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Jointed at him.
“Keep your voice down,” she
hit her on the knee.
“You are wicked.”
“So are you. Look at his pot
belly. Pregnant man.”
Oyetunde glanced at them and
they looked away immediately.
Their conversation stopped,
but, their giggles grew louder.
Promise saw Boma the moment
she stepped out of the office.
“Is madam back?”
She shook her head.
Their boss had been out most
of the day.
“Are you coming from the
He halted a few feet away
“Do they have any snacks?”
He nodded, ” They have
different types of snacks.”
“Okay. Good. Thanks.”
“You are welcome. Is
Oyetunde in the office?”
“Yes,” she met his dark
brown stare. His eyes seemed
to swallow her own. She
blinked and backed away.
‘Am I attracted to this guy?’
She erased the thought from
“Okay. I am off to the
His eyes followed her. He
wondered if what Oyetunde
had said was true. Was she
really engaged or in a
serious relationship? He was
attracted to her. He could bet
his whole salary that she was
attracted to him too.
He would try to get to know
her better. Working with her
in the same office made it
easier to an extent. He had
learnt a long time ago that a
beautiful fulfilling relationship
sometimes began with a
“Promise meet my friend, Charles Oduro.”
She shook hands with the dark but broad shouldered man standing beside her colleague.
“Hi, it is nice meeting you.”
“The pleasure is mine,” she smiled back at him.
“Here comes the landlord.”
She followed Boma’s gaze and gapped in astonishment when she saw Gbenga Lewis.
A conversation she had, had with him about renting out his boys’ quarters flashed through her mind. He had been putting it off for a while. She was glad her advice was not discarded.
“Promise how are you doing?”
She nodded and kept staring at him. He looked so good in his blue jeans trouser and black tee-shirt.
“Do you both know each other?” Boma asked. He was surprised that Charles’ landlord knew her.
“Yes,” they choroused.
Oyetunde narrowed his eyes and squeezed his lips, pondering over who Gbenga was to Promise.
“Promise and I dated for a while and broke up recently. Are you guys ready for lunch or not?” He headed straight for the elevator.
Oyetunde could hardly believe his ears. Promise was single at the moment. That was pure goodnews. He needed to strategize how he would sweep her off her feet and make her his.
“See you on Monday,” he winked at her and followed Gbenga.
“It was nice meeting you,” Charles bid her goodbye and joined the crowd in the elevator.
Boma noticed the angry look in her eyes.
“Are you okay?”
Her frown deepened, “We didn’t just date for a while, we were planning to get married!”
It became obvious to him that her ex-boyfriend’s comment had angered her.
“I think he was just trying to make light of the situation.”
She glared at him. On whose side was he anyway? She eyed him, turned around and blended into the crowd.
Promise strode into Mega Plaza. The grin on her face turned into a frown when she saw the crowd of people in the large building. She doesn’t like been in the crowd for too long. People tend to pull and push at their own leisure without caring about the next person. She should have known the place would be populated during the weekends. She wouldn’t have been able to make it during the week days because of her time consuming job and she had been procastinating the errand for two weeks. Her father was losing his patience and if she had not made the journey that day, he might have gotten angry.
She took the elevator and alighted on the second floor. She located the phone accessories store on the business card her father had given her three weeks ago and asked for the store owner. She was led into an office at the back of the store.
Fifteen minutes later, she walked out of the store with a sealed large brown envelop. While waiting for the elevator to open, someone tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and came face to face with Boma Etuk.
“Hello,” he grinned.
They had been working together for less than a month and the opportunity he needed to really get to know her was scarce. It was as if she built a wall between them a purpose.
“Hi… ” Her surprised gaze met his pleased ones, “What are you doing here?”
“Definitely not window shopping.”
Laughter bubbled from within her. She placed the envelop under her shoulder.
“I didn’t know you stay on the Island.”
“I don’t,” he shook his head.
The elevator opened and some people came out. Boma and Promise stepped aside.
“I stay in Dolphin Estate with a friend during the week. I go home during the weekends. I live in Ilupeju.”
She folded her arms across her chest.
“Today is Saturday, what are you doing on the Island?”
“My friend convinced me to stay behind this weekend so that we can use our expertise to help his landlord to purchase a brand new flat screen T.V.”
“We met Oyetunde here too. He spotted you when you walked out of that store,” he pointed at the phone accessories store.
“Oyetunde?” Her puzzled gaze met his smiling ones.
“He lives in the building behind this plaza. I guess he frequent this plaza often.”
“Yes. So, what are you doing here?”
She glanced at the envelop she held under her shoulder.
“I came to pick up a package for my dad.”
“So, catch you in the office on Monday,” she turned to leave.
“Wait, why don’t you join us for lunch?”
She bit at her lower lip. She doubted if she was ready to socialize that afternoon.
Oyetunde and a guy about his height approached them.
“Promise how are you doing?” He smiled, revealing a set of white teeth.
She ignored him and headed for the stairway.
‘Make light of the situation indeed. What situation?!’ These thoughts ran through her mind.
Boma caught up with her.
“Promise please wait.”
“Stop following me,” she climbed down the staircase.
“Promise… ” He followed.
“Stop calling me and go and meet your friends.”
“I will catch up with them later.”
She hastened her steps and found her way out of the plaza. She hurried towards her car which was parked close to the gates, but, Boma caught up with her before she could climb in.
“What’s your problem? Why are you following me?” She lashed out at him.
The hurt in her eyes saddened him. She looked like she was about to cry. The break-up must have ended badly. He wished he could hug her and sooth all her pains away.
“I am here as a friend,” he raised his hands, “I come in peace.”
“I don’t need your friendship. Leave me alone!” She got into the car, started it and backed out of the compound. The security man at the gate waved at her, hoping to get a tip, but she barely noticed him. She drove out and nosed into the road.
Boma located his car, got in and followed her. He needed to make sure she was safe. He didn’t think it was wise to drive in her fragile state of mind.
Promise drove into her father’s compound and marched into the house without closing the gate. She ran into her bedroom and locked the door. She broke down and cried for several minutes. She had almost wept in Boma’s presence, but her strong will prevailed.
Why did it still hurt so much? When would the pain finally stop? She doubted if she would be ready to go into another relationship in the next twelve months.
‘God where are you? You said in your word that you are close to the broken hearted. Heal me and mend my heart. I am hurting so bad,’ she groaned and wept.
Twenty minutes later, she heard a knock on her door. She had no desire to leave the cold tiled floor. She was comfortable where she lay, but the knocks turned to heavy bangs.
Maybe it was her mum. She had warned her several times not to leave the gate open whenever she drove in. Or it was probably her dad. His package was where she dumped it. It was on her bed. He must have noticed that she had returned. She wished she could be left alone for a while.
“Promise, are you in there?” Her father’s voice echoed through the walls, “You have a visitor.”
‘A visitor?’ She mused and sat up.
Who could that be? She straightened her rough cotton blouse and pulled herself up. She checked her face in the mirror and gasped. Her eyes were bloodshot and her make-up had turned her into a witch. Dark masscara paste ran all over her face, mixed with creamy patches of her pancake. She ran into the bathroom and washed it all off. She dried her dark chocolate face with a towel and stared at her reflection in the mirror once again.
She looked better and presentable. She left the bathroom and went to unlock her door, but she saw no one. Her father must have left. She heard voices coming from the sitting room. Who was her parents chatting with?
Boma stopped talking the second Promise walked in.
“How in the world did you find me? Did you follow me home? Have you lost your mind or something?” She could barely believe her eyes.
“Promise… ” He stood up.
Osagie and Blessing exchanged glances. The young man had introduced himself as their daughter’s colleague at work. While they waited for her, he conversed with them. They found him to be a very pleasant person. Why was she angry with him?
“What part of ‘I don’t need your friendship’ did you not understand?” She was upset that he dared to follow her home.
“I had to follow you. I wanted to make sure that you were all right.”
“Can you believe this guy?” She looked at her parents and glared at him.
“I can see that you are safe and sound. I will take my leave. See you at work on Monday,” he turned to her parents, “It was an honour meeting you, I hope to visit soon…” He cast a quick look at her, “If I am invited,” he located the front door and walked out.
She slumped on the nearest chair and sighed.
Osagie and his wife kept looking at their daughter. They were glad that one of her colleagues cared enough to look out for her, although she didn’t appreciate it.
“Can you believe that the friend he is staying with is Gbenga’s tenant?” She faced her parents.
“Seriously?” Blessing leaned forward.
“Did you run into Gbenga at the plaza?” Her dad asked.
He realized that her encounter with her ex-fiance had gotten her into the foul mood she was displaying.
“Please bring my package to my room when you are done gossiping with your mother,” he rose and strode out of the sitting room.
Blessing vacated her seat and joined Promise on the settee.
“Tell me exactly what happened,” her eagerness was contagious.
Promise felt encouraged by her mother’s undivided attention. She poured out her heart and narrated what transpired at the plaza.
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Boma sat outside the boys’ quarters pondering over the events that took place earlier that day. He returned home after leaving Promise’s place instead of joining Charles, Gbenga and Oyetunde at the restaurant they had planned to have lunch.
Despite her resistance, he wasn’t going to give up on her. She was still hurting. He could tell. Break-ups could be very painful. He had experienced it when his ex-girlfriend left him because he lost his job. It had taken him a while before he started trusting people again. He was ready to wait till Promise got over her heart break and hopefully accept his hand of friendship.
He noticed a movement and raised his head. He dropped his jaw in shock when he saw Kemisola walking towards him, dressed to slaughter. What was she doing in his place? How did she find him? Who gave her his address?
“Glad to see me?” She winked at him.
He closed his mouth and continued staring at her, hardly able to find words to express his astonishment and dissatisfaction.
Kemisola smiled widely. She liked the way he was staring at her. She was glad she wore the red sleeve-less blouse which fitted her like a second skin. The matching red shorts which exposed her dark plump thighs clinged to her heavy backside like a shield.
“What are you doing out here sitting by yourself? Let’s go inside,” she pulled him up to his feet.
“How… How… How did you locate this place? I don’t remember giving you my address or inviting you over.”
“Someone in the Human Resources Department is a close friend of mine. I got your addresses from your C.V,” she battered her eyelashes.
“What?!” He couldn’t believe his ears. If his addresses could be easily passed around, what else?
“Chill. I wanted to surprise you with a visit. I have been to Ilupeju, your neighbour told me that it was likely you weren’t coming home this weekend. So, here I am.”
He scratched his scalp with his fingers. Why was she looking for him all over the place? What was her purpose of visit? He searched his mind. Their relationship at the office was cordial and plain. Nothing more. Why did she decide to visit him?
“I am sorry that you came all the way. I would appreciate if you wait for an invite before a future visit.”
She chuckled and hit him on the shoulder playfully.
“Let’s go inside and relax. I am prepared to spend the weekend here. Hope your friend won’t mind,” she winked at him again. She had made up her mind to discover what lay beneath his firm exterior. He was a good looking guy with an admirable physique. She had been lusting after him for over a month and she wanted to satisfy her desires that day.
His brows came together in a frown. Why would she decide to spend the weekend with him just like that? They were not dating and he had never mentioned to her that he was interested in her. Even if he was, he wouldn’t agree to a sleeping-over routine. What sort of a woman was she?
“Kemisola, I don’t get you. Why would you want to spend the weekend here? We are just colleagues and nothing more.”
She closed the gap between them and encircled her hands around his neck.
“Well my handsome prince charming, that is going to change today,” she devoured his lips.
Boma pulled away and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. She wasn’t the first woman who had thrown herself at him. He had encountered dozens of her type during his university days and at his former place of work. His faith in Christ had always helped him to avoid compromising situations and flee whenever necessary.
“I like you a lot Boma. I want you, all of you. I want you to be mine,” she drew closer.
He backed away and raised a hand.
“I… I understand the fact that you… that you probably find me attractive.”
“I do,” she threw her weight at him.
He pulled away again, “Please stop. I have not finished.”
She chuckled and blew him a kiss, “I am all ears,” she was confident and sure that when he was done talking, he would tear her apart and eat her all up. She could hardly wait. No man had ever said no to her.
“Look, I am a born again Christian and I believe in certain things that has helped me till this very day.”
She rolled her eyes. She had, had her way with several men who called themselves born-again Christians. Boma was not different.
“I don’t engage in pre-marital S£x,” he sensed her doubts.
She hissed, “That is what you all say,” she eyed him. What was he feeling like? Jesus Christ?
Boma took a deep breath and exhaled. He was finding it hard to resist the urge to bundle her up and throw her out of the compound. He needed strength to react in love and not out of spite.
“Regardless of what you may believe, I don’t go about sleeping with everything in skirts. I apologize for messing up your weekend, but, you visited the wrong guy.”
She laughed out loud and eyed him. Was he serious? Was he really turning her down? It was unbelievable.
“What is wrong with you? Don’t be such a wet blanket. Do you know how many men out there who would kill to spend just an hour with me?”
“I am not one of them.”
She tried to hug him, but he slapped her hands away.
“Ouch! What was that for?” She glared at him.
“Kemisola, I am not interested in you. It is obvious that we believe in different things. I cannot date someone who cannot walk the same path I tread on. I hope you understand.”
She shook her head and eyed him. She had wasted her time and money. She had not anticipated his resistance. She thought he was going to fall at her feet like a pack of cards. She had assumed a lot of things. Maybe all Christians weren’t the same after all.
She raised her shoulders, turned around and cat-walked out of the compound.
Boma hurried into the apartment and locked the door. He used the back of his hand to wipe the beads of sweat that had gathered on his forehead.
‘Thank you Jesus for strengthening me’, he whispered to himself.
Kemisola stared at her monitor long and hard. Her thoughts were a thousand miles away. At that moment, her to-do for the day was the least on her mind.
“A penny for your thoughts.”
She blinked and turned to meet Adaeze’s worried gaze.
“Are you okay?”
She hissed, “Quit asking me that silly question,” she felt like throwing a pen at her but she resisted the urge.
She eyed her, “I will stop when you start behaving like the Kemisola I know.”
She opened and closed a drawer. She picked up her phone then threw it back on the table.
“What is eating you up?” She had noticed her friend’s moody attitude since they resumed work that day.
Kemisola pointed at Boma. Adaeze looked at him, then back at her.
“What? Is your crush on him sky rocketing or what?” She eyed her. She had feelings for Boma too.
“Can you imagine the fool?”
Her bitter tone wasn’t lost to her. She wondered what happened.
“I visited him, offered myself to him on a platter of gold and he refused me.”
“What?!” She placed a hand over her opened mouth. She couldn’t believe that she dared to visit him. She had talked about it once or twice, but, she thought Kemisola was just running her mouth.
She hissed again and picked up her big red hand bag.
“When did this happen?”
“On Saturday,” she searched for nothing in the bag.
“My God!” She looked at Boma again. She was happy that he said no to Kemisola. Maybe she stood a better chance. She wouldn’t make the same mistake her friend made.
“I can’t remember the last time any man resisted me.”
“Let him go. He isn’t worth it,” she tried to console her.
She folded her hands across her bosom. Adaeze was right. Boma wasn’t worth her time and energy. She had bigger fishes to fry. Nevertheless, his rejection stung her.
“The head of department of the Human Resources office is planning to take me along with him on his next trip to Dubai,” she tried to sound cheerful.
Her eyes widened, “Way to go girl!” At times, she felt jealous because Kemisola seemed to attract more influential men than her.
“If he is traveling with a friend, I might be able to convince him to take you along,” she winked at her.
“Yipee!” Adaeze started shaking her head to a song on her mind. She had always dreamt of travelling to Dubai.
“We have some shopping to do this week. He told me he might be traveling this weekend or next weekend.”
“So soon!” She clasped her hands together in excitement.
“Yes. So get ready. Boma can bury himself along with his faith. I don’t give a hoot.”
Adaeze bursted out laughing.
Promise groaned. Kemisola and Adaeze were gossiping again. Although she couldn’t decipher what they were talking about, the sound of their voices and loud laughter was distracting her. She wondered how Oyetunde and Boma were coping.
She glanced at Oyetunde. His head was buried in a large volume of files. She turned to look at Boma and caught him staring at her again. What was his problem? He had apologised that morning for following her home that weekend. She had forgiven him, but he wouldn’t stop staring at her. Doesn’t he have work to do?
She returned her attention to her system, soon she was consumed with her work.
Boma closed his eyes. Maybe it was time he exchanged desks with Oyetunde. Sitting opposite Promise was a big distraction. He needed to get a grip on himself. He couldn’t remember liking someone the way he felt for her. Regardless of how he felt, courting her friendship was his first priority. When he was sure she had gotten over her ex-fiance, he would sum up the courage and ask her out.
He turned and saw Oyetunde staring at Promise. Was he interested in her too? He leaned back on the chair and closed his eyes again. He believed everything was going to work out for his good.
To Be Continued…