This is the Second Chapter of the Short Novel ‘Dyadzorm Says Yes’ by Adjoa Essel, stay tuned at The Arachneed as we bring to you this amazing novel from Africa. Every Friday a new chapter shall be published. –
‘How about visiting me after work tomorrow?’ Jerald asked getting ready to leave.
Dzyadzorm gave him a puzzled look which gave Jerald a perception of her confusion.
‘I mean I won’t come to work tomorrow because I need to see my daddy off at the airport, so please visit me after work to tell me what happened.’ He gave a detailed explanation.
‘Alright sir, see you tomorrow.’ Dzyadzorm waved.
Simon drove the girls back to their flat some few minutes after Jerald bade them goodbye. It was a night of bliss for the girls, with Berta being the happiest among them.
‘Girls, Simon and I finally set a date…..’
‘For your wedding?’ Ajovi concluded.
‘This is great!’ Dzyadzorm screamed.
She looked delighted upon hearing the news. Dzyadzorm was happy for her friend Berta who had been like a sister to her ever since they met. She was proud to have played a role in Berta’s success story. The grass to grace phenomena. She slept soundly that night, with images of the future in her dreams.
Work at Dalleys Industries proved to be less hetic as Dzyadzorm anticipated. She was able to close exactly on time to make it to the CEO’s house to deliver her report. For the visit, Dzyadzorm chose to wear a flair lemon green dress decorated with golden yellow at the neckline. She blew her afro into a huge porous mound and she wore a pair of gold earings to match her outfit. She looked presentable enough to meet the young CEO.
She picked a taxi from the station and alighted in front of a house which looked like a manificent castle. The security man at post looked like he had been waiting for her arrival so he opened the gate and flashed her a salute as soon as she got to the gate. The house was beautifully set in a garden of stately trees and the flower beds blazed with bright colours. To Dzyadzorm, the Wilmot’s house looked large enough to shelter everyone living in that surburb. The atmosphere was serene, a perfect place for relaxation. The air was warm and balmy and Dzyadzorm could feel the aroma of chicken being spiced. She quickened her steps and entered a glass porch where she pressed on the doorbell. After a minute, the door flung open and a young boy stepped out of the house.
‘Good afternoon, please may I see Mr. Jerald Wilmot?’ Dzyadzorm asked curtly.
‘Please come in,’ the boy invited.
Dzyadzorm stepped in the fully air conditioned room filled with the sweet scent of lavender, fragrant rosemary and crisp lemon geraniums.
‘Please make yourself comfortable whilst I tell my boss about your presence. Is he expecting your visit?’ The young boy asked.
Dzyadzorm nodded and the boy left her alone in the room. She sat comfortably on the couch and her eyes began roaming about the room. The floor tiles had polished surface which could reflect an image. The curtains on the windows looked new and a sharp clearly defined picture of the Wilmots hung gracefully on the wall. Everything in the room looked sophisticated and Dzyadzorm concluded that the Wilmots had a touch of class.
‘Hi Miss Secretary,’ a male voice intruded her thought.
Dzyadzorm’s mind returned to the present and she sprang on her feet to greet her boss.
‘You look beautiful,’ Jerald complimented. ‘Come on, let’s go out and enjoy some fresh air.
Dzyadzorm nodded and Jerald led the way out of the room. A table with two chairs behind it stood under one of the trees and Jerald suggested they sit there to have a chit-chat. After making themselves comfortable, Jerald spoke first. He had every reason to speak first, being the one who invited Dzyadzorm for a visit.
‘How are you?’
‘I am fine sir.’
‘Come on Dzyadzorm,’ Jearld reached for her hands and held it in his. ‘Can you please stop calling me sir?’
Dzadzorm looked shyly away. ‘Alright, i’ll call you Jerald if that is okay with you.’
‘That is my girl.Anyway what happened at Dalleys today?’
‘I scheduled a meeting for you tomorrow and delivered the parcels you left.’
‘Wonderful! No wonder my daddy trusts you. Now lets talk about something interesting, where are your parents? And where do you come from?’
‘I come from Agotime-Kpetoe in the Volta Region,’ Dzyadzorm paused to take in a deep breath. ‘I was orphaned at the age of three.’
‘Sorry about that, so how do you pay your tuition at the university?’
‘I use my salary to pay and sometimes my grandma helps me too. My grandma has done so much for me. She’s everything I have in this world.’
For a moment, the two sat in silence staring directly at each other before the house help interrupted.
‘Sir, your food is ready,’ The househelp said.
‘Serve me here, i’ll eat with Dzyadzorm.’ Jerald replied.
The househelp bowed politely and left, the two kept staring at each other again.
‘What were your dreams when growing up?’ Jerald finally spoke.
‘I wanted to be a soldier,’ Dzyadzorm laughed. ‘Everyone said I looked like a soldier, judging from my heavily built body. I would have loved to be one but alas, there was no one to support me so I chose to do something else.’
‘I see, but is your work not stressful? I mean combining your studies at the university and working as my father’s secretary is very hectic isn’t it?’
‘Yes it is. But you know what my gradma always tells me? She says your power as a woman is your ability to say Yes I can to the impossible.’
‘She must be wise old woman, i’ll love to meet her one day.’
Dzyadzorm smiled at this too. She was enjoying the conversation with Jerald and she was beginning to like him more. The househelp returned from the room shotly afterwards with a big tray in her hands. She served them a meal of chicken with chips and tomato sauce accompanied by two glasses of fruit juice.
‘You may excuse us.’ Jerald addressed the househelp.
She bowed again and left for the room in haste.
‘You know what?’ Jerald asked after munching a forkful of chips. ‘I invited you here to tell you that I want us to be more than a friends. And I mean very good friends.’
Dzyadzorm sipped her juice in silence, looking up at Jerald occasionally. She was enjoying the meal and she concluded that the househelp must be an excellent cook.
‘So what do say to my request?’ Jerald probed further, confused by Dzyadzorm’s silence.
‘Don’t you think that will create problems between Ajovi and me? From what I saw last night, you two are more than friends. I dare say you are lovers.’ Dzyadzorm said.
‘You’re right. Believe it or not but i tell you that Ajovi harassed me a lot way back in our high school days. She used every slight opportunity she had to propose to me…………’
‘You mean Ajovi proposed to you?’ Dzyadzorm’s brows arched questiongly.
‘Yes she did. Not once or twice, but let’s not talk about her now. Let’s talk about you. All I want you to do is to be my girlfriend till my daddy arrives back from Europe. Due to my status, I need to have a lady who will accompany me to some events…you know what I mean. And you know that I need to get a presentable lady to be my fiancée. So I chose you. I can assure you that the relationship will end as soon as my daddy arrives. You’ll be paid for your services. It is twice your monthly salary. How about that?’
‘You making a contract proposal?’
‘Yes, what do you say to it?’
Dzyadzorm took in a deep breath. The money at stake looked good and she was not ready to lose that to any other lady. Afterall which lady in the city could hold a candle to her when it came to beauty?
‘Alright, i’ll accept your offer. I’m willing to act as your fiancé till your daddy returns.’
Jerald smiled and continued to eat his food in silence.
‘Hello. We’re back.’ A female voice broke the silence.
‘You’re back already?’ Jerald asked.’Well Dzyadzorm please meet my elder sister Jernie and younger brother Jeffrey.’
‘Hello,’ Dzyadzorm waved at them.
‘Who’s she?’ Jernie asked.
‘She’s dad’s secretary, her name is Dzyadzorm.’ Jerald answered.
‘I see,’ Jernie cast a suspicious look at her.
‘Jernie, let’s go inside.’ Jeffrey spoke for the first time.
Jernie agreed and followed Jeffrey away.
‘Sorry about that, my siblings can be unfriendly sometimes.’
‘Never mind. If there is nothing to talk about then i’ll get going now. It’s getting dark, the sun has set already.’ She stood up and wiped her lips with a clean soft tissue.
Jerald offered to drive her home. They chatted throughout the drive and she did not forget to thank him after that.
‘Hey!’ Berta shoved Dzyadzorm with her elbow. ‘Was that your CEO?’
‘Yes, he offered to drop me off,’ Dzyadzorm pushed her chair forward and took a glass of water from the table.
‘Wow, that is a priviledge. You know how powerful the Wilmots are and to think you’ll enjoy a free ride from the hottest cake in town is something beyond the dreams of avarice.’ Berta delightedly said.
‘There’s more,’ Dzyadzorm said, heightening the interest of her friends. ‘Jerald Wilmot proposed!
‘You can’t be serious.’ Ajovi said sharply.
‘Of course I am, till his father arrives from Europe i’ll be his fiancé.’
‘More like a contract?’ Berta asked.
‘Yeah.’ Dzyadzorm’s eyebrows raised in conclusion and Berta nodded.
‘That is a real priviledge. Girl, you’re fortunate.’ Berta said.
‘Ajovi, I hope i’m not stepping on your toes.’ Dzyadzorm paused, expecting to get a reply from her but there was silence.
Ajovi looked taken aback at the mention of her name. Her mind was wondering on the prestige and glamour attached to being labelled as the CEO’s fiancé.
‘That’s okay with me. Jerald is just a friend and I have no intention to cross that boundary of hello or hi friends.’ Ajovi lied.
‘Well, I take that as a yes from everyone. It’s now official i’m Jerald Wilmots fiancé!’ Dzyadzorm said, with a bang.
‘Waoh! This is amazing!’ Berta screamed at the top of her voice.
Ajovi looked on as Berta jubilated with Dzyadzorm. She was the only one left out of the fun and she was already beginning to nurse some dark passionate hatred for Dzyadzorm. Her brows puckered into a frown after Dzyadzorm went to her room with Berta. The idea of Dzyadzorm being the fiancé of her long awaited prince-charming was not a pleasant thing to think about. Of course she wished Jerald Wilmot proposed to her instead of Dzyadzorm. She was even dying to tell Dzadzorm how mad she was at her for accepting Jerald Wilmot’s proposal, probably forgetting that she had agreed to it. Afterall which lady wouldn’t fall for Jerald Wilmot? That sprightly flamboyant man of rigid bearing with lush eyebrows and penetrating eyes with a clipped moustache and neatly shaved sideburns who looked every inch a soldier. He was an undeniably handsome man.
‘Hey!’ Ajovi felt a tap on her shoulder.
She shook with fright and turned to look up at who the person was. Her eyes met with Simon’s and she dropped her gaze.
‘How did you get here?’ She asked.
‘Through the door, how else could I have possibly gotten here? By air?’ Simon laughed at his own silly jest.
Ajovi sniffed loudly and Simon stopped laughing. It was obvious that there was something wrong.
‘Don’t tell me you’ve been crying.’ Simon said, after taking a careful look at her face.
‘Um…not at all,’ Ajovi wiped her face with her bare hands.
‘I will accept that explanation only if you tell me you’ve been beaten up by some burly looking man. If not, then tell me how your eyes will redden and swell if you’ve not been crying?’ Simon inquired, his curiousity reaching its peak.
‘Sorry gentleman, that’s none of your business. Excuse me.’ Ajovi walked out of the lounge, leaving Simon confused.
He shrugged and went towards Berta’s room. To his surprise, it was empty so he decided to check Dzyadzorm’s room as well. He could hear Berta giggling, assuring him she was in the house. He knocked on the door several times but got no response, anxious to know what what was going on, he opened Dzyadzorm’s room and entered her room. And his third surprise of the day came when after ten minutes of standing in the room neither Berta nor Dzyadzorm noticed his presence.
Dzyadzorm dabbed some powder on her face and put on her silver earring. Her brows were perfectly arched and her glosed lips curved into a lopsided smile.
‘Are you ready now?’ Berta asked.
Dzyadzorm nodded and led the way out of the room. Simon, Berta’s fiance was waiting outside the house in his car when Dzyadzorm arrived. She quickly got on board and took the back seat where her other friend Ajovi was already seated. Berta joined them shortly and Simon drove off as soon as everyone was comfortably seated. The girls lived in a flat at Lily’s Avenue, a thirty minutes drive from Dalleys Industries where Dzyadzorm worked as a secretary to the CEO. It was a norm for workers of Dalleys Industries to arrive early at work especialy on Mondays and Dzyadzorm was no exception to the norm. However, she was late that Monday morning and her earnest hope was to arrive at work before her CEO. Afterall, big men never come to work earlier than their secretaries.
Simon alighted her in front of Dalleys Industries some few minutes later and she walked in briskly.
‘Hi,’ she greeted the lady at the front disk and walked on without waiting for a response.
She climbed the flight of stairs and stopped upon reaching the third floor. To her surprise, she saw Mr. Wilmot, her CEO unlocking the door to his office.
‘Good morning sir, let me help you with your suitcase.’ Dzyadzorm said.
Mr. Wilmot handed his suitcase over to her after responding to her greeting. Dzyadzorm stepped in as soon as he opened his office and put his suitcase beside one of his drawers. The office was furnished in streamlined stainless steel and glass, befitting the CEO’s image. Her CEO, Mr. Wilmot a trim balding man in his late 50’s was a very influential person in the country. He was the National Chairman of Freedom and Liberty Party, the party in power, aside having other business.
‘We have lots of things to do today, we’ll begin by….’ Mr. Wilmot wore his eyeglasses and began reading the list of to do’s for the day.
Dzyadzorm hurriedly took out her notepad and began to scribble down his words. She later took her seat at her front desk in front of Mr. Wilmot’s office and got to work. She made numerous calls on behalf of her CEO and scheduled some appointments for him.
‘Everything is done sir.’ Dzyadzorm informed Mr. Wilmot after closing from work.
‘ Well done,’ he smiled. ‘Erm…..have I told you about my impending trip to Europe?’
Dzyadzorm curtly replied ‘no’.
‘I will be leaving to Europe so my second child will take my place till I return. I hope you can help him manage everything in my absence. I trust you.’
Dzyadzorm smiled shyly at her boss. ‘Don’t worry about that sir, everything will be fine.’
‘Alright, he is Jerald Wilmot, and i’m sure he’ll make a good CEO of Dalleys Industries.’ Mr. Wilmot smiled. ‘You may leave now.’
Dzyadzorm bowed politely and walked out of out of his office. She picked up her hand bag at the front desk and desecended the flight of stairs. The street looked busy and she pushed her way through the crowd to catch a bus to her destination. The bus was almost full when she got on board and the driver took off shortly afterwards. She picked up a bottle of water and took a sip as the driver sped down the road. She was exhausted as usual but that didn’t take the smile off her face. After some minutes, she alighted in front of her flat and paid her fare to the driver.
‘Hi girls,’ Dzyadzorm greeted and slumped her aching body into the couch.
‘You look tired,’ Ajovi said
‘Let me get you something to cool your throat.’ Berta offered.
Berta was Dzyadzorm’s friend and course mate at the university where they offered a distance learning progamme. She was quite tall and thin with beady eyes and a small pointed nose. She was also the caretaker of one of the most extravagant boutiques in the city owned by Simon. Unlike Berta, Dzyadzorm’s physical apperance was one to gape at. She was heavily built, light complexioned with almond shapes eyes young lady with pear-shaped body in her early twenties. Like Berta, she too was offering a distance learning programme and to support herself, she worked as the secretary of the CEO of Dalleys Industries. Ajovi on the other hand worked with a micro-finance company and like Dzyadzorm, she too was looking for the right man to take her to the altar.
‘Here’s a glass of juice for you.’ Berta returned to the lounge holding a plastic tray.
Dzyadzorm sat up and removed the glass from the tray. ‘Thanks Berta,’ she smiled at her. ‘How was work today?’
‘The usual story,’ Berta replied in a bored tone. ‘How was yours?’
‘Couldn’t have been more stressful,’ she paused to sip the juice. ‘Mr. Wilmot will be travelling to Europe, so his son will be taking over tomorrow.’
After a brief conversation, Dzyadzorm went away to take her bath. She later ate her evening meal which was rice with agusi stew. After taking in some food, she brushed her teeth and retired to bed.
Dzyadzorm woke up before cock crow the next morning to prepare for work. She put on a formal wear fully prepared to meet the acting CEO. She seemed all too confident that morning until upon arriving at her workplace was told that the acting CEO had already reported to work and was at his office. Suddenly Dzyadzorm’s confidence disappeared, making her feel nervours. She threw her bag on her desk and knocked softly on the CEO’s office door. He ushered her in after a brief silence.
‘Good morning sir, you’ re welcome. Sorry i’m late.’ Dzyadzorm smiled at the young man seated in front of her.
He seemed to be caught offguard by her sheer beauty. Her eyes looked mesmerizing to him and he couldn’t stop staring at her in admiration.
‘Erm…. What did you say?’ He asked again after what seemed an unending silence.
‘You’re welcome,’ Dzyadzorm repeated.
‘ Thank you, I guess you’re Dzyadzorm, my father’s secretary.’
‘Alright i’m Jerald Wilmot, nice meeting you.’
‘Nice meeting you too.’
‘You may leave now. I’ll call when I need your help.’
Dzyadzorm left the office very relieved. The CEO’s son looked friendly and that gave her the assurance that working with him was going to be much easier. She went about her daily secretary routine and for the first time in some months, she closed from work exactly on time.
The house was empty when she got home and as expected of the first person to get home from work, Dzyadzorm prepared the evening meal. It was a meal of boiled yam with garden eggs stew, which was everyones favourite. She ate whilst watching a programme on the television after which she went into her bedroom to take a nap.
‘Hey,’ Dzyadzorm felt pain in her back.
Her eyes fluttered open and she saw Ajovi standing beside her holding a purse.
‘Where are you going?’ Dzyadzorm asked, rubbing sleep off her eyes.
‘Sorry old woman, is your amnesia that bad?’ Ajovi teased. ‘Aren’t you aware that Simon is taking us out for dinner tonight?’
Dzyadzorm stretched her arms wearily and yawned. ‘How long have I been sleping?’
‘Look at the time ,’ Ajovi showed her a wristwatch. ‘You better dress fast and get ready. Simon is on his way here.’
Dzyadzorm stood up from her bed and walked to the bathroom. She took a quick a shower and got back to the room feeling refreshed. For dinner that night, she wore a mauve dress above her knee with silver necklace and earrings. She wore a pair of black high heeled shoes and took along a mauve bag.
‘Simon is here!’ Berta announced excitedly.
The girls followed each other out of the room. Simon was looking smart in his tye and dye shirt and he smiled after seing the girls. Berta sat on the passenger’s seat beside the drivers seat by Simon, the normal practice. Dzyadzorm occupied the back seat with Ajovi and Simon drove cooly to the restaurant.
‘We’re here!’ He announced and parked his car in front of a restaurant.
The girls got out of the car to be welcomed by cool night air and the aroma of tilapia being grilled. Simon held Berta’s hand and led the way into the restaurant whilst Dzyadzorm followed closely with Ajovi. Berta took seats with Simon on one table and Dzyadzorm shared another with Ajovi. Simon ordered drinks for everyone since they had already taken dinner in the house. The restaurant was mainly filled with couples who had come to enjoy some fresh air as well as listening to live band music. Dzyadzorm loved the place. It was in the open and the air blowing made it a perfect night.
‘Excuse me, i’ll be back shortly,’ Ajovi got up and walked away.
Dzyadzorm watched her go. Simon was dancing with Berta and it pleased her to watch the two having a good time.
‘Hello beauty,’ she felt a soft tap on her shoulder.
She shuddered and raised her head. ‘Mr. Jerald Wilmot?’ Dzyadzorm looked puzzled.
‘Yes madam,’ he smiled.
Dzyadzorm stood up and straightened her dress. ‘Excuse me sir, do you come here too?’
‘What do you mean?’ He asked.
‘Sorry if I sounded mean, please have a seat.’ She offered.
Jerald sat on the seat and Dzyadzorm took another seat beside him.
‘Don’t worry, I’m not offended. I love live band music that’s why i come here anytime I’m bored.’ He said. ‘What about you? Why are you here?’
‘I’m here with my friends,’ Dzyadzorm replied.
Ajovi joined them a minute afterwards. ‘And who do we have here?’
‘He’s Mr. Jerald Wilmot, the acting CEO of Dalleys Industries,sir this my friend, Ajovi.’ Dzyadzorm introduced.
‘Hi,’Jerald smiled at Ajovi.’Have we met before? Your face and name appears familiar.’
‘I think so too,’ Ajovi replied. ‘Were you a student at Princes Academy?’
‘Y-e-s,’ Jerald stretched his voice, suddenly his face brightened. ‘Ajovi is that you?’
‘Jerald ?’ Ajovi asked in surprise.
The two got closer and hugged each other.
‘Oh my goodness! You’re a big girl now. I’m surprised it took me minutes to recognize you.’
‘And what of you? I couldn’t even rcognize you’re the old Jelly Jerald I know.’
The two kept talking and catching up with all that has ben happening and Dzyadzorm chose to keep herself busy with her phone. From what she observed that night, she needed no one to tell her that Ajovi and Jerald were more than friends as they claimed.
Adjoa Essel, a young budding writer in her late teens. A student at Mankessim Senior High Technical School reading General Arts. She has written numerous short stories and hopes to be a great novelist in future. She looks up to great Ghanaian novelist like Mr.Lawrence Darmani as her role model.
Annerie Meijers is a concept designer/ Illustrator born in Holland.The image published here along-with the text has been designed by Annerie.
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