“Dafe… Why?” Bimbo looked distraught. She didn’t know how to react to his proposal. She liked him, but her heart still remained with Frank; Dafe was a ‘back-up plan’ and until Frank expressly relinquishes his place in her heart, Dafe was going to remain second-place. Saying “YES” to Dafe could turn out to be a decision that would haunt her for the rest of her life but saying “NO” could also be just as costly; she might end up losing in both ways.
“I have thought carefully about this,” His words interrupted her thoughts, “and my decision is to be with you forever. I want to be your happiness just as you’ll be mine. Please say yes.” Dafe pleaded, still on his knees and looking down at Bimbo’s feet.
Bimbo placed her hand on his shoulder beckoning to him to rise up but he staunchly refused. He wouldn’t look at her face until he got a response; after a few futile attempts to bring him up, she finally responded.
“Dafe, I understand how you feel about me and I appreciate it. You are a very good man and you deserve the best but…” She paused and searched for the right words. “Right now, I’m not the best for you. My mind is unsettled, my feelings are running amok. There’s a lot going on in my life right now and honestly, I’m not in the right frame of mind to make a decision just yet. I beg you to give me some more time. Just a few weeks from now, I’ll give you my final word.” She said amidst tears and placed her head on the dining table.
Dafe was visibly disappointed. He slowly raised his head to look at her. He wanted to give up, to ask her to leave once and forever, but those tears made him weak. He really loved her, and seeing her cry had become a major weakness for him. He rose to his feet, moved close to her and cuddled her.
“Everything will be alright dear. I understand you, and I will wait. If I have waited this long, waiting a few more weeks will do me no harm” he said weakly not sure if he was doing the right thing.
On hearing that, Bimbo raised her head and gave him a tight hug. She was relieved. Susan’s report would form the basis of her final decision. As much as she pitied Dafe and wanted to be with him, she desperately hoped that Susan would bring good news about Frank.
Susan promised to spend a week in Lagos. During that period, she had agreed with Bimbo not to exchange calls or pings; they couldn’t afford to let Dafe know about the plan; Bimbo had explained to Susan that she would be in Dafe’s place and that meant he would be all over her, calling her within that period wouldn’t be wise. They agreed to meet at the next CDS meeting after her arrival to discuss the outcome of the visit to Frank’s.
Throughout the week, Bimbo was on cloud nine. She went about all her activities with happiness, even Dafe noticed. When he asked her about it, she simply replied “I’m happy we are back” with a broad smile that flaunted her dimples. Dafe was happy to hear that, but something in him told him there was more to the sudden cheerfulness. He wanted to probe deeper but didn’t know how to go about it. After several attempts to find out, he decided it was of no use to bother himself since he couldn’t find anything that confirmed his earlier suspicion.
At work, she worked extra hours without complaining. She was one of the corp members who used to make a fuss about how tedious the work assigned to them was and this unprecedented change surprised everyone; even those who knew about her relationship with Dafe began to gossip about the possibility that Dafe might have finally proposed to her. Those who were courageous enough to ask her about it simply got a blunt reply.
“When I didn’t work this much, you all complained. Now I’m putting extra effort and you confront me. What will I ever do to satisfy people?”
The D-day finally came. CDS was for 9am, but Bimbo was fully prepared by 7:30am. She was a bit restless, and she couldn’t help putting Dafe in a haste. This again, was in total contrast to the usual events on a CDS morning but Dafe just played along and tried to enjoy the strange transformation.
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She arrived forty minutes before the official time; for the first time ever, she was the first person to arrive. She got a broom and swept the entire hall where the meeting was to hold. Other corp members who met her sweeping were awed and in a matter of minutes, she became the lady of the moment. She made new friends and everyone was surprised that Bimbo who always kept to herself had suddenly become everyone’s friend. Some others attributed the change to the fact that her service year was almost coming to an end and she was making a desperate attempt to force her friendship on unsuspecting people. But none of what people felt or said mattered to her, she only wanted to see one person – Susan – and hear what she had to say.
Meeting started by 9am, but Susan was nowhere to be found. She never came late and hardly missed CDS meetings. By 9:30am, Bimbo excused herself briefly from the meeting to put a call across to her, but her number was switched off. Bimbo started sweating on her palms and on her nose, the excitement was slowly giving way to panic. By the time she returned to her sit, she was a direct opposite of the Bimbo that was all over the place before the meeting commenced; she was losing her patience and running out of her mind. None of what was said made any sense to her anymore. She kept on trying Susan’s number with the faint hope that it would get through. By the time it was 10am, she had given up. She was really scared, hoping nothing evil had happened to her friend, but she tried to readjust herself. She made a passable attempt at being lively in the meeting and her apprehension passed unnoticed.
At exactly 11: 04am, Susan appeared. She walked stealthily into the meeting careful not to disturb proceedings. Just a few people noticed her entrance and of course Bimbo was one of them. She couldn’t resist looking back at her at least twenty times in two minutes. She heaved a huge sigh of relief when the meeting was finally brought to an end a few minutes after noon.
“Where did you go to? You got me worried” she said as she bumped into a seat beside Susan.
“We can’t talk here. Let’s find somewhere quiet.” Susan stood up, dragging Bimbo along with her.
The MD called for a meeting with all the senior staff members of Rock Holdings. He hinted them about his decision to sell the company. However, he assured them that their job was safe and that the decision to sell the company was strictly personal. Most of those present at the meeting expressed their opinions on the decision and gave suggestions that could serve as alternatives to the sale of the company but Kolawole Ajayi would have none of it. He dismissed all their suggestions with a simple ‘you wouldn’t understand’.
His image was at stake, and the earlier he vanished into thin air, the better for him. The workers didn’t have to know that, all they needed to know was the sale of the company.
His children were returning to Nigeria in a week and there would be the need to offer them an explanation on why he had to sell off the company he co-founded with their late mother. He planned to tell them that the company wasn’t doing fine any longer and he just wanted to start up something new overseas.
After the meeting, he invited Frank to the lounge for an extensive discussion.
“You didn’t say a word throughout the meeting. Quite strange.” The MD started after a few minutes of awkward silence.
“I preferred listening. The issue at hand was one beyond my decision. Whatever it is I had to say mattered little because I figured your mind was made up sir” Frank replied.
“You are right actually. I want to leave the country soon, to join my children. They have been there since their mother died, and loneliness is beginning to set in for me. I won’t be coming back anytime soon as I plan to establish a new business overseas. Selling off the company is just what I feel is best” the MD submitted. He expected a response from Frank but didn’t get any. “You are a brilliant young man and have proven to be dedicated to your work. You have your whole life ahead of you and you deserve something big, something you can manage on your own. Out of appreciation for your hard work in my company, I have decided to give you this…” He pulled out a blank cheque which was already signed from his pocket. “Write as much as you need to set up a business of your own and live well.”
Frank was taken aback. Everything seemed like a dream. A blank cheque, the MD was obviously paying him off! He didn’t know whether to show gratitude or question the decision, he just collected the cheque and moped at it for as long as he could. Finally, he muttered “thank you sir.”
“We don’t know what might become the fate of Sandra. I pray she recovers in time. But you are a young man, your life has only just begun. From what I know about going into comatose, it could take months, even years… Worst case scenario, she may not even survive it, God forbid though. What I’m trying to say to you Frank, is that you may have to move on with your life; especially now that I plan to sell off the company. I don’t want you to waste away, waiting for Sandra. Get something started, find a new lady and move on”
Frank’s eyes went wide open. He couldn’t comprehend the reality of the drama playing out in front of him, his ears stopped believing what they were hearing, his mind could no longer process information properly. He wanted to speak, but the words choked in his throat. The only thing he knew was that he would be paid off with a blank cheque to leave Sandra.
“No!” He suddenly let out a loud scream like a possessed maniac. “No sir! I won’t take this cheque, and I won’t lose Sandra, not for all the wealth in this world!”
Cupid’s Quandary continues………………
Question for the week: What would be Sandra’s fate if Frank Accepts The Cheque?
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