Ike was waiting for Ada in the parking lot when she arrived. He immediately alighted on spotting her and walked to her.
That Ike was waiting for her before she arrived confirmed the seriousness of the matter. She stood, waiting for him to join her. The expression on his face was a cross between desperation and determination, and some underlying fear. She wondered what trick Mark recently came up with that had Ike running scared.
Ada steeled herself not to feel any pity towards him, for this might also be part of Mark’s plan; to suck her in so he could get to her through Ike.
“Good morning Ike.” She greeted him cheerfully when he drew close.
“Good morning Ada, how are you?”
She laughed softly, amused at their polite banter. “Better than you, I think. Judging by the look on your face.”
He sighed. “Yea, I’ve been better.”
She gestured for them to go inside.
“After you.” He replied.
She walked into her showroom, greeting and acknowledging greetings from her staff. She led him into her office and offered him a seat.
He watched her close her eyes for a quick prayer, and couldn’t get over how beautiful and serene she was. After all these years; Ada was still one of the most beautiful women he had ever known. Added to that was this peace and serenity about Ada that had always called to him. She always looked like; no matter the problem, it wasn’t ever that bad.
Ada opened her eyes to catch Ike staring at her. She could read that gleam of attraction in his eyes as easy as the words on a billboard.
“You want something to drink; tea, coffee, water, juice?” She offered.
He declined politely.
“I’ll make myself a cup of tea.” She took out a teabag from her drawer, dropping it into the cup on her desk, she got up to fill the cup with hot water from the dispenser outside her office.
When she returned, he was typing on his mobile but set it aside immediately she sat.
“So?” She prompted.
“Mark wants me to take out a bank-loan for his campaign through GO.” He stated straight-up.
She sipped from her cup. Using the moment to gather her thoughts. Not as bad as she expected. She thought to herself, or maybe Mark was gearing up for the bigger demands.
“And you came to me because……?” She asked him emotionlessly, cradling her teacup. Why come to her, that demand could never fly. By simple logic, the kind of money Mark will need for his campaign had to be approved by the board. And he could bank on sister Ada and herself; representing her children, not approving. Mark knew that, so why make that request in the first place?
He should source for his election funds elsewhere, that was what political god-fathers, and interest groups were for. She was certain Mark knew his demands couldn’t be met, which meant this was a smokescreen and there was another plan. She wondered what it was and if Ike was in on it. Or if he was just a pawn in Mark’s plan.
“That’s impossible, and illegal. How does Mark expect me to achieve that?” Ike went on.
Ada almost blurted out a juvenile question for the gods response, but checked herself in time and settled for a ‘dunno‘ shrug.
“I came to you as an insider, family and board member……”
“Not a board member, I represent my children’s interest.” She interrupted him to correct him. “And, Mark hasn’t ever felt familial towards me. So I doubt if I can help you; I’m not an ‘insider’.” She smiled to soften her words.
“What Mark asks is impossible. What reason would I give the banks? This is fraud!”
“Is or would be?” She asked to be certain if this was still a plan in the making or a done deal.
“I really can’t help you, its up to you.”
“In my shoes, what would you do?” He asked desperately.
She laughed softly. “I am not in your shoes.” She replied gently.
She almost pitied him, but she quickly reminded herself she didn’t know how far into Mark’s plans Ike was, so she wasn’t volunteering any information. But her on the spot assessment was; he either didn’t know he was a pawn to Mark, or, he knew and coming to her with this information was part of the plan to suck her in.
On second thoughts, she rather believed the latter. Mark inherited a huge sum from his father, he received a steady income from GO, in addition to his income as a Senator of the Federal republic. Mark shouldn’t be needing money, not this early in the campaign.
She sighed sadly. It was so disheartening that after all these years Mark still had evil thoughts towards her. For goodness sakes his children were in her house! She had tried all within her powers; she had tried being kind, had tried avoiding him, all to no avail.
Shaking her head in dismay, she looked up to meet his gaze.
“So I thought of another idea, the company can loan Mark the money directly, without going to the bank. That’s if the board members approve.”
Really? She stared at him blankly. She had already said all she could and would on this matter. Ike and Mark should sort themselves out and leave her out of it.
“The only advice I can give you is; do what’s legal.”
Ike left soon after, even more worried than when he arrived.
Ify was having an attack of guilt. She had been restless all morning. Mark had gone for a meeting, but she hadn’t been able to settle. Their plans were falling into place, but the pleasure she had expected to feel wasn’t there. Ada had always been a true friend to her, and more so recently. Left to Ify, she would have left Ada alone in peace, but Mark thought differently.
Really, what did they stand to gain from destroying her? Practically nothing. Their kids were in Ada’s care, and she had accepted them as hers. Why couldn’t Mark just accept Ada. This new bid to bring Ada down was beginning to leave a sour taste in her mouth.
With a heavy heart, she picked her phone from her dresser to place a call to Ada.