Family Debt

 

I thought I’d handled the issue well. You see, I borrowed a couple thousands, but I had plans to regain the money and return it, it was meant to be a simple loan. Simple my ass. Because once a bitch named interest and her friend loan began working hand-in-hand, the couple thousands, started to accumulate. Thousands turned into more thousands, and if I didn’t pay up this week, it’d turn into a million. And who else to tell me this bitter sweet news other than my father. Ah! My good old father. The bastard who’d get a kick at praying on helpless women, and his own son, the bastard who’d steal money and then gamble it all away, leaving his “family” starving, the bastard who appeared in my office in the finest suit on Monday to tell me, with a smug smile that the company I owed this loan to was now his, and that the interest was increasing. The bastard, that not only crippled his child emotionally when he was 15 but was ready to cripple his child again, financially at 36.

I could still remember the way mother stared at me from time-to-time, looking at me like she hated me. Why? Because I was ‘blessed’, as what many women would refer to it as, with chestnut hair and dark brown eyes. The things that drew ladies closer made my mum stare at me like I was the one who’d given her the black eye, or swollen lip, or cuts and bruises on her body. I’d grown to hate him for what he did, what he made us. Dysfunctional.

I promised I wouldn’t let him win, she cried in my arms that night, and I promised, if ever there was a chance to prove my strength, my purpose, my protection towards my mother, I’d prove he won’t win; and I’ll be damned by God if I let him win again.

So let this shit begin.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

 

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Perfect Life [Part 1]

I could never put my finger on what was truly the itch in my life that I could never reach. I was successful; young as well which was the icing on the very sweet cake that I’d manage to make for myself. When I’d graduated from university, I somehow managed to land myself in a very good position for a business firm that needed an eager graduate, like myself, who was determined to make a name for themselves. The first year I was trained, getting the hang of talking to clients, building relationships etc. After the first year had passed I’d somehow managed to get the hang of the procedure of how the company ran, and I was building relationships and sealing deals before my boss even knew whom I was.

Of course, after I hit target after target and started bringing huge bucks home, my boss called me to his office. I wasn’t sure what he wanted with a newbie like me, but when I sat in the leather chair opposite him, he couldn’t help but congratulate me for my progress and then asked me how I was doing it. How I was expanding the business with only one year’s training. I shrugged, being polite – because what else could I say? They wanted an eager graduate and that was what I was. That wasn’t the last time I found myself in my boss’ office, if anything it started to become my office with the amount of times he called me. Asking me about business ideas, moves he wanted to proceed with but was unsure about. I gave him advice which fortunately for him and I actually worked for the company.

As you can imagine I climbed the ranks very fast. In my third year of working for J’J Company, I was a senior manager. And as cliché as this sounds, I guess with more power came more desire. I had ladies at work saying hello to me, some who I knew of, others who I had no idea who they were and was sure had no clue who I was. All they saw was the three-piece suit I wore and the fact that they knew I was senior management. But I wasn’t interested in liaising with co-workers; I made sure I kept work and pleasure separately. So even though I had a few passes with some colleagues, I simply ignored them.

Then one night out, when I was practically forced to attend the Christmas-do at work, I saw her. Beautiful ebony who was also drinking with her fellow colleagues at their own Christmas-do. At first I didn’t take much notice of her, I ordered cider and took a seat beside my boss, who was far too drunk after only being in the bar for an hour or two tops. It was after I had a few more drinks when I’d started to watch her. Her laugh at a joke made by her colleague, her screaming over the loud music the DJ was playing and then giving up when her colleagues couldn’t hear her for a third time.

All the ladies around her table all abruptly stood up, and began pulling at her arm. It took me a while to understand what was going on, but after watching harder than I had been for the last hour, I realised they were trying to persuade her to dance with them. It took a few tugs; a number of shakes of her head and many no’s, before she gave in and started making her way to the dance floor. It was bound to happen, when someone realised I was no longer involved with the group conversation or group in general. A male colleague sat beside me, who’s name kept slipping through my mind.

“Which one has made you all glass eyed?”

I looked at Mark (I think) and shrugged taking another swig of my half empty cider bottle. “None.”

He chuckled and rolled his eyes. “Sure, mate you haven’t spoken for at least a good hour. You’ve just sat there watching those ladies.” He whistled, as one walked towards the table, with her dress hiked further up her leg than it should be. I didn’t want to be affiliated with whatever his name was. I gave him a slight chuckle, drank the rest of my cider and stood up to get more drink, maybe something a little stronger. If I had to endure the company of people I had no interest with, then I guess a stronger drink was needed. I wasn’t much of a drinker, mum and dad never really had it around the house and after doing a little during university and remembering how wrecked I felt the next day, I stayed clear of it when I could.

I started to make my way towards the bar, when one female colleague of mine pulled my suit jacket, stopping me in my tracks.

“Don’t tell me you’re off so soon?” She said slurred, her glass cup tipping from left to right. I gently tugged my jacket out of her clutch and pointed towards the bar. She smiled and I continued with my journey, feeling not only her eyes, but the other drooling females eyes watch my back. I was definitely going to need something stronger to handle the company I was surrounded with tonight.

Squeezing through the groups of male and females, the roars and dancers I managed to make it to the bar. I waited patiently, watching the bartender almost dance around as she poured drinks for customers with ease. She’d probably had more than three years under her belt of serving drunk customers, whilst the obvious newbie stood with an empty cup to her left, not understanding which drink they should pour into the cup. Maybe I should simply stick to cider, I was more on the newbie’s side and I didn’t want to stand here for 20 minutes just for a Disaronno. The crowd surrounding the bar barely shuffles and I find myself wishing I hadn’t left to get up. Especially after I seemed to be getting bombarded by a group of women who were drunk and excited to get more alcohol into their system.

I shifted to the right to give them more space, when I noticed a head full of tight curls stop beside me. I turned to see the same woman who I watched practically all night, stand beside me as her colleagues managed to weave further into the crowd. I turn my gaze away from her quickly, not wanting her to actually catch me looking at her. She tries to get her colleagues attention, but they’re too busy flirting with men to realise they lost a member of the group. Eventually she notices me. At first it’s the suit that catches her eyes, but what has her blushing is that I’m staring right back at her when she finally reaches my face. She smiles and shy’s away, looking down whilst I start to feel a little hot. She was absolutely stunning, and even more desirable up close. We finally get to the bar and I let her order before me. She smiles and yells her order at the bartender. A Sambuca shot. Four to be precise. I wouldn’t have pegged her as a Sambuca type of woman, even though I could imagine her being just as sweet and fierce as a Sambuca shot is to the throat. She turns, probably looking for her group, when she realises she’s alone. When her drinks arrive, I knew my few moments of admiration were over. The bartender looked at me, to order. I told her Disaronno, she nodded and was gone with my order.

I hadn’t noticed the small ebony hadn’t left just yet. I looked at her drinks and assumed she wanted some help – so me being the gentleman, I offered her a hand.

“Thanks but it’s okay. I was going to take it back to my table, but there’s no point.”

For a few minutes we looked from the drinks to each other, then she lifted two glasses, one for herself and one hand outstretched to me.

“Me?”

“Yeah, I know you’re probably too manly for the shot, but I can’t do all four. Have it…with me.” She gave me a small smile, which made me react involuntarily. I took the shot glass and we clinked it before downing the shot. The shot sparked small flames as it slid down my throat, which were quickly distinguished once I’d finished swallowing the drink. Before I had time to even process my drink was prepared and the bartender was waiting for payment, she’d placed the second shot in my hand and we clinked once again and downed the second drink. More flames burned my throat as I handed my card to the bartender who simply touched it against the card reader and handed my card back to me.

After getting my drink, she stood smiling, eyes just a little glassy after her two shots.

“You here for a Christmas-do?”

“Yeah, I didn’t want to come, but I was forced.”

She giggled and waved her hand in the air. “It was the same with me. Well, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to come out, but I just didn’t see the big fuss. Everyone makes a fool of themselves and then regrets it the next time we’re all in at work.”

I smiled understanding what she meant. I knew more than one colleague who was going to regret this night.

“I’d rather just spend my night in front of the TV, having a chilled night.”

Her eyes opened wide, she looked me up and down and shook her head.

“I can’t believe you’d be that boring. Come on, you look…cool? Gosh it sounds ridiculous but you don’t look like a quiet-night-in kind of guy.”

I shrug and take a swig of drink, feeling very warm.

“I’m very focused, so I guess I am boring.” She giggled and shook my shoulders.

“Loosen up! We’re too young to be that focused on life. I bet I can bring the fun out of you.” I cocked up an eyebrow, intrigued that this beautiful stranger felt like they could bring the fun out of me. It wasn’t like I was a square who couldn’t have fun, but I just didn’t have fun, because everyone I knew wasn’t fun enough.

At first she tried a few jokes, which made me chuckle, just because she looked cute trying to make me laugh. Then she persisted I down the rest of my drink within five seconds. I did it in four, not only to impress her but to remind myself it was okay to let loose once in a while. I seemed to always be focused on a goal, but what I hadn’t considered was when I reached that goal, what did I do then? I was in a rush to reach this goal I’d set myself that I hadn’t thought of what I’d do after I’d accomplished my aims. So we got more drinks, it was time i was going to enjoy my success, and enjoy my company.  We didn’t return back to our tables for god knows how long. We were far drunker than when we left our tables, but what kept us away was our company. I didn’t want to go back to females ogling me from across the table, and she didn’t want to return back to bitching and being forced to do things she didn’t want to do.

“So Mr, what do you do? I don’t see anyone else here in a three-piece…not like I’ve looked.”

She bit her lip, muttering to herself as she just admitted having her eyes on me. I can’t help the small grin that forms on my lips and answer her.

“It’s just a suit. I work at J’J – the business firm not too far from here. Worked my way from a rookie to now.”

“It’s paid off I guess?”

“Yeah, but I don’t want to talk about me, what’s a beautiful woman like you doing here? Don’t you have anyone waiting for you at home?”

She giggles, putting her weight on one leg and watching me with her head tilting. “Well I work in the building opposite yours, The B50 building. I work in recruitment and do some consulting also. Why’d you care if anyone is waiting for me?”

She nudges me and run my hand through my hair feeling myself get hot in the cheeks this time. She starts laughing now, realising that I’m embarrassed and tiptoes to reach my ears and whispers.

“There isn’t anyone.”

We spoke more, laughed even more and exchanged numbers. We didn’t plan on departing from each other, but I didn’t want to miss my chance of being able to speak to her when we were more sober. She decided that she wanted to dance, so we danced. Initially it was her beauty that attracted me, it was like a magnet and it kept drawing me to her, it wouldn’t let me leave her. But watching on her on the dance floor was exotic. The way in which her hips moved, the way she never missed a beat, the way she had me in a trance was something no one had done to me before. She grabbed my hands and placed them around her waist as she led our dance. I wasn’t the greatest dancer, but she was such an expert she made me look like I knew what I was doing. Her waist grinding into mine as we danced to the music was a moment I wouldn’t forget.

Eventually we pulled ourselves from the dance floor and it was then I drew her close to me, my body vibrating with desire. I wanted to kiss her, wanted to devour her, but that wasn’t the man I was. And being intoxicated does a variety of things to your mind and body, normally i had self control, but right now everything was slipping. My fingers itched for her body, the way she looked back at me wanting, full of hunger and desire. I could just follow my instincts and kiss her, but what would that make me? I took a heavy sigh and brushed her cheek.

“I wish we were sober. That I met you on another occasion.”

“Why?” She spoke breathlessly.

“Because I don’t want to be something you regret tomorrow.” She looked down and I knew that I was doing the right thing. I peeled myself away from her and kissed her cheek. I went back to my table, grabbed my briefcase, ignoring the ‘where have you been?’ and ‘who was that girl you was with?’ and decided to leave. I’d had my fun and it was time to get home.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun