“Oga is here ooo” Mr Ruben said. I knew I heard something but I didn’t wana believe what I hear was true. I quickly stood up in slow motion and looked around while stretching. I saw someone fair and fat looking at me, but I assumed my eyes were still heavy from sleep.
When it finally became clear I heard the voice of someone that was my worst fear “Did we employ you here to sleep” The fat looking Americana said
“I don’t understand sir” I said politely while still stretching. It wasn’t my fault that I was stretching; the nap was a long one.
“Meet me in my office” He said with his American slang. I humbly followed him like a sheep to the slaughter and went to his office.
“Have a seat” He said politely. He quickly called his secretary to and whispered something to her ears.
“Wow… maybe he wants to give me some money to buy food” I consoled myself by saying. The secretary willingly came back and handed me a letter. “Read through it and obey all instructions there as fast as possible”
Few minutes later, I was on my way back home. Don’t ask me what happened because you won’t hear it from my mouth that I was given a two months suspension.
“Why today?” I kept saying inside my heart. That week was actually when we normally receive our salaries. So can you see why I felt so weak and dejected?
“You must pay ooo” The woman was shouting and holding my suit
“O Jesus!” I shouted. I just collided with a woman carrying egg on her head. I can’t remember the last time I ate eggs. It has become such a scarce commodity that I replaced egg with crayfish since they all give protein.
People gathered from everywhere and I was surrounded. From my look, they believed I could pay but within me, I was calculating the nearest exit to take off with high speed.
“How much?” I finally asked the woman like a boss.
“10,000” She replied while still holding on to my trouser
“10 What?” I shouted “Oh lawd!” I added.
“Can I wash plates in your house? I can’t pay” I added
“Ha… kolewerk” She added in Yoruba meaning “It won’t work”. “Kolewerk rara” She kept shouting meaning “It won’t work at all at all”.
“Fumi owo mi ooo” She kept repeating “Give me my money”. I quickly dipped my hands inside my pocket to find my ATM and I realized I forgot it at home. There was no money inside by the way. I dipped inside the other pocket and brought out 500naira. She immediately grabbed it and was waiting for the other 9,500naira.
“What is wrong?” A woman asked from behind. I quickly turned to start explaining but she was more interested on what happened that made me break someone’s egg. There was no time for swag. I explained exactly how I am doing now till she said “go straight to the point”. I landed straight to the point and before I could finish, she gave me the money straight up. One mind kept saying I should run with the money and the other said I should simply pay.
Few minutes later, I was with the woman inside her car. “Next time be careful” She said as she kick start her car.
“Where you are you headed?” She asked
“Oshodi Ma” I replied like a little child who lost the money that was given to him.
“Let’s go” She replied as ignited the car engine and we were on our way down.
“So why were you suspended?” she asked the question I couldn’t even ask myself.
“What if she was an employer of labor?” I thought to myself
“I was sick, so I bent my head to rest and they suspended me for sleeping” I explained slowly and quietly.
“Did you actually sleep?” She asked this time around with a smile. I was reasoning the motive behind the question. I guess she wanted to catch me red handed, but as a sharp Igbo boy I decided to play smart.
“I wasn’t sleeping but my eyes were closed” I responded with a smile. I quickly alighted from the car after we got to Oshodi. I collected her number and she gave me about a thousand naira for transportation. I quickly branched to the nearest eatery to help my belle before I faint.
“How much for rice and chicken” I asked the waiter due to the large amount of eyes on me inside the Mr biggs eatery.
“1,300 naira sir” She replied politely with a smile. I came closer to her and asked “Without the meat nko”
“400naira” she replied again. “What about half plate” I asked again
“We don’t sell such here” She replied with another cute smile.
“I wanted half plate without meat” I said to her as I quickly adjusted my tie and went for the door. Outside the eatery, I took my time to quickly remove my tie and dumped it inside my bag. I also flew out my shirt and folded it. I had other options and my clothing wouldn’t serve as a barrier.
“Sir please, where can I find good food here” I asked an elderly man I saw across the place.
“Enter Mr biggs na’ He replied
“They don’t have what I want” I answered with a low voice to make sure nobody else could hear what I was saying.
“Move up and bend to your left, you will see one Iya Fumi. She sells good food” He directed as I quickly thanked him and disappeared right into the woman’s canteen.
“Madam give me 3 fufu” I said as loud as my voice could go. She quickly ordered her sales girl to get it for me. I started washing my hands in preparation.
“How many meat” The little girl asked.
“What” I asked like I never heard what she said. Immediately everyone turned around and was staring at me like I actually stole their individual money.
“Oga talk na, make I sell for others” The girl yelled in a thick yoruba accent.
“Errrmmm…” To be continued.