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Ruby's Search For Romance - Literature (3) - Nairaland

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30 Significant Take-aways From Man's Search For Meaning (+ Free Copy) (2) (3) (4)

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Odoogu(m): 7:00am On Apr 28, 2021
hope say Fred no go fast forward this Ruby search like this? ... cos this life eehn...

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by JustCruise(m): 8:23am On Apr 28, 2021
Wow i was up all night trying to finish this story and now that am done, i still want more. Thanks for the update though am rooting for Gideon/Ruby situation ship.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Ann2012(f): 2:33am On Apr 29, 2021
Thanks for the update OP

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 9:59am On Apr 30, 2021

Ruby pulled off her shoes as she climbed the stairs leading up to the house. She kept the shoes on the floor and searched her bag for her keys. A feeling of relief hit her as she opened the door and went into the house, the shoes abandoned for another time. Before she could bask in the sense of relief of being home, she became aware of the loud music coming from the living room. She heard Rose's voice, singing along to the music even though most of her wordings were wrong, and she skipped over some parts of the lyrics.

Ruby entered the living room. Her eyes widened when she saw the mess in the living room. A soiled newspaper sat on the table, a telltale sign that someone had been feasting on suya. Beside the wrinkled newspaper was a bottle of Chivita drink, and an empty takeaway plate still held in its bag was on the floor near the table legs.

Rose was standing on the couch, jumping and singing. She used her phone as a microphone as she belted out lyrics.

Ruby looked from Rose to the mess on the table and then to the sound system. “Rose,” she shouted when the noise became too much for her to handle.

Rose didn't hear. She had to walk over to the sound system and turn down the volume of the music. Even with that, it took Rose some time to recover from her music fest.

“You're back.” She jumped down from the couch and reached for the carton of Chivita drink. She gulped it down.

“What is going on?” Ruby gestured at the table and the floor.

A wide smile spread over Rose's face. “I'm getting my car tomorrow.”

“Yiiiii!” Ruby squealed. She flung her bag on a couch and jumped into a hug with Rose. They both jumped together for a while.

Breathing heavily, Ruby shook her head. “Like play like joke o. Someone now has a car. Babe! I will use your car and learn how to drive.”
Rose laughed. “So that my car will just get spoilt before I rock it.” She brushed away at the couch to remove some crumbs and sat down. “My car. My car.” She repeated over and over again.

“I'm really happy for you. How much did you get it? Let me know if I will start considering getting one soon.” Ruby sat down beside her.

“My dear, almost 3million. I wanted to use the money I got from Blossom's account,” she smiled impishly. “I mean, if you think about it, he has been promising to get me a car since last Valentine. I didn't really think about it at that time. But after looking at the money I took from his account, I just decided it will be best to use it to get the car he promised me.”

Ruby frowned. “I still don't believe the guy let you go with 2 million. That is a huge amount of money o.”

Rose rolled her eyes. “For you, it is huge. But for him, he is someone that can make more than that amount in a day. I felt guilty o. And I did try to return the money sometime later.”

“You didn't tell me,” Ruby pouted. 

Rose reached for the Chivita carton and emptied its contents. “It just happened. I called him and apologized for taking the money. Just for the money o. I mean, I did wrong by using his phone and accessing his bank accounts. When I said I wanted to return it, he said I should keep it as compensation.”

“Compensation?” The word annoyed Ruby.

“Just because of what he said, I honestly wanted to return the money. Really.” She sighed. “But when I started sending the money and the confirmation notification came up, just looking at the money, I said let me forgive and forget.”

They burst out laughing.

“Let me hear that you will not forgive and forget. With two million? They don't use to vex with that type of money.” Ruby giggled.

“Well, it was after calling him that I decided to use the money. You know, guilty conscience didn’t allow me to use the money before then. It still counted as stolen money if you look at it from a strict point of view. But when he said I didn't need to send it back, I figured I was free to do what I wanted with it.”

Ruby raised her legs to the couch so she could massage her toes. “When I think about it, I'm in disbelief of how you even took the money. Babe, you have guts o.”

Rose slapped her on the thigh. She hissed. “You didn't even know what was on my mind that time. I just wanted to hurt him the way he did to me. In the end, what has happened has happened. When I called him, he said he was very sorry and that..., all those things they usually say, 'I didn't mean to hurt you', 'I still care about you', blablabla.” She waved in the air. “What's over is over. I'm sure he and the girl are already preparing their wedding.”

“So sorry,” Ruby muttered. She placed a hand on Rose's shoulder and rubbed comfortingly.

Rose eyed her. “Sorry for what? My car will be arriving tomorrow, and you're telling me sorry. For what na?”

“Okay, okay. I didn't say anything. Congratulations in advance.” Ruby reached over to hug her. 

“What time will you be back tomorrow? I wanted to ask you if you could go with me to the car dealer's place. I already went for a test run yesterday, but I want us to drive home together in it.”

“Aww.” Ruby hugged her again. “Don't worry. When you're ready tomorrow, call me. I'll take excuse from work. This your blessing, I want to tap into it too.”
Rose laughed. “Ehen, enough about me. You know you owe me a bucketload of gist eh? Where have you been? The last time I saw you was yesterday morning. You slept in Fred's house?”

Ruby groaned. “Don't let me get started on that.”
She narrated how her time with Fred had gone since she closed from work the previous day, glossing over the sexy details. When she went to the thanksgiving service with Fred, she'd assumed that they would return home after the service, prepare lunch together, spend the afternoon watching Netflix or playing games. And in the evening, they would go for a date, and she would return home from there. It didn't go as she'd thought.
After the thanksgiving service, she met the celebrant, a cute, fat, crying baby girl and her parents. They were so happy to meet her. She and Fred were invited to the after-party in their home later that afternoon. Fred, being the good friend that he was, offered to go home with them to help them prepare for the party.
She didn't have to do any work. No, that wasn't her problem. Her problem was having to meet tons and tons of Fred's friend and most of all, his elder sister. 

“I know it's normal for girlfriends to meet their boyfriend's friends and family, but it was too much. Everybody he introduces me to was saying ‘Fred is such a nice guy, be good to him’. Ah, it was as though they expect me to wound him or something like that. Even his sister,” Ruby shivered. “I feel like she doesn't like me so much. She was smiling at me and being friendly, but I think she was pretending.”

Rose raised her brows. “The way you are talking, someone would think they ganged up on you. It's usual.” Rose shrugged. “They know him and like him, and while they would be polite with you, don't expect all smiles and roses.” She winked.

“They were not so bad. That's not my point.” Ruby tried to explain. “I just feel it is too sudden. We just started dating a month and a few weeks ago. I want to enjoy the relationship first before all these third parties start coming in.”

Rose shook her head. “Don't worry. I don't think you have to start worrying about that yet. Unless the sister tells her mother…” she trailed off.

“She looks like she wouldn't be like that?” The statement came out as a question.

The two girls stared at each other. Rose shrugged. “Just hope she doesn't.”


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by JustCruise(m): 1:54pm On Apr 30, 2021
Thanks for another wonderful update. Still TeamGideon/Ruby.

1 Like

Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Ann2012(f): 8:34am On May 01, 2021
Thanks for the update

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Odoogu(m): 6:04pm On May 03, 2021
make e no go chooke Rose the next day oo cheesycheesy

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 4:45am On May 04, 2021
make e no go chooke Rose the next day oo cheesycheesy
He cannot o
Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 4:45am On May 04, 2021

“Have you heard?” One of the girls that worked with her in the accounting department, Benny asked as Ruby entered the office.

She was just returning from a trip to the toilet. She shook her head, “What happened?” She looked around the office. In the few minutes she had left to use the toilet, most of her co-workers were not seated at their positions.

“There is a new arrival in the company, the GM's new personal secretary,” Benny said in a low voice.

Ruby widened her eyes. “So fast?”

Benny nodded. “Meyo just finished introducing her at the reception. Some of the employees are still there. Her name is Amira.”

As Benny was speaking, the other accounting department employees trudged into the office. At the head of the group were Bayo and Victor. Both were talking excitedly.

“You didn't go to see the new secretary?” Victor asked when he saw her standing by the entrance with Benny.

She shook her head. “From the way you sound, I can guess how she looks.”

Bayo laughed and slapped Victor on the back. “Oga don fall in love.”

“But seriously, she is so pretty.” A voice came up behind them. It was Gina, the last employee under the supervision of Mrs Oyena. She walked past them and went to her table. “I wonder where they find all these girls they bring to work as the secretary. Left for me, she should go and become a model. See those legs.”

Ruby's curiosity only heightened. “Really?”

“Hmm,” Benny put in. “Her smile...God! I'm sure Victor is just one of the men in the company that fell in love with her at first sight.” She eyed Victor and also went to her table.

Victor shook his head in amazement. “Guy! This GM is so lucky. They will just be bringing fine girls for him to ravish.”

“No, not this time.” Gina cut in. “I heard she was introduced by one of the board members. I mean, he wasn't the person that employed her. So at least he will have to respect himself.”

“Someone that thinks with his trousers,” Benny scoffed. “You think he will let this one pass him by. Seriously, I'm even pitying the girl.”

By this time, they had all gone back to their tables.

Bayo said, “You guys are just looking at it from one point of view. For me, I think the girl is too high class for him. Look at her dressing first. Even you will know that she is different from the other secretaries that have been here before.”

Gina slapped her hand on the desk in excitement. “Yes! When you think about it. My eyes just zoomed on her necklace and earrings. Mehn, they are so classic. Benny, you know that HQ Jewelry on Instagram, I've seen something similar displayed on their page.”

“Omo, you know how much their jewelries cost?” Benny asked in a loud voice.

Bayo sniggered. “I don't understand what you guys are talking about. But if my instincts are right, GM no be that one's level.”

Ruby, after listening to them for a while, couldn't hold her curiosity any longer. She stood up and went out of the office. It would be inappropriate for her to march up to the GM's office on the other floor, so she went to Ama's office.

Ama stood up as soon as she saw her at the door.

“Babe, what is going on? How did I miss this important event?” She pulled Ama to the ladies room and asked.

Ama laughed. “I was also surprised when I didn't see you downstairs. What happened?”

“I had to use the toilet,” she said. “Gist me biko. All these things I've been hearing about this new girl, which one is true abeg?”

“Her name is Amira. And yes, she is beautiful and classic with long, smooth legs. Anything else is extra gossip. You know how people talk.”

“Bayo was saying that she is not someone that the GM can hit on. What do you think?” What Ruby really wanted was to march up to the GM's floor and take a good look at this Amira.

“Forget how she even looks first, with the way she seems, I don't think she is someone that the GM can try nonsense with,” Ama said.

“They said she was introduced by one of the board directors-”

Ama cut in. “That aside, if you see the look in her eyes, you will understand what I am saying.”

“You mean?”

“She is the stubborn type. And when I mean stubborn, I don't mean immature, childish stubbornness. I am certain that she will make the GM's life a living hell.”

“Now I really need to meet this girl,” Ruby said.

“That's just my first impression of her. I'm sure when she was introducing herself, nobody really listened to what she was saying. They were most probably admiring her face. She is not one of the fresh graduate-type or the ones that have been in the labour market for so long that they will take anything available. She definitely knows what the position requires from her. The GM wouldn’t score with her.”

“What is her relationship with the board member that introduced her? Are they…” She trailed off with a knowing wiggle of her fingers.

Ama rolled her eyes. “Why are you so quick to think of something like that? And no. She was introduced based on I-know-somebody-that-knows-somebody-that-knows-somebody..., that kind of connection. The person that introduced her is even married.”

Ruby shrugged. “Forgive me for always thinking like that, but you know the way things like this work. It's-”

“Yea, I understand. Is that all?” She raised her eyebrows. “When you came to the office, I knew this was definitely what you wanted.”

Ruby slapped her playfully. “You know you're my surest plug. Your news is never a lie.”

Ama rolled her eyes. “Let me use the toilet before I go back,” she said as Ruby made to leave.

They bade each other goodbye. Ruby lingered on her way back to the office, listening to the voices coming from individual offices as she walked past three department offices to get to hers. Just as she was about to go into her office, she heard some voices coming down the stairs. She listened attentively to the voices to discern them. She could identify the GM's voice, a new female voice and Bose from HR.

That should be Amira, she concluded. Immediately, she started thinking of ways to remain by the hallway so that she could catch a glimpse of the newcomer. As the voices came closer, she straightened up and began to walk back to where she had come from. The stairs were located right beside the short way that led to the toilets. What better excuse did she have.


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 5:15am On May 04, 2021
Synopsis (Updated)

After Ruby’s ‘friendship’ with Boye ends, Ruby begins to search for a serious relationship. While she deals with her relationship, she also pursues her dream to become a chartered accountant. During her quest for ‘real and serious’, she endures heartbreaks and she also breaks the heart of some of her suitors. She also meets people that will challenge some of her values. In the same way, her friend Rose, plays an important role in her life, staying by her side through her heartbreaks, anxieties and near-breakdowns. Ama, her friend in her place of work supports her through changes in her workplace and helps her understand more deeply the meaning of friendship.
Even though she only set out to find her perfect half, she ends up on a self-discovery journey.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is purely incidental.
Copyright ⓒ 2021 by Cynthia Chukwuma
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or used in any manner without the written permission of the copyright owner.

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com
Disclaimer: This story is not available on my blog.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by JustCruise(m): 7:37am On May 04, 2021
Nne, i really love your story, keep up the good work. Thanks for the update but i hope there's more to come.


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 12:09pm On May 04, 2021

Ruby's hummed as she walked towards the toilet. They were at the bottom of the stairs when she got to the toilet entrance. She stopped as she came close to them, giving the trio space to walk by her.

“Good afternoon sir,” she greeted while her eyes slanted surreptitiously towards the woman on his left. She couldn't get a good look at her face but instantly fell in love with the long, bone-straight wig that adorned the woman's head. Benny and Gina didn't exaggerate the clothes that she'd worn. And the sweet perfume in the air... Ruby was tempted to reach for her and ask for the name of the perfume. She held herself back.

The GM, a light-complexioned man in his late forties accorded her greeting with a slight nod of his head and continued moving.

She sighed in disappointment and could only watch as they walked away from her. She stared at the woman's back. She was tall, about an inch or two taller than the GM; not too slim but she had perky buttocks and a well-outlined shape. In her gown, it was easy to see the slight forming of a figure-eight. If she had a little more flesh around her hips, Ruby wondered. She was staring intensely that it was not a surprise the object of her gaze turned to look at her.

Ruby froze guiltily, unable to look away. She waved slightly in apology with a stiff smile.

The lady in question was beautiful, chocolate-brown beautiful. She could only compare the girl to one of those stock pictures of pretty dark girls that circulated social media. She'd always assumed most of the beauty in the pictures were the results of good lighting and a professional photographer, but now, she seemed to have come in contact with a walking picture.

She hurried to Ama's office.

Ama rolled her eyes in exasperation when she looked up and saw Ruby standing by the door, gesturing excitedly at her.

“What is it again?” Ama came out of the office. She shut the door but made no move of moving an inch further.

“Are you sure that is a secretary?” Ruby asked. “I swear she looks like a model.”

“So you've seen her?” Ama folded her arms and gave her a pointed look. “I just knew you wouldn't sit down in one place.”

“But seriously babe,” Ruby loosened Ama's hands and pulled at it. “I just saw her now. I didn't look very well. She caught me staring, God!”

Ama chuckled. “Stop behaving as if you've not seen a fine person before. Look at me. Between me and her, who is finer eh?”

Ruby eyed her. “Your own is fair beauty, but did you see her. I wonder why people even use bleaching creams. Did you see that colour? I wonder what cream she uses.”

“Yes, I agree. She is fine, but me too I'm fine,” Ama's voice turned a little stern. “I'll get jealous if you come and start shouting 'she's fine' 'she's fine' in front of me. Just came and added to my competition,” she flung her hair in feigned impudence.

Ruby laughed. “Sorry o. Allow us to enjoy fresh view na.” She rubbed Ama's shoulders. “Do you think she used make-up?”

“Who doesn't?” Ama retorted. “Madam, I've heard. Go back to your office. After work, we'll talk. If you like, go and frame a picture of the girl and put it on your table.”

Ruby pouted. “It's not that serious na. I'm just anticipating the drama that will happen between her and the GM. Sweet babes like that, even the ones in my office are lusting over her not to talk more of oga GM that likes sweet candies like this.”

Ama laughed. “It's like you're just in this company to be watching drama every day. Go home and watch Zeeworld. Shebi it's drama you want.”

“Zeeworld kwa.” Ruby slapped at her lightly. “My days of Zeeworld are over.”

“Abeg, let me go back to my office. After work, we'll talk. Look it's almost four-thirty.” She looked at her wristwatch and shook her head.

“See you later then.” Ruby waved her goodbye and both went back to their positions of work.

In a twinkle of an eye, work was over. Ruby stretched over her seat and groaned. She'd spent too much time going after the newest addition to the company that she didn't finish her daily portion of work. She looked in envy as the other employees bade each other goodbye and left, some going to have dinner together. Mrs Oyena shook her head at her as she walked out. Mrs Oyena was a huge propagator of 'no extra work hours unless extremely important' but she also warned against left-over work.

Ruby typed furiously. “Before six-thirty, I will be done,” she chanted under her breath as she worked.

“Madam, I knew it. The way you were running around the company, I'm sure you had work waiting for you,” Ama's voice was loud in the almost empty office.

Ruby didn't raise her head to look at her. “Please just give me a few minutes, I will soon be done.” She thought for a split-second, then said, “You wanted to get soup from the opposite restaurant right? Can you get for me?” She raised her head to look at Ama.

She blinked. Beside Ama was another person, undeniably the new secretary Amira. She gave Ama a questioning look, then proceeded to stand up from where she sat and walked towards the duo.

“Hello,” she stretched out her hand as she approached them.

Amira took her handshake with a smile. “You were the one that was looking at my behind earlier, right?”

“Eh?” Ruby's words stuck in her mouth. She'd not expected this.

Amira laughed. “I don't have much back there, so I was surprised. Usually, people love to look at my face. My behind...well, what I lack there, I make up for in looks, right?”

Ruby looked at Ama in surprise. Ama shrugged. “We met when I was leaving my office, and she wanted to join us for dinner.”

“Dinner?” Ruby was all the more confused. While Ama could buy plates of soup or stew to take home, she didn't eat outside very often.

“Yea, dinner.” Ama shrugged again.

“I see you're still working. We can wait for you to finish before we go. I'll order the Uber. Where do you guys usually go to eat? There's this restaurant along about three streets away from here. I heard it's a cool place and…”

By this time, Ama and Ruby were exchanging looks with each other, communicating as much as they could in that situation. It was obvious what Amira thought when they mentioned dinner. For both of them, it meant buying soup and going home to prepare eba and eat it, while for Amira, it meant going to eat in a classic restaurant.

“We don't usually do it that way,” Ama put in gently. Indeed, even if Amira was new, she wasn't going to go out of her way to accept her. “But since it's your first day, we'll just go along?” She raised her brow at Ruby.

Ruby nodded. She still didn't understand why Amira and Ama were together.

“Alright,” Amira smiled. “It'll be my treat today since I'm the new person. I'll call for the Uber. Ruby, you can go ahead and finish your work. Don't worry. We'll wait for you at the reception so we won't distract you.”

Ruby smiled and returned to her desk while the other two left. She stared at the work on her table, feeling reluctant to sit down and start working. She wanted more than anything to go down and join the other two. She pinched herself lightly as a reminder. “If you don't finish on time, they'll just leave you here.” She shook away excess thoughts and concentrated on her work.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 12:09pm On May 04, 2021
Nne, i really love your story, keep up the good work. Thanks for the update but i hope there's more to come.
Thank you
Of course there is wink

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Missmossy(f): 4:20pm On May 04, 2021
Beautiful story keep it coming grin

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by BigDebbie: 10:09am On May 05, 2021
Give us more oo!!

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by JustCruise(m): 7:17am On May 06, 2021
Thanks Op. Please keep it coming but remember am #teamjosiahruby.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 1:20pm On May 06, 2021
Thanks Op. Please keep it coming but remember am #teamjosiahruby.
Who is Josiah biko grin grin grin
Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 1:20pm On May 06, 2021

“This one you're looking like someone they sent to pack dustbin. What is wrong with you?” Rose asked as soon as Ruby came to sit down beside her.

“Don't let me get started on it,” Ruby groaned. She had just returned from dinner with Ama and Amira.

Rose laughed. “Before you talk about what happened, guess what?”

Ruby shot up from the couch. “Oh my God. I totally forgot. Where is the car? You didn't call me again.” She ended the last sentence as a complaint.

“It's outside. I will explain later.” Rose took Ruby's hand and pulled her out of the house. Ruby followed willingly. In front of the house, there was a red car beside the Honda Jeep belonging to one of the other tenants.

“You got a red one?” Ruby ran her hands along the body of the car. She had not paid attention to the compound when she came in. Among the three tenants that lived in the house, it was only one of them that had a car. Well, two now, she thought.

It was a Toyota Camry, a shiny shade of red. It was dark, and they could only see with the lights around the house. Though Ruby imagined when the sun rose, the car would sparkle.

Rose opened the door and allowed Ruby to continue her touching the care in excitement. She said, “I was supposed to go get it by myself this afternoon, but work was quite busy. Though I took excuse on Friday, they rejected it. Apparently, we had some clients to handle today, and I had to be there.”

“So someone drove it here for you?” Ruby was seating in the driver's seat, hands placed on the steering wheel. She straightened her back, imagining herself driving through the streets of Lagos. She quivered with fear.

“Yes, and he asked for this huge amount. I mean, it's just driving, and I even got the car from your dealership. I thought they wouldn't ask for much payment. And the place is not even far from here.”

Ruby was now looking at the dashboard of the car, examining it with so much intensity. “Babe, this car is bae o. So sleek. I'm tempted to go and get one for myself even though God knows I cannot drive.”

“You can get a driver,” Rose leaned on the side of the car. “I've been telling you to learn how to drive. It's very necessary, abi you want to be taking public transport even when you get married?”

“Noo!” Ruby shook her head furiously. She could still remember when she and Rose had both gone to register for a driving class. She'd had to drop out because she felt she couldn't get it and the driving tutor kept on losing his patience with her.

“I will recommend this guy to you. One of my co-workers learned how to drive with him. She has been praising him since for his patience and what, even though I think she and the guy have something together, but it's worth a try.”

“Please do.”

They spent a long time outside. Ruby wanted to ride out with Rose. But it was already late and the car was blocked by the other jeep.

“So, what were you saying happened today?” Rose asked as they walked back into their apartment.

Ruby had been excited about Rose's car that she almost forgot about what happened. She was quick, however, to bounce into a story-telling mode. “Hmm,” she started. “The new secretary came in today. Shey I told you about Kossi, that she is no longer working with us eh?”

Rose nodded. They entered the apartment and sat down in the living room. Rose reached for the half-filled glass of juice she'd been drinking when Ruby came in.

“Her name is Amira, a very fine, model-looking girl…” Ruby went on to describe her as best she could. Her thick full lips glossed up in dark-red lipstick, thin slanted eyes, oval face.

Rose giggled when she finished describing her. “This kind of description eh.”

“I'm serious. You really need to see her. But my problem is not with her looks o. The thing is that after work, she wanted the three of us to go for dinner together. Me, her and Ama. I went because I was curious and Ama is one of my close friends in the company. I didn't even think about it. I was like the most average looking one among the three of us,” Ruby wailed.

“Eh?” Rose burst out laughing at the look on Ruby's face.

“You won't understand. One is fair. The other one is chocolate. Both of them are prettier than me. Both are taller than me. And me? I was the shortest, plain-looking one. I didn't even take note of it until we entered the restaurant— it was a bar and restaurant, and looks were thrown our way.”

“You're not plain-looking though,” Rose put in.

“I know na. On a normal day, I know that even if I am not extremely, extremely beautiful, at least I look good and attractive. But with those two girls, chai! I just felt my self-esteem reduce by meters.”

Rose patted her comfortingly. “So if staying with the both of them at the same time makes you feel that way, then you can avoid it.”

“Wait first, let me show you something.” Ruby ignored what she said and searched her purse. She brought out her phone, unlocked it and after a few clicks, handed the phone to Rose. “Look at this picture, what do you think?”

It was a selfie Ruby, Amira and Ama had taken at the restaurant. Rose looked at it for a few seconds then said, “First of all, it is quite dark, so I can't see the faces well. Secondly, I don't think you have anything to worry about with this Amira girl. Most of it is probably just make-up.” Rose returned the phone to her.

“I had that thought too. But it's hard to not feel intimidated.” She rubbed her face. “I just got rid of pimples and I'm not ready to start soaking my face with all those make-up products again.”

“I don't even get why you're worried o. Is it not 'fine face'? There are plenty of them in Lagos. If all of us are bothered by our looks like that, it is to start doing face surgery na.”

Ruby scoffed. “It hasn't gotten to that stage abeg. Don't mind me. I was even so worried about how I looked that I didn't even pay attention to how much we had to pay there.”

Rose laughed. “Look at you.”

Just then, Ruby's phone rang. Her lips stretched into a smile as she saw the caller. Fred.

“Your boyfriend?” Rose asked.

Ruby nodded.

Rose shook her head with a chuckle and waved her away. “Go and pick your call jare. I know you people will talk till midnight.”

Ruby bade her goodnight and walked to her room, picking the call along the way. “Hey, babe.”

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 1:22pm On May 06, 2021

Ruby smiled at her phone, putting popcorn in her mouth. When she laughed again, she drew the attention of Fred. He was sitting down some meters away from her on the couch, working on his laptop.

“What is making you laugh like this?” He raised his head from the laptop.

She shook her head. “You won't understand. It's this meme my friend posted.” She gave him her phone and watched his expression.

He turned confused as he read it. “I don't understand it.”

She held in her chuckle. “I thought as much.” She took back her phone and went back to scrolling her Instagram feed.

“You're not going to explain?” He transferred his laptop to the table and moved to sit closer to her.

Ruby eagerly curved into his arms as she went ahead to explain it to him. He could be a little slow when it came to understanding memes sometimes. She thought of the memes she had sent to him, most of which came with questions “what does this one mean?” “Is it saying this…” But she also loved explaining them to him.

After another long and stressful work week, Ruby had packed up a bag as soon as she came home from work on Friday and proudly announced to Rose, “I'm spending the weekend with Fred.”

It was what she needed. Work had taken an unusual turn with the addition of Amira. One of the latest gossips around the office was that she had gotten into an intense quarrel with the GM two times that week. It was only her first week, but she was going hard and fast.

Gideon had returned to haunt her. Though this time, his motives were clear. He needed more employees to sign the petition against the GM. She ended up giving in to the pressures coming from three sides now— Amira had given her backing to Gideon. In fact, she had even prompted him to post a notice in some of the offices. Most of the employees signed. She didn't know how many. Everyone wanted to keep their participation, if they had any, a secret.

Ruby had been asked several times if she had signed, her reply even after she signed remained, “I'm not sure if I will sign yet. I'm still considering the factors involved.”

Factors indeed, Ama had eyed her when she said something like that in her presence. “If you're in, you're in. Why are you behaving like this?”

After dinner with Amira, she never had time to sit with her. But she was certainly curious about what went on between her and the GM. It was a busy time in the company and not just for employees like Gideon and Ama, she could feel something brewing, even from the board directors.

“If I say a big change is coming, someone will think I'm working for APC. But let me keep my mouth shut sha,” Ama said one day during lunch. They were in the break room. Ama was eating from her flask while Ruby munched on buns.

Despite Ruby's continuous disturbance to get the whole gist, she remained mum. “Don't worry.” She said another time when Ruby communicated her fear for signing the petition form. “I doubt if they would use the petition. But that man is gone.”

Ama's reassurances went through one ear and came out through the other. Ruby honestly couldn't stop herself from worrying about the negative consequences of signing the petition. 'What if' questions filled her mind until the only image that was left was her on the streets, looking for a new job.

She had to admit, the only good thing that would happen to her if the petition went through was that her Saturdays would be off. There would be no sudden increment of salaries or extra bonuses. For all she could care, the new GM might even be stricter than this one and worsen the terms of employment. However, the story would be completely different if the man wasn't sacked or changed. He would fish out the unfortunate ones that signed the paper. For heads of departments like Ama, they could have a massive reduction in salary. But for someone like her, it would surely be a termination letter.

On another hand, she was certain that the GM already knew about the petition and some underground negotiation was probably going on. And that was what her frustration was all about.

All the rumours flying around, her friend Ama at least knew if one or two of them were true and chose to remain quiet about it. Even when with all her heart, she promised she wouldn't whisper a word of it to anyone.

“I want it to come as a surprise to you,” Ama said impishly earlier that day while it was just the two of them closing from work.

“This kind of surprise, I just hope it is good.”

Fred's place was the one place she could avoid worrying about work. At least she had her focus elsewhere. She reached over to kiss him, distracting him from his laptop.

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Ann2012(f): 9:06pm On May 07, 2021
Thanks for the update

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by BigDebbie: 10:31am On May 09, 2021
Kudos Op

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 12:47pm On May 10, 2021

“Babe, I'm going out to see a friend. Would you mind coming along?” Fred asked as he got up from the couch and stretched.

Ruby was already missing his warmth. “Not today. I'm so tired. I just want to rest,” she said with a yawn.

He bent down to kiss her lightly on the mouth. “Is there anything you want me to get for you?” When he made to straighten up, she pulled him back down and kissed him again.

“Just that shawarma you got the other day. I really enjoyed it.” She let him go.

He laughed and promised to get it for her on his way back. He went into the room and came out a few minutes later, dressed in casual clothes. After promising to be back before ten, he left the house.

Despite the TV playing, the house suddenly felt quiet in his absence. She adjusted on the couch and reached for the TV remote to change the station. She went through a few stations before she settled on one where an American movie was showing.

Her relationship with Fred was going to two months now. And she had to admit that she was falling deeper for him. The thought, though, scared her. Fred was loveable. He was everything she wanted in a man-- good-looking despite his scars, responsible, took care of her and was good in bed. She often wondered what the future held in stock for both of them. She knew Fred was looking to get married soon. He had dropped pointers. On different occasions, their conversation would take a different turn. Once, when he had seen a post about parenting on Facebook, he had asked her what type of mother she would like to be.

It wasn't something she'd considered fully, so she had given a typical answer. “I want to be a good mother that would take care of my children.”

He steered the conversation, asking for her take on different aspects of parenthood, including how many children would she like to have.

She'd replied three, and he laughed aloud, saying that they thought alike.

On another occasion, he asked her what she felt about having a joint account with her partner. It was a question she often eluded. The truth was that, while she was glad to be in a relationship, the full implication of really sharing with her partner hadn't dawned on her. Talking about marriage was one thing, but when it came to the real deal, the bits and pieces that made up marriage, she had not yet considered it at all.

When she relayed her fears to Rose, her friend had an explanation that summarised what her relationship with Fred was. “He is probably dating to get married, and you're just dating...for what? To get dating experience?”

Even Ruby herself wasn't even certain why she was dating. She had begun looking for a boyfriend after what happened with Boye so that she would get the feeling of what it was like to be in a real relationship, not just a 'sex-tationship'. But after meeting Fred, she buried those thoughts in the darkest part of her mind. She enjoyed the feeling of being in a relationship, of having someone call her to check up on her, someone that got concerned even if she complained of a slight headache. She enjoyed the frequent dates—not because of the wonderful locations but because of the person sitting across her, looking at her as though she was the only flower that sprouted in his spring garden.

Most of all, having someone she referred to as 'mine'—my boyfriend, my sweetheart—her life felt fuller, more vibrant. And so when she considered the question of why she was dating, she felt the question wasn't complete. It turned to why she was dating Fred. She was sure that dating someone else wouldn't have struck the same feeling as dating Fred.

“So just go with the flow. See where it goes. I'm sure he will not just take you out one day and pop out a ring asking will you marry me. He should have given you a heads up by then,” Rose said when she answered.

And that was where her fear concerning the relationship increased. If he felt that she wasn't on the same page with him, that she wasn't as committed to a future with him as he was, that she didn't think too far about walking down the aisle together but was more concerned with what good morning text she would receive the next day, would he break up the relationship?

“You worry too much. Just focus on enjoying and building the relationship now. There's no need to even think about marriage. It's dating. While dating, you know if you're compatible with each other. Maybe along the line, he would realize…” Rose had trailed off when she caught Ruby's warning look.

Maybe Rose was right. Enjoy the relationship, enjoy the moments together.

“At least,” she mused to herself, her voice overridden by the sound coming from the TV, “even if something happens, I have memories to take with me.”

And she honestly didn't wish for anything to happen.

When Fred came back a few hours later, some minutes past ten-thirty, she had slept off on the couch. Her phone had fallen to the ground.

“Babe,” he tapped her gently.

She moaned and opened her eyes sleepily. “You're back?” She sat up and turned her cheek upwards so he could peck them.

“Sorry, I wasted time. I stopped at the shawarma joint and there were a few people on the queue so I had to wait a while.” He handed the white nylon bag to her.

She collected it, feeling the sleep in her eyes clear away as the warmth of the contents of the bag reached her. She peered into the leather and saw a newspaper wrap. “You bought suya too?”

She was already removing the contents of the bag and setting it on the table. “I thought you would love some.” He started towards the kitchen. “Wine or juice-”

“Juice abeg. I don't like this brand of wine you got. What about the one you usually buy?” she said before he finished his sentence.

“It's a friend that gave it to me.” He went into the kitchen.

Ruby set out the shawarma and suya he had bought on the table and looked at them already salivating. Yes, it was moments like this that she had to enjoy.

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 1:09pm On May 10, 2021

Ruby came home to find Rose making her self up in the living room. It was Sunday afternoon, and she'd just returned from Fred's place.

“You came back just on time,” Rose said when she saw her. “I'm going out to celebrate my new car. Do you want to come?”

“Definitely,” Ruby squealed. She dropped her overnight bag and leaned over the couch. “Why didn't you tell me on time? I would have come back earlier.”

“I was surprised too. It's Freda and Lotachi. They insisted that we celebrate.”

“Freda is in town? Since when?”

Rose shook her head. “I don't know. You know she is closer to Lota than with us. I'm just surprised they didn't mention anything till now.”

“When you think about it, it's been ages since we all met. And Lota, even though she is Lagos, it takes months before we even see her shadow.”

Rose ran a red lipstick over her lips. “Somebody that is abroad most of the time.” She looked at Ruby still leaning over the couch, watching her put on makeup. “Aren't you going to dress? Or are you going like this?”

“Of course not.” Ruby straightened up. “Just give me ten minutes.” She picked up her overnight bag and rushed into her room.

Ten minutes, of course, turned to almost an hour. She came out of her room dressed in a clingy red gown and her face caked in makeup.

“I thought you didn't want to make up for the meantime. What happened?” Rose, taking some selfies in front of the house asked when she saw her.

Ruby rolled her eyes. “From the pictures I've been seeing Lota post on WhatsApp, you think I want to go without makeup? Not this time. After today, I will go back to my no makeup rule.” She drew closer to Rose and posed for a selfie, pouting her lips.

They spent a few more minutes taking more photos, each posing for the other to take their picture. They soon migrated to the front of Rose's red car, where the picture-taking increased in intensity. They called the security man to help them take pictures together, posing like models in front of the car. The photoshoot lasted for over thirty minutes before they decided they had taken enough pictures.

“These pictures are so fine,” Ruby said, looking at her phone as she got into the car.

Rose got into the driver's seat. “You know this is the first time you're riding in my car, eh? Enjoy it. Send those photos for me. I have to send them to my mother. She still doesn't believe that I bought myself a car.”

“Will you blame her?” Ruby posed for another picture in the car. She turned to get a view of Rose. Rose smiled at the camera, wiggling her keys.

Rose started the car.

“Where are we meeting them?”

“It's not so far. I'm grateful for that. I'm not sure I can navigate Lagos roads now. The truth is, it will take some time before I get used to it.”

“That's the thing about having a car. But you will soon get the hang of it.” Ruby was still taking pictures. As Rose drove the car out of the compound, she took short videos, encouraging the 'latest car-owner' in Lagos. Though she knew, that was an exaggeration.

Freda and Lota were more of Rose's friends than Ruby's friends. Rose met them during her service, and when they all came to Lagos, it was natural for them to become friends. Freda was a fashion designer based in Ibadan. She had lived in Lagos for a while before she met her husband and got married. He lived in Ibadan. Lota was a model. She was often in and out of the country, in and out of Lagos. She never stayed in Lagos for more than three months. It was difficult to see her even during those three months.

They were already waiting in the bar when Rose and Ruby arrived. Lota dressed in a short, sleeveless gown that revealed her toned, slim arms and long, slender neck. Freda dressed in her signal slim jeans with one of her tops matching.

They exchanged hugs with each other, praising each other's looks and changes.

“Wow, you're looking so good.”

“See how your skin is glowing. Which cream are you using?”

“Is that your natural hair? It's looking so thick and dark. Which product are you using?” This statement was thrown at Lota. She was a model for many hair products.

It took a while before the admirations and greetings ended, and Lota suggested they go outside to look at the car before they started the celebrations. They had seen the car in photos, but they also wanted to see the real thing.

Outside the parking lot, Freda prayed for the car. The girls congratulated and prayed for Rose, wishing her more achievements.

When they returned to the bar, there was a round cake in the middle of the table, surrounded by two bottles of wine and other drinks.

“Wow,” Rose said tearfully, reading the 'Congratulations Rose' that had been scribbled on the cake, along with a rose flower. “You guys,” she turned around to hug Lota and Freda.

“It's all Lota,” Freda admitted. “She just said she wanted to celebrate. I didn't know she had all this prepared.”

Her words were of little comfort to Ruby. She was Rose's closest friend, but she hadn't participated in setting up any of the promises. She wondered why she hadn't even thought of it and began thinking of ways to make up for the forgetting this.

But Rose didn't make her feel left out. She also hugged her and thanked her profusely, her eyes swimming with grateful tears.

Rose cut the cake, cheered on by her friends. Again, they wished her as well as themselves bigger wins. “May we always have something to celebrate,” Freda prayed, and they chorused “Amen.”

It was a small celebration. Four girls, each happy for their friend, dancing, drinking and eating. Ruby had to go behind the bar to order barbecue fish. It was little she could do. But Rose didn't mind. She just enjoyed herself.

“Rose, don't get drunk o. You still have to drive home,” Lota reminded her with a wink.

They all laughed. They had ordered fruit wine, but the other drinks still had a percentage of alcohol in them. Knowing Rose, the alcoholic drinks would be her choice.

When the night ended, Ruby ordered two bottles of alcoholic wine to take home with them. She felt Rose pouting at not drinking the amount of alcohol she wanted. “What's a celebration without alcohol.”

The celebration continued in their apartment, over wine and suya. After getting drunk, they slept off a little after midnight on their couch.

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by JustCruise(m): 8:13pm On May 10, 2021
Thanks for the update. It's Gideon and Ruby till the bitter end.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by BigDebbie: 5:35pm On May 11, 2021
Thanks for the update

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Ann2012(f): 10:33am On May 12, 2021
Thanks for the update

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Moura7(m): 10:36am On May 12, 2021
This is fire....great work.

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Erojepromise(f): 11:24am On May 14, 2021

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Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 2:58am On May 17, 2021
Let me first apologize for uploading last week as promised. I promised at least three chapters per week, but I only uploaded two last week. I was ill for some days and wasn't able to write much. But I will make up for it this week. smiley

Really owe it to my readers to keep to promises. I hope you all understand smiley smiley

Oya, let Ruby's story continue.

It's like a lot of people like the 'Gideon and Ruby' pair. Originally, Gideon was supposed to remain the annoying colleague, but oh well, since he is popular, let's give him a chance. And hope he doesn't *Bleep* it upundecided

Also, I want to write Rose's story, independent of "Ruby's Search". I am curious about her own story. What do you guys think?


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:01am On May 17, 2021

Ruby trudged into the company, yawning at every three or four steps that she took. She acknowledged the greeting of the security man with a nod. As she entered the reception, she walked to the reception desk to sign in her name in the register. She made a mistake as she wrote her name on the book and the time she'd arrived, then reached for the correction fluid to correct it.

When she finished signing her name, she noticed the small crowd standing at the foot of the stairs leading up to the second floor where the other offices were. She walked over to them and smiled in greeting at one employee from the Finance department.

“What is going on?” she asked after trying unsuccessfully to understand what was going on.

The woman shook her head. “They changed the general manager. It's over there on the notice board.” She pointed at the brown board with so many papers clipped to it.

The board was where it was easy for both employees and visitors to view it, right at the back of the reception table. She hurried over and proceeded to scan the notices on the board, pinning her eyes on the newest addition to the board.

Her eyes widened as she read the notice. The GM had mismanaged the company's funds and had been removed. He would be replaced by another person who would be arriving in the company later during the week. It was signed by the director of the board.

She looked at other notices, hoping to find a clue to the new GM but there was nothing else—no name, nothing at all about the person's identity.

“Good morning Ruby,” Gideon said. He joined her at the reception desk and started signing in his name on the register.

“Gideon.” For the first time, she was relieved to see him. “They changed the GM.”

He nodded with a smile tinged with pride. “Yes. It was all our efforts. The annoying man is gone now.”

“You submitted the appeal? When?”

“During the weekend. I emailed it to the director. I assumed that they must have had an impromptu meeting after I sent it.”

“I thought we were appealing against him sleeping with company workers. I'm sure that is also against the rules of the company?”

He'd finished writing now and read the notice. He nodded. “Yes. I submitted it too. I was lucky Kossi gave me evidence of him using the company's funds. It made the appeal stronger, I think. For sleeping with company employees, that also needed evidence. But Kossi didn't want to get involved in that way, so I had to go with the strongest argument.”

She raised her eyebrows. “So that was why you were treating her to lunches all the time?”

He smiled. “You think it's easy to investigate.” He pouted and stretched his body. She thought the pout looked quite cute on him. Not everyone could get away with that facial expression. “The girl was not easy to deal with. The money she was getting from the man was enough to make her keep her mouth shut. I had to blackmail her to even get something from her tight lips.”

“Blackmail? Wow. You went all the way, huh?”

He rolled his eyes. “You won't understand. I can't stand it when people are trying their hardest means to earn money, and someone else is making their efforts in vain. I just got tired of watching the whole thing play out, over and over again. Everyone knew, but no one wanted to take a stand against it. Something had to be done at some time.”

“Just that?” They both shifted away from the desk when another worker came in to sign his name. “One would think the man did something worse to you.”

“Do you wait for the fire to start burning your own house before you know it is serious? He may not have done something to me before, what about tomorrow? Or sometime in the future?” He laughed. “And I have another personal reason for doing it.”

“What?” She leaned towards him unconsciously.

He smiled and bent to whisper in her ears. “I will tell you if you go on a date with me this weekend?”

“You're crazy!” She shouted out loud, attracting the looks of the other workers.

Her shout must have been a reminder to them, for they started dispersing and going to their various workstations.

Ruby glared at Gideon who was now sporting a cheeky smile as though that was the reaction he'd been expecting to get from her. “Let me just believe that you are joking.” She turned to leave.

He stretched out a hand to pull her back.

“What is it?” She tried to shake off his hand.

He gestured at his lips. “Your lipstick…” He made the gesture again.

She rolled her eyes. “Thank you.” When she pulled her hand from his, he let go. She rubbed the edge of her lips.

“I'm serious,” he said. This time he was not sleeping. “Let's call it an apology date. I mean-”

“No, Gideon. Not possible.” She shook her head and made her way towards the stairs.

“At least, think about it?” His voice was loud behind her.
She didn't stop, only continued climbing the stairs.

“Are you sure you don't know anything about the new GM?” Ruby fixed her eyes on Ama's face, hoping she would be moved by the intensity of her stare to say something about the new GM.

Ama sighed, spooning orange rice into her mouth. “I really don't know, Ruby. This time, nobody knows yet, even the board. The only thing I know is that the person will be coming before the end of the week. I'm sure you know that as well.”

“What of Amira? I didn't see her today. Was she sacked as well? I mean, because she is his P.A.?”

“No.” Ama sipped water from her glass. “She can fit in as any GM's secretary. I think she knows more about it than anyone else. I suspect that she is not just a secretary.” The last sentence was said in a low voice.

Ruby slapped the table loudly, attracting the looks of other patrons in the restaurant. “I knew it. I knew she was not simple.”

Ama eyed her. “You knew she was not simple, how?”

“Look at her clothes and the jewellery she wore throughout last week. And her wigs. She had a new one on every day, and they were all quality stuff. Does she look like someone that can be a secretary? How much is the salary? It won't be enough to allow her to maintain her current lifestyle. I had my suspicions.”

“And I thought it's something else.” She shook her head. “I was actually more suspicious of the way she openly challenged the GM on many matters. You know how many times they quarrelled, and she was always telling the man to 'shut the hell up' and that he was just a nuisance to the company.”

Ruby widened her eyes, her half-eaten plate of moi-moi now forgotten. “Do you think she is the new GM? Maybe they sent her to look how things were before they sacked the man?”

“I don't know. But I imagine that they, whoever 'they' is, already planned to remove the GM. It was only a matter of time.”

“So much underground business.” Ruby picked up her spoon offhandedly and continued eating.

“I don't know what is going on,” Ama said, “but I know that the next few weeks would be full of changes in the company. I just hope it wouldn't be unfavourable changes.”

“Me too,” Ruby echoed. “Me too.”

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:25am On May 17, 2021

The weather was quite cool when Ruby and Ama left the company that evening. Ruby was grateful that she had on a light sweater.

“The way the weather changes these days, one would think it's a child that is controlling it,” Ama said. A cool breeze blew past them. They shivered.

“My dear. It's not like it's harmattan yet o.” They walked towards a junction, looking back from time to time to check if there was an approaching keke.

Ruby's phone rang. She smiled when she saw that it was Fred and picked the call. “Hey, what's up.”

“Where are you now?” There was urgency in his voice.

She frowned. “I just closed from work now. I'm about to go home now.”

“Really?” Her frown deepened when she caught the suspicious note in his voice.

“Babe, what do you mean ‘really’? What happened?”

Ama turned to look at her in worry when she heard the question. Ruby smiled at her shakily and nodded slightly, “No problem.” she mouthed. She moved away from Ama to continue the call.

“Don't lie to me, Ruby. I can see you from where I am. This place doesn't look like your company,” he said.

She was getting all the more confused. “What do you mean?” She looked around, hoping to see his car or any sign of his figure. “I can't see you.” A thought came to her mind. “Are you in front of my company? You came to pick me?” She was already turning to head back to the company.

“I'm not a fool. I can see you. You're wearing a green gown and the wig you are wearing...? Isn't that the one you came to my house with the other day?”

She finally understood what was happening. She stiffened and asked, “Where are you?”

He scoffed. “I'm in front of Presken. You just went in with someone.”

“That is not me,” she tried to keep her tone calm. Her blood was getting fired up. Did he mistake her for someone else?

“Don't lie to me…”

“I said that is not me. I am currently trying to find a keke near my company. Unless I have a twin that I don't know about, then I don't know what is wrong with your eyes.” She ended the call, knowing that she would get even angrier if the phone call continued.

“Hope all is well?” Ama asked when she rejoined her. They continued on their way.

Ruby faked a smile. “No problem. It's just my boyfriend.”

“You and this your boyfriend. It's obvious the guy is treating you well. See how you've been glowing since the both of you started dating. Even the pimples on your face evaporated.”

Ruby laughed. “Abi, it is the cream I started using?” She touched her face, enjoying the almost smooth texture.

“At least it is good for you.”

“What about our board boyfriend? Any progress? Or is that one history already?” Ruby changed the topic. She needed to divert her attention from the call she just had with Fred.

Ama flashed her teeth. “We started dating last weekend. I was-”

“Oh my God! Why didn't you say anything? You just kept me in the dark.” Ruby pouted.

“It's not like that. I just wanted to see how it goes. I mean, the guy is good and all. But I don't know if I can deal with his lukewarm faith. You know how I am about it.”

“Maybe try and convert him. You won't know if you don't try.”

“I'm not trying to convert anybody.” They stopped a keke that was approaching and got into it. “After I tried doing that with someone before, it's like it only made them hate me. I will just do my thing. But if it doesn't work out, I can always back out.”

Also having a lukewarm faith, Ruby had to agree with her. If Ama kept on trying to make her a stronger Christian, she might have opted out of the friendship a long time ago.

Ama got down from the keke before her. She would board a bus that would stop her close to her area.

For Ruby, it was another long journey. By the time she got home, she was exhausted. She was the first to get home. Before she entered her room, she warmed up some soup and made eba. While she ate, she thought back to the call with Fred, a topic she avoided on the way back. The certainty in his voice, so sure that the person he'd seen was her. Because she was wearing a wig similar to hers? Or because of a green gown? Did she even have a green gown? She didn't like the colour, and she was certain that she didn't have anything similar in her wardrobe.

When she finished eating, she retired to her room. As she took her bath, she mentally prepared herself for the conversation she would have with him. Hopefully, by now, he had gotten his facts straight, and she wouldn't have to argue about a second Ruby that was spotted going into a hotel with another man.

She dialled his number when she settled into the bed. The phone rang for a while, and when she thought he would ignore the call, he picked it.

“Hello,” his voice sounded disoriented.

“Where are you?” she repeated the question he asked her about two hours ago.

“At home.” The reply was short. She could tell that he had other things to say, so she kept quiet to allow him to speak first. She needed an explanation.

“Babe?” He called.

She cleared her voice. “I'm here.”

“I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel anything. I saw the girl, and she really looked like you. I was angry and didn't try to look well. And when I called you, I thought you were only lying to me. So…” he trailed off.

“Today is Tuesday, Fred,” Ruby said calmly. “At that time, I would either still be in my office or on my way home. I'm sure you know that.”

“I know, I know. It's just... I admit I was a little tipsy when I saw her, and-”

“Tipsy?” Ruby echoed. “You can't just excuse it by saying you were tipsy. You should hear how you sounded when you called me. I almost started to feel I was lying. Really, Fred?”

“Look babe, this is not your fault. I know all those things, but... but sometimes... sometimes, I just have this feeling.”

“That I would cheat on you? Or that I'm lying to you? Or I'm just with you because of your money? Which of them?”

“No, babe. It's not like that. It's not that.”

“You keep saying it's not that, it's not that. Then what is it? Tell me, Fred, because I'm honestly shocked by what you said. Do you understand the severity of that accusation? That you can even think of me in that light?”

There was silence on the other end of the phone. It was through the sound of his breathing that she knew he was still there.

“I get what you're saying. I know that nothing I say would make this better. I promise that something like this will never happen again. I swear.”

She was quiet. “Next time, just ask me. I haven't kept anything from you. I won't start now. Just ask me, before you start making conclusions.”

“Okay, babe. I promise I will do-”

“Alright. Goodnight. I want to go to sleep.” She ended the call before he could say anything. She tossed the phone aside and laid her head on the pillow. A lone tear found its way out of her eyes and made a splotch on the pillow. Everything was going well, wasn't it? Everything was going well.

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com


Re: Ruby's Search For Romance by Cynthialinlin(f): 3:53am On May 17, 2021

The atmosphere in the office was hushed with the familiar hum of the AC, the whirling of the overhead fan and the sound of fingers running across keyboards. The five workers in the office were bent over their computers, looking through files, looking into their computers.

Someone knocked on the door, drawing the attention of the workers. It was the receptionist. “The new GM just arrived. He asked all the employees to assemble for a brief meeting.”

“The new GM?” Benny echoed. She got up, abandoning her computer.

The other employees, including Ruby, joined her.

They trouped out of the office, joining the other workers heading downstairs to the reception room. It was the only place in the company that could hold all the employees at the same time.

Ruby squeezed her way to Ama's side. “Ama.” She breathed out an apology to another worker whose feet she had stepped on.

“What's up?” Ama walked calmly.

“What else. They said the GM is here. Have you seen him?”

Ama rolled her eyes. “We're going down together, aren't we? Some of the questions you ask, I wonder if you are doing it purposefully?”

“Funny.” She flashed her teeth.

The other workers were talking excitedly. They walked down the stairs and clustered into the reception room. With over thirty employees, the reception room was filled up in just a few minutes.

Ama and Ruby remained on the stairs as there was no space to take them. But it was a good spot as they had their line of sight fell directly on the small space in the middle of the room.

“It's obviously not her,” Ama said when Amira came into the room.

Amira smiled at the workers closest to her and responded to greetings. She got into a conversation with the receptionist.

“Yes.” Ruby agreed. “The receptionist said 'he' so it's not a 'her'. But she would still work under him, I guess?”

Ama shrugged. “Let's watch and see.”

About five minutes later, as the employees became a little restless, two men stepped into the room. The room quietened to look at them.

Ruby was familiar with the first man. With his signature dark blue suit, the board director had a wide smile on his face. His receding hairline and greybeards added to the allure that the fifty-something-year-old man exuded. She always wondered how he had been able to nurture beards, that even with their changing colour, remained rich in density.

The newer man would be the GM, she thought. Probably in his late thirties or early forties, she guessed. He was dressed in a suit, a black one. He wore a pair of glasses well-fitted to his wide face. From afar, he was good-looking. But whatever good feelings one had about him was halted by the hard look on his face. She shivered from the cold look on his face as he looked around the room.

“Omorr,” a worker in front of them muttered. His expression matched that of the other employees in the room.

“Wahala,” another said.

Ruby looked at Ama with widened eyes. Ama returned her look with a similar one.

“Good afternoon, everyone.” The board director thawed the cold in the room brought by his partner with his warm smile. He had always been so friendly and nice that the employees responded in the same vein, smiles lighting up some of their faces.

“So, I hope we are all doing well?”

Differing replies filled the room.

“I'm sure all of you are aware that due to some circumstances, we had to let the former GM go.” He went on to talk about the principles of good and honest service on which the company was built and how important it was that every member of the company, no matter their position uphold the principles. He also spoke about some changes that would have to take place in the company since new leadership was coming in.

Ruby was particularly grateful about the removal of Saturdays as workdays whether compulsory or voluntary. Working extra hours were limited to two hours.

“Not bad.” Ama nodded.

Most of the changes were minor changes. The employees accepted them with pleased muttering.

“Lastly, and most importantly. I'm going to introduce the new GM, who would be in charge of overseeing the day to day activities of the company.” He gestured at the new GM who had been relegated to the background in the light of the director's speech.

Once again, the tension of the room cooled down as he stepped into the limelight.

“This is Mr Hanson, a graduate of the Business School in Chicago. A round of applause to welcome him.” He started clapping, the employees joined him.

“Why do they like bringing all these people from abroad?” Ruby whispered to Ama, who shrugged.

“It is good to see the enthusiasm of the employees of this company.” Mr Hanson's very deep voice reverberated in the room. “I admit that I was quite impressed with the orderliness with which you coordinated yourself. I believe that each one of us plays an important role in making this company better, whether you are the receptionist,” he looked at the receptionist with a nod of acknowledgement, “or even the cleaner. We all have our roles to play, and I would appreciate it if we carry out our roles as expected of us. We are not children and I believe all of us have the sense to conduct ourselves properly and uphold the moral values of the company. I do hope we would have a good working experience together.”

Despite the light tone he used to complete his short speech, the look on his face remained as hard as granite. Even when the speech ended, he didn't smile.

The employees clapped, merely out of duty. There was nothing special about the speech.

“The man seems boring.” Ruby bit down a yawn as she clapped lazily.

“I know. It's like a no-go area. I imagine how Amira would work with him,” Ama said.

After a few remarks from the director, the employees were dismissed. They started back to their various offices.

“Let's just hope that even with his unsmiling face, nothing much will change,” another employee said.

They couldn't help but agree with her.

For more interesting series and stories, visit my blog @ cynthiaspen.com


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