Episode 7: Monday Drama 2
My heart skipped a beat as I went into Mr. Ogaâ€™s office. â€œWhat does he want? What have I done?â€, I wondered.
â€œYou called me.â€
He looked up at me and removed his glasses.
â€œHave you read the review done by a reporter from Sahara on Mable Consults handling the festival this year?â€ He asked.
â€œI suggest you read it.â€ He passed the paper to me. â€œShalewa, for someone I call my assistant, I wonder why I should be seeing this before you.â€
I didnâ€™t reply. I glanced through the review with speed and almost hissed. Whatâ€™s the problem? Okay, she basicallyâ€¦ I mean the reporter basically referred to Mable Consults as a toddler in handling a project this big. She ended it with a comment on how the company is seen as sleek and as a 21st century retro-urban communications company, so we should be able to make waves with the project.
What the hell is the problem with this man?, I wondered. The review wasnâ€™t that bad! I cleared my throat and looked up to see him staring at me. It was uncomfortable.
â€œSo what do you think?â€ He asked.
â€œIt might not be as impressive as we may have wanted but I donâ€™t think itâ€™s a bad one. She hasnâ€™t said anything to totally mar what we will be doing; she has only made people expectant. I believe this is the time to buckle up on our PR and put more positive vibes out there.â€
â€œI knew I wasnâ€™t wrong about you. Coffee?â€ He asked.
â€œNo, thank you sir!â€ I looked away shyly.
â€œCan you and Lydia prepare a 30-minute meeting with our PR consultant?â€
â€œOk sir.â€ I got up to leave.
I turned to look at him and answered, â€œYes, Mr. Williams?â€
â€œI really donâ€™t fancy people from other departments coming in here at an early hour.â€
â€œAre you referring to Mr. Odulaja?â€ I asked that question and provided an answer before he could say anything. â€œHe was here to make sure I had everything I needed.â€
â€œLike what?â€ He got up and began to walk slowly towards me, like a lion about to tear his prey apart. My heart began to beat fast.
â€œEhm em â€¦â€ I couldnâ€™t make out any word. My brain had gone on recess without my consent.
â€œWhat?â€ He asked as though he was mocking me. I think I saw him smile.
â€œThatâ€™s it sir. He just wanted to find out all that.â€ I cleared my throat. He stopped in front of me. I think my heart stopped. He picked up a document from the shelf beside me and went back to his seat.
â€œThat will be all Shalewa. Please get to it and letâ€™s have all that we need before the meeting.â€
â€œAlright sir.â€ I tried not to fall as I walked out of his office.
â€œWhat happened?â€ Lydia asked as I took my seat.
I narrated what transpired in Mr. Ogaâ€™s office to Lydia. We deliberated on what was needed and prepared for the meeting. We were in the middle of this when my phone rang.
I walked out of the conference room and signalled to Lydia that I would be back in two minutes.
â€œI took a test and itâ€™s positive. Iâ€™m pregnant, Shalewa.â€
â€œOh Omotunde!â€ I heard her sniffles. â€œAre you crying?â€
She gave a tacit response.
â€œDonâ€™t cry, please.â€
We both went silent for some seconds.
â€œHave you told Labib?â€
â€œNo I havenâ€™t. You are the only one Iâ€™ve told.â€
â€œYou have to tell him.â€
â€œI will; I just donâ€™t know how.â€
â€œWe will figure it out,â€ I said as I nodded to Lydia who was signalling to tell me the meeting was about to begin.
â€œOmotunde, Iâ€™ll call you in one hour and we will figure this out together, ok?â€
â€œI have to go now.â€ We murmured our goodbyes and I went into the conference room for my first major meeting in Mable Consult.
The meeting took forever and by the time we were done, I was rushing to the canteen to meet up with Daniel. I dialled Omotundeâ€™s number as I walked to the canteen.
â€œShalewa, he proposed! Oh my God! Iâ€™m getting married!â€
As she said it, I felt something ring in my head. This is better said in Yoruba: â€œOri mi lâ€™ago.â€ Not because I wasnâ€™t happy nor was it because this wasnâ€™t great news butâ€¦
â€œOmotunde, is he even done seeing the psychologist?â€
I heard her grumble. â€œThis doesnâ€™t change anything; it doesnâ€™t stop him from seeing the doctor. Be happy for me Shalewa and donâ€™t go fishing for faults.â€
I was going to lose my temper. Thank goodness Daniel was standing and watching me walk towards the canteen. He looked like a child that was getting his first puppy.
â€œI am happy for you. I just donâ€™t want you forgetting some essential things. Can I call you back? Iâ€™m famished and I have just one hour break.â€
â€œOk.â€ I heard her sigh.
â€œI love you, ok?â€
â€œI love you too, Shalewa Benson.â€ I ended the call and smiled at Daniel.
â€œHello. Letâ€™s go.â€
He was walking towards the exit. â€œTo where? Iâ€™m famished, mister.â€
He threw back his head in laughter. â€œYouâ€™ll see.â€
We got into his Toyota Avensis and he kept on driving. I didnâ€™t know where we were going.
â€œWhere are we going?â€
I smiled. I liked him. I began to feel like I had known him for a while.
He drove into Tiamiyu Savage Street on Victoria Island.
He looked at me grinning. â€œWitch!!â€
I stuck out my tongue. He smiled. We entered the restaurant and ordered for some food. I ate like a hungry lion.
â€œYou have a healthy appetite; I like!â€ He said as he picked up some spinach with his fork.
â€œSo tell me something you havenâ€™t told me since we started chatting,â€ he said.
â€œHmmmm, you ask me what you would like to know and Iâ€™ll tell you.â€
That was how Daniel bombarded me with â€˜Jambâ€™ questions ooo. â€œWhatâ€™s your best colour?â€ â€œTell me about your childhood.â€ â€œWhere are your parents?â€ â€œWhen would you like to get married?â€
That caught my attention.
â€œWhat did you say?â€
â€œI asked when you would like to get marriedâ€, he repeated.
I actually heard him. The question just came as a shock to me. We only just met and he was already asking me such a weighty question.
I blinked twice and answered. â€œI havenâ€™t really given it a thought yet.â€
He started to laugh. â€œSeriously, you are the only girl, â€˜beg your pardon, lady I have come across who does not yet have an answer to that question. The average Nigerian lady has her wedding plans in her head by age 20!â€
I started to laugh. â€œSo are you saying Iâ€™m different?â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m just saying youâ€™re an alien.â€ he smiled. I laughed again.
â€œWhen would you like to settle down?â€ I threw his question back at him in another dimension.
â€œEnd of this year or early next yearâ€, he answered.
I giggled and continued. â€œDoes that mean you have found â€˜herâ€™?â€
â€œYes.â€ His answer was sharp.
I smiled and told myself: â€œCase closed, this handsome dude is taken. He probably wanted a sleep buddy or maybe a friend.â€
Daniel interrupted my thoughts.
â€œYouâ€, he said vaguely.
I looked at him and our eyes locked.
â€œI donâ€™t understand.â€
â€œI found you. I want you. I want to know you. I want to be your friend and I want you to be my friend. I want to know what makes you tick, what makes you cry and eventually, I want you to be my wife.â€
For the umpteenth time today, my heart stopped. Seriously ooo.
I began to stammer. â€œEhm ehmâ€¦I donâ€™t know what to say.â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry, I know this is overwhelming. Iâ€™m usually not this forceful.â€
â€œItâ€™s alright. Should we head back to work? Itâ€™s an hour already and I have a lot on my desk.â€
â€œYes we should, as the H.R., I shouldnâ€™t indulge you.â€ He winked.
We left Terra Kulture and drove back to the office in silence.
â€œTell me youâ€™ll give it a thought?â€, he said as I was about entering my office.
I went back to work with so many thoughts in my head. â€œWas Mr. Oga jealous? Was he flirting with me? Is Omotunde doing the right thing? Did Daniel really mean all that he said? Did I like him enough to consider dating him?â€
All these thoughts, work, coupled with Lydia begging me for gist were what ended my day.