The restaurant air was cosy. And although people trooped in and out at various intervals, it didn’t disturb the effect of the soft music playing from the speakers.
“Didn’t you read that lady’s post on Facebook?” Brenda asked as she picked a piece of chicken with her fork and took it straight into her mouth.
“What lady are you talking about?” Ella sat back and sipped red wine.
“Ah ah, the one that is always criticizing people’s movies and insisting, she can do better.”
Ella laughed. “Are you minding her? Funny enough I went on YouTube the other day to watch the short film she produced. It was even worse than most of the film’s she criticizes.”
“She reminds me of the saying, correcter must be the worse.”
Both ladies laughed, just as Amanda, dressed in casual a casual outfit and carrying a big bag, approached their table.
“And who is this correcter?” She asked, taking a seat.
“The one that you like so much,” Brenda rolled her eyes. “So, it’s almost 2 o’clock. What exactly happened to 1:00 PM? That was the time we agreed to meet.”
“I’m sorry ladies. You know how starting a new business is nau. I’ve been on the move all morning, sorting out reliable wholesale vendors,” Amanda apologized.
“And did you get any?”
“Yes. I’ve made arrangements with two different vendors now. So, after lunch, I’ll go check on the apartment I rented. I believe business is going to be sweet. I’ve already started spreading the word.”
“High five sweetheart,” Ella raised her hand up, and Amanda tapped it with her palm.
“We should toast!” Brenda raised her glass. The others did same, “Amy dear, as you’ve decided to take Lagos by the balls, and put Joseph and his mad manager, Tony, to shame, may it’s ejaculation be rich in your favour,” she winked. The ladies burst out laughing.
“Must you sexualise everything?” Ella managed to recover.
“I think I support the ejaculation part though,” Amanda spoke up, “and a rich ejaculation, means more money,” she grinned.
“Oh babe, you’re in the spirit! Cheers!” They clicked their glasses. Ella joined them.
Just as they downed the content of their glasses at one go, the restaurant door opened and a lady stepped in with a woman and two men. The ladies looked classy and rich. The men, on the other hand, were bodyguards. Their disposition made it obvious.
Amanda didn’t miss the fact that the heads of several other customers turned to look at this beauty, with her dyed low cut. Her light skin matched the flowery gown she wore. She looked really cool and confident on heels and Amanda couldn’t help but feel slightly intimidated.
“This one obviously has money,” Ella said.
“Yup!” Brenda confirmed, “and she has the world too. She’s a popular blogger. Only, I haven’t followed her blog for months now. Been too busy. But of course, I’ll always lie to her that I’ve been following because she sabi vex wella?”
“Does that mean you know her personally?” Amanda rested her eyes on her friend.
“Yes! We went to the same school.”
“Oh wow!” She sat up now, “and do you think she’s the trustworthy type?” Amanda needed to know. She had spent some time searching for more information about the woman that was fighting tooth and nail to take Joseph from her. As much as she still had feelings for her ex-boss, she didn’t want to stand between him and his unborn. But if she felt, for any reason, that the woman carrying his unborn was not worth her sacrifice, then she’d fight head on for him. She never even knew she had a friend who held the answers she’s been seeking.
However, a lot had happened between her and Joseph and as much as she still thought about him, she wasn’t sure going back to him would be a good idea. One good reason is the fact that he blocked her from seeing him for two straight months, and he never called her either. Not even once. Only to show up at her doorstep the afternoon after she dropped her resignation.
“Haha! See questions!” Brenda chuckled and wiped her lips with a napkin, “ where’s all these coming from? What’s happening?”
“She’s the one I told you girls about. The one who’s pregnant with Joseph’s child.”
Brenda froze. Ella’s brows shot up! “Really?” They chorused.
“Yep. I just want to know if she’s worth leaving my man for.”
“Oh well, I really don’t know. Sometimes she’s really cool and sweet. Other times, I think she might as well be a demon from hell,” Brenda finished.
“Amanda I’m so sorry. I mean, we’re supposed to be having fun. But look what’s happening.”
“It’s ok. It’s not your fault,” Amanda waved it off and moved to pour herself a drink when the unthinkable happened. Simi walked over with her friend, while the bodyguards remained stationed at the entrance.
“Hi Brenda,” Simi called, “I can’t believe you’re here. God does answer prayers. I’ve been wanting to meet up with you but, argh! I’m always damn busy. How are you?”
Brenda got to her feet, and the duo hugged each other.
“I am good, as you can see?” She smiled, “how have you been?” She looked genuinely concerned for her friend.
“Well, apart from the drama I created online, and that stupid man who doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions, I’m fine,” she smiled, before turning to the other ladies, “hi ladies.”
“Hello,” they chorused. “Up and close, you look more beautiful,” Ella admired her openly.
“Thank you!” She smiled, “hope you don’t mind if I borrow your friend for a while?” She was referring to Brenda.
“Not at all,” that was Amanda, “as long as you bring her back in time.”
“Oh, definitely. We just have a few business issues to discuss. Thanks so much,” she pulled Brenda away to their table located at the far end of the restaurant.
The ladies talked and laughed among themselves. Ella and Amanda watched them quietly from their corner.
“She really looks the cool type,” Ella spoke first.
“Yes, she does,” Amanda finished her drink and went for another one. It was now obvious, she wouldn’t be getting Joseph back. She couldn’t bring herself to hurt this innocent woman who carried his child. She deserved to be loved and pampered in pregnancy, and her unborn child deserved to have the full attention of his father.
Joseph stood facing his office window. The view, as usual, was magnificent. With hands in both pockets, he watched the street below his office building. Hawkers moved between cars stuck in traffic, trying to sell their goods. Passersby walked by; some with frustration written all over their faces, and others with hope in their eyes.
He sighed when his eyes caught a figure that looked almost like the woman that had now become his nightmare.
Simi had deployed another means to fight him. So in a month’s time, he’d be appearing in court to counter all Simi’s allegations.
Tony had threatened heaven and earth. He complained that as an ex-management staff, he was fired without due process and so he had a case in court. But Joseph had asked him to stop and get lost, or risk having the recordings from the CCTV camera, circulated. It worked. Tony never bothered him again. One problem gone. But there was a bigger one.
Amanda had moved out of her house. Someone else now lived in her apartment. He didn’t know where she was or how to reach her. He felt he could try pleading his case one more time, before deciding whether to quit or hang on. But she was nowhere in sight.
Then there was his mother and father, and even his sisters, constantly on his neck about getting married to Simi, since she was already carrying his child. Everything he said about not being the father of the unborn child fell on deaf ears.
The issues around him were becoming too weighty and very distracting. And if he continued this way, he was sure, JExpress will suffer the effect.
So yes, he was mighty glad when Moses, his immediate younger brother who was on leave from his place of work, decided to step in so he could take time out to clear his head.
Joseph was happy to give him a one week rundown of what daily activities in the office look like, and ongoing marketing campaigns for revenue increase.
This very day was the last day of the one week run down with his brother. He should be out of her office, but he decided it was best to hang around, in case there were things he missed.
One look at his wristwatch revealed it was exactly 2:33 pm. He had an appointment with Simi at one of the popular restaurants in the city. But he wouldn’t be going. All the meetings he’d had with her never went well. It was always still her, doing everything to bend him to her will. He didn’t think this meeting was going to be any different.
If there was anything he prefered to do, it would be to search the entire city for Amanda and have a last talk with her. If he wins her over, great! If not, he’ll totally clean himself from her life. There was no point forcing a relationship that may not end well.
“Bros,” Moses called from where he sat with papers in his hand, “I’m not going to be on leave forever. Take your break and allow me to work. You need to quickly clear up issues and regain your sanity.”
“I will,” Joseph sighed, ‘I just don’t know where to start from.”
“Start from her former neighbours or landlord. One of them must have her contact details,” he smiled. Joseph chuckled. Now he was mighty glad he told his brother what was in his mind. He’d do just that. He’d re-visit her neighbourhood first.
To be continued…
A Pelleura Story – Chapter Five. Written by Karo Oforofuo
First published on Business Day Media
PS: Please don’t forget to like, share with your friends, and remember to drop a comment.