By Tomi Adesina
Dare removed his hands from his pockets. “I don’t know what you did to me, Darlene. But, all I know is that I need you.”
Ouch! There are two words that according to my romance books a man shouldn’t use, ‘NEED and WANT’ when a man says he wants you, he is after your body and when a man says he needs you, he has some needs to satisfy in which you are the only one with the cure. Or not? I can’t say my theory is a 100% for every man, but I could make a 95%, right?
“Say something Darlene.” He said, with his eyeballs squinted.
I pressed the bell for a second time. Dare touched my hand and I yanked out of it furiously. “What is it, Dare?”
“Let me take you out for a proper dinner tomorrow.”
I laughed. “Proper dinner?” If Dare meant ‘proper dinner’, I couldn’t fault him. Most of our outings had ended up badly. Daniel, Reina and all…
The security man came out.
“Welcome Ms. Williams.” He said.
I nodded and dismissed him almost immediately. I turned to Dare. “Mr. Ade-Cole, you have disrespected me enough and now you are trying to buy into my privacy. This is my house, not your firm.”
“Darlene, can we not go over that. I apologize for all what happened, but I have been a little bit of balance of late and you have consumed me to my thoughts.”
I have had enough. “DARE! What are you talking about? You are all over me; just give me a break from all these lousy jokes.”
“I admit to have gone a bit over the edge with you, I have been very aggressive, but you can’t fault me totally. You led me.”
My head spanned! All the blood flowing through my veins paused and for one moment, my spines went cold. I stared at Dare coldly. ‘How could he accuse me of his feelings?’ I thought. He fumbled over a few statements and wiped his forehead.
“Darlene, I am not saying it’s entirely your fault that I love you, but…”
I cut in immediately. “Dare, can you just hear yourself? Am I to share in the blame of how you feel? That’s not my business, it’s entirely yours.”
“I know Darlene, but you can’t say you are totally indifferent to me. I can see it in your eyes.”
I laughed sarcastically. “The only thing you can see in my eyes is my contact lens, and that is if I wear any.”
He smiled faintly. “I never believed that I could have love scorned to my face,” he said reaching for his breast pocket. He stretched an envelope before me.
“Sack letter, right?” I asked, collecting the envelope.
He shrugged. “You might just want to read that. I bet you will know what to do next.” He said and walked away into the sunset.
I immediately joined Dora in the kitchen. She was assisting the maids to have dinner set up. “Guess who I saw by the gate?”
“Before we go into your guessing games, you had a call on the land phone from Dotun Davis and he is expecting you to return the call.”
I nodded. “I’ll be in my room then. We’ll talk later.” I replied and rushed upstairs.
I returned Dotun’s call and we set up a lunch meeting for tomorrow. I went over a few notes for the court case and did a rehearsal before my mirror. I had placed Dare’s envelope beside the mirror. It was giving me some sort of motivation irrespective of its content. If he dared to fire me, his firm would be at a loss. I could bet that the Ade-Cole board would not joke with a Firm fee of 6 million naira, so Dare would not dare to have me fired.
I had dinner with Dora and KP. Dad had called that he would be having dinner with the Shodipo’s and his new fiancée.
“I can’t wait to meet my new friends.” Dora said, sipping her wine.
I scoffed. “Hopefully Wole and Wura are no longer the monsters they used to be at high school; else this excitement of yours will die in an instant once you meet them.”
“They can’t really be that bad.” Kolapo interrupted. He gestured to Dora to pass the soup bowl to him. She passed the bowl quickly across the table.
I nodded my head sarcastically. “Wait till you meet them. The person I can’t wait to meet is dad’s fiancée.” I said, wiping my mouth.
“Are you sure that you mom isn’t playing hanky panky?” Kolapo said, staring at Dora.
Dora looked slightly irritated at the term used by KP. “I don’t know.” She said, carelessly.
Kolapo hit the table hard. “I suggest we play detective on her.”
“I am not gonna watch my mom, KP. She’s an adult.”
He nodded in agreement. “She might be an adult, but it’s not a crime if we try to know who she’s dating at the moment, and my heart tells me that it is Sir Williams.”
Dora hissed. “She would have told me.”
“She might have decided to keep it secret at least until something concrete comes up.” I chipped in.
Kolapo stuck his tongue out at Dora.
“For your mind KP…” she said in Pidgin English and cleared her plates to the kitchen.
I stared at Kolapo. “Are you guys having issues?”
He shook his head in disagreement. “None that I am aware of. But she’s been distant of late.”
“I guess it’s about the change of jobs. She has more thinking to do; she even has less time for her wacked jokes these days.”
He shrugged. “I don’t know, but I guess she’s nervous about her coming out event. That’s not so much concern for me like the Jake guy she’s always speaking to these days. I am a bit jealous.”
I swallowed hard. More like lumps! Jake and Dora??? Okay…it couldn’t happen, right? I mean, she has Kolapo and they seem happy together. She wouldn’t dare date Jacob. Or could she? Why couldn’t she? What have they been speaking about?
“But she says Jake is a cool guy and they are just friends. I think they hung out last week.”
Hung out??? Now that’s a real hit for me below the belt. “I’ll be right back.” I said to Kolapo and joined Dora in the kitchen. She was drinking water by the sink looking at bit disturbed.
“Are you alright, Dora? I mean you and KP?” I asked, fetching a glass of milk. I kept an eagle-eye gaze on her as I poured the milk. I wouldn’t want her thinking I wanted to analyze their relationship, especially now that Jake might just be lurking around.
She nodded without looking up. I frowned slightly at her response. Dora was acting weird. ‘Could she be in love with Jake?’ I thought. God please, don’t let that happen!
“We are good.” She said and laughed. “Why are you so bothered? We should be talking about you and Dare, not KP and I. We have a very healthy relationship.”
I scoffed. “I hope it’s as healthy as you say.”
“Of course it is sis.” She said, smiling.
I rinsed the glass and then fired up the JAKE subject in a cool manner. “You and Jake hanging out of late?”
She nodded in the affirmative almost confidently. “We went to see an event planner earlier in the week. I was able to meet his twin just last night.”
“That’s cool. Hope you found Jane interesting.” I said, leaning against the sink for support. If by any chance something would happen between Jake and Dora, it would throw me off balance and not even the sink would be enough to keep me upright, but for now I would gladly savour the moment.
She nodded. “Jane is okay, but she’s not as fun as Jake. I think she is more business oriented.” I nodded also. “Anyways, that’s by the way, let’s go and join KP, I don’t want him feeling lonely. He is already jealous of my outing with Jake for me to steer further thoughts in his heart.” She added and left the kitchen.
I left Dora and KP downstairs and left for my room. They had a lot of issues to sort out, if by chance, Jake might be lurking around in Dora’s heart, she would need to flush him out quickly else she’ll risk losing Kolapo. Kolapo seems a fine man to me, nice, warm and everything appreciable in a man, but the truth is that, Jacob is a charmer. He could knock anyone over with a feather. And it seems to me that Dora might not even need the feather before she will be ‘wowed’ by him.
I snapped out of my thoughts and reached for Dare’s envelope. I was relaxed that he wouldn’t dare to sack me without the consent of the board, and most especially with a high profile case around the corner.
Dare and I have said everything we had to say to each other except that I have not been honest about my feelings. At this moment, everything looked glaring, but more confusing. Dare loves me, and yes, I love him. But, I now beginning to feel that I don’t want him, but what if I lose him.
I loosened the ribbon around the envelope carefully, just in case it had to be returned. I wouldn’t want to change the wrap. I inhaled deeply. At the moment, there was a slight tap on the door and Dora stepped in.
“KP is gone. Could we continue our discussion?” she asked, taking her seat.
I stared at the envelope in my hand. “Our discussion might just be subject to what I read in this.” I stretching it forward, but not in her reach.
“You might want some privacy in reading your letter.” She said, standing up.
I nodded in agreement. Dora seemed a bit disturbed this evening. I fear she already likes Jacob a bit too much and that’s not convenient for me, as I feel she’ll be betraying Kolapo. Is that my only reason? Maybe I was scared of losing Jacob to her.
“I’ll ping you when I am through” I replied. She nodded and exited quietly.
I sighed and straightened out the letter.
…to be continued