Justin pulled off the tie and flung it on the bed in irritation. The damn thing won’t just stay. He tucked in and buckled his belt. Tokunbo was still bathing and he was in no mood to even ask. He placed his tie around his neck and walked down stairs to get something to eat.
“Hello handsome” Kevwe greeted him happily as he walked into the kitchen. She was sitting near the window, drinking coffee. “That shirt looks good on you, goes with my blue extensions”.
“Someone is in a good mood” he said dryly as he walked to the fridge. He opened it and picked a bottle of cold water and a bag of bread, connected the toaster and started toasting some bread.
“And you are not?” Kevwe asked looking at him.
“Just this tie giving me stress among” he said removing the toasted bread. He started to butter the bread. Kevwe stood up and rinsed her cup. Then she dropped it on the cup tray behind Justin and turned to him.
“Come let me see” she said, and proceeded to knotting his tie. He watched her work with such ease and accuracy. He looked at her face, she had removed the red hair extensions and changed them to blue, and he loved the new colour. Damn she was pretty.
“…… Sometimes I had to do a couple for him sef” Kevwe said.
“Excuse me?” Justin had been distracted, he didn’t get the first part of what Kevwe was saying.
“What?” Kevwe asked.
“I didn’t get you” Justin said.
“Oh, I was just saying I used to do this for Kenny, that is why I am good. He always seemed too lazy to do it himself” Kevwe said looking at Justin. Damn Kevwe cursed in her mind
“now I’m comparing him to my ex? Really smooth girl”. She rolled her eyes absent minded.
“I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to be a pain” Justin said not so nicely.
“Oh, no, sorry. That was not for you” Kevwe said, trying to salvage the situation. “Please it was nothing. I loved knoting your tie for you.” They both looked at each other.
Awkwardness looming all around.
“Can you two stop looking like lovers so I can ask who ever for some toasted bread?”
Priscilla walked into the kitchen innocent of what had happened. But her statement made it even more uncomfortable. She was still in her pyjamas, hair scattered. Just then Tokunbo walked in. Headed straight for Justin and before anyone could object, picked up the freshly buttered toast and bit into it.
“Good morning people” he said, his mouth half full.
“Thunder fire you guy. Na your food be that?” Justin shouted more amused than angry.
“Haba Tokunbo that is so not fair, my eyes where on those” Priscilla said pouting her lips in sad pretence. Tokunbo laughed.
“I have told you that in this house you are too polite for your own good” Kevwe said smiling at her.
“Make una no vex, I dey hungry.” He smiled at Priscilla.
“And we are not?” Both Justin and Priscilla choroused then laughed together. Kevwe smiled at the scene, glad something changed the atmosphere. She stole a glance at Justin to see if he was still uncomfortable then looked away before he noticed.
“When you dey pick your cousin from the airport?” Tokunbo asked Justin as he finished the remaining toast.
“Oh damn I had forgotten. She should take cab abeg. She is coming in this evening” Justin replied as he started making another toast.
“That’s true. Heads up girls, my cousin will be spending the weekend with us” Justin said. Maryam walked into the kitchen and greeted everyone.
“Esta is coming into town? Yaay, she is staying in my room” Maryam said cheerfully. Justin looked at her suspiciously. His cousin Esta was well known by Tokunbo and Maryam as she visited him regularly while he was at school. She called it her little get-away from stress of her own school.
“Behave, I will be watching two of you” he said to Maryam who gave the cutiest smile.
“It can’t pass gossip that we will gist about now. No need to worry” Maryam said cheerfully.
“THAT is exactly what I am worried about” Justin said “Has anyone seen Matthew?”
“He just left the house” Maryam said as she opened the fridge to get her fruit drink.
“Oh shit, my free ride” Justin shouted and ran out of the kitchen.
………………….. ……………………. ………………………
“Tokunbo do you want to explain this?” Joelyn threw a folder at him as he walked into her office. The files in it flew out and scattered on the floor. Tokunbo looked confused but bent to pick them up.
“I’m sorry I don’t get you” Tokunbo said. What was eating her up today. He thought after all the work they had been doing, there was some sort of respect between them.
“That is a mess. The arguments are weak, your brief is a sorry excuse and there are so many typos. Where is your mind? I expected better” Joelyn shouted at him. Tokunbo picked up the folder an quickly looked through. He didn’t see what was bad about his brief but he did notice a lot of typographic errors.
“I am sorry. I will go work on it” Tokunbo said meekly, he picked up the folder and headed to his desk. He hated disappointing even if his boss was annoying. Joelyn went back to work shaking her head.
“Be like Medusa don put you on hit list” Tokunbo’s colleague Frank whispered as he came to his desk. “I been tell you to lash her when you go her crib you nor hear”. He laughed jokingly.
“Guy get sense abeg” Tokunbo was in no mood for Frank’s sly talk. “I get alot on my plate abeg”. Frank looked at his colleague. A number of times he had been jealous of Tokunbo, especially as he seemed to have their supervisor in his pocket. But everyone needed a break and Tokunbo only pushed him to work harder.
“Oya calm down. Do what you can. After work we will rub minds on each other’s cases. I could welcome a diffrent perspective” Frank said smiling as he patted Tokunbo’s back.
“Thanks man. I would appreciate that” Tokunbo said. He went back to work. It had been a bloody past week. Teju had been all up in his face about the case. Her company was in jeopardy if they lost the case and she had cried all weekend about being afraid of loosing her job. He couldn’t even tell her he was in on the case and doing everything in his power to bring her company down.
In all the drama of calming her down and hiding the truth from her, working on the case had seemed more tedious than it already was but he never for once thought it would affect his performance this badly. His phone beeped. He picked it up. He had four BBM messages.
Elder: celebrating tonight, I just got promoted.
Justin: dude change this dp now e don old. By the way how far with my 10k?
Kevwe: guy I’m sure Maryam has told about Matthew’s promotion. buy two bottles of wine on your way back, that is your contribution.
Maryam: fine boy Matthew got promoted. We doing in-house celebration. How’s work?
He smiled. At least not all his world was messed up. He replied them all, congratulating Matthew, acknowledging Kevwe and Maryam’s messages and promised to get the drinks and he told Justin to sit on a fence.
“Tokunbo” Tokunbo looked up to see Joelyn standing at her office’s door way.
“Boardroom” she said and started walking. He got up uneasily and quickly followed her.
“So we just got information some minutes ago that Braxton Engr. want to settle out of court” she said quickly, “our clients are here in the boardroom and are very interested and want us to make a deal which is good. Saves us the stress of court wahala and from me seeing your incompetent work”. Tokunbo said nothing.
“Our client wants twenty-five million Naira for damages incurred but I feel we can pull more. So you follow my lead okay?” She stood at the door and looked at him for confirmation that he understood. He nodded politely and opened the door for her to enter first. She smiled at him and walked in. Tokunbo followed and closed the door while pleasantries started.
“Timothy good morning” Joelyn said cheerfully to a man wearing a navy blue suit. “Are we ready to talk business?”
“Good morning Joelyn, I hope so. This is a staff of the company here with me to oversee the negotiations, Miss Bankole” said Mr. Timothy. Tokunbo froze where he stood.
“Morning” Teju said looking coldly from Joelyn to Tokunbo.
“This should be fun” Tokunbo thought sarcastically as he sat. He was in trouble.
……………. ……………………. ……………………..
“Hey you” Maryam greeted Justin as she walked into the house, “did you get the stuff?”.
“Tokunbo na fool. He didn’t give me my money oh. I will deal with that boy” Justin lamented lying on the living room sofa.
“Ooh Justin haba now. Is that the only money you have?” Maryam asked starting to get upset. “We were suppose to do this one thing for Matthew and you want to fall hand.”
“Calm down joh, I bought them. They are in the fridge. The yahuza and pizza will need reheating” Justin said grinning. Maryam smiled. It was a surprise that playful, flirtish Justin was becoming responsible.
“Thank you. Tokunbo needs to bring the bottles of wine in time” Maryam said sitting down. She was so exhausted.
“Oh no you didn’t” Justin sat up. He was begining to laugh.
“I didn’t what?” Maryam asked.
“You didn’t make the mistake of sending Tokunbo to buy wine. Na Blue Cicktail and Barcus Lite that boy go bring come” now Justin was fighting to control his laughter. “How many times have you seen Tokunbo drinking wine?”
Maryam felt her headache increase. Justin had a point. Tokunbo was a smirnoff addict, either he was taking Smirnoff ice or mixing Smirnoff vodka with a soft drink.
“I better call Kevwe” she said looking for her phone. “By the way how far with Esta?”
“You know that girl na. She didn’t say when her flight is taking of, and said she wouldn’t call when she lands” Justin said with a sigh, “that i should text the address and pray she doesn’t get missing if not she would find me and kill me. All because I told her to take a cab”.
Maryam smiled, typical Esta. She picked her phone to dial Kevwe’s number when a call came in. It was Ayomide.
“Oh no, oh no!!!!” Maryam said dropping the phone like it had just burnt her hand. Justin jumped startled.
“Wetin?” He asked alert.
“Mide” she whispered pointing to the phone.
“Calm down and pick now” Justin whispered back. Then metally slapped himself. Why was he whispering he thougth. Meanwhile Maryam was shaking her head in the nagative. The call rang out.
“What is your problem now?” Justin said in normal voice. Girls and their drama.
“I haven’t spoken to him since he invited me for dinner” she said covering her face. Even Justin was surprised. “Don’t look at me like that now i already feel bad but i have had so much on my plate of late.”
“Toh call him and explain. Nothing beats communication” Justin said. Maryam looked unsure. Her phone began to ring again, it was Ayomide again.
“Just apologize and reschedule” Justin said putting the phone back into her hands. She looked at him still unsure.
“Hello Mide” she said quietly. He seemed to hesitate before he spoke.
“You are one hard to get girl Maryam Bello” Ayomide said, “i never saw you as one to job me”.
“It is not like that Mide” Maryam said feeling sad.
“When you said we could see after the elections did you mean presidential elections or the elections for governors and house of reps?” Ayomide inquired jokingly. Maryam smiled, he wasn’t upset.
“Would it be okay if i said it was the latter?” She smiled. “I have just had alot on my plate these past weeks Mide”.
“At least you are calling me Mide now so there is hope” Ayomide said “how does tomorrow sound?”
“So soon?” Maryam said.
“Yes oh. So you don’t forget me and become busy again” he said.
“Okay” she said cutely.
“It’s a date then. Bye” Ayomide said. Maryam looked at her phone with a big smile. He always made her feel good.
“Someone is happy with their baby daddy” Justin teased. Maryam threw a cushion at him laughing. A knock on the door calmed them down and Maryam went to open it.
“Madam sanu (well done )” Musa the guard stood at the door.
“Musa ya aiki (how is work)” Maryam answered back in hausa. “Mai ne ne (what is it)”.
“E get one Aboki wey say him dey look for Madam Priscilla ” Musa answered. Maryam turned to Justin.
“Pris dey house?” She asked.
“I think so, she should be in her room in them books” Justin said. Turning back to Musa, Maryam asked ” what is the person’s name?””
“Ya chi (he said ) Ebuka” Musa replied. Maryam’s eyes widened.
,…………………….. ……………………., ……………………..
“The guy was shocked as Justin and Musa chased him away” Priscilla laughed happily recalling the incident that afternoon. They were all in the living room drinking and eating suya and pizza, Kevwe had baked a chocolate cake and had bought the wine. Tokunbo had bought Smirnoff vodka to the amusement of Justin and Maryam, Michelle had dropped in from work as well. They all sat as Priscilla, Justin and Maryam relayed the blow-by-blow incident. She had been reading when Maryam called her. How had Ebuka known where she stayed? He had never brought her home and she didn’t remember telling him. As soon as she got to the living room he got up and instead of exchanging pleasantries he started acusing her of ignoring him and keeping him waiting. Before she knew what was happening Justin had called Musa and two of them muscled Ebuka out of the house and compound to the streets.
“That is no way to treat or talk to a lady” said Justin as he came in and he walked upstairs to his room.
“You should have seen his face” Justin said, “It is so annoying when guy think they can control someone”.
“Abi” Kevwe said in agreement. Michelle looked at her quietly. There was a knock on the door.
“Be like him don come for more” Kevwe joked as Justin went to get the door, “problem now is number of guys have increased to deal with him”.
Justin unlocked the door and opened it.
“Finally oooh” a female voice exlaimed in exhaustion.
“Esta” Justin shouted angryly.
“Baaaabyyyy” Esta jumped on her cousin. “It has been too long” she kept kissing him on his cheek. Michelle looked on, first with astonishment, then shock then confusion.
“Toksy sugar” Esta exlaimed and hugged Tokunbo tightly. She pulled away and looked at him seductively. “Can you see? My boobs are now bigger, oya will you date me now?”
Tokunbo laughed out cheerfully. Esta had always tormented him with advances and seductive request and only people who knew them well understood it was their little joke. Priscilla had her nouth wide open in surprise.
“Yeye girl. If he will have anyone it will be me” Maryam happily joined in.
“Go away joh, your chance has passed” Esta said looking serious then quickly hugged Maryam. “How have you been love? We get gist oh.”
“Na my room you dey sleep now” Maryam said excited.
“No now” Esta shook her head. “I have been dreaming of a threesome with Justin and Tokunbo through out my flight. I must have my way” she looked very convincing. Everyone except Tokunbo, Justin and Maryam were totally lost.
“And I though I was crazy” Kevwe said under her breath to Matthew. It caught Esta’s attention.
“A haa, my nemesis” she said looking at Kevwe who looked confused. “You want to take my baby away from me abi?” Kevwe was becoming uncomfortable. What did this girl know now. Justin looked from Kevwe to Michelle who seemed to be putting things together.
“Dude not funny” Justin said to Esta quietly, nudging her.
“Ouch” she rubbed her side “what did i say now? Isn’t she Kevwe?” When Justin did not object she continued. “How can you want to follow someone as hot as this? I will not be intimidated.” Justin covered his face, Kevwe had lost her confusion and was enjoying what was going on. Even Tokunbo and Maryam knew this was not good, it was getting out of hand.
“Why is everyone quiet now?” Esta said looking from face to face. Scratching his head wondering how he was going to get out of this mess Justin spoke up.
“Esta meet Michelle” Justin pointed to where Michelle sat “my girlfriend”. The awkwardness in the house could be cut with a butcher’s knief.
“Oh oh, me and my mouth” Esta said with a mischievous smile.
Muyiwa blogs at htttp://abluntnigerian.wordpress.com
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