Tuesday morning did not meet me well. After getting home the previous night, I cried myself to sleep with a whole bottle of wine to soothe the pain. Unfortunately, my brain forgot to tell me what a terrible idea it was to get drunk, seeing as I woke up with a terrible hangover on Tuesday.
My head was clanging, my stomach churned, and my mouth felt like sandpaper. When I raised my head to the direction of my window, the light almost blinded my alcohol-sensitive eyes.
Needless to say, I woke up quite late, so, not only was I feeling like crap, I was also very much late for work. I didn’t bother to rush anymore, I simply took my time to bathe and dress up for work. When I was finally ready, I took a cab to work, instead of driving my beautiful crappy Golf car.
Halfway to work, my phone rang, and it was my stepmother calling. I sighed, groaned and face-palmed myself, while the cab driver chuckled at my antics. I smiled awkwardly at him, before I finally decided to pick up the call.
“My dear, báwo ni?”
“I’m fine ma. How are you and dad doing?” I couldn’t cover the yawn that escaped my lips.
“Ha, are you still in bed ni?” Damn her sharp ears.
“Rárá mà” I responded sharply.
She seemed suspicious of me but thankfully, my driver horned at a trespassing cyclist. “Oh, you are on the way to work. But why are you just going to work around this time ọmọ yìí?”
“I don’t feel so good aunty, but it’s nothing a little paracetamol won’t fix.” This time I didn’t hide the huge yawn that came out. I was so hungry.
“My dear, do you want to come home? Have you gone to the hospital?”
“Aunty I’m fine. Just a little fever. Calm down now.” My Aunty and hysteria are two identical words.
She sighed loudly for me to hear. “Donatella, mi ò like gbogbo àwọn nǹkan tó ǹ ṣe yìí ò.”
“Auuuntyy. Seriously, I’m being taken care of.”
“Oh, by that fiancé of yours àbí?” She perked up immediately.
“No, Luke is not around. Peter, Dolapo, and Femi have been taking care of me well in his absence.” I rolled my eyes at her eagerness to discuss my faux and inexistent boyfriend.
“That’s good. Ehn ehn, speaking of Femi and Dolapo, tell them they are also invited to the family weekend. It shouldn’t be just Peter and Nene every year.”
“Aunty, I know you. Tell me, why are you inviting them?”
The driver eased the car in front of our office building. I paid him his fare, and dragged my sorry ass and laptop holder out of his car. I whispered the customary thank you before making my way into the office compound.
“….. He’s good for her Sha.” I didn’t hear the beginning of her sentence because I wasn’t paying attention.
“Please can you recap? I was getting out of the car.” I pleaded.
“Ẹ̀yin ọmọ yí ṣá. I Said my niece will be coming, and frankly she is a good girl, but she’s too shy to meet men by herself. So, I’m thinking of setting her up with Femi. That boy is a good young man.”
For some unexplainable reason, I felt uncomfortable with the idea of another lady being in Femi’s life. “So, Ameera will be around for the weekend. That’s nice. It has been a long time since we last spoke.”
“My three beautiful girls will finally be together and play like they used to as youngsters.”
“Hmm” I wasn’t going to burst her bubble by telling her that Ameera and I despised her seemingly perfect daughter.
“Anyway, I’ll leave you to work now. Please don’t forget to pick your brother up from school when you’re coming on Thursday.” Thank God she reminded me cuz I totally forgot Dotun would need a ride to the resort from school.
“Oh, shoot. I almost forgot. I hope you didn’t accept his usual excuse of ‘school is busy’ this time.”
She laughed out loud. “Have I ever?”
I laughed in return. “Good point.”
“Oh, my dear, I can’t wait to finally see you all. Did I mention that Tonia is so happy that you’re engaged and she cannot wait to meet him.”
Oh snap! “Oh, did she say that?”
“Yes dear. Though she was just as skeptical of the news as I was. I’m sure you understand our initial skepticism. But now, she’s definitely going to be here on time by Thursday because she just needs to meet the mystery man. I really hope he comes Dona.”
I sighed as I made my way up the stairs to my own office. “I really hope so too aunty.” Heaven knows I meant it.
“Alright then. Take care of yourself dear. I’ll ask your father to call later, to see how you are doing and if the fever has broken.” I really won the lottery for the best stepmother.
“I love you Aunty.”
She was silent for a while, and I knew it was because she was surprised. I don’t say it often, because they all knew me as the not-so-emotional daughter.
“I love you more Dona. Have a great day.”
I entered my office, dropped my things on the table, and made my way to the office kitchenette. I needed a cup of caffeine if I wanted to survive the headache and hangover.
The office kitchenette is a small room with a fridge, a microwave, coffee brewer, cutlery, plates and cups, chairs, and tables. I met Peter inside, fiddling with the coffee brewer, while managing to munch on a carrot in his mouth.
“Good morning.” I mumbled. I was still slightly embarrassed about my dramatic exit the night before.
He turned to face me with a shy smile.
“Hey D. I was just brewing you a cup of coffee as a peace offering. Seems you just came in though.”
We were both silent for a second or two.
“Peter I’m…. “
We also started talking at the same time. When we realized what was happening, we both stopped and started laughing at our ridiculous antics. He held out his arms and I walked into his embrace without any hesitation.
“I’m sorry we pushed you to do what you did not want to do last night.” He said when he released me from the hug.
“Nonsense. I should be saying sorry. You guys were only trying to help. But I freaked out when those idiots started saying mean things to me.”
“For what it’s worth, they were very wrong. You my dear, are a spec. And any guy would be lucky to have you in their lives.”
“Thank you Pete.”
“You’re welcome. Now tell me, why do you look like crap, and why are you just coming to work this late?” Leave it to Peter to be so blunt.
“Thank you for the compliment.” I eyed him while picking the ready, steaming cup of coffee behind him. “Thank you for the coffee Peter.”
He ran after me as I made my way to my office. When we got to the door, I turned around to face him.
“Darling Peter, I’ve got work to do and you know that. So, see you later.” I shut my door in his face with satisfaction.
Served him right for telling me I looked like crap.
I was lost in thought as I made way to African Oasis restaurant during my lunch break. I had just two days to come up with a magical Luke the chef boyfriend and I didn’t know where to get one. Heaven knows admitting defeat to Anthonia was not an option, she would never let me live it down.
The screeching sound of tyres being put on brake jolted me out of my thoughts and finally made me conscious of my surroundings. I was in the restaurant’s parking lot, but when I saw myself in front of the restaurants delivery car, I thanked my lucky stars the driver was nice enough to hit the brakes before running me over.
The driver on the other hand wasn’t sharing my sentiments, as Luke the chef glared at me murderously from his position behind the wheels. He honked at me and I quickly rushed out of his way, as he drove past me.
I entered the restaurant, and spotted Femi. He saw me and waved me over, but I signalled for him to give me a minute. I needed to say hi to Ehis.
“Donatella my dear. How are you doing today?” his broad smile coaxed a smile from me.
“Do you have a death wish?” A masculine voice whispered harshly behind me.
Damn! He smelled so good. I turned around to look at a scowling Luke. He realized our proximity, and he moved away from me to the other side of the counter. He stood beside Ehis instead, as I tried to formulate a response for him.
“What has Donatella done to you this time Luke?” Ehis asked him.
Before Luke could answer, one of the female waiters came to whisper something to him and he nodded.
“Ask her to not turn me into a murderer. Excuse me uncle, I have something to attend to in the back.” He glared at me one more time before disappearing into the back door.
Staring at his retreating back, a thought suddenly popped into my head. What if Luke the chef was my Luke the chef?”
“What does he mean by that Donatella?” Ehis faced me instead.
“Excuse me Sir, could you give me a minute?” I smiled at him before ducking under the counter and making my way to the employee’s domain.
It has never hurt anyone to try. And I was going to try my luck. Good luck Donnie, I hope you get your man.
Sooo… What do you think Luke will do? He’s such a charmer, isn’t he? 😍😍
Thank you for reading. Happy weekend.