The One For Sarah, By Jane Obonomen

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THE ONE FOR SARAH
THE ONE FOR SARAH

By Jane Obonomen

The One for Sarah is a film produced by Babatunwa Aderinokun and Uche Okocha. The movie portrays a young lady who has built a defensive wall around herself after experiencing trauma from her previous relationship. She continues to live in fear, having escaped from her abusive boyfriend to the point that a text message from him rips her of sanity. Her concerned best friend urges her to try love again but she is reluctant and when she does, she does not let her guard down.

The movie starts with Sarah (Beverly Naya) stepping out of her car, angry that a date has gone wrong, and regretting having given it a chance. She calls Lizzy (Bimbo Ademoya)to vent her anger and in return, Lizzy softens her mood. This doesn’t last long before Kabiru, (Brother Shaggi) the estate gatekeeper locks the gate, leaving her outside begging to no avail. Her options are to either walk a long distance to the front gate or jump over the fence. She opted for the latter. While she is at it, she is greeted by Michael, (Bucci Franklin) a photographer who takes pictures of her. She begs to delete the photos and he is nice enough to hand her his phone to do the honours but when she sees other pictures of half-dressed ladies, she concludes that Michael must be a pervert and hurries away. The next morning shows Sarah doing her ritual confession of being a beautiful, successful, phenomenal, and great woman. It is a therapeutic confession to restore her confidence trampled upon by Adeshola, her former boyfriend (Daniel Etim).

At her fashion store, Mrs Joy, (Adunni Ade) a friendly customer walks in excitedly, to buy some dresses for a hot date with her husband. Sarah is surprised that after fifteen years of marriage, her customer is still madly in love with her husband. She doesn’t know if that can ever be her story. That night, as she approaches the gate, she sees Kabiru trying to lock the gate and runs to beat him to it but unfortunately, her jumpsuit is ripped. Going further, she meets Fred (Uzor Arukwe) who offers her his blazer to cover up the torn dress. They exchange resume after which Sarah promises to get his jacket dry cleaned and returned. Fred arrives at his office to meet Mr. Adeshola waiting for him. Sarah’s call interrupts their conversation but he ignores it to return it after the meeting. She tells him his blazer is ready for return. He asks her for a date instead. Although she is excited, she agrees on the condition that she can leave if she feels uncomfortable. Lizzy, in a bid to encourage Sarah, buys a fitting dress from Sarah’s collection for her. When Sarah shows fear that Fred may be a horrible person like her ex, Lizzy shoves the thought away. The same day, when she’s about to close for the day, a lady walks in for a brief shopping. She begs Sarah to hold on while she calls her brother who is around the corner to come pay for the clothes. Her brother strolls in and it happens to be the photographer from the first scene. He jests when he sees Sarah and enquires about her name but since Sarah won’t spill, he names her fence girl.

The next day, Sarah wears her new dress to the date with Fred. Fred is thrilled when she tells him all she wants from a man is kindness. They are having fun until she excuses herself to use the restroom and on her return, she sees Fred and a lady hugging each other. Without any form of confrontation, she blocks his number immediately and goes home alone and sad.  Fred, in frustration, calls her continuously but she is unreachable. He waits long enough till he is sure that she must have left. He loves her already. He helps drunken Vera to the car and drives her home but is mad that she may have ruined his perfect date. When Sarah gets to the estate gate, she finds it locked. In exhaustion, she calls Kabiru for help but to no avail. Luckily, the photographer who calls her fence girl saves the day by unlocking the gate with a spare key but she doesn’t show gratitude. At home, the night gets worse when she receives a text message saying, you’ve left your old place but I’ll find you. She breaks down in tears.

The next morning, Michael shows up at her fashion house with a potential client who runs an agency. She is impressed by Sarah’s designs. He offers her a business proposition to make costumes for the Agency’s models. Sarah, as a victim of man’s inhumanity to man, wonders why he is helping her. She doesn’t believe it’s only for the love of her top-notch designs. Mrs. Joy walks in, surprised to see Michael at Sarah’s store, and asks him if he’s hitting on Sarah. It is here Michael gets to know that the fence girl is Sarah. When he leaves, Sarah asks Mrs. Joy what she knows about him. Joy tells her he is a reputable photographer who shoots for magazines and models. She is proud of Sarah for having him at hers and urges her to do a good job for him.

Meanwhile, Fred shares his frustration with his receptionist and later with Michael about still trying to reach Sarah by the only means he knows; her phone number. Fred is a caring person and this is reflected in his relationship with his receptionist. Michael and his two sisters are his family and he has been involved in their growth both socially and educationally. Michael, on the other hand, is a sweet and playful fellow who recognizes skill and elevates it. He is protective of Sarah.  On-site with Michael, at the photo shoot session, Sarah receives a text again; You can’t run forever, which switches her to a fidgety state in a flash. That night, when she enters her house, she is greeted by a voice, “Hey babe”. She is in shock as her chest heaves up and down. It is Mr. Adeshola, Fred’s client.

In the morning, Fred shows up at Sarah’s door but Lizzy answers the door and tells him off. It appears that she was battered by Adeshola the previous night. She tries to restore Sarah’s self-esteem as they go through her therapeutic confession.  When Lizzy leaves, Fred knocks again. Swollen-faced Sarah opens the door to a perplexed Fred. No word is said as she bursts into tears. Fred doesn’t leave till in the morning, still oblivious to recent events.

It’s been days already and Michael is worried about Sarah’s disappearance. When she resumes and Michael asks her why, she’s tough to say “I’m busy”. In his irritation at her response, he takes off her eyeglasses, revealing her black eye. Enraged, he asks who was responsible but she tells him to mind his business. Switching to an official countenance, he shows her the product of their recent collaborations but uninterested Sarah who doesn’t believe in Michael’s sincerity, tells him he’s putting so much effort because he wants to have carnal knowledge of her.  Embarrassed Michael informs her that she is not near his spec and warns her not to mix business with pleasure. In disgust, he tells her to get revenge for her black eye.

The next scene shows Michael and Sarah having a photo shoot session at the beach. She apologises to Michael for yesterday. They fraternize. He asks her about the black eye and lets her know she can call him for help. In the estate, Michael is going to drop Sarah off when she sees Adeshola and Fred talking outside, on the street. At the sight of Adeshola, Sarah coils, visibly panicking. She tells Michael that that’s him. He pulls over, steps out of the car, and gives Adeshola a staggering blow on the face.  Fred stands between his biggest client and his friend-turned-brother, confused. Adeshola leaves, still claiming ownership of Sarah. Fred goes after Sarah. Seeing them together has made her conclude that they are a pair. It is here she tells Fred that she caught him with another girl on their date night. Fred explains that Vera and Michael are like siblings to him but she walks away anyway. She continues working with Michael at a location where Mrs. Joy visits and happens to know the agency owner. She is proud of Sarah’s achievements but notices that she is unhappy. When she probes, Sarah tells her about Fred. Mrs. Joy advises her not to complicate things and settle with him if she sees a future with him and if they like each other. At the close of business, Sarah asks Michael to tell her about Fred. Michael shares how Fred saved him from thuggery, helped Vera get back to school, and made Gloria his receptionist. Sarah asks if he is violent. Michael assures her that Fred will never hit a woman. Sarah then sends a text to Fred asking for a meeting.  When Michael drops her at hers, she invites him in to see some more designs but danger looms. Upon entry, Adeshola hits Michael with an iron, knocking him out. He drags Sarah by the hair, torturing her. Fred shows up and a fight ensues between the two men. Finally, Sarah hits Adeshola with a kettle after which he passes out. Sarah hugs Fred and tells him not to ever hurt her. They kiss. One year later, Lizzy is pregnant for Michael and the movie ends with Sarah and Fred kissing each other.

Jane Obonomen is a prolific writer, public affair analyst and literary critic. Her interest in listening to other people’s stories makes her an accurate story teller. She writes in from Lagos.