The curious faces greeted me as I swayed to my desk, picking the hand over note, I placed it on Ini’s palm. He examined the paper like a frightened child, threw it on the table and made for my palm. He suddenly stopped as though he was controlled by some force. With a heive, he stretched his palms to mine, Fixing his gaze on mine . In his eyes I saw that plea but my mind was made up and he seemed to read everything single thought on my mind at the moment.

“Eddie won’t you stay?”

“I can’t Ini, I bet you’ll be fine”

He released my palm and smiled. I knew there was more to that smile. Hardly had he came than I talked of leaving. He tried a thousand times to talk me into staying, but I wanted an environment where I would feel relevant. With all support, I got from Anie and Co., I sometimes felt lost when I had issues related to my profession. They saw me as a professional and expected all my projects to be of standard; I had challenges which they couldn’t relate to, all they cared about were the results.

Mrs. Utitofon had organized a send forth party for me. In no time the table was set. Soft music played while We sat round eating Potatoes Chips with stew. It was the only day I ever received a hug from my employer. Although She seldom smiles, she smiled so much that it got me at the verge of tears. She told me I added colour to her personal life and the Company; I found it ridiculous because she never compliments my effort. She had an eagle eye with which she could picture all the mistakes in my project without even looking at it. When it comes to Mrs. Utitofon, one thing was certain: “The boss is always right”. The only option I had was to comply with her terms. On several occassions, She told me I wasn’t enough, Countless times had she told me I was Sturdy. But a girl has to keep her head high.

After the launch, I took pictures with Ini and Bolu, then I felt a pat on my shoulder,

” Edidiong I know I may have been rude to you, but your projects and ideas were perfect. I would rather you stay”

She smiled and walked away, I wondered why she kept the compliment till a day after my POP. It would have probably changed my perception about the firm. But I guess it was too late. One last look at Anie and Co. and I bidded farewell to the Bodija. My sister was heavily pregnant at the time, I had to travel next day.

The Journey to Lagos was an unpleasant one: The piercing sun seared through boiling skins which inturn dripped salty liquids generating enough heat in the sardine packed bus; The traffic partnered with the street Vendors who flung their goods at every single vehicle that afternoon; Occasionally there would be sighs from passengers, but the sighs were too low compared to the horns of Earth breaking Vehicles and other ear blocking sounds

Reality knocked at mind and took it away from the happenings around. Mmeyene, a girl I met in the Lodge took her position as the first in the list of issues my mind had to deal with. Before our POP, She had gotten a job with a top notch Accounting firm. She was married and expecting a baby in the next two months. My life on the contrary was a mess. Dad had promised a position in a manufacturing company but I had no interest in it. I guess the only attractive thing about the company was the huge pay; however, passion was my drive. I had the intension of furthering my studies, but a lady needs a job to keep up. I was in a serious relationship with Edima but I had doubts about spending my forever with him. He was nice and homely but very manipulative and controlling….
“Madam, No be for Berger you wan drop”
It was the Conductor,
“Olodo, wetin this dull face dey find for Lagos sef?”
I ignored his tantrums, paid my fare and alighted. I crossed the pedestrian bridge, and took a bike to Omole Phase 2.
It was the begginning of a new life and the fear of living up to expectation gripped me.Barely had I reached home than my phone buzzed, It was Edikan.

“Hey girl”
“Congrats on your POP Yay!!!”
“Thanks “
“You know we gonna pop champagne today And I’m taking my baby to Chicken Republic right away”
“Not really in the mode, I’ve got a slight headache”
“Common girl, meet me at 6:00pm, don’t keep a boo waiting… Love ya”
He hunged up…
© writingcarrel 2020