Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The. Surprise

Hi. There is a gentleman to see you at the lobby; said the receptionist.

Very strange. I typically do not have visitors just show up at the office. Usually they would call, or book an appointment.

I craned my neck to see if my assistant was nearby, so I could ask her to go badge the 'gentleman' in, but alas, she had gone out for lunch and would not be back until lunchtime was over.  Some people grab a quick sandwich at their desk, others go downstairs to the cafeteria for a quick bite, but not my assistant. She always goes out for lunch, no matter how tight her schedule is. As she says - it is the one hour I truly have to myself, and I am going to enjoy every bit of it.

I envy her. I am typically the type that schedules meetings over lunch time, or use that 30-45 minutes to catch up on my emails.  As you can imagine, I end up munching on some unhealthy snacks, drinking copious amounts of coffee and caffeinated drinks to power on through the day.
I know, I know, it is not the right way to live. I have promised myself that I will start doing something healthier next month. Wait.... did I say that last month as well?

Now, back to the visitor at the reception. Who on earth could it be? Typically the people that show up unannounced fall into the following categories:-

#1: Old acquaintances looking to catch up ... They usually start with 'I heard you are now working here, so I decided to just drop in to say hello.... Usually harmless

#2: Long lost and usually distant relatives. They usually start with ' I saw you in the newspaper and I could not believe it that you are here. Your mom (or dad) would be so proud of what you have achieved. Come, let me pray for you.

#3: The job seekers: Ma, please help me, I need a job and I am believing that you can help me.

#4: The marketers/suppliers: I have a new show/program/print magazine/ that I would want you and your company to sponsor. If I can have a moment of your time....

#5: The askers who desperately need financial help. With chilling stories of neglect, suffering, and impoverishment.

#6 The scammers.  Who come talking a big game of investments that quadruple in a second and show you multiple proof of how it makes sense to invest in this scheme, or this Garden property or this transport or farming business.

In any case, there is only one way to find out. I drag my eyes of my computer screen and make my way down to the lobby. I fiddle with my phone in the elevator, as everyone does, usually to avoid eye contact and small talk.  I am very comfortable in silence, and I wonder why some people feel they have to always fill it with meaningless chatter - and it is usually about the weather. Oh the forecast said it is going to be sunny all week.  Oh really! What an absolute surprise! Yawnnnnn.


I come out of the elevator, and make my way around the bend. With the corner of my eye, I see the silhouette of the man waiting for me in the visitor's area and it is oddly familiar. Just then, my phone rings, and I see it is an urgent call. I turn away just as he rises. I talk quickly in the phone in my 'office voice' - hey, Hildah, yes I got the email, listen, can I call you in 30 mins? Just about to go in for a meeting. is that ok, Thanks a lot. talk soon. thanks.bye

I get to the security barriers and fumble for my ID card to badge myself out, while trying to tuck my phone in my pocket, I am already spilling out the usual apologies .. Hey there, sorry for keeping you waiting, was just finishing a call....... He turns around and the speech dries up.

His mouth curves into a small smile, and his eyes twinkle.

Hello Mother. Glad to have finally found you.

No. It cannot be. I scream silently.  My heart. Pounds painfully. My throat. Parched.
My head. Spinning. My eyes. Clouding. I. Cannot. Move. 

I try to take a step, to cover the distance between us. In my mind at least.

Big mistake.

The movement makes my head explode and all of a sudden I feel myself falling.

Thankfully, the ground comes up fast.

And I am enveloped in blackness.

1 comment:

  1. Ah ah ah. This ended in a very surprising way. The story changed totally in the last sentences. You should write more.

    ReplyDelete

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Cynthia. Cynthia Amaize Cynthia Ovuede. Federal Government Girls College. 1989. We liked FGGC Benin because at least we could make ou...