Title: Fine Bara || Written by Aooms
Ishola grinned his flashiest smile. Today was his D-day, he just knew it. His suit had never looked so blue, his white shirt never so pristine, complete with a real silk tie and super shiny real Italian leather shoes. There was no going wrong with this look, the world was in the palm of his hands. He walked with a spring in his step, his head held up high, his chest pushed forward. He squeezed the life out of the orange, careful not to drip some juice on his clean cut attire, then threw the completely sucked fruit into the air. In his excitement, he kicked it with his foot into the bin close by, leaving a round wet stamp of his once held orange. Damn! He bent over and wiped it with his palm. There! Good as new! He bent over again to tap the shoe admiringly, but found himself pushed with so much force so fast that he banged his head against the bin. Immediately, he sprung up to pounce on the offender.
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“Chai, brother no vex. Na this Monday rush catch me. Holy Spirit follow you!”
He looked angrily at her.
“Which kind Monday rush? Abeg vamoose this your papaya yansh for road!” He wanted to retort at the very big sweaty lady who had just collided his skinny bottom with her own super-sized one, but he kept his lips sealed. After all, she just blessed him with the Holy Spirit and that’s always good luck. He smiled. He also decided at that moment that he was attracted to the woman. Making small talk would not hurt. They were still waiting for the bus anyway and he still had two hours to the job interview. His eyes swept her physique and Ishola felt tight with pleasure as his mind imagined all the nasty perverted things he had never done to a woman.
“I understand, my dear. But today is the day that the Lord has made… ” He started to say,
“…And we will rejoice and be glad in it!” the lady joined in with a giggle.
“I’m Ishola, Show for short. What’s your name?”
“My name na Mary.” She replied, blushing profusely. She couldn’t believe he was trying to make conversation with her. People labeled her fat and ugly. She didn’t have friends, so she befriended Jesus. People kept away from her. They said she sweated like a pig and was smelly. Mary washed herself eight times a day, even though she wasn’t sure that part about her having an odour was true.
“Where are you from, Mary?” Ishola, seeing that he had completely got her hooked tried to look more manly by leaning back stylishly, with his hands in his pockets.
“I come from Edo state. What about you?” She asked, fiddling timidly with her top. Ishola’s jaw almost slacked open. He could see some nice cleavage.
“Oyo state. Mary you’re so beautiful!” He blurted out. His eyes popped out at the shock that he actually had the guts to say what had been resounding in his mind. He quickly straightened up. He didn’t want to loose his cool aura. Meanwhile, Mary almost swooned. She was quite sure she was in paradise and was talking with one of the hottest angels of the host of heaven. She gave a silent thanks that right at that moment, the bus slid into the scene and saved her from making a fool of herself. Her tongue felt so tangled up, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to make it say a word anytime soon. They got on the bus with a few other people and the two continued their conversation. Ishola paid for them both and quickly got her number before she dropped off. The smile on his face was such a happy one that even the blind could see that he hadn’t got laid in a long time. What no one knew, shocking as it seemed, was that the last time he ever did anything close to getting laid was in his grandma’s house, eight years ago when he was sixteen, when his grandma’s friend’s grand daughter kissed him and did a little other things to him. They were dorky enough to like each other, but since he was dorkier, she moved on after that ,looking for less dorky boys to hook up with. Ishola was practically still a virgin at the age of twenty four.
The bus finally pulled up into the park, it was the last bus stop at Obalende, and Ishola got off suddenly realizing that he had only an hour left for the interview. How time flew so fast! He was too deep in his imaginations of fantasies with Mary that he had lost all focus. Alright! Time to stay alert! Within twenty minutes, he finally made it to the office. He strode in confidently, lying to himself that he wasn’t nervous at all. He stated his purpose to the smart-looking woman behind the desk. She told him to please sit down on one of the porsh chairs adjacent her desk. He did. Ishola could smell heavy money everywhere. He could smell it in the decor of the room he was sitting in, on the shiny white marble floor, on the wooden desk the receptionist was working on. He was sure he could smell it in her demeanor, even in her breath when she spoke. This was no joke working in this firm, and soon enough, he himself would be earning some cool cash. He smirked to himself. He didn’t look bad himself. He looked like a cool million dollars. Why wouldn’t he get the job? Wasn’t “packaging” everything? He double-checked his folder of files. He was sure everything was in there, but he did it anyway to while away the time. After that, he adjusted his already perfect tie, straightened his coat and dusted at his fine trousers. Satisfied, he sat up straight and waited… And waited… And waited.
How unprofessional! The interview was one hour late! He had been waiting all that time. He inhaled to recompose himself. There was no use loosing his temper. After all, this was Nigeria and that was how things were done in this wretched country! His stomach grumbled out in terrible hunger, all he’d had was that miserly orange. By the time the interviewee summoned him, he was properly in a bad mood, famished and slumped on his chair. His folder lying on his thighs and his arms hanging weakly by his sides. He had been waiting for two hours!
When Ishola finally exited the place, his face was a terrible mask of anger. Regardless of the hunger, regardless of the weakness that of course, comes with hunger. Regardless of various hideous personal questions… Like where are you from?… Oh, you’re Yoruba… Hmm… His interviewer’s name was Mr Richard Obodo… Definitely not a kinsman. He perceived the rotten smell of nepotism right from that moment! Regardless of his anger, he had kept his composure… And believed, he aced the interview. But guess what?…
“Sorry mister, but we cannot give you this job.”
And he politely… Gentlemanly demanded why not, but all the “buffoon-face-monkey-head-dry-like-iroko-tree-elephant-belle-hippopotamus-nose” of a man could come up with as a justifiable reason was…
“You’re not from Niger-Delta, Mr. Odelabi.” Pronouncing his family name wrongly and completely changing the meaning from “we gave birth to a hunter” to “we gave birth to an idiot”.
Ishola lost all his patience and good manners then. In his mind, his voice kept saying… Chill guy, chill guy… But he didn’t heed the warning… He yelled his next words.
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“You for write am for the advertisement na! This one na mega-craze! Shey you know wetin I don do so that I go fit come this your nonsense office?! Dey waste my time dey ask me craze-man questions for this mumu interview! Thunder fire you! At least, you go help us save transport fare to come this rubbish place! No respect sef! Because I be Yoruba man… Story for the gods!” And with that, he grabbed his yellow plastic folder and stormed out of the building in a heated feeling of righteous indignation.
The sun was burning, reflecting Ishola’s boiling mood. He was sweating profusely and his black skin shone like it was polished with beeswax. He removed the expensive coat violently and yanked at the tie. His day had been completely ruined. Standing at the bus stop, it suddenly dawned on him that he had no transport fare. Not even one kobo in his pocket. Damn, his return fare was what he used to pay for Mary’s early this morning.
“See wetin woman cause!” He said to himself.
To be continued………
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