The Dean’s Office (Part 6)

Read Part 5 of the Dean’s Office

Dr. Smith hid a bottle of whisky in one of the cabinets in his office. This morning, he took some ice cubes from the freezer compartment of his tabletop fridge and put them in a mug. He preferred to drink from a mug to prevent any nosey colleague or student who may budge into the office from detecting the content. He poured the whisky, sat on the chair and placed his long legs on the table. He swirled the drink in the mug before gulping it down. He knew it was only 7:30 am and drinking on an empty stomach was not healthy but he couldn’t help it.

Shirley – the thoughts of that woman never seem to leave him. What started as a joke in the dean’s office is now gnarling at his whole being. He now yearns for her as he had never done before. This feeling is new to him. He hasn’t felt anything this strong for any woman. In the past, he deceived women to get what he ‘wanted’ but the feeling he is developing for his co-worker is new. It’s not only about her looks or the manner that she carries herself – there is something about her that he cannot point out. He wants her in a way that scares him and would not mind doing anything to get her. He does not doubt that he is in love with her. Someone’s wife.

Dr. Smith’s phone rang and interrupted his thoughts and speaking of the object of his fantasy,

“Hello, Shirley. I was thinking about you,” he said

“I hope they were good thoughts,”

“It depends on what you mean by good thoughts. Anyway, have you made any decision about my proposal? Is that why you’re calling?”

“I am calling to remind you that it’s your turn to facilitate tomorrow’s seminar for the graduate students,” she said.

“I know. I have it in my diary,”

“Great. Do you want to have dinner with me sometime next week? Will Monday be ok?”

Dr. Smith couldn’t believe his luck. He wasn’t expecting that. Was he hearing clearly? It’s a joke. Oh, Finally! Shirley is coming around.

“Wow! Of course. Of course,” he said

“So 5 pm, next week Monday, at the University’s Lodge. They have a new restaurant that serves only local dishes,”

“Yes, I know about it,”

“I have a surprise for you as well. Remember to look and smell nice,” Shirley laughed teasingly before hanging up.

“Whoop! Whoop!”

Dr. Francis Smith got up to do the victory dance. He couldn’t believe his luck.

***************

Sundays are used to be special. That was the only day in the week the family drove together in the same car – Shirley would be in the passenger seat, the children at the back and I will be driving them to church. The conversations were light and the gospel tunes played on the radio always serenaded the atmosphere while we made the half-hour journey.

I still haven’t gotten over what Shirley did to me the other day. The atmosphere was conducive for us to have gotten intimate till she came up with that lame excuse. She neither apologised nor said anything about the incident when she returned from work.

“That is my current favourite track,” Shirley said, reaching forward to increase the volume of the radio.

Ye obua mi, ye obua mi,” she sang along to Joe Mettle’s new tune with her eyes closed.

“Have you heard that song before?” she asked.

I kept my focus on the road and ignored her question. She caught the drift and kept mute with her question still hanging in the air. I clutched the steering wheel as I made the sharp turn. I am sure my jaws and knuckles were equally clenched. I stepped on the brakes abruptly when the church’s security team directed me to park. I got out of the car, waited for the children and escorted them to the Sunday School. When I returned, I didn’t bother looking for Shirley. On a regular Sunday, I would have preferred sitting right by her and during the sermon, I would hold her hand. Sometimes I passed comments about how nice her hair was or how pretty she looked. It was such a beautiful feeling but this Sunday is different. I’ve been hurt by her actions and I prefer to sit as far away from her as possible. If she wants to pretend everything is fine between us, that is ok. She should continue living in her dream. She has called for war and that is exactly what I am going to give her.

…….to be continued.

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The Dean’s Office (Part 1)

I know movies can be dramatic and are designed to entertain us.

“This scene is unrealistic,”

“That is too much of a coincidence,”

“The world is too large for these two to keep meeting,”

These are some of the commentary my brain runs when I sit to watch movies.

I had never set my eyes on him until the dean introduced us during one of the faculty meetings. He was tall, fair and properly dressed in a coffee brown Italian, slim-fit suit, a white shirt underneath and brown shoes to match. He seemed to have good taste in fashion.

“Dr. Osei, meet Francis Smith(PhD). He is the newest addition to the Business School. He will lecture in Finance,” the dean said.

“Pleased to meet you, Dr. Smith,” I said with my hands lifted to meet his in a firm handshake.

The two of us sat across the dean to discuss the course structure. We were still going to lecture for ten weeks, conduct interim assessments, give the students one project work to be executed in a group and finally examine them at the end of semester.

“I am glad you will be working together to make this semester a successful one,” the dean said. “But Francis, keep it strictly professional. She is definitely not your type and she is married.”

The dean said while sharing a hearty laugh with Dr. Smith.

I couldn’t tell how far their friendship went but I was simply not interested in where this joke was headed.

I packed my notebook into my bag and quickly made my way to the door of the dean’s office.

“Let’s just say I haven’t grown out of my boyish desires,” I heard Dr. Smith respond with another loud laughter which rang through the office and was followed by another handshake.

This Francis guy or Dr. Smith was good looking and God knows he looked great in that suit. Many women would definitely kill to date him but who really is Dr. Francis Smith?

*******************

My sense of style cannot be described as classy or chic or trendy. I dress to feel comfortable and on regular days, I wear my African print dresses and my natural hair is always pulled up in a bun.

Today, I am dressed in a crisp white long sleeves with a navy blue body con skirt and a three-inch high heel. This is how I dress whenever I needed to represent the Business School at meetings off-campus. The dean offered me his spot at a high level meeting with some government officials and I had to look, act and speak the part. No wonder most of the participants wanted to interact with me right after the meeting.

I needed to grab some breakfast from the Senior Staff Cafeteria before heading over to the dean’s to debrief.

“There you are,”

A voice behind me made me turn and it belonged to no other than Dr. Smith. What do they say about coincidences again?

“Hi,”

“I haven’t set my eyes on you since we had that meeting at the dean’s office. We’re supposed to work together, you know,”

His eyes moved from my face, down to my little cleavage and they rested on my skirt before making their way to my eyes again.

“You could have have simply asked the dean for that information,” I said.

“You know, why don’t we sit at the table in the corner and have a little chat. The waitress could serve us,” he said.

“Second floor, Lecture Theatre 5, Room 7. You can find me there,” I said quickly while picking my meal and leaving the cafeteria.

…..to be continued

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