I stood by the office window, a glass of water in hand as I stared outside. The cloud was no longer clear but dark and gloomy like a woman with a broken heart. It was clear it was going to rain sooner or later. I watched as the people of Msonobari increased their pace, others actually running to avoid being rained on. Then slowly my mind drifted from what was happening outside and clouded itself with Anne and the decision she was yet to make. It was one week now since the not so pleasant meeting we had with her yet she had not called. Chief had not called either. So nothing was happening. Steve and I were not winning this. And I was getting impatient.
My phone which was lying on the table rung, bringing my flow of thoughts to a screeching halt. I turned around and reached for it, staring at the caller identity in anxiety as it was Anne calling. I stared at it, my fingers shaking, not sure whether to pick it or not. Rather, not sure I was ready to hear her answer or not. It ringed off. A few seconds later, it ringed again. This time I swallowed hard and pressed the green button before slowly lifting the phone to my ear without saying anything.
In a hasty tone and without offering any greetings, Anne asked whether I was in the office and I stammered a bit before confirming that I was.She then paused for a second before saying, almost in declaration tone, “I am on my way there.”
“Wait a minute, you mean now?”
“Now,” then she hung up.
I wasn’t sure why but I had a terrible feeling about this. Which was unusual because I was dying to hear from her. I quickly dialed Steve’s number and brought him up to date with what just happened. He promised to come in the office almost immediately. I then plunged myself on the chair and waited for the knock on the door. After what seemed like 7 years of waiting, I heard the knock. I stood up and walked to the door, saying a short silent prayer about nothing in particular before swinging it open. I was met with the face of a widely smiling woman, Anne, dressed in a black fitting skirt stopping above her knees, and a white blouse neatly tucked in. She held a black purse in her right hand which she shifted to her left hand before greeting me.
“Come on in,” I said stepping aside. She brushed passed me and walked in, sitting down without waiting for me to offer her a seat. She looked confident. Like a woman who had come to conquer. By the time I sat down she had her legs crossed, and eyes fixed on me like I was some biological specimen.
“So, I was beginning to think you will never call,” I said, “I am glad to know I was wrong.”
She smiled. “I am sorry it took me too long. I had to take my time and think about the options you and your friend gave me you know.”
“So I take it you have reached a decision.”
She shook her head yes.
“What is it gonna be?”
She was silent for a while. She shifted her gaze for the first time from my face to everything else in the room. Then like last time, her gaze got stuck on the portrait of me and Tabitha on the wall. I stared at the portrait too, and tried to figure out what was running on Anne’s mind at that time. I thought she was definitely envious of how beautiful Tabitha was. Even in a portrait Tabitha oozed of elegance and awesomeness so abundant to kill many a man’s dream. Anne was just turning to look at me and maybe say which decision she had reached at when the door squeaked open and Steve peaked in. I signaled him to come in and he did, extending a handshake to both me and Anne before seating down.
“I bet doc has already told you how much we have been waiting for you, right?” said Steve as soon as he got comfortable in his chair. Steve did not seem like a guy who was expecting any surprise from Anne. He was sure things were going to go our way.
“I have decided to stay away from Chief.”
Steve almost fell off his seat out of excitement. I cracked a smile too. But mine was a measured smile. Something told me that there something hard hitting following this otherwise glorious declaration. I waited patiently for Anne to add anything but she did not, she simply sat there, swinging her leg. Then I thought maybe I was just being paranoid. I lightened up.
“Then I guess our business here is done,” I said, “If you keep your promise we will keep ours.”
“I was not done yet,” she announced.
“What do you mean?”
“I am glad you asked,” she leaned forward, “You two decided to blackmail me and after so much thinking I decided it would be nice to give you a test of your own medicine. Everyone in this room,” she looked at Steve and then back at me, “Everyone here knows that you fathered Delilah’s twins, right?”
I was right. Anne had tricks of her own up her sleeves. The mention of Delilah and her twins was enough to wipe the smile off my face and that of Steve. Slowly but surely my heart begun thumping so hard. I was scared of what she was about to say. We turned to her and I asked what she was driving at.
“If you insist that I leave Chief a lone, or sell me out, I will make sure that the one person who is not yet to know of your little secret between you and Delilah knows about it. Then we will see how that will play out.”
“If its prof you are talking about don’t even bother because he knows.”
She chuckled. An evil chuckle. “I am not talking about Prof.”
“Prof’s mother. Trust me, the moment she knows about this, Delilah would as well kiss her marriage goodbye, and we all know whose burden she will become when that happens.” She then stood up and showed us her back as she walked towards the door before turning to me, “I knew you weren’t bluffing when I was here last week, neither am I bluffing right now. So don’t try me.” She then walked out, banging the door behind her.”