The meeting ended quite late. Before Idara could drive down to the office to return Femi’s car, it was already 8:14 p.m.
He waited at the office, writing reports and going through his phones.
“I am really sorry Mr, Femi, the meeting took too long,” Idara said.
“Yes, I know of that,” he said and put off his laptop. Idara rushed to his table and packed all the files, piling them up by the side of the table. She had expected her boss to say something about the girl she had picked in the afternoon, but he’d rather added;
“I will be leaving for Eko Atlantis at 9 a.m tomorrow. I will be speaking at a conference,” he said, walking out of the office and slamming the door.
Idara went back home that night, thinking about what food to eat. She hadn’t cooked in her new house since she moved in. Her pots were still in the carton they came in. As she walked into her sitting room and settled on the couch, she remembered she hadn’t had the time to send money to her mother, and November was ending soon. She couldn’t wait for December to come so that she could go home and be with her family in Uyo.
The next day at work, after the conference at Eko, Femi ordered Idara to go pick someone again at Tiana’s place.
“Bring her here to Eko,” he said.
“Okay sir,” she said calmly. He threw his Range Rover key at her and she grabbed it with two hands.
She wondered why Femi loved this rude girl that he was sending her again to Tiana’s place and she didn’t find it nice at all.
When she got to Tiana’s place, it was another girl entirely that she saw, standing by the entrance door. A dark, slim lady. They are always slender. She walked hastily to the car and asked shrilly, “Hello, are you from Femi Omari?”
“Okay, I am Chantal,” she said with a gorgeous smile and walked into the car. She was different from the other lady, quite playful and cheerful.
“This is my first time of seeing a female driver,” she laughed.
“Oh,” idara responded with a smile.
“So tell me, is Femi a nice man?” Chantal asked, grinning at Idara who had driven into the main road.
“Yes of course, he is. Is this your first time of meeting him? I thought you both have known yourselves for a while now, that’s why he sent me to come pick you?”
Chantal shrugged. “No. Tiana is making me see him for the first time today. We don’t get numbers. So I haven’t even spoken with him just yet. I only see him on TV and newspapers….”
“I am so happy I am meeting him, at least, he will give me something tangible to pay my school fees in January.”
“Okay,” Idara said nodding. It was now clear to her that her boss wasn’t in any serious relationship with these girls.
Before the week ended she’d taken over six different girls from Tiana’s place to different hotels in Lagos.
1st December came with joy in Idara’s heart. It was also her boss, Femi’s birthday. The last time he was surprised with a cake, he warned everyone never to put up such a surprise party at the company premises.
“Happy birthday Mr. Femi,” Idara said smiling at him.
“I have been thinking of what gift to buy for you, because I know you have everything….”
“I don’t have everything,” he smiled.
“You do,” she retorted softly and handed a small box of Versace cufflinks to him. He looked at the box with a look of amazement on his face.
“This is the first time I am receiving a gift from a lady,” he said with a smile as he opened the box and gasped. “It’s a Versace!” he exclaimed excitedly as he looked up at her with a smile and nodded at her. “Thank you Idara, this means a lot to me. You got me my favorite designers and it’s so beautiful.”
“I’m glad you like it sir,” she said.
“Yeah I do.”
The door suddenly burst open; “Happy birthday Mr. Femi Omari, live long and prosper sir,” Mr. Fayose said in foreign accent.
“Thank you Fayose. Please gather everyone for a meeting, December is here and I need to know how many people are heading to the shore at Angola,” he said hurriedly and got to his feet.
After so much work and meetings, Femi slammed the door of his office and settled calmly on his seat, listening to the birthday wishes and prayers his mother was saying to him for over thirty minutes over the phone.
“ Olúwa a bukun fún ẹ. wá a pe la’ye. Wàá bí ìsun, wàá bí ìwàlẹ̀. You will not die untimely, God forbid. Aadara fún ẹ….”
“You are blessed in all ramifications…”
His office door was opened and it was Idara who had walked in. He muted his mother’s call and said; “Get the Prada Jeep ready, I am going to Quilox.”
Idara nodded and walked away.
“Aya rere lọ ma fẹ́….” his mother went on when he unmuted the call.
“Amin mom,” he said, turning off his laptop and heading out of the office. He got into the car and settled calmly, his phone still placed on his ears. “Mom hold on, I will call you back please.” He carefully hung up the call. “Where is Mr. Stanislaus?” he asked.
“Who, Mr. Femi?” Idara asked.
“The driver from the Electronics department, he is to be driving me around at nights like this, did Fayose not tell him?”
“I don’t know sir,” she said calmly.
He sighed. “Take me to Quilox.”
“Where is that sir?”
“Start going, I will direct you,” he said quietly and Idara drove carefully out of the company premises. His phone rang again and he put it off. His other phone rang and when he saw that it was Tiana, he picked the call. “Tiana,” he said, rubbing his hands on his eyes.
“Hi Femi, happy birthday to you.”
“Femi na wa for you o. Today is your birthday and you didn’t celebrate even with a small party. Why are you like this, kilode?”
“I am busy. Work.”
“Work ke. You really have to enjoy your money o, you’re a young man Femi. Before I forget, Chantal was really happy, thanks a lot. She said you gave her five hundred thousand for her school fees and you had sex with her just once, Femi why now? The babe likes you.”
“Tiana, seriously?” he asked, sounding furious. “You know how much I detest having this type of conversations, this one freaks me out,” he said and hung up the call. “Take your left,” he said to Idara.
“Okay sir,” she muttered.”