My Mum and sisters were due back this morning. I couldn’t wait for them to get home and give them the gist. Probably rub it in their faces on how God has not abandoned me; having inseparable non-identical twins as sisters sucked. Now that I have a job with 6 zeros behind annually, maybe things will change. I don’t intend winning my mother’s heart again, I would love to remain the black sheep of the family sha.
I wore my lucky black dress that I made myself and a royal blue blazer and added a little bit of makeup. I looked in the mirror and began to wonder if I was dressing up for him. Secretly, I was. I hope I would run into him today and maybe we would talk. I picked up the car key to my golf 3 (a graduation present from my late dad) and made my way out of the house, Mama Shalewa must not find out ‘have been cruising her car around Lagos. I was almost at the front door when it occurred to me to leave a big note at the front porch. I wrote “Dear Family, I hope you had a great trip.’ Am glad you’re back. I have gone to work and will see you all in the evening. Love, Shalewa”
I could picture the puzzling look on the twin’s faces. OYO. Hehehehehehehehe!!!
I ran back to remove it. I think I would rather keep them in suspense. I got into the car and zoomed off to VI.
I got to work earlier than I thought I would. I said a short prayer and walked into my new office. Oh! I like the sound of that, my office.
Here is to beautiful beginning!!!
The front desk was at work already. I walked to her desk and gave a big smile.
“Good morning” I said cheerfully
“Hello” she stood up and gave me a side hug.
“You look good”
“Thank you, so who will show me to my office?”
“Your office is just down the hallway, it’s the last office to the right”
I walked down to the hallway and turned right as she said. A lady of about my age looked up as I entered.
“Hello” I greeted
“Good morning, you must be Omoshalewa”
“Yes” I smiled and stood in front of her like the statue of Liberty. I didn’t know who she was so I decided to be extremely polite.
“I’m Lydia, I’m a project coordinator”
I relaxed. “Nice meeting you” I threw out my well manicured fingers.
Lydia and I hit it almost immediately. For the next one hour, she briefed me on all I needed to know about the Company, the present project at hand. She told me about my new boss. The ‘boss’ was strict, principled but could be nice; a mood thing. The boss could be my worst nightmare or just a boss. All this would be dependent on how efficient I am on the job she made me understand.
I began to grow chicken feet. Hmm!!! I don’t want to work with an ‘ojuju’ o. She told me she liked my dress and asked that I pull my blazer for her to see. I stood in front of her and pulled it. She was still admiring and we were both talking at the same time when she went mute all of a sudden. Oh, I adore polite people. Only polite people would allow another finish what they were about to say. I went on talking about how I made the dress and how I had learned how to make clothes and all, business was slow this days and bla bla bla; my usual dramatic self, I was making gestures and so on. Lydia’s eyes were twitching.
She suddenly got up and said “Good morning, Mr. Williams.”
Oh oooo!!! The boss was here and he had seen my little fashion show. I turned around quickly and almost shouted “Good morning”
Only my shout came out as a whisper.
“Good morning Lydia” he turned to me
“You must be Shalewa”
He walked into his office and left me with my thoughts.
“Holy shit, somebody bury me. I just ridiculed myself on my first day in front of my Boss. I just ridiculed myself in front of him.. Femi.. Omg! Femi is my boss. Somebody pinch me!!”
I looked at Lydia who was giggling.
“Relax na! He is not that bad o”
“Thank you” I took a seat in the position she had previously pointed out as mine.
I was so confused and uneasy that I had to go to the restroom. I came back into the office and Lydia told me Mr. Williams was waiting for me. Omg!!!
I got up and walked to the front of his office. I knocked and I heard his very husky voice beckoning me to come in.
“Please have a seat” I was a nervous wreck.
“Thank you” I took a seat in front of him. He was studying a book and did not even look up. I calmed myself down and my eyes strayed as I admired his office quietly. He had a nice view of the ocean. His table was magnificent and adorned with several ornaments.
“Miss Benson, anything that catches your fancy?”
I looked up immediately. He was so handsome.
“Ehmmmm” I began to stammer
He interrupted my one minute ‘kolo things’. “Our present project is a film festival coming to Nigeria from the stables of Cannes Film Festival” he paused and continued “Miss Benson, I would like that you come with a pen and a notebook whenever we meet, I hate to repeat myself”
Ghen Ghen Ghen Ghen!!! I af enter it, mo ti wo!!!
“Yes sir” I looked down at my toes.
“Go to Lydia, she’ll give you a notebook and a pen”
I rushed out and rushed back in almost immediately. How old was he? He looked 30 yet sounded 45. He scared me and I liked it.
“We have so much to do ranging from logistics, venue Management, advertisement/PR, sponsorship and so on. I like to work with a chart. So for the next 3 weeks, what you would be doing weekly will be based on a work schedule for each week. We have tight deadlines we have to meet. In 4 months time, we will begin to travel..”
And that was how my morning went.
Lunch time came and Mr Oga finally gave me a break. Lydia took me to the Company’s canteen where we sat down to eat and laugh about my ordeal of this morning.
We talked about University, life outside school and so on.
“So how long have you been working here?” I asked
“This is my 2nd year and it’s been a wonderful experience”.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Please go ahead” she said with her mouth full of vegetable salad
“This morning, how long was Mr. Williams behind me?” I swallowed my rice.
“About 2mins, he came in and I froze, I was going to open my mouth when he signalled me to hush. I don’t think he wanted me to even say ‘good morning’ in the first place” she paused and drank water. “Think he was just catching fun.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Just so you know..” She swallowed and continued “I think he might like girl’s o” now she was whispering. “In fact, I think he is sleeping with one of the project head, the girl’s dad owns some percentage of the Company too, she’s a rich man’s pikin. You know Mr. Williams also owns a large percentage of this company”
I didn’t know that. Interesting! I said in my head. ‘www.gbegborun.com’. I have indeed made a new friend and ‘am guessing she is the Company’s ‘tatafo’.
“Is that so?” I asked
“Yes o, ha! Here she comes”. I turned to look back. Lydia slapped my hands;
“Ahn ahn, don’t look now na”
I looked at my almost finished food immediately.
The ‘Lady’ sat very close and I was able to get a good look. She was flawless, really pretty. We were on our way out when Mr. Oga walked into the canteen. He walked straight to where ‘Miss Flawless’ was seated.
I heard him say “there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you”
She stands to give him an ‘air kiss’ (hmm! Inside the canteen o, hmm!) “Hello darling”.
My heart sank. Adele’s ‘someone like you’ began to play in my head. Life is mean and yeah, ‘someone like you’ is my favourite sad song.
Omoshalewa Benson: Tales of a Lagos babe is written by Tobilola ‘Bella’ Agoro (@tobiagoro)