By Tomi Adesina
An awkward silence filled the room.
Dare held his head as he stepped away from Reina. Reina wiped her eyes clean. “You don’t mean it Dare.” She fumbled as she held her hair.
“Enough of us fooling ourselves, Reina. I loved Tobi as though he was mine, but you know he’s not my son.” He replied, straightening out his jacket. Reina had it rumpled when she held on to him. It was time for me to exit the scene, so I reached for the door.
Reina rushed towards me and closed the door. “Stay and hear the whole story. I know you are interested in knowing everything.” She yelled holding my blouse.
“Let go. Sort yourselves out, I have work to do.” I shouted and shoved her away. I closed the door after me and left for my office.
Toni joined me as I approached my door. “Hey love.” She said as we hugged.
“Is Gideon gone?” I asked as I pushed the door open. She strolled over to the side table and poured herself a cup of coffee. “Is that your first cup this morning?”
She shrugged and took her seat. “No. I already had the office steward bring me some from Latte’s shop but I know this is freshly prepared. I am a bit covetous.” She said, taking her seat.
“So has Gideon returned to military camp?”
She dropped the coffee cup on the table. “Why are you so interested in that?”
I shrugged. “You called me ‘Love’. Probably, you miss him.”
She smiled faintly. “I dropped him off at the airport last night. He has been deployed to Israel.”
“Israel? That’s some place. Anyways, he’ll be fine by God’s grace.”
She nodded. “That reminds me; I heard you had a confrontation last night. How was it?” she asked with a smile.
I jerked in my seat. “Are you crazy? I was almost killed last night, and you call it a confrontation?”
She laughed. “I am sorry dear, but it is one of those things.”
ONE OF THOSE THINGS??? “I would give an arm not to have a repeat.”
She shrugged. “Hopefully.” She finished up the coffee. “For what it’s worth, I think you should take more security measures, at least until this case is over.”
“In other news, Reina is with Dare.”
She nodded. “I saw her come into the building. What does that lady want?”
“Tobi wasn’t Dare’s son.”
Toni took a deep breath. “Who gave you the news?”
“Dare blurted out angrily at her. They had an argument; the lady needs to get checked. She is a handful.” I said, as I turned on my laptop. My phone vibrated. The caller ID was restricted. “I don’t do ‘Restricted IDs’”
Toni looked at me curiously. “You should pick the call. You have a case around the corner, anything could be useful.” She said.
“Or dangerous…” I chipped in carefully. I picked the call but didn’t say anything.
I waited for the caller. “Tom Frost here” The caller said.
I stood up and approached the window. “Tom??? Is anything the matter?”
“Not really. We are having a handful with Dare’s mother. The woman is causing a lot of trouble here. She has threatened to call the cops.”
I grabbed my purse immediately. “I will get back to you soon.” I said and hung up. “Toni, I gotta go. My witness is having problems with Dare’s mom. What’s the woman like anyways?”
“Dare’s mom? Are you sure?” she said, sounding almost confused.
Seeing that Toni was lost I hurried for the door and bumped into Dare. “I was coming to see you.” we both said at once.
“You first.” He said, with a smile. I bet his smile would disappear when he heard my news.
I sighed. “I need to get to your house. Your mom is giving Sameer and Tom trouble.” I said clutching my purse to my arm.
“My mom???” he asked looking surprised.
I nodded in agreement. “Tom just called me on restricted ID and said they were having problems with your mom.” I said hurriedly.
“My mom isn’t in the country. She doesn’t even know my place. I last saw her when I was erm….. 18, I guess.” He said, sounding surprised.
I gasped. “OH MY GOD!!!” I said and rushed towards the elevator. Dare chased after me and we left for the garage.
“Officer Philip. Please I need your help.” I said and rattled into the phone to Officer Philip. Dare immediately gave his address to me and I said it to the cop.
Dare pulled up swiftly. “Stay in the car. If you don’t see me in 5 minutes, get away from here as fast as you can.”
“You can go in there alone.” I said, holding his hand.
He held my face. “I love you too much to take a risk, just do as I have said, Darlene. Please.” He said and got out of the car.
I jumped out of the car and followed him. “Please Dare, don’t go in there. Let’s wait for Phillip.”
“Darlene, just go back to the car. Please….” He begged.
The door flung open and Tom came out. “Thank God you are here, could you help us calm your mom?” he said. We rushed inside immediately and locked the door.
“Dare.” An elderly woman said.
He stared at her carefully. “MOM??? When did you get back?” he asked.
“Last night. Your dad gave me your address. Sorry I crashed in here, but who are these men, American and Arabian?”
Dare sighed and sank into a chair. “Mom, I don’t appreciate you showing up here out of the blues.”
“That’s no way to talk to your mom, Dare. You haven’t seen me in like 10 years. Give me a hug, boy.”
Dare reluctantly hugged his mom. I couldn’t understand. I would give anything to have my own mother.
“You are so grown now. You are looking good my love.” She said as she tip toed to kiss his head. “I am sorry for everything Dare. The divorce and all.”
He shrugged and stood by my side.
“Who is this beauty?” she asked. “The woman in your life?”
I flushed embarrassingly. He smiled faintly. “This is Darlene Williams. She works at Ade-Cole with me.”
“Nice to meet you.” she said, stretching her hands out at me.
I took it coolly. “Nice to meet you too.” I tried to bow courteously.
“You remind me of someone I used to know. Are you Sir Williams’ daughter?” she asked, taking off her jacket.
I nodded in agreement. “At your service.”
“You look so much like Danielle, may her soul rest in peace.”
“You knew my mom?” I asked.
She nodded with a smile. “We used to be best of friends, we hung out together before we got married to men we didn’t love and did love in reverse.”
“I don’t understand.” I said. Dare’s mom stepped away to the bar. I followed her quickly.
She paused and smiled as she poured herself a drink. “You care?” she said.
“I don’t drink.”
She smiled. “I never used to drink until I became Dare’s father’s wife.”
Dare stepped outside to attend to Officer Philip who had pulled up. “Dare even has cops visit him?” she asked, peering through the window.
“We had a tiny situation.” I replied, as I took my seat. I was eager to learn about my mother. I barely knew her, so any information on her would be soothing.
She gulped her drink and sighed. “Where do I start from? Let me introduce myself, I am Olamide Ojo.”
She obviously didn’t expect me to call her by her name. Nigeria is rich in tradition and ‘respect’ which danced round the ‘thank you ma-sir’ relationship and the No-first name rules for those that hadn’t been colonized at heart. Just to be on the safe side, you start with the ‘ma’. If you are cautioned, you try to adapt, but never do first names with ‘elders’.
“Nice to meet you ma.” I greeted. “I am Darlene.”
She nodded. “So, Darlene, I won’t waste your time dancing around the bush and mincing words. I married Ayodeji Ade-Cole but he was the one your mother wanted, and I, I was madly attracted to Williams, your father. But they saw us differently.” She started. “I’ll need more of this drink.” She said, as she poured another glass. “Are you sure you don’t want some? Dare might just turn out like Ayodeji and turn you into an alcoholic.” She joked as she drank.
“Thank you ma, but Dare and I aren’t a couple.” I replied staring out of the window as Dare dismissed Officer Philip.
She rolled her eyes. “Ayodeji and your Dad, Kunle used to be best friends. They had just completed law school when we met them.” She continued. “The irony of the whole thing is that Danielle hung out with Ayodeji most of the time and I with Kunle but we were busy hooking ourselves up in reverse. Kunle liked Danielle and so I helped him with Danielle and Ayodeji liked me, so it was Danielle’s responsibility to hook us up” she said and sighed. “I regret.”
Dare joined us at the bar. “What are you two talking about?” he asked with a smile.
“Ladies stuffs.” His mother replied.
He scoffed. “Really? Since when did you become friendly with younger girls? You used to say my generation was filth.” He said as he took off his jacket.
Olamide Ojo smiled. “This is one lady with a smart blood in her. She is Kunle Williams’ daughter, we just had to blend.”
“Where’s Sameer and Tom?” I asked.
His mom cut in. “The Arabian and American?”
“Yes mom. They are friends.” Dare replied. “I’ll go check on them.” He said and left the bar.
Olamide smiled at me. “So how is Dare?”
“He is doing well.”
She smiled. “It’s been 10 years since I last saw him. The divorce affected him really much, but the truth is that Ayodeji and I were not made for each other. After a while, our life was over.” She said.
I could understand Ms. Olamide’s plight. A relationship with someone you don’t love could be frustrating especially when you are not putting in any effort to try.
“Dare hated me after I divorced his father. He used to reverence his Dad. Ayodeji is a good man, but he has made so many mistakes, first of which was marrying me.”
I smiled. “You should have gotten over it by now.”
She nodded. “Definitely.” She said. “I am quite a happy woman now. I have more time for the spa, clubs and functions.”
‘Is that the definition of a happy woman?’ I thought. “Oh well…I can’t say I envy you. A lawyer is a busy lady.”
“Hmmm….did you really ever want to be a lawyer or is that what Kunle wants for you?”
I shook my head in disagreement. “It’s my first love. My Dad only made it better.”
“Why then are you working for Ade-Cole, you do know that Kunle and Ayodeji are no longer pals.”
I nodded. “I know, but I really have no idea as to why they are enemies and rivals.” I replied.
“It was Ayodeji’s fault, after we got all got married, I told him that I didn’t love him and that I loved Kunle. Danielle had already agreed things with Kunle after your birth that she would leave him and start her life afresh, but Ayodeji wasn’t going to let me be. He fought Kunle for my feelings and then they cut off the partnership they were supposed to have in building a law firm together.”
I listened as she continued. “I’ll say Kunle is better off for it, Ayodeji would have made an arrogant partner.”
“Are you calling a man arrogant based on the fact that he wanted to fight for your love?”
She smiled. “You are indeed a smart girl. But the truth is, Darlene, we know how these things end, one of which is the divorce. Dare was on the receiving end of our separation. The poor boy didn’t deserve to see his dad and mom so far away.”
A slight thought dropped in my heart. ‘Could my Dad be seeing Olamide Ojo now?’ I smiled and then said, “Is there any man in your life at the moment?”
“Of course! I am a happy woman, remember?” she said smiling.
BINGO! I could guess my father’s next wife. It had to between Olamide Ojo and Dami Oluwole.
She straightened up in her chair. “I am currently dating the owner of the spa were I go to.” She said with a smile. “Not letting you in on that spa name. He is a young man.” She said grinning.
OR NOT, Olamide Ojo definitely wasn’t seeing my father.
…to be continued