Florence Iheanacho got exactly what she was expecting when she got home- an earful from her roommate. “How could you, Florence? That was a silly risk to take!” Felicia looked as mortified as Florence felt when she had to tell her friend what had occurred when shekissed Jide Babalola. “See how you just fell my hand sha. Right there in his office. And you were caught… oh my God.” Florence held back a flash of temper. “What’s all this na? Felicia, did I tell you what happened so you would make me feel terrible afresh? Or you think I don’t have enough sense to realize all these things you‘re saying? Biko, stop.” Felicia sighed. “Okay, I’m sorry. I’m just sosurprised that you went that far. If someone had told me this morning, as we were dressing up for work, that you were going to go and end up kissing Jide Babalola…”“Trust me, if someone had said it, I would not have believed it myself.” Florence muttered. “It was a spur-of-the-moment thing that I should have known would not turn out well.” Felicia sighed again and settled on the mattress beside her friend, glancing at their lone window. Outside, the sounds of some of their neighbours chattering battled with the sound of passing traffic and the generator which was blasting away behind their room. The noise from the television, which Florence had switched on, also joined to keep their conversation private. In a compound suchas that where they lived, eavesdropping at windows was a favourite pastime, and Felicia was careful to keep her voice low. “We all make mistakes, dear. I understand.Hmm! I know why all this happened.” Florence raised a sceptical brow. “Oh yeah? Why?”“The greatest evil to befall young, virtuous women. The evil Konji.” Felicia said ominously, wiggling her brows. She beamed when Florence snorted in amusement. At least the little joke had helped to lift the mood. “Sometimes it’s hard to ignore our urges, girl. So I shouldn’t totally blame you.”“I should be bigger than my sexual impulses, Felicia.” Florence disagreed. “Am I a teenager fighting new hormones? I’ve had years of being single and abstaining, so it’s really no excuse.” She looked at the window too, lowering her voice when she realized the neighbours had stopped chatting. “Jide is just so magnetic, it’s no wonder I wasn’t thinking straight.”“So what happens now?” Felicia asked, two worry lines appearing between her brows. “Do you think this will affect your job?” Florence shrugged. “I don’t know o. the truth is, I don’t know Jide that well.
He could very well get me removed just so he won’t have to see me again. But he may not; I think he won’t be that unkind. As for me, if I had not just been transferred to that office floor, I would have requested to be placed somewhere else. Now I have to face my bad decision every day for the next few months. Well, I have no one but myself to blame.” She ended miserably. “And what about this Miss Anita Bankole?” Felicia asked. “You don’t think she will take this matter further?” Florence looked puzzled. “Why? I’m no threat to her; I’m just a silly secretary way in over her head. Jide is her main target. Trust me, I’m sure right now, she has forgotten about me.”** **Florence Iheanacho was wrong about Anita. Anita Bankole was in her living room, the volume of her television turned up as she watched a bestseller movie. Theexpensive home theatre system was blaring out the sounds of an action-filled car chase, but the noise barely made a dent in her thoughts; she simply stared at the screen without really seeing what was showing on it.Front and centre in her thoughts was Jide Babalola, and Florence was a close second. “But what does that bonga fish have that I don’t? Eh?” Anita muttered to herself as she toyed with the remote control on her lap, her long nails tapping restlessly. “As in, what?” She thought of the secretary, trying to remember if there was anything remarkable about her. Other than untamed brows, long hair and a face Anitathought of as ‘pleasantly just there’, she could not think of anything that could trump her own looks. So what was the attraction for Jide Babalola?
The sound of fighting poured out from the speakers, mirroring the state of Anita’s thoughts. She tapped her nails again, frowning as she wondered why Jide wouldreject her, a ‘total package’, for the simple-looking, far more ordinary secretary.With a long hiss, she abruptly clicked on the television remote control on her lap, silencing the speakers and plunging the cool living room into silence.Jide must be insane, she thought, clenching her fists.And its time to show him the error of his ways.Let the battle begin.** **For Jide, the battle had already gone far.He was sweating buckets as he faced his wife and the telling pictures on her laptop. Aware of her zero tolerance for infidelity, he knew he would have to pick his words carefully.If his answer did not satisfy his wife, she could leave him. Or worse.
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