She stared at me. I looked at the empty A4 paper and held the pen.
“Go on. I will be nice to hand it to Dare. Your father has a firm of his, it’s even bigger than Ade-Cole, and you will do fine there.” She said.
I smiled, looked at the sky and then faced her sternly. “When last did you see your psychiatrist? Your health problem has worsened.”
She laughed. “I am very sane, Darlene. I am doing this for your good. You need to get out of Ade-Cole while you have the time.”
“If I get your point, you want me out of Ade-Cole because you believe that it’s safe for me, who am I to be scared off? You?”
She smiled. “I am the least of your problems. Dare will be your nightmare.”
I hit the table furiously. “That’s it Reina! I have had enough of this Dare talk. He is my boss and that’s as far as our relationship goes. If you have a problem with Dare, you both should deal with it, but don’t drag me into your mess.” I stopped to catch my breath and stare at the other customers who had turned their attention to Reina and I.
“You love scenes, don’t you?” she asked, rubbing edge of her glass.
I gulped the rest of the lemon. “Thanks for the lemon.” I said, and left.
I was lucky to see a taxi as soon as I stepped out of Harbour’s Point. “Ade-Cole, please.” I said, shutting the door.
“That would cost you like 1000 Naira.” He said peering into the mirror.
I widened my eye balls. “Ade-Cole is like 30 minutes from here.”
“You could wait for buses.” He said, stopping the taxi.
I honestly didn’t have a problem paying the money but should everything have to be expensive? To my surprise, I opened the door and stepped out to the pavements. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all, because Reina pulled up.
“Get in Darlene.” She ordered
I chose to ignore her, and look away. She pulled over and walked up to me. “Darlene, let me give you a ride.” She offered.
“I’ll be fine.” I replied, looking ahead.
Cars horned violently. Staffs were returning to their respective offices from lunch, and I had to do the same. Dare had sent me a message.
“Don’t be stubborn. I brought you out here; let me drop you back at work. I promise not to say a word to you on the way back.”
I hesitated and looked at my wrist watch. “I don’t ooze evil. Just get in, let me get you back to work. If you exceed your lunch time, you might be getting into trouble with the Ade-Cole part of Dare.” She cautioned.
I followed her to the car and we returned to Ade-Cole firm. She did keep to her word and didn’t even utter a word.
“Thank you.” I said, as soon as I highlighted from her car. She didn’t reply, she just smiled and drove off.
I stared at her car as she drove out of the firm. ‘Why did I have to meet this lady?’ I thought.
“You and Reina went out?” Toni asked, as she approached me.
I raised one eyebrow. “Dare has a really loud mouth.”
“Dare? I just saw you get out of her car. It didn’t take so long for Reina’s charms to have an effect on you, did it?”
I shot at Mrs. Small. “Toni, I decided to hang out with Reina; I am not a kid, alright. Please, let me be.” I replied and returned into the firm. Mrs. Small caught up with me at the elevator door.
“Darlene, don’t do this to yourself. Reina doesn’t play around, if she wants something, she gets it.” She cautioned with fear in her eyes.
I rolled my eyes. “Am I dealing with Nikita? I understand your concern Toni, but the truth is, there is so much worry for nothing.” I pressed the elevator door open and stepped in.
“There you are Darlene, meet me in my office.” Dare said, from popping his head from his door.”
I dropped my bag in my office and left for Dare’s.
“Please have your seat.” He said.
I obliged and waited for his next utterance. He adjusted his tie and stood up from his swivel chair. He leaned across the table, and smiled. “Relax Darlene, I don’t bite.” He said, and sighed.
“What do you want?” I asked.
He smiled and fetched a file from his table. “I’d like you to check out this document.” He stretched out the file to me. I opened the file. “The case is up in two weeks. If you ask me, the man is guilty and he deserves to rot in hell, but life as we know it, is about the lawyers.” He paused to catch his breath.
I was flattered. The file in my hand was for one of the city’s biggest business men, Chidi Obi. “So, we are in his defense. This man is a rogue.” I said.
“I know that.” Dare nodded. “It’s your job to make him look clean.”
I shook my head in disagreement. “I don’t think I want to do this.”
“Moral aside, Darlene. First Rule.” He said, biting an apple.
I dropped the file on the table. “Have you agreed to take up the case?”
“This is a first class case, the whole world wants to see this Chidi Obi behind bars, and we can stop it.”
I rose to my feet. “I am sorry, Dare. If I have to start my career by making the innocent suffer, I’d rather not.”
“Darlene, this is a First class case. There’s a lot involved, and at stake. Save your morals.” He said.
I sighed. “I won’t compromise, and if you are displeased, I’ll hand in my resignation first thing in the morning.”
“You are a disappointment.” He said and hurled the apple into the trash can.
Heat flushed across my face. ‘Maybe Reina was right after all about Dare, he might be my worst nightmare.’ I inhaled deeply and approached the door.
“You can still change your mind, Darlene.” He said, not even looking at me.
I smiled. “NO!”
“Have it your way. Leave now!”
As I opened the door, Femi Ade-Cole and some other Ade-Cole top board members stood before me. “We are proud to have you here, Ms. Williams.” He said. Dare patted me on the shoulders.
“Congratulations,” he said with a smile. The other board members were now clapping.
I was on a test! Passed!
“Nice to have you here, I can see that you also have a strong moral up bringing in our world.” Mr. Femi Ade-Cole said.
I grinned. Dare dismissed everybody except me from his office.
“What were you thinking, Dare? Anyone could have failed this test.”
He smiled. “But you didn’t. You put your morals first.”
“To be honest with you, this is no appropriate test for a lawyer; it’s more like a test for a wife.” I retorted. “Any lawyer can take this case; it’s a matter of winning. I am not happy with it.”
He frowned. “My firm, my rules!”
“It happens that I have a problem with your methods.”
He sighed. “Do you always have to reply me? Sometimes, I just like you quiet and obedient. You don’t always have to revolt.”
“If you want a mute, buy a puppet. You can always control it.” I replied.
He stared at me. “Are you always like this?” he asked. I didn’t reply. “Anyways, congratulations on your first case, it’s in two weeks. All the contacts you need are in that file and you will have to meet with your client tonight at Priddy’s place after work.”
I picked up the file and left for the door.
“Darlene,” Dare called softly. “For the record, you are good.” He said.
I smiled and left.
“Well done Darlene.” Bola said as I approached my door.
I nodded. “Thanks Bola.”
I stared at my office and wondered if I was going to lose it anytime soon to Reina, it didn’t seem likely at the moment. I made a call to my new client. He was taking his former business partner, and oil magnate, Chidi Obi to court. Chidi Obi owns several Oil rigs in the eastern part of Nigeria but he had settled in the south west. Chidi Obi used to be close friends with Tunji Davis, but now Tunji Davis, my client had taken Chidi Obi to court.
I arrived at Priddy’s Place by 7pm.
“Mr. Davis is at the bar.” The security officer said.
I walked over to the bar. “Mr. Davis?”
“Darlene Williams.” He replied, with so much excitement.
I stared at Mr. Davis carefully, I didn’t seem to know him, he even looked younger than who I expected to see, and he acted all familiar. “I am Darlene Williams.” I replied, stretching out my hands.
He stared at my hand. “You really want to shake my hands? Gimme a hug babes!” he said, and hugged me tightly.
“Am sorry, maybe I am meeting the wrong person” I said, releasing myself from the hug.
He smiled. “My Dad sent me here, he will join us shortly. My Dad is Tunji Davis; I was the one who referred you to him. It’s funny you don’t remember me.” He said, taking off his glasses. “Maybe this will help. Can you place the face now?” he asked, almost laughing.
“I am sorry, no.”
He sighed. “Okay, how’s Jake? You guy still hang out well, right?” he asked, putting back his glasses.
“Who are you?” I asked, firmly.
He swallowed. “I am Dotun Davis. We went to high school together.” He said, with a smile.
My eyes popped out. I was standing before my first crush!