Dark clouds began to gather; the air thickened with moisture and dust. Lightning flashed and thunder struck, followed by icy droplets of rain.
Promise stood at the entrance of the supermarket and shivered. She clutched at her shopping bags, wishing she had come in her car.
‘How was I supposed to know that it would rain today?’ She lamented.
Her father’s house was a street away but she couldn’t walk home in the rain. She would definitely catch a cold.
A tall figure breezed past her but she paid no attention to the person. Her mind was wrapped up her predicament. May be she would stop a taxi. Although she might be charged unfairly, trust Lagos taxi drivers, she had no other choice.
“Promise, Promise Daodu.”
The sound of her name drew her out of her thoughts. She shifted her gaze and noticed the fair in complexion man standing beside her. Recognition hit her. Her pause quickened and her mouth went dry.
“Hi, are you about to leave?”
She nodded and held his gaze. The following week after his birthday party, she saw him once or twice at the office, but they couldn’t talk at length due to their busy schedule. She had not expected to see him again until Monday, although they both lived within the same vicinity. The sight of him made her feel pleased.
“Can I see you off to your car?”
She blinked and turned her gaze towards the car park.
“My car… ” She glanced up at him, “Regrettably, I didn’t come with it.”
She looked away again.
“Can I drop you at home or wherever you are going?”
She shook her head, “Thanks, I live a street away. I would have walked back home, but, the rain seems to be getting heavier. I will get a cab.”
“I insist, I will take you home,” he collected her shopping bags and led her towards the car park. He had been longing to be in her company since the day she came to his birthday party. He had sought for such an opportunity at the office, but, it had been a busy week. He was glad he ran into her at the supermarket.
“Thanks, I inherited the Prado Jeep from my dad.”
“Oh… You are lucky.”
They got into the car and he drove out of the complex. The journey was short, but, he decided to make the best of it.
“Please send my regards to your parents.”
“Okay. Thanks for the ride,” she got out of the car with her shopping bags.
“You are welcome. Would you like to go out with me for lunch or dinner tomorrow?”
Her surprised expression wasn’t lost to him. He liked her and he was sure she felt the same way. He wanted to get to know her and find out if he could spend the rest of his life with her.
“Em… Lunch will be fine.”
He beamed at her response.
“Great! I will pick you up at two.”
“Okay. Have a lovely day.”
She watched me drive off. His excitement felt like a soothing balm on her racing heart. It was obvious that Gbenga Lewis really liked her. She liked him too, regardless of how she had tried to stop her emotions from building, her heart wouldn’t give up.
She made her way into the house and retreated to her bedroom. She dumped the shopping bags on the tiled floor and collasped on the bed, lost in thoughts.
It had been almost ten months since she broke up with Keshinro. Was she fully ready for another relationship?
‘God I really, really, really like Gbenga. I need you to take absolutely full control.’
Gbenga fixed his gaze on the screen of the laptop while his fingers breezed through the keyboard.
“I didn’t know you can type so fast.”
He lifted his hazel eyes and smiled when he saw Promise standing at the doorway.
“I might dump all my paper-work on your desk first thing tomorrow morning.”
He began to laugh.
She approached his glass desk and took a seat opposite him.
“You look good,” his gaze sized her up. She was putting on a cream skirt suit. The colour made her dark brown skin to glow. He also noticed that she had changed her hairstyle.
She blushed, “Thanks.”
“I had a beautiful time yesterday,” he reached out for her hand.
“Same here,” they had lunch at a restaurant and drove to Kuramo beach. She had fun gisting and strolling with him.
“What about after working hours?”
“Today?” Her pulse quickened.
She tried to redrew her hand but he held unto it.
“I like you a lot Promise. I want to get to know you better.”
Her heart began to beat faster.
“I don’t play games. I am here for the real deal. I am hoping this relationship will lead us to the altar.”
She took a deep breath and exhaled. His words bathed her with hope and longing. She had never dated anyone whose major desire was to get married to her. Her past relationships were short flings which never led anywhere. Was Gbenga for real?
He squeezed her hand.
“Promise, If you agree to date me, I promise you that I will always be truthful, honest, faithful and God will be at the very centre of this relationship.”
She looked deep into his eyes and smiled, “I like you too and will like to date you.”
He dropped her hand and got to his feet. He walked up to her and pulled her up.
“I am happy. I am glad. I am excited. You are an answer to many nights of prayers and petitions.”
All she could do was smile.
“When is your birthday?”
“Next month, on the tenth.”
“March, great! How old would you be?”
“How old do you think I am?” She eyed him.
“You are a small girl,” his hands drew her closer.
“Yes, you are my baby.”
She laughed softly and her voice wavered when she felt his heartbeat against her cheek.
“I will be twenty-seven on the tenth of March.”
“Hmmm… So you are a big girl.”
“What is going on here?”
They both turned and saw Mrs. Daodu standing at the doorway with hands on her hips.
He let her go and she approached her mother.
She eyed her daughter.
“Nothing is going on, everything is just as the way they should be.”
“Really?” She threw a glance at the Accountant. He swallowed hard and adjusted his tie.
“Why don’t we go to my office?” She led her mother out and winked at Gbenga.
He returned to his seat and drummed his fingers on the glass desk. What was he thinking? Was it wise to court his boss’ daughter? Would they sack him?
“No,” he shook his head. The Daodus were not like that. But, in matters of the heart, it was hard to define where others stood. He hoped he had not crossed his boundaries. He liked Promise. If her parents frowned at their relationship, he would plead his case.
Blessing refused to go to her daughter’s office, rather, she dragged her to her husband’s office.
“I told you that something was going on between Promise and the Accountant, but, you wouldn’t listen to me. I caught them locked in each others arms in his office.”
“Stop mummy me. This is an office environment.”
She rolled her eyes, dreading the lecture that would surely follow.
Osagie watched his wife and daughter with keen interest.
“Your mother is right.”
“Dad, I apologize.”
“Are you dating Gbenga?”
“What did I tell you?”
Promise rolled her eyes again. Her mother was something else.
“Okay. You and Gbenga are both adults, but this is an office environment. Please do not bring your relationship within the four walls of this company. We have had too many disastrous office relationships in the past. Both of you are heads of different departments and you must show good example.”
“Roger that dad. We will be more careful.”
“I hope so.”
She decided not to reply her mother, “I have to go,” she faced her dad.
“All right Princess.”
She found her way out of the office.
“I can’t believe they are now dating, I could have sworn they were at each others throat some weeks back.”
“Leave them alone Blessing. They know exactly what they are doing.”
She noticed the note of finality in his voice.
“Some months ago, you were complaining that Promise was behaving like a loner. You said she locks herself indoors and rarely go out. Now that she is dating someone, you are complaining again.”
“It is not like that.”
“Save it till we get home Blessing.”
She eyed him and got up, “Yes your majesty,” she bowed comically and headed out.
He shook his head and sighed. His wife was a wonderful character. He was glad that she was the one he had chosen to spend the rest of his life with.