“Mosope did you hear me?” Dolapo nudged Mosope.
“Ehn? Sorry what did you say?”
“I said your admirer is here” she repeated.
“Oh crap.” Mosope cursed as she looked up and saw Yinka Da-Silva walking towards her desk. It was too late to dodge. He took confident strides towards her table with the mischievous smile he always wore. Yinka was a customer of the bank who was interested in her. He had been asking her out on a date for as long as she could remember and her engagement to Bode didn’t put him off.
“Good afternoon Mr. Da-Silva.”
“Hi, good afternoon to you too.” He replied and smiled at Dolapo. “Hi Dolapo.”
“Hi, Mr. Da-Silva.” Dolapo replied and went back to her work.
“Mosope I heard about you mum…I’m so sorry dear.”
“Thanks Mr Da-Silva.” She pulled out a folder and pretended to be sorting it out.
“I’ve told you to stop with this Mr. Nonsense, it’s too formal.”
She offered a weak smile in return. He protested about her being too formal all the time.
“How’s your dad?”
“He’s good.” She couldn’t help the smile that spread on her face. As if he knew her dad.
“Mosope my prayers are with you and your family…if you ever need to talk…I’m available okay?”
“Okay…thanks.” She got up and went to the cabinet behind her table and took out another folder.
“I lost my mum about 5 years ago so I understand how it feels… I’ll come check on you again.”
“I’ll check on you some other time…ladies do have a pleasant day.” He said and left.
“Did he say prayer?” Dolapo asked and they both laughed.
“My dear, you’d be surprised that even the devil too prays.” Mosope replied and sat down.
“Sope how are you handling your mum’s loss? I can’t imagine how it feels.”
“My dear I’m just taking each day as it comes. Even though it’s been over two months already, it still hurts with each passing day…I think it even hurts more.” She shut her eyes tightly to prevent tears from spilling and felt Dolapo’s hand gently squeeze her shoulder.
“Mosope it’ll be okay…it will.”
“Amen…you know I pinch myself sometimes to see if I would wake up from this horrible nightmare… I wish she had some terminal illness before she died or I knew she was going to die because that would have prepared me .I would have cherished every single moment.”
“Sope it is well.”
“That’s what everyone has been saying but IT IS NOT.” Her raised voice drew a few stares. She lowered her voice, “sorry I shouted… Dolly make sure you cherish your mum, cherish every single day you have with her… please do.”
“I will.” Dolapo replied and glanced at her wristwatch and realised it was time for lunch. “Oya lets go for lunch.”
“I’m not hungry jare.” Sope replied.
“Girlfriend you don’t have a choice. Look at your neck; you’ve lost so much weight. You were already very slim before, now you look like you would disappear!”
Dolapo picked up her purse, stood up and gave Mosope a look that made her get up.
“Yes aunty Dolapo!”
Tunji was in his office; he owned a small tax consultancy firm. He heard a knock on the door and knew it was Abimbola his secretary. Abimbola Williams had been his secretary since the inception of his company and over the years their relationship had gone from colleagues to friends. She and Deborah were friends too and had planned surprises for him on my occasions.
Abimbola walked into the office. She was tall and slender and appeared younger than her age. Her hair was set in jerrry curls and she wore a smart skirt suit with court shoes.
“Can you still make your 3 o clock appointment with Mr. Bello or should I cancel it?” she asked.
“I almost forgot about that appointment you know. I am going to Unicam Industries and I’m not sure I’ll be back by 3.”
“Okay, I’ll call Mr. Bello and see if he can reschedule.”
“You are welcome Tunji” she smiled, “that’s what I get paid for.” She started to leave but turned back. “Tunji how are you?”
“I’m just hanging in there.”
She pulled out one of the chairs in front of him and sat down. “Tunji you know I read somewhere that there are 7 stages of grief…shock, denial, anger, acceptance…guilt ermm I can’t remember the other two and I’m sure I jumbled up the stages.”
“Oh really? I’m not sure I’ve heard of that before…so what stage am I now?”
“Maybe shock, I’m not sure.”
“ Anyways the point is that time really heals. I remember how hard it was when Peter died…I thought I was going to die… every single day was a struggle….15 years on and I’m fine. God has been faithful.” Abimbola’s husband died 15 years ago in a car accident.
“You know I’m really worried about Mosope, the way she’s handling her mother’s death.”
“What about her?”
“She’s just seems so angry…like she’s angry with God.”
“Do you know she has stopped going to church? I’m really worried.”
“Do you know if she’ll be at home at this weekend so I can come and talk to her?”
“She should be, she hardly goes out these days. Thanks Abimbola, I’d really appreciate that.”
“Let me get back to work.” She got up to leave.
“How’s Daniel and his kids?” Daniel was Abimbola’s only child; he lived with his family in the UK.
“They are all fine. I plan to go spend Christmas with them.”
“Why would you want to go to the UK during winter?”
“Because tickets are cheap during Christmas!”
“Okay oh, Ijebu woman.”
Bode parked his car in the church car park. He left his office quite early and got to church 15 minutes early and decided to sit in his car when he felt the Holy Spirit prompting him to pray for Mosope. He knew something was wrong with her; she had become distant and had stopped coming to church all together. He placed his head on the steering and began to pray for her.
He opened his eyes when he finished praying and realised he was 5 minutes late. He came out of the car and dialed Mosope’s number.
“Hi dear, I’m at the car park where are you?”
“Are you inside the auditorium already?”
“No I’m at Dolapo’s.”
He stopped walking.
“Do you realise we have pre-marital classes today?” He waved to an engaged couple who walked past him.
“Sorry, I’m not coming.”
He heard the click of the phone.