The week went by even more quickly than anticipated. There was just too much to do.
“Thank God”, she muttered to herself as she made her way briskly to her car. “I can’t wait to get home and soak in the bath tub. What a week.”
What was he doing by her car? She had deliberately given up her beloved parking space just to do all she could to avoid Uche. Here he was now anyway!
“Haven’t seen you in some days. How are you?”
“I am doing well. Been busy.”
“Really? Can you spare me a few minutes? Just to talk?”
“Look, Uche, I’d rather not”.
“Why? Are you afraid of me?”
“Why would I be afraid of you?”
“Okay, prove it to me. Let’s just talk over a few drinks down the road, please.”
“I don’t need to prove anything to you. You are free to make your own conclusions.
“Please now, 30 Minutes max”
“Okay then, 30 minutes”
They both got in their cars and made it to the cafe in 5 minutes.
“Please relax Gloria, I don’t bite”, Uche said as they ordered their drinks.
“Can we just forget about the last time and just have a friendly conversation?”
“Okay. I might just as well, I’m here already anyway. And what could possibly go wrong in a public place?” Gloria thought.
From this point, the conversation became more relaxed, and before she knew it, Gloria found that she was actually having a nice time. It’s been a while since she even had time to give herself a treat. Between juggling work with the kids, hubby and church, there was never enough time.
“Wow. We have been here for an hour already. I think it’s time to call it a night”
“Okay, my Lady. Your wish is my command”. Gloria rolled her eyes and laughed him off.
“Gloria, please, can we just be friends? I don’t want any hard feelings between us anymore.”
“Okay then. Truce”
It’s been 4 weeks. Uche and Gloria have been seeing each other everyday, Uche made sure of that.
If he arrived ahead of her, he’d make sure to wait for her to drive in for a quick hello. Same as in the evening, he made sure to wait for her to get in and drive home. He also made sure to send her ‘harmless’ messages almost every day.
“Just checking to see how your day is going”
“You’re always on my mind”
“I’ll cherish you always, my great friend”
Gloria was beginning to enjoy all the attention. After all, they were harmless!
She was beginning to look forward to his message
She drove in to work expecting to see Uche as usual. She was a bit disappointed. He wasn’t there.
“What could have happened to him? Oh well…I am sure he’s fine”.
She made her way to her office but couldn’t get Uche off her mind.
Her phone beeped.
“Sorry Babe. Had to catch an early flight to Port Harcourt for a meeting with a client”.
“You could have at least said something”, she immediately responded.
“It was a sort of impromptu meeting. I promise I’ll make it up to you Dear”.
“When do you get back?”
“In 2 days”.
“Okay o. Just have a safe trip”
“Thank you. I will miss you though”
“I’ll miss you too”, she wanted to say. She just couldn’t allow herself to cross that line.
“Hmmmm. Gloria, what’s happening to you?”, she thought to herself.
“You can’t be doing this, you know”, she tried to caution herself.
“I’m not doing anything wrong! We are just friends who care about each other”
She woke up in high spirits, humming to herself, as she got ready for work.
She drove in and there he was, looking even better than 3 days ago. Was it just 3 days?
She had missed their early morning gist o.
“Hey Girl”, he beamed.
“Hey Yourself”, she couldn’t help the look of excitement on her face.
“I missed you”, he gave her a hug as she came out of her car.
Whew! Where did that come from?
She broke the embrace quickly. He sure smells good though.
“Yeah, how was your trip?”
“It was good, but I wished I were here with you”
“With me? No o, not with me”.
“If you say so, my main madam”, he smiled.
“So, how has work been?”
“So, so. Thank God”
“Can we do lunch today?”
“Hmmm. Today is quite busy for me. I don’t think I can have time for a long break”
“Don’t worry, we can do lunch on 3rd floor. Or what do you think?”
“On 3rd floor? Your office?”
“Yes now. Please say Yes. I just want to gist you all about my trip”
“Thank you!”, Uche gave her another quick hug. “I’ll see you at 1”
“See you later”, he said as she turned into her office lobby.
“Someone is here to see you Gloria”, her office door opened and in came Kemi.
She took a look at her watch. “12:55”
“Uche?”, maybe he changed his mind about lunch. She was feeling a little disappointed.
“Please tell him I’ll be right there”, as she got up to find out why Uche was there.
“I’m here to be your escort”.
“Seriously? Am I a baby? You shouldn’t have bothered”
“You can never be a bother to me”
“Okay o. Shall we?”
They got to the 3rd floor in 3 minutes. Gloria had never been there before that day.
The office was simply and beautifully furnished. The owner obviously had taste – she wasn’t surprised. Uche had always loved beautiful things. Isn’t that what he usually said to her, “I love beauty and you are the best of them.”
“Welcome sir. Welcome ma”.
“Thank you. Good afternoon. Nicholas, I have a guest now. Please hold all my calls”
“Welcome to my office Glow”
She was impressed. His personal office was even more tastefully done than the outer office.
“Where is everyone else?”
“How do you mean?”
“This spread can’t possibly be for only both of us”, she laughed.
“I am giving you a treat, I want you to feel comfortable”
There was a picnic mat on the floor.
“Please take off your shoes and loosen up. Time to eat”
She did as instructed and before she knew it, they were eating and engrossed in conversation.
“I had a nice meal Uche. Thank you for feeding a hungry girl.”
“Yes o, I have helped in adding some flesh to you. Not like I don’t like what I see”
“And what do you see anyway?”, she joked.
“I just like what I see”, he gave her a quick look and looked into her eyes.
Her laughter died at the look in his eyes.
“I have to go now”
“Why are you always running?”
“Running? Why would I run from you?”
“You know what I mean Glow. You can’t deny that we still have a thing for each other.”
“Bye Uche. I had better leave”, Gloria walked out as quickly as her rubbery feet could carry her.
She knew if she stayed a little longer, she was just looking for trouble.
To Be Concluded in The Final Episode…