I woke up the next day wondering if my attitude towards Deji was necessary. Did I even have a reason to react the way I did? If he was being truthful when he said I was drunk and couldn’t give detailed descriptions to my place, then it most likely was my fault. The Margarita was so sweet, it felt like drinking a milkshake. I had no idea it had the power to put me in a situation like this. How I wish I could turn back the hands of time, I will definitely have replaced that glass of drink with Soda water or anything else that wouldn’t even have the power to increase my blood sugar let alone get me drunk.
After our presentation the previous day, on my way out of the chairman’s office, I booked a taxi before I even got to the reception. Deji who was optimistic about us having a proper conversation on our way after our victory was shocked to say the least as I walked into the taxi without saying a word.
“Are you serious right now Cleo?” He asked as he tried to catch up with me. This is totally unnecessary. I thought we were having a good time a while ago he said expecting a reply from me.
“Hi, can you move the car please?” I asked the taxi driver who instead of taking orders from me began to smile at the both of us.
“Cleo! Say something please.”
“I didn’t hear you ask a question or am I missing something I asked with a straight face.”
“It’s okay. You can go. Have a good night.” He said calmly as he gave a signal to the taxi driver meaning he could proceed . The driver moved immediately and I wondered what was on his mind. I ordered a taxi and asked him to move the car but he refused and decided to take orders from the man instead. As far as I was concerned, that could pass for a clear case of gender inequality.
I had a meeting with the chairman that morning and another meeting with the nephrologist in charge of my mum’s case at 10am and so, I advised myself that lying in bed and worrying over the things I couldn’t change wasn’t going to help as I stood up and started to prepare.
Getting to the office, I met my colleagues in an unusually happy mood. I stared at the table displaying all kinds of food; from chinese to indian and Nigerian. I walked past trying to get an explanation from anyone. They were all partying with no one paying attention to me. What is happening? I kept asking everyone I bumped into until someone finally answered and said “Chairman is throwing a party for the big win we had yesterday. All thanks to you and Deji.”
I finally knew what it was about and soon joined in the party careful not to taste anything from a bottle that showed any alcohol percentage. I had learnt the hard way.
“Attention everyone!” The chairman called using the edge of his cutlery to gently tap the wine glass he drank from as he walked to the podium.
“We are having this celebration as a result of our big win yesterday. You know the details already. I wouldn’t want to bore you. Like you all know this was possible through the help of Cleo, the head of the copy department and Deji, my son who is now the CEO of this organisation. I couldn’t be more proud of both of them.” He said as he asked us to move up the podium to join him. Everyone was happy and cheering except for Ranti who had a straight face.
I got on the stage pretty excited. I couldn’t believe I was being celebrated. It had never happened before despite my continuous hard work for the company.
“I made a promise to Cleo and I’m here to fulfill it as a man of my words. You both have made me really proud and to show my appreciation, I’ll be sponsoring your trip to a two -week training for leading ad agencies in New York where you both will be representing the company. In addition, Cleo you’ll be proceeding on a one week holiday following the training in a city of your choice anywhere in the world.I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I was so happy, I jumped to hug the chairman and Deji who stood still while I was it.
“Thanks so much daddy but I’ll have to pass on this one. I’ve got a lot of work to do here.” Deji replied, smiling.
“Okay then. Whenever you are ready.” His father replied before turning to the audience encouraging them to enjoy the party.
Ranti had smiles all over her face as she looked at me and then Deji sipping her glass of wine slowly and seductively.
Did Deji just refuse this amazing offer because he had work to do or he just didn’t want to spend time with me. I was confused and it was written all over my face.
Deji stepped down the podium first, offering me his hand as a support while I descended from the podium.
“Hey Deji. Are you okay?” I asked rushing after him.
Cleo, my giving you a hand to step down the podium was me just being a gentleman. Nothing else. From now on, I’ll suggest we keep our relationship professional. I don’t do complicated as I have already had too much of it in my life. I’m not saying you are complicated though. It’s just what exists between us. Enjoy your trip he said as he smiled and walked away. I stood there watching him as he walked away. I had never been so confused in my life. I thought this same guy had feelings for me a while ago. What then is he saying? I felt like walking up to him to make things right. It was at that point I realised I didn’t want a professional relationship with him.
I picked up my bag and headed straight to the hospital. The office suddenly had become so uncomfortable.
I met the nurses rolling my mum’s bed away from her room and I wondered if the worst had happened. I felt chills all over. “What’s happening?” I asked in tears as I ran towards the nurse. “Why didn’t you call me?” I asked the Nephrologist as I sat on the floor crying. “I just got an offer from the chairman in my office. I was going to ask him to give me the money instead of a holiday. I was going to pay.” I said crying uncontrollably.
“Your mother is going in for surgery. She isn’t dead Cleo.”
“For real?” I asked jumping up from the floor to take a closer look at my mum.
“I’ll be fine Cleo.” She said faintly squeezing my hands. I continued crying uncontrollably as the doctor held me close.”
“She will be fine Cleo. You made payments today and we got a donor today. It’s like a miracle. You should be grateful.”
“I paid?” I asked confused. “I didn’t.”
“Some lady came in saying you sent her to make payments. Not long after, another lady came in saying the same thing. We had to return her money since we already had enough.”
“I didn’t send anyone doctor.”
“Let’s just say, it’s a good samaritan. I’ll see you soon. Just relax here. I have to be in surgery now. We should be done before night.”
It felt like I was dreaming. I continually tapped myself to be sure this was happening for real. I imagined for the rest of the day who this good samaritan could be. Was it Ranti? She wasn’t that nice. Was it Deji? He practically hated me now and of course isn’t a lady. I was willing to ask everyone I knew and so I headed back to the office telling the nurse at the reception I was going to be back shortly.
“Hey Ranti. Was that you?”
“Did you pay the money for my mum’s kidney transplant surgery?”
“She looked at me and didn’t say anything.”
“Ranti, say something.”
“What do you think?” She asked smiling.”
“You are the only one I had the conversation with. So I’m wondering.”
“Yes it was me.”
“But I said I was no longer interested in the bet.”
“You tried. I see the way he looks at you. This is just me helping.”
“Go be with your mum.”
“Thanks Ranti but I’ll like to pay back.”
“How? She asked laughing.
“Never mind. Thank you again.” I said giving her a warm hug.
I continued to Deji’s office to ask him if he sent anyone. I had a strong feeling that it was him even with the current situation of things. If it was him, then I may just have another chance I smiled as I knocked on the door.
I walked right in after I heard him say “come in.”
“So I got to the hospital this morning to see my mum’s bill had been sorted. Was that you?”
“No,” he replied still looking into his desktop.
“But I was thinking you may have sent someone.”
“Are you joking Cleo?” He asked as he looked at me.
“You really think I’ll care that much after how you’ve treated me. I wasn’t joking when I said I wanted our relationship professional.”
“I thought you cared about me.” I said calmly as I walked towards him.
“I may have sent the wrong message but you can’t blame me. I have been really stressed lately.” I said as I sat on his table.
“You never really answered my questions. I woke up naked in the same bed with you. What did you expect. I wanted to know if you had sex with me. All I needed was a yes or no.”
“What do you think?” He asked as he moved my hands away from his shoulders.
“I don’t know. Tell me.”
“Yes we had sex Cleo and it was memorable. It wasn’t just me. You had fun too. Are you happy now?”
“What did you just say?” I asked disappointed.
“Like I said I want our relationship to be professional from now on please. I thought you visited the clinic to test for STD’s and all . You should have found out already right?”
Now, that was a wake up call. I really never found the time to get myself checked.
“Okay then. I think I agree with you. We should be professional.” I said to his face as I dragged his mouse from beneath his palm and flinged it to the wall hoping it scattered.
“What is happening here?” A beautiful dark skinned lady asked as she walked in.
“Dara meet Cleo. Cleo this is my younger sister, Dara.”
“The same Cleo?” She asked with disappointment written all over her face. I was confused for words and so I walked out.
I was back in the hospital later that night. My mum was still in surgery. I found my way to the pharmacy this time, since the nurses I spoke to earlier didn’t seem to help.
“Can I have a morning after pill please?” I asked the pharmacist looking away.
“When did this happen?”
“What?” I replied acting like I didn’t understand what he meant.
He was quiet and didn’t say anything else looking at me in the eyes. I knew I couldn’t escape the question.
“About three days ago.” I said lowering my voice.
“I’m sorry ma. The Morning after pill is only effective for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex ma. Why didn’t you get this earlier?” He asked looking confused.
While I was thinking of what to say, the doctor called me.
“Cleo, your mum is now in the intensive care unit. The surgery went well. You can come with me.” I followed him after smiling at the pharmacist leaving him to answer his question himself. My mum’s surgery was successful. I couldn’t be less happier. I guess I’ll just wait and have a pregnancy test when my period is due.
Continues in the next episode next week