the time for making love and the time for not making love, the time for kissing and the time for not kissing.
Read the first two parts here.
My body is being shaken. I feel myself being dragged up and helped into a sitting position. Water is being sprinkled on my face. I sigh wearily. What is going on again? I don’t want to open my eyes.
I refuse to stir. Actually, I can’t. I am gently returned to my lying position. My back hurts a lot. Footsteps begin to fade away…
I was trying to put finishing touches to my final address. Then there was the weekly in-house meeting/training session for one hour on Tuesdays. I was already five minutes late. I begged Stellamaris to set up the projector on my behalf. I left my table reluctantly, and began to knock on doors. I peeped into some of the offices reminding the lawyers that they had to be in the conference room in less than 8 minutes.
At the conference room, I took my position at the projector and began to dial the extensions of the partners. At exactly 12.03 pm, the son of the founding partner came in – Prof. Jegede. He was a partner as well. The other partners were already seated – Double Eff, Dr Onapemipo, Ms. Feyisayo, and John.
I was supposed to give a small presentation on the topic discussed at a work shop I attended as a member of the firm’s banking team. I had done quite an extensive research, so I had about fifty slides. It wasn’t easy but I was able to finish my presentation in the allotted twenty minutes. I also took some questions in seven minutes from the associates. The senior associates went next. And then the partners. Double Eff shot out his questions like a machine gun. I matched him fire for fire. It was a game we played. Prof. Jegede and I had a little debate which Mr. John had to break up with much reluctance. Any debate with Prof Jegede was always refreshing.
‘I know we are all in a hurry to get back to work, but we have to pass some information across.’
We all looked at John expectantly. He looked to Prof. Jegede who nodded. ‘Prof Jegede is retiring’. He was well over 70 but his mind was still razor sharp. He would be sorely missed. But he was my mentor and we still had some cases to work together. I put up my hand to indicate that I would like to speak.
I looked towards Prof. Jegede, ‘You will be terribly missed, prof.’, then I turned to Mr John, ‘But John, what happens to his mentees and the cases he is currently supervising?’
John was answering the question but I was distracted by Lilian who was mouthing some words at me. Gbenga and Ibukun exchanged looks, while Stellamaris’ mouth was hanging slightly open. Double eff and I had a minor eye contact, and I noticed a silent exchange among the partners. I couldn’t concentrate for the rest of the meeting as I was wondering what I did wrong.
I met Ibukun in the kitchen when I came for lunch.
‘So…’ I waited for her to complete the sentence. She said nothing. ‘A sow is a female pig,’ I quipped. She ignored the joke. I heaved a sigh. ‘What did I do wrong?’ She looked at me in disbelief.
‘You called the Managing Partner by his first name!’
Yes. Yes. We were seeing each other already. He insisted. I was not careful enough ‘That was a mistake. I already apologized to him in his office.’
She looked at me pointedly. ‘We are not stupid. He wasn’t surprised at all. He didn’t even notice. I hope you know what you are doing?’
She walked out of the kitchen. I had been asking myself that same question for the past six months.
I am being shaken violently now. I force my eyes open. My throat is parched. I raise my fist to my lips. I am lowered gently again. I try to move my limbs, they wouldn’t obey. I am in so much pain. My lips won’t move either. I close my eyes and wish the good Samaritan would come quickly with the water.
P.S This story is dedicated to one of the most amazing women I know, Ijeoma Unachukwu. God bless you and keep you. I pray that you fulfil purpose. May your laughter be lighter, your smile brighter, and your heart bigger (Amen).