Tuesday, 20 December 2016

TURNING POINT…


talk2urhommie



I walked towards her a little, but close enough so she would realise that she did not have to shout to communicate with me; Then I said “Really”, in a very low voice, “But I love to
write sister”, I said the words bit by bit almost like I was scared that she was going to slap me as soon as she heard what I had to say….

“You like to what? Oh Becky”, she began, junking her words together and her hands moving up and down as she said each word, in the usual manner she does whenever she needed one to understand how silly one’s points are, “We are in Lagos, Nigeria”, she dragged the word “Nigeria”, as though I had forgotten the name of my country, “there is only one Linda Ikeji, okay, well and Bella Naija, that is if that one is making anything at all. In this part of the world honey”, she paused and moved closer to me, her voice got low as she made her point as though she wanted to  talk directly to my soul, “real people make it doing regular jobs my dear, Regular jobs’’, she emphasized once again.

“You studied Business Administration and graduated with a second class upper. Not just any second class upper, the highest I have seen so far. You made a 4.43 CGPA; even I with a 3.72 CGPA, work and earn honourably”. She gestured that I got closer to her, her hand slid behind my neck, resting on my right shoulder, “sit with me, let’s get this straight”, we slowly sat down on the brown leather couch that rested on the wall of the living room which made a perfect blend with the cream painting of the room and her hand still on my shoulder, “and hopefully, this would be the last time we would have to talk about this”.

At this point, I was fighting the tears I could feel bubbling up my chest really fast, reaching my throat and giving it that somewhat numb feeling.

“Daddy is dead and Mummy has just the both of us to assist her in training Nnamdi for the two years he has left to complete his University education”, point one, my head went, same point she had been ramming for the two weeks I had been in her house.

“I clothe and feed you”, she went on, “and I am not complaining or regretting this, I am only telling you that I would not, okay, might not be able to do this for long. People with your kind of brains get just about any job they apply for, with a good pay”, as she said this, her eyes lit up like that of a child who just saw her mother walk in from work with her favourite candy in her hand.

“Imagine what you can do with that: Say you get a job and start to earn about a hundred thousand Naira now, you can buy anything you want and not have to live with the stress of borrowing my outfit every time you have an occasion to attend; then, you grow and start to earn more. Becky honey, don’t do anything you would end up regretting years from now”, she said, looking at me soberly as though she felt pity for me.

“But Sister… I… I will… I just might”, I stuttered, then tears rolled down my checks. I fought myself hard to complete my statement, I heard myself say “Happy”. I called up all the strength I had in me then went for it, “I might not be happy working for just any organization”.

I looked at her, looked into her eyes, hoping that she would see me, see my mind, see that my heart was bleeding, see that she was hurting me, that I was just a 22 year old girl who was happy to have found her calling and was looking for just one person to believe in her. One person she trusted, one person she looked up to, her sister, and her mentor.

“Oh Becky, don’t be silly!” she snapped, slapping the couch with her hands, this movement made her Christian mother arm jiggle in an angry way. “Nobody is truly happy in life, better still, no writer is happy in Nigeria, so stop this nonsense about happiness. In fact, I have had enough of this. Tomorrow morning, I will give you N2,000, you have to comb through Victoria Island. Take a bus going to Obalende from Ajah roundabout, stop at Civic centre, cross to the 1004 Estate side and walk round and round that area, it is the most commercial part of the Lekki axis. When it is noon, look for somewhere to eat something and then continue the hunt for a job. Just make sure you come home with a positive news madam. Goodnight”.

She got up, leaving me feeling stranded on the couch, she made her way towards the bedroom we shared, when she got to the door of the room, she placed her hand on the door knob, then looked back at me and said, “Switch off the light when you are done, I am 4 years older than you, I know better than you do. Goodnight”. And then I couldn’t tell what happened next as my eyes got blinded by tears…..

*************

4 months after my last altercation with my sister, Chioma, I had been moving up and down Victoria Island looking for a job and had never mentioned anything about my writing to anyone since that day. Finally, on the 3rd of November 2014, I got an email from K&U Foods Limited informing me that I had been scheduled for an interview for the role of an Executive Assistant with the HR for the 5th of November, 2014. I truly couldn’t remember applying for a job there, but I knew I had dropped my resume in a lot of offices in the past months so that could just have been one of them.

I looked up K&U Foods Limited in the internet and found out that it was a Food and Beverage company. A Food and Beverage company didn’t seem like what I wanted to start up my career with, because, even if I wanted to work, I wanted it to be finance related. But I needed to seek my sister’s opinion first before I took the decision to reject the offer.

That evening, when sister Chioma got back from work, I told her about the email I got from the company. As I began tell her how I felt it was not a good place to start off my career, I noticed that she was smiling really wide and I was not sure if I was to go on or ask why she was smiling. At that point, she placed her index finger on my lip hushing me up and said:

“I knew you would get a job really fast because you are a smart individual. In fact, this is the fastest I have seen. People graduate and wait years before they get their first job, but it took you just 5 months. Oh honey, I am excited and ecstatic and every other word in that light”, she said this with a beam on her face. “I am even sure that after they saw that your GP, they knew that it would be a stupid thing to ask you to write a test before an interview. You know what? Get dressed, we are having dinner out today, we have to celebrate your victory in advance.”

At this point, it became obvious to me that my dear sister did not care what kind of job I did, all she wanted was for me to leave the house in the morning, get back in the evening and end the month receiving a pay cheque. So I made it a mission to go for the interview the next day and get the job afterwards.

Two weeks later, I got a second email from the company informing me that I had been selected for the role, attached to the mail was my letter of employment which encompassed a breakdown of my duties and my gross and net income.

The next weekend, I went to the very popular Balogun market –the one place you are sure to get good dresses for wholesale prices- with sister Chioma to buy some corporate wears for my new job, all-expense paid by her. While we were shopping, she kept on saying, “You have to give them an impression”, almost like I was at war with the colleagues I had not even met. I replied their mail on Sunday morning and resumed work on Wednesday, the 26th of November, 2014.

******To be continued******
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……….Talk2urHommie……….

18 comments:

  1. Bia dis girl don't be putting people on suspense...u better complete the story, really can't wait to see the end.

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    1. Lol, I would be posting the second part of the story really soon. Just watch this space. Thanks alot

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  2. Can't wait to see the end, it's interesting and got me glued to the screen of my phone till I was done....waiting for the continuation though

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    1. Awww. Thanks alot. I will be posting the second part of the story really soon my dear.

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  4. Incredible start-up.....can't wait for the twist to gradually unfold in the concluding part.

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    1. Thanks dear. And I can't also wait for you to see it

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  5. cant wait for the concluding part, nice write up.

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    1. Thanks alot dear. I will be posting it really soon. I can't wait for you to see it.

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  6. Very interesting and touching story. Kudos to you the legendary storyteller.

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  8. Well I never knew this part of you existed not until now...you need complete this sweat story, great write upπŸ’―πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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    1. You know what, I always knew I had writing in me, but the moment I started sharing my pieces out and started writing more, parts of me that I never knew existed started showing up and I am happy you like it. Thank You very much.

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  9. Beautiful. Well written, and really draws you in... You're talented.

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