For Ten Thousand Dollars: The aftermath of an unintended office romance-Episode 3


the experience that was unlooked for

I closed really early from work to go get ready for my date with Deji. It was a dream come true * for me and I didn't want to mess it up. I rushed home hoping and praying I would meet Ladi. “Ladi” I called repeatedly as I searched the bathroom and both rooms. “I'm here Cleo,” she replied out of the kitchen. “Hi darling, how did your day go?” I asked with a big smile as I thought of the best possible way to break the news to her. “Great. How was yours? How is Deji? Any luck yet? She asked pretty excited as she picked the last set of plantain she was frying from the frypan. “I have a date in a few hours and I need you to get me all glammed up.” I said winking at her. “Wait a minute. Is this date with whom I'm thinking it is?” She asked as she turned off the gas. “This is happening quicker than I expected. You really need to tell me how all this happened.” She said as she walked me to the room leaving her plate of food behind. “You should finish with your food Ladi.” “You know I can always eat later,” she laughed. “I think you should wear the glittering red dress we bought at the shop the other day,” she said as she opened my wardrobe. “Yes here it is.” "This? I can't wear this” “So why did you buy it? She asked as she threw it in my face. “The back is all open Ladi.” “So? It’s a date with Deji remember The earlier you wrap up this bet and get your money the better. I know how you feel Cleo. You need this money. Your mum has just six months. This doesn't make you a bad person. You do not have a choice. You are only doing what you have to do to save your mother’s life. Always remember that.” She said holding my hands.
Ladi understood me better than anyone else. It felt good that Deji was becoming attracted to me but the reason I was doing it made me feel differently. Ladi is right. I am not a bad person. I said to myself trying to feel better. “Go and have your bath quickly. It takes at least two hours to finish up the kind of makeup that will steal the heart of the CEO of Lancast Media. Are you ready?” “Absolutely. Did you say two hours?” I asked laughing as she pushed me into the bathroom. Afterwards, she started the makeup and I watched carefully. As time went on, I could see myself transform and I was simply in awe. I couldn't believe the person in the mirror was me. I went ahead to wear my dress and shoes as Ladi tried to apply finishing touches on my face . While we were at it, I heard my phone beep from a text message that had just dropped. It was Deji saying he was waiting patiently at the restaurant and that he couldn't wait to see me. I became really nervous. “Ladi it is okay. He’s waiting already.” I said as I gently pushed her hands away from my face. “Come here. I am not done. Relax." “What else Ladi? I'm serious, I need to go.” “Okay.” She replied in a disappointed tone. You are the lady and that means it’s okay for him to wait. “I am grateful Ladi.” I said holding her hands. “I appreciate all you have done. I can barely recognise myself in the mirror. You are an amazing friend. I appreciate everything. Honestly, I can’t thank you enough but I have to leave now. Thank you again Ladi.” “See you soon baby.” She said smiling.
I grabbed my purse, took one last glance in the mirror and rushed to the car. I arrived at the restaurant in about 15 minutes. There was a little traffic, less than what I envisioned. Lagos was becoming better I smiled as I alighted from the car and walked into the fancy open air restaurant. One step in and I caught his eyes. They were so charming, I couldn’t have missed it for anything. “Over here Cleo,” he waved. I walked gently in my new heels taking it one step at a time so as not to miss a step.The last time I wore one before that day was at my aunt’s wedding two years ago and before then it was prom night in secondary school, just before graduation. He stood up and pulled out a chair for me to sit. “What a gentleman.” I teased. “There's no man on the planet more gentle than I am.” He replied confidently. “Cleo you are beautiful. How come I never noticed the first day I saw you? I guess I was more interested in seeing the brain behind the brilliant copies that makes us good money.” “Thanks for the kind words Mr Deji. I appreciate. '' If only he knew the reason for my new sense of style. Poor guy! Anyways, I was enjoying this new version of myself. “So, are you single, dating or engaged?” Oh my! Did he just ask about my relationship status? This may just be way easier than I ever imagined. “No I am not.” I replied. “Ären’t you going to ask about mine?” “No it’s fine.” “Why?” He asked sitting up. Confused on what to say and at the same time thinking of the best answer I could give so I don’t send a wrong message, I answered; “I don’t think I want to know.” “I think I like you,” were his next words. He smiled at me for a minute and then went on to order drinks. He ordered a tequila and I, a Margarita. We kept talking and the conversation got more interesting with more drinks.I laughed uncontrollably. One would think he was a very interesting young man. While I was on the third glass, my eyes gradually began to close and I heard him say, “that's enough Cleo. I should take you home.” “No I am fine.” I replied as I stood up to join the group salsa beckoning him to join me. We danced all night until I couldn’t remember a thing. “My head hurts. What’s the time?” I whispered as I tried to reach the alarm clock by my bedside with my eyes closed. I’ve had that alarm clock for as long as I could remember. I picked it up without having to open my eyes every morning as it rang. I tried to reach it for about 15 seconds with no luck when I opened my eyes and realised it wasn’t my bed. The room was five times the size of mine. The edges of the drapes were so beautiful, I had to look all the way to the top which was almost 20 feet. I looked at the headboard of the bed and saw it was golden. I closed my eyes and ran my fingers through smiling. I thought I was in a dream until I heard a masculine voice say, “Ït’s 10am Cleo. You are late for work.”
“What!” I jumped. “Relax. Cleo it’s me. You got tipsy and couldn't give me the right directions to your house. So I decided to bring you home. “You did what?” I asked as I consciously looked through the room which was more like a presidential suite of a seven-star hotel. “This is your house? Is your father is in this house?” I asked hoping to get a no. “No, my dad isn’t here. This is my house. Cleo we had so much fun last night.” As he spoke, I felt my body bare and when I looked under the duvet, I saw I had no clothes on. “Deji” I screamed. “You came in really drunk and threw up. So, I decided to ... “Take advantage of me?” I asked in tears not wanting to hear the remaining part of the story. I got up, wrapped the duvet around my body and was looking for my dress when he pointed to it. It was all soaked and smelling. “You can have this.” He said giving me a black dress. It was a nice dress, my perfect size. So, does he just keep dresses for any girl who comes in drunk I thought and just as if he heard me, he replied; “It’s for my sister, Dara. She's not in the country, so, you don't have to bother about getting caught.”
Stephanie Nyong
About Stephanie Nyong 66 Articles
Stephanie O. Nyong is a seasoned health educator and content strategist at Health Platforms International where she empowers individuals especially women and girls with knowledge and skills to prevent and manage a number of health conditions. She is the founder of BE-ME Africa, a Breast Examination and Menstrual Education project for young girls. Stephanie also organises pop-up clinics regularly to provide affordable quality healthcare services to a target population. She is admired in the industry and has the capacity to deliver on the current demand for health literacy for improved health outcomes in Nigeria. You can connect with her across all social media handles @stephanie_nyong

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