Cracked Sources – B02E02

He stared – It
rained cat and dog the day before, and same was happening today. The emergence
of the rainy season had that chill that pleasured most people up to the point
of irritation – The rain messed up everything it touched down on, pretty ladies
and old women alike, no one was exempted, and he knew this because he could
always see their ordeals through the transparent demarcation from here to
there. “Sorry ma,” He found himself say because an elderly woman
finally gave up her superiority to the slippery floor of the mall’s entrance,
close to where his own stall was; it was caused by the influx of watered
footprints by people who ran into the mall for shelter against the rain.
“Let’s help you to your feet ma,” A
sweet voice soothed the elder’s ear from behind. The voice gave her credence
that her fall was not entirely mocked by the people on the mall made up mostly
of young people, “perhaps there’s still hope for this generations,”
She thought. She thanked her helper by addressing her as “My
darling.” The elder stood up to tell those who didn’t see her fall that
she was a tall and proud woman with her fit body type. She hurriedly called
back her helper who was already walking away after certifying her OK. She found
out her name, Anna. Anna asked after hers out of courtesy, her mind was split
between the heavy rain and meeting up with the visiting hour to see Mark today
that it took a light tap for her to hear the elder reiterate her name, “I
said Jasmine.”
Anna could tell the woman wasn’t from around
here, her approach to certain frivolous life issues as evident from the moment
she fell to some other little body languages she gave – A born and bred
Nigerian of her age most certainly would behave differently – She also learnt
from the easily trusting woman that she was here to get chocolates for her
child, to pacify him for her absence. She was certain her son missed her, but
children will always be children when a parent came back empty-handed. The
mention of a child made Anna’s throat choke a bit out of thirst, the memories
of the last few weeks crept back up to her heart.
Andrew was tired
of hearing that title repeated, he had pictured gruesome ways to take out
whoever used the term sarcastically on him, especially when he was not in the
mood, just like now. But he couldn’t play it out, not when his friends
heralding his arrival were the ones making the joke. Patrick and Huey teased him
again, the look on his face whenever they said, “CEO,” was priceless
and they expressed hope if they could capture him on tape which he expressly
The weather was chilling, too chilling that
their thick layers of suit fabric couldn’t save them completely from, they
delighted in the company of each other and a bottle of whiskey already drunk to
half to keep their body systems warm and properly running. It was time to
discuss business now. Patrick gave the intro, he and Huey had recovered every
Kobo Mark and Akin were suspected of diverting during the first Crescent
Housing case, Huey gave Andrew a pat on his shoulder and said, “More money
for your firm,” all men laughed and Patrick continued to speak up till his
wife interrupted with a call – He joyfully picked the call and excused himself
to discuss properly and in confidentiality outside, both men remaining cheered
him out the door.
“What now?” Huey asked, both men had
drunk the whiskey half of what it was since Patrick had been on the call, waiting
for him was cold and frustrating that Huey had to ask Andrew the question he
planned would have been in a better setting.
Andrew took a
second look at Huey and sipped from his glass for the third time before giving
a reply, “I don’t know.” Huey wanted him to leave the firm just as he
himself planned to do, this he told him three nights ago, but he assumed it to
be because they were drunk, Hot, and on a stiff bachelor�s competition of who’d
get the hottest babe at The Bar.
Huey’s reasons were for his friend to properly
secure his future – If he wanted a future here at Akin Chambers, then he must
be prepared to fight dirtier than he’d already done, and from what he could
see, his friend was getting tired of fighting. “Back out now that the
going is still rosy,” were his final words. Andrew would have none of it,
he would not be a CEO of just two months, he had to make an impact, he had to
prove he was worth all the years of plotting and scheming just to arrive here,
he had to prove it to himself.
Andrew walked back to his office, so absorbed
in his thoughts about the conversation he just had with Huey that he couldn’t
hear Agnes call out for him repeatedly, she entered his office after a little
while after he was seated. He smiled when he finally noticed her presence and
wanted to know what she wanted after she had inquired about his whereabouts on
this rainy day.
Agnes had been a single mother for as long as
her children could remember, because of a variety of reasons but all settling
to the fact that she couldn’t find a suitable man to date that accepted her for
who she was, a single mother. That was until Marcus came into her life. Marcus
was recommended to her by Beatrice. An online fling soon turned physical and
later became serious. She was considering marriage with him because he achieved
what no man asides Andrew had ever, to love her children unconditionally. But
she needed Andrew’s approval first before she could say yes to his proposal;
Andrew needed to certify him before she continued putting more of her heart
into their relationship. Andrew was the father her children never had, and a
husband she could never touch, he was the one man that had always been there
for her for as long as she could remember, that was why she so valued his opinion
in this matters. If Andrew didn’t approve Marcus, who was she to disagree.
“Meet who?” Andrew asked. Agnes
smiled and threatened to feed him his own balls if he didn’t stop playing
jokes, they both laughed. He promised to come by her home the coming weekend,
particularly because he missed her children, and not some guy he felt wanted to
steal her from him.
A lady, tall, dark, looked like one in her
forties called out for him, her call interrupted Agnes’s attempt to thank
Andrew in advance for his proposed visit and she didn’t find it funny. Agnes
and Andrew turned the same time to view the intruder. Andrew couldn’t believe
his eye, it was Ms. Ramon.
Ms. Ramon’s an old acquaintance of Andrew, and
she could tell that her presence was unexpected. She was one who loved to make
an entrance statement, and she achieved that now. Andrew was still heavily
dumbfounded by her presence, his silence and stillness gave her cold shivers
that she momentarily exchanged glances with Agnes, but on seeing that her eye
chats weren’t welcomed, she ignored her instead. Agnes left them office, and
that was when Andrew was finally able to speak. They had a lot to catch up on.
They walked out together oblivious to the frown Agnes still had worn even as
they passed her amidst their quiet chats and laughter.
Agnes trailed
them with her sight till they were cut off by the path to the East. All she
knew about this lady in Andrew’s life was her first name, “Ramon,”
she repeated to be sure she still remembered it, she wondered why Andrew had
never mentioned her all the years she had been with him, she knew almost all
his major contacts, the way they familiarized told her Andrew knew her too
well. Her senses were sending her into frenzy, something smelt fishy about
Ramon and she was going to find out what it was.
Patrick approached from the West of Agnes’s
position, and caught her unaware which she didn’t take lightly, the anger
accumulated in her because of Ramon’s appearance was transferred to Patrick who
wanted to just enquire Andrew’s current position. The manner of reply she gave
him cause him to be worried that she hadn’t forgiven him about all the issues
he had with Anna before ‘The Great Overhaul.’ The Great Overhaul was the term
many used to refer to the change of power from Akin to Andrew, he was a changed
person and Agnes needed to see it. He still needed to ask the favor for which
he was here, he needed someone to represent him at The Barrister’s symposium
scheduled for next weekend, it was clashing with his Wedding Anniversary week
and he needed to make up for the many lost anniversaries with his woman.
Agnes let her anger quickly subside the moment
she realised his request was for his marital bliss, such matters made her
quiver with joyous envy, even on her darkest day. She agreed to his suggestion
to get Mr. Sanni to step in for him at Abuja for the event.
“You have him wrapped around your
fingers,” Patrick complimented her resolve to get things all things done
on behalf of Andrew without fear that he’d revoke her judgement. Agnes
pretended to want to chase him just to dwell in the self-gratification of
watching him run.
The emerging sunshine after the heavy rainfall
of the morning made the open air of The Bar even more enjoyable. The rays that
hit the Ray Ban’s sunglass Ms. Ramon wore reflected into Andrew’s eyes and they
made him appreciate her beauty more than he could while they were at the Firm’s
building complex. It was as though her heart beat was in sync with the soft
tune emanating from the music speakers installed as substitute for the night
life band The Bar was well known for, he admired he visible assets: her
massively exposed cleavage popped out even more with each heartbeat, a sight he
was already accustomed to.
Ms. Ramon noticed his helpless stare at her
well exposed chest, they produced the effect she hoped they still would on him.
She spoke to break the continuous awkward silence and stare. “I missed
you,” she held hope that her words still held much sway on him after more
than five years apart. She stretched forth her right hand over the table to
connect with his and bridge the physical gap between them.
Andrew had a lot
running through his mind, he could see her hand calling out for his but he
couldn’t bring himself to stretch out to her, he withdrew his hand further than
it already was. Five years ago he’d be joyful at any opportunity to spend time
with her, she was his muse and his only source of pleasure then, but all those
had changed, he had to grow up and face reality after she left.
Recognizing his
reluctance to open up his all to her, she had to relegate their discussions to
matters that didn’t prey on their emotional weaknesses for each other. He asked
how she got to know so fast about his new status. She told him South Africa
isn’t too far from Nigeria to know what happens around here. “I’ve always
believed in you Andrew,” she said, she was one of the few people who knew
about his plan before it even became a plan, they had history even though the
Andrew she remembered wasn’t entirely the one she was seeing now, she loved him
Andrew admired
her again for the umpteenth time, she was still the way he remembered: fleshy
and dark skinned to match her tall height, her lips, eyes and mild make up
combined with her exposed cleavage that revealed breasts as firm as the first
day he met them; all these made her appear younger even as her age went up.
Andrew thought she looked more appealing than most ladies Anna’s age. He
suddenly realised he missed her too, it scared him a bit. His stiff reception
tuned down, he apologized for not inviting her over after conquering the Firm
just as he promised to do. He offered her a job as an external Director with an
office close to his if she so desired to stay close to him at work. She didn’t
hesitate, what could he do to make her stop loving him as a son as she had
always done all these years.
 “Where is she?” Andrew was more
concerned about his mother than Beatrice who was gossiping with Agnes at
Agnes’s stand. “Inside,” Agnes replied. Beatrice flashed him a smile
for confidence, she wasted no time inquiring from Agnes what his display of
anxiety was about when he was out of sight.
Andrew’s uncertainties about the upcoming
interaction between mother and son vanished the moment he closed the door
behind him, his mother stood up from his upholstered seat to greet him with
open arms and a smile, his worries fled him at as he basked in the euphoria of
that moment. She led him to the couch positioned west of the door, and beckoned
him to seat comfortably before she sat as well. They had a lot to discuss.
Mother made him
laugh a lot, she made his anxiety disappear, he rejoiced in the comfort her
presence afforded him, a presence he feared he was growing out of. It had been
three years since he had anything normal with her, a part of him longed for the
breakfasts, happy times, and sweet memories mothers and sons made, but he
quickly reminded himself he was wallowing too much in fantasy, probably the
effect of having two mother figures back in his life at the same time. This
mother was all for business. He scoffed.
“Don’t do
that boy!”. Mother’s stern voice called him back to reality, he couldn’t
tell if she reprimanded him because he was absent minded or because he scoffed
while she was still speaking, the look of irritation she wore on her face
reminded him just who this was – The Margaret Thatcher of his life – He
apologized for his wrong action which ever one she was more concerned about.
Mother looked at him, her head was split
between options on how to proceed, the most logical most times wasn’t the most
pleasant. The corner of her eye caught the unbranded paper bag inside her
Hermes hand bag, she reached for it, a smile cracked the hard face she once had
worn when she offered its content to her child, “Here’s your chocolate,”
she said.
Andrew forced a smile to stick to his face as
he collected the bag, he thought he told her not to bother, “Mother!”
He thought his own in particular was more notorious in what made mothers to be
dreaded, he didn’t let that thought stop him from completing his thank you
The door silently came ajar, mother and son
turned towards it, Anna walked in, she wanted to discuss Mark’s case with
Andrew but excused herself immediately she realised he had company. Agnes would
have told her he was busy if she was at her stand, but she usually never is.
Mother gently called to stop her from moving out completely. Anna turned and
took a good look at the woman. Andrew looked confused, he wondered how they’d
know each other, the universe knew how to complicate already complicated
matters he thought, soon Mother would like Anna and would want him to settle
down with her like most mothers would want for their thirty-two years old
bachelor son. Anna moved closer to observe the elder woman’s face, she wondered
if she needed glasses to aid her sight now they were obviously getting worse,
it then came to her, “From the mall!” She yelled in excitement.
Andrew was keen on understanding how they met
at the mall since Mother just came back from Atlanta today. Mother made sure
Anna never had the chance to divulge much info to him. Anna could notice the
package Andrew had been brandishing since she walked in, it looked like the box
of chocolate Mother got at the mall.
Ramon sipped quietly from her glass, the
evening breeze in Lagos felt differently on her skin than they did in South
Africa, she wondered if it was because she had stayed away from this home for
too long. She felt the wind press harder against her cleavage skin, she toyed
with the idea of dressing more conserved now she was in the city where things
“Hello pretty lady,” The fifth man
to check her out since Andrew had to run out greeted, she wasn’t interested but
she looked up out of courtesy as her nature commanded. She looked away as fast
as she registered his face. He wanted to know why she’d be drinking alone when
a man like him wouldn’t mind keeping her company. She thanked him and stood to
leave, but he wouldn’t let her, “For how long Ramon?” He enquired.
She called him Malik and pushed him away with all the force she could muster,
their mini scuffle attracted the attention of the few people there,
intervention from some young men there gave her the perfect opportunity to
escape him.

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