CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 17

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Thursday morning looked bright and beautiful; Victoria Island was fully awake as commercial activities poured out thick and fast. Kaima had checked out of the hotel, her night hadn’t exactly been a 4-star night but the service from the hotel was certainly worth remembering. She made a mental not to come visiting soon. Dressed in a white corporate shirt and navy blue knee length skirt, she marched out of the hotel with black stiletto heels making her alluring presence known to the indifferent public. She got to the side walk and scanned the area for a cab, eyes behind shades looking every inch like a movie star.

Her mind was still reeling from the pain she suffered last night. Her classy demeanour helped conceal the hurt and the pain that was radiating through her body that would have been clearly visible in her tear laden eyes. As if on cue, a cab tore out of a corner and headed in her direction, she flagged it down. Kaima leaned in close to the passenger’s side window and said to the cab man “Roundy Street, the silver building.” He nodded. She stepped into the back seat and shut the door. The cab sped off and started to slow down some minutes later as it joined the teeming traffic that was gradually building on the Island.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lola stopped over at Cynthia’s on Thursday afternoon; Cynthia who took a day off work was not in a good mood. They discussed how Cynthia’s perfect little plan had turned into a colossal let down, resulting in the quick disintegration of her friendship with Kaima.

“What are your thoughts? How do you plan to remedy the situation since you are not so keen on trying my idea,” Lola asked arms akimbo taping her feet impatiently as she stood beside Cynthia?

“I don’t know yet Lola, but maybe if I can get some people to call her and talk to her to persuade her to be reasonable.” Cynthia suggested as she stared into space still wondering how her perfect little plan had blown up into this uncontainable mess.

“What course of action are you considering?” Lola probed; looking unhappy, impatient and slightly hurt that Cynthia wasn’t even considering her plan.

Cynthia sighed; “I guess I’ll make a few calls, get her brothers to talk to her on my behalf, even call Sam to chip in some consoling eulogy that could make her change her mind.”

Lola’s face brightened at the mention of Sam, Cynthia’s once upon a time boy friend now fiancé, she smirked as the sound of wedding bells played in her head. Her mind travelled back in time as she remembered how Cynthia and Sam started out as enemies. The smile grew more prominent as she remembered the part she played in uniting them together, how she had sat Cynthia down and told her that Samuel who they fondly referred to as Sam was madly in love with her but was doing a good job at masking it with spats and unnecessary rows. Until one day, she told Cynthia to take the plunge and ask him out, because she felt that would knock down his defences and bring him face to face with a truth he had being trying to hide behind the fake hate he was nursing towards her that was actually true love, “secondary school days and puppy love” she said in her head, “how time flies.”

“Why are you smiling? You think my plan is stupid?” Cynthia asked her voice still barely louder than a whisper.

“Nope.” Lola replied.

“Then why are you so cheerful all of a sudden?” Cynthia asked again.

“I remembered how you and Sam started out, how he would do everything possible to make you unhappy, the arguments in class, the fights at the school cafeteria, trying to make you feel not so important until one day I realized he was just trying to cover up something that nobody was aware of except me.” Cynthia smiled; she did not need to hear the rest of the story since she was the lead character in the story, because she knew every aspect of the story.

“Let’s make a list of all the people you want to call, but we need a plan B in case they try and they don’t succeed.” Lola added as she paced back and forth looking like a detective at a murder scene trying to connect all the dots at the crime scene.

Cynthia looked at Lola, holding her gaze for some seconds, finally she spoke; “We already have a plan B.

“Which is?” Lola asked.

“Your idea, Madam! I am hungry. Let’s eat.” Cynthia replied suddenly feeling rejuvenated, now am in the food mood she said, flashing a weak but much needed smile.

“Finally! Let’s go to The Magic Menu Restaurant” Lola replied with glee while rubbing her hands together in satisfaction.

“Bad idea.” Cynthia added with a scowl.

“You know they have the best chef in town.” Lola said doing a little dance adding enough theatre and drama to rub her point in.

Cynthia shook her head, protesting, saying no, but she knew she was fighting a losing battle, for when Lola made up her mind about something she seldom changed it. She got up from the bed and went to the bathroom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kaima had buried herself in so much paper work that she had forgotten to order lunch from The Magic Menu Restaurant, she looked at the time and it was 3.30pm. The thought of calling Damilare crossed her mind, but she brushed it aside and decided to pay him a surprise visit. Hungry, angry, and depressed she felt getting some air would help with forgetting about the whole ‘Me and Cynthia’ drama thing that had become the major headline in her overcrowded financial mind.

The paper work on her table wasn’t helping matters, and decided to pack it all up and take it home, for the first time in a long time she had to break one of their golden rules of never bringing work home.

“That rule doesn’t apply to me anymore, it only applied with me and Cynthia, but now it’s just me, myself and I.” Kaima said to herself.

With that she packed the paper work on her table stuffing them into her bag, she got up and angled towards the door, feeling resigned that she was doing the right thing. Her secretary was surprised to see that she was leaving work quite early; Kaima didn’t offer her any explanation. She just walked past her determined to get to the elevator.

Kaima had come into the office with a blank face, no smile, no “morning Nkechi, how was your night?” Nothing! She just seemed a different person all of a sudden. She had never seen her like this before; Nkechi wished she could find out what was wrong? What was eating her up? Making her sad, but she knew that her place was behind the desk and chair she woke up to every morning at arrow visions. Getting into Kaima’s personal life was way beyond her jurisdiction.

……...to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/Fiction

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