A Story Written By Shewrites…
She found her way into the company’s crowded car park. There were a lot of cars which signified that many of the staff were still in the building. 
It was a Friday, several offices often close late. She was grateful that her boss didn’t demand extra working hours from them, as long as they completed their weekly assignments. Any delay was usually countered by several sleepless nights.  
She sighted her car and quickened her steps. The evening breeze soothed her achy bones. She hoped to have a restful weekend. It had been a stressful week. She might end up staying indoors or probably drive to the beach and watch a movie or two at the galleria. She wasn’t sure what she would do, but she hoped to relax and recuperate. She needed enough strength and a stable mind to face the upcoming week.
“Promise… Promise!”
The sound of her name interrupted her line of thoughts.
“Promise please wait.”
She halted and looked back. Who was that? A puzzled look took over her face when she saw Oyetunde walking towards her.
“I didn’t know when you left the office,” he sounded breathless.
“I didn’t know you wanted to see me,” she waited for him to reach her. She hoped it wasn’t office matters. She was done for the day. All she needed was a cold bath, good food and several hours of sleep.
He smiled and stood a few feet away from her. 
“Em… I have em… ” Where was he going to start from? He had rehearsed what he wanted to say but, his mind suddenly went blank. He met her curious gaze and smiled. How was he going to sweep her off her feet?
She waited patiently for him to speak. She could sense his anxiety. Whatever he had to say must be complex. She hoped he would sum up the courage and let her know what was on his mind. What could it be?
“I am going to be brief and direct,” he loosened his red tie a bit.
“Okay, I am all ears.”  
“I like you a lot. I have been watching you for a while and you are the kind of woman I would love to date and hopefully get married to.”
Her face lit in amusement. She was flattered. She had caught him a few times staring at her in the office. She had also noticed his over-nice attitude towards her. She should have known that he had a crush on her. All the signs were there.
“I am… Em… I am flattered.”
He grinned. He felt he had done very well. He hoped she would agree to dine with him if he asked her that night.
“I am deeply sorry that at the moment, I am not thinking of dating anyone. Marriage is the farthest thing from my mind,” she hoped he would understand her reasons and wouldn’t feel rejected. 

The smile on his face faded, “I know that you broke up with Gbenga a few months ago. I am glad it happened. People like us have the opportunity to ask you out because you are single and free again.”
She raised an brow. She couldn’t believe he was glad that she broke up with her ex-fiance. One man’s meat was surely another man’s poison.
“I am sorry Oyetunde. I appreciate you, but, I am not in the right frame of mind to date at the moment.”
His frown deepened, “Why are you wasting your time crying over spilt milk? I don’t understand some of you ladies.”
She crossed her hands against her chest. His unwarranted anger was beginning to irritate her.
“Don’t you want to move on? The guy has definitely moved on.”
She glanced at her wrist-watch. She would like to leave the permises as soon as possible. Traffic was likely to build it at the moment. 
“Forget Gbenga, I am here. Allow me to treat you like the queen you are.”
She covered her mouth with a hand and tried to stop the laughter that bubbled from within her.
“Oyetunde, I am so sorry. I am… ”
“Whatever,” he interrupted her, “Have a nice weekend,” he started to walk away.
She watched him leave and shook her head in pity. Some men do not know how to remain friendly after ladies turned them down. One couldn’t blame them. Rejection was painful. She turned around and walked over to her car.
It’s being four months since she broke up with Gbenga. She could face him any day and at any time without feeling hurt or assaulted by past memories. Oyetunde was wrong, she had moved on. She wasn’t ready to date yet because she wanted to give herself time to learn from her past and take things slow. She would be making a big mistake if she jumped into another relationship.
Moreover, Oyetunde was far from the kind of man she would like to date or marry. He must have really liked her to have gotten so upset.
She started the engine of the car and drove out of the car park.

It was the twenty-third of December. TL Communications was closing for the year and every single staff member was thrilled because it was their last day at work.
Vivian Njemanze had a brief meeting with her staff before they disappeared from the permises.
“You are all expected to be at the staff party on the third of January. You have no excuse not to be there. Even if you travel to the moon, you must show up for the party. It is over-compulsory. It is at Civic Centre, Victoria Island. I believe you have all received your Christmas bonus.”
“Yes ma,” they chorused.
“Good. We will be resuming unfailingly, on the tenth of January. Have a beautiful holiday.”
“Thank you ma.”
She returned to her office.
Kemisola sat on Adaeze’s table.
“The staff party is going to cut short our trip to UK.”
“True. What are we going to do?”
“We will make the best of what we have.”
“Hmmm…. At least we won’t be spending the holidays on the shores of the country.”
“True talk sister,” they gave each other a high five and giggled.
Oyetunde headed for the door with his briefcase, “See you all next year. I am off to the airport. I have a plane to catch.”
They watched him go.
Adaeze and Kemisola hissed. They didn’t care where he went or what he did. 
Boma met Promise’s questioning gaze. He shrugged and resumed arranging the content of his drawers.
“I thought you are the closest to him.”
He raised his head and returned her stare.
“We are not best of friends. I don’t know everything about him and I don’t share my personal thoughts with him.”
She raised one of her eyebrows, “Really?”
“Yes, really.”
“Interesting,” she glanced at her wrist-watch. It exactly six p.m. Her siblings would have gotten home by now. The last time she heard from them was that morning when they left school. She frowned at the thought of sharing the car with them for another four weeks. She needed to buy her own car as soon as possible. 
Adaeze and Kemisola walked out of the office without saying a word to them.
Promise shook her head and sighed. Those two gave her huge concerns. She had overheard a staff gossiping about their illicit affairs. It was no more news that Kemisola was dating the Human Resources Manager and Adaeze was going out with the Accountant General. These men were married with children. What do these women hope to gain? Financial benefits? She had learnt her own lessons the hard way and would never make such mistakes again.
She doesn’t know how else to reach out to them except through her words and actions. She had tried inviting them to church programs thrice, but, they never showed up. She would continue praying for them.
“Will you still be on the Island during the Christmas and New Year period?”
Her question surprised him.
“Not really. I will be fluctuating between Ilupeju and Dolphin Estate.”
She nodded and whirled herself in a clockwise position with her chair.
“If I get bored, I might pay you a visit. I don’t have too many friends. Spending the vacation at home can be such a bore.”
“Okay… Just give me a call and I will prepare a feast.”
She started to laugh.
He felt relieved. He had been trying to get close to her for over three months. He was elated that his tenancity had finally paid off. It gladdened him that she now considered him as a friend. What a sweet relief!

To Be Continued…

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