Thu. Feb 15th, 2024

Benita dropped from the car at the junction of her sister’s house with a frown on her face, not even a good night message from her and I was more confused as she banged the door so hard.

“ could this be jealousy?”

“ or could it be bitterness?”

“ let’s even assume that Adebimpe was my girlfriend, did she actually expect me not to have a girlfriend?”

“ or why could she be angry?”

I ignored her and I stopped by a road side canteen to buy food in a take away pack which I took home to eat. Later in the night, Betty and had had a long conversation as she was telling me about her travelling and arrival overseas. I resumed for work the next day and went to my office to have a meeting with my team as usual and I was surprised that Benita wasn’t smiling to me again, I greeted her and she didn’t respond as I expected her to do, she was warm with other member of the team but cold to me. Even during the interactive section when everyone was expected to contribute to the on-going discussion, she was the only one who refused to talk and I was more confused. After the meeting, I handed over the files to her and explained to her what her role was all about and she answered me reluctantly. During break time, she stepped out the canteen and the guys in my team who were close to me came to ask me questions.

“Onihaxy, what happened to your wife?”

“ why was she in that mood?”

“ what happened between both of you last night?”

“ I saw her in your car as you were driving out of office”

“ I’m very sure you went home together”

“ you must have dragged somethings together overnight”

“ Onihaxy the badoo!!!”

I just smiled at the guys as they continued to drill me with several questions, I had to excuse them and I went to another office to hang out with my colleagues over there. I never stop wondering about what could be wrong with Benita and the reasons behind her sudden change of attitude. Was she actually expecting me not be in a relationship after turning down my proposal requests?, or was she expecting me to remain single when she is already engaged?, I dismissed her thoughts from my mind and concentrated with my friends until when break was over and everyone returned to the office. Although the remaining working hours, she was on her own without talking to me, even at the closure of business for the day,she left the office without even saying “Good night”.

On the second day, she came late to work at 7:33 am instead of the regular 7:15am resumption time, I was trying to scold her for coming late and I was shocked when she shouted at me saying “ can’t you first ask me why I was late before scolding me for coming late?”. With a greatshock in my heart, I never expected her to be this rude to me because it has never happened before. I didn’t beg her in the presence of other team members because I didn’t want to appear too weak before them so that others won’t take advantage of me and start coming late with the mindset that “since Benita could shout at the Teamlead despite that she came late, let me also do the same thing”.

I frowned and shouted back at her that she shouldn’t talk to me in that manner for talking to her about her late coming, Benita worsen the situation by yelling back at me saying “ Mr Onihaxy, you may be the Team-lead but don’t forget that we are all colleagues. I am not your younger sister that you can shout on anyhow, I expect you to first ask me why I was late in the first place before scolding me for lateness as if it has ever happened before, or have I ever been late before?, is that how other team-leads treat their members?”. I was furious and I was boiling inside of me, this is a public humiliation that shouldn’t go unchecked just like that before other people began to take advantage of me. I rounded up the meeting with a frown and anger look on my face, I opened my outlook and composed a query and sent it to her to answer in the next 5 hours and I copied my immediate boss who was the project manager. I sent the mail to her, I turned my chair around, held my glasses and faced Benita’s direction and I told her “Benita, I sent you a mail just now, kindly reply it in the next 5 hours”, I turned back to face my system and she replied my words saying “ I have seen it, expect my response soon” everyone suddenly shifted their attention towards us. Benita began to grumble with the lady sitting next to her and I wanted her to know that I wasn’t interested in her grumbling, I switched on the music player application on my phone and I first played the music on loudspeaker before plugging my earphone into the phone and I switched off the music but the earphone was still plugged in my ears in other to listen to the side talks. I guess they all assumed that I wasn’t hearing them as they saw me nodding my head as if I was listening to music and they started talking. Benita was the first to grumble.

“I don’t even know his problem”

“ is he the first person to become team lead?”

“ is it because he was lucky to be retained after our last project?”

“ see the way he was yelling at me”

“ do I look like her younger sister?”

“ He didn’t even ask me why I was late before he started shouting like a tout”

“ ……….hissed”

Another group brought up their own version of the gossips

“ and they were so close before ooooo”

“ only God knows what must have transpired between them”

“ I am very sure it’s not about lateness alone”

“ something else must have been involved”

“ they were even seen driving out together last night with smiles on their faces”

“ like mother like son”

“ his office mother too can issue queries on slightest mistake”

“ maybe he is displaying what he learnt from Funmilayo”

“ na their palava anyways”

“ it’s difficult to interfere into husband and wife matter”

“ they know where and how to settle things out between each other”

I was just smiling as the gossip and gist was flowing around the office.

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