A new blog series: Never Let Go.
On Yoma Nna’s enormous office desk, was a table clock. At 1 pm, the alarm rang, jolting her out of thoughts. She picked up her big black leather bag under the table and stood up. She didn’t have much work, so her desk was tidy. Stepping out, she held her head high up.
She walked out of the building in her usual poise and elegant fashion. Searching her bag, she pulled out her car keys.
‘Miss Nna!’ Someone yelled her name.
Yoma frowned, halting her steps.
‘M-miss…N…Nna’ a stutter female voice spoke behind her. ‘T…the greenhouse…people want our presence….’
Maria was a staff of N.K consultant firm. She wasn’t in her office and was told she stepped out. She needed her attention on a client and decided to follow her.
Turning sharply to her with a cold glare, Maria gulped in fear and lowered her gaze. It wasn’t new to feel such piercing glare even through her dark eye-glass shielding her eyes.
Fidgetingly picking her nails, her nervous look was distracted by the black faux suede mesh heels sandals on her boss’s feet. Rumors had it that since the opening of the N.K consultant firm, she had only worn black.
An absurd thought popped up in her mind. She had been working in the firm for over a year plus and she rarely saw her boss wear any color combination. It was raw black.
Her clothes were short sleeves black turtle neck blouse on a pencil skirt black paired a black faux suede mesh heels sandals, adorned on her chocolate light skin. Even her Xterra car was black.
How is it possible to be dressed every day in black? Doesn’t she get tired? Is…she some cult…
Visibly gulping saliva, she couldn’t finish her question. It suddenly felt spooky.
‘Never look down on a person expect you admiring their shoes’ Yoma’s metallic voice etched with hostility rang out.
Maria lifted her head. Though she couldn’t see through her glasses, she knew her eyes were on her. ‘The greenhouse-‘
Yoma turned to open her car door, while coldly speaking. ‘You had a job at the beginning of this conversation’
Maria was stunned. Her words echoed in her ears. Had a job. Past tense. Had. Was she fired?
She gaped at the realization but Yoma had driven away. Looking around her, she found no one to verify the validity of her words.
‘How did a simple message cost me my job?’ She muttered, heading back to the building confused.
She couldn’t afford to not have a job. She went to the only person who could stand Yoma’s egotistical attitude; Kessina Odeta.
She knocked on the door. ‘Come in’
Maria took a deep breath before she opened the door. ‘May I have a word with you?’
Kessina lifted her eyes from the file on her desk, a mischievous smirk dancing on her lips. ‘You got fired by that egotistical, perfectionist, savage human called Yoma Nna?’
She was stunned for the second time in an hour. ‘H…how did you know?’
Kessina leaned back on her chair with a smirk in place. ‘Her savage words were you had a job at the beginning of this conversation’
She dumbly nodded.
‘Yoma has two rules. One is polite to all human regardless of social status. Second, do not speak to me when I step out of the firm. Yet no one takes her seriously until the termination of his/her job’
‘It was work related’ Maria’s mouth opened to retorted before she could stop herself.
She shrugged. ‘Doesn’t matter’ she paused. ‘I told everyone in N.K her closing time is special, she never misses it. And most importantly, stay off her way and obey her rules. She pays your salary after all. How hard is that? Couldn’t you have waited until the next day? Even if a multimillion firm need her attention, do not cross her path at 1 pm’
Her face paled. So they lose the firm clients simply because of a clumsy rule? what if someone speaks to her outside the firm? Is it enough to fire a person? She is human like her…
Kessina returned her attention to the file on her desk. ‘I will speak to her but I can’t give any guarantees’
Sadly, Maria walked out of the office.
Pulling into the Osas foundation, she turned off her car ignition. Yoma closed her eyes briefly before removing her dark glasses and got out of the car. She approached a tree beside the gate with chairs underneath it.
This was her routine every day. She would leave the office early and drive to the foundation. Some days, she would play with the children after they close from school, help them do their home-works, bathe and feed them. Other days, she would sit under the tree and get lost in thoughts, while staring into naught and no child or staff dared to approach her. She was a major benefactor and was graciously given the privilege to just mope around.
Yoma’s lips slowly curved into a smile. Feeling her tense body gradually relax, she took a lung full of air. She actually felt light in a really long time. Her heavy heart was somewhat lighter every time she visited the Osas foundation.
She lost track of time again. Staring into space seems to be her favorite hobbit. Her alarm rang, jolting her out of thoughts. She stood up and walked to her car. She wore her glasses and headed home. She knew it was already 7 pm in the evening.
Nuella swayed in her steps carefully, protecting her protrude stomach as she navigated the lobby, doing her supervision job. She found Dirin seated alone. She went over to him. Poking his cheek, she asked. ‘What are you growling bout now? Yoyo didn’t pick your call?’
He growled. ‘Is there no one else to disturb?’
She pulled out a chair opposite him and sat. ‘Are you okay Dirin?’
Dirin tilted his head to her. ‘You’re jobless?’
‘You’re moping, literally’ she drawled.
He blurted out. ‘I feel useless. I can’t wrap my head around the mystery of Alik’
Nuella’s ears sparked up at the word Alik. It was a town somewhere five kilometers away. There had been gossips in the hotel bout Dirin Bones obsessed about it. He would give bout just anything to get any piece of information about Alik’s mystery fifteen years ago.
She leaned forward, placing her hands on the table. ‘Have you tried to get someone to live in there?’
Dirin snorted. ‘Of course, I did that’ he clasped his face. ‘Don’t get involved, you need to focus on your big, swollen-‘
Nuella smacked his shoulder. ‘Don’t speak such vile words about my son’ she said protective covering her pregnant midsection.
‘Sorry. Just do not-‘
She cut him off. ‘Find out what happened after the mystery’
Dirin grunted. ‘Nuellla’
‘Hear me out. You can’t get information about the tragic tragedy of Alik right? But if you get to find out what happened after, you can get a clue about what actually happened’
He nodded his head. ‘That’s a good idea. You got brains after all’
Basking in her praise, she bobbled her head until his words sink in. ‘Hey!’
‘Why are you obsessed with Alik?’
Dirin reached for his phone from his pants. Typing a message, he ignored her. ‘Find out what happened after the incident’ he muttered quietly, before sending the message.
It was a good thing she spoke to him. It was a good idea to do an aftermath search, it could actually uncover the incident and take him one step closer to his goal. He could do anything dirty, flirty, illegal though he turned a new leaf. Nothing could get past him until his curiosity was peaked and met a dead end for the first time.
It fuelled Dirin’s goal to unravel it by any means, even though it means doing shady unhanded deals that would make Yoyo mad at him. He just had to find out.
In a hushed voice, Nuella asked. ‘Are you from Alik?’
Dirin was lost in thoughts figuring out what he had missed in his quest to hear her question.
Kessina glanced at her watch for the nth time. Heaving a sigh, she headed out of the firm’s parking lot to get a taxi. She should have known better than to wait for Yoma to pick her up but yet every day, she waits with hope. She was tired of waiting. Tired of hoping for the day the black clouds hovering over her best friend would suddenly disappear.
Flagging down a taxi, she began her forty minutes journey home. Kessina brought out her phone and busied herself.
On her screensaver was a five-year-old picture of her and Yoma. She had forced her to go out to a carnival and stole a sneaky picture. She mind absently smiled at the memory.
‘We are here’ the voice of the driver jilted her. Fishing her purse, she paid the fare and went inside her compound.
‘Where are you?’ Kessina mumbled noticing Yoma’s absent car in front of the house.
Yoma returned an hour later. She used her keys to open the door.
‘Where were you? Do you know how worried I was? I have been worried about you from the moment I met you, do you even realize that? You leave the office so early yet return so late, where do you go Yoma?’
Yoma kicked off her shoes and went to the kitchen, ignoring her.
Kessina trailed after her. Leaning on the doorframe, she stared at her making coffee. She would spend hours on her laptop again. ‘Dinner is ready, let’s eat’
Yoma walked past her friend to her room. She placed her cup of coffee on the table beside the couch before stripping her clothes, then went into the bathroom.
Kessina carried a plate of bread and tea into Yoma’s room. Making herself comfortable on the bed, she reached for the remote on the bedside table.
She spoke immediately she saw her step out of the bathroom. ‘After you left earlier, Maria barged in’ she took a bite from her bread. ‘She needs her job, she is the nth staff fired over some clumsy-‘
Yoma glared at her. ‘A rule is meant to be broken. Lighten up a bit, how long will you continue like this?’
Placing her food aside, she leaned forward. ‘Don’t fire her’
Yoma picked up her discarded clothes before settling on the couch and opened her laptop. That was Messina’s clue to continue eating and narrating her day animatedly.
‘He called me today. I miss him so much. I want to see him, it’s like every time we meet, I anticipate how he will look at me. The emotions I will find in them….’
Knitting her brows together, Yoma typed away on her laptop feigning ignorance of her friend’s presence.
In a shady hotel downtown, parked a luxurious black Elantra car. Stepping out, a late twenties lady wearing a seductive red body con dress hugging her curves. Looking at her surrounding, she grimmed. A man stepped out behind her. Holding her waist, he led her towards the hotel.
One look at the hotel, it was easy to know it was a den of crimes. It wasn’t the usual hotel with valet, room services, shiny logo, and stuff. It was more like a one-stop place for hookers and getting away with everything one did.
‘Inside the hotel was actually decent’ the man remarked.
‘Really? So we check the interior of every shady building? C’mon!’ she retorted.
He pulled her close to his body. ‘Grim doesn’t suit you’ he whispered in her ears.
From a distance, a disdain pair of eyes watched them. Leaning back on his seat, he scoffed at the fancy smile on the woman’s face.
With eyes fixated on the couple, he called out. ‘Nuel’
Dirin shouted ‘Nuel!’
‘Jesus Christ! Take a chill pill. I am pregnant, not deaf’ Nuella snorted.
He rolled his eyes. ‘Ten o’ clock’
She frowned. ‘It’s ten-‘
Pointing in direction of the couple, he gritted his teeth. ‘Ten o’ clock’
Nuella looked in the direction he pointed. She slumped her shoulder, sighing. ‘Do they ever learn?’
‘I know someone who didn’t’ he mumbled.
She contorted her face. She smacked his shoulder. ‘A tray’ she signaled a waiter.
Dirin nodded to the waiter before returning his eyes to the swollen big protruded belly woman beside him.
‘I’m some sort of hero for doing this right? Doing my part, preventing others from going down the same path, being used-‘
‘Enough with your eulogy, go already. Besides, am the one losing money but for the sake, of…just go already’
She stuck out her tongue and collected the tray of drinks from the waiter who just arrived. Hurriedly, walking towards the couple who was obviously heading to their room, she caught up with them and threw the tray on the lady.
Nuella swallowed. She should be taking care of her baby, not running after strangers and what if she stripped?
Furious with her dress ruined, the threw a slap on her cheek.
‘Are you nuts? Are you blind? Do you know how-‘
Nuella cut her off. ‘I am sorry, let me help you wash it and I will get you a new dress I promise. I am really sorry’
‘You can’t see your own feet, why work in a hotel? How do you know where to put your legs when climbing a flight of stairs?’ The man asked before roaring in laughter, angering his companion more.
‘Please…I am sorry…let me help you clean it up. I am so sorry’
Raging in anger, she clenched her teeth and fists. Looking at her straight in the eye. ‘You better get her in trouble before I return’ with that she walked away.
‘Madam, it’s this way’ Nuel pointed in an adjacent direction. Storming her feet, she went in the right direction. She could hear her companion chuckling.
In the toilet, Nuella took a napkin and began cleaning the stain. ‘He is married you know’
The lady frowned. ‘Excuse me?!’
‘He is married. He is just using you for the fun and thrills then he would leave your crushed self behind. If he gets caught before he gets tired of you, he will play the remorseful starved married man card or his ego gets into his head and brags of collecting his identity, his comfort, money and children’ Nuella paused to get the napkin wet again.
‘At the end of the day, you are the other woman society loathe. Homewrecker. Mistress.-‘
The lady retorted. ‘I don’t recall asking for your lecture’
Nuella dumped the napkin in the sink. Reaching behind the sink, she fetched a nylon bag. ‘What size are you? Six? Nah…four…you are not petite’
She handed the bag to her. ‘Choose any dress you want and yes they are fashionable.’ Turning around, she approached the door. ‘I don’t want you or anyone else ending up like me. Thrown out of a moving car because I wanted stability. Broke. Broken. Pregnant. Suicide watch for three months, I finally found stability, genuine love and he is married. Think twice before selling your body in the name of you-know-what-you-are-doing’
Nuella closed the door behind her and exhaled an exasperated breath.
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