He sat behind his mahogany desk starring into space, his chin nestled in his palms. His eyes were wide open but his vision was nil; he was lost in dreamland.
He could see her; young, beautiful and promising. Everything about her enchanted him. Her smile was unique and different from what he’d ever seen on the other women around him. Yet with all the appeal she exuded, she seemed more innocent than a catholic nun. And like the sugar ant, he was trapped by this alluring innocent sweetness.
He was a man imprisoned by the unholy passion that reeked of lust and desire for a woman he had no right to own.
But in his world, the story was different. He had some degree of power and since power could corrupt, he was a very willing candidate
The Intercom on Ayo’s desk suddenly buzzed sharply startling him out of his reverie. The dreamy image of Iphey he had beheld suddenly faded into the obscurity of his subconscious.
He tapped at the intercom button, more out of anger than of urgency.
‘Sir, you have a visitor, a Miss Giwa from Abuja.’
Ayo’s mind did a brain check. He couldn’t recollect anybody by that name. His mind raced with suspicion. As a man of many escapades, he had to be careful with visits from females. Not every woman that romped with him should get to visit him at work.
He got up and strolled to his door and peeped through the pigeon hole. There was a gorgeously dressed woman standing at the secretary’s desk but he could only see her back view.
‘Sir? Are you there?’ The secretary’s voice came through the intercom again.
He hurried back to the table and tapped the intercom button.
‘Let her in.’
He couldn’t tell who she was but from the ‘good look’ of things through his pigeon hole, he was willing to take the risk.
The door swung open and Ayo was awed as he beheld the feminine spectacle that waltzed into his office.
Her svelte figure bore a body fitting red dress with rosy frills at the edges which stopped at her knees, exposing a set of long caramel tanned legs.
She wore a long hair that sat gracefully on her shoulders; her face looked spotless and fresher than a baby’s butt.
She wore no make-up except lip gloss. From the look of it, she didn’t even need make-up. That would be an overstatement.
She smiled, closed the door, walked up slowly to his desk and peered down at him through her sparkling eyes, well enhanced by contact lenses.
‘Umm…hello?’ he muttered, standing up to receive her hand shake, while trying hard to recollect where on earth he had met her.
‘It’s me, Jennifer.’
Her name suddenly triggered something in Ayo’s head as memories came flooding his mind like a tsunami; the day he met her through a friend at a conference organized by the CBN two years ago at Abuja, how she had seduced him at the after party only to leave him hanging at the table because of some important call she got that required her to go to the ladies; how he had waited till the party was over and she never came back.
The mind update finished and he came back to the real world.
‘Ha! Jennifer. What a pleasant surprise. How did you find me?’
He had every reason to be angry about how he was ditched two years ago but her smile and bewitching eyes had an effect too powerful to neither ignore nor allow any other sentiment.
‘I’ll always find you. I have connections. And you gave me your card, remember?’
She came round his table and stood very close to his chair. An exotic perfume assailed his nostrils. Her hand went to his chin and caressed it softly.
Ayo felt his armpits go wet as he totally lost his composure.
‘I missed you.’ Her soft voice was taunting the hormonal noises in him.
‘You left me behind…’
‘Shhh…I know and I’m sorry’
She sat on his lap while still holding onto his chin.
Ayo’s heart skipped several times. A woman’s acceptance of fault and apology coupled with this smooshy drama was like sweet wine to his soul.
‘So what brings you here?’ He was still able to summon up the common sense to find out why she came. His brain was trying hard to be rational against the building rage of sensual adrenalin.
‘I need your help with a loan. Can I count on you?’
By this time she had drawn her face so close to his, he felt himself beginning to loose control. She leaned closer, her breath fanned gently against his face, her lips almost brushing against his…when the intercom buzzed.
Ayo’s fist slammed at the button, heavily pissed at the interruption.
‘What?’ He half yelled at the intercom.
‘Sir! The operations manager is on her way to your office!’ his secretary’s voice came whispering through the speaker. Thanks to the regular tipping he gave her to serve as his lookout for trouble.
Like a jackrabbit smoked out of its hole, Ayo came to his senses, pushed Jennifer off his lap and quickly ushered her into the toilet.
‘What’s going on?’ she asked taken aback by his sudden reaction.
‘I promise you dear. I’ll get you the loan. But I need to settle some matters with people that might be a pain in the neck. Just hide here for a few minutes and keep quiet. Trust me, okay?’
She wasn’t sure she understood all he had just said but she very well understood the part about getting the loan.
‘Okay. If you say so.’ She walked gracefully into the restroom.
Ayo closed the door just as Funmi came into the office.
She was already halfway into the office when she stopped dead in her tracks, her nose twitched.
‘What’s that smell?’
‘Is that a woman’s perfume I perceive?’
‘So? Are you the only female staff that wears a perfume?’
'Are you sure that girl is not in here?'
Funmi waved her hand in annoyance.
‘You know who I'm talking about. I actually came to complain about her…’
‘Yes, Iphey. I’m getting tired of that girl. She’s so incompetent. She doesn’t perform up to expectation...’
‘Would that be…your own expectation?’
‘Are you saying my own opinion doesn’t count? Do you know that she took off for lunch over an hour ago and is not back yet?'
Trust Funmi to always answer a question with a question, two in this instance. Ayo smiled and looked at her, he had to think of a way to distract her. He looked her over from the nicely weaved hair that stopped at her ears atop a set of cute gold earrings to the well dry cleaned trouser suit and finally to the shiny black high heels on her feet.
‘You look lovely today.’
Funmi was cut off balance by the remark. It was the last thing she expected.
Ayo moved closer and stroked his hand down her arm. When she leaned towards him, he straightened and adjusted his tie.
‘You know I like you Funmi but on this one, I’m sorry. Your opinion doesn’t count. Besides you and Bisi, others seem to think otherwise of Iphey. They find her indispensable.’
Funmi drew back and sighed heavily. She looked at the floor, then looked back at him, hurt shone on her face.
‘Ayo, why are you doing this to me?’
‘You used to be so loving and compassionate…’
‘And you used to be single.’
‘So? Are you not married too?’
‘It doesn’t work the same way.’
‘Why should it be…’ She suddenly stopped. She thought she heard something in the bathroom.
‘Funmi, this convo is over. Now if you’ll excuse me…’ Ayo began but she cut him off.
‘Is there someone in there?’ She was already walking towards the restroom.
Ayo maintained his calm but his mind raced. He had to stop her from going any further.
But it was too late as Funmi’s hand rested on the door knob and turned it.
Ayo closed his eyes tightly as if it would shield him from the impending fireworks.
When he opened them, she was still at the door turning the knob. It was locked.
‘The door is locked’, she said in a tone that demanded an explanation.
‘It’s under repairs and fumigation, you probably heard the rat in there.’
Her hand quickly left the door. She hated rats and the mere mention of it.
‘I thought you were hiding Iphey in there.’
Ayo burst into laughter.
‘Stop it. It’s not funny.’
The intercom buzzed. Ayo hit the button.
‘Sir, Iphey’s coming! She’s looking for Oga Funmi’ The secretary’s whisper came loud and clear.
‘Did she say Iphey?’ Funmi asked.
‘Yep. She did.’
She gave a flustered look, refusing to meet his eyes. She now felt embarrassed that she might have overreacted. She turned and walked to the door.
‘Good thing she watches out for us.’ She said.
‘Us?’ Ayo questioned but she was out the door before he could get a reply. He heard her dialogue briefly in her usual nastiness with Iphey outside the door. Then they were gone.
He suddenly realized there were beads of sweat on his forehead and mopped them rapidly.
For a brief moment, the thought of Iphey came to his mind again. Funmi wanted her out of the picture, out of this branch or sacked for some flimsy reason but he wasn’t going to let that happen. Funmi had served her purpose and was married now. He needed a replacement and Iphey was the perfect and even better fit.
He would handle all this later. For now he had other pressing matters.
He knocked on the restroom door.
‘You can come out now.’
He heard the lock turn and Jennifer came out.
She was smiling. She had heard all the drama.
‘You’re a bad boy. Is that how you trick women?’
‘Come on. Not all women, like fingers, are equal.’
‘By the way, thanks for locking the door. I never thought of it’, he said placing himself back in his chair.
‘I might look gentle but I’m not a stupid chick’, she replied stroking his face with her well manicured fingers.
‘Now, where were we?’
So our contributor Afronuts decided to tell us about Funmi but from the perspective of the branch manager Ayo. I found this hilarious, and I can tell you from personal experience that there are some womanizers like this guy. What can I say, in offices, BEWARE. lol...There will be no votes today since I already have a follow up but check back on Tuesday for the next chapter.
KUSH or Afronuts of the Kush Chronicles is a creative writer based in Lagos Nigeria. He sometimes runs some illustrated series on his blog and I simply love those. He also blogs about some topics which are eye-openers or food for thought. The last one was titled Bizarre jobs from History and the current one is The Murderous Innocents. Go over and check him out.