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I woke up with a banging headache. My head felt like it was being hit with a hammer. I struggled to move. I didn't know where I was but I could see my phone not too far away. I finally picked my phone and dialed Toba's number.

          'Get me panadol from a chemist and bring it ASAP', I instructed him

          'What is ASAP, ma?', he asked

          'As soon as possible, dull brain. Get out of my phone!', I hissed and hung up. I was really angry. I was wallowing in pains and he still had the guts to ask me the meaning of an abbreviation. Do I necessarily have to spell out everything for him?

He came soon enough. The panadol was in one hand and a bottle of water was in the other hand. I grabbed them, poured in some water and threw in the drug, swallowing it immediately.

          'Aaaaargh!', I gasped, holding my head

          'Madam, is everything okay?', Toba asked

I remained silent for a while and finally looked up.

          'Where am I?', I asked

          'Your room, ma', he replied.

          'Oh', I said, looking round at the sudden realization. 'Whew!'

When I checked the time, it was very late already. 12:46pm. Notwithstanding, I had to make it to the office because I couldn't afford another query from the HQ in Lagos. However, I had to quickly branch at a tailor's shop. I had dropped off the wedding aso - ebi with the tailor already and needed to confirm she was already sewing it because Nigerian tailors have a degree in falling hand. Getting to the office, I sighted Afo from afar as he buried his head behind his computer immediately he caught a glance of me.

          'Afo, see me in my office right away!', I ordered and went into my office.

Two minutes later, he came in with an awkward look while looking very unkempt.

          'What's all these for? Couldn't you at least tuck in your shirt? Must everyone in the office know that you had an hangover?', I said in a low voice.

          'Ma, I had to wake up really early this morning upon the headache and all. There was no time for a proper bath. If I had known you would come late to work, I would have spent more time back home'

          'Hey! I'm the boss! Not you! I can do whatever not you. Okay?'

He slowly nodded while facing down.

          'Anyway, you don't have to kiss and tell. Last night must remain a secret between we both. Okay?'

          'Yes ma', he replied

          'You can leave now', I said in a dismissive tone.

He was about turning to leave when he spoke again.

          'Ma, please one more thing'

          'What again?'

          'It's about my uncle. The one you met the other day. He said I should please give him your number but I just wanted to take your permission first and...'

          'Don't give anyone my number!', I quickly interrupted

          'But ma...'

          'Afo, don't you dare give anyone my number. If any stranger messages or calsl me, I'll know you went against my will and I'll so take serious actions you won't like. Is that clear?'

          'Wow. Yes ma', he said and left immediately.

I gave a resounding hiss and concentrated on checking the documents I left over the other day when my phone rang. I checked it and it was Akin calling.

          'What does this one want again?', I said as I picked the call. 'Hello?'

          'Baby, what's up?', he responded

         'Hey, Akin. Don't ever call me baby again. Do you understand?'

          'Ahan, Harriet. Are we fighting? For the fact that you traveled suddenly without even giving me any prior information, I should be the angry one not you'

          'If you know you don't have anything sensible to stay, get out of my phone!'

          'Hey, chill!', he quickly said and sighed. 'Okay, I'm sorry okay? If I've pissed you which I doubt, I'm really sorry. Just wanted to check on you. That's all'

          'Okay. Thanks. Bye', I replied

          'Come on, Harriet'

          'Dude, I've got work to do! Okay? Go straight to the point and stop beating around the bush.'

          'Can I see you this evening?'

          'Not possible'

          'Babe, sorry, Harriet, come on now. At least just see me and hear me out. Biko. I know that's your language and you'll understand it better'

          'Please!', I hissed and hurriedly gave it a second thought. 'Alright. See you later'

          'Thanks B. You're the...'

I hung up before he could say any more rubbish. I spent the rest of the day working on different files, responding to emails and I also held a meeting with all members of staff that ran for two hours. I left the office very tired and even forgot I had promised to meet up with Akin until I saw him standing beside the hotel's restaurant after Toba dropped me.

          'Hey, you look tired', he said and helped me with my bag

          'Soon, your restaurant people will start suspecting that there's something going on between us', I told him

          'And so? Who cares?', he gave a flirting look and held me from behind

         'Stop!', I said and beat his hand away.

I unlocked the door to my room and fell to my bed immediately.

         'God knows I need a good sleep!', I said amidst deep sighs.

         'Babe, go take a shower now', he said

          'What? Is it your body and I told you to stop calling me that name', I said and stood up

          'What's with you these days sef?', he said and enclosed my head in his big hands

          'Akin stop this stupidity. I don't like...'

          'Shhhhhh', he interrupted and placed his finger on my lips. 'I don't like it when you dey do all these shakara'

           'Which shakara?'. My voice was very low now.

          'All these yanga wey you dey always do as if you no like me'

          'I don't! Like, I do but on a normal ground not...'

           'Shhhhh', he interrupted again. 'I don't bite so don't be scared to express your feelings'

He brought his lips close to my ear and gave it a soft bite. His right hands held my face up and he soon traced his lips to my nose caressing it with his tongue before finally giving my lips a soft kiss. I wanted to retreat but I was too helpless. I was tired after all and needed to also get over the hangover of last night. His strong left arm held me tightly behind. I responded to his kiss and held him. He slowly pushed me back before gently leveling me to the bed. His kiss became harder and his breath became quite intense. All I could do was call his name. He played well with my hair and when I was beginning to forget the function of his other hand, he brought it down to my skirt and shifted it up.

          'Akin, don't do this. I'm not ready for...'

He gave me hard kiss before I could complete the sentence and pushed my skirt back. I was self conscious but helpless at the same time. So helpless that when he started bringing down my panties, all I could do was cling tightly unto him.


(To read Episode 20, click HERE)



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