“Hey Clar, we are planning on a picnic in the beach this coming Saturday. Will you join us? My husband and his colleagues will be meeting us.” Mabel inquired
“Hmmmm, I might be going home but am not too sure yet. Meanwhile who are ‘us’?” Clara turned to Mabel with her thoughts already answering her. She knows that Mabel’s friends are crazy ladies like her; Uno who is married to a white man, Nkoyo who is a divorcee, Edna who is rumored to have turned her husband to her househelp with the help of a love portion and Ada who is a known lesbian in town.
“Well, I will be going with Ada as Edna and Uno will be having a birthday bash preparation for Nkoyo. My husband will be coming with his friends after the close of their work”
Syl who is Mabel’s husband is a rich engineer from a wealthy home but is known by Mabel’s friends as Mr Mabel. This came about with the way Mabel trapped the man into marriage. She will jokingly narrate how her mother helped her secure her marriage via ‘the man of God’. Once I asked her if the story was true or made-up, she sincerely told me that it was a true story. After that day, I knew that Mabel was something else. All these stories in Nollywood are sometime true life experiences and not always fictions.
“Anyway, I will see how things will go and ping you.” Clara replied but in her mind, she already knows that it can never be.
She is okay with meeting the ‘friends’ in the office but to be saddled with them for hours was something she could not even imagine or endure. She is way out of their league and can never be a part of them. She remembered her last year’s birthday plan. It was to be a small celebration in the Bank after closing to customers. She just hinted the plan to Mabel without knowing that Mabel has informed some of her husband’s crazy friends and also the clique called ‘friends’ to come to the Bank after four pm that day.
Unfortunately as Mabel went out of the Bank, Clara was urgently invited to their regional office for the head of departments’ quarterly meeting.
It was to resume work the next working day to meet Mabel angry with her.
“How can you do this Clara, I made a cake, invited my friends and my husband’s friends just for you to disappear without even a hint to me. If not for the HOP that informed me of the meeting you had in the Regional Office”
“Are you even sure you were not aware of it and scheduled the ‘nonsense’ birthday celebration, knowing you well am not even sure that you really planned for it” Mabel finished eyeing her.
“Oh no Mabel, you’ve not even asked me how my trip was and the next thing is to ‘enter’ me like this. It’s not fair. This is too early nahh.” Clara replied.
“Anyway, how come you made these plans without telling me, was it supposed to be a surprise?’ ‘eiyaaaa’ she mocked jokingly ‘but I so much appreciate the cake, shey you still brought it back to the office so that we eat it today?’ she asked
Mabel hissed and went to see the Manager concerning her request for an annual leave.
Clara resumed her work with a satisfied smile on her face. She looked up as she heard the shuffling of feet as somebody walks towards her. ‘It can only be one person that shuffles her feet when she walks- Ndidi popularly known as Didi. I wonder why a small girl can be walking like an old pregnant woman. Can’t she just carry her legs up?’ she mused.
“Good morning Madam Clar” Ndidi greeted Clara cheerfully while sitting down in front of her.
“Morning Didi, how u dey? This one you are coming this late, hope all is well? Meanwhile haven’t I asked you to stop this madam thing?”
“Abeg leave that thing, you know me and laziness are becoming inseparable. You be our madam ooo. Respect is good for you. Meanwhile where is ‘Shorty’? Ndidi whispered conspiringly to Clar. (‘Shorty’ been her nickname for Mabel.)
“Ohh, Miss Latecomer you are here while your manager is looking for you”, breezed in Mabel. Fortunately she did not hear what Ndidi called her.
“I will see him later jare, abeg let me rest.” Ndidi answered nonchalantly.
“How is your family Mabel? You know that your bobo fine oo, I admire him and you are lucky too” Ndidi jokingly told Mabel.
“Who is my bobo? Mabel asked with a tone. Clara recognized that tone and knew that trouble was brewing. She tried to shoo Ndidi towards the staircase leading to the marketing department in order to end the discussion and avert the explosion that might follow. Unfortunately, Ndidi was unaware of Mabel’s change of countenance.
“Your husband off course, abi you get a side bobo” She replied playfully.