Hotel Palava - Episode 19
I was shocked to see him. I turned over to the lady who talked about her son Deji and it all made sense. I smiled at him.
I noticed he threw his face away from me.
What just happened? I thought to myself. For a while I was uneasy.
Did he just Intentionally diss me? I felt hurt.
"Good afternoon Ma"
"Good afternoon Deji" the harsh woman replied.
"Why didn't you guys tell me you were coming? I would have"
"Gbenu dake!(Shut up!) " The woman answered, "You're not human oh, Deji you're very wicked. So the only time you can take me seriously is after I've sent you that text message"
"I'm sorry I...." He paused looking at me and I packed up the mop, ready to leave.
"Ma is there anything else I can do?" I asked and she shook her head.
. Omo mi, thanks." She said, "As you can see, I'm trying to pieces my son" she answered and I chuckled faintly.
"Mummy Deji! You don't owe her any explanation" the other woman answered.
"Leave her, it's village life that's affecting her" Deji answered and her mom raised the nearest shoe throwing it at him and he dodged it.
I also imagined throwing something so big on his head too. I couldn't take it anymore, I had to leave.
I didn't go far, I was around the corner, monitoring when he would come out
. He finally did.
I noticed he was looking around for me so I walked over to him.
"Hey" he said to me and I blinked back the tears that were about pouring out. "Hey" as though I was a complete stranger.
"About what happened in there" he began, "Did you see me?" I asked, I was so disappointed that I could accept any reason that moment.
"I did" he answered pulling me away from hearing distance. "You probably don't want anyone seeing us together right?"
"Lillian you don't understand"
"Understand what? That you're ashame of me or the work I do"
"I never knew you were a maid"
"You met me as a salesgirl" "You never told me you were a maid"
"Well you never ask! Newsflash Deji, I work as a maid in this hotel" I answered crying.
"It's..." He paused.
"It's what?" I asked, "Embarrassing, you can't date a girl who works as a maid but you were willing to give it a shot as a sales girl."
"It's not that"
"Then what is it?"
"You don't have to cry about this please just listen to me" he begged and I nodded ready to listen.
"Lilian I like you, we've shared great times..." He paused. It sounded like a break up.
"I wish mom didn''t seen you, then I call you a girlfriend but she has. What would they think of me if I become serious with a maid"
"Don't speak again." I moved back.
"How could I have been a fool to give myself cheaply to you" I continued, "Lilian"
"Don't even interrupt me!" I shouted stretching my hands at him.
"Listen and listen good Deji. I don't ever want to see you again. Delete my number from your phone, I'll act like you don't exist and you'll also act like I don't exist. Right now my heart is full of hate for you. Anyone who can't accept who I am isn't worth being with me. Good day!" I nailed walking away in tears.
I bumped into Michelle. "Babe wetin do you?" She asked and I walked away. "Lily!" She shouted.
After I dodged the shoe mom threw at me, Lilian left afterwards. I walked up to mom hugging her. "Why are you pretending? You don't even miss me" she snapped and I chuckled.
As much as I hated to admit it, I missed her like hell. The only reason I don't visit is because of Dad.
Mrs. Babalola left afterwards.
"Where's your husband?" I asked Mom and she clapped her hands. "I don't know, he said he wants to meet some old friends. He didn't even rest oh"
"I better leave then, not without seeing him please"
"Mom I have things to do"
"I don't know why you two are so stubborn. You took your stubbornness from your father. I want you two to sit down and talk about the way forward for the company"
"Dad wants to impose his will on me and I'm not ready for his wahala."
"Is it until he dies that you would? She asked and I wondered why she uttered that.
"Is the old man okay?" I asked and she smiled.
"Im not going to use sickness to make you change you mind but Deji" she paused, "You're wicked" she repeated once again and I bowed my head in shame.
"You didn't call your step siblings? You didn't your parents. You're going to bring enemies your way faster than you can think"
"Urgh! Mom you don't understand"
"It's you that don't understand life, you think life is the way you're living it?"
"What your point?"
"Your step sisters deserve a little concern but you're just like your father. You don't care for them"
"Why would I?"
"Listen to yourself! Recently, last year sha, your little step-sister, Gbemi had an altercation with your father and your father has refused paying her university fees. The man is sturbborn and I've been paying the fees since then, the only thing their mother knows how to do is drink her life away"
"I'll talk to her and find a way to help her"
"You're still womanizing shea?" She asked and I rolled my eyes. How did we end up on this topic?
"Other mothers would wake up and pray their sons into success, but I, Ariola Omojola would wake up and pray that God, don't let a woman's curse work on my son. Is that fair"
"You too examine it now, is it fair?"
"You haven't seen anything yet! The day that you'll jam a woman that even your mother's prayer cannot overshadow. That's when you'll repent"
"Mom when the right times comes, I'll do the needful"
"That's if I would be alive. I want to carry my grandchild and play with him, spoil him with all manner of things" she gestured as though carrying a baby.
"I'll call him Ayomide" she smiled and I scoffed.
"You haven't even seen a wife yet you're giving the child a name already" I complained.
"Mom, I would like to meet Henry real fast, I'll be back" I said leaving the room.
I looked around in search of Lilian.
I felt bad for ignoring her. I needed to apologize.
"Hey" I said to her. I didn't know why I started with 'Hey'. It sounded as though I was greeting a complete stranger.
"About what happened in there"
"Did you see me?" She asked, why wouldn't I? I thought within. Only a blind man will miss that smile.
Suddenly I felt blind for missing that smile she gave to me.
"I did" I answered pulling her away from hearing distance. "You probably don't want anyone seeing us together right?"
"Lillian you don't understand"
"Understand what? That you're ashame of me of the work I do" "I never knew you were a maid"
"You met me as a salesgirl"
She snapped. She had a point there!
"You never told me you were a maid"
"Well you never asked! Newsflash Deji, I work as a maid in this hotel" she answered now crying.
"It's..." I paused,
"It's what?" She asked, "Embarrassing, you can't date a girl who works as a maid but you were willing to give it a shot as a sales girl" " she added and I was just left speechless.
"It's not that"
"Then what is it?" She shouted, I was feeling hurt by her tears.
"You don't have to cry about this please just listen to me" i begged and she nodded.
"Lilian I like you, we've shared great times..." I paused, I just wish mom didn't see her. I would have made her quit the job and polish her the more.
"I wish mom didn't seen you, then I can call you a girlfriend but mom has. What would they think of me if I become serious with a maid"
"Don't speak again." She moved back. On second thought, I realized how that sounded. There was no nice way to put it.
"How could I have been a fool to give myself cheaply to you" she asked and my heart sank.
I didn't know why. I've never felt that way before.
"Don't even interrupt me!" She shouted stretching her hands at me. "Listen and listen good Deji. I don't ever want to see you again. Delete my number from your phone, I'll act like you don't exist and you'll also act like I don't exist also. Right now my heart is full of hate for you. Anyone who can't accept who I am isn't worth being with me. Good day!" She concluded walking away in tears.
I wanted to call her, but I didn't. I just couldn't move a muscle.
I went into Henry's office. He didn't seem to be in a good mood either.
"You won't believe what happened to me today" we both said in unison, after a while we laughed it off. Then he asked that I go first.
"I finally made love with Lilian" I confessed and he shook his head. "I'm pretty sure she's among your conquest now"
"She wasn't supposed to be... I actually did felt something for her okay? I felt like I could start something serious with her"
"So what happened ? I noticed your use of past tense"
"You won't believe what I found out today" "What?"
"I found out she works as a maid in this hotel" I confessed and Henry shut his eyes.
"Jesus, it was Liillan you met" he buried his head in his palm. "I didn't know" he added, "I wish I knew"
"What would you have done?"
"Stop her from getting involved with a jerk like you"
"Henry abeg I no want insult, I'm feeling horrible as it is" "Lilian is a very sweet girl"
"I know! I just didn't expect she would be a maid in this hotel." "Don't tell me you said that to her"
"You're an idiot"
"She was in the same room with mum cleaning up and I swear I didn't mean to ignore her. Mehn I felt horrible for it" I shut my eyes as the image flooded through my head. It kept playing on and on.
"She was so angry with me, she broke it off. She said she didn't want to see me again"
"She probably felt hurt"
"My heart feels heavy" "Dee I think you should apologize, go after her. You definitely like her"
"I can't date a maid"
"Listen to yourself! Are you even listening to yourself? They're humans with flesh and blood"
"I wish she didn't meet mom but she has and I just can't introduce her to the family. No way, it's impossible"
"I hate you right now" Henry blurted and I scoffed. "I hate me right now" I pointed out, "What's your own dilemma?" He asked and Henry exhaled.
"Mehn I think we're both having a shitty day"
Lilian stopped by at the house before her shift ended and I wondered why. She busted into tears the moment she walked into the house and I was left confused.
"Are you okay?" I asked and she fell on the chair sobbing.
"Lilian you're scaring me, what happened?"
"I saw him at the hotel today" she answered and I summed it up that she caught her boyfriend cheating.
"He was cheating shea?"
"No" she sobbed, "He was with his parents and he didn't acknowledge me. He was ashame of my job"
"He's an idiot! God will punish him wherever he is" "I broke up with him"
"It hurts Adesuwa, my heart" she touched her chest and I feared she would have an heart attack that moment.
I touched her and I realized she was already burning up. I knew I had to call her sister. "See as your body take hot"
I called Adesuwa severally after work hours but she refused picking my calls, I was worried so I drove over to her house.
I sent a boy to call her out and he did. She showed up afterwards with a singlet on, it was dark, I couldn't detect the color.
She had a shorts on. She scratched her eyes severally, I guess she was sleeping.
"Good evening Sir" she greeted, "Why are you here?"
"I called you severally you didn't pick up"
"I haven't even looked at my phone since I called Felicia" she muttered, "I'm sorry Sir, I had an emergency"
"What kind? I hope it's not serious"
"Lilian stopped by and she was burning up so I had to call her sister. She owns the pharmacy we went to the other day"
Immediately I blamed Deji for it. She must have been really hurt. "Was she sick?"
"No. Lilian was fine not until..." She stalled, "Until what."
"An idiot tampered with her heart. She met this player who played her and now it's over and you know girls, we can be overly emotionally attached to every relationship. I wonder why God created us that way."
I sighed. I didn't know whether to tell her that I knew about the break up and it was Deji who was responsible for it.
"I wanted to talk to her too. I wanted to apologize to her about what Deji did to her" I chipped in and Adesuwa scoffed. Then she pulled back.
"So the idiot in question is your friend. Probably the rude idiot I met in your office"
"Oh please Sir. He's an idiot and I make no apologies for it" she leaned on my car and she buried her head on it.
I heard her sniff.
"I wish I knew" she raised her head. "I don't ever want to see him. I don't think that will be possible cause I work at the hotel and he's your best friend." She scoffed.
"Right now there are a lot of persons I don't want to meet"
"My mom inclusive" I added and she sighed. "I'm sorry about what happened" I apologized and she leaned on the car so did I.
"I don't know who's feeding her with those lies and I'm sorry she called you a tramp"
"I told you already, I'm used to it. I'm used to having bad days and used to people pointing accusing fingers at me" she answered.
"Why would she even assume we were about kissing?" "I don't know why?"
"You're my boss, I'll never kiss you. You're not someone I'll kiss." She paused then she shut her eyes.
"Not like I won't kiss you if the chance arises or like it's a bad thing to kiss you or you're not kissable. It's just"
"I get it. There's a that thin line between a boss and his employee that must be respected" I explained and she agreed.
"That's exactly what I meant" she answered then we busted into laughter.
"Should I be expecting you to resume work tomorrow?" I asked and she nodded.
"The documents are ready, can I get the chef's number? I would like to have a chat with him tomorrow"
"Sure" she answered and I groaned.
"You must be exhausted"
"Exhausted is an understatement... All I need is some form of peace" "You can go have your rest. There's nothing a good sleep won't do"
"Not when you have your mom and your girlfriend at your neck" I answered. "If I'm the cause of the problem..."
"You're not...it's..." I paused, "It's..."
"I hate to sound disrespectful Sir, but you're a grown up man. You don't need people to tell you what to do and what not. You have the right to make your own decisions and stick to it"
"Easier said than done."
"You shouldn't let others toss you left and right with their own opinion of what is right or wrong. You have your heart to help you with that"
"My heart is divided. I don't know what to do. I'm scared of making mistakes and disappointing a whole lot of persons and I did it today"
"What did you do"
"I went against mom. I've never done that in my life. She wanted me to fire you but I declined." I turned over to her. "Why is she that way?"
"Mom is the sweetest woman if she wants to be. She can be strict too. You just met her at a bad time."
"And I'll keep on meeting her that way cause I just managed to make myself her enemy" she snapped and I chuckled.
"You sound like a loyalist" she added and I smiled.
Suddenly i remembered an old Yoruba ode to mothers.
"Iya ni wura Baba ni jigi (Mother just gold, the father is the silver)" I sang the first note. "Have you heard of it?"
"Yes" she nodded.
"It really doesn't change the fact you're still a momma's boy" she added and I laughed this time.
"Do you mind having dinner with me?" I asked, "I haven't had anything since lunch and I barely had lunch. I'm seriously famished"
"There's nothing edible at home now.
. But we could get roadside yam" "Yam for breakfast and yam for dinner. Just shoot me already" I muttered and she laughed.
"What's at home? I'll manage anything"
"There's left over stew from yesterday. Do you do left overs?" She asked and I smiled.
"A begger has no choice"
"You have a choice to eat out in any expensive restaurant of your choice"
"I don't want to eat alone"
Adesuwa invited me into her home for dinner. I had rice and stew before leaving her house.
Even If didn't want to leave, I had no choice.
When I got back to the hotel, I had Jummy nag me about coming in late. "Where are you coming from? I heard you left ever since"
"I went to have dinner"
"If you were at the restaurant, I would have found out"
"Jummy please, not this night" I begged. "I really don't want to have any arguments with you" I took off my shirt and trousers.
"So I guess you won't want to talk about why you made her the secretary then" she added and I shook my head.
"You have no idea how shocked I was when Emmy told me this morning"
"So you had to tell Mom"
"Since you only listen to her. Have you fired her?" She asked and I shook my head. "I'm not firing anyone" "Henry"
"Please not tonight, I already said it already. I really don't want any arguments" I answered entering into the bathroom.
"Okay fine!" I heard her voice draw near. "Can we at least talk about moving to another place apart from the hotel? I can't keep on coming to the hotel. Let's get a place of our own" she suggested and turned on the shower.
I rather hear the sound of rushing waters that moment than hear Jummy complain once again.
To be continued.
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