Money is good. Wealth is wonderful, but it could not ensure me the happiness I wanted. *
The cold weather induced in me, chilly hormones of July- I hate rainy seasons- Unwanted and uninvited guest which I had to bear. I wrapped myself in a cozy blanket, sat on the couch in the living room; my only companion – a glass of orange juice. The glass tableware, which I acquired on my business trip to Korea reflected my loneliness. Painted walls with marble designs-polished glasswares- in patches; luxurious spacing between the t.v on the wall and me; air conditioned and sweetened vanilla scent.
I’m accomplished, had it all, but something was lacking. ‘Am I so difficult to love? I asked my reflection on the table. Rhetorical question indeed. These elements of denigration and surreptitious sinisters, paraded through the corridors of my mind.
Unexpectedly : the doorbell reinstated my mind to reality. I walked non-challantly to the front door.
‘I’m coming…Bisiii? Where is she? Oh! .’ I remembered she took Funmi to school.
‘Yes, Umaru, what is it? I said . Umaru looked weird as always, his tarky buba and oversize cap resonated stupidity, then he replied.
‘Madam, one Oga, I say I wann see am por me’
‘who is that? Let him in’
‘OK.Madam’ he said. Dashed off to the gate, and I heard him talking to someone.
‘Oga, Madam say make I kwom inside…Eyy! No frovlem, kwam inside’ I stared from the glass door. Lo and behold : It was Gabriel. My heart quickened, a rapid inflush of adrenaline to my system, this type I never felt before.
As he took steps towards me, my soul drenched with fear and I felt happiness at the same time. He sliced the air with his chocolate arms, his broad chest made my imagination grow wide. ‘ oh my! I jerked. He is so handsome. snap out of it I cautioned myself behave Dami,behave
‘Hello Dami, ‘ he smiled and my world came to a pause. Is this for real?
‘ Hi…hello, Gabr…hi Gabriel’ I stammerred.
‘ I’m here to discuss about your proposal’
‘which proposal? My lips stretched wide apart and I could feel myself blush.
‘the one about…’ he began. I slapped my forehead, and remembered.
‘ Oh! Yes I remember. Sorry. Its fine if you refuse’ I continued ‘ besides, I dont want to seem imposing and cheap’ I wished the heavens, I could take back the last word. My eyes popped out of their sockets.
Gabriel stroke his left hand behind his jean trousers, bent forward a bit then placed it on his blue slim -fitted polo.
‘You see, ‘he resumed ‘ I’m not too sure about this either, but lets give it a shot….’
‘please come inside’ I cut in’ its hot outside’
‘wow! He exclammed’ nice place, this is like a palace’ I laughed.
‘Soon you will be its King’ . Another misplaced statement. Terrible. Just terrible.
‘Here are the documents ‘ I gave a file to him’ Funmi wakes up by 8 in the morning-every morning to be prescise except Saturdays and Sundays, which ofcourse are your days off….You can only leave at 9pm every work day…so if you..’
‘Whoa! Wait! I’m practically going to live here? Gabriel asked. I raised my arms and let it slam on my laps, when I took a seat.
‘ The choice is yours, except you have a family already? He was silent.
‘I will read the rest, when I get home… I have to leave now’ Something is not right, I thought loudly. His face glowed when I asked about his family.
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Katherine ‘ oh July, wonderful July, beautiful July’ Boma sang ‘ I love the breeze, July, the rain in July, my love O! July!
‘will you stop it please’ I enjoyed the song, but her voice branded it ‘MIA’ Boma is nearly same age with me, she just gapped me with 3 more. A cheerful lady, and now my kitchen partner in the school Canteen. Her voice marred her moderate looks. She danced and stirred the potatoes in the pan.
‘ Katy, be happy for once ok. Let your life be made of love’
‘love? I’m a creature of love. My husband loves me so much’ I said ‘ you think I’m not lovable? My arms kept steady at akimbo
‘Hmm. Katy, love is like alcohol when you take too much, you get drunk’ she said ‘ we cant always trust men you know. They forget so easily, what love means. And when that happens, they grow tired of us’ I scanned every possible reason for her statement.
These few days, I’ve been getting negative vibes.
‘ yea! Thats true, but not my Gabriel… He is too good to be true’ I ticked my index finger in the air ,smiling. Boma poured out the potatoes, introduced a new batch and the oil sizzled.
‘what can I say? Kate,your husband is lucky to have you. You have a beautiful heart’ I blushed. ‘But be careful Kate’ she continued ‘ guard him jealously, so many women would kill just to have a man in their life’
Another hint of impending doom. Like she was a priestess of choas. I removed my apron, opened the freezer and took out a glass jar of ice water. Gulping down a cold drink, my mind scattered in different dimensions of mindplay.
It was not so much fun, with my new job of baby-care. I never enjoyed lying but now became my backbone. Even though it gave a hard time believing, Kate would still let it pass. Its an awful experience, and I hated every flaws of my lying tongue. I just said whatever felt right to me. *
‘Love, I got a new job’ I said ‘ Its a Crafts and Arts Company’.
‘ Seriously? That’s really wonderful’. She said ‘I’m happy, soon, all our debts will be cleared’
‘Definately’. I said. * I did everything to save the moment from ruin. *
‘Its amazing, isnt it? I asked.
‘Yes. Certainly ‘ She said. * Her voice is crystal clear, even from a distance as far as the kitchen. She prepared dinner. My wet body dripped of cold shower. I toweled my hair and hung the piece of clothing to dry. *
‘So, what is your job description? Kate said.
‘I’m the technical head for… Maintenance and Crafts designs’ I said.
‘That’s a very vital position. Sounds like you…like you are incharge or something’
‘I’m so glad I was selected, amongst five other applicants’ I dropped in.
‘To be honest, you are one lucky man. The luckiest man I know. Think of it: Its just a few days of search and you already got that kind of work’ *
The smile she gave me touched my heart softly and soothed my burning cheeks. She carefully released her arms off the bowl of rice, which was now on the table then she went back into the cuisine (kitchen). *
Her hair delighted my fifth sense, like roses gliding with the wind of love.
‘Gabriel’ She asked.
‘Uh huh? I replied while taking my position, set for dinner.
‘What about Tayo’s friend? His daddy-day-care job? Did he take it?
‘No he did’nt’ I said.
‘Why what happened?
‘Kate, his conscience abhored the terms of agreement’ I lied again. The third time succively. * Kate turned. Her gaze pierced through me like rays of karma.
‘Unbelievable’ She said. ‘So there is still some dignity left in men. I thought he would sholve his pride down the drain for peanuts’
‘Ofcourse not, besides the payment is good. The only problem is the part where he hates is pretending to a little girl’ * She concluded her chores in the kitchen and came out with another bowl of stew which captivated my senses and aroused deep appetite.
‘Hmmmm…Lovely” I said.
‘So thats the reason. How about failing not to lust for the woman’s body’ she said. Silence engulved me.
‘well that might be another reason. Perhaps’
‘Or perhaps, he feels guilty already’ Kate said. Only if she knew , that Tayo had no other friends : except me and Maxwell. My wife switched on the fan, pulled her seat backwards then called out to David, to come have dinner.
I walked into the restaurant without creating an awareness. He was already waiting. * The fierce look on his face scared the life out me. I could not despair- it did not matter anymore. I need his services. It was inconvinient for me. Nevertheless, we met at this five star restaurant. It was just us, and few suspicious personalities. *
My identity remains paramount and I did not want to give it away so easily. A black schurle covered my blond hair-hiding it from prying eyes. The dark shades reduced the visibility of my eyes. It compliments my blouse. *
Taking a seat, I brought out an envelope and tossed it across the table. He grasped it firmly, to friction its motion. His left ear had three piercings. (he had two before). The green jacket he wore ,contrasted his sun-burned face. (He is extremely dark, a twin to the devil himself)
‘Here is the down payment’ I said.
‘I want a clean job, a very clean one. Inside the envelope, is a picture of the subject. I want you to keep track of everything about the person. * He stared at me ,peeped into the envelope and kept silent. A mute dog indeed ,trained to execute and do less talking. ‘Keep me aprised of every detail, you find out. Everything, and I mean everything’ ‘Address; personal life; friends and family. I hope you wont fail me this time. I hate failures. Remember that’ * …. He nods his head in approval.
” Good ‘ I said. Then we shall meet again. I expect good news’ I said, already on my feet. ** ……I adjusted my blouse and trousers, about to leave…..
‘What happens if someone close to him gets in the way of my investigations’ he said. A smile began to grow on my cheek.
‘You know what to do. Just do it like you have always done’ I said, while taking my leave.