CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode Finale

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Kaima and Damilare ate from the same plate, the meal wasn’t exquisite but it was delicious. After eating, they washed up their plates and retreated into the bedroom where Kaima retrieved, from her bag, the iPod she carried everywhere with her. She proceeded to lay down beside Damilare who was already enjoying the relaxing feeling of finally being in his bed.

They stared at each other, not speaking, just looking at each other arms overlapping. After what seemed like eternity, Kaima looked down at the iPod, forgotten in her hand. Scrolling through the playlist tagged ‘Happy Songs’ she clicked on the song titled ‘Heaven’s Candlelight’ by DJ Sammy. Smiling shyly, Kaima Removed an ear piece from her ear, and handed it to Damilare while saying:

“I want us to listen to this song. I love it”

They listened to the song over and over again.

Damilare was awestruck by how beautiful Kaima looked even without make up and wondered if he was dreaming. He reached out to rub her back with his hand, reassuring himself that she was indeed there.

“I’m going to show you something soon, I want you to take a look at it and see what we can do with it.” Damilare finally spoke.

“Did you say we?” Kaima asked.
There was a sparkle in her eyes that Damilare had never seen before.

“Yes baby! We.” Damilare replied smiling.

“Alright! Then show me!” Kaima said, barely containing her excitement.

“Baby, I’ll show you soon. But please be patient.” Damilare replied.

“Let me guess, is it a ring?” Kaima asked, pressing further, having no intention of waiting to hear what Damilare had to say.

Damilare shot her the ‘hell in god’s name look’ before reaching down under his bed to bring a business proposal.

“O!” Kaima said slightly disappointed after seeing what he held in his hand.

“Kay, it’s a business proposal that I’ve been working on for quite sometime now. I trust your judgement and want you to have a look at it.” Damilare spoke with all the charm he could muster.

Kaima couldn’t resist and smiled.

“Sure thing, I’ll take a look at.” She replied. Her hand travelled a short distance down Damilare’s back and smacked him playfully on his butt.

“Ouch! What was that for?” He asked grumpily.

Kaima giggled at the look on his face.

When the night grew darker, wrapped in each other’s arms, they slept.

THE END

CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 25

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“Here we are, this is my place.” Damilare announced as he opened the door to his apartment.

Kaima walked in.

Damilare followed, quickly locking the door behind them and turned on the light switch.

Kaima did a quick mental assesment of his apartment. It was small, she thought, but very neat. There was a single bed that could accommodate two people, he had a kitchen which she couldn’t see but was aware because a tag with the word ‘kitchen’ written in black nested on a green door. There was also a small closet which she was sure contained his clothes.

Damilare stepped in front of her knowing what she was doing, he put a hand in front of her and began to move it open and down wanting her to follow the movement of his hand in order to distract her. Kaima’s eyes didn’t follow his hand instead they moved in the opposite direction still taking stock of what was present in his apartment.

“Dre why are you living here?” Kaima asked, concern dripping from her voice.

Damilare cocked his mouth to one side, and then edged closer to his neat bed. He sat down slowly, his hands on his thighs rubbing them in order to relieve himself of the nervous energy that was creeping in.

Kaima came over and sat beside him. She dropped her hand bag to one side of the bed and reached out to touch Damilare’s hand.

Damilare seemed to be trying to find the words to say, where to start, how to explain why he was living in such an apartment when he had well a fairly great job.

“Kay, there is a reason why I’m living in a place like this.” Damilare began his explanation.

“I know there is, and I would love to hear it.” Kaima replied, rubbing his hand.

Damilare continued.

“See that’s the thing Kay, I am not ready to share it just yet.”

Kaima shot him a stare filled with unanswered questions.

Silence reigned for some minutes.

“Why?” Kaima said, voicing her confusion.

“Why what?” Damilare asked. Urging Kaima to be more specific.

“Why don’t you want to tell me why you are living here?” Kaima asked again.

“I’ve been saving up for a new place, Kaima. it’s just you know…..” Damilare’s voice trailed off.

“Know what?” Kaima asked, urging him to go on with his explanation.

Damilare started to get uncomfortable with the third degree questioning. But it was Kaima and so he proceeded with answering her question.

“I have people I take care of Kay. Family. I’m not ready to talk about it, please Kay, when the time is right, I’ll share it with you I promise.” Damilare took her hands and squeezed them lovingly as he looked into her almond eyes.

Kaima sighed as she bobbed her head.

“I’m starving; let me make us something to eat.” Damilare finally said, breaking the uncomfortable silence that had descended between them.

“Sure!” Kaima answered suggestively, as she switched her position from the bed to Damilare’s laps.

“Don’t distract me Kay.” Damilare said half heartedly before kissing her on the lips.

Kaima reluctantly untangled from Damilare embrace, stood up and walked over to his closet where she retrieved a blue round neck shirt and a black boxer.

She sashayed back towards Damilare and asked.

“Bathroom?”

Damilare pointed to a door with the inscription ‘bathroom’ inked in black on a green door that was several inches away from the door tagged ‘kitchen.’

Kaima marched to the door and pulled his towel away from it.

“Give me a few minutes, I’ll be back. And don’t start cooking without me!” She warned.

“Or what?” Damilare asked in a husky voice.

“You’ll have to wait and find out.” Kaima smirked, her eyes aglow with mischief.

As soon as Kaima entered the bathroom, Damilare walked towards his closet and changed into some more comfortable clothes.

Some minutes later, Kaima stepped out of the bathroom wearing Damilare’s blue shirt and black boxer. On the blue round neck shirt, there was a bold inscription written in white ‘I’m a chef.’

“Hmm, I see.” Damilare sighed looking thoughtful, as Kaima rubbed the nape of her neck with his towel.

“You see what?” Kaima asked.

“I thought you said you were a financial analyst?” Damilare asked mockingly as he stood up and walked towards her.

Kaima looked down at the shirt and began to laugh when she noticed what was written on it.

She walked into Damilare as they locked into a warm embrace.

“I’m a financial analyst who is in love with a chef.”

“So what’s for dinner?” Kaima asked.

“You tell me.” Damilare replied smiling.

“Alright before we decide to even cook anything, I want to introduce you to some of my friends.” Damilare announced.

Kaima looked very surprised.

“Really?” Kaima asked, looking puzzled.

Damilare nodded.

He opened his kitchen cabinet and retrieved some kitchen utensils. He put a pot on the gas and said to Kaima;

“This is Joe.” Damilare said.

“Hi Joe.” Kaima said to the pot.

“Joe is my favourite cooking pot, I like him a lot.” Damilare added.

He peered into the cabinet again and said;

“This is Pam.” Pointing to a frying pan.

Kaima offered the frying pan a curt nod.

“Pam as in Pamela?” She asked.

“No, Pam as in Pam.” Damilare replied.

“Okay.” Kaima said still giggling.

“I am glad that you find this amusing.” Damilare said smiling and continued to explain.

“I’m home alone most of the time, so I talk to my kitchen utensils when I get bored. They offer me good company.” He added.

Kaima roared with laughter.

Damilare continued with the introduction, glad to see that she was responding well to the weirdness.

After making all the introductions, he prepared a simple dish of local rice, tomato sauce and fried fish.

……to be continued.

Genre: Nigerian Romance/ Fiction

CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 24

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After a hard day’s work, Kaima left the silver building and drove to the Magic Menu Restaurant, practicing how she was going to break the news of her love to Damilare.

Some minutes later she pulled up to the parking lot of the restaurant. Her pulse raced as she took a deep breath to calm her nerves. As soon as she stopped, she retrieved a portable make-up kit from her bag, in it, she carried her beauty essentials; a mirror, a hair brush, powder, and red lipstick. She was excited and anxious as she applied some make up and the red lipstick. Satisfied, she turned off the ignition, stepped out of her car and hid her eyes behind dark Ray Ban sunglasses.

Kaima sashayed towards the entrance of the restaurant, paused, took a deep breath, exhaled then opened the glass doors that connected her to the front desk. Approaching the girl whose name tag read Bisi at the reception, and flashing a radiant smile, she said;

“Hi there.”

“Hello Madam. Are you here to place an order?” The girl at the reception asked smiling.

“No. I am here to see one of your Chefs. Damilare or Chef 26.” Kaima replied, taking off her sunglasses.

“One moment Madam.” The girl at the front desk motioned for her to take a seat in the waiting area.

Kaima promptly sat down in the waiting area she was directed to.

“Chef 26 you have a visitor.” Bisi the receptionist announced to the personnel in the kitchen.

Damilare who was chatting with Ikenna at the time excused himself from the conversation.

“Dude all this visitors you keep having, do you want to share what’s going on?” Ikenna asked partly curious, partly amused.

“Yea, my relatives who live under the sea have decided to start living on land, so they need a tour guide to show them around. I guess one of them is here now.” Damilare replied with a wry grin.

They both laughed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kaima was still feeling very nervous waiting for Damilare. Just then, the kitchen door swung open, Kaima’s heart beat raced as Damilare stepped out of the kitchen, his eyes connecting with hers as he marched confidently towards her.

“Hi Kay.” Damilare said smiling, reaching for a hug.

“Hi Dre.” Kaima replied as she stood up to embrace him. She took in his scent as he tore away from her embrace.

“It’s good to see you.” Damilare said.

“Same here.” Kaima tried her best to conceal her nervous energy with a smile.

“Let’s go into the restaurant.” Damilare said. Opening the door to the restaurant and ushering her in.

She followed his lead taking his hand as he navigated their way to a table for two close to a window.

Damilare pulled a chair away from the table playing the part of the gentleman as he allowed her to seat first. Taking a seat opposite hers, he stared directly into her eyes and braced himself for whatever Kaima planned to say.

Silence ensued for some seconds, Kaima who still felt nervous, finally mustered the courage to speak. “

“There is something I want to tell you.” She said.

“Go on I’m listening.” Damilare replied.

Kaima paused, her hands were shaking uncontrollable. This was much harder than she anticipated. Damilare could see she was absorbed in so much nervousness that speaking had suddenly become a very tough task for her.

“Kay, say what you want to say, I’m here, I know you have something you want to get off your chest, you can take it off now, just say it.” Damilare gently reassured her.

Kaima exhaled.

“I can do this; I can do this.” She repeated to herself.

Her gaze was fixed on the table cloth and not Damilare’s face; it was easier to say I love you to the table cloth than to him she thought.

“I…. I…… I……. think, I mean I…. I…..” She stuttered and wondered what was wrong, she kept trying to hit the nail on the head, but instead she succeeded in putting more dents on the wood.

“Dear God this is embarrassing.” Kaima whispered to herself.

“You like me?” Damilare helped her out.

Kaima sat upright and looked at him, surprise etched on her pretty face.

“No, no I don’t like you.” Kaima replied.

“Excuse me! Then why are we here? I am sorry, but I have to return to the kitchen.” Damilare said in a low, hard and disappointed tone.

He stood up and was about to leave when he felt Kaima’s hands on his.

He paused and looked at her.

“Please sit Dre.” Kaima said as the nervous energy she had earlier gave way to calm and composure.

She had to do it now, or else she knew someone else would, and that someone else wasn’t even trying to hide it. It was now or never.

Kaima hands travelled across the table and landed on Damilare’s. She wrapped them with hers, holding it at first, and then squeezing it. She looked into his eyes and said;

“I don’t know what happened; I don’t know why it happened. But the first day I tasted your meal, I sensed there was something special about the person who cooked the meal. I thought you were a woman, but I learnt through Cynthia that you were a man, and I was amazed, I wanted to meet this man who cooked food that lightened my mood and seemed to bless me with boundless energy. Each time I eat your food, I get 3 hours of work done in an hour. Your food has the power to release positive emotions. I spotted a business opportunity, and decided to take it but when I met you in person, my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t and still can’t take my mind off you, I kept seeing you everywhere I go; when I am awake and when I am sleeping.”

Damilare was too delighted to say anything.

Kaima continued.

“Then things went sour and I lost everything, I lost Cynthia, I lost you, and I lost me. I couldn’t live with myself, I had to make things right, by getting everything I lost back. I’ve gotten Cynthia back; I’ve gotten a part of me back, so here I am trying to get that other part of me back. You Dre! I’m in love with you Dre and I can’t explain it, I can only feel it in here.”
Kaima tapped her chest to indicate her heart as a tear rolled down her face.

Damilare released his hand from Kaima’s grip and wiped the tear away.

Kaima sniffled then continued pouring out her heart.

“Dre if you’ll be my man,” she paused staring directly into his eyes, “I’ll be your woman every second, every minute, every hour, and every day, forever.” Reconnecting her right hand with his and squeezing them tightly.

Damilare was too stunned to speak. Now, he was the one looking nervous, his composed demeanour was gone, only to be replaced by the nervous energy that was coursing through Kaima some minutes ago.

He dropped his head, lost in his own thoughts then raised it up again without meeting Kaima’s eyes. He looked out the window, suddenly finding the environment around them more interesting.

Kaima sensed that maybe he wasn’t ready for this and decided that she might have to give him some time to think about. She knew he liked her, she had heard his open confession from Lola’s phone recording. She knew that she was out of his league, but Lola was right, if he was placed in the right environment, he would excel.

“Dre if you are not ready yet to start ‘this’ motioning to him and her using her finger in a back and forth movement. I can walk away now.” Kaima said desperately seeking affirmation.

Damilare returned his attention to the table, there were tears in his eyes too.

Kaima looked puzzled.

She didn’t understand what the tears in his eyes were for. He wasn’t the one doing the asking out, so why were there tears in his eyes she thought. A few tears strolled away from his face; he had something to say to.

“Me too.” Damilare finally said. His voice barely audible.

Kaima didn’t hear him clearly.

“What did you say?” She asked.

“The feeling is mutual, I’m in love with you too, and I’m ready for ‘This’.” He said, mimicking the back and forth finger motion she had done earlier.

Kaima let out a hearty smile.

Damilare grabbed her hands and squeezed it gently.

For the first time in a long time, Kaima felt whole. ”

“Why don’t i drop you off? Make your journey less stressful?” Kaima asked Damilare.

“Really! That’ll be great. Let me sign out, I’m done for today.” Damilare said, releasing her hands and disappearing momentarily.

Minutes later, they were out of the restaurant. Marching hand in hand towards Kaima’s car.

Kaima turned on the ignition and manoeuvred her Toyota Camry out of the parking lot and drove out.

As soon as they got to Oshodi bus stop, Damilare thanked Kaima for helping him out.

“Why don’t i drop you off at your house?” Kaima asked.

Damilare looked at her as if she was suddenly mad.

“No way Kay! My place is too far from yours. Besides, there’ll be traffic there by this time of the day, what time will you get home? It’s 8pm already.” He said.

Kaima smiled.

“Don’t worry honey; I know that. I plan to spend the night at yours.” She added with a girlish grin.

Damilare grinned back.

…...to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/Fiction

Do you think Kaima’s going home to Damilare’s after her big reveal was a wise decision? We would love to see what you think.

CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 23

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Kaima walked to the elevator and took a long look down the corridor, hoping that Cynthia would come out, but she didn’t. As soon as she reached the elevator, she got in and pressed the button that led to the ground floor.

Cynthia didn’t feel right, she wasn’t the unforgiving type.

“This is so not me. I can’t do this! I can’t live like this!” She said to herself, while unlocking the door and stepping out to finally face Kaima. Kaima was gone.

She heard the elevator doors opening, and ran towards it.

“Wait Kay! Wait!” Cynthia screamed. There was no response.

“What have I done?!” Cynthia said to herself sadly before looking up to notice the slight figure of her friend standing in front of her.

A gulf of understanding, bare of any words drew them together in a long hug that lasted a few minutes, before Kaima finally spoke.

“I am a terrible person Cyndy, I’m so sorry.” Kaima said crying.

“No Kay. You’re a good person. Things just went horribly wrong.” Cynthia replied.

“No I’m not.” Kaima said. Her usual stiff posture heavy with remorse.

“Stop it Kay!” Cynthia rebuked her.

Kaima tore away from the embrace and placed her hands on Cynthia’s shoulders.

“I am truly sorry for the hurt I caused you.” Kaima said.

“I have forgiven you Kaima. Can we go in now so you stop embarrassing us both. Cynthia said jokingly in the bid to lighten the mood.

When they settled in, Cynthia brought a fluffy towel for Kaima to wrap herself in and poured some alcohol for them to enjoy.

“Cynthia! When did you start drinking?” Kaima asked with a puzzled stare.

“Taaaday!” Cynthia said in an over emphasized British accent.

Kaima reeled with laughter.

After toasting to their recent reunion, they both sipped their alcohol which was an added source of warmth for Kaima.

“I was actually thinking about taking a vacation before you arrived.” Cynthia said casually and laughed at the look of horror on Kaima’s face.

“Whhhh..aa….ttt…” Kaima couldn’t find the words to express her disappointment.

“Yeah. I was planning on going to Canada to visit Sam. But don’t worry hun, that’s off the table for now.” Cynthia replied while smiling kindly at Kaima.

“Phew! You definitely got me scared on that one. Who’s going to keep me company in this wretched city?!” Kaima added with her demeanor visibly brightening at Cynthia’s new revelation.

“What about Dre? He can keep you company. Or haven’t you spoken with him yet?” Cynthia asked suspiciously.

“About that…..” Kaima’s voice trailed off again.

“What are you waiting for? You need to tell him how you feel.” Cynthia filled in quickly.

“I will, I promise. I just need a little time.” Kaima replied placing a hand on her forehead.

“When is the right time Kay?” Cynthia pressed, switching into detective mode.

Kaima found this side to Cynthia slightly irritating but she was happy to have her best friend back.

“I’ll tell him tomorrow.” Kaima finally replied.

“Good.” Cynthia said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At dawn, Kaima took a hurried shower and borrowed some of Cynthia’s clothes as she had decided to stay over. Her wet clothes were still in the dryer.

Cynthia reminded her to speak with Damilare as she hurriedly left the apartment for work and promised to.

When Kaima got to her office, she looked bright and spritely. Chorusing a merry good morning to her secretary while asking her how her night went.

Nkechi was taken aback; she checked side ways to make sure Kaima wasn’t talking to someone else. There was no one else present.

“My night was great, and yours?” Nkechi answered.

“Absolutely Fantastic!” Kaima replied with a dazzling smile.

Nkechi wondered what had come over her boss. Through out the previous weeks, Kaima rarely smiled or spoke to her. Today was different. Maybe it was the dress, maybe it was the flat sole shoes, or maybe it was the air which was scented in a farrago of strawberry and orange air freshener, she mused.

Later that day, Kaima placed an order for lunch and specifically asked that it be for two. An hour later, her secretary bumbled into her office, with two lunch packs from the Magic Menu Restaurant. Kaima took one and handed the other to her secretary, Nkechi.

Nkechi looked puzzled.

“What would you like me to do with the other one? She asked while looking at Kaima as if she had suddenly sprouted a second head.

“Eat it. I bought it for you.” Kaima replied softly.

Nkechi’s jaw slackened with surprise before replying. “Ah! Thank you Madam. God bless you Ma.”

“You’re welcome. Now run along; I have some work to do.” Kaima replied.

Nkechi nodded and disappeared.

When Nkechi opened the lunch pack, the aroma from the pack hit her hard. The food smelled good, but wasn’t convinced about the taste yet. Doubting if the food tasted as good as it smelled, she scooped a spoonful of chicken salad with peppered meat balls and coconut rice. Her countenance lit up as soon as the food touched her lips.

“Oh boy!” She exclaimed this food is great.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Damilare was in the kitchen of the magic menu restaurant his attention focused on a frying pan as he worked his magic, covering the whole kitchen in a blanket of sweet smelling aroma, he felt a vibration in his pocket. He reached into his pocket to retrieve his cell-phone. Without looking at the identity of the caller, he picked the call and said;

“Hi can I call you back, I’m very busy right now.”

“Hi Dre.” Said the voice at the other end of the line.

Damilare was stunned, he recognised the voice. Slowly he eased his hands off the handle of the frying pan and turned off the gas cooker. Damilare had missed this voice.

“Hi Kay.” He replied with a school boy grin.

“Please could you wait for me after closing hours? I would love to see you.” Kaima asked.

“We have new business?” Damilare asked as he began to pace aimlessly around the kitchen with his free hand in his pocket, still wearing the school boy grin.

“No Dre, It’s personal business.” Kaima replied.

“I’ll wait for you.” Damilare squeaked, trying hard not to
sound too excited.

“Thank you.” Kaima said before the line went dead.

……to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/Fiction

CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 22

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Kaima didn’t shake Lola’s hand but walked back to her seat. Lola felt slighted but wasn’t surprised. She took the telling action quietly, spun away quickly from Kaima and marched towards the exit.

Kaima tried her best to not stop Lola as she left, but there was guilt tugging at her heart, reminding her that she was a Christian and needed to forgive. Lola was already at the door when she heard the words;

“Wait! Please wait! Come back and seat, I guess we could be friends after all.” Kaima said.

Lola brightened as her lips curled into a smile. She closed the door and returned back to the empty seat, tucking herself in, crossing her legs and looked pointedly at the woman seated opposite her.

Kaima stretched out her hands, it was Lola’s turn to take it or leave it. She took it. There was something about Lola that seemed good even though Kaima had always seen her as an evil person.

They both smiled when their hands retreated back to base.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later that day, Lola went over to Cynthia’s place to inform her about the events that had unfolded between her and Kaima. Cynthia was happy but still expressed doubts that Kaima would forgive her.

“I just know she won’t do it Lola.” Cynthia had said.

” Just have faith Cynthia. Everything will be fine.” Lola reassured her while also informing her of her trip to London that Saturday.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few days had passed after Lola’s meeting with Kaima, and still nothing had happened. During this period, Kaima struggled with the decision she was about to make. She was torn.

On Thursday evening, Kaima sat in her living room, thinking, brewing, drinking, and reminiscing of the good times she and Cynthia had together. The ‘Emotions’ track from the Destiny’s child ‘Survivor’ album was on repeat, and the lyrics sunk its teeth deep into her heart, ripping her emotions apart. She ran to the door, picking up her car keys along the way. She had finally made her decision.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cynthia sat in her luxurious apartment thinking about Kaima and how she hadn’t imagined things to have gone wrong so quickly. Her apartment was dark, not because there was no power, but because she had suddenly preferred it that way after the fight with Kaima. She missed their fun-filled weekends together and wondered if things would ever be the same again.

Walking over to the kitchen, she poured herself a glass of champagne from the liquor cabinet she rarely touched. Cynthia kept them because whenever Sam was in town he stayed at hers instead of a hotel. Sam loved his spirits and she loved him. After pouring herself a glass, she moved towards her bedroom in slow strides; still thinking.

“Maybe I should take a vacation.” Cynthia questioned loudly, half expecting a reply from the emptiness in her apartment. She longed for Sam, needing someone to talk to. Rushing to her closet, she took out her suitcase and began packing. She was going to Canada.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kaima was out of her apartment. She was driving very fast; the weather had seemed fine when she pulled out of her apartment but it had now begun to rain. This didn’t deter her, adding a little more pressure on the accelerator, she sped faster.

Cynthia had started to pack some clothes into her suitcase when it began to rain. It was surprising to her because the weather seemed fine a few minutes earlier. Shaking her head, she took a sip from the cold but fiery liquid which seemed to have the desired effect she craved for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By 10.20pm, Kaima pulled up to Cynthia’s luxury apartment in Ikoyi. The gate opened automatically. With surveillance cameras watching her every move, she picked a spot in the parking lot, and brought the car to a halt.

“Shit! Where is the umbrella.” Kaima yelled at herself angrily. She had forgotten to return it back to the car, after she had used it on a rainy day to the office, earlier in the week.

The rain was pouring in torrents, but the matter at hand was pressing. Stepping out of her car, she made a quick dash for the entrance, trying her best to move as quickly as possible, but that didn’t stop the unforgiving rain from drenching her.

On getting to the entrance , Kaima pulled the heavy glass doors open and let herself into the well furnished and styled reception area, she offered a curt nod to the receptionist who replied with a curt nod filled with pity.

“Yea right! Go head! Pity me! Like that’s what I need right now.”
Kaima muttered to herself while remaining loud enough for the receptionist to hear as she dragged her wet body towards the elevator.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cynthia was still packing some clothes into her travelling bag when she heard a loud knock at her door wondering who it could be at that time of the night and trying her best to ignore it. This singular action only made the rapping more aggressive, leaving Cynthia extremely irritated.

Cynthia couldn’t take it any longer and wearing her meanest frown, she walked towards the door to confront her unwanted visitor.

Without looking at the person, she screamed;

“How many times will I tell you that…….” She paused as soon as she sighted Kaima who was shivering, drenched by the rain.

“Hi Cyndy.” Kaima said through clenched teeth as the cold tore through her body.

Cynthia responded with a loud hiss and angrily slammed the door in Kaima’s face.

“Cyndy I’m sorry, please can we talk.” Kaima pleaded through the door.

Cynthia didn’t respond. Vivid images of Kaima slapping her at the parking lot of the Magic Menu Resaurant played in her head. Kaima’s words that day kept reverberating in her head.

After 10 minutes of trying to reason with Cynthia, Kaima’s mission of trying to make amends with her proved futile. She hadn’t anticipated the show of resistance from Cynthia but naively expected everything to go back to the way it was. But those dreams were gone, burned by Cynthia’s resolve to shut her out.

She sighed deeply and slowly but reluctantly backed away from the door, marching lazily towards the elevator.

…..to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/ Fiction

CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 21

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The weekend had come and gone like a flash, Monday was here and Arrow Visions was open for business. Kaima had a hectic weekend as she struggled with the processing of all the paper work she had brought back home which she never got to finish. On getting to the office, she quickly read an email from her boss demanding that the documents be submitted on his desk by 12pm.

Kaima scowled, thinking of how distracted she had become since the Cynthia, Lola and Damilare incident. Nothing was the same.

‘I should probably consider moving past what happened between Cynthia and me’, she said to herself.

Around 11am, her secretary came into her office with news that she had a visitor. Kaima was surprised but told her secretary to usher the person in. Minutes later, she heard a soft knock and without waiting for a reply, the visitor stepped into her office. Kaima’s face was still buried in paper work when the visitor stepped in, but when she finally looked up some minutes later, she was utterly stunned.

“What the hell are you doing here Lola?” Kaima snarled nearly exploding with the force of her anger.

“Good morning Kaima, nice to see you too. We have a lot to catch up on.” Lola replied in a calm and composed manner looking elegant in a black dress, and flat black sole shoes as she sat down in an empty office chair opposite Kaima without being offered.

“Catch up on what? O! I see….you want me to listen to Cynthia asking me to forgive her, I presume, after you both
decided to make a fool out of me? Did I ask you to sit?” Kaima said eyeing her like she was a trash can buzzing with house flies.

“Isn’t it customary to offer your visitor a seat?” Lola asked with a smirk.

“You’re not a visitor, you’re not a friend, and you’re a stranger and an enemy, why would I offer you a seat, let alone welcome you into my office when….”, Kaima’s voice trailed off as soon as Lola began playing a recording from her Cell.

The voices sounded familiar, one was Lola , the other was Damilare’s! Kaima gasped at this realization.

Lola: Did you say she?

Damilare: Yeah she! My boss is a woman. Is that a strange thing?

Lola: No, not at all; do you enjoy working for her?

Damilare: Enjoy working for her? I wouldn’t put it that way; I would say I enjoy working with her. It’s like she has everything figured out she is an amazing woman, gifted in organization and planning, she would make a fine wife. She is one heck of a woman.

Lola: Do you like her?

Damilare: Yes. Who wouldn’t.

The recording ended.

Kaima was quiet for what seemed like eternity, the fire in her eyes had cooled as sat back, arms folded, lost in thought. She had just heard Damilare’s open adoration of her and the remark of her making a fine wife put a blinding smile on her face.

“Why did you record that conversation, Lola?” Kaima asked as her eyes narrowed again announcing the return of her anger towards the lady in black.

“I don’t know. I just wanted to have something of his with me all the time.” Lola replied.

Kaima cocked her head to the side trying to make sense of what Lola had just revealed before replying.

“I don’t believe you.” Kaima replied.

“Alright Miss betrayed, believe what you want to.” Lola said mocking her, daring Kaima to test her.

Kaima stayed silent.

“You seem like a really smart woman, Kaima, but sometimes I think you are the dumbest person alive. Were you really going to walk away from Damilare so quickly? Hand him over to me so easily without putting up a fight?” Lola spoke with calculated calmness.

Kaima was taken aback by Lola’s show of emotional strength and will.

“I don’t like him,” Kaima finally replied in a low tone, avoiding Lola’s gaze.

“Excuse me? You don’t like him?! Then why the hell are you doing this to yourself and Cynthia?” Lola asked almost amused at Kaima’s denial.

“It’s…… it’s……. it’s…….. Because……. Because…….” Kaima was struggling with the words as if it were the size of a bulldozer; the weight seemed to be pulling her back, choking her.

“Kay just say it and I’ll understand.”
Lola said trying to help her find the courage to say what she wanted to.

Kaima was surprised that Lola called her Kay, she didn’t want her to, she wanted to keep her as an enemy and a threat, but something inside kept telling her that Lola was not the enemy.

“Thank you.” Kaima finally said.

“Thank you? For what?” Lola replied starting to get very confused. Kaima was quite a complicated young soul.

“I’m thanking you for bringing me back to my senses Missy.” Kaima said as she spun and in the blink of an eye she hugged Lola.

Lola was shocked, she wasn’t expecting that but she responded well, as they stood there locked in a forgiveness embrace that radiated enough warmth to subdue the rage of the cold air in Kaima’s office pouring from the air conditioner.

“One last thing Kay,”

“What?” Kaima said nearly emotional.

“Cynthia is a mess, go to her. Also, you need to tell Dre how you feel, there is no point denying how you feel towards him. He is special. I can tell you guys will be great together.” Lola said kindly.

“I will make things right Lola, I promise. Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your brave gesture, you’re a good person and Cynthia is lucky to have you.” Kaima responded.

“No! Cynthia is lucky to have us. Let’s be friends Kay.” Lola stretched out her hands.

Kaima paused looking at Lola’s outstretched arms like it was covered in leprosy. She was happy Lola had helped her to see the light but she wasn’t sure she was ready to let her into her life.

Lola stood there patiently, waiting, knowing that Kaima’s only choice now was to take it not leave it, she didn’t come all the way to just make peace, she also came to win Kaima’s friendship, so far she had made peace, friendship was the only thing remaining, she was determined to get it no matter what.

…….to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/ Fiction

CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 20

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“You are so God damn adorable,” Lola said, flashing her pearly white teeth while casually sweeping away a stubborn strand of curly hair that had escaped from her tight chignon.

A brief moment of silence engulfed their table before she continued speaking.

“Cynthia first told me about the situation when I was working on a film project in London. Cynthia told…..”

“A film project?! I thought you told me you were a business executive when we first met.” Damilare interrupted looking suspicious and confused.

“I know I did, and I feel bad about it but I am l’m really an actress.” Lola added.

Damilare bobbed his head a couple of times, wondering if there were any more surprising things that Lola was going to reveal about herself.

“As I was saying….., Cynthia told me it was going to be worthwhile coming back to Nigeria as I could get to meet Kaima whom I had never met. She also told me all about you and how Kaima had a little thing for you. Naturally, I was curious.” Lola continued.

Damilare didn’t speak.

“Then at the reunion, I met you. I can still see why she has a particular fondness for you. You are quite charming!” Lola said.

Damilare still didn’t speak.

“You see Dre, people aren’t often who they claim to be. I learnt that the hard way, with my deadbeat of an ex-husband….her voice trailed off. I couldn’t let the same thing happen to Kaima.” Lola continued after a long pause.

“I understand, but Kaima needed to deal with this alone, at her pace. ” Damilare finally said.

“I agree. That was the mistake Cynthia and I made. Kaima is fiercely independent, as I have come to observe. A quality which I wish to God everyday that I possessed. We truly underestimated her capacity to care for herself, and now, we have made a mess of things.” Lola added guiltily.

“Okay, I get the whole picture now, so what can I do? Should I go and ask her out?” Damilare asked.

“Don’t do anything. I will make this right on my own. It’s time to clear this mess up!” Lola said.

“How do you intend to do that? Kaima doesn’t even like you.” Damilare asked.

“Well, she will just have to give me a chance then sugar.” Lola said seductively.

Just then, Ikenna breezed into the restaurant; he wheeled over to Damilare’s side and whispered something into his ears, offering Lola a curt nod as he disappeared as quickly as he had arrived.

“Lola I have to go, but do what you must.” Damilare said as he stood up.

Lola nodded.

Damilare walked over to Lola, as she stood up too. She wanted to shake his hand, but instead he opened his arms wide indicating an embrace, she walked into his open arms, hugging him passionately as he rubber stamped a warm peck on her cheek and whispered the words “thank you” in her ear.

A round of applause erupted from the restaurant as some of the customers appreciated the show of romance which Lola and Damilare knew had been wrongly interpreted but still went with the flow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Friday, Kaima started getting strange calls from very familiar people. They were all calling for the same purpose. She politely declined their request.

Her oldest brother, Zamayn called; he rambled on and on about forgiveness but Kaima was having none of it.

On Saturday, her other brothers called. Kaima wasn’t enjoying the rude intercessions from her family and just when she thought she had gotten some respite from staying on the phone for several hours, Cynthia’s fiancé called. Kaima really wanted to ignore his call, but Sam was too good a person.

Kaima recalled when she first met Cynthia. It was at a send forth party the company was hosting for Sam who worked with arrow visions, but had just gotten a better job offer at a top financial firm in Canada. Cynthia was depressed that Sam, who was her boyfriend at that time was leaving and Kaima felt sorry for her. They bonded over drinks that night and became inseparable ever since.

“Sam I can’t talk about this right now.”
Kaima said her phone sandwiched between her ears and her shoulder as she reached for a bottle of orange juice from the fridge in the kitchen.

“Kay, please whatever she did, you just have to let it go and be friends with her again, please Kay.” Sam pleaded from the other end of the line.

“I don’t want to talk about it Sam.” Kaima replied firmly.

There was a long pause; Kaima was now in the living room sitting on the couch, then changing her position as she lay down, waiting for Sam to say something.

“Promise me you’ll think about it.” Sam finally said.

“Alright Sam, I’ll think about it.” Kaima agreed reluctantly.

“Alright Kay. Have a great day.” Sam said.

“Bye Sam.” Kaima replied as the line went dead.

“This is exhausting, I need a good distraction.” Kaima picked up her phone and dialed Fred.

……….to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/Fiction