Finding Happiness Episode Two

I was truly prepared to like her, after all she was Nifemi’s lady friend. But she made herself difficult to like.

She was beautiful; with halogen like fairness and a beautiful svelte figure on display in her little white dress paired with hawt orange shoes and purse.

Dupe and I exchanged a glance, like…. Where did she think she was going to? A fashion show? Dupe and I were wearing shorts paired with tank tops, her boyfriend who brought her was in jeans and tee-shirt, and she?

Nifemi introduced us, her name was Zara. Was that the name her parents gave her? Anyways, not my problem.

“You’re welcome, please sit.” I ushered them or more like her, Nifemi made himself at home. “Can I get you a drink, chapman, juice, malt?”

“Water please.” She replied coolly.

“It’s the first of January, have a drink with us.” I cajoled.

“No thanks.” She declined.

Oh! She wants to play like that? I will show her cool. Dupe and I went into the kitchen and emerged with a tray of drinks, and water, and a bowl of cashew nuts.

“Cashew nuts?” Dupe offered her.

“No thanks. Its so calorie filled.” She declined.

I rolled my eyes. Nifemi caught my eyes and gave me a stern look that meant: be nice. Why? She was obviously snubbing us.
“So, what do you do Zara?” I asked as we enjoyed our drinks.

She flipped her over twenty inches weave. “I’m a fashion model.”

That explains the calorie thingy. But… “Don’t you have to be taller to do that?” I asked, a barefooted me was taller than her plus heels.

Dupe cleared her throat loudly.

“Not any more.” Zara replied.

“Ok, what brands have you modelled for?” I asked.

“African fusion, Fez couture…” She rattled off.

“Never heard of them, and I know Nigerian fashion.” I edged her on.

“Is the food ready?” Nifemi interrupted.

“Yes, I’m hungry.” Dupe added. She got up. “We made your special.” She said to Nifemi.

“Beans and plantain?” He asked hopefully.

“Off course.” I replied. “Just the way you like it.”

“Ok, let the meal be served. I need to make a quick call.” He went into my room to make his call.

“Excuse me. Beans and plantain mixed together?” Zara asked.

“Yes.” I replied coldly. I had a feeling she was about to declare it unhealthy.

True to my suspicions. “I can’t eat that.” She declared.

“Its Nifemi’s best food.” I replied.

“Yea, but its so messy.”

“Ok.” Dupe came to her rescue. “We cooked some other dishes, I’m sure one will suit your tastes.” She said.

Dupe and I went to the kitchen and set the table. We had cooked so many dishes you would think it was a feast for ten.

“Table is set.” Dupe announced.

Nifemi and Zara walked to the table hand in hand.

Ah! Ok! Lovey dovey! Let’s sha enjoy the meal.

Needless to say, the visit didn’t go very well. sigh. All this people spoiling my New Year. After the meal, we settled to a game of Lagos Monopoly, where I beat the pants of them all and bought up most of the city.
Finally, Nifemi left with his clinging vine, and Dupe and I watched some re-runs on TV.

Normalcy gradually returned to our lives. Post holidays, Aunt Mabel returned from the village, Dupe resumed work (she worked for a bank in the customer care unit, and I got invited for an interview at a Telecom Company. I passed and was invited back for another interview, and the final interview with the business development manager with whom I was to work directly. That was a good sign, all those beginning of the year yama couldn’t affect me.

The interview went well. Afterwards,Mr Badmus (the business development manager), a middle aged well preserved man, congratulated me saying he was highly impressed, and the job was mine, I should come back the following day for my appointment letter.

“Thank you sir.” I gushed, happy beyond words. I shook his outstretched hand.

“Why don’t I take you out for a celebratory drink.” He said smiling at me while still holding on to my hand.

Uh oh! “Thank you sir, but I don’t drink sir.” I declined politely, gently but firmly tugging my hand out of his clasp.

“That’s not a problem, we could just hang out, go somewhere, relax…..”

The suggestion behind his words hung like a thick mist.

“Sir.” I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry I already have plans.” I replied carefully.

“Look, let me lay it down for you. You’re a big girl, you know how it goes. If you want to receive that appointment letter tomorrow you had better be nice to me.” Mr Badmus said with all seriousness.

I looked at him with distaste at his suggestion. “Sir, I am willing to do my job as will be specified in my appointment letter when I receive it. Right now, I do not understand your request.” I said calmly locking away the anger boiling within me.

He laughed. “You want to play smart? All right.” He returned to his seat behind the desk. “Your appointment letter is conditioned on how nice you are to me tonight.”

I just turned and left the office and hurried to my car. I had no more words for him.
In the comfort of my late parents car, I let the tears loose. I wailed at life’s unfairness, I cried because I knew I could never do that which that man asked of me.

Long minutes later, I wiped my tears and composed myself. I decided to go to Nifemi’s office rather than return home right away.
I exchanged pleasantries with everyone from the doorman to his secretary, I was a well known face at Nifemi’s office. Alice his secretary asked me to go on in. I went in and sat in one of the visitors chairs opposite him. Nifemi was on the phone when I entered, one look at me and he knew something was off. He quickly ended the call.

“It didn’t go well?” He asked.

I burst into fresh tears and he was immediately beside me. I narrated the tale to him, he stiffened in anger when I got to the part where I was propositioned.

When I finished he sighed. “You aren’t going to take him up on that offer.”

“Off course not.” I agreed.

“What did you say his name was again?” He got up and walked back to his chair.

“Nifemi no.” He had gone into his defensive big brother mode.

“I can find out.”

“You won’t. Let it go Nifemi.” I said softly.
I watched him calm himself, I knew Nifemi so well.

“I want to give you a trip to Dubai, but I had Alice wait for the outcome of this interview. As it stands I think you can go as soon as possible, you get a two weeks, all expense paid vacation in Dubai.”

I think my brain must have regressed to Abacus OS, what was Nifemi saying? A two weeks all expense paid trip to Dubai?
I screamed for joy!

Yesterday, Chinma Eke’s blog was a year old! (Drum roll, dancing happy), and I want to thank everyone that has stuck by me through the past year, the blog stats have been amazing and I couldn’t have done it without y’all. Thank you.
These year, we are going to have lots of freebies, beginning with the 10% of all printing from now till the 22nd of February. For details, see the previous blog post.
Keep visiting Chinma Eke’s blog, read, comment, contact me, share; get your family, friends, neighbours, acquintances, enemies to visit, share on your TL’s, etc.

Thank you, you guys rock!

Chinma Eke.

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