Written by Mary Babafada
Barely stopping, Kola exchanged pleasantries with his colleagues, his heart panting heavily. He was already late for work and couldn’t wait to get to his desk. Sinking into his chair, he took a deep breath with a sigh of relief. He quickly said a short prayer and got to work.
Kola’s desk was arranged with a pile of files he needed to attend to. Staring at the pile of files, his heart sank knowing that they had to be attended to, one after the other. It was as though they were on cue, each one waiting for its turn to be auditioned.
While he settled down to work, he flipped through the files starting with the relevant ones, while his distractive mind keeps dancing back and forth on the whispers in the dark the previous night.
He marvelled at the human capacity for storage of information. He was amazed how he recalled something his wife once told him how he slept, and he was able to act it out, so much so she was convinced. “Husband and wife, na wa o,” he muttered as Nonso, his colleague, walked up to his desk. He reminded him of the meeting scheduled to kick off in twenty minutes time.
“Ol’ boy, wetin be na wa o, these days wey you dey talk to yourself all the time, you sure say you neva begin kolo mental,” he asked.
“My guy, you suppose know say to be a man is not a day’s job. Şebi you get your own for house, na so dem dey drive us mad,” Kola answered.
“You want to share the burden?”
“Lailai I no go tell you,” he waved off Nonso to deal with his pile of files.
18 minutes to go, he obviously had forgotten about the meeting. “Oh my God! I need you to help me deal with all of these. Am I going crazy? Are my sins driving me to the edge of insanit? Lord, I need help, I must end this today! He exclaimed as he banged his fist on his desk.
He rushed through his file and hurriedly scribbled a short paper presentation, sweating profusely. One would wonder why on earth an intelligent man is sweating in a cool atmosphere such as his office.
With lightning speed, Kola rushed into the Board-room, where the meeting was scheduled to hold.
All eyes stared at Kola the moment he stepped into the room. It was as if their eyes were questions waiting for answers.
Kola was late for the meeting because he had to go through his paper presentation over and over again. He had to be sure that his presentation was good enough to get a nod.
Kola, a little bit confused, mumbled. He however got hold of himself and immediately apologised for his unprofessional conduct.
Before he could even settle down, it was time for his paper presentation.
Standing to give his presentation, Kola felt a little anxious because he wasn’t expecting to be called up too soon. He said to himself silently, “I can do this”. Taking a deep breath, he regained confidence and started to talk… He started out well, but at a point in, he began to stutter.
The facial expression of the chairman, Mr. Ogundele, completely attested to the fact that he was disappointed. He believed so much in Kola because of his intelligent initiatives and positive attitude to work. He actually expected more from this promising young man…
Kola eventually went blank. “Ahh!” He said in a whisper, “what have I done to myself? ” Looking so pathetic.
He quickly regained his composure and was back on track, but even though he satisfied him, Mr. Ogundele was still worried.
It was time for the chairman to address his staff on some crucial issues that needed immediate attention.
While the chairman talked, Kola was again long gone on a trip in his thoughts, It was as though he was in a movie, as he designed in his overworked mind how he would tell his wife he heard all she said last night.
Kola, Kola, Kola!!!.. His boss called out, Kola suddenly jerked back to present reality.
“Are you with us, young man?” he boss asked..
“Should I be worried about you?”
“No, sir! Definitely, no, sir!”
He boss then asked him to summarise what he just said. Kola couldn’t say a thing, suddenly, everyone started laughing…
The chairman eventually asked Nonso to give a summary of all that he had said.
“Kola, I am worried and that is not a good sign for you,” Mr. Ogundele said
The meeting finally came to a close, everyone walked out of the room, chatting back to their offices, leaving Kola behind.
Watching his colleagues leave, Kola bowed his head down. Suddenly, a very familiar voice called out to him… He slowly raised his head up. “Hi, honey,” Lara said. “I have come to take you out for dinner,” she added with that beautiful, innocent glint in her eyes. Kola could no longer stop the hot tears streaming down from his eyes…