Onome had not arrived at the office yet. The plan was to drive in just after her and park beside her. So she could see me in all my glory, getting down from my new car. Scratch that, new machine.
My good conscience was telling me to just resume work like that, so Onome won’t say I came late again. But trust my other judgment to dissuade me from doing the right thing.
“You’re Badmus’ woman now. Onome has no power over you. She can’t do anything to you anymore. So even if you want to resume at 10am, nothing will happen.” I said to myself.
Good mind countered and said,
“But you’re not like Onome who resumes late. You are always punctual. Don’t spoil your clean record.”
Evil genius in my head goes,
“Of course you’re not like Onome. You’re better than her. You’re the new queen of this kingdom. You can do what you like.”
While my mind was turned into a battlefield, I saw Onome drive in. Screwing better judgement, I drove in behind her, praying that there would be another parking space beside her.
If not for decorum, I would have accompanied my grand entrance with loud music, so my ‘notice me’ will be complete. But I decided to keep it simple, before they disgrace me out of the premises.
I waited patiently for Onome to finish parking her car before parking my own. I didn’t want her doubting it was me. The oppression had to be very obvious. So when she was done parking her car and had come down, I started my own drama.
I wound down my glass while I reversed into the parking space, so I could feign looking at my back for any obstacles. As I was turning to look back, I caught Onome staring at me in rude shock.
“Oh good morning Onome.” I greeted with a smile.
“Go…oo..d mo…rn..ing.” She stuttered.
“Please can you do me a favor?” I asked in my sweetest voice.
Before she could reply, I quickly made my request.
“Please help me watch my back while I reverse. This car costs a lot. I don’t want to bash it.” I said.
Horror was written on her face when I finished speaking. She stood there, staring hard at me.
“Onome! Onome! Are you listening?” I shouted.
“Yes? What?” She came back to earth.
“I said help me watch my…”
“I heard you the first time.” She walked to the back of my car.
She kept an eye at the back for me while I parked the car. Even with here there, I kept an eye too, just incase she planned to make me bash the car.
When I had successfully parked the car, she made to leave. I couldn’t let her go like that. I hadn’t revealed my new body and new style. So I called her back.
“Please wait for me. Let’s walk in together.”
She turned to me, anger visible in her eyes and stood still. I removed my key from the ignition, picked up my designer bag from the passenger’s seat, opened the door and came down. I adjusted the creases on my dress before shutting the door and cat walking to join Onome.
As I approached her, her jaw dropped. She was surprised at how good I looked. Then surprise turned to jealousy. You know that look you just give when you know someone has beat you to your own game and you want to pluck her eyes out with your acrylics, that was the look. But that one didn’t concern me. I was doing a good job of peppering her and Fayo would have been so proud if she was watching us.
I purposely didn’t lock the car immediately I alighted so I could give my darling boss another show. So as we started walking into the office, I said,
“Oops! I forgot to lock my car.”
I brought the keys out of my bag and just as Onome said,
“Go back and…”
I pressed the remote. The headlights blinked twice and I heard the lock sound.
“Don’t worry, I can lock it from anywhere. Even from our floor.” I threw the keys back into my bag.
“I see.” Onome walked ahead.
I followed her behind and started talking again.
“So how was your weekend?” I asked.
“Fine.” She replied coldly as we passed the security check point.
“Oh mine was great. Couldn’t have been better. I went car shopping and got that amazing ride. Fayo and I went shopping too and I changed my entire wardrobe. It was indeed a…”
“Listen! It’s too early for you to start talking too much. I don’t care how awesome your weekend was. Keep it to yourself.” She lashed out as we got into the elevator.
I finally got the reaction I had been longing for. I didn’t like the staring, cat got your tongue Onome. I wanted the jealous Onome, who picked on everyone. Showing a calm Onome pepper was too boring. So getting her to finally lash out was progress.
I feigned shock at what she said and apologized. Then I heard my phone ring and I reached for it in my bag. It was Fayo, I forget to mention, Badmus bought me the iPhone X too. So as I answered the call, I made sure I gave Onome a generous view of my new device.
“How far? You don show?” Fayo asked as the elevator stopped.
“Yes. I just got in. Going to my office now.” We walked out of the elevator.
“Ok. I’ll be there in 30.” She said.
“No wahala.” I said as she hung up.
Onome walked ahead to her office as I stopped at my desk.
“Have a nice day Onome.” I screamed behind her.
Of course she didn’t reply. She got into her office and shut her glass door.
The other staff had just gathered round to welcome me when the phone on my desk rang.
“Come into my office.” Onome said.
Onome could see everything that was going on in the office from her own office since her own space was demarcated from ours with glass. She must have seen everyone gather round me and she wasn’t having it.
I picked up my phone and walked to her office.
“You called?” I said.
“Yes.” She handed me a number of files.
“I need you to sort these…” She was saying as my phone rang.
“Excuse me.” I said.
She was obviously shocked that I had the guts to answer my phone while she was talking to me. Of course I wouldn’t have had liver if it wasn’t Badmus.
“Hey babe.” I said into the phone.
I kept my eyes fixed on Onome to see her reaction to every statement I made.
“Good morning love. How are you?” Badmus asked.
“I’m fine. You? Resumed yet?”
“I just finished from the gym. I was driving to yours before I remembered that you were resuming work today.” He said in disappointment.
“Ohh sorry babe.” I dropped the files on Onome’s desk and with a finger in the air, I excused myself and left her office.
“No problem. Lunch today?” He said.
“I wish. My boss is already giving me plenty work. I don’t know if I would finish in time for lunch.”
“Well you can take a break. Onome won’t make you work during lunch.”
“No don’t worry. We can do dinner.”
“Yes love. Go get ready for work.” I said.
“Ok then. See you. Kisses.”
“Bye love.” I ended the call.
As I turned to walk back into Onome’s office, she came out to meet me.
“What was the meaning of that stunt you just pulled?” She asked.
“Stunt? I don’t understand.” I said, feigning confusion.
“You really don’t understand?” She asked in anger.
“I really don’t understand what you’re saying.”
Everyone was already looking at both of us from their desks.
“What gave you the right, the audacity, the impetus, to receive a phone call while I was talking to you? Are you mad?”
“I said are you mad? I was talking and your phone rang. Not only did you pick it, you now excused yourself, without permission and left my office. When did that one start? Are we mates? Do we share the same open office? Or you think because you now drive a Benz, then you can do whatever you like?”
“Teni bought a Benz?” One of the other staff blurted out.
“You must be stupid. Very stupid to interrupt me with such a foolish question.” Onome screamed at her.
“I’m sorry ma.” She apologized.
“You better be. As for you, one would think that you would come back better after being suspended, but no, you seem to have forgotten your manners in that slum you come from everyday. Or maybe you locked it in your new car. The very next time you try the rubbish you just did, that will be your last day in this office. I promise you.” She said to me.
Just as I was processing everything in my head to give her the reply, my thoughts were interrupted,
“You wouldn’t dare.”