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Saturday, 30 April 2016

My oga son (2)


my oga son

Edward, or Brother Edward as I called him, lived up to his words. Unlike a vast majority of graduates who roam the streets after leaving school, there was a job waiting for me when I finished, courtesy Edward. It was in the accounts section and I was to resume almost immediately after my service ended.
My mother was so happy that she could not thank Edward or his parents enough.
"Laura, do you know you are a very lucky girl?" my mother said a few days before I started work. "Not many in the country today have this kind of opportunity: a good job handed to you on a platter of gold! I want you to face your duties squarely, work hard and avoid things that will make your benefactors regret the support they have given you. Is that clear?" she stated, pulling at her right ear to emphasis her words.
I reassured her that I would be a diligent worker and not be lazy or incompetent.
"Don't worry, Mummy. I won't do anything you will be ashamed of," I promised and I meant every word.
I resumed and quickly settled down to the job. I did not see Edward for sometime after I started work; perhaps because my office was on the first floor of the high rise building while he was at the top where the top managers and directors had their offices.
One day, about a week later, I was heading towards the staff canteen on the ground floor of the building when someone called me from the car park. It was Edward, who was about getting into his car. 
"Where are you off to, Laura?" he asked. When I told him I was going for lunch, he said:
"I'm off to eat as well. There's a place not too far off from here- their food is fantastic, much better than the canteen food. Hop in and I'll give you a treat," he offered. 
We had finished the main course and I was taking some dessert, a bowl of mixed fruit and nuts when two expensively dressed ladies sauntered up to our table. The shorter one leaned down and planting a kiss on Edward's cheek, exclaimed:
"Baby, so you were coming here for lunch and you could not call me to keep you company?" she said in a whining voice.
"As you can see, Frances, I already have company," he stated, nodding towards me across the table.
"And who is she?" the lady named Frances asked querulously. 
Edward introduced me, adding: "She just joined us at the office." Frances gave me an appraising look, her eyes cold and unfriendly looking. It was obvious she was not happy at my presence there. She chatted with Edward briefly, most of the time complaining about missing him and not seeing him enough.
Finally, she and her friend left, with a reminder to him about their date 'that weekend'. From her possessive manner towards him, I assumed she was his girlfriend, but he denied it when I asked him.
"We are old friends. We were in school together," he said, without elaborating further.
After that day, Edward and I would eat out, at least twice a week. It became a routine of sorts especially when he was around. Sometimes, he would be out of town on official duty: on those days, I would make do with the canteen food which was not too bad. I missed him when he was away and looked forward to his return. It was clear, I was becoming fond of Edward and I could tell he liked me a lot. 
One day, I was at my desk working when Edward's secretary came to summon me to his office. He had been away on a trip to South Africa and I had not seen him since his return.
He handed me a shopping bag stating:
"I had a few hours of free time so I did some shopping. Hope these fit." 
Inside were some shoes, clothes, a couple of designer bags and other stuff.
"They are so pretty! Thank you so much! How did you know my size?" I asked as I examined the items. 
"I used my eyes to do the measurement," he said, smiling as I did a little catwalk in one of the shoes- a high heeled, red pair with a pretty bow.
"Wear this, this weekend, on our date," he said, as he came round his desk to gaze at my feet. 
"Date?" I intoned, clearly surprised as he had not mentioned it before.
"Yes. I want to take you out. Or, do you have other plans for the weekend?" he queried. I shook my head.
"I'm just surprised that you are asking me out. What about Frances?" I asked him. I had seen her around the office premises a couple of times and it was obvious she had come to see Edward.
"And what about her? I've told you we are just friends. I'll tell you more about her later, at the appropriate time."


***
On the evening of the date, as I was getting ready, both my mother and nosy younger sister, Angela kept asking where I was going to. I lied that I was attending the birthday party of a friend of mine. Instinctively, I knew my mother would not approve if she knew it was Edward I was going out with. 
It was on that date that Edward really opened up to me- that he liked me a lot and wanted me to be his girlfriend. Truth was I wanted to be with him too as I was falling for him. But I knew it would be unwise to get in too deep with Edward because of the disparities in our backgrounds. He was afterall the son of the wealthy family whom both my mother and I worked for. What will his parents say if they hear that their housekeeper's daughter was dating their son?
When I pointed this out to him, he overruled my objections, stating:
"What matters is the way we feel about each other. Not whether my family is rich and yours is not. As for Frances, truth is, we dated briefly some years back. We broke up and I have moved on. But she has refused to let go. She actually wants me back. She has even enlisted the help of my mother and my sister in her stupid quest but it's not going to work. Especially not with you here," he said, taking my hand in his.
His words sounded reasonable enough and helped to allay any misgivings I had about getting involved romantically with him. I decided to follow my heart. Maybe, if I had listened to my inner voice, I would have been saved a lot of heartache and pain in the future...


To be continued...
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