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Friday, November 30, 2012



                I returned to the office with Dare. We agreed that we won’t have anyone watch over Dare’s house so as not to draw attention to him. Probably, Tom and Sameer would be safe. Dare turned off the car’s engine.
                                “Let me take you to lunch.” He offered.
                Lunch? What ‘role’ is Dare trying to play in my life? I thought. “Dare, you don’t have to.”
                                “But I want to.” He said, taking off his seat belt. “I just want us to talk; we really haven’t been able to talk about us.”
                US??? “Dare, you are boring.” I said, laughing. He smiled faintly. “I have never enjoyed an outing with you. It’s like routine, too business like. So, I can guess what ‘talking about us’ would sound like over lunch. The typical Dare Ade-Cole, right?”
                                “I’ll try to be spontaneous.” He said.
                I grinned. “I’ll pass. Some other time.” I said, and left for my office. I met Jake standing at Bola’s desk.
                                “Hey beautiful.” He said, as I approached.
                I smiled. “Hi Jacob, what are you doing here?”
                                “I came to check out your castle. I have never seen this new office of yours,” he said as we stepped in. “Wow! This is so cool.” He said, taking a seat.
                I took my seat and stared at him. “Why are you here?”
                He pulled a face, one of those faces that a spoilt kid would do. “I am here to take you for lunch.”
                I laughed. “Are you for real?”
                                “Of course. I am starving.”
                I stared at my desk. “I am busy, Jacob.”
                                “Oh no…that’s not gonna work with me.” He said and pulled me, practically almost dragging me out of my office.
                I struggled to close the door as he forced me out. Jake bumped into Dare.
                                “Sorry Boss, but I am taking your staff here for lunch. Lunch time, right? Thank you…thank you.” He said and shoved Dare aside kindly.
                I managed to avoid Dare’s glare, but it was impossible not to notice his face when he heard that I was going out with Jake for lunch. Jake and I stepped into the elevator. He tickled me so hard that it was impossible not to giggle.
                                “This is an office!” Dare shouted after us.
                Jake pulled up in front of the water parks. “You do know that I have an hour break, right?” I asked.
                                “Of course.” He nodded, excitedly. “Let’s make it memorable.”
                I scoffed, but not with any form of disdain. “Jacob, I don’t know, but I don’t think I should be found here.”
                                “And why is that? D, you have to loosen it up a bit. Life is to be enjoyed, why make it so stoic?”
                I nodded. “I agree, but everything has its time. And this is for lunch and not for fun. I have a court case around the corner.”
                                “Okay ma’am.” He said and jumped down from the car.
                Jake was out of sight. I looked out of the car but he was nowhere to be found. Jake, don’t play with me. I strolled into the park in search of Jake. Mothers and kids were having fun in the sun. For any adult who experienced a proper growing up unlike me, it would bring back memories.
 My childhood was spent in the libraries as I had no mom to play with me or braid my hair. I experienced a little fun when Dad moved me to my granny. My teachers at school said I was overstressing my brain and knew too much.
Dad had argued, “How is that a syndrome?” he yelled. “If a kid is dull, you have a problem with it, and here you have a genie, and you say she has a syndrome! Human beings are of insatiable wants!” He hissed and dragged me out of class. That was my last class in junior high.  After much persuasion, I was shipped off to granny for some fun. Oh what an experience. My grandma is a talker!
                I checked behind the trees, but I didn’t see Jake. Someone pulled my cloth and I turned round swiftly. “Jake?” A little boy stared at me with a paper in his hand. “Now what did he send you to give me?” I asked, collecting the paper.
            I leaned against a giant tree and racked my brain. What was so special about the last time I came to this park? And with Jake to be precise? I hissed effortlessly and returned to the car. ‘Jake had better return here in five minutes else I’ll be going to the Firm by myself.’ I thought. To ease the boredom of waiting for ‘5 minutes’, I fetched my phone from my purse. A reminder buzzed on my phone from my Facebook profile. ‘JAKE’S BIRTHDAY’
                                “JESUS!!!!” I yelled and jumped out of the car. I raced into the park. “Jake, Jake, Jacob!!!” I yelled. “I am so sorry love. Jake!!!” The last time I came to the water parks with Jacob was on his birthday, this time last year. “Jake!!!” I yelled.
                Suddenly he jumped out of the bush at me. “Darlene. This is the first time you forget my birthday.” He shouted.
                I dropped to my knees. “Forgive me Jake. There’s been so much on my mind. The court case and all, you know how it is.”
                                “Of course, I know how it is.” He replied and gave me a cone of ice cream.
                Jake is so sweet! We strolled into the park. “So how are we gonna celebrate this day?” I asked.
                                “Really?” he asked, with a smile. “You really want to see some fun in it. That’s un-Darlene.”
                I smirked. “I choose to have fun when I want to.” I stressed. Jake made the ‘who are you trying to convince?’ type of face and stopped in front of a tuck shop. “Tuck Shop? Jake, please don’t ‘go Dare on me’, I want some real fun!”
                He laughed. “Isn’t ‘Mr. Sophisticated’ fun?”
                I rolled my eyes “He is, in his own way. But I want the ‘Jake’ way.”
                Jake grinned happily. “You do know what that means, right? Booze might be involved.” He suggested.
                                “I don’t do alcohol.” I replied.
                He nodded. “I have the perfect substitute for alcohol. I know you adore Fayrouz, so I have it.” He said, as we approached a chair.
                                “Jake, aren’t you bored? I mean your birthday is practically gonna be a drag if we don’t make it spontaneous.”
                Jake laughed. I could guess why he did. “What do you know about being spontaneous? D, its lunch time so we can’t really catch much fun, but if you are up to it, weekend would be a great one.”
                                “If I beat Subomi in two days.” I replied.
                He shrugged. “Don’t they adjourn cases? This case might drag. It’s oil money, my dear.”
                That’s true. I had never really thought of the possibility of dragging the case against Chidi Obi. “Okay, how are you spending this night?
                He raised an eyebrow. “I baked a cake, so I guess I’ll be eating it alone.”
                                “Are you trying to make me feel bad?” I asked, as I tossed the cone into the bin.
                He shrugged. “It’s your choice senorita. But the doors of my house will be open. I will invite Dora, I hope she will come.”
                Ya, Dora! Exactly the name I needed to hear. “What is it with you and Dora, anyways?” First Official Confrontation!
                He scoffed. “I don’t understand. Dora is your sister, and we are just hanging out.”
                I frowned. “My step-sister” I corrected.
                                “Jeez!!! Where is that coming from, Darlene?”
                What a question! It was coming from the ‘human’ part of me. I rolled my eyes. “We better get going. It’s past my lunch time.” I replied, and started to walk away.
                                “What has Dora done to you?” he asked pulling my hand back. His eyes burned.
                I yanked my hand away. “Let go!” I eyeballed him. “She’s done nothing. What’s wrong with the obvious reality?”
                                “The fact is that you sounded cold about her.” He said putting his hand in his pockets.
                I feigned a smile. “We are good. The point is, I am a little bit unimpressed with her relationship with Kolapo and I think it’s suffering thanks to you.”
                He scoffed. “How’s that my fault? Kolapo is a stupid guy. He just needs to calm down, Dora is always there.”
                                “You think? How would you feel if someone was always hanging out with your girlfriend?”
                He took a deep breath. “Do you think Dora and I are doing anything that is not proper?”
                                “Of course you are!” I blurted.
                Jake stepped back. “What are you saying, Darlene? Dora loves you, I can’t believe you are saying this, even if you don’t trust me, you should try to trust her.”
                I rolled my eyes. “I just think you and Darlene might want to be a little bit less ‘lovey-dovey’, she has a boyfriend.”
                                “You do know how to make people feel bad, don’t you? Especially on their birthdays.” He stressed and walked away. “I’ll be in the car!” he shouted.
                Jake didn’t say a word to me in the car as he drove back to the firm. He dropped me off and sped off. The effect of his screeching off blew some dust into my face. I watched until the car disappeared into thin space. Was I harsh on Jake? My jealousy had overridden my objectiveness; hence I had spoken in a bad manner to Jacob. I felt bad.
                I hurried into the elevator to the top floor. It was two hours past my lunch time. As soon as I highlighted from the elevator, I met Dare standing in the hallway. “TO MY OFFICE NOW.” He ordered and turned into his office. I sighed and followed him.
                I closed the door after us and took my seat. “Now what?” I asked.
                                “Darlene, this is no proper way to act. You left the office for lunch hours ago, and you are returning at this time?” he asked pulling up his sleeves to confirm the time. “Ah…it’s past three.”
                I sighed. “Just take it out of my pay.” I replied. I was too sad about offending Jake than to allow Dare start me on his mood.
                                “You think this is a circus?” he said, hitting the table. “I am not your payroll manager and it isn’t my work to take your cash. You have done something which is against office rules.”
                I put my hands up in surrender. “Dare, please don’t start with me this afternoon. It won’t happen again.” I said, standing up.
                                “Ms. Williams!” he shouted. “This is an office and we have rules here. When you err, you apologize to the appropriate persons.”
                I stared at him and managed a smile. “I am sorry, Mr. Ade-Cole.”
                He buttoned his jacket and took his seat. “Don’t take advantage of the fact that I love you, Darlene.” He said and turned on his laptop. “You may go.”
                Was I taking advantage of Dare? I fumbled with the door handle and then paused. Here comes the part where you practically ‘turn the tables’. “How did you find out about Tobi?” I asked.
                                “Excuse me?”
                I returned into the office and took my seat. “When did you get to know that you weren’t Tobi’s legit Dad?” I asked.
                He shook his head and closed his Mac book. “She told me when she got pregnant. She didn’t even hide it.”
                I probed him with my look. He then walked over to the fridge. “A drink?”
                I nodded humbly. He then smiled and brought out a can of Coke. I frowned slightly. “Fayrouz, please.”
                                “I don’t have Fayrouz here, but there’s Valentino Grape.” He said, showing the grape juice. I nodded and he passed me a bottle.
                We opened the bottles and then he continued. “Reina was in love with modeling, but because of family ties, Dad put her in Ade-Cole.” He started. “I was in support of her dreams to be a Model and so when a runway opportunity came up. I encouraged her to go for it. She made her way through the pageant that year and was selected for a fashion week in Paris.” He paused and took a deep breath.
                He raised his head and walked towards the Window Blinds. “After Paris, She came to my house and told me that she wanted to end the relationship.” He continued.  “At first, I thought that she wanted to pursue her career in modeling and maybe she won’t have time for me anymore.” He returned to his seat. “She was quick to tell me that she wanted to start a new life with her baby. I was so disappointed, especially when she told me that the father won’t have the baby.”
                                “So, you just took up the responsibility?”
                He nodded with a smile. “We do stupid things when we are in love. But, I don’t regret it. I loved Tobi.” He returned to the window.
                                “I am sorry.”
                                “The kid really was adorable. I agreed with Reina to be his father, the only person apart from Reina and I who knew about Tobi was Toni, she knows almost everything.” He sniffed a bit; I could guess he was trying not to feel bad. “I am responsible for Reina’s problems.”
                I stood up and joined him at the window.
                                “If I had picked Tobi up, that accident would never have happened. Reina won’t be this psychologically damaged.”
                Did he think Reina was damaged because of Tobi? I’ll say the woman was totally obsessed with him. “Don’t beat yourself over Reina. I’ll say she should just see a psychologist. Probably a rehab for body and soul. ” I thought about the facility that Paul and Jake attended. “Maybe she’ll come back married.”
                Dare smiled. The statement was meant to make him smile, which he did. “Thanks Darlene.”
                                “You are welcome.” I replied, and stretched out my hand to hug him. There was this sensual smile on his face as we hugged.
                Cheers to the man I love!            




Thursday, November 22, 2012



                An awkward silence filled the room.
Dare held his head as he stepped away from Reina. Reina wiped her eyes clean. “You don’t mean it Dare.” She fumbled as she held her hair.
                                “Enough of us fooling ourselves, Reina. I loved Tobi as though he was mine, but you know he’s not my son.” He replied, straightening out his jacket. Reina had it rumpled when she held on to him. It was time for me to exit the scene, so I reached for the door.
                Reina rushed towards me and closed the door. “Stay and hear the whole story. I know you are interested in knowing everything.” She yelled holding my blouse.
                                “Let go. Sort yourselves out, I have work to do.” I shouted and shoved her away. I closed the door after me and left for my office.
                Toni joined me as I approached my door. “Hey love.” She said as we hugged.
                                “Is Gideon gone?” I asked as I pushed the door open. She strolled over to the side table and poured herself a cup of coffee. “Is that your first cup this morning?”
                She shrugged and took her seat. “No. I already had the office steward bring me some from Latte’s shop but I know this is freshly prepared. I am a bit covetous.” She said, taking her seat.
                                “So has Gideon returned to military camp?”
                She dropped the coffee cup on the table. “Why are you so interested in that?”
                I shrugged. “You called me ‘Love’. Probably, you miss him.”
                She smiled faintly. “I dropped him off at the airport last night. He has been deployed to Israel.”
                                “Israel? That’s some place. Anyways, he’ll be fine by God’s grace.”
                She nodded. “That reminds me; I heard you had a confrontation last night. How was it?” she asked with a smile.
                I jerked in my seat. “Are you crazy? I was almost killed last night, and you call it a confrontation?”
                She laughed. “I am sorry dear, but it is one of those things.”
                ONE OF THOSE THINGS??? “I would give an arm not to have a repeat.”
                She shrugged. “Hopefully.” She finished up the coffee. “For what it’s worth, I think you should take more security measures, at least until this case is over.”
                                “In other news, Reina is with Dare.”
                She nodded. “I saw her come into the building. What does that lady want?”
                                “Tobi wasn’t Dare’s son.”
                Toni took a deep breath. “Who gave you the news?”
                                “Dare blurted out angrily at her. They had an argument; the lady needs to get checked. She is a handful.” I said, as I turned on my laptop. My phone vibrated. The caller ID was restricted. “I don’t do ‘Restricted IDs’”
                Toni looked at me curiously. “You should pick the call. You have a case around the corner, anything could be useful.” She said.
                                “Or dangerous…” I chipped in carefully. I picked the call but didn’t say anything.
                I waited for the caller.    “Tom Frost here” The caller said.
                I stood up and approached the window. “Tom??? Is anything the matter?”
                                “Not really. We are having a handful with Dare’s mother. The woman is causing a lot of trouble here. She has threatened to call the cops.”
                I grabbed my purse immediately. “I will get back to you soon.” I said and hung up. “Toni, I gotta go. My witness is having problems with Dare’s mom. What’s the woman like anyways?”
                                “Dare’s mom? Are you sure?” she said, sounding almost confused.
                Seeing that Toni was lost I hurried for the door and bumped into Dare. “I was coming to see you.” we both said at once.
                                “You first.” He said, with a smile. I bet his smile would disappear when he heard my news.
                I sighed. “I need to get to your house. Your mom is giving Sameer and Tom trouble.” I said clutching my purse to my arm.
                                “My mom???” he asked looking surprised.
                I nodded in agreement. “Tom just called me on restricted ID and said they were having problems with your mom.” I said hurriedly.
                                “My mom isn’t in the country. She doesn’t even know my place. I last saw her when I was erm….. 18, I guess.” He said, sounding surprised.
                I gasped. “OH MY GOD!!!” I said and rushed towards the elevator. Dare chased after me and we left for the garage.
                                “Officer Philip. Please I need your help.” I said and rattled into the phone to Officer Philip. Dare immediately gave his address to me and I said it to the cop.
                Dare pulled up swiftly. “Stay in the car. If you don’t see me in 5 minutes, get away from here as fast as you can.”
                                “You can go in there alone.” I said, holding his hand.
                He held my face. “I love you too much to take a risk, just do as I have said, Darlene. Please.” He said and got out of the car.
                I jumped out of the car and followed him. “Please Dare, don’t go in there. Let’s wait for Phillip.”
                                “Darlene, just go back to the car. Please….” He begged.
                The door flung open and Tom came out. “Thank God you are here, could you help us calm your mom?” he said. We rushed inside immediately and locked the door.
                                “Dare.” An elderly woman said.
                He stared at her carefully. “MOM??? When did you get back?” he asked.
                                “Last night. Your dad gave me your address. Sorry I crashed in here, but who are these men, American and Arabian?”
                Dare sighed and sank into a chair. “Mom, I don’t appreciate you showing up here out of the blues.”
                                “That’s no way to talk to your mom, Dare. You haven’t seen me in like 10 years. Give me a hug, boy.”
                Dare reluctantly hugged his mom. I couldn’t understand. I would give anything to have my own mother.
                                “You are so grown now. You are looking good my love.” She said as she tip toed to kiss his head. “I am sorry for everything Dare. The divorce and all.”
                He shrugged and stood by my side.
                                “Who is this beauty?” she asked. “The woman in your life?”
                I flushed embarrassingly. He smiled faintly. “This is Darlene Williams. She works at Ade-Cole with me.”
                                “Nice to meet you.” she said, stretching her hands out at me.
                I took it coolly. “Nice to meet you too.” I tried to bow courteously.
                                “You remind me of someone I used to know.  Are you Sir Williams’ daughter?” she asked, taking off her jacket.
                I nodded in agreement. “At your service.”
“You look so much like Danielle, may her soul rest in peace.”
                                “You knew my mom?” I asked.
                She nodded with a smile. “We used to be best of friends, we hung out together before we got married to men we didn’t love and did love in reverse.”
                                “I don’t understand.” I said. Dare’s mom stepped away to the bar. I followed her quickly.
                She paused and smiled as she poured herself a drink. “You care?” she said.
                                “I don’t drink.”
                She smiled. “I never used to drink until I became Dare’s father’s wife.”
                Dare stepped outside to attend to Officer Philip who had pulled up. “Dare even has cops visit him?” she asked, peering through the window.
                                “We had a tiny situation.” I replied, as I took my seat. I was eager to learn about my mother. I barely knew her, so any information on her would be soothing.
                She gulped her drink and sighed. “Where do I start from? Let me introduce myself, I am Olamide Ojo.”
                She obviously didn’t expect me to call her by her name. Nigeria is rich in tradition and ‘respect’ which danced round the ‘thank you ma-sir’ relationship and the No-first name rules for those that hadn’t been colonized at heart. Just to be on the safe side, you start with the ‘ma’. If you are cautioned, you try to adapt, but never do first names with ‘elders’.
                                “Nice to meet you ma.” I greeted. “I am Darlene.”
                She nodded. “So, Darlene, I won’t waste your time dancing around the bush and mincing words. I married Ayodeji Ade-Cole but he was the one your mother wanted, and I, I was madly attracted to Williams, your father. But they saw us differently.” She started. “I’ll need more of this drink.” She said, as she poured another glass. “Are you sure you don’t want some? Dare might just turn out like Ayodeji and turn you into an alcoholic.” She joked as she drank.
                                “Thank you ma, but Dare and I aren’t a couple.” I replied staring out of the window as Dare dismissed Officer Philip.
                She rolled her eyes. “Ayodeji and your Dad, Kunle used to be best friends. They had just completed law school when we met them.” She continued. “The irony of the whole thing is that Danielle hung out with Ayodeji most of the time and I with Kunle but we were busy hooking ourselves up in reverse. Kunle liked Danielle and so I helped him with Danielle and Ayodeji liked me, so it was Danielle’s responsibility to hook us up” she said and sighed. “I regret.”
                Dare joined us at the bar. “What are you two talking about?” he asked with a smile.                       
                                “Ladies stuffs.” His mother replied.
                He scoffed. “Really? Since when did you become friendly with younger girls? You used to say my generation was filth.” He said as he took off his jacket.
                Olamide Ojo smiled. “This is one lady with a smart blood in her. She is Kunle Williams’ daughter, we just had to blend.”
                                “Where’s Sameer and Tom?” I asked.
                His mom cut in. “The Arabian and American?”
                                “Yes mom. They are friends.” Dare replied. “I’ll go check on them.” He said and left the bar.
                Olamide smiled at me. “So how is Dare?”
                                “He is doing well.”
                She smiled. “It’s been 10 years since I last saw him. The divorce affected him really much, but the truth is that Ayodeji and I were not made for each other. After a while, our life was over.” She said.
                I could understand Ms. Olamide’s plight. A relationship with someone you don’t love could be frustrating especially when you are not putting in any effort to try.
                                “Dare hated me after I divorced his father. He used to reverence his Dad. Ayodeji is a good man, but he has made so many mistakes, first of which was marrying me.”
                I smiled. “You should have gotten over it by now.”
                She nodded. “Definitely.” She said. “I am quite a happy woman now. I have more time for the spa, clubs and functions.”
                ‘Is that the definition of a happy woman?’ I thought. “Oh well…I can’t say I envy you. A lawyer is a busy lady.”
                                “Hmmm….did you really ever want to be a lawyer or is that what Kunle wants for you?”
                I shook my head in disagreement. “It’s my first love. My Dad only made it better.”
                                “Why then are you working for Ade-Cole, you do know that Kunle and Ayodeji are no longer pals.”
                I nodded. “I know, but I really have no idea as to why they are enemies and rivals.” I replied.
                                “It was Ayodeji’s fault, after we got all got married, I told him that I didn’t love him and that I loved Kunle. Danielle had already agreed things with Kunle after your birth that she would leave him and start her life afresh, but Ayodeji wasn’t going to let me be. He fought Kunle for my feelings and then they cut off the partnership they were supposed to have in building a law firm together.”
                I listened as she continued. “I’ll say Kunle is better off for it, Ayodeji would have made an arrogant partner.”
                                “Are you calling a man arrogant based on the fact that he wanted to fight for your love?”
                She smiled. “You are indeed a smart girl. But the truth is, Darlene, we know how these things end, one of which is the divorce. Dare was on the receiving end of our separation. The poor boy didn’t deserve to see his dad and mom so far away.”
                A slight thought dropped in my heart. ‘Could my Dad be seeing Olamide Ojo now?’ I smiled and then said, “Is there any man in your life at the moment?”
                                “Of course! I am a happy woman, remember?” she said smiling.
                BINGO! I could guess my father’s next wife. It had to between Olamide Ojo and Dami Oluwole.
                She straightened up in her chair. “I am currently dating the owner of the spa were I go to.” She said with a smile. “Not letting you in on that spa name. He is a young man.” She said grinning.
                OR NOT, Olamide Ojo definitely wasn’t seeing my father.