Mum. Her skin glowed, like that of a bride. Despite our many differences, I respect how she always managed to put herself together. Even now, you couldn’t tell, that she had just put her husband in the ground. Not that she didn’t care, but mum has always been fierce like that.
Dad’s death and burial happened all so fast, I was having a hard time coming to terms with the concept of him being gone. Just like that. Apparently, he and mum had themselves prepared, ever since he found out about the cancer. They both took care of everything, ensuring they plugged all loop holes. Well, except for the fact that they kept it all from me.
” But mum, Why didn’t you both say anything. For nine whole months-” I complained, and sank into the huge leather chair that was behind Dad’s impressive office desk.
” I told you before,” she cut me off
” Telling you would have been pointless.” I sensed she was growing impatient with me.
” Why? At least, I would get sometime by Dad’s side…” Tears welled up my eyes, as I thought of the moment that was stolen from me.
“We knew you would decide to quit your program. If you quit your program, you wouldn’t be able to lead the company. At the moment, you are even barely qualified for the job.”
“Mum, I don’t want the job. I don’t want to take daddy’s place. I’ve only worked here as an intern and I hardly understand the dynamics” I complained. At the moment, all I wanted, was to crawl into my bed sheets and never come out.
” You have no choice.” she said with a tone that indicated the conversation was over.
She dropped a dress box on my table, and turned to leave.
“Someone will be picking you up by 8 pm” She said, as she strutted out without looking back.
The mint green valentino dress clung to my skin gracefully, and the draped train streamed gently behind me, making me look like a goddess.
It was 7:45pm, and I was once again, prepared to play the role of a dutiful daughter.
Ever since dad died, barely 4 weeks ago, I had been speaking and acting, just as Mum had instructed. I attended meetings and made approvals she instructed me to.
When she first brought up the upcoming formal dinner with the stakeholders of Patreco inc, I protested furiously, knowing fully well, that the people of Patreco were arch enemies with dad.
“Mom, I have followed all your instructions without question. You ask me to jump, I ask how high–”
“So what seems to be the problem now? Mom queried
” The problem is, I cannot begin now, to betray Dad, simply because he isn’t here. You of all people know how much bad blood lies between our company and theirs” I stated firmly, but from the look she gave me, neither my stance, nor resolute tone, was firm enough for her.
“You child!” She stated slowly. “You attend meetings day in day out, you sign documents, till your hands are sore. You approve salaries for over two thousand workers, yet you have no idea, what is actually going on, in this company that people now call your own” She was somewhat disappointed, but this was no fault of mine.
She went ahead and explained to me, the actual state of the company. Adverse effects of the government’s subsidy removal was still eating deep into our finances, and our shares had fallen so far, the company risks being acquired, if no quick action was taken.
” What time did you say the dinner was for again?” Was all I could say, when she was done. I had just realised that in order to keep the company afloat, I had to swim with the sharks sometimes. If that meant merging with the enemy for now, then so be it.
I looked at my reflection in the mirrors, regarding my elegant dress as though it was my shield and armour then I strapped on the most expensive Louboutin in my closet. The Python peep toes, 2013 edition. My feet may be sore at the end of the night, but I was certain these shoes would win my battles.
Another glance at my reflection got me thinking, I must be the world’s most expensive puppet. Just then, the great puppeteer waltzed it.
“Ah… there you are,” She had that smug smile of satisfaction on her face, as she checked me out, from head to toe.
” Here I am,” I sighed.
” Good, be of good cheer, and accessorise with these…” she dumped a box of trinkets in my palm,
“Mum, what’s wrong with these ones I have on?” I asked, getting upset.
“Meh!” she said dismissively, tugging my gold hoops off. Jide bought me those earrings as a gift, so they were of a sentimental value to me. Even though they were not as expensive as even the undies I had on, I had put them on for good luck.
“Ow! Mum!” I yelped, and took the hoops from her before she considered throwing them in the trash can.
” Hurry up!” She said, and she hustled me out of the house, into the car, and we drove off into the night, to the luxury Pent house where Mr Adeniran Hanson was having this posh cocktail formal.
I kept wondering what sort of business needs me to look this ravishing. Mind you, I know it when I look ravishing.