(The painting might be a little too much for some of you and I apologize but I think it is a very beautiful piece of art, and it comes close to what this post is going to be about.)
AFFAIRS: THE UNTITLED
The singing was beginning to get infuriating. If they had much more pleasant voices, I might have considered even joining in, but from The Office Suck up to The Office Slave, their voices all sucked. My phone battery was low so I couldn’t play any form of music to soothe my aching ear drums.
The driver drove into a petrol station so he could get the tank refilled and we could all rest a bit. I stepped out of the bus towards the small restaurant close to the mini mart of the station. There had to be a place where I could charge my battery during our 30minutes rest stop, I thought to myself.
I walked up to the reception desk. The receptionist was a male. Business had to be slow today because solitaire had occupied the screen of the desktop he was working with, or supposed to be working with.
He closed the game window quickly as soon as he sensed my presence and attended to me with a routine introduction and a warm smile.
‘Good afternoon madam. How may I help you?’
He looked shaken. He probably thought I might report his actions to the manager, but that would be to no benefit of mine.
I smiled at him to calm his nerves and replied ‘I just need a place to charge my phone. We are on a rest stop and my phone battery is almost dead. Do you think you can be of help?’
‘Oh yes, madam. Not a problem at all’
He stretched out his hands and I placed my phone and its charger in his palms. I stood and watched as he connected it to an empty socket on the wall by that of the stabilizer for the computer, taking care to make sure that his actions doesn’t affect the stabilizer at the cost of his game.
He sat up after he was done and sighed at me.
‘All done, madam!’ he said with a smile.
‘Thank you’, I replied looking around the restaurant. It was small and neat. The décor was a mixture of different shades of red and brown.
He drew back my attention asking, ‘Would you like a table, madam?’
‘Yes. Yes, I would, in fact, love one’.
He got up from behind the desk and led me to a quiet table at the corner.
‘Let me get a waiter to attend to you’, he said handing me the menu.
I hadn’t planned on eating anything but the warmth of the place and the respect from the first staff I had encountered made me feel slightly hungry. The menu was simple; with the common local dishes, appetizers, side dishes, some light snacks and drinks, no alcoholic beverages.
I ordered a burger and a glass of fresh juice, and I sat down quietly, watching at my colleagues happy and laughing at a joke that the driest individual in the office had cracked. Maybe I just didn’t get it? I never really got it, to be honest; none of it. I just laughed to be polite. Maybe that’s what they all do? It didn’t seem that way to me right now because they all looked genuinely happy. My sense of humor must be on the down low.
They all began trooping into the restaurant, each one waving as they passed by me. They were nice people; when they were not talking bad about you. Most of them married or about to be. I couldn’t care less what they thought about my single status. I had heard word going on around the office about it but I know, deep inside, it was being fueled by a passionate kind of regret.
Nina walked up to me and on the chair in front of me.
‘Nothing. Just thinking’
The waiter dropped my juice on the table. I replied with a quick thank you and looked back at Nina.
‘You are not going to order anything?’ I asked.
‘No. I already had crackers and some soda from the mart. So what are you thinking about? Ayo?’
I flashed a surprised look at her.
‘Why would you think that?’
‘You know he’s speaking at the conference tonight?’
‘What are you? My affair reminder?’ I laughed. ‘No, Nina. I wasn’t thinking about him, and I don’t care if he is even singing at the Super Bowl. He can kiss my ass for all I care’
‘That’s the spirit!’, she exclaimed. ‘We are kissing ass and moving forward. Hi5!’
We burst out laughing much to the annoyance and confusion of the rest of the guests at the restaurant.
My order came in. Nina and I chatted about the holidays and the stupid jokes cracked at the office. It turned out that I was not the only one who didn’t quite understand what he says. They laughed because it is polite and they are miserable as well.
We set off from the gas station and got to our destination in an hour.
We each got our separate rooms for the conference. It was to last for two days and is one of the biggest business conferences of the year which meant a lot of different business men from all over the state, which also meant plenty fishes in the sea.
Not to sound so much like a hater but why the company had brought some of us on this trip was beyond me. Well, the boss believes everyone has potential and it is their money, so what the hell.
I dropped my bag by the cupboard and lay down on the bed. It was soft and comfortable; the room was a bright white color with white curtains and silver drapes. It had a comforting cold temperature and smelt like fruits. I was terribly exhausted from having to wake up so early for the trip and if care wasn’t taken I would sleep off and miss the company dinner.
My phone began to ring. I reached out to grab it from where I had been laying, lost in my thoughts. It was Nina.
‘Hello?’ I answered with a tired voice.
‘Ayo isn’t going to be at the dinner so you can come out now?’
I sat up with a puzzled look on my face.
‘What are you talking about?’
‘Aren’t you coming for the dinner?’
‘The dinner is in-?’ I looked around for a clock. 7pm.
‘Shit! I slept off. Is the boss in yet?’ I got up and threw my traveling bag on the bed, with the phone still close to my ear.
‘No, he isn’t. We aren’t very many here yet. Hurry! Ok?’
I dropped the phone and jumped into the shower.
Elevators are only a blessing when you press the button and they open up immediately.
I stood there for a minute or two before the door came open.
There was fine gentleman in the elevator already. He was dressed in a tailored suit, and smelt good. There’s nothing more attractive than a man that looking dapper and smelling divine as well. Maybe there were a few more things but smelling good was definitely at the top five.
I quickly regained my composure and walked into the elevator quietly. I smiled at him and he replied with a simple hello.
He had a deep, baritone voice which complimented his bold, strong physique. He was fair skinned with a clean shave and soft looking, pink lips. That is milky goodness with a touch of strawberry I would take a bite off any day. I looked away and ogled at his reflection in the mirror that dressed the interior of the elevator.
‘Dinner?’ he asked.
I turned to face him.
Who else could he have been talking to?
‘Yes. A company dinner and I’m late’
He smiled and I, in reflex, bit my lower lip. You can’t blame a woman like me for her desires.
He stretched forth his right hand.
‘I’m Tei. A medical doctor on a short vacation’
Even sexier. Come heal me doctor from this thirst that I feel. Damn! I would fall sick everyday just for the sight of this creamy goodness. Nina had to hear of this.
‘Gee’, I responded shaking his hand.
The elevator stopped and we stepped out into the lobby. He was headed out of the building and I, to the restaurant.
‘What are you doing tomorrow evening, Gee?’
‘Our conference starts tomorrow’
‘Till evening?’, he asked.
‘No. It stops at 6 then there’s a dinner for all attendees’
‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’ He took my palm, kissed it and walked off with a smile on his face leaving my blushing red and smitten.
I patted my weave a little and took a deep breath and headed for the restaurant.
The following day was filled with boring speeches, short seminars and award presentations except for the toilet breaks, lunch and day dreaming about Tei.
Ayo was present but we hardly spoke and neither did I our eyes ever meet. He was seated at the table with the big guns of the company. The Boss’s ass licker, he was.
I could have walked up to him to talk to him and ask questions about what happened between us but I was scared and angry.
What if he shuts me down in front of everyone? That would be extra embarrassing coupled with their already existing knowledge of our failed relationship…or whatever it was that we had.
Dinner was at the poolside that evening but all I could think of was Tei making an appearance and stealing me away from this place.
Nina had left me to go socialize with employees from other companies that had come for the event. I hadn’t given him my room number or phone number so how was he ever going to find me?
My feet were beginning to hurt and I was getting tired so I decided to call it a night.
I couldn’t find Nina to tell her I was going to retire early so I bade my boss and other employees good night and headed up to my room.
On the journey I was hoping and praying I’d run into Tei, maybe he would give me a reason to stay out longer, but no sight… or scent of him.
I unlocked my door, kicked off my heels and slumped onto the bed. I was indeed tired and my body ached in a few places. A massage would be perfect right about now, and Tei came to mind..
There was a knock on the door. At first, I wasn’t sure it was real for it was too faint for one to be certain of its occurrence so I listened on for a possible repetition. There it was again.
It might be Tei so look good.
I adjusted my hair and dress; checked my makeup, and teeth for any leftover particles that might be stuck, sprayed my perfume again lightly before I went to answer the door.
I took a deep breath and wore a smile as I unlocked the door but all went pale when I saw Ayo standing in front of me.