Day by day we find ourselves dragged left and right. Our Needs and Wants entangled in a furious embrace. The mind being the battlefield, which side will prevail? Our pressing Needs or our luscious Wants?
‘Excuse me Ma. Ma?’
‘Yes?’ She answered, turning to face the person who was calling her.
‘Your meeting with the consultants.’
‘Yes, Yes, the consultants.’ Eva said arranging random documents on her table in an attempt to collect her thoughts. ‘…the consultants. Uhm… which consultants?’ She finally asked unable to recall any scheduled meeting.
‘The consultants for the Shipping case you’re working on?’ Nonye the secretary replied. ‘Practically the only case you’ve been working on for the past few weeks.’
Eva wasn’t dumb. She could sense the blatant annoyance in her words. Her colleagues and coworkers were jealous that she hooked or more like, got hooked by a huge client and felt their boss played favorites with her. If only they knew.
‘Ok. I’ll be there in a few minutes. Let me gather what I need’
Nonye threw her a side eye before walking out of the office. Eva took a deep breath and then exhaled.
‘Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I can’t allow Ebuka’s request cloud my mind like this, especially when I’m at work.’ Eva said to herself. ‘I’ll call him after the meeting and reject his proposal. It’s stupid that’s what it is. Stupid. I’m even more stupid for even giving it a second of my time.’
After prepping herself, she stood up from her chair with renewed confidence and determination and walked out of her office straight to her meeting, feeling like a huge load has been lifted from her now that she had made a decision.
There was a knock on the door.
Kosi looked up from his work to see who was at the door and glowered.
‘Hello Ebuka. How may I be of assistance?’
Ebuka exuded confidence and wealth as he walked into Kosi’s office wearing a clean and crisp suit.
‘May I?’ He asked, motioning to the chair opposite Kosi.
Without saying another word, Ebuka took the seat offered and stared at Kosi. Seconds went by without either party saying anything. Annoyed at the silence, Kosi opened his mouth to speak but Ebuka interrupted him.
‘I heard you’re quite the Engineer.’
‘I try.’ Kosi replied sounding modest.
‘No. No. I’ve done my research and you’re one of the best in this firm.’
‘What do you want Ebuka. I know you didn’t come here to praise me on my technical skills.’
‘Oh but I did. Well, I also came for so technical advice.’
Kosi’s eyes narrowed at him.
‘You see I have this bicycle I love. I got it when I was a lot younger. I had it for years until my family moved and I was unable to take it with me.’ He paused, seeing the steel in Kosi’s eyes and he carried on with a smile. ‘The years go by and I am back to my old city and out of nostalgia, decide to see what has become of my former home and silently hoping to see my bicycle. Unsurprisingly, a new family has moved into the house and they have a teenage son who loves this bicycle as well and went as far as pimping it up…’
‘It’s no longer your bicycle. Let. It. Go.’ Kosi interrupted. ‘And I’m an engineer not a mechanic…’
‘Semantics.’ Ebuka dismissed him with a wave of his hand.
Kosi stood up from his desk. ‘I don’t have to listen to this. If that’ll be all, I would like you to leave.’
Ebuka didn’t move.
‘There’s no need to get upset. I just wanted you to understand how much I love this bicycle. And I’m a man that gets what he wants, one way or the other.’
He stood up then. Kosi and Ebuka were now inches apart.
‘All I hear is a man who didn’t appreciate what he had when he had it and has come back to whine about losing his toy now that someone else has it. We both know this toy was never yours to begin with.’ There was a smug look on Kosi’s face as he continued. ‘I don’t need to take this crap from you. Your antics are beneath me.’
Ebuka’s eyes hardened slightly then became calm once more.
‘They may be but your wife definitely was.’
It happened so fast. Kosi’s right fist connected with Ebuka’s jaw causing him to stumble back in shock, then anger before laughing. It was a deep laugh, one without mirth.
‘There’s more where that came from Ebuka, now leave before I have to throw you out myself.’ He said moving to bundle him out of his office.
Ebuka grabbed his right hand, twisted and slammed his face on the table. Kosi’s face exploded in pain. He struggled to free himself but Ebuka had his right hand held securely at his back and his face pressed to the table.
‘Oh I deserved that.’ Ebuka hissed. ‘but I certainly hope you enjoyed it because you won’t be getting the chance again.’
‘Have a nice day Kosi.’ Ebuka said releasing him as he slowly backed away. ‘Oh! And one more thing.’ He added adjusting his suit as he moved to leave. ‘Do be a darling, Tell Eva I say Hi.’
Eva was happy. The meeting with the Consultants went well, the case was progressing smoothly, she had come to a decision about Ebuka and for the first time in months, she was able to come home early.
‘I’ll surprise Kosi! Prepare dinner, some Netflix and chill.’
Excitement bubbled out of her as she turned the lock to open the house door.
‘Oh! Babe. You’re back. Isn’t it a bit too early?’ She asked checking the time on her phone. It was 5:30 pm.
No reply. Eva walked to the back of the couch to hug him from behind.
‘You lied to me.’
Eva stopped. ‘What?’
‘You fucking lied to me.’
‘Babe what do you mean?’ She asked, coming to join him on the sofa. ‘I didn’t lie to you.’
‘Yeah you’re right… because you’ve been lying to me and still are!’
‘Babe what do you…?’
‘You slept with Ebuka.’
He stood up from the couch and started pacing the room.
‘But you let him touch you. Damn it!’ He added when he noticed her hesitation.
‘Babe, baby let me explain.’ She started also getting up from the couch.
‘What?! Huh? What’s your excuse? You fell into his arms?’
‘What?! Did he force you?’ His voice softened a bit. ‘He didn’t… did he?’
‘Uhm… he… in a way.’
‘Talk to me. It’s either he did or he didn’t.’ Kosi demanded. He held her by her shoulders, forcing her to look at him.
‘It happened so fast!’ She began in a rush. ‘At first we were talking then the next thing he’s kissing me and…’
‘Did you kiss him back?’
Kosi let her go, scrubbing his face with his hands. Seconds passed between them without any words.
‘Tell me that’s all. Tell me nothing else happened and don’t lie to me.’ Kosi demanded his back to her.
Tears began streaming down her face as she shook her head. When he didn’t hear a reply, he turned to look at her and the guilt he saw on her face was all the answer he needed.
‘Please… I didn’t sleep with him! Please!’
‘Is that supposed to be a consolation prize for me? We did everything else but not sex?!’
‘No! I can’t look at you right now! Just go.’ He answered when she tried to come closer to him.
‘Babe please, I have nowhere else to go.’
The tears flowed freely now like the breaking of a dam.
‘Why not go to Ebuka, since you were so happy to have him on top of you.’
The slap stung. It felt hot across his cheek where Ebuka had earlier slammed. He felt initial regret but the thought of Ebuka’s hands all over Eva’s body hardened him. He turned away from her, walked into the bedroom and locked the door.