“Good morning Darlene.” Bola, my secretary said, flashing a smile at me.
“Hi Bola. Hope you had a nice rest.” I called back.
I dropped my handbag beside my chair and lifted the Dailies from the table. I widened my eyes as I lifted another paper; all the headlines read the same news.
“HEIR TO MARTIN-OJE DYNASTY, JACOB MARTIN-OJE IN A BRAWL AT 11:45 CLUB”
‘Magnificent way for Jake to announce his arrival’ I thought as I grabbed my phone. There was a light tap on the door. “Please come in.”
“Good morning Darlene.”
“Good morning Dare” I stared at his wrapped fist. “Did you break a bone?”
He smiled. “Daniel is a whole lot, his face broke my bone.” He took his seat. “How are you doing?”
“I am fine. I appreciate what you did for me with Daniel.” I said, staring at his fist.
He shrugged. “It was nothing. I hope you have Friday under control.”
“Yes, I do.”
Dare rose to his feet. “I will be in my office.” He replied, and left. I dialled Jake’s phone, but he didn’t answer it. ‘Maybe cooling off at the Police Station’ I thought. Jake must have been tipsy and gotten into an unreasonable fight. I concluded my thoughts and wrapped up my speech for Friday. I started rehearsing my speech. I stuttered over a few lines, but I had a conviction that I would still do fine on Friday.
“Knock knock,” Toni said, as she walked in.
“Good morning Mrs Small.” I said, rising to my feet. “Please sit,” I said, pointing at a seat.
“Already feeling like an office owner,” Toni said, taking her seat. “Anyways, Case 1, I heard you were arrested, along with Dare. That’s romantic, did you share a cell?” she asked clapping her hands with glee.
“Sorry to disappoint you, we were locked up for only thirty minutes, and also, we had separate cells.”
Toni laughed. “Case 2, Have you seen the papers this morning? Your Jake is such a wonder. He was reported to have gotten into a fight at 11:45 last night; the papers said he was tipsy.”
“Tipsy? Oh, come on, Jake does whatever he likes.” I said, sounding uninterested. I still felt hurt by Jake not telling me about taking Paul to the Bahamas. “He will be alright; the highest punishment he will get will be a fine for causing an upset in a public place.”
Toni shrugged. “How do you plan to take care of your so-called stalker, I heard about the man.”
“I have no idea of what to make of the whole thing now. He claims not to be a stalker, but I cannot trust him totally. He is everywhere.”
“Maybe coincidental meetings, but just to be safe, get a restraining order on him. That won’t hurt.”
I nodded. “I am processing that. I hope I can have it as soon as possible.” Toni stared at me for a while, as though she had something to say. She then swallowed. “What is it Toni?”
“Nothing.” She rose to her feet. “I’ll see you tomorrow; I have a case this evening.” She replied and left.
Jake’s phone was unreachable. ‘Must be having a nice time with the police’ I thought. The Police won’t miss on the opportunity to arrest a celebrity’s kid, especially one who can dish out enough money for his bail, but by the look of things, it seemed like Jake didn’t want to pay any bail, as his phone was unreachable.
There was a knock on the door. “Please come in.”
“Excuse me Darlene. Dare said that you should get ready to accompany him to the City Mall.” Bola said.
We arrived at the City mall an hour later. Dare walked briskly into the building and I followed without asking any questions. I started getting used to the idea that Dare might just want me to be anywhere he was. What could I do to stop that? He is the boss!
“Darlene, meet Carl Frampton from London, he is going to be helping you with your first practise session.”
“Hello Mr. Frampton.” I greeted courteously, exchanging pecks. I stared at Dare without a clue. He didn’t tell me that he had organised a meeting for me.
“I guess you will be fine. Let’s see you battle out the initials in the courtroom. The first session is always a surprise.”
I walked into a room that had some audience and a top Lagos Activist as the Judge. ‘Dare wants me roasted’ I thought. The Clerk went through the formalities and he called the case.
“The State Vs Mr Jacob Martin-Oje.” He called.
I turned round and watched my best friend walk in guarded by a police. He flashed a smile at me.
“It’s your first test, but if you do well, he will be free to go home with you, if not, your friend will start community service tomorrow.” Carl whispered into my ears.
I smiled back at Jake, and I could not wait to defend my best friend, of which I knew nothing about his actions.
“Ms Williams, you are the defendant to Jacob Martin-Oje, it should be a mere test case, but if you score even a 79 point by my rating, Mr Martin-Oje will start community service. You need 80 points to get him discharged and acquitted.” The judge announced.
Jake stuck his tongue out at me as I rose to my feet. I smiled. ‘Community service won’t be a bad idea.’ I thought smiling at him. He frowned at me.
“Ms Williams and Mr Martin-Oje, this is no circus. Do proceed.” The judge ordered.
I had a good knowledge of the basics from Law school, so I went through it swiftly and then defended Jake based on being ‘drunk and provoked to anger’. Jake, when asked of his weekly alcohol intake replied:
“I am sober Judge; I don’t know who told my incompetent lawyer that I was drunk.”
The courtroom let out a laugh, including the Judge and myself. I shook my head. ‘Jake had just ruined his chance of getting free. Community service for sure!’ I thought.
“This court is aware of the relationship between Mr Martin-Oje and Ms Williams outside this courtroom and so I won’t drag the case any further,” the judge started. “Darlene, you did well using those points in his defence even though he rubbished them. We ensured that you couldn’t communicate to know anything from him, but I am pleased with your work, good job girl.” He said.
“Bravo.” Carl said to me.
The judge cleared his throat. “Nevertheless, it is community service for Jacob Martin-Oje”
The Clerk called. “Court! Arise”
We all rose to our feet until the Judge left the room. I rushed at Jake. “You nit-wit!” I said, jabbing his shoulders.
He swirled me round and round. “I missed you love.”
“Me too.” We locked in a tight embrace. “Community service for you tomorrow.’ I said, releasing myself from the hug. Now I was the one sticking my tongue out.
“Whatever. It will be fun.” He replied.
Dare and Carl joined us. “Good job Darlene, you are good.” Dare said.
“Thanks Dare.” I replied.
“See you in the office.” he replied and left with Carl.
I winked at Jake. “You are dropping me at work, right?”
“Seriously? I came in a police truck.” He replied, laughing.