If The Shoe Fits – Episode 3 – Face To Face

If The Shoe Fits – Episode 3 – Face To Face

Read Previous Episode Here

I was running late for the meeting of the Heads of Departments and as the company secretary, I should be seated before everyone else.

“Adesuwa, Mr. Chris asked to see you, I told him you went to the rest room” Yinka, one of my colleagues at work said, as I rushed in to my office and placed my bag on my desk.

“Mr. Chris as in the MD? Did he say why?” I answered, confused as to why he would want to see me right before the meeting.

“He didn’t say, he only said it was urgent, so I suggest you hurry up and get to his office right away.Yinka advised.

“Okay, thanks, I’d be on my way” I said, as I smoothed the bottom of my dress and picked up my note pad and pen and the printed copies of the minutes to the last meeting. Even though I had sent E – copies to everyone concerned, It was company ritual that the hard copies were always made available.

Silhouette of an office girl - stock photo free

I knocked softly on the door of the office and on impulse, as I waited for him to answer, I checked my E-mail on my mobile phone. There was a mail from him. I read through quickly just as I heard him ask me to come in.

“Good morning Adesuwa, is the list ready?” He asked, looking up at me, through his Cartier glasses, from his 27″ Imac.

I stuttered, I was going to lie. “Err, yes I have the list. I sent it into the printer just before I came in to see you, I’d pick it up before I head to the board room”

“Send me an E-copy right away and make sure there’s a copy printed for everyone that will be at the meeting. I’d be in the board room in 10 mins, I want everyone seated.” He said, taking his eyes back to the screen in front of him.

Ok, I’d get on it immediately,” I said as I turned to leave.

“The E-copy, send it now” He said, stopping me in my tracks.

Shit”, I muttered under my breath. I hadn’t drawn up the damn list, and then suddenly, I remembered, the chairman had requested for the same list a few weeks ago and I would be lucky to find it if I searched, I thought, as I fumbled with my phone, scrolling through the apps on it.

“I have just sent it, you can check your E-mail now” I said, still backing him, with a look of victory on my face.

“Thank you” He replied, as I walked out of the door and heaved a sigh of relief.

I started working at SolarTech Company, 9 years ago when I moved back to Lagos after my service year. I had been fortunate to reconnect with one of my course mates at the University of Lagos whose Uncle is the Chairman of the company. He was the one who got me an interview for the position of a Front Desk and Customer Service Officer. It was such an exciting opportunity for me, and It was to my delight when I got called a few days after the interview to resume duty.

The work environment was very warm and every member of staff was like family. There was no age, race or gender discrimination but we all thrived on mutual respect and there was room for growth for everyone based on performance. We had our tough days, the chairman was an ardent but tough business man, he left no room for lapses and laziness. Any sign of those and you were out of his establishment.

Of course, we all put in our A- game and the chairman was kind enough to appreciate us with promotions and steady increase in our salaries. We also got recognized for extra work done with special bonuses or benefits. On my 5th year as a member of staff at SolarTech, he sponsored me and 3 of my colleagues on an all expense paid trip to Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Zanzibar Government targets half a million Far East tourists by 2020

I had since risen to the position of Company Secretary and my basic salary and allowances were juicy enough to afford me a good life – a decent apartment, a nice car and a wardrobe with a mix of High Street and Luxury brands. I had dreams of starting my own business sometime in the future, but for now, SolarTech was just perfect for me and I wasn’t ready to bid them farewell.

On my way home that evening, I tried to get my mind off the mess it had become. I had been on needles all day as I had to be in direct contact with Chris. His appointment as Managing Director was good for the company but a nightmare for me. I still could not figure out how I was going to cope with having to now report directly to him. The thought of quitting my job had been running through my mind, but was it even worth it?

As I made my way through the traffic, my mind took me back to his first day at work as the Head of Finance, exactly 5 years ago.“And this is Adesuwa Eromosele, she’s the Senior Customer Service Officer” The chairman said, as he introduced me to Chris while taking him round all the departments.

I froze on my seat for what seemed like eternity, I couldn’t find my voice. It was the Chairman’s voice that broke me out of the ice I had become. “Adesuwa, I said this is Mr Chris Arinze, he is the new Head of the Finance department”

“I’m sorry sir, I got carried away for a minute” I said, as I struggled to my feet and stretched out my hand to Chris for a handshake, trying not to make further eye contact. It was such an awkward moment.

Business Men Shaking Clipart - Clip Art Library

If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were blown away by Mr Arinze’s Swag”. The chairman said, as he threw his head back and laughed.

As kind as he was, he made some really bad jokes and this was one very bad, distasteful joke, I wished the floor would open up and swallow me.

“Nice to meet you Adesuwa” Chris said, taking my hand, looking at me straight in the eye and smiling gently, so composed, like he had never met me.

They moved on to the next department and I rushed into the rest room, my heart beating so fast, I broke into a sweat. Did he even know it was me? There was no sign of recognition on his face. I felt so uneasy for the rest of the day and it was much to my relief when I knew I wouldn’t have to see him everyday.

In the weeks after he resumed, we’d come across each other in the Lunch room or at our monthly staff meetings and it was with the same formality he accorded everyone else that he related with me. I was super confused and at some point I thought I was mistaken. But what were the odds, same name, same face, same voice, just older. Could he really have forgotten about me? It was barely 10 years ago, could he really have forgotten so soon?

It didn’t take too long for my answer to come. I had worked late that day, I was going to take the next day off, so I stayed back after closing hours to cover some of the things my colleague would need to cover for me. I was heading towards my car at the now almost deserted car park when I heard my name. I turned around in the direction from which the voice came and saw Chris waving at me and walking towards me, my heart beat faster. It seemed like forever before he got to where I was.

“Hey, heading home I guess” He said as he walked beside me.

“Yes, I’m going home, as you can see, I’m heading towards my car.” I replied, my anxiety turning to irritation. I walked faster.

“Please slow down”, he said, trying to catch up with me.

I stopped to face him “What do you want Chris?” I didn’t know what exactly I was expecting to hear, I’m sure a part of me wanted an apology or some kind of explanation or a request to make amends, anything at all but the next words that came out of his mouth.

“Listen Adesuwa, I know you may have expected that I’d show some kind of recognition or feign a look of surprise the day we were introduced, but there’s really no need for all that drama.” He paused, thinking of his next words, “All i’m trying to say is, this is a work environment and we’re both here to earn a living. Whatever happened was over 10 years ago, that’s like a life time away and I feel it’s best we let it remain there. Obviously, you’re doing very well and so am I too. I’m happily married with 2 kids and a 3rd one on the way. I just wanted to clear the air. As long as we remain here, let’s keep it strictly official. Enjoy the rest of your evening Adesuwa”

I watched as he walked away, I was numb and all of a sudden I felt nauseous. I looked around to see if anyone was watching and hurried into my car, I turned on the engine and powered the Air Conditioning as the tears flowed freely down my face bringing back all the pain from that night and the months that followed.

I cast my mind back to the present as I parked in front of my apartment trying to shake off the bad memories. I needed a stiff drink or anything to distract me, thank God it was Friday and I had the weekend to myself. I picked up the phone to call my mum and then I decided against it. I’d call her in the morning. I called Kunle instead and as the phone rang, I felt bad. I seemed to always run to him for comfort, but he had the magic to make me feel better.

He answered on the 4th ring “Hey babe”.

“Hey” I said, sounding as low as I felt in my spirit.

“You don’t sound good, what’s wrong?” He asked

“I just got home and I…. Can you come over?” I asked in reply

“Suwa, are you okay? Yes, I can come over but you need to give me an hour max, I’m still at the office and need to finish up my work. Should I send Mr.Marcus to pick you up, maybe we could go to Wine house to cool off?”

“Thank you for always been there Kunle, I had a really bad day and I didn’t know who else to call. I’d just go in and change into something more comfortable. Yes you can send Mr Marcus, I’d be ready in 30 minutes” I said, holding back the tears that had welled up in my eyes.

“Anytime Adesuwa, see you soon and be ready for the night of your life” he said and hung up.

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Who gets the direction in which this is going? Are you piecing the pieces together yet or still waiting for the full story to unfold? Let me read your comments below or your reactions by clicking any of the emojis.

Let’s all stay safe and positive, it gets more uncertain everyday, but with God on our side, everything will be fine eventually.

Xoxo,

Jay

3 Comments

  • Lola
    May 14, 2020

    Chris raped her or chris is the one she fell in love with and she found out he was married🙆‍♀️🙆‍♀️

  • Toyin
    May 21, 2020

    She was dating Chris and then she found out he got married and she was the bit on the side all this while and she didn’t have a clue!

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