Hotel Palava - Episode 8
I walked out of Mr. Henry's office then I cleaned my tears. I heard the boss call out my name but I cared less. Lilian and Michelle were waiting at me at a corner.
"How did it go?" Lilian asked, "I've been fired" I announced and Mitchel opened her mouth in shock.
"Sir Henry doesn't look like that kind of person." "How do you know? Men are all the same"
"Sir Henry is a very nice man Adesuwa. Did he personally fire you? I know you can exaggerate for Africa!"
"He didn't" I confessed, "But I don't need to stay there for him to fire
. You should have seen him, he judged me by what I did. Babes you won't believe that that man knew I wasn't dumb since yesterday. He was just playing me."
I saw Lilian bow her head and then it occurred to me. "Lilian you knew!" I snapped and she moved back a bit. "It wasn't my fault. He asked that I keep it a secret"
"What are we best friends for? Lilian, you could have at least given me a heads up"
"I didn't tell him, he found out there was no dumb employee in the hotel so he came to me.... "
"You're a horrible friend!" I yelled then I walked away.
I sat inside the living room with a ear piece plugged on to my ear
. It was dark, I was listening to jams that usually made me forget my frustrations but those jams didn't seem to work that moment.
I thought of how I made a fool of myself. Moments with Mr. Henry came flooding through my mind. Each time It does I literally beat myself up.
Suddenly the whole room became bright and Lilian walked in and I unplugged the earpiece. "Na me bring light come oh" she joked and I raised my brow.
I was obviously still angry.
"I can't sleep knowing you're angry with me. Adesuwa I'm sorry. I know I should put our friendship first but I didn't"
"I'm trying to get over the whole thing, memories keeps on streaming like live videos in my head." I sat up and she sat down. She felt bad for me.
"I don't want to be in your shoes"
"When he walked up to the both of us and he said that sh*t about erm... Sign language" I paused and we both laughed.
"God I'm stupid!" I admitted then I closed my face in shame.
"I was just fooling myself"
"Don't be too hard on yourself dear, i" Lilian encouraged, "Be harder on yourself" she chipped in, busting into laughter.
Lilian walked into me that morning folding my uniform. I kept on scattering and refolding the cloth.
I didn't feel like leaving the hotel, even though Iit felt like the right thing to do.
"How long are you gonna keep folding and unfolding?" She asked and I pouted my lips at her almost in tears.
"I don't feel like going"
"I'll miss you" Lilian hugged her. "The hotel would not be the same without you"
Haunted by guilt, I turned and squirmed in the bed. Then i tried to convince myself that I wasn't at fault.
I got up quite early in the morning, walked towards the kitchen. I perceived the smell of burnt food from afar. I found Tosin fanning a burnt egg with a novel in her hand.
Beside her was Jumoke.
"I need to take a long bath" Jummy excused herself and I turned over to Tosin who was laughing.
"What happened?"Henry asked, "That's what happens when you try to fry eggs without oil, on high heat" Tosin paused raising the novel up. "While reading a novel...Jumoke is hopeless" she added still chuckling.
"When did Jumoke start cooking?" I asked unable to wipe off the surprise look off my face.
"She's been learning for you and I've been teaching her. She spent the night here so she decided to surprise you" Tosin added.
"She's hopelessly in love with you. She's absolutely clueless you don't want her again."
"Gosh!" I exclaimed.
"How will I make her know?" I added opening the fridge then suddenly I remembered Adesuwa's incidence and I groaned.
I took out a bottle of mayonnaise. I wanted to make myself a little sandwich.
"A penny for your thought?" Tosin asked and i dropped the bottle of mayonnaise. I picked up a jug of water then pour it into a glass cup on the fine marble-designed counter. Then I drank a little. Damn I was thirsty!
"Why do girls lie?" I asked, this question provoked a giggle from Tosin.
"Welcome to the world of sin bro. Guys lie, girls lie, i lie! Sometimes we don't choose to do it, we don't even want to but circumstances makes us do it...for example, fear, threat..."
"Do i look scary?" I asked, "No" Tosin answered chuckling then she gave me that suspicious look.
"Why are you asking?" She paused in thought.
"Wait...is this about the girl who lied to you?" she asked. I knew she would figure it out. She's that smart.
Tosin is a graduate retainee taking guidance and conselling in the university.
"Are you trying to play shrink on me?" I asked and she chuckled. "I'm so angry and at the same time scared of her. People like her are the worst. She's an incredible liar"
"She's not your girlfriend or sister, why are you angry then?"
"I dislike lies Tosin, you know that very well"
"Continue..." Tosin requested.
"She publicly rejected a guy's proposal...i think she has issues" "So what if she said no? It's her life. She might not be in love with him"
"The annoying thing was that when i confronted her yesterday to give me a reason for lying...i said some pretty nasty things, she cried. I felt sorry for her."
Tosin quietly watched me, she didn't say anything, she just quietly watched me. I wondered why.
I quietly watched my brother like I would watch anyone that comes to me for guidance.
My brother seemed fascinated by this strange woman, yet has no idea of it. This is usually the first stage of infactuation.
I hoped to be wrong; for Jumoke's sake. I hoped to God that it doesn't exceed fascination.
"Do you think she has issues?" Henry asked, "Calm down Henry, i'm not a voodoo priest. One might need to critically examine her before saying anything. I'm guessing she has fears...or lying issue or trauma. It might be a wide range of options or personal choices..." I analysed.
"Mom didn't come home yesterday as planned." I announced and i could almost hear Henry say, "Thank God!"
"I was even about asking about her"
Jumoke entered into my room with a wide smile while fiddling with her phone.
"Jummy" i called out quite surprised since she normally doesn't enter into my room. She also looked gloomy.
"Where's Henry?" She asked and I pointed at the door.
"Henry left for work...what have you been doing in the room all day?"
"I've been sulking in shame about what happened in the kitchen. "That's silly!" I answered laughing at him.
"Tosin please do you have a minute to spare?"
"I have to go to work and I haven't prepared yet for my class"
"I won't take your time"
"Is this about Henry?" She asked and Jummy nodded sitting on my bed.
"Do you think I have a good chance with him?" She asked, "I want to know whether to give up or push my luck"
"Don't ask me Jummy, I'm not going to ask you to do anything, just give him time. Get closer to him, talk to him. That's all my brother needs right now more than anything."
He needs someone to talk to.
In between my lecture, I received a text from Dad, they just arrived. They were already in Nigeria. I didn't know whether to be happy or not.
"Where were we?" I asked the class.
I took a short walk around the hall where he found Michelle cleaning the floor. Thank God! I muttered to myself then I asked where I could find Adesuwa.
"She must have left already, she handed in her oral resignation to Mummy Bisi"
My face face fell.
Mom stopped by later at the hotel. I raised my head when i heard the door to my office close. I didn't even realize someone had opened it. I was lost in thought.
"Mom?" I asked with a wry smile.
"Is that how to properly greet your mother?" She asked, "Good morning Mom" i stood up bowing my head to her.
"Or do you rather I prostrate?" I asked and she chuckled.
"Don't be silly dear" she walked up to him pressing a warm hug against me.
"I've missed you son" she lets out a sighed of relief.
"I'm glad you're in Nigeria. There's nothing as sweet as being at home. There's absolutely no place like home. I was shocked when my cousin told me you would be coming in to manage his hotel for him"
"It's only a matter of time before you realize the ugly truth, ajo o le dabi ile (there's no place like home) Sweetie I know you're staying for good"
"That wasn't even a question mom, it wasn't even a request"
"Sweetheart" she placed her palm over Henry's face.
"Trust me, Nigeria is the place I've dreamt for you to be in, it's the place I've dreamt for you to get married and have kids" she continued with a wide smile.
"I've had everything planned out already. All you just have to do is relax and enjoy the ride" she winked at me and I shook my head.
"Does this ride has to do with Jummy?" I asked and mom nodded in agreement.
"Mom if you've spoken to Tosin, you'll know that"
"Ah, yes!" She sat on a chair, "Tosin rambled some nonsense to me about you wanting to make your decision" "Nonsense?"
"Henry, it's just nonsense talk, I've had this discussion with Jummy's mom and dad. The wedding would be the talk of the town. Jummy still loves you and I know you love her too"
"I loved her years ago" I argued but mom obviously wasn't listening.
"I'm pretty sure somewhere in that your heart lies some dead feelings that can we resuscitated" she crossed her leg grinning.
"Sweetheart" she rose up.
"You're my only son and if there's anyone that knows you in and out, it should be me. I know what's best for you.
. Jummy is the key to your happiness" she suggested and I rolled my eyes.
She wasn't even trying to listen to me. "Remember when you two would sneak around those times. You thought we didn't know but we did. You both were so in love" she continued.
This forced a chuckle out me.I had a flashback.
Yeah...those were good times.
"Just open your eyes to the possibility of being with her, trust me, it would make everything easy." She advised picking up her bag to leave.
"I have plans dear"
"What did you guys do in India?" I asked curious as to know why my parents travelled to India.
"We were trying to find out if we could have other kids" she teased and my face moulded into a grimace. Suddenly she laughed out loud kissing me on the cheek.
"Give Jummy a chance. I planned out a date tonight at The Royal kitchen, Jummy doesn't know and you're going to surprise her" she whispered leaving the office.
I called Jumoke up for an impromptu date that evening. We ate at the prepared venue. Though I felt forced, but I had to give it a go. Maybe it would make me forget the fact Adesuwa resigned and I'll feel less guilty for not stopping her when I had the chance to.
I saw it as a way of trying to kill two birds with one stone.
The night ended with the both of us in my hotel room. We had s*x quite all right, it was good, really good but It wasn't like old times.
It was different.
Thanks for the comments all. Keep it coming.
***Quick question guys***
What do you guys think about what Lilian did? Was it the right thing?
Should she have told have let Adesuwa into the plan?
If you were Adesuwa, would you have forgiven her?
Let me know.