23: Love from the Past. really? … by Beautiful
“Some people jealous me, some people jealous me…”
Bisi sang as Iphey walked into the Ladies Room. They had both been avoiding each other at work and so far, there had been no confrontation. Iphey blanked Bisi and acted like there was no one else in the toilet as she freshened up.
It was already almost six and time for her date. Thinking about the date gave her the strength to totally ignore Bisi but it also brought thoughts of Chinedu to the forefront of her mind. She had tried to stop thinking about Chinedu since she‟d spoken to Dapo and his sister but it had been impossible. She just couldn‟t stop thinking about him.
“Well, all that will end now,” she whispered to herself.
Bisi stopped in her tracks as she walked out of the toilet and turned to Iphey. “What did you say? Were you talking to me?” she asked.
Iphey pretended not to hear her, finished applying her lip gloss and brushed past on the way out.
“Nothing, nothing whatsoever will spoil my joy this evening,” she kept saying in her head.
The sound of her phone ringing startled her. Iphey picked it up expecting to see another caller id but instead she saw Aisha‟s name on the screen. She was slightly irritated that it wasn’t the number she was expecting but she took the call.
“Ah ah, are we fighing? You can‟t even say hello, all you‟re saying is “uhum”?”
“Sorry jare, just that it should be Dapo‟s sister calling me. It‟s almost six thirty and she said she would be here by six, what do you think could be wrong?”
“Hehehehe haba babe, take am easy o, someone will think it‟s even a guy you have a date with, they won‟t know it‟s his sister. Anyway sha, I assumed she would have come so I called to know where you guys decided on, you know I too like gist.”
“Gist monger!” Both girls laughed. “I will call you after I see her. At least make she first show cos me I dey hungry o. I go just vex go house…”
“Hahaha girl, why you dey deceive yourself? We both know you won‟t leave there so sit your butt down and wait for her. Talk to you soon. Take care and have fun.”
Aisha hung up and Iphey continued browsing on the internet, all in a bid to while away time. Her mind began to drift and she recalled how excited she‟d been when Dapo‟s sister told her she would be coming to Iphey‟s neighbourhood to pick up a delivery from someone. She had further said it would be nice to hang out and Iphey had said yes immediately.
Dapo‟s sister had joyously said, “so it‟s a date!, cooool.”
Iphey wanted to hear all about Dapo. She was already anticipating his arrival. She was not sure how he would react to her so seeing Dapo‟s sister would give her a heads-up on the situation. Now she could not help but think it might have been a test, maybe she‟d been too hasty in her answer and had seemed desperate. Well the deed was done and she just had to live with it.
The truth was that she needed some distraction. On her own, she would think too much and the issue of Chinedu would crop up if she hung out with Aisha. She surely didn’t want that. Iphey looked at her wristwatch, it was a quarter to seven already. She made a mental note to leave the office at 7:00p.m.
“Somethings are not just meant to be,” she told herself.
She decided to try Dapo‟s sister‟s number one more time. She had been trying it for over an hour now and it was switched off. She tried it again and got the same response, it was now a minute after seven. She was livid. She grabbed her bag and left the office.
As soon as she she got home, she went straight to the kitchen to make some chicken noodles. That was the fastest meal she could think of and she had barely eaten all day due to the excitement of the date with Dapo‟s sister.
“Don‟t break what‟s left of my heart” by Banky W was playing on the television. She just smiled. She remembered Dapo singing that same song to her years ago. She asked herself now why she had never dated him but couldn‟t find an answer. Her younger self had been playing hard to get unnecessarily.
The last memory she had of Dapo was of him walking out of her room. He had come to beg her that day as usual and she had once again said no to him. It was Valentine‟s day and he had come with flowers, jewelry, a teddy bear and chocolates. She remembered the look in his eyes and the unspoken words they relayed. A familiar smell drew her out of her reverie.
“Oh no!” She jumped off the kitchen stool and took the lid off the pot. The noodles were burnt to the bottom of the pan. She just went to bed. Her phone rang, it was Aisha. Iphey couldn‟t bear talking to her now as she felt like crying. She put her phone in silent mode and shut her eyes. Sleep proved difficult, and when she finally drifted off, the recurring dream came back.
This time, she looked right into the eyes of her mystery man.
24: Office Politics: Like a woman scorned….by Neefemi
When Iphey woke up the next morning, she promised herself she was not going to bother about Dapo or his sister. They could call if they wanted but Chinedu was on her mind now. From the way Bisi had been behaving the last couple of weeks, Iphey realized that it was entirely possible that she had gone over to the Chinedu’s house after getting the text from her, but why did he even open the door to her? What she felt right now was anger at herself. How stupid and naïve can I be? “I am a grown woman and I know better than to make childish mistakes like I did. Sending a message telling Bisi I was going to Chinedu‟s house was probably the dumbest mistake, if there was ever one.” she murmured to herself as she got ready for work. She was hoping she could continue to avoid Bisi at the office.
The next Monday morning she walked in to the office looking better than she had in days. Over the weekend she had gotten a new hair cut that made her look considerably younger. Eyebrows done, nails done and she even got herself a massage. She was dressed in a grey tank top and red skirt with a black jacket complimented with red and grey shoes, red lipstick and nice silver earrings. She was determined that Bisi would not get the best of her today. Every day for the thief, one day for the owner. Today was her one day, no matter what Bisi said or did, she was going to continue being the bigger person. At least that was the plan.
She walked in with all the guys at work whistling at her. Tunde came over from Marketing to flirt as usual. She kept him at arm’s length but was glad that she decided to make the decision to spend more effort on her looks. She saw Jane waving at her furiously and she quickly walked over.
“Haha Iphey, na you be this, you look good o, what‟s the occasion? Is there something I should know?” Jane asked.
“No now Jane, I just decided to get myself out of this rut I have been in this past couple of weeks. With all that has been happening,” Iphey thought of her sister and Obi and the whole episode with the still missing James. Her mother was still disturbing her about a husband, and it had become worse with Chinedu not working out as she hoped.
She continued speaking. “I have let myself go and forgotten myself. To be honest I would rather be on a vacation right now, so I can clear my head but I cannot afford it so I decided a makeover will have to do.”
“I feel you my sister, you have tried and you deserve it, you look really good,” Jane replied. “But don‟t let Bisi see you, I heard that she is leaving earlier than expected. We should be having a situational report from Ayo today. And I don’t have to tell you the witch. Funmi is on the rampage, she is vexing because of her pet.”
“That‟s the plan o, shey I will see you at lunch? We can go get Designer rice?” Iphey asked.
“Sure I will come get you then.” Jane said.
Iphey quickly walked over to her desk, managing to avoid both Funmi and Ayo. She was busy all day and didn‟t even realize time had gone until she looked up to see it was 1.30pm. She needed to go use the bathroom before she stepped out for lunch. As she passed Funmi‟s office, she noticed that the door was cracked open a little. Though she figured no one inside would be able to see her, still she was going to tiptoe across so no one noticed her.
“That Iphey girl walked right into that trap.” It was her boss talking and Iphey stopped in her tracks. Funmi continued, “I know you’ve told me before but I like hearing about the expression on her face. I can’t wait till I see it myself when she is sacked from here.”
Bisi hissed, “Funmi I can have any man I want. Can you imagine Chinedu telling me he wants Iphey. What does she have that I don‟t have, except my job now, the bitch cost me my damn job and then had the nerve to text me she was going to his house. She set herself up for that. I wish her more heart break sef.”
“I trust you girl, that was very smart of you, I tried to talk to Ayo to change his mind and he wouldn‟t listen to me. Where is the Iphey girl gan? tell me she‟s not here so I can have a reason for me to fire her now now!”
“I don‟t know o, haven‟t seen her today, I know she’s avoiding me. She better!” They both laughed. “Wo let me go to the bathroom we will talk later,” Bisi said.
That was Iphey‟s cue. She rushed into the bathroom stall and Bisi walked in half a minute later. She waited for Bisi to get done and then come out. Bisi saw her from the mirror and appeared shocked to see the fierce look on Iphey’s face.
Iphey looked at her with disgust through the mirrors. “What have I ever done to you Bisi, I have barely worked here six months and in that time I have treated you with all the respect you deserve. You were nice to me and I was naïve to think that I could trust you or call you a friend.”
“Iphey, now mind your words…” Bisi began.
Iphey cut her off. “People like you can‟t prosper, because you don‟t ever wish others good and are just selfish. Some people in this office warned me about you but I didn‟t believe them. You seemed to be looking out for my interest both here and with Chinedu once you met him. So it was all a lie? Out of spite you went to Chinedu‟s place so I could think you slept with him…”
“Who said I didn’t?” Bisi blustered.
Iphey stared her down. “You know that is a lie. He is more trustworthy and honorable than that. He called me just before I sent you the text and it took me just over thirty minutes to get there. I was only taken by surprise that was why I reacted that way. Pride has been keeping me away but the scales have fallen from my eyes fully now. I am glad you have been fired, and I don’t have to work here with you for much longer. Good riddance to you though I still wish you well.”
Iphey said all this and swiftly turned around to leave the room. She did not even give Bisi a chance to say anything. She didn‟t even realize other people had walked into the bathroom. Jane and the another girl were standing by the door. They were smiling at her and Jane gave her a thumb up as she passed.
“I’ll be waiting in the lobby for you.” Iphey told her not stopping.
Whew!!! She was glad she got that out of her chest. Every day for the thief, one day for the owner and today was her day. The thought was barely out of her head before her phone began to ring.
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