Preparation is in top gear for Audrey’s wedding, with the wedding seven days away and the groom due in the country two days away. The members of both families and friends have decided to host a small dinner party. Natasha who is a trained publicist was in charge of the party and one hour into the event, one can say it is a success already.
There was enough to eat and drink, and the music was just about right for the different people present. While it is a party for the people at the top of the ladder, the age difference meant the music had to appeal to both young and old. And female musician, Asa seem a good pick.
“Tasha, you should take a break. The maids will handle the rest.” Audrey’s mother said to Natasha.
“I appreciate your concern mum, but I need to do this.” Natasha replied.
“But nobody wants a tired looking Chief Bridesmaid on their wedding.” The old lady added.
“I understand your concern mum, but this is the last running around I can do for Audrey. Let me just do it.”
“Okay, if you insist. How is Philip? And Raymond?”
“They are both fine. Raymond traveled to Abuja for a Presidential workshop.” Natasha replied.
“That’s wonderful.” The old lady replied. “Anyway, enjoy yourself.” With this, she walked away.
The party continued with Tasha running around and ensuring that there was no problem.
“Attention everybody.” Audrey’s father said hitting his cup with a spoon.
The music died down and all eyes fell on him. “It is time to make a toast.” He added.
The next few seconds saw everyone having their cups refilled.
“To Natasha, the young woman who made this gathering possible and enjoyable.”
“Cheers.” Everyone chorused with their cups raised.
Tasha felt a vibration in his hand. Her phone was ringing. She took a step away from the gathering.
“Hello darling.” She said on picking up.
“Hello Tasha, I just landed at the airport. Can you please come and pick me up?” Raymond asked.
“Now?” She asked.
“Yes, now.” He replied.
“Why don’t you call the house and let them send a driver to you?”
“I just feel like having you pick me up.” He insisted.
Tasha knowing, argument will lead them nowhere conceded.
“Give me half an hour, I’ll be there.”
“Okay.” With this the line went dead.
Tasha returned into the house in search of a familiar face.
“Where have you been?” Leticia asked.
“I went to receive a call.” She replied. “Please, I have to run now. There is an emergency and tell Audrey.”
“Everything okay?” Leticia asked.
“Yeah.” With this, she left for where her car was parked. And a little over a minute later, she drove out.
Doctor Ayeni has just closed from work and is about heading home. After more than twenty years in service as a medical doctor in state owned hospitals across Lagos state, and brief stints as consultants in some Federal government owned teaching hospitals across the South West, he was two years ago appointed as the Chief Medical Officer of Lagos state University teaching hospital. A position he has handled very well so far which has led to him getting recognitions and awards. Just two years into his tenure as the CMO, he has revamped the teaching hospital and even though state owned, it can compete with Federal government owned hospitals, in terms of equipments and service delivery.
“Let me have your bag sir.” A young doctor requested as they met in the hallway leading to the elevator.
“Thank you son. Your name is?”
“Thompson sir.” The young doctor replied. “I am running my house man ship here. From Lagos state university.”
“That’s very nice. You know I studied medicine in the University of Ibadan, had my house man ship in UCH, worked briefly at UCH, then came to LUTH around 1994, the rest they said is history.” The elderly doctor said.
“Around the time I was born.” Thompson replied.
“What do you say about joining us here? We could use as much brains as we could get. And it is high time we started stepping aside for the younger generation.” Doctor Ayeni asked.
By now, the elevator had started to descend.
“It will be a dream come true sir.” Thompson replied.
“Let me know whenever your residency ends, so we can work something out.”
The two men walked out of the elevator into the lobby before proceeding out of the hospital complex into the garage. “Mind if I give you a ride?”
“I will appreciate it sir.” Thompson replies as he followed the senior doctor to a designated parking space marked CMO.
“Good evening sir.” A voice greeted from behind. “Good evening doctor.” The voice came again.
Doctor Ayeni paid no attention to the voice because he knew it was one of the security men asking for ‘something to hol body’ as they call it.
“Doctor Ayeni.” Came the voice again.
Doctor Ayeni turned to face the voice and standing before him in flesh was a former employee of his, Joel. The one who impregnated his Sister-in-law, putting her future in jeopardy.
How much he still despises the young man.
Natasha brought her car to a halt just before the shed inside the parking lot where Raymond stood with his bags. She got down and ran into his arms.
“I missed you.” He said, planting a kiss on her lips.
“How was the workshop and the flight?” She asked, helping him drop his luggage on the backseat.
“The workshop is great as always and the flight is just like every domestic flight in this country.” He replied. “I’m sorry for cutting short your fun at Audrey’s party.”
“It’s not a big deal.” She replied.
The drive continued for minutes until they were strucked in the traffic.
“You know, I’ve been thinking or leaving my present job to establish my own company.” She said.
After waiting for a response without any forthcoming, she faced Raymond only to realize he was asleep.
“Tired much huh?” She asked as she wound up the car windows and let the air conditioner whistle slowly.
Twenty minutes later, there was still not a progress with the traffic and Tasha was beginning to get impatient. The reason she doesn’t drive at night in the city.
Her vibrating phone cut short her thoughts.
“Hello sir.” She answered when she realized it was Doctor Ayeni.
Doctor Ayeni was stucked in the traffic too on his drive home, but not because the traffic was unavoidable, buy because he had wasted a lot of time in the hospital chatting up with the August visitor he met in the parking lot.
“Hello, Tasha.” He said as soon as the call got connected at the other end.
“Hello sir.” Tasha answered.
“Where are you? Can you come home tonight?” He asked.
“I don’t think so. I’m in the traffic presently and as soon as I am able to move, I will have to pass the night at Raymond’s, it’s closer.” She replied.
“Okay, there seem to be a little problem.” Doctor Ayeni began. “Joel came to me at work today and was asking after his child.”
“How did he know your place of work?” Tasha asked an obviously stupid question.
“Everyone in Lagos knows where I work.” Doctor Ayeni replied. “Anyway, he wants to see his son.”
“No way. He has no son here. The boy is mine and mine alone, the father his dead and dead he shall remain.” She replied hotly.
“Calm down. He is not coming in as a father figure. He just wants to see him. And from all I saw, he doesn’t have what it takes to be a man not to talk of being a father. He is not going to be a problem.”
“Better be cos I cannot afford bring another man into Phillip’s life.”
A loud blaring honk from a heavy duty truck from behind made Tasha realize that the traffic was moving. And out of shock, she stepped on the gas causing the car to jerk forward.
Raymond woke up with a start. “What’s the matter?” He asked.
“I’ve got this.” Tasha replied.
A white Sedan overtook Tasha but not without the occupants throwing water at her car which was stopped by the window. “That is for keeping us waiting.” A voice screamed.
“Who were you talking to?” Raymond asked.
“You were on a call. Who was it?” He asked again.
“Doctor.” She replied.
“The conversation seems tensed. Everything okay?” He asked.
For a moment, Tasha felt like opening up, but realizing how sensitive Raymond is, she decided against it.
“Everything is fine.” She replied.
To be Continued