Becoming: Episode 7

Kassy: Chop and Clean Mouth

“Hello… and who are you?” Kassy asked, approaching the man sweltering in the black suit with caution. With his dark suit and shades, and his short, dread locked hair, the stranger looked a tad shady. And worse, he knew her name. She felt like she was in a movie or something; like the lead actor just before the bad guys got her. She felt slightly comforted by Aghogho’s presence, though. Even if she got kidnapped by this character, he wouldn’t get away without at least a few scratches from Aghogho.

“You may call me Kizito. Kizzy for short,” he said, with a laugh that grated on Kassy’s nerves. She flinched. She hated it when people laughed for no reason.

“Yes, Mr. Kizito, how can little corpers like us help a big boy like you?” Aghogho said. Kassy smiled inside as the sarcasm flew right over the man’s head.

He laughed again. “Young girls, I am just a loyal servant at your service.”

“Abeg, move aside so we can open our door, since you’re not here to kidnap us,” Aghogho said.

“Kidnap you? No! I was sent here by the Honourable himself.”

“Which Honourable?” Kassy asked, more to buy time; she already knew the answer.

“Ah! Honourable Fineface Alaibe, of course! Who else can it be in the whole of this Bayelsa?”

“Oh, that Honourable. And he sent you to do what?” Aghogho asked.

“He sent me to bring some things for Miss Kassy,” he said, gesturing to a huge bag that neither girl had noticed sitting beside their door.

“Okay. Tell him thank you for us,” Aghogho said, virtually pushing Kizito aside to open the door to their room, after which she promptly dragged the bag inside. Kassy rushed in after her, leaving Kizito standing there with a puzzled look.

“Aghogho, where are you taking the bag?” Kassy said to her room mate in a fierce whisper.

“Inside now. To see what is inside. Abi is it outside that the bag will stay?”

“But I’m not taking his gift,” Kassy protested.

“And why not? Did you send him? Or did you beg for it?”

“But if I take it, he will see it as me accepting him,” Kassy insisted.

Aghogho shook her head. “Men like this honourable, they have plenty of money to spend. And they see this type of thing as a challenge. They want you to spend their money, to make them chase you. Believe me, they enjoy this sort of thing; in fact, they expect it from you. It won’t be a problem. People like honourable are not like all these broke or almost broke guys that count every kobo they spend chasing a girl and expect her to pay back in kind. Honourable wants to spend his money, so let him. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”

Kassy thought about it for a while. During her time in the university, she had known of girls who dated men like honourable; rich, mostly married political types. And she had always looked at them funny. But she found herself feeling a certain curiosity, and a part of her was flattered to be chased by this rich, older man. But she would never date him, that much was for sure. One thought stayed at the back of her mind, though—Efe. What would he think of this, of her? But she couldn’t bring this up. Aghogho would only remind her that Efe was not her boyfriend, and as far as they both knew, had no intention of being that.

“So what do I tell the minion outside?”

“Just tell him to tell honourable Fineface—gosh, that name sha! And the guy no come fine. What do they call that thing in literature again… irony, abi sarcasm?”

“Tell him what now!”

“Ehen, tell him to tell honourable thank you, and that you’ll call him.”

“Okay. Hmm… Aghogho, this thing better not blow up and put me in trouble.”

“My friend, you worry too much. There’s no wahala; I shall teach you the art of chopping and cleaning mouth.”

 

Yinka: Ultimatums & Revelations

Yinka sat at his desk staring at the monitor. He had been sitting in the same spot for about an hour, not doing anything, just staring. To the passing eye it would seem that he was deep in concentration trying to come up with a brilliant idea for the new ad campaign he was supposed to be working on. He was not. Rather, he was wondering how he would break the news to Amelia. How he would give her an ultimatum. It had been a full week since he had decided what he wanted to do. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to actually do it. He had never been one to procrastinate but the task before him scared him. Well today would be the day, he would confront his fears and Amelia too.

He had decided to make her choose between him and her husband. He had come to the realisation that he was drawn to her in a way he had never been drawn to any other woman. He was not going to share. So she would have to choose, gamble on him or stay in a loveless marriage and lose out on the possibility of a lifetime of happiness with him. He chuckled to himself. ‘Lifetime of happiness’ indeed, he couldn’t even promise her a month, a year. He wasn’t deterred though; he would try his best to make this work. He owed it to himself. He owed it to the way he felt about her. If this ended up blowing up in his face then so be it. At least he would know that he did everything possible to make it work.

Whatever her decision, he would have to quit his job. If she chose him they would have to have a legitimate relationship and he wasn’t keen on being the source of office gossip. If she chose her husband he would still have to leave. The thought of not being with her, of seeing her in hallways, elevators and conference rooms would be more than he could bear. So he began writing his resignation.

He was halfway done when he got a call on the office intercom. He hoped it wasn’t her; he didn’t want to see her before he was ready to tell her tonight. He had already booked a spot at their favourite Thai restaurant. He would tell her tonight. He gulped; it wouldn’t be easy but he would do it regardless. He had to. His heart left him with no choice.

The phone rang again. He answered it on the second ring this time.

‘Hello.’

‘Yinka Balogun’

‘Speaking…and how may I help you?’

‘This is Toluwalope from the MD’s office. He would like to see you in his office as soon as possible.’

‘I’ll be there right away.’ He hung up.

Yinka wondered what this could be about. He wasn’t going to find out by sitting there.

Five minutes later, he was in the office of the Managing Director. Looking in the face of the man whom he considered his role model in the industry but had hardly had any contact with. Mr. Okunowo had started this company when he was only 27 and had built it to where it was now. This would probably be the first time Yinka would be with him alone. He hoped it wasn’t about Amelia, he hoped they hadn’t found out about their affair. He was suddenly overwhelmed with fear as he waited for Mr. Okunowo to get off the phone and address him.

‘Young man, How are you doing today?’. Mr. Okunowo said with a wry smile.

Thank you for reading! Becoming is an original series created by the Communications Department of Joshua Ville. Look out for Episode 8 next week, and do