So I’m breaking my silence today! Yes! This is a new series. Join me on this ride as we become a part of Nimi, Laye and Ken’s lives. Happy reading!
It was a cool Monday morning, just the way Nimi liked it. She was out of the house at the first light of day. The rain all through the night had not stopped her from her usual practice ever since she joined the staff team of DPassion Advertising Agency. The office was far from her house, and she couldn’t afford to be caught up in the mad traffic of the morning. In fact, she couldn’t afford any delays if she wanted her salary intact at the end of the month. DAA had a zero tolerance for lateness and laziness. It wasn’t as if the salary commemorated the staff input. Still, she loved her job. Working as a copywriter gave her much pleasure. She had only been in DAA for seven months, but she already developed an attachment to her job and her colleagues.
Traffic was light that morning due to the weather. She got a cab in no time and settled in for the twenty minutes’ drive to the office. Her eyes drifted closed and opened as the cool wind blew against her face. Most of the shops they drove past were not opened. The weather had given people the rest they needed but couldn’t afford. Nimi smiled, giving a dramatic shiver. The day would be good, she could tell. Right inside of her, excitement bubbled. For what reason, she couldn’t tell. It was definitely not because of Raymond. A slight frown creased her brows at the thought of him. She shook it off and looked forward with the same enthusiasm from moments ago. Her day would be good and that was all that mattered. Thoughts of Raymond would just have to wait.
When she arrived, she was happy to note that she was the third person to clock in that morning. It was still twenty minutes before the actual resumption time. She straightened her suit skirt and sauntered to the general office. One of the office’s helpers rushed to her and offered to take her bag. She smiled her thanks and handed it over to the girl. The girl joined the Agency a few weeks back when she parted ways with her wicked aunt who brought her to the city as an unpaid maid. Her hardworking and humble personality endeared her to many.
Nimi looked around when she stepped into the office. A satisfactory smile spread across her lips when her eyes fell on her desk. Not a pin was out of place. Her files were stacked neatly on one side of the table, and her team’s files also occupied one part, neatly arranged. Her desktop computer sat comfortably in the middle of the desk. This was the way she loved her desk looking. She pushed her chair back and took her seat. She said another thanks to the helper who carried her bag.
It was time for tea.
She opened her bag and brought out her water flask. She pulled out a drawer and took out two cups. She gave a small smile. It was time for her morning ritual with her friend Layefa. Layefa was never late. When she signed in earlier, she had seen her name as number one.
Nimi got up. She carried the flask and the two cups and went down the hall. Layefa was in her office. She pushed the door and went in.
“Good Morning.” She greeted with a bright smile.
Layefa looked up from the screen of her computer. Her face broke into a smile too. “Good morning, beautiful. You look so goooood.” She commented, looking Nimi over.
Nimi gave a short laugh, waving her off. “Oh please, Laye. You look better.” She replied, also taking in her perfectly shaped ash-coloured suit.
Layefa shook her head. “Forget it, Nimi. You are the brightness of the day.” She countered.
“Then, you are the best rival I have.” Nimi winked at her. They burst into laughter. It was part of their morning ritual to compliment each other’s look until one gave up. It also gave them a good feeling to be complimented, especially on mornings when one stood out; just like this particular morning. Nimi loved everything she had picked out that morning: from the body-fitting suit to the red shoes she had on to match the navy-blue suit, to her beautifully made up face and neatly-packed hair, Nimi knew she was outstanding. She dragged a stool and sat on it. She placed the flask and the cups on the desk. She opened the flask and poured the already made tea into the two cups.
“So, how was your weekend?” She asked Layefa.
Layefa shrugged. “The usual. Mama didn’t stop nagging me about a husband.” She said. Nimi laughed. A sad line crossed Laye’s face. “Really, Nimi, if I knew where they sell husbands, I would have gone to purchase one.”
Nimi threw her head back in laughter, almost falling off the stool. “That’s hilarious, Laye.” She said.
“It’s hilarious to you because you are not in my shoes, Nimi.” She brought the cup to her lips and sipped its content. She lowered the cup. “Mama is really getting on my nerves. She reminds me daily how she single-handedly sponsored me when my father died and left her with a pile of debts. She wants to eat the fruit of her labour before she journeyed to the great beyond.” She gave a resigned shake of her head.
NImi placed a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder. “Don’t let it bother you so much, Laye. God’s time is the best. Your own man will come at the right time, my dear friend.” She assured her.
“I wish you’ll come and tell my mother that, and she’ll believe you.” She smiled a little. “By the way, what about you and Raymond?” she asked, changing the subject.
Nimi sobered. “It’s the same story, Laye. He hasn’t said anything. He has neither assured me of our future together nor told me why his mother won’t accept me.” She looked down at her cup. “I keep wondering if there’s something I don’t know. He pretends we are okay, but I can see the growing distance in his eyes. I think he’ll call it quit soon.” Tears pooled in her eyes.
“Ah, don’t be like that, Nimi. Don’t let Ray spoil your day. If he’s not man enough to stand up for what he wants then he doesn’t deserve you. You’re one in a million, my friend; the best Copywriter in the whole city.” She praised her.
Nimi rolled her eyes. “Oh please, Laye. You like teasing me.” She coughed a little to clear her choked up throat.
“You know I’m telling the truth.” Laye raised her hands.
“Alright then. Thank God I have the best Art Director as a friend. Now finish up your tea and let’s go to the conference room for team briefing.”
Laye nodded and downed the rest of her tea. She raised the cup as a form of salute to Nimi. “Thanks, Nimi. Now we can boldly face a typical day in DAA.”
Nimi laughed. They got up and walked up the stairs to the conference room. Team briefing in DAA was as important as the actual work.
Ken watched the scene before him in utter dismay. He hated being the reason for any argument how much more between his uncle and his aunty. The argument had been on for over five minutes, and each minute made him more uncomfortable. If he knew heeding his uncle’s call would cause so much problem, he would have stayed back in Lagos. At least, he wasn’t jobless, even though the job offered little. But he would never disobey his uncle, the man who had taken care of him when he lost his father while in junior secondary school two. Having lost his mother at a tender age, he was orphaned in secondary school. God had used his uncle to bring him up. He was grateful for this. However, he didn’t want to be a problem now that he could stand for himself.
He listened again as his aunty poured out malicious words. “Darling, you can’t continue to spoon-feed Ken. Let him find his own way.” She said, throwing Ken a bitter look.
Doutimi sighed heavily. “Nene, how many times will I tell you that Ken is part of my family, and I can do anything to make him comfortable?”
Nene’s face tightened with displeasure. “Fine, but must you give him our son’s inheritance?” She asked, arms folded across her chest in defiance.
Doutimi took his seat and crossed his legs. “Nene, Douye is a medical doctor. He wants nothing to do with DAA. He has made that clear over and over again. Ken is the right man. He has administrative knowledge. Making him the Executive Director of DAA will make a great impact on the Agency, and it would be for the best.” He explained.
Nene didn’t back down. “But there are directors in the Agency. What is the need for another director?” She demanded.
Doutimi straightened, his patience waning. “Yes, we have directors, but I said executive director. I want someone to monitor the activities of the Agency. You know we’re not stable in the country. I want someone that can be reached easily when we are away on one of my numerous business trips.” He told her gently, trying not to snap at her.
“It’s just so unfair.” She muttered tears in her eyes.
Doutimi regarded her calmly, reigning his anger. He knew what she was doing. She wanted to pull the guilt card on him. It had worked other times, like when she insisted Ken attended a federal university instead of a private one like their son. It won’t work this time. He would help his nephew whether she liked it or not. His recent trip to Lagos confirmed what he suspected all along: Ken was living poorly. His job was nothing to write home about. He couldn’t have all this luxury and see his nephew struggling to make ends meet. He fixed Nene with an unyielding look. “Sorry, Nene, you can’t have what you want this time. Ken is now the Executive Director of DPassion Advertising Agency, so deal with it. I’ll take him to the Agency tomorrow to be introduced to his staff.” He told her.
She looked at him maliciously for a few seconds, then she stormed off in a huff. Doutimi watched her go. She would get over it when she sees the result of Ken’s hard work in DAA, he assured himself. He turned to Ken. “Congratulations, my dear.” He smiled at him.
Ken shifted uncomfortably in his chair. His eyes kept going to the way his aunty had stormed off. “I’m sorry, Uncle, but I can’t accept your offer.” He said, not looking at him.
The smile slipped off Doutimi’s face. “Why, Ken? Because of your aunty?” He inquired. Ken gave a small nod. “Don’t worry about her. You should be used to her after all these years. Listen, Ken, I really need your help in DAA. Things haven’t been going so well for some time now. We lost two major accounts last month and the team of directors couldn’t explain what went wrong. I need you, Ken. I trust your administrative skills. Please do this for your old uncle.” He appealed to him.
Ken considered this for a while, then he smiled. “Alright, Uncle. I’ll work as DAA’s executive director.” He answered.
“Excellent.” His uncle beamed at him. He got up from the couch and offered a hand to Ken. “Welcome on board, Ken.”
Ken accepted his uncle’s handshake. “Thank you, Uncle. I won’t disappoint you.” He assured.
Doutimi gave a nod. “Yes, yes. I know you won’t. Just give it your best shot.” He encouraged.
“I will,” Ken said, more to himself than to his uncle. It was time to prove himself as a man, no matter what his aunty thought of him.
This is how I look when I know the holiday is near and I have enough time to tell stories. Yay!!!!! Thanks, guys, for all your support. Thanks for taking your time to read my stories.
Photo Credit: Me, myself and I
Cover Photo Credit: finding love: Google images