister is a beautiful girl.” She noticed a bright smile appear on his face at her compliment, she didn’t know many men his age who felt comfortable bringing along little girls to any form of meetings and she was just a bit curious as to why he had to bring her along. Yes, she had agreed to it without asking questions, but if she was going to give this man the job she had in mind, she would need to know every single detail about him…but all in good time, “ How old is she?”
“She’s twelve years old.” He replied, his smile unwavering.
“Twelve, wow. I thought she was younger.” The girl could pass for an eight-year old considering her size.
This time, his smile fell just a little and didn’t return. She took notice immediately. He shrugged his shoulders, “A lot of people do.” He simply replied.
She nodded again, “Let’s have our seats Patrick.” She offered. They would need to be sitting in order to go the full mile with the discussion she had in mind, though she wasn’t sure she would be able to convince him to fully indulge in the snacks they had laid out for them. He kept clutching the strap of the satchel he brought along, nervousness just seemed to roll off him and her intention was to get him all eased up before she made her true intentions known.
He followed her cue and sat next to her, but he didn’t ease into the seat, preferring to sit straight up at the edge of the seat, “You can rest your back Patrick.” She said with a smile.
He returned her smile with a sheepish one and did as she said, “Thanks.”
Her smile grew wider, the way that smile transformed him from handsome to cute was endearing, her gut told her she was doing the right thing. This time, she was going to have the last laugh, Adunni would not have a chance in hell against this man’s charms, he just needed a little fine-tuning and he would be gold.
“Won’t you have something to drink?”
He turned to look at her and then at the jug of juice, he seemed to contemplate her offer for a brief moment and then shook his head, “No, thank you. I’m not thirsty.”
She smiled once again, “Patrick,” she began softly, he focused his attention on her, “You can relax, I won’t harm you.”
“No ma, i….”
“Just relax, okay?”
He nodded, “Okay.” He seemed to relax just a little after that.
She allowed silence to reign between them, choosing to pour herself a drink and pour some in his cup as well even if he did say he wanted nothing, she watched him from the corner of her eye, noticing how his eyes tried to stay fixed on the scenery in front of them, but he couldn’t stop them from diverting to her in brief glances. He was still nervous, but he was seriously trying to beat it down.
“Was she the one you were getting the bread for?” she asked to break the silence.
He started and turned to her, “Ma?”
“The day we met, you had a loaf of bread in your hand, I suppose it was for your sister?” she asked.
He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, but answered truthfully, “Yes, it was.”
It was another brief answer, she was impressed by his ability to not delve into detail, he didn’t know but he was giving her more and more reasons why he was the perfect person for the job. She didn’t need someone with a running mouth, the plan would be ruined far too early.
She glanced at his profile and noticed once again that his expression gave away nothing, he didn’t look ashamed or even sad, it was something that had to be done. Nothing to be ashamed for, “So, it’s just the both of you?”
He didn’t answer immediately like he had the other questions, instead he looked down at his feet first, probably wondering what any of this had to do with the job she was going to offer him. He would soon know though, “Yes, for the past eight years.” He supplied as if knowing that would be the follow-up question
She shook her head regretfully, he had sacrificed eight years of his life for his sister. The man had only been a boy when he was forced into the role of a parent. She knew men in their thirties who couldn’t handle such responsibility, yet a nineteen-year old had taken up the role, things were apparently not as rosy as he would like it, but he had done a commendable job considering he had to parent a little girl. That had to be the height of responsibility for her and she grew a new sense of admiration for the young man sitting next to her.
“You’ve done a commendable job.”
She thought she heard a snicker come from him and she paused in her movement to really look at him, he didn’t believe her words. He thought he had done terribly. She re-adjusted her seating position to face him and reached for his hand bringing his attention to herself, “Patrick, you have done a wonderful job in training your sister. Your parents would be proud.”
He nodded in response this time, but failed to voice out an agreement.
She left it as is
“Is she in school?”
He shook his head in response, “No, we can’t….I can’t afford the fees and her condition…I can’t afford the fees for an ideal school.”
She heard the disappointment laced in his voice, that must have been one of the reasons why he felt he wasn’t doing a good job with his sister, “Where did she stop?”
“Primary four. I wanted her to write common entrance, but…” his voice trailed off, but she fully grasped what he meant.
“And what about you? Where did you stop?” by her calculations, he was probably somewhere close to finishing up with a University degree when he was thrust into the role of a caregiver for his sister.
“I…I’m a graduate. Accounting. From University of Jos.” He supplied.
He fiddled with the lock of his satchel and her eyes went to the small movements, her curiosity piqued after hearing that information, she asked another question, “You brought your CV along?”’
He nodded and smiled once again, “Yes.”
“May I?” she asked as she extended her hand to him. he didn’t hesitate and opened the satchel to retrieve the CV, he handed it over to her like one would hand over and egg.
She briefly regarded him before reaching into the envelope for the Curriculum Vitae inside it. Once it had been retrieved, she looked through the item and smiled to herself. It was even more impressive than she had thought, he had been the best graduating student in his secondary school and gone on to get a second-class upper division in accounting in the University, he had even had a brief stint in an accounting firm and gotten stellar reviews from the President of the firm. This was the kind of CV that could get anyone a job in any company of repute. How had he stayed this long without meaningful employment?
“The firm you were working with, what happened?” she asked
He shook his head, “That was before I went for my Service, by the time I was finished….” He shrugged, “….life happened”
Shade stared at the young man who was turning out to be so much more than she had expected. She was starting to think he was too good for Adun even, her daughter with her smart mouth and irritable attitude would surely have him running for the hills like the other guys. But there was a difference with this one, he didn’t come off as a pushover. Yes, life had dealt him some very harsh blows, but he was still standing. He had grit, she would not be able to get rid of him as easily.
A part of her wanted to abandon her initial purpose for inviting him and just send his CV to a friend of hers she knew was in desperate need of a proper accountant, but from what she could see on his CV, he was yet to have his ICAN membership. That was the only dent to an otherwise brilliant CV, she guessed life was also to blame for that.
If she let Adun continue on the path she had made for herself, she would not be welcoming any grandkids soon, her daughter was hell-bent on dying as a spinster and she was hell-bent on not letting that happened. They seemed to have reached an impasse for a while, then she had agreed to stop trying to match Adun up with various men of ‘questionable character’, Adun called them. She begged to differ. She had set her daughter up with men of class in the society, men who had made something of themselves and headed various companies, men who had solid reputations and from some very admirable families as well. But Adun didn’t seem to find them interesting- either that or she deliberately disliked them because she knew her mother had picked them out.
That was why she was taking on a new approach and picking out a man that had just a small percentage of the qualities the others had, and she was going to have to set it up without implicating herself. She had the perfect plan and Patrick Umeh was the perfect man to execute it.
“You’ll need to apply for the ICAN examination” she told him, his head shot up to stare at her in surprise, “I hope you still have a good knowledge of your accounting?”
He fought the emergence of a smile, “i….yes,I….it’s very good.” He said in between laughs
“And your sister, she’ll also need to be enrolled in school. Do you think she can write the forthcoming common entrance exams?”
His jaw literally dropped at her question and he stared at her like she was speaking in tongues, he blinked repeatedly as if trying to understand her question, “My…my sister?”
“Yes, or do you not want her to go to school anymore?”
“I do, I really do….does this mean I have the job?”
She smiled at him, “Oh you have a job.” She replied with a twinkle in her eyes.
He lost his smile slowly and grew a suspicious look, she could tell his brain was now trying to organize her words and make sense of them. She had managed to get his attention, now came the part where she would have to convince him to accept this rather unconventional form of employment
Beautiful story. Weldone
Pls continue Sgirl, nice storyline. Thanks for sharing
Sorry for the long wait guys, school resumed 2 weeks ago and the phones I use to post are shit at best...weak batteries and all.
Anyway, just want to wish you all a successful new month.
Patrick adjusted his sitting position just a little, he was now very uncomfortable with the direction of this conversation.
Had he perhaps misread Folashade all along and pegged her to be a woman she wasn’t? yes, he had considered the likelihood of the job in question being illegal, but he hadn’t taken himself seriously, it was just something he used to keep himself grounded, he didn’t think….for the love of God, he couldn’t have a luck this bad. Nobody deserved such shitty luck. Here he was, staring at the first sign of an actual job he had seen for the past year or so. A job he could make good money off and with juicy incentives going by the possibilities being dangled in front of him, he could go for his ICAN, Veronica would be in school, and she would be feeding right as well. Maybe all of that was a little too good to be true, but they had been through far too many bad things to not have something too good to be true just fall in their way like this.
He was willing to do whatever for himself and his sister, especially his sister because Lord knows he never envisaged her having such a terrible life at her young age considering he was having a blast when he was her age, but he simply didn’t have it in him to challenge the law irrespective of whatever deals he could cut in the process.
He swallowed uneasily, he had to know what he was getting himself into right now, “Sorry for asking, but, what kind of job is it you’re offering me?” he asked.
He watched her pick up her drink and take a sip with that same smile upon her full lips, at other times, he had thought of her smile as beautiful, now, it just creeped him out and caused a spike in his nerves, “If it makes you feel better, its nothing illegal.” She supplied.
He let out a breath of relief, that felt like a ton of weight had been lifted off him, he fought back a smile once again considering the prospect and how juicy it was, “Okay, so, if its not illegal….” His voice wandered off, wanting her to read his silent question. She just kept smiling, but failed to give him what he wanted, so he continued on with his question, “…what is it?”
She leaned closer and her eyes took another brief survey of him, “Do you have a girlfriend, Patrick?”
The question blindsided him, he sat straight up and raised his brows at her, where did that come from and of what importance was his relationship status to this job? Yes, he didn’t have the time to keep any girlfriends and he doubted Veronica would appreciate the presence of another woman to steal his attention, but he simply couldn’t understand the relevance of such a question to this job.
“No.” he replied warily.
She broke out in a grin, ”Perfect.” She said simply. She took a large gulp of her drink while he watched her.
He would never understand what she found so funny about him, why did she keep smiling at him? He wasn’t getting the joke. If she wanted to harm him, she wouldn’t be this nice, right? And she surely would have objected to Veronica’s presence. Patrick had intentionally made himself blind to a lot of things, but he was a good judge of character and as creepy as Folashade seemed right now, he knew she wasn’t a bad person. She just needed to come out with whatever she wanted to tell him before he combusted from nervousness.
“So, what can I do for you?” he asked
She let out a sigh and fixed a steady gaze on him, “I want you to seduce my daughter.” She said simply
Patrick blinked at her, he had to be hearing wrong, he waited for her to laugh or at least smile, something to signify that she was pulling his legs. She had said it so casually…..did she even understand the weight of her words or the implications? They barely knew each other, “I….
I’m sorry, what?” he asked, just so he understood her clearly/
“I want you, to seduce my daughter.” She repeated, slowly now
He sat up straight and coughed, “I don’t…I don’t understand, seduce her, how?”
She seemed to be amused by his confusion, “Don’t tell me you’re a greenhorn in the dating scene Patrick, don’t you know how to seduce a woman? I mean, with the way you look, I would think you’re some form of incubus.”
He scrounged his brows, “A what?”
She smiled at him and took his hand in hers, “You don’t understand Patrick, my daughter, Adunni, she’s…she’s a very busy woman. She’s so busy she doesn’t even have the time to date. I’ve tried to set her up with other men, but she simply isn’t interested. I just want her with someone and you….you’re a nice boy who’s down on his luck, I think we should help each other.”
It was a nice pitch, he’d give her that, but the idea of it seemed a bit too out there for Patrick, he was looking for a basic 9-5 job or something close to it, this was way out of his scope. He had dated a few times while in school, but he was no expert in the art of seduction, he barely knew how t oeven handle women. How did this woman assume he would know how to handle her daughter? He could probably understand that he looked like a man who would know what he was doing with a woman, but looks were deceiving. She had the wrong guy.
“What makes you think she’ll be interested in me?” he asked, he didn’t want to think of why that was the question that came to his mind and not more pertinent ones like if she was on drugs or if she had some sort of mental condition, because this was honestly the craziest thing he had ever seen a mother do, the type of crazy you would only find in a tv show, nothing in reality.
She smiled at him and patted his cheek, “I’m her mother, I know what my daughter likes and….” She let her eyes rove over him so that he felt a bit self-conscious, “…..if you don’t work, no one else will.”
“Mrs Oche, I’m….”
“Having doubts?” she asked, he didn’t reply her, but his expression said it all, “Let me show you her picture, ok?” she said. She reached for her phone that had been on the table and browsed through it.
All this time, Patrick just stared at her, his brain thinking up whatever medical condition could cause a woman to act in this manner, then again, what if she wasn’t crazy? What if she was just a desperate mother? Even at that, he was, for all intents and purposes, a complete stranger. What sort of mother placed the future of her child in the hands of a complete stranger? This would be full disclosure, infiltration, deceit. Some kids could be difficult, but none could be this much of a trouble, right?
“Here she is.” She said as she handed him her phone, “Her name is Adunni Oche, she’s my only child and I’m very proud of her. She works as a lawyer in her late father’s firm and I think the responsibilities she has there have blinded her to what really matters in life. She kicks ass in court, has a KO record of 17-2 in all the cases she’s taken up. She’s a very smart young woman, just twenty-six and already has her MBA in Criminology, she’s done very well for herself, but she hasn’t been in a relationship with any man since her third year in the University and it worries me. I just want her with someone.”
Maybe taking this offer wouldn’t be such a bad idea if it came with the perks Shade was offering.
Adunni was breathtaking.
Patrick wasn’t one to shower praises on women, in fact, he barely noticed them, but this….if she was half as beautiful in reality as she looked in this picture, he was definitely sold. She had smooth dark skin, the colour of coffee beans, dark, smoldering eyes captured his attention and full lips presented a tempting offer, he was no connoisseur of beauty, but damn it, even a blind man would acknowledge such a woman. Maybe he was noticing all of this because he wasn’t distracted by his worries like other times he had seen beautiful women, but, she certainly was a sight. How had she stayed single till twenty-six, were the men of the world losing their touch so much they allowed such a beauty slip from beneath their fingers?
“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”
Shade’s voice pulled him away from his thoughts and back to reality, he shot his head up at her, “Hmm?” he asked.
She was smiling again, “Adun, she’s beautiful?”
She was more than beautiful, she was stunning, captivating, there were a thousand adjectives he could bring up to describe how beautiful he found her and they still wouldn’t do her justice.
He shrugged, “Yes, she is.” He replied simply, unwilling to give away any more of his thoughts lest he seem too eager.
“So? Are you up to the challenge?” she asked
He still wasn’t sure of the legitimacy of this deal, it wasn’t even a job, it went far beyond that. This was a contract. It wasn’t permanent. What if he failed to deliver? What if Adunni threw him to the curb like she had done the other men that had tried their lucks with her? Where would that leave him and Veronica? He was conflicted, tempting as the deal was, he hated throwing himself into uncertainty, he hated putting Veronica in such a precarious situation as well, it would be so much harder to explain the changes in tide if he accepted this offer, put her in a great school and then had to withdraw her if everything went to the dogs.
“I assure you that whatever agreements we come to will not be breached, even if my stubborn daughter is crazy enough to not want you, I will pay for your ICAN and then get you a job. There’s so much potential in you Patrick and I would hate to see a good man go to waste.” She said softly.
He glanced at the picture once again, he had nothing to lose, she gave him her word and she didn’t strike him as someone whose words meant nothing….but damn it, this was so unconventional, how the hell was he going to successfully seduce a beautiful, rich, smart lawyer? He would probably not pass the first stage of approval for her once she unmasked him to be the fraud he was going to be. Smart women, nothing got past them. You couldn’t fool them, he had encountered a few while in school and during his service year and he found them annoying, yes, they intrigued him and he was impressed by them, but he never thought of them as people with whom he would want to be in close contact with.
They weren’t exactly the nicest people in the world- bitchy was a more appropriate term for them.
But Adunni could be different, maybe the other men hadn’t been as perfect as she wanted and that was why she had been mean to them. He couldn’t reconcile the sweetness of Shade to the alleged haughtiness of her daughter.
Maybe he could do this and come out with something that was finally worth it.
“We’ll need to change your wardrobe if you have any chance of getting to my daughter.” Shade said as if reading Patrick’s thoughts.
He looked down at his clothes, this promised to be an adventure.
Getting more interestin..
Be like say you are missing the fun recently.
Any hope on "The Boss' Interest"again?
'v got a lot on my plate right now, but 'm catching up
Just take care of yourself for us .
Whew! Took 3 browsers and a whole hour to getfet here, but i made it!
Apologies for the long wait guys, forgive my tardiness. Here's the next update:
“You won again Adun.”
“Yes!” She breathed with a smile as she dropped onto he chair. Adun was positively gleaming at her victory, considering it was a hard fought one, she thought she deserved to breathe out a sigh of relief amongst other things. Today, she would visit the spa and revitalize, but best of all, she would sleep comfortably in her had, something she hadn’t had the luxury of doing in months. Mostly because she had taken up this particular case because of the parties involved. It hadn’t been a walk in the park prosecuting an influential member of the society for rape and murder, but she had pulled it off. Best of all, she had the past laugh over those lazy rats that bribed their way through to get to the much sought after title of SAN. It felt awesome walking out of that court to the bewilderment of three Senior Advocates. Money simply couldn’t buy freedom, especially in a murder so gruesome.
Her best friend and PA, Chika, sat across from her. Chika was as much a tigeress as she was....just without a law degree. Chika couldn't apply for law because she didn't have that privilege, she was the first of five kids being trained by a widower, a total of seven years spent in the University and the staggering amount needed to go to law school deterred her from going for the legal profession. She had settled for English instead, but the fire was in Chika, that fire was what helped Adun through difficult cases sometimes.
"And I couldn't have done it without my able sleuth of a PA." She winked at Chika who laughed. She and Chika were opposites in a lot of things. Physically, Chika was the light-skinned girl while she was dark, Chika had a nice gap-tooth and vibrant brown eyes, her looks had been a great asset to many cases they won, she could charm the socks off any man with her husky voice and full lips and wasn't afraid of using her sexuality when she needed it. Adun wasn't as adventurous as her friend though, she couldn't be less interested in the art of seduction, she thought intelligence got you to more places than sex, Chika had proven to her more times than she could count that her theory was flawed, she was her trusted side-kick. They kicked ass as a team, Chika did the dirty digging outside the court and she drove the nail into the coffin inside the court.
Even as different as they both were, they worked as a team and Adun thought she owed the success of her career to her friend.
"So, where are we going tonight?"
Adun raise a brow at her friend, "Babe, I don't know about you o, but as for Adunni Oche. A visit to the spa is where I'll be releasing stress."
"It's Friday, a good day to go let loose in a club, let your hair down, hook up with hotties." Chika winked at her and Adun rolled her eyes at her friend.
Of course, Chika never did anything that didn't end with her legs spread for some 'hottie', between her best friend and her mother, Adun couldn't say who would pawn her off to a man first, "And what happened to the last 'hottie' you hooked up with three months ago?" Adun asked drily.
"His tenure has expired, wetin wan do am before? You, when last did you have someone cuddling you to sleep? The way you're always in this office, it's like one bobo comes here to meet you whenever I leave"
"I'm not a child Chika, I don't need someone to cuddle me, and no, there is no bobo dropping by to meet me here."
"I wonder why..." Chika let her words trail suggestively.
"Keep wondering, while I think of all the treatments I'll be getting at the spa tonight."
"Come on girl, there's this really nice club..."
"Chika, I'm not going to any club to meet sleazy men who grab random asses and stink of alcohol, not this night and not tomorrow night. I no dey go club."
Chika clicked her tongue, "What a shame, that ass of your was made for grabbing."
Adun stared at her friend, horrified, Chika burst out in laughter at the look on her friend's face, "It's like this win has you on a high."
Chika smiled, "You know it. Anyway, as you no wan go club, lemme at least get something chilled for us."
"Now, that is a suggestion I can agree with."
"Ehen, Dwyer and Associates will be having their anniversary next Thursday, hope you haven't forgotten." Chika said as she made to stand up.
Adun's face scrounged up distastefully, she didn't like them. She especially didn't like the slimy bastard that was the head of their legal department, the man thought he had some liberties with her simply because they were from the same local government, she had told him repeatedly that he stood no chance, but he was a resilient one. The CEO, unfortunately, was a family friend who had been her father's friend since their days in the University, she couldn't pass up on that. Her mother would raise hell if she heard she didn't make it, she was sort of a family representativr to these things.
"I hope that Kenneth is hit with ebola or some life-threatening disease that would make him unavailable for the event."
Chika laughed, "So na that ajebo dey fear you? Girl, there will be lots of men there, occupy yourself with one and Kenneth won't be an issue."
She wished it was that easy, but hadn't she tried that the last two times she had the misfortune of meeting Kenneth? The man was such a strong character, he managed to intimidate other men until they were scurrying away and leaving her to her fate.
"I wish it were that easy" she sighed.
"I'll tell you what, how about I be your little guard dog this time? If I see the swine anywhere near you, I'll bite off his head." She suggested
Adun rolled her eyes at Chika, she was quite useless wherever there was a gathering of men. She would probably find some nice looking fellow and forget about her, "I hear you."
Chika smiled, "Don't worry, I won't bail on you."
"Mmh, I hear you."
Chika was off the table, she would definitely go for the anniversary, but her best bet of avoiding Kenneth was if he fell terribly sick, previous trials had shown that it would take a special brand of man to make her constant plague back off, and that sort of man didn't attend anniversaries at Dwyer and Associates
Hopefully, I'll put up the next update tomorrow or so...I'll also be updating pictures of the characters in the image gallery this week, hopefully.
Thanks for your patience and support... And Boss Interest is still on, just need to get a good grip on the steering
Ooh...it's my birthday this week...and my tooth removal operation as well, so, wish me luck guys
When exactly is your birthday?
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