There was so much noise outside. Reina was resisting the security officers and she was screaming at the top of her voice. I became uncomfortable and so I stepped out to the incident. She was struggling with them in front of the elevator.
“This is an office, Reina. It’s not like you are being arrested, just co-operate with the security guys and you’ll be outside in no time.”
Reina snarled. “You think you are funny, right? I was here before you, and I know how it is here. You won’t survive here.”
“Why all these noise?” Dare yelled furiously popping his head from his office door. “Why is Ms. Martins making so much noise?” he asked.
Reina straightened her ruffled hair. “Ms. Williams had me kicked out of her office.” She replied.
Dare stared at us. “Both of you in my office, NOW!” he ordered.
Reina and I sat before Dare like two high school girls before the principal. Dare kept quiet waiting for one of us to speak. I was never going to be the first to speak and Reina made it very easy.
“You know I am not one to start troubles.” She started. I rolled my eyes. “She threatened to throw me out of her office. I thought it was all a joke until she made good of them.”
Dare took his gaze to me excepting me to speak. “She was found in my office. I can’t believe I didn’t call the cops”
“You had me dragged out of the office and erm…um” she bumbled over a few words and then hissed. “She humiliated me, Dare.”
Dare relaxed in his seat. “When you told me that you were going to look around, you never said it included sneaking into people’s offices. I can’t blame Darlene for being hard on you.”
“That is my office, Dare. You said it will always be mine.”
‘Never believe a man’s promise while in bed’. I stared at Dare waiting for his response. “That office belongs to Darlene. You no longer work here, remember?”
“I think I have embarrassed myself enough. See you at home, Dare.” She said, and grabbed her bag. “Have a nice day, Darlene.”
Reina Martins smiled at me. “Ever since I lost my son, I have been going through a lot. I’ll see my psychiatrist on my way home.”
“I am so sorry, Reina.” I said as I sprung to my feet.
Her face had fallen. I couldn’t tell who she was again. She had gone from arrogant to humble and now I felt like the bad person.
“Never mind, Darlene. That office brings back memories, I guess it got me all fired up in the wrong direction.” She added, reaching for the door.
I held her back feeling very confused. “Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.
“This is an office.” Dare sounded.
Reina smiled. “Duty calls. We’ll see some other time.”
“How about lunch?” I offered.
Reina nodded in agreement. “I’ll pick you up for lunch.” She said, and walked out. I closed my eyes and leaned against the door.
“I don’t understand you, Darlene.” Dare started. “You are going out with Reina for lunch. You don’t even know her, she just tripped you with our late son and you are getting all Mother Theresa over it.”
I stared at him. At this moment, I didn’t know who confused me more. Dare seemed indifferent about Reina, and Reina just performed a world class play which I have fallen for and I am not sure that I want to believe Dare over a grieving mother.
“There could be no harm.” I replied.
He smiled and grabbed his grey jackets. “Of course not, I have a meeting now. When I get back, I’ll send for you.” He replied and walked out.
“‘When I get back, I’ll send for you’ Who does he think he is?” I mimicked, and returned to my office.
I was eager for lunch. I was so delighted when the clocked ticked 1pm. I rushed downstairs. Reina leaned in front of a Porsche car. She was dressed in a cream top, brown leather shorts and a black tip toe heels, her hair was now made and loosely around her shoulder. To cap up her impressive show-off, she wore dark sunshades. For the first time, I felt out-classed. REINA MARTINS IS SMASHING! There was this smile lurking around her lips as she approached me. She looked nothing like a lawyer, more of a model.
“Hi Darlene,” she said, taking off the sunglasses.
I smiled back. “Hi Reina.”
We headed for ‘Harbour Point’. Craig David’s ‘officially yours’ pulsed slowly beneath the stereo as Reina drove. I stole glances at her as she maintained a steady smile. Rather too calm for this current situation, she smiled back. I was relieved as soon as we got to Harbour’s Point. We took our seat near the ocean.
“Isn’t it lovely from here?” she heaved a sigh of relief as she removed her sunglasses.
The waiter approached us. “I think it’s a nice view.” I replied, cautiously.
“Martinis please,” she said to the waiter. “What would you have Darlene?”
I was having a tough time picking my drink, so I opted for Lemon.
“Are you really going to drink Lemon?” she asked. “Please bring two glasses of Martinis.” Reina said, dismissing the waiter.
I smiled. “I don’t take alcohol.”
“Really? What part of this earth are you from?” she asked. Seeing that my countenance was still stern, she continued. “I’ll have him get you the Lemon.”
I nodded. “Thank you.” Reina didn’t look to me like the lady who wanted me out of the office earlier, and she also didn’t appear like one who had lost her son. I was beginning to think that coming out with her was a mistake.
“You might think that it was a mistake for you to be here with me because I haven’t been wailing about my kid, but all I want is a calm atmosphere before we talk.” She said, flipping her hair back. “Sometimes, it just gets into my mouth.” She said, and laughed.
I didn’t know if I was to laugh with her, because it didn’t seem funny. Or maybe I just totally lacked a sense of humour like Dora and Jake had said. I did manage a smirk. I finally got my lemon. Reina and I were about to have our conversation.
“Dare killed my son.” She said, bluntly.
I had to act to surprised. It would have seemed out of place if I was aware of her son’s death before now. “How do you mean?” I asked.
“Dare never liked our son. He was very mean to the little boy.”
I had to stop her there. “Reina, why would he hate his own son?”
She sighed. “Dare is a troubled man. I stood by him because of love, after his parents got separated; he took out his anger on everyone including that balloon, Toni. You can ask her.”
“I take exceptions to my friends being called names.” I said, cutting her off again.
I smiled. “I am sorry.” She adjusted her hair. “Tobi came to us under very weird circumstances, I gave birth to him in Paris because Dare didn’t want the news out.” She paused to sip her drink. “When I decided to return to Nigeria, he kicked against it, but I refused and with his father’s help, I was able to return to the country with our kid.”
Her face was now stern and I guessed that we had gotten to the real discussion. “Tobi died because Dare refused to pick his son from school. I was just learning to drive and then my teacher said I couldn’t go on the express yet. Dare claimed to be too tired of the boy and made me do it.”
“If Dare had done so much harm to you, why not let go? You seem to me a desperate woman for his love.” I said, bluntly.
She stared at me carefully and smiled. She adjusted my hair from my face. “You remind me of the passion I had for Dare.” She then straightened up. “As funny as it might sound, Dare is mine.”
Reina sounded like a possessive house wife. ‘Why would she call Dare hers?’ “I don’t understand you. Why would you want to be with him so badly?”
She sighed. “He is my bad habit. I can never let go.”
“Reina, I don’t see where this discussion is going. What do you want from me?” I asked.
She smiled. “You are as smart as I thought. Probably, even smarter,” she said, searching through her hand bag. My face was now stern. Woman to woman, I could match Reina. She could be sophisticated and classy, but my simplicity would pass for the ultimate form of sophistication.
She dropped a paper before me and a pen. “I’d like you to hand in your resignation from Ade-Cole Law Firm.”