Chapter 1: Toffee
She ran down the street as fast as her legs could carry her. She was late, very late for her interview. She couldn’t just blow this opportunity up. After praying to God for a long time now to finally get an office job, finally she landed at one. Hendrix enterprises wasn’t a bad choice of place to work at, oh no, no...it was the best place for her. She was very sure they could afford to pay her good minimum wage. One that would put food on her table, clear all her debts and put her out of all her other side and night jobs.
“I’m sorry, please excuse me.” She demanded politely as she ran into a few people on her way. It couldn’t be helped. She was trying to meet up with time which apparently she didn’t have much of and here in front of her were a few people walking as sluggish as they could to her. So quacking and apologising was more of a habit now. Although, she knew her running late was partly her fault. She got home just early this morning from work and as tired as she was, she had so little time to sleep while having an early interview by day break.
What could she say? She wasn’t much of an alarm person. Yeah, never easily woke up by the alarm. It must have rung for a while and stopped on its own. She jumped out of bed after checking her wrist watch which was still on her wrist as soon as she turned on the bed and noticed the ray of sun peeping into the room through her closed curtain. She came home so tired and just fell on the bed without having her bath or changing into her pj’s. Realising there wasn’t much of time left till the interview, she quickly brushed her teeth and washed her face before changing into anything she could reach out in her closet. See, she wasn’t much of an arranged or neat person. She couldn’t quite combine colours for a perfect dressing so she wore anything she felt was great for a fancy interview.
She searched really hard for her favourite grey shirt which was her mum’s and then put it on. She found an old black skirt which seemed appropriate to her for an office work so she put it on after putting on her black pantyhose. As she tried hard to quickly zip it up, she noticed a slight rip beside the zip and she stumped her foot angrily at her immediate frustration. She thought of taking it off but no time and besides, she was going to put on a sweater which would apparently cover up the light rip and which she did. She picked up her shoe for special occasions which was a pair of dark brown brogues for women and picked up her one shoulder bag. She stuffed her other work place uniform into it before quickly rushing towards the door. She stopped and rushed back to stand in front of a small portrait picture in which stood a fair skinned man who seemed like he was in his early forties and beside him was a chocolate skinned woman. She apparently seemed about the same age as the man beside her with his arm around her neck. They were both smiling and looking very happy and satisfied.
“Mum, dad today is the day. The day I told you about. Please I need your blessings. I need you to please ask God to make this day perfect. I really need the job, okay. I love you both very much and see you later.” She chatted to the picture quickly before turning and rushing out through the door and quickly locked it behind her.
She managed to put on her shoes as she ran towards the bus stop and tied the shoe lace as soon as she got in and had her seat.
She ran up the numerous staircase before standing in front of the entrance into the tall sky scrapper building. She took in a deep breath before she noticed her reflection in the glass door in front of her. Her short curly black afro of a hair was in a mess. Quickly, she brought out a band from her bag and brushed her hair with her fingers before packing it into a better appearance. After feeling satisfied, she ran into the building. What she met was magnificent and beautiful. She heard of how beautiful the Hendrix empire was but she never imagined stepping into the building will look even better in reality. What caught her attention the most were the men and women walking around her all busy and dressed officially in beautiful suits. Not even one paid attention to her. She dreamed more than anything to own an ID just as they did in which they hung around their neck or pinned to their suits.
She snapped herself from her dreams and rushed to the receptions.
“Hello, my name is Emerson and I’m here for the interview...”
“You’re late.” The red headed young woman said nonchalantly without looking up to her.
“I know and I’m sorry but...”
“I suggest you go back home. Mr Hendrix hates tardiness and you’re a candidate of that.” She continued without looking up to Emerson. Emerson just shook her head as she drew a strange smile on her face.
“Don’t you think Mr Hendrix should say that to me and not you?”
“It’s a piece of advice...”
“Hey Miss!” Emerson called her attention a bit louder than earlier as she stumped her hands on the young woman’s desk.
The red headed young lady rose her eyes up to her. Emerson was glad to finally have her attention.
“I still have about five minutes till the interview is over so before those few minutes run out, I suggest you please do your work and lead me to the waiting room. You have no idea how far I’ve gone to get to this point so don’t you dare ask me to turn back...please.” She ended politely to make things sound better and added a smile as she noticed the shocking stare the young woman gave her.
“Fine.” The receptionist expressed reluctantly as she stood to her feet and walked around her table to where Emerson stood.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you later on.” She told her as she stuck a sticker on Emerson and written on it was ‘109 candidate’.
Emerson smiled happily at her last victory as she followed the red headed young lady behind all the way to the elevator.
“Sandra Fey.” A middle aged brunette called out to apparently the last person sitting in the waiting room.
“You’re the last so good luck.” She told the young woman she had called out who thanked her in return before walking off towards the elevator.
“You better make that second to the last. The last one is here and she’s really stubborn.” The receptionist told the brunette as soon as the last Candidate left.
“Hello my name is Emerson S...”
“You’re late.” The brunette interrupted her introduction with a straight face.
“That’s what I told her but no, she wouldn’t listen.” The receptionist backed up.
“I know but please there’s still time. I need this job. Please give me a chance.”
“Listen young lady, it’s not my call. Mr Hendrix hates tardiness...”
“That’s what I told her.”
“Sofia! Please... You can go back to your station. Thanks for bringing her here. I can handle it from here.” The brunette told her and frankly, she read Emerson’s mind. She was sick of the young woman’s constant interruptions.
“Are you sure? because I can call the security to help her out.” The red headed young woman still offered and Emerson felt like tearing her into two for that stupid suggesting.
“No, no, it’s okay. I’ve got this. Thank you Sofia.”
“Okay.” She said her last word and finally she was gone.
She watched the brunette sigh exhaustedly.
“Look young lady, I would love to help you but my hands are tied. I called your name earlier and you were nowhere to be found so I ticked absent. He has a copy of the candidates list and the young woman in there is the last on the list. I’m sorry but it’s best you leave now.” She explained and turned to leave but Emerson quickly took hold of her hand.
“Please ma’am I need this job. I’ve anticipated for this day since I found out. I really need this job. I can’t afford to turn away without trying. Please help me. Please just put in a good word for me to him and ask him to give me a chance.”
“It won’t work.”
“Please I’m begging you. Please just give it a try. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience but I really need this. Please.” Emerson pleaded so nicely and even put on her sorry face.
She was really sorry. She tried her best to be punctual but she just couldn’t make it. Emerson watched the woman’s face lit up in confusion, irritation and annoyance.
“Fine! Wait here. I’ll give it a try and if he says no then I’m sorry but you’ll have to leave, deal?”
“Deal.” Emerson agreed with a wide smile. She was very positive that everything was going to be fine. Neither God, her parents nor guardian angel was going to let her down.
She sat patiently and nervous while waiting for the woman to return. Finally, she did.
“So?” Emerson asked her.
“Hmm...What magic trick did you use? He has never gone back on his words.”
“I have the interview?” Emerson asked excitedly.
“Yes.” She answered still a bit confused.
“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you sooo much!” Emerson exclaimed as she flung her arms around the woman for a tight hug.
She heard the woman clear her throat for her to regain herself. Emerson got the message and let her go.
“You better don’t screw things up for yourself and come with me.” She warned her and Emerson shook her head excitedly before following her behind to the elevator which got to the next floor above.
“Are you stepping into his office dressed like that?” She asked Emerson while they stood in the elevator.
Emerson took one look at her dressing then back to the woman that gave her a strange look.
“Yes. I’m putting on my lucky shirt and my special occasion shoes. Nothing could go wrong.” Emerson said smiling from ear to ear while her eyes widened in joy as she felt so sure of her herself. The woman just gently shook her head at her as she looked away.
“Here we are. Act confident, answer politely and don’t forget to speak up.” She encouraged her and Emerson just nodded even though she knew she barely heard anything she said. She was busy trying to get over her nervousness. It was so unlike her to be scared and nervous but it was a big day so...she was allowed.
She stepped into the office and the door shut behind her.