Martins stared warily at Ada who gave him a quizzical look, wondering why he still stood in her office. After Mama Ruka had confessed to the fact that she was the one who mistakenly left a lit candle on a plastic in the kitchen after she finished cooking, things had progressed. The landlord had been reluctant to release them after he was summoned by his guards, saying they were all somehow responsible and should pay for repairs but a unanimous front by all of them insisting they were not going to spend a dime for something they didn’t do left the man with no choice but to release them. Also, an angry display from a cranky and angry Mama Nkiru who was anxious to see her children helped him make up his mind fast. Everyone had picked what was left of their belongings and quickly exited the premises, leaving Baba Landlord with Mama Ruka and her husband who was livid she had confessed.
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Martins couldn’t blame the man. Knowing Baba Landlord, his wife’s confession meant gbese for him. He was sure the landlord would make him pay through his nose and not consider the fact that the man had lost valuable things in the fire as well. A part of him was glad Mama Ruka confessed considering he had been willing to put the blame on someone innocent just to get on with his life but another part of him wondered if they could have outlasted the landlord and found a way to legally deal with him for taking matters into his hands without nailing anyone to the cross. Now he would never know, ashamed he had been willing to put Comfort in untold trouble. Apparently, his selfish gene was still present, he thought, his mind going to the reason he had a fall out with Aisha in school. He however consoled himself with the fact that every human being had a selfish gene. It was called survival instinct.
Carrying a bag that contained most of his clothes and credentials, he informed Deji he had to get to the office even though there were a few hours left to the close of business.
“Just call Aisha and explain things to her instead of going all the way to the office again,” Deji said, retrieving his phone from his pocket and offering him.
“Aisha doesn’t work in my office.”
Deji gave him a puzzled look. “If she doesn’t work in your office, why did you call her the other time?”
“She… errmmm… she has my boss’ number,” Martins supplied, suddenly feeling foolish for calling Aisha and uncomfortable under his friend’s scrutiny.
“Then call her again and ask her to give you your boss’ number,” Deji finally said, filling in the heavy silence that settled between them
“I’d just rather go to the office and see her myself!”
“What are you hiding?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Martins asked, his tone defensive
“You didn’t tell me about Aisha and now all these drama. What’s going on?”
“Nothing! And I didn’t purposely hide Aisha from you. It’s not like you are always around for me to chit-chat with,” he stated, his tone turning sarcastic
“Okay,” Deji said, lifting his hands in a gesture to show he’s not interested in arguing. ”Okay, let’s go!”
“To where?” Martins asked, his voice, a mixture of alarm and puzzlement
“Your office!” Deji responded. “You said you want to go to your office, let’s go!”
“Why do you want to go with me? Just give me the address of where you’re going to be and I’ll see you there”
“What’s wrong if I go with you?”
“Then I’m coming with you!” Deji stated with a tone of finality and began to walk away. Martins stared at his back, not moving. Deji stopped and glanced back at him. “Right now, I’m the one with the money,” he stated and Martins sighed, having no choice than to follow him and so they had arrived at Realty Point.
Martins had quickly rushed in to see Ada, earning curious glances from his colleagues. Ada had listened to his story without a word and when he was finally through, had just asked him to go. As he stood in her office staring at her, he didn’t know whether to be relieved she asked him to go because he needed to rest. Lethargy was already setting in and he knew he couldn’t function optimally if she asked him to stay in the office but the fact that she didn’t ask him to stay, didn’t say more than just “Okay, go” made him wary. Martins feared he might have lost his job since she looked unsympathetic as he narrated his plight.
“Is there anything else?” Ada asked as she stared at him, a puzzled expression on her face. Martins shook his head. “Then leave!” She turned her attention to what she was doing before he walked in, apparently dismissing him
“Do I still have my job?”
Ada raised her head to look at him as Martins held his breath. With the woman, he just could never tell what she was thinking.
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