Lara flew first class on Arik airline second flight for the morning, she , Micheal and SAN Obafemi snr ,had a criminal case of embezzlement , at Federal High Court Ikeja , she had to reach the court before ten pm , the traffic gridlock on the Lagos mainland bridge was so tight , like groundnut seeds in a bottle , Micheal was calling her number over and over she kept hanging up, she was under immense pressure that sweat trickled down her brows . She just wished the car had wings to fly to the court house .
In the court house, the clerk called for case number two . San Michael Obafemi rose .
“I’m Barrister Micheal Obafemi,SAN, lead luminary at the Obafemi and son’s Chamber, we’re here in as plaintiff for our client the Lagos state government, Against Chief Jegede Akununi, for the diversion of building construction materials worth five billion naira , after receiving full payment, to a personal warehouse and subsequently selling same off , with the exhibit marked A you can see the evidence against the defendant.”
The lawyers kept exchanging words against and for support of the case . Lara ran into the court house wearing her legal wig a black suit white under shirt a black lawyers robe, with a high hills shoe . Her beauty was radiating like the embers of the sun, Micheal couldn’t look at her , he hide the tears in his face .
“Young Counsel , is it that you were not briefed by the clerk of the time of sitting?”
The judge said to Lara.
“My Lordship I want to tender my sincere apology, my car broke down at an isolated part of town, it was quite difficult to get to the Court.”
The stern judge was not impressed.
“I believe you’re a lawyer under Obafemi chambers? If your senior lawyer was one of the first lawyers here today, I don’t know the excuse you have to give for coming here , I this repeats itself I’ll be forced to send you our of my courthouse, go ahead and introduce yourself.”
Lara alologized sincerely.
“I’m Lara Agbereme, junior litigator at Obafemi and son’s Law Chamber, a plaintiff on the case of Lagos state government Against Chief Jegede Akununi.”
The court process was going in Favour of the plaintiff, Lara was advising SAN Obafemi , she was an important member of his team , she and Michael had been one of the last lawyers to be employed to the chamber , but she had carved a place for herself , in two years she and Michael had won twenty case ,she was pajd higher than Older lawyers , who had spent more than ten years in the chamber. The chamber was one of the biggest in Lagos with about hundred lawyers .
” After all arguments placed by the defense counsel and the plaintiff, and evidence shown by , the plaintiff , has proven without doubt that you Mr Jegede Akununi is guilty of embezzling and stealing materials contracted to you, in the sum of five billion fifty million, two hundred and twenty five naira ten naira fifty Kobo . You’re hereby sentenced to five years in prison. Your properties confiscated, in Abuja and Lekki area , would be auctioned and the proceed returned to the claimant , the funds in your UBA account shall be paid to the Lagos state government, Counsel Lara you were astounding today, put your head down and learn from your boss he’s the best in this profession , you have a long way to go .”
The clerk called out .
“All rise !”
The stood up and the judge left the courthouse. Lara had presented superior argument and evidence that roped the defendant .
Micheal pulled her aside when they got to the car park .
“Lara why are you doing this to me ? You walked out on me and my family yesterday why ? No respect for my parents? My dad employed you and placed you on a good salary , I have loved you for four years, I’ve engaged you ,I bought you a house and a car! What do you want that I have not done Lara why are you being so unfair to me .”
Lara began to weep , she embraced Micheal, she sobbed on his shoulders , she wept bitterly as he held her . Micheal’s saw the love birds and got into his Toyota Prado SUV , she shook his head and mumbled something to his driver , about how love had gone crazy this days , they drove off . Other lawyers from the chambers laughed at them .
“Micheal na public place una dey o, make una book hotel .”
The lawyer said as he drove off .
“Micheal am sorry that I hurt you, I love you more than anything in the world , I promise to live and die with you alone.
Micheal asked her to join him in his car , that he would send the driver to come pick her car , when they got to the office .
All the staff at Obafemi and son’s Chamber were singing and hailing Lara for being a pivotal reason that the case against Jegede to be won , because he was a small god in Lagos no one could hold him down, but with Lara’s help he was given five years.
Micheal escorted Lara to her office before taking an elevator to his office . There was a knock at the door .
“It’s open please come in .”
It was oga’s secretary Chinonye.
” Good day ma’am oga wants to see you at his office ASAP.”
She nodded wore her jacket and went up on the elevator to the seventh floor , to see Her boss she
got to the reception room the secretary went into his office to inform him , he asked her to tell Lara to come in , behind him was a Jericho wall of books in a shelf . The brown mohagony Wood gave the office an executive look ,a big framed picture sat behind him, he was wearing a white wig ,black lawyer robe , black suit , a white shirt and lawyers neck tie .
He puffed on his cigarette.
“Lara I have told you before today is going to be the last time , you handle your love life , and personal life at your private time . I didn’t build this chambers by laziness, truancy and nonchalance. I worked every day to build this chambers from the ground. I cannot have lazy people spoiling the reputation I’ve built for so long . For thirty five years I’ve never been late for a court sitting, I am always there before the judge, if you ever come late for a sitting you should come back here and pack your luggages before I return or I’ll have the security throw you out .”
Mr Obafemi said to Lara .
“I’m sorry sis , I promise to be better , I won’t let my personal life to interrupt my job here.”
Mr Obafemi stared at her with a menacing eye .
“You better be true to your word , congratulations for your vigilance on the last case , your brilliance gave us the day , go to Mariah I left a parcel foe you .”
Lara went back to her office .
“Lora what are you waiting for say yes !”
Bidemi screamed . Lora got up from the bed with tears streaming her eyes she began to cry .
“Macaulay I don’t deserve your love I done terrible…”
Macaulay got up and put a finger on her lips .
“Don’t cry now so I won’t cry baby just say Yes?”
Lora smiled with tears in her eyes .
“Yes Macaulay I’ll marry you, Macaulay I’ve loved you from the first day I saw you.”
Macaulay picked her from the ground , he screamed at the top of his voice , which got the maid running upstairs to see what it was .
“Thank you Lora,today I promise to cherish you , love you , treasure you above all .”
Bidemi and Ajoke the maid smiled, the chef Mr Ushie who had worked for Macaulay family for a long time came and embraced the two and wished them well . Mrs Susan went back to her room .
Macaulay threw a big party to celebrate his engagement to Lora who had started walking without the crutches.
“Lora I had brought this gift for you, it was at my back pocket , I would have given It you ,even if you had turned down my proposal. But when you accepted my proposal I had to give it to you another day ”
Lora collected the parcel wrapped in a gift box . She opened the wrapper and found a navy blue box , she opened It and found a key to a Mercedes Benz. She embraced Macaulay who stood aside she and Bidemi ran down the stairs to the car garage , where she saw a white Mercedes Benz AMG, the ladies turned around the car and screamed for joy . Mrs Susan was standing afar off , with her arms folded around each other . She stared for some time and returned to her room .
The traditional marriage held at Esagie village in Ekpoma , it was the first time Desmond had seen his ex Susan for twenty years, he couldn’t stare at her eyes , they had to wear a matching outfit .
“Hello Susan how are you doing?”
She ignored him and went about doing her business. Lara did not show up for the wedding, Lora’s course mates who were now medical doctors at various hospitals, even Bidemi had been employed at Federal teaching hospital Ibadan , they were dressed arrays of colours , beautiful shades of agbada and lace painted Esagie village red, live band performed for two days , Chief Babalola SAN his wife, children and his best friend Obafemi and his family where at the wedding, so many bands played traditional Edo songs and Yoruba songs for elated river if people.
Lora was made to go and search for Macaulay with a glass of juice , she searched until he found him and gave him the glass . The crowd cheered and screamed . They both danced together, her father Mr Desmond, Micheal his best friend and bestman with his family joined the new couple in dancing, the space was a jungle of humans , dollar bills flew like rockets, as there descended on the new couple.Mr Desmond danced with his daughter for the first time in twenty seven years, he had apologized to her for missing out from her life , and telling her how selfish he was , they both cried and mended up ,which got Mrs Susan get pissed , but when she had remembered the times she failed Lora , she had to pretend as if she liked the idea of them getting close to each other .
The church was packed full of richly dressed dignitaries, the governor of Lagos Governor Taju Gbadamu was in attendance, with almost all his staff, because Mr Babalola SAN was a friend of the statehouse , the main lawyer representing Lagos state . The pews the Anglican Church headquarters was filled. The car parks were littered with An oxean of endless expensive automobile cars.
The priest came up .
“Macaulay Babalola Ikare do you take the hands of Lora Agbahime that you now hold as your lawfully wedded wife , in richer and for poorer until death do you path?”
Macaulay let tears of joy flowed down his eyes as he beheld his beautiful wife and thought how lucky he was to have the woman of his dream .
“Yes I do ”
He said and the pews screamed in happy unison. Jumping and screaming.
“Lora Agbahime Akoko do you take the hands of Macaulay Babalola Ikare as your lovely husband , in health and wealth, for richer for poorer until death do you path?”
Lora couldn’t hold back the tears she said .
“Yes I do ”
The church was dead silent . Lara was sitting next to her mother crying , so many people wondered why she wasn’t Lora’s best lady instead of Bidemi, but in her heart she was dying , she watched Micheal dancing with his best friend ignoring her pained. She felt like dying , the tears was coming out .
“Lara stop behaving like a little girl , the man in question didn’t want you as a life partner, baby you have Micheal, could you stop crying?
Lara was inconsolable, she would cry and wipe away her tears . Her father had tried to approach her , and she warned him , with anger flowing in her heart like molten magma to stay ten feet from her or get a restraining order. She sat there crying wishing she could stop the wedding.
“Does anyone have any reason or reasons why this two should not be joined together? Such ground of objection should be registered now or you forever hold your peace.”
Lora heart was beating as she washed Lara move uncomfortably on her sit . The one minute seemed like a hundred hour , then the priest said .
“You can now kiss the bride .”
The church roared in happiness,
The reception was holding at Eco hotel. The live band played so beautifully, that the deputy governor sprayed five hundred thousand naira on them . Lora’s Ashebi train marched behind her as they danced to a tune by Phyno Highway , the ladies who had scanty clothes , exposing their cleavages basked to the sounds of music , they wore magenta coloured lace , the men train wore black tuxedos and white shirt and bow tie .
They were different caterers on different tables serving African and continental dishes , Lora danced so much her makeup was washing off . Bidemi was behind Lora all the way , she was her protector .
Lara left her sit came up and joined the dancing people she was making her way to Lora her twin sister then most people realized they were twins because apart from the wedding gown nothing differianted them .
“Where are you going Tolotolo , you can full everybody but not me ! Get back to your sit.”
Bidemi warned Lara , the music was so loud people were so busy dancing that they didn’t catch their attention.
“I want to go and congratulate my sister .”
Bidemi wouldn’t let her move an inch near Lora. When Lora saw the drama she interfered .
“Please guys can you guys drop your hate for each other and be happy for me today ? No fighting or quarreling here ?”
Lara looked at Bidemi menacingly
“Sister I just wanted to wish you a happy wedded life , this elephant here wouldn’t let that be .”
Bidemi almost slapped her , but for the camera covering every where , she suppressed the temptation, she let her be.
“Lora just be careful with this witch !”
Bidemi me said before she went to join the Ashebe girls and groom men to dance .
Lara embraced Lora for a while , she whispered in her eyes .
“You think you can take Macaulay from me ? Lora you’re never going to be happy In this marriage.”
Lora disentangled from the embrace. Shock covered her face, Lara robbed a red handkerchief on Lora stomach as she broke the embrace and hurried away, out of the reception hall. Bidemi noticed the change in Lora’s countenance, she held her hand and asked her .
“Lora what’s the issue? What did she say to you? ”
Lora’s eyes were spinning, she asked Bidemi to help her to her seat . She sat down , Macaulay too saw the change, he came to his wife .
“Lora what’s happening, I saw you talking to Lara and now you’re looking worn out ?”
Lord feigned a superficial smile.
“I’m fine baby go join entertain our guest . ”
He refused to go , he sat with Lora in his arms as if she was about to be stolen from him forever.
They were gifted two Lexus SUV and a total of two hundred and forty two million, Lora was in a hurry to go and and eat the fruit of love with her husband.
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