As I was seated firmly in the chair at the office where I had gone to confirm something, I hastily glanced at my wrist watch again; it read 1:33pm.
Where I sat was the office of the Secretary to the officer I was about to meet, and the young lady happened to be the only one with me at the enclosed arena. I sat directly opposite her, patiently awaiting when I would be ushered in.
The moment I dropped the call after my conversation with Madam ‘Sandra’, she stylishly looked at me and therein understood that all wasn’t well.
No doubt, even a dummy could figure out the worries written all over my ‘ugly’ face. Acknowledging that the so-called Sandra already knew my name and personal contact, I kept wondering where she had culled such information from.
“Is she a relative that I am yet to know?” I pondered, looked down.
I quickly crossed my legs. “Or, could she be one of these sugar mummies?” I thought again, looked up.
This time, I was inadvertently glancing at the building decking; it was a two-storey edifice but I was at the ground floor.
“If she is truly a sugar mummy,” I thought. “How come she knows all these about me?” I asked myself, returned my head to the normal level.
“What is going on that I am yet to know?” I thought once again, uncrossed my legs.
“Sir!” the secretary called, but I couldn’t hear her owing to my thoughtful mood.
“Comrade, sir!!” she supplemented.
In the visitor’s note I filled, I presented my name as ‘Comr. Fred Nwaozor’; I guessed, that should be where she borrowed it.
“Yes dear.” I responded confusedly, hurriedly rearranged myself.
It was at this point I recalled that few seconds back, I sighted a guest walking out of the office; he was supposedly the person that needed to leave before I could be allowed to move in. I equally recollected that immediately after the guest’s departure, I witnessed the corporately dressed secretary receiving a call from the office’s intercom; perhaps the caller ought to be her boss. But the truth of the matter remained that, I observed all the happenings in a subconscious mood.
“My boss wants to see you, sir.” She politely informed.
“Okay,” I said, stood up pathetically. “Thank you.” I added and headed for the boss’ office.
“Excuse me, sir.” She urged.
I stopped, looked at her.
“Hope everything is alright?” she observed.
“Yes, my dear.” I gladly replied. “Just that my day has been so stressful.”
“Okay.” She said, nodding.
“Thank you.” I appreciated, and reignited the paused motion.
“You are welcome.” She responded as she watched me walked towards the boss’ magnificent office.
After having an extensive warmth discussion with the officer, I left the arena for a nearby eatery to have my lunch. When I got to the joint, it was about 2:50pm; that is, an hour and few minutes to the time I agreed to meet with Madam ‘Sandra’, which was 4:00pm.
I quickly ordered for a meal, never wanted to waste a bit of my time in there since it was noted that I had to cover a distance of about twenty minutes drive before I could find myself at ‘Blossom Hot Spot’, the venue for the scheduled meeting.
When the waitress served the meal, white rice and stew in separate plates coupled with bottled water, she as well noticed that I seemed troubled. When she asked for a reminder as regards the name of the drink I earlier requested, I couldn’t respond, thus it was obvious that I was outside minded.
“Hello sir.” She called, intending to bring back my spirit.
The call fell on deaf ears as I kept imagining what my fate entailed in regard to the fast approaching August meeting.
“Hello sir!” she reiterated in a louder tone.
“Oh, sorry!” I tendered, looking up to her.
She apparently felt concerned. “Hope all is well, sir?” she thought aloud.
“Yes,” I said. “All is absolutely well.” I supplemented, smiling in false pretences.
“Okay,” she uttered. “Please, which drink should I offer you?”
“Just get me a bottle of water?” I demanded, yet to realize that the meal was already served with water.
The waitress stylishly smiled at my ignorance that seemed comic.
How would I know that bottled water was already lying right before me when all I could think at the moment was what the agendum of the awaited meeting could be?
However, I instantly recalled that I had earlier requested for a bottle of stout beer. “Please, forget about the drink.” I enjoined.
“Okay sir.” She replied, turned and walked away.
I guessed, she would live to remember the melodrama I just displayed.
When I arrived at Blossom Hot-Spot at the stipulated time, I was ushered into the V.I.P’s corner by one of the female attendants upon Madam Sandra’s request. As I walked in, I caught the sight of her where she was seated all alone with just bottled water.
Before now, I had contacted one of my buddies, John who resided in Abuja to alert him of the issue of the moment in case if things eventually went wrongly, though that was in a lighter mood. However, he took note of it and promised to watch my back.
“Please madam,” I uttered as soon as I was offered a seat. “How did you know about me?”
“I got your name and mobile contact from the hotel you lodged last night.” She notified immediately.
I was mute over the revelation.
“Are you okay now?” She verified.
I was still marvelled, thus couldn’t utter a word.
“Please don’t bother going over there to quarrel with the receptionist.” she enjoined. “Because I am the MD of the hotel in question.”
She nodded, smiling.
“So madam,” I said. “How may I be of help?”
“Are you the Fred Nwaozor I know?”
“I wouldn’t know the one you know.”
“The one that writes for various newspapers,” she replied. “And contributes to numerous radio and television programmes?”
“I think I am.” I managed to respond.
“Interesting,” she whispered. “So, which drink do you care for?”
“Never mind,” I warmly replied. “I am okay.”
“I want you to write a petition for me.”
“A serving senator.” she answered hesitantly. “I will pay you half a million naira.”
“I am sorry, madam.” I said. “I am not a hungry writer.”
“Will one million naira be okay?” She added, ignoring my response.
“I am not interested, please.”
Two million naira?” she insisted.
“I don’t think you understood me.” I told her. “I don’t do such thing.”
She looked at me in silent awe, appeared weird.
“I haven’t done it before.” I notified. “And I wouldn’t start now because of money.”
“Okay, four million naira?”
“I am so sorry.” I persisted, stood up. “You can try another person.” I suggested.
“Don’t tell me you want to remain a poor writer?”
“I can’t remember telling you I am poor.” I replied frankly while standing. “Did I?”
“But you are.” She presumed unequivocally.
On hearing the last clause, I hastily turned my back on her and dashed out of the venue, and therein headed for the airport to board a flight back to Owerri.
The rest is history, please!
N.B: Names of characters and localities mentioned in the story weren’t real, except that of the author.
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