I thought working in Lake view bar would be thrilling but it wasn’t before. Ekene got me my job back, no one believes he’s being caring or genuine. They think he’s up to something, but to me…he’s being friendly and caring. Salome can’t stand him being around me, the last time she met him talking to me, she almost bounced on him literally.
Mr Pierce has been avoiding me, I guess he still haven’t forgiven me. I don’t know if he’s divorced or not but from he’s actions, he believes I’m the culprit behind the viral pictures. He’s such a good friend and has assisted me a lot, it hurts me that we’re not in talking term thanks to Onyinye’s minions. I heaved my shoulders and sighed. Maybe i should find out who took those pictures or just let it go, i’m sticking to letting it go. It’s in the past, let the past remain in the past.
Crying diva’s segment is now twice a week, that’s the part of my reinstatement i can’t stop drooling about. Though I’ll have to adjust my schedule to fit but still…..it’s great. How will I handle it with my studies? And maami is leaving anytime soon. How do i meet up? Two songs…one week, I’ve to find other inspiration.
I let out a breath in relief as I sat in my changing room, I’ve to do some research and hopefully i can get it done before am needed out there, serving can be tedious especially in a bar. I brought out my laptop and wore my glasses….I seldom use my glasses course it gives me slight pains and a sharp sensation around my temple when i wear them for long. Have told my Ophthalmologist and he advice I do the correction treatment blah blah blah. Bottom line is i need to get my eyes treated but i can’t afford it right now nor do i have the time for it.
I had barely done anything when Salome and Becky came in, they seem to be in a good mood. Salome hardly comes to the bar and be cherry.
“Anything planned for tomorrow’s big event?” Becky asked doing imaginative quotes on big event.
“Not really” I replied.
“Shey you know say na tomorrow” Salome said squeezing her plus six size body in my arm chair with me, i squirm silently.
“I know Salome, I don’t have any motivation to compose” I said adjusting myself besides Salome.
“You dey sleep since? Abi nor be wetin dey happen for everyday life you dey take sing”
“She’s right, didn’t you compose before you were suspended?”
“I was working on a piece but stopped when I got suspended”
“Use am or sing anything…as far say na crying diva sing am e go make sense” Salome said smiling
“Tomorrow’s segment is the first in almost a month and commencement of double segments in a week, it has to be special”
“Sing whatever comes to mind, i’m sure it will be lovely” Becky answered
“I hear one of Onyinye minion dey gossip you, Onyinye never hear say crying diva don come back. Wey she find out….her head go explode, we nor fit stop laugh” Salome said changing the topic.
“Very true, we heard them talking-” a knock interrupted Becky. They glanced at each other.
“Are you expecting anyone?”
“Jumoke…” Came the voice, it’s Ekene.
“Ekene…” I whispered, but apparently it was above a whisper and they both stared at me. If stares could kill then trust me I would be dead, course their stares were cold and motionless.
“Since when Jumoke?”
“He looks for you even while alone in your changing room? He doesn’t have a sound reputation with women and he’s Onyinye’s on and off boyfriend. You do know that right?”
“Tell am, I hate to see that guy. E way nor clear at all and you na go say na friend he be”
“I don’t know why he’s here, I should-” I said standing up but Salome got up before me and opened the door, so I sat quietly and watched the drama begin.
“What do you want Ekene? I told you to stay away from her”
“I just want to check up on her and tell her….”
“She’s fine, leave!” Salome said firmly.
“Salome, let him in” I shouldn’t have said that course Salome and Becky gave me angry glares.
“I just want to speak with her”
“Do it from the door and in our presence or leave! But I rather prefer you leave. Like seriously which part don’t you get?” Salome said standing akimbo. Ekene sighed. Obvious it’s me whose bother about it course Becky somewhere during Salome’s confrontation speech stood besides her cheering her on.
“The dog got your tongue? You want to talk to her go ahead, there’s no secret between us and whatever it is she will eventually tell us so spill” Becky said crossing her arm over her chest. So they’re already for war point gotten, poor guy. I know he won’t ever come close to me with them around, he could come later when their anger subdues. Yap, they’re angry, literally fuming. My very own tweeps….
“There’s an advert commercial and i want you to do it, though it’s a small brand.”
“That’s great” I said squealing in excitement.
“Is that a yes Jumoke?”
“No!” My potential bodyguards chorused. Ekene looks startled. I gasped. Have they gone nuts? This is a big opportunity for me.
“Her answer is no, she’s not interested neither is she doing any commercial” Salome said banging the door.
“Shut it Jumoke, you want to jump into his arms the first shot you get?” Becky cut me off.
“I know say your head dey shake, you won do commercial with which talent? You forget say maami nor like spotlight or anything wey relate?”
“It’s just an advert” I told them defending myself.
“After the advert what comes next?” Becky asked with a straight face. I shrug my shoulders, honestly i don’t know what next but an advert? Not bad. I’m really excited but they’re not, Salome gathered her things and walked out without saying a word. Becky shook her head and sat down. She didn’t say anything despite my efforts to start a conservation. She just sat there doing her thing like I didn’t exist, She and Salome obviously doesn’t approve my new fond friendship with Ekene.
“Ekene, I assume you’ve made your choice” Mr Pierce told Ekene as he entered his office. Ekene wasn’t expecting him and he seem pretty curious and interested. I wonder why?
“Jumoke will do the commercial”
“Oh!” He said sitting opposite him.
“You don’t sound excited or…”
“I wasn’t expecting it” Mr Pierce chipped in.
“You weren’t expecting Jumoke to do the advert? I chose her actually and she willingly gave her consent” He said emphasizing on willingly
“Isn’t that lovely?”
“You seem interested”
“I do the asking, what next?”
“I’ll schedule a convenient time” Ekene said looking at him, he wasn’t quite sure what he’s motive was but he intends to find out.
“Weekend, she has lots of free time on weekends” Mr Pierce said surveying the office.
“Why the sudden interest? You reinstated her without argument or issue, yet you avoid her, you haven’t spoken to her since she resumed. What’s going on?”
“I should be asking you what’s going on? Are you screwing Jumoke by the side? Why the sudden interest in her? Don’t even ask how i know…it’s the talk of the bar” he said focusing on his ipad
“I’m being friendly and reaching out to someone in help”
“Don’t drag my bar’s name to the mud while doing it” Ekene was about to speak when Mr Pierce’s phone rang. He smiled then answered the call.
“Jumoke is doing the commercial, i certainly wasn’t expecting it” he said over the phone.
“Who was it?” Ekene asked when he finally ended the call.
“Surprised Jumoke will do the commercial?” He nodded.
“She has one question though: how did you get Jumoke on your side?”
“This commercial is what she needs Pierce” Ekene said trying to hide his frustration. Even his wife is questioning his motives for getting Jumoke to do a commercial that will profit her more than me, what happen to a friend in need is a friend in deed.
“It’s Mr Pierce to you or better till, boss”
“Salome, you’ve to tell her the situation of things”
“And then what?” Salome asked angrily.
“Let Jumoke know what’s going on, it’s not right hiding it from her” Femi answered.
“She has enough problems already”
“She will eventually find out and she won’t forgive you, she won’t get over it course it’ll be a shock to her”
“I can’t tell her besides telling her won’t change anything, why bother at all?”
“You know if it were reversed, if it were Jumoke, she would have told you, she doesn’t keep anything from you”
“Where’s Bliss?” Maami asked approaching.
“She left” Femi answered.
“What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing really” Salome answered looking at Femi.
Jumoke got to the restaurant and found it unusually quiet. She hoped Salome was here so she could talk to her, she got close and met Femi outside.
“We’ve been waiting for you” He said standing up, he ushered her in. Maami and Salome were already seated.
“Jumoke, you’re coming home with me”
“Maami… I can’t right now”
“She want to do a commercial and didn’t bother to tell any of us” maami gasped, Femi’s eyes almost fall out of it’s socket and his mouth hanging wide open.
“Commercial? Who gave you the contract?”
“Ekene” I said in a low tone.
“Who is Ekene?” Maami asked
“Ekene i told you about” Salome answered before i could respond.
“Jumoke? You can’t do the commercial, i won’t allow any of my daughters be in show biz. Start packing”
“Maami, I left for a reason which-”
“Have you achieved it?” Femi chipped in.
“What’s your motive for staying this time?” Salome asked
“Are we talking now?” I asked.
“Do you have a reason for staying?” Maami asked with sadness echoing in every word.
“Yes” I said firmly.
“Then I guess we’ve to respect your decision” Femi said looking at me.
“Which decision? Indulging her in wrecking her life? She has made a mistake already and she’s not done restituting and you want her to make a third? Do you think i’ll always be there to protect her this time around?”
“I’m not a child, I don’t need any protection” I replied trying not to get frustrated or upset, but it’s hard trying to be neither.
“Jumoke has grown up, she’s a lady now. That’s amazing”
“Salome he’s right, we’ve to respect her decision” Maami said quietly.
“Seriously? What happened to obeying one’s parent?”
“It’s her choice” Maami said calmly.
“Are you still friends with Ekene?”
“Salome do understand”
“Are you still friends with Ekene?” Salome repeated. I exhaled, maami can’t seem to look me in the eye any more and Femi is being unnecessarily quiet.
“Great” Salome said leaving. Maami left shortly after her, I still don’t get her. Why is Maami and Salome upset, because of Ekene? I looked at Femi hoping he can explain what just happened.
“Don’t look at me, i’m stunned as you’re” Femi said avoiding my gazing
“Femi, what’s going on? What transpired earlier?”
“Transpired? Nothing…and don’t even think i’m getting in the middle of it”
“You told maami to respect my decision”
“True, hopefully you’ll make the right decision” I don’t know why they feel i’m walking into a brick wall, I just can’t go back and they need to understand and support me.
“I’m going to check on her” Femi said breaking the awkward silence.
“Apologize to her on my behalf” I said sitting.
“I meant maami”
“Maami? What about Salome?”
“We had a fight earlier” Femi said looking away.
“Then go after her”
“You made it worst besides you’re the reason”
“Me?” I gasped. “What have i done now?”
“In my short existence, have learnt the hard way not to interfere in ladies clash especially if it’s your girl friend and best friend… if you still want to have a girlfriend that’s talking to you. Salome has been really depressed and mute for days. She recently started using words to express herself, i don’t want to ruin it by interfering between you two”
“Depressed? She doesn’t seem depressed”
“Good night” Femi said leaving.
I can’t wrap my head around it, why is Salome depressed? She haven’t told me anything and she seem fine to me, Femi keeping it to himself probably means it’s pretty tensed. They seldom fight and I’m the reason, what could i have done? could it be because of Ekene? I heaved my shoulder and sighed.
I got to my spot and met Salome there, staring at the view ahead. She’s rarely here only comes when I’m here, something is definitely bugging her.
“I won’t apologize”
“I never asked you to” Salome responded still looking ahead.
“Good, I was hoping you could help me pick a song for tomorrow” Salome got up, hugged me and looked at me. For the first time, I saw a side of her I haven’t seen before. She was scared, sad and depressed, whatever it is was huge but she won’t let it out. I’ve to get it out of her somehow whether I’m the cause or not.
“I have nothing by Whitney Houston” Salome said walking away.
“Please don’t walk away, i’m sorry”
“I have nothing if I don’t have you Jumoke Korede” Salome said over her shoulder.
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