Segun glanced sullenly at the time — it’s passed the time for the meeting. He jabbed the horns of his car and it ricocheted angrily. He looked at his back; the traffic was growing longer into the distance. There was hardly any space to move, cars were clustered like sardines. Traffic hawkers inundated the road, adding to the gridlock. He frowned at the inner mirror, at his reflection sweating the heat of the sun. Today was a big day for him – – he was going to be announced as the new account officer – a promotion he had yearned for in ages. He was dressed for the occasion – wore the best suit in his closet, starched and scented.
Today was suppose to be perfect but it wasn’t — out of all the days of the week it was today an overloaded truck threw itself at the mercy of the road.
LASTMA officers were already spread over, trying to move the truck from the road to no avail. Disgruntled motorists rained insults and fired words but Segun wanted nothing more but to move an inch further from where he was. His fuel meter was blinking red and he feared It would take him no further than the position he has been for the past twenty minutes. It seemed like the end of the world, like everyone was trapped in a grimy dark hole with nowhere to run to.
After a hell of time wasted, moving the fallen truck out of the road; it was finally pushed aside and the road was free. Segun sped with speed of light and arrived his office with time glowering at him this time. He jumped out from the car swiftly and darted into the office, almost leaving his toes behind. The elevator lifted him to the third floor and he moved with the same haste to the board room. The room seemed unusually full staring from the glass exterior. He held his breath for a nanosecond and swallowed his anxiety. He pushed himself inside and everyone turned to him, their disapproving eyes stationed on him. “I’m sorry for coming late,” He quirked nervously. “Find a seat Segun…” His boss: Dr. Martins snapped at him and he moved, finding a seat with everyone eyes still on him.
Segun found a seat at the end of the room and sat and then dropped a deep sigh of relief.
Dr. Martins continued: “As I was saying before the interruption, operations would be very different as from next week. Don’t be scared, it’s for the good of the company and all of us. When the new owners arrives…”
“New owners?” Segun unknowingly asked aloud. “Yes, new owners Segun,” Dr. Samson answered passively.
“What new owners Sir.”
“I can’t repeat what I’ve said a million times today Segun. I can’t waste their time and mine, delving back into the past. Why don’t you do yourself a favour and all of us by coming to meetings in time. It’s a Monday for heaven’s sake Segun. “
“I’m sorry Sir…”
“I might condone your sorry but I don’t think the new owners would. Can I go back to what I was saying now?”
“Where did I stop?” Dr. Samson asked the others but got no reply. “Oh! I think I’ve said it all. Have a nice day Ladies and gentle men,” Dr. Samson stood up and exited the board room and in no time the others followed suit.
Segun remained on his seat, speechless. It was the end of the meeting and his promotion wasn’t announced. He didn’t know whether to be sad or angry.
“Segenation. The one man republic,” His friend Tobias came and sat close to him. “Don’t call me that,” Segun hissed.
“ Nah joke I dey nah. But you dey fuck up sha. Why did you come late?”
“You no dey listen news?”
“Trailer fall block road nah.”
“Every time trailer dey fall for the road you pass,” Tobias mocked him and Segun shut him a wicked glare and stood up.
“You know sometimes I wonder how you take finish university…”
“You wan insult me now?”
“See I dey vex, no come add to it”
“Wetin dey vex you?”
Segun hissed and sat back – took a hard breath and exhaled. “So dem don finally sell the company?”
“Nah so we see ham o.”
Segun hissed again: “So do we still have our job?”
“Well boss said we still have it.”
“For how long?”
“As long as the new owners want”
“It’s like starting all over again.”
“You don’t need to worry. You’re very good at your job unlike me.”
“Any hint about who the new owners are?”
“No. But I think they are very rich. Like Otedola’s kind of rich.”
Segun sat facing Dr. Martins who was barely giving him his attention. Segun cleared his throat and spoke out of his nostrils: “as I was saying Sir.”
“How many times have you said that?”
“You keep stopping me from speaking.”
“Because I don’t want to listen.”
Segun paused, find the next word to say which seemed oddly elusive.
Dr. Martins gawked at Segun’s sad face and became compassionate. He took off his glasses and asked: “It is about your promotion right?” “Yes Sir,” Segun replied excitedly.
“I’m sorry for that is a dead end for now.”
“But why Sir,” Segun asked, almost in tears.
“The company has been sold to someone else Segun. All our hands are now tied to the walls.”
“That is to mean I may never get promoted.”
“May be or maybe not. You are a hard worker Segun. The new owners might choose to reward you according to your performance.”
“What about you Sir, are you going to be here with us next week?”
“I hope so but if it is not so, it is all for the best.”
“If I may ask Sir, who are the people buying the company Sir”
“I am not in the place to disclose that to you.”
Segun arrived home, his face still ridden with angst and sadness. It seemed like the whole universe was against him today. He didn’t get the promotion he wanted and he wasn’t sure of still having a job. His beautiful wife : Benita welcomed him warmly but his response was oddly cold.
“What’s the problem honey?”
“I didn’t get the promotion?”
“The company has been sold to another company.”
“Oh! That’s not good at all. Do you still have your job?”
“I don’t know. I hope so.” Segun sat on his couch.
“The God we serve will never let us down.”
“Don’t worry honey, we will be fine.”
“Of-course we will be fine.”
“Should I serve your dinner or you would shower first?”
“I don’t have an appetite for anything.”
“You would once you’ve have showered. Let me heat your water for bath.”
Segun turn on the TV and to his surprise. The sale of the Greenrose company was already making headlines.
The new reporter read aloud: “We have received tip that the prestigious Greenrose company has been acquired by business mogul: Obim Macaulay for an undisclosed large chunk of money. Hmmm! With the way things are going these days Macaulay could soon become the richest man in Africa, dethroning his counterpart: Aliko Dangote.”
“Obim Macaulay again?” Segun said to himself. What could be in store for him?
TO BE CONT’D