An excerpt from a book I am working on. Its still under construction so criticisms, corrections and suggestions are highly welcome..with love:)
I groaned at the shrieking sound of my alarm clock. I hate that annoying sound and have been meaning to change it but just never got around to doing it. I only remember it when it wakes me up at 5.30am every morning. I have to always wake up then everyday to get ready for work that starts at 7am. I must leave the house by 6.15am daily to beat the early morning traffic and get to my job before 7am. Normally, the commute on a non-traffic day should be about 25 minutes but having to battle traffic makes it longer.
Some days though, I don’t bother. I hit the snooze button immediately that sound hits my brain like a thunderbolt and snuggle deeper in the comforter for about 10 minutes extra of nap time. Unfortunately, that rare luxury usually gets me racing on the Beltway like a mad person who just escaped from as psychiatric unit or better still, an ex-convict escaping from prison with the cops hot on his trail. Traffic in the morning on the, 495 Interloop in the DC Metropolitan Area is just crazy. Everyone is racing, trying to get into a ‘faster’ lane. Even truck drivers, with little or no value for human life, drive like assassins on a mission
I woke with a start and glared at the alarm clock, then sighed, turned it off and stretched, while hating it anew. What I wouldn’t do to remain in bed just now. Realizing that I have to get up if I am going to make it early, I uttered some words of prayer to God, grudgingly rolled onto the side of the bed and slipped my feet into my house shoes. I dragged myself to the bathroom to start my early morning routine. While brushing my teeth, my mind went to the project I am supposed to turn in to my supervisor. It wasn’t due till the end of the week, but I just completed it last night and was contemplating on turning it in today. That will get it off of my chest so I can focus on other assignments.
After getting ready, I rushed downstairs to grab my lunch and water and I headed towards the door. Almost there, I realized my cell phone was still being charged upstairs and I rushed back to get it. I glanced at my watch as I came down the stairs and my knees nearly buckled. 6.20am already? I really do have to get going if I plan on being at work before 7am.
While waiting for my car to warm up, I checked my cell phone which indicated I had a text and it was from my boyfriend of two years. “Hello Sunshine, are you up yet to bring sunshine into this part of the planet?” Have a lovely day and call me when you get a quick minute. AML,” he wrote.
That automatically brought a smile to my face and I blew him an imaginary kiss. Aww! Ikem is such a darling and had the recipe for my happiness.
As soon as I drove out of my complex, my cell phone rang. Who in the world is calling someone at a little past 6 in the morning if not the beautiful folks of my home country, Nigeria? Grabbing my cell, I looked at it and it was definitely a Nigerian number as the long trailing digits starting in 23480 showed. Not recognizing the number, I still picked up the call.
“Hello” I calmly answered.
“Sister Ada, it’s me. Please call me back with this number,” the voice on the other line hurriedly said.
“Who is this and I can’t call you for the next few hours” I responded
“It’s me Nkechi, your cousin Nkechi and I called you a few hours ago,” she said in an accusing tone.
Nkechi is my younger cousin who is supposed to be starting school at the state university in the next school year and always had one demand or another. She asks for favors like you owed her something, and already this year, I have helped her with her JAMB fees, NECO fees and some more money for textbooks. They must think I am plucking money off some tree. I don’t even get financial requests that often from my own siblings.
“No sweetie, you did not call me, you flashed me. So what is going on? Is there any emergency?” I then realized that the other line just went dead. “Not surprising,” I mused, this’s just very typical of these kids. Always either flashing you or calling you for a couple of seconds and hanging up before you say a word. Oh well, she is gonna have to wait, and to think that I have cautioned her several times not to flash me but it definitely fell on deaf ears. She calls at unholy hours of the night and hang up as soon as you pick up, and then expect to be called back so she could bemoan and complain about all of her financial difficulties.
I drove very carefully while avoiding all the reckless drivers on the beltway till I got into my office premises. While parking my car, I saw one of my co workers, Ejike, a lawyer, who is about to be made a senior partner in his department. I silently prayed that he has not seen me or my car yet. He is quite a stalker and has been bothering me for months now to go to lunch with him despite knowing that I am in a relationship that could get more serious than it is already. He strongly believes that with us both being of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, and working in the same company, his chances are very great. Either he has chosen to ignore the fact that I have a boyfriend whose presence is very obvious in my life including at work OR, he is very hard of hearing. My boyfriend, Ikem, stops by the office at least once in a week to take me out to lunch. He has really invested in 1800-Flowers, but this annoying Igbo brother has refused to acknowledge all that and firmly believes, and also totally convinced that one bright day, we would both hit it off like two live wires and spark off the greatest flash in D.C. Mschew! Men and their wahala!
I bent forward and pretended to be looking for something in the glove compartment, frantically hoping to avoid his eagle eyes and he probably continuing on his way, but I guess I was too late. It was not to be. I probably got off the wrong side of my bed that day and my luck was having a great difficulty holding out.