PULL OVER (Episode 4)
I hope your day is going great. thanks for flipping to this next part… I know it’s simmering slowly but hey… we’re working on a great story together.
I would appreciate your comments on what catches your attention. Enjoy… I should post Manir’s POV soon, I miss his soul already.
The month of April has been a very epic month ushering in the rainy season and the laziness that comes with rising early. Not that my job demanded me rising early, but my boss does that and he was my job and well, ok, my job demands me rising early. If not, Dr. Wole Andrews would not function properly.
Don’t be deceived by the doctor, he is a doctor actually but not of medicine. I don’t know who invented all the titles and deemed a business tycoon with many honors should be called a doctor.
My thoughts are scattered so I would not focus on my sorry case as I hurried under the rain to my office building.
“Which personal assistant doesn’t own a car to be at the beck and call of her boss? Zoya!” I muttered as I grinned trying to pull open the door – the revolving door in the center of the entryway was mainly there for fancy – when it miraculously opened and Mr. Riliwan in his starched and ironed shirt greeted warmly with a smile, which I returned reflexively.
Mr. Riliwan is a darling. He has been there for me since my first day at work and ever since. He boosts my confidence every morning I step into the company. Talk about motivators.
“Good morning ma.” Riliwan beamed as I joined him inside the grand reception that lacked for nothing and started adjusting my appearance.
“Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Riliwan.” Immediately I felt comfortable with my mental mirror, I paused and returned his smile. God knows when the man resumed and left work, he was always there, happy.
“Madam you see rain?” he asked like he couldn’t see I was slightly wet, well it is the Nigerian way, to ask the obvious. I smiled again in response because I know he was sincere with his question. It simply meant something like, I hope the rain did not affect you negatively and such.
“Not really Mr. Riliwan.” Since I started working here, I still could not bring myself to calling him Riliwan because he was quite old and mature for the role. Elderly men have to put food on the table too; I guess that was what he said during his interview.
Ignoring the fact that I was late, I took dainty steps as I got past the front desk and waited for the elevator to arrive. It didn’t take long and I stepped in then press on the number, six. The door was about closing when some guys from the field department stepped in and I pulled my shoulders back, head held high, even though my clothing was still damp and cooed hello to them.
I don’t really have friends at work, but talk about frenemies, I have them a lot. Why? Because I think I am the youngest in the whole company who hasn’t spent much time knowing the ins and outs only to be promoted to work side by side with the boss. Cocky me, for the boss.
My right foot was tapping the floor instinctively and immediately the bell chimed, I excused myself and got out. Ever looking like the working class lady and cooing my warm greetings to those whom I run into, on the inside, I was feeling cold and wet from the rain and the air condition blasting – from wherever it was situated – was not helping my situation.
Opening the main door to the hallway, after exchanging pleasantries with the secretary, I almost collided with Mrs. Nelly Uzoghelu, the Head of Human Resources who was always nosy about my business. Not that Mrs. Nelly was against me but the woman made it her business to know everybody’s business, which was maybe part of her job description, but it could be irritating, like now.
“Oh, Zoya. I’m sorry.” She quipped in a voice she thought was caring. “What did you do to your cloth? You’re damp.” Her hands briskly moved down my arm.
In my mind, I blew air through my imaginary tooth gap and rolled my eyes. Like I would intentionally wear damp clothes or make myself damp.
“It’s raining outside. Morning ma.”
“Morning my dear,” she looked downcast and I was almost about to start feeling sorry for her. I honestly don’t know why my spirit just doesn’t flow with the woman. She was nice and all but we just don’t connect.
“To think I was about to go get breakfast. I’ll order something for lunch then.” Without letting herself catch her next breath, she turned and we walked together; she heads to her office while I drifted off to my cubicle facing my bosses’ vacant office.
Sympathetic and all, as if she was the one that called down the rain, she continued. “Oh poor you, it must have been hard getting to work in this terrible weather. Well, I hope Mr. Andrews pardons you because he has checked in since 7 am and has almost dug a hole in the conference room waiting.”
Oh my God!
With all the rain drama, I had totally forgotten I was supposed to be working with time. I was supposed to get documents and presentations from Dr. Wole’s partner for him because he was currently out of town and the partner was also scheduled to travel early tomorrow.
I flip my right arm to check my watch to find out that it was already 8:08 AM.
“Thank you ma,” I mumbled as I scrambled to my office to brace myself for the partner whom almost everyone respected like crazy. It wasn’t my fault it decided to rain, or for Lagos traffic to delay me. Though I am usually a few minutes late, this was not just it. I was even later with African time. I hope he would understand and not make my day worse by talking about it to their board of directors, like “Oh that young girl Wole hired, fire her.”
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