“…Swept away on a wave of emotion.
Over-caught in the eye of the storm.
And whenever you smile.
I can hardly believe that you’re mine.
Believe that you’re mine.
This love is Unbreakable.
Lara sang at the top of her voice as she stepped out of the shower. She wrapped her towel around her bosom and stared into the toilet mirror. In one of the intricate moments that life accords human beings, she had a deep dive into the past experiences of her life, good and bad; how her mother had died, how she had struggled to make a stand as a professional, her breakups which left her wrecked, her sister, and her new and hopefully last boyfriend, Dwayne.
Lara was teary eyed as she tore away from the mirror.
“Well, this week has been nothing short of amazing. I have totally enjoyed myself. It is a beautiful Friday morning; one that I am sure I will immensely enjoy.”
She quickly got dressed. She had had a hard time picking out what to wear the previous night, as was her custom. Lara had noticed Jeremiah ogling her in the past. It had caused her great discomfort. She honestly did not understand him. Jeremiah spoke, acted and seemed like the type of guy who could not be bothered by ladies but there were certain times when Lara felt his eyes bore through her clothes.
“I am sure I am just overthinking things.” She finally laid her worries to rest as she opted for a bright yellow sunflower dress over a top and jeans. The dress stopped just at her knees, accentuating her curves and legs.
“If any wicked wind blows, my ‘business’ would be up for sight-seeing.” Lara laughed as she twirled in front of the full length mirror.
She had packed her bag the previous night. The year was drawing to a close and things were being wrapped up. The Accounts and Finance department was the busiest at this time of the year. The only pending deal was the Palead Mobile contract and Jeremiah was in charge of it.
Lara grabbed her car keys and was about to step out through the main door when she heard Jumebi snore.
“Jumebi has been sleeping rather late into the mornings these days.” Jumebi was an early riser. Most times she rode with Lara to a stop close to her office and rode back with her colleagues. She had complained that driving was stressful for her. That had stopped though, at the beginning of the week.
“I wonder what she does all night. Read? Talk to man? Pray?” Lara chuckled. “I will be sure to ask her when I get back.”
As she drove her non-compact crossover SUV Toyota Matrix out into the street, Lara Saura did not notice the two men seated in the Black Range Rover Sport vehicle parked opposite her house, under the big almond fruit tree.
Lara was seated behind her desk when Jeremiah Uslop walked in.
“How is it going with Palead?” she asked.
That was characteristic of Jeremiah. He was always brief and straight to the point.
He always knew what he wanted and how to go about getting it.
“What are the outstandings?” Lara further enquired.
“I just need to match up some required capabilities with some of our solutions, sign a few and we are good to go.” Jeremiah replied.
“So we are looking at submitting on Monday right? Wednesday is the deadline.” Lara looked at the stack of documents Jeremiah just dropped on her table. She made a move to peruse through them but then felt it might go off wrongly with Jeremiah. She liked to manage people, not micro-manage them.
“O no!” Jeremiah said so sharply that Lara looked up abruptly from her table.
“I intend on submitting today, latest Saturday.” He said with a sense of urgency in his voice.
“Saturday? Jeremiah, no one submits any bid on a weekend.” Her tone suggested that of a mother admonishing her child.
“I don’t intend on submitting tomorrow. It must go through today. I have worked hard on this and must see it to the end.”
Lara smiled. His work ethics were second only to none. She had often wondered how the company would look and feel like if they were to switch positions.
“Ok. I like the spirit. Do this, finish it today and submit it on Monday. I will speak with Ebuka Odofe, the CSO of Palead, just to inform him our bid would be coming in on that day.”
“Jeremiah Uslop.” Lara said as she peered at him. “Why are you looking that way all of a sudden? Are you hiding anything from me?”
“Well” he started “I have this ‘romantic’ weekend thing planned with my wife and I would return from our hmmm…our outing….on Monday. So I will not be in the office on Monday and I need to see this through personally.” He gave an awkward smile when he was done talking.
Lara laughed but then caught herself. “I think that would be splendid. I mean the ‘romantic’ weekend with your wife.” She raised her two hands and using her fingers formed quotation marks in the air as she said the word ‘romantic’. “Ok. I see your point. Get to work then. Finish it, if there is anything I need do, alert me. And after today, I expect to see you on Tuesday.”
“Thank you.” Jeremiah said and walked out.
“Such a sweet and shy man; I am sure his wife still coerces him to make love to her.” Lara smiled to herself as she buried her head in her work.
……………………………………………………………………………“No Austin; don’t worry. I will drive home myself.” Lara said into the mouthpiece. She had barely dropped the phone when it rang again. She looked at the caller id and her heart leaped.
She leaned back into her Eames Executive seat as she answered the call. “Hello darling” she said into the phone.
“Hey handsome.” came the reply.
“Hahaha. Who are you calling handsome? You don’t see me wearing baggy jeans and a Fubu shirt, do you? Although I dare say I could pass for a dude if I play dress up.”
“Not a chance.” Dwayne replied “You have too many ‘treasures’ that cannot be hidden behind even the thickest of agbadas.”
Lara roared with laughter. After barely a month, this man held the key to her heart; and they both knew it.
“You want to Pirates and Treasure Chests tonight?” Lara inquired as she bit her lower lip and began scribbling indelibly on a notepad.
She could almost hear Dwayne’s mind work. He had made a promise to her when they started dating.
“Lara, I am not the spiritual man. I, like every other man, have made mistakes but I have learnt that sex doesn’t increase my love for the lady. Instead it pushes me away and causes me to lose respect for her either gradually or instantly. It does make her clingy though. I don’t want that with you. You are hot. Your body sets mine on fire without proximity. But I have made a decision; not to have sex with you unless we are married. This is what respect of a man to a woman truly is.”
Lara had accepted; she didn’t know though that it would be this hard.
“Not yet.” Dwayne said. “Besides, I have a meeting in Rome. I will be away all weekend.”
……………………………………………………………………………“These little adjustments and settlements here and there; they have a way of making the work seem tedious. I like bulk work!”
Lara complained out loud as she drove home. She had gotten dinner from Mama Cass. With some outstanding work still left to sort out, Lara knew she was going to have a long night.
She did not see that empty black Range Rover Sport parked opposite her house, under the bid almond tree.
As she drove into her gate she noticed the security guard had put on his face cap and it was tilted forward so she couldn’t make out his face.
“Ha! Adamu is posing.” She said as she parked her car in her usual spot.
Lara tried her key on her door and found it was unlocked. “That’s strange.” She thought. She wheeled round to ask Adamu why her door was open but she didn’t see him.
Lara shrugged and walked into the parlor and switched on the light bulb. The sight she met made her freeze.
There was a large man sitting on a settee, re-arranged to face the door, with a gun on his lap. He looked very scary with lifeless eyes and a scar that ran from his left eye to a chin. But all of that did not terrify Lara Saura.
Sprawled at his feet, lifeless, was her only sister, Jumebi Saura.