Florence couldn’t keep a smile off her face as she closed up her boss’s office, said goodbye to Nancy and left the premises of the legal chambers for her usual short walk home.She had ignored the curious questions from Jide’s secretary about what he had summoned her into his office for. He had confided inher and she intended to respect his trust. The fact that he had trusted her so much, despite their history, still filled her with wonder. She hoped he could sort out his issues with his wife and get back on the right track in his marriage. He seemed to be an okay guy who had just made a few too many poor decisions.
She wondered if she would have forgiven him if she were in Patricia’s shoes and decided she could not give herself an honest answer. After all, hadn’t she kissed amarried man herself? She had no right to judge Jide too harshly or without bias.The smile stayed on her lips till she got home and immediately her roommate, Felicia, saw her expression, she raised a brow and asked. “What’s tickling this one? Did your boss kiss you again?”Florence threw her friend a mock glare, then laughed. “Don’t you trust me to have learned my lesson?”“No.” came the instant response. “Trust me, it’s over. I may still think he’s handsome and all, but I won’t act on it.” Florence ignored the mocking grunt her friend threw her way. Unexpectedly, tears threatened to fill her eyes. “I’ve had my first and last taste of the forbidden fruit. It only leaves one with heartache and loss. Trust me, I’m never touching another woman’s man again.” Surprised by the emotion in her roommate’s voice, Felicia stopped what she was doing and embraced her friend. Florence returned the tight hug wordlessly.
They stood there, two best friends embracing in the heat of a Lagos afternoon, the sound of their noisy neighbours drifting in through the opened windows of their room and Florence knew, deep down inside her, that she would be alright.** **Some kilometres away, on the third floor of the office premises of the legal chambers where Florence worked, Jide opened the door to Anita Bankole’s office, hoping she would be willing to listen to him. “Sorry for barging in unannounced but your secretary is gone and…” Jide stopped short on the threshold of the door as his brain took in what his eyes were seeing. He had been right about the office being occupied,but he had been wrong about the number of occupants. Anita Bankole was in her office, but she was not alone.At first he could only make out long, fair legs wrapped around trouser-covered legs, then his eyes adjusted to the dim light in the office. Anita was sitting on the edge of her desk, her legs wrapped around a man’s thighs as his hands gripped her hips.They had been kissing passionately before Jide’s entrance interrupted them.
“Jide!” Anita said crossly, her chest rising and falling rapidly as her kissing partner moved apart from her. “Wow, thanks for bursting in likethat.” Jide was about to retort with a reminder that she was also always barging into his office unannounced when he recognized the man hastily rearranging his clothes. His eyes widened in surprise. “What the hell? Bayo! Seriously, dude!”His colleague grinned shamefacedly,throwing a look at Anita.
“Hey, Jide my man, calm down na.” Jide scoffed, entering the office fully and letting the door swing shut behind him as he crossed his arms and shook his head in amazement. When he had told Bayo about his affair with Anita, and his colleague had expressed lewd interest in sampling her luscious body as well, he had thought of it as a joke. But Bayo had obviously been serious. “Hey, we’re men and you know how it is with us..” Bayo was saying.Jide cut him off with a laugh. “Seriously? You went after her…?”“Can you both take your chest-beating discussion out of my office?” Anita said crossly, sliding off her desk and walking to the chair behindit. she dug a tube of lipstick from within her desk drawer and reapplied the blood-red stain on her lips. “And nobody comes after me, Jide. Remember, I take what I want.”“Until it doesn’t want you anymore.” Jide retorted before he could stop himself.Anita’s eyes narrowed and Jide kicked himself mentally. He had not come to her office to antagonize her or remind her he had ended their affair, but seeing his lecherous colleague had destabilized him. He held up an apologetic hand. “Look, I didn’t come here to quarrel. Ijust want to talk, okay? Can you tell your boyfriend to leave?”“He’s not my boyfriend.” Anita snapped, ignoring Bayo’s injured look. She threw him a sharp glance.
“We’ll talk later Bayo.” Bayo shrugged and smirked at Jide, who simply shook his head as he watched his colleague leave the office. He hoped Bayo’s wife would see the lipstick stain on the man’s collar. “Well, what do you want?” Anita asked impatiently. “And it had better be good.” She paused from shufflingthe documents on her table, a sly smile dancing on her glistening lips. “Or have you changed your mind and run back to mama?” Jide shook his head and took a deepbreath. Seeing Bayo had already spoiled his plans for a tactful leadinginto his question, so he decide to justgo straight to the point.Fingers crossed.He leaned over his ex-mistress’s table and looked into her eyes. “Anita, did you try to have me killed for leaving you?”
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