It was hard to imagine why my mother gave me the name ‘Abigail’. It was totally ironical. You don’t need to go to your browser, I’d tell you what it means; it means, ‘Father Rejoiced’. It was the direct opposite of what happened in my life. My father ran as fast as Usain Bolt when I was born. Some say he was a soldier, some others say he was a retired soldier who was married to 2 other women but my mother was crazy in love with him. I have never known the truth about him and whenever I tried to find out from Aunty Alero, she just says he was a mistake that never would have happened. So you see, I used to think I was a mistake because my mother hated me so much. There are things that happened in the past that I just wish I could forget but all the emotions I had tried to keep buried resurfaced when Aunty Alero told me she was sick. I felt conflicted, should I call her or not?
I intentionally closed late these days just to forget how awful everything was, plus I was really, really, broke. We had just paid the rent and I couldn’t even afford to splurge. Sigh.
While trying to wrap up, Zara stormed into my office. I knew something was wrong because her yellow face had turned red. Oh oh. What did I do now?
“I don’t just get you at all Abigail! One minute you are Miss. Smartypants and the next minute you are as dumb as f***! ”
“Wow. Take it easy Zara and please sit down-“
“Don’t f****** tell me to take it easy or sit in this crappy office! You told me you were done with the report and I submitted it to Mr. Vincent. Did you read that stuff at all? Do you know the number of typos in that report? Do you know how embarrassing it is for a graduate to submit that?”
I felt so upset with myself but the insults were getting too much. “Zara I am sorry but I don’t think this approach is necessary.”
“Oh! Did you expect me to serve you with a plate of pudding before telling you you made me look stupid in front of Mr. Aliu and Mr. Vincent?”
Oh! Mr. Aliu too? OMG! See gobe! “Zara I am so sorry about-“
“Save it! Just save your apology. Do you know why you were allowed to pitch this project?”
I didn’t answer.
“I’d tell you anyway. Mr. Vincent used you as a pawn because he knew Mr. Aliu likes big girls with big breasts and fat laps. Chicken looking people. He thought you will fall for his little set up with Mr.Aliu and we will easily wrap this shit up and not be in this frustrated-“
“That is a lie.” I said in a whisper
“Then ask him. Ask him yourself.” She laughed as though she will soon pull out her broom and fly away. The anger I felt inside made my legs wobble and I fought the tears hard to stay inside so that I will have the right words for her.
“Zara get out of my office and the next time you open your mouth and spill your fake British English Language before me or mistakenly allow the words you said this evening roll out of your tongue, I will slap the bleaching cream off your skin.”
I saw her gasp. I had never spoken that way to her. “I will make you crawl before me for forgiveness.” She stormed out and as she slammed the door of my office, I started packing up to leave. Is that really why Mr. Vincent chose me?
In spite of the fact that I was broke, I decided to hail a cab. I wasn’t in the mood to be squashed in between exhausted lagosians. Everything Queen B said played back in my head and while I was willing myself not to cry, I heard my phone ring.
“Ogama what’s up?”
“Have you checked Facebook? Would you believe that fool had the mind to tag you and I on Facebook? Imagine-“
“Ogama slow down please. What is on Facebook?”
“What? You don’t know? You haven’t checked? Oh…I am so sorry Abby.” With that, the line went dead.
I hurriedly turned on my mobile data and went to my Facebook App. I noticed I had a few notifications but just one caught my eye. Tayo’s younger sister had tagged me in a post and picture.
Congratulations big bro on your engagement! May God keep you two crazy lovebirds happy and crazy in love!xoxo!!!
Attached to the post was a picture of Tayo, kneeling before that intern girl, with that foolish smile people in love wear on their faces . The girl looked like she was crying and had her hand covering her mouth. The picture looked like they were in a restaurant. They looked in love but that was my Tayo.
Anger and rage filled me and I didn’t know I had been crying until the cab driver asked if I was okay. I told him to stop at Leisure Mall in Bode Thomas and I walked into Bheerhugz. I needed some time to process what I was feeling. I got a seat at the rooftop part of the lounge and ordered a plate of asun and cocktail (please don’t remind me of the status of my bank account). I had wiped my tears but my heart was in tiny unrecognizable bits. How can Tayo do this to me?
“Hello. Can I join you?”
It was a baritone voice, soothing baritone voice. The man towered over my table and before the angel on my right shoulder could decline, I nodded in approval. I wasn’t in the mood to chat but I guess the alcohol in the cocktail had started kicking in. After all, I can blame it on the alcohol later right?
“I sincerely hope your boyfriend isn’t in the restroom.” The stranger said with a small smile playing on his lips. He had cute dimples too.
“What if he is?”
“Well, I’d tell him to give me a minute to tell you how beautiful you are.”
I leaned in. “You have a minute Mr…?”
“Call me JaKe. Jake Sowemimo”
“I am Abigail. You still have a few seconds to talk…” Dear Diary, I think I am high. I don’t talk to strangers.
“You are beautiful Abigail.”
He smiled and his dimples appeared, making him look so handsome. In short, forget it, this guy is super cute or could it be the alcohol?