PROMISE TOMORROW (Eiba Family Saga Book 2)
Buki gazed after her, wordless.
He was shown round the house immediately by a quietly efficient and polite Toro.
“Mr. George, your room is between the guest room and Miss Modele’s study…”
“Mr. George, you will be given three meals daily…”
“Mr. George, morning prayers is by 5a.m….”
“Mr. George, your work kit will…”
“Please can you call me Buki?” Buki squeezed out at the end of the corridor as Toro made to leave him after the orientation tour.
Toro’s eyes widened in surprise. “Won’t that be too…personal?”
“I prefer it, please. And do cut the meals to one. I take only lunch,” he said.
She nodded. “Only lunch.”
“Thanks, Toro. I’m sure we’ll be good friends.” He smiled.
“Friends.” She smiled back foolishly, and then grinned. Buki hid his smile. She started to leave but stopped. “Meet me in the kitchen in ten minutes, ur Buki. Miss Modele will expect you to resume immediately.”
“Immediately,” he mimicked and they shared a parting smile at the entrance of the room allocated to him.
The room was a luxury accommodation, fully furnished with blue-grey effects. It had a gripping force, attracting you to stay in it. The blinds, the curtains, beddings, up to the tiles in the bathroom all had the same warm effect. A 21” television sat on a high stand at one end of the room. A reading table was next to it, and a personal computer. A table-top refrigerator sat at the edge of the reading table. The room unit air-conditioning, which Toro had switched on when she showed him the room at the first, was now almost chilling.
He strode into the walk-in wardrobe and dropped his bag on a shelf. “Too much space for a bachelor.” He walked to the king-size bed and used his hand to test the hardness. “Hard enough, thank God.”
Ever since his accident, he hadn’t been able to sleep on anything soft. He would have taken to the carpeted floor if the bed had been too soft. He touched the light switch, and the room became flooded. The person who designed the room must love lights he thought, and walked into the bathroom. There was a shower, a bidet, and toilet shank. The room seemed designed for a guy. Buki relished space and there was a lot of it in the beautiful bathroom.
“Oh thank you, Lord.” He leaned against the tiled wall and sighed. He was in!
Down in the kitchen, he collected his work kit from Toro and changed in the small gardening room outside, to a navy blue coverall. Surprisingly, he found the outfit snug, fitting his muscular 6’3 frame.
The garden was not in an appreciable form. The lawn was overgrown, with fallen leaves scattered everywhere. The walkway had shrubs struggling with plants, spilling over. Buki removed gloves, a rake, and clippers from the tool kit. The sun was up high and scorching but Buki was an outdoor person. He relished the heat on the back of his neck, and on his face.
As he began his work, the gateman, Ema walked up to him.
“I see you’re already settling down to work,” he said.
He stood and watched Buki with the rake, enthralled. He had a way with the long fork, picking even the tiniest of leaves and dropping them off in the raffia basket he kept aside for the purpose. No dirt leaf had any hope of escaping that rake.
Buki did not pause. “Yeah. Are you new too?”
“Yes and no. I’ve been with the company for five years now but I just got posted here, shortly after the big scam!” Ema seemed in the mood for a gossip. Buki deliberated on whether to indulge him or not. Not that Ema was ready to give him a choice. “You know, the jilt of the year.” He chuckled. Was it supposed to be funny? Buki wondered.
“Oh that! I heard about it,” he said, deciding not to indulge Ema. “Who didn’t? What happened to the former gateman?” he asked, changing the subject smoothly.
“Got posted out. Jude is a very flashy and restless man. He gets bored with people easily. He changed staff here like clothes. Only Toro is everlasting, and that’s because Miss Modele can’t do without her.”
“She’s a nice girl.” Buki moved along doing his job, and Ema followed him.
“So you noticed. You got an eye man. But the young madam, she’s very jealous over her. Otherwise, people like us would have ‘donned’ our caps over there first!” He winked and moved with Buki.
“Thank God madam is jealous over her.” Buki rolled his eyes and moved again. He bent over a small heap he had gathered and forked them all into the basket with precision.
Ema squeezed his brows. “You limp.”
“Obvious,” Buki said dryly.
“You do it with style, but Jude would have fired you the moment he discovered it,” Ema said, savouring his observation as though he was speaking for himself. “He loved perfection,” he added feigning ignorance at the full import.
“I can see that. Miss Modele is perfection, isn’t she?” Buki moved away from the walkway toward the tool room, leaving his implication hanging in the air.
“You should see the woman he ended up with. Half of perfect.” Ema half-ran after him, gasping, he tried to catch up with the latter’s long, limping strides. “We were all so disappointed.”
“You’re itching to get this gist out.” Buki packed the dry leaves into a large waste carton.
“Someone needs to tell you sometime. If not me, Toro will. She’ll still tell you. She hated Jude with a passion. There’s something about that girl.” His eyes twinkled. “She has a premonition all the time.”
“She’s good for everyone then. Not only you.”
Ema pouted his lips like a child. “Are you interested in her?”
“And drain your joy?” He picked the large carton of debris and marched away. Ema ran after him.
“Are you a killjoy?” Ema asked angrily.
Buki stopped short. “No, defender of the universe.” He chuckled.
“Troubler of Israel.” Ema hit him playfully and they both laughed. “Maybe Jude would have liked you after all. You have a personality and you sound polished.”
“And I’m a bloody gardener with enough flesh to intimidate.” He looked down on Ema who was lanky and a full head shorter than him.
“You do intimidate, as though you enjoy it too.” Ema said. “If not for your carriage, you wouldn’t have gotten away so easily with the rest of the staff today.”
Buki laughed. “What would they have done to me? Give me a knock on the head?”
“Probably. But your head is higher than all of theirs.”
He snickered. “Should I apologize or something?”
“Perhaps…” A horn hooted at the other side of the gate. “Duty calls,” Ema said lightly and sprinted away.
Buki stared after him for a brief moment and smiled. “Shouldn’t you know!” He went about his work.
I want your feedback too. Thank you!