The next day, when Paul got to the office, he quietly went to his seat, eager to avoid any confrontation with Debby. He noticed that Debby was already busy in her office. Once seated, he got busy formed activity with the work for the day. To say that he was nervous about seeing Debby was a gross understatement.
Adah on the other hand went straight to Debby’s office and apologized profusely. Surprisingly Debby was very calm about it. She waved off her apology, proceeded to give her some work and sent her off. Adah was relieved when she got to her seat… though it did occur to her that Debby was at her calmest when she was most dangerous. She let the thought slide.
Goke was very happy coming to work. He greeted ‘madam’ with a broad smile on his face and went about his daily activities. You’d never even guess that anything went wrong the previous night.
DEBBY felt cornered as their eyes stayed fixed on her. It was just unbelievable really and the amazing thing was that they were actually waiting for some sort of response.
You all have gone bonkers!
She eventually ignored them and kept mute, fiddling with her phone to pass the time. After some more hard words were thrown at her face, they also kept mute and kept themselves busy doing whatever it was they were doing. By this time, she wasn’t remotely interested as she struggled to keep her emotions in check.
About 30 dreadful minutes later, she heard a sound from outside. The others struggled to their feet and they all realized that someone was attempting to forcibly open the lift. After about 10 minutes of trying, lights flooded the lift as the doors slid open. The bottom half of the lift was between floors, so with the help of the technicians, they climbed out.
The technicians on seeing her apologized profusely and tried to explain what went wrong, how they eventually found out bla bla bla! She just nodded at them and made her way out through the small crowd of technicians and lookers that had gathered around the scene. On stepping out, she felt a strong knot in her throat as she saw John, with an extremely worried look on his face walking towards her. She couldn’t hold it back anymore! She pulled him outside and hugged him tightly and then, started sobbing on his shoulders. He gently took her to his car (after instructing his driver to take her car to her house) and held her while she cried her eyes out and told him everything that happened throughout the day.
He comforted her. Apparently he had gotten to the restaurant in time and (knowing Debby was hardly ever late for an appointment) tried getting through to her. After 30 minutes of trying and increasingly getting worried, he drove over to her office and on spotting her car at the park, went in to discover the situation.
“I’ll take you home right away dear. You need all the rest you can get”
Debby looked at her watch… she had spent an hour and fifteen minutes in the lift.
“No. I need to make a brief stop before going home.”
PAUL watched with anger as Debby refused to make any reply of any sort.
What did you expect her to do really? Kneel down and beg for mercy? She’s your boss!
The thought didn’t stop him from hurling a few insults her way before sitting down on the hard floor to wait in silence. He stole glances at her and saw that her attention was squarely fixed on her phone.
Oh mehn! Vize will have my neck today. She might not even believe me!
His heart soared when he heard the lift door being forced open. He jumped to his feet and the elation he felt as the light that flooded into the lift as the doors slid open, was something he couldn’t describe. Debby was helped out first obviously. Then Adah and Gloria followed after which he was helped out. He noticed that Debby had already gone. He checked his time and dashed out towards his car.
Once in, he hastily called Vize… mumbling a short prayer for good measure.
“HELLO Vize! Hello…”
“Paul! I was so worried. I waited and when I couldn’t get through to you…
“I was stuck in an elevator for over an hour I…”
“… I just came home, praying and waiting for your call or your return.”
He could hear the relief in Vize’s voice
“It’s alright dear. I’m safe that’s the important thing.”
“Just come home. I love you.”
“I love you too baby”.
He sped to his house as fast as he could. Fortunately for him, traffic was light and he was able to get home in good time.
He opened the door with his key and on stepping in, noticed that there was no light. Well, there were several lit candles on pathway leading to the dining area, in front of which stood Vize, still in her stunning dress and an unbeatable smile on her face. He ran towards her and held her close hurriedly explaining what had happened and how bad he felt.
She shushed him and said it was ok, leading him to the dining area. On the dining table was a beautiful cake. A beautiful ‘red velvet’ cake.
“Wow. Who’s this from?”
“Check the card hun. Since our restaurant date was cut short before it even began I thought we might as well have our date in the house. It’s just the cake we’re eating though. And oh, I got ice cream.”
He watched her as she hurried to the kitchen, smiling and wondering how he got so lucky.
He walked over to the table. The cake was really a work of art. He spotted the small card that came with it and read it out.
“If I hated you, I’d envy what u both share.
But as your friend, even though from a distance,
I celebrate you both… I celebrate love.
“Awwww. This is so… “
“Errrm, Vize. Who sent this?”
“Some guy who called himself Maior called me. Apparently Debby asked him to make and get it across to us,” she replied from the kitchen.
She walked in with a bowl of ice cream and eating bowls.
“Which Debby? The same Debby in your office. She’s your manager right? It was sooo thoughtful of her. At least we won’t starve tonight!” She laughed. “Time to dig in!”
He was glad Vize didn’t notice the blood draining from his face.
When ADAH left the building with Gloria, she flagged down the first cab she could find and headed to her mum’s house. Gloria, who shared her flat, had offered to go with her, and she had wholeheartedly agreed. After the trauma of the night, they both needed the company.
She did feel bad for the way she had spoken to Debby. To be fair, it had been her fault and not Debby’s.
Everyone lost it in that elevator. Have to apologize tomorrow.
By the time they got to the house, she was fuming. The cab driver missed his way and as a result delayed her trip for almost an hour. When he pulled over, she got out and angrily threw the money at the man. Gloria slammed the door at the other side and they both walked in and climbed the stairs to the flat. She took a deep breath as she knocked the door. Her sister opened the door and welcomed her in.
On spotting her mum, she went over to her and hugged her.
“Mum I’m so sorry for sounding like that on the phone.”
“It’s okay dear. I understand that you were under pressure.” Stepping back to look at Gloria she said, “Welcome my dear. Please sit down.”
Adah continued, “Even though, I shouldn’t have done that. And you won’t believe what happened to me today. On my way home, the lift…”
“I know my daughter, relax and eat okay!” She was smiling.
Adah was momentarily caught off guard.
“You know what?”
“Your manager called about 40 minutes ago and told me…very nice lady. She even apologized for keeping you for so long.”
Both Adah’s and Gloria’s mouths hung open.
Her mother continued. “You should be lucky you have an oga like that. Oya sit down, you must eat now. Oluchi, bring them food oh”
With that she walked off singing in her native dialect about the wonders of God.
Alone in the small sitting room all Adah could say was…
GOKE took a straight bike to his house.
He was fagged out and all he wanted to do was get home, give his mum a big hug, eat his delicious food and sleep. He didn’t even want to remember that he had been stuck in that lipt! He laughed to himself.
His sister got the door for him and he started singing at the top of his voice (terrible singing voice by the way) from the door.
“Happy birthday to yooooou, happy birthday to yoooou, happy…”
His voice caught as he got to the sitting room.
Sure enough, there stood Debby and a tall man staring at him.
“Ahh, my son welcome. Your madam and her friend dropped by to wish me a happy birthday, isn’t that nice of them?” She was smiling broadly as she walked over to hug her son
“Thank you ma. I didn’t expect…”
“It’s okay Goke. We’re leaving now. Enjoy the rest of your night okay… see you tomorrow”
And with that they walked out.
He followed them with his eyes and a smile on his face. Who would have thought…?
Now where’s that food?