By Moyosore Teniola
No part of this write up should be edited, published or produced in any form without a prior written permission from the copyright owner.
*HOW THEY MET*
Roseline raised her left wrist to check the time again for the umpteenth time. She was running late for work. Her husband had left the house very early in his car to catch up with a business appointment. She had started the engine of her own car about an hour later but the engine was not ready to cooperate that very morning.
At exactly 7:15am, she decided to go pick a bike with her daughter in order to drop her first at her school which was not too far from their estate. By the time she got to the bus stop where she was supposed to catch a bus to her own office after she left her daughter’s school, it was around 7:35am already.
“Oh God! I will be so late,” she muttered.
And just then, a car pulled over.
“Hello madam,” the man behind the wheels greeted.
“If you don’t mind, I can give you a ride to your destination.”
“Huh” Rose scoffed, and answered, “Never mind sir, I’m waiting for a bus.”
“Why stress yourself, seeing that you are running late already? Hop in, it’s just a favour, I don’t mean any harm, I just wanna help,” the man reiterated.
Rose doesn’t like entering strangers’ cars not even a man at that. She is fully aware of the effect her beauty has on men, so she does not want to give the devil a chance in anyway but this morning, she was really running late, her supervisor will resume work again after he had been away on his annual leave for some weeks, she would not want to give him the impression that she had been coming late to work while he was away.
Roseline had no choice than to take the man’s offer since she concluded that he seems to be harmless.
“Thanks,” she replied and entered the car.
“It’s my pleasure madam, I don’t like seeing women go through any kind of stress, you women are our mothers, you know” He added laughing.
Rose managed a smile, she determined to be a ‘closed system’ all through the ride.
“I have watched you standing there for about five minutes before I pulled over to your side,” the man continued.
“Really?” Rose asked surprised.
“Yes madam, I was on the other side of the road where a vulcanizer was attending to my flat tyre. I saw the way you kept checking your wristwatch and biting your lips continuously, I sensed you were so much in haste and I really wanted to help… By the way, my name is Michael, I am a medical doctor, I work in one of the private hospitals in town, Fountain Hospital precisely, I am sure you must have heard of it before.
“Yes I have,” Rose replied. “It’s a big one with lots of staff,” she added.
Rose then asked,
“Are you heading there right away? It’s not too far from my work place.”
“Oh yes! I’m going to work,” Michael answered as he turned into the road that leads to the hospital. “Where do you work?” He asked.
“Harmony Microfinance Bank,” she responded.
“I see, I know the bank so well.”
He dropped Rose at her office. She was really grateful, seeing that Michael was not the promiscuous type of man. Some men would have insisted on collecting one’s phone number or even ask for a deeper relationship.
“I didn’t even tell him my name, yet he didn’t press for it” she thought… She said a hearty thank you to him again as he made to move.
“Don’t mention madam, it’s my pleasure,” he said smiling and zoomed off.
“Thank God,” Rose sighed as she entered her office and noticed that her boss’s office was still locked. Just as she settled down, about to pray, she thought she saw someone that looked like her boss. She peered through the transparent door again and indeed, there he was.
The door opened and he entered wearing a funny look.
“Not so fast Rose, I saw the guy who dropped you but I promise not to tell okay?!” He said jokingly.
Rose sighed and thought “at least he didn’t complain about my lateness.”
Then she said aloud, “Welcome Mr. Williams, so good to have you back… The guy? He only gave me a lift, nothing else, I don’t know him neither he me.”
“Oh, I see, it’s better. Glad to see you again too. How have you been? And by the way, why are you late?”
“Oh Jeez!” Rose murmured.
“My car had a minor fault, I had to come to work by means of commercial transport,” Rose replied.
“I see, so was that the commercial means?” Williams asked mischievously, referring to the car that dropped her by raising a thumb over his shoulder.
“He helped me when I couldn’t get a bus on time.” Rose replied, getting tired of her boss’s taunting.
Mr Williams can be sometimes troublesome.
“Okay, I was just pulling your legs anyway, but be careful, we men can be very funny. Make sure it is not beyond ‘the lift’ , Williams warned.
“Okay boss, Rose replied, glad that he was about to get off her back.
“Now, get me C&L company’s file, I need to see how they are making progress about their loan repayment. I heard from a reliable source that the company is going through some financial challenges, and you know what that means, we cannot afford to take any chances.”
“Okay sir, will do that right away,” Rose responded while Williams strolled to his office just adjacent hers.
Rose settled down to pray again.
“Father in Jesus name, I thank you Lord for the grace you gave me to report safely to work this morning and the favour of the man that helped me, be with me Lord, my husband and our daughter all through our activities today, grant my husband journey mercy and show him favour before his clients, In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
Her phone rang, it was David.
“Hello honey,” Rose chimed, “where are you now?”
“Hi Rose, I am at the airport right now, about to board the flight to Port Harcourt, are you at work already?”
“Sure, Rose replied, though it was a bit stressful this morning, the car refused to start but someone actually helped me down here.”
“Oh sorry, will call the mechanic to come over and take a look at whatever may be wrong with it. Will be back tomorrow or next as I promised. Take care of yourself and Debbie, will call you later.”
“Okay,” Rose replied, “May God be with you, love uuuuuuu…”
“Okay bye,” David responded and off went the line.
Yeah, that is David for you. It’s been a long time he said those words to his wife “I LOVE YOU” It’s been a long long time, probably during their courtship. Even whenever his wife said it, he still found it difficult to respond. Not because he doesn’t love or care for her but he is not just the romantic type and this drives Rose crazy.
She longed so much for sweet words and loving touches from her dear husband but got nothing.
“When last did my husband even give me a hug, except only when he needed sex? Hmmmmmm…” She sighed sadly, and tried to push her private affairs aside and get back to work.
“I must find C&L’s file right away,” she said as she set to start the day’s work.
Some hours later, her phone rang. There was panic in the voice of the caller,
“Is that Roseline Evans?” Came the voice, it was a female voice.
“Yes please,” Rose replied a bit worried, “Who am I on to please?”
“My name is Rita. I found your number on the phone of one Mrs Edwards who was hit by a careless driver in the early hours of today. I found her nearly unconscious by the road side and I rushed her to the hospital. She had been mentioning Rose since, so I decided to search for your number on her phone. She is presently receiving treatment at Fountain hospital along…”
“What?! I know the hospital,” Roseline shouted interrupting the caller. “Jesus! She screamed again dropping the phone on the tiled floor of the office.
The shattering sound of the phone reached her supervisor in the next office. He immediately called her on the intercom. “Hello Rose, I hope all is well, what was that sound?”
“My mum was involved in an accident, I need to go see her urgently please.”
She dropped the receiver without waiting for her boss’s response. She picked up her scattered phone, her bag and nearly flew out of her office. Williams was on time to block her on her way out.
“Take it easy Rose, all will be well okay? I will give you a call later.” he advised.
“Alright boss, thanks for your understanding,” she replied, tears running down her cheeks. The thought that her mother had been lying almost unconscious at the hospital all the while she was busy at work was too hard for her to take in.
“Poor mother,” she murmured as she rushed down to pick a bike to the hospital.
To be continued…
Okay, so she is meeting Michael again, isn’t it?