Familiar Stranger: Series 9

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At about lunch time the next day, Desire’s phone rang. It was Tunji. She smiled.

“How’s your meeting going?” she asked.

“Good. What are you doing?”

“I’m on my way to go grab lunch with the guy from Legal. I’m tired of the same taste of the canteen food”.

“Where are you having lunch?”

“Some nearby canteen. We’re having amala”.

“I haven’t had that in a while. If you don’t mind, I’ll like to join you and your colleague to lunch. Would you wait for me?”

“I thought you weren’t due in today.”

“I can wrap up early”.

“Ok, that would be great”.

When he arrived at about 3pm, the guy from Legal had gone ahead and had lunch. He couldn’t wait any longer.

“I’m outside”, he said when Desire answered his call.

“I’m sorry I made you wait”, he said when she got into his car. “I wasn’t sure if you would want this. I had it for breakfast and I thought you might want one”, he said as he handed her a cup of pink smoothie.

“Seriously? You knew you would come in today at some point, didn’t you? I mean, if you had this for breakfast and got me one, what are the chances that you were sure you weren’t coming in today?”

“You ask too many questions.”

“Shall we?”

“Where’s the Legal guy?” he asked.

“Never mind. He had lunch already.”

They sat like old friends and spoke naturally as they ate their amala at the local buca.

“I can’t remember the last time I had amala. I barely even eat out and you know, at that sort of place. I have a sensitive stomach”, he said as he drove them back to work. “Most ladies I know too wouldn’t be caught dead eating in that kind of place with a guy”.

“Oh well, I’m not most ladies”.

He touched her hand on her lap so gently. “I know”.

She moved her hand beneath his. “You seem like a really nice guy and I want it to remain just that. These impressions you laying on me aren’t welcome. I can’t deal with it. I’m ready for that”.

“Now this is a part of you I don’t know. The other side of you I want to know. I want to know your story so that I can better appreciate you, when you talk and what informs your decisions. I asked you about the home front once and from your hesitation, I could sense that something isn’t well”.

“My family isn’t up for discussion. My relationship with you is strictly professional, I advise you stay within your limits”, her countenance changes immediately.

“I totally understand. I didn’t mean any harm”, he turned a straight face and drive them to the office in silence. Awkward silence.

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