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 lasted longer than expected,” Idara said.
“Yes, I know about that,” Femi responded as he switched off his laptop. Idara rushed to his table. She picked up all the files; piling them up by the side of the table. She half expected her boss to say something about the girl she had picked in the afternoon but rather, he added,
“I will be leaving for Eko Atlantic at 9 a.m tomorrow. I will be speaking at a conference,” he said, walking out of the office and slamming the door.
Idara didn’t understand why her boss seemed to be in a foul mood. She, however, decided that it was not in her place to ask. Mr. Femi Omari was almost always in a foul mood anyway.
Idara went back home that night, thinking about what to eat. She hadn’t cooked in her new house since she moved in. Her pots were still packed 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 even send money to her mother and the month would be ending soon. Idara sighed. She couldn’t wait for December so that she could go home and be with her family in Uyo.
The next day after the conference at Eko, Femi ordered Idara to go pick someone again at Tanna’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.
Idara wondered what Femi saw in this rude girl that he was sending her to pick the girl up again. Idara wasn’t pleased at all.
However, when she got to Tanna’s place, it was another girl she saw standing by the entrance door. The lady was dark-skinned, slim and attractive.
“They are always slender”, Idara thought to herself. As soon as she parked the car, the lady walked hastily to the car and asked shrilly, “Hello, are you from Femi Omari?”
“Yes,” Idara replied.
“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 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 meeting with him? I thought that both of you have some history and that’s why he sent me to come to pick you.”
Chantal shrugged. “No. Tanna is making me see him for the first time today. We don’t get numbers. So I haven’t even spoken to him just yet. I only see him on TV and in the 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 Tanna’s place to different hotels in Lagos.
1st December came with a lot of joy for Idara. It was also Femi Omari’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 the gift to get 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. He looked up at her with a smile and nodded.
“Thank you, Idar. This means a lot to me. You got me my favorite brand and it’s so beautiful.”
“I’m glad you like it, sir,” she said.
There was an awkward silence in the room. Suddenly, the door burst open.
“Happy birthday Mr. Femi Omari. Live long and prosper sir,” Mr. Fayose said in a 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 finally slammed the door of his office and settled calmly on his seat. He listened to the birthday wishes and prayers from his mother for over 30 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 Idara 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 as he headed out of the office. He got into the car and settled calmly with 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 ought to drive me around during 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 Tanna, he picked the call.
“Tanna,” he said, rubbing his hands on his eyes.
“Hi, Femi, happy birthday.”
“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. Eh he, Before I forget, Chantal was really happy. Thanks a lot. She said you gave her 500,000 Naira for her school fees and you had sex with her just once. Femi why now? The babe likes you.”
“Tanna, seriously?” he asked, sounding furious. “You know how much I detest having these types 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.”