Friday is my favorite day of the week. You can call me lazy all you want, but there is a certain form of excitement that only Friday brings, especially after hustling hard the whole week. This Friday wasn’t any different and I woke up feeling the same excitement, although I woke up to it in a strange bed. After the shenanigans of last Monday, it looked like a good idea to pack a few things and crash for the rest of the week at my friend Jimmy’s place. The timeout was particularly important to avoid tempting Madam Ayiri into sneaking over for one while Daddy was in town.
There was a stick-on message pasted on my computer waiting for me when I got to the office.
‘See the ED immediately’.
My heart flew right out of my chest and the window. I had totally forgotten the tab she gave me to fix. Jesus! Karishika was going to have my ass for breakfast. It wasn’t yet eight o’clock but I knew she would already be in her office because she always got in early, so I decided to swallow my frog first rather than risk her having to call my desk herself. The elevator ride to her office was the most reluctant I’d ever made in my work life. When I knocked on her door, it was difficult to know which resonated louder, the sound of my knuckles or my heartbeat.
The temperature must have dropped around ten degrees when I cracked the door open and went inside.
“Good morning ma.”
Madam sat there dressed in a black skirt suit and sipping from a mug of wonderfully aromatic coffee. She sipped the scalding liquid (judging by the amount of visible steam) a couple of times without even batting an eyelid before she even acknowledged my greeting and motioned me closer.
“Please come and help me upload these pictures onto my facebook page.” Her fingers were however pointing to an empty space on the table.
“On which device ma?”
“The device? My tab of course. The same tab I gave you to fix for me a fortnight ago which you did and promptly returned.….”
I had to interrupt her at that point to correct the wrong accusation.
“Sorry ma, you just gave it to me on Monday ma.”
Her red coated lips took on an unpleasant shape as she sneered at me.
“Oh really? I must be growing old and senile then. Okay, since you obviously know how to count then tell me how many days or weeks more it will take before I get my tab back.”
Her voice had steadily risen with each word and her eyes were now shooting sparks.
“Sorry ma. I’m so sorry ma. I’ve been kind of busy lately but I can assure you that I’ll fix it immediately I leave here and bring it back to you.”
Her face suddenly softened and she smiled, like suddenly, as if someone pressed a switch. If not that I had not eaten anything that morning, I’d have said maybe I’d unwittingly consumed alcohol and it was affecting my vision. Karishika was smiling? Wonderful!
“You know what; don’t even worry about bringing it back today. I have a meeting somewhere on the mainland and I’m not sure I’ll be coming back to the office afterwards. Bring it to the house say around 2 p.m. tomorrow, if that won’t be too much trouble for you.”
She glanced questioningly at me. Too much trouble ke?
“No madam, not at all. I’ll be glad to.”
“Okay then. Get the address from my secretary and I’ll be expecting you tomorrow afternoon.”
I made an about turn and sharply took my leave.
Back at my table, I sat down still in wonderment at the unexpected turn of events. I had been expecting Karishika to blow her top and shred me into a billion pieces for my forgetfulness but the way she had acted was totally astonishing. Imagine, she even smiled at me.
Come to think of it, the woman wasn’t bad looking at all o, if only she smiled more often. I picked up the tab from the drawer and dropped it in my bag. I definitely would have to go home today to be able to work on it overnight and deliver to her tomorrow.
Meanwhile, there was this cleaner I’d never seen before going about her duties in the office. She wasn’t wearing a uniform yet which could only mean she was new. From where I sat, I could see the curves on her each time she bent down to rinse her napkin.
Soon she got to my table.
“Morning Sir. Please can you give me just a few minutes to tidy your workspace?”
Her grammar was flawless which was a surprising, given the quality of her predecessors.
“Sure sure. Go right ahead and do your thing.”
I moved my seat sideways to allow her access to my table and engaged her in a bit of chit chat while she worked. She wasn’t particularly beautiful as beautiful goes but had a good figure and dentition.
“Sorry, this is the first time I’m seeing you here. Are you new?” She nodded affirmatively.
“Oh really? What’s your name?”
“Susan. Hmmm, nice name. Nice figure too if I may say and you speak quite well, no offence meant.”
“Thank you sir, none taken.”
I patiently sat while she continued her work, looking at her supple fingers and the way they caressed my keyboard and squeezed her napkin. Whether she knew I was watching her so keenly I don’t know but it seemed to me like she took more time and care than she did at the last table. When she was finally done, she looked sideways at me and asked with a smile.
“Is there any other thing you want me to do for you sir.”
I could think of one or two things but we probably would have to be in a different location for them to happen so I just shook my head.
“Nothing more, thank you Susan.”
“Okay sir. Just in case anything comes up sir, you can call me anytime.”
“I’ll surely keep that in mind Susan, thank you.”
I watched as she sashayed to the next table wondering exactly what ‘other things’ she was referring to. Anyhow, we’ll find out soon enough.
“Welcome Uncle. How was work today? Hope traffic wasn’t bad? Did you travel, I’ve not seen you around here in a while?”
See me see rushing. It was as if my neighbor had been patiently waiting for me to show face this evening for her to unleash her barrage of queries from that her kitchen window. When did we get this chummy that my movement was now her concern? Which kain monitoring spirit be this?
“Good evening Madam, how are you.”
“Fine o, welcome. Did you travel?”
The woman was persistent. “Yes I did. Short official trip.”
“Ehen. Okay, welcome back.”
“Thank you Madam.”
I frankly couldn’t recall what the woman even looked like although I remembered her portly figure. The few times we spoke recently had been through the window.
After a quick shower and dinner, I was ready to work on the tab. First I tried putting it on but nothing happened. Then on a whim, I plugged and connected the charger to it and observed it. After a few minutes, the screen came alive. A check some minutes later showed that the tab was charging normally and I ran some diagnostics to detect if there was actually a fault. It was during the check for malware that I chanced upon an unmarked folder. Now I normally keep my nose out of other peoples’ businesses but something pushed me into clicking that folder open.
Out jumped glossy images of naked men, their smooth bodies with bulging muscles all oiled up and glistening.
The folder contained hundreds and hundreds of the same. Black and white muscly men, all naked and oiled, some with enormous erect dicks and some with limp phalluses. All men, all naked.
I closed the folder and finished my diagnostics.
The tab was working perfectly with no sign of any faults so I left it plugged in while I put on a movie. It wasn’t long however before my mind drifted back to the pictures I just saw. So Madam enjoyed browsing through pictures of naked men. Waaawu!!! Who would have thought? Maybe that was why she was always angry with me before now. As a fine boy, maybe she liked me and I wasn’t getting the signal. Could it be that she’d finally decided to make her amorous intentions towards me known? That could be why she invited me to her house, using the tab as an excuse. I was willing to bet at that point that on getting to her place tomorrow, I would meet her seductively dressed and her husband conveniently absent. Come to think of it, I’d never heard anything about her husband. Maybe she didn’t even have one.
I was suddenly very excited at the prospect of tomorrow’s visit. If Mrs Ayiri’s experience was anything to go by, I was in for a thrilling time.
Saturday morning was spent doing laundry and some other house chores. I finally left home around 12p.m so I could get to Madam’s house in Lekki Phase One before 2pm. The roads were free, so I made good time. I was looking really spiffy and dressed to turn heads with my neatly barbed hair and well carved sideburns.
The uniformed maid showed me into the well-furnished visitors’ sitting room in the expansive building, served me a chilled bottle of Fanta and told me to wait. My eyes were glued to the flat screen television showing a rerun of a La Liga match between Osasuna and Barcelona when a soft but masculine voice caught my attention.
“Good afternoon. You’re the guy from the office?”
“Yes I am, good afternoon.” The ‘who are you’ must have been obvious on my face because he continued speaking.
“I’m your madam’s husband.”
All my pre-visit permutations entered water straightaway. Her husband kwa? That wasn’t in the script at all.
I smiled to cover my confusion and offered my hand.
“Good afternoon Sir. Pleased to finally meet you.”
“Good afternoon, again. You may drop the ‘Sir’ though, save that formality for your madam when you guys get back to the office.” He looked me over and nodded almost imperceptibly as if in approval. You’re as good looking as she says you are.
I smiled again, a bit self-consciously this time although it seemed quite odd that Madam would be discussing me being good looking with her husband.
“Thank you for the compliment.”
“Sit down and enjoy the game while we wait for her then, she’ll be down in a moment.”
I obediently resumed my seat, sipping my drink intermittently. He also took a seat not far from me, picked up a fashion magazine and started to flip through. We chit chatted for a few minutes while we waited for his wife during which I studied him surreptitiously. He didn’t look older than 40 and obviously took very good care of his skin and body. Well groomed hair and manicured nails, his simple shirt and chinos trousers with a thin gold chain around his neck completed the yuppie look. After about ten minutes spent discussing politics and business, he excused himself and stood up to take his leave, promising to make sure Madam came down to see me immediately.
She did, five minutes after his exit.
Smiling broadly, she welcomed me to her house and asked what I wanted to be served although I declined as I already had a bottle of soft drink. Then she sat down.
“You’ve met my husband right?”
“Yes ma. Very nice man, he kept me company for a while.”
“Good. He also spoke very highly of you. In fact, he likes you very much.”
I was wondering what his basis for liking me was but I didn’t want to interrupt.
Then the smile disappeared from her face and her tone went low and serious.
“Did you bring the tab? He has missed his pictures.”
I was going to ask which pictures until I followed her gaze to the tab where it lay on the stool beside me.
She nodded again.
“And he likes you very very much.”
Now those words sounded much more ominous.