A ChrisEffe Romance
A story by © Aaron Ansah-Agyeman
The Klever Magg
Location: CHRIS’ OFFICE,
A large modern office, brightly lit, replete with modern art and office equipment.
CHRIS BAWA is sitting on an elegant swivel chair behind a huge oak desk. He is dressed in an excellently tailored black suit and crisp white shirt.
His necktie is loosened at the neck. The office door opens and a smartly-dressed elderly woman walks in. She is holding a slim black file, and her face splits into a happy grin when she sees Chris.
She is EVELYN BOAMPONG, 55 years old. She is the CEO of Slash Designs. Chris gets to his feet and a smile of welcome crosses his handsome face.
Did the Board like the designs?
(Drops the file on the desk, and then she walks up to him and hugs him gently)
Liked? That’s an understatement. It blew them off their feet, Chris. We are using your designs exclusively for the African Fashion Show in South Africa this September!
Exclusively? That’s a bit deep, Mrs. Boampong. Gabriel isn’t going to like this. He is the Head Designer after all, and I think his designs are decent too.
Decent is the right word, Chris. Gabby is good, we all know that, and we certainly appreciate his dedication to Slash Designs over the years, but we are going with the best for the South African show, and the best is your FURY collection.
She drops into a chair and crosses her legs.
You’ve not reached that level of greatness yet, my dear friend. But you will get there. The Board has recognized your potential, and that’s why we’re going with you. I know how concerned you are, and I know old Gabby has been giving you the cold shoulder lately. That was bound to happen. Old lions die hard, and that’s that. To break the ice, the Board has decided to let Gabby hold the lines in Ghana. We want to send you to South Africa in September. You’re going to open the Slash Designs lines over there, and you’re going to send it International.
She stands up, reaches across and pushes the black file towards him.
You can’t please everybody in this industry, Chris. You’re young, and you’re going places. Ride with the tide, boy. I’ll see you tomorrow.
She heads for the door as he opens the file. His voice halts her just as she reaches for the handle. He is holding up an elaborately-designed golden envelope.
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You left this in the file.
Oh, sorry. Almost forgot. That’s a wedding invitation. Mr. Rupert Henderson, our South African partner, is getting married on Saturday in Takoradi. The Chairman wants you to be present.
Me? No, Eve. I mean …I’m taking Elaine to Akosombo on Saturday. I’ve been putting it off for decades. There’s a favourite aunt she wants to visit and …
Old aunts can wait, Chris. Rupert is more than a partner to us. The man practically owns the South African business market. He has links, he has contacts, he has political clout and he is probably the wealthiest man in Africa. He is immensely pleased with your designs. This is the golden chance, boy. You get into his good books and your doorway to fame and glory is wide open. That’s why the Chairman wants you to attend this wedding.
I guess I have no choice then.
No, you don’t, my boy.
This Rupert, he looks quite old, right? The guy’s nudging close to seventy, so what’s all this about? He’s South African, so why’s he marrying in Ghana anyway?
Actually he will be sixty-five this Saturday. He’s marrying on his birthday, incidentally. The lady is a Ghanaian, and that’s why he’s marrying here. From what I hear she’s quite young too, far younger than he is. She’s around thirty, I guess.
Thirty years? I’ll be damned! She’s young enough to be his grand-daughter, for Christ’s sake! She’s probably doing this for his money. Women and money!
Naughty, incorrigible Chris. Do not judge, my boy. It may be true love, you know. Get your act together and make sure you are at the wedding on Saturday. The Chairman and I will leave on Wednesday. We will expect you there. Your Mom is in Takoradi, right? You can take the opportunity to see her. You can leave on Thursday, if you wish. But let me know tomorrow. Good night, Chris.
She walks out and closes the door.
(hesitates a moment, then opens the envelope. He sniffs it. He shakes his head, smiling, and he looks very impressed.)
Boy, boy, boy! This old geezer sure knows how to flaunt money, man! The envelope is perfumed!
He pulls the card half-way out from the envelope, but just then his mobile phone rings. He snatches it up and puts it to his ear. The envelope is still clutched in his right hand.
Hello, my dearest Angel. Worried about me, right?
He listens for a while, and then a smile crosses his face.
Sorry, Love. I had to wait for the Board Meeting to close. Something good just happened, my love. Seems to me that you’re looking at the new CEO of Slash Designs, South Africa Lounge!
He listens for a while again, and then bursts out laughing happily.
You keep it iced, my love. I am coming right home, and we sure are going to celebrate!
He cuts off the phone. Puts the wedding invitation on his swivel chair and quickly packs his laptop into its bag.
He heads for the door with his laptop case slung across his shoulder. At the door he pauses, remembering the envelope, and then goes back for it.
He walks through the huge glass doors of Slash Designs. He walks to the car park and heads for a sleek shiny black Nissan Pathfinder.
He puts his laptop bag on the passenger seat and flings the wedding card on top of the bag.
The envelopes lands, and the card slides further out of it, and now the face of a young woman can be seen clearly on the light-golden invitation card.
A security man beckons him to reverse, and Chris slowly manoeuvres the car out.
He blasts his horn to the security man, and drives out of the huge gates of Slash Designs.