“Welcome to SENSE! We read you” the automated welcome note echoed as Bodun stepped into the office reception of the advertisement company she had worked with since her NYSC days as an intern.
It had been two years and she still smiled every time she heard the voice welcome her, it seemed personal. Although her smile was brief today as she prepared herself mentally for what awaited at the office halls.
Bodun looked beautiful in her black bust-lenght braided wig, nude suede-like body con dress, black heels and bag to match. Deep down Bodun was uncomfortable not just because she was wearing a tummy trainer but because today was her first day at work since the break up and since her unplanned one week break. Her beautiful nude make up and smile did a good job of concealing her pain and anxiety.
Walking down the halls of the office, each step faster than before, colleagues avoiding eye contact or smiling excessively to cover up the fact that they had been talking about her. The usual topic would be the fact that she had once again gotten a week off from work, with them insinuating it was because of her relationship with Kelvin the manager. She knew these rumours, but she couldn’t bring herself to tell them the real reason she had to take one random week off from work every Month.
“It will be our little secret” her unit manager, Mrs. Adedotun said after finding out about Bodun’s case of dysmenorrhea.
“we don’t want everyone knowing about your personal life and we need them to think that I am a monster, otherwise everyone would request for a sick off even if all they had was a bad hair day” Mrs. Adedotun laughed. She was the sweetest woman Bodun had ever met and she understood Bodun’s menstrual case because her daughter once had the same issue.
Bodun appreciated Mrs. Adedotun’s desire to be discreet about their agreement because it meant no-one else had to find out about her period curse, well no-one else apart from Kelvin, who probably already told Lola now that Bodun thought about it.
She just wished she didn’t have to go all the way to the second floor before getting to her unit, this walk was getting too long, “my walk of shame” was what Bodun called it.
Finally, she was on the second floor and everyone became extra quiet the moment she was spotted. She tried to walked quietly to her table, but the ‘koko’ sound of her heels against the tiled floor, echoed embarrassingly and she wished she had some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle training, to slide to her table without being noticed. The moment she got to her table, despite the urge to sit quickly, she comported her self, dragged out her wheeled chair and sat quietly. The whispering resumed .
“And you had to come late today, Do you want people to kill you out of envy? Good morning” Her table partner, Mimi whispered while looking at her with a smile.
Good morning Mimi, they should not kill themselves because there’s nothing to be envious of. They should just ask me why I’m late, it’s not like they even care. An exasperated Bodun rolls her eyes, while taking off her heels and sliding into the flip-flops she wears only at her table.
Mimi short for Miranda, got into the company around the same time as Bodun and was always nice to Bodun who returned the gesture, their relationship didn’t exceed the office doors and they both secretly wondered why.
“Well I care, so why are you Late?” Mimi asks
“My car developed a fault a few streets from my house and after waiting a while for my mechanic he said he would have to take it to his shop. Getting a cab, traffic, everything was just so time consuming and stressful ”
“Oh, I’m sorry”
“No problem, do I have any message from last week ?”
“Yeah you do, Dreamer’s cafe called to verify their publicity arrangement, Meenah’s Hub sent their marketing rep. here on Tuesday But I guess you’ll have to call them since they insisted on working with you, Blank Wears reviewed the proposal you sent to them and they sent an arrangement and expect your feedback, then… Mrs Adedotun said you should finalize arrangements with S.M.E today and these are all the paperwork from last week” Mimi drops a neatly stacked pile of documents and returns her attention to her laptop
Bodun sighs from psychological exhaustion ” I knew I’d have much work to do but I didn’t think this much, thanks Mimi. Is that all?”
“Yes… Oh Mr. Kelvin said you should report at his office immediately you resume “
Bodun sighs and hisses under her breath. Kelvin was one person she didn’t want to see or talk to right now but she had to meet him officially to tell him she had resumed, he was after all still her boss. Maybe I should see him during the break… No, let me do this at once. Bodun hadn’t seen him since the break up and wasn’t sure if she had the strength to yet.
Mimi looks like she’s deliberating on something then she finally says “Bodun I know we are not so close but I know how hard you worked for the CEO’s meeting and if there’s anyone here who deserves it, it’s you. I’m sure you wouldn’t have missed the meeting on purpose, so I’m sorry they had to give it to Lola. By the way you look stunning ”
Bodun found Mimi’s arrangement of details funny, she would save her compliment, greeting or important information for the end of her sentence but Mimi was a darling and it made Bodun wonder why they hadn’t tried the friendship thing.
“Thanks Mimi, I appreciate that, let’s have lunch together okay? Bills on me” Bodun said as she put on her heels and made her way to the Manager’s office.
“Good morning Bodun”
“Good morning Amanda the Amazon”
“Bodun you’ve come again oh” Amanda giggled
Bodun had gotten to the manger’s office and met Amanda his secretary at her seat.
Amanda the Amazon as Bodun called her was by Bodun’s standard too amazing to be just a secretary. As gorgeous as she was, she was also very smart. Kelvin would do absolutely nothing without her, even if he could. Amanda knew Kelvin probably more than she knew herself. They had a bond that made others jealous and Bodun insecure.
“I know they have worked together for years but I mean who has that kind of bond with their secretary” Bodun complained to Ariel.
Bodun had an inclination that there was a past between them. “Are you sure you guys haven’t dated before?” She once asked Kelvin when Amanda turned down a better offer from a competition company, and he insisted all they had was official even after he met Amanda’s demand of salary increment. Thinking about it now, Bodun concludes Kelvin could have been lying.
So Bodun was shocked that of all the women he could have cheated with, he chose Lola. Lola who had nothing on Amanda the Amazon. It showed Kelvin’s lack of good taste and she secretly wondered if she was also a show of his poor taste in women.
“Is he in?” Bodun asks Amanda with a smile
“Yes” Amanda responds a bit queer
“Alright thank you” Bodun moves to go into the office but Amanda quickly moves to obstruct her.
“What is it Amanda?” Bodun asks slightly amused, slightly confused
“I can’t let you go in” Amanda responds avoiding Bodun’s eyes
“You can’t?”A baffled Bodun asks
“I don’t want you to go in” Amanda gives in
Before Amanda can speak, Kelvin’s door is thrown open and Lola walks out with a smirk on her face. She slightly shoves Amanda aside and Bodun can see the restraint on Amanda’s face. Lola stares into Bodun’s eyes with a grin of victory, she bats her faux lashes and walks away without a word.
There is silence for a few seconds then Amanda sighs
“That’s why I didn’t want you to go in”
At that moment Bodun wondered why she and Amanda weren’t more than co-workers.
Apparently when you are in a relationship you don’t realize you have potential friends around you. Bodun tells herself as she smiles and stretches her right hand to Amanda’s left hand to hold, and feeling like a huge burden had been lifted off her chest she says “You don’t have to protect me from them anymore, I know and we’re done”
Bodun could see relief and sympathy on Amanda’s face as Amanda took Bodun into a tight and warm embrace “You deserve better” Amanda whispers to Bodun. Bodun was somewhat surprised Amanda didn’t already know about the break up because she knew everything there was to know about Kelvin.
The next few steps Bodun took were the most confident she had taken all day, she realised she didn’t care anymore about Kelvin and his shenanigans, she had healed and didn’t even know it. There was a new light in her life and she wondered how she didn’t notice till now.
“Good morning Mr. Kelvin” Bodun greeted with a smiling poker face that threw Kelvin off his game.
“Errr… Good morning… Bodun, you look good, beautiful actually” Kelvin didn’t expect to see Bodun this happy, he had thought she would look sad and depressed
“Sir, I was told to report to you immediately I resumed” Bodun was still smiling
“Bodun you can skip the formalities I’m still your Kelvin you know”
“You are absolutely nothing but my boss and I guess that deserves ‘some kind of respect’ but if you insist, why not? Bodun was throwing light jabs and was surprised by her own cockiness!
“Errr…alright, so as you probably already know Lola would be the one to represent your unit at the CEO’S meeting.”
“You are okay with that right?”
“It was never my call to begin with, you decided I wasn’t good enough and preferred Lola for whatsoever reason…” Bodun realizes she is beginning to show emotion. Control yourself Bodun she tells her self “You want to know if I’m I okay with it? I’m not the manager the CEO will be disappointed in, am I? ” Bodun laughs with a snort
“Bodun I’m striving for peace here, you don’t have to be this way “
“Be what way?”
Kelvin doesn’t reply and a heavy silence darkens the atmosphere.
A few nuts and bolts in Bodun’s brain were beginning to loosen, with the last shred of self control she collects herself and says
“With all due respect, I have a lot of work to do and considering my clients would either work with me or take their business somewhere else which would be bad business for you, I should really get going.”
“Babe…” Kelvin said huskily
“Who? ” Bodun asked with disgust accompanied by a distorted face
“Bodun don’t be like this, why you acting like we are strangers, things don’t have to be bad between us, come on you used to love me, I know you still do”
Bodun starts laughing almost hysterically
“Mr manager, I think you are on the wrong career path. You should try comedy, honestly all your shows will definitely sell out… because you are a nothing but a big joke.”
Kelvin chuckles, walks to the door to lock it, then strides seductively to Bodun. Bodun doesn’t flinch rather she’s smiling, she knows what he is about to do and prepares mentally for her snapback.
Kelvin stands behind Bodun, places his hands lightly on her waist and breathes slowly down her neck.
Bodun is at a dilemma, should I react now or wait and see what he’s really up to? React Now. No! Wait, let him loose his guard. You know you won’t be able to resist this Bodun, act now! I just want to know how much he wants me.
Kelvin moves his hands lightly down Bodun’s hips and finds her hands, he places his hands in hers and pulls her into an embrace. He then slowly plant tiny kisses on her neck, Bodun becomes weak, she feels a surge through her body, she’s fighting it. His hands leave hers and slowly work their way to her already awaken bosom, he then whispers into her ears
“Your body drives me crazy, you are so hot, we could make mad love right now… you know you can’t deny the chemistry”
Contrary to his expectations, his voice and words fill Bodun with repulse and anger. Every disregard, disrespectful comparison to Lola and the event of their breakup aggressively flash through Bodun’s mind.
On impulse, Bodun grabs him by his balls, stares into his eyes with disgust and whispers with silent rage “Last time we spoke, you told me to hit the gym and workout like Lola, so tell your Lola to hit the gym and workout for MY KIND OF BODY if it drives you crazy that much…” Groping his balls tighter she whispers even lighter “Because If you ever try this again… Bodun chuckles cynically, ” I swear down, I will sue you for sexual harassment and you can be sure you won’t feel any chemistry then!”
She lets go off him, and gives a twisted smile to Kelvin who is now on the floor in pain and shock. She stares at him to take a mental image of him in this embarrassing position and when she has had her fill, she muffles back her laughter and leaves the grey coloured office.