Sunday, 17 June 2018

VALLEY OF ANGELS Episode 15-16

‘A month tops’ Lola replied.
‘Here, call me, if your product is good, I may buy more’ Diana grinned, but inwardly she didn’t give a rat’s ass about the product, she just needed an excuse to spend time with the girl. Who knows luck could help her find her child so easily?
As she marched towards her office, she found her friend right there.
‘I have been waiting on you for ten minutes now’ Saddiya wondered what had taken her friend so long.
‘Wait, you bought that product too’? Saddiya noticed the plastic bottle.
‘Yes. The girl is very sweet. She is such a charmer’ Diana smiled as she remembered Lola’s smiling face.
‘And she really looks like you’ Tola chipped in as she approached the ladies.
‘Good morning’ she smiled at them both.
‘Morning Tols, how are you’? Saddiya smiled at Chimobi’s secretary.
‘I am fine, the boss would like to see you now, Miss Saddiya’ Tola announced before leaving them.
“And she really looks like you” Diana stared after Tola, her words still rang in her ears.
‘Are you okay’? Saddiya noticed the faraway look in her eyes.
‘Tola just said Lola looks like me…and I have been’ Diana paused not knowing how to explain it to her friend.
‘You feel she is your daughter? The hair product seller’? Saddiya scoffed at her friend’s imagination.
Now that Tola mentioned it, she scanned the mental picture of Lola in her head; Tola was right, she actually resembled Diana, but that didn’t mean anything.
Funke Akindele had a semblance to Taraj. P. Henson, that didn’t make them related; random people shared a resemblance, it wasn’t a new phenomenon.
‘She lives in Abuja, Maitama, specifically, doesn’t that tell you anything’? Diana couldn’t hold it anymore.
‘I was actually going to say something that I have been observing for a long time’ Saddiya rubbed her chin, not knowing how this would sound.
‘And what could that be’? Diana wondered.
‘Tola has Chimobi’s eyes’.
‘I have told her, she is on her way’ Tola announced to her boss before leaving the office.
‘Was Miss. Anyebe with her’? Chimobi asked.
‘Yes sir’ Tola replied.
‘Alright then, I have something for you’ Chimobi beckoned her closer to him.
He had been working with the girl for a year now and she had never given him a reason to doubt her, unlike his past secretaries who were grossly unreliable. He knew she would love a salary raise, but she had not asked for it; he decided to give her something to show his appreciation.
The very first time he set eyes on Tola, he really doubted her ability to be work with him as she had been very young, as stated in her birth certificate and her working experience had been inadequate, but one look at her sour face told him she really needed the job. He decided to try her out and she turned out well.
‘Have this, I’ll increase your salary from this month, just use that and buy yourself something’ he pulled open his drawer and handed her an envelope.
Her hands trembled as she reached out for the envelope; her boss was never mean to her neither was he a nag but she had not expected this kind of generosity from him.
She had never complained about her meager pay because she lacked the qualification to work in such a prestigious company and knew deep down that her he was only doing her a favor.
‘Thank you very much’ tears welled up in her eyes as she took the envelope from him.
‘Don’t cry now, you still have a lot of files to process and I don’t want you soaking them’ he warned in a kind voice.
‘Thank you’ she smiled and quickly wiped a tear that trickled down.
Suddenly, the door burst open and Saddiya walked in, she noticed the envelope in Tola’s hand and wondered what was in it; was Chimobi going out with his secretary?
Songs of joy welled up in Tola’s heart as she stared at the envelope; she quickly opened it up and saw a lot of Naira notes; he had given her a lot of money.
‘Thank you Lord’ she whispered a word of prayer briefly.
‘Hm, hm’ Sean announced his arrival by clearing his throat.
‘Good morning Sean’ she quickly dropped the envelope in her bag.
She suddenly felt guilty for ratting out her boss to his wife; Chimobi was a good man and didn’t deserve her disloyalty; how was she going to wriggle out of this mess that she had found herself.
‘I received your message’ Sean replied coolly.
He was still hurting from Diana’s rejection of his flowers and decided deep down that he would humiliate her just like the way she had humiliated him.
‘Um, about that, I…’ Tola stuttered.
Seyi had asked her to collect evidence on Diana and Chimobi; she would be a devil to spy on her boss after everything he had done for her.
‘What’? Sean wondered what tied her tongue.
‘Good morning’ Lola, the product seller interrupted their conversation.
‘Hello’ Tola offered the girl who was as young as her age a smile. Did she want to sell the hair product to her? Well, that wouldn’t be a bad idea as she could afford it now.
‘I think Diana overpaid me, do you know where her office is? I need to return her change’ Lola said.
‘Oh, just go down this hall, turn left, the third office in the row is hers, there is a name that indicates that’ Tola instructed.
‘Thank you, are you interested in the hair product’? She winked at Tola.
‘Why not’? Tola beamed excitedly.
Minutes later, Saddiya walked out of the office, she was followed by Chimobi whose eyes were suddenly darkened as he noticed a trader inside his company.
‘Oh, you may have to come back later’ Tola noticed the look in her boss’ face.
‘Okay, I’ll return the change before leaving’ Lola noticed the look on the man’s face as she scurried off.
‘Good morning boss’ Sean greeted.
‘Morning’ Chimobi stared at the trader till she disappeared.
‘Who is she’? He asked his secretary.
‘She sells hair product’ Tola replied coolly, she realized she had misjudged Chimobi’s dark glance; he wasn’t angry at all; he seemed interested in knowing the girl more.
‘I will be back in twenty minutes, I am off to meet with someone’ he told his secretary before leaving.
His heart still dwelt on the young girl he had just seen; she had a striking resemblance with Diana. He wondered briefly what their child looked like; he felt guiltier as he realized how badly he had treated Diana in the past.
‘I wish I could go back in time’ he murmured to himself as he reached his car. He was going to meet her now in the coffee shop; he hoped Diana wasn’t going to break his heart.
‘Now what’? Tola turned to Sean, what was he still doing here?
‘Our plan of course, this is the best time to initiate it’ Sean winked.
‘What are you talking about’? Tola asked.

‘Remember you texted me that you wanted substantial evidence on your boss and Miss. Anyebe; this is the only way we can achieve that’ Sean produced a little box from his pocket and dropped it before her.
‘What is this’? Tola raised a brow.
‘A micro camera; you will place this in your boss’ office, so next time they have sex in any of the offices, we could catch them easily; this is all we need’ Sean explained to her briefly, how she would mount it on the wall.
‘You could place it close to the clock on any picture’ he instructed.
‘And what about Miss. Anyebe’s office’? Tola wondered if Diana would be left out of this ridiculous plan.
‘Don’t worry your head, I have already taken care of that’ Sean smiled and walked away from her.
Fear suddenly gripped her as she realized the gravity of her offence; if Chimobi found out her involvement in something this callous, he was going to have her sacked and arrested.
‘What have I gotten myself into’?
Diana was all smiles when she saw the girl again, she was curious to know more about her; now that she had taken a closer look at the girl, she realized that they actually resembled. Was she being paranoid for wishing this was her daughter? Where would she begin her search? How long would the search last?’
‘I brought your change’ the girl handed her some Naira notes.
‘That was thoughtful of you, but I do not need it’ Diana waved her off. She had purposely given the girl the money as she liked the energy that emanated from her; it was positive and vibrant.
‘Oh, thank you very much, you have a very beautiful office by the way’ Lola scanned her eyes over the well-furnished office of Diana.
‘Thank you, if you visit me another time, I would show you around Fesocorp’ Diana chipped in, in a bit to please the girl.
‘That would be wonderful, you know what’? Lola fetched a bottle from her basket and moved towards Diana’s table.
‘What’? Diana wondered what she was up to.
‘I just gave you an extra bottle for tipping me’ she winked and moved towards the door.
‘Thank you, Lola, I hope we see again’ Diana waved as she disappeared from her office.
‘She is so beautiful’ Diana couldn’t stop smiling as she stared at the girl.
What if Lola was actually her daughter? What if destiny had ordained for them to meet this way?
Her desire to meet her daughter heightened as she left the office for the coffee shop where she was to meet Chimobi for the important discussion they were to have.
She prayed and hope that wherever her child was, that she was safe and far from all the troubles she had experienced as a child. She felt terrible as she remembered the way her uncle raped her multiple times and her mother did nothing to salvage the situation.
She had been alone, really alone. She hoped that her daughter’s fate was different from hers.
‘I wish I never gave you away’ tears welled up in her eyes as she neared the shop. But what choice had she back then? She was poor, dirty and broke with no one to turn to except the woman that had come to her rescue.
‘What took you so long’? Chimobi wondered he had been waiting for thirty minutes before her arrival.
‘Nothing, sorry’ Diana pulled a chair and settled into it.
‘Are you okay darling’? Chimobi reached out for her hand and gave it a squeeze.
‘Yes’ she nodded.
‘You have been really distant of late, have I done something wrong to you? Tell me Diana, I can feel you slipping away from me gradually and it scares me, I don’t want to lose you’ he rubbed her hands gently.
He loved her very much and didn’t want anything to come in between them.
‘Chimobi…’ she licked her lips nervously, not knowing how to begin.
‘Yes? I am here? What do you want from me’? He asked.
‘I am sorry’ she burst into tears. She was startled by her outburst; she had not expected the break up to be this messy.
‘Sorry’? Chimobi released her hand and stared deeply into her eyes. There it was! In her beautiful eyes lay the sword that she silently stabbed him with; his instincts were right, Diana was about to break upon him.
How could she do a thing like this? How could she lead him on and drop him on the ground like he never mattered? How could Diana humiliate him this way?
He knew for sure what she was going to say and he decided deep down that he had enough of the humiliation; this was the time to save his face.
‘I understand how you feel Diana’ he wore a neutral face, unreadable, mysterious.
‘You do’? She suddenly saw a ray of hope.
‘Sleeping with you was a huge mistake as a married man; I am sorry for taking advantage of you, I still love my wife Seyi; I am sorry Diana’ he said.
‘Oh’? Diana tried to recover from the blow he had just dealt her. What was happening to her? She was supposed to feel better, she was supposed to be relieved that he had made everything easier for her but she felt a sharp pain sear her chest as she stared at him.
‘Will you ever forgive me’? Chimobi asked.
‘There’s nothing to forgive, I felt nothing for you too; I just loved the sex’ she replied calmly. She couldn’t let her emotions show as she didn’t know what game he was playing.
Wasn’t he the one that had promised her a valley of angels? Wasn’t he the one that had promised to divorce Seyi? That had professed undying love for her?
She decided to play it cool; she would deal with Chimobi later but what mattered most was her daughter and finding her was paramount.
‘I am happy we both handled this maturely’ he offered her a cute smile which she did not fail to return.
‘There’s something else I wanted us to discuss’ Diana said.
‘I am all ears’? He noticed his phone was ringing; it was his best friend, Gibbs. He decided to turn it off, whatever Diana had to discuss seemed really important.
‘Have you ever wondered our child would’ve looked like’? A smile played on her lips as she remembered Lola’s face.
This question had plagued his mind a lot of times, even before Diana returned to the country. He had always wondered what the child looked like, where the child was. But he had no means of finding the child because he had not information to work with.
‘I think about our child everyday…sometimes’ he trailed off.
‘Sometimes what’? She wondered why he had stopped.
‘Nothing. I just wished I never denied you. I am sorry Diana, you have passed through a lot on account of me’ he felt really guilty for the things he had done in the past.
Most times, he felt God was punishing him for his past by not granting him his desires to have children.
She felt it again; that ache in her heart for him; that sincerity that reached out to her from his brooding eyes.
What was happening to her? She was supposed to hate him more especially after what he’s said about going back to Seyi.

To be continued


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