For the first time, I arrived at the restaurant before Jola, surprisingly. I ordered for some coffee, and started reading the times. The restaurant was classy, bit too fancy and expensive for my liking. Tech called to check on me, asking not to choke and to reiterate on proving my point and leaving there, after I was done. He has set up a meet like this previously, and he caught me unawares, now I had to expect anything from him.
“You ordered coffee already” Jola asked. He had just walked into the room at that moment, dressed up like James Bond, Tuxedo, Suede shoes. I thought he was coming from a meet someplace though.
“Welcome, Jola, I had to, I needed something to sip”. I replied, still sizing him up and looked around the restaurant to see if there was anyone that accompanied him, because he promised he won’t bring any. He called the waiter, and told her to get him what I asked. She brought the drink in a jiffy, and he paid her, also gave her a tip. He sipped the coffee, while I pretended that I was reading the paper, after a while of silence, he asked me if I liked the restaurant, and I told him the truth, I liked it but it was too expensive, he laughed and told me I still amaze him.
“I called you for this meet because I feel we have a lot of things to talk about, before the start of election next week”. Jola said
“Things like?, because I am really busy and I would like if we could straight to the point ” , I replied.
“Bossy, I like that, at least they say politics brings out the devil in you, something it shareSs in common with money, well, I am really sorry for my schemes, I feel I was too hard and I stabbed you in the back” He said, making his eyes dim, like he was really remorseful.
“Oh, Jola, it s ok, you’ve change my life, who would have thought I would be the next senator, ” I told him, smiling.
“I want you back, Whitney, to our party, we have a lot to offer and we’d give you an office for commissioner in Lagos, what better way to start your political career”, He said, gesturing like he was one of those marketers that wants you to buy their products by force.
I sighed, and then told him that won’t ever be possible, I picked up my bag and prepared to leave. He called the waiter and told her that she should get water for me and coffee for him. I told him I didn’t need it and that I was going. This time, the waiter wasted time. This gave Jola time to still try to convince me, but I didn’t flinch. At a point, I told him I was going and that I didn’t need his water again.
“You know another thing compared to politics, S£x, the joining of two bodies, with the male almost always on top and we have done that before , but have you seen us live in action? Like a sextape, because I have it and it’s edited to make to make them see only you, watch and share if you want “.
At that moment, the waiter brought the water and coffee,i sat down and drank the whole cup of water, I took the phone he said the sextape was on and played, it’s true, it had been edited very carefully, that we don’t recognise the man. I sighed, place the phone in his hands and left the restaurant.
I ran through my phone contacts, looking for who to call at that moment, from A to Z, them scrolled to M, then to J, and then I saw Jumoke’s number. I called her cell, she didn’t pick the call. I tried again, she still didn’t pick. I stopped calling her, and then called for my driver to come take me home. I wouldn’t let Jola blackmail me, or place me on the defensive. I needed to counter act this, Tech had nothing in him, Jola edwards was very clean. No Dirt at work, with women, his earlier life. All clean, unlike the Governor who was wallowing in self pity and allowing flow as his campaign’s message. A call came in,i rushed to see if Jumoke had picked up her phone, it was just April. I didn’t pick the call, because I wasn’t in the mood for any gist.
My driver came around few minutes later, I entered the car and told him to drive me to the office, I picked up my phone, April had left about 20 missed calls, and one missed call from Jumoke, and so I called Jumoke, who picked up the phone at once.
“Whitney, Ki lon sele, Any problem” Jumoke asked.
“I know it’s kind of late, but can you come down to the office, jumie, please”. I then hung up, not wanting to continue the impending argument.
I arrived at my office, few minutes later. Jumoke was the only person that knew about me and Jola’s escapades, but the surprising thing was that she kept a secret, for the first time since I knew her. I just laid down in my sofa in the office, dismissed the driver and took a light nap. Jumoke woke me up later, asking if anything was the problem, I sat up, took some water and narrated everything that just went down with Jola.
“That bastard, Whitney, how did you get in this mess, Jola is clean to the press, he’s leading in the polls, a sextape will ultimately rule you out “. Jumoke said, she couldn’t sit down, as she hovered round the room. I just kept quiet, thinking.
Tech called too, I didn’t pick his call, I didn’t understand why people keep calling even when you fail to answer. I asked Jumoke if she knew anything I could use against Jola, her reply was negative. I urged her to think deeper. The election was just a week to go, and Jola had kept this till now. The thought of me losing the election was not as disturbing as the one of the sextape being leaked online. I just sat down and searched for some celebrities who had a sextape, and how they coped with it. Funny enough, most people who got away with it were American citizens. I wish I was American.
I and Jumoke crashed in the office. In the morning, I drove home and gave Jumoke the day off, on reaching my house, my gate man rushed out, almost shouting.
“Madam, Oga is not around, all of them are in the hospital, your mother had an heart attack yesterday night”
My mom had health issues, she was diabetic, and she always had High blood pressure, so we (I and April) always treated her with care, I, particularly always took care of her, approved all of her requests and paid the attention I could afford to her. After our father left us, I and April had supported my mother, hawking for awhile and then when a relief came from a relative, we moved out from our apartment, and rented a smaller one. My mom sent me to the university, working as a cleaner in one of this high profile schools. She started falling sick often, and once she could a get money to go for a medical check up, the informed her she was diabetic and she was also thinking too much.
I arrived at the Tech’s family hospital as soon as I could get there, I then asked for directions to my Mom’s ward, I ran down to the room, even when the hospital personnel told me I shouldn’t run in an hospital. I met April, Tech and Tech’s mother in the room.
“Where have you been, why can’t you answer your call, is that the wife you’d want to be” Tech’s mother asked.
“Please Ma, I don’t have time for arguments, I’d be glad if you can spare me for once, we good? ” I snapped, immediately.
Tech mother looked insulted, looked at me and then to tech, took her car key and left the room. The atmosphere in the room was really low, showing my mom was very sick. Tech didn’t even look at me and April was crying. I moved closer to Tech, to ask him what had happened.
“Please just get out of my sight, you know my mom was right, let me not even talk about how you replied her, where have you been, with Jola right, you couldn’t even return my call, the meeting was more important “
He drew me to a part of the room, not wanting April to hear what he’d say, and then he whispered
“Did you bang him”. I looked at him, surprised, what did he take me for, I wanted to slap him but I realised he probably had been through a lot this part night. He pressed my arm and asked again
“Did you bang him, whitney”.
“No, Tech. I love you, no, no no”. I broke down crying hard, it was me who had been through a lot this past night, not tech, I just sat down on the floor, crying.
It rained heavily the day my mother died. It was a Sunday afternoon, I was the only one awake, as tech and April had fallen asleep. I had gotten tired of the beep from the machine that ensured her heart was still working well. My mom woke up a day before from the coma, called my name and told me to get married to Tech immediately, that she wanted to witness it before she goes. I told her not to say anything like that again, that she wouldn’t die but she said I shouldn’t argue with her at all, so Tech and i called a priest to do the formalities and we got married. Her health improved, but deteriorated again.
That afternoon, she just started vibrating in the bed, I screamed and immediately Tech woke up, He ran to call the doctor, but when he came in, she had stop shaking, she was as still as the sea when jesus walked on it. The doctor came in, checked her immediately, I knew she was dead when he started shaking his head, so I wasn’t alarmed when he told the nurse to cover her up. April cried and cried, she couldn’t be consoled. Tech just kept me at his shoulders, as I cried.
Condolence visit started rolling in, The Governor Of Lagos State , Rauf Rahman came the next day to our house in banana island, he seemed pretty sorry and said his wife couldn’t visit as she wasn’t feeling too well. I knew he was lying, I got her message earlier , telling me I deserve everything that happens to me after ruining her husband political career. I admired and also regretted the role I had played, but we do what we have to do right.
My party leaders followed, and then some friends from work, them Tech’s Family, and then the devil, Jola Edwards. Tech didn’t want him in that day, but I told him to allow him in, he acted properly though, and then left winking at me.
My mom’s death made me realize I couldn’t afford losing the election, because at the end, losing the election won’t be the problem, it’s what I lost to the election that will be.
To Be Continued…