STORY SERIES: IBADAN CHANGED MY LIFE EPP 5

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The rest of the week went on smoothly. At the same time, it was a very busy one; the busiest since I arrived Ibadan. On Tuesday, I pulled a call through to the company and an engineer was sent alongside a surveyor. On Wednesday, the inside of the building was declustered of every form of rubbish while some valuables were found. On Thursday, renovation started which extended to Friday. On Saturday, I had to visit the office again. The walls had to be re - painted and on Sunday, new equipment and materials were brought in. New computers, new chairs and desks, the electricity was fixed. For once, we could breath new air. The manager in Lagos promised to get the ATM machine fixed before the end of the month. True to his words, the ATM machine was fixed. This drew major crowd as most ATM stands tend to be crowded. Now, there was a population shift.



Days rolled by and months were born. Work drew the best out of me and sapped me of all my energy. I hardly ate and it was obvious I was growing thinner. Toba reminded me of this. I had little or no time for social media. The one time I changed my profile picture, too many negative comments rolled in. Different people asked if I was sick or malnourished. I had to make it a habit to take time out to eat in the afternoon because I always used my break for office work. Breakfast was long dead. I always missed breakfast. In the evening, Toba would branch on our way back to the hotel at a suya spot. We would get about N500 suya. There was another woman nearby who sold kunu, zobo, kilishi and sweets. While Toba took Zobo, I would take Kunu. One of the staff told me it helped a long way in suppressing hunger because I often worked till early hours the next day.

Seriously speaking, I forgot absolutely about Akinola. Except one time anyway. I was peeping out of the office window and I thought I saw him walk pass. However, it was someone else who looked so much like him. After then, I fought hard to keep him far away from my head. I didn't come to Ibadan to fall in love, I told myself. I came here to work. I needed to impress the entire company, make enough money in order to pull out in 5 years for the establishment of my own business. I didn't even have time for parties or Friday Turn-up. In my head, my arrangement was that if I performed well in Ibadan, in less than 6 months, I would seek a transfer to the UK branch where I would have enough time to rest and get one white dude to put a ring on my finger. This was the arrangement I was working with.

It was my 2nd month and I fell sick. I had worked till late hours the day before and fell asleep with my laptop on and a very disorganized room. I obviously didn't have time to put the room in order save the room service that always got it cleaned up everyday. The next morning, I woke up with a banging headache. It felt like my head was been hammered on. My eyes were  blurry and I developed serious catarrh and body pains. I could hardly move. I however managed to get my phone which I used to call Toba.

Arriving at the company's hospital, I ran a few tests and was placed in a ward to rest. I was really sick and I could hardly sleep. I had to be given some sleeping pills. When I woke up, it was very late in the night and the headache had aggravated. I simply slept back.

The next morning, I saw the doctor after freshening up. I was told I had stressed myself way too much and it had seriously affected my body system which caused all the headache and pains and sudden insomnia. I was given some drugs and a few injections and told to get an urgent leave for an entire week. I was also advised to eat well so that the drugs could be very effective as they were really strong. I announced the new development to everyone at work the next day and handed over to Afolabi. So far, he was the best and most effective. Very supportive and he was one person I enjoyed working with due to his awesome sense of humor. I also sent the report to the head office in Lagos and my leave was approved.

After staying indoors for two days, getting the needed rest, eating food bought by Toba, using my drugs, my body system began to snap back. The headache reduced drastically. The body pains disappeared even though I felt a little bit weak. The catarrh was still stagnant but wasn't as bad as before.

I was beginning to feel very bored in my room and I decided to do a little stretching. I slipped into a body hugging sequin gown, re - packed my hair, put on my fancy glasses, wore a flat wedge and found my way to the hotel bar. There was a big swimming pool there. Loud music was been played. There were few people there. I sat on one of the tall stools near the bar.

          'Give me Gulder', I ordered.

          'Alright ma', the attendant replied.

She brought out a very chilled bottle of gulder and a glass cup and placed them in a tray. I simply took out the gulder and cup and waved off the tray.

          'Ma, we have grilled fish, grilled chicken, asun, suya...'

          'I'm fine', I quickly interrupted.

I uncorked the beer and poured the content into the glass cup. I started drinking since I was 15. My father had flogged me that day because our neighbor lied against me about something I didn't do. I told my father it was a great lie but he didn't listen to me. That day, he flogged me like never before and I ran out of the house. I cried so much. Meanwhile, there was a certain drunkard that had been making advances towards me. Everyone hated him in the street and mothers shielded their daughters from him. That day, he walked up to me and spoke to me. His words brought peace to my heart. I followed him to his house that day.

His house was small and quite dark. I was very scared but for once in my life, I wanted to do something daring away from the pains and lies. The drunkard's name was Kezo. That wasn't his real name but that was what everyone called him.

          'I believe you', he told me when I explained what transpired.

Those words were enough. They were soothing. Those were words my parents could never say. They never believed me. They never believed my siblings either. They believed outsiders over us. Those words were enough for me to trust Kezo.

I watched him lit a cigarette. I coughed hard. It was my first time inhaling such smoke. After then, he rolled out beer from under his chair and poured it into a cup and offered me.

          'It would help you forget your pains',  he told me.

My hands trembled as I collected it. It was my first time. I never looked back since then. I could drink 6 bottles and still be very alert. He didn't offer me a cigarette. I developed that habit from the new friends I later made. We all drank too, secretly.

It was my third bottle already. I was getting really bored and ready to leave the bar.

          'Fierce', someone whispered behind me.

I turned around. It was an older man. He drew a stool out and sat down.

          'You see, I've been watching you for quite sometime now. I can tell you, I like you. I like your composure. You appear Fierce. I love your kind'

I almost choked on my drink out of laughter.

          'I'm really sorry', I said whilst laughing hard. 'You're simply funny'

He bit his lips.

          'Give me one bottle of star and give the young lady another bottle'

          'Oh, thanks for the offer. I was just about leaving'

          'Common', he said with a mischievous smile. 'I mean no harm. I just want to extend a hand of friendship'

I really wanted to decline again but on a second thought, I accepted. After all, I would be bored inside.

          'Ade is the name. You?'

          'Harriet', I said as I collected another bottle from the attendant.


He filled his cup and sipped out of it. All the time, he was starring at me while I was fondling with the cork of the bottle.

          'I really like you Harriet. I'm a man not a boy so I'm one very blunt person. Blunt to a fault, you could say'

          'You don't even know me'

          'At least I know your name, Harriet. I also know you are very beautiful and fierce'

I giggled. 'You flatter me so well'

          'Nah. I don't flatter. I speak the truth'

He took another sip.

          'What will you be doing this night?'

          'Well', I sighed. 'Nothing. I'm on a one week leave and I don't know my way around Ibadan except...'

          'Why don't you pay me a visit? I also lodged here for a meeting tomorrow. We could spend time together'

          'I don't even...'

          'I'm very sure you would be bored when you get back to your room. Same here. Such precious time doesn't have to waste'

He licked his lower lip now and I got the message more clearly. I surveyed him from head to toe. I know I'm not a saint but heck, who goes on a one night stand with a total stranger? Well, not me.

        'Sorry, Mr Ade or whatever. You've got the wrong girl', I said as I stood up to take my leave.

        'Common, Harriet. Don't behave like a kid', he said and held my elbow.

Before I could stop myself, I landed him a very hot and sounding slap. His cheeks shivered and everyone around turned to our direction.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

(Read Episode 4 HERE)

(Image Source - Google)

EMETE

2 comments:

  1. He deserves that slap. The yeye man wanted to kemen her. Shior

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @omorewa, lmao....kemen kor, kezo ni. Epic comment!

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