Short Story: The SMS (Part II) – By Francis Doku
Rebecca Asante had arrived at the work place tired as usual from sitting through traffic all the way from Aburi to Accra. When she bid her husband goodbye and closed the car door, she walked to the swing glass door that leads to the main reception of the law firm.
“Good morning to you all,” she greeted the receptionist and two other colleagues standing and pouring through the morning papers.
“Good morning,” they all responded. “Auntie B, you look so sweet as usual,” said Barbara the receptionist, “I hope you had a wonderful weekend.”
“Well, I did and though it was also tiring. How about you?”
“Mine was good as well. Can I help with your bag,” Barbara said as she extended her hand.
“No thank you, I can handle it. I will see you later,” Rebecca said before walking through the reception to her office.
“Good morning Amerley, I hope you had a great weekend,” Rebecca said to her secretary as she entered the main office and stopped at the latter’s desk.
Amerley Wellington got up went round the desk and gave her boss a hug pulled back before replying: “I am very fine Mrs. A and I indeed had a great weekend. I hope you had same with Mr. A. and Maame.”
“Well Jake travelled on Saturday and came back late last night but it was okay,” she said as she walked through the adjoining door to her office with Amerley in her tow.
“What do we have today,” she asked her secretary.
“You have partners’ meeting in 20 minutes after which you would have to call the Attorney General on the Stephen Ayisi issue then a conference call with Eksom at 2pm,” Amerley said.
“Thank you very much Amerley. Now leave so I can prepare to go into my meeting. Can I have a cup of tea before that?” she asked as Amerley turned to go.
“I need to call Maame’s school to find out how she is,” Rebecca said to herself. However, when she rummaged through her bag for her phone it was not there. “Oh no, I left it on the dining table,” she almost screamed. She tried to remember the teacher’s number but could not.
Twenty minutes went very quickly and Rebecca went into the partners’ meeting for an hour. When she came back to her office Amerley gave her the information that her husband had called on the office line.
“Jake called here? What did he say?” the obviously surprised Rebecca asked.
“Well I didn’t speak to him, I told the receptionist to tell him you were in a meeting.”
Call him for me please. After speaking to his husband Rebecca sat in her chair for about two minutes thinking of the conversation she just had with him. She then walked from her desk to her secretary’s desk.
“Would you believe what Jake just said? He said he called to find out how I was doing and I can’t believe it,” she said.
“Why can’t you?” Amerley asked her.
“Because he hasn’t done that in so many years,” she exclaimed.
“But people do change.”
“He said exactly the same thing!”
“Well then he probably has changed. What was your response?”
“I was jolted, Amerley and though I was happy he did that I pretended I wasn’t. This was a surprise and I want to reciprocate it,” she said.
“How do you mean?” Amerley enquired.
“I mean, Amerley that, I am going to give my husband a surprise today. You see, he hadn’t done what he just did in a long time and I also did not do much to bring it out of him.”
Amerley look confounded. “So what do you intend to do?”
“I intend to appear at his office at exactly 12.30pm and invite him to lunch. Good idea, or?”
“Amerley, there are no ifs or buts, I have a lunch date with my husband. When you read my schedule today did I hear you mention anything that would have my attention between 12noon and 2pm?”
“No, you did not but there is a conference call at 2pm which you cannot miss,” Amerley answered.
“Well I don’t intend to miss the conference call as I will be back before 2pm. That settles it then,” she said as she walked to her desk.
“Should I call him in advance,” Amerley asked.
Rebecca stopped, held her waist and turned to face her secretary. “Read my lips Amerley, it is a surprise,“ she said teasingly and walked away.
Back at her desk Rebecca looked for the remote control of the radio and she tuned to a station playing soul music. She sat down and started going through her mails. The remaining hours went very fast and at 12.05pm she asked her secretary to call her the driver of one of the chamber’s pool cars as she went into the washroom to freshen up.
At exactly ten minutes past twelve Amerley told her boss that the car was waiting. Rebecca put on her jacket, carried her hand bag and walked briskly to the waiting Mitsubishi Pajero and lumped herself at the back seat.
“James, how are you today?” Rebecca asked the driver.
“I am fine madam. Where do I take you, please?” he asked.
“You know my husband’s office, don’t you?”
“The one at Asylum Down?” he asked.
“Yes, that place. Kindly take me there. We’ll pick him up and go to that restaurant near Metro TV…errrm what is the name?”
“No not that one. Marquis Tante Marie,” she said.
“Okay, so we go to Asylum Down and come back to Labone?”
“Yes. James, let’s go I am getting late.”
“Okay madam,” James said as he changed the gear into drive.
Thankfully there was no traffic on the way hence within 15 minutes of leaving her office at Labone Rebecca was in her husband’s office at Asylum Down.
She got down from the vehicle and walked to the reception. “Hello good afternoon,” she said.
“Good afternoon madam, how may I help you?” Ama asked.
“I am here to see Jacob Asante,” she responded.
“May I kindly know if you have an appointment?”
“I don’t have an appointment. I actually want to surprise him,” Rebecca said teasingly.
“I don’t think you can do that madam, you need to have an appointment.”
“Too see my husband?”
“Oh sorry,” Ama said embarrassingly, “I honestly didn’t recognize you Mrs Asante. I’m really sorry.”
“But unfortunately he is not in the office at the moment,” Ama told Rebecca.
“Where is he gone?” thinking she probably should have called.
“He left about two hours ago and he said I should tell anybody who calls that he would call back when he returns.”
“He didn’t say where he was going?” Rebecca could not hide her frustration.
“No he didn’t.”
“Can you please call him for me? I left my phone at home.”
Ama dialed Jacob’s number and it rang to the end without a response. She dialed again and this this Jacob picked the called.
“Hello Mr. Asante, please hold on and speak to your wife,” Ama said and without waiting to hear him say anything she gave the receiver to Rebecca.
“Jake where are you,” Rebecca bellowed into the mouth piece…..
To be continued
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