Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Chapter Thirteen.
The end of Part One
I made sure I avoided Rosa that morning as I got to work. And it was also usual that Sam didn’t stop by at my desk too. He always stopped to give me chocolates and flowers. Or would ask what I wanted for lunch. I had always requested pizza, and I was in the mood for some pizza. So I just called his lone instead but there was no response.
I was sad and in the mood to flirt, but he wasn’t available. Was he ignoring me because I declined his invite yesterday? I felt hurt that he wasn’t here when I needed him the most. Men, they are always not around when you need them the most. I wondered what he was doing. Was he flirting with another girl, or having sex in the toilet. Men, they just can never be trusted. They are so predictable that I could just sit and imagine what each one is up too.
I allowed my imaginations to run wild concerning Sam's sudden change of attitude this morning. So I walked down to his office to catch him myself. I was beginning to turn detective. I should have studied that instead. I laughed inside as I expected to catch Sam with another woman in his office flirting. But instead I met a close door. That’s usual, it’s against the policy of the office to close your door during office hours. I tried turning the doorknob open but it was locked. Then I heard a voice from behind me.
Ufoma haven’t you heard?
I turned around to see who had spoken to me, only to see Mr Adeleke the clerk. He was an extra tall man about seven feet, and very slender too. He hardly spoke, but when he did; she told facts.
Heard what? I asked him.
Mr Samuel has been dismissed.
What? Why? I asked shocked.
I printed out the letter myself and placed it on his desk this morning.
Why? What happened? I asked further.
I don’t know. But he came in cheerful this morning, only for him to leave quickly after going through the letter. I need to go back to my desk miss.
Okay Mr Adeleke thanks. I walked back to my own office in wonderment of the new development. What is going on, can someone just tell me.
I got to my office and slumped on my sit. I was in dismay when I received a direct call from Mr Kelvin. He had never called my direct line before, only through the office lines. I picked up my phone and answered it when it was about to cut off.
Ufoma, please I need you in my office immediately. He hanged up.
He didn’t wait for my greetings, and he didn’t wait for my reply. I mustered up boldness to climb the elevator, walked down the hallway to his office and knock.
Come in. Came his rich baritone voice.
When the devil hands you a flower.
When the devil hands you a flower, do not think you are pretty.
I opened and walked straight to this overly handsome, business like man seated on the biggest, nicest executive chair I have ever seen. I must admit aunty Ejiro had taste. No wonder she never bothered about what others said about her, and she never envied married people; their husbands were not up to her man in anyway.
Mr Kelvin, stood up from his executive and walked towards me majestically moving his six feet, biceps, slim, rich body towards me. He stood in front of me, too close I guess. His scent was overpowering my sense of judgement. He placed his hand on my shoulder, and I could feel the heat of his big palm on my skin, his penetrating eyes, beautiful lips all threw me off balance, and I took two steps back.
Why? Are you also attracted to me Ufoma? He asked reveling his perfect white set of teeth. You haven’t even said any greeting to me since you got here.
Am sorry sir. Good morning sir. Please sir you are standing too close to me, I would prefer you sit sir.
He took a deep breath and then took off his coat suit. The shirt underneath was so fitted that I would mentally trace his biceps with my fingers. He then took off his tie and began unbuttoning his shirt. I watched as if I was in trance, staring at each action like I would need to give a detailed report for a promotion tomorrow.
His shirt was finally off, and I almost fainted. He grabbed me by my elbow and I stood erect. That move automatically drove me into his arms. I didn’t know what I was doing there, but I was there and clinging onto my aunt’s man like he were mine. He lifted up my chin and bent his head over like he was going to kiss me and I just closed my eyes, to receive it. But it never came, and then I heard a thunderous laugh. My eyes flung open.
Now, go and sit on that chair and listen to me real good. He demanded.
It took me five seconds to bring myself to room consciousness. What did you just say, I asked.
Go sit! He shouted. Like you didn’t hear me the first time harlot!
I hurried off to the sit he pointed to. And sat there like steel.
I fired Rosa this morning, because according to you she is now a harlot. I also fired Sam because he also made her a harlot. She goes, he goes. He was having sex with her for months and I was aware but never bothered. You know why, she is just like you and every other woman I do not love. They can never be compared or measure up to my Ejiro. It was easy for you to judge Rosa a harlot but you almost did the same thing she has been doing with me for months now. I have evidence Ufoma, remember I have got cameras in my office. It was a good thing you didn’t inform your aunty of what you saw last night. Anyways I tried my best to keep her line bared throughout last night. I hold the activities of her phone in my palms unknown to her. And am sure we can keep this little secret, that’s why I got those two fired.
I love Ejiro. He went on. And I can get any other woman I like, just like I got you now; but I chose to love only Ejiro. She is the woman after my heart and under my skin. I will destroy anyone who tries to put us apart. If you try to leak what you saw in Rosa’s office last night to her; I will make you disappear. I won’t let anyone ruin this two years of hard work I put in to convincing Ejiro to marry me. I proposed to her last night when I picked her up from the airport around 10pm. That’s why I had to work late yesterday, to stay alert, and then I just had a quickie with Rosa to stay stress free. And guess what? She finally accepted. Act surprised when she gives you the good news. Now get out of my office and go back to work. And quit snooping around.
As I stood up to leave, I heard him say: don’t forget you are no different from Rosa.
Those words still strike my heart to this day like a sword. I couldn’t at that point describe the kind of woman I was. Was I good, bad, a harlot like he called me? I was always quick to place a judgement on others and define their motives and actions, but here I was being judged accordingly.
But I stand tall like an African tree.
End of part one. Watch out for part two.
I went back to my office in shock. I couldn’t work anymore. Infact, I didn’t want to work here anymore. I just wanted to pick up my bag and leave. But then, I remembered fathers words: Your actions have consequences Ufoma. Father had always been right. I had judged Gideon and lost him. Judged Mr Dean and he lost his wife to a divorce. Judged Rosa and she lost her job; which even made my friend Sam lose his. If only I had knew, I won’t have interfered with Rosa's business. Now I have lost a friend at work. Who will spoil me and buy me chocolates now? I wasn’t even angry at Sam for sleep with Rosa too, because I had no right at all. We weren’t in a relationship. And I was almost like Rosa in my boss’s office. What was I doing clinging to Mr Kelvin like that? How did I suddenly forget he is my aunt’s man. The same man I was fuming over last night , wanting to report to my aunty to. What will I tell father now. Certainly I can never tell father a thing about what has happened in the office. And that means, I cannot quit my job now. I just cannot get up and walk away like I have been doing all my life. It was time to change, it was time to become a different Ufoma Ogaga.
My phone distracted me at that moment. The caller was aunty Ejiro. I knew what she was calling to say; but I needed to act like I didn’t know.
Hey sweetie. Came her rich voice. How is work going? Don’t worry just save all the gist and office romance for me this evening okay.
Office romance? I tensed up. What do you mean?
Huh? Is that my Ufoma talking? It’s so unlike you to ask. You would have just said office romance my foot! She laughed. Anyways I have gist for you and your daddy okay. See you guys in the evening. And don’t work late tonight. Kelvin said you worked late last night and he stumbled on you while he was preparing to pick me from the airport. Bye dear, later okay. Let me not steal your work hours. With that she hung up.
This Kelvin guy was so good with his worlds. He had the best of every world, and he was in control of it. I suddenly realised
I managed to get some work done as I reluctantly looked forward to seeing aunty Ejiro in the evening. My story had finally changed.
When I returned home from work that evening, I met Isoken again in the house. She greeted me very nicely like we were meeting for the first time. And she said dad was having his shower.
How women were able to live this way became a misery to me. This was a very miserable situation. If I were Isoken, I would never show my face again after what happened last night. I think dad is right, not every woman is like me.
So you still came back? I asked her?
And why won’t I? Was her reply. Do you think I am like you? Always runner away.
Running away? I asked looking confused. Anyways you are the least of my worries now. I have things to figure out.
I walked out of her sight, got to my room and went for a hot shower. Dressed up for the evening and came downstairs to look for food, and was greeted by dad.
Hey dear, hope you and Isoken are getting along together today?
Seriously dad. She still came here after the disgrace you put her through last night?
She is a woman who sees me as her man. And her man is always right. That’s how you show your respect to your man, Ufoma.
So you didn’t beg her, or patronize her with some gifts?
Nope I didn’t. I just called to tell her Ejiro, my daughter’s aunty; would be coming over today and it would be a nice opportunity to meet her. So she came and also offered to cook.
How did you know aunty Ejiro was coming?
She called me. And I assume you told her about Kelvin’s office romance. He laughed. Oh my God I can’t wait to see her reaction.
No dad I didn’t tell her anything. Infact I feel it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie.
Seriously! Is this my Ufoma speaking or a ghost?
Am serious dad. I don’t want to be the one to tear them apart. If there should be any tearing apart; then it should be the other woman’s job not mine.
Now that’s sense talking. Good girl! He hugged me.
That evening was a very lovely one. I was happy I didn’t ruin the mood. Aunty Ejiro came showing off her engagement ring, and gushing about her handsome, loving, responsible and rich her fiancé is. It was such a pity I had to make dad put up that act. He watched her speak and just nodded his head in approval. Am sure he was dying of laughter inside. And I and this feeling that he was happy about it. To him, it served Ejiro right. She was too judgmental of people and deserved a hypocrite herself.
I am sorry to say this Efe, but my Kelvin us nothing like you. She smiled at dad teasingly.
Seriously? Dad raised an eyebrow. He may have porn videos on his phone you know. He laughed.
Yea you wish! He isn’t porn addict like you.
Awww that’s so nice. Dad muttered ridiculously.
I just bent my head feeling so sad for my aunty. I wished I hadn’t told dad about aunty Ejiro’s fiance’s immoral conduct. It hurts the way he just looks at her now. That ridiculous look; I wish I could just slap it off his face. She didn’t deserve that. She was just too nice, too open, ,responsible and loving to be mocked this way by us: her family. And there was nothing I could do about it.
Aunty Ejiro didn’t approve of dad and Isoken together. She asked how I felt and needed my support in putting them apart, but I was unwilling to help her. I told her I would get to know Isoken first. Since the wedding wasn’t anytime soon, I didn’t want to disturb myself with her being used as a sex tool by my father.
Ejiro just laughed feeling that’s the only reason I had in mind. She would be shocked she was the reason for this new me. Father held my secret, and I needed him to keep it for as long as he lives. Because if it dares slip out, aunty Ejiro would find out of how I nearly had an affair with her fiancé in his office. And that will make her hate me forever.
Maybe it’s high time I realize, am not just different from every other woman. I had never been in their shoes, so it was easy for me to be so critical of peoples decisions.
I had a wedding to plan, and I was Ejiro's maid of honor. It was fixed for two months time. I needed the heart and dress to graced that occasion. Was I making a mistake? No I concluded.
© 2020 Jade George Anibor