TEN HOURS EARLIER
I am statablending there staring at the fool Mr Emeka made to apologise to me, i don’t know what Mr Emeka did or had on him, but i was suprised to see him bend. Known him for what, two- three days and there is one word summed up to describe Brian, “’Arrogant”’ maybe two “”a dickhead and arrogant bastard”’. Okay that is more than two but who cares.
There seemed to be a chip on his shoulders, was it shame or was it build up anger waiting to be unleashed, on me?
I smile cynically,
You must have won the battle for a day Brian, right now i can’t pay you back tit for tat. It wasn’t that you messed with me alone,you messed with my life, my career and what i have built over the years all because of that one post…
That’s okay, but when i come for you, you wouldn’t see it coming. For now, i will clean your mess and secure my job and salvage my name…then i will show you what they do to roaches and a why shoes are used most times to swamp them dead.
I watch him frown, watching the door as Mr Emeka leave and i swear he wishes he could strangle the man to his death, instead he folds his fists, moves away from the door and grabs a seat. I may not want him here but it doesn’t look as though i had a choice, but i could still ignore him too.
But why should i, he did it, it was his mess, his mess and i had to lose sleep, got a call from the Boss of the Boss and he giving me an ultimatum and have Mr Emeka caution me, it was his mess and he too has to help.
But we know he wouldn’t. I lean back on the desk “’Where were we?’’
“the Construction Polaris has asked that if we don’t want them to pull out that we need to renegotiate thier offer, cutting down on 50% percent, price and summation”’
“’That’s alot, we can’t do that, our profits would be gone from when we are done designing their project and putting it into work”’ Bola says shaking his head as he goes through the file “”It’s outrageous now, they didn’t even ask for 10%”’
“’everyone wants to take the opportunity to cash in on all this our broken fence”’ Tomiwa says, adjusting her top, her cleavage bcecame more visible, i figure it wasn’t me she was trying to show that to, but the fool who is seated and frowning.
“’Well we obviously can’t give them that percentage, that means we spend more achieving that which they want and we won’t make nothing out of it, tell them 15 and that is how high we can go”’ Bola nods
“’John, please recheck the zion groups and affiliations, let’s make sure we are still on the same track, Tomita-“’
I turn to look at him, “’I am sorry did i say anything that tickled your fancy?’’
“”It’s Tomiwa not Tomita, least you can do is get a name correctly”’ he said, hands folded and legs crossed and staring at me, the others turn to him
“’It’s fine Brian, madame it’s okay..”’ Tomiwa smiles at me apologetically, John throws him an irritated look
“’Tomiwa “’ i turn away from him ignoring him “’My apologies, the files you have compiled for today, is there any more lope holes?’’
“”A deep one, there is a small circle of people who is feeding off this like its the next best thing in town”’
“’Our competition“’ John says nodding
“’I noticed ths spike in the charts when we went through it yesterday and when i got home last night’’
“”We just have to squash it once and for all, our media correspondents saying they have been walking over night and it should have died down by now, we have a conference in another hour, live feed with the foreign markets, they just want to know if this would affect their investments in J.k.Andrews ventures”’
I check my time “’That’s fine, Untill then, Tombra please help me get to Betty, i have some documents that is being faxed in, let me go through them here. We would be working on Presentation of the company’s outlook, now is the time to rebrand, we might as well begin, they say there is nothing like bad publicity when you can turn it into a gold mine,and that is what we are going to do, rise from the ashes like a pheonix”’
Another heartfelt snort, it came twice..then i look at the fool to find him shaking his head..
Ignoring him again i watch Tombra leaving the room and then i turn myself back to the white paper board, where i had drawn charts and possibly methods to tackle the issue on ground..
While John, Bola and Tomiwa and i disscussed and putting heads together, typing away at the keyboard, going up and back down crossing and rewriting on the board, Brian sat in his corner,hitting the table with his legs, he had gotten up to leave , disappearing and i was glad he was gone.
But Mr Emeka came into the room to give me some files and allow me speak on a direct line with an investor..just after we were done with the live conference.
“’Where is Brian, i thought i asked him to come here and help out to clear the mess he put everyone into plus this company, where is he?’’
He looks at me, i shrug “’I dont know Mr Emeka, i am not his keeper and you already know that i really don’’t want him here so i didn’t ask”’
He turns to the others “He didn’t say?’’
“’No sir”’ they chorused, he backs away picking his phone and placing a call to the secretary
“”Get me across to Brian please”’
I turn back to the team and continued my work, it wasn’t until i heard Mr Emeka’s voice rise did i turn to see him standing behind the door, his back to us..
“’If you don’t come back right this minute Brian, forget 20%, i will remove 50% no, make that a 100, the more second you waste, the more reason i have to not even pay you your salary and there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can do…come back here and actually do help out, i don’t care if you have to tuck your tale between your legs, i don’t care if you need to stuff your pride into your ass, i don’t care…all i care is that i see you in this room and actually do some work and if i come and i don’t see it, forget this month’s and next month and i wont have spare one thousand nairas to give and trust me, your immunity plug isnt coming back on anytime soon son,not while you keep doing you. And just so you know, i have the go ahead of you-know-who”’ with that he cuts and comes back into the room
“’Meanwhile Miss Adora, good job, the Boss says he is seeing positive progress, whatever you are doing , do it well”’ he says and right before he turns “”If he gives you any trouble do me a favour and report him to me”’
The Fool? I hope not!
He turns walking away
“”I wish they would fire him “’John says rubbing his jaw..
“’we don’t breed arrogancy here”’ Peter adds pushing up his glasses up the bridge of his nose, he was the most quiet amongst them, he prefers to do his job, talk less and achieve.
I dont indulge them, i was happy the he-goat wasn’t here.
“’Let us continue’’
Brian , bored and tired of seeing the witch’s face leaves the room and heads out..
His tummy had left from singing little butterflies songs to a roar of solders on the battlefeild. When he gets outside, his face constorts into a frown because he remembered that he had nothing other than the one thousand naira Mr Emeka had given him and to remember that his father had frozen his accounts, home and abroad , he was practically a poor man walking.
The irony of life.
One minute you are flying first class, counting dough and spending it without pricing or asking for change, and living like a prince, the next minute you are reduced to a PA and..
He feels his phone vibrate, no..not his phone, that asshole’s phone Gesto, another time, when he gets back his standing, he would deal with Gesto.
His frown deepens when he sees that it was an unknown number
“’Hey, money owe-er, this is just to remind you that you gat’s show here 8pm sharp, i hope you washed your waiter uniform oh, look sharp”’
“’Who the hell is this?’’
“”i am the one who would break your nose and feed your balls to my dog and allow him taste your testecles if you don’t show. 8pm sharp else we are coming for you”’ the voice says, he could hear another person in the background laughing, he swore under his breath
‘’Whatever!! I hear you”
Tempted to fling the phone he thinks better against it..
Uniform? his natural blackass, he has no idea where he fling that shit and the bow tie making him look ridiculous, the fact that he had to be on briefs all night last night wasn’t funny, some ladies were so forward that they reached to squeeze his nuts..
Well he was well endowed and it was visible, and he likes to play, only when he was the one calling the shots or giving himself freely..
But last night? He was violated and he didn’t like it and the more he thinks about it the more the name Adora Chime comes to mind, it was because of her he was in this mess..
He wishes he hadn’t walked into her office that day, he wouldn’t have gone to that club and ordered for stuff and wouldn’t have been made to walk half naked because his high mighty father blocked his accounts all because he was paying that witch back for humuilating him.
How was it his fault, and yet women would claim violence against women.
What about violence, emotional truama against men. Weren’t men allowed to feel hurt after being abused?
It wasn’t his fault, she started it and he just took the game higher, how was he supposed to know it would affect his father’s company image so bad to have people strenghtening to pull out for a stupid picture..
He really didn’t understand it. He watched the news, he saw the internet talks, he saw it all but he wants to just tell all of them that they were fools. What happened to laughing at the picture, make some bad joke, use her name and face to do some stupid skits, give her a bad name and then leave his father’s company out of it. Now his father was punishing him for what wasn’t his fault, he should have sacked that witch and sent her back with her broom from whereever she came from,
But no….he freezes his account.
“’Damn you Jonathan Keneka Andrews, if i didn’t love you and know you love me, i would say you hated me…but…damnit!!!’’ he says
Coming outside he pauses for a second, as his stomach growls again..
One anonnying thousand naira..!!!
Akara and bread his father said, mama-put his father said.
Was it not safe to say the world has come to an end? Him…Brian Andrews, son of one of the high class, elite family…was holding just a thousand naira and no idea of how he would survive till end of the month.
This was bad.
He stood there, wondering if he should just walk into a fast food and eat and then call his fathers name and hope it would work..No ! he rubs his lips, he doesn’t want a repeat of owing . No!
Then he saw her, a lady passing by with her wheelbarrow…his stomach sang… he goes down the stairs looking behind him.
But what if one of the staffs comes and sees him even talking to a woman carrying food on her wheelbarrow, what would it say about him. Despite people not knowing who he was, he still had this certain aura he dispicts as not being in their class, he dresses well without overdoing it, he smells good and there was no way he could not wear designers but John and that his four eyes dude always felt as though whatever he was wearing were, how did he call it “’Aba made, or China”’ and even held conversations about it.
He never indulged their talks because, talking to fools would make him one.
He hates that John guy, even more now that he seems to be that witch’s lap dog, maybe when everyone was away and the lights were off he was fappying her off under the table while she enjoys it with her head thrown back in excited glee.
The witch and her dog. He snorts again
He sees the woman carry food on her wheelbarrow roll pass, he sighs, maybe he should follow her at a safe distance so that once he is clear from the office view he can get food before he dies of starvation.
He begins to follow her, stands at the corner as she sells food to strangers and waits till she moves again before he continues, always looking back to make sure no one was following him.
He must have walked quite a distance with her, sweating under the sun when he realised that he was far away from the company, then he quickens his step and gets to her..
“’Hey woman, stop”’ he gestures to her, his tummy aching, he holds on to it “’ woman stop”’ he shouts
The woman didn’t, she continues on her way, Brian runs up to her and pulls her by her shirt which causes the woman to turn in anger and her hands lands on his face, she sets her hands in a fist ready to box him.
“’You be thief?Try me, try thief from me i go blow you, you dey mad, you know who i be? “’ she dips her hands into her pocket and brings out a knife
“’Try me, you think say i never notice you dey follow me? thief, make i cut you, try thief from me na wound you go receive…oloshi, come,try am”’
Brian is holding his face in shock and moves back as she shows him the knife
“’Are you mad? Do i look like a thief to you with the way i am dressed, are you made woman? Put down the knife”’ he says his eyes enlarging as she swings it from side to side
“”Them no dey write am for face, ehen, dress ke, abi cloth wei you thief? touch my money i go cut you up use you do suya, you dey mad”’ she threatens him with the knife
“’I dont need your money you foolish woman, i was following you so i can buy food, what the hell is wrong with people in Port Harcourt, i wanted to buy food, Jesus!!’’
She eyes him, up amd down, then looks at him “’Sure shei na food you won buy?’’
“’Do i look as though i am lying, and you slapped me you foolish woman. If i were not a gentleman you would have gotten your teeths knocked out”’ he runs his face again “’Or if you were a man, i would have given you a black eye too”’
She laughs “’As I dey reach na you think say man fit beat me? You no see my christian mother hand for here abi the knife i dey hold no dey useful abi the punch wei i dey seat for my hand na for show? Before you know my teeth i for done cut your thing wei una dey think dey give una power, if i hold am with one hand squeeze am, you go begin cry and beg like girl…make i hold am, make i squeeze am, you won die?’’ she threatens him
Brian automactically blocks his member with two hands and moves away..”’You are scary”’
“’No!! I won’t let no thief steal my hard days work”’
They are staring at each other..
Brian shakes his head and steps back further, “’Whatever i don’t eat food from crazy people anyways”’ he says walking away, by his second step the growling from his stomach was loud enough for the deaf to hear, he holds his stomach, then he pauses and turns back slowly
She is eyeing him, then she puts down the knife and then opens her cooler
“’Come chop jor, before you go die here, na fine fine boys wei dey fall for street dey die.. i no know why na them be thief pass, come chop before your sense go commot, see fine cloths see fine face, your yahoo no pay again?’’ she asks dishing food in a disposal plate, rice, beans, plantain and meat and stew she packs in the plate..
“’I don’t do Yahoo, do i look like a yahoo boy? Just because i am coming to buy food doesn’t mean that i don’t have the money to eat at a five star restuarant and own this streets if i want…”’
“’Ehen na so them dey talk….take jor”’ she pushes the food to him with a sachet of water “’Na three hundred naira be my money.”’
He eyes the food, the aroma was making his mouth water, he takes it, the worms in his tummy were jumping in excitement ..he dips his hands into his pocket and gives her the one thousnad naira note, she gives him change. He is still standing there and looking at the food
“”I no posion am if that na weitin you dey think, even if i poison am e no good?….atleast you will not die hungry”’ she laughs, Brian’s head shoots up
She laughs again “’na joke i dey oh, person no fit play with una again, biko eat jor, make i dey go my way’’ she begins to move away but Brian wouldn’t open his food to eat.
What if it was actually poison, what if she doesn’t have a good hygiene, what if she cooked this in her bathroom, what if they were maggots inside the food. She looked unkempt, wheeling food in a wheelbarrow and and……
The worms in his stomach were kicking the walls, he swear he could hear them say “”We don’t care, open your damn mouth and eat that food so we can have some loving down here damnnit”’
He sighs and opens the lyon bag used in covering the food and the smell made his legs weak, without thinking he takes the spoon and lifts a spoonful of it..
Dear Lord, if i die, let me come back like a ghost and haunt my father for freezing my account, then let me haunt that witch for making me get into this state in Jesus name, Amen.
He keeps taking a spoon after the other and before long he is halfway through the plate, standing at the edge of the road and eating, eyes closed, relief on his face.. when he was done, he takes the pure water, cleans the edges and then drinks it.
“’You never die abi, you still dey alife?’’ the woman’s voice comes to him, he turns to look at her, he thought she had gone.