The past week had been hell for Queen, she had to juggle
work while being there for her child. In Calabar, she had help from her mother
and sisters who helped her take her son to school every day, fed him and
brought him back home in the evenings. Queen had been allowed to bring Junior
to the office as there were provisions for a day-care for staffs’ children but
since he was older than the other kids in day-care, it was pressing that she
got him enrolled into a school as soon as possible.
With the work she was swamped with, she had no time for
herself least of all, ample time to search for a proper school for her young
son. She was exhausted.

It was five pm and the office was already closing for the
day, she stared at the screen of her computer and sighed. She had no idea of
how to contact Zach as since the past week, his phone number had been switched
off.
Where in the world is he? She asked herself.
“Hey, a naira for your thoughts.” A male voice said to her.
She jerked and looked up at him, she recognized him from the
board meeting yesterday and she also remembered that his name was Tunde.
“Hi…Tunde, right?” She said with a smile.
“Yes, it’s me in the flesh.” He said with a smile.
“I’m sorry, I was drowning in my thoughts.” She said.
“I heard that you are still living at a hotel. It must suck.”
He said and when he saw her eyes widen, he continued. “I’m sorry, I have ears
for office gossip.” He said with a twinkle in his eye.
“Yea…I’m aware of that.” She said with a wider smile.
“I am so happy that a woman has joined our department.
Finally!” He said looking heavenward.
Queen laughed, she liked Tunde’s funny vibes.
“Well, we have a new staff coming in tomorrow…she’s female.
Thank God! So that makes it two women working in our department. How sweet!”
“Oh really? That’s nice…I’ll love to work with a woman for
a change.” She said.
“Are you serious? The last time I checked, women love to
work in a male dominated society.”
“No way! Girl power!” Queen laughed raising her fists up.
“So, are you going to pick up your son at the day-care? I
saw him sitting there alone, he’s so cute. I spoke to him though but he didn’t
answer me.”
Queen looked away uncomfortably, not many people knew of her
son’s condition.
“Thanks…he’s cute.” She said shutting down her computer
and getting ready to leave.
“Hey, I was wondering though, why haven’t you taken the
office accommodation yet? It’s small, yes, but it’s better than a hotel.” He
said.
“I have a husband and he lives in Lagos, he’s out on
business for now but when he comes back, he’s taking my son and I under his
wing.” She spat.
Tunde was taken aback by the hint of anger in her voice.
“I’m sorry if I offended you…I’ll get going.” He said.
“Oh…no, I’m sorry, I’m just a little stressed. Thank you
for taking the time to talk to me Tunde. Thanks a lot.” She said, standing from
her chair.
“Anytime…” Tunde said and walked away.
As he left her desk, Queen picked up her phone again and
dialled her husband’s number the umpteenth time, it was still switched off.
****************
“Why aren’t you using your regular phone line honey? I’ve
been trying to reach you on it all day but it’s switched off.” Jessica said to
her husband as soon as he walked into the house.
“I’m sorry love…the phone fell into water and I’ve been
very lazy to get it fixed.”
“You can always get another phone for the sim. A less
expensive phone. You know that’s the phone number almost all your friends and
family have.”
“I’ll…get another phone for it.” He said uncomfortably.
“So, how’s the best husband in the world?”
“I’m fine because of you.” He said pulling her into his
arms.
“You broke our code and you owe me.”
He looked at her guiltily.
“What do you mean by that?”  He asked.
“We both agreed that we won’t work for a week after our
wedding and here you are, back to work already.”
“Hey…give me a break sugar, I just went to work on Friday
and today, which is a Monday.”
“So? Isn’t that breaking our code already?” She said with a
sigh.
“Well, I’m boss and I need to dish out orders.”
“Hmmm…really?”
“Don’t act coy honey…” He said with a laugh.
“Well, while you were out, I had nothing to do so I tweaked the
furniture arrangements a bit.” She said with a smile.
Zach looked around at the sitting room.
“No…not here darling, I mean…our bedroom.”
He smiled at her and nodded.
“So, do you mind showing it to me?” He asked suggestively.
“Right this way, Mr. Izamojie.” She said with a wide smile
as she took his neck tie and pulled him gently towards the bedroom.
***************
Ella alighted from her vehicle and shut the door, she walked
up to the booth of her car and opening it, she brought out the foodstuff she’d
bought from the market. She was so tired. Her back ached from sitting for so
long in traffic. For the first time since she got married, she appreciated her
parents house on the Island and applauded those who had to slug to work on a
daily basis from the mainland to the Island. She had only done it for one week
and she was sure she was going to die from the stress.
She took the bag and made her way towards the small flat
that she resided with her husband.
“Good evening …welcome.” The hairdresser at the salon
which was housed in the compound greeted.
Ella wasn’t used to noise, her parents house had been the
definition of quiet. Located in a quiet street in Ikoyi, it was occupied by
only her family and during evenings like this, the only noise that could be
heard was the low hum of the generator.
“Good evening.” She greeted politely.
The woman took that as a cue and ran out of her shop and
hurried up towards her.
“Welcome ooo…” She said again.
“Thank you.” Ella said trying to remain polite.
“Let me help you.” She said reaching out to take the bag of
foodstuff from her.
“No, it’s alright…I’m fine.” Ella said with a smile.
“Ah ah…see de time you dey come from work. Don’t worry,
let me help you. Shebi you carry your bag plus laptop bag again.” The
hairdresser said.
Ella agreed and let her have the bag, she was truly caring a
lot of bags and it was beginning to hurt her hands.
“I see say your hair don dey old. Shebi you go come do am
for my salon this next Saturday.” The hairdresser said patronizingly.
“I…I…” Ella said, she didn’t know what to say to the
woman. She made her hair with one of the biggest salons on the Island and the
thought of being holed up in the woman’s salon which was often hot as she used
to see customers wielding hand fans to cool themselves, made her shudder. “I’ll
think about it.” She blurted.
“Dia is nothing to thought about. Dis na the number one
salon for this whole area. Na de numero uno. Nor mind all dose salon wey full
ground oo…my salon na Ebeano.” The hairdresser said.
“Well…miss…” Ella started.
“Folakemi…everybody dey call me FK for short.” The
hairdresser said with a wide smile revealing a gold teeth.
“Miss FK, like I said earlier, I’ll think of it.” Ella said.
They both walked up the dark staircase and made their way to
Ella’s flat. When they reached the door, Ella smiled politely and made to take
the bag from FK.
“Can I have the bag now?”
“Haba…nor be problem…just open door make I help you put
am for kitchen.”
Ella wanted to protest but thought to herself, ‘what would
it hurt?’ she pushed open the door and they both walked into the small sitting
room.
As soon as they got in, Ella froze in her tracks, the
sitting room was very dirty and littered with biscuit wraps of different kinds
as well as empty soda bottles. Jacob was there seated before the television and
playing a game with a young man Ella had never seen before. He looked up when
she walked in and greeted.
“Hey hun.”
Ella couldn’t respond, she stared at her husband in
disbelief. Here she was, working hard and trying to make ends meet and here he
was, playing games.
“Jacob! What is happening here?” Ella asked.
He looked back at the television screen and shouted.
“Got it! Yes! Yes! I won!” He shouted as he jumped up and
down.
“Jacob…” Ella called out again.
“Let’s play another round, I’ll beat you hands down.” The
strange man said to Jacob.
Ella stared at the two men in disbelief.
“Wait…let me say hello to my wife and we’ll go on to the
second round.”
Jacob walked up to her and gave her a kiss.
“How was your day honey?” He asked.
“It…it…went well…aren’t you supposed to start work
today? Didn’t you go to work?” She asked.
“I called in sick babe…my tummy hurt so badly, I actually
purged.” He said and turning to regard the hairdresser, he said. “FK, how
body?”
“I dey ooo…brother Jacob.” She responded giving him side
eyes.
“I’ll go drop the stuff for dinner in the kitchen.” Ella
said, sounding quite upset.
“Darlin…thank you! I am so hungry…I’ve been feeding on
biscuits all day.” He said.
Ella was very upset, she stormed out towards the kitchen
while FK followed her behind. When they reached the kitchen, Ella said briskly.
“Thank you for the help, please drop the foodstuff there on
the freezer top.”
FK nodded and dropped the bag of foodstuff but didn’t budge,
Ella stared at the sink which was filled to the brim with dirty dishes which
were already beginning to stink.
“Dis na wetin we women dey see ooo…when we dey date de
men, dem go dey do like better people but once you land for inside house, you
go use eye see wetin you nor go ever believe.”
Ella didn’t respond, she was trying so hard to stay cool.
“Brother Jacob get as e be sha, I be tink say he go change
now wey he don marry but…” FK said.
“Can you leave my house? Thank you!” Ella said trying to
keep her cool.
“Sorry ooo…make I comot.” FK said and left the kitchen. “Sha
remember to branch my salon for cool hairstyles.”
As soon as she left, Ella closed her eyes and said to
herself.
“You can do this Ella, you need to pick your battles, that’s
what marriage is all about; picking your battles! You can’t let anger get the
best of you or lead you to raise your voice at your husband. You should be
sweet, gentle and loving and understanding too…after all, the home is
supposed to be peaceful.”
When she was done giving herself the pep talk, she dropped
her bags on the ground, rolled up the sleeves of her blazer and got to work.
***************
Queen had just gotten to work when the new lady who was to
work with her department came in with the human resources executive. Her head
was full with problems as her husband was still not reachable, she was
beginning to worry. Did something happen to him? Is he alright? She wondered.
She was still deep in her thoughts that she didn’t notice the new staff walk up
to her desk with the human resources executive.
“This is Mrs. Queen Izamojie. She just joined us from the
Calabar office which is one of our companies but registered under the name,
Zemotek Group.” The human resources executive was saying to the new staff. Then
addressing Queen, she said. “Please meet, Ms. Jessica Nwokike.”
“Oh point of correction, it’s Mrs. Jessica….I applied for
the job when I was still engaged. My wedding was last weekend and my husband’s
name is Izamojie, so it’s Mrs. Jessica Izamojie.” The new staff pointed out.
Queen looked up at her and smiled.
“Wow! What a coincidence, we actually have the same surnames.
My husband’s name is Izamojie too.”
“Oh goody! This means, we’ll get along pretty well.” Jessica
said.
To be continued tomorrow….
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3 COMMENTS

  1. drama! I hope they find out soon oh since they are in the same office. I don't like all these twists and turns you writers put us through before the big reveal oh.

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