Written by: Victor Chinoo
Biola dragged himself out of bed and trudged almost ghostly to the bathroom. He had been fagged out the previous night, albeit with an energizing consolation – Modupe and her parents arrived safely in London and she was due for an operation today. Biola had a close friend pick them up from the airport and then take them to the hospital the day after. He managed a smile on his face as he labored out of fatigue to the bathroom. When he returned to the bedroom, he rang up his friend in London, Deji to check in on Modupe and her parents. “Everything is going to plan, Biola,” Deji explained. “She is with the doctors and nurses now, while her parents are with me. Do you want to talk to them?” Biola had a brief chat with Modupe’s parents. They thanked him effusively. “It is okay, I am hoping everything goes to plan,” he replied, shrugging off their praise and thanks.
“So, what is the story with this girl? asked Deji when he got the phone back. “Did I hear you called off your engagement to Bimbo?” “Yes I did, Deji. You have known Bimbo and I long enough to know that we are not meant for each other.” “I wondered why you stuck with her all those years. I am sorry to say this, but I always thought she was a spoilt brat.” “I guess I finally woke up to reality.” “So, who is this girl?” “You won’t believe it Deji; she was to be our wedding planner – I mean, for Bimbo and I. I fell in love with the girl. Mind you, it has nothing to do with my decision to call off my engagement to Bimbo. That was based purely on the fact that I do not think we are a good match. I…I really like this girl, Deji. She opened my eyes to what true love should be, even though she would not agree to date me. I feel she was attacked, most likely by Bimbo – I should say someone hired by Bimbo – because I have feelings for her, so I feel somewhat responsible for her.”
“You are a kind guy, Biola. Love is a funny thing. Stick to your guts and trust God. In the end, you want to be happy…truly happy. I hope everything works out. I will do my best on this end. So, when are you coming up to London?” “I hope to be in London in about a week or so. I would have loved to be there sooner, but I have a lot of fires to put out here. My father is bent on killing my business because he wants me to marry Bimbo, so I am fighting to save my company.” “It must be tough. I am sorry to hear that. Do what you can, Biola. It will be alright in the end.”
“Thanks, Deji. You are such a good friend. I have some tough decisions to make. You may hear that my wedding with Bimbo is back on track…It is not going to be real. I am considering using that as a ploy to get to the root of this matter and to get my father off my back. Please keep this to yourself.” “That might be a risky game, Biola. You mean you want to convince them that you want Bimbo back only to call if off eventually?” “Yes…I will do all I can to dig up the truth. I know a crime has been committed, and I want to make sure that justice is served.” “That will be messy, Biola…be careful.” “I will. See you soon, buddy!” “See you soon my friend.”
“Sir, here are three more letters for you marked urgent,” Biola’s secretary Cindy said handing him three envelopes. He knew what they were. He had received a number of them of late. He sat on the couch in the lobby and tore them open one at a time. His face contorted into a frown as he read the letters. He tossed them at Cindy when he was through. “They are further cancellations, this time from Guinness, WAMCO and Nasco Foods,” he said unhappily. “Who are these ones from, sir?” “Guinness, WAMCO and Nasco Foods.” “Those are big clients.” “Yeas they are,” Biola replied. He was deep in thought. “File them away. At this rate, I will have no clients soon.” He went into his office and minutes later; he was back in the lobby dishing out instructions to Cindy before heading outside.
“Biola, you seem in a rush?” asked Fumilayo, one of Bimbo’s closest friends. Biola had bumped into her on the stairs as he ran downstairs. “What brings you here, Fumi?” he asked. “I wanted to stop by. I heard you moved offices, and I was in the area, so I chose to say hi.” “That is very kind of you. Unfortunately, I am dashing out to an important appointment now. Perhaps you could come in another time if you are in the area.” “I…I…I was wondering if you are free sometime in the evening, or something. Maybe we could go clubbing together? Have a drink or something? I know you must have a lot on your mind now. Something to help you free you mind a bit,” Fumi suggested, flicking her ‘Bob Marley’ braids delicately.
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She was hitting on Biola and he could see it. Did Bimbo send her? He pondered. “I am awfully busy these days,” he replied. “If I find some free time, perhaps I could give you a ring…you know, you, Jane, Segun myself and Donald could hang out again, like old times,” he said diplomatically. “Yes…yes…that would be nice,” she replied awkwardly. “Okay then, see you soon,” Biola said as he continued his descent downstairs.
Isabell lay on the rose-covered bed in pink underwear and pink bra. She peered at the clock on the wall, wondering why Dayo was not already there. It was 6:00 pm and he had promised to meet with her at 5:30pm. She already had one million naira in her bank account and the thought of additional four million had her thoroughly excited…plus relocation to London. She had told Seyi that she preferred London over the US. From her research, if Seyi secured a residence visa to London for her, she’d never have to worry about healthcare. Someone who had lived both in the UK and the US had told her that hospital bills in the US could wreck anyone. “Hospital bills in the US are atrociously expensive, whereas, in the UK, it is all covered through taxes and National Insurance. A single sickness could render you poor for life in the US, but not in the UK. If you have the opportunity, go to the UK!!!” her friend had explained emphatically.
I can’t wait to get this over with, she thought. Then, there was a gentle knock on the door. Her heart skipped a beat. She leapt to her feet and careened her way to the door. She peered through the door view. It was Dayo! He was clad in white brocade and brown sandals. “Good to see you honey!” Isabell shouted, throwing her arms around him as he entered the expansive hotel suite. “You set all these up for me?” he asked, peering intently at her skimpy bra. “Yes my love. I hardly get to spend quality time with you these days. This weekend, it is going to be you and I. I want give you some good time,” Isabell enthused.
Minutes later, they were moaning and rolling all over the bed. The room had been wired with the most powerful gadgets that Seyi could lay his hands on. From the neighboring room, he watched everything on a screen. The recording was relayed real-time to a receiver in the neighboring room. He had an electrical engineer on his payroll with him. He had never felt more relieved in his life. A baleful smile cradled his face. “Now, I have you where I want you,” he muttered gleefully to himself as he glared intently at the screen.
The next day, Biola was at his father’s door. “What brings you here, finally?” Seyi asked his son with a hint of sarcasm. “We need to talk, dad.” “Now you want to talk, right? Because you are losing your clients like leaves dropping off their stalks in harmattan? Come in. There is nothing wrong with father and son having a good chat. I am not opposed to that!” Inside, he poured himself a glass of cold water and handed another glass to Biola. “I know you don’t drink, so I will drink water with you. What do you want to talk about, Biola?” “Dad, I am not here because I lost some of my most important clients at your behest. If you think that is the way you want to exercise your power…against your own son, then go ahead. I will never ask you to restore my clients to me. I am working hard to either restore my relationships with those clients or find new ones. I am old enough to take care of myself. What I want from you is entirely different.”
Seyi was surprised. He has grown into a fine young man, he thought of his son. He is brave and daring. He won’t grovel? I ‘kinda’ like that, he thought with a subdued smile. “What is it, Biola?” “Dad, I strongly believe that there is an underlying reason behind your persistence about me marrying Bimbo. I am your only child. It is about time you told me the whole truth. Secondly, I like to believe that you truly want the best for me. In that case, I will need you to let me make my own choices. If I want Bimbo, that is entirely my choice and if I don’t, I want you to back off.” “Son, the only reason I…” He wondered whether he should come clean with his son, especially now that he has a sex tape on Dayo. No, not yet time. I have to confront Dayo first, he concluded. A million thoughts rocketed through his mind simultaneously.