Tuesday, 27 June 2017

11. Every Character, Every Move Important

Business, similar to any strategy is a game of chess; Each character on the board is critical and every move getting you closer or further away from your goals. The problem is many people think the game starts when you get into business, but the truth is, you are always preparing for or playing critcal moves. Many also try to separate business, religious and social life, the truth is that your character and success in one will affect your character and success in another  simply because in all these areas the most crucial skill is your ability to relate with other human beings – to build networks, negotiate, sell, give and as a result of all this get what you want and need in return ...

Having been asked to step out of Elan’s room, Leila and Zan wait outside at the hospital reception but soon start strolling towards the parking lot. Its approaching midday and the scorching sun makes them thirsty and hungry. Zan suggests they should go get some food and get something for Elan while at it as she does not like the hospital food.

‘What if they release her while we are away’, wonders Leila.

Zan knowingly replies, ‘No they will not.’ His sister frowns at him. What did he go do she wonders. Leila, ‘You seem so sure! wait, hope you did not tell Uncle to keep her there?’

Zan sounding defensive yet equally desperate explains that he had been worried about Elan’s continued exhaustion after the first 24 and so had Al. When they mentioned this to the doctor, Uncle Kunle,  had explained the possible reasons for this and asked for extra tests which Al had agreed to. From that conversation it was likely she would be spending at least the rest of the week in hospital which was good for her to rest. According Al, if she went back home, Elan was likely to continue working through her maternity leave instead of resting.

Leila looks at him shocked. ‘you guys felt it was ok to decide to do extra tests and keep her in hospital without letting her know?’

‘Seriously not like that. She did look tired and Uncle said he would make his professional opinion and if rest will be good for her he will keep her. But I will not deny, I need to spend time with her sister. I have missed her, I have missed her terribly; her smile, her touch ... and waiting all this time to be able to hold her again ...ah...it has meant so much to me. She completes me-’

Leila cant believe her ears, ‘Zan You are talking about a woman who is not only married but has just given birth to another man’s babies, not child o, children, like one two in the past 24 hours! What’s wrong with you!

Zan can’t help himself and holding back tears that are now glistening in his eyes. ‘You do not get it do you? I regret ever taking her for granted.’

And he had taken her for granted, but that was years back.  And in due season Karma had come calling. He had gone on to marry the fun lively young girl he had wanted to after breaking Elan’s heart but the fun ride soon became a roller coaster of issues; the most important being loosing the renewal of a contract from a client whose director had had history with his wife. This affected his reputation as one of Lagos’ finest business lawyers and with that the value of the law firms portfolio went from several million dollars to just a  skeleton of what his father had built in his lifetime. Ten years of his own hard work since he left law school went down the drain. That is, until Elan once again threw him a lifeline as her business continued to grow and the need for a law firm to handle the range of businesses they were involved in became apparent.

Unlike his wife, a relationship with Elan or just having her around meant problems were solved, storms calmed, things were just so much more peaceful. No ugly pasts with wounds that had not healed, no drama, peace, the very things that had made him cheat on her in the first place was what he longed for now.

‘She is just good for me. I love her with my life. She is my soulmate. So different from that drama queen who doesn’t care for anyone except her self.’ says Zan referring to the wife he ended up with in the heat of the moment.

To be fair both, he and his wife, were equally wild and impulsive at the time. Nina was not mentally ready for a child but when she found out she was pregnant, felt she could tie him down and secure her future given her father had totally overlooked her in his will. Other than that, her two brothers had scrambled for and completely mismanaged the family estate making it not worth the legal documents they were written on. The hotels, supermarket chain, mining company and other property went into receivership within 2 years after the brothers took over the estate, leaving them with nothing. Nina was quite self centered and generally had no love for anyone except herself - not even her son.

Elan on the contrary had grown up from a different background. Being a first born and with the early death of her parents, she had nothing and no one to depend yet she had the burden of four siblings on her shoulders. She did not take the opportunities that came her way for granted. She was grateful and loving, probably too loving, patient and considerate. She not only was concerned about the people she was related to but about the community, what was going on in her environment and so many other things that affected the economy simply because, in her words, they eventually affected her.

Problem with this was that as a result her goodness was not only assumed and taken for granted by Zan , but by everyone around her including her family. Probably she needed to have been firm, set some boundaries and limits as she was doing now. But as is said, wherever you wake up that’s your morning. All said and done, they were all better people now, definitely Elan being the better one off at this point. But who can tell what the future holds?

As they continue talking, Zan can't take his mind off Elan, ‘did you see her with the babies? And She reads my mind, knows my heart - I could talk to her for hours and not get tired. Fine, I hate even the thought of her loving another but if that is what I have live with to be near her, I am cool with it. I don’t even think of sleeping with her anymore. I just want to be close - whatever crumbs she throws I will eat ... I messed up, I really messed up Ah!’

He breaks down as he shares with his sister and Leila, who has hardly seen Zan break down, and always protective, comforts him. ‘There, there, bro. It’s OK. It’s fine. I will see what I can do.’

Zan, not wanting to ever give up hope entertains the thought that Elan has been happy to have him around in the past couple of days. Short of killing and burying Al in his mind, he goes on talking. His imagination completely runs wild. Eventually the thought of Elan’s high moral standards make him come to the possible realization that Elan would never leave Al, even if she were still in love with him. Leila however, wanting to keep her brother as he has been in the past couple of days gives him hope. ‘Hey! come off it now. Everyone gets a second chance. Just make sure you are there when the opportunity presents itself.’

Zan cheers up again and remembers he is hungry, ‘Ooh get in, let’s just go get the food. For now she is in hospital and I can get to her. Today that is all that matters. Hope her husband will be very busy for the rest of the week.’

They laugh and drive off. Zan once again his cheerful self while Leila is thoughtful. Obviously still touched by her brothers pain and need to be with Elan


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