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Friday, December 28, 2012

IMPORTANT INFO....DO READ!

Hi guys,
Sorry for the delay today. Please i crave your indulgence as i would be taking a short break, very short. I am preparing for my first semester examinations. Thanks for understanding.

I will keep you posted through my twitter account at http://twitter.com/IAm_Tomi so kindly follow me so as to get the latest information on when Episode 19 would be out.

Thanks for your understanding.

Tomi Adesina
http://twitter.com/IAm_Tomi

PLEASE BREAK MY HEART 2-EPISODE 18


PLEASE BREAK MY HEART (2)-EPISODE 18


EPISODE 18
                                                                Tuesday (6:00PM)
          I leaned against the stairs as I walked upstairs. One of the maids halted as she was pulling a bag down the stairs. “What is this?” I asked, looking at the bag.
                                “It is for Ms. Dora Williams. She asked me to take it to the cab.”
                I eyed the bag and continued up to my room. I met Dora in the hall way upstairs. “Where is it that you are going to?” I asked with sarcasm in my tone. She clutched her pouch to her neck. “Or are you going with Dad to the Bahamas? You really want my life, don’t you?”
                She sighed and shook her head. Dora looked sad. “Darlene, I came to this house with so much admiration for you.” here we go again with the reverse psychology, get to the point! “But, like they say, things change. I don’t know how much of you I admire anymore, maybe just your decisiveness. And that, I don’t think you have anymore because if you did you would know who you are in love with.”
                YOU KNOW HOW SUCH STATEMENTS END; I HIT HER WITH A THUNDEROUS SLAP! “Are you by any chance out of your mind?” I asked. My eyes were burning hot now. “You are shameless enough to be jumping around Jake when you have a boyfriend and here you are preaching to me about not knowing who I love. What has love got to do with this?” I shouted.
                                “Everything, Darlene. EVERYTHING! Darlene, you are burning in jealousy and pride because Jake prefers me to you.” She stopped to caress her cheek. “Never hit me again!”
                It was as though a bell had hit my head, and it was still resounding from the reverberation. “Dora, wake up and smell the coffee. I have been with Jake forever; he could never choose you over me!” I was talking defensive.
                                “You sound so confident. I would be sending you a wedding Invite soon.”
                I swallowed HARD. My eyes blinked carelessly as I tried to place Dora’s statement. “Is that a threat?” I asked.
                                 “Why would I threaten you, big sister? You are in real denial of who you truly love, Darlene and this is making you see the evil in everyone, and I care about you a lot.”
                                “Dora, you are selfish. You just want everything that I have and own. Well you have it all now, Get out of here.”
                She smiled with one of the worst defiance I had ever seen. “Darlene, back to your initial question, I am leaving this house for a while, I need to understand what family means again. I love you, Darlene and I wish you the best against Subomi.” She then moved aside carefully with her bag and left.
                I watched her as she walked away, I couldn’t say a word to her. I sighed and turned around to see Dad. He had a muffler wrapped around his neck. He was wearing a jean and a polo white shirt. “My flight is tomorrow morning.”
                I sighed and stepped out of his way. “Safe journey.”
                He held my hand back. “For a moment Darlene, I had thought that we were connecting again yesterday and that I could tell you a deep secret, but now I really don’t know.”
                I rolled my eyes. “Dad, keep your secret. Sooner or later we will all know. After all, I found out about Dora. This won’t be an exception.” I said and left for my room. Where could be Dora be going? Could she be travelling with Dad to the Bahamas? OR WAS SHE GOING TO JAKES??? I hurried to my phone and then paused. I was restrained with the thought that I might be stirring up enough things in Jacob’s heart.   
                I would take a nap. It’s so necessary. Dare still hasn’t called.

                                                                TUESDAY (9:00PM)
                I rolled over my sheets and turned on the wireless route. I would have a Skype chat with Sameer. It is important to check the welfare of your witness.
                                “Hey Sameer.”
                He smiled as he adjusted himself before the web cam. “Ms. Williams, are you having a good evening?”
                I smiled. “Yes, it is fine. Where did Dare go to?”                
                                “He told us that he had something important to attend to.”
                I nodded with the typical look of ‘whatever he had to do could wait’ “So how are you doing?”   
                                “I am doing okay. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I will be happy to see the end of Obi.”
                I sighed. I wanted Sameer to go back to his family as soon as possible. “Get some sleep, Sameer. Tomorrow means War.”
                I checked the usual the popular lawyers’ website to check what was going on.
                                “SUBOMI BANKOLE SALUTES DARLENE WILLIAMS COURAGE.” I read aloud and then went to the commentary.
The punch line in the commentary was Subomi saying… ‘I think Darlene Williams is good, at least, my baby girl Jumoke used to cry because of her during their high school days, but law is more than school debates. Court rooms are bigger than class rooms, and definitely Subomi is bigger than Darlene Williams!”
I read the punch line over and over again. It was dampening. There was this heat rushing through my body. I turned on the A.C; it was getting hotter and hotter. I rushed into the shower in my clothes and sat in the tub.
I ran the water open and started to rehearse. The conditions for my rehearsal to any sane lawyer was harsh, but when you are already written off before you step into the court room, you might want to hype yourself in any appealing manner.
                “Knock knock”
I hurried out of the bath. I was wet from head to toe yet I didn’t mind and I sloppily opened the door. “What do you want? You should be long gone.” I said, returning into the room.
                “I can’t leave you alone. You have a court case tomorrow, you need family.”
I smiled. “Isn’t that what you said you were going after?” I asked, staring at Dora.
                “I couldn’t leave.”
She handed me a towel. “Do you still care about me?”
I collected the towel and wrapped it around me. “No.”
                “Then I’ll leave.” She replied and left for the door. “You may not see me again.”
I smiled. “It’s about time.”
She nodded and opened the door. “Bye Darlene. I hope you win.” She then left.
                “WHY DID YOU COME BACK?” I yelled!
I dried my body and had a change of clothes. I then left for the kitchen. Food was of the essence. I had starved myself and it was beginning to wear me out. I settled for some noodles. After a while, I dialed Dare’s phone to no avail. I got the traditional, ‘NO ANSWER’ response. Dare wasn’t answering his phone. I was in no mood to drop any message for him so I didn’t go to the answering machine.
As I ate my dinner, I read the papers and soothed myself to a hot mug of chocolate. All the papers were with the same story, ‘Subomi versus Darlene Williams’. I got tired of the same thing and left for my room.
I plugged my I-pod into my ears and started playing some country music. I needed to talk to someone. I resulted to my Skype contacts. Even though Jake was offline I wasn’t sure I would have called him, I tried to put a call through to Toni but she was also offline.
                I tried to sleep but it was almost impossible.

                                                                                WEDNESDAY (12:15AM)
          I was taken aback by my first court case in Law school. I didn’t sleep all through the night. I was nervous. My colleagues then used to say that ‘I was obsessed with successes but I wouldn’t have it the other way. Losing was never an option. I knew people who lived by the philosophy but still couldn’t point out to success. I wasn’t lucky, I was blessed. I had spent hours reading all night and then Jake was with me all through that night.
                                “I know you will win this case.” he had said.
                I smiled as I closed one of the text books. “Jake, it’s my first.”
                He shrugged. “With you, it just comes.” he stretched out on my bed. Jake came around often, we were inseparable.
                                “Jake, I am sleepy.”
                He smiled. “Then sleep.” He replied, yawning.
                                “I don’t want to. I want to round off this section…” I rattled about how important it was for me to master the composure.
                He left the room and returned with a mug of hot chocolate. “This should keep you awake.” He said.
                I snapped out of my thoughts as I caressed my mug of hot chocolate. There is no Jake here today and I have to fight it through this night. Wednesday had arrived now and I knew it was time for me to confront Subomi. It might still be the early hours of Wednesday, but it was still Wednesday and I could bet that Subomi was having a time of his life after he had made me look weak in the press through his mind games.
                 A message popped up on my phone. It was from Jake. I opened it and it read:
                                                “Darlene, I don’t know how the road before you is,
But I am sure that you are coming out top in the end.
                                                                                                                                Love, Jake x”
                I read the message for the 2nd time and then replied. “Thanks!”
                I heard noise from downstairs so I went down to check, but not without a base ball stick.
                                “Hi Darlene.” Dad said, sloppily. He was tipsy-drunk.
                I shook my head. “Are you feeling convicted and now you have taken to drinking?” I asked, collecting the bottle of vodka. He snarled. I placed the bottle carefully on the side table and helped him to a chair. The maids instantly took their leave.
                He grunted a bit. I was irritated by the sound. “Dad!”
                                “Whattttttttttt?” he asked, turning on the television.
                I relaxed in my seat.
                                “It’s in the news. It’s on the internet. Everyone is talking about you, Darlene.”
                I rolled my eyes. “Dad, it’s expected. I know what’s coming.”
                He scoffed. “You have no idea yet.” He dragged himself into an upright position. “The case is against Subomi Bankole. Not his daughter!”
                I hissed dryly. “The alcohol is really something, Dad. Am I ignorant that I am up against Subomi?” I paused a bit. “Is that why you are running away?”
                                “I have urgent matters to attend to.”
                I charged at him. “It could wait, DAD!” I scoffed. “This is my first case and you are not even going to be around to witness it. How fair is that?”
                                “I warned you.”
                I nodded. “I agree! But I want your support. You are the only family I have got!”
                                “You sent Dora away.”
                I scoffed. “Here we go again! I knew you before Dora.”
                                “That’s no explanation for hurting Dora I warned you to sort things out with Jacob, you let it get out of hands and you want Dora to share in the blame, that’s unfair.”
                I smiled. “What does Sir Kunle Williams know about being fair?”
                He shook his head. “Darlene Williams, I want to take some blame in making you grow up too fast, but it’s your life, rescue it!” he said, sloppily.
                                “Cheers Dad. I chose this life.” I said and left for my room.
                Dad might have thickened me right from my cradle. I used to frequent Soldier’s camps. Dad had lot of friends in the force. So we practically hung out together all the time whilst I grew up. I spent most of my holidays living like a Soldier. I had troop hang outs from a tender age. I was the youngest in my class, my dad was dissuaded from putting me there, but he refused and through influence I had plenty of experience with the soldiers.
                Dad might also be right about me needing to rescue my life. Perhaps, that’s why I had Jake, but I had practically kicked him away. The next stop for me had to be the internet, sleep was impossible. Nervousness had taken over and my saving grace might be the social networks-twitter, preferably.
                I had good will messages on my TimeLine. People really wanted to see Subomi fail, but at the moment, I feel I am not the right person to take him down.


                                                                WEDNESDAY (5:45AM)
          Sleep did come and it took me unawares. I jumped out of bed and hurried into the bathroom. My alarm had been on since 5am, but I didn’t respond to it. ‘Traffic...BRT bus…Standing....Subomi…Oh God!’ My thoughts were disoriented as I had my bath. I spent roughly 15 minutes in the bathroom and then rushed to my mirror. I rubbed my body elegantly with my lotion; I then sprayed my most expensive cologne. I was ‘enchanting’ myself. I had a new dress for today. I brushed my hair backward. I slipped into my shoes and clutched my laptop bag to my hand. I stood before my Giant Mirror elegantly and stared at myself from head to toe.
                                “Ready…Set…Go!” I said, as I took a quick glance at my wrist watch. “6:35AM”
          I hurried downstairs and headed for the kitchen. Dad was having himself a glass of wine. “Good morning, Dad.” I said, pecking him and picking up an apple.
                                “Good morning, Darlene.” he replied and swirled he chair towards me. “You look beautiful.”
                I took the time to stare at me again. “Thank you Dad.” He was all suited up and a muffler dangled around his neck.
                                “I want you to know that I love you, and I wish you the best in this case. You are special, Darlene.”
                I smiled faintly. “Thank you Dad.” I crossed my fingers. “I wish you could come, but I know you have important matters to attend to.” I blinked carefully and pursed my lips for some air.
                He nodded. “I would follow the case.” Was that meant to comfort me? Even the retarded ones would follow the case. This is a chance for Chidi Obi to be damned. Who wouldn’t follow?
                                “Dad, safe journey. I would see you later.”
                He grabbed his keys. “Let me drop you off.” He offered.
                                “Never mind, Dad. You have a flight to catch.”
                He smiled. “The Firm is on the road to the Airport. Don’t be stubborn. You shouldn’t be caught in a Mass Transit today.” He smiled leading the way.
                                “Darlene, I am running away from your court case.” Dad said, as he drove out of the Estate.
                I nodded with the ‘who are you trying to convince’ look. “I understand. You have been saying this forever.”
                                “I just want you to believe me. This matter is very urgent and it has to be resolved. If it comes out unresolved, I am finished.”
                I smiled. “You are always in trouble, Dad. Must you always have secrets?”
                                “Everyone has their secrets. It’s just that I have made too many mistakes in my life and I need to sort them out.”
                I nodded. “We all need to sort ourselves out. So are you going to Bahamas to sort it out or to run away from it?”
                                “I am going to sort it. It’s about time.”   
          The next minutes was quiet as Dad played ‘Call your name’ by Daughtry. Dad also had a similar taste in music. The music was sober and I anticipated getting off the car. Dad pulled up in front of the Firm and took a deep breath.
“Darlene Williams, no matter what happens, I am proud to be your father.” He said, and kissed me on the forehead.
                I watched Dad drive off and then walked into the Firm. Lawyers stood in clusters. Some smiled at me while others whispered. It was obvious that they were discussing about today’s later showdown.
                                ‘I hear she is 24…I have been in this Firm for 15 years and I have not been giving the opportunity to represent Ade-Cole Firm in any high profile case,’ ‘She must be sleeping with Dare Ade-Cole to get her hands on Chidi Obi’s case…she will definitely lose’ ‘I think she has got courage…but I am afraid for her, even Kunle Williams couldn’t beat Subomi. He is a tiger in the ring!’ ‘I am afraid that she will have a low self esteem after this case…poor girl’ ‘Something tells me she will win’
                I had heard enough! The lobby was busy with my name filtering from mouth to mouth! Even people from my own Firm doubted me. I had the urge to run into the elevator but it was busy, so I headed for the stairs.
                                “Good morning, Darlene.” “All the best, Ms. Williams.” I was greeted as I tried making my way to the top floor.
                Bola greeted me with a smile as I got to the top floor. “Good morning, Ms. Williams.”
                                “Darlene…” I corrected with a smile. “God morning, Bola.”
                She collected my bag and took it into my office. “Here are your mails.” She said dropping a bundle of envelopes on my desk. “You have had calls from four newspaper houses and two Television stations. They want you for interviews. I told them that I will get back to them at noon.”
                I smiled. “Thank you.” I had not even been to court yet and they want interviews. Press and their snooping around!!! I checked the mails. Half of the mails were to wish me ‘Success’ in the case. Interestingly, Bobby had sent me a mail too. “That boy…” I said and sank into my chair.
                                “Knock knock.” Toni said as she entered.
                I smiled. At least, she would take away my fears. “Good morning, Toni.”
                                “You are beautiful.”
                I smiled faintly. “Thank you.” I rose to hug her. “I am scared.”
                                “You will be fine.”
                We took our seats. “Dare still hasn’t called me.” I said. She shrugged. “I tried his cell but he isn’t answering. Do you think he is fine?”
                She shrugged. “I think Dare is fine.”
                                “Are you hiding something?” I asked, probing Toni. “Or is he back with Reina?”
                Toni sighed. “Don’t be so paranoid. Dare had something very important to deal with.”
                Everybody had something important to deal with, especially on a Day like this. “I understand.”

                                                                WEDNESDAY (12:45PM)
          Toni strode into the office. “Do you want to grab lunch before we leave for City Hall?”
                I stared at my phone. “Dare hasn’t called.”
                                “Oh boy…is that the question I asked?” she hissed dryly and took her seat. “Dare couldn’t have called yet. He is still attending to serious matters.”
                I nodded. “Would you drive me to City Hall?”
                She rolled her eyes. “Of course Darlene, moreover it’s not like I have a choice here.” She winked at me. “Let’s get you something to eat, honey.” She said, taking my hand.
                Bola rose to her feet as soon as we stepped out of my office. “Ma’am…There’s been a call from the Court to re-inform you.”
                                “Subomi could forget he has a case because he is a pro…but this rookie here is as anxious as ever.” Toni blurted.
                I stared at her. “Thank you, Bola.” I pinched Toni. “Shall we?”
                                “Yes of course, my lady.”
                We had our lunch at a snacks shop just few blocks away from the Firm. I wasn’t in the mood for heavy food. “I would have a Sausage please…” I said. “And a can of Fayrouz.”
                Toni smiled proudly as she was about to order. “A double-decker club sandwich, please.” She paused and smiled. “A diet coke too…I won’t like to add to my weight.”
                I chuckled. What did Toni think a Diet Coke would do for her?
               
                                                                CITY HALL (venue for the court case) (2:30PM)
          Toni pulled up and turned off the stereo. “These rats…they are everywhere.” She said, taking a swipe at the Press Men and Women who were lurking around. I sighed and bowed my head. She rubbed my back. “Its okay, Honey. You see, I would have killed to have these people follow me around on my first case, I’ll say you are lucky.”
                                “This isn’t funny.” I said, looking through the mirror. The Pressmen were teeming in numbers and some pointed to Toni’s Range Rover. “I think they are coming.”
                I slid down in my seat and ensured the doors were locked. “Can these people just get away?”
                Toni laughed. “I think it’s cool. You just have to be yourself and don’t say anything that you don’t want to. It would be worse once you step out of the court room.” She sighed. “I think you should just soak it up.”
                I sat up. “The case doesn’t start until 4pm. What do we do to avoid these ‘rats’?”
                She started the engine. “We would drive to Shoprite, it’s just a block away but be careful not to pick a teddy else the headlines would be that, ‘Darlene Williams picks out a teddy to hug at night as she loses to Subomi.’  We both laughed.
                                “You are beginning to sound like Dora when she first arrived at our home. She was everything called ‘funny’. She made my life ‘spontaneous.’”
                Toni nodded. “Sweet talk about your sister, you should just hug her when you get home.”
                                “She already left.”
                Toni sighed and drove. “You must have frustrated that little girl. Do you think she has a connection with Jake?”
                                “Yes. I think she is in love with him and I feel he likes her too.”
                Toni smiled. “What did you expect, Darlene? You struck the match; you are bound to feel the flame.”
                                “I didn’t push her to Jake.” I retorted, defensively.
                She nodded and pulled up at Shoprite. “But you pushed Jake to her.” She turned off the engine. “Hurry and meet me here by 3:15pm.”
                I stepped out of the car and hurried into the mall. I didn’t know what to buy, but I had to occupy myself, I was nervous. After few minutes of walking round, I bought myself a Digital Camera I didn’t need.
                                “3:15PM…SPOT ON! Shall we?” I asked as I joined Toni in the car.
                She started the engine. “Okay…my sources report that Tunji Davis just got to the court house, and Chidi Obi is also present. We all await Subomi.”
                Toni hurried back to the City Hall
                                “Here we are…” she said.
                I took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. Yes…the ‘rats’ rushed at me.
                                “Ms. Williams, this is your first case, how are you going to handle it? “You are up against a veteran, it’s no child’s play, are you confident? Can you tell us how you fancy your chances?” the questions poured in as I tried to make my way through them into the Court room.
                Toni rescued me. “No comments…no comments….no comments….” She dragged me by the arm into the court room. Some sanity, at last!
                There was an uproar and running around followed. Toni and I stood up and rushed towards the window. Toni sighed. “Subomi Bankole arrives.”
                Darlene Williams, are you ready?

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PLEASE BREAK MY HEART 2-EPISODE 17


PLEASE BREAK MY HEART (2) - EPISODE 17


EPISODE 17
                Tunji Davis handed over the bill to the waiter and the waiter left. “Ms. Williams, I would love to salute your courage on far on this case.” I responded with a smile. He sighed and then continued. “Well, after all is said and done, we would be starting the proceedings tomorrow, how do you feel?”
                I couldn’t understand Tunji Davis. I am his lawyer, yet he kept asking about my state of mind every now and then. I could understand that maybe my age and inexperience was responsible for everyone ‘caring excessively’, but I am a professional and I should be given a free hand, shouldn’t I?
                                “I am in high spirits.” I replied, slightly cocky.
                He smiled. That was satisfying to him on any level. “Have you seen the Dailies today?” he asked, placing on before me.
                                “I have read this exact one.” I said, tapping the paper.
The tabloids were boldly written:
“IN WHAT MIGHT JUST MAKE FOR THE CASE OF THE YEAR, DARLENE WILLIAMS, DAUGHTER TO RENOWNED LAWYER, SIR. KUNLE WILLIAMS TAKES ON THE EVERGREEN SUBOMI BANKOLE TOMORROW!!!”
“These Press People have a way of hyping Subomi. What’s evergreen about him? Is that layer of grey hair that he has?” Tunji Davis asked. I guess he wanted to start a joke, but it fell flat. I couldn’t even manage a chuckle. We both knew that Subomi was no child’s play.
                I stared at the paper. Subomi Bankole’s picture almost stole the show. An almost-passport size of mine was used as my picture and placed below his. At the back page of the paper, people from all works of life had sent in their thoughts on the case and the most probable winner. Subomi Bankole, all the way! It could kill one’s spirit.
                                “I believe in you.” he said, collecting the paper.
                I smiled. He didn’t have a choice. His money was on me. “Thank for the vote of confidence.”
                                “We could take our leave now.” He said, standing up.
                I picked up my purse.
                                “Excuse me Ms.,” a voice said behind me and I turned around. “Do you remember me?” he asked.
                I stared him from head to toe and smiled. “Bus boy, right?” he nodded in the affirmative. “Thanks for what you did earlier today.”
                                “The name is Bobby.” He said.
                I smiled. “Nice to meet you, Bobby, I am Darlene.” Mr. Tunji Davis cleared his throat. “Meet my friend here, Mr. Davis.”
                Tunji Davis stretched out his hand to him. Bobby bowed taking the hand of Mr. Davis. “Honored to meet you, Mr. Davis.” Tunji Davis smiled and patted him on the back.
                                “Shouldn’t you be in school, Bobby?” I asked.
                He smiled. “Yes, I am on assignment. I have a term paper to submit and I am writing on ‘The Fall of Chidi Obi – a modern day tyrant.’” He said confidently.
                Goose pimples flooded my skin. “Are you sure about the title of that Paper?
                He nodded in the affirmative. “A lot of us are banking on you to put him away forever.” I stared at the Newspaper. “Of course, we don’t have the money to get heard in the papers.”
                I swallowed. “Bobby, I appreciate the vote of confidence.” I said, clutching my purse to my arm indicating that I was on my way out of the restaurant.
                                “Could we take a picture together?” he asked. “The three of us.” He said with a smile.
                Tunji Davis shrugged and joined us. Bobby gave his camera to an attendant who took our picture.
                                “Thank you Sir and Ma.” He said.
                I smiled. “Can you take a joke?” I asked.
                                “Of course.” He replied with a smile.
                I grinned and said. “Submit that paper when the whole case is over.” I winked and left.
                                “I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!” He called after me.
                It seemed as though I was part of the majority who didn’t believe in me. We tried to avoid any conversation the case. ‘Let tomorrow take care of itself.’ He dropped me off at the Firm and I returned into my office. Toni was just returning from lunch too so we met at the door.
                                “Hope you had a nice and poison free lunch?” she asked with a smile.
                The Escherichia coli thought flooded back in my head and I managed a laugh. “It was decent. I have something to tell you.” I said as we walked into her office. “No intern yet?” I asked, as I stared at picture of Toni and me on her desk.
                                “It gets lonely here sometimes.” She said with a faint smile.
                I dusted what used to be my seat some months back and took my seat. “I am scared of losing tomorrow.” My eyes were full. Toni came over to me and hugged me. “I don’t want to lose.” I said in tears.
                                “You are a fighter, Darlene. I have seen you stand up for what you believe in. You will succeed, by God’s grace.”
                I Squeezed out of her embrace. “Toni, you don’t understand, If I fail, I will be failing a lot of hopefuls.”
                She sighed and shook me up. “You can’t fail.”
                                “There’s this young guy, Bobby. I met him on the bus this morning.” I started with a smile. “He gave me his seat. At first, I thought it was a bet of a sort with his classmates, but I later saw the reason for his gesture today at lunch.” I paused to clean my face. “Bobby is writing a term paper on: ‘The Fall of Chidi Obi – a modern day tyrant’.” Toni let out a breath. ‘Whew’
                She bit her lips. “Just like Bobby believes in you, I also do.”
                                “Thanks for the vote of confidence.” I said and smiled. Slowly I started chuckling. I realized I had been saying ‘thanks for the vote of confidence’ all day. It got to my heart, I slowly started to cry. What if their confidence wasn’t enough? What if I really wasn’t ‘good enough’? Maybe I was just good for the small stages. “I could step down now.” I said in tears. “I am afraid.”
                Toni looked worried. “No Darlene, you can’t give up now. I am going to call Jake, maybe he can shake things up around here.” She said, reaching for her phone.
                                “Don’t!” I said, grabbing her hand.
                She scoffed. “Why is that? There’s nothing about you that Jacob hasn’t seen. So this isn’t strange.” She said, trying to dial his number.
                                “We are no more friends!”
                She dropped her phone. “When did that happen?” she asked, slowly taking her seat.
                                “This morning, Jake is now with Dora and this will soon be official between them; I need him to be free.”
                Toni looked at me for a while and then laughed. “All this time you were pretending, you are meant to be with Jake! See you without him for few hours and you are like a vegetable.”
                                “This is not because of Jacob. I have a court case around the corner. I am worried.”
                She shot angrily at me. “Just shut up! Why don’t you work out your emotions first? Today, I think you love Dare, tomorrow; it looks like your life would end without Jacob. What is it going to be? Make a choice! Stop playing with every man’s emotions. You are not the first ‘hot-beautiful-amazing-brilliant-and-bitchy’ in all of a girl!” she rambled angrily and stormed out.
                My tears dried instantly. What did Toni just say??? I couldn’t place the last words. ‘Hot-beautiful-amazing-brilliant-and-bitchy in all of a girl???’ I left for my office. Toni had rubbed everything in my face all at once- good, bad and ugly truth!
                I read the proceeding for the court case from the mail sent to me. I struggled to keep my eyes on the laptop screen. The intercom rang. “Yes Bola.”
                                “Mrs. Toni here ma’am.”
                I sighed. “I won’t be having any visitors today.’ I replied and hung up. I shut Toni out.
                The intercom rand a second time and then there was a bang on the door. I listened to the drum on the door. It soon stopped and then I had time to reply my mails. Aunt Sally and Grandma had sent me a mail wishing me the best against Subomi. Aunt Sally’s mail surprised me as she had never really cared about me whilst growing up, and she always made it a habit to avoid Mom’s memorial services. Well, people change-some good, some bad, others good and not-so-good.
                After thirty minutes, I had gone through all my mails thoroughly and replied the deserving messages while the ‘SPAM’ messages went where they deserved, the thrash! My phone buzzed and it was Jake calling. ‘What does he want?’ I didn’t pick his call. He then sent me a text.
                                “I know you don’t want to see me again, and honestly, I won’t see you but if you could just come to the door and listen to what I have to say…thanks.”
                He tapped the door softly, but I refused to go near the door. “OKAY, I’LL JUST SAY WHAT I HAVE TO SAY.” He said, in a loud voice.
                                “D…, I don’t want to be away from you. I’ll miss you.” he started. “We don’t need this rift between us. If you can handle it, I can’t. I need you, Darlene.”
                I slowly approached the door. I took my seat on the floor and leaned against the door, I could guess he was leaning against the door also.
                                “I am sorry if I have ever disappointed you, but I want you to know that I would never want to hurt you.” he paused and let out a breath. I could hear him breath from the other end. “Darlene, if you feel that the best thing is for never to talk anymore, I would accept and respect it, it’s your wish, but I want you to know that above every other thing, I care about you a lot and would always be there would you need me.”
                A silence followed. He didn’t say anything again, and when I was almost scared that he had gone and was about to open the door to confirm, he said, “Darlene, you will beat Subomi Bankole. You may not look big and have all the top credentials, but I trust in your brave heart that you will fight through this. I believe in you, Darlene Williams.”
                                “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
                A huge sigh followed from the other end and then footsteps. Jake left. I opened the door slightly to confirm my suspicions. Yes…he had taken his leave. I returned to my seat and focused better on the details for the arraignment. The case was to start by 4pm. What a time to start a case. I wasn’t going to wait till evening before leaving the Firm. I took my leave as soon as the time clocked 4pm.
                As I stepped out of the Firm, I ran into Mrs. Abu. “Ms. Williams, I can see you are taking advantage of the absence of the young Ade-Cole to leave work early.” She said, with a smile. I stared at her carefully. She smiled at me. “It’s okay Ms. Williams, no one would know.” She said, tapping her steering.
                I smiled. “Makes two of us.”
                                “I’ll give you a ride.” She said.
                I joined her car.
                                “I’ll make a quick stop to pick up my nephew. He is in Montessori.”
                Children swarmed out of their classes. It was the close of the day for them. I saw kids run to their moms for hugs, and for those that had the drivers pick them up; they just handed their bag to the driver and walked into the car. It reminded me of my childhood. Drivers and guards for me. No mom or Dad to pick me from school. It was really lonely until Jake came along. I would miss Jacob, but I need to let go. I pray I realize myself.
                A boy holding a canvas walked up to Mrs. Abu. “Aunty.” He said, with a smile. The boy had dimples. Beautiful!
                Mrs. Abu rubbed his Thick lush black hair. “How was class today?” she asked, placing the canvas in the trunk.
                                “Good. I made a painting for you.” he said, pointing at the canvas. Mrs. Abu showed no interest, he then tilted towards me. “I am Gregory, but everyone calls me Greg.”
                I smiled. “Nice to meet you, honey. I am Darlene.”
                                “Nice to meet you, Darlene.” he said with a wide smile.
                Mrs. Abu eyeballed him coldly and shoved him lightly. “Ms. Williams, not Darlene!” She corrected in an instant. “Are you mates?” she asked. ‘Omo buruku’ she added in a native Nigerian tongue-Yoruba, which meant ‘a bad child’
                                “I am sorry, Ms. Williams.” He said with his head bowed.
                She pushed him ahead. “Into the car, you rude tramp!”
                                “Mrs. Abu! Its fine, I am okay with it.”
                She nodded. “Of course, I am not surprised.” She said with a grimace. “Get into the car, you too.” She ordered. I grinned and obeyed.
                                “I am into Art.” Greg started.
                I peered slightly into the mirror.
“I am making a painting of an Opera night for the end of the year.” He continued.
                Mrs. Abu hissed. “Can you spare us of your Art nonsense?” she asked, shutting him up. “I wonder who does Art these days?” she murmured and cursed in Yoruba.
                I shook my head. “Mrs. Abu, Art is noble too.” I started. She stared at me. “On a serious note, I wish I could paint.”
                She hissed. “What is wrong with this generation? How can you wish you could Paint? You have the best type of profession and now you wish to paint, how silly!” she scoffed.
                                “Mrs. Abu, this is not silly. Greg has a talent. That’s something beautiful, you should encourage him.”
                She laughed sarcastically. “Darlene, why do you guys want to throw everything away? Sorry to draw you to this, but, your step sister, Dora Williams had life going for her and now she’s retired into Photography. Isn’t that foolish?”
                                “How do you know about Dora?”
                She grinned wickedly. “Williams is a rival firm. When they lose workers, it is to our delight at Ade-Cole.”
                                “I am a Williams!” I said, shooting at her.
                She smiled again. “You work for Ade-Cole and may end up as an Ade-Cole. Don’t think we aren’t watching.” She said, turning into the next block. Home was close. “Greg’s mom is just so full of herself. She thinks her boy is special and that’s why he is at Montessori.”
                                “Gregory has ability. You should learn to appreciate that. That’s something that some people would never have.”
                She swallowed. I knew it was time to pounce on her emotions. “Gregory has something that some people are envious of and would never have. He is representing life in another dimension, something that brings out the beauty that we can’t see normally. Some people could write so well and string out those words in a way that you are seeing and believing at the same time. This is because they can work on your imagination and make you see it from their view. It is life made so simple.”
                                “What are you trying to tell me?”
                I was slowly convincing her. “Gregory is a bright kid. I would love you to believe in him.” Gregory smiled. She pulled up in front of the block before my street. “Thank you ma.”
                She smiled. “Well ‘sold’, Darlene. I will think about it.” I smiled as I stepped out of the car. I was able to ‘sell’ into Mrs. Abu’s life; I hoped she would let Gregory enjoy painting. As I walked down the Estate, I saw the church gate open. When is it ever closed? I walked into the church and thought of saying a prayer. You know we have ‘these moments’ when we feel we should be closer to God. I sat on one of the pews at the back and said my prayers. ‘Dear God, it’s Darlene. I know I might not be right with you, but I don’t want to lose to Mr. Subomi Bankole, so help me.’
                                “Amen.”
                I stared up at Pastor Ben. “Good evening Pastor Ben.” I took a quick peek at my wrist watch to be sure that the time was around the evening range. It was around 5pm, so I could call it evening.
                                “Big day tomorrow, isn’t it?” he said, taking his seat beside me.
                I nodded with a wry smile. “I thought God should know about it.” I said.
                He scoffed with some sarcasm. “God has always known about this date even before you were conceived.” I rolled my eyes. “I would appreciate if you rolled your head too.” He said and we laughed. “What is with youths and rolling of the eyes? Is that a sign of unbelief?”
                                “Probably, doubt inclusive.”
                He adjusted his weight against the chair. “Darlene, right from when you were a toddler, I have always admired you. You have a strong will and confidence which is impeccable for anyone at your level.” He paused to give me the room to revel in my heart. “I know this case is within your reach, in fact, I believe if anyone will shut Subomi down, it has to be you, but I want you to know that you can’t do this on your own.” Oh no…the God factor! Subomi doesn’t go to church yet he wins almost every case! “I know you might feel that some bad people get away with everything looking good, but there is always a day when it will all be exposed.”
                I cleared my throat. “I want you to trust God more. Love him more. Darlene, you used to be zealous for God. I know things change, but I believe you should give him more attention.”
                                “Pastor Ben, I would try harder.” I said, clutching my bag to my arm.
                He smiled. “I would be praying for you.” 
                                “Thank you.”

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