November 16th 8:00pm
‘So you mean just like that, the man offered you a job?’ Mama asked with a skeptic look, as she looked away from the tray of beans in front of her.
‘Yes ma’ I answered not able to hide my smile
‘God is good o! My sleepless nights is gradually coming to an end’
‘Mama, pray for me. So he doesn’t change his mind and the interview should go well too’
‘It’s always mama pray for me, go on your knees and ask God, what if I am not here? Anyways, I am always praying for you.’
I smiled knowing this was her subtle way of reminding me of my dead prayer life.
‘Mama, I will pray about it. Let me go and iron the dress I would wear.’ I said as I headed to the room we both shared.
‘Be fast and come and put this beans on fire’
‘Mama, I won’t eat beans o! I can’t risk having a running stomach tomorrow, I will make noodles and eat instead’
‘Ok o’.. ‘Ehen but Yvette how will you tell madam Vera you are leaving?’
‘Mama, let me get the job first. When I get to that river I will cross it’ I answered.
‘Always procrastinating, you will get the job. Do your best and ask God to finish up the rest’ She said
I couldn’t sleep as I recollected all the research I did last night, I was even more worried as I had no idea what the company was into. In my excitement, It didn’t occur to me to ask, suddenly the pessimistic side of me started giving me excuses. I wondered how I would make it on time for the interview, I didn’t know who to turn to for advice.
My mind kept running in circles as I got more nervous, as I didn’t want to let Mr Ifeanyi down. I smiled as I recollected everything again, I had played it over and over again in my head and each time it didn’t lose the thrill it gave me. I drifted off to sleep at 3:00am still wondering what tomorrow held for me.
November 17th 5:30 PM
‘E be like say you get appointment with one bobo, this one you dey look your watch since’ Debby inquired
‘No o’ I gave a fake laugh ‘I have to drop by at my tailor’s’, you remember I told you I have a wedding this weekend’ I answered lying
‘Ok o, 7:00pm go soon reach na’
‘Where did madam go to?’ I asked her
‘How I wan know?, why you no ask am when she dey commot’
I went silent as I was thinking of a way out, my closing hours was 7:00pm and I realised I didn’t mention that to Mr Ifeanyi, I didn’t know when the interview time would be. ‘Yvette! You’re so stupid’ I scolded myself as I chewed my lips nervously.
I searched for his number from his reservation template, dialled the numbers but couldn’t initiate the call.
‘Debby, give me 5 minutes. I will be right back, I need to get something outside’
‘Ok, she said without arguing
I finally gathered the courage and dialed the number with my heart racing, at the third ring, I was already contemplating hanging up when I heard a thick voice from the other end
‘Hello sir, my name is Yvette, the girl that delivered the cake yesterday’
‘Ok’ He said
‘ I…I just wanted to confirm the time for the interview? I said as I fidgeted with my hair, and kept pacing up and down
‘when do you close?’
‘How long will it take you to get here?’
‘Depends on traffic, 30mins maximum’ I answered.
‘Ok, Mr John will be here, ask the front desk lady to direct you’
‘Ok sir, thank you sir’
He hung up without a response, I wondered if he has changed his mind or was having second thoughts.
‘Yvette, you think the worst always!’ I chastised myself as I walked back to Vera’s bakery.
As I struggled to get the gown over my head, I didn’t want to take the risk of unzipping the gown as I had no one to assist me zip it back. The office was deserted as almost everyone had gone home, no one was coming into the restroom so I knew I had to wear the dress with caution. With all the caution I could muster, I finally got the gown to slide down my body.
I went over to the mirror as I reapplied my powder, hoping my red lipstick was not too loud. The gown accentuated my curves as I hoped I wasn’t dressed inappropriately.
‘So, what can you offer this company if we bring you on board’ Mr John asked as he maintained eye contact with me for a few seconds. I willed myself not to look away, I wondered when the series of questions will end. He seemed bent on objecting every word I said. I couldn’t decide if he was annoyed with me or pushing me to see if I had the brains for the job.
Twenty minutes gone and it looked like the interview just got started, I could feel sweat breaking out in my forehead, I had twisted my handkerchief severally under the table.
‘You studied Mass Communication in school, why are you not applying in media houses?’ He went on
I almost rolled my eyes, as I wondered if I had met or offended this man before.
As I was about to cook up one of the sweet lies we tell in job interviews, the office door opened and my heart beat tripled as Mr Ifeanyi stepped in. I prayed, I don’t have a cardiac arrest before today’s ordeal is over.
‘Good evening, Ifeanyi’ Mr John said ‘I thought you had gone home’
‘I was about leaving, when Ada at the front desk told me you were still here with Yvette’ He said not giving me a single glance or acknowledging my presence
‘Good evening sir’ I said
He simply nodded in my direction as he stepped into the room, standing beside Mr John as I feared he wouldn’t start his own set of interview questions.
He looked even more tempting as he had the sleeves of his shirt rolled up.
‘John, have you gotten her details?’, He said. ‘She is resuming on Monday’
Mr John looked baffled, I saw the shock on his face in a split second before he replaced it with his default blank expression.
‘Ok’ He said not arguing
‘Yvette, it’s late you may go home now’ Mr Ifeanyi said as he picked up my C.V and studied it with a straight face
‘John, send her a mail on the credentials she needs to come with next week Monday and other necessary details of her job function’ Mr Ifeanyi said and I knew I have been dismissed
‘Thank you sir’ I said with mixed feelings as I was confused on how to react.
Bending over to pick up my bag from the floor, I heard a dreaded sound as I knew the zip on my gown just went their separate ways. I was mortified, I was confused on my next action, should I remain seated or dash out in a hurry before any of them sees my bare back.
‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ I asked myself
‘You may leave now, Yvette. We would send you a mail tomorrow morning.’ Mr Ifeanyi repeated as he maybe felt I was still unsure of the job offer.
Mr John was also looking at me with a blank expression but there was something beneath it I couldn’t place.
Deciding to walk out with my head up and suffer the consequences of my second wardrobe mishap in two days, I stood up, contemplating doing a moonwalk style to the door, but I knew I would look ridiculous. With the last drop of courage I had I turned my back at them and walked out as fast as I could but not before I saw the amused and shocked expression on Mr Ifeanyi’s handsome face as he looked at my bare back, while Mr John had a deep scowl of obvious annoyance and impatience on his.
As I walked out of the building, I was having so many dragons in my tummy breathing pure fire. The day started out like a sweet cake fresh out of the oven, but like a cake without preservatives, it now had a sour taste in my lips and my tummy was telling the tales. I wondered what cake tomorrow was baking in the oven for me.
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