Please Break My Heart
“Dora is going to be using the guest room”, Dad said.
“She is your daughter, she shouldn’t be using the guest room, maybe you should set up the room opposite mine for her”, I replied staring at my laptop.
“If you are not okay with it, she could leave”, he replied.
Who was he trying to fool?
“Don’t make me laugh Sir Williams, she will obviously stay here, you gave her a job at your firm and won’t allow me to work there, definitely, she will have a room here”, I said sternly.
“I will have the maids set up the room”, he said and left.
I stared at the door as it shut quietly. Dora would be moving in today and that obviously isn’t going down well with me. I have been trying to adhere to Jake’s advice about trying to accept Dora, but it hadn’t played well in my memory. I reached for my travel bag and packed for the weekend.
“I want to spend the weekend with Jake”, I said as I came downstairs with my bag.
“Are you running away from Dora”? Dad asked staring at the bag dangling carelessly from my shoulder.
“Why should I run from her”? I asked with a frown.
“You know she is moving in today”, he replied.
“I am giving her time to settle down, it won’t be easy for us to get along”, I replied.
“Make an effort D”, he said.
“I am already making one and please tell her to stay away from my room, I don’t want to see her around it when I get back”, I replied and left.
Going over to Jake’s for weekends might just be my new habit in my bid to avoid Dora. I know that we both will be busy during the week days. My escape route found!
“Good morning Darlene”, Dare said as he walked into my office.
“Good morning Dare”, I replied with a smile.
“I want to apologize for my behaviour last week; I was in a very bad mood when you brought in your request”, he said closing the door.
“I understand Dare”. I replied with no real conviction in my tone.
“Can I take you out to lunch to make up for it”? He asked leaning over my table.
“What is that going to do for me”? I asked trying not to sound interested in a date.
“Nothing really, but maybe that will be a nice way of saying sorry and possibly we just try to celebrate your birthday”, he replied with a smile revealing his teeth.
A smile like that from Dare Ade-Cole seemed expensive. I was impressed with a smile like that; I wouldn’t imagine myself smiling like that.
“By the way, how did you know about my birthday”? I asked, looking stunned.
“You work for me and so you have a file here, your file said so”, he replied, grinning.
“So, I suppose you go through your staff’s files everyday to know their birthdays” I said with a grin.
“Not exactly” he replied staring at me closely.
“So, is it a deal?” he asked.
“See you at lunch”, I replied.
Going for lunch with Dare seemed awkward, we don’t seem to get along well and I am certainly not his biggest fan. We didn’t really have a conversation as Dare drove his Black New Edition Toyota Corolla except for the occasional “What’s with Lagos Traffic at this time?” and “Should we take this route?” At a point I started to feel that accepting the offer was such a bad idea, but I snapped out of it soon because, the simple truth is that my lunch isn’t from my pocket today.
“Golden Gate is a fantastic place to eat”, Dare said as he pulled up at one of Lagos’s Posh restaurants.
“I agree with you”, I replied as I released my seat belt.
We had a lunch of Fried rice and Chicken, with a bottle of Champagne. Dare appeared boring to me as we spoke about the law firm and when it started operations. I tried to sound interested in the discussion as I smiled even when I knew that it was unnecessary. The truth is that I felt like bringing out my Blackberry Phone and chatting with Jake, at least he would have something interesting to say other work matters. I know that I am quite the official type, but shouldn’t work matters stay at the office?
I finally got a relief when Dare signalled to the waiter for the bill. My afternoon of misery was about to be over.
“I must have really bored you this afternoon”, he said opening the door of the car.
“You bet!” I replied with so much effort underneath my breath.
“I am sorry”
“It’s alright, not everyone can be fun-oriented”, I replied trying to sound like the fun-type of person. Up until my last birthday, I hadn’t really had any fun.
“Do you mind if we stroll into the park?” he asked
That seemed like an unlikely Dare Ade-Cole type of question, it felt tempting and so I didn’t mind as I nodded in agreement. The park was quiet as kids were all out at school, there were just a few adults in pairs trying to catch up on lost times.
“Do you want to run?” he asked.
“Run?” I asked with raised eyebrows.
“Yes, I mean it is for the fun, I do that whenever I come to the park”
This isn’t Dare! Or, is this a part of him that I was yet to see. This felt like Jake. But, just that this would be a Jake in an Armani suit, not my type of Jake. Jake would never wear a tie.
“I am not sure about this”, I replied raising a leg slightly to show him my heeled-shoe.
“It doesn’t matter, you can take them off”
“What about dress? It’s quite fitted in case you haven’t noticed”
“Excuses upon excuses”
“But, are you really serious?”
He wasn’t joking. He took off his Jacket and removed his Italian Suede Shoes
“Come on Dare, you can’t be serious”
He joined up with a group of young men challenging for a race. I joined the ladies who sat at the sidelines holding his Jacket and shoes. He sent his shirt and tie to me as he couldn’t run in them.
“Your man is too sophisticated to run, I trust my baby to beat him”, a lady said as she jabbed me in the shoulder.
“He is doing it for her, they both look Sophisticated” another lady said staring at my Chanel Handbag.
I couldn’t get a chance to explain who Dare was to me when the whistle went and the race started. I watched carefully as the men took off. It was fiercely contested and I found myself cheering for Dare as the other ladies did. He finished 2nd!
“Not bad for an office boy”, I said as I handed him a Face towel.
“You are welcome”
He cleaned his face and broad masculine chest which had been hidden under a suit with the tiny towel.
“How were you able to get a towel?”
“Not like it is any of your business, but I bought it from a hawker who came around”
“Thanks, that was quite thoughtful of you”
“Nice race honey”, one of the ladies that I sat beside said as she pecked Dare on the cheek.
“Thank you’, he replied with a smile.
“Hope you aren’t jealous honey?” She asked looking at me. “I won’t steal your man, you are way too hot for him to look elsewhere” she added and jogged off.
“What was that all about?” Dare asked smiling.
“The ladies think that we are together”, I replied shaking my head.
I handed him his shirt and tie, and he carefully slipped into them, adjusting his tie. One wouldn’t guess that he had just been in a race where he had come 2nd out of 10 men. We stopped at a tuck shop for drinks before we set off for work.
“I haven’t gotten you anything for your birthday yet” he said as he drove.
“Forget it; you just turned a boring date into quite an enterprising one”
“That still doesn’t mean that you won’t get a birthday gift from me”
“I don’t want it, so just drop the issue”
“If you say so”, he replied and drove into the firm.
“You must have fallen for Dare already”, Toni said as I walked in.
“Why is that?’ I asked, sitting down.
“Lunch time is for an hour and you are back after two hours”, she replied.
“That is pointless”, I replied.
“Isn’t he cute?” She asked.
“That is undeniable, but it doesn’t mean a thing”, I replied as I switched on my laptop.
“Anyways, I ran into Paul at the Central Market at lunch today”, she started.
“Does he work at the market now?” I asked, mockingly.
“He has been looking everywhere for you Darlene, he looked really disorganized when I saw him”.
“He has my address and I am sure that he didn’t delete my number”.
“He gave me this note to you”, she said stretching a letter across to me.
“Love notes are so High School”, I mocked and opened it.
“What”! I yelled.
“What does it say”? She asked.
I couldn’t put the words together, “Paul must have committed suicide by the time I would have reached him” I thought as I grabbed my handbag and rushed out. I bumped into Dare at the elevator.
“Why the rush”? He asked.
“I have an emergency”, I replied.
“Let me take you”, he said.
“I will call a cab”, I replied.
“I insist”! He said.