CYNTHIA DRAWLED HER RIGHT HAND on the bed indolently, searching for her mobile phone. She had snoozed the alarm that had been ringing, thrice already and felt it was high time she stood up because time was not her friend. She opened her heavy eyes lazily and yawned. She used her right hand to wiped her face, then sat up.
She scratched her head softly and shook her head, she yawned again and opened her two eyes fully. “Huh?” Her two eyes popped more open, she was shocked like she had never been. Though it was already four minutes past five o’clock, the atmosphere was as if it was three am.
There was cool breeze which made it look as if it would rain. She didn’t switch on the bulbs before she retired to bed last night because it was a hectic day in the office. I’m I seeing ghosts? Her heartbeat increased rapidly as she wiped her face again and looked carefully. “You these girls!” She exclaimed and grinned.
The bulbs in the room were switched on while Cynthia rose to her feet, still grinning. She felt happy seeing her friends. It was her friends that stood in the dark, trying to scare her.
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you Cynthy,
Happy birthday to you…
The four ladies started singing, wishing Cynthia a happy birthday. “Yeah! It’s your day cynthy…” Paulina smiled and stepped forward to hug her friend, Cynthia.
The other three friends, Evelyn, Aliyah and Esther also hugged her then led her to the living room. Cynthia felt fulfilled, it was as if she had never celebrated a birthday before. Her friends were marvelous, full of surprises.
She got to the living room with her friends and met cards, soft drinks and wines, arranged and two birthday cakes. Was she dreaming or imagining it? She grinned again, covering her mouth with her two hands. Nothing had ever surprised her that much, except her mother’s death. “You girls!” She clapped her hands together and hugged each one of them.
“You worth it dear..” Evelyn smiled and brought out the polyethene bag beside the shelf. It contained a brand new packaged phone, BlackBerry Bold six. “That’s my own special gift.” She presented it to her and hugged her again.
“I’m so grateful.” She was happy. That was the phone she had always told her friends she’d soon buy, she never knew it would be bought for her.
The other three friends also presented their gifts, Esther gave her a golden wristwatch, Paulina gave her a new make up kit and Aliyah gave her a box of clothing materials.
The ladies had been friends right from their secondary school days and attended the same University, in Nigeria. After their various University educations, their friendship was still like that one that had never existed. They then planned on living together in the same house.
The house they’ve been living in was bought by the ladies themselves because they were from rich homes and could afford it.
She loved all that her friends bought for her but what she desperately needed wasn’t bought by any of them. Before her mother died, she had told her the best gift a person could receive is something religious, like a bible.
All was well, at least she had never told anyone, so she wasn’t curious about getting it but she had promised herself she’d forever be indebted to whoever gave her, as a gift.
“You ladies are funny! You scared me the other time.” Cynthia smiled, checking out the dresses in the box she was given by Aliyah.
“Meant to be, you love them?” Aliyah asked her.
“Definitely!” She grinned. “But didn’t you guys sleep? How come you’ve been in my room?” She was curious.
“Planned work.” They chorused and laughed.
“I’m so grateful.” She thanked them again.
“You’ll be at home today oh, for the celebration.” Paulina said, smiling and sat beside her.
“No, I have to be in office, it’s just that I won’t take time because I must really celebrate it for you girls.” She grinned and closed the box before her.
“Raymond would have bought you a great gift.” Aliyah teased her.
Cynthia chuckled. “He doesn’t know my birthday now, the guy just joined. I don’t think any of my workers knows today is my birthday.”
“Of all people, people like Ray would have known for long.” Esther smiled.
Cynthia shrugged. “He might have known but I’d be shocked if I finally know he knows.” She smiled.
“Our friend’s husband..” Evelyn teased her and laughed.
6:06 am, same day.
AKINPELUMI RAYMOND removed the ear phones he inserted into his iPad the previous night. What an awesome night it was, to him. He sat up and walked out of the room, smiling. It was his birthday too, he had sent Cynthia a birtbday message in the midnight, nothing could make him forget his birthday mate, moreover someone like Cynthia.
He was happy the day he had been expecting had came into reality. He got to the living room and met no one. He was surprised because his friends ought to have been in the living room. ‘Where are these guys?’ He muttered and walked inside his room again. He picked his iPad and earphones and opened Ismail’s room but he was not there. He checked that of Ayomode, Paul and Lawrence too but none of them were in their rooms. “Where did they go to?” He wondered and walked back to the living room. He peeped outside and noticed the doors had been unlocked. “They must be outside.” He grinned and walked outside, only to meet his friends outside with bags of pure water. “You better come here!” Lawrence shouted.
He was still in the garage and could sight them in the compound. Only God knows what they are doing over there, he smiled and dropped his iPad on Ayomide’s car and met each of them holding a sachet.
Within a twinkle of an eye, they started throwing the sachets of pure water at him until they exhausted the four bags they had with them. It was after then they moved closer to him and wished him happy birthday.
He wasn’t so surprised because he knew it was their usual practice but he didn’t know his would be so early. He was happy and hugged his friends. They were five, living in Carlton Estate, Aiyegoro, Ibadan.
Carlton Estate a serene and big estate with lot of houses, it was a place for the cream of the society, estate for the rich. Rich men and women had houses there including the one that was bought for the five guys by Ayomide’s father because he was his only son.
They cuddled Ray inside, all laughing at him. He went to his room and had change of clothing then returned back to the living room. “Has she sent you a text message? Ogbeni lover boy..” Ayomide asked Raymond.
“I never check my phone.” He smiled and walked back into his room to pick up his phone.
He returned back, still smiling. “No.” He said to Ayomide.
“So Cynthia hasn’t sent you a message?” Lawrence asked again.
“Yes.” He grinned and walked outside to pick his iPad.
“I knew it!” Lawrence clapped his hands together.
“What? She may not know we are birthday mates.” Raymond smiled in.
Raymond was a rich and comfortable guy who worked with Dannie Company which Cynthia was the CEO. The company was owned by Cynthia’s father, Chief Daniel and was given to her as a gift after her Youth Service.
Raymond joined the company just four months back and had fallen in love with Cynthia so much. He didn’t have the intention of working there before, because Ayomide, Lawrence and Paul were the C.E.Os of their fathers’ companies and he had the chance to work with any of them but mere seeing Cynthia the day he visited the company, he applied for the post they had vacant.
He was the manager of the company and liked Cynthia so much but talking to her about his intentions was his problem. He had always viewed her profile on facebook and from there, he knew her birthday. It was a great thing to know that they shared same birthday.
Though, he was always shy to tell Cynthia what he had in mind but Cynthia herself knew he had something within him that he had always wanted to say. She had told her friends about him, she also liked him and eager to know when he’d let out what his heart desired.
Only God would make him say it early because Donald was around the corner.
RAYMOND wore his best dress and made up for the office. He entered into his Hyundai Elentera car and drove off to office. He was quite sure she didn’t know it was his day, he had to get to the office so early so as to drop his gift for her before her arrival. He had bought her a new King James Version Bible and made her a portrait of herself. He hoped she’d love his gift.
Cynthia had always been full of suspense, she was nice and jovial; especially to Raymond. She had always pretended to be serious when she was with Raymond but deep within her, she also loved him.
How else would it have been better if he could express his feelings and make his intentions known to her? He had always feared speaking to a lady about love, the lady in question was his boss again and wouldn’t want to be fired because he liked being with Cynthia.
He had always assumed that Cynthia wasn’t an easy lady because she was always after how her father’s company would forge ahead. He had never seen a trace of his love in her heart but Cynthia was really good at keeping such and being deadpan.
Raymond sat comfortably as he prayed as usual and thanked God for the journey mercies from home to office and making him witness another birthday. He smiled clapped his hands softly, expecting Cynthia. He knew she was punctual and would soon come around.
He had written his name on the birthday card he attached to the gifts and made it known it was from him, her birthday mate so she’d know it was their day. He was smiling, expecting Cynthia to come and thank him when he heard knocks on his office door.
“Just come in.” He smiled.
It was Tolani, the secretary of the company. She was a fair and tall lady of about six feet and two inches. She liked Raymond also and always liked to be with him because he was a lively guy unlike the other male staffs who were always serious and straightforward to business. “Raymond, what did you go to her office for?” She asked him. It was from her he collected the key to Cynthia’s office.
Raymond pressed his lips together and stared at her, “why do you like trespassing?”
Tolani walked in and shut the door. “Wetin I do again?”
“You better go back your duty post before Miss Cynthia arrives.” He grinned.
“Tell me now..” She was adamant.
“Why do you like frustrating one?” Raymond grinned and told her to sit.
“Thanks.” She sat down and heard the sound of a car been droven into the company. “Later, Ray. E be like say Miss don come…” She laughed and left his office.
Raymond stood up and adjusted his shirt, he used his hands to check if his hair was rough. “I’m nice.” He smiled and sat again.
It was Cynthia that he had been expecting, Cynthia greeted the secretary as she entered and collected the key to her office from her. At first, she felt like visiting Raymond to say hi to him but she felt it wouldn’t make sense, she had to behave the way she had been doing so that she’d look great before him.
She opened the door and walked in. “Father thank you!” She uttered and smiled. She could see a wrapped gift from where she was. “Ray?” She muttered and walked to her table quickly. She touched the rapper and felt the texture of what was there. “A frame..” she said and sat down.
She unwrapped it and brought out the frame. It was her portrait! “God!” She stood up out of surprise. She was so happy and liked the portrait mere seeing it. “Where did he get this picture from?” She wondered. What if it’s not Raymond… She thought again and brought out the birthday card. ‘From Raymond, your birthday mate.’
“God! Today is Ray’s birthday?” She opened her mouth widely and dropped the card. She brought out the last gift, Bible. “Ray… Bible?” She sat down, that made her remember her mother.
She had missed her, she died in an auto mobile accident while traveling. No one else can be like one’s parents, she was the second born in the family with an elder brother, Franklin and a sister, Kate. “Today is his birthday too?” She smiled. Ray! She called the name softly and stood up, heading to his office.
Raymond had been expecting such also, he wanted her to come to him herself and wish him happy birthday. He was sure many wouldn’t know that it was their birthday, he wanted to surprise her and he succeeded.
She knocked faintly at his door. “Mr Ray?”
“Come in.” Raymond said. He stood on his feet on seeing the beautiful angel that was walking in. “Good day ma.” He smiled.
“Good morning, happy birthday to you..” She smiled. Raymond was happy, what else could have made him happier then than what was happening? “I’m so much grateful ma.” He bent his head, still grinning.
“I should be the one saying that, you really surprised me because I never knew anyone knew my birthday in this company. How did you get to know?” She asked.
“Please have your seat.” He stretched his hand forward, showing her the seat. “Thanks.” Cynthia replied and sat down.
“I do check your profile on Facebook, I got to know from there.” He smiled.
“Wao! And you are not my friend, how come? You told me to sit down but you are still standing.”
David grinned and sat down. “I can check your timeline and profile without being your friend. How are we now celebrating this birthday?”
“Hmmn.. I should be the one asking.” She chuckled.
Raymond laughed. “Why are you always the one asking or saying something? If you don’t mind, we can go out for lunch.” He said slowly.
That’s nice but I hope this won’t turn his head and I hope staffs won’t be suspecting anything. “That’s also nice, I have to get you a gift too..” she smiled.
“You don’t need that..” He laughed.
Cynthia sat down, smiling. Raymond was really great, she never expected all she met in her office. She didn’t even ask him how he gained entrance into her office, she was just glad he gave her good gifts. She picked up her phone and read the birthday messages. So he sent me a message? She smiled on seeing Raymond’s text message. Donald too?
Donald was the son of Chief Daniel’s best friend who Daniel wished her daughter would marry because he was rich and a famous business man. Cynthia didn’t like the guy but did pretend as if she was a good friend. Though, the guy was rich but he was a proud and arrogant guy. He had spoken to Cynthia already that he’d like to date her but Cynthia had been avoiding him because she liked Raymond. Moreover, she hated his character and wouldn’t want to date an arrogant guy who would just wake up one day and break her heart.
She had noticed in Raymond that he was a nice and responsible guy whom everyone in the company liked. She picked up the portrait and smiled again. She had forgotten to ask him how he got everything, at least they’d still talk better while taking lunch.
She dropped the portrait and picked up her phone when it began to ring. It was Donald. Why is he calling? Does he have anything to say? She wondered and picked up the call reluctantly.
They exchanged pleasantries and Donald wished her a happy birthday. He told her he had a surprise for her and would want her to come over to her father’s house in the evening.
She began to cogitate on what he wanted her for, in her father’s house. “Alright.” She ended the call.
She hoped something foolish wouldn’t happen. She called Aliyah and told her about Raymond’s surprise and told her to get everything that’d be needed because she’d like them to have dinner that night.
Why Dad’s place? She hissed. She was not on good terms with her father because she was against him the day her brother brought his fianceé home.
She was around, that day and his brother came in with Lara as the lady he’d love to marry but Chief Daniel rebuked her and thought Cynthia would support him but she acted otherwise since her father had no reasonable excuse for rebuking them. He was a type of father who liked his children getting married to rich and influential people like him.
Since then, he had been avoiding Franklin and Cynthia. H had not even called her to greet her a happy birthday, would it make sense to visit his house?
Raymond and Cynthia sat together after Ray had ordered for what both of them would eat. He paid instantly and served Cynthia himself. He was happy he was before Cynthia, it would be the talk of the house if he should tell his friends that he came to eateries to eat with Cynthia. He knew the first question he’d be asked was that had he asked her out and would be chided by them.
He was smiling, making his thoughts known to him only. “You gave me the best gift for my birthday, I’m so grateful.” Cynthia smiled.
“Don’t make jest of me because I bought you that,” he waved his hand and laughed.
“I’m serious, not joking this time. I lost my mother two years back and the gift she always gave me was a Bible. She’d tell me the best gift one can receive was something religious, you made me remember her today.” She sounded sad.
“I’m deeply sorry ma, I never knew it would make you..” He tried to express himself while Cynthia cut in. “No, it’s a good thing, I’m just being emotional, that’s all.” She smiled.
“I never knew you’ve lost your mother, may her soul rest in peace.” He also sounded sad.
“Amen, let’s eat.” She grinned.
“What’s your best colour?” Raymond asked her.
Cynthia gave a sharp glance. It wasn’t a question she expected. She smiled and replied, “Purple.”
“I saw your text message also, thanks God bless you abundantly. I’m forever grateful.” She smiled.
“You don’t have to do all these, you are my boss ma.” He grinned.
“I’ve always wanted an opportunity to tell you I’m not always comfortable with that ma, I don’t want you to address me as ma again.” She continued smiling.
“That will be impolite ma, I’ve always wanted an oppurtunity to tell you not to call me Mr Raymond again, I’m Raymond, so simple.”
Cynthia chuckled. “You are really funny..”
Wish I can say it but there’s no courage, this little I’m saying is for this place not to be silent. What is my problem? I can’t it! I can try.
“I have something to say..” He cleared his throat.
Sent from Dannie←→Dee Konsepts