If I had not stepped back a second earlier, the aluminum door with opal glass would have knocked me down flat. I felt the gust from the swinging door slapped my face. I staggered a few step backwards before finding my footing. He tried to make sense of what I was doing behind the door in the first place, then he shrugged, waving it aside.
He already took some brisk strides when he gave the instruction. I hurriedly caught up with him, trying to read his face for some answers and keeping up with his pace at the same time. He brought out his blackberry from the holster strapped on to his belt. He engaged the speed dial and in seconds, he held the phone out in front of his mouth and ordered the person at the other end to meet him at the reception now.
The lady, who I later learnt was his assistant got up as soon as we entered the reception. He ignored the acknowledgment and went straight to giving orders gesticulating towards me.
“Cut her hair… Mohawk preferably”
“Okay sir” she brought out a pad and jotted
“Sss… sir… b…buh…” I stuttered raising my hand trying to get his attention.
“Get her some fashionable clothes and call Pat to prepare her for photo session. Get Ada to do her make up.”
“Sss… xcuse me sir”
He ignored me and continued:
“Here, take my ATM and car keys, you know the password. Be back before 4. I need the board to still be in the office when she’s ready”
I tried one more time:
“Shut up and just follow!”
He stopped me dead in my track and without a second glance he excused himself. I just followed the assistant staring back into the empty hallway as I walked although the monster god who just decided my ‘future outlook’ had vanished.
“He’s not always like that,”
The assistant offered when we got on the freeway
“you’re the seventh girl which he handpicked and the agency had turned down. Its like they are trying to sabotage all his effort.”
“I was just trying to tell him I eavesdropped on his meeting with the board, I heard the way he stood up for me and stepped on toes too. I won’t like to be the one that cost him his job” I replied ruefully.
She giggled “believe me honey, this is bigger than you. For one, I’m certain he wasn’t actually defending you in there but his job.”
I nodded. “so I’m just the grass cut between two elephant that are fighting ba?”
“Nah” she made a face and threw her hand towards me in a way that falsified my theory “you give yourself too little credit honey, you’re his specimen.”
We burst into laughter.
It was past five when we got back. He left a message:
TELL HER TO GO HOME, LEAVE MY CAR KEYS AND THE PICTURES ON MY TABLE.
“Uche… you are finished!” I said to myself in the same tone Mwisho told Munya in Big Brother Africa 5.
I had thought I could save up enough to buy my dad a ‘tokunbo’ bus for his transport business in a year. Then maybe, I could learn the trade and start a small agency. If it thrives, my dad and I can finally move to a better apartment but I’m not sure how this will play out anymore. I won’t beat myself up about it because it not like I expected it when the oppurtunity came. I will just enjoy these new clothes and mohawk while they last.
Tonight I’m sleeping alone because my dad is on a trip. That means no computer class tomorrow, I have spent the little money I had on transport today. I brought in the dirt-stained plastic bucket with rusted handle which I had took along to the bathroom and shut the door behind me. I pressed down the lever attached to the lantern which pushed the glass bulb up, tilting the lantern, I blew air into it and I was going to call it a night but…
A knock on the door…
“Uche… Its me”
Huh? That voice… Can’t be…
My nokia flashlight came in handy, brightening almost everything in the hallway when I opened the door but not enough to brighten my mood when I saw who had made it to my door post.
My plan is about to be altered once more before the day is over.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
If you Missed Mannequin Ep -2 Click here to read –> Mannequin E02
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