Lara stared at Dwayne is disbelief. “How does he do this?”
“What are you doing in my car and where is my driver Austin?” Lara asked trying hard to mask her joy.
“I felt the burden of driving a pretty lady around was becoming too heavy for him, so I decided to relieve him.” He replied.
Lara blinked and kept a straight face.
“So,” he said turning his face to the road “Mumtaz it is.”
They drove in silence for a while. Dwayne having his thoughts and Lara buried deep in hers.
“Muntaz? Of all the places that could roll out my tongue I had to pick Muntaz. I hate Indian food. Good going Dwayne. Real smooth. Well, tough up ol’ boy. Get your head in the game. Time to turn up my stylume.” Dwayne thought
“O my gosh! Why do these moments happen at random? Why didn’t I makeup before I left the office like Jumebi entreated me to? I can’t even risk straightening my tussled hair without him noticing. I wonder what I would eat. I hate Indian food. Today is the worst day, because I am very hungry. I wonder if I will have fun. I am certain I will have fun, as sure as the fact that Jumebi is enjoying herself in her sleepover. What will I even tell her? She would be expecting my call to check up on her. If I tell her it is the very same man who has dissed me twice already, she might flip. He dissed me first at the filling station and also at the awards show. Of which, why was that filling station devoid of attendants?” Lara thought.
Finally, Lara said, “I have some questions for you mister.”
“Why was there no attendant at the gas station the other day?” Lara demanded.
Dwayne chuckled. He had always wondered as to the coincidence of the day.
There had been a football match going on; the Super Eagles of Nigeria which represented the Nigerian national team were tackling the national team of Ghana, Black Stars in the semi-finals of the then on-going Confederation of African Football tournament. That particular fixture had been tagged by analysts and football pundits as the ‘final before the final’. So when the match kickoff time was close to the end of the work hours of the day, it was not surprising that the workers rounded up earlier than usual.
In his hurry though, one of the workers had forgotten to lock the fuel pump. Dwayne had been standing, arms crossed at the entrance door of the office lounge watching the match, casually, when he saw the car drive into the fuel station.
He quickly noted that the driver had a pretty face, but Dwayne was not one to be moved by looks alone. He shifted his attention back to the television screen but via his peripheral vision he had seen when the driver of the car stepped out and began pumping fuel into the car.
It was then that Dwayne became captivated.
“I set it up.” Dwayne replied
“Set it up?” Lara looked bemused “How?”
“A magician never reveals his tricks” Dwayne said, teasingly “except to his most trusted lady.”
“You have a way with words, Mr. Dwayne Abdul. Is this how you attain all your conquests with the ladies?” Lara asked. She definitely did not want to be a fly in a spider’s web.
“O no. Most of my ‘conquests’ are attained when I beg and plead. Sometimes I cry for them.” Dwayne replied in a comical voice and finished with a sulk which contrasted his frame and his natural mannerism.
Lara erupted in laughter.
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
“Ok fine. The issue of you winning the awards and owing so many companies is a life story and not for this present time but what of my driver Austin? How did you get him to tell of the time I would get out of the office? Besides I don’t use him every day. How did you figure this one out; and don’t give me any crap about magicians and their booty calls.”
Dwayne glanced at his rear view mirror. He could see that she was relaxed now. She always had had a tensed look about her whenever their eyes met. When hatching this plan he had been half afraid that she would blow him off. Not anymore though, he was firmly seated in the driver’s seat now, figuratively and literally.
He knew she was expecting him to be in charge and be the one who orchestrated this evening’s meeting. She was right, it was his brain child, but he did not want her to know that. So he chose to go the other route, in order to disarm her by making himself vulnerable.
“Well, I would love to tell you that I planned this one out and made arrangements with Austin prior to this evening because I knew you keep a tight routine and schedule and would come out at this exact time; but that would be a lie and I do not lie.” He paused for effects “I simply wanted to go on a date with you and did not know how to approach you knowing our previous encounters have not gone well, making you probably hate me.” He finished this statement coating his voice with a hint of sad anguish.
“I don’t hate you.” Lara blurted out, a little too hurriedly. She quickly caught herself “I mean, you are obnoxious and all and you have single-handedly caused me both private and public embarrassment but hey, had to be that way right?”
“Yes it did. Now all we have to do is ensure that from this point onwards ‘it’ goes the way we want ‘it’ to go, right?”
There was a long pregnant silence between them. Lara knew the weight and implication of what he was saying. It was hard to admit but she felt a little bit scared.
“Ermm…right.” Lara finally said
Dwayne eased the car slowly by the curb and put the gear stick on neutral as he killed the engine. He stepped out of the car and hurried to extend a hand to Lara as she stepped out of the back seat. As she placed her hand in his, Lara Saura knew that this was the beginning of something beautiful.
In a private 362 capacity seat Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental airplane flying at an altitude of 32,000ft away from Mexico towards Nigeria, the air hostess passed by the old man without disturbing him. She was a little amused because while he was sleeping, he had a smile carved on his face.
Lord Bucchi was having a most pleasant dream. In his dream, he saw the head of a certain Dwayne Abdul roll.
“Lara Saura” Jeremiah muttered as he looked up from his table unto the ceiling. The light reflections’ from his rechargeable reading lamp unto the ceiling was dim and he could barely make out the ceiling boards. He fastened his eyes on them, as if they held his answers.
Lara Saura should have been just another colleague to him. Unfortunately she had transcended into a position in his life even his wife did not hold; the position of most desirous.
Jeremiah Uslop was a man who had no energy to waste on a set of chemical and hormonal reactions called emotions. He knew he sometimes ‘liked’ a person but that was the same way he would ‘like’ a business deal or a dog.
A young teenager had learnt that the hard way whilst he was working as a University teacher. He had just started teaching for about a month when she had walked up to him and said she ‘loved’ him. He had stared at her and had asked for her name. She told him. He then said he recognized the name because in his previous two fortnight tests, that name had obtained the highest marks. The student was beside herself with delight. When she pushed her luck a little further and asked how he ‘felt’ about her, he had replied that “she had ‘interested’ him, the same way a moth flying close to the fire would interest him.”
Undaunted, she had made several attempts at seducing him without success but then one rainy evening she had stormed his house with only a raincoat and a pair of boots on. He had asked her what she was doing in his house at that time of the day and she had lied that she was in the neighborhood when the rain started pouring and was in need of shelter. He had opened his door to accommodate her. After a little chit chat about school, academics and her future she got the false sense that her plan had worked.
The student had thrown herself at him even when he complained it was past his bedtime. She was in the middle of having intercourse with him, when she heard him snore.
Jeremiah Uslop was so devoid of ‘feelings’ and ‘emotions’ that his family had to call for an intervention in the matter of his marriage. His family had to convince him to marry his long standing ‘friend’ Bola. He complained that marriage was not a necessity and he did not want to co-habit with another person who would expect certain reactions from him that he wasn’t willing to give or learn to give. Bola said she understood and that she loved him for who and how he was. She thus became Bola Uslop out of love while he became the husband of Bola Uslop, out of compulsion.
It was therefore strange, not just to his wife, but to Jeremiah himself that he had ‘emotions’ for Lara Saura, his boss. He remembered when she had approached him some years back and sold the idea to him, he had looked at her and had the image of a brain on a stick with speed breakers and lipstick on. He had proceeded to say he ‘liked’ the idea. She had said she liked him for liking the idea. It had made no sense to Jeremiah. It still didn’t.
One day his pastor hit the nail on the head and called it what it was. It was lust. He was lusting after Lara. He was lusting after her lips, her hips, her voluptuous bosom and her firm buttocks. Anytime he would look at her, he would mentally undress her. He had kept this up for so long that he had memories of moments he spent with Lara in his imagination. Jeremiah’s lust was running wild.