Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Chapter 3.
Chapter three climax's Ufoma's rash dreams.
I got to the shop called office, very early as usual and this time it was locked. I tried calling the numbers of my superiors but it wasn’t responding. I walked down to the shop close by and sat on the wooden table outside; for that shop too was locked. It was almost an hour when the owner of the shop in which I sat approached me with a buddle of keys in her hand.
Good morning ma, I greeted. Hello my dear good morning. Was her reply. Are you waiting for someone? She went on. Yes ma, I work at the oil sector over there and have been waiting here for my superiors to come and their phone lines aren’t going through.
Oil sector? She asked puzzled. Which oil sector? In Igando? On this street! She lamented.
Yes ma, the shop over there. I replied pointing to the lonely shop that was the only one on the street without a burglary and no widow protectors but happens to be an oil sector. My dear; the woman continue becoming more concerned- that place isn’t an oil sector o! The owner of that shop use to bring in film actors once in a while but he stopped and moved out.
Moved out? No o. Mr Kalu told me he brings in actors yes, but he does oil business there too.
Chai! My daughter this is Lagos! Shine your eye! The owner of that shop is not Mr Kalu o! He use to come there when the owner was using that place. But after the owner left there I started seeing him more frequently. Am sure Mr John the owner of the shop has some months rent he hasn’t used up. That’s why Kalu comes there. As for what he does there; no one knows. If someone says he does oil business you no go see am for him body? If someone is promising you millions won’t you see it in his appearance? Can’t you see his shoes, belt and cloths look tattered. You better be careful!
With that she began to let out some points I had noticed myself, but chose to ignore. Like his shirt for instance. The other day at the office with him, he raised up his hand and there was a big hole under his arm pit. I was shocked his clothe was torn. But I just felt it was a mistake on his part; he hadn’t noticed. But about his shoes? There was a big hole in one that brought out his big toe. It was so embarrassing walking down with him from street to street going from one bar to the other to discuss with prospective clients we never met but waited for.
Ma, please do you have an idea why they aren’t open yet. I asked her. Today is market environmental day my dear. Every Thursday is set aside each week to clean your shop surroundings. We can only open from 10am. When did you start working with that man?
I started last week Friday. This is my first Thursday with them and they never told me of this environmental. Although I have known about Thursday environmental for shops but I felt since it’s a company it won’t affect it.
Haaaa! Now you finalized it yourself. Oil sector indeed! For inside shop. She added a sarcastic laugh to her comment. Please my dear you better leave this people fast before it’s too late. Thanks so much ma for your info, I promise to keep this confidential and heed your advice.
My daughter. She added. Even if you didn’t keep this confidential, the whole street will support me. I am not afraid of him. Leave that stupid place quick. I can see them coming now ma, please let me go meet them. Thanks again ma. I repeated that twice and walked away.
Would Ufoma Be Patient?
Mr Kalu and Kayode apologized for not informing me about the environmental. He blamed his personal assistant for that and said his phone was off due to no power supply to charge his phone. I thought to myself; if this man is into oil and gas won’t he have a generator and fuel in it to charge his phone? What am I still doing with this criminals. I asked myself.
Ufoma please go in and sweep the office, we have a lot to talk on today.
When I was done sweeping, he entered the shop alone and sat down. He said what he is about to tell me, should not be made known to Kayode that’s why he sent him away.
What is it sir. I asked looking more concerned. Well; he went on, it’s about your future. I am a very special kind of man as you may have noticed. I can do wonders and I like to hide my true identify due to security purpose. The Bible says let those with money act as if they have none. So I hide my status. How I got this high, is a huge secret. But I have come to love you overnight that I wish to reveal it to you. You remember the first time you walked into this office, I told you- today is one of your blessed days?
Yes sir I remember. My eyes brightened as he hypnotized me with those magic words.
I want to reveal to you my secret. The source of my wealth. The things I use are completely natural and spiritual.
Please sir. I had to stop him there. I do not engage in spiritism. Don’t be a chicken. He fired back. What is spiritism? Is it not knowing things pertaining to spirits? Isn’t God and Jesus and the angels not all spirits? He hypnotized me further. Something as natural as snail water can do wonders for you. All you need to do is….
Please sir. Can you just go to the point. What are you really getting at. I asked cutting him off. That did surprise him, he never saw it coming. Yes I was already getting more irritated now, not because of what he was actually saying but because of what I was seeing. Right under him, as he sat on the chair with the one and only table in the shop drawn to him; I could see beneath him his torn trouser. The hole bore right in the middle of his thighs. God have mercy on me! He had nothing on. His manhood just popped out and I said to myself; this must be a mad man. Ufoma you have to leave now and move fast.
Ironically, those were his exact words at the moment. Ufoma you have to leave now and move fast. To where I ask. For I had lost concentration.
You haven’t been listening to me? He asked angrily. I look at you and I see a big rock tied to a rope and the rope tied to your waist. And whatever you do in life will never succeed because you will be continuously drawn back by that rock. You need to leave now and fast to cut it off. I can help you. Once it’s off, any money you make here through thus business will succeed. If you doubt me, just wait and see. As I am speaking to you, a man and a woman are on their way down here with a business worth millions. Within five minutes they will knock on this door. I just saw them in a vision God just showed me.
Get Away From Me!
What Happens Next?
There was a knock on the old rusty gate. A haggard looking man and woman entered and started discussing a business worth millions of dollars. Yes you read right: dollars. Right in front of me, Mr Kalu called the chairman of oil and gas for the whole world. He happened to be a white man. He put his phone on speaker and we could hear his conversation. The business seems fulfilling. The clients were seriously doing the figures, converting dollars to naira, and how the tons of fuel would be transported from America to Nigeria.
The deal was signed. Sealed and waiting for things to fall in place. I was told my commission would be 6,000,000, naira. I was told to open a current account because a savings account won’t retain that money.
Ufoma, we need to leave now. Let’s go to one of those bars so we can finalize our discussion. When we got there Kayode was already there having a bottle of beer. And I was encouraged to drink alcohol too. After my first experience with Onyeka, I refused. Alcohol almost caused me my life.
After an hour spent there, he told him I should get prepared for tomorrow. When I resume work tomorrow, I won’t be going home. He said I have work to do online, so we will take a room in this hotel and work throughout the night. He also said I will be doing a lot of travelling with him and he hopes I won’t be stopped by my dad. I responded no Sir, he is hardly around. We went into one of the rooms and saw how it looked. He asked me if I liked it? I said it’s okay. And he said many of his girls working for him had gone back to school. They use to work over night like this and they made millions from this business. I was beginning to suspect the way he always emphasized on the word millions, like he knew it was the only word keeping me with him. Then I spoilt the fun by asking him a question.
Sir, you haven’t told me how much my salary will be. Salary? He exclaimed. So you want salary? Why would you when you will be getting commission. Well sir… I explained. Supposing jobs don’t come, I need money for feeding and transport. My dad vowed not to support me until next year when I gain admission into the university. He is not in support of me getting a job.
His reply was what saved me from my fools Paradise. Ufoma, if I pay you salary; I won’t give you commission. Now your salary will be 30,000 a month. But your commission in one transaction can be up to 6,000,000 just like the job we got today which we are planning to execute.
As I played on my bed that night after that day's work, I asked myself: which employer will be happy to give you 6,000,000 instead of 30,000 naira for a business you didn’t even contribute to. If he can release 6,000,000 naira for a business I didn’t contribute to but only listened too; then why pay as low as 30,000 naira for actually working as a secretary. The answer was not far fetched. The 6,000,000 naira was imaginary.
I never went back the following day and Mr Kalu and Kayode never called me. Could it be they saw me as a fool that threw away a big business opportunity? Or I saw them for what they truly are: wolfs in sheep clothing, and they knew? That’s what I may never know, but am glad to be alive and safe.
© 2020 Jade George Anibor