Omolabake 10 & 11

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With Love,
Lutomi Modesola.

 

Episode 10
“So are we friends?” Gideon asked as they walked towards the sitting area
“I know you certainly aren’t my enemy” She answered
Gideon pulled out a chair for Omolabake to sit on at an empty table.
“Tell me, what are your plans?” She looked at him
“I applied to Seoron do brand management but these days I believe to expand from my growing blog into an e-magazine. I have about two contributing writers now, so we are focusing on engaging the minds of young adults”
She cut in, Omolabake had a blank look “Wait, you are a blogger?”
He nodded. A waiter passed by with drinks, he picked two flutes.
She gasped “You never said”
“It never came up”
“What`s your blog about? Don’t tell me, let me guess” She raised her palm up
“Motivation?”
He laughed “That obvious? Well, I write generally on life, Peoms, Rants, share some finding from my bible studies”
“What’s your blog called?”
“Neon Avenue” he said
“Wait, that sounds familiar” She paused “I know your blog. Moninsola, mentioned Neon Avenue the other day at lunch. She was about making a comment on a post, “Let me ask” or something. I remember because I read that post.”
He was laughing. Her eyes widened
“Tell me, something… She doesn’t know you are you?”
“No, she doesn’t know. I figured she was the one because of the profile picture she used and the name Maureen, she uses for comments”
“Yes! Maureen. Some people mispronounce Morin for Maureen. I mean, she follows your blog religiously.”
“I know, right”
She threw her hand up “Wow, I think you are just crazy, the good kind of crazy.”
He laughed.
“I cannot imagine her expression when she finds out.”
“I know right?”
She arched a brow, “What’s with this” “I know right”
He giggled “It gives me something to say”
“So this is why you spend time at the library.” She was still amused at him. “I think your kind is rare”
He placed his hand on his chest “I`m touched.”
* * * * *
Morinsola made her way out of the church auditorium after first service.
She felt lighthearted now. Two hours earlier, she was confused and depressed but the ministrations had met her need. On her way out, she stopped at the stand to pick the weekly prayer pamphlet.
“Good morning Sis Morin” Her pastor’s wife stood at the stand in a coral suit and cobalt blue hatinator.
“Good morning ma” She curtsied to greet the older woman.
“How are you today?”
“I am well ma, and so blessed to be in the service”
“I have not seen your husband”
“No, he is not with me today” Lekan had said he wasn’t up for church. He wasn’t even eating her food.
“That’s okay, dear. I`d like to invite you to a lunch time fellowship. Some women and I meet for just 45mins on Thursdays that’s why you saw me at Maggie’s last week.”
“Oh” Morinsola smiled, “That`s rather nice of you, but I don’t know if I can make it”.
“Sure, you can. It’s not far from your office and it is only 45mins of love, God & Sisterhood” the woman offered convincingly
“You make the offer irresistible” Morinsola giggled.
“It’s a date then” The woman hugged her.
* * * * * *
The drive back to Lagos was fast. “The roads were free because people were still doing whatever they do early afternoon on Sunday.” Gideon focused on the road as the events of the last night evening replayed in his mind.
After the reception, he’d returned to the guest room. Just as he was about to take an evening shower, he heard a knock on the door. He wore his shirt over his trouser. He answered the door. It was Omolabake,
“Hey” she waved. She’d changed into comfortable clothes, a pair of knickers and a tee shirt.
“Hi” He smiled.
“Can I come in?”
“Yeah sure” he stepped aside for he to come in “You alright?”. She sat on a couch.
She nodded and frowned “There is something about this document. I have been going through the contracts and I think something is fishy.
“Okay?
“My intuition tells me the company is hiding something, but I have not figured out what. Would you go over them for me?”
“Yeah sure. it would be a privilege. He collected then envelope.”
Thanks Gideon. She stood up
“Omolabake, I know you are smart, intelligent woman…”
“Thanks Gideon” she looked up at him
“…but I believe if you half as meticulous in choosing men as you are in choosing contracts…”
Her slap on his left cheek cut him short.
“Don’t you ever talk to me that way again.” She walked away but not without him seeing tears fill her eyes.
This was the reason for their silent afternoon trip. Thankfully GrannyO was asleep, because she never missed a beat. He just felt frustrated he couldn’t help her see things as they were.
As he made to go home after ensuring the bags where all in she walked up to him
“Gideon, I appreciate your kindness this past weekend” she stretched a white envelope towards him.
“You are welcome, but I can’t take the money”
“Why?” She frowned
He smiled “I had a good time with you and your family. You can’t pay me for having fun, can you?
“But we had an agreement.”
“I insist” He turned to leave
“Gideon” she touched his arm “I’m sorry about last night”
“It’s okay” he shrugged. “I am too, I shouldn’t have made that statement.”
“I really am” She ignored his apology
“It is fine. I have to go home now.”

 

Episode 11
Over the following two months, Omolabake took her time to prepare for the Tempomax bid first week of August. With lots of sleepless nights, Gideon had enjoyed the whole process of working with her team. She had insisted he be present at brainstorming and strategy sessions.
His only concern was that Demola had come begging. And she had accepted him. Omolabake had tried to convince him that he was not all that bad and he’d promised to change. He had tried severaly to talk to her about it but it seems in that matter, her mind was made up.
“It was a knockout…. As in gbam” She said
Gideon drove the car onto the Lekki-Epe expressway, his divided attention was also on Omolabake. She was in high spirit; they had won the bid. Her sleepless nights had paid off and he was glad for her. He had been on an issue for some time.
He kept the ongoing conversation in his heart “Are you sure, Lord?”
“Gideon, it is time.” Was the reply from the still small voice.
“But I don’t get it?”
“Gideon, can you just imagine?” he had been lost in thoughts “The GBM had the audacity to ask me out” she hissed.
“What post is GBS?” Gideon asked. “General Brand Secretary o”
She hissed again “All these companies sef! In the bid to have the titles, will just be joining alphabets together”
Gideon looked at her through the rear view mirror, their eyes met. He smiled “And what do you think about the GBS?” He slurred mockingly.
“The nerve of him. He obviously thought skirts were an excuse to be promiscuous. Trust me, I cut him to his size” She hailed her triumph.
“I see” he paused. ‘tell me how you won their hearts with your presentation”
“Hmmm” she paused chewing her favorite gum Orbit “That reminds me, thank you for insisting I leave home early. You can imagine. I got there right in time”
Gideon listened as he over took a white Sienna, her gist mode had been activated.
“So I arrived at the venue, At the reception, I met this cute lady. Her tag read Ozioma. She liked my Zadok skirt and that’s how we hit it o!” She diverted to how her friend who recently got back from the US to start her clothing line.
Gideon made the courteous oohs and aah as he listened to her. It never ceased to amaze him how the woman literally jumped from topic to topic without missing beats. She left him with more dots to connect than questions answered.
“Hmm, it’s almost three o clock; do we head to your place or back to the office?”
“Are you kidding me? Home please…. I need to rest my feet. I don’t even think I want to cook sef” She wrinkles her nose as he watches her through the rear view mirror.
“Will you like some Chinese?”
“Someone’s been reading minds” she giggled.
“No, just doing my job” Gideon said as he parked into her favourit Chinese Resturant,Pearl Garden. “Should I get you the usual?”
“No, I will do it myself…” She stepped out of the Red car.
Gideon put on to the radio as he awaited her return… scanned through, boring stuff was on the air. He brought out his phone. Checked his mail, there was a credit alert from first Bank and a mail from an old frien. As he looked up, he saw Omolabake come out on a call, holding two white bags in her other hand. She had a crease across her forehead as she ended the call. She opened her door and came in.
“Hey plans changed, we head back to the office”
“Alright ma’am”
Omolabake enjoyed the peaceful silence as she ate her noodles. She knew at intervals Gideon was watching her because she kind of felt the intensity of his gaze. He was more than a driver, he was more of a mother hen, friend and then her driver. She often wondered why any dude smart as he was would chose to be a driver. From his diction and command of dignity, it was obvious he had passed through the refining walls of the education system. She sighed as she broke her fortune cookie.
She read “Life is not a game of chance; it’s arranged strategically in phases.” She paused, “Bittersweet!” Gideon replied.,
“Gideon, what does it mean?”
“I’ve told you not to take this stuff serious; they are just random stuff” “I think it’s speaking to me”
“Right!”
“It’s just random. But if you want to take it serious, it’s just a quote about life”. Omolabake rolled her eyes, the guy could be extremely clueless at times.
Omolabake made her way into the elevator with her Jimmy Choo bag. She climbed up to her dad’s office. Working with her old man could be a blessing and a curse. She was hoping her day wasn’t changing into a curse rapidly.
“Hi Laura!”
“Good afternoon ma’am.” Her dad’s secretary looked up. “Otunba asked me to see him?”
“You can go in ma’am”
“Good afternoon sir”. She greeted as she faced her father
“So tell me what happened”. Her father ignored her greeting.
“Well, we got the deal and are to kick off work as soon as possible.”
“Omolabake, the sky is your limit with this skill you have”. Her father alluded on about her progress.
“Thank you, Dad”. She curtsied. She really hoped he would let her have her long deserved leave. “Omolabake, I know you expect to go on your leave…” He paused shuffling the papers and looked her in the eye.
“Yes sir”
“Well something came up”
“I plan to merge this company with WICK & Sons and I want you to be in charge of the take out”
“But Daddy….”
“I know I can trust you with this. Omolabake, you will have your times of pleasure later”
She braced her eyes from filling. Her dad could be unfair, this was the exact same thing he said the last time. She nodded.
“Omolabake, I promise you, this will be worth your status, your secretary has been given the file. And, have this….”. He brought out a purple box. She felt her heart soften towards him. Maybe the old man wasn’t so bad.
“Awh, Daddy this is so nice”
“You are welcome. However, the pendant is a device. Once you press it, it gives access to some confidential details about their company”.
Her face fell. “Oh”. So it wasn’t a gift afterall.
“Now don’t you lose it”
“Alright sir”
“Omolabake, I leave for Taiwan this night… You don’t need to see me off to the airport. I leave from work, so you can go home”
“Ok sir. Have a nice trip”
“Yeah bye, Omolabake”
She stilled herself as she walked straight down to her office. Her secretary was at her table fixing her make up. She was done for the day. She paused at the lady’s desk.
“Thanks. The chairman has briefed me. Let’s kick off the briefing of the others tomorrow. You take your time to study tonight”
She met Gideon waiting for her in her office. He was reading a copy of Havard Business Review. He stood up as she took her seat.
“Omolabake congratulations: I am so proud of you” Gideon started his rehearsed speech. He had been prompted that is was time to go. And even though he was no real change in her. Was she hopeless, perhaps.
“We did this together” she smiled “You realize the details you uncovered gave me the edge? I think we need to do something about that position you.”
“Omolabake, that won’t be necessary”
She looked up in alarm
“It’s time for me to go”
“I don’t understand” She stood up
He moved close to her “Remember what you told me . . . that I should let you know I am to go.”
She nodded. Her eyes filled up.
“It is that time all ready.” He said solemnly
The tears dropped. He moved towards her she raised her hand to stop him. He retreated. She turned her back. He left.