Five Hours Earlier
Bayo got to the office feeling really rattled, Shalewa or anyone in her family were the least people he wanted to see; ever since Shalewa turned him down, he had been avoiding her, she had hurt his ego and he was too proud to associate with her; ever again.
He hadn’t seen Mrs. Adebambo soon enough, if he had, he would have escaped. Now he had to show up in Shalewa’s house, he had given her mum his word and he didn’t intend to break it. He knew Mrs. Adebambo reverend him and he intended to keep it that way. Emeka walked into the office and met Bayo raking his head. “Bayo what’s the matter,” He asked him.
“Bro I ran into Shalewa’s mum at the bank earlier today and she made me promise to come to their house for lunch on Sunday”. “What’s the big deal in that? Is that why you look so troubled?” “You’re asking me what’s the big deal in that, don’t you know I would be forced to see Shalewa?” “And seeing Shalewa is a bad thing? So because the babe refused to date you, you’ve turned her into an enemy now?
Honestly Bayo I don’t get you, ever since Shalewa refused, you’ve changed. Did you really love her in the first place? One would think you wouldn’t give up but prove to her that she’s wrong in her judgement of you”. “Emeka Shalewa hurt my ego!” “How?” “Look man forget that I’m too proud to talk to her again”. “Then you don’t deserve her”, Bayo turned sharply to face Emeka, “what do you mean by that? How can you say a whole me do not deserve her? Do you know how many girls are dying for my attention, how many girls are literally praying for me to say hello to them? If not anything, she should be the one fighting for me” and just then, his phone started ringing, he looked at it and it was Funmi calling. I wonder what this girl wants again, he thought to himself. “See didn’t I say it, see one of them calling me”, “who’s that? Emeka asked. “It’s Funmi, she’s been calling me for weeks now”.
“So you think you’re a prize that should be won? Who made you a prize? You’re the type of man that women should run away from, unfortunately, your money and class is a blinding factor. For someone who schooled in the best schools abroad, you have an archaic mentality”.
At this point, Bayo stood up and jerked Emeka angrily, “How dare you, say that to me?” Bayo asked him furiously. “What do you want to do about it? Let go of my shirt this minute, before you regret your actions.” As Bayo was about to reply, their immediate boss Mr. Yemi walked in, instantly Bayo let go of Emeka’s shirt. “What the hell is going on here?” He asked them both. “Nothing Sir” they chorused.
He looked at them suspiciously, threw a document on Bayo’s table and as he was about walking out of the office, he abruptly turned to Bayo, “The company has a lawsuit filed against it. Study the case and I want all possible information about the petitioner. I need the report back in 24hours”.
“Sir 24hours is too short”, “why do you think you’re paid heavily in this company, do you
think it’s to buy colleagues presents and take them out? Look Bayo, I want no excuses”. And with that, Mr. Yemi left the office. As soon as Mr. Yemi left, Emeka started laughing; mockingly at Bayo. “Oh my God, so everyone in this office knows of your spending spree on Shalewa, hahaha.” He laughed again. Bayo looked at him angrily, made a fist like he wanted to punch him and then all of a sudden like he had a change of heart, shook his head and darted towards his seat. Emeka looking unperturbed continued but in a rather low tone, “he thought he could buy her love” and he laughed again.
The time was 10:45 pm: Bayo had just driven home; his father’s house. He still lived with his parents. Though he knew he should have a place of his own, he wasn’t just ready to move out yet. The thought of who would cook and clean kept him from getting his own place. He usually doesn’t come home this late but the assignment he was given by Mr. Yemi kept him in the office.
He opened the door to the house and was surprised the sitting room light was still on, at a time like this, his parents had already retired for the night. His mum came in and gave him a hug, “Bayo dear pele. You look really stressed”, “no mum I’m fine. But why are you still up? “I stayed this late so I can talk with you, is this a bad time?” “No mum, it’s ok”. “Ok, then. Sit down. Roshana called me again today that you’ve been avoiding her, what’s the problem dear, I thought you liked her?”
Bayo let out a breath, “Mum I did, but the babe is paranoid and often out of control. Moreover, I fell in love with someone else”. “Is it that girl from your office?” “Mum, how did you know about her?” “You’re my son and such things cannot be hidden from me. Did she say no to you? Because I have noticed these past few weeks you’ve not been yourself?” “Yes mum she did, but I’m never going to speak with her again”. “And why if I may ask?” “Mum she hurt my ego and my pride, after all, I did for her, and she still had the guts to refuse me”.
His mum smiled, “Bayo every woman has a right to say no to any man regardless of who he thinks he is. If you truly love her, I don’t see why you should give up, pursue her until she gives in, though I would have loved you to marry Roshana, her mum is a close friend of mine. That aside, Shalewa strikes me as someone who is stubborn and to win her heart, you would have to be patient. Do you hear me?” “Yes, mum. I ran into her mother at the bank earlier today and she made me promise that I would come to their house on Sunday for lunch. I don’t know whether I should go and if I go how am I going to face Shalewa?”
“By all means Bayo, go. Be on your best behaviour and look good. Flirt with her, be courteous and respectful to every member of her family, compliment her mum on the house and the food. When Shalewa sees all these, she would fall in love with you. Her type loves a man for who he is, not what he has or what he represents. We do want you to get married, but no pressure. Just remember that you’re an only child and your father is getting old”. “Alright mum, thanks”. He gave his mum a hug and proceeded upstairs to his room.
It was finally Sunday; Shalewa had been looking forward to the day and also dreading it. She had been repeatedly calling Foye to advise her on what to wear. After so much back and forth with Foye, she finally decided on a maroon v-neck loosely fitted top, blue skinny jeans and a pair of nude strapped heels with a nude bag. She looked at herself in the mirror and she knew she was looking good.
She had ordered Foye home to come help her with her look. “The way you’re seriously preparing for this date, one would think you’re dining with the President tonight. Or it is because Bayo is coming today?” “Not today Satan, not today” Shalewa muttered under her breath. “So it is me that is satan abi? No problem oh. By the way, who’s this guy you’re going out with?” “Well, he’s Efosa I met him at a supermarket some weeks back. He had earlier asked me for a date, but I declined; I didn’t want to appear cheap. But he’s a great guy and you would love him”. “Hmm, so how are you going to combine both dates, Bayo and Efosa?” “Both dates ke, It’s Efosa I have a date with not Bayo. Bayo has a date with Mum, Dad & you”. And they both laughed.
Shalewa looked at her watch for the umpteenth time, Efosa was to come by 3 pm and it was almost two, and Foye wasn’t done with her makeup not to talk about her hair. “Foye please hurry up, I don’t intend to keep Efosa waiting”, “I thought you said the date is by 3 pm?” “Yes, it is”. “Then you still have one more hour why the rush?” “Foye abeg don’t ask me questions, just do your job”, “as if you’re paying me,” Foye said sarcastically.
“Shalewa why do you want to wear heels, you don’t even know where he’s taking you to, what if it’s a place, you won’t be able to wear heels?” “That’s why I will carry flat sandals, I will just tuck it in my bag. When I get uncomfortable I would swap shoes”. “Nice idea. I just hope Mr. I love surprises, would not think you went all out to impress him?” “Well, if he thinks that way, that’s his business. As for me looking good is great business”.
As Shalewa stood to check out herself in the mirror, her mum came, “Good girl” she patted Shalewa’s back. “I see you put efforts in looking good for Bayo; he’s here already”. Shalewa wanted to reply, but Foye gave her a look that said be calm. “Mum I will meet you downstairs,” Shalewa told her mum. “Are you sure?” “Yes mum, am already dressed, ain’t I?” Her mother looked from her to Foye and walked out.
“I can’t wait to watch the drama that unfolds today, let me grab my phone,” Foye said excitedly to no one in particular. “Come back here, before you start your amebo journalism, come and tell me how I look”. “Do you need a soothsayer to tell you how gorgeous you look, you look good babe. I can bet today you will end up with a boyfriend”. And they both laughed.
Shalewa went downstairs to meet Bayo seated in the living room, liked he owned the place. Immediately she walked in, he stood, looked at her from head to toe, “Shalewa you look as good as always, it’s nice to see you again” he said giving her a hug, “Yeah same here”. Shalewa replied hugging him halfheartedly and sat on an opposite chair. Her mum walked into the dining closely followed by the house help, Sarah with coolers and trays of food. She set everything on the table and beckoned to Bayo. “Bayo dear the table is set”. Bayo stood majestically and walked to the dining, he sat opposite Shalewa’s dad.
“Shalewa come and join Bayo”, “no mum I’m not hungry”. “Don’t be silly Omoshalewa, come to the table this minute” her father ordered. She wanted sitting opposite Bayo but her mum wouldn’t let her. “You should sit beside your friend,” she said. Foye was in the doorway watching the whole drama. “So Bayo how is work? “Work has been pretty stressful these past few days, but I enjoy it”, “that’s good. However stressful a job is, it should be something we are passionate about”. “You’re right about that Sir”. He turned to Mrs. Adebambo “tasty food ma, I love it”, “Bayo you’re welcome” she said smiling. “So Bayo how are things with you & Shalewa? I can see you both are getting along” Her father asked surprising her.
“Well Shalewa has refused to date me; I was hoping you could speak some sense into her”. “Shalewa dear, is that true? I thought you told me you liked him and was going to get married to him?” Her mum said, “Mum I never said such a thing, maybe you’re mistaken”. She glanced at her watch again, it was 2:50 pm, I have ten minutes of torture at this table. Thank God I agreed to go on this date, how else would I be delivered from these people she thought to herself.
Her parents kept on talking about her as if she weren’t on the table, she endured it all. Just then she saw a ping from Efosa, “I’m outside”.