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Thursday, 3 May 2018

What’s the situation outside?” Jake asked a security guard as he came into the room.
He firmed up. “Nothing less than ten press buses around the perimeter, they practically slept there.”
I forced the oatmeal Dora had made into my mouth. “What do they want me to say?” I said, almost inaudibly.
A text message popped on my phone. It was from Ade-Cole Firm, ‘REPORT AT WORK, MS. WILLIAMS. BOARD MEETING BY NOON.’
“How could they want a report from me so fast?” I said to myself and stood up from the bed.
Jake hissed. “You don’t have to go.” He said, holding my hand.
“Looks urgent, I can’t run away.” I replied, getting my bathrobe.
Jake rose up. “I’ll be downstairs. Dora has been down alone.” He said and walked out.
‘ Dora has been down alone’. Jake really did care about Dora after all. Who was I fooling? I felt some heat flush across my face as I thought about Jake and Dora. It was the perfect disappointment after Subomi. I took a deep breath and entered into the bathroom.

Jake pulled up in front of the Firm. “I’ll be right here.”
I shook my head. “No, please go home. I will call a cab after work.”
“What about the Press? And I feel you are still too stressed to be jumping around in taxis.”
I smiled. “It’s just a Cab, I would be fine. Take care of yourself and Dora too.” I said and walked into the Firm.
I went straight to Mrs. Small’s office.
“Hi.” I said, standing at the door.
Her face fell. “Honey….you look so pale.” She said, rising up to meet me. “Why have you come to work?” she asked.
I hugged her tightly. “The board wants to see me.” I took a deep sigh. “I guess I should have remained an intern.” I whispered.
She chuckled. “You had to grow one way or the other.” She led me to a seat. “When is the meeting?”
“At noon.” I replied, flashing at my wristwatch. “Have you heard from Dare, yet?”
She shook her head. “Not yet. I really don’t know where that guy is. He is not picking his calls or replying the texts or mails.”
“Do you think he was kidnapped?” I asked.
Toni popped here eyes out. “How could you think such? God forbid! He told me that he was going to sort out some things.” She said and did the crucifix sign repeatedly. I laughed in spite of myself.

My phone buzzed and I stared at the screen, the call was from Bola, My secretary. I ignored the call. “I have to go, Toni. Bola is calling.”
“Okay, do take care.”
Bola rose up to greet me as I approached. “Good morning…” she inhaled deeply. “Bad luck yesterday, keep fighting boss.”
I wore a wry smile. “Thanks Bola.”
“The Board members have arrived. It’s 45 minutes to the meeting.”
I looked at my wristwatch. “That’s fine. Take down any message for me.”
I entered into the office and stared at my desk. I waited anxiously for noon and when it was time, I left for the Board room.
“Hard Luck yesterday, right?” Mr. Ayodeji Ade-Cole started.
I cleared my throat lightly. “It’s not over, Sir. “ I replied.
Femi Ade-Cole burst into a hysterical laugh. “You have brought shame to us, Darlene Williams.” He said, raising his voice. “That’s something typical of a Williams.” He said, almost inaudibly, but loud enough for all the Board Members to give the ‘yes…Hmmm’ approval.
I slammed the table in anger. “Don’t drag my father into this. Mr. Davis trusted me with this case, and I am not going to stop until I do a good job.”
Femi Ade-Cole rose in anger. “Really? Tell me how you intend to upturn Subomi! You are over Darlene Williams.”
“I think we should go easy on the kid.” A board member said.
Femi Ade-Cole shot at him furiously. “Director Adewole, how do you expect us to feel?” he grabbed the controller for the Flat screen and turned it on. “It’s everywhere, the news, the papers, radios, blogs and even in the sky. Darlene Williams, rookie from ADE-COLE LAW FIRM shows up with false witness. No witness! Did Sameer even exist?”
At that moment, I was lost if Dare’s Dad, Ayodeji, had more power over his company like his brother, Femi did. Mr. Ayodeji Ade-Cole cleared his throat stepping into the matter. “Femi, please calm down. I think we are all disappointed, but I want to know why your witness ran away.”
At the moment, the Board room door opened and Dare stepped in. He had his head faced down. “Good Afternoon, everyone.” He said, slipping into a seat.
“Dare, how was the Bahamas?” His father asked.
BAHAMAS??? DARE WENT TO THE BAHAMAS??? My head spun like a carousel at the thought that Dare travelled to the Bahamas while I was getting embarrassed in court. AND HE CLAIMED TO LOVE ME???
Dare cleared his throat. “Can we talk about that later, Sir?”
“Of course. Have you heard about how Darlene Williams showed up without a witness in court?” he asked.

I tried to avoid contact with Dare. He nodded casually. “I read about it in the papers.”
“And what do you have to say?” Femi Ade-Cole jumped in.
Femi Ade-Cole banged the Table. “Nothing? You are Director here, a lawyer under you appears in court fooling the whole country and you have nothing to say?”
Dare jumped to his feet. “I have nothing to say, Uncle Femi. What do you want me to say?”
“Could you both calm down? This won’t solve anything.” Director Adewole interrupted.
I was tired of the whole thing. “What are we here for?” I asked.
Femi Ade-Cole looked at me. “Is that even a question? You should know why you are here, you desperate child.”
“Desperate? Excuse me, I am a professional, this might be my First Case, but I won’t allow anyone to tramp on me.”
He hissed dryly. “Have some respect, Kid. This is a high profile case deserving of long standing lawyers, not a careless rookie like you with a clue. Did you think you were match for Subomi?” he shouted.
I rose to my feet. “I was hired personally by Mr. Davis.”
“How ignorant of you not to check on the welfare of your witness before a suit! You are a total failure.” He yelled.
I snarled angrily. “I have had enough. Are you here to yell at me? It’s my case, my business! I have one week left, don’t bury me yet!” I raged.
“Hand in your resignation, Ms. Williams.” Mr. Ayodeji Ade-Cole said, coolly.
My eyes blinked. “W…What are you saying? It’s not over yet, Sir.”
“That’s impossible, Dad.” Dare interfered.
Mr. Ayodeji took a deep breath and took his seat. “It’s Mr. Ade-Cole here.”
“Whatever, Father…you can’t fire her, she’s my employee.”
Femi Ade-Cole slammed the table. “Our Firm is at stake here. We are now being targeted as bringing a desperate lawyer who lies to place a case.”
“I have a say in this Firm too… and stay out of this, Uncle Femi. Dad…Mr. Ade-Cole, please reconsider.”
Mr. Ayodeji shook his head in disagreement. “We already made a decision. Moreover, it’s not like we have a right to take her of the case, she was hired personally, so she might as well work as an individual, she doesn’t need this Firm.” He paused to drink some water. “We already know that she’s finished, there’s no need to drag Ade-Cole Law Firm with her.”
“That’s enough!” I shouted. “I am NOT FINISHED! Even if it is the last thing I do, I will ensure that I disgrace you all.” I said and stormed out of the room.
I ran into my office and locked the door. Bola banged on the door. “Open up…Ms. Williams, are you alright?”
I fumbled with the desk turning it over. I held my head in frustration and fell to the ground in tears.

“What do you think happened to Sameer?” Dora asked Jake as they ate.
Jake shrugged. “I don’t know, but I think he was kidnapped.”
“Or compromised? Maybe they paid him so much and he decided to run away or not show up for the case.”
Jake sighed. “I think we should look into it, Dora. Darlene said he was staying at Dare’s house. Maybe we should look for Dare’s house and gather some information, no matter how little.”
She nodded. “I agree with you, I would get the address from Inspector Philip, I have his phone number upstairs.” She said and disappeared upstairs.
Jake sighed as he pulled up in front of Dare’s gate. A security man came outside. “What do you want?” he asked staring at Jake and Dora.
“We are here to see Dare.”
The Security man stared at them. “Dare isn’t home. You should know that if you know him, now leave.”
“Okay man…I would just go straight to the point. Do you know the Arabian man that stayed in this house?” Jake asked.
Jake wore a questioning look. The security man blinked. “No.”
“Please sir, help us. He is a friend.” Dora intercepted. Jake was turning it into a confrontation.
The security man sighed. “You should have come easy. Yes, I know him, but he went out for his morning walk since yesterday morning like he usually does and he hasn’t returned.”
“What direction did he go?” she asked.
The security man looked ahead. “He always goes up north.”
“Thank you.” she replied. “Come on Jake, let’s go.”
They journeyed up north. “This place is almost perfect for a walk.” Jake said as he pulled up across the road. “I think we should walk. We might find clues.”
They got out of the car and took a stroll. “If Sameer was kidnapped, the Kidnappers probably packed their car and walked, they couldn’t have driven a car in this place.” Dora suggested looking at the trees and vegetations. “This place is almost a wood.”
“Hmmm…that’s correct.” Jake said walking ahead. “You would make a good detective, Dora.”
She blushed and took out her camera. “Let me take a picture of you.” she said.
Jake smiled. “We are on a mission; you should be paying attention to the details.”
“Oh come on…it’s just a picture, and who knows, I might draw inspiration from this place.” She said, clicking the camera.
Jake walked on. “Alright run away, I would just keep taking pictures of the trees and vegetation.”
“Okay, have fun. Catch up with me.” he said, and walked on.
Dora angled her camera and took shots of the beautiful trees. “Wow…I love this flowers.” She said looking at some flowers. She angled again and zoomed it to a focus, “Oh…never knew a flower had this nice patterns and edges.” She then took another click.
“Hey Jake! What did you find?” she asked.
He shrugged. “Nothing, I think we should just return home.”
“I want you to look at this flower, I know you won’t understand because it’s nature, but it’s beautiful and I would like you to see it. ” she said, showing him the picture. “It’s a little weird; it is yellow and has a brown to black edge with a weird pattern.” Jake stared at the camera firmly. “The patterns are like Arabic.”
She nodded. “You are correct. They look like Arabic, but can a flower have Arabic patterns?”
“It is not a flower.” Jake said as his popped his eyes. “It is among the flowers, looks camouflaged, but it’s not a flower. Where is this flower?” he asked.
Dora took Jake over to the plant. He took the bushes apart and fetched a Koran. “This must be Sameer’s.”
“Then it’s sure that he was kidnapped.”

I opened my door with a box in my hand. “Bola, take care of yourself.” I said, staring at my dutiful secretary.
“What is this?” Toni said as she came upstairs. “Were you fired?”
I scoffed. “Well…I guess my adventure here came to a halt too soon.”
Dare came out of his office with a box in his hand too. He walked over to me. “I am sorry, Darlene.”
“Were you fired?” I asked, softly.
He took a deep breath. “I resigned. If you won’t be here, neither would I. I take responsibility for the case against Subomi.”
I dropped the box. “D…Dare, you don’t have to do this, it’s my fight.”
He dropped his box. “Darlene, I won’t let you go through this alone. We have a week to finish Obi.” He held my hand. “I am sorry. I didn’t run away, I had to sort something very urgent, please forgive me for not being there.”
“Okay, break it up, you two…” Toni interrupted. “Are you both leaving me in this Firm? It’s not fair.”
Dare sighed. “I am sorry, Toni. I need you here to look after the Firm for me. Please look after my Dad too. I am not comfortable with Uncle Femi.” He said. He turned towards me. “Let’s go, Darlene. I will drop you at home.”
Bola hugged me tight. “I would miss you.” she said, wiping a tear off her face.
Dare stacked the two boxes together. I turned to Toni and hugged her. “I will miss you, Mrs. Small. Thanks for everything.” I said, in tears.
“Why did you go the Bahamas?” I asked, as Dare drove.
He sighed. “It was quite urgent and it had to be sorted out.”
“You are evasive of my question. I won’t pressure you.” I replied.
Dare pulled up in front of the house.
“Thanks Dare.” I said, as I grabbed my box. “Do you want to come in for a drink?”
He smiled. “I would love that.”
I handed the box over to a maid as we stepped in. “Thank you.” I led Dare to the kitchen and poured him a glass of Wine. “Here you go.” I poured mine.
“Thanks.” He said. “You are a tough woman; you don’t look like someone who got fired.”
I smiled. “My eyes are empty.”
He stood up and came to me. “Darlene, I wish I was there with you. I know, it sounds ridiculous that I missed the case, but Bahamas was urgent. It came up and I thought I would make it in time, but I was too late, I am sorry.”
I smiled faintly. “It’s fine. I have been through worse. My father had missed almost every important event in my life, and he also missed this, so I am not shocked.”
Dare swallowed. “Yes, your father.”
“Are you not comfortable with hearing about my father? Oh…that reminds me, he also went to the Bahamas.”
Dare cleared his throat and returned to his drink.
“Why are you acting all up? Did you meet my father there?”
Dare dropped his glass on the table. “Me??? No…” he laughed and tried to avoid my stare.
“What are you hiding, Dare?”
Jake and Dora walked in. “Hello…” Jake said.
“Hi Jake. Hey Dora.” I said.
Dare waved his hand and rose to his feet. “I would be on my way.” He said, adjusting his jacket.
“You don’t have to leave. Let’s have lunch together, after all, we have both been fired from work, we could celebrate that.”
“WHAT???” Jake and Dora said almost immediately.
Jake stared hard. “Is it because of the case?”
“Let’s go and talk outside.” I suggested.
Dora dropped the grocery bag on the table. “I would make lunch, you guys can go ahead.”
“Jake, please show Dare where the grill is, you guys should make the barbeque. I will send the meat through a maid soon.” I said.
Jake rubbed his hand triumphantly. “Meat and Men is Meat!”
“Oh…please Jake, you picked that phrase from me. Be careful with it this time, I don’t think you have really learned how to grill properly.” I called as they walked out.
I stared at Dora. “Thank you, Dora.”
She rushed at me and hugged me. “I have missed you sis” she said, amidst tears. “I never meant to hurt you.”
I sighed and patted her lightly. “It’s okay. I was also being stupid. I am sorry for the times I hit you. I am so stupid. Forgive me.”

Jake wore his apron proudly and rubbed the knife proudly. “Pretty boy, I know you don’t know how these things are done, so just watch and learn.”
He turned on the grill and cut the meat into sizes. “Here we go….” He racked his brain for the next step; he tried not to make it obvious to Dare. ‘Oil or water’ he thought. He then flashed a smile at Dare. “I know what I am doing.” He sprinkled some water on the grill.
“You are kidding?” gifts wed Dared guffaw guffawed. “Move aside and let the pro have a go. Give me some oil…” he yanked the Apron off his body. “Give me that. Who ever gave you the license to wear an Apron?”
Jake grinned and fetched some oil. He watched Dare dice the onions carefully and season the meat. “You are good, man.” He sniffed the air. “I suggest we finish the meat before those ladies get here.” Dare smiled and chopped a tiny bit and gave it to him. “Oh boy…you are good. Where ever did you learn to grill meat this fine.”
“Men and Meat is Meat, remember? We can’t keep eating the meat without knowing the recipe. If we did, we would look like complete fools if the ladies decide to strike. My ex taught me how to grill. She is really good with meat.”
Jake smiled. “And I am sure that it did tell on your pocket.”
Dare nodded with a smile. “We would have Barbeque parties almost every weekend.”
“I should keep the drinks iced.” Jake said, covering the cooler. “If they don’t hurry up, we have the right to eat the meat, right?”
Dare nodded in agreement. “They shouldn’t keep men waiting.”
“Do you follow the English Premiership? I support Arsenal.” Jake said happily.
Dare hissed. “Loser. I am a Chelsea supporter.”
“You and Darlene are just blabber mouths! I hate all Chelsea supporters.”

Dora served the noodles into Chinas. “I think we are set.” We had made a delicacy with the noodle-carrots, cabbages, potatoes, and the rest. You can be sure that we were going to have a treat.

Jake and Dare were laughing and eating some Barbeque. “Hey you two!!! Just what do you think you are doing?” Dora shouted.
I wasn’t bothered about the meat. I was concerned as to why Dare and Jake were forming such a union, not that I wanted them to break each other’s heads, but isn’t it strange?
“Sorry, but you guys took too long.” Dare replied, wiping his mouth.
I cut a slice and widened my eyes. “Jacob, you learn fast. You used to be horrible with this thing.”
“Don’t be too quick to appraise me, Dare did it.”
I dropped the Fork and smiled at Dare. “Really?”
He didn’t reply, he just smiled.
After our lunch. Jake cleared his throat. “I think there something Dora and I have to share.”
My heart raced fast. Were they engaged and about to drop the bomb? I would be devastated. My heart raced fast as Jake took a deep breath and sighed. “Dora and I….erm….we think Sameer was kidnapped.”
“How can you guys be so sure?” Dare asked.
Jake sat upright. “We did some investigation and we found Sameer’s Koran in the Woods around your house.”
“He must have gone for his early walks and then was picked up by Obi’s men.” Dora added.
I took a deep breath. “What are we going to do? I just have one week else the case is dismissed.”guffaw
“We have to find Sameer.” Dare said.
I nodded in agreement. “But how do we find him? I have no idea of where he could be. Should we involve the police?” I asked.
“No. But we can have Philip help us, we don’t want anything to slip or anyone compromised. We would devise a plan and then look for him.”
And here we have it. Dare, Jake, Dora and I were coming together to find Sameer.

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