I waved Zozo goodbye after dropping her in front of her school gate but she had already sped off to meet up with her friends. I smiled shaking my head at her, last year she wouldn’t let go off me but now she was running off and not looking back.
As I walked along the street and away from the school, my phone rang in my purse. I pulled out my phone and glanced at the screen. It was my Dad.
“Hello. Good morning, daddy”
“Good morning. How are you?”
“I’m fine. How about you and everyone else?”
“We’re all fine”
“Okay, that’s good” I said “Did something happen?”
“Like... You called me”
He chuckled. ” So I can’t call my daughter for no reason”
“You can” I replied with a smile spreading across my face
He chuckled again. “Anyways, I did call you for a reason”
“What is it?”
“A friend of mine from back in my University days has a reputable shipping company and I spoke to him concerning a job for you” he said
“Daddy, I already have a job” I replied
“You mean selling snacks in that hospital? That one is not a job” he argued
“If it’s not a job then what is it?” I asked, coming out to the open road where I would get a bus.
“Ehn... Well, it’s a job but not the kind I’d like for you”
I could imagine crinkling his nose as he spoke.
I let out a small laugh. “Okay, so what type of job would you prefer for me”
“A desk job or something” he stated. “Which is why I spoke to my friend and he’s open to meeting with you?”
“Really? Did you ask him what job I’ll be doing”
“No, he just said you should come to his office for an interview tomorrow by 8am” he replied. “I’ll send you the address on WhatsApp”
“Okay, no problem”
“I’ll talk to you later”
“Bye” he said and hung up.
An interview? It had been quite a while since I went for a job interview and I wasn’t a fan either. Job interviews were nerve-racking in its entirety; preparing for questions you might be asked was something I wasn’t looking forward to. They always wanted to know so much and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t get a call back and if at all I did, it was to let me know that the job had been taken by someone else.
An almost empty mini bus arrived at the bus stop and I boarded quickly. I took a seat by the window so I could look outside and also because it was stuffy in the bus. As the bus began to move, I leaned my head on the glass window and let my mind wander off.
Good luck, my love
I smiled at the message.
Noah was in full support of me going to the interview, knowing fully well that if I got the job, it would put a strain on how frequently we saw each other.
I was standing in front of the building; it was a tall, huge construction. There were about twenty or more floors in the building and from the billboards positioned in front of it, there were a couple of business enterprises using the building. An eye clinic, a hair salon, a Private technology enterprise and a couple others.
With a sharp intake of air, I squared my shoulders and walked into the building. The lobby was brightly lit by two florescent lights on the ceiling, a large wooden table sat in the middle of the lobby with an elderly man dressed in a torquoise blue security uniform sitting behind it. There were a couple of people sitting on the waiting chairs by the wall opposite the security man, a wide staircase leading to the next floor by the left corner of the lobby and an elevator beside the waiting chair.
“Hello. Good morning” I said as I walked over to the security man.
He looked up from the Vanguard newspaper he was reading before I walked over. “Good morning. How can I help you?”
“Emenike shipping limited. I’m here for an interview” I said
“Okay” he tapped his wrinkling hand on an open book in front of him. “Just sign in here, then take the elevator to the second floor. You’ll see a sign with the name”
“Okay, thank you” I said as I picked up the pen placed on top of the ‘signature’ book.
I thanked him one more time after signing before walking up to the elevator. As I got into the elevator, I said a silent prayer in my head for everything to go well. The lights on the first floor button came on indicating that someone had just pressed the elevator button on that floor.
The elevator doors opened up to reveal a young man dressed in a pink dress shirt, grey office pants and a matching tie paired with shiny black leather shoes. In summary, he looked smartly dressed.
“Hello” he said as he walked in.
I got a whiff of his cologne as he came to stand beside me; it was pleasantly strong. We waited silently for the elevator to get to our respective stops . The doors finally opened and I moved to get off as did the man making us slightly nudged each other with our shoulders. He was heading for the second floor too, it made sense now as to why he didn’t press any floor buttons.
“Sorry” I muttered
“No, I’m sorry” he said with a smile, revealing a nice set of teeth. “You go first”
We both walked in silence down the hallway. I noticed the sign with the name of the company on the wall at the end of the hallway just like the security man said. The sign had an arrow below pointing to a glass door on the left. As I approached the door, I noticed the guy following behind me.
“Seems like we’re heading to the same place” he pointed out.
“Yeah” I smiled
I pushed open the door and we both walked in. The light blue walls of the reception walls stood out, reception space was a little small but that was okay since it was just a couple of waiting chairs and the receptionist desk that was in the room along with a rectangular golden rimmed wall clock and an LG split unit air conditioner. There was another door to the left of the receptionist which I imagined led to the main office.
“What are you here for? If I may ask” the pink dress shirt man asked.
I turned to face him and I was able to get a good look at him. He had thick eyebrows and a lot of facial hair, neatly kept by the way. Although, there wasn’t much hair on his head which I guessed was a personal choice. He wasn’t really that muscular but he filled in enough to not classify him as lean, a couple inches taller than me and had the skin tone of Cadbury’s rich cocoa dark chocolate.
“Oh, an interview” I replied
His eyebrows furrowed. “Interview? I didn’t know we were holding interviews”
“I was called in by a Mr. Uche Emenike” I replied
“Oh okay” he nodded in understanding. “Well, good luck”
“Thank you” I replied before he walked through the door into the corner.
I walked over to the light skinned lady at the front desk who had been watching my entire conversation with the pink dress shirt guy.
“Hi” I said as I approached her desk.
“Hello” she replied with a smile, her bold red lipstick announcing itself.
“Come in and have a seat, dear” Mr. Uche said as soon as I stepped into his office.
His office walls were the same light blue colour from the reception downstairs. It turned out that the company occupied four floors of the building, starting from the second floor of the building to the fifth. A large mahogany desk sat a few inches away from the wall with a swivel chair in which Mr. Uche was seated on. There was a book case fixed to the wall on the left filled with books and files, mostly files and a plush, two seater couch sat at the corner few feets from the door where I stood.
The clinking sound of my open toe heels against the cream tiles resonated through the air as I walked to take a seat on one of the chairs opposite him. The chill air from the air conditioner on the wall behind Mr. Uche hit me as I sat down.
“So you’re Mr. Ezenwa’s daughter?” He said immediately I took the seat.
“Yes sir” I nodded with a smile
“Wow. Your father and I were really good friends back in the University.” The side of his eyes wrinkled as he smiled
I just nodded.
“Patrick, Patrick” he called out my father’s name, staring off into space as if recollecting their memories.
Mr. Uche had a bald patch in front of his head and a tiny hair strands at the side and back of his head, forming a somewhat semi-circle. From his sitting position, I could tell he would be nursing a small beer paunch with his slightly plump stature. His peanut butter skin tone glistened under the over head florescent light, especially the bald spot on his head. He was also spotting a moustache that framed his mouth, starting above his upper lip then making its way down to his chin, avoiding the sides of his face. His aging process was evident in his beards and hair as white strands of hair sparsely appeared in the midst of the black ones.
“Anyways, let me take a look at your CV” he said with an outstretched palm.
I took the file out from my bag and placed it on his palm. A nervous pit formed in my stomach as he put on the glasses that was hanging from his neck and began to look through the papers. The chill air coming out of the A/C wasn’t making me feel any better, if anything I wished I had brought a jacket along, I was wearing a short sleeved, A-line red gown.
I looked around the place and noticed a door hidden beside the bookcase, must be his personal restroom.
He placed the papers back into the file, closed it and looked up at me. “Your father informed me about your dropout from school and that you would be returning this year so... Why do you think I should give you a job here”
I cleared my throat. “Sir, I know that I’m not the most qualified for a job here or anywhere as big as this but I know that I’m a very driven person and I’m extremely willing to learn anything that will help me get better, even though it might be for a short period of time. Sir, I wouldn’t want you to give me a job because of my father, instead because I’m meticulous and I would prove to be an asset to your company”
A smile appeared on his face. ” Well spoken, just like your father”
I replied with a wide smile.
I didn’t know where that speech came from but as I opened my mouth, words just came pouring out.
“I’ll get back to you, miss Ijeoma” he said, standing to his feet and outstretching his hand.
“Thank you, sir” I stood up as well and shook his hand.
I left the office with my fingers crossed, hoping that I made an impact on him.
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