Mmayen signed out on the time book early, complaining to the receptionist that she had a headache.
She’d switched off her phone and taken a bus home. She couldn’t help but weep softly to sleep that night.
“Aunty Mma!” the security man called her name through her bedroom window. “One Oga dey find you o.”
She heard him, but she didn’t respond. She knew that it was Kenechukwu who had come to see her, but she ignored and pretended to be fast asleep.
After a while, she peeped through her window and when she saw that he was gone, she sighed.
Kenechukwu broke her heart, she thought. It was the last time she was going to give any man the chance to hurt her like that.
The next day, she’d gone to a gift shop and gotten him a perfume with an inscription that she wrote from her heart.
‘Happy birthday to you my love, it hurts to know that you’re no more mine. It hurts to lose you. You’ll forever be in my heart. With love from Mmayen.’
She got to the office quite early to help in setting the office for the birthday celebration. And as soon as Sarafina arrived with the cake designer and the decorator, everyone stood to watch as she gave instructions. An hour later, everything was set. Kenechukwu’s office sparkled with colors, and over fifty bottles of expensive wines and cocktails on the table.
“Everyone come closer, he will be here in a jiffy, let’s hide inside his office, it will look like nobody came to work today, okay?”
“Ma,” Stella lifted a hand, “Our boss will suspect. Let’s not give him a clue. Let’s welcome him and walk him to his office. We should just tell him that we want to all give reports, and then we all follow him to his office. And tadaa! He will be wowed at the sight of this beautiful surprise birthday.”
“Okay, I think that’s a great idea, does anyone have anything else to add? Or are we okay with the idea?” Everyone nodded and murmured in approval.
“Okay then!” she clapped, “Let’s all go back to work, immediately your boss comes in here, we all have to behave well till he gets to see his surprise,” Sarafina said and walked away.
Mmayen only stared at what everyone was doing. She didn’t say a word. She walked hastily into the staff toilet, sat at a corner and cried bitterly. Memories of how Kenechukwu made love to her and gave her all the endearments broke her.
“He is here, he is here!” one of the cleaners screamed excitedly.
Mmayen wiped the tears from her eyes hastily and walked quickly out of the bathroom.
She overheard the others singing a happy birthday song in Kenechukwu’s office.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to you…”
Mmayen stood by the door, wishing she was bold enough to look into Kenechukwu’s eyes and tell him ‘fuck you!’ But she couldn’t. It was obvious that something was wrong from her countenance.
“Baby,” Sarafina called Kenechukwu girlishly, there was confusion and shock written on Kenechukwu’s face. He didn’t know what to say. And even if he had something to say, it wouldn’t have been to Sarafina whom he had not seen for almost a year, and who suddenly appeared as his girlfriend and planned a surprise birthday for him in the midst of the woman he was in love with. He wondered how he was going to explain to Mmayen that he doesn’t have an idea about Sarafina’s reappearance.
“Baby, I am here to wish you a happy birthday, and to tell you that I love you,” Sarafina said and kissed him on the cheek.
Mmayen’s face burned.
“Thank you everyone for the surprise, I am grateful. The cake is beautiful. Thank you, thank you,” he turned to Sarafina and whispered, “What are you doing here? What’s this all about?”
Sarafina smiled at him, “I’ve got good news babe,” she whispered back into his ears.
Kenechukwu looked into the cheering crowd of his workers and when his eyes met with Mmayen’s, he saw a flash of pain in her eyes. It lasted only a second before it disappeared. He wondered briefly, if Sarafina’s act was what affected his relationship. He was almost sure it had.
Mmayen walked out of the cheerful crowd when she couldn’t hold herself anymore.
“Excuse me everyone, drink and merry, I’ll be right back,” he said and left the office for Mmayen’s.
“Hey,” he said, as he stood behind Mmayen who was reading the inscription she’d written for him. She turned and looked at him, her eyes were sad, and he saw it. “I checked on you yesterday, the gateman said you were not home, but I knew you were home.”
“I didn’t want to see you.”
“Why?” he asked sadly.
“Because you’re a liar and a cheat! You’re a cheat!” she cried out.
He walked closed to her, “I have never lied to you darling. This isn’t a better place to talk. We can talk this over tonight,” he said calmly, trying to hold her hands.
“Don’t touch me! Don’t dare touch me!”
She pushed him off.
“You want us to talk this over tonight so that you can charm me.”
“You want to see me tonight so that you can tear my clothes, make love to me as much as you want and moan that you love me deceitfully, knowing that I am weak for you. I will never give you the rights to do that to me anymore, never!”
“This isn’t just what you think baby, I haven’t seen Sarafina this year until now. We don’t talk on phone,” he tried to sound indifferent.
“This wasn’t what I had in mind when I decided to love you,” Mmayen said tearfully.
Next Chapter: |Chapter 13|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6||Chapter 7||Chapter 8||Chapter 9||Chapter 10||Chapter 11||Chapter 12||Chapter 13||Chapter 14||Chapter 15||Chapter 16||Chapter 17||Chapter 18||Chapter 19||Chapter 20||Chapter 21||Chapter 22|