At the close of work, Salewa asked me if I wanted to have drinks that evening.
“I’m tired abeg. I just want to go home and rest.” I declined her offer.
“Don’t even give me that load of crap. You know we hardly do things like this because I have to rush back home to my husband everyday. Now that he is out of town, we might as well make good use of the opportunity.”
“Kene travelled?” I asked
“Yes o, to Dubai. He took some of his staff there for company retreat and team bonding.” She chuckled.
“Company retreat ke? In far away Dubai?” I was amazed.
“Ask me o, my dear. My husband said they’ve been working hard and he wanted to give them a treat.”
Rich people being rich people!
“Oga o.” I exclaimed.
“He even wanted to take them to US. I had to disagree and insist on Dubai.” She explained.
“Can you imagine? Which spectacular work did they do to warrant such a luxurious trip?” I asked her.
“Abeg let’s not talk about it before I vex. All I know is that he’ll spend double of whatever he’s spending on that trip when I’m ready to go on vacation.”
“You know me I don’t play when it comes to things like this. Sha sha, I’m thinking we should go to W.”
“Ohhh now! I’m really not in the mood Salewa.” I knew refusing was useless. Salewa always got what she wanted.
“My friend you better get in the mood and let’s go.”
Seeing that Salewa was not going to let me off the hook, I reluctantly picked up my bag and followed Salewa out of the building. Salewa got into her Prado and her driver drove in front of me. After sitting in traffic for thirty minutes, we finally arrived W Bar.
We got in, sat at the bar and ordered drinks and while we waited, I checked through my phone for any new notifications. Only for Salewa to tap me lightly and say,
“Babes, that fine guy has been scoping you since we got here.”
“Which fine guy?” I asked as I rose my head.
“Your three o’clock.” She explained.
I turned to see who Salewa was talking about only for my eyes to meet Fola’s. I turned back to Salewa and let out a long hiss.
“Kilode?” Salewa asked me.
“That’s the silly MD of Twig.”
“He’s fine o, ahan! See how yummy he looks.” Salewa excitedly glanced at him. “If I wasn’t married, I’d have thrown myself at him.”
“Tufiakwa! I will not even allow you. The guy is a chauvinistic bastard, very rude and arrogant, all because he has a few naira notes.” I hissed.
“Aunty you’re angry o. Calm your nerves abeg.” Salewa chuckled. “You don’t even know the guy that well. For all you know, he may not be that bad.”
“Wait, whose side are you on? Someone you don’t know or your best friend?” I was getting irritated.
“Calm down joor.” She nudged me.
She looked at him again as I hissed and shook my head.
“See he hasn’t taken his eyes off you for one minute. He may like you o, give him a break abeg.”
This girl has to be mad.
“Advocate of the Federal Republic! Well done o.” I said sarcastically.
Salewa looked at Fola again, this time smiling at him and he smiled back. She turned back to me and said,
“Look Ogugua, the guy is smiling at us.”
I hissed and paid her no attention. In a few minutes, a waiter approached us with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in hand.
“Good evening ladies. The gentleman over there,” he pointed to Fola. “said I should bring this bottle to you. He wishes you a wonderful evening.”
I was furious. What absolute rubbish! Is this how he chose to apologize after everything he had done?
“This is the height!” I stood up and snatched the bottle from the waiter.
I matched to Fola’s table and Salewa followed behind trying to stop me but I completely ignored her.
“You think I cannot afford my own drink?” I dropped the bottle in front of him. “Or you think I drove here with the hope that a man will see my pretty face and pick up the tab? What do you think I am? A charity case?”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying.” Fola answered gently.
Salewa tried to pull me away but I refused to move.
“You don’t understand what? Did I beg you for champagne? Why did you send me one?” I was already shouting.
“It may interest you to know that I didn’t send you anything. I sent the bottle to your friend,” he looked at Salewa. “who seems to be a more pleasant person.” Fola said.
I looked at Fola, then at Salewa before hissing and storming out of the place. I was extremely furious and worse still, ashamed. People had watched me stage a scene for a man who wasn’t even looking my way. The bloody embarrassment.
I got to my car, got it in and slammed the door so hard that Salewa’s driver looked at me in shock. The man was wondering what was going on. I banged my steering wheel hard in anger. Mad at myself for not controlling my temper and preventing that outburst, for not listening to Salewa when…
Speaking of Salewa, where was she? I looked out of my window and didn’t see her. Wasn’t she supposed to storm out of the place with me? Why wasn’t she here yet? She was supposed to be standing there, telling me she warned me but she was nowhere to be found.
I was angrier at Salewa for not coming out to chastise me than I was at myself for that public display of embarrassment. Was she now fraternizing with Fola or what? I was so mad at her that I decided not to wait any longer. So I started my engine and zoomed off.
I entered my flat and banged the door so loudly that Bena rushed out of her room to see what was happening.
“It’s just you.” She heaved a sigh. “I was so scared.” Bena said.
I didn’t say a word to her and from my countenance, she could tell I was very upset.
“What’s wrong? Was your presentation bad?”
“If that was my only problem, you think I’d be carrying a long face?”
“So what happened?” She enquired.
When I wouldn’t say a word, she pulled my arm gently and led me to sit on the couch while I sulked. She sat beside me and asked what the problem was and before she was done asking, I had started narrating.
“Salewa now stayed behind to talk to him. Can you imagine?” I said in anger.
Bena calmed me down and told me to ignore Fola.
“Don’t mind him or anything he does. Just focus on getting that contract. If you pay him any attention, he’ll continue to annoy you. So just forget about it, let it go.” She said.
“Thank you.” I sighed.
“So you will eat now?” She asked me.
“What are we having?”
“Rice and stew.”
“Ok. Let me just go and take a shower.”
As I got into my room, Salewa called me for the umpteenth time. Wasn’t she going to let me be? I thought she wanted to follow Fola home.
“What is it?” I said as I picked up.
“Na wa o. You just left me there.” Salewa said.
“I thought you were making friends with Fola Wiltshire.” I said with deep rooted sarcasm.
“Making friends how? I was only apologizing for your outburst.”
“What? Apologizing for my outburst? Who sent you?” I was livid.
“Yes Uno, what you did there was uncalled for. The man was trying to be nice and you just went there and caused a scene.” She chided.
“You know what Salewa, I’ll talk to you tomorrow. If I keep talking to you, I might say something I will regret.” I was now angrier.
“Listen,” she heaved a sigh, “I’m sorry if I did anything wrong. I just felt I should apologize and try to clear the air about the whole situation.”
“I’ve heard you Salewa. Good night.” I hung up and threw my phone on the bed before she could say another word.
I couldn’t believe Salewa was blaming me for standing up for myself and putting that man in his place. What kind of friend does that? I was so mad, I felt like I would break something if care was not taken.
“I’ll just soak myself in the tub and try to forget this nonsense.” I thought to myself.
So I went into the bathroom and lit my scented candles. All I wanted to do was relax and take my mind off things. I turned on the tap and let the water run till the bath tub was full before turning it off.
I took off my clothes before remembering that I needed to get one last thing, wine. So I grabbed my towel, tied it loosely across my chest and went to get a bottle of wine from the fridge. I got back and jumped into the tub. It was so relaxing, just what I needed after such a terrible day. The water felt so good it seemed to calm my raging spirit. Next thing, I opened my bottle and gulped down its content while I replayed the events of the day in her head and wished things didn’t go the way they went.
“Such a fine young man, yet so rude. What a waste.” I thought to myself as I drifted to sleep.