Love Bite: Entry #5
This fictional series contains foreign language, Nigerian slangs and some inappropriate use of diction. This is for the proper portrayal of the character.
Love Bite #Entry 5
I pulled up at Jade Towers at about 10.30am. I imagined the video playing on the wall of every conference room—team leaders talking everyone through the happenings as jaws dropped. I bounded up the bush-hedge lined drive way, my wig shifting with each stride. I rode the elevator to the 6th floor. When I stepped out, a few bored looks swung my way and went back to their work.
Quickly I typed into my phone.
💬Me: Abby. I’m here. How bad is it?
💬Abby: Be out soon. In meeting.
I walked towards the conference rooms and peeped in through the glass walls. There were no videos on the wall. I let out my held breath. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I could relax.
Voices interrupted my thoughts.
“Na Pastor wife o!” A voice said. It came from around the corner.
“That’s messed up, men.” It was Etim from Sales.
“I heard the video bad gan o. All those pastor-wife.” Another voice hissed.
“You haven't even seen it.” Another hissed, “Abeg who has seen it? Give me correct gist.”
"Kai. She don spoil her life finish.”
My heart sank.
My eye caught a movement from my left side. Tayo. She approached. She threw her waist long braids over her shoulder and ran her bulgy wing-tipped eyes over me. I hissed and stared into my phone. The leech had been trying to steal my project for a while now, I was sure she was glad with this mess. She paused for a brief moment in front of me. I looked up, she looked like she was going to say something, but then the corner of her mouth tipped in a small smile and she walked past me.
Abby met me in front of the conference rooms and pulled me into an empty one.“Only a hand full of people have seen it. Everyone on your team. Niran had it contained.”
“But everyone knows about it…”I said.
“HR has seen it.” She continued, “It could have been worse.”
Just then, Niran strode out if his office, sleeves rolled up and the first two buttons of his crisp white shirt undone. His eyes narrowed on me.
“Lani. A word.” He said.
Abby rubbed my arm as I walked into Niran’s office. My entire team was in there, Andrew, Tola, Gbemi, Felicia, Sanmi, Foluke Alao and Foluke Candoyle. Dami Predo, the HR manager stood against the glass wall. One by one, they began to leave, careful not to catch my eye. Soon Dami Predo and Niran were left in the room. I closed the door.
Niran spoke first, “What goes on in your personal life is your business. However, when it goes out of hand, as it has, and as we speak, and finds its way to your work life and impacts your productivity and the productivity of the team…well, that just won’t do.”
“Niran”,I started,”This will not stick, I promise—”
“I’m putting Tayo on your projects until you come back.”He cut in.
“Wait. No. Where am I going?”
“Take some time off. Get this all sorted.” Dami spoke, his bald head shone under the lights. He was about a foot shorter than Niran but thinner. He shoved one hand in his pocket, and with the other pushed his glasses up his nose.
“I don’t think we need to do this.” I said,”I can deal with this and it won’t impact my work.”
“I had Tayo moonlight your work. Too many errors in your data analysis. She can’t present that to Ivan in Marrakesh.”
“She? Marrakesh is my project! She’s not presenting anything.”
“This isn’t the time for sentiments.”He threw his hands up,”We can’t lose this deal. Your data is off. You need—”
“Niran, Is this because of you and I?”I looked from Dami to Niran, “Because of the issues we had? Is that why you are doing this?”I was becoming desperate. Niran sat on the edge of his table and raised both brows.
“We aren’t doing anything.”Dami spoke,”We are asking you to lay low until it blows over. In a few days, someone else will do something crazy and eyes will be off you. It’s how it works.”
“The entire team has seen it. I don’t need them distracted now.” Niran said, “We are about to launch that project. Tayo has been in touch with Ivan in the region. She will head there in the coming weeks. If you care about this project at all, you’ll let her bring it home.”
The horror was naked on my face.
Niran ran his hand over his head, ”Deal with it. Quickly.” He got to his feet, in a few strides, he held open the door. Tears filled my eyes and both men swam in my gaze.
Outside the door, Abby was there. She put her hand around me and led me to the elevator and into my car.
I drove home as in a trance. I couldn't remember driving or even honking for Earnest.
I’d tell Ngozi about it. Tonight.
I couldn't bring myself to tell Leke myself. He had probably seen the video by now anyway.
Less than ten minutes after I sank into my bed, I heard the front door open. 11.30am, read the alarm clock on my bedside stand. Leke?
I got out of bed.
I held my breath. Had he gone into the office? Where was his phone?
He walked into the bedroom, his shoulders drooped. His jacket hung off his shoulder, his phone in his hand.
“Hey…why are you home?” My voice shook, “You went to the office already?” I took careful steps towards him.
“How are you?” He asked, throwing his jacket on the bed.
“Hmm?”My eyes on the phone.
“Your head was aching before I left.”
“Yes!”My hand lightly slapped my forehead,”I'm better.”
My eyes focused on him but the phone in his hand never left my sight.
“Pastor Remi asked me to go home for the day. He said there were somethings to be discussed among the other pastors. I don't know what. They have all been acting strange all morning.” He sat heavily in the armchair, placing the phone on its left arm.
“Really?”I asked, “What could it be?”
“They said a few of them may come over this evening.” He said,“Will you be home?”
“Of course”, I said, “I do have to have a quick chat with Ngozi down the road.”
“Ngozi? Who’s Ngozi?”
“The neighbor in 25.”
“Please try to be here.” His brows furrowed in worry, “If they fire me…I don't know what I'd do.” I walked to him and sat on the arm of the chair, gathering him into my arms.
“Don’t talk like that. God called you to this. You mustn’t talk like that.” He leaned his head against my breasts and sighed, as I rocked him gently. My fingers found his phone. He had 2,436 unread emails and 160 unread messages. I scrolled through quickly. There it was, the video. Unopened. I pressed down to delete.
I swallowed as the message disappeared. “It would be alright.” I whispered as I rocked him and stroked his head, “It’ll be alright.”
But I knew it wouldn’t.
Copyright ©2017 by IkeOluwapo Adegboye
Entry #6 out soon!