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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TANGLE Episode 26
Tangle episode 26
‘Helen is this really you?’Jeffery asked.
‘Am sorry for leaving you guys’ Helen said solemnly.
‘Why did you change your mind?’ Malik asked.
‘Because I need some money to take care of my mom. She tried her best to raise me with the little she has, so I think it’s time I pay her back but I can’t do that by selling fish. I need real money, please guys help me out’ she begged.
‘But you insulted me on phone just now’ Malik said.
‘Me?’ Helen asked surprisingly. She ransacked her pocket and bag in search of her mobile phone but she couldn’t find it.
‘Oh, I left my phone at home. It must have been aunty Sikira who talked to you. She was infuriated when I told her I was leaving’ Helen said.
‘Thank God you are back, girl but before you can start working with us officially you have to talk to our boss’ Jeffery said.
The chairman called at exactly seven pm and they all sat down beside the TV.
‘Good evening sir’ they greeted.
‘Evening my loyal employee, I can see the new lady is here’ the image on the screen said.
‘Yes sir, her name is Adebimpe but we call her Helen’ Malik announced.
‘Am very much happy to be part of your workers’ sir’ Helen said.
‘Ok but you must work hard to earn my reward. Guys let’s talk about our next business.
This operation is simple but delicate. A guy will arrive at the airport in Lagos by 2 p.m tomorrow, he will be carrying several luggage but I need you to get me one thing from him, his bread’ the chairman paused.
‘Bread?’ Jeffery asked to be sure he heard right.
‘Yes bread, Helen you will help them distract his attention, I heard this guy has an eye for good looking girls. Guys please make this a clean job, steal the bread and replace it with another. He mustn’t know you stole from him.
‘Okay sir, but once we have the bread what do we do with it?’ Malik asked.
‘I will call you 7 p.m tomorrow to give you further instruction. Guys, please do this job perfectly, I won’t tolerate any mistake. Good night’ the Chairman vanished from the screen.
More information about the man they were to rob including his picture was sent to them via email.
Written by Oluwafunminiyi Komolafe
TANGLE Episode 25
Tangle episode 25
He knew it was his only friend knocking so he rose up and made for the door.
‘What’s happening Jeff?’ he asked after opening the door and seeing his friend at the doorstep.
‘The Chairman wants to speak with you’ Jeffery announced.
Hearing this, Malik was stunned. He hasn’t been able to decide what to say to him concerning the issue of this girl yet.
‘Tell him I went out, I will call him later’ he replied.
‘He is on a video call and I already told him you are in your room’ Jeff said.
‘Okay I will be with him in a few seconds’ he said and Jeff went away.
With his heart pounding, he followed his friend to the sitting room.
On the screen of their flat screen television is the image of a man whose face was displayed in shadow.
The two guys sat before the T.V
‘Good afternoon sir’ they both chorused.
‘Hello my boys, how are you doing’ the image on the screen greeted.
‘We are fine sir’.
‘We have a huge work to do. Malik, I haven’t seen what I told you to send and where is that your new employee? I will like to have a word with her’ The Chairman asked.
Malik was dumbfounded he never thought he could request to see her.
‘She —, Hemmmm’ Malik gibbered in fear.
‘Sorry sir she isn’t around presently, she is in her house’ Jeffery intervened.
Malik cursed his friend for stepping in.
‘Okay, how do I see her ‘cause she has an important role to play in this next operation?’ the chairman said.
‘We will call her here this evening so you can speak with her, and about her biodata, Malik suggested we do a thorough investigation on her so we hired a private investigator to work on it. The result will be out tomorrow’ Jeffery quickly spoke before his friend could say anything.
‘That is a brilliant idea, just make sure I get the data tomorrow and I will call you 7 p.m today make sure she is around. I can’t give out the detail of the operation if you all are not present. Good day,’ Chairman said.
‘Good day sir’ they chorused again and the image vanished from the screen.
‘Thanks so much for saving my ass Jeff’ Malik said.
‘I saved both our asses, now how do we get her here before 7 p.m?’ Jeff asked.
‘Let me call her mobile phone number’ Malik picked up his phone and dialed her number.
‘Hello Helen, how are you?’ Malik greeted on the phone.
‘Who is this?’ The voice on phone asked.
‘This is Malik please come over here now we have a serious issue to discuss’ Malik said.
‘Malik or what do you call yourself, you think you can order me around because you have money? Look, I have already erased you people from my life, I suggest you do the same and don’t ever call my number again’ the call ended.
Malik was taken aback by what he heard, he checked the number to be sure he didn’t dial a wrong number but it was Helen’s number indeed.
‘Is she coming now?’ Jeff asked.
‘No, she insulted me saying I should never call her again’ Malik explained.
‘This girl doesn’t know what she is into. Let’s go over to her house’
‘That won’t work, this is half-past five and the journey to her area is about three hour’s journey, we won’t be able to pick chairman’s call at seven’.
‘So what will you suggest we do now?’ Jeffery asked
‘I haven’t got any idea’ Malik answered.
They both started thinking of what to do.
Suddenly the door opened and someone stepped into the house with a traveling bag. They were both surprised to see Helen standing before them.
Written by Oluwafunminiyi Komolafe
TANGLE Episode 24
Tangle episode 24
Malik weighed both suggestions and concluded that the second one made more sense.
He assured himself that Helen would stay with them, with this he slept off.
The morning soon came and Malik found himself over anxious to see Helen but she didn’t come early. It was well past noon while both guys were playing poker that they saw her came into the house. Before Malik could say anything to her she burst into tears and ran into the room.
The emotional guy Malik was stunned by what just happened.
‘Why would she not even greet them? Did something happen to her mom?’ Malik thought.
Jeff, as usual, wasn’t moved a bit by this; instead, he focused on the game he was playing.
‘Jeff, what do you think happened to her?’ Malik asked.
‘How would I? I got no idea and besides its none of my business’, Jeff answered.
‘How could you talk like that? I got to go see her’ Malik said but before he could stand up, Helen came back in.
Malik was astounded by what she was holding. It was a traveling bag he presumed to contain all her things.
‘Guys, words will not be enough for me to show my appreciation to you. Without knowing me or where I came from, you took me in and accepted me into your home. I would have loved to continue living with you but I have to take care of my poor mom. Sorry guys I have to go’ she confessed with tears gushing down her pretty face.
Malik was too sober to say anything in reply. Helen was making her way for the door when she suddenly felt a hand held her back.
‘Please don’t go’ Malik said holding her wrist but she broke free and left the house.
Malik almost burst into tears as he watched Helen leaving the house.
‘So now that your girl decided to leave us, what do you plan on telling Chairman’ Jeffery asked.
‘I don’t know yet’ Malik answered.
‘You don’t know? Why don’t you tell him all about her so he can take care of her’ Jeffery suggested?
‘What do you mean Jeff? Do you mean the chairman should send his boys to kill her?’ Malik asked.
‘Yes, she has become a leakage which must be sealed’ Jeff answered.
‘Why are you this heartless Jeffery? Don’t you have a human feeling at all?’
‘Oh am heartless? Do you know what the Chairman will do to us once our information leaks out from your jewel? He will order our assassination to cover his track, that’s what he always does. Are you willing to risk our life for hers?’ Jeff asked angrily.
Without answering the question, Malik went into his room.
Two hours later Malik was in his room smoking and drinking heavily. The habit Helen’s presence had denied him, he now resulted in it as a means of reducing the pressure on his shoulder. His friend was right about all he said but he couldn’t bear the thought of losing Helen. How is he now going to do it?’ He thought.
Series of knocks sounded on the door. He knew it was his only friend knocking so he rose up and made for the door.
Written by Oluwafunminiyi Komolafe