Dorcas made her way into the sitting room. She found Boma and Edidiong watching a movie on a Dstv channel. She took a seat on the seatee and stared at her children. They were growing faster than she could blink. Her son who had just turned twenty-two was preparing for his NYSC programme. He had graduated with a second class upper in Chemical Engineering and her twenty year old daughter was in year three, studying Micro-biology. She and her husband had wanted them to school abroad, but they changed their minds and enrolled them in the University of Lagos and there had been no regrets so far.
“Where do you think they are going to post you?”
Boma shrugged, his attention was fixed on the television screen.
“Maybe they will post him to the north,” Edidiong started to laugh. He hit her on the head and she cried out.
“Boma!” She gave her son a stern stare.
“Sorry mum, Edidiong has a big mouth. ”
His sister eyed him and gave him a wide breth.
“I hope they post you to one of those villages where there are no electricity, pipe borne water and other social amenities.”
“That’s enough Didi.”
She stucked out her tongue at her brother, and smiled at her mother. She likes it whenever her mum called her ‘Didi’.
Imabong came in and joined his wife on the seatee.
“You have been on the system all day,” she eyed him.
“Yes baby,” he winked at her, ” I had to chat with Douglas, remember Douglas?”
“Yes, yes, your money-hungry business associate,” she said, rolling her eyes.
He chuckled, “The CEO of Allied Insurance daughter is getting married soon.”
Dorcas looked at her husband, “Tell me you got the contract.”
He beamed, “I got the contract baby.” His wife leapt into his arms and kissed him.
“You are bestest husband in the world.”
Boma and his sister glanced at their parents, wondering why they were acting lovey-dovey.
“It gets better baby.”
“I am all ears,” her excited voice filled the room.
“He wants you to plan the wedding.”
Dorcas shrieked, jumped off the seatee and started dancing. Edidiong and her brother exchanged glances. What’s with their parents this evening?
“Douglas has set up a meeting and it’s tomorrow.”
“Great! This people are loaded.”
“I know baby. Aside the fat check and all that, this job will open doors for us. This could lead to the beginning of getting government contracts and all that comes with it.”
She sat back on the seatee, “You are right. I am so happy. What time is the meeting?”
“Seven in the morning.”
He shrugged. His wife got up again.
“I have to get ready. What am I going to wear. Oh my God!” She walked out of the sitting room in a hurry. Imabong chuckled and met his children’s puzzled gazes.
“Your mum is okay. She is perfectly fine.”
Sheila sat on a cane chair in the balcony chatting with one of her course mates on her BlackBerry phone. School would soon resume and she had not paid her hostle fees for the new session. She was still contemplating if she wanted to go back to Amina hall or move to one of the hostles outside the school’s premises. She had to look for a considerate one in terms of fee. Her parents were not ready to lavish money on hostles. She remembered when she got an admission into Unilag, they had almost convinced her to go to school from home. Thank God the school gave out accommodation to first year students. Staying in Amina hall had been eventful. She had met different kind of girls from diverse backgrounds.
“What are you doing?”
She looked up and saw her mother staring at her. She didn’t notice when she came in. She must have been engrossed in her own thoughts. She looked away.
Eureka sat beside her daughter. Sheila shifted away a bit. What does she want now? She and her mother had not been on speaking terms since the incident at Martha’s party.
“When are you going back to school?”
A frown creased her brows, why was she asking? “May be next week, may be next two weeks.”
“I was disappointed when you and Martha’s fiance turned her birthday party into a kissing challenge.”
Sheila burst out laughing. Her mother can be comical with words at times.
“It is not funny.”
“I know mum. But you sound funny.”
Eureka smiled, but it thinned away, leaving a stern expression, “I don’t know what you were thinking. But, what you did was wrong. Regardless of your grievance towards your aunt, using Daniel as a weapon of pain was wicked.”
She folded her arms across her chest. Her methods might have been harsh, but it drove home her point. Her aunt will think twice before crossing her path next time.
“Your father and I did not train you this way. You need to ponder on the way you relate with people, both family and strangers. Think deep… What you sow, you reap.”
Sheila groaned. Here we go again. Her mother and scriptures. At least her aunt has reaped what she sowed.
“I am serious,” she got up and walked out.
She was glad that her mother had made an effort to bridge the gap between them. Whenever she and her mother quarrelled, it always feel as if she was fighting and hurting herself.
Her boss shriek echoed through the walls of their office. Lord, Lord, this woman can be a pain in the butt sometimes.
“Where is the file for Peter’s sake?!”
Teju shuffled through dozens of files in the cabinet and pulled out one. She raced into her boss’ office and placed it on her table.
“Set up a meeting for two, I want to see the representatives of Cashpoint firm today.”
Martha returned her attention to her ipad and her personal assistant showed herself out of the office.
She turned and came face to face with her boss’ fiance.
“Oh! Morning Mr. Daniel.”
“Looks like your morning has been busy.”
She smiled and returned to her desk. ‘Busy’ was an understatement. Her morning have been catastrophic.
“I will let her know you are here,” she picked up the intercom phone and called her boss. “Mr. Daniel is here to see you,” she faced him, “You can go in.”
“Thank you Teju,” he knocked and went in.
“What can I do for you Daniel? Please make it quick, I am very busy,” she placed her ipad on the table.
“You have definitely lost your manners, a ‘good morning’ would have been nice,” he sat on one of the chairs at the table. She eyed him and remained mum.
“It’s been three months Martha. We are suppossed to be planning our wedding not fighting.”
She leaned back on her chair and held his pleading gaze. “What wedding?”
“Martha… We love each other, do not let Sheila come in between us. The naughty girl has even forgotten the prank she played on us. Why are we still circling this issue?”
Why has Daniel come to her work place? She has so much to do today. She can’t deal with this right now.
“Can we talk about this some other time?”
“When? You have been avoiding me.”
“Daniel, I am busy at the moment. I can’t do this right now.”
“Do you realize that your resentment towards your neice is pulling us apart?”
“My resentment?” Her voice rose. “You were the one that kissed her.”
He leaned forward, “She kissed me, she distracted me long enough to plant her panties in my pocket, knowing fully well that it will hurt you. This is all a game to Sheila… But, this is our lives at stake.”
Martha tore her eyes away. He was right. What Sheila did had hurt her, more than she would admit to anyone or herself. She knows that Daniel loves her and he would never do anything to hurt her. Why was she punishing him for Sheila’s actions? She was transferring aggression and this is ruining her relationship. Why has she allowed her neice to get under her skin? What is she doing? She has been praying to God for a life partner, here he is, and she wants to drive him away. What is she doing?
“Whatever your issues are when it comes to Sheila, we will deal with it together. But, I am not ready to throw away what we have both worked for.”
She met his undaunted gaze.
“I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“I love you too Daniel.” Tears gathered in her eyes. He crossed the table and pulled her up.
“You cannot run away from me girl, you are stuck with me for life.”
She smiled and leaned into his warm embrace. She must have been crazy for calling off the wedding. She will never allow Sheila to get under her skin again.