I have applied for the job of an Accountant in various establishments and for some viable months, I haven't received a call from any of them. Finding employment in a harsh and dwindling economy has never been an easy thing time immemorial. Most people have given up on paid jobs and had resorted to becoming entrepreneurs, giving orders on how their businesses should be run and are doing tremendously well. It wasn't as if I can't create a business of my own but there were certain factors to be considered. I needed a lot of funds to establish the kind of thing I had in mind, there's no one to inform me that a lot of money would be involved, hence the continuous quest for a paid job. If I was able to work for three years, I would definitely save up much for my venture I told myself.
I was in my father's study screening on the books that laid on the desk, I stumbled upon a book on how to properly construct a CV . At first I was flummoxed, I wondered why my father could keep such books and won't say anything about it. I simply rubbed my hands together in glee and bounced on the one that caught my attention. I told myself it might be my sister's and at such, should be in her possession. My dad should be talking retirement not how to write a good CV , I muttered to myself. I looked at the window, shifted the blinds and cast my gaze down from the vantage. I saw the market square as the market wasn't situated far from my house. There were people walking about, those pricing for wares making sounds that can be hardly heard. None could be heard, their voices more like a rumble, the tumultuous yelling and rants emanated from vehicles and passengers moving on the busy road.
I sat down and began to flip through the pages with all seriousness. Maybe there were steps I hadn't taken to properly write my CV. I came across career objectives and pinched myself. Have I ever taken out time to include that on my CV? I hadn't the slightest idea that it was one of the things that makes a good CV, with ardent interest, I pinned it down on a rough paper I saw lying carelessly on the ground. I paused and meditated for over 10 minutes on what my career objectives were. As I continued , I realised I never included my strengths but I sure went on to rant on how superb my writing skill was. But of course, I have always prided myself in my writing capabilities. I once thought I would have gone for English and literary studies in the university instead of Accounting.
Not necessarily saying Accounting was bad for me, nope. But I know It would have been better if I've followed my passion. My dad couldn't hear of it when he learnt I wanted to study English.
"Your mates are vying for the professional courses that will provide immediate employment and you are talking literary studies. its a nice course , don't misunderstand me Lisa, but they are good outside Nigeria. No child of mine will end up as a teacher", the old man had said.
We dashed him that title not because he was too old, but because we loved calling him that and he seemed to like it. In fact, he smiles like a kid given sweets anytime we call him that.
As I was still going through the book, a call came from Ben. It was a strange number and I didn't know it was him until he disclosed his identity. How he finally got my contact was unexplainable. I know I didn't give it to him, he couldn't have possibly gotten it from my sister who has never liked him. She would have given him a sullen look and walked away. She could tweak a man to the verge of annoyance and beyond. Though she can't be regarded as thoughtless, callous or cruel but She acts mean anytime the devil in her alerts her to. Talking about my number to Ben, I can vouch he didn't get it from her. I picked up .
"Hello, Ngene Olivia on the line, please how may I help you"?, I answered formally like one in a customer care job interview.
"Its Ben", came his voice from other end.
After the normal midday greetings, my curiosity took the better part of me and I queried him on how he got my digits.
"Please, I do not mean to be rude but I can't remember giving you my number", I said expecting a reasonable reply.
How this guy maneuvered and avoided the answer was story for another day. I calmed my nerves and carried on with conversation. To my utmost surprise, it wasn't a boring one. I'd already seen him as someone who wouldn't make a good conversationalist but he literally put me to doubt. We drifted from one topic to another. We talked about his favorite cartoon character. I found out we had somethings in common. We love the same dish (beans and plantain), we love same football club (Manchester United), we love shrek. My interest in him piqued a notch at the end of the phone call and we decided to have dinner at his favorite resort.
I declined his coming to pick me up. I preferred coming down myself. At first, I thought he would push it but he didn't. He politely told me "it was all about me" and that we can only play by my rules. There was something I noticed about him, it was true I wasn't attracted to him, he didn't make my belly flutter, he was no where as charming as Richmond but I was completely comfortable and serene around him. It seemed as though everything about him thrives in tranquility and harmony.
Richie called later but it was to check on me. That has always been an anthem for him. His caring attitude that amazed me seemed to be what he just enjoyed doing. It wasn't like I don't call to check on him but his, surpasses mine. We haven't been together after the sizzling incident that happened in his house. For over 2 weeks, we both minded our businesses and kept everything cool via phone conversations. I needed the time to decipher what I literally want for myself and know how to fix my wanton desire and lust into the whole drama going on.
My night out with Ben ended in disaster or so I thought. I'd always looked for a flimsy excuse, the slightest thing that will make me label him a bad man and I got one at the end of the outing.
At approximately 7p.m. I was done garbing up . I was overly comfortable unlike the few times I went out with Richie. It was always tense and before I did step out to meet Richie, my mind used to crawl out to my throat waiting to torment me every single second. But with Ben, everything was different. It was casual, and more like i was to visit an old friend. True I never gave him the chance but ever since our talk on phone, I began to see him from a different perspective. Like a friend anyways.
I walked in and noticed he was already seated. I paused next to him and tapped from behind. My lips pressed together as I waited for him to turn.
"Hope I didn't keep you waiting for too long?", I asked as I slide in the seat opposite him.
"No, not at all", was his reply.
For the first time, I noticed he has daring eyes. He wasn't as cute as Richie but that never made him less of a man. His outfit was lovely and he wore spectacles. One especially made for nerds, he didn't look so comfortable, in fact he wore an obvious nervous smile. I wondered if the confusion was caused by me as he kept staring at me like someone that had seen a ghost.
"Are you well?" , I asked him
"I'm completely fine ", he said still wearing his fake smile.
"Is that shrek on your shirt?", I asked him just trying to ease up the moment for him. That did the trick. I glanced sidelong at him and caught a real smile on his face.
"Now you're breathing properly. You just needed a bit of distraction ", my smile peeked out to match his.
He no longer clutched the seat as if it were the only thing keeping him fit.
"Your gown is so lovely and it made your beauty more loud and angelic", he said.
I didn't know whether to take it as flattery or just to appreciate him. I did the later anyways. The bar tender stood behind on the verge of introducing menu. I took my time to study the place, there were different couples each on their own side. My eyes caught a lady and her man making out at far end of a corner. I saw the lady's face , she was pretty and her outfit was nearly like that of a professional stripper. The place wasn't took dark and I wondered why they could be doing such in an open place when getting a room in an hotel wouldn't cost them much. It was high time people started behaving normal I muttered under my breath. I diverted my attention to the person in front of me. But instead of focusing on the matter at hand, my mind drifted to where Richie was. I began wandering what he could probably be doing. Would he be at home working with his laptop? Or maybe taking dinner? What if had fallen asleep in his sitting room? So many questions but no answer to them. Then my mind popped up the dumbest question I've never imagined. What if you and Richie could make out in public like those people?
"Stupid, stupid stupid", I screeched in my mind.
Whether Ben noticed the divided attention or not wasn't even my concern. I believe he found me very attractive hence the action he displayed earlier on. The worst of it was that whatever he thought matters not to me. Every muscle in me screamed Richie after I removed my eyes from the drama at the end of that corner. How dinner with Ben ended up was what I couldn't term. I craved to go home to continue my wandering thoughts.
The grievous mistake he made which spoiled everything was his attempt to kiss me when he dropped me off in front of my house. After I politely hugged him goodnight, he held me , placed his hands on my shoulders and pulled me closer to him. Was he out of his senses to even dream that? My lips are for Richie and not for every other guy I'd already made myself to believe. I pushed him away and angrily entered my house. I made him to understand he wasn't allowed to contact me anymore. If he can't respect ordinary friendship then it means he was never a gentleman. All the attitude was because I was falling hopelessly for Richie. I know within my heart that Ben did absolutely nothing to earn what I did to him but he gave me what to have a grip on, in order to finally push him away from my life.
Part 7, read here
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