Monday, July 20, 2015

In Sickness & In Health - Chapter 5

Photo by: Google

“Excuse me, do you work here?” A very deep and raspy voice asked.

“Me?” she turned around, pointing to herself. He nodded as he adjustment his sunglasses back to his eyes.

“No, I don’t, I just came for a few things.” Pelumi answered politely.

“You’ve got kids?” He asked, walking quietly behind Pelumi. She moved to the baby clothes section of the store they were in. Considering that the store only sold items for kids, Pelumi concluded that the man behind her must be married or expecting a child soon.

“Yes, I do,” she answered. “Three in fact.” She added. She picked up a pink baby sandal and stared thoughtfully at it, her attention away from the man behind her.

“And the next is a girl I assume?” He asked, grabbing the other pair of the pink sandal. Pelumi raised her head up to take a good look at him. He was a handsome, dark skinned man but not as handsome as her Jide, she concluded.

“Are you done staring?” Lubem’s mouth curved into a smile when he saw Pelumi’s mouth curved into an ‘oh,’ even his eyes smiled along. She’d been caught, Pelumi dropped her head shyly.

“I’m sorry...” she dropped the sandals, and picked something else to fumble with.
Lubem called the sales clerk who was close by.

“Wrap this up... for the lady.” He requested. Pelumi watched dumbfounded. She hadn’t asked for his help. In fact, everyone except him knew she had no children. She’d only lied just so he didn’t get the wrong idea that he could hit on a married woman. Pelumi had come to buy a friend of hers a present for her third child which was due in a few weeks.

“Really, I can afford it.” he said when he saw the questioning look on Pelumi’s face. She swallowed and accepted his offer and was glad she didn’t have to spend her own cash.

“Do you have kids?” she asked after the sales clerk wrapped the sandals and handed them over to her. She guessed she had a little time to spare for a chit-chat. Honestly, it’d been long since a man other than her husband made her smile. She just wanted to enjoy this innocent moment with this stranger.

Lubem thought about Pelumi’s question. He was going to give it to her straight up. “I don’t have kids, but my ex is about to have her first child.”

Pelumi paused for a moment, what sort of man buys gift for the child of his ex? She simply nodded her headed and absorbed his information in. She was in no place to judge.

“I could tell you more over lunch if you would let me.” Lubem invited.

“See, it was really nice meeting you and thank you for this,” she rose up the bag that held the baby sandals he had paid for, “But I’m married with three kids.” she boosted again.

“Okay, I admit I went too far. But it was really nice…”

“Oga you will be late for your appointment.” A man rushed in from nowhere and disrupted him from finishing his statement. Lubem’s attention never left Pelumi. It was as if his PA wasn’t present or that he had a meeting he couldn’t miss in ten minutes.

“Like I was saying before, it was nice meeting you.” He gestured for the man who had come for him to grab the items he’d bought for his supposed ex. Curiosity ate at Pelumi. He doesn’t expect me to believe that he isn’t the father of the child his ex was carrying, right? Well what's my business? Pelumi thought. She thanked him and followed behind them to leave. As she was about entering her car, an unexpected faintness washed over her. She felt dizzy and quickly held on to her car for support. She all of a sudden became fatigue. She’d been completely fine when she left the house that morning. She’d promised Jide that she would be done with shopping by the time it was time for his lunch break so they could eat together. After a brief moment passed, Pelumi got a hold of herself and managed to drive to his office.

By the time I arrived at Jide’s office, she was feeling much better. She blamed it on not eating breakfast before leaving the house.

“I’ll be right back honey, let me quickly drop off this papers.” He kissed her cheeks as he rushed out of his office. Pelumi smiled when her eyes wandered to the framed picture on his work desk; it was Jide’s favorite picture from their traditional wedding. Pelumi picked up the frame and admired the man she married. She was placing the frame down when she noticed a neatly folded piece of paper on the desk. She picked up the paper and was about opening it when Jide came back into the room. She quickly folded the paper into her palms and smiled innocently once Jide sat down.

“That didn’t take long.” she settled more comfortably into her chair.
“I just handed the papers to my secretary.” He answered. She didn’t understand why she was feeling suspicion; it was just a piece of paper. She thought about giving it back to him but then she concluded that if it was worth knowing Jide would definitely tell her about it.

Twenty minutes into their conversation and he still didn’t mention anything about the paper. Pelumi guessed it wasn’t important after all. She decided on throwing it away on her way out when Jide called for his secretary to bring them their lunch.

As they ate, Pelumi watched Jide smile ever too often. The way he looked at her, there was nothing more than love in his eyes and she felt guilty that she’d for once doubted his love for her.

“Honey as much I would love to stay here with you, I got to let you get back to work.” She began getting herself ready to leave after their lunch.

“But I don’t want you to leave just yet.” He came around to where she was sitting and sat at the edge of his desk.

“Jide I don’t want to go either but I don’t want your employees to be thinking something else.” she blushed.

“Well that wouldn’t be a bad idea now would it?” he eyed her mischievously. Pelumi shook her head. Jide hadn’t changed one bit! It was just as it was when they’d first gotten married. Whenever she came over to see him during work hours, he never wanted her to leave.

“I’ll see you at home.” He got up to open the door for her. She promised to make him his favorite dish for dinner tonight and a kiss on her cheeks showed that he was happy with the plan. As Pelumi settled back in her car, she remembered she’d promised to throw away the paper she took from his desk, but as she walked closer to the trash bin, she thought about opening the paper. She didn’t want to seem intrusive. Taking a deep breath, she opened the paper and it read, “Pelumi has to go.”

“What the hell?” she said out loud with tremor and fear carved on her face.

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