“Forget your name? Never again…” Gbade smiled.
They were both in his car and it was late in night.
“I have to go in now, thank you for such a delightful
evening…” Ogonna smiled. “And I’ll definitely test you on whether you
remember my name or not…” She laughed.
“Don’t worry, I’ll write it down on my personal diary, I’ll
recite it ten times each 
morning…Ogonna…” He said.

“You can make it simpler though…by calling me Ogo…most
of my friends do that. I don’t really like my Yoruba name or I’ll ….”
“Really? You have a Yoruba name?” Gbade asked with arched
eye-brows.
Ogonna smiled. “Yes I do…my dad is Yoruba…” She’s never hated her Yoruba name but she lied to Gbade to make herself look so special.
Gbade’s eyes widened.
“You are kidding me!”
“My mom is Igbo…” She laughed.
“Wow! That’s a delightful combination….”
“Everyone says that plus they complement each other a whole
lot.” Ogonna spoke about her parents with a smile.
“What’s your Yoruba name?”
“Atinuke….” Ogonna said.
“Nice…I’ll stick to that then, it’s definitely easier to
pronounce.”
“No, I insist on my igbo name, it gives me a cloud of
mystery and I like that. I like the look on people’s faces when my name and
surname are called together, it seems as though I’m from out of space.” She
smiled.
“You are a very interesting person…” Gbade smiled.
“And you are so learned and brilliant, your wife must be
proud of you.”
The air became chilly and cold. Ogonna wished she had
skipped the wife part.
“I’ve got to go….thank you for a lovely evening.” He said.
“No, thank you….the last time I checked, the dinner was
your idea…” Ogonna said and alighted from the car.
As he drove home, Gbade felt so empty, ‘what am I doing?’ He
thought.
*********
Ebube was ready for haters so she stepped into the office
dressed in her very nice mini dress and soft pink blazer. She wore the pink
Valentino heels her sister had sent to her one year ago and she noticed that
all eyes were on her.
“Is that Valentino? I love the colour, mine is black…” One
lady at the office said.
“Yea, the black is quite common…” Ebube said.
She had taken a public transport as she couldn’t keep up
with taxi service in the city of Lagos. She had placed her shoes in her bag and
worn her slippers on her way to the office and had quickly switched from slippers to shoes once she got to the office security
post.
“Morayo would like to see you…” A male colleague said to
her.
Ebube stood up from her seat and walked over to Morayo’s
cubicle which was quite far from hers.
“Good morning. Morayo…” Ebube greeted.
Morayo looked up at her and took in her dressing, then
motioned that she sat down.
“Good morning Ebube….errr…I wanted you to get started on
something…” She started, checking through her desk for something.
As she searched the newspaper with Gbade’s face at its front
stumbled out and Ebube quickly picked it up and said.
“Gbade….”
Morayo looked up at her and asked.
“Do you know him?”
“Yeah…not really, he’s a friend to my roomie…he came
over to take her to dinner yesterday so we got introduced.” Ebube said.
If Morayo was surprised by what Ebube said, she didn’t show
it, instead she continued searching for the file she had been looking for and
when she found it, she handed it over to Ebube with strict instructions on what
to do.
“Can I borrow the paper? I’d love to read…” Ebube
requested.
“Sure…” Morayo said unflinching.
Ebube took the lone file and business paper to her desk and
as soon as she settled down, an intern walked up to meet her.
“Hey…I’m Chude…” He said.
“Ebube…” She smiled.
“Nice having a hot young staff here, all the ladies we have
here are tired of dressing up…” He whispered.
“I’m flattered.” She smiled.
“Oh, is that the business paper with Morayo’s hubby at the cover? I
saw some staff pouring through it yesterday…” He asked.
“What paper?” Ebube asked.
“That one…” Chude pointed at the paper with Gbade on the
cover. “Don’t you see, Gbade Akinifesi-Williams? And that’s the same surname
Morayo bears….”
Ebube felt blood drain from her face, she had literally just told her
boss who didn’t really like her that her husband was having an affair and with
none other than her room mate and her friend. She wanted the ground to open up
and swallow her.
*********
Nkiru couldn’t concentrate at work, the suggestive looks her
sister’s husband had thrown her way showed that he wanted something but what?
She thought. He’s her brother in-law and her sister’s hubby for that matter,
she couldn’t comprehend the reason things were happening the way it was, she
released a deep breath and looked around at her office. No one said hi to her
and no one wanted to be her friend, at least, even if it was a friend for
lunchtime. The ladies paired themselves in groups while Nkiru was the loner.
‘How am I expected to find myself a good man if I can’t
socialize? My social life is dead!’ She proclaimed to herself as she watched
Nnenne walk to Ofure’s desk to laugh at something.
She wished life was a little
more fair to her. She looked up to see Patrick walk over to Nnenne and pat her
shoulder slightly, it was so obvious that they were quite into each other as
Nnenne’s laugh could be heard miles away. 
Patrick was a charmer, he wasn’t necessarily
good looking but he charmed everyone along his way and many ladies admired him.
He was a genuine kind of guy, someone who helped colleagues who were in difficulty. She was still staring at him when Gbade walked into their
department. Everyone stood up in respect and greeted.
“Good afternoon everyone….hope work is going well?” Gbade
asked with a smile.
It was very rare to see him smile, not after he lost his son
in an accident nearly two years ago. Back then, Nkiru had just started working
for the company and she saw grief eat at Gbade till everyone thought he was
going to die. Then, one day, out of the blues, he stormed into the office and
poured himself into his work and so far, his drive has been what has placed
their company at where it is today.
“Yes sir…we are all fine sir…” Nnenne smiled, suddenly turning
away from Patrick to focus on the boss.
“I just came to say that I am happy with everyone for the
work which has been put into the company. It hasn’t been easy, our economy is
not smiling but we have been able to set our standards. Thank you for the kind
words and warm wishes over my business paper feature and thank you all for
being there for me. I have given orders that lunch for today is on me.”
“Yay!” The staff clapped.
Nkiru scratched the back of her neck, she wasn’t hungry.
“Thank you again and keep the flag flying,…” Gbade said
and walked away.
As soon as he left, Ofure said.
“Gbade looks happy…”
“Poor guy, I guess he’s finally stopped grieving for his
son.” Nnenne said.
“I doubt that he’s stopped grieving. I think it’s something
else….maybe someone…” Ofure said, letting her voice trail.
“Abeg I nor dey ooo…after talking now, they will say
Nnenne said this or that, abeg my hand nor dey dia…”
Nkiru sat down and focused on her computer screen, it was
almost lunch time and to be honest, she wasn’t hungry in the least. Her phone
beeped and a text message came through.
‘Thank
you for the hot bath yesterday. My office is not far from yours and I’ve been
craving to eat something from the new seafood restaurant opposite Sheraton
hotels. I’ll pick you up in thirty minutes.’

It was her brother in-law Sam, she quickly started typing a
message to tell him that she wasn’t interested in lunch but the words of her colleagues caught her ears.
“Nkiru, we have been asked to place our orders from the restaurant
down the road, do you have other plans for lunch or should we include you in
the list?” Nnenne asked.
Patrick scoffed and Ofure giggled. They all knew that Nkiru
lived the life of a recluse even at work and never had any plans for lunch
outside the office cafeteria.
Nkiru stopped typing and looked at them, they were all
trying to stifle laughter.
“I actually have plans, I am going to the new seafood restaurant
with a friend but do not strike my name off the list besides, the free lunch is
for all and I might store mine up in the fridge for tomorrow.” Nkiru said happy
to see the confused look on their faces. She was going to show them that she
wasn’t as boring as they thought she was, she said to herself.
Photo Credit:
1. http://watchdognews.net/

To be continued on Friday….

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6 COMMENTS

  1. How come I just discovered this site? Well done Adaeze. Nkiru please don't just start because it's difficult to stop once you do.

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