Tapping her right foot impatiently as the cab driver slowly made his way through the early morning Lagos traffic.
She hissed angrily each time she glanced at her wristwatch which reminded her that time really wasn’t waiting for her. The day was yet to begin but she already knew it was not going to be a very good day for her. It had started off too wrongly to be a good day.
She had woken up quite late, which was totally not like her. And it was all because her neighbor’s four months old baby had chosen to cry all through the night.
She lived in a ‘face me I face you’ building and for someone like her who had a very light ear which picked up sounds very fast, it was almost impossible to not even hear the conversations her neighbors were having in their rooms talk more of the sound of a crying baby in the very room which was next to hers.
She had been unable to sleep all through the night but had finally managed to doze off in the early hours of the morning. She had woken up with a start when her phone rang only to discover it was few minutes to seven, and so she hadn’t bothered to check the caller or take the call, but had rushed outside to the bathroom, only to discover there was no water and there was a long queue of people waiting to use the bathroom.
She had an appointment by 9AM and by all indication she was going to lose this opportunity to get a promotion. She had moved from Delta state to Lagos in search of greener pastures, and just when she thought she had a good chance at finally making it in life and making her mother proud, her village people had managed to show their ugly face again. So instead of going in search of water to bathe, she had quickly brushed her mouth with the remnant of the satchet water she had kept in a cup the previous night, and without bothering to look for water to bathe she put on her well ironed suit, made up her face, combed her hair and left the house.
There was no way she was going to be using a bus, not when she was this late, after all ‘na money they dey use take find money’ so she had decided to take a cab instead. Of all the cabs in the beautiful city of Eko, her village people had directed her to stop a slow one, so here she was, stuck in traffic.
When she finally got to the office, she ran straight to the meeting room where she was supposed to make her presentation. She opened the door but the room was empty.
She paused by the desk as panic hit her, ‘Calm down Kat, just calm down and think’ she told herself as she took in a deep breath. She suddenly remembered she was yet to pray because of the rush. Even after skipping her prayers she still hadn’t made it for the meeting obviously, so she took a moment to pray, and asked God to make things work together for her good.
After her short prayer she checked her wristwatch and realized it was just past 9:30AM, she felt calm even though she knew she really needed the promotion, not just for the sake of the title as head of HR but also for the salary raise that she knew would come with it.
She really needed that increment no matter how little it was, in order to meet up with payment for her younger sister’s medical expenses, as well as to take care of other family expectations. Being the first child of her parents, she had so many responsibilities on her young shoulders and so she needed the promotion desperately.
She knew the only way to get her much deserved promotion was for her to take a desperate measure, so defying the office protocols she headed straight to the CEO’s office and before the secretary could stop her she pushed open the door. “I’m sorry I came late sir please can you…” She stopped mid sentence when the man standing by the window turned around to face her.
She opened her mouth in surprise and before she could say anything the secretary spoke up, “I’m sorry sir, she just barged in before I could stop her.” The secretary explained apologetically.
The man dismissed his secretary with a wave of his hands before fixing his gaze on Kathleen in a manner that suggested he was amused.
She looked at him in confusion, wasn’t the boss supposed to be an elderly man in his late sixties? “Ehmm…” she cleared her throat nervously and decided to try again. This wasn’t the time to be wondering why the man in front of her looked so young and gorgeous. Desperate times called for desperate measures! She reminded herself before raising her head to look at him again.
“Yeah?” Pete asked curiously.
Kathleen swallowed nervously, “You’re…”
“Oh! I’m Pete Howells, your new boss.” Pete said knowing she wasn’t sure who he was.
New boss? “Oh! Okay. I’m sorry I arrived late for the presentation. Please I need another chance to show you what I prepared. I promise you’re going to love it.” she finished with a polite bow.
Pete’s lips twitched in amusement even as he tried to maintain his cool. He could tell she was feeling very nervous not just because he was her boss but also because of his handsome looks. His junior staff hardly ever had any reason to meet with him personally since he assumed the office of CEO, so he knew that had to be the reason she looked so stunned. He always had that effect on females of all ages, he was just in his early thirties and damn handsome! He was hot and he knew it.
“What is your name?” he asked with a dimpled grin, wanting to mess with her stability some more.
“Oh, I’m Kathleen. Sorry, I meant Miss Kathleen Okorie.” She said not meeting his eyes, he smiled again but said nothing.
“Uhm.. So about the presen…” Before she could continue he cut her off.
“It was postponed. I asked my secretary to pass the message across to everyone. Weren’t you informed?” He asked with a cocked brow.
“Oh! Really? Jeez! Thank goodness. That is such a relief. Thank you sir.” she said smiling happily as she finally let out the breath she had been holding. She had been so tensed thinking her village people were after her, but it was obviously not them.
Pete cleared his throat, it was time to sound formal. “You can leave now. I’ll forgive you for barging into my office this once, I hope you don’t try it next time.” He said and returned his attention to the window without waiting for her response.
“I’m sorry sir. And thank you.” She said politely and turned to leave when the door was suddenly pushed open and a pretty young girl walked into the office.
“Mummy!” The little girl exclaimed as she hugged Kathleen who stood very still as she wondered what was going on.
“Amanda stop that this moment!” Pete ordered in a stern tone and quickly turned around to apologize to Kathleen, but before he could do that Kathleen bolted out of the office.
“Amanda why did you do that?” He asked his little daughter who had a mischievous grin on her face, but she said nothing. She walked over to his office chair and sat on it.
He could vaguely guess what she was trying to do, since she had never ceased to express her desire for a mother in every way possible since they returned from the states. But there was no way he could do that. He couldn’t give her a mother yet. He needed to invest his time in the company his father had just unofficially passed on to him.
“You realize you just embarrassed the lady and will have to apologise to her, right?” Pete asked Amanda who was playing with his pen.
“Yes Daddy.” Amanda said with a small smile. She didn’t mind apologizing if that meant they had to meet the pretty lady again.
Katty walked as fast as her heels could carry her and stopped only when she was sure she was out of sight. She didn’t understand what had just happened in that office, how the heck was that very handsome young man the boss? For a moment there she had almost thought he was flirting with her.
And who was that sweet little girl? Could she be his child? He had to be married to have a child right? Or was he one of those baby papa types? Why were man like that anyway? How could a married man like him be trying to flirt with her? She asked herself with righteous indignation.
And why on earth had she felt tongue-tied when she saw his face? Well it was probably because she hadn’t taken her bath and was feeling a bit self conscious… Of course that had to be it, she told herself with a huff. Who would believe a smart and very beautiful lady like her in her late twenties would blush and squirm like a teenager all because a very handsome looking man smiled at her?
Well, at least she was glad to know the presentation had been postponed. She checked her phone and frowned when she saw an SMS notification and three missed calls on the screen, two from her mother and one from an unsaved contact. She read out the text message which had been sent earlier, telling her of the postponement.
OK… She had to admit that her village people had actually done nothing wrong this time. If she had only checked her phone before leaving the house, then she would have gotten the message and would have saved herself all that stress. She decided to return her mother’s call before going inside her office. After the first three rings she heard her mother’s familiar voice.
“Ngozika!” her mother called her native name in a tone that told her the conversation was not going to be a pleasant one.
“Good morning mummy. Sorry I was in a hurry out of the house when you called.” She quickly apologized.
“You are always in a hurry to do everything aside getting married.” Her mother jumped right in to the marriage subject. She always looked for the slightest opportunity to bring it up in every conversation.
“I’m at work, can we do this later?” Kathleen asked with a sigh.
“Did you hear that your friend Gloria is getting married?” Her mother went on like she hadn’t heard her.
“Yes, she chatted me up on Facebook.” Kathleen said rolling her eyes.
“So when are you going to chat people up to tell them about your own marriage? You will be 29 years old soon, yet you think you are still young. If I had waited till 29 to get married do you know how old you…” Kathleen ended the call without letting her finish her sentence.
They were going to end up quareling either ways, so she would rather do it at her own convenient time. She slowly made her way to her office, then stopped by the door to eavesdrop on what her colleagues were saying.
“I heard the new boss is really young and handsome.” Sandra said or was it Rosy? Kathleen wondered. She didn’t really interact much with the ladies in the office so she was always getting their names mixed up.
“Too bad the old man is sick, but if the rumors are true, then I’m glad we have a younger and more handsome guy in charge now. I can’t wait for the next meeting!” The only chubby girl in the office screeched in excitement while the other two giggled happily.
“Small small dey smile o, you get boyfriend.” The chubby one reminded Rosy who rolled her eyes.
“So because I get crayfish, if I see catfish make I nuh chop?” Rosy asked with a scoff making the other two laugh.
“Abeg leave the catfish for us we no get anything.” Sandra pleaded amidst her laughter.
Kathleen walked over to her seat quietly as she thought about all she had just heard. So the old CEO had fallen ill? When did that happen? She had probably been too busy with her life to worry about the old man or who was who in the company. At least now she no longer had to wonder why she had met such a cute guy in the office. She could only pray the new change would be favorable to her.
“Good morning Kathy. How body?” Dave, the only guy in their unit greeted.
“Good morning Dave. Body dey cloth o. I hear we have a new CEO.” She asked as she sat on her seat which was next to his own.
“So I heard too. I guess that was why the presentation was postponed. Yes, he is Chief’s only son. He probably wants to get settled in before going on with the former scheme of things. I’m sure he would be easier to work with than the old man.” Dave told Kathleen who simply shrugged without saying a word.
Chief’s son? Kathleen wondered briefly before quickly reminding herself that she had no business being overly curious about a man like that.
WATCHOUT FOR The Miracle I Need Episode 2
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