Title: Lost love.
Author: Ubabuko Tito.
The buzzing sound of the alarm could be heard at every corner of the serene house. It was a beautiful Monday morning like the other ones she had always had. Her dark hair flailed from her shoulders as she rose from her bed to admire the rays of the morning sun as they crept through her window. A beautiful woman to behold; she was. Her femininity could not be doubted or resisted by any man. Fluttering to the bathroom; she prepared for work. Her skin was smooth and dark toned. She was heir to one of Nigeria’s wealthiest families, her name was Thelma Fitzgerald. She had a prodigious enthusiasm for her work. She ran the family business all over the country and continent at large as the chief executive officer. An independent woman and a true feminist she portrayed. She never felt or had true love for any other man after she had been dumped by the man she was supposed to marry. Wandering the face of the earth was tormenting for her. Life priority for her now was all but running her father’s company. She went down the stairs of her colossal mansion which was at the centre of her estate, looking at the workers tending to their individual posts. She loved her privacy in the house. At night she sent the workers home except the gateman and in the day they returned to the house to resume their duties. Her kind of woman commanded authority, power and wealth. In the eyes of her employees she was like a demigod. Every man who came her way got browbeaten with the words that preceded out of her mouth, and by the way she acted. She never wanted this attitude engulf her, but due to her experience with the man she once loved. Every man seemed to be the same to her. Her blue suit perfected the curvature of her thirty two years old body. She walked with grace as she was ushered into the vehicle by her driver.
She always enjoyed her two hours drive to the FitzGerald corp. of Nigeria. Looking out of the window she had a thirst for a simple life. People had smiles on their faces as they battled the elements for their livelihood, but here she was with a frown, when all she wanted was at her finger tips. She lacked a purpose in life. She lacked love. Getting to the building was minutes ahead when a Red Toyota brushed against hers. Matilda highlighted the car and glared at the damage caused on her vehicle. Ignited with fury and wrath, she fluttered and gibbered words at the driver of the Toyota. Her driver stood helpless and dumbfounded not knowing what would be the outcome of this argument. He pondered if his salary would be deducted for the damage of his mistress’s car. Though she had other cars at her disposal, but this was her favorite and it worth a huge amount. She turned to her driver and scolded him for not observing the other vehicle before the collision occurred.
“I am so sorry ma’am, I never saw you coming”, said the man who was driving the Toyota. His voice was masculine and timbre. Her anger only increased when he apologized because he was “Another man”. She turned and paused to look at him. He was tall, and handsome. He wore a black suit which exhibited his broad shoulders and muscular stature. His smiles and witticism attitude towards the matter made her furious. Thelma would not let him say a word as she tried to harvest a pang from him. She was ready for a fight with this man, but he seemed rather not offended by all she said. He quietly went to his car and brought out his cheque book. He wrote a sizeable amount which could take care of the damages, but she tore the cheque before him. She could not browbeat this handsome man who was before her.
“I have said how sorry I am, and written you a cheque. What else do you want from me?” He said with a smile. It seemed all she said were impervious to him. He observed the bitterness in her eyes and felt sorry, not for himself but for her. She could not utter another word as he got into his car and zoomed off. She went numb and poignant with what had just transpired between her and this man. Matilda arrived work late that day looking pale; she went to the bathroom and cried. She could not forget him and the words he said. They could still be seen and heard fervently in her head. She rescheduled the board meeting for the following day and received no visitors. She had waves of emotions running through her. She thought of her parents and how their untimely death had separated her from them and how the man she once loved played her for a fool. Life was unbearable for her at this moment. The wealth she had and the status she occupied never gave her joy. She looked at the bright city of Lagos from her office, and brooded on her future without a family or a lover, without someone to return home to, and from her sour heart loomed the man who defeated her on the road.
The next day, Matilda arrived at her office still recovering from her encounter the previous day. She never deducted the salary of her driver or mentioned anything about it to anyone. She hunched from her seat and called for the secretary to arrange for the meeting which was rescheduled yesterday. She was already seated at the conference room when the other executives took their seat. She looked up and saw the last person she had ever expected to see again; the stranger from yesterday. He also noticed her as she prowled at him like a predator, while he was the prey. He was never intimidated by her stare as the others were. She wondered what he was doing in the company; in her conference room as a member of the executives. The meeting went on, but she won’t take her gaze off him. His unending smile was charming to her, for a while she no longer loathed him. This feeling which was breeding in her heart was similar to that which she had for James, but this feeling was stronger. His name was Brian Anderson and he was the new industrial supervisor. He was recently transferred to the head quarters in Lagos from Enugu state because of his prolific contribution to the growth of the company. They had discussed about his transfer in the previous meeting, but she paid no attention to that part. She leered at him as he uttered brilliant suggestions and remedies to the company present state. At intervals he looked at the head of the company- Thelma, not even with an atom of fear in his timbre voice. He really was as intelligent and smart as he looked in his suit. After the meeting had been concluded, Brian returned to his office and chuckled at how amazed she was to see his face at the conference room. As he went through the files on his desk, he received a call which demanded his presence at Matilda’s office. It was the first time he was summoned to her office. It was large in diameter and length. The office could be shared in three segments: the first was sort of fun filled. It had a toy golf course and a television set hung to the wall. The second had a couch and a centre table on which magazines and newspapers were place, while the third was her desk and cabinets containing records and files. In the midst of admiring all these, he noticed her looking out of her window at something quite obscure. Thelma frowned as she looked at him, but his presence won’t let her frown for long.
“You sent for me ma’am”, he said. His voice was calm and vibrant in the ambience of her office.
“Yes I did”, she replied. She clenched her fist and tried not to look into his intimidating eyes. It had been a long while she felt this way around a man. For the first time in twelve years she was shy once again for a man.
“What was the meaning of what you did yesterday? Leaving me at the middle of the road like I was no one or like I never mattered at all”, tears clouded her eyes as she uttered these words. Brian walked towards her stealthily; Thelma shuddered and stepped backwards till her feet could no longer succumb to her will. His touch made her quiver, he knew what she was passing through and wanted to help her defeat it. Putting his hands on her fist, he pushed up her downcast head to look into the eyes she had feared to see. Her tears rolling down her dark skin could not hide her beauty.
“What do you want from me?” he asked her. Brian was no child. He knew she had feelings for him, just as he also had feelings for her. He noticed them from the first day he met her. Brian knew she was his boss, but had never encountered her in person. News of how she bullied men spread all through the branches like wild fire, but that day changed his view about Miss Matilda FitzGerald. He could not stop thinking of Thelma too. The source of her bitter act was known to him; her injured bleeding heart was never mended. Matilda’s eyes were still fixed at his, as she searched for words. She appreciated his handsomeness and masculine stature at this close range. She had lost her cool at their first convergence and presented an ugly part of herself before him, but yet here he was before her. The look in his eyes was not that of hatred or vengeance. They whispered words which were cryptical to her.
“I don’t know what I want from you, I can’t tell. I was all fine till you came around. I was brilliant. I had everything I needed to survive. I was………” her gibbering was cut short by his lips on hers. She jolted backward from the feeling she got from his kiss. Staring at him puzzled from what had just happened. She loved the sensation of feeling his lips, but was scared to love again. He still held her close, not having the intentions of letting her go. She struggled mildly to break free from his hands, but his insurmountable strength foiled her from breaking loose.
“I am not letting you go, and I will never let you go because I am incomplete without you……….. I love you Matilda”, saying these words seemed to have drawn strength out of him. He released her from his grasp and watched her step backwards. She look at his face and saw emotions run down his eyes as tears. His witticism had soon disappeared because of her. She could tell he was not lusting after her; his kiss was genuine. Brian turned to leave her office. Matilda knew letting him go would be the end. She would never forgive herself. She would forever be haunted by his memory. This feeling she was strong and evident in her heart. That one kiss had sealed it all and made her feel loved once again. Brian was opium to her past and future, he was the true inamorato she had never had all these years. She clenched him by the hand, restricting him from moving away from her. His aura was filled with compassion and love. She tightened her hold on his hand and squeezed out the words:
“I want your love………..please don’t leave me as they did”.
They hugged and never seemed to let go of each other. True love was found that day in her office. Everyone she had once loved was gone, her parents were snatched by the claws of death, and Clifford whom she was betrothed to had left her for someone else. The almighty Matilda was defeated by the love she found in Brian Anderson.
To lust after is err, but to find true love is divine; a gift from God.