The day she left. Part 1

She checked the bedside clock for the umpteenth time. It was only 2 am and yet it seemed like she had been sleeping since forever. She  threw off the bed cover and stretched herself. He stirred and she hoped he wouldnt wake up. He had   told her never to wake him before 5.30am. Something about his sleep very vital to his success, he had said. Now she was awake, they was no way she would sleep again. She looked at him again. Even in his sleep, he was meticulous. His bed cover was still at his neck, as if he never turned in his sleep. She doesn’t know how he does that because she can’t lie still for hours. She wasn’t so surprised when he bought her a different duvee just so she would let him sleep, he said. She smiled and brought her legs down, he amazes her a lot, in a weird way.
Walking to the door, she opened it so slowly so it won’t creak. She released her breath when she got to the sitting room. Picking the remote, she turned on the television.  Most of the channels were showing movies. ‘Who stays up this late to watch movies?” , she thought. ‘People like me’, she answered herself. She flipped some more channels and left it at a music channel. Tapping her feet to Chidimma’s , ‘oh baby’ with Flavour, she closed her eyes and let the rhythm take her away, away from the sitting room, away from herself and maybe put her in another person’s body.  She didn’t know when she dozed off again till she heard his voice.
At first, she was alarmed that the sound of the music got to the room and disturbed him, but a quick glance at the wall clock reassured her.
‘You didn’t switch off the television again, Nnenna’, he said.
‘Oh Ken, I slept off. Didn’t mean to’, she replied
‘That’s what you said the other day and the days before that.       You know that’s running up the electric bill unnecessarily’
She sighed and got up from the couch, put on a smile and said, ‘that’s not the right way to wake up to your lady dear’ in a reconciliatory tone. She didn’t want him raising his voice this early.
‘Sorry about that’, he said and kissed her on her cheeks.
It’s been a while they shared a real kiss but this morning, she didn’t mind. She looked at him and saw he was dressed already.
‘It’s only 6 am Ken. You are already dressed?’
‘Yes, I forgot to tell you, I have some papers to work on. We finally struck oil at Gabon. We need to finish the paper work so we can start drilling’, he said.
‘oh!’ It sounded so lame to her ear. Why didn’t he tell me last night she thought. Anyway, she didn’t think it will make sense arguing about that now.
‘Let me fry some eggs for you then’
He pulled her back and told her not to worry. He would get something to eat later. He took his briefcase and left. Again, it was just another kiss on the cheek.
She changed the channel to Kingdom Africa. Maybe some gospel music will calm her warring nerves as she prepared for work. The popular Ogui Road holdup hadn’t built up yet which allowed her a smooth ride to her office. She parked her car, a Toyota Yaris, which was a gift from her dad after she finished her NYSC , at her usual spot and walked upstairs to the office she shared with three other ladies. She thought about the car as she walked up the stairs. From the first day she met Ken, he had tried talking her into selling the car. He said it was beneath her status. But she thought afterwards that he meant his status. It was a matter she didn’t like discussing with him. She opened the door with her key. Her demeanour changed as she entered the hall. ‘This is my world’, she said out loud. She had the pleasure of having the office to herself for the next one hour, an hour before the call.  She switched on the lights. The  hall was a originally a dancehall before the owner died and the child turned it an office complex. It was too big for only her so she called in her friends that needed office spaces and they shared it. Her office had the best view. Its window faced the Berry park garden with lots of beautiful tress that constantly swayed to music only them heard. It gave for easy ventilation too and most times, she turned off her Airconditioner to feel the natural air. Her table faced the window, a long shelf was on her left side. It held her files and books. On her left was a small brown couch, with cream and orange coloured throw pillows. One chair faced her. The same chair that had sat the strangest man she ever met. She won’t think about that now . She had her office morning rituals to perform.
She said a little prayer and turned on the radio. Opening the CD compartment, she put in the latest she had bought yesterday. Good sounds filled the room. Voices of Chidimma, Tiwa, Waje, Shania and their male counterparts merged into another. With careless abandon, she danced.  She danced to a good life, a good job, her parents and family. She danced to love, although it wasn’t Ken she saw in her love mind.
‘Babe, you are killing me with your smooth moves’, she heard behind her.
‘You can join me Omo, its a free world’
‘I will pass today. Had enough dance last night’, she said with a wink.
The two ladies laughed heartedly as they shared a hug. Omo was the lawyer in their midst, a brilliant lady who took no for an answer. Could be the reason her office was always busy with clients. She was engaged to an Engineer who worked in a drilling company. He was always away but came to town yesterday. It was written over her friend that she was happily in love. After exchanging pleasantries, she went to her office. Heart racing from the dance, she sat on the couch. Again, she looked around her and admired her handiwork. She was an Educational Consultant. She has set up over fifteen schools since she opened office one year ago. Presently, she manages five schools in addition to the library she was setting up at the city hall. She was also a liaison officer between schools and some publishers. In a year, school owners have come to trust her judgement on books and style of educational delivery. She loved her job. It afforded her the ability to be creative and proffer solutions to educational issues. She loved meeting people  too.
The phone rang. It was 8am. She braced herself. She let the phone ring through and stopped. Almost immediately,it started again. She got up and smoothened her dress, tucked an imaginary hair behind her ear and reached for the phone.
‘I wouldn’t miss calling you for anything in the world, Nnenna’
Silence.
‘I want to show you something Nne. I am on my way to your office. Please don’t say no’
Silence again.
‘I wonder why you pick my calls and say so little. I won’t steal your voice , you know’.
‘I have a ten o’clock appointment. So, you should hurry it up’
‘Thanks Nne, he said and hung up.
For the second time that day, she released her breath. She massaged her temple and licked her lips. She got up and walked to the window. The trees were still swaying. She saw a bird jumping from tree branch to tree branch, oblivious of the world around it. Quickly, she walked to Omo’s office.
‘He is coming’, she blurted out as she opened the door.
‘Him?’ , she asked with a smile.
‘Yes, him. And wipe that smile’
‘Then, I was right it was his car I saw drive in just now’
‘What? Now? O goodness! Do me a favour Omo, come and remind me of my appointment by 10am if he is still there ‘, she said and ran off.
She just sat down as he knocked once and opened the door.
‘I didn’t want this aroma wafting down the hall, so I didn’t wait for an answer, he said as he dropped the basket on her table. She couldn’t resist peering into the basket. The sweet aroma of freshly baked bread, chicken burger, cake and spring rolls filled the room. Some bottles of juice were in the basket too.
‘Are you feeding a nation?’ She asked as she took one slice of bread. The bread tasted of honey and milk. She savored the freshness , took another slice before she thanked him.
‘I knew you would like that. I made the juice myself this morning’
‘Maybe you saw me hungry in your dream too’, she said dryly
‘Instincts’, he said as he poured her some juice in a plastic cup from the basket.
‘You didn’t come here to feed me breakfast, did you?
‘That’s part of it too. A filled tummy makes for a good conversation. And I need all the attention I can get from you today’
The juice was lemon and orange. She liked the zingy taste. She studied him as she sipped her juice. Of average height and well built, he was handsome. He wasnt  a drop dead handsome but he had good eyes. He had a cheerful face, like he had no care in the world. His hair was well shaven and the casual jeans and polo he wore suited him well. The first time he touched her, she wondered if he used baby lotion. His palms were so soft and yet had a firm grip.
‘Penny for your thoughts’ he said.
She cleared her throat and apologised . ‘Tell me why you are here’
‘I need you to build and manage my school for five years’
She knew he was joking and said so.
‘No, am not’, he replied.
‘But you don’t know anything about school operation and education’ she couldn’t understand why she was protesting instead of grabbing the offer.
‘That’s why I have come, Nne. There’s no better person for this job’
‘I just want to be sure you know what you are doing’
‘I only need you to say yes’, he said with plea in his eyes.
Her senses should have told her to turn the offer down. She should have heard the emotions in his voice . That was the voice of a man asking a woman for love. A man didn’t come for a business meeting with a breakfast filled with pastries.
‘Yes’, she whispered.
‘Yes?’
‘Yes’, she answered as their eyes locked. Naked emotions were dancing in his eyes. Hope, passion, love, kindness. She was almost drowning when the door opened.
‘Ehm, it’s ehm…..your 10 o’clock is here’ , Omo stuttered. She could feel the electricity in the room. Her eyes went to the basket on the table. The aroma drew her nearer.
‘Can I have one of these?’ She was already helping herself to it without an answer.
Nnenna cleared her throat as their eyes unlocked. ‘Such intensity’, she thought.
‘ Can we have lunch so we can discuss details?’, he asked as he stood up.
‘I will check my calendar and call you’, she said.
Towering over her, he brought out his hand. She took his hands immediately. The soft palm again. He held it a bit longer and smiling a greeting to Omo, he walked out of the door.
‘What was that?’ Omo asked as she slumped on the chair.
‘Nothing Omo’
‘Girl, the two of you just lit a fire in this room and you are telling me nothing. Ha! Tell that to the birds’, Omo said as she brought out her palm for another slice of cake.
She wasn’t about to leave in a hurry.



12 thoughts on “The day she left. Part 1” by Ada (@lildamey)

  1. Its going to be a challenge reading this in the format that its in right now… so I will come back to it…

    1. Oh and am back!
      Okay, I like the relationship between ken and the main lead girl…. it doesn’t sound so awful but them the new guy… well lets see sha…

  2. Loving this already

    1. Thanks Kosnie

  3. Nice one! I’m already getting the vibes, please do let the other part come soon. *while reading, I spotted this ”they was no way she could sleep again” rather than there. also, you should try to separate the paragraphs using a good transition.

    1. @shovey, I hope the other one won’t take time too. Thanks for pointing the error and will work on the paragraphs too

  4. This is great. It needs some little editing and a lot of paragraphs so that it can be easy to read.

    Lovely!!

    1. Thanks @ jayrume.

  5. I like this alot. There are alot of grammar issues but the story is good so far

  6. Well, this started off nice but there are quite a lot of things wrong with it. You seem not to have settled for a particular tense because you keep switching between tenses; past, present etc.

    And then you also need to do some major editing. I spotted grammar mixups and punctuation issues so work on them too. I think you have a good story here although I can guess where it’s going. So, surprise us.
    Note also, that if you intend to keep your readers interested in the series,add a major dose of suspense .
    Keep improving your art Ada!

  7. I’m lovely this already.

  8. I rili rili love ur story..nice one & thumbs up..lookin forward to the continuation

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