I’ve never really spent Christmas alone, as it is the only opportunity I have to spend time with my family. However, this Christmas was a little different. I had my hands full with work and I was torn between staying to work over the holidays or going home to spend it with the family in the village. After thinking about the unnecessary expenses plus, I needed to really take a full rest, I decided to stay alone and round up for the year.
On my last day of work, my boss came into my office and said,
‘Hey Zoe, you look so busy. Don’t you ever take a break?’ He asked
“Well, I’m trying to finish up and clear my desk so I can spend the holidays relaxing since I’m not spending it with my family”, I replied.
“That’s great. You’re such an asset to this company. Uhm… Here. Have this and have a happy holiday”, he said as he dropped an envelope on my desk & hurriedly left my office.
I thought I detected a hint of a blush, but I wasn’t so sure. I opened it & saw a cheque for 500 hundred thousand naira. This was asides my salary and bonus which was huge.
“I’m indeed going to have a happy holiday”, I thought to myself.
By the time I was done at the office, all that was on my mind was to drive home and sleep. I politely turned down the invitation by my colleagues for a drink at the bar close by.
The next morning, just as I was doing my usual daily workouts, my phone rang. I rolled my eyes at the caller I.D.
“Yo!” I said.
“Hey Zoe. I’m coming over to your house in 3 hours. Pack your things. We’re going to Ilashe beach”. What? Is this girl mad? Alex knows how much I hate to be given impromptu news.
As I was about to rant back to her about the whole impromptu arrangement, I remembered I saw some missed calls from her as I was leaving the office last night but I forgot to return the call.
Trust Alex not to send a text when you refuse to pick her calls. I doubt her phone can even send SMS.
“Alright ‘Lex but make it 4 hours. I have to do my hair, pedi & mani. How long are we staying for?” I asked.
“This is the 24th. We’re staying till the 31st. You know the natives there usually have a carnival of sorts around this time. Plus, it’s by the sea. You need the air”, she replied.
“Aii. See you then”, I said & dropped the phone.
By 12 noon, Alex had picked me up and we were both on our way to Ikoyi Boat Club where we’d take a boat ride to our destination. As we got there, I noticed some of our friends & acquaintances were already there.
I chuckled to myself.
Planning a private affair has never been Alex’s thing. The whole world must be invited. As I said my hellos & how are yous’, I noticed the air around me go still.
‘Oh God. No. Let him not be here’, I whispered. I felt someone behind me and I knew who it was before I turned. I was swept into his arms, I can recognize him even when blindfolded, with my head barely reaching his stomach.
“Hey Stranger”, he said.
“Tomi”, I murmued.
We used to be such good friends and more till we got into a relationship and his woman threatened him to break it off.
I guess he loved her that much to oblige her, I couldn’t blame her. I probably would’ve done the same thing.
You see, Tomi is your bag of chocolate goodness and more with a great personality to match too. I’ve often times thought about him while I got myself off. Just as I was about to ask where his girlfriend was, I saw her kissing some other friend of ours.
Tomi saw it too and said, ‘yeah, she’s with Niyi now’.
I tried to be sympathetic but I’m sure he knew I didn’t mean it. We caught up on old times and soon, we were aboard the boat to Ilashe…
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