I took my seat at a table that already had a few people sitted and looked around nervously for the Slave Master. I took a sip of the drink that was set before me as I tried to blend in.
“Hey I’m Jacqueline, I’ve not seen your face before. You’re new at Judisque-Allan?”
“Hmmn” I muttered with a slight nod through the glass cup between my lips “Kinda” I said as I set my cup down.
“Okay, what’s your name?” Jacqueline asked.
“Brino” I replied curtly.
“So where do you work? HR? Because I barely know anyone in HR and I pretty much know everyone at Judisque-Allen”
“How is that? Are you a receptionist?” I asked. How could she know almost everybody in a whole company.
“No I’m a secretary and I’ve worked for various people in various divisions” she replied.
“Various divisions apart from HR, right?”
“Yes” she replied.
“So where are you working now?” I asked, truly curious.
“The Logistics Division” she replied.
“So where are you working?” Jacqueline asked.
“Oh, me?” I replied self consciously “I’m a shareholder, not a staff”
I recognised Tinuade’s voice before turning to her. She approached me from behind with Vwaire in tow.
“How long have you been here?” Vwaire asked, bending to whisper in my ear.
“A couple of minutes now, maybe 10”
“Come on and sit with us at our table” Vwaire offered.
I bit my lip, she hates rejection, I know that much “I’m sorry, I can’t, the Slave Master had to step out before we could be seated and I wouldn’t want him looking for me”
“Oh, you mean he’s here?” Vwaire said standing straight and looking around.
I nodded “He should be back any second now”
“Then just come sit with us and keep an eye out for him” Tinuade suggested
“The last time we were separated at an event, you kidnapped me. I would love to avoid any of such this time around”
“Okay” Tinuade deflated and Vwaire led her back to their seat.
I shifted in my seat as they left, keeping my eyes on the entrance. I understood the fact that he was antisocial, but the Slave Master had been gone too long, I didn’t even have his phone number to check on him.
I sighed and turned back to my table as small chops came along and caught Jacqueline staring me, I managed a small smile in her direction as I stabbed a spring roll with my toothpick and led it to my mouth.
“You and Miss Odafe” Jacqueline began.
“Who?” I asked.
“Miss Vwaire Odafe”
“Oh, Vwaire” I said, acknowledging her confused expression “We are twins” I clarified.
“Wow! You both look too much alike, I was just staring at both of you like an idiot when she came”
I smiled unsure of what to say.
“So how come, you’re not active in the company?” Jacqueline asked.
“What makes you think that?” I asked trying to steer her off track.
“I told you, I’ve worked almost everywhere in Judisque-Allan, I know all the share holders by name and face and I never knew of any Brino Odafe”
I smiled like nothing was amiss “I’m actually Brino Enohor and I was away from my family for a while that’s why they never bothered to include me as a shareholder in the company”
Jacqueline looked like she was caught up between minding her own business and asking more questions, the Slave Master made up her mind for her as he took a seat next to me looking very ill.
“Are you alright?” I asked out of concern, I had never seen him like this before, he looked pale and awful and he was sweating unusually, despite the AC and the cool night time air outside.
“Fine” he deadpanned.
“Here have some puff puff, it makes everything better” I said, shifting my small chops plate to him, he looked at me like I was crazy before shocking me by putting one in his mouth.
“How did you find me?” I asked.
“The usher” he gave another clipped reply piquing my concern.
The party dragged on with the Slave Master going in and out, I was so concerned about him, I barely took note of what was going on around me. I tried to follow him once as he stood up to leave but he gave me one of his signature cold stares, I stayed glued to my seat.
By the time the party was rounding up he was no where to be seen.
Vwaire came by my seat with Tinuade as it was time to mingle.
“Where is he?” Tinuade beat her to it.
“He had to step out” I replied looking over at the entrance, he’d been gone for a long while now.
“Come on” Vwaire said “There are some people I’d like you to meet. Don’t talk to much and be polite”
We started of with the celebrant himself – Nosa Osaretin, walking up to the high table where he was standing with his wife as he greeted his guests. Nosa Osaretin was a slim, light skinned man, with black and grey hair in a low cut atop his head, a matching beard coloured his upper lips and chin, he was not tall, 5’9 would be a bit much for his height, his black eyes crinkled most obviously as he smiled at one of his guests, his wife stood graciously beside him in a sapphire blue dinner gown which flowed to the ground, her complexion reminded me of dark chocolate, she was a black Amazonian goddess next to her husband, she couldn’t be up to 6 ft, but she probably stood that tall in her heels.
Vwaire and I waited for our turn till he looked in our direction “Uncle Nosa” Vwaire said “Happy birthday. Congrats” she hugged him at this point, Nosa Osaretin, or Uncle Nosa held Vwaire and spoke in a booming voice that did not match his size “Vwaire, my baby. You’re a big girl now, what of your aunt?”
“She’s a bit ill, I left her at home” Vwaire replied.
“Madam, doesn’t even fancy events like this” Uncle Nosa began looking up from where he held Vwaire, he stopped short when he saw me and blinked.
“Good evening sir” I said with a small smile and a mini courtesy, bending my knees a bit.
Uncle Nosa held Vwaire away from himself and began to look between the both of us, I looked up at his wife who looked just as confused, but still elegant and gracious in her confusion.
“Uncle this is my sister” Vwaire said.
“Sister?” Uncle Nosa asked “From where?”
“She lived with our father till he died, while I lived with Aunty Juliana”
Uncle Nosa nodded, he probably had an understanding of Aunty Juliana’s private life, to whatsoever extent that may be.
“Ohhh, she is the one that Madam split the shares for”
“Young lady nice to meet you. How do you do?” Uncle Nosa said as he extended a hand to me.
I shook it and replied in a small voice.
“Very nice to meet you” he said once again shaking my hand vigorously.
“Yes sir” I said with a nod.
“Uncle, we have to get going now, you know the way my Aunt gets if I stay out too late” Vwaire said, trying to bail me out.
“Of course” Uncle Nosa said with a laugh diverting his gaze from me “Do have a nice evening, the both of you”
“Likewise” Vwaire replied, leading me by the arm as we made of to see other people.
I was introduced to the Managing Director and other major stakeholders in Judisque-Allan. Vwaire took me about as we socialised and mingled.
“Where is Tinuade?” I asked suddenly realising her absence, Vwaire shrugged beside me and turned, probably looking around for her friend, I looked up in that moment and instantly found the Slave Master in my line of sight, he saw me less than a heartbeat later, shifted his gaze to Vwaire whose arm was linked in mine, and did the most unexpected thing.
As he caught my eye he looked as though he was coming to meet me, but looking over at Vwaire whose face was turned away from him, his expression morphed into something I couldn’t quite decipher in the 2 seconds I saw it and the Slave Master turned on his heels, a complete 180 degrees, instantly changing course away from Vwaire and I. I watched him totally nonplussed and unconsciously called out to him, stretching out my hand in the process and catching Vwaire’s attention. In a matter of seconds, his long strides had him caught up in the throng of people around, so I could barely make him out.
“What?” Vwaire asked looking at me.
I couldn’t even reply, I detached my arm from hers and went after him.
What just happened?
Why did he turn away from myself and my sister?
Where was he going to?
If you’ve missed any part of EXP #1 and you’d like to catch up, hit the search button on the top of the webpage and search for any installment of EXP #1 that you may have missed. Or use the category EXP #1.
To start over and relieve Brino’s story, click here for the very first installment of EXP #1
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