Faweh is going to kill me. I just know it. 12 missed calls already. Man, I don’t even have this kind of strength, today’s been a long morning already.
Bayo’s voice is still ringing in my head. You see, we later continued our conversation as soon as I could get away from landlady.
“Guy I wan divorce my wife o. Shey you go fit run am for me? The best part sef… ”
“Guy… Guy… If you wan insult me, you for start by calling me stupid na. I resemble divorce lawyer for your eye…? ”
” Guy she hold bar die… I’m telling you, you’ll be walking away with millions in attorney fees o”
Chike is mad finally. To think he’s not returning my calls. In fact, everyone in this office is mad. Oga doesn’t even want to understand that i messed up the case only because Chike took my notes, everything I had on the case, and still has guts to not pick up.
The beeping of my phone distracts me momentarily. It’s a text from an unknown number.
Who’s this one now?
Better not be mtn,’cos I’ll just pour my frustration on them.
“-Please, who’s this? ”
I type rapidly,punching the keys in anger and lay my phone face down on the desk,a girl’s got work to do.
Not impressed with my Performance, Oga saddled me with one of the worst cases in the waiting list. A beauty queen whose sex tape got leaked – these over pampered spoilt brats, one small thing happens and they call daddy dearest to get a lawyer.
So, after 6 years spent training to be a kickass, Oga wants me to be a damage control lawyer, to start hounding the press, forcing them to bring down posts – claiming photoshop,chasing after them in my heels, swinging my bag over my head and shouting “I will sue o” like a raving Lunatic, all because of Chike.
I’m waiting for him today.
“- have you started packing already? I found a boys quarters in apapa side. Interested? ”
So, what I don’t get is – somehow, mide hates me but won’t get off my case. How did he even get my number to Start with. These ajebutter boys with too much drama sef!
Wo! See, I don’t even have strength, I’ll deal with this one later, Chike just entered the office.
Everywhere’s now quiet. Even that paralegal that has been making noise with the dispenser as if they don’t have water at home, is silent.
“Asampetem! How now? This one you’re frowning your eye like this, be like say Oga Don drop one charge and bail case for you”
Please, why is this idiot laughing. He thinks speaking his language for me will make me forgive him?
I increase the tempo with which I’m typing into my system. The click-clack of the keyboard is the only sound in the room, save for that mumu that has resumed disturbing the water dispenser. Like, will kicking it make the water come out any faster. I wonder the part of Shomolu they picked him from, as i silently motion to Chike that his query is on his desk.
His expression has changed, he’s no longer smiling.
No now! Be laughing, I thought everything is funny.
I’m certain this query is coming with a pay cut, for Chike to be suddenly serious like this. I mean Chike has received more queries in one month than I’ve ever received since my call to bar. Oga keeps him here just because he’s good at his job, and boy, is he good?
It’s really frustrating. Chike’s the one who messed up, but it’s me mailing a faceless blog owner to take down the sex tape while the best case so far is sitting pretty on Chike’s desk – A school owner who was kidnapped and murdered by her driver. Sometimes it’s as if Chike is stealing my shine here. How do I get promoted when I’m still handling beginner cases, something a 2nd year law student can handle sef.
“Are you still angry with me? I’m sorry now”
His voice is cool. This salary cut must be something o, for him to calm down like this. He’s probably broke already, and it’s not even month end yet. Lagos boys, God forbid.
I ignore him, still.
“Okay, let me make it up you. I have a divorce case I’m handling outside the office Sha. If you work with me, you get half of my attorney fees. Trust me, you’ll be set for life. Like, open your own chamber if you want”
My ears are already standing at attention, but I need to act uninterested abeg,before Chike will start feeling like something.
“Ah! Na wa o! Faweh, this your anger fit boil yam o, I’m sorry Na. Ejoor! Please! ”
” Chike, what is it? You’re disturbing me o. Let somebody have peace in this office abeg”
I can’t hide my excitement and he knows, the evil grin slowly returns to his face.
“I have errands to run, but you see am now, i don get query, so let me be a good boy today and stay in the office small. My client works in Festac, just help me take a few documents to him and ask some questions for me, I’d be needing it for the proceedings. When I’m done being a good boy, I’ll go serve the wife… ”
My phone goes off again.
Please, why is Mide calling me?
I mute the call and shove the phone into my bag.
” Oya, abeg give me your client’s office address, let me get out of here before i run mad”
Nothing prepared me for the mighty edifice standing before me. When Bayo said she was swimming in money, I didn’t envisage a mansion in Parkview.
I wave at the gatekeeper and drive into the compound, empty but for the six cars in the driveway.
Who dey drive this one abeg? I honestly do not see why Bayo wants to opt out of this marriage. Like, just manage and be enjoying money. Simple!
Okay, what they say about fulani women is true. Amina Dan-Ali is beautiful and she answers her own door.
“Good Afternoon ma’am. My name is CHIKE, attorney at Law, with Adeyemi & Coker… ”
” Oh, please do come in. My husband is expecting someone from your chambers but he’s not in at the moment, would you like to wait for him? ”
I watch the fair, soft spoken lady at the door and wonder how to break the news to her. She doesn’t even look like the Wahala type, dressed simply in jeans and a loose shirt,you wouldn’t even guess that she’s worth billions in USD. With the way her hair falls in waves to her shoulders – she’s obviously of mixed race – Fulani and something.
I hope Bayo knows what he’s doing. Me, I’m just a lawyer that has to eat, wetin concern me.
“No, I’m not here for your husband, I came to see you. Can I come in? ”
Her eyes widen in surprise, not used to getting visitors, especially not lawyers. She suspects something is wrong. I brush past her into the living room.
Man! These people are living in money. Like, for the favorite daughter of the Chief of Army staff, she’s representing. I could place one or several things in the living room that were imported from Saudi or somewhere middle east.
She’s still standing in the doorway, confused expression on her face, watching me take in her parlor. She must be used to leaving guests in awe.
“Please, come over let’s begin, I have to return to the office soon”
My heart is racing.
Festac is Festac, and I don’t have a car.
Chike will pay for the Uber, I will not even let this one go.
I squint into the sun, staring at the office complex before me. People have money oh, and they’ll be the first to shout “Country hard!”
“Please I’m here to see Bayo Ademinokan!”
See, even their security is tush. His black uniform shines brighter than the black skirt i have on,which goes without saying that i got it for almost five thousand. Imagine when the gateman dresses better than you.
“Do you have an appointment? Who should I say you are? ”
I nod, and he clicks a button on the intercom.
“Just tell him a rep from Adeyemi & Coker. He’s expecting me”
Few minutes later, I’m riding the elevator to the penthouse.
Okay,for some reason, I was so engrossed in my phone that i missed the elevator ding, and standing in the office directly opposite the elevator and calling out my username from the past is – Karma.
“Well, Thot1982 how do you do? ”
The tears are welling up, I can feel their salty taste in my throat. Why does my past have to keep coming up in my face. Like, have I slept with the whole of Lagos?
” It’s actually Bayo, now! ”
He gives a wide grin and makes way for me to enter the office.
” Faweh Ogutimeyin, for Adeyemi & Coker”
I reply in my proudest of voices. Yes, I have made a life for myself.
He seems surprised but just nods it off.
“So, I hope Chike didn’t tell you anything bad about me. You know it’s been so long, I didn’t even know you’re still in Lagos, we should catch up”
He’s already reaching for my shoulder.
Na so e dey start, from clap now,e go enter dance.
I dodge it and head instead for the desk to lay out the documents I came with.
“You would have known if you bothered to call back three years ago. Anyway, I’m just here for business. Now, let’s get you divorced”