Philip’s Mother whom I learnt that her name was Mrs Kanu, said she will inform me on when to resume. Which will either be next week or in two weeks time.
After my identification card was given to me I went home.
I decided to start reading cookery books online and watching YouTube which didn’t give me the real practical that I needed because I finished my internet subscription just for one night when I haven’t even gone half of what I needed to know.
I subscribed again with 2k hoping this time I will learn all I needed to know.
I couldn’t sleep all through the night till the following day.
I downloaded how to prepare continental dish and how to make correct native food I was still downloading when my subscription ended again.
It finished up.
5k went down in two nights on only data.
Not having money has thought me how to manage things but not like Dammi who will win an overall manager when it comes to managing money and things generally.
I will gladly give her the award. Yes, she deserves it.
I watched the video that I downloaded over and over again until the video began to beg for freedom.
Even with the whole internet I wasted my money on I wasn’t still satisfied with what I learnt but I understand how to prepare some of the food better than before.
After a week, Uzo my friend called me that she delivered a baby girl.
Wow, I was really happy for her and Tobi her dear husband.
I wanted to go and see her but my pocket couldn’t afford much because I needed to buy somethings for the baby atleast.
But not having money wouldn’t stop me from going over to see her and the baby instead I will promise to come back again with some goodies for her.
I went and she was happy to see me.
Her mother was around for omugwo.
Her husband was quiet entertaining just like Chike.
My friends are very lucky to have good men in their lives.
Dammi has Chike, a sweet loving man while Uzo has Tobi, very jovial and quiet entertaining.
My sincere prayers is that I will also end up with a nice man.
Uzo asked me if I will eat one of the local delicacies that her mother prepared, I gladly told her that I will.
even though I didn’t come with anything I won’t miss whatever local delicacies that Uzo’s mother prepared.
I also pleaded with her not to be angry that I came empty handed but promise to come again with a gift for her and the baby.
She laughed and said.
“Keji, your presence is enough for us. I know if you have you will bring lots of present for us. I know you Keji and I totally understand. The last time we chat you mentioned you were searching for job… any luck yet…?
I told her about the latest job offer and how I’m deeply troubled because I don’t know how to cook big food and I don’t have money to be throwing into buying of data.
Uzo asked me which food I was finding difficult to prepare.
I mentioned all the foods and she promised to get me a physical cook book.
She also said I shouldn’t fail to chat her up whenever I’m confused in the kitchen.
It was a great relief and I thanked her for her care and understanding.
When I was leaving she gave me 6k for transportation.
I couldn’t accept it. I know I’m in serious need of money but I was meant to give her and not the other way round.
Uzo insisted, she mentioned all the monetry and materials gifts that she has received from me back then when I had enough. And giving me 6k was nothing compared to our friendship.
I reluctantly took the money and thank her again before leaving.
Dammi called to tell me that Chike insisted that she must have bridal shower so she’s inviting me by weekend for the event and other friends will also be around.
She also mentioned that the costume will be 10k. It supposed to be almost 20k but she will be helping us to pay the balance so we only have 10k to pay.
I told her straight that I don’t have money so, she should remove my name from the list.
She wasn’t happy but at this point I can’t because of Dammi’s bridal shower and starve.
She made it sound like she was doing me a favor with the whole thing.
I’m grateful for the money that I got from Uzo, even though she wasn’t supposed to give me money but it will go a long way for me and I promise to make it up to her and the baby.
Dammi should do whatever that makes her and Chike happy and leave me alone.
I’m worried sick waiting for Mrs Kanu to call me for resumption.
Today is the 4th day of the new month.
My probation was supposed to start last week but I’m still here waiting for their call, wondering if they forgot me or maybe I should go over to their house and remind them.
My birthday is in about a week.
Still have no money, job or a man to call mine
I began to pray in a way that I understand best because I’m not much of a prayer person.
I asked God if he’s truly the one that made way for this job then he should kindly go and remind them that i was still waiting.
Maybe I didn’t pray well, or communicate with the right words to God because after two days nothing was heard.
It was on the third day that a message was sent to me to resume the following day.
I was very happy that finally I’m starting work.
I don’t know if it was a mere coincidence or God’s hand work
But I still didn’t fail to thank God for hearing and answering my prayers.
That night Dammi called again to tell me that God has buttered my bread because Chike paid for the whole bridal shower costume, I should come and take it for free.
Did God butter my bread because I will be taking pictures, wearing a nighty with crown flowers and cakes for the bride?
How exactly did her shower add money to my account?
As much as I wanted to be there, atleast Chike has paid for the almighty costume that Dammi wanted me to pay 10k. I could have gone to eat free food, take pictures and have fun but baby girl needs to go and make some money. I need to resume my prayer answered job.
Every other thing will have to wait which includes Dammi and her shenanigans.
I told her that I won’t be able to come because I will be resuming at my new work place.
She thought I was joking but she never knew that I was damn serious.
I started my new job and was introduced around
My first day at work was only introduction.
I was introduced to everyone and shown places that I needed to know.
It was on the third day that I resumed work in the kitchen.
One of the cooks was friendly except one that they call Ijeoma.
She looks at me and in a very annoying way and said something to Stella in her dialect. Stella is the second girl in the kitchen, she is older and smile often. She was also friendly unlike Ijeoma.
I wish I understand what they said but it was obvious that Stella cautioned her.
“They said you are a good cook?
Ijeoma asked me one evening while we were alone in the kitchen.
“Not really but I’m trying…
I replied smiling thinking she wants to be friendly.
“There’s nothing like trying here. Is either you can cook or you can’t cook. Tell me how you make your Bolognese spaghetti…
This Ijeoma must be sent from the pit of hell to tempt me so that I can fall out of this beautiful Job that I just started.
I won’t reply her because I haven’t prepare it before and wouldn’t have ever thought of such until now.
“…Why are you wasting time? You don’t know what is Bolognese or you don’t know how to cook…. which one?
I smiled inwardly because this Ijeoma doesn’t know me, if she knows what I’m capable of she will leave me the hell alone.
She met another silent reply from me and was pissed.
she then said
“…is not by fine girl and looking like you don’t visit the toilet o, the main thing is “Ima kwa nri esi? (Do you know how to cook) can you cook because very soon you will be exposed o. Stella gave you practical yesterday to make fried rice and pepper chicken for dinner after you claim that you can cook but you end up cooking rubbish…food without taste. Stella saved you yesterday and she won’t be around to save you always. If you can’t cook this place isn’t for you…
If my eyes has bullet I would have shot her down right there.
She continued talking
“…. okay, let’s go local. Can you prepare oha soup or bitter leaf soup with ede (cocoyam) and goat meat? Can you do ofe akwu… what of ofe nsala (white soup) with pounded yam? You still don’t know…? Fine girl claiming posh that can’t cook…is only to boil water that you know…
Okay now I have had enough of this insults. I know I need this job but ijeoma can’t be my tormentor.
I won’t allow that.
I decided to reply her in my own dialect.
“Mo ma se e je ni ojo kan Ijeoma. (I will cook you one day Ijeoma)
She looked at me like I have spoken in tongues before saying
“O si obu gini na aria ya…onye ofe mmanu ( what is this one’s problem…oily soup eater)
I didn’t even understand anything she said but I know it was an insult and it will be childish exchanging words with her in our different dialect. I will be turning 30 years tomorrow so I should learn to ignore somethings, especially trouble makers like Ijeoma.
She left the dishes for me to wash and I washed, clean up the kitchen before retiring to my quarters that night.
I used to watch Stella cook and i know that Ijeoma can cook too and she is very proud to paint it to my face.
But funny enough I still watch her to learn one or two things despite her insult.
No man is an island and this saying applies to Ijeoma who doesn’t know everything and still takes correction from Stella.
Ijeoma continue to pest me, she was a pain in my neck.
After a week I got my first pay, I was very happy as I hide it away in my locker.
“Hey Kaji…? The boss is asking of you. He’s outside by the pool and asked me to inform you. If you like go and try to seduce him. He’s not even your type so you better hang your clothes where your hand will reach…
I turned to her and said.
“First, my name is not Kaji…is Keji. Secondly, you know nothing about me. If you go about seducing men… please don’t include me in your list. I have self value. Byee!
I cat walk out of her sight. She said something in her dialect but I didn’t care.
I got to the pool and saw Philip sitting with a sun shade, a beach designed short and water dripping from his body.
I guess he just finished swimming.
“How are you finding the job… hope you are adapting well…
He asked after I greeted him.
I smiled and nodded.
He’s very handsome and nice too although he was my push to getting this job I still won’t mix work with pleasure.
As far as I work here now, Philip has become my boss too.
People like Ijeoma will be looking out for my downfall, I will make sure they waits in vain.
I’m putting all my efforts into learning.
I can make some food effortlessly all thanks to Stella.
“Is something bothering you…are you alright?
He asked, concerned.
“Yes, I’m fine boss…
He began to laugh.
“I’m not a boss Keji. I don’t know that you can be this humble… which is actually good. Please address me as Philip. I wanted to ask you if you are getting ready for your friend’s wedding. I’m part of Chike’s groom’s men. The wedding is next weekend… hope you are going?
“Yes, I will be there. I will take permission from mummy (we address Mrs Kanu as mummy) and from you of course and if is not approved then I will have to stay back because this job means too much to me and I can’t trade it…
He removed his eye glass and said.
“True Friendship is priceless Keji. If Chike’s wife is your bossom friend then is very proper, much required for you to be there. Mum will approve and I have already given you a go ahead. We can go together to the wedding…if you don’t mind.
I thanked him and told him I will be returning back to work he nooded.
As I was going, I thought of looking back at him.
I felt the hair on the back of my head stood, was he looking at me?
What if he was looking at me. Yes, he’s probably looking at me.
I will turn and our eyes will gaze at each other and I will feel the butterflies in my stomach and I will smile at him.
That is what all this people in movies do whenever they sees their crush or when their crush is also crushing on them.
I quickly turned, hoping for every action that I have already created in my head
I frowned immediately I turned to look back at him.
He was back into the water swimming.
Is my mindset, he wasn’t even looking at me, he was swimming inside the pool.
What a shameful thought.
I carried my shame and went back to the kitchen to face Ijeoma my tormentor with her flat nose like “Kaji”.