There should be an African proverb that says ‘when your enemy suddenly turns your friend, that is when you need to be extra careful’. Ada thought to herself as she remained seated where Ify left her. Or maybe there was such a proverb already, Ada wasn’t sure. But she knew it was very fitting to her situation with Ify. She wasn’t buying all that desperate act. Ify was up to something, but she didn’t know what.
After how many years of being her enemy, Ify walked into her home and expects that she welcome her, hands open wide, and pretend that all is well in the land?
Odiegwu! Like her people say.
Yes, some part of Ify’s story was true; the part about Mark cheating and flaunting his mistress, yes. Still Ada couldn’t shake the notion that there was more to this visit than met the eye. Ify was trying to use her, or wanted something from her, that was definite. The question was; what was Ify after?
Abigail came into the sitting room, bearing a tray with a cup of green tea. Ada smiled fondly at her. Really; what would she do without Abigail?
Abigail handed her the tray and sat while Ada sipped some tea.
“She came to tell me Mark is having an affair.” Ada said after some seconds passed, both ladies savoring their tea in silence.
“Hmmmmm” Was the only response Abigail gave.
“And that she’s feeling unfulfilled.” Ada went on, stifling a giggle. She knew Abigail had never liked Ify, and her response wasn’t surprising.
“Ok.” Abigail said nodding as though absorbing some vital information.
Ada couldn’t help herself any longer, she burst into laughter, almost spilling tea on herself.
Abigail smiled. “You do know you have to be careful, don’t you?”
“Yea, I know.” Ada sobered up. “She’s up to something, I wonder what it is.” She mused.
“Just be careful.” Abigail repeated.
“I will. Meanwhile, have you read the financial for the past year?” Ada asked referring to her late husbands’ conglomerate financial reports. He left Abigail some shares in his company in his will, just as he left to his wife and children.
“Yes I have, we didn’t do so well.”
“I’m not surprised. Mark won’t release the reins, and with his politicking, he isn’t paying full attention to the business. I wish sister Adaobi would do something. George didn’t want me running the company, which was why he setup mine for me.” She shrugged. “I really should let it go.” She got up.”I’ll be upstairs, researching on Psychologists or Psychiatrists for my friend, Ify.” She mocked, leaving the room to go back upstairs.
Ike Phillips emerged from a meeting with Senator Mark George-Okoro on a super-high. He couldn’t believe it, just like that he was now the Managing Director GO Group of companies. It was too good to be true, himself, just ten years after graduating from the University, and nine years out of Law school. Wow! Double wow!
A few days ago, his biggest wish and desire was to make senior partner at the law firm where he worked, today; he had been offered the managing director of a million dollar conglomerate. ‘Million Dollar’, not Naira! He couldn’t get over it.
He smiled at himself in his car rear view mirror. Damn! This was too much to take in. When he got a call from Senator Mark Okoro’s office to meet with the senator, he had been very surprised, he asked the senator’s PA what the meeting was about; she claimed not to know and just confirmed that he’ll keep the appointment.
So, on pins and needles, he had shown up for the meeting, on time and in his best suit, armed with lots of information about Mark Okoro he had gathered from google.
The meeting hadn’t gone the way he’d imagined it will. They had been no ‘endless’ waiting time that was the characteristics of seeing a politician/government official in Nigeria. Ike had been ushered in to see the senator immediately he arrived and the Senator Mark had gotten up in welcome, shaking his hand heartily and ushered him to sit with him on a comfy leather sofa in the plush office, as though there were old friends.
Where Ike had expected an interview of some sort, they had a friendly chat. Mark’s secretary wheeled in a trolley of refreshments and he was encouraged to eat his pick. From afar; Mark Okoro had always struck him as a rich kid playing at politics for the power it afforded. Up close; he was impressed at Mark’s level of intelligence. Mark had begun by asking him about his background in Maritime Law (which was Ike’s specialty), putting Ike at ease. The chat had progressed from that to a wide myriad of spheres of life, and Ike couldn’t help but commend Mark on his versatility.
Mark had jokingly replied; “I have to keep-up, I married a lawyer.” And they both laughed heartily. “Which reminds me; you know my wife Ify, right?”
Ike nodded in agreement. He had been a year ahead of Ify Duru as she was known then in university. Ify and Ada had been best friends back then and he was very surprised when his google search showed that Ada married the father, and Ify; the son. He had a major crush on Ada back then in school, but Ada had been in love with her books. And it had paid off as she had graduated with a first class result.
“She remembers you as well. In fact you come highly recommended by her.” Mark got up and went to the sidebar in the office and poured himself some brandy. He offered some to Ike, who politely declined. “How would you like to run GO Group of companies?” Mark asked out of the blues.
It was a good thing Ike had declined the brandy, because he was sure he would have spit it out right then. Such was the level of his shock. “Pardon?” he asked disbelievingly.
Mark returned to the sofa beside him. “You heard right, how would you like to be the new Managing Director of GO, run the company, represent my interest?”
From then on, Ike barely heard anything else. He had a sneaky suspicion he must have missed some important details, as to his job description. But from then on; he was working on sunshine. He; Ike Philips, Managing Director of a company, just like that? Off course he accepted, who wouldn’t?
They shook hands over it in a gentlemen’s agreement, and Mark said his lawyers would be in touch.
As Ike left Mark’s office, Mark said; “You should reconnect with the ladies: Ify and Ada. I understand you used to have a thing for Ada, and she’s newly widowed. It will do her good to see old friends. Ify will be in touch as to the details.”
Mark’s parting words barely registered. Offcourse he’ll see the ladies, he was the new managing director for their family business, they were bound to run into each other often. For now; all he wanted was to savor his new position as the Managing Director of a million dollar company!