This is the first episode, please enjoy and share!
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THUD! FIFEHANMI DANIEL LANDED ON THE CHAIR. Truly, the world is usually out of shape for a hungry man. He looked at Ben as he made orders for the food they’d eat. He could swear that he was going to eat over and over again. Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant. He wished he could leave the meeting earlier so he could get something to eat. Why wouldn’t he be so hungry? He had buried himself in his phone for several hours like a mouse in a cheese, before he slept off the previous night.
He rolled from one end of the mattress to another and felt hunger had woken him up. He was wrong! It was Ben that hit him when he saw that they were already getting late for work and he was still in bed. “Is it morning?” He had asked Ben as he forced his heavy eyes open. “Mr. Kolade will definitely kill you today.” He announced to him and Fifehanmi found himself dressed up in no time. That name sent sound waves to his brain and made him forget that he hadn’t eaten.
There he was after the meeting that got him rushing early hours of the day. “Is this waiter this slow?” He complained.
Ben’s anger petered out. “Should he fly? Didn’t I tell you when you were chatting yesterday?”
Fifehanmi kept quiet. The best thing he felt he could do was to give him a wide berth and keep his cool. Ben had been annoyed that he was too busy with his phone that he had no time for him the previous night, and also, he couldn’t prepare well for the meeting they just concluded. Above all, he didn’t eat! “If not for the angle of deviation of your brain, you’d have done woefully in the meeting.” Peter said.
Fifehanmi’s eyes just focused on the waiter bringing their food. As he dropped it on the table, he picked up his plate and began to eat. Ben just shook his head and smiled at the waiter. “Is this hunger even up to this, Fife?”
Fife raised his head and glared at Ben. He had not spoken nicely since they got to the restaurant, so why should he reply? He had thought as he continued eating.
“Do you want to make this Coffee Break very boring? I have a bigger fish to fry if this will be your attitude.”
Fifehanmi hissed. “When your mouth was controlling itself instead of your brain, you didn’t know you had a bigger fish to fry, right?”
Ben chuckled. Fifehanmi would never be a better comedian than he had been to him for years. He seemed really outspoken, but one wouldn’t know that’d be before the appearance of a lady. Especially- The Lady. The wind always changed direction whenever power changed hand, leaving him to be as still as graveyard. But if it’s about wisdom and strategies of getting works done, he was the master of the game.
“What are you feeling like?” He smiled.
Fifehanmi dropped his spoon. At least he was almost done with the food while Ben was still yet to take his third spoon. “You were the one who taught me to get on the ball in this case, why are you now driving me bananas?”
“I was only concerned about your wellbeing, Fife. I’m sure she ate to bed yesterday and she’d be having a nice time at work now. Look at yourself!”
Fife swallowed. “Just put a sock in it.”
“So, did you tell her?”
Fifehanmi clenched his fist. He stared at Ben for a moment and bursts into laughter. He had been waiting for him to ask him the question, but that would be hot oil that’d fry the fish in question. Anytime he gave him a negative reply to that question, it’d be as if Ben was the fish in the hot oil.
“Guy, why! So your chats were meaningless again, Fife.”
He shrugged. “Bro haven’t gotten enough mind to let the cat out of the bag.”
“The heat in the bag will soon kill the cat, Fife.”
“Believe me, there’s a good air conditioner in the bag, the cat can’t die.”
“With time, food will finish for the cat and still die there.”
Fife chuckled. “Believe me, man! The cat cannot run out of good food.”
Ben heaved a sigh. “I give up.”
“Just for now!” Ben quickly added.
“You just like acting like a Devil’s Advocate.”
“Whatever you like, call me. Perhaps you’ll still be on this case by the time I have my fourth child.”
Fifehanmi’s eyes widened. “You want to have up to four kids?”
“Err.. I don’t know, it depends on her.”
“By the way, do you want to marry?” He grinned as he asked.
Ben hissed. “Sure, I want to get married. That’s why I wasn’t shy of telling her about my feeling, bro!”
There was silence.
“That’s the fact anyways. Marriage won’t come looking for you, you do something to invite it.”
Fife cleared his throat. “Abeg make we chop, I get some things wey I still wan touch for office. Time don dey go.”
Ben chuckled. The truth tasted bitter in Fife’s tongue.
** ** **
Adebisi opened a file on her table and kept some documents inside it. Her focus conveyed to the door as it was knocked. She watched Tricia sway inside as she returned her focus to the file and closed it. “What’s up?” She swiveled the chair, her face looked emotionless. She just had a meeting with a representative of the company and she believed Tricia came to know what’s up.
“How are you?” She asked, her eyes glancing up to the ceiling.
“Are you just seeing me today?” She asked and shrugged. “I don’t have time, Tricia.” She added as she turned to her laptop.
They had been working together for more than a year now and turned out to be friends. But whenever Adebisi had something to do, she didn’t like anyone trying to disturb her. “You know if you want a change, you have to stop doing things the way you have been doing.” Tricia said.
Adebisi focused her eyes on her. “Okay, so?” Her forehead furrowed.
“Why did you come late?”
She chuckled. “Is that why you are here, talking to me about change?”
She took a sight of her laptop and returned her gaze back to Tricia. Tricia was a big stone she had always met in her path. She could ask you a thousand questions in a sitting! Here she comes again, with another set of questions. “You can’t imagine the way mosquitoes tormented me overnight, Tricia. I had to leave my room for Abigail’s.”
“Mosquitos?” She scrutinized. “Don’t you have insecticide?”
Her eyebrows waggled. “By the way, I slept late.”
She had spent most of her time last night chatting with Fifehanmi. It was nice they met a month back after they left school for three years. He was his close pal back then as the assistant Head Of Class of their department while she was the Head Of Class. They worked together and faced many of the so called scary lecturers, and the good ones though. It was very nice working together since their first year till they graduated.
“Pelz?” Tricia winked. She was trying to know if it was her so-called ‘boyfriend’ that she spent most of the night speaking to.
“Fifehanmi.” She replied. “He’s my friend. We just met last month since I graduated from school.”
Tricia grinned. “Tell me more.”
“What more? He is just my friend, Tricia. Thank God you know Pelz, because I don’t know what’s wrong with you.” Her mouth curved into a smile.
Tricia winked again. “So, who is he?”
Adebisi’s smile faded. “Haven’t I told you?”
“I told you that I have a better thing to do, or perhaps, better things.”
“I came to know how far with the contract papers? Have you signed them?”
She shook her head. “Those guys don’t know how to go about things, Tricia. They are not playing with a full deck.”
“You are too strict!”
“No! This is a contract of millions of naira, Tricia. If these guys cannot supply us with the cements needed, where do we run to? I asked him questions and he didn’t sound like he was truly a manager.”
“You ask too much questions too, girl. Okay, what did you ask him?”
“You are just barking up the wrong tree. I asked him why they claim they are special and he stared at me for a moment before he replied me, saying, we give the best. Who does that?”
Tricia laughed. “You will never change!”
“Trust me, Tricia. Change involves a great investment I can’t afford.”
“It’s a lifetime investment we can afford only if we embrace.”
“I told you earlier that I’m busy.”
“So you won’t sign the papers?”
“I’ll think about it. By the way, I’ll leave the office soon. I want to check Abigail in her showroom.”
** ** **
It was 5pm. Adebisi parked her car in front of Abbie’s Touch and alighted. She adjusted her skirt and locked the car. She had already promised her sister she’d come to see her in her showroom that day. Though she wanted to cancel it because she got to work late, but she found that she could share most of the mountain of works among her staffs.
She was just twenty-six years, controlling her father’s company that he willed to her before he died. She had made Tricia her manager as much as she was the Chief Executive Officer of the company. She hated flabbiness and really had no time for unprofitable business. She still found pleasure living together with her mother and sister – Abigail. She had many friends who were now living on their own or probably together.
“Hello.” She opened the door of the showroom and smiled.
The three young ladies working with Abigail bowed as they saw her come in. “Welcome Ma.” They almost chorused, smiling. She had always been friendly and they liked her. “How are you guys?” She cracked a smile.
They responded and she headed to Abigail’s office. She knocked and waited briefly before she entered. She knew Abigail too, a principled lady. “Hey babe.” She dropped her bag on the sofa near the door and walked gallantly to a seat. She was the only one in the office, so she was free.
“I never knew you could make it here, Adebisi. I thought you should still be at your place of work, considering that you got to office very late`.”
Abigail’s words made the heavy traffic she ran into that morning flashback. She really hated herself because she had promised her secretary she would give her a query the next time she got to work late. Now, she was the one trying to beat the traffic. “I’m in control, girl.”
Abigail hissed. “I thought you’d punish yourself for that. But obviously, you’ve awarded yourself for that, Adebisi.”
“I thought courtesy would whisper into those ears of yours that a visitor is meant to be served something, babe.”
Abigail stood up and walked to the refrigerator. “We were still on an issue, or did you just stylishly end it”
“Just forget that issue. It’s just as if one is crying over split milk if you keep talking about it.”
Abigail served her juice with a glass cup in a tray and sat beside her. “Why did you sleep late?” She asked her.
Adebisi has been asked the question a zillion times that day. No, just twice now, but the two times have been echoing in her ears more than a million times. “I was lost in the chat world, Abbie. I was chatting with Fifehanmi.”
Abigail smiled. “I know, though.” She stood up and walked to her office chair.
“Are you trying to pull a fast one?”
“No. I actually saw your chats when you came to my room to sleep yesterday night.” She grinned.
Adebisi’s eyes lit up. “How could you?”
“Calm down.” She grinned. “I only checked who you were chatting with, I didn’t read your chats.” She replied.
Adebisi hissed. “That’s your business. At least, I told you our paths crossed again last month and he was my-”
“-assistant HOC” she completed it for her. “I can still remember. But I can tell if he’s the one on his display picture, he’s surely more handsome than Pelumi.” She added.
Adebisi shrugged. “Are you okay?” She dropped her drink. “Anyways, Fifehanmi is handsome sha.”
“I said more handsome, Bisi.”
Adebisi snapped. “I care less. I’m in a relationship with Pelumi, not Fifehanmi. Okay? And we we only discussed on his company – wine business.”
“Sure,, I know.” She laughed.
“You are a stupid girl.” She chuckled.
Abigail simpered. “Thanks for the compliment.”
“I told him about Pelz companies and how he could hit it big by trying to get a contract from the company, especially the one in Abuja.”
“But you didn’t tell him Pelz is your fiancé, right?”
She scrunched her face. “Yapper, you should have read it in the chats.”
“Really? Why did you tell him?”
“Listen girl, I’m not into Fifehanmi! Though I didn’t tell him and that is because we didn’t talk about it. But why should I not tell him? By the way, Pelz hasn’t proposed, he is not my fiancé. He’s just… I don’t even know what to call him apart from boyfriend.”
Abigail laughed. “He’s unserious.” She hissed.
“You think? I love him anyways and I know he is proposing soon.”
Pelumi Makinwa and Adebisi Kolawole had been together for over seven months now. Adebisi could still remember how they met vividly. It was in one of Pelz suites when a business conference she attended was held. She had always heard of Pelumi Makinwa who was the Director of Pelz Companies. The Company that had branches of several hotels and suites; bars and exquisites scattered all over the nation. He’s the only child of the great Makinwa; the billionaires, and the son, a comfortable millionaire.
“I pray so.” Abigail has never believed Pelz had her time. “I don’t know why I usually think you are just a side chic, Adebisi. I keep wondering how many ladies this guy have access to all over the nation, even the world! By the way, he runs hotels and bars, girl!”
Adebisi shrugged. “Does it matter? What matters is the heart of the lover. And believe me, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
“I just hope you won’t chat with Fifehanmi till daybreak, tonight.”
She hissed. “Fifehanmi is humorous, and he has time, compared to Pelz.”
“So he’s the jobless one, right?”
“No. I didn’t say so, babe! It’s just visible that Pelz is usually busier than him.”
“Take my word, Adebisi. You can only get busy for someone you have no time for. If you have time for someone, you cannot get so busy for you to exclude the person out of your time. It’s possible the guy got to office very late too this morning, who know? I’m sure he created time for you, he didn’t have the time.”
Adebisi was quiet for a moment as she tried to digest Abigail’s words. “Pelz also have time for me. He has just been busy setting up a branch of his company in Oyo State. We talk daily.”
“You also know that you only get busy for someone who’s not your number one. If he or she is, you’ll create time.”
“Please can we talk about something else?” Adebisi sipped her drink.
** ** **
Fifehanmi unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his white singlet. He plopped down the sofa and gave a deep breath. He looked Ben as he entered, using his index and middle finger to hold on to his pair of shoes. “You won’t take off your shoes before entering the house, make sure you sleep early so you can wake early and mop this place tomorrow morning.” He addressed Fife as he dropped his shoes by the side of the sofa.
“Are your shoes floating in the air presently?” He stared at him with grim face like a carved mask as Ben set to sit after dropping his shoes.
Ben chuckled. “At least I just dropped it, mine is not on.”
It was already past seven when they entered into the house. Fifehanmi was tired. He had spent early hours of the day planning the documents he would show in the meeting they held that day. He was working together with Ben as the managers of Kay & Kay Company. They supplied wines to other companies and as much as the places their services were needed. Fifehanmi was surely the backbone of the company. He had won several contracts for the company and was Mr. Kolade’s favourite in the company.
“I find it hard to get her out of my mind, Ben.”
“Sorry man, you just thank God you were able to present all your meeting reports and the contracts in meeting today. You’d have been up a creek without a paddle, because I don’t know why she suddenly seems to be at the center of it all.”
“You seem to act upside down sometimes. You’d encourage me this time, one time again you’d discourage me.”
Ben hissed. “It will be better for you to get out of the umbrella of expectancy and walk in the rain of reality!”
“I will get drenched man.”
“If you do not get drenched with the rain of reality, the shade of expectancy will fetch you nothing but a temporary comfort.”
Fifehanmi kept quiet for a moment. “I love her, but I don’t know why I am scared to talk to her. I have gotten a lot of negative answers enough to kill my confidence.”
“But nothing good comes into the house to meet a man, if you don’t go out to work it out, it won’t work.”
He shrugged. “Can’t you remember Bibie?”
Ben laughed. “The one you claim your spirit told you about, is that not?”
Ben laughed so hard. He could recall two years back when he had to also pressurize him to talk to Bibie when he claimed his inner witness told him she was his wife only for him to meet her and he found out she was married. Married? He was dazzled as he stood before her. He felt as if the ground should just open and swallow him up. He stared at her fourth finger thousand times but she had no wedding ring on. He felt ladies of nowadays really fancy putting on their wedding rings, but where was her own?
It was bitter for him to swallow that she was truly married. But he was sure he heard the spirit in him very well! He had told him that was his wife and he knew it! How come she was married and he didn’t know? By the way, they were friends for six months before he approached her, he had never seen her with any other guy. She had never talked about her husband. How come she was suddenly married?
If she had said No, he wouldn’t have been as bothered as much as he was when he heard her response. He heard the wrong thing? No! He didn’t want to believe. He had heard a lot of from his inner witness that had come true already than for him to doubt. It was a great opportunity for Ben to make jest of him. He stopped believing Fifehanmi’s inner witness from then.
“Whenever I remember that incident, I do laugh as if my life depends on it.”
Fife hissed. “Thank God we got to know the truth at the end.”
“It doesn’t matter, man!”
It was after few months Fife got to know she was not married. She had been hoping a friend of hers would propose to her, but after defining their relationship, she got to know he had no intention of relationship with her. But it was too late. Fifehanmi was already another person’s friend, hoping that’d click.
“What of Lara’s case?” Fife drifted forward as he remembered.
“That girl na sly!” Ben hissed. “But guy, you don suffer too o.”
“Can you see? That’s why I am just trying my best to be careful so this won’t be as fatal as a fang from a venomous snake.”
“But I thought you said you wouldn’t get married again, Fifehanmi.”
Fifehanmi scratch his head. “Adebisi is making me change my mind, but I pray she doesn’t feed me with same food I have been eating in the past.”
“I suggest you request a date from her, maybe this Friday. You can tell her there.”
He shook his head. “I don’t think I want to say anything now.”
He chuckled. “Who knows if her apartment is not occupied, if you miss this, she might even sell it off to another person while you sleep under the bridge.”
“How will I sit before her on date? I am very shy!”
Ben hissed. “Your night will soon turn to day, man. I think I can’t keep talking about her.”
“But you have to help a brother.”
“Not until he’s ready to help himself.” He picked his shoes and walked inside.
** ** **
Adebisi walked into the kitchen in her shorts, holding her phone with hands free with her. She opened the freezer and brought out the bowl of iced cream and placed it on the table. She fetched herself a cup and spoon and sat down. The day was not stressful, but at least she still worked. She’d still like to chat with Fifehanmi again. He was very free with her the previous night, even though he only tried his very best to mask his emotions well.
Adebisi seemed not to even think towards that direction. She knew Fifehanmi to be very jovial and free, so she never gave it a thought that he already liked her. At least they worked together in school and they were even closer than now, yet he didn’t mention anything to her, so, should it be this time he would have something in mind?
She took a scoop of iced cream and punched some buttons on her phone, fixing the hands free in her ears. She had to refresh herself because she wanted to write that evening also. She was an online writer with several fans and had been keeping them waiting for days. She had written some novelettes, and several series on her website but her present story had been pulling waves on her site and some other websites that requested to post her work of art.
A lot of people hardly believed she wasn’t an art student. She saw it as an advantage though, to go into another field and still hold on to what you love doing. She checked her comments and they lightened her face. She minimized the application and dialed Pelz’s mobile number.
Smile flushed her face like sunshine over flower; her eyes were like bridal beacon’s shine. She exposed her incredible white teeth like snow shut in a rose. Truly, beauty maddens the soul like wine! Fifehanmi must have been more attracted to Adebisi this time than never perhaps because of her rapid change. She was looking more beautiful than she was back then, beautiful as the dawn, dominant as the sun.
She was still bright when her face suddenly tightened up. She was just excited to talk to him but it seemed he called to vent his anger. She hardly spoke before he banged the phone on her. She looked shocked as she dropped the phone on the table and looked like a dummy. She hissed as Abigail entered the kitchen too. “What’s wrong?” She could see the rainbow of worries painted on her face.
“I don’t know why Pelumi behaves like this. I called him and he sounded so annoyed on phone and just banged the phone on me.” She hissed again.
“So?” Abigail shrugged. “Is he okay?”
Adebisi snapped. “Did I ask you to abuse him?” She picked her cup and walked to her room.
Abigail sighed as she approached the pot to see what was prepared. She served herself and walked to the dining. She hardly sat down when Mrs. Kolawole walked to the dining and she kicked off a discussion with her.
Adebisi was on her bed, angry. She wondered how good could turn to bad all in the name of a meeting. Did she do wrong by calling him to know his wellbeing? That’s ridiculous! A message interrupted her thought and she reached for her phone. It was Fifehanmi. “Thank God.” She muttered. She needed to wipe Pelz’s perspiration off her head and Fifehanmi was right on time. She knew he’d make her smile. The chat began!
She had spent over ten minutes with her phone when Fifehanmi asked her if she could he could have a dinner on Friday. She shrugged as she replied. “No problem.”
** ** **
Ben looked back again as he continued typing. He had changed his cloth and met the living room empty when he came out. He heard the sound of shower and he knew Fifehanmi was freshening up. He grabbed his phone. It was an opportunity for him to ‘help a brother’ as he had said earlier.
He had been chatting with Adebisi, hiding under Fife’s identity. They knew each other too though, but Adebisi wasn’t close to Ben back in school. Anyways, that was not the case. He needed to help a brother and thank God she just accepted to eat out with Fifehanmi. He didn’t know his fate when Fife gets to know about it, but he knew he would never tell her he wasn’t the one who chatted with her.
Ben thought on what he could ask her again before Fife comes out but nothing dropped. He typed ‘I Love You’ and stared at it for a moment, wondering if he should send it to her. At least, he was still trying to ‘help a brother’. His thumb drifted towards the send button….
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