Grace bumped into the room. She stood in front of him. He couldn’t looked at her.
Grace: “Baby, we are waiting for you .”
Grace was a calm person who never wanted anything to ruffle anybody’s joy around her. She knew trying to ask questions why he yelled at Sandra might evoke some unwanted reactions. Osaze looked erratic. It could be a bad day at work, she thought.
Osaze: “I’ll be right behind you,” he said.
She left to the sitting room and she sat the quizzing eyes of her children followed her every move. The way they looked at her made her smile. Her funny children. Sandra was still sulking. After waiting for a few more minutes, Osaze dragged himself out and sat morose. Sandra didn’t wait for anyone to say anything as she broke into a prayer,
Sandra: “Thank you father for the gift of life. Thank you for protection and love. Thank you for my parents and brother. Bless and sanctify this food and provide for those who don’t have for in Jesus name I have prayed!”
They chorused “Amen” but Osaze’s was in whispers. It was his favourite Garri and vegetable but he ate it disinterestedly. Everyone looked down as they ate. The evening’s event had sapped the joy in the house. Osaze didn’t finish his food, he washed his hands and drew his chair back,
Osaze: “I’m feeling a bit off today,” they shook their headds as if to tell him, we thought as much. He stood up and went over to Alex and kissed his forehead, “Good night,man!”
Alex: “Good night,dad!”
Sandra fought with the tears that was struggling to have its way. He went over to her,
Osaze: “Good night, my baby!”she nodded, “and sorry for yelling at you!” a tear dropped, quickly she wiped it.
He left for the room. On the bed, he was tossing with a restless mind. No other thought occupied his mind than Zainab’s. He found himself fantasizing about her. It was the creaking of the door that brought his mind back. It was Grace, he shut his eyes pretending to be asleep. She changed into her nighties as she lied on the bed; she looked over him trying to see if he was awake or not. His eyes were firmly shut but there was no snores. He wasn’t a heavy snorer though but he snored. She tapped him,
Grace: “Hey babe,” he grunted and opened his eyes,
Osaze: “ Yeah,”he turned over.
Grace: “what’s wrong?”
Osaze: “How?” he looked at her
Grace: “ You said you had an off day today?”
Osaze: “It is nothing serious, sweerie!”
Grace: “Are you sure?”
Osaze: “It’s nothing to do with work,” he cleared his throat. He had to quickly make it clear that he there was no problem at work. He didn’t want to make her worried for no just cause. It was stupid of him to try to rub off his moodiness on his happy wife and kids.
Grace: “Okay, I believe you! Let’s pray!”
They held hands and started praying.
As he got to work that morning he felt alive again. He entered the studio smiling. The workers were still cleaning the place,
They chorused, “Good morning,sir,”
Osaze: “Good morning Peter,Halima, Haruna, Ojonugwa and Praise!” he smiled at them. As he was about leaving the reception, he paused, “Praise.”
Praise: “sir!” stood up, he was dusting the framed pictures on the ground.
Osaze: “Follow me so you’d get new pictures. Take away those ones and put in the store! I want here to have a fresh look!” Praise nodded,
Osaze: “what’s it?”
Praise: “I want to suggest we leave this here,”he raised one up. It was a picture in Black and White but with deep expression. It was sublime. It was a picture of a small girl selling Fura dei Nunu on the streets. Osaze took it when he had just started the studio.
Osaze: “That’s right,bro” Osaze was always impressed with Praise’s suggestions. He thought deeper than his colleagues. About to take a step,
Praise: “ehm sir,”he looked at Praise.
Osaze: “what is it?”
Praise: “You’ve got a visitor in the office!”
Osaze was taken aback,
Osaze: “Visitor? Alhaji Musa?”
Praise: “No, sir!” Osaze wasn’t expecting anyone that morning only Alhaji Musa, his biggest and most generous customers,
“Just make me pyn kawai!”
That was what the only concern of Alhaji. He loved pictures like the princesses in Disney land.
It was Zainab. His heart still missed a beat when he saw her despite the fact that he had been informed that she was in his office. He still was surprised,
Osaze: “who do we have here?” he crossed over to his chair and she was smiling. She wore a black Jalabia with a hood and leggies and the Jalabia was very long.
Zainab: “I came to finish our business!” Osaze was lost for words. What business? He thought, she could see traces of bewilderment on the face, “you were supposed to take me shots remember?”
Osaze: “O…ofcourse, how can I forget?”
He sent for Praise and Halima to get the studio ready,
Halima: “It’s done sir!”
Osaze: “Let’s go!”he took his camera and Zainab followed behind. It was an amazing thirty minutes shoot. She didn’t struggle to pose. Osaze was dazzled by her model-like poses. He didn’t want to ever stop clicking. When they had finished he didn’t want to stop going through the pictures. The smiles on every picture was magical. It told a sweet story. It was poetry itself.
“Did you ever model during your school days in the UK?” he said as he saw her off to her car.
She smiled and opened the door of a Venza,
Zainab: “it just comes naturally. Every adventurous person is like that!”she smiled again and sat in the car.
Osaze: “I see!” he stood over her with his arm resting on the opened door, “thanks for coming around and permission to use the pictures for a collection I am working on.”
She smiled again,
Zainab: “You’re welcome. And make sure I have my copies too.”
Osaze: “Yes,ma!” they laughed the more. As she was about driving off she handed a piece of paper to him. It was folded. He watched her drive off and he smiled.
In the office, he unfolded the paper and read:
Meet me today at Dankaka Hotel by 7 pm. I’ll be waiting. I don’t mind you coming late. No excuses but you’re free to cancel. Winks
He sighed, and threw himself on the chair.
Osaze: “Oh my God!” He sighed again; his phone rang. It was his wife,
Grace: “Hey,baby. How are you?”
Osaze: “I’m good love! You?”
Grace: “ About leaving for the market!”
Grace: “Baby, don’t forget service is by 6:30 today oo!”
Osaze: “I can’t! I’m hungry sha!”
Grace: “Just try and hold on until till four. My lazy baby who cannot fast!” they laughed.
Grace: “Love you. Kisses!”
Osaze: “Love you too!”the call ended.
He was thrown in the mud of befuddlement. The date or going to church with his family. He held his forehead that ached.
What should Osaze do? Should he refuse the date or go on with it and forget going to church with family?
… See Episode 5 Below (You don’t wanna Miss this!) … AdeLove Stories … Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
EXCLUSIVELY FROM ADELOVE.COM
All Rights Reserved!