Peering through the piles of CVs on her table with no one in particular in mind. “I’m sure he’s in there somewhere, someone who is good at his work,” she muses to herself and with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes she looks on. “I wonder why the MD keeps sending all these CVs to me, why can’t he just have one of his subordinates pick someone up and send to me?!” totally exasperated at the effort this activity requires.
“I don’t want to work with her again, she’s out rightly rude and seems to think she’s here for a fashion show rather than her job!”
“But her CV speaks otherwise, she’s worked with bigger organisation than ours,” he attempts to defend Beatrice; Kate’s PA.
“If she’s that good, so why did she get fired and come to us?”
“She wasn’t fired, Kate! She resigned because of sexual harassment and…”
Cutting him off mid-way, “So you brought her here Dave so she will satisfy yours abi?” Dave was too shocked to reply, so Kate continues as if on cue “Well, shebi, she’s my PA? I don’t want her again, get me another person!” And with that statement she turns her back to him.
That was 3 weeks ago. So this time, her husband pushed to her the work of picking a PA herself, that way he is at peace in the office and at home. Oh, the intrigues of working together…hmmm! So this time he ‘punished’ her with the search.
Picking it up, this sounds interesting, 27 years and already done with school. Skimming through the page to the HOBBY section, (she continues to read) plays the guitar, enjoys Gymnastics, Racing. I love this already, she thought to herself smiling. Turning towards the array of applications on her table, she shoves them right into the waste basket on her right, reclines into her comfortable chair, tapping the bottom of her pen against her dazzling white teeth she escapes to dream world…with a mischievous smile on her face.
A week later…
“Tell me Martyns, what was growing up in the village like for you?”
With bowed head, he replies, “I had fun Ma, it was the time of my life. With the natural habitat and so many game to chase. I…”
“Look at me when you address me Martyns”
Bowing his head in respect slightly, “I’m sorry Ma!”
“Well, that will be it for today. Report here tomorrow by 8:30am to meet with the HR Manager and get the modalities for your medicals sorted out. I need you to resume work ASAP. Did I make myself clear?”
“Yes, Ma’am. I appreciate your help and this opportunity to serve in this great establishment. I promise not to disappoint you in the fulfilment of my duties.”
“Wow, thank you! Let’s see how well you do then” Kate replies smiling sweetly at Martyns briefly and almost immediately puts the serious face back up…like a mask.
2 weeks later and a month later…
“I’ve tried severally and he just won’t budge. He’s so set in his primitive ways. No calling me by first name, no body contact whatsoever; no matter how I mistakenly try to brush past him. And it makes me want him more.” – Soliloquising with internal anguish – “How does one make it obvious that you want another, when you know it goes against everything right? I’m married for heaven’s sake, what is wrong with me?! Think straight Kate! Think!”
“Why not attempt it. Stolen water is sweet you know. No one will know, besides if you push hard enough, he’ll say yes, for all you know he is playing hard to get, so that you don’t think him cheap. Other boys are doing it and he knows they go without getting caught. Keep trying darling, he will be yours.” (The voice says to her)
“Why do I keep getting the feeling my madam is up to no good concerning me? I don’t like the sensual feeling and current that I get every time she comes around me. It is bad enough I had to leave home under the circumstances I left. Whether my parents are here or not, I will not forget what they have taught me about keeping myself. Besides, she is my Oga’s wife! 1If I wan marry, shebi I no see Makamba and Nkechi to make selection. Nah person property! Abeg o free me Madam Kate!” Martyns reasons to himself having just stepped out of Kate’s office.
And as he walks down the corridor to the pool office, he remembers the gist amongst the guys, he remembers how most of them dress better than their salary can afford because they are on the payroll of Sugar-mummies and it seems to be prevalent in the city. When they saw the shock on his face at their exploits, they laughed at him and called him JJC (Johnny Just Come or Johnny Come Lately). “Don’t worry, soon you will join us. 2We bin dey like you until kasala blow for our head! Dem no dey tell person dat kain thing.”
“Don’t listen to them, blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Avoid every appearance of evil. Flee! What would your parents think about it?” (The voice said to him)
Stepping into his office just before 5:00pm, Kate addresses Martyns “I hope you know we are handing over the profile for the client tomorrow afternoon, so we need to finalise on the project.”
Trying to hide his disappointment at having to be left to himself to find his way home. Since resuming work, he has been joining some of his colleagues to reduce the burden on the cost of transportation. Living in Lagos is so difficult already and now this. “Yes Ma’am”, he replies. She walks out. “Sorry guys, duty calls!” he informs his colleagues.
Rushing out of her office, looking visibly upset at what just transpired, at the brazen boldness exhibited by his madam, Martyns hurriedly packed his knapsack and leaves the office. “Phew, thank God!!!!! Thank God, she didn’t succeed. I have to be very careful with this woman o!”
“Guys, you won’t believe what happened yesterday!”
3“Wetin happen? You don come with ya bend bend tory”
“MARTYNS!!!!” Dave thundered, “In my office immediately. HOW DARE YOU?!”
Everyone stares with shock from the MD to their colleague and back again. Others wished he had finished the gist before this interruption.
“I…I…I didn’t do…”
“Shut up your stinking mouth… to think that I trusted you with everything in my company”
Sobs and more sobs
“He tried but God saved me…”
These were the bits of voices that filtered from the MD’s office to the pool office, whose occupants were MD, Madam and Martyns and before the others could understand what was going on, “Patrick! Get me security immediately” the MD bellowed from the intercom.
Everyone watched as Martyns was dragged off out of the office by the security to the waiting Police van.
Genesis 39: 4 – 20
Words in Pidgin English:
1 If I was interested in getting married, I would have chosen either Makamba or Nkechi and not someone else’s property! Please allow me breathing space Madam Kate!”
2 We were like you until hard times come on us. No one will advise you when it is time.”
3 “What happened? You have come with one of your unusual stories”
© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved