By Tomi Adesina
“And with all these, I think I am satisfied with your statement. I will try my best to speak with Sameer on Skype tonight.” I said, closing my laptop.
Mr. Davis cleared his throat. “How do you fancy your chances against Subomi?” Mr. Davis looked worried. At the moment, it seemed as though, my father was right. Subomi Bankole is a real lion in the ring. I was opportune to watch him once. “That man is a smart crook. I guess you must have a lot of respect for him considering his age and his time in the field. I hope that will not affect you.”
“Never mind Mr. Davis, let me worry about those petty issues. All that matters is that we strongly have a case against Chidi Obi, and it will take a lot of Subomi Bankole’s nerves to beat it.” I said, tapping the file.
He smiled. “I love your confidence kid. I hope to see more of it in two weeks.” He said, standing up. We shook hands firmly. “I will call in the evening to get a feedback of your conversation with Sameer.” He added, and left.
The case which would see me take on Subomi Bankole meant a lot to me more than people could understand. I reveled in excitement of battling Subomi Bankole, for Dad and me. It reminded me of high school when I was the president of the Arts society and we had a debate against our rival school. I totally ‘outclassed’ Jumoke Bankole according to my mates.
“You think you are smart, right?” Jumoke had said, accosting me after the competition.”
I smiled. “Come on Jumoke, you did well too.” I replied, adjusting my collar.
“I have to admit, you are good. How did you do it?” she asked, with a smile.
I grinned. “I don’t tell my little secrets to rivals.” I replied, adjusting my hair.
“You are so full of yourself, aren’t you? Are you taking a revenge on me for my Dad beating your father last week?”
I remember saying to her, “I could care less, and all that matters is that, in this world of ours, I am the boss!”
I turned in my swivel chair as I played Enya’s Orinoco flow. It happened to inspire me at this moment. I was provided with a bunch of documents by Mr. Davis which was to help me in my preparation for the case. He had spent around three hours in my office briefing me on how things were between himself and Chidi Obi before they decided to go their separate ways. I had no doubt that if there was going to be a jury, Chidi Obi would be condemned, the ‘masses’ would reel in excitement if he ended up behind bars.
Chidi Obi had channeled electricity to two of his plants in the remote region of the country and had deprived them of electricity in the time past. This made the people hate him so much, but it didn’t make him restore power to them until government had stepped in. I continued my work until Dare walked in.
“Darlene, its 3pm. Have you had lunch?” he asked, holding the door.
At that moment, I realized that I hadn’t eaten. “I have been so engrossed in this work. I’ll sort that out when I get home.”
“Come on, you have to eat. Don’t you think you are skinny enough?” he asked, approaching me.
I rolled my eyes. “I am not on a diet, Dare. I am just caught up here.” I said staring at the documents on my table.
“If you say so, I will have a steward get you some food. Kentucky?”
I nodded. “Thanks.”
“See you soon.” He replied, and left.
I was starving, but I hadn’t realized it until Dare showed up. I was totally engrossed in the case. I checked my mail box and Dora had sent me some pictures from her first shots.
“How do you like them? They are from KP’s, will send you some more when I take them later.”
Dora had passion for what she did, honestly, I could relate to Dora’s photos. It came from a passionate angle, and for me, anything done with passion always had a Midas touch.
“Ta-da!” Dare said, as he walked in carrying two KFC packs.
I stared at him. “And I guess, you are the steward, right?”
“You should be grateful,” he said, dropping one bag on the table.
I smiled. “Thank you.” I said, checking the contents of the bag.
“I hope you like fries.” He said, approaching the door.
“Why don’t you join me for lunch here?” I asked, politely. He raised one eye brow. “We could talk about the case against Subomi Bankole.”
He laughed as he dropped his pack on the table. “The case is against Chidi Obi.”
“I know, but when you are in the inside, you can only relate to your opposing lawyer.” I replied.
He sat on the rug. “I’d rather we use the rug. You don’t want to mess up the documents.”
“Oh yes!” I replied, and joined him on the rug.
We sat close to the giant window. “Lovely view from here, isn’t it?” I asked.
“I can’t seem to relate with the awesomeness of this view.” He replied, eating his fries.
I nudged him. “Try to be artistic in heart, and you will see it.” I replied.
“So how is the preparation coming?” he asked.
I nodded. “So far so good, I think I have Chidi Obi in a tight corner based on all the documents that Tunji Davis provided me,” I said, taking a chunk of the chicken. I rattled on about the court case to Dare who listened with rapt attention.
I was filled with so much excitement. If I should beat Subomi, I was starting my career on the high, and I couldn’t wish for a better start. I chattered on to Dare about how much I would love to win this case, he didn’t say a word but he kept on gazing, so I guessed he wasn’t listening.
“Dare! Dare!!…Dare!!!” I called furiously.
He snapped out of his thoughts.
“Did you hear anything I said?” I asked.
He laughed. “Of course, it’s just that, you have tomato sauce on your mouth.”
I stared at him with caution. “You could have just said that.” I grabbed a wipe and cleaned my mouth. “Now back to our discussion,” I said as I continued.
“There’s no discussion here, you were the only one doing the talking.” He said, sipping his Pepsi.
My eyes popped in shock. “Are you saying I was just talking to the wind?”
“That’s if the wind was listening.” He replied.
I punched him hard. “Don’t do that.” He said, almost sounding angry.
“I will and I will again.” I replied and punched him again.
He frowned a bit. “I am too much of a strong man to be affected by those weak punches of yours.”
“You think?” I asked and hit him again.
He smirked. “Miss, that’s your last punch. Should you hit me again, I’ll fire you!”
I laughed. “I’d like to see you try. I am about to have my first case and I am sure that you are scared of Subomi so you were willing to pass the case to me.” I said laughing.
“You are a joker! You were specifically requested for by Tunji Davis. I couldn’t turn him down, and by the way, the pay is high. Too high to turn down.”
I bit my lip. “To you, I am facing Subomi because of what you will make out of it, right?”
“You conclude easily.” He said, cleaning his hands.
I nodded. “Now I know why you were eager to get me food. You wouldn’t want your ‘lottery ticket’ feeling ill, right?” I asked, feigning seriousness.
Dare fell for it. “Darlene, forget about what I said previously. Tunji Davis specifically asked for you. He already (read more stories at www.youngicee.com) told you, didn’t he?”
“Nope.” I replied, closing the pack. “He said nothing of such to me, except that you had nominated me for it.” I continued, teasing him.
Dare felt uneasy and reached for his phone. “That man lied to you, and he’s going to hear from me.” He said, punching in some digits. Game up! I yanked the phone from him and aborted the call. He had already dialed Tunji Davis and it took some speed from me to stop the call. “Why did you?” he asked.
I smiled. “I was teasing you. Tunji Davis wanted me.”
“What am I going to do with you?” Dare stressed. He reached for my hand to get his phone, but I dodged his hand. He swiftly pinned my hands and back to the floor. He stared at me and my heart raced fast. For once, I felt like a prey in a lion’s den. He leaned closer and closer, my heart beat didn’t slow down. I felt my resistance breaking as his lips touched mine, and then, I kissed back.
I was the first to withdraw from the kiss.
“I am sorry.” He said, ruffling his hair.
I swallowed and I tried to hide the embarrassment in my face. I threw the pack into the trash can. “I didn’t see that coming.” I managed to say, amidst the embarrassment welling in my face. “Damn it!” I cursed softly, as I bowed my head.
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, we are adults, I guess I shouldn’t have kissed you, but I just couldn’t resist you. It’s my fault.” He said, apologizing. He adjusted his tie and approached the door. I faced the window sternly and didn’t turn towards him. “Darlene, I am sorry. It was just an impulse, I shouldn’t have.” He said, and walked out.
Hot tears streamed down my cheeks. The best Paul had gotten from me was a peck. This is my first kiss. Did it have to be Dare’s. Could I be in love with him?
…to be continued