Later that evening, he called again. Desire would rather not pick his call but because he had said earlier that it wasn’t a chase, she was compelled to pick up. It could actually be work related. So she spoke with him, being mindful of her speech on the phone with another man while her husband was in the living room with her. When Tunji called her during her drive home, she had told him she wouldn’t speak with him whenever she is home.
“If it’s urgent, you can text me instead”, she said to him.
But when she said that, she thought she sensed something different in his voice but she couldn’t place it. He didn’t have the right to be jealous or upset about that.
“Who was that?” her husband asked when she was done with the call.
“A colleague from work”, she answered, not looking at him. She concentrated on the report she was putting together to the MD.
“Do I know her?” her husband asked.
“No, you don’t know him. He’s new in”, she answered in the same manner.
It used to bother her whenever her husband said that during their conversations but she’d grown to let it slide. So she continued her work, ear plugs back in her ear.
From then till the next meeting that caused them to sit side by side, she didn’t receive a call or text from him. She knew she had been missing something in her routine the past few days but she hadn’t placed it. It was only when they came to sit side by side that she realized it was him that was missing from her routine.
The meeting went well. They had reached the final stages of a new project. It was up to Tunji to seal the deal and feed the house back on contract closure and implementations with their new client.
“Hi”, Tunji whispered behind her ears as they walked out of the conference room. She hadn’t expected him to come to her like that but then again, he had his unconventional way about everything.
“Hi”, she hadn’t realized she whispered in response.
“I’ve been a good boy because you asked me too. You promised me an evening out. I expect you’ve given it much thought now. What say you?”
He must be out of his mind, Desire thought.
“I’ve got plans for tonight. Sorry”, she said instead.
“And tomorrow? It’s Saturday”.
“I have a few meetings on the mainland in the morning. Perhaps if I’m back early enough, we could meet”, Desire said. She had no intentions of hurrying through her meetings on the mainland, let alone see him that Saturday.
“Ok, call me and let me know how your movements go”, he said.
Fortunately for Desire, her meetings were brief that Saturday and she made it back in time to spend the afternoon with her family. Just then, the phone rang. It was Tunji.
“Hello Familiar Stranger”, he said in that jovial flirtatious way.
Oh boy! Will Desire ever get tired of smiling at the mention of that name? “Hi”, she managed casually.
“Where are you?”
“Just getting back to the island”.
“Ok, I’m close by. I’ll wait for you at the coffee shop by 1st Avenue. I believe you can locate it”.
“Ok. See you soon”.
It wasn’t until Desire hung up that she realized she had just agreed to see him after she thought it’d be a great opportunity to spend quality time at home. She’d been very busy with the many projects going on at work and by virtue of her role, she needed to write a lot of business plans, proposals and see them through to point of sale to the clients. But then, she really wanted to get this infamous hang out with Tunji out of the way so that he would no longer have a basis for disturbing her. Hopefully, they could get back into being just colleagues after this.