Shattered Glass

20 Jul

Shattered Glass

By

Tolu Oke

I am a man of precision, I expect my breakfast at 7a.m every day, pancakes, toast and a cup of coffee, black no sugar, an early morning ritual I got to cherish so much like a good luck charm. ‘You must have skipped breakfast that morning though’ I mumbled as I prepared for the interview I had that morning.

Losing my job in the United States was a blow we were yet to recover from, my wife who has been very supportive suddenly becomes my worst enemy.

Breakfast has suddenly become an issue for Ireti as soon as we got back to Nigeria. She nags every morning about the stress she has to go through for the family upkeep.

‘Owolabi are you even trying to get another Job?’ She pressed as she poured my coffee one fateful morning,

‘I’m expecting a call from a friend who has promised to help later today,’ I mumbled.

It is clear that there will be no breakfast this morning, quiet or otherwise as Ireti lay deathly still on the bed. Neither did she acknowledge my attempt to greet her, nor is she concerned about my job interview this morning. She remains apparently miffed about yesterday night’s misunderstanding, as it was ‘Our Night.’ We had not been sexually active since we got to Nigeria. Fresh carnations on the window sill, new bed spreads, throw pillows strewn over the bed, all subtle signs that we agreed on as a sort of prelude to sex.

‘I’m not in the mood,’ I said to her

‘What do you mean you’re not in the mood? It’s been four months you know’ She retorted reaching for my zipper

‘Oh, you’ve been counting?’ I said. I took her arms gently, looked into her eyes and told her

‘Not tonight, I promise to make it up to you though’ I added but she already turned her back to me, feigning sleep.

This job is the most important thing to me and I can’t afford to botch it because of a night of pleasure with my wife. There will definitely be many more nights, besides a working man commands more respect in and out of the bedroom than a jobless man and I was tired of being ridden like a horse, I felt it was high time things went back to the way they were.

I descend the flight of stairs, taking time not to trip over the second to the last one as the marble jutted out a little over the rest. I make a quick detour into the kitchen; open the fridge, to grab the milk carton. I pour myself a quick glass, gulping it at once, grabbed the car keys and left the house.

‘Good morning neighbor,’ Mr and Mrs Yusuf our neighbors chorus cheerfully.

‘Morning,’ I reply silently as they drove on.

The usual early morning traffic that was synonymous with the Ikeja under bridge is surprisingly light this morning. I maneuver the car into the parking lot of the telecommunications firm I was to be interviewed at. I have to go all the way down using the stairs because their parking lot is situated at the top of the building and I have a phobia for elevators.

I feel unusually calm and refreshed as I descended the stairs, I am totally confident the interview will be a walk over. Not just because of the sterling recommendation I have from Dikachi my friend and a former colleague, but because I am pretty sure there wouldn’t be so much fuss over an employment into the IT section of the telecommunications firm I was headed for, so long as you knew what you were doing, which I obviously did.

‘Where is the Interview taking place please?’ I ask the receptionist politely as I also try to catch my breath, hoping I still looked sharp in my breast-cut 3piece navy blue suit.

‘Right down the hallway to your left’ she crisply replied, pointing well manicured fingers to her right.

I caught a glimpse of an engagement ring on her third finger and quickly added, ‘Congratulations,’ nodding at her hand

‘Oh thanks,’ she answers then adds ‘I think you should double up, the head of HR just left her office for the conference room to address the remaining applicants.’

I enter the room and just about settled down in the chair closest to me as the head of HR came in with her convoy of secretaries, all carrying several files and folders. ‘Good Morning’ she greets us all then without waiting for reply she continues ‘First things first the interview will be in 2 stages; the oral one and the written one which will come first followed by the oral interview with the MD later in the day. ‘Any questions?’ she prompted,

Like anyone would have a question in such a situation, I glance around the room at the remaining nine applicants, three ladies and six men, myself making us all together 10 in number. No one has anything to say so we start our written exams promptly at 9:15am, hoping to stop in exactly 2hours 30minutes.

Halfway through the exam, one of the ladies sitting at the far end of the hall closest to the split air conditioners suddenly burst into tears, no sooner did this happen that she was immediately whisked away by the security guard at the door. I finish my exam uneventfully and my grade is handed over to me almost immediately, I am one of the lucky five who will be meeting the MD as soon as he is available.

I unbutton my suit jacket and relaxed a little bit, taking in my environments, focusing on the plush décor of the conference room, the green and brown checkered rug, with a thick underlay, the various pieces of African culture and heritage carefully placed around the room.

Several notable quotes from various Philosophers hung on the white wall round the room and a grandfather clock hung at the very edge of the room behind the MD’s chair I supposed. I take this time to familiarize myself with the remaining four applicant, two ladies and two guys plus myself, all of us software developers/engineers. We strike up a conversation on cloud computing which was rudely cut short as a secretary came in and announces to us that the MD will be seeing us one-by-one in the next few minutes. I immediately re-button my suit jacket, straightened out all the creases in my tie, getting ready for what is certain to be a grueling session.

One of the ladies is the first to go in, she is inside for less than two minutes before she is sent packing, her expression told us all we needed to know, we all start saying solemn prayers to our various Gods. Another guy goes in and comes back a little later but with the same sad face, cursing vehemently under his breath at the stroke of misfortune that made him lose this golden opportunity. By this time, I have intensified my prayers, making all sorts of promises to God to do wonderful things if I am offered a job in the firm.

Alas the time comes for me to meet the MD of the firm. I walk in, close the door behind me and walked up to the chairs in front of his desk, all the while he was signing some documents; he signals me to take my seat which I promptly do, adding a ‘Thank You Sir better safe than sorry’ I whisper to myself. I place my briefcase containing my resume and other relevant documents on the tiled floor beside me and look around the office, appreciating the internal décor and the obvious display of wealth and affluence.

He looks up at me and his face registers shock as he shouts ‘Senior Owolabi’

Taking me twenty years back to my final year, 3rd term in Federal Government College Ogbomoso, Soun House Senior Hall, Room 2, the most dreaded room in the school. It was in the night after prep and we had just organized general beating for all the S.S.1 students of the House, but one of them, the one that I now see in front of me proved smart that day and hid in the alcove of the ceiling. But for one of us who heard a scurrying sound later in the night and decided to check it out, we would have had no idea where he was. As luck would have it he was brought down and beaten first by all the final year students in the hall, then he was brought to room 2, the room of horror. We hung him to the ceiling fan, broke several pieces of bottles and scattered nails under his feet, then switched on the fan gradually increasing the speed, beating him mercilessly too from all angles. By the time we were done with him, we untied him, made him walk on the broken bottles and forced him to sleep under a bunk on the bare floor which had been previously wet with urine.

At the recollection of all these, I sigh, pick up my things and leave

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16 Responses to “Shattered Glass”

  1. hardehyi July 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Karma is a bitch

  2. gbolahan July 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Plain hilarous….kudos man!

  3. callmeolajide July 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Bro This Is Dope.. I Love it…

  4. fresh_baba July 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Dope shit mehn!

  5. BimbyZ July 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    WTF! *heart beat stops* what?? this is the saddest story ever. nice work tho’. Gosh!

  6. ama July 22, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    Lol SHIT!

  7. ifueko July 22, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Karma is a bitch! Interesting read, it kept me going from beginning to end.

  8. missodun July 22, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Payback is a bitch…lwkmd!

  9. half man half amazing July 22, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Nice 1 h00mes….but the dude sh0uld hve banged his wife the naiaght bef0re…

  10. teekellz July 22, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Thanks y’all……… appreciate it @halfmanhalfamazing he couldn’t…… that’s d whole idea

  11. skipper July 22, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    To all dem heartless seniors, karma still awaits!
    Nice one bruv!

  12. @hawt_jedi July 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    OMG!! No food and sex for him! Karma’s fault! Lool.

  13. Demola August 10, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Whatever we do;good or bad has a way of coming back at us…dat was a beautiful piece,man…beautiful mind work.I’m impressed.

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