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A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)

Bolaji ran the whole distance from the foot of the Mokola fly over to the road that connects with Dugbe before she came to a halt in front of the gigantic building serving as the headquarters of Wole Thomas & sons construction company. “Good afternoon sir.” She greeted the gateman, a man in his early sixties who lazily stood up and walked towards the gate which was slightly opened, but being held to the othe r with a chain. “How man I help you?” The man asked. From his physical appearance, the man looked educated, at least to an extent, probably a drop out as a result of circumstance, hence the reason behind his serving as the gateman in a company belonging to someone within his age range. “My name is Bolaji and I am here to see Mr Davies Thomas.” She replied curtly. The man looked at her from head to toe, as if trying to read her insides. “Come in first. Its not good to keep you waiting outside.” The man said as he pushed the gate open. Bolaji stepped into the compound and stared at the cars parked, none of them looked like Mr Thomas’ which could only mean one thing. Father and son are yet to resume work for the day “As you can see, Oga is not around yet, mean ing, small Oga is not here too.’ The man explained. ‘But you could go straight into the building and ask for Miss Lola, that’s his secretary, you can drop whatever message you have for him with her For the first time, she wished she had accepted on sever al occassion when Dave invited her over. If she had gone like once or twice, she would have known virtually everybody in the building and walking in and being delayed at the gate won’t be happening. “Actually, am his girlfriend and this is my first time he re.” She replied. “Jesus! Am very sorry o Aunty.'” The old man was almost prostrating. “Daddy, abeg o. Stop embarrassing me.” She said. “You be Oga’s girlfriend. Chai! Na so I take loose my job?” The old man lamented as he dragged a chair from nearby and m ade her sit on it. “Sorry, stand up. Let me clean it.” He said. Bolaji was just laughing. If a treatment such as this could be given to her as a girlfriend, only God knows what she’ll experience as a fiancee or a wife. “Hope no be sey you wan come break up with Oga?” The old man asked as he ran to open the gate for a Land Rover which was about driving into the compound. Bolaji could recognize the car anywhere, afterall, her boyfriend’s dad owned it and it was a regular ride for Dave. “Hello darling.” Dave s aid as he drove into the compound while, Bolaji walked after him. He alighted when he had parked the car perfectly “How are you?” Dave asked as he hugged her. “Am fine.” She replied half heartedly “What’s the matter?” He asked as he lifted her face to lo ok into his own. “Nothing’ She replied shyly, knowing what was coming next and immediately, his lips brushed hers. “baba, what are you looking at?” Dave asked the gateman who was staring at the lovers with a sheepish smile. “Nothing: The elderly man replie d. “A car is at the gate.” Dave said laughing, “Oga I no go look again.” The gateman replied. “Oya go open the gate.” dave said, even though, there was no car at the gate. “Sweety lets go to your office.” Bolaji requested. “As your lordship pleases.” Dave bowed as he held her hand and led her into the building. NOW IN THE OFFICE”Baby, what’s the matter?” Dave asked as he set a win glass on the table for her. Tears welled up in her eyes as she made to speak, but her ringing phone prevented her from speak ing. “Hello.” She answered. “Hello Bolaji. Its me Mrs Thomas. Please don’t hang up.” Anita’s voice came on. “How can I help you?” Bolaji asked calmly “Please, don’t let Dave or anybody know about the result in your hand.” “Why shouldn’t l? I am going to l et Da… I’ll tell everybody so får they care to listen. How can you be so cruel? For twenty five years, you bottled it up and allow things happen, now that things have gone out of hand, you want me in your team.” Bolaji poured out, glancing at an unattent ive Dave at intervals. “You sure won’t like how this would end.” Anita threatened. “You are even threatening me?” Bolaji laughed. “Listen, am ready to face whatever thing you have in stock for me. I don’t care. I must let him know the kind of mother you ar e. And to say you are my motherinlaw to be…. Like the yorubas would say; a tailor working headbent surely knows what he is sewing. The words ‘motherinlaw’ sort of caught Dave’s attention. “Who is that?” He asked. “It is nobody important ” Bolaji rep lied as she immediately turned her back on him, putting an end to the call in the process. Serena got the suprise of her life when she woke up early this morning and her father asked if she would be going out or not of which she said no and he told her to visit a friend or go to windowshop at any supermarket of her choice, something she has always wanted to do. Even though her father’s actions kind of suprised her, she was even more suprised when her father agnrily threw the car keys at Dave and told him t o go to work as he was expecting some visitors. “What visitors could dad be expecting?” She asked herself as the cab she boarded sped past the University college hospital’s second gate “Aunty, shebi na Bodija you dey go” The driver asked. “Yes sir. Just d rop me in fron of GT Bank.” She replied The cabman didn’t reply, an action that showed he undertood and agreed to Serenars demends, “Is dad planning on taking a new wife?” She asked herself, even though the thoughts of it alone was amusing, not to talk of picturing it in one’s mind. “l just hope dad is up to some good with his decision at having the house all to himself.” She concluded as she removed her earpiece from her bag, connects it with her phone and began playing her collection of Arriana Grande. J ust as the cab sped past group medicals hospital, her mind flashed back to the prank she played on Jake few days ago all thanks to Taiwo. And just then, a message flew into her phone. Talk of the devil, it was from Jake and it reads; “You never know the va lue of what you have until you loose it I once had you in my arms, I never knew you were a treause cos I was blinded by foolishness and ego. I was not one to settle for less, but the fear of being embarrassed(by your dad) made me deny you and I settled for the less. I will be returning to the states by Monday and do me this last favour by letting us see for the last time, even if its just for a minute. Jake ” Reading such a heartfelt message triggered something which Serena thought was long lost in her. Th e feeling and affection she felt towards Jake and immediately, she dialled his number. “Hello.” She said calmly “Hi Serena.” The excitement in his voice was evident. “How you doing? I got your message.” She replied very quickly. “Yeah. “Sor you are leavi ng?” She asked even though it was the dumbest thing to do after she told him she got his message, but talk about be spellbound by a guy, one tends to run out of words.

To Be Continued…

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