Ella was saying her morning prayers when she heard the hushed
argument in the sitting room. She tried to concentrate on her prayers but found
that it was to no avail as she could hear her husband’s voice and his relative’s
whispers. What in the world where they quarrelling about? She thought to
herself as she ended her prayer and stood up to her feet. It was five thirty am
in the morning and she had to get ready for work or she won’t be there on time.
Since she started living on the mainland, she realised that early rise was key
to a fruitful day at work.

She made her way out of the bedroom and as soon as she
stepped into the sitting room, her husband and his relative were as quiet as
church mice.

“Good morning baby…” Her husband greeted, instantly
leaving Lola’s side and heading up to her to kiss her.
“Good morning babe…what’s the argument about?” She asked.
“Argument? Did you hear any argument?” He asked innocently.
“Don’t kid me Jacob, you were arguing with your relative and
I heard it all…:”
Jacob’s heart slammed against his chest as he stared at his
wife.
“You heard it all?” He echoed.
“Not what you guys were arguing about but I could tell that
you were arguing.” Ella said.
Jacob breathed quite freely, he smiled at his wife.
“Don’t mind Lola, I told her to take care of the dishes and
she didn’t so, I was scolding her.” Jacob said.
“Lola is pregnant and she might not be able to do some things
that you expect her to.” Ella said to her husband, then turning to Lola, she
said with a smile. “How are you this morning dear?”
“Fine.” Lola said crisply and looked away.
“I was thinking that I didn’t see you during our court
wedding because I saw quite a number of my husband’s relatives there.” Ella
said to Lola with a smile.
“I nor come…I get belle.” Lola said and turned around to
walk over to the small dining chair at the corner to sit down.
Ella was surprised by her reaction, as far as she was
concerned, she was doing the lady a favour, besides, her husband had refused
that she stayed with them. She shrugged and turned to regard her husband.
“So, I have to go get ready for work. I’m sorry I can’t make
you breakfast as I should.”
“Don’t worry your sweet head my darling…I can take good
care of myself.” Jacob said.
“Did you go to work yesterday?” She asked.
“Errr…well…why don’t you get ready for work?” He asked,
quickly changing the subject.
“Wait…we could go together right? I could drop you off at
the bustop so that you can commute.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll err…hitch a ride with Jude, my
colleague. He lives just around the corner.”
“Won’t you be late for work?” She asked.
“You seem to have forgotten that I don’t work on the Island
so it’s pretty easy to get to my office.” He said with a smile.
“Okay hun, I’ll go get ready for work.” She said with a
smile as she walked back into the room.
As soon as she went in, Jacob and Lola only had two seconds
of silence before lashing at each other.
“You’d better behave yourself or else…” Jacob spat at
Lola.
“I go soon tell am say I nor be ya relative anytin. I be ya
woman…and dis pikin wey dey inside my belle na ya own.” Lola hissed.
“If you do that, I swear I’ll kill you! Do you hear me? I’ll
kill you!” He spat.
“Hahahahah…come kill me na…oshi…”
“My wife must always believe that you are my relative and
that’s how it’s going to be.”
“Thank God say pikin dey resemble dia papa…na when she see
de pikin na dat time she go know de truth.” Lola said.
Jacob glared at her in anger.
**************
Ella was standing at the side of the road, things hadn’t
worked out as she’d planned. Her car tyre had burst and she was staring at the
defunct tyre in dismay.
“Why? What have I done to deserve this? Today of all days
ehn…” She lamented.
She stared at the tyres again and closed her eyes in dismay.
“Do you need help?” A voice asked her from behind.
She turned around and stopped, it was the same man she saw
some days ago who’d helped her flag a Keke.
“Hello…” She greeted in surprise.
“Do you need help?” He asked again.
“Yes…please…my tyre burst and I don’t know what to do.”
She said.
“Do you have a spare?” He asked.
“Yes…I guess…this has never happened to me before…I
would have called my dad’s driver but I didn’t want to disturb him.” She said.
“Okay…I’ll help you change the tyre, just open the booth
of your car.” He said.
In fifteen minutes, he had installed the new tyre and placed
the bad one in the booth.
“I advice that once you get to work, call a vulcanizer to
fix your tyre.”
“Can I still use it?” She asked.
“Yes, unless you have a lot of money and won’t mind parting
with a few bucks.” He said wiping his dirty palms on a handkerchief.
“Thank you so much for this…I seem to bump into you whenever
I’m in need and I feel so guilty about that.” She said.
“I”m glad to always be of help.” He said to her.
“My name is Ella.” She said holding out her hand to his for
a handshake.
“I’m Lawrence.” He said accepting her palm.
Ella didn’t know to explain what she felt when his palm
brushed hers, she looked up into his eyes and stared for a while.
“You should be getting to work now.” He said to her as he
made to leave.
“Did you bring a car? I could drop you off at your office perhaps?”
She said.
“Oh, I don’t have an office here…and no, I don’t own a car
either.” He said to her with a smile.
“Really? But how come you…?” She asked.
He motioned to the medium-sized cooler on the side walk of
the road and said;
“I deliver freshly squeezed juice to offices…”
“Oh, that must be a lucrative business.” She said.
“Well, man must survive…I have delivered most of the
juices already for the morning so I’m going back home to make the ones for
lunch time.”
“Would you take my order for lunch?” She asked.
“Well…sure…” He said with a smile. “I have a flier here
which has errm…a list of the flavours you could want.” He searched his pocket
and brought out a flier which he handed over to her.
Ella took the flier and looked at it.
“I’d love the pineapple and berry mix.” She said.
“Okay…please give me your office address and I’ll be there
with your drink at lunch time.” He said.
Ella smiled then paused and said.
“Do you know what? Why don’t you make about ten more drinks
for some of my colleagues in my department?”
His eyes lightened up.
“Are you serious?” He asked.
She opened her purse and brought out some money and handed
it over to him.
“Let’s call this an advance.” She said.
He accepted the money and counted it.
“Wow! Serious?”
“Sure…it’s my little way of thanking you for being my good
Samaritan.”
“Do you know what? Don’t bother paying up the balance for
the drinks, I want to give you a discount.”
“Are you sure?” She asked.
“Yes…too sure.”
“That sounds fine by me.” She said with a wider smile.
As Ella drove off towards her office, she knew she’d never
felt so happy in a long while.
***************
Jacob sat at the door to his boss’s office with a solemn
expression. This was his first day at work after his wedding and he knew he was
about to be scolded. The door opened and Mr Badmus peeked out his head and said
to him;
“You can come in.”
Jacob nodded, got up to his feet and walked into the office.
Mr. Badmus walked up to his chair and sat down, he too, had a solemn expression
on his face.
“Do sit, Jacob.”
Jacob sat on the chair facing Mr. Badmus.
“How are you doing Jacob?”
“I am fine sir.”
“How was your wedding? I couldn’t make it but some of the
company staff represented.”
“Yes sir.”
“Did you receive our gifts for yourself and your wife?”
“Yes sir, I did.”
“Good. So, let’s talk about your attitude to work.”
“Sir?” Jacob asked sounding clueless.
“We gave you a whole week off work after your wedding but it
seems you had other plans in mind because you took some extra days off too.”
“Sir…I was very sick sir…”
“Why didn’t you send us a memo?”
“I am sorry sir…you can ask my wife about it, I could
hardly get out of bed and …and…”
“Enough of the excuses Mr Jacob. We all know you well for
your numerous excuses even before you got married. You love to take long days
away from work and at the end of the month, you are the first to ask when
salaries would be paid. We are not going to tolerate your attitude to work
anymore.”
“My attitude, sir?”
“Yes, your attitude…” He said firmly.
“Sir, I promise that I will work hard to be better at my
work from henceforth.” Jacob promised.
“Well, we’ll just have to see if you’re serious on that promise
of yours or not.”
“What does that mean sir?” Jacob asked with bated breath.
“You’re suspended from your duties at the office till the
end of the month.”
“What?”
“Yes Jacob….” Mr. Badmus said.
Jacob couldn’t believe his ears, he stared at Mr. Badmus as
though he’d been slapped.
To be continued next week….
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