LAMENTATIONS OF AN UGLY GIRL (XVIII)
“Vivian, thank God you came o, see I was just about calling someone to tell me what to do this thing” Viv’s brother said , pointing some vegetables.
Viv introduced him to me as Elvis before we freshened up after which we fixed the vegetables. Elvis’ flat reeked of class at least for a bachelor. It was a good mix of contemporary and vintage.
“Viv, does your brother not have flat-mates?” I asked Viv when we went into the room.
“Flat-mates as per neighbours abi which one?”
“Guys that stay in this house with him nah”
“No. Oh! You dey find boyfriend, no worry .This is Surulere, even cockroach get fiancée for here. Don’t worry you will find.”
I ignored her snide talk and continued reading “Everything good will come”.
“Na true Sefi Atta talk o, everything good will come including boyfriend” she continued.
I could not help but laugh at the wit. We ate vegetable soup and Eba before going to bed.
For reasons I do not know, I woke up very early the next day, seeing that NEPA brought light, I pressed my clothes getting ready for church then did the dishes from last night. I would have swept too but I didn’t want it to seem like eye-service. I just watched Soundcity until I fell asleep on the couch again. By the time, I woke up, power was out, and I checked the time- ten minutes past ten. Due to the silence in the house guessed everyone had gone to church. I eased into the room only to see Viv on the phone.
“She just entered sef.” She said into the receiver as she saw me.
“Dan sends his regards,” she said as she got off the phone
“U no go church” I asked
“I no fit go again nah, time don go”
“Your brother nko”
“That one dey go church at all, abegii” she answered
“Me wey I don iron cloth now nko”
Viv can like to play Liz nowadays with all these her talk. She said something about me reaching in the last stage in hubby-finding- going to church.
“Mumu, what is your own with boyfriend with all these your boyfriend talk sef” I asked. She was about responding when Elvis knocked.
“Come in o” Viv shouted. She was in a noisy mood.
“What’s up Tolani?” he said barely looking at me.
Without waiting for a reply, he faced Viv, “See, if Ijeoma comes tell her that we went to church today or else Channels news no go reach the one wey we go hear today”. He was about leaving when Viv raised her voice again.
“Oga Elvis, e go cost you now” she said looking away.
“Shey u hear your friend”, he said facing me before continuing
“Tell her now and see if you would be spared in the wrath of the gods” he hissed. His phone rang almost immediately; he silenced the phone before mouthing, “I am in church” as though his caller would hear him if he talked aloud. I laughed at him and he did a yimu in response before leaving the room.
“Ijeoma is his fiancée before you go JAMB on me” she said. *now I am sure that Liz and Viv exchanged minds*
“I am not that stupid now I can figure some things on my own, abeg what are we eating this morning?”
“Figure that one out too and person wey dey church no dey chop nah”. I ignored her.
“I said it went and that’s all, all these asking me what they preached will not get me to say more than I’ve said.” Elvis spoke over the phone some hours later with who I guessed was Ijeoma later that day.
“I know, I know, eh, Up NEPA, see they’ve brought light, I want to iron my clothes for work tomorrow,” he said hanging up afterwards.
“If I know go like that, she no go let me rest” he said to me while I was still wondering where he saw light from.
“Talking about work sef, you guys have to start IT tomorrow, Tolani; you’d be working with me. Viv, you will work with Tomiwa’s firm. You know Tomiwa now, I’d take you his office tomorrow also….” he fired on but I blanked out at that point, as I went into spasm of anxiety.
I woke up very early and dressed myself up in my power-coloured long sleeve shirt, black pencil skirt and black shoes. I did my make up twice before Viv finally made me look good without too much make-up. All the while Elvis probably died and resurrected of frustration. We finally made it to the office some minutes before eight after we had dropped Viv at Tomiwa’s office.
Oh! Tomiwa. That is one fine young man; he could model as a side hustle and still dust the professionals of the runway. With his nose pointed and hair curly like he was Fulani and a posture to die for rather with. He walked to the reception like walking the reception was his job. I felt a twitch in my aunty *I can be like that sometimes* when he made a joke about Tolani and Tomiwa being a good working match. He talked with Elvis for a while before we bade Vivian goodbye. I was so engrossed in my sinful thoughts of Tomiwa that I didn’t know when we got to the office. The dying sound of the ignition jeered me back to life.
“Put on your best act, I’m sure you’d be fine” Elvis mentioned tapping my shoulder and getting his laptop computer from the backseat. I took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. With my shoulder squared and my fuck-what-you-think face, I walked past the reception flashing a good morning to those Elvis greeted and ignoring the ones, he ignored.
“So you’d be working in HR with Moji and the crew, I must warn you Moji is Margaret Thatcher here but I think you will survive her antics, oya lets go” he said in his usual military manner.
We walked through an hallway and an hall with about a hundred cubicles before we reached a door; inside were other cubicles, I wondered if I would get a cubicle to myself as we approached the female figure with her head buried in her work, my heart did a little skip.
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