The Runaway Bride Episode 17

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“What nonsense are you saying?”
“Senator, it is either you listen to me this time
or no show. I want to work and I must be
sure of a place to work before I get out there
to give more lies”
Senator looked at Tokunbo to see if the
decision was from them both but saw the
same surprise mirrored on his face.
“You can work at your husband’s side when
he resumes office after the press conference”
“I am not working beside anyone, get your
phone and call your friends and get a position
for me somewhere; otherwise, I will tell them
I eloped and will tell them more than you
want them to know, sir.” She added the word
spitefully
“Chief, about her working, I can arrange that,
we need an administrator at our chamber and
she could work there, but you have to still
meet with my partners so we can decide a
befitting salary, I’m sure we could use your
expertise and education. Is that alright with
everyone?” the lawyer sensed trouble and
decided to interfere quickly
Tokunbo looked up and was surprised they
were all looking at him to give his blessings;
so he was the ‘everyone’?
“I am totally fine with that, it is what she
wants” Tokunbo replied with a shrug.
“so that is settled, on Friday hopefully in the
afternoon, we give the interview and later
that night, we will have a dinner party to host
our well wishers; it will also serve as a
welcome party for you my dear.”
“Sir, don’t deceive yourself, it s more like a
campaign party than a welcome party. Well, I
am still standing on the condition; no job no
interview”
“Young lady, you will not push me to suit
your desire.”
“Father, you have pushed me to suit yours
longer than I can recall, so it is either my way
or no way,” she replied him hotly and walked
out of the room, leaving everyone staring after
her.
Tokunbo walked their guest out and watched
as they drove off in a Hilux vehicle full of
police blaring their siren as they went.
****************************************************
Davis sat down at the desk in the admin room
of the café and read from his laptop, his mind
was not on the pages opened in front of him
but on the woman that has been occupying
his thoughts. He decided to take a careful and
logical look at the situation, could she give
them a chance irrespective of the situation
confronting her at the moment. Would he
really take that leap with her, considering
who her father is and the kind of force he
pulls, is Chinwe even willing to divorce the
man she is married to or is there more
holding them together than what she told
him?
She once liked the guy enough to marry him
and she only left him because of the incident
with Clara, even though she claims they have
nothing more to do with each other and that
they are only together because of her father,
would she give them a chance?
Each time he tried to open a discussion down
that line of thought, she always said
something to change the topic or ask him to
forget about him. He really likes her but who
was he kidding, do they have a future
together or is he simply grabbing onto
nothing?
One thing he cannot deny is that he likes her
a lot and feels comfortable discussing things
with her, maybe because they are practically
the pawns in their parents’ hands or because
he could relate with the vulnerability she
exuded. They have never stopped chatting nor
talking since she left Uyo.
His phone vibrated and he smiled as he saw
Clara’s number calling him, funny how you
think of Chinwe and Clara calls. They agreed
to meet today at the café to help discuss how
much she could get a laptop and what type
she should go for.
Poor lady, he has never stopped admiring her
kind of person since Chinwe told him about
her. She never looks sad, her approach to
everything is all smiles and positivity and
she’s funny in a cool way too and yes, Henry,
his own buddy always pulls a stunt that
makes him smile whenever he thinks about
them.
Davis deduced she was not getting much from
the new job, and considered paying part of
the laptop cost for her without really letting
her in on it; he has to tell Joseph about it too.
With a genuine affection in his voice he
listened to Clara; who just wanted to confirm
if he was in the café and would like to come
over.
Joseph watched his friend and Clara chatting
away and sitting very close, too close for his
comfort. He has never really felt this way
about a woman. Yes, he has had his days of
wild party, drinking and all that but he
stopped when he moved down to Uyo.
He walked up to the chair the occupied and
pulled a chair to join them, for all he cares,
Davis is still pinning for Chinwe but he has
never told him he feels anything for Clara
He pretended to be listening to the
explanation Davis was giving about the
different laptops that would be affordable to
her.
“That is true, I think you should go with that
one, it is 65k, or what do you think Rabbi? He
is the chief here” Davis turned to his friend.
“Perfect choice”
“Joseph, I heard you opened the café
yesterday; why do you open the café on
Sunday”
“Because the house can be boring”
“Be serious”
“I mean it, the house can be pretty boring,
but I don’t come every Sunday, I just do when
some people ask me to come because of them”
“That means you have to charge them like
crazy”
“Not really, but it can’t be the normal charge”
“Of course not, let me be in charge of that
next time you have a customer” Clara said
“Mummy, poopoo” Henry announced with a
contorted face
“ehn, what poopoo are you talking about
Henry” she made to stand up before he spoils
the atmosphere
Davis simply stood up and pulled the little
man behind him, leaving his friend with
Clara; he probably needs it, seeing the way he
keeps staring at her when he thinks he’s not
watching.
“Clara, what’s happening with Chinwe, and
before you look at me with those crazy eyes,
yes I know everything, but what is happening.
With what I gathered from Davis, she is not
happy and that can only be solved by you”
“How do you mean?”
“I mean what do you think is happening with
her and her husband, and how long can she
live like that. Maybe all she needs is just you
forgiving her husband and then she would to,
or what do you think? It is not just her life
that is in a pause, yours is too and Henry’s.”
“I understand, but I just don’t know if I can
face the man just yet”
“You face him every day; Henry”
“I know, but you can’t imagine how hard it is
to even think about it”
“I can’t but I have an idea”
“And besides, I have forgiven him”
“You can’t be sure of that until you can look
him in the eyes and say that to him, and on
another note, seeing him and straightening
things out would make you move on with your
life, date other men”
“Men ke, at this age?” she said with a short
laugh
“What is wrong with you, what are you
talking about. How old are you?”
“27 years with a 3 year old boy. You?”
“31, and you are way too young to be ruling
out men, sorry a man and for your
information, Henry is a better part of the deal
if someone dates you. Don’t date men, just
date a man; at least one at a time” Joseph
knew he was blabbing but he could not help
himself, he is smitten by her and he prays she
knows the underlying truth behind his whole
preaching.
“Ok o, so how do I go about this?”
“You can go to Lagos”
“Where is the money for that now, Joe” Joe?
She already gave him a pet name? Nice.
“Money is the least of the hurdles, the first is
your willingness to go, the second is to get
Chinwe’s house address and then the money
will come.”
“Chinwe told me he said he would like to see
me, she sent a text this morning and asked if
I would be able to see him”
“Excellent, then we have a solution. How soon
can you take time off work? You can go and
see them”
“Joe, I don’t know…”
“See, you have to, otherwise, we all will be
stuck in this position for a long time,” he
announced more forcefully this time as if he
were in the position with her. They stared at
each other for a long time, neither saying a
word, just staring.
“This your son is funny o” Davis said as he
returned to the table, breaking the spell.
“What did he do?” she said in a funny voice
and cleared her voice
“He said uncle go back, it will smell o”
They all burst into laughter and Joseph found
himself laughing harder as he swung the little
boy up to his laps to sit him down, looking at
the mother who could not stop laughing too.
********************************************************
Her mother has been on the phone with her
for over 10 minutes and the direction of the
discussion is becoming uncomfortable.
“Chi, you know what I want to say? I know
you have your reason but if you can’t tell me,
that means it is between you and Tokunbo,
but for goodness sake, I have watched that
boy and he is a good kid, I know you know he
is and I am suspecting something happened
before you met him that changed your mind,
but please, settle it and find a way to move
beyond that.
I don’t have another man to find for you, but
if he has not murdered anyone or you found a
shrine in his room or he raised his hand
against you then please settle whatever it is.
Give him a chance to prove to you he is a
good man, don’t shut him out totally and
choose each day at a time. Please, see beyond
the things you think you know about him and
learn to forgive. Forgive him, forgive your
father, forgive everyone you think has
wronged you, you will sleep better at night
when you do that.” She did not ask what
happened again but ended the call. Chinwe
dropped her phone on the bed and expected
her Mum to call back and when her phone
rang again, she took a look at the screen
“Hello Chinwe?”Clara said over the phone
“Clara, how are you, did you see my
message?”
“Yeah, I did, tell him I would see him. I will
take time off on Friday and would come with
Henry. We will come back on Saturday”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Of course I am, we all need to move on, far
beyond this mess holding us all in position”
“True, thanks a lot. How was your day?”
“Fine, I went to the cafe”
“How is Joseph? I have not really spoken with
him since I left on Saturday”
“He is fine, he even dropped us off and they
left not too long ago”
“Hmm, you sound like you like that”
“Yeah, he’s showing me break light, but has
not really said it in plain words, but I like him
too”
“I like him too, just be careful and don’t you
dare shut him out”
“I hear, goodnight, approko madam”
“ahhh, when he reach the time where I wan
ask questions now, you dey say good night, ok
o, good night.”
Chinwe smiled to her phone and imagined
her friend with Joseph, Clara needs a man
and Joseph is a good specimen, his sense of
humor is what Clara would need more at this
time.
Since her father left in the morning with his
lawyer, Tokunbo has practically disappeared
and they have not crossed each other’s path
ever since. All day she has been either
chatting with her friends or calling someone
to while away time.
She needs to inform Tokunbo that Clara would
be willing to come to Lagos to see them, so he
would be prepared about buying the tickets
for her and the son. She walked to the door of
the guest room and knocked gently and was
surprised the door opened slightly at her
gently knocks. Without waiting she popped
her head into the room and almost screamed.
Tokunbo was in the process of pulling on his
shorts, probably preparing to sleep.
“Sorry, I thought you were not inside” she
said as she recoiled her neck quickly out of
the room
“Come in” Tokunbo called on her from inside
the room
“I am sorry for barging in on you like that…. I
” she said, still standing outside the room
“Chinwe, you can barge in like that all you
want, we are married. To what do I owe this
honor?” he pulled the door opened and
invited her in, but she remained outside still,
so he stepped out of the room
“Clara, my friend that you…”
“That said I raped her? So that is her name,
don’t worry, you can say it, so what about
her”
“She agreed to see you, this Friday”
“This Friday too, that would be the same day
we will be having the dinner you father told
us about this morning, can she come on
Saturday instead”
“She works and she wants to return on
Saturday”
“Well, she can return on Sunday”
“I will have to ask her,”
“Please do, so that we can have time to talk
and we can personally pick her up from the
airport”
“Alright, I will tell her”
“Would that be all?” Tokunbo asked. Chinwe
still stood there, staring at everywhere, except
his face.
“Yeah” she turned quickly and left the room.
It is amazing how they could have this kind of
conversation agree over it and they can’t
seem to find that kind of effort to make other
conversations.
Well, well, well, far be it that she finds him
attractive. Could she possible still like him and
feels uncomfortable alone with him? Well, if
it any consolation, he finds her attractive too
and must confess that he would love to feel
that the feeling is mutual. Tokunbo thought to
himself as he shut down the laptop he had on
and settled for a lonely night again. What a
way to spend a honeymoon.