Ada’s phone rang and with a heartfelt sigh she looked away from her laptop rolling her neck to ease some stress. She was tired, but it was a good kind of tiredness, because she knew she had achieved much
The week had been very tedious for her; it was always like this whenever she received stock. Added to that was the extra stress of dealing with Ify who had been calling multiple times daily and despite her apology and attempt at friendship, Ada couldn’t shake the feeling that something was probably still up. She bet that was her on the phone. Tomorrow was the ‘lunch date’ and Ify was probably calling to confirm her attendance.
Her first thought was to ignore it and return the call when she was done, but a quick glance at the phone lying on her desk proved her assumption wrong, it was her home number. Probably Abigail. What could be the issue that couldn’t wait till she returned home, she wondered. She hoped they wasn’t an issue with the twins at school. She had dropped them off herself this morning and the driver should pick them in an hour or so.
“Hello.” She answered the call. Her left hand massaging her back and neck to ease tense muscles.
“Hello Ada.” Abigail replied.
“Abigail what’s up?”
“Francis is here.”
“Francis, who is Francis?”
Ada searched her memory for a Francis. It clicked at the same moment Abigail said;
“Francis George Okoro.”
Oh! Francis, in her house, why?
When her late husband married her, he bought her a house and they moved into that house leaving the previous house where he had lived with his first family for his children. And that was where Mark and Ify lived as their Lagos home. So, baring family events and with the exception of Sister Adaobi who was like an elder sister to her, her ‘step-children’ rarely visited.
Francis and Nneoma weren’t regular fixtures in her life; Nneoma married an American and lived in the states with her family and didn’t really care about the day to day life of the family in Nigeria. While Francis; the closest in age to her, a ‘music producer’, though he lived in Lagos, she rarely saw or interacted with him. Now he was at her house.
“Why? Did he say the purpose of the visit?” She asked.
“He said he came to see the twins.” Abigail replied drily.
“Really? Tell him they are at school.”
“Yes, we already did. He said he’ll wait.”
“Hmmm. Ok. Lemme round off here and head home, please make him comfortable.”
“Ok.” Abigail ended the call.
Ada rolled her neck again and returned her attention to her system.
Five minutes into ensuring her accounts balanced, a thought occurred to her.
All this relatives dropping in on her recently, what was up? Francis hadn’t ever come to visit the twins, although he was always nice to them whenever he saw them, and always made it a point of bringing them gifts when he was to see them at family events, but to just come over for a visit; unannounced, and without a reason, that was unprecedented.
She was going to pick up her kids herself, she decided. She had to be home for this visit. She placed a call to the driver informing him she would be picking the kids up herself.
Ada arrived at the restaurant they were to meet for lunch to find that Ify hadn’t arrived, but Ike was there already, typing on his ipad. She was shown to the table and Ike stood in greeting politely.
She had dressed simply in a cream silk short-sleeved blouse and slacks, but wasn’t surprised to see him fully suited. He probably came from the office.
She could tell he was nervous, she smiled warmly at him and gave him a side hug to put him at ease. This wasn’t a business lunch. She wasn’t his boss and she wasn’t about to pull rank.
A waiter appeared immediately to take their order, they both ordered juice while they waited for Ify before they ordered for lunch.
“How are you, how have you been. You must tell me all about yourself, what you’ve been up to since school. Ify isn’t here yet, why don’t we play catch-up before she arrives.” Ada rolled maintaining the warm smile. She wasn’t in a chatty mood so she decided to flip the talking over to him.
“I’m surprised she isn’t here yet, she called me this morning to confirm my attendance and punctuality.”
The waiter returned with their drinks.
“That’s Ify for you, never punctual. She’ll catch-up with the gist whenever she arrives. So, about you…..” She reminded.
He sipped from his glass. “Nothing much. Post law school, I got a job in a law firm, worked there for three years, moved to another for about six years, was on track to making partner, and now I’m at GO.” He summarized.
“Wow, that’s quite a summary, no name dropping, no hyping…..” She chuckled. “Don’t mind me.” She noticed him tense-up further. “Relax, will you? This isn’t an interview or inquisition. You’ve seen the books right, you know I don’t own any shares directly, I just hold it for my children. So tell me more.” They were here to catch-up and reconnect, weren’t they? He should go first, afterall thanks to Mark, her family was almost always in the spotlight, so whatever he wanted to know about her was public information.
“Did I here someone say; tell me more? You guys started the gist before me?” Ify said appearing before them. “Hello darlings, I’m here now.”