image

   …….

    Stella retired to bed earlier than she did that day. As she laid down, she sighted Tolani’s picture which she put on the small stool beside her bed. She picked it up and stared at it for a moment. Her mood turned apart as she continued staring at the picture. “Hope you’re fine wherever you are?” She said softly and couldn’t hold back her tears as she remembered she was the one that took the photograph for him the day they went to an eatery.

    It was a sunny afernoon when Tolani came to meet her in her hostel and told her he’d like to take her out for lunch like his friends were doing that day. On getting to the front of the eatery, he brought out his camera and gave her to snap him and both of them would snap together as a proof to his friends that he came with her to he eatery.

    She remembered another event when she forgot her assignment in the room and couldn’t leave the class because it had been shut. It was Tolani that managed to give her his own. He canceled his name and wrote hers it.

    Though they were almost gotten but he saved her from that problem again. If that wasn’t done, she’d have been the one who would face the lecturer to be awarded her punishments.

    Lots of what he had done for her, she only wanted the best for him amd didn’t want to be an excuse to his success. If not, they’d still be together. “Is he still in Manchester?” She wondered.

    “I hope you’ve not forgotten me because of you I’m not giving my heart to anyone, not even Tobi.” She spoke quietly.

    She was speaking, and staring at the picture until she slept off.

****

    Tolani’s friends had already spent two days already in Nigeria. Tolani had been parading the hotel since their arrival, though a day wouldn’t pass without remembering Stella. He’d also ask himself series of questions like; Had she forgotten him or  he wasting her time on someone who had no time for her?

    All would be well.

****

    THE NEXT DAY.

    Feyi picked up her mobile phone and called Tolani. She spoke to him about establishing herself and told him she’d need to award the contract to a construction company. She needed to build up her own company and leave her father’s hotel.

    She told him she’d draw out the plan of how she wanted the company to be, what would be left was to get a company to award the contract of the construction.

    “That’s not a problem, I’ll see you by evening when I come to check on my friends in your hotel.” He got her informed.

   “Alright,  thanks.” She appreciated him amd ended the call.

    Tolani picked up his phone and dialed the Manager’s mobile phone number and requested for his presence.

    After some minutes, Deji, the manager knocked at his door and was allowed in.

    Tolani was happy he came as fast as he could and started the discussion with him. He asked him the companies he knew that could handle construction properly.

    “David and co.” He said without thinking.

    “How sure are you?” He asked him.

    “I’m very sure. My best friend; Tobi is the contract manager and they’ve won almost all the contracts bidded for and they are good. I must say.” He replied.

    He was one of Tobi’s friend that did drink with him. “That’s nice.” Tolani smiled amd thanked him. He told him he’d get back to him if he needed any assistance.

    He turned on his laptop and searched for the company on net and was convinced they coud handle constructions well. He gave Feyi a call and told her about the company. He told her not to put all her eggs in a basket. She should also call on other companies to know their worth but he’d like David and co to receive the contract.

    Feyi was happy and thanked him. They planned on meeting at her hotel by the evening to talk better.

****

♥DIAMOND HOTEL.

      TOLANI walked into the hotel slowly. He smiled on seeing the receptionist and shook him. He was such a friendly guy. “How una dey?” He asked him.

    “I’m good oh.” He smiled and bowed.

    “As usual, want to see my friends and Feyi.” He told him.

    “No problem sir.” The guy smiled.

    “Thanks.” He dipped his hand into his pocket and gave him a sum of money. He left his presence then headed to Feyi’s office.

    He knocked softly before he was asked to come in by Feyi. Waiting for him, kept her that late in the office. “Tola, how are you?”

    “I’m good. He smiled and slmoved closer to shake her.

    “Have your seat.” She shook him and smiled.

    Tolani sat down wearing a cheerful face. “How have you been?” He tried to be fluent with her.

    “We thank God and you?” She enquired.

    “Same here. After I called you, I also searched for some companies I know that are great. But according to my research, David and co is still the best. I saw pictures of buildings constructed by them and other contracts they’ve won. Both state contracts and that of Federal.” He explained.

    “So to cut the long story short, they should be awarded the contract?” She smiled.

    “Yes. I think they’re capable of doing a good and neat job.” He smiled.
   
    “Alright. I’m so grateful. But I need your help.” She stopped.

    “My help? How?” Tolani was serious.

    “Can you please create time for me tomorrow? Lets go together to the company together.”

    “Tomorrow….” Tolani pressed his lips together, thinking If he had anything so important to do. “Alright.” He replied, smiling.

    “Thanks so much.” Feyi was grateful.

******

Same night.

STELLA AND FAVE’S HOUSE.
 

    “Do you think Tolani will still be in Manchester?” Stella asked Fave as she lowered the volume of the television set.

     “I don’t think so… he should now be in Nigeria.” She replied,  picking pop corn from the plate before her.

    “Why did you say so?” She asked, wanting to be sure.

    “At least his course should be over by now.. Have you gotten in touch with him?” She asked.

    “No, I’ve been wondering about him.” She replied.

    “Do you still feel for that guy?” Favour asked.

    “Sure. I don’t know why, I do feel as if we’ve not broken up, that I just left him the to study, he’d still be back.”

    Favour laughed. Just then, Stella’s phone rang.

    She picked it up. It was Tobiloba. “Can I help you?” She said first.

    “I called to greet you and tell you I didn’t drink today.” Tobi said softly, like a gentle guy.

    “You didn’t drink? I don’t trust you.” Stella smiled.

    “I’m serious. The mouth organ you brought has changed a lot in me. I was heading out to drink when I saw the mouth organ amd couldn’t go again. It was as if it had a magnet in it that drew me back.”

    “If this is true, I’m happy for you then. I should tell your Grandma tomorrow.” She was smiling.

    “Don’t tell her yet. I feel I owe you something. I’ll give you a gift tomorrow.” He said on the other end.

    “A gift?” Stella chuckled. Tobi had never been so nice that way. Hope he wasn’t driving at something, she thought.

    “I’m serious. Be expecting it.” He said to her and ended up the call.

****
NEXT MORNING, 9 am.

    “Good morning dear.” Tobi greeted Stella.

    ‘Dear?’ Stella muttered. “Good morning Tobi.” She replied smiling.

    “Why can’t you reply me as your dear.” He accused.

    “Because you are not my dear.” She replied smiling.

    “I am not?” He exhaled deeply. “Yes, or are you?” Stella questioned.

    “I don’t know what came over me. I don’t know what happened throughout yesterday but it has never happened to me before. I couldn’t stop thinking about you, that was why I called. I may have been acting wickedly or annoyingly but all was to know your character. And, I believe God sent you to me for a reason. Stella… I love…” he couldn’t complete his statement because there was a knock at the door.

    Stella was just staring at him, asking herself if she wasn’t dreaming. Was it a reality or another test from Tobi?

    “Who’s there?” Tobi quickly asked.

    “From the director’s office,  we came to see the contract managers.” Tobi was replied by a female voice.

    Tobi comported himself back. He was already going emotional. “Come in.” He said, smiling.

    Feyi and Tolani walked in.

    Stella turned her head to the left to see the people coming in and her glance collided with that of Tolani. She stood at once.

    Feyi and Tolani walked in.

    Stella turned her head to the left to see the people coming in and her glance collided with that of Tolani. She stood at once.

    She kept on staring at him with great surprise, likewise Tolani. Tolani’s car key fell from his hand as he kept on staring at her.

    Was he dreaming or imagining? Was that a reality or daydream?

    It was something he couldn’t really lay his hands on. “Stella.” Tolani  thought.

    Tobi was getting impatient as he saw how both of them staring at each other. Did they know each other from somewhere? He cleared his throat to make them self conscious but it couldn’t work.

    “Are you not the lady of the other day?” Feyi stared at her.

    None of Tolani and Stella could stop staring at each other, Stella couldn’t even reply Feyi who asked her the question.

    “What is happening!” Tobi shouted. His patience couldn’t endure what was happening any longer.

    Stella exhaled deeply after she had held her breath for some seconds and sat down. Her mood was uncontrollable, she was breathing heavily as she sat down.

    Tolani smiled. Mission accomplished.

♥♥♥♥

    “I’m sorry for the action, it was due to something I can’t lay my hands on. You are Mr Tobi right?” Feyi smiled as she shook Tobi.

    Tobi managed to smile too. His mind wasn’t through at what just happened. It seemed they knew each other. “Good morning.”

    Tolani was glimpsing at Stella often as he proceeded to Tobi’s table and greeted him. “Good morning sir.” He smiled.

    Tobi who had been jealous replied sharply. “Good morning.”

    “We were directed by the director to come and see you. Though, we ought not to come by his ourselves but we thought it’d be better coming to see things for ourselves and thrashing things out.” Feyi introduced the discussion.

    “Alright. I’m glad to see you. You are welcome to David and Co company. What can I do to help you.”

    “A construction project. There are about ten companies bidding for the project and we wish to involve this company too about the project. It’s about constructing a big company.”

    “Alright. Stella please get me building file with you.” Tobi called Stella.

    Tolani turned his head at once, to use the oppurtunity to glimpse at her again. “I’m going to appreciate it if you face me sir.” Tobi addressed Tolani, tapping him.

    “Oorh… sorry,  was eager to see the file.” He smiled.

    “I see..” Tobi nodded. He knew he was lying.

    Feyi was getting angry likewise. It was as If she should disappear to Kate’s house to discuss how things were, to her. She had started liking Tolani likewise, since the day she met him but her feelings weren’t as strong as that of Tobi until he promised her he’d help her with the issue of her project.

    She had moved to Kate’s house to be temporarily living there. She preffered a friend’s place to her father’s boring house.

    She had already discussed about Tolani with Kate and she had told her Tolani would definitely fall in love with her as they were getting more closer. What Kate said made her have weird thoughts like she and Tolani at the alter making vows of love.
    She couldn’t wait to know of Tolani loved her but with his reaction now, what would happen?

    Stella picked the file and went ahead to Tobi’s table. Immediately she got there, Tolani turned his head again, staring at her. He didn’t mask his feelings as if he had hated her or trying to play hard to get. He was showing his true colour. He still loved her.

    “Sir, please face me.” Tobi cautioned him again on seeing him turning his head towards Stell.

     “Oorh… sorry.” He grinned and faced Tobi.

    Stella on the other hand was also love impatient. Tolani’s behaviours had shown he still loved her, she also still loved him and wished both could talk right away.

    “Hope there’s no problem?” Feyi questioned Tolani quietly,  noticing his behaviour. She was getting annoyed and jealous.

    “Problem? None!” Tolani grinned.

    Tobi shook his head staring at Tolani as if he should send him out of the office.

    “I just want you to check out the companies we’ve worked on.” He showed them the documents.

    “No problem.” Tolani said without looking at the documents. He was impatient, as if he should take her outside and both should talk.

    “Mr, you didn’t check it out.” Tobi said to him.

    “I’ve checked them on the net.” He smiled.

    “Alright, how do we go about this project? Firstly, we’ll bring out architectural plans and quotations for the bidding. Where do we come to?” He asked.

    “Maybe Diamond Hotel.” Feyi faced Tolani.

    “Who will bring the stuffs?” He asked Tobi.

    “She’ll bring it.” Tobi pointed at Stella.

    “Let’s make it my company so that it’s going to be easier than yours.” He smiled.

    Tobi just wanted to know what he’d say. Though, it was Stella that should take it but seeing Tolani’s reactions, “I’ll bring it.” He quickly changed his mind.

    “I guess that’s better, you should take it to him.” Feyi also supported.

    “Alright, thanks ma.” Tobi grinned and compiled the documents together.

    “Please,  I’ll like you to see me in my office this evening.” Feyi said to Stella.

    “Alright.” Stella replied with a polite tone.

   “Do they know each other?” Tolani asked himself.

****

    “Do you know that guy?” Tobi asked Stella frankly, after the departure of Tolani and Feyi from the office.

    “Sure I do, he’s my…” she stopped abruptly and gave Tobi a sharp glance.

    Tobi sighed and stood from his seat. He took some steps forward to where she was and stood by her table. “Your boyfriend?” He asked, complete her uncompleted statement for her.

    “Something like that.” She said slowly.

    “God!” Tobi was disappointed and walked back to his seat sadly.

    “Tobi, this was what happened…” she tried to explain.

    “Don’t worry, I don’t wish to know.” He stopped her.

****

    “Do you know that lady from somewhere before?” Feyi questioned Tolani.

    “And is that how to say thanks for accompanying you today?” He questioned her question.

    “You’ve not answered my question.” Feyi said, turning her head toward Tolani.

    “Neither have you answered mine.” He replied.

    “Why are you acting this way? Why can’t you answer my question when you know you have no ulterior motive.” She said.

    Tolani chuckled. ‘This girl no know me.’ He thought within himself and glanced at her. “How does it concern you if I have an ulterior motive and how sure are you that I don’t have?”

    “Stop dodging my questions and answer me.” Feyi exclaimed.

    “I can’t answer because it seems you are the one with great ulterior motive.” He replied her.

    “From that, you have an ulterior motive right?” She asked.

    “From this question you asked, you seem to like me right?”

****

    AREA F INVESTIGATING STATION.

    “Please calm down, all will be well.” Doris said to the woman on seat.

    Area F investigation station was the largest crime investigation station in the state. There were lots of cops and experienced investigators in the station that did work day and night to get criminals. They just got a report from a woman who got home and met her husband and children been shot to death.

    The cops had been working so hard to get the criminal(s) that did the work. They’ve gotten the bullets and the proofs from the scene of the incidence to be worked on.

    They have hardly been a case which they wouldn’t get the people in charge of whatever happened.

    “A whole husband and three children have been killed!” She kept on weeping.

    It had been three weeks already but the cops were yet to lay their hands on the criminals.

****

    There was quietness until Tolani dropped Feyi off to her hotel. He must not miss that evening, he must be in the hotel to speak with Stella since she might visit the hotel.

    Both didn’t express their joy because of Tobi and Feyi that were present. They kmew that wouldn’t be the end of their meeting, another day would come.

****

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