He has made everything beautiful in its time
When Demi got to Lagos, Mike was furious. “Dude it’s like you missed a penalty kick in the 89th minute of the Champions League final. How did YOU let her go? Ke tu e se je” He said. The last question in Asaba genre of the Igbo language meant how did that happen, and Mike rarely spoke his dialect except in dire circumstances.
“What was I supposed to do?” Demi responded raising his voice slightly.
Ikeja Electric restored power. The humming of a freezer in the background was a delightful soundtrack.
“What you were supposed to do? Jump on the plane. That’s why you have money. Jump on the plane or the next one. You should be in the US now tracking her down. You have money, you have a visa…” Mike reclined in a chair to calm down. Above him was a picture of himself, his wife and his daughter. Demi stared at the picture for what appeared to be eternity.
“There is a company to be run. I barely know this chick. I can’t justify jumping across the Atlantic for a girl. Yuck.” Demi was trying to sound tough.
“Can I sincerely ask you if you are crazy? Do you have mental issues, do you smoke crack in your spare time? Don’t you remotely think this chick might be THE ONE and you didn’t fight?”
“Pardon me but I am not a hopeless romantic like you. America is a faraway place….” Demi got out his phone, he could use a distraction right now.
“…..nowhere is that far, wasn’t it Westlife who said something about swimming across a river just to climb a thousand walls?”
Demi shot him a glance, stood up and once he was at the door he said disgustedly: “Did you just quote Westlife? Good evening?”
Mike stood rooted to the spot wandering what he had just said.
Like twenty seconds later, Demi resurfaced: “Yeah dude, that’s how stunned and rooted to the spot I was when Shade left me. I feel your pain.”
Six Months Later
Monday was Demi’s longest day of the week as interim CEO. The Board had agreed to appoint him CEO on an interim basis. The canceled wedding was proof that he had indeed made an attempt to meet the requirement to become CEO, or so they thought. His father had stepped down on medical grounds, and these days with more chemotherapy, although he felt better, he preferred to focus on his health than the business. Thus Demilade was in full control and under pressure to perform.
Meeting after meeting made Demi tired. He had yet another one before closing at 8:30pm. He was glad when he got a call from his Operations Manager canceling the meeting. Just as he exited the building, his phone rang.
“Hello?” He tried to sound alive. Leaders are supposed to be alert at all times. “Hello?”
“Hi CEO or shall I say interim CEO?” He knew the voice.
“Shade?” Demi sat on the curb outside ‘Cobblers R Us’ unconsciously and the security men surrounded him in a rush to check if everything was alright.
“There you go. How are you?” She sounded excited, sweet and alive.
“I am fine thanks. I just sat on the curb, I am shocked.” The security men helped him to his feet, his driver ran to grab his things. He signaled for him to just bring the car.
“I knew you would be, I hoped I would get through to you. “
“For heaven’s sake where have you been? Your dad is the only way I know you are alive. That’s not good.” Now it was raining just like it had been on the night she left and he could close his eyes and just almost touch her again.
“Well someone asked me to get a job. I was busy doing just that.” She chuckled.
“About that…what I was trying to say was….” He scratched his head, and his driver wondered who it was that made his boss appear so ordinary.
“….You don’t have to explain Demi! I was just joking. Plus it was great advice. I have a job with a medical research firm in Maryland.” Shade was excited.
Wow there goes my dream of ever getting her back. “Congrats. I am happy for you.” He managed. Lord save me from lying.
“Thanks. Plus one more thing. I sort out started checking out church when I returned. Last Sunday I made a decision to be a Christian….”
“You are joking right?! Don’t play with stuff like that.” Demi protested, his heart beating faster than normal.
“I’m not. Check out my last post on Instagram, there’s a picture of me and my testimony.”
Demi grabbed a tablet and swiped as fast as possible. And He saw it.
“Oh God, you’re not joking. You aren’t joking. This is amazing!” His grin was as wide as ever.
“I said to update you about my situation. Thanks Demi.” He didn’t want her to go.
“Um…You skype right? I’m home in thirty minutes tops.”
“Not while I’m at work. Maybe later. But I’m sure you’ll be well asleep by then. We are six hours apart remember?”
From thereon, Demilade looked for meetings that would take him to the United States. None came. The closest was three months away. He couldn’t wait. He took an early vacation.
A day before his trip, he got a call: “Demi, I’m coming back home.”
He was in the middle of some handover meetings with senior management. He wouldn’t have taken the call, but rules are often bended when people fall in love.
“Coming back home where?” Nigeria was never home to her, at least that she said again and again. Demi’s question was valid.
“Nigeria! My company is launching out to Africa, and they want three of us to oversee the launch. I’m doing West and Central Africa, it would be a lot of trips, but I work from Lagos, my office would be there.” Shade said in such a hurried manner, she was running out of breath.
There was silence. Demi sank into the leather swiveling chair unable to say anything, too stunned. “Demi, you there?”
“I’m here. I’m too stunned. This is too good to be true.” He said almost whispering. She could only laugh. The day was brighter from thereon.
A week after the call, Demi was at the airport. Her plane had touched down. It was raining in Lagos as it had been all week. He adjusted himself for the umpteenth time.
Once she appeared from the door marked ‘Arrivals’, he was sure he had been smitten. She was as beautiful as ever. She was cautious herself. Nobody knew what to say.
When she was finally before him, he wanted to tell her a thousand things but only this one came out: “Did all your bags come?” That wasn’t what I meant to say, That’s not what I should have said.
She nodded. And they couldn’t resist the urge to go into each other’s arms. He lifted her up, well made a shallow attempt to, and she screamed.
Once in the car, Demi started the engine but he didn’t move. Then he stopped the engine and got something out of his jacket. “Last time, it was our parent’s idea. This time, can it be ours? Will you marry me?”
She looked at him. “ Gee,It’s been a long flight. If I say yes, would you drive me to my Dad’s and let me be?” Demi nodded like a child.
“Ofcourse yes. That’s the major reason why I convinced them to launch in Africa genius.” She replied with fatigue in her voice.
Demilade was elated. Shade was tired yet excited.
“Bae, I guess your dad still has the invitation cards for last year’s canceled wedding, could we perhaps just use a biro to change the date?”
She shot him the ‘You are joking, right’ glance. “Is the economy that bad?!”
He winked at her.