Last week/weekend was a drag; I purposed to bury myself in work. Reading files upon files having meeting upon meetings. Never have I been so ‘enthusiastic’ about work till now. Two things were involved I was avoiding Ben and I was still avoiding him. A quite exhaustive occupation as I had to get to work every early and get home late and be careful not to pass by his office. I wasn’t ready to face him!
So far I hadn’t stumbled into him nor had to do anything with his department. I needed to think, what I was to think about I didn’t even know!
“Esosa you just a confused, stoned hearted human being” my inner voice said. I like Ben a lot but I never pictured him as a potential boo.
So I was thrown off balance by his request and ever since I couldn’t get myself to talk to him which I would do eventually. I push my scattered thoughts to the back of my mind and prepared for a meeting with the research department.
2 hours after cross checking facts and figures, pros and cons; the meeting was a wrap. Armed with files I took short strides to my office. I slumped into my chair, I could really use a nap.
My phone was ringing; “I thought I put you on silent” I spoke to it like it could listen. I reached for it. The caller ID was Baba. If the old patriarch was calling at this time of the day there had to be news. I clicked the receiver.
“How are you?”
“I’m fine Sir”
“Do you remember Dr. Akinwale from the dinner on Friday?”
“Good he has a job for you. We were discussing after you left about a prospective acquisition his organization wants to champion he needs an apt negotiator and I recommended you”
I sighed “don’t they have negotiators in their company?”
“That I do not know but do me this favor my precious.”
“Ok, give me his contact I will take it from there”
“Don’t worry you will be rewarded well”
And the call ended.
It was time to confront my demons I’m going to Ben’s office.
As I approached his office, his secretary was not on seat but staff’s in his department where leaving his office. They nodded their greetings as they walked past. I knocked lightly on the door, opened it and peeped inside. “Have you got some minutes?”
He nodded and I came in taking a seat.
“We need to talk Ben but before then how was your Valentine?” I laughed trying to make light of the discussion.
“It was okay yours?”
“Yea same, I had dinner with my grand uncle and a bunch of his old friends. They were sharing jokes and memories and I was wondering what the heck I was doing there. My life must be very depressing” I chuckled.
“That because you want it to be” he responded.
I rolled my eyes.
“Yea about what happen 2 weeks back, urmmmm (I stuttered) about you and I taking things to the next level”.
“Yep what about it?”
“I’ve thought about it carefully and I don’t think I’m ready for the next level at the moment”.
The room suddenly felt hot, my eyes darted to the air conditioning in the room to see if it was working. It was but it felt 30 degrees. It was like I was on the hot seat and there was no lifeline.
“I don’t just think I’m ready”
“Can we still be just friends?”
“I will think about it” was his reply and he returned back to the work on his table.
I didn’t need a special notice to let me know I had to leave. I picked what was left of my dignity leaving his office.
I rounded off work for the day, I had told my driver (sadiq) to leave earlier I decided to drive home myself. I walked to the car park opened the car door and got in. I turned the keys to ignite the engine but it didn’t budge. I tried again it didn’t budge. I opened the bonnet went to the front of the car confused and annoyed. I knew next to nothing about car, all I knew was they were to be driven.
I dialed sadiq’s number but it was unavailable. I tried again but it rang out. “Esosa today isn’t your day” I hit the head of the battery a few times and went to start the engine it made a click sound then stopped.
I got out of the car to shut the bonnet; this car will be spending the night here. As I shut the bonnet turning to get my bag then hailed a cab. I met Ben standing in front of the car.
“Having car troubles?”
“Need a ride home?”
“Yes that would be nice”
A part of me didn’t want to accept his help because of his rather cold attitude to me earlier, the other part of me wanted to get home that being a more pressing need so I agreed. We drove in silence, the voice of the radio presenter reporting news headline filled the car.
President Jonathan on tour visiting traditional leaders.
I broke the silence. “This man has started campaigning for himself with style. I see through his strategy. I won’t be surprised if he goes for a third term”
Ben laughed “Esosa don’t take it personal, it’s all politics”
We began to discuss political events referring to history, current events, and future tendencies.
Traffic grew wings and we got to my apartment in no time.
I welcomed him into my apartment it wasn’t his first time here.
“Make yourself at home, I have some stew and rice hope you won’t mind eating”
“Sure that would be my fee for driving you home”
I laughed “yeye man you for talk say you hungry”
He joined in the laugh.
I changed into three quarter shorts and a tank top and began warming the stew and cooking the rice. Ben had made himself truly at home, the TV tuned into CNN. In no time food was ready and I handed over a plate of rice and stew to him whilst I settled on the carpet to watch TV. I flipped the stations to African Magic Entertainment concentrating on the movie they were showing as I ate my food.
We made small talk about the movie, he complimented the food (well it’s just rice and stew he hasn’t tasted my soup dishes 😉 )
Time had developed wings and it was already late. We cleared the dishes and I escorted him to the door.
“Babe before I go you should listen to this song”
“Song? Its past 10 and you have a long drive back to your house and you want to play me a song! Dude you’re weird”
He laughed “just listen to it first” were his response as he brought out his phone plugged his ear piece placing one in my ear and the other in his. Drew me in an embrace and clicked play.
You know they say life is all about the moments that take your breath away not in the amounts of breath you take. I stood there my head against Ben’s chest marinating on the lyrics of the song.
And your heart’s against my chest, your lips pressed to my neck
I’m falling for your eyes, but they don’t know me yet
And with a feeling I’ll forget I’m in love now
Kiss me like you wanna be loved……..
This feels like falling in love
I forgot about my let’s just be friend’s speech, as I knew in that moment he was right for me.
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