Rain waited for David to leave the house before giving in to the tears she had been holding back all day. First, she cried that things with her parents didn’t go as planned. She wished they saw things from her perspective and that her mother’s husband said the words, ‘I’m sorry’ to her and meant it. Then, she cried about Mr. Wakama dying so unexpectedly and in such a cruel manner because in all fairness to his memory, he was nice to her and he treated her with nothing but respect from their first meeting until the last. Rain was sad that in the end she got involved in unravelling the dark and fraudulent sides of him that belied the bright and meticulous way he dressed and his charming personality that fooled everyone.
Finally, she cried at her own folly. She cried because she knew she had it in her to have resisted Chief Edozie when his warmth encompassed her despair. She knew she should have said no when their bodies touched. She should have been firm and pushed him away. For someone with her beliefs and painful experience with sexual assault, being intimate with her boss was a mistake to be atoned for and not swept under the carpet.
Rain cried because she didn’t know what came over her that morning. She cried because when Chief Edozie was on top of her, she wasn’t thinking about David or any other man. The intimidating presence of one of the richest men in the country loomed large in her consciousness and she wanted to be with him. She was lost in the moment and may have said the word ‘sir’ out loud a couple of times as her boss’ thrust gathered momentum and her body became more malleable to the pleasures he awakened in her. Rain cried because, afterwards, Chief Edozie made her what he thought was the offer of a lifetime and she found herself giving it a thought when she should have told him off immediately.
In view of her betrayal of David, and in contemplation of the events of the last few days in the office and in her life, Rain questioned the rationale for continuing with the planned nuptials between them. She saw more spikes than roses on their path to marital bliss and it terrified her.
Two decisions weighed heavily on her mind as she searched for sleep. The first was about her unfaithfulness to her fiancé. Should she tell David about it or not? The second decision was about her position in Edozie Express. Should she tender her resignation or not?
Rain feared that if she came clean with David, he would abandon her. She also feared that if she didn’t quit her job, her pride and dignity would be soiled forever.
Eventually sleep came, but because her emotions were all over the place, it forced a series of crazy dream sequences on her. In the only one she remembered vividly, Chief Edozie took her to see a Muhammad Ali versus Anthony Joshua fight somewhere in Ojuelegba. At the end of the night, Mohammed Ali was the better boxer, but because he was a ghost and no one in the Lagos audience could see him, Joshua was declared the winner. Rain woke up thinking that the dream must be a sign of something, but she couldn’t imagine what. She turned to tell David about it, but he was still out in the club hustling to get a job so she went back to sleep.
When Chief Edozie sent for Rain after lunch the next day, she knew it was her opportunity to inform him about her decision. She handed him the letter before he could even tell her why he sent for her.
“What is this?”
“Sir, I’m afraid I can’t continue here anymore. I need to quit,” she stated quietly. “My resignation is with immediate effect.”
Chief Edozie stared at her like she had sucker-punched him. For a minute, it looked like he was going to leap from his expansive leather chair and reach for her throat or something, but the moment passed quickly and instead of the tirade she had come prepared for, he simply rolled up the sleeves of his black kaftan and asked her nicely to sit so they could talk about it.
“Why are you doing this? Why do you want to leave now when your services are needed the most in EE?”
“Sir, I thought about your offer and I’m afraid I can’t accept it.”
“Rain, I made an offer to you; I didn’t give you an instruction. I totally get that you have the right to reject or accept my offer. You don’t have to quit your job because you’re not prepared for the life I want to give you.”
“I get that sir, but since we…since that day we…things have been awkward for me. I’ve tried not to think too much about it, but it’s just not working. I can’t continue here anymore. My only option is to put in my letter and see what windows open for me elsewhere.”
“Rain, it has not come to that. Do you think I will sack you because you refuse to be my mistress? I can’t do that. I know you have been deeply affected by Wakama’s sudden demise, we all are. But you have to be rational and strategic in dealing with this. For me, the important thing is to stay focused on our goals and objectives here, and to keep our wits around us.”
“My decision to quit Edozie Express has nothing to do with Mr. Wakama’s death. I cheated on my boyfriend. That is the thing. When you ask me to continue as if nothing happened, it makes me feel that you think I am like one of those girls that come here for your money. I am not like that.”
“Of course I know you’re not like those girls. That is what attracted me to you and that is why I want you to be mine. Allow me to love and reward you at the same time.”
“Sir, I can’t remain here as your employee and be enjoying promotions and expensive perks when everyone knows I’m sleeping with you. Sir, how will people look at me? How will they respect me when even I won’t be able to live with myself.”
“If this is about me being your boss, what if I told you that I was stepping down as CEO of the company. Would that change anything?”
“You are stepping down as CEO of your own company?”
“Yes. That was why I sent for you, so I could break the news to you in person before you hear it from other sources,” Chief Edozie cleared his throat. “I leave at the end of the month.”
“But sir, why are you stepping down? This is so unexpected.”
“Doctor’s orders. I need to take time off to sort out some personal issues involving my health. I also need to spend more time with my children.”
Rain couldn’t help but voice her concern. “Sir, if you leave, who will be the new CEO?”
“Someone I believe would do a fantastic job of it. I have also on-boarded a new CFO to replace Mr. Wakama. He and the new CEO would be resuming in the coming weeks.”
“Wow! I wasn’t expecting this kind of news today.”
“That is why I want you to stay, Rain. Please don’t leave. I still need you as my eyes and ears here,” Chief Edozie pleaded. “Plus, if you reconsider my earlier offer to make you my girl, remember that there can be no workplace sexual harassment to speak of if we no longer work together.”
“But there’s still my fiancé, David. I already told you about him.”
Chief Edozie stared intensely at Rain for a minute or two as if to communicate the difficulty of what he was about to say to her without actually speaking.
“Yes, about that boy, David. I was going to come to him.”
“What about him?” Rain asked, surprised at the sudden seriousness in her boss’ voice.
“How well do you know him?”
Even though Rain was taken aback by the question, she was quick to remind him that she and D3 had been together for over three years and that she knew him very well.
“Then he must be a very good actor because he has been hiding things from you.”
“How would you know that, sir?”
“Because I had him followed. But let us not dwell on that,” Chief Edozie answered calmly. “Do you know that he has been cheating on you with your best friend?”
“My best friend?”
“Anna, Annabel, Annabella?”
“Yes. That is the name I was told,” Chief Edozie got up from his chair. “David doesn’t love you, Rain. He only wants to profit from what you bring home from this job.”
“How do you know this?” Rain was shaking as she spoke. “Why would you have my boyfriend followed, are you following me too?”
“We could talk about that later, but for now let us stay on David and Annabel. The two have been seeing each other behind your back and now the girl is carrying your boyfriend’s child.”
“No, this cannot be true. I don’t believe you.”
“Then call them. Ask David your boyfriend what he was doing with Annabel at the sports complex last night.”
Rain tried to speak, but her brain couldn’t form words.
“If this David character is the reason you don’t want to be with me, you might want to think again – ”
Rain didn’t wait for Chief Edozie to finish what he was saying. She dropped the letter of resignation on his table and walked out of his office. On the way back to her floor, she didn’t speak to anyone or even acknowledge colleagues that waved at her.
Once in her office, she hurriedly cleared her table and moved all her personal effects into a box. She carried the box herself out of the office where she informed her secretary, Olivia, she was leaving. Her secretary was stunned and she began to cry. The young lady offered to help Rain with the things she was carrying but Rain asked her not to trouble herself.
The only thing she let her have were the keys to the new car the company gave her because she couldn’t leave with it.
Rain walked to the bus stop alone. While waiting for a tricycle to take her home, she noticed Chief Edozie’s calls but she ignored them. She didn’t wish to speak to him or anyone else until she heard from D3 and Annie.
When eventually a keke pulled up in front of her, she was torn between going straight home because she knew David would be there and going to meet Annabel in the office because it was still working hours.
“Madam, where you dey go?” the keke rider asked.
“I no know.”
“Ah madam, how you no go know where you dey go?” the man asked, perplexed.
Rain sat quietly in the back of the tricycle, thinking. As if he knew how troubled she was, the tricycle driver waited patiently for her to decide where she wanted him to take her.
After taking the few minutes she needed to gather her thoughts, Rain decided to go back to the only place she knew she wouldn’t be questioned or compelled to speak until she was ready. Because she wasn’t ready for the confrontation with her boyfriend and her best friend, she decided to go back to Kalakala Street, because she knew uncle Kalku would be home to embrace her and tell her that this too shall pass.
End of Season 1.